Pieces of Paper: A short story set in Tokyo


A chance encounter brings a hint of romance to a young woman’s journey through the streets of Tokyo. This semi-autobiographical short story explores questions of identity and connectedness in the digital age.

Note: All author proceeds from the sale of this story will be donated to the Red Cross for the relief effort in Japan.

Cover art by Jaxadora Designs

Read Excerpt

Buy: Amazon | Smashwords

(I am still working to get the story onto PubIt for Nook)

This story was excerpted a ways back during Excerpt Monday with the working title of “Shinjuku”. I considered submitting this story to literary or women’s fiction magazines, but realized that many of my current readers who might be interested in the story wouldn’t be able to find it. The popularity of self-publishing and distribution through sites like Smashwords and Amazon provided a space for a short like this that doesn’t fit with Harlequin or any other romance publisher.

Any proceeds that I receive from the sale of this short story will be donated to the Red Cross relief effort in Japan. In light of recent earthquake and devastation in Japan, and given that this story is based on my experiences in Tokyo, I cannot conscientiously do this any other way.

To any readers who may have  read my other works, I should let you know that there are no swords or warlords in this story. There’s not even a fight scene to be found. The story is not a traditional romance, though as the blurb states, there’s a hint of romance in it.

Reviewers: If you’d like to review this story, please contact me through my Contact Page to request a coupon for a download.

From the front of the publication:


The brevity of this story may lead one to think that I banged this out on my laptop over a sleepless night. That I was perhaps moved by the recent earthquake and tragedy in Japan to set a story in Tokyo. I can assure you that this is not the case and that this story has been written, re-written, pondered over and prodded nearly as much as one of my novels.

I first started this tale over two years ago before I was a published author in historical romance. It’s a semi-autobiographical work based on two days I spent in Tokyo back in 2002. So the story has truly been in the making for nearly a decade now.

I’m very happy to finally be able to share this journey. I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide where I might have stretched the truth and by how much.


The outpouring of support over this project has been overwhelming and humbling. I must give a heartfelt thanks to Rhonda Stapleton who edited the work at a moment’s notice and made it worthy to be seen by the public. To Jax Cassidy: a friend, soul sister, and true artist who designed the cover that captured the vibrant and nostalgic Tokyo of my memories so perfectly. It was only through the earnest effort of these two talented individuals that this project was produced so quickly.

And a special acknowledgment to Gwen Hayes and the Romance Divas. During a diva brainstorming session when I was trying to figure out what to do with this short story, it was Gwen who suggested I publish it and donate the proceeds to the relief effort in Japan. And now I can’t see doing it any other way. Thank you Gwen for lending your guidance and generous soul to this project. There’s a reason we coined the phrase, “What Gwen said.”

To the people of Japan who have endured so much through the recent disaster and who continue to endure: My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Meet the Author

Click HERE to donate!

brenda novak auction

The Brenda Novak online auction for diabetes is well underway and I have to confess, I’ve been checking in a couple times a day. I have a couple of bids going and just know that someone is going to sneak in and outbid me. *evil eye*

As I was browsing the auction list, the number of lunches and meetings with authors made me pause. For the longest time, I was afraid to meet my favorite authors because writing just seemed like such an ethereal, mystic thing. I didn’t want to meet the person behind it. What if Ray Bradbury didn’t measure up to the pedestal I’d put him on?

I’ve since had a change of opinion. Especially after joining RWA and seeing that writers are people, and usually interesting people at that.

Still, the thought of auctioning off a lunch or a meeting as an author is just plain mortifying! I don’t know if I could do it. This is a lot more time than a quick chat at a signing or bumping into an author you admire at conference. And then what if no one bids on me? And what if someone bids on me and they’re sorely disappointed when they actually meet me?

Even worse…what if the person who wins your time is a stalking superfan? Okay, it might be cool to realize you have a superfan, but the stalking wouldn’t be cool. Or you meet this person, sit down for lunch, and you’re out of conversation in two minutes? This could be the blind date from hell!

That being said, I’m bidding on lunch with Jamie Ford, author of Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I have to get to Seattle to collect on it if I win, but he seems like an interesting bloke to meet. I’d be interested in seeing Seattle Chinatown, which I hear is smaller than Boston Chinatown. And I’d love to see the Panama Hotel which is central to his story. Hey, and I’ve read his book…so at least we have the first two minutes covered, right?

To any Jamie Ford fans out there, don’t even think about outbidding me. *evil eye*

Have you met your favorite authors? Was it weird or wonderful? Who on your bookshelf would you just love to have lunch with?

brenda_novak_basketThe Brenda Novak auction is continuing for the month of May. I’m offering a critique and a Gooey Butter cake as part of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood basket which is already seeing some good action.

Come bid! You can also browse a whole list of wonderful items for readers, writers, and everyone. The auction closes May 31st.

P.S. Double check the amount before you hit OK. There was an embarrassing incident this weekend where I ended up bidding more than my yearly salary on an item…ahem….that got fixed real quick.