Books

Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Release Day! Hunter's Gambit Enters the World!


Woot! Today is the day! I have been waiting so long to share this with all of you! And while I won't be the first author to say that I'm incredibly proud of the work I'm putting out, I will say that there's also a part of me that is shaking in my boots, wishing I could change the cover or edit the book just one more time. It's so difficult putting your book out there, I think this is probably what parents feel like when they send their kids out into the world to take care of themselves. It's heady and terrifying at the same time.

To keep myself relaxed and not panicking, I've been playing a lot of video games and art. One of the art projects I ended up spending quite a bit of time on these last two weeks have been playing with the supplies I received from my Paletteful Packs art subscription box. This month was watercolour which is totally my jam. First, I painted an owl and after that, I decided to draw one of the characters from my favourite video game Don't Starve (and its sequel, Don't Starve Together). This is my version of Wigfried, the drama queen who plays as a barbarian. She's my second favourite character to play. Do you play the game? If not, what are your favourite games!

My fanart based on Klei's Character. 
Original Klei creation. 


And finally, my book is live now! Have you picked up Hunter's Gambit yet? Remember that I'll be looking for pictures of my book in the wild as well! Share them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Huntersinthewild? I'll keep an eye out for them and like/retweet all of them! You'd really make my day by doing so! Even if it's just a picture of my cover on your e-reader or tablet, I'd still love to see it! 

As always, here are some links to where you can pick up your own copy of Hunter's Gambit if you haven't already. 


Physical Copies can be ordered from

Amazon
Chapters Indigo
Barnes & Noble


And E-copies can be ordered from

Kindle
Kobo
Apple
Nook



Friday, March 8, 2019

Hunter's Gambit - Chapter 1

Hunter's Gambit releases next week! I am so excited and can't wait to be able to share it with all of you! As a treat, since I know that you're all as eager as I am for this release, I've decided to share the first chapter with all of you! You can read it here first and get to know some of the characters! Let me know what you think! And, if you haven't ordered your copy already, I'll have links at the bottom of the article for you!




Chapter 1 

Kuzunoha struggled to smile. The lights were dimmed except for the ones near a temporary stage that had been set-up beside the bar specifically for tonight’s event. The tables had been shoved against the walls. Aside from a few benches, one of which Kuzunoha shared with her sister, the guest of honor, there was standing room only in the bar. A bead of sweat settled against her skin and she rubbed it away, harder than she needed to.

A few feet in front of their bench, standing at the podium, Tim Mason, their regent for the next five minutes, continued his speech. “Our little Himiko is all grown up. Her father worked hard to groom her for this role, knowing one day, she would have control of the family businesses again.”

Kuzunoha stretched her tense neck to the left and took a sip of the white grape juice in her cup, grimacing. She’d been drinking wine for years, but tonight she wasn’t allowed. She was the younger daughter, after all. If her elder sister was just attaining her majority, then she couldn’t be old enough, even though their birthdays were only a month apart. As if they wouldn’t notice that she’d been drinking for the last few years. But everything was tied to perception here.

For instance, Himiko hadn’t been the only one their father had groomed to take over. Most didn’t know that he had also trained his bastard daughter, Kuzunoha as well, knowing full well he’d never give her any say in the company. She’d been used her to whip Himiko into shape and then he’d left her with nothing. No job, no life outside her home.

What sort of monster wouldn’t be happy that her sister had come into her majority?

Tim looked at her sister fondly, not even glancing at Kuzunoha. “He’d always hoped to sit at your side and help you through your first few years.”

Tim bowed his head in deferential memory of his friend and everyone else followed suit. Kuzunoha refused to bow for him. For any other ancestor, yes, but he deserved nothing from her. Himiko hesitated and lowered her head, pinching Kuzunoha’s leg. She gasped but kept her head up. Himiko glared out of the corner of her eye but stayed silent.

Kuzunoha would hear about it later. Her sister would be embarrassed by her lack of respect and what it meant about their family. But Himiko wouldn’t do it in the open where anyone could listen. That would have been worse for their image.

“Still, I’ll be here to help you hold the reins... not that you aren’t already.” A ripple of laughter followed.

From anyone else, that comment may have come with a sarcastic edge. Kuzunoha knew it was genuine. Tim had enjoyed working for her father and he’d been the perfect choice for the position. He was a good joint partner, but he didn’t want to be the boss.

Compared to his easy smiles, Himiko’s looked forced. She’d been ready to take over as soon as their father had died. Instead, she’d patiently worked alongside Tim for the past four years. The silk industry and glass works kept Hidan growing, even during recessions. It was the town’s livelihood; everyone was waiting for the day the businesses fell back under Tanaka control.

But not hers. Her father had promised her that she wouldn’t be left out, forgotten.

He’d lied.

Tim smiled widely at Himiko, his warm brown eyes wet with tears. When she stood up, Tim made a show of handing her the ledgers, the imprinted leather gleaming warmly, first from the silk mill and then from the glass factory.

There wasn’t enough air in the room and what there was smelled of humidity, sweat, and oil. There were too many people; more than even a crowded morning in market. She needed air to clear her head but knew she couldn’t leave. It would have been rude… too rude for even a bastard to get away with unpunished.

At the podium, Himiko, raised the ledgers over her head. Everyone applauded and a few whooped. Her short hair, a dark chocolate shade under the lamp lights, was black like Kuzunoha’s own, and it hung around her face perfectly, just touching the bottom of her ears, a single tiny braid in the front offset the simple hairstyle. One length of the braid was bright red, dyed professionally a few days before, calling attention to her aristocratic cheekbones. Her clothes, a set of black pants and vest in the Sian Ku style, fitted her in such a way that suggested it had been designed with her sister’s slim silhouette in mind. Simple, but powerful, like ink flowing across a page. Her black silk slippers, adorned with a few tastefully placed rubies, held authority without overwhelming opulence.

“Thank you, Tim.” Her sister’s clear voice rang over the room, quieting everyone in an instant. “I promise that I will do my best to lead our family business, this town, and the Tanaka family to even greater heights.

“Now, let’s not waste any of this good food. With respect for both my father, may his rest continue unabated, and the family businesses returning to his heir, everyone’s food and drinks will be covered for the evening!”

There was a brief silence, and then the applause deafened those within the Lucky Koi.

Himiko lowered the books, smiling winningly at the crowd. Kuzunoha downed her juice, wishing again that it had been alcoholic.

Some time later, after food had been eaten and a few toasts had been made, it was time for the next thing Kuzunoha dreaded; the social part of the evening. She hadn’t been on her own for a full five minutes before the two fishermen had backed her into a corner. She’d met them once before, but she didn’t know where. They apparently thought that this gave them special privileges to talk at her, rather than with her.

“Well, she’ll be a fine woman to take over your daddy’s businesses and I know that she’ll watch over your family good,” the brown-haired one said.

The man’s lighter-haired brother nodded vigorously.

“Not only that, but it will be good to have her over again. It’s been a long time since your pappy died, leaving the company floundering.”

The smiles they kept sending her way seemed fake and greasy, especially since they refused to meet her gaze. They kept looking to their plates, filled with grilled fish on toast, or at the people around them. Anywhere but at her. She’d come to accept it. No one had ever much liked challenging her, meeting her eyes or talking with her, if they could avoid it. Even now, when they had come up to her, they stood as far from her as they politely could. That insult she could tolerate since, despite having washed recently and wearing their finest, they still smelled like old fish.

“I couldn’t be happier for my sister, really.” Kuzunoha just wanted the conversation to stop, but she couldn’t yet. Protocol demanded that she keep them company for just a bit longer before she could make her escape. It had been grueling so far. One minute of useless niceties and then two of listening to them praise her sister and her father. She would have rather discussed how they went about catching fish each day. At least that topic, would have only bored her to tears.

“There was one thing we wanted to know though, miss. Is your sister planning on marrying soon?”

Her smile froze as the other brother continued.

“Because, miss, we wouldn’t want this sort of situation to happen again.”

“I really don’t keep track of my sister’s plans, but no, I don’t think there are any wedding plans.”

“Well, me or my brother here would be more than willing to marry her,” the elder one said.

“I’ll let her know,” Kuzunoha said, turning slightly. Rudeness be damned, she could not handle this conversation anymore.

“I could provide you with an hei…” the younger one began, hesitantly.

Before Kuzunoha could react, the man’s brother dragged him away.

“He didn’t mean nothing, miss. You tell your sister now, please.”

“That was brazen,” a voice said from behind her.

Kuzunoha turned, seeing Himko’s best friend, Isashi. She was sitting alone at one of the small tables, the private ones used for couples or those that preferred dark corners. Kuzunoha didn’t know her well, but she knew the choice of table was a preference and not from a lack of options.

“All of them are like that,” Kuzunoha said. “When did you get back, Isashi? I heard you were out of town earlier this week.”

Isashi may have been the town’s only eledar, but she was also one of only five hunters, people that protected them from the dangers of the outside world. Still, Kuzunoha wasn’t as afraid of the outside world as many people were. The monsters were just that, monsters. Even though her father had been killed in a raid of the horrid little birdos, a goblin-type creature living nearby that wove bird skulls and feathers into their dress, she didn’t fear them.

“Just arrived this morning,” Isashi said, her green eyes flitting away from Kuzunoha’s, looking behind her rather than at her. Common behavior for a hunter. You had to be good at taking in information quickly to survive. You weren’t supposed to follow their gaze when they did that.

Isashi had been young when she had become an eledar. Because of it, she wasn’t really human anymore. Her skin had a rough paper-like texture and its shade now mimicked the cool silver of birch bark, rather than the yellow or white skin tones that were more common in Hidan. Her hair hadn’t changed when the rest of her had, but tonight she sat directly under one of the candelabras, and its natural red glowed crimson. It was tied in a simple ponytail. She was wearing a similar outfit to Himiko’s, except that her vest was an evergreen shade and her pants were a dark brown.

Her appearance was striking, even if she would never be considered pretty.

Kuzunoha opened her mouth and slammed it shut again when Himiko appeared from the crowd behind her and sat down at the table. Her sister slid an orange-tinted ale in front of Isashi and placed a paler one in front of herself.

“I feel like I’ve been smiling forever. How was your trip?” Himiko asked.

“Short and bittersweet, as usual.” Isashi smiled in appreciation as she sipped the ale. “The birdos managed to get their hands on a few of those giant bird eggs. They were trying to breed the ill-tempered creatures. We put a crimp in their plans.”

Kuzunoha didn’t want to have to deal with her sister until she got home. She tried to make a break for it, ducking her head and stepping backwards. If she’d been anyone else, people may have let her in and she would have faded into the background. Instead they fanned around her, fish suddenly aware of a predator in their midst.

“Glad to hear, Isashi. I am just glad that your job left you unhurt. As for you, Kuzunoha, your lack of attention at the speech was noticed. The least you could have done was bow your head in public for Father. You haven’t been drinking, have you? I told the staff not to give you any, but you never know when someone will take pity on you.”

Kuzunoha gritted her teeth at the barrage of questions. “Not yet.”

“Well, make sure you don’t. We need to keep up appearances and both of us drinking will make the wrong one.”

At this point, Kuzunoha could have repeated her words by route. She turned away and pushed through the crowd.

Her sister wouldn’t have lied about telling the staff not to serve her alcohol, and she only had one friend who would be willing to get her a drink if she asked. Jack was the illegitimate son of the other noble family in town. Though not as well off as her own family, the Kerlow family was old money. They’d helped to found the town and the abbey, while her own family had given many of the townsfolk honest work and decent pay.

The Kerlow’s main source of revenue now was the docks. They controlled the ships, the docks, and all travel in and out of Hidan by water. It gave his family a lot of power in the village, even if their fortune had declined over the last few years. Their noble cousins lived closer to the capital but had found themselves spending their wealth faster than they could make it through just their vassals. Jack’s father and brother were helping them regain their old power. Jack had avoided losing anything in the situation by taking over the illegal market in Hidan. His father didn’t approve, but that had never bothered Jack. If anyone would help her get drunk, it would be him.

She let out a breath in annoyance. Of course, when she wanted him, he was nowhere to be found.

Then she smiled. If he’d left already, perhaps that meant she wouldn’t be noticed if she slipped out. She wound her way through the crowd, reaching for the door, relieved that soon she’d be able to breathe again.

The door opened, catching her face-first. Kuzunoha tried to step back, but the crowd was unyielding. Someone jostled her. She fell, blinking back stars. Deckard didn’t seem to notice as he finished pushing the door the rest of the way open. His eyes were only for his companion behind him.

“—worry. It will be busy, but we should be in time for the dinner. Oh! I’m sorry…”

His weight came down on her foot. Kuzunoha yanked it out from under him. Deckard nearly fell, but grabbed the door handle in time to steady himself. Once he had his balance again, he looked down at her in confusion and apology, and then annoyance.

“Kuzunoha, what are you doing on the floor?” He extended a hand to her.

“Getting stepped on by a brutish oaf,” she said, slapping his away, though it was her face that was still smarting. Her gaze caught on a tear in the lace shawl that had been her joy and as she stood, she saw a dirt streak on the back of her dress. She put a finger on the hole and batted at the grime. Her dress had been the one good thing about this miserable evening. Now it was ruined.

Her ankle hurt as she put weight on it. She must have slipped on it wrong. She refused to show any weakness. Not in her sister’s presence, and gods damn it, not in Deckard’s.

“Who is this, Deckard dear?”

The woman behind Deckard touched his shoulder as she spoke. Her skin was just a few shades lighter than her caramel-toned hair, which had been bound into innumerable tiny braids. Hundreds of colored beads clicked together as she moved. Her clothing was so garish and bright that it looked like she’d bought it from a Corvidae, if she wasn’t one of the travelling folk already. While the woman wasn’t beautiful, she did have a presence that drew the eye.

Deckard introduced her reluctantly. “Tieni, this is Kuzunoha. She’s the youngest daughter of the Tanaka family.” Nobody important, his description said. Just an arrogant bastard daughter of an arrogant noble.

She put weight on her injured foot and hissed. Deckard reached out a hand. She warmed at the contact and knocked his hand away, hating the way the heat stayed with her.

“I was just leaving,” Kuzunoha said.

She stumbled past him, nursing her embarrassment instead of the twinge in her ankl
e.

* * * *

I can't wait for all you to get the book and its less than a week away at this point! Remember to pick yours up if you haven't already! 


Physical Copies can be ordered from 

And E-copies can be ordered from 

Nook

Friday, March 1, 2019

Busy Week!

Wow, has it ever been a busy week! Most of that is all because of the love I'm getting from all of you out there! I've been keeping myself occupied loading my book to Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the library apps and making sure that you can even order the physical book from Chapters Indigo as well as from Amazon. Then there are the links for each, ordering physical copies in, talking with local chapters to get my books in their stores and setting up an author page on Amazon among other stuff. With so much work getting done, I haven't had a lot of time to do the base work of editing, let alone for the stuff I do that isn't writing and editing based.

Today I thought we'd talk about what some of that other stuff is! For the record, I'm not going to include time with friends and family in this list. Just assume that they are there.

Okay, with that said, the most important things that I spent time on outside of my books right now can be neatly summed up into two neat boxes. Art and Japanese.

Starting with art, I can say that I always have something on the go. Currently, I'm working on an acrylic picture of a fox using the Golden Open slow drying acrylics. I recently ordered in extra colours and now have 16 in the line. I have more colours that I'd like to get of course (mainly purples and oranges), but I have to say that for right now, I quite like the pallet I have. With some basic mixing, I can get almost all of the shades and colours I may be looking for.

I also picked up some of Prismacolor's Col-Erase coloured pencils. These are not your average pencil crayons. First off, and most importantly, they aren't wax-based, but graphite based, so you can use and erase them like you would any normal pencil, without having to worry about smudging the wax everywhere. I'm still getting used to them, but I am really happy with almost all of them so far.

Since my coloured pencils just came in, I decided to take part in the #100headschallenge. This is a challenge happening on Instagram right now where you're challenged to draw 100 heads in just 10 days. I wasn't able to finish 10 today or yesterday, so it's looking like I'm going to be drawing hardcore for the next few days... Regardless of that depressing fact though, my first (the sailor moon type hairdo chick below) almost discouraged me enough to quit. Then I remembered that I can use references. Amazingly, even when I only use the reference as a base and then start changing everything to match my vision, my pictures got 10x better, just having a reference, even when I don't stick to the reference (since realism is not my jam as an artist). My husband identified the style as a post-modernism style near the end of the style. I have no idea if he's right or not, unfortunately. What about you guys? Do you know what style this resembles?


The other thing is a smaller draw on my time, but still a draw. I got started on Duolingo this year and so far have only missed one or two days since the beginning of January. I'm learning Japanese and while the first four or five lessons were essentially stuff I knew, we've now moved into stuff I actually have to work at. I've put myself on their "Insane" learning which means I'm doing a minimum of five of their lessons daily. I'm learning quickly, and I may eventually start in on Spanish as well. For now though, its hard enough just keeping up with just this. 

And finally, I have links to share with all of you! My novel can be preordered from pretty much anywhere! 



Physical Copies can be ordered from 

Amazon
Chapters Indigo

Barnes & Noble

And E-copies can be ordered from 

Kindle
Kobo
Apple
Nook

While I have put my book in to be released to library apps, I don't know if you guys need to request it first or not. Take a look and let me know if you do see! Hell, I'd love for you guys to tag me with pictures of your book when you get it! Post those pictures to my FB page or tag me on Instagram (@foxy_writer) or Twitter (@FoxyWriter), even if you're just showing off an electronic copy! I'd love to see people enjoying my novel out in the wild!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Japan-Inspired Novels - Part 3

Welcome back! While I could talk about good novels I've read with an Asian-theme for posts and posts, I won't bore you by trying to. This will be the last one you'll get for a while. Mainly because I'll probably be busy with book release stuff for the next little while (and because the next book on my to-read list is Jade City by Fonda Lee and I'm really looking forward to it).

Now, I said that today's books would all be more books from the fantasy genre and they are. Two of them are also available translated from the original language. I still suggest reading them, but I will admit that sometimes the writing can come across as a little wooden because of this. I highly suggest reading these books anyway, as they are ones that have stuck with me through the years and favourites of mine. You know what they say, "Know Me, Know My Bookshelf". Okay, they probably don't say that, but they should. Anyway, with no further adieu... Let's Begin!


This book was published in 1988 but was translated and republished in 2007. I didn't get a chance to read it until 2015, but I was so impressed when I did. Dragon Sword and Wind Child is an engaging story about a girl, born to be a priestess to the Dark, but raised to love the Light and hate the Dark. Things reach a head when she goes to the palace and becomes a servant to the twin deities who rule the Light. While there, she meets their brother, known as the Wind Child, who has been locked away so that he can spend all his time controlling the Dragon Sword, an artifact of the Dark. While this is a good book on its own, it should be on your reading list especially if you have an interest in Japanese Fantasy. Before this story fantasy was a very unpopular genre in Japan, dismissed for the most part (in her own words) "contemptuously as fairy tales without citizenship, folklore lacking the legitimacy of nationality". The author thought that was where her story would be relegated to as well, only realizing afterward that her deities mirrored the trinity of kami, Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi and Susanoo. She had also consciously decided to present the story predominantly through a character inspired by the Oharai Norito in the Engi Shiki. This prayer was written about kami that carry away human corruption and deliver it to a wandering goddess of a kingdom below the Earth. With so much of her history wound up in the story, her tale was immediately relatable to everyone in Japan and started a new wave of interest in Japanese-inspired stories that has continued to today. While even the author doesn't deny that there were popular fantasy novels written before her, she is attributed with bringing the interest of the Japanese people back to it. So, if you want to know where it all began, start with this one.


Seven times a woman is a story that I found in one of my exhaustive and continuing search for novels about Kitsune. The story is about a kitsune given a task that will take her away from her true love. Though the premise is simple, the task is not. Rei-Rei must "tame a dragon". It takes her seven lives to do so, keeping her away from her true love. What is so interesting about this book is that the main characters lives are all quite sad, poignantly told and by the third or fourth life, she is having none of it anymore. She wants out of her duty, but is always aware of it, even when she as a character is unaware of anything but the fact that she has a connection with the others of her past. A story of reincarnation, love, punishment and redemption, the author has a way of keeping your heart trapped within its pages, hoping, dreaming, punishing and redeeming right along with Rei-Rei even though most of the story isn't told through her perspective. I found it a really good read. Even if you aren't a fan of romance, this book will keep you going as her love is a motivation, but not a constant condition that intrudes upon the story. Pick this one up if you want a drama/action novel to keep you warm over a weekend. 



Although I have put Vol. 1 on the title above, I think this entire series should be read. Kraft Lawrence is a merchant just trying to make a little money when, Holo, a wolf whose spirit is tied to the wheat, takes possession of his and begs him to return her to her home in the North. Beguiled, curious and lonely, he agrees. What follows is a delightful series of light novels, focussing on merchanting, money, church strategy and tactics in a world where peasants still hold festivals to gods of harvest (among others) and nothing is ever simple. The dialogue between Holo and Lawrence is always witty, engaging and awesome. And while over the course of the entire series it is telling a love story, you are left with the feeling that the romance may never take hold at every turn. It makes you think, running to try to keep up with the merchanting tricks used to keep Lawrence and Holo making a profit while travelling. As a friendly word of advice, the Japanese genre of light novels is a genre that hasn't really taken off here in the West. They are 50,000 words long (about as long as Douglas Adam's The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), written primarily towards high school and middle school students, and usually have a few manga-esque drawings in each book to introduce you to the characters and show a particular scene. Despite being written for a young audience, Spice & Wolf doesn't talk down to their readers and expects their readers to do some work to keep up with the main characters. This is not only my favourite anime but one of my favourite books. I have all the books currently available (18 in the main series and 1 in the sequel series, Wolf & Parchment, plus the hardcover that has the entire first series in a single book; pictures of that below; plus many of the manga(I believe I'm missing one so far). If you read nothing else on this list, check out Spice & Wolf. If you absolutely cannot pick up a book, the manga is also very good, as is the anime adaptation. Engaging with whichever form is fine, but engage it! You will not be disappointed. 


The full book with embossed cover. This book is legit so wonderful, I have looked into buying one of those glass pedestals so that I can display in a protected case.
Of course, I don't read this copy... I have the entire set in individual books. Not only are they more portable, but I only have a minor heart attack if those copies get damaged. Yes, that means I did spend an ungodly amount of money just to have this to display and never actually read. I consider it worth the expense, an art piece all its own.




This anthology came out two years ago and quickly gathered critical acclaim with at least two of the stories being nominated for awards. As with all anthologies, it can be hit and miss, though with authors like Laura Van Arendonk Baugh and Amanda Sun contributing (you'll remember both authors were named in the original blog post from World Weaver Press and on my personal list from the first blog about it), I found more stories that I liked than ones I didn't. If you're looking for a place to start and don't really want to go with a full novel, this would be a great place to start as well. And while I usually only suggest choosing a book based on a cover at the beginning of the year, you have to admit that the cover is stellar. 


Alright, and that is the end to a very long set of blog posts. I promise I'll try to keep the next couple weeks to shorter posts (mostly). If you made it this far into my list, you deserve an award. If you did, let me know if you've read any of these and if there's anything on your list of Asian novels that I absolutely have to read. I've started Fonda Lee's Jade City finally. If you're interested, let me know and maybe, I'll post on here or on Facebook with an occasional update on it. We could even have a group chat on my FB page if we get enough interest in doing so.


Also, don't forget, my novel, Hunter's Gambit, will be coming out in just three weeks time! If you want a physical copy you should be able to order them as of March 15th directly from me, on Amazon and, of course, digitally on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Apple books. As soon as I have proper links for each, I'll update them here. Remember, if you're coming to Calgary for When Words Collide in August, I will be doing an author signing at the event, so you can even get them signed there. Don't worry, I'll remind you closer to the actual event, as well! I'm so excited. I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Cover Reveal!!!

Today is the day! Thank you so much for coming by everyone! I'm a writer, but I don't think it's possible to convey in words just how excited (and terrified) I am to finally have my novel coming out. I wrote the vast majority of the book in 2015, managing to finish it off in early 2016. I then spent the next three years essentially working on edits for it. I have found out that my editing can be described simply as a rewrite, with the edits thereafter becoming smaller and smaller with each round. It took forever, but the day when it is out will be very soon! But I'll tell you about the release date after showing you what you came here for. The gorgeous cover! 

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Created by Starla Huchton at Designed by Starla


Isn’t it amazing?! I fell in love with it the moment I saw it! 

Hunter's Gambit will be coming out on March 15, 2019. It will be available at all the usual digital locations; Kobo, Kindle, Nook and iBooks, but I will also have a physical copy being sold! You can purchase one from Amazon or directly from me and have it signed, but it may take longer to get to you. Another option is, of course, to come and see me in Calgary for When Words Collide this year. I will have copies of the book selling at one of the tables in their merchant room, as well as a few at my table during the signing. I will hopefully have more info on that as the date gets closer!

Expect links to be released soon... it can take a few weeks for each of the companies to provide those, but as soon as I have them, I'll release them here. Next week, I'll be continuing with Part 3 of my Asian Literature discussion, but make sure you come back on March 1st. I'll be posting the first chapter for you to read over. 

Let me know what you think of the cover! Like I said, I am so excited to be sharing it with all you finally!

Book Blurb 

Kuzunoha is running out of options. In just a month she’ll be an adult but as the illegitimate younger daughter of a rich noble, she can only see two possible futures. Both leave her a pawn in her elder sister’s game as family matriarch, a future as unacceptable to Kuzunoha as it is unavoidable.

That changes when Kuzunoha saves the life of a stranger. In return for her help, the stranger offers her a way to have a future that doesn’t tie her to her family. He’s heard of a forgotten treasure nearby and needs a guide to help him search for it. Her family and friends don’t trust this dangerous man's offer, but Kuzunoha accepts, knowing that she can’t live the life her sister wants for her anymore.

Will she succeed in proving she can have a life outside of her sister’s shadow? Or will it all fall to pieces around her?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hunter's Reveal; Part 3

I have a very diverse cast in my novel, but I didn't want to create all new names that simply sound like ones from the cultures each person in my book is based on. Instead, I chose names that came from our world! Despite that, only one or two of the characters have common English names, with the rest having Japanese names, one Germanic, and one is actually a Romani name. 

However, one of the characters does break this tradition. She has a parent from two different cultures, and no matter how hard I searched for a name none of them seemed to work. Instead, while looking for names I created an entirely new name for her based on a few names I found that had similar names and sounds to them from the base languages. Her name is Isashi.

Other names in my Story

Kuzunoha - Japanese
Himiko     - Japanese
Richard     - British
Deckard    - Germanic


Monday, February 11, 2019

Hunter's Reveal; Part 2

The full name for this book is Hunter's Gambit, Book 1 of the Kitsune-Ken Series. Kitsune-ken is a game they play in Japan and its a lot like Rock, Paper and Scissors over here. There are three positions. If your palms are flat against your legs, you have chosen Lord (more correctly Lord translates to Village Head, but lord is faster for my purposes here). If your hands are up to your temple with your index and middle fingers extended and the rest closed (like fox ears), you have chosen Fox. If you keep your hands up in between (making it look like you're holding a rifle), then you have chosen Hunter. The Lord beats Hunter, because the hunter is the lord's loyal vassal. The Fox beats Lord, because the fox can lock the lord into an illusion that he can't escape from. The Hunter beats Fox, because he has a gun and therefore a way to kill the fox before they can ensnare the hunter. 

Here is a video of some people teaching the game to a few people. I am none of the people in this video, I simply grabbed it as a fun example of how to play, because sometimes you need to see to understand it. 




I chose this as my series name since it seems as though the main characters of my book interact in this way with each other. One always beats the other and some are always coming out on top of certain situations. And while the characters are people, not a game and therefore it doesn't always work, it does make me smile to imagine my characters growling at each other and then frowning and holding their hands out, ready to play their own version of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who is right.