TODAY is the official release day for the first Shinobi Mystery, Claws of the Cat (Minotaur Books, 2013)!

Claws of the Cat Cover (50)

May 1564: When a samurai is brutally murdered in a Kyoto teahouse, master ninja Hiro has no desire to get involved. But the beautiful entertainer accused of the crime enlists the help of Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit Hiro is sworn to protect, leaving the master shinobi with just three days to find the killer in order to save the girl and the priest from execution.

The investigation plunges Hiro and Father Mateo into the dangerous waters of Kyoto’s floating world, where they learn that everyone from the elusive teahouse owner to the dead man’s dishonored brother has a motive to keep the samurai’s death a mystery. A rare murder weapon favored by ninja assassins, a female samurai warrior, and a hidden affair leave Hiro with too many suspects and far too little time. Worse, the ninja’s investigation uncovers a host of secrets that threaten not only Father Mateo and the teahouse, but the very future of Japan.

Read an excerpt and enter to win a free copy here!

The book is available in hardback and e-book formats, just about everywhere books are sold. I’ve got several upcoming signings (check the Events page!) and a launch event at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills this Thursday night (July 16).

To celebrate the launch, I’m running a Twitter ninja contest – tweet me your best “ninja pose” using the hashtag #SHINOBIMYSTERIES between now and midnight Pacific Time on Friday, July 26 for a chance to win a “Shinobi Prize Pack” consisting of a signed hardback copy of CLAWS OF THE CAT and a ninja coffee mug like this one:

Ninja Mug

(Except that yours will be new, and the one in the photo is mine!)

I will draw a winner from all of the eligible photo tweets. And now, the inevitable legalese: Contest open to US residents only (sorry!). Contest open from 12:01am on July 15, 2013 until midnight Pacific Time on July 26, 2013. Eligible photos may not contain nudity or obscenity. Odds of winning will vary with number of entries. No purchase necessary to win. Maximum one entry per person. Entries must contain an eligible photograph and use the hashtag #ShinobiMysteries to be eligible to win. Winners will be drawn at random from among all eligible entrants. Void where prohibited by law.

Not on Twitter? Never fear! You can also win a Shinobi book and mug Prize Pack by leaving a comment on one of The Debutante Ball posts celebrating this week’s launch of Claws of the Cat, and there will be more ninja contests coming your way all week!



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