The third book of the Sword of the Taka Samurai series is Cold Trail and is expected to be released by the end of July, 2015. Originally the six books of the series were all expect to be straightforward reads of 20,000 to 40,000 words, each.
As the draft for the “uhr” Cold Heart rose to 70,000 words and was increasing, and the release date started moving out, my editor and I saw that even if a seventh book was needed to tell the full story, we would do it. The solution, break the existing book in half into two smaller pieces to come out a month or two apart.
If all goes according to plan Cold Heart will be released in June-July and Cold Trail will come out in July-August. Hopefully readers will agree that it is worth waiting for as (because of “popular” demand) there is a thirst for an expanded Yamabuki backstory.
Readers wanted to know how and why would Yamabuki became a warrior? Who influenced her? What factors led to her decision to leave her life of relative ease as a warlord’s daughter? How is it that a woman of this era could get access to scholars to teacher to speak, read, and write Chinese? And yet she writes and translates Chinese poems into Japanese cursive, in the kana, so everyone can read them. She records her journey in “pillow books” called makura, or “diaries.”
To do justice to these stories and to introduce them now instead of in later books, it has taken some editing to put them into a form that readers can easily absorb.
As with earlier Yamabuki stories, the reader is immersed in a strange world with unknown customs and traditions. Sometimes they are as strange to Yamabuki as they are to the reader.
If there are reviewers out there who would be interested in a draft copy of these books prior to release, please let me at the Kate Lore email address so we can arrange for that.