Happy Release Day! ‘Insignia: Asian Fantasy Stories’

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!!!

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!

ASIAN FANTASY STORIES

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+

an-ins4

CONTENTS

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

~~~

AVAILABLE FROM:

| Smashwords |

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

| Amazon DEAmazon JPAmazon IN |

 ~~~

Add on Goodreads

~~~

Advertisements

BOTM: ‘A Mortal Song’ by Megan Crewe

This looks really good! It’s definitely jumping the queue on my reading list. 🙂

A Mortal Song

By Megan Crewe

mortalsong

Blurb:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Amazon US

Goodreads

~~~

More book recommendations are available under our ‘Book of the Week’ category.

~~~

Asian fantasy writers, please visit our Submissions Page for details on our upcoming anthology projects. New contributors welcome!

Have a published Asian fantasy novel or novella? We’d be happy to feature it here on the blog sometime. Send your book info and links to: blackwingsandwhitepaper@gmail.com

‘Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories’ on SALE!!!!!!

SMASHWORDS SUMMER SALE – JULY 1ST TO JULY 31ST

SALE – 50% OFF! ONLY US$1.50

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories

 

InsigniaVol1-Cover-7A

INSIGNIA Vol.1 includes 9 Japanese fantasy stories with a mix of urban, literary,

contemporary, myth-based,and historical fantasy pieces.

~~~

Link to Smashwords Page

( ADD THE PROMO CODE SSW50 AT CHECKOUT )

~~~

Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories is not yet available from Smashwords, but you can view the book information and Amazon links here.

Excerpt: ‘Moon Shadow’ by Kelly Matsuura

InsigniaVol1-Cover-7A

As the editor for ‘Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories’, I selected my own stories to include last. I like writing myth-based stories too, but I already had 4 submitted from other authors, so I decided to include this ninja story, Moon Shadow as it is a straight fantasy YA piece. Although come to think of it, there are some traditions and myths surrounding ninja  and even Japanese magic that I put into my story!

Here’s a short scene with the main character, Moon Shadow, about to go on a mission:

Moon Shadow

It was getting dark. Moon Shadow put on his boots, and double-checked his weapons and magic pouches. Confident that he was prepared, he covered his head and face with a black scarf.

His best friend, Creeping Mist, came to join him fully dressed as well.

“Ready to go?” He stretched his shoulders and wrists.

“I’m ready. Is it just us two?” Moon Shadow asked.

“No, we’re going with three others to capture a witch. Another group is going into town to grab some boys.” Creeping Mist’s face fell. It was a task they all hated. Knowing it had happened to them once too only made it worse.

Most men were grateful that their memories of their childhood and families were erased after arriving at the training camp, but it was also heartbreaking to have no one in the world except each other. Moon Shadow and Creeping Mist had no way to know where they’d come from, but some instinct told them they had grown up together. There was an unspoken sense of love connecting them.

“Urgh, I hate taking boys, but I suspect it’s a lot less dangerous than facing a witch. Do you know anything about her?” Moon Shadow asked as they walked to the edge of the woods.

“I heard she’s young. And, she flew into the camp as a yellow dragonfly this afternoon. Did you see it? She flew right in front of my face. Amazing, don’t you think?”

“That’s incredible! Isn’t a dragonfly one of the hardest forms to take? Most witches I’ve encountered change to crows or pigeons or something.”

“Well, Black Morning said it’s impossible to shift into an insect. He believes it was a type of mind-projection.”

“Does such magic exist?” Moon Shadow had never heard of such a spell.

“I don’t know.” Creeping Mist checked the map in his hand. “Okay, this way. Let’s go see if this young witch is beautiful. Maybe she’s looking for a lover!”

~*~

Kelly Matsuura grew up in Victoria, Australia, but has lived most of her adult life in the northern hemisphere. After a year teaching English in China, she moved to Japan where she met her husband and lived for ten years in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Due to her husband’s work, she’s enjoying a few years back in a western country, living in Michigan, USA.

Kelly has published numerous short stories online, in group anthologies, and in two self-published anthologies. She enjoys writing in various genres: fantasy, literature, young adult, and romance.

She majored in Asian Studies and Japanese at university, and currently studies Chinese, German, French and Spanish purely for interest.

As the creator and editor for The Insignia Series’ anthologies, she hopes to use her knowledge of the Asian languages and culture to assist the other authors produce great stories and to share the group’s work with a new audience.

Kelly’s website: www.blackwingsandwhitepaper.com

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories is now available from:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon JP

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

~*~

Add on Goodreads

~*~

Read More Excerpts

Megumi’s Quest by Joyce Chng

The Bakeneko by Holly Kench

Restoration by Chris Ward

Towards the Light by Aislinn Batstone

Sanctuary by Chris White

Kitsune by Heather Jensen

Excerpt: ‘Restoration’ by Chris Ward

InsigniaVol1-Cover-7A

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.

Restoration

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

Smashwords

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

Excerpt: ‘The Bakeneko’ by Holly Kench

InsigniaVol1-Cover-7A

Holly Kench is well known for her hilarious comic strips about her alter-ego, Olive, but did you know she can write creepy YA, and haunting adult Literature, both based on Japanese folklore? Well, she certainly can! I was lucky to receive two submissions from Holly and I love both stories dearly. Here’s an excerpt from The Bakeneko (YA):

The Bakeneko

I huddled in my bed, my quilt pulled up around my neck as though the warmth of the fabric could protect me. I couldn’t stop shivering as I watched and waited.

The family cat, Ayumu, sat at the end of my bed, licking his paw. Unconcerned by my rising terror, he stood up, padded around the end of my bed in a circle, and sat back down. Without warning, his head shot up, tilted to one side and his feline eyes, which were always a little too human, bore into mine.

I shuddered in anticipation. Without moving his gaze from mine, the cat’s limbs elongated. Smoke, appearing from nowhere, swirled around him and his body started to transform. The ears on his head sunk into his skull, as his head grew bigger. The smoke thickened and wisps of it flew towards me, stinging my eyes and catching in my throat. Coughing, I threw my hands up over my face, losing sight of the cat for the briefest second.

When I lowered my hands, Ayumu was nowhere to be seen. Instead, next to my bed stood a man, at least seven-feet tall, with long, loose black hair that floated around his head and danced with the smoke surrounding his body. There was something wrong with his face. Staring, I realised it wasn’t a man’s face I was looking at, rather a cat’s face overlaid with that of a man, creating a weird duality of which my mind couldn’t quite make sense.

“We are bakeneko,” the creature’s voice boomed across my bedroom. Smoked tendrils dashed out, licking inches from my face.

~*~

Holly Kench is a writer and feminist, with a classics degree and a fear of spiders.

She enjoys writing a range of genres, but has a particular love of fantasy. Holly seeks stories that contemplate the world as much as books that provide escape, but doesn’t think the two are mutually exclusive. These are the sort of stories Holly tries to write. She is convinced we can change the world through popular culture.

Holly manages Visibility Fiction, a project dedicated to the promotion and publication of inclusive young adult fiction. Visibility Fiction began as a result of Holly’s desire to create a space that celebrated and facilitated the telling of stories with diverse characters. In this capacity she has had the privilege of working with both Kelly Matsuura and Joyce Chng, who have assisted her in a journey of not only editing, but also writing her own stories exploring diverse cultures.

Holly also writes about her life as a stuffed olive at: www.stuffedolive.com.au.

~*~

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories, is available from:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon JP

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

~*~

Add on Goodreads

~*~

Read More Excerpts:

Megumi’s Quest by Joyce Chng

Restoration by Chris Ward

Towards the Light by Aislinn Batstone

Moon Shadow by Kelly Matsuura

Kitsune by Heather Jensen

Sanctuary by Chris White