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Natalie C. Parker Books In Order

Publication Order of Beware The Wild Books

Beware the Wild (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Behold the Bones (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Seafire Trilogy Books

Seafire (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Three Sides of a Heart (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Natalie C. Parker is the writer of the “Beware the Wild” series of novels that have become some of the most popular novels in the Southern Gothic sub-genre. She is also the founder of the annual workshops and retreats organized for established and aspiring writers called “Madcap Retreats”. She was raise in a Navy family and hence having a life full of adventure was something as commonplace as having fairy tales read to you. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi from where she graduated with a Bachelor in English, before proceeding to the University of Cincinnati to earn her MA in Women’s Studies. When she is not so busy writing her novels or organizing her workshops and retreats she loves to collaborate with the University of Kansas on social responsibility programs. Some of these programs include a project about climate change and greater cooperation with indigenous communities. Even though her roots are deep in the South of Mississippi, she migrated to the Kansas plains from where she lives with her partner Tessa Gratton, and several house monsters for good measure.

Natalie finds a lot of the inspiration for her Gothic novels from her upbringing in a Navy family. As a child the family was full of adventure seeking and even went as far as a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, an adventure that equally inspiring as it was terrifying. She had always loved stories from a very young age given that her mother preferred to use stories as a teaching tool. She vividly remembers her mother telling her of the story about the Fool archetype who never risks anything and ends up not achieving anything in life. As a child, she had always loved ghost stories and read and collect as many of them as she could. She lived in a house and neighborhood that was said to be haunted, and spent a lot of time dragging her friends along to adventures to find the apparitions. While she never tracked down any ghost, she crafted tens of scenarios in her head that would later serve as the basis for her bestselling novels. All those years crouching in the dark waiting for a noise that would send them running away in delightful terror imparted important lessons for the young author.

Natalie Parker’s journey to publication began in 2010 when she penned her first title “Beware the Wild”. She was fortunate to get an agent a year later but it was not until a complete rewrite that she sold the novel to a publisher. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not have a hard time getting offers for the novel as she had four offers from agents within a week of sending her queries. Her idea for her “Beware the Wild” series of novels came from living in the hot summers of southern Mississippi where she spent most of her childhood life. Following the lives of ordinary people in small Louisiana towns, they are slow languid fiction narratives best read under the lazily moving fan on a Sunday afternoon.

The Beware the Wild series is written in the sort of dense stickiness, magical realism, and heavy and humid richness of the small Southern town. In true Gothic style, swamps and house take a life and mind of their own, and blurring the lines between reality and myth. The novels come with dynamic characters with their own intricate motives in twisty narratives that tell of the peculiarity of magic and history of the towns in which they are set. In true Gothic fashion, the novels are full of creepy things, mysteries, and spirits that bump about in the night among other classic scenes to be expected of the genre. One of the most intriguing things about the novels is the silent and collective decision to ignore the swamps or building that are clearly the abode and origin of something evil and mysterious. The aspect of ignoring and turning the cheek is actually a common response in most small town communities that fear causing distress to other people. The author uses this very well in showing the consequences of such action when some of the town’s residents are taken over by evil spirits. The novels could as well be about a very real place and a different kind of evil portrayed in a metaphor.

“Beware the Wild”, the first novel in the Beware the Wild series by is a novel full of the turns and twists and swoon worthy romance of the classic Sothern Gothic. Phin disappears after having a fight with his sister and heads for the swamp where he has not remerged from since morning. The swamp has always had a reputation of swallowing people, which has been steeped in myth and legend for decades. Yet the following day, Sterling sees some stranger come out of the swamp and it is not her sibling. The stranger is Lenora May and everyone in the town believes she has always been Sterling’s sister except for Sterling. Suddenly no one has ever heard of Phin and the swamp woman Lenora May now claims his place. Determined to find out the whereabouts of her sibling, and why everyone seems to have a faulty memory, she heads to the swamp to investigate.

“Behold the Bones” the second novel in the series is another excellent novel in a small Southern town. The lead in the series is Candace “Candy” Pickens who has had an obsession with the swamp myths of her town for as long as she can remember. Though she is not a believer in the legends, having never felt anything whenever she visited with her friends, she knows something sinister is going on in the town. But ghosts in town are not the only thing that Candy has to deal with as the unwanted Kings arrive in a blur, intent on filming the bizarre happenings in town. Mr. King intends to show the weird events of the town on “Local Haunts” his hit TV show on one of the major networks. Candy is suspicious so the family but she cannot suppress her feelings for the gorgeous Gage King the eighteen-year-old son of the family. As she tries to understand the true reason the Kings have come to her hometown, the events at the swamp seem to invade every crack in her cynical, logical mind with lore after lore. What she does not know is that the puzzle of the swamp hides a secret that may change her life forever.

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