A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.
In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.
Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.
“No, daughter. You are not coming with us.” The daimyō looked down at his daughter’s norimono palanquin.
They looked to her father for instruction.
“No!” he bellowed, but his voice bore hints of the frustration of a man who knows he is beaten before the battle even begins.
She signaled once again for her bearers to lift her up. Caught between their implacable mistress and her fierce father, the men looked miserable.
“This is no journey for a woman. We will be gone a week. We have to travel through hostile territory. It is the mud season. There are bandits on the road. We have to move swiftly. Your mother would not approve.” Reasons poured out of the daimyō, endless reasons, all of them quite reasonable, at louder and louder volume.
His daughter made no answer. She merely motioned for the third time for her bearers to lift her up.
“Toranosuke! I command you, stay here!”
At her nickname, the girl finally popped her head outside the norimono in a most unladylike manner. She beamed at her father in joyful triumph, confident now in her victory. “Hai! O-tō-sama! I will stay here! For one hour. To make you happy. And then I will follow you, dressed as a man, riding on a horse, wearing your old hakama. If I obey you and stay here for that hour, you will force me to face the mud and the bandits alone. Surely it is better for me to travel under your protection. You cannot make me stay here. And I will follow you, Father. You know I will.”
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Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.
Recognition for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns”
Secrets: In Wolf Lake
Secret Series Book 1
Genre: YA, sci-fi, fantasy
Samantha discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake; now his life depends on her saving him.
Samantha’s dealing with a lot of emotional blow-back from her mother’s new marriage. Then she discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake, and life suddenly becomes all about keeping his existence a secret, earning his trust. That is until his life depends on her saving him. But she won’t be able to do it alone…
A series of secrets, invisible yet glaring, and most include a Supernatural spin, like an unwelcomed sensation sparking every nerve ending.
Buy it at: Amazon
“This freakin’ rocks!” Lisa zipped by again, spraying diamonds of water all over me. I gripped hard on the rod and stood up to keep the fishing line from snagging onher or the jet-ski. The boat pitched, dipping. I shuffled to regain my balance then turned to give Lisa a piece of my mind. In that nano-secondthe fishing line snapped. I spun around and tumbled nose first over the top of Koko. My rod splashedinto the water in front of me as if I’d thrown it.
Instant coldness prickled through me, but I didn’t want to lose that fishing pole. I dove a little deeper, waiting for the water to settle. The sun illuminated beneath the surface and made it easy to see the rod leaning against a big rock right below me. I swam toward it.
A curl of water slid along my arm as something swam near me. I expected the lunker fish, the big guythat snappedthe fishing line, butinstead, I stared at two round black eyes. I couldn’t look away from its flat green face, the size of a baseball, with small slits for nostrils and a wider slash for its mouth.Shorttubular ears stuck out from each side of its head.Not any kind of fish or amphibian I’d ever seen.
It stared back at me andmoved closer.
When it touched my arm, I screamed.A stream of bubbles flushed out of my mouth, blinding my vision. I pushed off from the huge rock with my feet andfought my way to the surface.
Air, I needed air.
Koko’s paws churned through the water just above me. His nails scratched across my cheek as I surfaced.
“Koko, get back, buddy,” I croaked, sucking in air,and then I nudged him to move back.But I didn’t want him too far away. My mind flashed to the thing beneath the water, greenish body, short arms and legs, and a long lizard-like tail. But those black eyes…the way it stared at me, almost like it had intelligence.
DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DKDavisBooks
Website – http://suda788.wixsite.com/dkdavis
Books We Love Ltd. Author Page –http://www.bookswelove.com/authors/davis-dk/
The Cities Below Book Two
Genre: Paranormal Romance
The streets are a battleground for humans, vampires, and demons alike—where survival is a skill, love is a weapon, and the most dangerous act is to care for another . . .
Keir is an assassin devoted to Lady Arianne, the last of her royal bloodline. He is sworn to protect her, and that means eliminating any threat to her life. But while on a mission, he is set upon by a pack of demons, barely escaping with his life.
Cleopatra lives by a set of rules so rigid she no longer knows her true self. But her kind and loving nature resurfaces when she finds a man, bloodied and dying. Moved to help him, she risks her future and her life to save a stranger far below her aristocratic station.
Their attraction to each other is as powerful as it is forbidden. But even as their love grows, Keir keeps his true identity a secret—and this lie is not the only threat to their love . . . or their lives.
Cleopatra was utterly trapped. She longed to close her eyes and block him out, but fear of the unknown kept them wide open. The man had no weapon, couldn’t possibly mean to harm her. Except, would he really need a weapon? She couldn’t fight him, wouldn’t even know where to begin.
He studied her closely, and when his head tilted slightly, she noticed every bit of his focus fixated on her neck. Not a murderer. He wanted to mark her, to bite her neck, leave the wound to heal and forever bind her to him. This was why daughters of the aristocracy were kept under a tight watch. The mark, unbreakable and indisputable, would give this man access to her family’s wealth and prestige, and bind her to him until death.
He reached for her, head descending to her neck. Cleopatra quickly covered his target with both hands. Tears gathered in her eyes, sorrow distorted her voice. “I don’t want this. Please, don’t hurt me.”
The man rocked back as if she’d smacked him, and for the first time since he’d appeared, he looked at her face. His eyes met hers and didn’t look away as he brought his hand to her cheek and brushed away a tear. He saw her, truly saw her, and the adoration in his eyes sent a completely different shimmy down her spine.
In one step, he crowded her, pressing his cheek against hers. “Could never hurt you. My angel,” his captivating voice crooned, so close to her ear. He drew in a deep breath, his face buried in her hair. Then he whispered, “My Cleo.”
She gasped. The shortened version of her name on his lips sounded strangely intimate, as though he’d known her for years. The warmth rolling off his body kept her intensely aware of his close proximity, and she held her breath, waiting for his next move to prove his intent. He didn’t bite her, didn’t hurt her, and the sincere affection in his gentle touch left her so very confused. Any other man would have bitten her, taken advantage of the opportunity laid before him. But this man? His intent to bite her had been unmistakable, and he’d stopped because he…cared for her? She didn’t understand.
His hand slipped from her face, dropped to his side, and he staggered back, moving as if through a dream. He still watched her, but he swayed, that intense focus suddenly gone. The man crumpled to the floor with a heavy thud.
Dragging in a long, shaky breath, she blinked away tears she’d been staring through. A few more deep breaths, and she allowed herself to really look at him. He lay on his side, knees slightly curled, motionless. Something was wrong with him. People didn’t just fall over.
Gripping the railing, which had swiftly become her personal anchor, she pointed her foot and gingerly nudged his arm. When he didn’t move, she put more force behind the kick. Cleopatra jumped as his hand fell away from his ribs, thumping onto the floor. Blood coated his fingers.
He was bleeding? She’d missed the injury completely. The saturated, glistening spot had been hidden under his hand and camouflaged by his black button-up shirt. He’d been so close and she hadn’t… She glanced down at herself. Blood streaked across her pale blue gown, more evidence of his severe injury.
The elevator doors slid open. Oh God, if someone were to see them together in this state, what would they think? What would happen to her, or to him? Her heart hammered, panic flooding through her as she peeked out into the main corridor of Sterling.
The white, gold-trimmed corridor stretched on, empty. The elevator doors slid shut, and there it would stay, unless called. She might not have much time. Peering down at the unconscious man, she tried to fit the puzzle pieces together.
She’d mistaken his intent. He’d needed sustenance badly, and now he bled out, dying at her feet. Because of who she was, he refused to harm her, to take from her. How did he have the willpower to block his instincts from taking over, to stop from feeding?
Whoever he was, she had to save him. She dropped to her knees and pushed away any lingering fear under her newfound resolve. Tugging his shirt from his dark jeans, she searched for the injury. In the midst of his blood-slicked skin, the wound gaped open between his ribs. It looked like he’d been slashed, the nasty gash a result of being on the wrong end of a knife. Just a guess. She had no experience with this sort of villainy.
Her hand flew to her mouth. The murderer running loose in Galbraith used a knife. Could this man be yet another victim?
“Can you hear me? What happened to you? Who did this?” She awkwardly patted his whiskered cheek. His eyes fluttered open, then shut again.
“Balinese is safe.” His voice trembled, his words slurred without support from his shallow breath. “Paris. Demons.”
Cleopatra’s fingers fumbled as she pulled away his shirt collar. Several teeth-like gouges in his shredded skin oozed blood near his collarbone. Demons. They’d almost made a meal of him, and he was a bloody mess, but the real danger came from that knife wound. It looked deep, and if he’d been damaged internally and lost too much blood, he might not survive.
He needed blood now. She bit her wrist and pressed it against his mouth. His lips didn’t part, and his body refused to respond. A rivulet of blood slid down his cheek. He’d die if she didn’t fight for him.
Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires.
She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.
Sailaway Trilogy Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Cruising
In Family Sailaway, Sarah receives a flyer from CZN Cruises with tantalising summer offers and soon makes plans for her next cruise. This time, the adventure is longer, the ship is bigger and there are many more countries on the agenda. Unlike the first cruise, when she travelled with her younger sister, Sarah is joined by her aunt, uncle, cousin and boyfriend Paul (who she met on her first cruise).
Two other families become part of their adventure and sparks fly between cousin Megan (young, single, attractive – and she knows it) and protagonist Sarah. Megan befriends another passenger, Rebecca, who says she is a cruise reporter but Sarah suspects there is more to her than meets the eye.
Megan attracts a lot of attention from fellow passengers including a married man travelling with his wife and a younger, shy man who lives in the shadows of his more confident brother. Who will win Megan’s affections and how do other families get entangled in their story along the way? A storm brews during the cruise that makes for even more entertaining scenes along the way. This is a tale of family relationships, friendships, suspicion and intrigue, romance, feuds and, of course, the thrill of the cruise.
Family Sailaway is the second in the ‘Sailaway Trilogy’ and starts six months after the original book. You could read this as a standalone book but as they’re both quick and easy reads, we strongly recommend starting with the first – Surprise Sailaway, published by Filament in 2015 – and then jumping ship straight to the second!
Sailaway Trilogy Book 1
Surprise Sailaway tells the story of two sisters who embark on a short cruise following the sudden and tragic death of their parents. Sarah and Hannah ﬁnd themselves living the high life on the high seas where the eldest ﬁnds possible romance and the youngest a potential career. Life on board is relaxed and stress-free for them both, a million miles away from the memories they have back home of their parents.
Follow their adventures on board as they visit Amsterdam and Hannah has the chance to see Paris. A twist at the end is a direct result from the parent’s death and an event that will change both sister’s lives forever.
Born and raised in Dundee, cruise aficionado, retail manager and author, Derek Curzon, moved to Lancashire in 1998 aged 28. His background is Accountancy, he has worked in myriad roles in the banking world as well as editing a local magazine. He found love through writing – he married his penpal (before the days of emailing and Tinder!) and their first cruise was their honeymoon in 2005 – they’ve never looked back and have been on six cruises to date with plenty more in the pipeline.
Their cruise holidays have given them the chance to see places they couldn’t have hoped to visit on a ‘normal’ holiday. The Sailaway Trilogy takes inspiration from their own cruise experiences and celebrates the cruise industry as the booming travel sector it is today.
Family Sailaway, due for release in January 2017, is the second book in the series. As a spin-off from the trilogy, Derek launched a fictional cruise blog: ‘Nautical Nights.’ It’s a light-hearted and humorous look at life on board a cruise ship and the ensuing adventures!
When he’s not working his day-job, writing blogs or articles, or planning the next book, Derek can be found long-distance walking.
As a couple, Derek and his wife have completed the West Highland and Great Glen Ways in the Scottish Highlands and will be walking Hadrian’s Wall in 2017.
Because You Want Me
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Penny Robertson just wanted to get through the events leading to her sister’s wedding with as little drama as possible. Smile until it hurt, avoid questions about her lack of someone special, then put it all in the rearview.
She wasn’t counting on traipsing to The Red Door Club–or meeting the drop-your-panties sexy businessman, Xander Wade. Xander has a proposition for her: if she agrees to pretend she’s his girlfriend for a month, he’ll go with her to the wedding…and pay her twenty thousand dollars.
It seems like easy money; a business arrangement that benefits them both, but she wasn’t counting on falling for him.
Xander Wade works hard and plays even harder. CEO of a cutthroat investment firm, his philosophy on romance is no strings attached.
When his ailing father threatens to boot him from the company if he doesn’t settle down, Xander makes a choice to play the game. He’ll pretend he’s the marrying type for a month, then go back to the jet set life. No complications. No love.
He wasn’t betting on Penny. A month seemed like a breeze before her. Now, a month isn’t long enough…
The complete series:
“Hi.” Just one word. It felt heavy and as airy as the smoke that hung in fog around us. I wanted to clear it all out. With this woman, I didn’t want the lights out. I wanted to see every beautiful inch of her.
“Get over here.”
The shock on his face my body smile. I could still surprise him. Still keep him on his toes. “What?”
Lust gripped me tighter as I sank my teeth into my bottom lip. The memory of his touch and knowing that I’d get to feel it really, really soon, emboldened me. I’d get to have him again. He’d get to have me-and this time, it was real. “Get over here.”
I watched his every move, his body commanding my gaze in the heather gray sweater that made his pale green eyes glimmer. I’d only touched him briefly back in the hall but I had the feeling that beneath those jeans it was all Xander…no pesky underwear to tear off.
He was enthralled, stopping a few feet from me. Close, but not nearly close enough.
Ava Claire is a sucker for Alpha males and happily ever afters. When not putting pen to paper or glued to her Kindle, Ava likes road tripping, watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix, karaoke and vintage fashion.