February Round-up

 

What a month February has been –  a month of extremes of weather for one thing. I’m glad to escaped the worst of it here in steaming hot Brisbane, but feel for everyone who has suffered loss from bushfires or wildfires, the Sahara-dessert levels of heat south of the border or Antarctic cold of the polar vortex across the Pacific, from earthquakes, storms, drought and other disasters.

It’s been something of a deluge on the publishing scene for me in much more pleasant ways – frantic, crazy and fantastic -with four new books due for release in February-March, several events both online and in person, and two promotions.

New Releases

Shadow Crystals

Shadow Crystals – Book 4 in the Under the Mountain series

She will do anything to save her people.

Delvina, Zadeki and the delegation lead by Danel must seek answers from the haughty Vaane, but they find the Lonely Isles in turmoil. Will Delvina find the way to open the Gate in time to prevent her people from starving? Will she be reunited with her twin, Retza? And why are the Forest Folk so secretive? As tensions increase, Delvina must discern friend from foe and defeat the shadows in her own heart.

Join Delvina and her friends on their quest to save the Glittering Realm under the mountain.

Set in the world of Nardva, Shadow Crystals is the fourth and penultimate novella in the Under the Mountain series.

Beat the price rise. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon for February 21  release. Here.

 

If you haven’t started the series yet – no questions asked (: – you can pick up the first book in the series, Heart of the Mountain, for 99 USD (less than $2 AUD) (or as part of Ruhanna’s Flight and Other Stories or Limited Horizon).

Heart of the Mountain can be standalone, or it can lead into the next story if you want to experience more of Delvina, Retza and Zadeki’s world.  So, what is stopping you? Begin the adventure today.

Wondering about which order to read them in?

Heart of the Mountain 1 

Blood Crystal 2

Stone of the Sea 3

Shadow Crystals

Caverns of the Deep 5  (So close to finishing the first draft of this fifth and final book in the series. Looking at an April release.)

 

Gods of Clay

 

I can now reveal that a year ago my sci-fi short story,  ‘Maroon’s Sanctuary’ was accepted for an anthology – Gods of Clay (a SciFi Roundtable anthology by the same publishers as The Quantum Soul).  Maroon’s Sanctuary is one of my favourite sci-fi stories (that I’ve written so far). I had fun researching moons with ice-crusted oceans, genetic engineering, mining in the ocean and surviving underwater at deep pressures as well as railguns and a few other things. It is loosely connected to my other Nardvan space stories ––  Space Junk, Rendezvous at Alexgaia, and Project Chameleon.

Gods of Clay is available here.

 

Challenge Accepted

 

Another exciting announcement. My story ‘Space Triage’ was accepted into the Challenge Accepted anthology – a celebration of difference and diversity with proceeds going to the Special Olympics.

A blind spaceship pilot.
Cops and maintenance personnel in wheelchairs.
Taking on bad guys with only one leg or no arms.
It’s not what you are that makes you something special. It’s who you choose to be.
Seventeen stories about people who rise above anything that tries to stop them, even their own limitations.

With stories by Stephanie Barr, Micha Burnett, Jennifer Busick, Adam David Collings, Steve Curry, Scott G. Gibson, Joyce Hertzoff, Jane Jago, Clarence Jennelle, Jeanette O’Hagan, Layla Pinkett, Jen Ponce, Connor Sassmannshausen, Lynne Stringer, E. M. Swift-Hook, Margret Treiber, Andy Zach.

Coordinated by Stephanie Barr with all proceeds to go to the Special Olympics.

I loved writing the characters in Space Triage which includes a space station and space pirates. Like Maroon’s Sanctuary, it is linked to my other Nardvan space stories.

Challenge Accepted is now available on pre-order here.

 

Tales of Magic and Destiny

Finally, my story ‘Wolf Scout’ has been selected for the new Inklings Press anthology Tales of Magic and Destiny – along with stories from talented authors Maria Haskins, Tom Jolly, Rob Edwards, Tara, Leo McBride, Aaron Emmel, Kerry Buchannon, Brent Harris, Jaleta Clegg, Ricardo Victoria & Hall Jameson.

I’m excited to be part of another Inklings Press anthology. (‘Shadows of the Deep’ was published in Tales From the Underground in 2017)

Wolf Scout is a fantasy story set in Nardva – a Barrakan Tale in the same region as Full Moon Rises (Like a Woman) and Broken Promises (Another Time, Another Place). Cover and publication dates will soon be revealed, so watch this space.

 

 

February Online Events

I’ll be attending a number of conventions and book fairs this year. More on that next month.

This month has been busy with online events.

Fantasy and Science-Fiction Readers Lounge (FSFRL)

A new, active readers group was launched last month with lot’s happening. I participated in the Kick-Off party, the FSFRL Young Adult Event and will be part of the Romance focus in a few days time.  Join the celebration of Romance on FSFRL here.

It’s been fun interacting with readers, playing games and competitions and seeing new readers (to me) enjoy my books.

To keep up to date with online events, check out my Facebook Page here.

 

Sci-Fi Roundtable Auction

This auction is being set up in aid of helping a fellow Knight, Doreen Gunkel, who was involved in a horrific accident that left her with a broken back. She has since had an operation on it, and will be walking again soon. Doreen is known for her generosity in helping authors and cosplayers at conventions. The funds raised from this event will go towards Doreen’s medical expenses.

There is a fabulous range of items up for auction, including books, artwork and literary services. Bidding is often fierce and bargains plentiful.

Throughout this week, Layla will be adding lots to this event. Please note, the lots will be ‘browsing only’ until Friday 15th February (EST). If any of the other SFRT auctions are anything to go by, this will be an awesome event.

Fri to Sat EST (New York time) which is Sat-Mon Brisbane time.

Check it out here.

Our Books are Not Free

 

Another online event with over 100 authors, competitions, prizes and interaction. A great way to discover new authors and books  to enjoy.  Join here.

 

Take a big breath – almost finished.

Promotions

SFF 99c PROMO (FEBRUARY 2019)

 

I’m participating in in SFF 99c PROMO (FEBRUARY 2019) with the offer of Akrad’s Children at 99c USD until the end of the month.


Dates: 18 – 24 February 2019

Genres: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Check out the link  next week here .

 

Heart of the Mountain: a short novella

And in celebration of the release of Shadow Crystals, the first novella in the series – Heart of the Mountain – is at the introductory price of  99c USD until the end of the month here.

 

And that’s it for the month.

February has been busy, but I’ve had lots of fun interacting with fantasy and science-fiction fans, running competitions and gifting my books to the winners – and seeing my stories released into the world. There’s still time to join in the fun.

  • Check out the new releases
  •  drop in on the events (whether online or in person),
  • take advantage of the special prices on Akrad’s Children & Heart of the Mountain.

Time to immerse yourself in the world of Nardva – engaging characters, thrilling adventures.

I’ve also been busy reading and blogging – but more on that next time.

Jeanette

Disability in the Fictional World of Gryphendale

Today, as part of a blog tour, we have a post by Lara Lee, author of fantasy novels Gryphondale,  Shadow of the GryphonThe Gryphon’s Handmaiden.

Jeanette: Welcome Lara. It’s great to have you on Jeanette O’Hagan writes. I enjoyed reading Shadow of the Gryphon and look forward to reading the sequel. Tell me, has writing always been easy for you?

Lara:

As a child, I had undiagnosed Dyslexia. It was undiagnosed because my small church school didn’t understand what was going on with me. They assumed I would grow out of it or just need to work harder since I appeared to be intelligent. It was subtle enough that I was able to compensate, but I couldn’t pass a spelling test ever. I wrote letters backward unless I wrote in cursive. I struggle to read until something clicked in my brain in third grade so that I read in chunks like a speed reader. My copy work was full of errors, and even now I can write complete paragraphs mirrored. Because of this, I never thought I could become a writer.

Jeanette: That would have discouraging, but clearly that wasn’t true as you have now authored three books.  What changed?

Lara:

I was surprised when I won a writers and illustrators competition in first grade for my illustrations and was sent to a day camp as a reward. While there, I heard an author speak about her career, and I was incredibly inspired. I didn’t master reading until third grade though, so it seemed like an unlikely career for me. Art and illustration seemed like my only choice. Still, I was always making up stories and fairy tales for people. My attempts at poetry and creative writing were covered in red ink every time I attempt to show a teacher or my father.

Once I became an adult, I decided to become a graphic designer so I could “make books.” I did this for a while, but I found that I would write during all my free time for no reason. I read my work to some people and found that they liked it. I kept a journal from the time I was in high school, and it was obvious that I was improving, but every sentence was a battle, and many words were misspelled.

My husband encouraged me by saying, “There is always spell check and computer programs to help, and you can’t type backward.” So I began to write seriously and published my work. I have been thrilled at the positive response to my work. I do write full-time now, and use various methods to correct my errors. Writing is not an easy field of work to make a significant income, but I have never been happier.

 

Jeanette: That’s wonderful and inspiring. Have any of your characters dealt with a disability? 

Lara:

It was only in my most recent book, The Gryphon’s Handmaiden, have I dealt with disability in my fictional world of Gryphendale. This is my third book in this world and the second book of the Truthseeker trilogy. I did this partly because my son ended up with a significant disability, and I wanted to encourage him. I know what some of his struggles are like because I was there once, but no one was there for me as a child. My main friends were books, and so I want other people to see what I have learned without any preachiness.

Tabatha is one of the main characters in the book, and she struggles with mutism caused by abuse and trauma. I had originally wanted to write her on the autistic spectrum, but that became too hard for the story of the book. Mutism worked well because disability often steals one’s voice and confidence. She is misunderstood and hides from the other main characters in fear of not being able to communicate with them. Yet, this character is the most powerful and used by the creator God, the blue Gryphon, to both lead and save the other characters.

Jeanette: Tabatha sounds like a strong character. I love world-building in my own world of Nardva. Tell us a bit more about your world of Grypnondale.

Lara:

Gryphondale is a medieval style faerie world in which reading and writing are rare. Tabatha’s disability isolates her, but the blue Gryphon still uses her, not despite her disability, but with it. Her mutism morphs into selective mutism by the end of the book, but only in infrequent situations. She is still disabled until the end, but that doesn’t diminish the love the other characters have for her. Her value motivates others to learn sign language to get to know her.

Jeanette: Awesome. What theme underlies your story?

Lara:

The message in all my books is hope, but in The Gryphon’s Handmaiden, the message is also about not letting disability steal that hope.

I truly believe every person has value and gives value in society no matter their disability. The struggle we go through gives us unique perspectives and skills that are impossible to grade in a classroom or quantify in a resume. Love, friendship, loyalty, and kindness can mean life and death in the right context. When we stop trying to be “normal” and make everyone else “normal” we start to see the beauty, humor, and love in our differences.

In the world of Gryphendale, disability isn’t more accepted than anywhere else, but I hope the reader can see in this make-believe world how beautiful we are, as we are.

Jeanette: One last question. Can The Gryphon’s Handmaiden be read as a stand alone novel or should The Shadow of the Gryphon be read first?

Lara:

The Gryphon’s Handmaiden is book 2 in the Truthseeker trilogy, but it is a self-contained adventure following the same characters from book 1, The Shadow of the Gryphon.

Thanks Lara.  We can definitely do with more fiction showing people with disabilities as strong heroes and heroines.  I recently wrote a story with a blind main character and an excited that its been included in the Challenge Accepted anthology (coming March/April). I’m looking forward to reading The Gryphon’s Handmaiden.

The Gryphon’s Handmaiden comes out January 29th on Amazon!  You can purchase it here. 

 

Jeanette