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

Recent releases & deals

Interviewed – by Altered Instincts

Altered Instincts aka author Leo McBride recently interviewed me following the recent release of Caverns of the Deep .and also Wolf Scout, in the Inklings Press latest anthology, Tales of Magic and Destiny. He asked some great questions.

What inspired the story [Caverns of the Deep]?
The first book in the series – Heart of the Mountain – which started as a short story on the theme glimpses of light (for the Glimpses of Light anthology). I set the story in an underground realm in which the power and lights were failing. But, as often happens to me, the story grew too long, so I submitted another story instead (Ruhanna’s Flight). Heart of the Mountain became a short novella which birthed the Under the Mountain series.


As a writer, have you ever had a character grow to be a much bigger part of the story than you expected? Who was the character and what was it about them that made them emerge from the sidelights?
Yes. Dinnis in Akrad’s Children started off as a side-kick to Mannok.  I loved his snarky, cynical view on life and, as the story developed, his wrenching back-story, difficult circumstances and motivations gave him a strong presence, until it became obvious that the first book in the series was, in fact, his story.


What are your favourite genres to read – and what is it about those genres that draws you in?


See the full interview here.

Rogue Skies Book Fair

Looking for a great book to read – check out Rogue Skies Book Fair. Scroll down to see Akrad’s Children as well other great selections and a fantastic giveaway – with multiple opportunities to win a Kindle Oasis, 6 months of KU, and your choice of 2 bookish candles from Flick the Wick! Enter here.

Akrad’s Children currently available at a reduced price as part of the Rogue Skies Book Fair.

Find me on Bookbub

Are you on Bookbub? A great place for avid readers to hang out – with featured deals and book recommendations by favourite authors.

I’ve recently joined Bookbub as an author. It’s another way to keep in touch and follow my latest releases and deals. You can find me here.

What’s next?

Did you enjoy Akrad’s Children? Having completed the Under the Mountain series – my focus has shifted to the Akrad’s Legacy series. I’m actively ending Rasel’s Song, book 2 in the series. I’m hoping to have it finished and published before the end of the year – with more adventures for Dinnis, Mannok and Rasel. So watch this space.

Enjoy the read,

Jeanette O’Hagan

Interview with Zadeki

Welcome Zadeki

Jeanette: Zadeki, Welcome. We’re chuffed you could take time to fly into today to enlighten us a bit more about yourself. We’ve been following your adventures Under the Mountain and also across the ocean in the Lonely Isles. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). Coughs Please, please pull up a seat and make yourself welcome.

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Zadeki:  My thanks, daughter of the pen. (Brushes a small feather from his hair, and jumps up onto a tree branch.) I’m glad you decided to have the interview outside. Sometimes I think I’ve been in more tunnels than anyone should in a life time.

Jeanette:  I can understand that. The last few days most have been particularly harrowing. Can you tell us a bit about how your association with the twins, Delvina and Retza, came about?

Zadeki: Ah, well, that’s a bit embarrassing. I wanted to prove to the Kinleader that I was ready to be a Pathfinder. So I decided to fly over the mountains to show my skill at shape-shifting. Instead, I ended up being caught in a snow storm and colliding with a mountain and breaking a wing … er arm. That’s when the twins found me and took me into the mountain caverns.

Jeanette: Your time with the twins and their people has been fraught with danger and difficulties. Even now things are in the balance, yet I’m sure the twins have been very glad of your help and that of your Kin.

Zadeki nods.

Jeanette: Lets talk a bit more about you. In our world, people are often divided between ‘cat’ people and ‘dog’ people.  Do you have a particular preference between the two?

Zadeki: Do you mean as pets? We don’t keep pets though most animals are our friends. So far, I have only three shifting forms and none of them are ‘dog’ shapes. But I do love shifting into the jaguar form – so lithe and powerful, such grace and beauty – and sharp teeth.

Jeanette: (Moves back in the chair). Ah, yes so I see.  What was your role in your family growing up?

Zadeki: I’m the youngest of seven children and I have heaps of cousins, aunts and uncles. Mostly, they think I’m still a youngling and don’t take me seriously.

Jeanette: I’m sure that’s changing now given how you’ve helped the twins and the other Darane.  Who do you want to be like? Who are your heroes?

Zadeki:  I grew up on tales on how the first Flame King guided the ships escaping the destruction of the central lands. And also on how Doryn and Ruhanna established our Kin in the wide lands several hundred years ago. But I do admire the Kinleader Telsima, and also my parents – oh, and Retza and Delvina who are full of courage and determination to save their people.

Jeanette: When and where were you happiest?

Zadeki:  When I’m shapeshifting – flying in the skies or prowling through the Great Forest, seeing more of the wide world.

Jeanette: What music do you listen to?

Zadeki: Listen? I love joining in when our Kin sing together after the evening meal. The interplay of voices, the words of the ancient songs under the giant trees and stars, it’s moving and it says I’m home with my family, my Kin.

Jeanette: Do you have any bad habits?

Zadeki: Laughs. Lots of them, I’m sure.  Aunt Bikan (pauses a second, clears his throat) Aunt Bikan would say I’m too impetuous, acting before I’ve considered the consequences. And maybe she’s right.

Jeanette: Does anything scare you?

Zadeki: Oh, yes. I hate dark, enclosed spaces, the feeling of being trapped with no way out.

Jeanette: What is the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

Zadeki: What happened on the Lonely Isles when we were caught and what Avardin did to us, to Aunt Bikan. I gave up hope but, by the Maker’s Favour, it didn’t end the way I thought it would. I hope I’ve learnt to be less impetuous, and to not give up hope even in the darkest night.

Jeanette: Who is the love of your life?

Zadeki: That’s a bit awkward. (Looks away). I really like Delvina and I think she likes me, but I’m still so young and there is so much of the world to see.

Jeanette: Perhaps things will sort themselves out with time. One final question. What have you always wanted to do but haven’t done? Why?

Zadeki: (Eyes shine). Oh, apart from explore the whole world? I’d love to learn the koraktil form. It’s such an awesome beast – huge, able to fly and breath fire. It’s a difficult form to learn but one day I will and own the skies.

Jeanette O’Hagan: That would be awesome. Thank you Zadeki. We’ve got time left, let’s take questions from our readers.

Caverns of the Deep Launch

Three years ago, I launched Heart of the Mountain – the first book in the Under the Mountain series. This week I launched the fifth and final book of the series, Caverns of the Deep. Find out what happens to Zadeki, Delvina, Retza and their friends.

Caverns of the Deep Cover - New Release

Seven Gates, locked and warded, stand between life and starvation.

As belts are tightened notch by notch, Watcher Retza and Lady Zara seek to find the seal and open the Gate. 

Meanwhile, Delvina, shapeshifter Zadeki and Danel race to return to the Caverns in time to help their friends.

Danger and betrayal stalk the tunnels and shadows grow darker in the deep caverns beneath the mountain. Will Zadeki, Zara and the twins (Retza and Delvina) find a way to save the Glittering Realms and secure a better future?

Set in the world of Nardva, Caverns of the Deep is the fifth and final book in the Under the Mountain series.

Caverns of the Deep now available on Amazon Here.