Countdown to publication: 4 days to go on Haiku Dance. Two reviews are in and I couldn't be happier:
Haiku Dance by Cora J. Ramos is the story of young love, intrigue, and the mystic of the ancient samurai. Our two main characters, Miyoshi and Shino, are childhood friends living in a rural mountain in Japan in 968 AD. Shino is thirteen and Miyoshi is nine when the story opens. Although they are best friends,
Shino, who comes from an abusive home where his father beats and humiliates him, takes a lot of his anger and hurt out on Miyoshi. Because of Shino's rebellious behavior, his grandfather sends him away to be trained as a samurai by the Tendai monks. Knowing he will never see her again, and not knowing
how to tell Miyoshi he is leaving, Shino is cruel, blurting out a hasty and harsh goodbye moments before he leaves. Miyoshi is heartbroken and weeps as he leaves their mountain home.
Over a decade later, Miyoshi and Shino are reunited when Shino goes to work for MIyoshi's father who is now the governor of their province. Miyoshi has never forgotten her young friend and Shino has not forgotten her. Thrown together now, they are forced to recognize their love for one another, even though Miyoshi is above Shino in status and soon to become engaged to a prince. But fate has other ideas.
Ramos's vivid descriptions and deep knowledge of both the customs and culture of ancient Japan give this story a ring of truth that is very refreshing. She has crafted a heart-warming love story, filled with intrigue and suspense, that will tug at your heart strings, even as it keeps you on the edge of your seat. ~ Regan Murphy, reviewer.
In Haiku Dance, by Cora J. Ramos, Shino and Miyoshi are childhood friends in tenth-century Japan. When Shino is thirteen, his grandfather sends him to the monks to train as a samurai. Angry and bitter because of his abusive father, and thinking he will never see her again, Shino takes his frustrations out on Miyoshi, leaving her with cruel words and crushing her heart.
Many years later, after Shino has grown to be a master samurai, and Miyoshi has turned into a beautiful noblewoman, the two meet again when Shino takes employment with Miyoshi’s father as his chief samurai, in charge of protecting the family home and property. While Shino understands the ways of the world and knows that Miyoshi can never
be his, she has other ideas and is used to getting what she wants. Even though she will soon be betrothed to a prince, Miyoshi is determined to marry for love, and not to cement her father’s influence in the emperor’s court. Now she just has to convince the two men in her life—Shino and her father—in a world where women have no say over anything in their lives.
For someone who knew little about Japanese history, this was a fascinating read. Fill with mystery and intrigue, with everyone vying for power and influence, hatching one wicked plot after another, all the while smiling politely—after all, it would be considered improper to offend—the book is very hard to put down. ~ Taylor Jones, Reviewer