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ACRBA Tour Lakwi’s Lament

Posted by Jenny on Aug 13, 2017 in Book Reviews

Lakwi’s Lament is touring with ACRBA this month :)


7 – 11 July 2017

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN READERS BLOG ALLIANCE

Is Introducing

Lakwi’s Lament

By the Light Books 20 January 2017

by

Jeanette O’Hagan




Book Description:

A middle-grade to Young Adult short story set in the fantasy world of Nardva:

Lakwi would love to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. Her passion for books attracts the attention of her dashing older brother, Prince Rokkan, and her suave cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?

Lakwi’s Lament originally appeared in Like a Girl Anthology and is related to The Herbalist’s Daughter and the Akrad’s Legacy series.



About the Author:

JEANETTE O’HAGAN first started spinning tales in the world of Nardva at the age of nine. She enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing.

She is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. Her short stories and poems are published in a number of anthologies including Glimpses of Light, Another Time Another Place and Like a Girl. She has recently published her short novella, Heart of the Mountain and, in Mixed Blessings: Genrellly Speaking anthology, also a flash fiction ‘Space Junk’.

Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master of Arts (writing). She is a member of several writers’ groups. She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends and pondering the meaning of life.  Jeanette lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Sign up to Jeanette O’Hagan’s Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bbLJKT

Website: jeanetteohagan.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JeanetteOHaganAuthorAndSpeaker
Twitter: @JeanetteOHagan
Instagram: @bythelightof2moons

My Review:

This is more an author’s note than a review.

I wrote ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ for the Like a Girl anthology, inspired by Mirren Hogan, to raise money for girl’s education across the world. Like a Girl is available on Amazon and includes stories and poems about girls and women overcoming difficulties, the sacrifices made and potential reached. Even in the 21st century girl’s equal access to education remains a significant issue and keeping girls at school during the teen years have much better outcomes for their health and the prevention of issues such as child marriage and abuse.

Set in Tamra, ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ occurs some years before the events of Akrad’s Children and its sequel, Rasel’s Song, but about ten years after ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’. While in most Western countries, few would question that girls should have equal access to education to their brothers, this has not been the case throughout history—and indeed in many countries even today. A woman’s role may be seen as confined to wife and mother.

Lakwi’s Lament is a fun story, an adventure with (I think) an exciting finish.

I had fun with the cover design which includes two of Lakwi’s great loves—her puppy Butterbur and her love for books and stories.

You can check out some books reviews of Lakwi’s Lament on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32705336-lakwi-s-lament

I hope you enjoy her story.

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ACRBA Tour My Brother Tom by Michelle Worthington

Posted by Jenny on Jul 5, 2017 in Book Reviews

3 – 7 July 2017

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is Introducing

My Brother Tom

(By Wombat Books, 1 April, 2017)

By
Michelle Worthington
Illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn

About the Book:

Tom was born earlier than expected and had the doctors worried. His big brother wasn’t worried though, he saw angels outside his window and knew everything would be okay. My Brother Tom is a story for older siblings of premature babies to help them make sense of what is happening at a difficult time.

About the Author:

Michelle is an author of children’s books, who is also available for workshops on writing for children, book signings and school readings. Michelle Worthington was born in Brisbane, Queensland and currently works and lives in the Redlands. She enjoys travelling and has spent time studying in France where she lived for a year.  Winner of the 1988 Little Swaggie Award and other Australian poetry competitions, she has been published in numerous Australian and International poetry anthologies. Since a very early age, Michelle has shown a love of words and rhyme, and has always excelled at English and Creative Writing. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from University of Queensland in 1996, Michelle is currently undergoing studies to further her career as a published author and book publisher. Australian publisher, Wombat Books has released her first children’s picture book titled The Bedtime Band. It is the story of what the animals in the Australian bush get up to when children are at home asleep in their beds. Michelle has two sons, Jordan and Cody, who she has read to every day since they were born, as she believes in the importance of fostering a love of books in children. Her books encourage children to use their imagination and dare to dream big. Michelle’s other titles are available at www.michelleworthington.com.

My Review:

My Brother Tom is a a beautifully illustrated picture book that tackles the issue of prematurity from the perspective of an older sibling with the touch of the miraculous.

Tom’s big brother processes that fact that Tom was born to early and must spend time in a humidicrib and long weeks in hospital. The older brother connects with Tom despite the tubes and finds comfort from a startling source that all will be well.

I loved the simple and evocative drawings and the theme of My Brother Tom and the way the book addresses the issues of prematurity. My daughter was born 5 weeks early, weighted 1.9 kg, and was in hospital for 5 long weeks. I remember the hours I spent at the hospital from dawn to midnight to be with my daughter, while my husband worked. I can only imagine the added logistics of an older child in this scenario and the likely confusion and fears they might experience. If anything, the story speeds over some of the challenges and procedures – as well as the joy of the firsts – first time to touch, first time out of the humidicrib, first bath …  Still, this is a book written for young children. It should be a great resource for families with young siblings – to help them understand what is happening.

My Brother Tom is another lovely book from Wombat Books, the award-winning Michelle Worthington and illustrator Ann-Marie Finn.

I would like to thank Wombat Books for a free copy of My Brother Tom in consideration for a fair and honest review.

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ACRBA Tour Unnoticed by Amanda Deed

Posted by Jenny on Jun 6, 2017 in Book Reviews

5 – 9 June 2017
is Introducing
(By Rhiza Press, 1 March, 2017)
By
Amanda Deed

About the Book:

Plain Jane O’Reilly is good at being unnoticed. Detested by her stepmother and teased by her stepsisters, Jane has learned the art of avoiding attention. That is until Price Moreland, an American with big dreams, arrives in her small town.
Does she dare to hope someone might notice her?
However, Price Moreland may not be the prince that the whole town thinks him to be. Was his desire to be a missionary a God-given call, or just a good excuse to run from his past?
Complete with an evil stepmother, a missing shoe and a grand ball, Unnoticed takes the time-old Cinderella fairy tale and gives it an Australian twist.

About the Author:


Amanda Deed has penned several Australian Historical Romances, including The Game, winner of the CALEB Prize for Fiction in 2010. She resides in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne with her family, where she works full-time in her local church office.
Outside of work and family, Amanda loves to write stories filled with intrigue and adventure using her favourite themes as a backdrop: Australia, heritage, romance and faith. Her books include UnnoticedEllenvale GoldBlack Forest Redemption and Henry’s Run. For more information, go to www.amandadeed.com.au.
***********************

My Thoughts and Goodreads review:

I’ve enjoyed Amanda Deed’s Ellenvale’s trilogy, so was looking forward to reading Unnoticed and I wasn’t disappointed. It is a charming and engaging Cinderella retelling set in 19th century NSW.

It has all the elements of the original, a neglected beauty, a distant father, a nasty stepmother and stepsisters, a fairy godmother, a prince, a ball and a shoe – but recasts them appropriate to the time and in fresh ways. Deed also weaves through the story strong spiritual themes. Unnoticed should delight Amanda Deed fans, lovers of Australian historical novels, romances and Christian fiction.

I’m looking forward to reading her next Australian historical fairy tale retelling.

My Goodreads review of Unnoticed is here.

Jenny
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ACRBA Tour Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman

Posted by Jenny on May 2, 2017 in Book Reviews


1 – 5 May 2017

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance


is Introducing

Looking Glass Lies (By the Waterfall Press, 2 May 2017)
By Varina Denman

About the Book:

A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.

For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.

But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.


About the Author:

Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about women and the unique struggles they face. Her novels include the Mended Hearts trilogy: JadedJustified, and Jilted, as well as her latest release, Looking Glass Lies. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and her debut novel, Jaded, won the ACFW Genesis Contest, the BRMCWC Selah Award, and the INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature.

Varina attended three universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in her local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature. Varina lives in North Texas where she volunteers in local marriage and family ministry. She is represented by Jessica Kirkland of Kirkland Media Management.

More information:
https://varinadenman.com/

Interview Questions

In Looking Glass Lies as well as the Mended Hearts series, you touch on subjects that are not often talked-about. How do you choose your topics, and what is your motivation?

In all my books, my goal is to help women deal with issues in their lives, and generally the issues we women need the most help with are the ones we keep hidden, the secret ones that nobody likes to talk about. Those are the subjects I want to crack open, so that my readers and I can poke them with a stick, see what’s really happening in our lives … and heal a little.

All your books deal with female leads who are struggling with unique issues, but they seem to portrayed from the heart. How much of the plots come from your own life experience?

Each book is different, but generally my books begin with a nugget of my own life story, or maybe just a feeling or an impression, and then I completely blow it up into an elaborate, exaggerated story. So I guess you could say, each plot line comes from my own life … but just barely.

Could your writing best be described as women’s fiction or romance? Why?

It’s taken me a while to learn about myself as an author. At first, I thought I was a romance writer, but now I’m confident my books fit neatly into women’s fiction. All those issues I pile into the plots just don’t lend themselves to the romance genre, but I always add a touch of romance just for fun.

So far, all of your books are set in Texas. Do you have plans to pursue other settings in the future?

Not yet, but I’m not limiting  myself either. As for now, my next book will be set in Texas, but after that, I’m not sure where my stories will take me.
What is your background, and how did you end up writing novels?

When I was young, I never dreamed I’d be a writer when I grew up. In school, writing assignments were drudgery, but then again, most of my papers were research not creative writing. My lifelong goal was to marry an awesome guy, settle down, and have a bunch of kiddos. Once I did all that, I surprised myself by developing an increased interest in books which led to an interest in writing. Now I’m having the time of my life.

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ACRBA Tour Activate by Adele Jones

Posted by Jenny on Apr 4, 2017 in Book Reviews


3 – 7 April 2017
Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance
is Introducing
Activate (By the Rhiza Press, 1 November 2016)
By Adele Jones

About the Book: Josh Hammond’s not who he says he is. To stay alive, he must guard his identity, existing isolated from his former life and those he loves. The one enemy he can’t outrun is his failing health, and time is short. Desperate for a solution, Josh leaves the protection of his safe house unapproved. Instead of a cure, he’s left powerless against a cunning adversary. Determined to reclaim his life, he grasps an opportunity for escape, but things go drastically wrong. Can he find a way to expose the lies of a criminal mastermind, or will he be silenced? Forever.

About the Author: Adele Jones lives in Queensland, Australia. Her writing is inspired by a passion for family, faith, friends, music and science – and her broad ranging imagination.

A strong believer in embracing life’s journey, Adele delights in sharing that adventure with others, be that through the pages of a story or engaging in a social or professional context. Through her broad personal and professional interests, she has welcomed diverse engagement opportunities, including science based student experience sessions, conference presentations, literary readings and musical exploits.

With a long standing interest in historical fiction, Adele based her Master’s dissertation on this topic and is currently anticipating release of her first novel in this genre, A Devil’s Ransom (www.roseandcrownbooks.com). She has also had a variety of poems, short stories, inspirational meditations, devotions and magazine articles published. Her first YA novel Integrate was awarded the 2013 Caleb Prize for unpublished manuscript, and is due to for release in September 2014. Replicate is the second book in this series and was released in October 2015.

More information:
Adele Jones: www.adelejonesauthor.com

My review on Goodreads:

Activate is the exciting conclusion to the Blaine Colton trilogy by Adele Jones. Integrate was thrilling, Replicate upped the stakes and dug deeper, taking the story in surprising, heart wrenching but believable directions. Given the strong writing in the first two, I had high expectations of Activate – and I wasn’t disappointed. Read More
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Night Witches Blog Tour

Posted by Jenny on Mar 17, 2017 in News and Events

Mirren Hogan is releasing her historical novel based on the Russian woman pilots who flew during World War II, defending their country from the German army. Mirren and I shared tutorial groups at Swinburne and she co-edited Tied in Pink and Like a Girl Anthologies. While Mirren’s favourite genre is fantasy, she writes great historical fiction. And as with Hidden Figures (the Afro-American ‘human computers’ instrumental to NASA’s early space program), the Night Witches are an interesting but little known part of history.

Mirren says:

“What is Night Witches about? Witches? Well no, it’s an historical fiction based on a true story.

Nadia Valinsky is a young female pilot and university education student from Moscow. When the Germans invade the Soviet Union in 1941, she wants to fight to defend her country. In October of 1941 Marina Raskova, a famous female aviator, asks for volunteers, Nadia signs up. She is accepted for an interview and offered a place in the training regiment as a navigator.

Following rigorous training at Engles Air Force base, Nadia is assigned to the Night Bomber regiment. She and her crew fly multiple missions on the front lines and are regularly under fire from anti-aircraft guns. The Germans give them the nickname Night Witches, because of the sound their aircraft make as they sweep overhead.

The Night Witches flew in planes made from canvas and balsawood. For the majority of the war, they had no radios, or parachutes. The latter was considered to take up too much space needed to carry bombs. Of three women’s regiments, theirs was the only one who consisted entirely of women through the duration of the war.

They lived together, fought together and died together.”

In this Night Witches excerpt, Nadia and the other women learn the German name for them:

“German prisoner,” she whispered excitedly. “A flying ace, apparently. He was shot down and captured by our people. He’s being transported to a prisoner of war camp.”

I had no sympathy at all for the fate of one of our enemy, until I saw him. He had dried blood down one side of his face, from a wound in his temple. I didn’t think the wound would be a fatal one. He had one black eye and bruising around the other. He wore a dirty, torn German uniform, the front of which was caked with mud or blood. He had short blonde hair and deep blue eyes, which he kept lowered, I assumed, in humiliation. Even so, I was shocked to see how young he was. Younger than me. Younger even than the babies of my regiment. He couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen.

The enemy were sending children to war, and we were sending him to a prisoner of war camp, in which he would probably die. I swallowed hard. I’d never seen a German up close before. From the air, it was easy to forget they were people as well. For a moment, I was actually sympathetic. I almost wanted to tell his captors to let him go, return him to his mama.

And then he raised his eyes. They were so cold and full of hate. They fixed on me and then swept left and right, taking in my regiment. His lip curled and he spat on the ground.

“Nachthexen,” he said derisively. “Ihr dreckigen Miststücke!”

I didn’t understand German, but I knew when I’d been insulted. It was peculiar how words could offend, even when I didn’t understand their meaning. The intent was perfectly clear.

My eyes narrowed, but opened wide again in surprise when Valentina burst out laughing.

I turned my face and stared at her. So did the prisoner, he looked at her as though she were something he’d scraped off the bottom of his boot. Considering the state of his boots, that was particularly unflattering.

“He called us Night Witches,” Valentina explained. “I think Night Beauties would be more appropriate, but oh well.” She shrugged, but her eyes shone with humour.

“Why did he say that?” I asked, frowning at her, and at him.

She spoke to him in rapid German, to which, to my surprise, he actually responded.

“Because our planes sound like broomsticks passing overhead,” she translated. “He also said there’s a special reward for anyone who shoots one of us down.”

My eyebrows rose. The German army was that scared of us girls. I somewhat liked the sound of the nickname: Night Witches. It suited us, and justified the faith people like Marina Raskova had in us. We’d made an impact on this war.

I couldn’t help but smile at the prisoner, who returned it with a scowl. Antonina gave him a finger wave and we all laughed as he was taken to a waiting truck. He might die, but he’d managed to give us all a renewed purpose. I’m quite sure that hadn’t been his plan, but that had been the outcome.

I linked arms with the rest of my crew and we started back toward our aircraft, laughing and singing “Night Witches, Night Witches,” over and over again.

Buy Night Witches at:

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Night-Witches-Mirren-Hogan/dp/1988281164/

Barnes and Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/night-witches-mirren-hogan/1124869702

Mirren is running giveaway – open until 31st March.

COMPETITION!

The winner will get: Amazon gift card (currently at $15), a Night Witches mug from Redbuddle, and a Night Witches bookmark.

If the winner is in Australia, you’ll also get a signed copy of the paperback, and a key ring.

To be fair, if the winner is from the US, Canada or the UK, you’ll get an extra Amazon gift card valued at $5.

What do you have to do to win?
Order or download a copy of Night Witches and come back here (in the comments of pinned post) with proof of purchase. The competition will be open until March 31, when the blog tour ends.

Author bio

Mirren Hogan lives in NSW Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cat, rabbits and countless birds. She has a Bachelor of Arts (English/ history), a Graduate Diploma of Arts (writing) and a couple of degrees in education. She writes fantasy, urban fantasy and science fiction. Her debut novel —Crimson Fire— was released by The Dragon’s Rocketship Publishing in October 2016, with more to come. These include a trilogy co-authored by Erin Yoshikawa. She’s also had several short stories published and has co-edited two charity anthologies; for breast cancer research and Plan Australia.

Mirren Hogan’s author page- https://www.facebook.com/MirrenHoganAuthor/

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Month of Poetry 2017

Posted by Jenny on Jan 16, 2017 in News and Events, Snippets

It’s January again … the start of a new year and time for month of poetry again.  In Month of Poetry, I – with a bunch of wild, talented, inspiring poets – challenge ourselves to writing a poem each day of the month.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve felt like my poems have needed more variety in form – so as an added challenge, I’m experimenting with a different form each day. I’m also in the middle of editing for publication my novel Akrad’s Children. Here’s my Day 15 poem – a List poem.

A Novel Cake

Take a modicum of talent

a cup full of dreams

and hard work in equal measure,

mix together vigorously.

Stir in two aspirations well beaten

and half a cup of constructive feedback

until reaching a smooth and creamy consistency.

Add chopped metaphors (never mixed) to taste.

and a pinch of optimism.

Bake well in the scorching oven of opinion.

When cool, sprinkle with crystallised hopes.

Allow to settle to release the flavours

and garnish with a swirl of revision.

Serve with a generous side of promotion.

.

Warning this cake may cause tears but has been known to be addictive.

.

Jeanette O’Hagan 15 January 2017

Exploring Poetry Forms

1.  Free Verse – No Man’s Land

2. Acrostic

3. Ballad

4. Cinquain

5. Diamante or Diamond poem

6. Echo poem

7.  Saturday Challenge – Single Sense Poem –

8. Found Poem – Book Titles

9. Ghazal

10. Haibun.

11. Imayo

12. Joybell

13. Kyrielle

14. Saturday Challenge – theme Kiss – a Sevenling

15. List poem

16. Mirror (or Palindrome) poem

17. Nonet

18. Ode

19. Pantoum

20. Qasida

21. Saturday challenge – poem based on photo – free verse

22. Rispetto

23. Sijo

24. Tyburn

25. Utendi

26. Vietnamese Sonnet

27. Wordsworth Sestet

28. Saturday Challenge – non-fiction poem – a Shardorma

29. Xiasmic

30. Ya Du

31. ZaniLa Rhyme

Form, theme and emotion – all play a part in poetry. Some poems are clever, some straight from the heart. So far, it’s been fun stretching myself, finding new forms, pushing the edges of where the possibilities lie.

What about you – do you love to write poetry? What are you favourite forms? Have you always wanted to give it a go?

Jenny

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Like a Girl Blogtour

Posted by Jenny on Feb 4, 2016 in Book Reviews

Recently, as part of the Like a Girl blogtour,  fellow author, Maree Long, interviewed me about my involvement in Like a Girl anthology. She posted the interviews with ACWF and Fibro and CMS/ME Poetry Facebook groups.

On the previous blogstop author Lynn Fowler reviewed Like A Girl anthology here. Lynn is an Australian writer who delights in sharing with readers about her writing and reviewing good inspirational books.

Maree Long is the founding curator of Café Soiree, providing events and a platform for poets, writers, playwrights, musicians, and artistic photo media to share their talent. A prolific writer of poetry herself and, being inspired by nature and her surrounds, she is well known for her lyrical unique style.

Maree has kindly allowed me to reproduce the interview here:

Like a Girl Blogtour

I would like to introduce Jeanette O’Hagan, one of the contributors to Like a Girl anthology, who has agreed to share as part of a blog tour

As you will see Jeanette has been very busy writing. I had the privilege of working on and collaborating on the anthology Let The Sea Roar with her with the inclusion of my own story ‘Catherine and the Dry Stone Wall’

Please enjoy the following interview:

1. How long have you been writing?

A long time. I started imagining my narrative world when I was nine and wrote some of the stories down soon after. In my early twenties I wrote my first novel but put it on hold for many years, only really taking writing up again seriously four years ago.

2. Do you have a particular writing process you employ?

I usually need a story idea which could be based on a character or a situation. I reflect on it a lot, allow my characters to ‘act out’ and interact with other characters to work out what happens before I start writing the story down. So in part the story comes from allowing my imagination free reign, in part from the flow of actually writing it down and in part from planning and research. I like to ask questions, to turn the scenes and plot around and look at it from different angles.

3. Who is your favourite author?

It’s always hard to pick a favourite. C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were the most influential authors, but I would say Lewis because he has influenced me both with his fantasy fiction and with his theological works.

4. What inspired you to write this book?

Like a Girl is an anthology, the ‘brain child’ of the talented Mirren Hogan who wanted to contribute toward Plan International Australia’s support of girls education around the world. When she mentioned her idea and asked for contributions, I immediately began thinking of how I could write about the theme of girls education in my narrative world and the result was my short story ‘Lakwi’s Lament.’ (I also have two poems in the anthology.)

5. How has this book impacted you? And who do you think will enjoy this story?

It’s been a privilege to see the enthusiasm of the contributors and editors of Like a Girl and to see how each author approached their stories in a different way. One of the stories is written by 15 year old Kathryn Hogan. I also had the opportunity to help with some editing and proofing along with our head editors Mirren Hogan and Christina Aitken.

I think the book would appeal to anyone who enjoys fiction and values girls’ education. There are a number of sci-fiction and fantasy stories, some contemporary and also historical stories – as well as a handful of poems. The book could also appeal to teens.

6. Briefly what is the story about?

My story in the anthology is about a young princess’ desire to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. She is lonely and is flattered by the attention of her dashing cousin. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?

7. What other projects are you working on?

2015 has been an exciting year for me with five short stories and seven poems published in 7 anthologies. In particular I was co-editor of an inspirational anthology Glimpses of Light (with Nola Passmore) – stories and poems on the theme of light in dark places. I continue to work on my Akrad’s Legacy series and hope to have the first couple of books in this series published this year. I’m also planning on publishing a longish short story – Heart of the Mountain – which follows the adventures of three young people as the lights in the below ground kingdom begin to flicker out.

8. To write what do you need in terms of aesthetics, environment etc?

I can write just about anywhere – as long as it’s not super noisy – or I’m not being constantly interrupted. I often write at home but also love to write in cafes or libraries.

9. What other books have you written, and do you have a favourite?

Written or published? I’ve finished or am close to finishing five fantasy novels, all part of the Akrad’s Legacy series. Of the seven anthologies with my short stories and/or poems – my favourite would be Glimpses of Light. I loved writing ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’. Like a Girl would also be a favourite.

Thanks for some great questions. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you.

Jeanette O’Hagan

Jeanette O’Hagan enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing and is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy. She has stories and poems published in another anthologies, including Glimpses of Light, Like a Girl and Let the Sea Roar. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Website: Jeanetteohagan.com
Jeanette’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/…/B00RBSE85C/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Like a Girl anthology

Fourteen Authors from around the world have contributed their stories to raise money for PLAN Australia.

‘Like a Girl’ is a celebration of the strength and resilience of women, told in a variety of genres and voices, the proceeds of which will help empower girls and women all over the world. It turns the derogatory term ‘like a girl’ on its head, celebrating the contribution girls and women can and have made.

Featuring stories and poems by Jeanette O’Hagan, Avril Sabine, V. Hartman Di Santo, Kathryn Hogan, Mary Grace, Coralyn Swift, Christina Aitken, Mark Taylor, D.L Richardson, Mimi Emmanuel, Erin Yoshikawa, Druscilla Morgan, Michelle John and Mirren Hogan.

The stories and poems use humour, adventure, imagination and emotion to explore themes of resilience, determination against odds, empowerment, relationships and women’s achievements.

It is available in print and e-book from Amazon

Win a Copy

There is still time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway or the Like a Girl Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance of winning a print copy of this beautiful anthology .

More Behind the Scenes

For more behind the scenes information about Like a Girl anthology – check out the rest of the blogtour, the coffee chats with D L Richardson and news items:

Stop 1 24 Jan – Jeanette O’Hagan

Stop 2 25 Jan – Paula Vince

Stop 3 27 Jan – Mimi Emmanuel

Stop 4 29 Jan – Lynn Fowler

Stop 5 1 Feb – Maree Long

D L Richardson’s coffee chats with Jeanette O’Hagan and with prolific fantasy author Avril Sabine.

Girl power with the pen - Mirren Hogan, Kathryn Hogan and Debbie Richardson interviewed by Bay Post.

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2015 in Reveiw

Posted by Jenny on Jan 3, 2016 in News and Events, Snippets

Wishing you all a Happy New Year for 2016. Praying that you find God’s blessings on your life and dreams.

2015 has been full of a number of exciting developments, particularly with respect to writing.

I attended a number of workshops, festivals, conferences and retreats in 2015 – including giving my first workshop on Writing Description, Giving a Sense of Place at the Omega Christian Writers Conference in October.

In July I finished my final subject for the Masters of Arts (Writing) through Swinburne University of Technology. I flew down to Melbourne in December to attend the graduation ceremony – and to connect with family, friends and look at Art Galleries with my daughter.

Seven of my poems have been published this year.  I was particularly pleased to make the Judge’s Choice with Poetica Christi’s Inner Child anthology (with ‘Thunderstorm’) and runner-up in the FAWQ 2015 Toowoomba Poetry Prize (with ‘The Real Thing’).

A number of my short stories have also been published – starting with ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (Tied in Pink anthology for Breast Cancer Research) in December 2014 – and then this year, ‘Broken Promises’ in Another Time, Another Place; ‘Sandy: Perfect Plans’ in Let the Sea Roar; ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ in Glimpses of Light; and ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ in Like a Girl, Plan anthology.

Anthologies available on Amazon.com (and as e-books on Amazon.com.au). Check out my Amazon Central Author’s Page.

Let the Sea Roar

My association with this Let the Sea Roar began a few years ago, when the editor Madeleine accepted my story ‘Sandy: Perfect Plans’ and then asked to include the poem ‘Lighthouse’ as well. An earlier version of ‘Lighthouse’ was published on Jenny’s Thread in 2013.

There are nine authors with twenty-eight stories about women of different ages, in different circumstances and walks of life, who find themselves in difficult, even overwhelming situations. Despite the pressure to give up hope, each of the women find a way forward – with faith, determination, new understandings and new possibilities. The stories are written with differences in style, reflect different life experiences and insights.

I also had fun designing the cover (with Lynne Bickhoff’s beautiful painting – used with permission) and the book design of Let the Sea Roar.

I hope that many others will also enjoy the stories in this inspirational anthology.

Glimpses of Light

Glimpses of Light celebrates 2015 as International Year of Light. It started as an idea in late 2014 and wouldn’t have come to fruition without hours of work from my co-editor, Nola Passmore as well as our team of supporting editors, proof-readers and contributors.

The anthology has an engaging and inspiration collection of short stories, poems and creative non-fiction centred around the theme of light – especially, of finding light in dark place.

It’s been wonderful having multi-published and award winning authors contributing as well as fresh new talent. I particularly enjoyed the number of spec fic, though there is also contemporary suspense, family drama, personal reflections and allegory.

We are currently holding a Goodreads Giveaway for Glimpses of Light (running until the 10 January).

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glimpses of Light by Jeanette O'Hagan

Glimpses of Light

by Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway ends January 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I’m looking forward to more exciting developments in 2016. More on that later.

Jenny

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6

In the Lion’s Den

Posted by Jenny on Jun 26, 2015 in Homilies

Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
or they will tear me apart like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

David Psalm 7: 1-2 (NIV)

My one year at boarding school was at times like living in a lion’s den. I was thirteen and my unabashed and maybe naive stand as a Christian meant that I stuck out. More than once I was in the middle of a group of sceptical girls firing questions at me. It was scary but exhilarating at the same time. What smarted was finding out at the end of the year that I had been the target of a false rumour. It was, I hope, based on a simple misunderstanding (the mishearing of a single letter, a “t” instead of a “p” in ship) but still cut deeply. There have been other times like this and I have witnessed close friends and family enduring similar experiences.

Have you ever been falsely accused? Perhaps you were blamed for the actions or mistakes of others. Maybe you were the target of prejudice or unfounded rumours. Perhaps someone maliciously spread lies about you. When this happens, our reputation and relationships can be shattered but what makes it particularly distressing is that it’s undeserved and unfair. Often we want to retaliate or to vehemently insist on our innocence. Maybe we become angry – or maybe we are crushed and even begin to doubt ourselves. We lose our trust in other people. How can our work mate or friend or trusted family member say that? Why didn’t they talk to us first before believing such lies?  We may feel in a bind when speaking up for ourselves results in deepening the conflict. We may want nothing more to do with the accusers if they are going to be like that.

Three thousand years ago King David of Israel faced just this situation. He was falsely accused by an enemy and others believed the accusations. David’s response was not to directly attack his antagonist but to take his case to God because he knows God is just and will, in His own time and way, deal with the accusations and the accuser. Even more than this David trusts God to act on his behalf. A thousand years later, Jesus also faced false accusations. He didn’t retaliate because He knew who he was and was confident in His relationship with the Father. He responded with love and forgiveness.

So what can I do when falsely accused?

  • I can pour out my feelings to God without reserve – the anger, the hurt, the distress. He already knows our deepest thoughts better than we do ourselves. We can’t shock him. He listens and He cares. He is our defender and advocate.
  • I can acknowledge my flaws and weaknesses to God. I may have done something to contribute to the situation. Even if I haven’t, my perceptions aren’t always right, my responses may be less than ideal or I may be failing to trust God’s love and wisdom in the situation.
  • I can pray – both for myself and for my antagonist.
  • If at all possible, I can attempt to reconcile with my accuser. Contemporary wisdom says if someone hurts you cut them off but Jesus says if your brother or sister offends you then go and talk to her. Of course, the other person may not be willing to talk or to listen but surely I should try. To be honest, I find this the hardest step because I hate confrontation. It’s scary. Yet I know I would prefer someone speak to me – rather than to everyone else but me – about perceived faults or offenses.
  • Even if the other person won’t listen, I can love and forgive her because she is precious to God despite her flaws and failures (just as I am). I don’t think this means continually putting myself in an unsafe place but it does mean dealing with my resentment and anger. It also means continuing to act in the best interest of my accuser (love).
  • I can trust and persevere. No matter how pear-shaped the situation becomes, I need to trust in God for the outcomes.

“Lord (God), you are my judge and my shield. I pray that you might plead my case. I ask for forgiveness for my failures. I pray for wisdom and a calm spirit in my responses. I pray that you will give me the resources to cope with the issues I deal with at the moment. Thank you for listening to me even though you know my faults and misconceptions. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being there for me when I haven’t always been there for you. Amen.”

Jeanette O’Hagan

Jeanette has practiced medicine, studied communication, history and theology and has taught theology.  She is currently caring for her  children, enjoying post-graduate studies in writing at Swinburne University and writing her Akrad fantasy fiction series.  She is actively involved in a caring Christian community. You can find her at JennysThread.com , JeanetteOHagan.com and http://www.facebook.com/JeanetteOHaganAuthorAndSpeaker

This article was originally published in The Golden Pen October 2013

Photo credit: ucumari / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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