Category Archives: News

New Year, New Historical Fiction Giveaway!

Start your new year off the proper way

With a trip to the past!

Adventure, romance, espionage, fantasy, and more — set in periods from ancient Rome to the English Regency to the American West to the Japan of samurai and battling warlords. Two dozen bestselling authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of new books. Available for a limited time only! Continue reading New Year, New Historical Fiction Giveaway!

Kano Cover Poll

Help us choose the final cover for Kano

and enter for a chance to win your choice of any item from the risuko.net store!

We’re still looking for input in our Kano Cover Poll. We’d love your feedback on the best cover for the third title in the award-winning Seasons of the Sword series.

Continue reading Kano Cover Poll

New Kano Release Date

Please note the new Kano release date!

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful beginning to 2024. Last year was a challenging one for so many of us in so many ways; here’s to a better, brighter new year — preferably one with lots of great books! Continue reading New Kano Release Date

Historical Fiction Giveaway!

Historical Fiction Freebies August 2023
Searching for your next favorite story?
Check out this Historical Fiction Giveaway!

These bestselling authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of new books.
Available August, 2023 only!

Find your next favorite read! Over 75 historical fiction books to kindle your Kindle and ignite your iPad — FREE! (Includes “White Robes” by David Kudler)

Kano Sneak Preview: Creatures of the Night

Squirrels are not creatures of the night. So sitting there on that stump in the dark trying to mend embroidery—trying not to stab myself with the sharp needle while keeping my ears pricked for any strange sounds—wasn’t easy on my nerves.

I fetched Masugu’s short sword from where my bedroll still lay, warm and inviting. The black lacquered sheath made a nice, hard surface for me to work against.

As I picked out the orange threads, cutting them with the tip of the needle, my mind worried at our destination. The capital.

Lord Oda.

Could I kill him?

Did I hate him?

I knew I hated the idea of him. I hated what he had done to my father, to Emi and Toumi’s.

But to kill him?

By the light of the waxing moon, I removed the threads of the Hōjō mon. One by one, I dropped them into the soot-covered embers of the fire. There they would briefly catch flame, writhing like snakes as they burned.

I was left, finally, with the blank white disk of the Mochizuki. The Full Moon.

A convenient emblem for a clan of spies and assassins.

I was just finishing the top blue stripe to the mon on my kimono when one of the horses snorted. I responded with my own snort of amusement. Do horses dream? What do they dream of? Running? Long, green grass and clover? Stomping on snakes?

Another sound broke my reverie, however—whispers. The sound was barely audible above the smooth rush of the water and the gentle rustle of the night breeze in the leaves overhead. But I was sure it wasn’t my imagination. Low voices came from the direction of the horses, like stones rumbling down through a stream.

I found myself on my feet, the beautiful robe forgotten in the dust, and strode toward the riverside with my sword drawn.

So much for being a cautious coward. Continue reading Kano Sneak Preview: Creatures of the Night

Kano is Coming, Author Talk + FREE Historical Fiction!

Kano Is Coming

Pre-order Kano: A Kunoichi Tale, Book 3 in Seasons of the Sword!We now have a release date for the next Seasons of the Sword book: March 1, 2024!

Through raging battles and deadly court intrigue, Risuko must follow a path narrower and less stable than any pine branch. And the consequences should she fail are sharp and hard as rocks below.

The red-and-white disguise of the kunoichi awaits.

Is Risuko ready?

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY


See David Kudler Interviewed Live

David Kudler, author of the Seasons of the SwordAuthor David Kudler will be speaking live online with librarian Charlotte King-Mills about his inspirations, the joys and challenges of writing outside his own lenses, and what keeps pulling his imagination back to the Land of the Rising Sun. He’ll also be taking questions, so have yours ready!

Check out the Zoom interview: Continue reading Kano is Coming, Author Talk + FREE Historical Fiction!

Tiptown (Kano, Chapter 1)

Kano cover - coming soonHappy holidays! Akemashite omedeto gozai masu!

Here’s the first sneak preview to Kano, the third book in the Seasons of the Sword series!

Obviously, there are spoilers for Risuko and Bright Eyes — if you haven’t read them yet, you might want to check them out first!

Chapter 1: Tiptown

Lady Hōjō,” sighed the Uesugi captain, “I can’t let you and your party through without an escort—there’s trouble on the other side of the province. We’ve already had to send half of the garrison west, so I can’t spare any men to protect you.”

Mieko gave him her most disgusted Lady Chiyome glare. “Ruffian.” She turned to me and Toumi, kneeling to her left in the captain’s office. “What will Masugu-sama think if we don’t arrive in the capital on time?”

I put my hand in her knee like the supportive lady’s maid that I supposedly was. “I’m sure the shōgun will understand if his cousin, your intended, has to change the wedding date.”

When Toumi gave a dismissive snort and muttered, “Sure he will,” Mieko covered her face in her hands and began to wail.

I handed her a silk handkerchief marked with the orange, three-triangle mon of her supposed clan.

The Uesugi commander ground his teeth, clearly unused to having to manage high-strung noble brides—or cunning kunoichi. “My lady…” He closed his eyes. “Can I get you something, my lady?”

This was the cue we had been waiting for.  “Please,” I simpered, “if this humble servant might fetch her ladyship some wine, that might help our mistress’s nerves.”

“Yes, yes,” grumbled the captain. “The stores are immediately across the courtyard, to the right of the main gate.”

As I bowed, Mieko sniffled, “Oh, you go with her, Toumi. She’s always getting lost.”

“Yes, my lady,” said Toumi in a more than passably respectful manner. Really, if you didn’t know her, you might almost have thought she was sweet. Continue reading Tiptown (Kano, Chapter 1)

Risuko, My Father, and Toxic Masculinity

I tell yeh, Bright Eyes. Men and women? A bloody mess. Every time. — Kee Sun on sex and gender, Risuko

Is “toxic masculinity” just a way of saying men are toxic?

I get asked a lot about why I decided to write about young women in my Seasons of the Sword novels. There are lots of reasons.

But an online conversation I was part of recently made one of them very clear to me.

In the conversation, someone argued that “toxic masculinity” was feminist code for the assertion that all men are bad/toxic.

No. No. No.

Masculinity ≠ Men Continue reading Risuko, My Father, and Toxic Masculinity

Bright Eyes Resources for Teachers and Students

Teachers and students now have access to two new benefits in the Educators section of Risuko.net!

Working with a master educator, author David Kudler has added two sets of resources to those already available for studying Bright Eyes, book 2 of the Seasons of the Sword novels:

Continue reading Bright Eyes Resources for Teachers and Students

Thanks, Cristopher Paolini! (Or how Eragon led to Risuko)

 When Cristopher Paolini’s epic dragon-rider fantasy novel Eragon came out, I had just conceived of the book that would become Risuko.

And Eragon depressed the heck out of me. Continue reading Thanks, Cristopher Paolini! (Or how Eragon led to Risuko)