Tag Archives: Risuko

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

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

Cover Poll Advance Copy Winners!

Advance Copy Winners Announcement —

We’re so excited! We received hundreds of votes for our Risuko Cover Poll, and with your help have now chosen the final cover.

Author David Kudler suggested that we give back by way of thanks, and so we chose three voters at random to win advance copies of the book. The three winners are:

If you know any of these folks, please congratulate them!

And if you’d like an advance copy of your own, you can always join the Risuko Beta Team. We’d love to send you a copy — and a gift certificate after you’ve told the author what you think of the book!

Cover Reveal: The Winner of the Risuko Cover Poll!

COVER REVEAL

Thanks to all of you who shared your opinions about which cover art we should use in the Risuko Cover Poll!

You helped us choose a cover that we’re really excited about. Not only does it convey the mood of the book beautifully, but it looks pretty good, too. 😉

Without further ado, here’s the cover that you chose — and that we agreed with you on completely: Continue reading Cover Reveal: The Winner of the Risuko Cover Poll!

Poll Running through Friday Only — Win a Copy!

Share this link and increase your chances to win a copy!

The poll to vote for the final cover for Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale will close this Friday, November 13. Thanks to all of you who have already let us know what cover you like best.

Once the poll closes, author David Kudler will randomly choose who gets to win an advance copy of the book — get your vote in now! (The response has been great, and so we may choose more than one winner. Share the poll with your friends, and your name gets entered again for every friend who takes the poll!) Continue reading Poll Running through Friday Only — Win a Copy!

Read Risuko — Chapter 6: Tea and Cakes

Ch. 6 — Tea and Cakes.

Risuko discovers that waking up in a war zone can lead to surprises. (Author David Kudler says, “One of my favorite chapters!”)


A rumble woke us all the next morning. It sounded like a peal of distant thunder. But Mieko and Kuniko were already on their feet before I could sit up and wipe the sleep from my eyes.

“What is it?” I asked Emi, who was rubbing her eyes next to me. “It’s awfully cold for thunder and lightening, isn’t it? And it doesn’t feel like an earthquake….”

Emi shook her head and scowled. We both listened carefully as we pulled on our clothes—mine still slightly damp from the night before, smelling faintly of stale soy sauce and burnt rice.

Another low rumble shook the morning silence. From where I had been sleeping near the kitchen, I could see a grey, thin light leaking beneath the outer kitchen door.

We began to fold away our bedding with a sense of uncertain urgency. I was about to ask again what that rumble might have been, when a new sound broke the silence and explained everything. It was a sharp, high crack. Musket fire. And not very far away, from the sound of it.

My legs went cold and I dropped my bedroll.

The battle had come to us. Continue reading Read Risuko — Chapter 6: Tea and Cakes

Read The Mt Fuji Inn – the next exciting chapter of Risuko!

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 5 — The Mt. Fuji Inn

There were three rooms downstairs besides the dining room and kitchen, but the two closest to the front door were both closed off. The doors were edged with black soot. Lady Chiyome had the Little Brothers carry her chest to the rear room.

Mieko and Kuniko led Toumi, Emi and me to the dining room. I was surprised that Mieko left her own bedroll there in the room with us; I had expected her to spend the night with the lady, but she stayed with us and quietly took charge of the servants’ quarters. Continue reading Read The Mt Fuji Inn – the next exciting chapter of Risuko!