Happy Release Day! ‘Insignia: Asian Fantasy Stories’


It’s finally here! The Insignia Series’ latest anthology is now available from Amazon and Smashwords. We’ll post links to other book seller sites as soon as they become actively listed. Also, we’ll be sharing excerpts from the various stories throughout the week.

A big thanks to all the contributors!


INSIGNIA Vol.4 includes 9 Asian fantasy stories with a mix of literary, contemporary, myth-based, and historical fantasy pieces. Countries included are Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, China, India, and Nepal.

Rated 16+



PART I:  Adventure / Folktales

‘Four Claws’ by Allison Thai

‘I Found Love in an Urn Full of Ashes’ by Joyce Chng

‘Jentayu’s Tear’ by Anna Tan

‘Ribbons & Bones’ by Kelly Matsuura

PART II: Adult / Literary Tales

‘The Fireflies of Todaiji’ by Russell Hemmell

‘Birds of Heaven’ by EK Gonzales

‘Last Train to Begunkodor’ by Nidhi Singh

‘Untouchable’ by Sheenah Freitas

‘White Lady’ by Tina Isaacs



| Smashwords |

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA |

| Amazon DEAmazon JPAmazon IN |


Add on Goodreads


BOTW: ‘The Castle of all Nightmares (Tales of Crow 2)’ by Chris Ward

New release!

The Castle of all Nightmares (Tales of Crow 2)

By Chris Ward

TOC 2 - ebook coverBlurb:

A group of stranded tourists, a missing billionaire, and a dead woman in the woods, killed by some kind of giant bird. As lights blink on and off in the seemingly deserted Heigel Castle, it appears that Professor Crow is back …

Seven years after the tragic events at British Heights, Jun Matsumoto is now lead singer for Plastic Black Butterfly as they tour across Europe. Their shows bring them to the quiet Romanian town of Heigel, where a series of brutal animal killings have been followed up by the murder of an old local woman. The clues point to Jun’s old nemesis, Professor Crow. Despite the danger, Jun is unable to resist the chance to take revenge on the man who left so many of his friends dead. However, Professor Crow has his own scores to settle …

The Castle of All Nightmares is the second novel in Chris Ward’s Tales of Crow series, following on from They Came Out After Dark. The third volume, The Puppeteer King, will be published later in 2015.


| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS |


Preview They Came out after Dark (Tales of Crow I)

Chris Ward’s Author Page


BOTW: “They Came Out After Dark’ by Chris Ward

Congratulations to Chris Ward, one of our Insignia Series authors, for his new fantasy novel, They Came Out After Dark. This is Book 1 in a new series, Tales of Crow. The kindle edition is only US 99c!




For Jun Matsumoto, a school trip to the remote study camp of British Heights is hardly his idea of a good time. Akane, the love of his life, hates him, and he’s rooming with Ogiwara, the school bully.

Things get even worse when a dose of bad Christmas turkey makes most of the students sick, and suddenly Jun and a handful of others are left cut off from civilization as the snow closes in. Pretty soon the power has gone off, and a strange, birdlike creature begins terrorizing the guests.

If Jun thought the school trip could get no worse, he’d be wrong. As the students group together with the other remaining guests, suddenly their understanding of danger turns on its head.

There are creatures out in the woods, and they’re hungry for human flesh…

They Came Out After Dark is the first in a new series from Chris Ward, the acclaimed author of the Tube Riders Trilogy.


| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS |

| Goodreads |


Excerpt: ‘Restoration’ by Chris Ward


Chris Ward’s story, Restoration, is a beautiful adult literary piece; one of my favorites in the Insignia anthology.  I’ve become a big fan of Chris’ writing and believe he can write anything! He doesn’t typically write Asian or Japanese fiction, but you’ll see from this sample that he has an excellent voice for it.


Masato was changed when he returned. Fourteen years away and I could barely recognise his face through the skin withered and creased with age, but the biggest change was in his eyes. The boy of eighteen with the bright, carefree look about him had become a man hardened and dulled through years of war. I felt like no time had passed at all, but as he lay beside me that first night I felt I was clutching something hollow, something empty, a shell that if I squeezed too tight would collapse in upon itself and disappear.

Glad enough just to have my husband home at long last, even though the spinster talk barely ceased–after all, I wasn’t alone in seeing Masato as some kind of walking wraith, haunted and scarred by the far distant war that had decimated the population of our village–I still had hopes of creating some sort of real life for us. We had married young, of course, marriage forced on us by Masato’s recruitment, but I was only thirty-three and I knew of women who had given birth at a similar age. The risks were higher, of course, but risks and guarantees were two different things. I had spent sixteen lifeless years waiting for my husband to return, so risk was better than no possibility at all.

Masato refused to talk about the war at first. Old scars crisscrossed his skin like the lines on a Go board, and as I lay beside him I traced my fingers over them, fearing the stories behind each one. Masato would lie on his back with his eyes fixed on some image between us and the ceiling that only he could see, and I knew from the flushes and shivers of his skin that he was reliving those dark days over again. When I touched him on those nights it was like touching a dying animal; I could feel the residual heat in his body but the life had already gone.


Chris Ward is a native of Cornwall, England, but currently lives and works in Nagano, Japan. He is the author of The Tube Riders Trilogy, The Man Who Built the World and Head of Words, as well as numerous short stories and collections.

He spends his time snowboarding, writing, playing guitar in his rock band, Steampunk Unicorn, and generally having too much to say about just about everything.

Like Chris Ward (Fiction Writer) on Facebook for regular updates, or follow Chris’s blog at: www.amillionmilesfromanywhere.blogspot.jp


Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories is now available from:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon JP


Barnes & Noble


Add on Goodreads


Read More Excerpts

Megumi’s Quest by Joyce Chng

The Bakeneko by Holly Kench

Towards the Light by Aislinn Batstone

Kitsune by Heather Jensen

Sanctuary by Chris White

Moon Shadow by Kelly Matsuura