What's the weather been like for you? Any hints of spring on the way or are you still covered in snow? Here we can have snow one day, and the next day it has all gone and the sun is out. Of course, it only snows heavily on the days I absolutely have to go out!
I started by asking you a question - but with this newsletter I'm giving you the opportunity to ask me questions. I've received some questions about the Choices and Consequences world, so in our Behind the Scenes section I'm answering one of them, and I'll answer some more in future newsletters. If you've got something you'd like to ask about my books or the world they encompass, just hit reply to this newsletter and let me know. Your question could feature in a future issue!
We've also got All About Love - free romance books and a chance to win a gift card, along with an early link to Free Fantasy Series starters. And don't forget the ereader giveaway - someone has to win!
Your Freebies and Competitions
All About Love: Valentine's Day may be over, but you can still find your next favourite romance read in these free ebooks from a variety of romance genres. And there's a chance to win a $30 gift card from the eretailer of your choice. The giveaway is only open until the end of February, so don't miss out.
For those of you who like fantasy and want to get into a new series, next time we'll feature a Fantasy Series Starter giveaway. It starts on 20th February, and will run until 21st March, but you can get a first look here (after 20th Feb!).
Do Houses have specific colours associated with them, like the banners of medieval lords?
Yes, absolutely like that.
The world is feudal and hierarchical. There are a number of independent ‘kingdoms’ known as Great Houses, each ruled by a High Lord, a title which applies whether they are male or female.
Each Great House has a number of High Houses who pledge their allegiance to it, and in turn, Low Houses pledge to High Houses, and individual establishments pledge to Low Houses. That’s usually on a geographical basis, because that’s easier with limited transport options, but it doesn’t have to be. (If you're not familiar with the House structure of the Choices and Consequences world, you can read more about it here.)
The medieval banners were one of my inspirations and Houses (however big) all have their own logo and banner and associated colour. Great Houses also have an associated jewel. Obviously colours are not unique to one House, it is the combination of logo and colour that is unique. Great Houses tend to have the simplest logos and banners, lower Houses tend to combine something of their Great House’s colour and logo in their own design (but they don’t have to).
For the Great House St Peter, the logo is the crossed keys of St Peter, the colour is blue and the gem stone is sapphire. For the Great House Tennant the logo is a stylised fort, the colour is green and the gem stone is emerald.
For High House Deep River, which pledges allegiance to Great House Tennant, the symbol is described below, in an extract from Weave of Love:
I felt like I’d come home. Ma left me and Perry together for a moment while she went to fetch something. I curled up close to Perry, getting my mental breath back. Ma came back with a small box. “I’ve had this since my daughter died shortly after she was born,” she said. “But now I’d like to give it to you.”
I opened it carefully. Inside was a silver bracelet, just a simple one but beautiful, with three wavy parallel bands of blue stone set in it and a small green stone at either end of the blue lines.
“Technically, Deep River – that’s this farm – is a High House pledged to House Tennant,” Perry said. “The blue lines are its logo and the green represents House Tennant.” He looked up at his mother. “This was Jenny’s?”
Ma nodded, lifted the bracelet out of its box and fastened it round my wrist where it sat just below the Trader sign marking my skin. She stroked a finger over that mark. “These are just ordinary jewels,” she said. “But I’d be really happy if you’d agree to wear it.”
Subscriber Only Freebies
If you haven't got your free copy of Trader's Child grab it now. It's a short story that's a prequel to my Choices and Consequences series, free to all newsletter subscribers.
Trader's Child is only available in eBook form, but if you don't have an eReader you can download ereader apps for your phone or tablet from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.