Welcome to May!
Hopefully the weather is cooperating in your part of the world. For us, it's warmer (20C+ / 70F+) and about to get even warmer. April brought us rain, which we needed, as Portugal still has drought conditions in parts of the country.
So here's what happening with me, including some book news. Let's dig in . . .
The DragonFire Series
One of the cool things about being a writer is looking back at my early work (like 20+ years ago) and seeing how much better I am at the craft now. >Thank goodness.<
The DragonFire series was originally issued in paperback in 2001-2002, long before e-books existed. I published the first two books and then moved onto other projects. At that point I was still learning the art of wordsmithing, though luckily plotting was never a problem.
I am now editing CIRCLE OF THE SWAN (Book 1) and cleaning up the over-the-top prose. This involves fixing the "head hopping" where I jump from one character's point-of-view to another's (and another's) in the same scene. Often in the same paragraph (argh). It's very slow going and will involve multiple passes through the manuscript.
I'm hoping to relaunch the series later this year or early in 2023, with new covers (see image above). I'll let you know how it's going and when these will be available.
A Reminder that
(DEMON TRAPPERS #8)
is now available on Amazon, iBooks & Kobo
The first four chapters of LOST SOULS are on my blog.
Demon Trappers #9 Status
For those concerned that the work on the fantasy series might slow down the next Demon Trappers book, have no fear. I have the plot worked out and I'm adding pages to that manuscript on a regular basis. In fact, I'm about halfway through the first draft. It's proving to be a palate cleanser after the slog of the fantasy series rewrite.
Journeyman Trapper Katia Breman and Lay Exorcist Simon Adler are about to face a new threat, one not from Hell. No, this enemy has a nasty plan to rip open the realms, even if he has to raise the dead to make that happen.
I'll be sure to post snippets in upcoming newsletters and on my FB author page as they become available. The title is very likely to be BITTER MAGIC. Some titles don't reveal themselves until after the book is finished. This one slapped me in the face before the first word was written. Ohkkkay, then.
I'm hoping the marvelous Clarissa Yeo will be creating the cover so it matches the rest of the series. Which reminds me -- I'd better get on her schedule NOW.
Life in the Portuguese Countryside
Our New Raised Beds
Since we're Iowans by birth and spent 12 years living on various farms, we are not newbies when it comes to gardening. Back then a garden was a necessity to keep us fed. Now it's for the joy of working with nature, getting the exercise we need, and a source of healthy food. Also, it's a way to feed our souls, which is another point in gardening's favor.
In March we had the stairs to the garden installed (there was a ramp that was an ankle snapper for sure), and then in April the raised beds were constructed. It took some time because of the heavy rains we received in the middle of the month, but we needed that moisture so that's fine.
These new beds were filled and we're making progress with the plantings. We'd started some seedlings ourselves and bought some at a local garden center. The seedlings are sold individually and you just pull out the ones you want from a big flat, place them in a plastic bag, then tote it to the counter and tell them what you have and how many. In Portuguese (grin).
The soil will need some work, but we'll keep adding compost and other nutrients to it over time. My husband is even starting a worm farm to grow the little wiggly dudes to help enrich the soil.
At present we have planted radishes, carrots, Portuguese cabbage, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peas, green and black beans, parsley, cilantro, melons and squash. Same with the sweet corn and sunflowers. The fact we don't have to bend over to take care of the plants is a plus. For those familiar with various techniques, we're using an approximation of the Square Foot method of gardening. Or in this case, in meters and some change.
Of course the snails and slugs love our efforts and we're working on dissuading them from eating all our little green things without using chemicals. But they can't eat everything, so one way or another we'll be enjoying some fine fresh vegetables.
In future months you'll definitely see more photos of the gardening process, including our neighbors' efforts, which are very impressive.
That's the latest in my world. And now back to the digging and the writing.
Until next time,
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Demon Trappers® is a registered trademark of Jana G. Oliver
is an international & multi award-winning author in various genres including young adult, urban fantasy and paranormal romance.