Haiku Countdown Day One

My new Josie Clark in Japan murder mystery, The Haiku Murder, will be published in ten days time, on 13th October, so I’ve decided to do a haiku countdown. I’ll be posting ten classic haiku, one a day for the next ten days, featuring haiku by two of the greatest haiku masters, the seventeenth century poet Matsuo Basho and the nineteen century poet Masaoka Shiki.

Kicking us off today is this haiku from Shiki.

Castle on a hill
The setting sun’s last rays shine
On flowering rice

Hiroshige: Roof of Nagoya Castle © British Museum

Hiroshige: Roof of Nagoya Castle © British Museum

Reminder – a haiku is a short poem in three lines of five, seven and five syllables. In translating these haiku I’ve tried to preserve that structure.

The Haiku Murder – Tokyo-based expat Londoner Josie Clark’s haiku-wrting trip comes to an abrupt end when a charismatic financier falls from the top of Matsuyama Castle. But was he pushed? Pre-order the ebook now on Amazon UK and Amazon USA. The paperback will be out on 13th October.

Another murder case (or two) for Josie Clark

Josie Clark mysteriesBack in February I published The Cherry Blossom Murder, the first book in the Josie Clark in Japan mystery series. It’s done really well, reaching the quarter finals (meaning it was one of the top hundred in the mystery and thriller category) of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, a competition with 10,000 entries worldwide. Now the next book in the series, The Haiku Murder is coming out – plus a prequel novelette, The Tokyo Karaoke Murder. They’ll both be published on 13th October, but you can pre-order the ebooks now. Continue reading

ABNA Quarter Finalist!

Amazon Quarter Final blog postThe Cherry Blossom Murder has been selected as a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014!

The contest runs annually and accepts 10,000 entries worldwide in five categories – general fiction, mystery and thriller, romance, young adult, and science fiction, fantasy and horror. The Cherry Blossom Murder is in the mystery and thriller category.

In the first round, entries are reduced from 10,000 to 2,000. In the second stage those 2,000 compete for a place in the quarter finals, open only to the best 500 (the top 100 in each category). That means that 95% of entries fail to make it to the quarter finals.

So you can see, it’s pretty exciting to still be in the running as one of the top 5%, especially as a competition as prestigious as this, run by the biggest publisher in the world, attracts a mass of high-quality entries.

It’s a long, slow process, the ABNA. It began back in February when it opened to submissions and it won’t finish until July when the eventual winner is announced. But just now I’m savouring the taste of victory and crossing my fingers for the next stage. Wish me luck in the semi-finals!

Screen Shot ABNA Quarter Finals

The Cherry Blossom Murder – Five Star Reviews!

The Cherry Blossom MurderThe Cherry Blossom Murder has done really well since it launched just over a week ago, reaching 22 in the Amazon International Mystery and Crime Sales Ranking. I’m just stunned as I never imagined it reaching that level – and certainly not in its first week!

Judging by the reviews so far, readers seem to like the Japanese setting.

Adventures of a London Kiwi called it ‘an enthralling romp through glitz, intrigue, theatre, sake with a dash of the humble cup of tea’.

Blogcritics said ‘What impressed me most about The Cherry Blossom Murder was how it brought to life the sights, sounds and aromas of life in Japan.’

It has two five star ratings on Amazon so far. If you like murder mysteries and find Japan intriguing, it could be right up your street (or dori).

If you’re in the UK you can get it on Amazon UK for Kindle or in paperback.

If you use Amazon.com, here are the links for Kindle and paperback.

And here’s the link for Kobo and other ebook readers worldwide.

Out now! The Cherry Blossom Murder

Today is publication day! My new murder mystery, The Cherry Blossom Murder is out!

Stubborn, down-to-earth Londoner Josie loves her life in Tokyo and her friends in glamorous actress Tammy’s fan club – until she finds a body under the cherry blossom. Determined to find the killer, she goes behind the scenes of the spectacular Takarazuka Revue to expose the secrets and lies, save a priceless treasure – and sort out her own increasingly tangled love life.

The Cherry Blossom Murder

It’s an entertaining murder mystery about a British female amateur detective and it’s set in present-day Japan. The Takarazuka Revue is real and truly amazing – for more about it see my Takarazuka page.

I’m truly grateful to all the wonderful friends and bloggers who’ve supported and encouraged me to get this far – special mention goes to TeamCake on Twitter:

If you’re in the UK you can get it on Amazon UK for Kindle or in paperback.

If you use Amazon.com, here are the links for Kindle and paperback.

And here’s the link for Kobo and other ebook readers worldwide.

The Cherry Blossom Murder

February 10th is publication day!

The Cherry Blossom MurderYes, that’s right – it’s less than two weeks to go to publication of The Cherry Blossom Murder on February 10th!

Excitement is mounting here at Casa Pickering. The paperback’s ready, the ebook is formatted and the advance review copies have arrived safely, so the reviewers are reading it as I write. Reviews will go up soon after publication day so check back here to find links to them.

And that’s not all. There’ll be a special giveaway with your chance to win a free copy. Full details of how to enter will be posted here on publication day.

Josie is a no-nonsense girl from Catford who’s living and working in Tokyo when she discovers a body under the cherry blossom. Her determination to see justice done makes for an entertaining murder mystery as she tries to expose a murderer, save a priceless treasure and sort out her tangled love life.

Plus the story takes you backstage at Japan’s unique and spectacular Takarazuka Revue – if you want to know more about that, check out my Takarazuka page.

The Cherry Blossom Murder be available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback, and the ebook will also be formatted for Nook, Kobo and other ebook readers. it’s the first book in the Josie Clark in Japan Mystery series.

Remember the date – 10th February!