Happy New Year!


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2020 is upon us! I LOVE New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day because they provide transition from one year to the next. This year is also special because it is the beginning of a new decade, and the last decade was phenomenal for me, I am elated to discover what the next ten years has in store for me.

A New Decade (Well, Kind Of…)

Okay, so I know that technically the new decade doesn’t start until 2021, and 2011 is when the last decade began. BUT, that’s not how my brain works. It likes even number and for me, the decade started today, January 1, 2020.

Yesterday, I took some time to reflect on December 31, 2009. I remember it vividly because it was the last New Year’s Eve spent in Michigan. I had a sinus infection the week of Christmas, and I was still feeling sick on New Year’s Eve. In addition to being physically sick, I felt like my life was stagnant. I was living in Ypsilanti, Michigan, tucked away in an apartment my friend owned, and my career prospects were dismal. After completing six years of college, and earning two degrees, I was working a part-time job and picking up other part-time jobs when possible, because the economy in Michigan had slowed to a standstill. Of course, I would have gladly taken a full-time job, but the endless applications I submitted never resulted in a job with sustainable income. In 2009, I’d contemplating moving to a new state, but I was nervous about leaving everything and everyone I knew behind. That night, something shifted in my life.

I got off work around nine that evening and headed home. I declined a friend’s invitation to ring in the New Year at his place, and spent the evening I read the last chapters of my 80,000-word literary fiction novel. My heart was heavy as I ran through the usual questions and self-doubt. Was my book good enough to publish? Would anyone want to read it? I was terrified to find out the answers to those questions.

At midnight that evening, I had a cup of tea and contemplated my life. What was I doing? Where was my life going? While those questions swirled around in my head, I realized that I didn’t have any answers. Sad and confused I muttered to myself, “Do something big in 2010.”

I needed to shake things up and that’s exactly what I did. In September of 2010, I bought a one-way train ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah. My goal was to head to the mountains and spend time writing and querying agents, to see if I could get my book picked up by a publishing company. I didn’t set a time limit or the rest of the itinerary because I had no idea what I should do next. It helped that I had a good friend that lived in Salt Lake City. He said I was more than welcome to crash with him if I wanted to come and check the place out. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that there were opportunities in Utah that simply weren’t present in Michigan. So, I decided to rebuild my life from scratch in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Looking back on the past ten years, the person I was on New Year’s Day 2010, couldn’t have ever imagined the person that woke up this morning, New Year’s Day, 2020. During the last decade, I’ve taken two solo cross-country road trips, met the man of my dreams and got married, moved to a new state, wrote and published three books (two in 2019), got back in touch with spirituality and faith, and moved deeper into the Mormon Mecca that is Utah. Those are just some of the highlights. There were many more, as well as low times that caused me to question where I was going in life, but all in all, it was a fantastic decade.
My goal is to do something big this year, just as it was in 2010. What is that thing? I don’t rightfully know at this moment, but I’m open to big, life shifting changes.

So, that’s how I’m starting 2020. The Success Principles audiobook by Jack Canfield is playing in the background as I write this, and I am ready for a positive and prosperous year. How are you feeling on this first day of 2020? What goals have you set for the year? Drop me a line and let me know what you have in store for 2020!

The Writing Life

The title of the next book in the Sylvia Wilcox series had been changed from Remnant to Fracture. Why? Well, it turns out that there is a splinter group of the LDS church that is called the “Remnant”. Since Fracture does have a Mormon splinter group, I don’t want anyone to think I am referring to the actual group that exists. Fracture is fiction and I don’t want anyone to think otherwise, so I’m changing the name. Also, there are a few other books with that title Remnant, so I think it is best to just change the title of the book.

Stay tuned for the prologue of Fracture! A sneak peek of the novel will be available later this month. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do so. Newsletter subscribers get goodies and information before anyone else.

Hope January 1, 2020 was a wonderful day for you!

Cheers!

Braylee Parkinson

Mistakes Were Made

Have you ever looked back on something you’ve done-perhaps you took a risk, and thought, “I could have done that better?” Releasing my latest novel, Displacement, is one of those things. I wish, I wish, I wish… BUT, instead of dwelling in the past, I’ve decided to learn from my mistakes and make sure that the release of Remnant is much better.

A kind reader has pointed out some issues with the digital copy of Displacement she received. I can’t thank her enough for relaying this information! I probably shouldn’t have tried to publish the book during one of the busiest times of the year, but I was very excited about the story and wanted to get it out. With that in mind, I want to replace copies of the book readers already have on their Kindles. Also, I am adding an epilogue to the end of the novel that gives more information on what happened to Derek. If you would like to receive a new copy, (which includes bonus content!), click on the link below and add your email. It will be a one-time email with a copy of the book, NOT a sign up for my newsletter. You won’t receive any other emails from me (unless you sign up for the newsletter).  You can expect a fresh new copy of Displacement, along with the epilogue in your inbox before Christmas. Simply click the link below.

Send me my new copy of Displacement!

Advanced Reader Team

Would you like to receive Remnant, the next installment in the Sylvia Wilcox series, before it is released? Join the Advanced Reader Team and you will receive a free copy of my next novel in exchange for an honest review. Nothing is more important to a writer than a fair and honest review! Since you have already taken the plunge into Sylvia Wilcox’s world, I figure, why not let you have a sneak peek before everyone else??

Advanced Reader Team Sign-Up

Next Release: Remnant

Remnant will be Sylvia Wilcox’s first missing person case. Over the years, she’s avoided missing person cases because of the abduction of her brother, Simon. But this case is different because the missing woman doesn’t seem to truly be missing.

I am currently working on Remnant and while I plan to finish it before the end of the year, it won’t be released until 2020. I will share the prologue some time in the next few weeks. With that said, if you signed up to be on the Advanced Reader Team, you’ll be able to read Remnant before it is officially released.

Stay tuned for the cover reveal!

Cheers!

 

Mysteries That Will Keep You Up At Night!

Hello Readers,

December is upon us and while I love this time of year, I always find myself a little burnt from the endless social events, shopping, cooking, and creating merriment. After a long day of participating in non-introvert activities, all I want to do is get lost in a good story. Mysteries, as you may have noticed, are my thing.

I have teamed up with a few fellow mystery writers for a free promotion. There is nothing like a good mystery to get my heart racing, so I too have loaded my Kindle with books from these great authors. There are fifty-three authors (minus myself) to choose from. Click the link below to find your next favorite mystery now!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysteryforchristmas/tyc7u03dkm

Cheers!

Braylee

Displacement Has Arrived!

Hello Readers! Displacement is finally complete! This book took me places I didn’t think I wanted to go, but I let the characters take the wheel and guide me through the process. I am absolutely exhausted, but Remnant, the next book in the series is already in the works. I have about 50,000 words completed and my goal is to have the book complete in the next month. Stay tuned for more! In the meantime, check out Displacement.

Displacement

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Enjoy Writers From Around The World!

Hello Friends!

I’ve been working diligently on edits for Displacement. The good news is that the novel will be live within the next few weeks! I also may have a surprise coming before the end of the year. Stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, why not dive into the fiction from authors around the world! Who She Was has been included in a promotion with 21 other best selling books. Looking for a good read or two? Check out the following link and discover multi-cultural literature that takes places in cultures around the world.

World Literature

Sylvia Wilcox Series: Ypsilanti, Michigan

This is a short audio click about the town where Sylvia Wilcox lives, and why I chose to that town as the setting for the first two novels in the Sylvia Wilcox series. The audio is not super polished, but here’s the thing…If I don’t put it out now, I probably won’t put it out. This will get better as I go along. The transcript is below but it is not an exact copy. Transcription will be completed for the longer episodes.

Cheers!

Braylee Parkinson

Storytime is a short, relaxing stroll through memories from author Braylee Parkinson’s life, the lives of others, or the world of her characters. Everything is a story. There’s the story of your day, the story of the first time you met your beloved, the first time you drove a car, and the first time you lost someone you loved. Stories are used for entertainment and education. What we’ll do in these short sessions may be one or both.

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Let’s get on with the show.

Today we are going to talk about the town where Sylvia Wilcox, the main character of my mystery series lives. Ypsilanti, Michigan, which is a small city in southeastern Michigan. There are around 21,000 give or take, residents, and it is about 30 miles from downtown Detroit. If you were to hop on Interstate 94, you could probably get there in about 25 minutes. It is also about 10 minutes from Ann Arbor, and there are several other small townships and cities in the area. In the past, Ypsilanti was surrounded by fields of crops, and unpaved roads were plentiful. Things have changed over the past twenty years, but there is still a hint of rural living in the area.

Ypsilanti is named after Demetrios Ypsilantis, who was a hero in the Greek War for independence. I lived in Ypsilanti from 2001 to 2010. Eastern Michigan University is located there, and that is where I completed my graduate studies. One of the reasons I went to EMU is because my eighth-grade teacher took our class there for a weekend, so that we could experience college life. She is one of the most influential teachers I’ve had in my life, and that experience really endeared me to Ypsilanti and EMU.

It was a very special trip. We got to stay in a dorm room with two students, and my good friend Tanya was in that room as well, so we got to experience dorm life together, which was great because we’ve known each other since first grade, and were very close at the time. I’ll never forget that trip because we got to do all these fun things that you can do on a college campus. So, when I graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy, the economy was not good in Michigan, and I decided to go to graduate school. I decided to go to EMU, and that is how I ended up in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Surprisingly, I ended up loving Ypsi. I fell in love with the quaintness of the town. Historic marker houses, small businesses running up and down Michigan Avenue and friendly neighbors-I just loved it. Some of the historic marker homes have been turned into frat houses or multi-room housing, but you can’t really tell that when you walk down the street, so there is a certain quaintness to a stroll in Ypsilanti.

The first place I lived in Ypsi was this old boarding house. My friends called it the Freddy Kruger house, and it had this terrifying bad wallpaper from the 1970s, and there were about six other people that lived there. We shared the kitchen and the bathroom, which was not great. It was interesting, but I loved walking around the city, it has a small-town feel. Riverside Park and Frog Island Parks are right off of Michigan Avenue, and the Huron River runs through the parks, so I would walk down there and sit by the water and write, and it was wonderful. It was just really a nice place to be. There’s kind of like a southern swagger there, which makes sense because a lot of people migrated to the area from the south because there were high paying jobs that didn’t require a high school diploma. This is true for a good chunk of lower Michigan. Henry Ford paid a wage that southerners couldn’t find in their areas, so they moved north. Of course, there were other factors as well, but that is one of the major reasons many people from the south came north.

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I ended up moving because I couldn’t find any full-time employment there. So, I moved to Utah. Ypsilanti holds a special place in my heart. I dealt with some demons from my past; I grew up, I became the person who was strong enough just to turn her back and say a prayer, selling everything, and buy a one-way train ticket to Ypsilanti. So, I am very thankful for the experiences I had in Ypsilanti because I think if I’d stayed closer to my family and friends, I might not have evolved into the person I am today. They weren’t that far, but the aloneness of living in Ypsi taught me to reach for other forms of development, such as meditating, doing yoga, and figuring out my life, and I have to credit Ypsi with the person I am today, because I couldn’t have grown the way I did without it so, I choose Ypsilanti for the setting for my story because I was living there when I started the story, but also because I have a connection with the place.

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At the time I started Who She Was, I was also writing a literary fiction novel that took place in Michigan and Ontario, Canada, but something was missing. There was this disconnect, and initially, I couldn’t figure out why, but eventually, I realized that I wasn’t in those places I was writing about, and I needed to write about the places where I was at. I was so connected to Ypsilanti, and that is why I started to think about writing about the town where I lived. That was when I started thinking, “I’ll write a detective story that takes place in Ypsi. So, I started thinking about the characters and plot, and all that good stuff. At that time, I was living in a ground apartment in a complex where a series of break-ins and rapes took place. And that was the first time I’d felt like Ypsi might be a dangerous place. Of course, all places have their dark sides, but I started to think about how I could use the events in my story. Then, a strange and disturbing crime took place in Superior Township, My apartment was on the edge of Ypsi, close to where the crime took place. That was when I started to think,”What if this turns into something more sinister?” It didn’t, but my imagination was already running wild.

Displacement is the story that I started writing, but I switched to Who She Was because I was stuck and couldn’t get Displacement into the order I wanted. I also was having trouble with the literary fiction novel, so I gave myself over to Who She Was. I spent time wandering around Ypsilanti, soaking in all the place had to offer. Even though it was 2009, I had no plans of moving away at that point. Little did I know, but I would be on a train to my new home in less than a year from that time.

I still miss Ypsilanti. There is not a day that I don’t close my eyes and remember those leisurely walks down to the Huron River. The sound of the rushing water soothing my soul, and that special aloneness that made me strong. I live in Utah, and it’s beautiful here, but it doesn’t have anything on my home place. I love Michigan, and miss it every day, so I am so excited that Sylvia allows me to accompany her through the streets of Ypsilanti.

 

 

 

 

Braylee Parkinson-An Introduction


Hello!

Who is Braylee Parkinson?? Here is a brief introduction!

Major points below, but if you want the narrative, listen to the audio above.

Hi there! This is Braylee Parkinson, author of Who She Was and Displacement.

My pen name is Braylee Parkinson.

My birth name is Melanie Watson, and I became Melanie Parkinson in 2017 when I got married.

Between December 2018 and July 2019-worked to complete Who She Was. Started the novel in 2009, so YAY!!! I finally finished it!

Worked at Red Lobster for eighteen years.

One-way train ticket to Salt Lake City in September 2010.

Warm and kind people welcomed me to Salt Lake City and I was able to start over from scratch.

Became an English Teacher-totally burnt out over time.

Met my “Prince Charming” in 2016, married in 2017.

Who She Was is my first novel and it was published in July 2019. Displacement, the second book in the series will be published in November 2019.

Stay tuned!!!

Braylee Parkinson

Displacement: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery-Stay Tuned!!

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Displacement: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery book 2 is headed into the second round of editing! This book has taken me on such a wonderful journey that I am actually enjoying reading and re-reading the content over and over again. This book will take readers a bit into the past and explore the events that led up to Sylvia becoming a private detective. It will also reveal information surrounding Derek’s death.

As I mentioned before, The Remnant was going to be the next book in the series, but I’ve decided to release Displacement first, and follow with The Remnant in late November, or early December. The Remnant will be Sylvia’s first out of state adventure. Stay tuned!

The preorder for Displacement is up and available on various ebook platforms. The cover has drawn a lot of attention on social media, and newsletter subscribers said they enjoyed the prologue. The book will not be released until November 18, 2019. Want to read the prologue now? Sign up for the newsletter and you will get a sneak peek!

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Haven’t read Who She Was yet? It’s currently free. Download and read it before the next book hits the scene.

Displacement: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery, Book 2- Cover Reveal!!!

I didn’t think I would have the cover for Displacement until September, but my extremely talented cover artist delivered early! Here is the cover for Displacement! Available for pre-order at Kobo, Amazon, Apple Books, and Barnes and Noble.

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When Sylvia Wilcox takes a leave of absence from the police force to investigate the untimely death of her husband, another mystery-the murder of several students from the local colleges grabs her attention. The murder of the young men indicates that a serial killer may be roaming the backwoods of southeastern Michigan. Amid Sylvia’s grief and search for answers surrounding the loss of her husband, she finds herself simultaneously involved in a dangerous case that threatens to reveal the college town’s dark secrets.

Displacement: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery-Coming Soon!

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As you can tell from the picture, I am ready for summer to be over. I love the chilly, crisp gray days that arrive in October and I hope that the image will bring those days closer. The rustle of fallen leaves blowing across the driveway, apple cider and donuts, bulky sweaters, cold rain showers-I can’t wait for autumn to get here!

When I am not trying to wish autumn arrival upon the world, I am writing. Most days I get in at least six hours of writing-related activity, and I love it! I’ve got a few Halloween and Christmas stories started, and the third novel is halfway done. When I am not writing, I am editing Displacement. The manuscript needs to be on its way to the editor next month, so I have to stop getting caught up in my holiday stories and get the darn thing edited. Not to mention, I also have to work. It’s part-time, and I do it from home, but that’s 25 hours out of my writing life each week. Even so, the next novel will be released in November (October for newsletter subscribers!). Yay!!

I recently finished Displacement, the second installment in the Sylvia Wilcox mystery series. The next phase is a content edit. After that, I will do a hand edit, and the final round of edits will be done by my editor. The story took some twists and turns I hadn’t expected, but I love where the characters took me.

Displacement is the second installment/prequel, and it will give more information about the questions readers posed to me after reading Who She Was. Some of those questions were ones I hadn’t considered, so I had to turn to my characters to get answers. Writers need to be ready to give up control and let the story take them where it may. I like to be in control of things, but Sylvia Wilcox was reaching for the reigns. I let her have them, and boy did she surprise me! I’m so glad I trusted her to bring this story home.

The cover reveal will take place in September. If you have subscribed to the newsletter, the code to access the prologue of Displacement is in your inbox! If you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter…What are you waiting for?! Sign up and get the code to access the prologue of Displacement: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery (book 2). Also, if you haven’t read Who She Was, you can pick it up from your favorite bookseller for free. That’s right-FREE. Here’s the link: Who She Was.

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