All posts by Risuko

Risuko Sneak Peek: Chapter 11 — Full Moon

11 — The Full Moon

Risuko survives another battle, and Lady Chiyome’s party finally arrives at its destination. But why are Lt. Masugu’s troops so uncomfortable?

The battle, if that’s what it was, didn’t last very long.

Quickly, the sound diminished to almost nothing. There was still some shouting, but it was growing more and more distant.

I snuck carefully out of my hiding place and made my way downhill toward where I knew the road must be.

It was not quite the scene of carnage that had met us that morning when we had first met Masugu-san and his soldiers. There were three dead men I assumed were part of the bandit gang. They’d been piled by the side of the road. There was also one dead horse, and one of the lancers was growling in pain as one of his comrades pulled an arrow through his thigh.

Most of the rest of the Takeda soldiers were missing. Aside from the wounded man and his nurse, only Masugu was there. Lady Chiyome and Mieko were talking with him. Mieko held an arrow in her hand. Continue reading Risuko Sneak Peek: Chapter 11 — Full Moon

Risuko review: “The book draws you in and grips you”

Thought I should share this!

Risuko is written in a language that sings, capturing the reader from the first moment you open the page. The book draws you in and grips you, refusing to let go until those final few paragraphs. I blasted through Risuko’s two hundred and thirty-six pages in a mere four days, and can’t wait for the next installment. — Rachel, MyAccidentalBookAddiction

If you see any reviews of Risuko, comment to let me know!

Also, don’t forget that we’re giving away a free signed copy of Risuko on Goodreads — the deadline is tomorrow night, so sign up now.

Win a free copy of Risuko

This week, you have another opportunity to win a free copy of Risuko on Goodreads! Author David Kudler has made a paperback ARC (advance review copy) available on the world’s biggest book review site:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Risuko by David Kudler

Risuko

by David Kudler

Giveaway ends January 15, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Enter now!

Out-take: Homecoming (early draft prologue)

In the process of writing Risuko, I have rewritten just about every sentence in the book. As the old saying goes: Writing is hard; editing is harder.

Some chapters have been rewritten more heavily than others. One chapter has been through more changes than any other: the prologue. I’ve written at least five completely different versions of the introduction to Risuko’s world. Here is the one that opened the book when I finished my first full draft. It wasn’t the right opening for the book, but I still like it, so I thought I’d share it here!


Prologue—Homecoming Continue reading Out-take: Homecoming (early draft prologue)

New Year Excitement! Risuko — Chapter 10: Dark Letter

Akemashite omedeto gozai masu! (That is, Happy New Year!)

We’ve got an exciting new chapter of Risuko to start the year off with a bang. In 10 — Dark Letter, Risuko and Toumi stray from the trail and discover far more excitement than they’d bargained for. 

 10 — Dark Letter

We spent the night at a small Takeda fort guarding a rocky, barren place called, for some reason, Rice-Paddy Pass, which marked the border between Worth and Dark Letter Provinces. We were so high that there weren’t any trees. I felt naked. The air was dry and cold, we were exhausted, and the soldiers manning the garrison were edgy, as if waiting for an attack, though how — or why — an army would march so far and high I couldn’t imagine. Perhaps they were frightened of ogres.

The next morning, everybody—even Mieko—looked as grumpy as I felt.

Lady Chiyome shouted to rouse us. “Let’s go! I want to be back at the Full Moon by mid-day so that I can take a real bath and eat real food.”

As it turned out, Mochizuki was down in the valley below Rice-Paddy Pass. We began to descend, and for the first time in days I grasped the mane of Inazuna, Masugu’s stallion.

“Easy,” murmured Masugu—I think more for the horse’s sake than mine. To me, he said, “I thought you liked heights?” Continue reading New Year Excitement! Risuko — Chapter 10: Dark Letter

Happy holidays from Risuko & David Kudler

Happy holidays!

On Christmas Day, I was enjoying some quiet time with my family when I got a message from a young woman named Lyndsey, who’s one of the members of the Risuko Beta Team. She wished me happy holidays, which I wished her back. I asked her what her plans were, and she said she was going over to her uncle’s to chop down some trees. I asked why her, and she said, “Well, I’m the only one who can climb with a chainsaw.”

Well, THAT explains why she likes Risuko!

Happy holidays, all of you — and if you’re climbing with a chainsaw… please be careful. 🙂

If you haven’t had enough celebration, you’re in luck! In Japan, the most important winter holiday is New Year’s Day.  I set my children’s picture book The Seven Gods of Luck during this wonderful festival.

Here’s the note I wrote about the holiday from that book: Continue reading Happy holidays from Risuko & David Kudler

Thanks and Congratulations!

Thanks to the 2251 (!) of you who signed up on Goodreads last week to win the free copy of Risuko! We’re thrilled by the interest and excitement that the book is generating, and very pleased that so many of you signed up for the giveaway.

Congratulations to the winner, Ariana H. You’re copy is in the mail — though at this time of year, it may take a little longer than usual. We know you’ll enjoy the book. Author David Kudler looks forward to hearing what you think.

And to those of you who didn’t win, not to worry — we’ll be holding more giveaways on Risuko.net, on Facebook, and on Goodreads. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our updates to be the first to find out!

And of course, if you’d like a copy now, we’d still love to have you join the Risuko Beta Team!

Happy holidays to you.


Sneak Peak! Risuko — Chapter 9: Worth

9 — Worth

As Risuko, Masugu, and the rest of Lady Chiyome’s party approach their destination in the mountains, Risuko learns yet another uncomfortable truth — about herself and two other members of the group.

Up and up we rode, around a beautiful lake, and toward the mountain peaks.

A warbler sang from one of the trees and I whistled back. It was a funny time of year for the bird to be here.

“You do bird sounds?” Masugu asked.

I nodded.

“Can you do a loon?” We’d heard one that morning on the lake.

I grinned. That was one of my favorites. I raised my fingers to my hands and gave the loon’s long, sad call.

“Well done!” Masugu laughed. “And how about… a nightingale?”

I turned around to look at him for a moment.

He laughed again. “Fine, fine, I was kidding.” He stared down at me. “How about an owl. Can you hoot three times like an owl?”

“You’re kidding again, right? That one’s easy.” To prove my point, I raised my hands to my mouth again and gave three long hoots: one as a wood owl, one as a snowy owl and one as a Scops owl. Continue reading Sneak Peak! Risuko — Chapter 9: Worth

Win a free copy of Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale!

This week, you have the opportunity to win a free copy of Risuko on Goodreads! Author David Kudler has made a paperback ARC (advance review copy) available on the world’s biggest book review site:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Risuko by David Kudler

Risuko

by David Kudler

Giveaway ends December 18, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Sign up now to win your free copy!

Continue reading Win a free copy of Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale!

Risuko sneak peek! Chapter 8 — The Mountain

8 — The Mountain

Headed further from her family and home, Risuko discovers an unsettling truth.

For three days, we rode quickly, without speaking until the mirror of the sun passed behind the mountains. On the first two days, we passed large groups of soldiers bearing the Takeda four-diamond banner marching toward the battles we had just left behind. By the third day, we might as well have been the only people in all of Worth Province —in all of Japan. We passed no one. Even the villages seemed empty.

Every night, the soldiers would make camp—in dry rice paddies or on the edges of fields. They would start preparing a simple meal, which Emi, Toumi, Aimaru and I would help clean up. The men would start talking to each other, and to the Little Brothers, occasionally. They would speak respectfully to Lady Chiyome occasionally, and even tease Aimaru and us three girls a bit.

None of them ever spoke to Mieko-san, though the lieutenant seemed always to know where she was. Continue reading Risuko sneak peek! Chapter 8 — The Mountain