The Best Fantasy and Paranormal shows, movies, and books of the 80’s & 90’s: Author Jessica Ozment’s Guest Post

Hi Guys!

Last time I was on the Lit Musing’s podcast I shared with you about how my interest in fantasy helped shaped my life as well and how it introduced me to all things magical. Today, I want to discuss one of my favorite tv series, a series I’m sure many of you can share with me. Charmed was a show I definitely could relate to. With not only one, but three very strong and capable female leads, and a never-ending supply of baddies to take on, this show, which aired every Wednesday, was my escape from the pressures of school and everyday life.

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More than anything, I wanted to be like Pru, Piper, and Phoebe. Each sister represented a colorful personality, and when together, nothing could stop the trio. I remember thinking about how I also had three sisters, and how maybe one day, I’d discover we were special too. It’s these connections that kept me going, out of trouble, and in the ever-changing world of fantasy. This will be a show I watch with my own daughter one day, because I want her to know that even when things get tough, you can rely on family and your own strength to get you through the hardest of situations. That the light can always find a way to shine through any crack, no matter how small. No matter how much my sisters and I fought, at the end of the day, Charmed brought us together. How powerful is that?!

What I couldn’t get enough of was how this show related to real-world situations, and how they mixed zesty magical twists between sisters, but also offered up situations one would run into from day-to-day. I could go on about this show forever if you let me, so I will let you guys tell me in the comments who your favorite character was, and why! Don’t be shy guys!

What I’m most excited about, is discussing the new spins we’re being introduced to with the remakes of shows like Sabrina and Charmed. How we’re being introduced to the pressures of our modern society, and how we’ve come together as a nation to denounce bullying!!! These are all great topics, so let’s hear from you all in the comments.

KELLEY ARMSTRONG

While we’re on the subject of powerful women, let me take you back to my high school years. To the good ol’ times where the only place you could find me, was in our small school library, zealously tucked away, soaking in every paranormal and fantasy read I could before I went home. I was lucky enough to have found one of my favorite female writers at an early age. Kelley Armstrong introduced me to the world of werewolves beginning with her well known masterpiece, Bitten.

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Her incredible descriptions in Bittenreeled me in, empowering me to rush through the rest of the series, centered around Elena Michaels, the only known female werewolf. The idea of Elena being the only surviving woman to have survived a lycanthrope’s bite was just the ticket I needed to survive the pressures and drama of my budding high school life. I invite you to discuss with us in the comments about your favorite Kellie Armstrong book! My favorites were the first three, Bitten, Stolen, and Dime Store Magic.

Cool Facts

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It’s all in the name!

Did you all know that Warner Bros. really wanted the show to be called Slayer. Whedon refused. (In Whedon We Trust!)

Finding Buffy!

Other actresses who auditioned for Buffy included Katie Holmes, Selma Blair and Charisma Carpenter, who went on to play Cordelia…which was the original role SMG auditioned for.

Ryan Reynolds could’ve played Xander…but turned the role down. And clearly was never heard from again.

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The Neverending Story

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Since we spoke a good deal about this movie last time, I dredged up some goodies to share with you all.

This was the most expensive film in German history, and Michael Ende, the books author,  publicly bashed the finished product, calling the movie, “revolting.” The main character, Atreyu was originally supposed to be green.Inthe book, Atreyu had blue hair and green skin.

Thanks for having me once again, and I can’t wait for our next podcast this month when we focus on the theme: Fate vs. Destiny.

Bye for now!

Jessica

Follow Jessica on Amazon here!

 

The Best Fantasy & Paranormal Movies and Books of the ’80s & ’90s

The Growing Spark:

A Fantasy, Paranormal, and Sci-fi Love Story Continues

Last month I discussed the sources that inspired my love for magic. This topic poured over into our first podcast. I mostly discussed movies that inspired me when I was a young child, I’ve decided to continue the topic by moving it to up in years, which to me is still in the ’80s and ’90s (two of the best decades I might add),  and relating to books I’ve read or written as well.

Let’s jump right in!

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(Image credit: Copyright (c) Michael Kleinhenz)

The NeverEnding Story: 1984

The gloriousness of The NeverEnding Story still translates with my kiddos today. This magical movie touched on bullying and loss as well as the power of believing and letting those you’ve lost still live in inside of you even when it can be too hard to even think of them at times.

The movie opens with our lead character, Bastian, being bullied to the point where he has to hide in a dumpster. Later, the boy received a book and found a place to experience the story. While in his world he only appears to be reading, the viewers are sent through a portal into another world where the “nothing” is hellbent on destroying all of Fantasia. Without giving away those dreaded “spoilers,” I’ll just reveal that the story progresses and this normal human boy somehow has power over a place so magical. He doesn’t even believe it himself and makes fantastic friends along the way.

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bmiphone/4654554832

And I have to talk about Falcor: Yes I have a dog that looks like him, how did I not name him that? He almost got named Walker after looking like those formidable dark side, ground assault monstrosities, but we settled on Bodhi. Hey, I was going to name my youngest daughter Anakin if she was a boy, would have been awesome, right?

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See the resemblance? Introducing, Bodhi Falcor Sinclair, LOL

Magical Worlds and Dimensions in Fantasy Novels

Other worlds, other dimensions had always fascinated me, especially when a seemingly unimportant human became a part of it before realizing their strength, power, and heart when they never thought any of it was possible. While re-reading A Wrinkle in Time, written in 1962, with my oldest, it had me thinking of how the book also sparked the interest in dimensional travel. I knew I loved the novel, but the deep science in those pages was something I had completely forgotten.

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Aside from A wrinkle in time, Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks, stars a 14-year-old girl from Illinois, Nest Freemark has a connection to the darkness that may impact the future. In this story, another normal kid has the power, magic, and a crucial impact on the future. It as the also the first time I read something from Mr. Brooks that had such a strong female as his main character. Something that is now the “it” thing. Finally!


Paving the Way for the Powerful Female Lead

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 1996-2003

We can’t talk about powerful female leads without focusing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No one comes to mind sooner that Buffy when I think of a character I related to, grew alongside, and rooted for every week. I also have all of the DVD’s, and it’s my go-to when I’m bummed or sick.

Buffy was a normal, albeit somewhat shallow (I mean most teenagers are at one time or another, I know I had my moments) high school cheerleader. When she becomes the next Slayer, everything changes. What doesn’t change is the camaraderie with her amazing best friends, AKA Scooby Gang, and she doesn’t give up, even after experiencing heaven.


Human Experiences in a Paranormal World

Joss Whedon and the writing team conquered deep topics on the show. No wonder it’s getting an excellent Buffy sequel to the show. From losing your virginity and the guy turning into a complete “monster,” to losing a loved one, studying for tests, moving, oh and saving the world, the covered it all. I cried alongside Buffy, Xander, Willow, Angel (wait, do vampires cry?), and I continue to love, talk about, and reverently recommend the show to this day.

Buffy also jump-started my love for vampires and werewolves. I admit I am more of a lover of a good vampire/paranormal story in book format, but that may just be due to the trickiness of putting the pictures readers, and the writers, form in their heads to something decent on the big screen. Well, Buffy did it perfectly, as well as a few others. Though when asked who my favorite vampires are I easily list Angel and Spike. Oh, and this guy…

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In the film, Blade (1998), was one of the movies that captured another form of the vampire world that I truly enjoyed. Not to mention Stephen Doff’s, Deacon Frost and it’s based on a Marvel comic (don’t get me started on Marvel, but we will discuss soon. We must!).

Though, since I said it already (now I can’t stop thinking about it), Ryan Reynolds was in Blade: Trinity where he proved to be a badass before becoming the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Ahhh, Marvel is everywhere. And I love it!

Lastly, bringing the female lead back into the picture and adding in those werewolves, Lycan, is Underworld. Though this one moves into the 2000s, it was released in 2003, it does star Scott Speedman who was in Felicity, 1998, a very non-paranormal/fantasy/horror show, but worth mentioning nonetheless. I’ve digressed, Underworld stars death dealer vampire, Selene, who thought of all Lycans as the enemy until realizing she’s a tool in a war that started well before her time and over power feuds. Her strength, speed, and glowing blue eyes make her my favorite female vampire of all time.


Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Novels

Continuing forward in time to show the evolution of magic in my life, it was 2012 when I first read The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson. Cecy is the paranormal/urban fantasy author whose characters’ remind me of the female strength and friendship in Buffy. Along with the romance, mystery, and suspense, the novels are pages turners for sure. The Wird Sisters each have powers of their own after being cursed, and they are joined by other creatures, heroes, villains, and those on that blurry line sometimes, werewolves, vampires, ghouls, witches, etc.


I could go on forever, I’m sure, but I’ll button this up for now in hopes that you all will share your favorites in the genres that mingle and intersect on many levels. Let’s focus on science fiction next time so I can give my other faves, Star Wars and Star Trek, some love as well.

Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned for the next podcast that you can find right here, as well as another guest blog by Author Jessica Ozment.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my dad, the one who inspired by love for all things science, fantasy, and magic!

Parker

The spark in my fantasy life.

 

It’s true; I am a fantasy and sci-fi junkie. I am not sure if I came out of the womb that way or if my parents influence me to be as such, but it’s true. Yes, I am a grown woman, and I wear Harry Potter and Avengers t-shirts (I’ll get to you some other time Thanos, you snap-happy narcissist), and not just to Disney or Universal Studios, I am talking bus stops, shopping, and if you’re lucky, even at happy hour to my hubby’s dismay.

Inspiration

I’ve been struggling with keeping up with my blog, and I know that is bad bad bad, so I realized I need to talk things I know a lot about that relate to what I do, and those are movies and TV shows that are fantasy in nature. I mean it’s how I got to this writing thing in the first place. Since I couldn’t read right away, I’d have to say it was due to the movies and shows my family and I watched. I’d like to highlight the ones that are my earliest recollections. I’ll only talk about two today, because I know we all have better things to do on a Monday; but hey, maybe I’m not alone, and this will take you down memory lane as well.

Best Childhood Fantasy Movies

Sleeping Beauty

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Even though this movie came out in 1959, I vividly remember driving in the snow to see this movie in the theaters. It must have been a re-showing, and until that darn awesome mermaid, Aurora was my favorite princess of all time. I won’t leave out Maleficent who, to this child, was the scariest villain ever. It was the magic that drew me, the simple glowing fairies, the eternal cursed sleep, the animals dancing and smiling at her as she sang of love, all of it made me fall in love with the fantasy world.

I did see Maleficent when it came out on DVD. I enjoyed the twist in that story versus the Disney version, but I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what that is, I am not a sociopath. HAHAHA (That was non-evil laughing, maybe).

Sleeping Beauty

Beyond The Muppets

The Dark Crystal 

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Jim Henson and Frank Oz were, as always really, super ahead of their time with this one. I am sure it was a little scary for some kiddos who were the primary target for Henson in most of his work. The high fantasy and adventure tale focuses on elf creatures called Gelflings. Two Gelflings, Jen and Kira, go to task to save their world by returning a shared of crystal to its home. The Skeksis are frightening baddies that suck the souls of innocents, and I still see them in my mind when I am creating my monsters. Ack, their voices even, a screeching, a terrifyingly manic sound that doesn’t leave you, or me, ever.

The puppets, scenery, and story have stuck with me since I first watched it in the early 80’s. I’ve heard they are making a show on Netflix. Here’s one article I found, and it includes the teaser YouTube video I’ve pasted below. https://nerdist.com/dark-crystal-henson-netflix-tv-series/ 

I am totally binge-watching it when it comes out!

I’ll touch on more movies and shows in my next post. Maybe I’ll lean more towards Sci-fi next time since those are a huge part of my creative flow as well. Stay tuned for me to dork out with Star Wars and Star Trek, and please let me know some of your childhood faves.

Have an amazing week!

Parker

I’d love you to also join my newsletter to keep up with my new releases, writing, and more! Join today: http://www.parkersinclair.net/followme

My podcast is coming soon, which is appropriately titles Lit Musings. My friend, and fellow author, Jessica Ozment and I are co-hosts. I’ll post the link on my next blog, but here’s our sweet intro for now.

 

 

 

Cover reveal, sneak peek excerpts, & updates.

Dear Friends & Fans:

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. My family and I had some serious sun, and subsequent heat time here in Virginia Beach. My kids were like little fishes the whole time, and I was in the water bringing them back each time the current took them down the shore. Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart. 

Forbidden is done with its re-edits and will release Wednesday, June 6th. I hope you love Sandra’s story as much as I do. 


 

The cover for Only is complete. I hope you love it as much as I do. 

 

The Full Spread

 


Update on the madhouse!

Lucas, our black barn cat, is back outside and has changed from winter roley poley, to fit and trim wild cat. Of course, when it rains, he likes to be inside, and I think he gave me one of his rare smiles.

That is a smile, right?

Bodhi thinks his smile is better!
LOL


Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three

I am plugging away at Only re-read/re-edit, and it will be to the editor end of June. The plan is for a July re-release, so before that time comes, I’ll be dropping some excerpts and poems that I wrote a long time ago. The poems open each chapter in Only, which is a different set-up than the flashbacks found in Trustand Truth

Please enjoy an excerpt from Only.
WARNING: Some spoilers may be included below, so if haven’t read Truthor Forbidden, tread carefully. Oh, and there’s some “colorful” Alex language as well. 

(Only is NA paranormal love story & book 3 inThe Alex Conner Chroniclesseries)


Blinds drift back than forth as the wind shapes their destiny.
Flicker across my face—unending beams of sunlight.
Rainbows are seen upon damp eyelashes, kaleidoscopes surrounding.
Clarity of pastel colors, bright sparkles, slight heat.
Smoke rises, dancing, then disappears 
as it rides waves of wind and light.
Serenity fills this room.
I am happy falling asleep
 … inviting in the night.

If I didn’t have to keep my mouth shut and play along right now, I would tell the damn Fae king exactly what is on my mind. It would be something poetic and beautiful, something like: Listen, ass hat! Your evil lies and treachery will not work! I can see right through your lame-ass tactics. Do you really think you can take me down with some fairy dream dust? I am Alex fucking Conner, the strongest of my kind, so stop being a pussy and give it to me straight. What in the hell do you want from me?

But yelling into the dark, dank coldness of my jail cell will only give him the upper hand and probably have him deciding to starve me again, or maybe send his goons in to rough me up for real this time. Crap, I know I have to keep my new knowledge of what he is trying to do to me secret, but I’ve been down here for nearly two days since I saw Ryan, which could be weeks of worry back in my world, and the only people I have seen are the soldiers bringing me scraps for food and a medic making sure I’m not dying or dead. Their poking and prodding nearly had me choking one of them, but one’s kind of helpless when Fae bodyguards on steroids overtake me and I don’t have my power at my disposal.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m worried his minions could tell I was on to them; Nic’s eyes on my back could have burned a hole right through me. Plus, I might be using all these bold, brave words in my head, but the truth is, I only recently started reconnecting with my power in my own world, and I’m only mimicking what I’ve been told about my strength and heritage. I’ve only had a taste of what I am truly capable of a few times. Once when I was fourteen and shoved Steven into a hell dimension, another when I brought Shane back from the brink of death, and then just recently when I helped my father break free from the Demon who had possessed him, the fiend having succeeded in making my dad do terrible things before I even knew he was still alive. That was back when I thought my next step in protecting our world was to find the puppeteer behind my dad’s entrapment. All of that changed the night I thought the only action I’d be seeing was to do with finally having Ryan’s naked body in my bed. Boy, was I mistaken.

Okay, enough dwelling and pouting. It’s time to figure out how in the hell I am going to get out of here. I can’t risk my friends getting caught, which is why I warned Sandra that dream-Nic was asking about her through our barely holding on, crazy telepathy-thingy. Apparently Ryan had already told her; how he knew when he wasn’t there is a mystery to me. Sandra and I agreed to lay low and not contact each other. Who knows if the king could use it against us? At least Ryan and Valant gave me another tool to help me fight the king’s attempts to take my memories, my life, from me. The weight of the small metal bead where it lies attached to the feather in my hair is nearly as light as the feather itself, but I know it’s there and it’s saved me more than once. Touching Ryan in the Fae dream, his skin, his body pressed against me was as real as the last time we held each other; it makes sense—our minds are the reason we see, feel, and taste anything. Too bad that, for the most part, mine is being hijacked by King Douche.

The door at the top of the stairs opens. Its wood-and-stone body dragging against the floor makes my skin crawl with its grating chorus. I think I may have gotten daddy-dearests attention. He deserves the nickname. The King rarely speaks of Lestan, but he made sure that I knew he blamed me for his son’s death. Although it seems he wants someone else in his world. Whois the puzzle, oh, and why. Maybe it’s time to ask for forgiveness again. Ask to try to bring Lestan back? Hard to think that will work when it’s pretty obvious that the king does not care. Goddess, what in the hell do I say to someone who’s crazier than I am?

Footsteps, from more than one person, clump down the steps. I look at the world’s worst friendship bracelet there on my wrist, ready to burn my ass to shit if I try to escape. No, I won’t be busting out when the cell door opens, especially now I can no longer reach Gaia’s power to send me home. That connection has been severed, though I know its raw energy flowed into me in the dream. Must have been coming through Ryan, just as it was when we stood together against the Demon in my father. Not to mention, and I mean really this is bullshit, I am a dimensional traveler, which is super cool, but when I really need to use it, can I? No, I can’t. Fricking sweet.

My pity party is cut off when two medics, one a burly older woman who’s been the main angel of death for me the last few days leading the march, while a new and much younger assistant follows with her head down. I try to get a better look at the newbie but not only is her face hidden by long red hair, it also appears to be shifting. She’s using a cloaking spell. Well, I’m familiar with that trick. I’ve used it on many occasions. Wonder rises to the surface, along with curiosity about what’s going on here and if her companions know what she’s doing. I keep my mouth shut for now. Something pokes at my awareness, something calming and reassuring, but also teeming with suppressed vengeance.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from Only, and from Synced, my new Sci-fi fantasy novel coming Fall 2018.

Let me know what you think about the new cover for Only, and don’t forget that Forbidden releases next Wednesday, June 6th. Join my newsletter for a FREE ebook & a FREE sample today by clicking here

Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and the lovely reviews from you all. I love hearing from you, so keep the emails coming. 

Parker

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ONLY RELEASE IMAGE

The Best Powerhouse Female Fantasy Writers in Urban Fantasy Romance: Part 1

Dear Fans & Friends:

I hope everyone is finally warming up in your neck of the woods. I think we’ve gone straight from winter to summer in Eastern Virginia. I’m sorry that I’ve been off of my blog for a while. Changing careers, writing, focusing on re-branding my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Alex Conner Chronicles, and the reorganization my life (does this really ever end) have interrupted my blogging plans. My plan for the next few months is to highlight some of the authors who have inspired me in the fantasy genre. So let’s get to it!

Amazing Female Authors

It still shocks me when I think back to the books I’ve read. I don’t think I noticed that mainly men wrote the fantasy books I poured over, but, maybe I did. Perhaps subconsciously I thought about it, and it’s why I never believed I could do it. Then I found Robin McKinley, Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia McKillip, and Cecy Robson. I watched True Blood on HBO and had to pick up Charlaine Harris’ books and started to feel like; you know what, I can do this. I had been writing all of my life, my mind created worlds, characters and creatures non-stop. I just had to do it.

Motivation

The sassy, strong, powerful female leads in these novels are alive and kicking ass in these contemporary, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal novels. All my genres of interest had light touches on my first three, and very messy, chapters that I had put together. These female authors continue to motivate me to do and to get better at my craft,  so I wanted to highlight the ones I feel have brought me to where I am now. Though many of them may have a newer series and books out, I am focusing on the books that moved me, that set my butt into gear, and brought my stories to life.

May’s highlighted author is: Kim Harrison.

Kim Harrison: The Hallows Series
I own most of the paperback and hardbacks for this series, and I’m on my 2nd read-through. Yes, they are that good.  Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a runner, think paranormal bounty hunter. The series starts out with Rachel leaving a government agency where she’s being treated like to crap to work on her own. Little does she know she’ll soon have two partners, a smart-mouthed pixy and a vampire who loathes herself.

Magic and Action

You’ll immerse in a world that exists after humanity was nearly wiped out by a virus, and the supernatural species came out of hiding. This series packs loads of action, humor, some romance, and magic. The books introduce more and more details about the other species as you move through it, and lots of baddies for Rachel to face off against in ever novel. There’s something for every paranormal lover with witches, demons, werewolves, pixies, vampires, fairies, elves, trolls, and others.

Below are only some of the books, but I wanted you to see her first one, Dead Witch Walking, and then the progression. There are 14 books in all, one of them is a prequel. Rachel also pops up in Kim’s new series about Peri Reed.

Kim has been truly inspirational in my writing and was the first writer to show me all the badass main character can be, strong, weak, clumsy, and unstoppable. Don’t miss this series, Rachel Mariana Morgan is one of the best Urban Fantasy characters out there.

June’s author highlight and another author who has strongly impacted me and my writing will be, Jeanine Frost, and her “The Night Huntress Series.”

Thank you for taking the time to read over my blog.  I love hearing from fans, so please contact me at any time!

For free books and samples, join my newsletter today by clicking here.

NEW NEWSLETTER PARKER

Parker

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