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.

Blood Crystal Scavenger Hunt

Over the last three weeks, Blood Crystal has been touring a round of fabulous blogs. Today, we arrive at the final stop.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Isn’t it strange how, when we are waiting, time seems to stop moving. It’s almost as though we are caught in amber, caught between the moments, as though time itself has been freezed-framed and whatever we are waiting for will never arrive (or is that just me?).  The temptation is to give up.

And then, in a pivotal instant, there is the knock of the door, the arrival of a friend, the opportunity we’d hoped for.

Patience is rewarded.

As a writer, we want it all to happen from finishing writing the book, to publishing it, to gaining thousands of readers – but at each step of the journey we find ourselves waiting and in need of patience and persistence.

As a reader, with a great book we enjoy the journey – both inpatient to get to the end and, at the same time, never wanting it to end. Then we can’t wait for the sequel 🙂

At one point in the Blood Crystal, the twins Delvina and Retza head off on a treacherous journey to find help from Zadeki and his kin. They face a number of different challenges due the extreme terrain and their own unfamiliarity with the ‘outside’. At one point they run out of food and it seems they will never reach their goal.

Delvina placed the last of their dried mushroom and slithers of smoked cave fish into Retza’s mug and poured some of the steaming melt water over it. Saliva flooded her mouth at the tantalising smell. She offered the mug to her twin, giving him her own share in mute apology. If there was a source of food in the barren wilderness, neither she nor Retza had been able to find it. He gulped down the broth and then thrust the cup into her hands, half full.

She shook her head. ‘It’s yours.’

‘We both need to be strong.’

Once she swallowed the delicious mouthful, she stood and gathered her gear. Retza groaned and did the same. Ducking her head, she stepped out into the soft grey light that seemed to linger as the sun dipped down behind the jagged skyline. Retza stumped in front of her and took the lead and the full force of the buffeting wind for this shift. She clutched the copy of the instructions the old Scrybe had written out for her. A soft sorrow welled up and brought tears to her eyes. It was hopeless, beyond crazy. Perhaps they should go back.

Is their patience and persistence rewarded? You’ll have to read Blood Crystal to find out.

Last question for the Scavenger Hunt. What is Delvina and Retza’s final meal as their food runs out during their journey?

Scavenger Hunt

Blood Crystal Scavenger Hunt will run throughout the Blood Crystal Blog Tour. Each blog will have a reflection or memory related to themes within Blood Crystal and a related question. The first person to answer all NINE questions  right will win a $50 Amazon voucher. The runner up will receive copies of both Heart of the Mountain and the sequel Blood Crystal.

Please give your answers in the comments below.

Here are the Questions with links to the different blogs to find the clues.

Blog 1 Jeanette O’Hagan Writes: Where do Glow Worms live and what kind of animal are they?

Blog 2 The Vince Review: What mineral used to be mined in the Adelaide Hills town of Callington?

Blog 3 Lynne Stringer: What do the agents need more than Sarah?

Blog 4 Cindy Tomamichel: What is Trajan’s secret fear?

Blog 5 The Write Flourish: What is the name of that underground location which Nola toured?

Blog 6 David Rawlings Author: Who has to go on a perilous journey in Blood Crystal?

Blog 7 Adele Jones Author: What is the name of the mine associated with the pollution of Dee River

Blog 8 Adam Collings:  The formations that hang down from the ceiling of a cave, are they stalactites, or stalagmites?

Blog 9 Jeanette O’Hagan Writes (here): What is Delvina and Retza’s final meal as their food runs out during their journey?

I’m looking forward to seeing your answers.

Comment Winners

Announcing the winners who commented on the different stops on the way. Thank you for everyone who took time to stop by, read and leave a comment. I loved reading through the different comments and found it hard to choose.

One person deserves a grand-prize as she give thoughtful and interesting answers on every single blog. Way to go Nola Passmore.

So without more ado, I’ll detail the winners of a copy of Heart of the Mountain. (If you’ve already have a copy, you can nominate a friend to receive a copy or nominate one of my other e-books instead – The Herbalist’s Daughter, Lakwi’s Lament or Blood Crystal).

Winners:

Overall winner – Nola Passmore for the most comments – always interesting and entertaining 🙂

Blog stop 1  – this was so hard to choose, but I loved Susan Preston’s answer.

Blog stop 2  – Adam Collings

Blog stop 3  – Badger

Blog stop 4 – Paula Vince

Blog stop 5 – Sally Poyzer

Blog stop 6 – Adele Jones

Blog stop 7 – Linsey Painter (also receives her choice of a book in the Blaine Colton trilogy from Adele Jones)

Blog stop 8 – some great answers & hard to choose, but as others have already received a prize, Christine Dillon (also receives a copy of Lynessa’s Curse by Adam Collings).

Honourable mentions to Lynne Stringer and Cindy Tomamichel  🙂

And a big thanks to my wonderful blog hosts – Paula Vince, Lynne Stringer, Cindy Tomamichel, Nola Passmore, David Rawlings, Adele Jones and  Adam Collings. Please, check out their blogs for some great content 🙂

Until Next Week

I’ll announce the Scavenger Hunt winners next Friday – so you still time to enter, but remember the first two to get the all the correct answers wins.

 

Jeanette

Super Series Spotlight in June

Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Inheritance Cycle, The Lunar Chronicles, Game of Thrones ….

Who loves a series?

Well, I know I do.

There is something immersive in a series. It allows the reader to stay in the world longer, savour it’s unique flavour, to get to know its cast of characters, to feel like you belong.

This June a number of authors have banded together to offer an introduction to exciting speculative fiction series. D L Richardson’s Welcome to the Apocalypse, Mirren Hogan’s The Magic of Isskasala series and other great spec fic titles.

Stories from Nardva

I’m thrilled to have some of my works included:

The Herbalist’s Daughter, story 1 in Tamrin Tales.  A YA fantasy romance story set in the Golden Palace of Tarka some  years before the start of the Akrad’s Legacy series. Anna has her heart set on the young guard at the Palace but he seems not to notice her until her young charge stirs up trouble. Download from here .

Heart of the Mountain: a short novella  – book one in the Under the Mountain series. Twins Delvina and Retza’s greatest desire is to be accepted as Prentices by their parents’ old crew when they stumble across a stranger, Zadeki. Soon the glimmer lights begin to fail. Will the three youngwuns work together to save the underground realm? Download from Amazon here or here.

And now presenting – the sequel to Heart of the Mountain, Blood Crystal is due to be released at the end of this month.

YA Fantasy Adventure in the lost realm Under the Mountain – Book 2

The underground realm is under attack from mad Overseer Uzza and the Crystal Heart is failing. As things become desperate, Twins Delvina and Retza must brave a treacherous journey to seek help from Zadeki and his people.

Will they find the answers they seek before it’s too late? Is the blood of Uzza’s children the only way to restore the Crystal Heart? What are the twins prepared to do to save their realm and those they love from certain destruction?

Blood Crystal is the second novella in the Under the Mountain series. Like most of my fiction, it is set in the world of Nardva. Available from Amazon, Kobo, Nook and other retailers from 30th June 2017.

E-launch on Saturday 8th July 2017, 9:30-11:30am AEST (or Friday 7th July, 4:30pm-6:30pm PDT)

Cover Reveal

I’m also thrilled to announce the cover reveal of Like a Woman anthology – a speculative fiction anthology with profits donated to survivors of domestic abuse.

Like a Woman follows on from Like a Girl anthology which supported girl’s education. Both have covers by the talented Drusilla Morgan. The anthology is still open for submissions and should be published later this year or early 2018.

Super Series Spotlight

Please check other books featured in the Super Series Spotlight for some great reading 🙂  http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/june-super-series-spotlight-multi.html

Jeanette

 

Heart of the Mountain is here.

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Heart of the Mountain: a short novella.

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Count down to Launch

I hosting an E-launch of Heart of the Mountain on Facebook

2-4pm Australian EST, Saturday 30th July 2016.

Join in the fun on the FB event page for competitions, prizes, and release details. https://www.facebook.com/events/596826930491016/

Love you to join the event if you’re a lover of fantasy or fantastic adventures 🙂.

Heart of the Mountain: A Short Novella

Twins Delvina and Retza’s greatest desire is to be accepted as prentices by their parents’ old crew when they stumble across a stranger. Trapped under the mountain, young Zadeki’s only thought is to escape home to his kin. Peril awaits all three youngsters. Will they pull apart or work together to save the underground realm?

YA Fantasy Adventure in the lost realm deep under the mountain.

The adventure continues with Blood Crystal, Story 2 in the Under the Mountain series.

Heart of the Mountain now set up on Goodreads 🙂
https://www.goodreads.com/…/…/31276257-heart-of-the-mountain

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Reflections

I originally wrote Heart of the Mountain for the Glimpses of Light anthology, but it soon took on a life of its own and grew too big for the designated word limit. I loved the story and have developed it into a short novella (or long short story).

It is the first in the adventurous tales of young Zadeki. The events of this story occur many years after ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ (my eventual successful submission for Glimpses of Light) but a few centuries before the events of the Akrad’s Legacy series and the other Tamrin Tales (such as ‘Fever’, ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ and ‘Lakwi’s Lament’).

The story, in part, is inspired by other great story tellers such as J R R Tolkien, Jeanne DuPrau’s City of Ember, Frances Hardinge’s A Face Like Glass, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon and my own vivid memories of descending into the depths in an Underground tour of Mt Isa Mines, Mt Isa. I have endeavoured to make this story my own.

My heartfelt thanks to my wonderful editors, Nola Passmore (of The Write Flourish), Paula Vince and to my redoubtable critique partners and beta readers Nicole Nugent, Kathleen Hillenberg, Suzanne Hay-Bartlem, Raelene Purtill, Julian Green.

I also had fun with the cover design and appreciate the tough and truthful critiques of my young artists in residence, as well as suggestions from Suzanne Hay-Bartlem, Kathleen Hillenberg, Christina Aitken, the Swinburne Creative Writing Critical Friends and the Omega Writers Science-Fiction and Fantasy Groups.

I’m especially grateful for my family—my loving husband Tony, my precious children, my parents Tom and Jean Curtis—who instilled in me a love of faith and fantasy—and siblings, Tom Curtis, Frank Curtis and Kathleen Hillenberg, whom I’ve shared many wonderful adventures.

Most of all, I’m grateful to my Maker in whose creative footsteps I can only hope to follow.

 Jeanette O’Hagan  July 2016