Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Very Big Deal

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but the release of a new book is an extremely big deal to a writer.  Suddenly the work of a year, often more, is finished and available in its final form.

The book's been researched, thought about, composed, written, rewritten, beta-read, edited, copyedited, proofread.  Covers have been designed, illustrations selected (something that's getting harder and harder as the 19th Century falls in love with photography and woodblock print artists are mostly producing publicity prints to encourage the export market), and the whole thing at last coming together and being released.

Now, Noriko's Journey, Book 5 in The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy series, is out and available everywhere.

Hard copies are available through Amazon and also through the Baker & Taylor Catalog for retailers, schools and libraries (ask your library to get it: they will), and e-books are available everywhere!  Click this link and get to the retailer of your choice.  One link to find them all!

Noriko's Journey: all retailers

I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Something lovely this way comes....

Noriko's Journey will be out everywhere shortly, all e-formats and all retailers.  Hard copies will be available through Amazon and the Baker & Taylor Catalog for retailers.

Libraries and Schools will shortly be able to buy a specially sized hard copy library edition through Baker & Taylor of all five books in addition to being able to purchase e-formats through their usual distributors.

You can ask your library to purchase these books and they WILL!  What a deal!  Please do this.

When I lived aboard a 43' sailboat, I couldn't resist buying books, so I'd buy them and donate them to my library, so I could visit them whenever I wanted without losing precious storage space on my boat.

Then I discovered that if I asked, the library would buy them for me!  WOW!

If you think getting this distribution set up was easy, think again!

I'm so thrilled about getting this done that I'm giving things away again.

Please go to our webpage and get your free copy of Book 1, Coming Home.  Do that by June 14, 2018, and there will be another very special free offer coming your way!


Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Mysterious Treat From Susan Spann

Susan Spann is a mystery author who writes in the period just before the Tokugawa (Edo) period in Japan.  I write in the period just after.  She has a series of tightly crafted mysteries that I enjoy very much.  I was lucky enough to score an ARC of her latest.  It'll be release mid-July.  Here's my review.

Trial on Mount Koya
By Susan Spann
The Shinobi Mysteries, #6 *****

Shinobi Hattori Hiro and the Portuguese Catholic priest he is assigned to protect flee Iga to get Father Mateo to safety but must take a secret detour to Shingon Buddhism’s center at the temple complex on top of Mount Koya. This unlikely pair, accompanied by Father Mateo’s housekeeper, Ana, and Hiro’s cat, Gato, become embroiled in another complex, beautifully crafted, mystery.
I write in the Meiji era, some 250 years later, so I also research Japanese history and culture in great detail. One of my great pleasures in reading Susan Spann’s books is the quality of her research. I can’t fault it in any way. I love the clever way she has managed to get her characters out of a particularly unpleasant bit of history coming soon after this book ends while also providing a clear path to many future mysteries in this interesting and highly entertaining series.
Spann has described this book as an homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.  Certainly, the isolated location and the blizzard isolating the participants still further are reminiscent of Christie’s work, but this book takes individual twists and turns, so don’t look too deeply for parallels. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
The use of Shingon doctrines is ingenious. Shingon itself is colorful and ritualistic. Since Japanese Buddhism in general contains many similarities, regardless of sect or doctrinal derivations, those who are members of other sects will feel right at home and those who are not Buddhist will be intrigued as well as enlightened about some of the foundations all Japanese Buddhist sects share. The comparisons of Buddhism with Father Mateo’s Catholicism ring absolutely true: it’s my experience that the Japanese generally do not understand Christianity and probably never will.  
My only possible gripe, and I think it is open to argument about whether it is justified, is that I would like to see more exploration of character and more detail.  That may be just my own continuing fascination with this nation and its culture and people.  For mystery devotees, there is nothing missing at all.
I don’t want to give out spoilers.  This is a first-class mystery and although mystery buffs will enjoy reading it – and the series – over and over, for your first read, sit back, relax, and allow yourself to sink into this interesting world, get to know these characters, and simply enjoy.  Susan Spann has a fan in me.  I am eager for more.  My highest possible rating!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


It's been a while because I've been working hard to get Book 5, Noriko's Journey, published on time!

It should be available at all retailers for readers and in the Baker and Taylor catalog for libraries, schools and brick and mortar bookstores around June 21!  It's really good!

If you go to the website, you can sign up for the FLY ON newsletter and get Coming Home, book 1 in the series, for FREE!
And, in about a week, there's another amazing deal coming your way.