2019 in review

If you had three words, how would you describe 2019?

Eventful, Stressful, Hopeful

It’s certainly been eventful and often stressful (especially on the world stage and also locally). Here in Australia the unprecedented bushfires, the smoke haze in many of our major cities but especially Sydney, and the drought has dominated the news. And of course, then there is Brexit, Trump and the revival of old political rivalries to keep us on our toes. So many issues to face and to take a stand on (whichever way that might be), that sometimes the good news can become lost in all the furore.

But if it all gets too much, why not escape into another world with a good book (or movie) to replenish and revision for a more positive future? With that in mind – how was your 2019 for books read, books written?

Recap of my 2019 literary adventures.

New Books and Stories

Under the Mountain Series complete

With the publication of Shadows Crystals & Shadows of the Deep – the Under the Mountain series is now complete. Currently, the first four novellas are available in print, and fifth soon will be.

Five Anthologies

Four my short stories & a poem have been published in five anthologies in 2019

  1. Maroon’s Sanctuary in Gods of Clay combines Genetic Engineering, a frozen ocean moon & a greedy corporation. When Red 5 is injured she no longer knows her purpose. Can she discover another destiny?
  2. Space Triage in Challenge Accepted – Hira’s inherited blindness means her birth was unauthorised & she is tolerated at best. When the space station comes under attack, she draws on her intelligence and perception protect herself and others from danger.
  3. Wolf Scout in Tales of Magic and Destiny – Talia flees into the forest when she discovers plans to force her into marriage with the man who killed her father. Will she be able to tell true friends from foes?
  4. Treasure in the Snow in From the Edge – a guide faces both physical and magical challenges when he and his charge are caught in a snowstorm in the mountains.
  5. And finally, a poem ‘Heart’s Handprints’ in the Poetica Christi’s Love’s Footprint anthology.

Heart of the Mountain in audio

I’m thrilled to have the first scene of Heart of the Mountain in audio, thanks to Timothy Bateson of Storytime. Listen here.

Events & Conventions in 2019 & 2020

A highlight of 2019 has been dressing up in cosplay and meeting readers and spec fic fans at Conventions.

This year Rendered Realms (Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones and Jeanette O’Hagan) had a hoot at Gold Coast Supernova (April), Oz Comic Con Brisbane (Sept) & Brisbane Supernova (Nov). I also had a stall at the Omega Writers Book Fair (Mar).

Next year Rendered Realms plans to be present at Oz Comic Con Brisbane (Sept) & Brisbane Supernova (Nov).

Unfortunately we won’t make it to the Gold Coast Supernova as a change in dates means it now clashes with a previous commitment to the Omega Writers Book Fair (14 March 2020) – but we are keeping an look out for other opportunities.

Current Projects

I’m currently editing Rasel’s Song – the second book in the Akrad’s Children legacy series. My apologies that it’s taking longer than I’d planned as it needs a bit more work than I anticipated. I’m forging ahead and saving up for the financial outlay for the next step.

In the meantime, I’m resisting the urge to starting on Book 1 in the Chameleon Protocols series.

My Year in Books

I’ve read 70 books this year and enjoyed reading authors I love or discovering new ones. You can check out my year in books on Goodreads here.

Here are some highlights:

The Rose Thief by Claire Buss- Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher  & Jenni the sprite are tasked by the Emperor to catch the rose theif before they steal the Red Rose of Love. A hilarious Terry-Prachette-esque fantasy adventure.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend- Morigan Crow is fated to die on her eleventh birthday – that is before Jupiter North whisks her away to the ‘wun’-derful realm of Nevermoor. Alice in Wonderland meets Harry Potter.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi  is a Nigerian inspired fantasy world in a fantical king aims to eradicate the magical powers granted by the gods to the Magi. Not without its flaws, this is a fast-paced, girrping YA fantasy adventure with echoes of Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Penelope White and the Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Crymi. An encounter with a dying dragon catapults Father Penelope White into an parallel world of dragons, unicorns, griffons and other magical creatures. Crymi gives us a unique and humourous mix of mundane Parish life, a murder mystery, and a fantastical adventure liberally sprinkled with Doctor Who references.

Too Bright by Charis Joy Jackson. A collection of short stories inspired by the author’s dreams. A mix of gripping, emotionally intense dystopian stories and more fairytale stories full of wonder.

Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan. A novelised retelling of the love story between Joy Davidman and C. S. (Jack) Lewis with glimpses of Jack’s life and writing at the Kilns as well as a empathetic and honest presentation of Joy, a writer, poet, thinker and soul-mate.

A New Reality – Jewel of the Stars by Adam David Collings. The second episode of the Jewel of the Stars series. Fleeing alien-controlled Earth space, the crew and passengers of the Jewel of the Stars must adjust to an new reality while a group called the Red Guard threaten the peace and safety of the ship. A great second episode with the introduction of new characters.

2020

For the beginning of 2020 I have an interview with Kasper Beaumont – author of the Hunters of Reloria series and with Claire Buss – author of The Rose Thief and several other great books as well as other fun and interesting blog posts.

Holiday Wishes & Free Story

Wishing you all the joy and peace of Christmas and a wonderful New Year for 2020.

And for those of you who subscribe to the Jeanette O’Hagan Writers newsletter or follow my Jeanette O’Hagan Author and Speaker Facebook page- I have a free offer of Treasure in the Snow (a short story in the world of Nardva) for limited time only.

New subscribers of the Jeanette O’Hagan Writes Newsletter also receive a copy of Ruhanna’s Flight – another Nardvan short story that set on the Lonely Isle some centuries before the Under the Mountain series.

Jeanette O’Hagan

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