Well, it’s Friday, and thanks to the diligent efforts of everyone who helped us track the cover clues, I’ve managed to retrieve the cover art from the ninja thieves!
And so, with no further ado, allow me to present the cover for the second Shinobi Mystery, BLADE OF THE SAMURAI:
June, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori receives a pre-dawn visit from Kazu, a fellow shinobi working undercover at the shogunate. Hours before, the Shogun’s cousin, Saburo, was stabbed to death in the Shogun’s palace. The murder weapon: Kazu’s personal dagger. Kazu says he’s innocent, and begs for Hiro’s help, but his story gives Hiro reason to doubt the young shinobi’s claims.
When the Shogun summons Hiro and Father Mateo, the Jesuit priest under Hiro’s protection, to find the killer, Hiro finds himself forced to choose between friendship and personal honor.
The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the Shogun and overthrow the ruling Ashikaga clan. With Lord Oda’s enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro must use his assassin’s skills to reveal the killer’s identity and protect the Shogun at any cost. Kazu, now trapped in the city, still refuses to explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. But a suspicious shogunate maid, Saburo’s wife, and the Shogun’s stable master also had reasons to want Saburo dead. With the Shogun demanding the murderer’s head before Lord Oda reaches the city, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time … or die in his place.
Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in 16th century Japan.
And yes, for those who asked, this does mean Kazu plays a major role.
BLADE OF THE SAMURAI is available for preorder at all major and independent book retailers, including Powell’s, The Poisoned Pen, !ndigo, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and also from your local independent bookstore, and will release in hardback and ebook formats on July 15, 2014. (It’s worth the wait…). For those of you outside the U.S., the book is also available for pre-order internationally – check your bookstore or website of choice. (hurray!)
Now to the fun part: PRIZES! Leave a comment on this post (or on the reveal tour posts by Kerry Schafer at Swimming North, Julianne Douglas at Writing the Renaissance, or Heather Webb at Between the Sheets – or all of them, if you want to!) and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win one of three great prizes – a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a ninja coffee mug, or a set of ninjabread cookie cutters (one prize per person – so I’ll be doing three drawings and picking three winners!).
And now, the legalese (because, you know, I’m a lawyer): All comments must be left on participating blogs on or before midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Limit one prize per person. Limit one eligible comment per blog post, for a total maximum of five entries per person. Additional comments will be disregarded. Prizes will be awarded based on random drawings from a pool of all eligible entries. Winners must provide a valid name and mailing address (or email address, in the case of the gift card) within 3 days after notification of winning. No purchase necessary to win. Odds of winning will vary based on number of eligible entries received.
Winners don’t have to live in the United States for this one, but you do have to live in a place where I can ship the prize, and where participating in online contests is not illegal. (Yep, you knew the lawyer would get involved, right?)
Want a chance to win? Comments are open NOW!