New Release and Supernova

Stone of the Sea

Have you been wondering what the young shapeshifter, Zadeki, and the twins, Delvina and Retza are up to? At the end of October I released the next instalment, novella 3 of the Under the Mountain series. The Crystal Heart may be saved but the people under the mountain are running out of food, while strife and disaster bubble beneath the surface.

 

A desperate journey into the unknown

Food is scarce, the Glittering realms in chaos and solutions fast disappearing.  Twins Delvina and Retza have always stood shoulder to shoulder. Will new challenges pull the twins apart? Will they, and their shapeshifter friend, Zadeki, find food before the people under the mountain starve?

Join Delvina, Retza and Zadeki as once again they face their fears and rescue a realm.

Stone of the Sea is the third novella in the Under the Mountain series. It is set in the world of Nardva.

Start reading it today. Available at Amazon and other retailers.

Start the Journey

If you haven’t started the thrilling adventures under the mountain, don’t worry. For the month of November only, the ebook of Heart of the Mountain & Blood Crystal (the first two novellas) are available for 99c USD each.  Both are also available in print, if that’s your preference.

Supernova Brisbane

Adele Jones, Lynne Stringer and I had a great time at Supernova Gold Coast in April. We will be at the event in Brisbane – in 2 days time – November 9-11 – under the banner of Rendered Realms.  Adele has a fantastic techno-thriller trilogy set in Brisbane while Lynne’s Sci-Fi Verindon triology takes us out of this world. I’ll have my books – tales of Nardva. If you are in the neighbourhood, drop in on our stand (59) and say hello.

 

Other Reads

If you enjoyed reading about Memorable Fathers, I’ve done a couple of guest blogs recently – on food in literature and another on ocean settings.

I usually some of my 5 star reads in my monthly newsletters, along with cover reveals, new releases, giveaways etc.  At the moment, I sending Ruhanna’s Flight: a short story on sign-up.

 

In the pipeline

I’m editing novella 4, Shadow Crystals and the final novella Caverns of the Deep, hopefully for release the end of this year or early next.

My apologies for the delay on Rasel’s Song, the sequel to Akrad’s Children. As I explained in my last post, this has been a intense year. It is coming in 2019 for sure.

And I’ve lined up an interview with Adam David Collings about his space opera Jewel of the Stars for the next post.

I appreciate each one of my readers and hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

Jeanette O’Hagan
November 2018

Memorable Fathers in Spec Fic

On Sunday it’s Father’s Day in Australia. It’s also three months since my father passed away. He’d lived a long and good life and is now with God, though I miss the twinkle in his eye, his warm hugs and smile.  He was my hero growing up and, though like us all, he had his quirks, he left me a wonderful legacy, including a love for books, for science-fiction and fantasy.

As a tribute to my dad I thought I’d ponder some memorable fathers (or father-figures) in speculative fiction, including in the Nardva World.  One thing that strikes me is their rarity. Fathers, especially in children’s/YA literature/books, often seem absent, whether dead (like Harry Potter’s dad or Eragon’s or Catniss Everdeen’s) or distant (the Pevensey kids’ parents) or hidden (Luke Skywalker’s dad). Even when they are alive at the beginning of the book, they often don’t make it alive (Tris’ parents, for example). No doubt, this is allows the hero or heroine to come into their own.

Not all the dads are great role models. Some we love, some are doing their best, while others need a few lessons on being a great father. Warning – possible SPOILERS ahead.

 

Professor Kirby in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Professor Kirby is a father or grandfatherly figure to the Pevensie kids in C S Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy have been shipped to the countryside during the bombing of London in World War II.  The Professor mostly allows his housekeeper to care for the children, but when Lucy begins talking about Narnia and Edmond teases her mercilessly, it’s Professor Kirby Peter and Susan turn to. Much to their surprise, he doesn’t discount Lucy’s story and gives them some sage if enigmatic advice. What makes this even better to my mind, is that we later find out that the Prof has travelled to Narnia in his youth (recounted in The Magician’s Nephew).

 

Théoden and Denethor in Lord of the Rings

For such a sweeping saga, there are not a lot of living fathers in Lord of the Rings.  Two that come to mind are not the best of examples – Théoden King of  Eodras and Denethor Steward of Gondor.

Théoden allows himself to be enthralled by Grima Wormtongue and becomes so embittered by grief at the loss of his only son, that he ignores the plight of his loyal niece Eowyn and drives away his nephew Eomer.  Only the dramatic intervention of Gandalf breaks Wormtongues’ hold, and Théoden is restored to his senses and show both courage and heroism in protecting his people and coming to the aid of Gondor. He heroically dies in battle with the Witch King of Angmar, who Eowyn then slays.

Denethor is ensared by his own despair and pride. He sees the darkness coming out of Mordor. He knows that Aragorn will claim his rightful place as King, making him and his house redundant. I’m not sure which he fears the most. But his most egregious fault as a father is his blatant favouritism of one son over the other. He admires and loves Boromir’s stalwart military prowess, while despising Faramir’s more thoughtful approach. In his grief for Boromir’s death, he sends Faramir to certain death in defending Osgiliath, and in bitter regret almost burns himself along with his still living son on a funeral pyre. In Denethor’s case, Gandalf’s intervention and advice is denied and one cannot help but wonder whether Boromir’s downfall was in part seeded by his father’s unwise favouritism.

 

Anakin Skywalker

Who could forget Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back ‘I am your father.’ Yes, but in name only. Consumed with an unreasonable fear of losing the great love of his live, Padme, Anakin is seduced to the dark side, cemented by his unspeakable act of killing the younglings in the Jedi Temple. His turn to the dark side, rather than saving Padme, brings about her death as she gives birth to twins, Leila and Luke. The babies are whisked off and hidden from their father (perhaps not all that well in Luke’s case, with his uncle and aunt on Tatoonie). When they do finally meet, Darth Vader oscillates between trying to kill Luke and his friends, to seducing him to the dark side to serve the Emperor.  It’s a pretty sad track record (perhaps as sad a John Lock’s conman father in Lost). But in the end, the father’s love in Anakin wins out, and rather than see his son killed, he turns on the Emperor, a final redemptive act.

This is reversed in the next generation with Han and Ben Solo (Return of the Jedi and Last Jedi). Han is not a perfect father, perhaps often away, yet there is no doubt he loves his son. Yet Ben turns to the dark side, as Kylo Ren, worships his grandfather Darth Vada and kills his own father so he will not be tempted by the weakness of love. We don’t know how it will turn out for Ben but I’m thinking not good.

On a side note, I chuckle at Jeffrey Brown’s take on  Dad moments between Darth Vader and his kids.

Ned Stark versus Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones

Ned Stark is a man of integrity in a world of gutter politics. He is stern and at times tough with his children, but there is no doubt he loves both them and their mother. His interactions with Rob, Sansa, Arya, Bran and others, shows that he understands their strengths and weakness, and wishes to bring out the best in each of his children. Yet in the end it is his integrity, his drive to do what is right, and his compassion for the children of his enemy that is his undoing. He pre-warns Cersei of his plans to reveal her incest and the illegitimacy of her children, so that she might get them to safety, Instead, she strikes back, bringing him down and leaving his own children exposed and in a mammoth struggle to survive in a predatory world.

Tywin in contrast pushes his children and shows only scorn for his youngest son Tyrion because of his dwarfism. His cold calculating drive brings out only the worst in Jamie and Cersei in particular.

Lief’s Dad in Deltora’s Quest

In Deltora’s Quest, Lief’s father gives him the task to collect the seven stones of Deltora and add them to the Belt of Aidan, so that the true heir of the realm might be returned and the Shadow Lord defeated. Lief’s father, a blacksmith, seems gentle and almost mild. What Lief doesn’t know is that , through arrogance and trust the wrong people, his father allowed a great wrong, which he now greatly regrets. He teaches Lief not only to be a blacksmith but strong values and integrity, things Lief needs on his quest. And he must face his own judgement of his father’s failings, before he can come into his own.

Harry Potter in The Cursed Child

Harry Potter (another orphan) finds it hard to relate to his younger son Albus. They are different personalities and Albus makes friends with Scorpios Malfoy and is sorted in the Slytherin, the group that opposed Harry in the past.  I think Albus reminds Harry of his own failings and temptations. Albus feels the weight of these fears and expectations and travels into the past to rectify what he sees as his fathers mistakes. The results are catastrophic and by the end both Harry and Albus make peace with each other.

King Caspian in The Silver Chair

Caspian’s own father died when he was a child and he is brought up by his murderous scheming Uncle, though it is his nurse and then his tutor that form his character and teach him of the Old Narnia. Caspian marries a star’s daughter, but she is killed by a snake when their son is a young man. Both Caspian and his son are grief-stricken and then his son disappears, only to be returned to Narnia ten years later some months after Caspian dies. It seems Caspian was a good father, but is unable to help his son when tragedy strikes, perhaps because of his own grief. He longs for his son return and does everything he can to find him. Tragic as this seems, Lewis pulls back the curtain in Aslan’s Land and shows Caspian restored, with the sorrows of his life transformed, showing his suffering is not permanent (a theme in explores in more detail in The Last Battle).

 

I’ve also written some fathers good and bad in the tales of Nardva.

 

Korak in the Under the Mountain series

Korak is Zadeki’s father, one of the shapeshifting Forest Folk. We first meet him in Blood Crystal though he probably doesn’t come to the fore in Stone of the Sea (planned release date September). He also makes a cameo appearance in Akrad’s Children. Korak is a more relaxed father, perhaps in part because the Forest Folk take to heart ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but also because he remembers what it’s like to be young, impetuous and constantly in trouble. He provides Zadeki with direction and restraint when needed or shares a joke or the adventure, giving Zadeki a strong sense of acceptance and value.

Rokkan in Akrad’s Children

Rokkan is both a good and a bad father. He had a fraught relationship with his own father, Martal. Martal showed marked favouritism for his younger son, Naetok, and held Rokkan to an almost impossible standard.  Rokkan wants to be a good father, and guides his son, Prince Mannok with more tolerance and warmth. Even so, Mannok often feels he does live up to his talented father. But it is Rokkan complicated past relationship with Kiprissa Gaia and the need to juggle the uncertain balance between clan loyalties and outwit his cousin, Haka’s, ambition for the throne, and his fears of Akrad’s ongoing influence, that means he treats the children of his former marriage, Dinis and Ista, with far less justice and compassion.

Zander in Withered Seeds

Zander’s ambition to leave the poverty and shame of his childhood behind, leads him to make an irreversible deed (as told in Moonflame). He achieves the wealth and acclaim he desired, but find himself in a loveless marriage and treated with disdain. In reaction, he becomes in many ways an uninvolved father, not giving the input and concern he perhaps should. It is only when his youngest daughter insists on coming with him on his last trip, that the opportunity arises to rectify the mistakes of the past.

 


As I said at my own dad’s memorial service .   No father, except our heavenly father, is perfect. Yet being a parent is one of the greatest privileges, sometimes ignored for what are fleeting goals (wealth, power, prestige, status). The best fathers are not necessarily perfect or strong, but warm, fair and prepared to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them.

Who are your favourite fathers (or father-figures) in fiction? What makes them a great, or at least, lovable fathers.

Jeanette

 

 

The latest release in the Tales of Nardva: Ruhanna’s Flight and Other Stories includes Ruhanna’s Flight, Before the Wind, The Herbalist’s Daughter, Heart of the Mountain, Moonflame, Withered Seeds, Stasia’s Stand and more. It’s a great way to dip into a world of Nardva for engaging heroes and heroines and thrilling adventures.

Ruhanna’s Flight

Ready to read new stories? Do you prefer print to e-book? Read on.

Ruhanna’s Flight and Other Stories

Over the last few years, a number of my short stories have been published in different anthologies. Have you ever wished that they were in one book? Now, many of Nardva tales connected to Tamra and the Five Lands are combined into one beautiful volume – Ruhanna’s Flight and others stories.

 

Tales of wonder, romance, adventure – dip into the world of Nardva with this collection of stories.

Now available for pre-order 99c USD — Ruhanna’s Flight and other stories – a collection of stories from the world of Nardva – some previously published, others brand new.

* * *Ruhanna’s Flight – Ruhanna’s father is coming for a rare visit from the capital. When everything goes terribly wrong, she discovers a mysterious gift that could save her — if it doesn’t kill her first.

* * *Heart of the Mountain – When shapeshifter Zadeki slams into the mountain side, he finds himself trapped in a strange underground realm. Can he escape or is he there for another reason?

* * * Rendezvous at Alexgaia – In her last mission, Space operative Dana secured the Infinity Cube at the cost her partner’s life or at least his humanity. Will Neon’s sacrifice be for nothing or will Dana be able to retrieve the key to the mysterious cube’s use?

Also Anna’s Dilemma, The Herbalist’s Daughter, Lakwi’s Lament, Moonflame, Withered Seeds, Space Junk, Rookie Mistake, Inferno and more.

Thanks to Bhri Stokes for the cover design.

Release date 6th March, this delightful volume is available for pre-order at the special low price of 99c USD

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VVQHL3/

Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079VVQHL3/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079VVQHL3/

As always, if you read and enjoy my stories, please consider leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon – or recommend them to a friend.

Also, don’t forget  On the Horizon Book Bundle is also available for pre-order (which includes Akrad’s Children as well as stories for Charis Joy Jackson, Mirren Hogan, Stephanie Barr and over 18 other fantasy and sci-fi authors).

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zqiFLM

Everywhere else: http://bookae.org/horizon/

Books in Print

Do you love the smell of a paper and ink book?

 

Print version of Heart of the Mountain and Blood Crystal have been available on Amazon since last year. I’m also working on having them available for wider distribution through Ingram Spark, as well as print version of Akrad’s Children and for  Ruhanna’s Flights and other stories.

Book Fairs and Conventions

I’ll be at two events in the next couple of months. If you live in or are visiting South-East Queensland, I’d love you to drop in and say hello.

Omega Writers Book Fair (March 10th)

Meet over twenty authors including Gary Clark (creator of Swamp), Kathy Hoopmann (All Cats have Asperger Syndrome), and Young Adult speculative fiction authors Lynne Stringer (Verindon trilogy), Adele Jones (Blaine Colton Trilogy), Jenny Woolsey (Ride High Pineapple) and myself.  Find out more at the FB event page or Omega Writers website.

Supernova Gold Coast (April 27-29th)

Once again I’ll be sharing a table with Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones, this time at Supernova on the Gold Coast. This will be a fabulous event – with a great line up of stars, including Peter Calpadi, Pearl Macki and John Barrowman from Doctor Who. Wow!  Find out more about the convention here or Adele, Lynne and myself here.

Next post I hope to have an interview from an emerging Australian science-fiction writer.

Jeanette

My Spec-Fic Favs for 2017

What have been your favourite Spec Fic reads in 2017?

This year, I’ve enjoyed the 2017 Popsugar Challenge which spurs me on to read a wide range of books. Even so, I’ve managed to squeeze in quite a few Fantasy and Sci-Fiction books and a few movies as well. So which were the ten I enjoyed the best?

 

  1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Marissa’s Meyer four book Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter) was a fantastic read, so I had high hope for Heartless – the origin story of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. And Meyer didn’t disappoint – Catherine is a wonderful character, as is Jest, the Mad Hatter and others. Meyer does a great job of weaving elements from both Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass. The tale has a lot of whimsy and humour and is compelling – though inevitably, it leads to a sad ending. My full review here.

2. The Martian by Andy Weir

For something entirely different, I managed to see the movie and read the book of this popular sci-fi tale. Told primarily through the stranded astronaut’s journal (with some scenes back on earth inserted), I loved the freshness of the story, the meticulous research in conditions on Mars, the reality of space flight, the logistics and possibilities involved. Weir makes math sound cool – which is awesome. But primarily The Martian was a human story, a story of not giving up and beating the odds. My full review here.

3. The Fated Sky by E M Swift-Hook

The Fated Sky is the first in the Transgressor’s series by E M Swift Hook – when Avilon’s space ship crash lands on the high plateau of a backward and forgotten planet at the rim of the galaxy, he is captured and catapulted into the complicated and often deadly politics of Temsevar. Told through multiple points of view, Swift-Hook does a marvellous job of bringing the planet and the characters to life. An intriguing start to the trilogy. My review is here.

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi includes magical realism – young Pi’s family decides to sell their Zoo and move to Canada. When the ship sinks in the storm, Pi (Piscine Molitor Patel) is trapped on life boat with Richard Parker (a Bengal Tiger), an injured zebra,  orangutan,  and a hyena. The ensuring struggle for survival is gripping – with moments of desperation, terror and wonder – and a startling twist at the end that leaves you with questions of what is real. My review is here.

5. The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

The Skin Map is the first book in the Bright Empires series. It combines time travel, alternative earths, ley lines, heroes and dastardly villains in a rollicking adventure. Kit Livingstone meets his long lost grand-father Cosmo, and finds himself pulled into the quest to find the skin map and to thwart the villainous Lord Burleigh and his men. The narrative moves around in time and place, with real danger but also recreates Restoration London (1666), 17th century Prague, 18th Macau and ancient Egypt in loving detail. While the pace is at times leisurely, I found the story immersive and enjoyable to read. I’m up for the next in the series, The Bone House.  My review is here.

6. Planet Woman by Judith Rook

Planet Woman looks at human colonisation in a distance planetary system that included sentient planets. When a threat is detected, the Planet Circe sends for an envoy from (non-sentient) First Home. Tethyn Claibrook-Merjolaine is none too pleased when she has to entertain the commanding and arrogant envoy, Lewis Brock, First Peer of the ancient Haute-Forêt family. But larger threats and dangers are in motion. This is the first book in a series and has a number of subplots. Despite some frustrations with the story-telling, it was one of those stories that left me thinking about it long after I’d read it. My review here.

7. Welcome to the Apocalypse (Pandora 1) by D L Richardson

D L Richardson’s Welcome to the Apocalypse is a wild ride.  Kelly Lawrence, Jack Minnow and Reis Anderson have special tickets to try out the immersive, virtual reality game, The Apocalypse Games,  in which players are pitted against one of a range of imagined end-of-earth scenarios – from Zombies, Alien Invasion, Clowns, Global Pandemic and so on. In theory the game lasts for 24 hours, but on this debut run something goes terribly wrong and the players are trapped in apocalypse scenario after apocalypse scenario with no contact with the outside world. What I loved about the book was Richardson managed to keep each scenario fresh and that it was as much (if not more) about the inner battles of the main characters. The ending was a little abrupt – but I look forward to reading the next in the series Welcome to the Apocalypse – Cybernexis (which has been nominated for a Ditmar prize). My review is here.

 

8. Jewel of the Stars: Earth’s Remnant by Adam David Collings

Jewel of the Stars: Earth’s Remnant is Episode 1 of Season 1 of a novella series set in space. Jewel of the Stars is a cruise liner that travels the stars, until a sudden and catastrophic invasion leaves the ship cut off from the rest of humanity and heading for unknown space to avoid certain death. Collings sets up the story and introduces an number of main characters while delivering on suspense and an exciting finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The only hitch is the wait for the next episode to be published. My review is here.

 

9. Futurevision  edited by Delia Strange

Twenty Aussies authors views of the future – 20 speculative fiction story, Futurevision is a wonderful collation of local talent with a range of stories from science-fiction, fantasy, horror – some full of suspense or adventures, some funny, while most leave you thinking. My own space opera ‘Rendezvous at Alexgaia’ is included. My favourites included Nola Passmore’s ‘One Hundred Words’ (what if all electronic communication was restricted to 100 words?), Duncan Richardson’s ‘Profile’ (what if our participation in society depends on our digital imprint?) and  Sophie L MacDonald’s God and the Machine (what does it mean to be human?) My review here.

10. Tales from the Underground by Inklings Press

Another great anthology with talented writers – in this case stories that take place in the dark places under the earth – in caves, caverns, mines, tunnels and cellars.  My story is a prequel for the Under the Mountain series (Heart of the Mountain, Blood Crystal, Stone of the Sea, Shadow Crystals) – though is darker more thriller or horror than adventure.  I particularly loved Rod Edwards fabulous story of fairy with ‘Lords of Negative Space’, Claire Buss whimsical ‘Underground Scratchings’ with a lovely twist at the end, and the riveting ‘Beasts Above’ by Lawrence Harding.

and a bonus – Elven Jewel by Kasper Beaumont

Right at the cusp between old and new year, I finally read Kasper Beaumont’s Elven Jewel – the first in the Hunters of Reloria series. Despite some occasional hitches in style, it was an enjoyable read – with halflings, bond fairies, dwarves, elves, dragons, goblins, trolls, giants, reptilian invaders and rollicking adventures, a touch of romance and a few tear-jerking moments. My full review here.

As for movies

  1. The Last Jedi

It’s no secret that Star Wars fans are divided about the latest offering. I went to see it with my family on my birthday – and loved it. Okay, not perfect – it had some gross moments and maybe occasionally heavy-handed – but on the whole it keep me glued to screen, and just when I’d think the story was an echo of earlier films, it would subvert or turn it. Some spectacular visual moments, and loved the ending.

2. Twice Upon a Time

Interesting finale of Peter Calpaldi’s doctor, teamed up with the first Doctor.  It had an interesting theme – as the Doctors struggle with the need to ‘change’ in regeneration. I did like the impromptu Christmas truce in WW1 into the plot, but I felt the story was trying to do too much and so ended up doing less – and not sure what I think about the newly regenerated doctor falling out of the TARDIS. As with each changing of the guard, we will have to see how the new writers and actors take this perennial favourite.

3. Moana (Disney)

My children and I watched Moana just after Christmas with my sister, a niece, two nephews – and loved it. And then watched the DVD on Boxing Day while at my sister’s, and enjoyed it again. Moana and Maui are great characters, with strong character journeys. Visually stunning, incorporating Polynesian culture and myths, and with a great story. Well worth watching a second time.

 

And for me, the other highlight is the stories and poems published – with three poems, eight short stories, one novella (Blood Crystal) and a novel (Akrad’s Children).  It’s also great seeing reviews rolling in for Akrad’s Children and Blood Crystal.

My plans for 2018 included the sequels to Heart of the Mountain & Blood Crystal, the next book in the Akrad’s Legacy series – Rasel’s Song, a Collection – Ruhanna’s Flight and other stories, plus participating in the On the Horizon Book Bundle (Akrad’s Children will be included with 22 other great stories of speculative adventure). On the Horizon is already available for pre-order.

What were your favourite reads – and watches – for 2017? What achievements have you celebrated, what goals do you have for 2018?

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and fantastic New Year.

Jeanette O’Hagan

Visions of Future: Futurevision blog tour

 

Early last month Futurevision was launched – 20 Australian authors’ visions of the future.  Our stories that range from the near future to the far reaches of time; some dark, some bright, some with a future still to be decided. At Oz Comic Con (Brisbane) a couple of weekends ago, Futurevision was a hot item. I’m not surpised, it’s a great and engrossing read (you can read my review here) and it’s a great way to sample a range of Aussie authors. It also has an unbeatable price.

20 stories of the future, most from the perspective of the people of earth (or their victims).

Rendezvous at Alexgaia is set in a different universe – in the future of Nardva and under the light of two moons, millennium after the events related in the Under the Mountain series and the Akrad’s legacy series or Barrakian tales, Broken Promises, Full Moon Rises).

As Nardva’s space age flourishes, new threats and new villains emerge, especially the all-powerful Consortium:

 

The acolyte looked over his shoulder. ‘Our order doesn’t like rebels. Besides, there are rumours that the Abbess is negotiating with the Consortium, certain concessions for protection and special privileges.’

Dana snorted. ‘Might as well negotiate with a black hole.’

The info-monk shrugged his rounded shoulders. ‘Takes aeons for a star-eater to consume a galaxy. In the meantime, there are perks for those in the know.’

(From Rendezvous at Alexgaia, Futurevision, 1231 Publishing, 2017).

It is the consortium that Dana and her fellow operatives have to defeat, or at least curtail.

Initially, when I looked at the Futurevision brief, I dismissed it. I write other-world fantasy, not science fiction. But then I remembered a flash fiction that came out of a writing exercise last year, Space Junk (published in in Mixed Blessings: Genre-lly Speaking, Breath of Fresh Air Press, 2016), and the ideas took shape.

It was fun writing about plasma pistols, transporters (transmits). spaceships and cyborgs. Dana’s adventures continue in Rendezvous at Alexgaia as she attempts, once again, to out-smart the Consortium.

And, I thought, that would probably be the end of it.

Except it wasn’t.  A sequel, taking Jerren’s story, emerged into a longish short story Project Chameleon soon to be released Quantum Soul (currently available for pre-order). The question, what would it be like to be captured by the Consortium grabbed my imagination, and before I knew it I’d written the rough first draft of a trilogy – The Chameleon Protocols (tentative release, late 2018/early 2019).

If you want to read how the adventure begins – grab a copy of Futurevision. And also enjoy 19 other author’s gripping visions of the future.

Paperback copies of Futurevision can be purchased from Amazon or 1231 Publishing for just $10 AUD (plus postage). Electronic copies will be available soon. Or you can purchase them from the individual authors (like Nola, Raelene or me).

If you’d like to find out more about the stories, scroll down the Futurevision page at 1231 Publishing and click on the arrows to read extracts from all contributions.

Last week, writer, poet and editor, Nola Passmore started the blog tour, speaking about how she came to write 100 Words.

Next week, fantasy author Raelene Purtill, the author of Ground Zero, will continue the Futurevision blog tour. You can check out her website here.

Jeanette

 

 

Akrad’s Children

It’s been a long time coming, but finally it’s here!

Cover reveal

Akrad’s Children

Four young lives bound together in friendship, love, rivalry and tragedy. A realm ravaged by civil war, a ruler scarred by betrayal, a legacy that haunts them all.

Caught between two cultures, a pawn in a deadly power struggle, Dinnis longs for the day his father will rescue him and his sister from the sorcerer Akrad’s clutches. But things don’t turn out how Dinnis imagines and his father betrays him.

Does Dinnis have a future among the Tamrin? Will he seek revenge for wrongs like his sister or forge a different destiny?

This is the first book in the Akrad’s Legacy series.

Akrad’s Children is available for pre-order 22nd September https://www.amazon.com/Akrads-Children-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B075BK8436/

Upcoming Events:

Futurevision launch

Fictional visions form the near to distant future
– who will we be and what challenges will we face?
Futurevision is an anthology with 20 stories by 20 Australian authors — including stories by Delia Strange, Matt Hellscream, Julian Green, Kasper Beaumount, Nola Passmore, Nyssa Baschal, Raelene Purtill and Jeanette O’Hagan.

Rendezvous at Alexgaia By Jeanette O’Hagan

In her last mission, Dana secured the Infinity Cube at the cost her partner’s life or at least humanity. Will Neon’s sacrifice be for nothing or will Dana be able to retrieve the key to the mysterious cube’s use?
Rendezvous at Alexgaia is set in the future of Nardva and is the prequel to the Chameleon Protocols trilogy.

 

The Futurevision launch is this Saturday (9th September) at Northlakes Library.  Spots have filled up – though, if you haven’t already booked,  you could put your name on the wait-list here.  It will be a great afternoon.

Oz Comic Con – Brisbane

YA spec fic authors Lynne Stringer (Verindon trilogy), Adele Jones (Baine Colton trilogy) and I have a stand tat this years Oz Comic Con 23rd-24th September. Love to see you there. To find out more check out Intricate Worlds here.

Fabulous Space Opera

Adam David Collings has released the first episode in his Jewell of the Stars series – Earth’s RemnantEarth’s Remnant is gripping novella that sets up series – a cruise ship in space fleeing from a sudden and devastating tragedy on Earth. I loved the characters, the action and the sci-fi elements in Jewell of the Stars: Earth’s Remnant. You can read my Goodreads review here.

It’s been a busy month or so getting ready for the release of Akrad’s Children and preparing for Oz Comic Con. More news soon.

Jeanette

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

 

Retreats, Anthologies and Covers

Is anyone else wondering where May went? It’s been an exciting month, though also with it’s tragedies as our thoughts go out to the people of Manchester.

Retreat, Refresh, Return

Writing While Soaking up the View

On the first weekend in May, I headed up to Toowoomba for the Omega Writers Retreat. Beautiful weather and surroundings, great speakers, delicious food, great company. Some of the highlights:

  • Deb Porter’s presentations on publishing and good style
  • Delicious Gluten Free food and plenty of it.
  • Time to write, to soak up the beauty, to chat
  • A time of reflection and worship and prayer for each other
  • Chatting with emerging writer, filmmaker, actor – Charis Joy Jackson on the way up
  • Seeing new publications and talking to other writers
  • Attending Ruth Bonetti’s second launch of From Midnight Sun to Southern Cross

I’m looking forward to next year.

Charis and Jeanette

Anthologies

Some of my stories will be published in different anthologies this year.

  • Stasia’s Stand (YA fantasy) in Crossroad Anthology (Birdcatcher Books) – 1st July 2017
  • Rendezvous at Alexgaia (Sci-Fi Space Opera) in Futurevision (1231 Publishing) – 1 pm, 9th September 2017 (Northlakes Library, Northlakes, Qld, Australia)

Exciting development (for me at least 🙂 ) – I have another 10,000 word Sci-Fi story accepted for another anthology. So watch this space!

Events

  • I had fun participating in the Page Turners Book Launch – with the launch of Cindy Tomamichel’s Druid’s Portal
  • Next week the SF/Fantasy Faire is on again next week – don’t miss out on a great line-up of Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors
  • Wombat Books is celebrating 8 years of Publishing – 2-5 pm 17 June, Redlands College, Anson Road, Wellington Point
  • Launch of Blood Crystal – end of June
  • Launch of Crossroads Anthology – 1st July
  • Launch of Futurevision Anthology – 9th September
  • Oz Comic Con, Brisbane – 23-24 September

Reduced price – short time only

Until the end of the week, Heart of the Mountain is on sale at 99c USD.

Fantasy adventure under the mountain – as the twins Retza and Delvina join with the abovegrounder, Zadeki, to save the underground realm from disaster.

If you haven’t read it yet, why not grab a copy from the following outlets:

Amazon US

Amazon Oz

Other outlets (Nook, Kobo etc)

Final Edits and New Stories

So, what else have I’ve been working on?

  • Edits for Blood Crystal (Book 2 Under the Mountain) and Akrad’s Children (Book 1 Akrad’s Legacy).
  • New short stories – both a couple of sci-fi shorts and some fantasy pieces.
  • A cyborg trilogy – finished a rough first draft of book 1 & halfway first draft on book 2
  • Filling out the plot for Stone of the Sea (Working Title) of Book 3 in the Under the Mountain novella series
  • Covers for Blood Crystal and Akrad’s Children

Cover Reveal

This Friday, I’ll be releasing the book cover of Blood Crystal … watch this space.

Looking forward to an exciting year.  Wishing you the best in your reading (and writing) adventures.

Jeanette