Miranda do Corvo Cemetery
Boy, did the time really did sneak past me. Here’s a quick roundup of why that happened and what’s coming up.
October & November 2022
One of the most challenging things about moving to a foreign country is learning a new language. English is spoken here, but to integrate into the culture it really helps if you can talk to just about anyone. Especially since we live in the countryside and not everyone has used the English they learned in school a long time ago.
I had three years of French in high school and took one semester of Russian in college. Just gonna say right out that learning Russian (and the Cyrillic alphabet) was a b*tch. At least French worked off the same alphabet as English. It didn't help that I’m not one of those who soaks up a new language easily. Here's an example:
My name is Jana
O meu nome é Jana (European Portuguese)
Je m'appelle Jana (French)
Меня зовут Яна (Russian)
Portuguese assigns genders to inanimate objects (male or female) so the table I'm typing on is female (mesa) while the keyboard is male (teclado). Luckily I expected this from my years of French.
Quiz Night Fact: European Portuguese—there are differences between it and the Brazilian version—is the eighth most spoken language in the world (234 million people).
The Portuguese government offers (free!) language classes for us immigrants so I needed to take a placement test to determine where I stood. Since I had taken two A1 (absolute newbie level) classes in Porto and I’ve lived here five years I hoped I was ready for the A2 level. There was a lot of cramming involved, but to my joy I passed the A1 test and am now taking an A2 course in a nearby town. The best thing is that my spouse is in the class with me, as are our two besties who live nearby. SCORE. Our teacher is great and we're slowly learning the language and the culture.
The A2 course goes until mid-February (a total of 75 hours). There’s only one class in December because of national and religious holidays. Classes range from three to four hours long. Yeah, my brain is fried, but in a good way. Once we’ve passed the A2 test (fingers crossed) we can apply for citizenship. (The U.S. allows for dual citizenship. Not all countries do.)
That's the reason the newsletter was late. Hopefully that won't be the case in the future.
(Demon Trappers #9)
I am thrilled to say that BITTER MAGIC is definitely making progress. I finally realized that the Big Bad wasn't the only threat in the story, which led to an "OHHH!" moment. I hope to finish off the rough draft in the next couple weeks, then let it “age”. When I come back to it I can tighten up the storyline and fix any mistakes. Now if those two angels would only tell me what they're up to . . .
Coincidentally, mega-talented author Jennifer Armentrout just posted on FB about how certain books fight their author no matter how many you’ve written. I nodded my head at that post because it was dead on. Amen, girlfriend, amen.
This profession is designed to keep authors humble no matter what.
A little known thing in the books: Jaye Lynn (the apprentice demon trapper) is named after Jennifer Armentrout because JLA is cool.
Also, I just saw the mockup of BITTER MAGIC's cover. OMG it rocks! Sorry to be a tease, but you will be seeing it down the line as soon as this book heads into typesetting.
And now a warning about unscrupulous individuals (think MUCH stronger words here) who like to steal other peoples’ books and sell them on Amazon. This recently happened to me for Demon Trappers Book #4 (FORETOLD).
The pirated book was a scanned copy of the original St. Martin’s Griffin e-book, with St. Martin’s cover. Besides being for sale, it was also offered in Kindle Unlimited. St. Martin’s can no longer sell e-book copies of the first four books because those rights reverted to me, so when I saw this I went “Huh?”
How the Pirate got that book approved for sale I have no clue. It took me over a month to get the first four DT books relaunched after the rights reversion due to a couple online book retailers challenging my ownership of those books. Anyway, after presenting Amazon with my copyright and trademark registrations for the illegal copy, down it came. Which means these jerks will just go after another author, or another one of my books. It’s a lucrative game for them. Amazon wins either way because the sales that pirate made did not come my way.
So please do keep an eye on the listings because this kind of thing is out there and not only on Amazon. I’ve been lucky so far, but that luck just ended.
That's it for the time being. More to come in December. Have a great fall and please stay healthy!
Until next time,
is an international & multi award-winning author in various genres including young adult, urban fantasy and paranormal romance.