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Toru: Wayfarer Returns
by Stephanie R. Sorensen
GENRE: Historical Steampunk Fiction
A nation encircled by enemies
A noblewoman with everything to lose
A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.
In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.
Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.
“Omae wa dare da? Who are you? Whose ship is that? Why are you here?”
They forced Tōru to his knees.
He bowed down to the sand and spoke in the rough unhewn Japanese of a fisherman.
“Noble sirs, I am Tōru, of the village Iwamatsu, some days’ travel north of here. I was fishing with my father. A terrible storm destroyed our boat and cast us all into the sea. My father gave me a piece of wreckage to cling to as everything sank.”
Tōru struggled a moment, the words and flow of his native language catching on his lips after more than two years without a soul to speak with in Japanese. The memory of the storm and his last memory of his father that night rose up before him.
He steadied himself as the men listened intently, their swords never wavering from his throat, nor their gaze from his face.
He chose his next words carefully.
“That night was the last I saw my father. I was picked up by an American ship and taken to America.”
He bowed down to the sand again, easing between the blades.
“This night I am returning, to look after my mother. She has no other child to care for her, and no husband to feed her. The Americans brought me home, so I might do my duty by my mother and my people. I beg you, forgive me any crimes I may have committed by landing on your lord’s shore, and allow me please to return to my home.”
As he looked up into their eyes, he saw they would permit no such thing.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.
Recognition for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns”
— Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
— Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards
Author website http://stephaniersorensen.com/
Author Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011148014463
Publisher website http://palantirpress.com/
Publisher Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Sassa-Margot/100010457895534
Publisher Twitter https://twitter.com/SassaMargot
Sell sheet PDF http://palantirpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Toru-Sell-Sheet.pdf
Kirkus review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/stephanie-r-sorensen/toru/
Historical Novel Society review https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/toru-wayfarer-returns-sakura-steam-series-book-1/
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.
Sydney has captured the 2012 premiership, outlasting Hawthorn by 10 points at the MCG.
In one of the toughest, tightest grand finals, the Swans kicked the last four goals of the game to clinch victory, 14.7 (91) to 11.15 (81).
The Hawks jumped out to an early lead with a couple of quick goals to end the first quarter.
Congratulations Sydney Swans on winning the 2012 AFL Premiership.
This is hilarious…
An amusing letter from former President Ronald Reagan in response to a 13-year-old boy’s request for disaster relief funds to clean up his room is making the rounds again on social media, thanks to a blog writer.
Shaun Usher of Letters of Note tweeted the classic correspondence. Seventh-grader Andy Smith from Irmo, South Carolina, wrote Reagan in 1984: “Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room.”
I’m sorry to be so late in answering your letter but as you know I’ve been in China and found your letter here upon my return.
Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem; the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother.
However setting that aside I’ll have to point out the larger problem of available funds. This has been a year of disasters, 539 hurricanes as of May 4th and several more since, numerous floods, forest fires, drought in Texas and a number of earthquakes. What I’m getting at is that funds are dangerously low.
May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that government has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative program, calling upon people to practice voluntarism in the solving of a number of local problems.
Your situation appears to be a natural. I’m sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3,000 already underway in our nation—congratulations.
Give my best regards to your mother.
Sincerely, Ronald Reagan
—From Reagan: A Life in Letters
The tweet has been viewed 189,500 times in the past few days. It is unknown if the letter remedied the situation.
2011 … the final trumpet of 2011 is about to ring out loud and clear and with that we will herald in 2012.
This year has been memorable for many of us on different levels. For some it was met with success, for others it just plain sucked 🙂
Rather than mention a long list of reflections as I have done in past years, I think I will make a list of what 2012 can expect out of me 🙂
1. I may or may not follow the hysteria of the 2012 doomsday. I do have my own theory though on the whole “doomsday thing” and I predict that on December 22nd I will awake very much alive in my bed, (or the bed of someone else, depending on what trouble I get into the night before lmao). It will be sunny or it may be raining, all depending on what the weather forecast predicted, and maybe the lawn will need mowed. 🙂 I will make my coffee like I do every morning in my extra large coffee cup (actually it’s a former soup cup, but I aint one for soup anyway. Coffee tastes better than soup anyday), I will turn on my laptop, and most likely play Evil Genius while the coffee gets my brain functioning 🙂 I will probably wonder if there is any last minute shopping I have to do for Christmas, as knowing me there would have been someone I forgot 🙂
2. I will try not to spend too much time on facebook 🙂
3. I will watch more British TV shows (much to the annoyance of some) lol
4. I think I will travel to the UK later in the year.
Some may be wondering though about the big questions that have been left unanswered, so I will answer them now
1. Will I stop smoking? Probably not. Infact I may also take up smoking cigars 🙂
2. Will I start drinking again? That depends on how much people try to stress me out lol
3. Will I find new comedy material? You know what they say, the oldies are still goodies 🙂
4. Will I make any new resolutions? Ah, nope. Resolutions are better off in the dark recesses of my mind. If I make any, you wont know until I did it and say “Told ya so” lol
5. Will I drink less coffee? My answer to that is: Yeah, okay, when hell freezes over I may 🙂
6. Whatever became of …. : Yada, Yada, Yada
Whatever you all decide to do on NYE and whatever you plan for 2012, make it the best year that you can….
Til 2012 ………
Hello readers. For something different I would like to share something from the world of Theatre.
Showboat the Musical is currently being performed by a talented cast and crew from the Gold Coast Little Theatre.
Show Boat the Musical was last performed at Gold Coast Little Theatre in 1964, and is being performed as part of GCLT’s Diamond Jubilee Season celebrating 60 years of community theatre on the Gold Coast.
If you are in the Gold Coast area I recommend you check it out!
Gold Coast Little Theatre Presents SHOW BOAT
Directed by Julanne Shearer
Musical Direction by Mary Walters
Choreography by Kim Reynolds
Cap’n Andy Hawks – Frank Culell
Parthy Ann Hawks – Marilyn Culell
Magnolia Hawks – Louise Harris
Gaylord Ravenal – Stephen Morris
Julie La Verne – Karen Oliver
Steve Baker – Arthur Shacklock
Ellie May Shipley – Kim Reynolds
Frank Schultz – Grant Ebeling
Joe – Lawrence Esmond
Queenie – Ali Wilby
Windy – Hugh Brophy
Sheriff Vallon – Daniel Green
Pete – Marc James
Young Kim – Courtney Monsma
Older Kim – Cassidy Mackie
Backwoodsman – Marc James
Jeb – Hugh Brophy
Card Dealer – Denis Watkins
Ethel – Dianna Dureau
Mrs O’Brien – Lea Vosti
Mother Superior – Val Williamson
Jim Greene – Denis Watkins
Jake – Paul Hampshire
Charlie – Peter Hanson
Lottie – Helen Stretten
Dottie – Gail Heeley
A Drunk – Hugh Brophy
A Radio Announcer – Hugh Brophy
Old Lady on the Levee – Lesley Hampshire
If you are in the Gold Coast area, check out this wonderful production. For more details check out their website.