Update on Cold Trail and the Yamabuki series

Cold Fate, Cold Fire, Cold Steel, Cold Trail, Katherine M. Lawrence, New Releases, Sword of the Taka Samurai

We’ve received several messages from readers that their preorder of Cold Trail was canceled. This book is not canceled. Katherine is in good health. The book will be released as soon as it’s ready. Right now, Cold Trail is with the editor (me).

Cold Trail is coming

A special offer

As an expression of our gratitude to those who placed preorders of Cold Trail only to have their preorder canceled, we will send you a copy of Cold Blood signed by the author. Just contact us with the particulars and the full mailing address where we should send the copy. Being a small bootstrapped company, we have to limit this offer to the first 50 people and can send only to addresses in the US. (If you’re outside of the US, contact us anyway. We’ll try to figure out something.)

What about the rest of the series?

Simultaneously, Katherine and I are also bringing into form the rest of the Sword of the Taka Samurai book series—Cold Fire, Cold Steel, and Cold Fate—which bring home this chapter in Yamabuki’s life.

Katherine M. Lawrence has been writing Yamabuki stories for decades. What first caught our eye was a series of novels set several years after the events in Cold Blood et al. At first, we were going to bring out the first of those books, but our test-market readers were somewhat thrown by this formidable woman samurai. After going through Katherine’s archives, we decided to first put out a story about how Yamabuki became who she is. That began as Cold Blood and took on a life of its own.

Our hope and intention is to be able to release Cold Fire, Cold Steel, and Cold Fate in relatively rapid succession after Cold Trail. Being a tiny publisher releasing these books almost guerilla style, without big marketing pushes, we decided to release these books as soon as they’re ready, skipping even the traditional 4–6 months’ lead time making ARCs available.

Other books coming

To appeal to new readers who may not be ready to buy the first three books one at a time, we are also preparing a compendium release of Cold Blood, Cold Rain, and Cold Heart in a single volume—with some updated and added scenes. Readers of the original books will still be able to enjoy the rest of the series, but some may be interested in this comendium. Details to be announced soon.

Also upcoming, we will be announcing a new title by a new author—a novella we just acquired. We’re very excited about this. For the latest updates on release dates, etc., sign up for our very infrequent newsletter, where we share our latest news first, as well as sneak peeks at upcoming releases.

Sword of the Taka Samurai book series trailer (and sneak-peak cover reveal)

Cold Blood, Cold Fate, Cold Fire, Cold Heart, Cold Rain, Cold Steel, Cold Trail, Katherine M. Lawrence, New Releases, Sword of the Taka Samurai

We thought it was long overdue to create some book trailers for Katherine M. Lawrence’s Yamabuki books, so here is the first!

We have not done official cover reveals yet for Cold Fire, Cold Steel, and Cold Fate, so this video offers a sneak peak. But our main goal here is to offer a taste of the atmosphere, setting, and scope of the entire Sword of the Taka Samurai series, Katherine‘s first saga about Taka Yamabuki, a woman warrior who lived in Heian-era Japan and fought in the Genpei War.

Also, the trailer shows there are seven books in this series. Cold Blood, Cold Rain, and Cold Heart are out now, available through your favorite book retailer. Cold Trail is coming soon, currently available for pre-order. (Retailer info is in the links above.) The last three books, Cold Fire, Cold Steel, and Cold Fate, aren’t in the Ingram database yet, so they don’t show up in bookstore ordering systems or websites like Amazon. Soon. Soon.

The series crescendoes

For us as a small start-up publisher, this series has proven to be a long haul. We released Cold Blood in 2014 and Cold Rain the year after. Cold Heart came out this January. Cold Trail will be out later this year, with Cold Fire, Cold Steel, and Cold Fate not long after that.

From the start, our release plan for this series has been simple: every book no longer than it needs to be; every release no sooner than when it’s ready—but when it is ready, get it out there right away. The upside to this approach is we don’t have to cut bait to an arbitrary deadline. But many will point out that this represents a missed opportunity, and they would be right, for the downside of our approach on these books is that we’ve been losing out on the traditional six-month ARC window that would afford the chance to get the attention of professional book reviewers. As series editor, I’m very proud of Katherine M. Lawrence’s writing—powerful, lyrical, moving—and look forward to the day she garners the literary attention she deserves. With future books, including a standalone novel we are editing now, we will explore other options.

Meanwhile, we will keep putting out the Sword of the Taka Samurai books as soon as they are ready. Readers will note that, as the various storylines layer and weave through one another, the books are getting longer. Cold Blood is a 22k-word novella about young Taka Yamabuki’s first days ever alone on the road, carrying important dispatches to the capital as she discovers a world filled with interesting people and new experiences—when a rapid series of challenges threaten not only her mission but her life. In Cold Rain, at 45k words, she finds herself trapped in a small town, realizing that her life as daughter and only child of a warlord is not anywhere as simple and safe as she had assumed. In Cold Heart, a full-fledged novel at 83k words, Yamabuki must fight for her life as an assassin and a clan bent on vengeance converge upon her. Cold Trail is coming in longer still—yet every bit as rich and exciting, if not more so.

These thumbnails don’t even touch upon the other characters—Saburo, the assassin hired to kill her; Shima, his teacher (and more); Moroto, Yamabuki’s father determined to make her his heir; Lady Taka, Yamabuki’s mother, whose concern for Yamabuki comes from her own experiences as a warrior; Nakagawa, Yamabuki’s wordly teacher and mentor; Yoshinaka, the disinherited prince who plans rebellion against the Emperor; Tomoe Gozen, the wild young woman warrior every bit as accomplished as Yamabuki; and others yet to come—whose lives touch Yamabuki’s and one another’s in joyous, heartwrenching, and often unexpected ways as their stories converge over matters of life, death, power, honor, fortune, duty, love, and redemption.

We hope you enjoy this epic tale.

PS—More book trailers are coming. Stay tuned.

map of ancient Japan

The medieval Japan of Yamabuki

Authors, Cold Blood, Cold Fate, Cold Fire, Cold Heart, Cold Rain, Cold Steel, Cold Trail, Katherine M. Lawrence, Sword of the Taka Samurai

Today, Katherine M. Lawrence blogs a bit about Japan in 1172, when the events of Sword of the Taka Samurai take place. Take a peek.