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Greetings;

Well, I got home from a fabulous trip to the UK...and needed a vacation from my vacation when I got home. I got to see Edinburgh (cold and wet--after weeks of heatwave here, it was glorious), Westray in the Orkneys, Bath (nicest mineral water on my skin, ever), Cambridge (I GOT TO MEET ALIENOR IN PERSON, SQUEEEEEE!! *ahem*), and of course London. Stonehenge, the Ring of Brogar and Stones of Stenness, the neolithic village of Skara Brae, the Tower of London (go early and go straight to the Crown Jewels exhibit to avoid the messy queue/waiting line later in the day), bus tours, gorgeous chapels, you name it. I took 1,700+ pictures (170 of which were Stonehenge, lol; I wanted lots of pics so my roomie could use them as desktop backgrounds), and had a blast. I even got to be in an Agatha Heterodyne Radio Play!

But it's back to the grindstone as it were. The short story "Birthright" from ELEMENTAL MAGIC has been re-released as a stand-alone ebook novella under the same name, BIRTHRIGHT. It's set in my Flame Sea universe, and the first official book (not novella) will be DAWN OF THE FLAME SEA, releasing this next year, either at the end of January or the start of February, via the ebook imprint Intermix from Ace/Roc. (I will have a more exact date for you soon.)

These Flame Sea ebooks (which will also be released in paperback later) are half-length novels of around 50,000 words (not nearly so wordy as my other works!), so they'll be shorter reads...but hopefully still great stories which everyone will enjoy. Following DAWN at some point will be DEMONS OF THE FLAME SEA and GODS OF THE FLAME SEA. Once they're released with the beginnings of the Flame Sea firmly established, I'll be able to launch into further stories from there as the Empire of the Flame Sea is born, grows, and encounters interesting times.

For those of you waiting for the end of my military SF series, Theirs Not to Reason Why--since as you know HARDSHIP, released at the end of this July, turned out to be book 4 of what is now a 5 book series--you have only to wait until the end of November. Last Tuesday of the month will see the release in paperback of DAMNATION, the final novel in the story of the soldier named Ia, Prophet of a Thousand Years.

After November and February, the next book out will be THE TERRANS, the first in the First Salik War series, which is a mix of First Contact and Military Science Fiction with some political stuff, maybe a touch of romance, definitely some comedy, and of course psis. It takes place 200 years (give or take) before Ia's era, and yes I know that's going backwards in time instead of forwards...but the story of Ia is the lynchpin, the fulcrum to that entire universe, and every story within its expanse, past and future, swirls around it. So we're going back in time to see how the Terrans first met the V'Dan, the Salik, and all the other races, and why the two Human Empires are not one.

Actually, the wonderful editing staff at Ace are excited about this series, and have given me a "reserved release date" of the last Tuesday in July for this 3 book series...so look for THE TERRANS in 2015, and then THE V'DAN in 2016, and THE ALLIANCE in 2017, all at the end of July. (I am now nervous about meeting all those deadlines, yeek!)

For those of you waiting for the fourth and other books in the Guardians of Destiny series...due to health problems, I've had several delays in getting manuscripts completed; THE TERRANS with that reserved release date needs to be finished first, then I shall work on THE TEMPLE and the rest of the series. Honest, I haven't stopped writing; I just had to slow down for a little while. I do know what the general storyline arcs are, and of course I have the Guardians Prophecy to guide me...and my natural inclinations for twists and turns and little things in one book that turn out to have an impact on other books, so the remaining five will be crafted with as much care when I get to them as any other of my novels, I promise.

As for what those health problems are...not to TMI anyone, but I did lose around 2.3kg-ish (about 5 pounds) off my chest with reduction surgery this summer; the recovery had some complications, ending up with me spending 4+ weeks mostly stuck on my back with minimal ability to work. On the bright side, things are now healed, I am no longer suffering from chronic, frequent back pain, and I can breathe instead of suffocate when I lean or lay back, yay! I am also looking into getting a certain female organ sporked out of my body to hopefully put an end to my other source of pain and other, far more tmi issues. Hopefully, I will get it all done and patched up before the end of the year; the first surgery devoured several thousand dollars out of my pocket via deductible and out-of-pocket costs, which means the insurance company will now pay 100% of costs...and that second one is a $50,000+ surgery. Definitely want to get it done before the deductible stuff resets...

Of course, if you'd like to help me recoup all that money I've been shoveling down the insurance/health-issue drain...please buy my books, and if you like them, just tell everyone you know how fabulous they are. Encourage others to buy them, and remember that the holidays are coming soon. My stories just might make fantastic, re-readable Christmas/Chanukah/WhateverReason gifts! (One of these days, I'm going to have to remember to celebrate Bodhi Day ON Bodhi Day, too; I'm always off by 2-3 days...)

Every book is roughly one dollar in my pocket, with a little bit more for the trade paperback romances, a little bit less for the science fiction, and about twice that for the ebook versions...and in this economy, where my recovery lags 2-4 years behind everyone else's, every single purchase matters. I know you readers can pick any author's stories, so I am deeply grateful whenever someone picks up one of mine. Thank you.

There will also be a contest this October over on Facebook, sponsored between myself and Gene Mollica, who did the fantastic artwork for the covers of my military SF series. (You can find him by searching "Gene Mollica" or find my fans page "Fans of Author Jean Johnson"...and feel free to post comments and stuff!) The contest will be giving away a poster of the art from the covers, and a book on his site and a book on my site. (This contest is being run by the two of us, not associated with or run by FB, blah blah blah, legalese schtuff.) All you have to do to be entered is Like, Share, and/or Comment. The more entries you have, the more chances you might win, so go for it!

I do promise to keep writing the best stories I can, in the hopes I can keep entertaining each of you,
~Jean

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