I thought spring was here. My husband and I had plans to plant our vegetable patch at the weekend - and then we woke to snow! Even now, a few days later, there's still traces of snow on the hills opposite my office window. Still, snow is just an excuse to stay in and curl up with a good book, isn't it?
There are plenty of options for good books in this newsletter. The Easter Treasure Hunt giveaway is still open, so don't forget to grab yourself something there. And the April eReader competition is still open too. But we've also got something slightly different - a New Adult Fantasy and Sci Fi Review giveaway - where you could get to read books before they are even published.
In Behind the Scenes we've got another in our series of questions about the Choices and Consequences world. Do keep those questions coming in - just hit reply to send me an email with them.
Your Freebies and Competitions
One of the great ways to help indie authors like me is to leave reviews on their books. It tells other people about them, and also enables the authors to access the better promo deals. If you're happy to leave reviews (they don't have to be long or complicated, just what you thought of the book) then try something from this New Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy giveaway.
The books in it may be pre publication (so you get to read them early), already published, or books that are not otherwise available free. All you have to do is leave a review when you've read the book - and you can read a sample first so you know whether you'll like the book or not before you say you'll review it. These books are available until 29th April.
No, they don’t all share a language. There is a common language and anyone who is part of a Great House, or who has regular dealings with other Houses is likely to be able to speak it.
For some Houses, such as House Tennant, or House St Peter, the common language is the main language of the House and the one spoken by everyone. For other Houses, like House Lindum and House Chisholm, there is a native language which will be used by most, if not all, of the residents, unless they are dealing with another House. Traders also have their own language, but most of them are fluent in the common language too.
Brother Andrew is an expert and fluent in at least five languages, probably more. Perry is pretty poor in this subject – he speaks the common language, understands a few words of Trader, and can read one ancient language, but that’s about it. Leonie is fluent in the common language and Trader, and later we discover she understands Lindum, but none of these are her first language.
In this extract from Cloth of Grace, Andrew attempts to work out Leonie's first langauge (warning : may be spoilers):
Andrew sat on the top step, his back against the balustrade.
“Leonie,” Andrew asked. “Say something to me in your first language, the one you spoke with your aunt.”
I hadn’t done that before. Andrew was pretty good with languages and I kept meaning to, but we’d never got round to it. “I don’t know what to say,” I replied.
He smiled. “Just tell me about your aunt, describe her to me.”
So I did. The words were rusty to start with and then came more and more freely as I spoke. But Andrew started frowning, looking more and more puzzled. “If you are from Lindum,” he said, “and brought up by your aunt, then your mother tongue should be their language, and it isn’t.”
Perry sat up straighter, suddenly more alert. “Isn’t it?” he asked.
Andrew shook his head. “No, it’s not. It’s similar. I could understand some of it. And some of the word roots and verb endings were the same. But it’s not Lindum, nor any other language I’ve come across.”
He turned back to me. “Leonie, do you understand this?” he asked and then started speaking in another language.
For a moment or two it sounded like nonsense and then, as if a switch had been flipped in my head, it started to make sense. I nodded eagerly. “Yes,” I said. “I feel like I’ve known that as far back as I can remember. But it’s not what I spoke with my aunt.”
“No, I was speaking Lindum that time. How about this one?”
He started speaking again and although the words weren’t exactly nonsense, and sort of familiar, I couldn’t really understand them easily either so I told him so.
“I didn’t expect you to understand that one,” he said. “That was the native language of Chisholm.”
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 exclusively to all newsletter subscribers - only available as an ebook.
And don't miss out on your free copy of Strand of Faith either.