Music is a very powerful force and can be absolutely inspiring. Many authors will tell you that they rely on certain songs and/or artists to help them craft their tales. Today, author Patrick A. Roland shares the list of songs that helped him create his book The Sparkle King. What do you think of it? Let him know your thoughts and share some of your most inspirational songs in the comments section. Then be sure to follow the tour to learn even more about him and his book, plus have bonus chances to enter the giveaway.
The Sparkle KingIn 2014, Patrick lost his partner, Pack, suddenly and without warning. As he struggled to come to terms with this, he was faced with homophobic prejudice from his partner's family. In horrendous emotional pain and feeling desperately lonely and depressed, he started to use recreational drugs heavily and hit rock-bottom whilst on a trip to Las Vegas.
After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and getting clean from drugs and alcohol, Patrick thought his fight was over. However, this was not the case. Life had many other obstacles in store for him but this time, he knew how to be strong and he knew he had God on his side for support.
This inspiring and emotive true story shows how anyone can overcome the hurdles life presents them with, if they just have faith and focus on their inner strengths.
Read an excerpt:
I’ve been sober for nearly four years now. It is here that I have stepped into the power of who I really am. I now allow myself to sparkle. It is in this space of love and light that I’ve fallen in love with the man I really am. And that means I protect myself from pain. Yes, it still finds me. Life is life. Life is hard. Pain is an unavoidable byproduct of it. But it is not allowed to ruin me anymore.
Because I now stand firm in the power and strength of my sparkle, I get to work on pain the minute I feel it start to seep into my body. I used to let it hang out, take over and basically encompass me. Now I let it in just enough to feel it. That way I am reminded that I need to heal it, so that I can move on and keep growing in the direction of my dreams. Pain gets in; light comes out.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get overwhelming. For a few weeks at the end of last year, it seemed like everything was falling apart: a dishonest publicist stole money from me and almost ended my literary career. But the power of my dream and my desire to share the gift of my sparkle overruled his act of sabotage. It just made me work harder.
A Playlist Fit For a King: The Music That Shaped The Sparkle King
By Patrick A. Roland
For several years, the little voice from within that I call my whisper told me I would write a book one day and all of its titles would also be song titles that evoked the theme of the chapter. When I wrote The Sparkle King last spring, my whisper became reality as my intuition gave birth to a book that celebrates both myself and the music that has helped me become who I really am. Here are some of the songs that shaped that truth.
1) I Had a Dream - Kelly Clarkson
This book started with a poem I wrote in peer support class. We were asked to write something inspired by the great Martin Luther King, Jr. This book is my dream.
2) Higher Love - Whitney Houston
This song makes me feel ebullient joy and the promise of a love from a Higher Power that any of us in a 12-step program seek from God. It’s about the promise that we can move through fear if we have more faith. It’s about darkness becoming our light. It’s about the greatest love one will ever have; the love of God.
3) End of Time - Beyoncé
I debuted the Sparkle King to this song as I was pushed through an audience at a New Years Eve dance on a throne while people danced around me. It was crazy, overwhelming and a little weird, but it was definitely memorable.
4) I Want to Know What Love Is - Mariah Carey
This chapter is about real love and how in sobriety we get the opportunity to have it shown to us by the people God puts into our life.
5) Coming Out of the Dark - Gloria Estefan
This is about all the darkness that shaped my life and how I find myself now in sobriety pushing my way out of it because I know that what once broke me actually made me become who I really am: The Sparkle King.
6) I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2
This is my favorite chapter in the whole book. It’s about the beginning of a beautiful friendship and being able to live in the moment and acceptance of it that after years of abuse at the hands of men, I get to be treated better by them because I know my worth.
7) Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Sometimes people lie to you and betray you. We can’t always see it because they are good at it, but that doesn’t mean we have to remain bitter. Instead, we should realize that person is sick and pray for them because hurt people hurt people.
8) How it Feels to Fly - Alicia Keys
After years of misery at a corporate job that left me unfulfilled and depressed, I gathered the strength to quit this job at chase my dreams. I didn’t have a plan but I did have enough faith to believe God was going to carry me if I took the leap. I like to say I finally climbed the corporate ladder my jumping off of it.
9) Bang, Bang - Ariana Grande, Jessie J. & Nicki Minaj
Dating after finding the love of my life dead five years ago has been challenging, but even though I thought I had found my match, I also learned that I am not willing to put up with abuse today. This was a huge shift for me because I used to let men treat me however they wanted because I felt like I had to have one.
10) Ambitions - Joe McElderry
At the beginning of our relationship, my now deceased partner Pack used to play this song for me. I was unemployed and very depressed about it, but he always believed in me. It was that early support, which shaped the way he nurtured and took care of me, that shaped the love of my life. It says: “if someone is gonna make it, that someone oughta be you.” With these books, I want him to know I made it; and that I thank him for believing in me when no one else did.
11) Cherry Pie - Jennifer Lopez
A couple Christmases ago, my dad bought a cherry pie that needed to be cooked in the oven. I knew something was off about my mother because she was aloof, distant and sometimes blatantly mean, but as I watched her her struggle to remember how to turn the oven on and not be able to, I realized our journey with Alzheimer’s was beginning.
12) Dance With My Father - Luther Vandross
I’ve always had a difficult - and distant - relationship with my father. But that changed when I made a real amends to him in which I finally apologized for spending my life not really liking him that much because he wasn’t nice to me when I was a kid. That truth - and finally copping to it - opened us up to shift our whole relationship and begin the work we needed to do to actually have one.
13) I Was Here - Beyoncé
I keep learning that when I show up for the people I love, the learnings and blessings from it are life changing. You can’t take care of anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself, but once you can, the magic you create by being present for your loved ones is nothing short of a miracle.
14) Hold Up the Light - BeBe & CeCe Winans
I am an overweight, gay, bipolar drug addict widow who was bullied and abused by men for 40 years. I am grateful for all of that darkness because in it, I created my light. It is because of all of that pain that I created my power; and it is also because of all of that awfulness that I get to sparkle on and on and on and become the real king that I am. This chapter is all about that gratitude.
15) Turning Tables - Adele
Sometimes bad things happen to make us push through and fight to become who we really are. It’s in those storms - like losing a job - that wash away what no longer serves us so that we can manifest an even more beautiful harvest. In that beauty, we get to have relationships with friends that help us help others, which really helps us help ourselves out of the darkness.
16) Like a Prayer - Madonna
When my partner Pack died in 2014, his homophonic family decided to kick me out of our home and forbid me from attending the funeral. Several years later, my best friend took me home to meet his family and their instant love and acceptance of me made me realize a beautiful truth: “I’ll never again long for the ones I didn’t get because God gave me the ones I was supposed to have.”
17) Heart of the Matter - Don Henley
The answer to everything is forgiveness. It makes no sense to hang on to the darkness caused by others. We don’t have control over other people, places and things. We can only control our reaction to them. Save yourself a lot of pain and forgive. It’s not for them, it’s for you. Because you deserve to be happy and move on to the gifts of life and joy waiting for you on the other side of fear.
18) Life Is Beautiful - Sixx:A.M.
Though I now own them which helps me take my power back, I still struggle with many of the things I am - overweight, gay, bipolar, drug addict, widow, abuse survivor - but I also know there is a beauty that comes out of turmoil that no one can take away from you: “Life is beautiful. It can hurt, it can be strange, it can be awful, it can be hard, it can be dark, and it can be scary—but I promise you, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s never over until it is. And if there isn’t light yet, that is a sign it is not over.”
About Patrick A. Roland:
Patrick A. Roland is a gay, bipolar, ex-drug addict, widowed abuse survivor and the author of three great books. His first, Unpacked Sparkle: a Story of Grief and Recovery, kicks off his journey of sobriety and self-love following the death of his partner, Pack, in January 2014. This book was published by Az Publishing and is available on Amazon.
His second book is a children’s book called Sparkle On! This book is about a gecko who is constantly constant bullied but chooses to fight this with love.
His new book, The Sparkle King, keeps the sparkle flowing as Patrick finds his way through several fear-inducing experiences by constantly choosing faith to overcome them in long-term sobriety.
Patrick lives in Phoenix, Az. He is a peer support at a mental health clinic, where he helps others just like himself. He’s also earning a Master’s in Addiction Counselling at Grand Canyon University and is taking care of his elderly, terminally ill parents. He wants you to know you can do anything you decide to do if you love yourself.
Publisher Link https://www.wallacepublishing.co.uk/patrick-a-roland.html
Patrick A. Roland will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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