Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample

This week I'm sharing a sample of my historical novel, set in 19th Century Japan:

Disgusted, Hideyori removed his outer robe and threw it, not caring where it landed. The garment landed on another rock with a "clink."


Out of habit, he turned to call for a servant to retrieve the garment for him, but then realized there was no one to hear his summons. Grumbling, he rose from his seat and took the two steps to his robe. The garment was heavy, made of thick brocade, and the long, hanging sleeves were lined with several layers of silk. He picked up the robe, checking under it. Finding nothing there, he inspected the robe itself. The brocade was worn thin, the fraying threads a testimony to his dire financial status.

Turning the garment inside out, he noticed the silk was dingy. When he had a full staff, his court seamstresses would keep track of these things and replace the linings at regular intervals. But there were no more seamstresses. He was stuck with this lining. There were holes here and there, and the seams were worn. He smoothed the lining down. When he regained his fortune, one of the first things he would do would be to order some new clothes. No one would take him seriously as a leader if he had to wear rags like this.

His hand ran across a hard bump in the fabric. Had the holes become so large a rock had lodged in between the layers? He inspected the bump more closely. No, it wasn't a rock. Eagerly, he picked at the fabric, trying to scratch a hole in the weave. No luck. He needed something sharp. Casting a frantic look around, he spied a short branch under a nearby tree and scurried over to retrieve it.

Ten minutes later, the robe was in tatters, but Hideyori didn't care. He held a beautiful hand-painted fan and its elegant lacquer case. For once, a servant had actually followed directions. He remembered the day he had instructed the little maid to "hide the valuables somewhere the emperor's men will not find it." The girl must have hidden the fan in the lining of his robe. Clever girl. Too bad he hadn’t been able to keep her.

His growling stomach was forgotten as he went back into the hut to look for other hidden treasures in his clothing.

Hope you enjoyed it! Find more great excerpts at Sweet Saturday Samples by clicking here.


  1. Great scene! I want to know so much more about him, why he lost everything, and how (or if?) he's going to get it all back!

  2. Great sample! Love finding new treasures. Now I need to know more about the girl who put the fan there :)

  3. Love the unique setting and the mystery in the box is wonderful!

  4. I love the setting and the presentation. :)

  5. Very unique! I'd love to know the pattern and color of the robe too - but how clever and interesting that the girl hid valuables in it. :-)

  6. I love how well you show him adjusting to a change in class. Great imagery.

  7. An intriguing sample, I want more.