RELEASED, by SJ Pajonas

Today we’re going to talk about the new book RELEASED, by S. J. Pajonas. I’ve gotten to know Stephanie as my “Viv Daniels” persona because we’re both publishing “new adult” books. But I actually think her futuristic Japanese novels would appeal more to fans of For Darkness and Star-Swept, so I’m posting about her newest book, RELEASED, here.

Look at this cover, guys:


Isn’t that gorgeous? I love those cranes. The covers on these books are actually from photographs that Stephanie took while researching in Japan. How cool is that?

And here’s what it’s about:

Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.

Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

From Nishikyō to Yūsei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them in the future.

As you can tell, this story is kinda epic, so it might be best to start with book one, REMOVED:

REMOVED (Book ONE of the Nogiku Series)
Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything.

Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin, a sweet and smart half-Japanese girl, is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love and excitement on New Year’s Eve 3103. Mark Sakai, who knows more about her than any stranger should, thinks Sanaa is the perfect person to spy on the heads of the three biggest Japanese clan leaders in Nishikyō. He wants her to gather enough evidence to keep them from going to war when they land on Earth’s colonization planet, Yūsei. Nishikyō, built by the Japanese 300 years ago to house the rest of mankind, is failing and everyone is preparing to leave.

Sakai has known Sanaa’s family all her life but she knows nothing of him! And despite all the time they spend together, he keeps his distance from her. Then one day, he brings her to Jiro, his nephew, to learn sword fighting, and it changes her life irrevocably. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering on the clans, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts her and all of Nishikyō in danger.

Buy it now: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBookstore / Kobo

And here’s a special excerpt to whet your appetite:

“Itami-sama, I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. Sakai-san tells me you were injured during the earthquake. How unfortunate.”

What a supremely cunning liar Minamoto is. I’m sure he knows everything about the fight, my injuries, my recovery, and my near death again in the hospital at the hands of an assassin. He has spies. We have spies. If only we all just told each other everything, but instead we do this dance. To men like Minamoto, the dance is everything, and if I don’t want to offend him, I will have to step lightly.

“I am quite well now, thank you, Minamoto-san.” I rise from seiza to lean forward and lift my cup of tea from the table between us. Jiro is sitting silently to my left, Usagi standing behind me, and Sakai is on my right.

I sit back on my heels and take the time to sum up Kentaro Minamoto. He’s twenty-two, the same age as Jiro. He’s lean, fit, and possibly a little wiry under his gray kimono. He has a thin face, long forehead, and short spiky hair. If I had seen him out and about, I definitely would have thought, “Not my type.” He has yet to utter a word, but he is watching me while I watch him.

“Minamoto-san, you said you had business to discuss,” Sakai says, setting his tea cup down and placing his hands on his upper thighs. I continue to sip at the genmaicha. Hmmm, this tea is not as bad as I remember it being.

Kentaro lightly shakes his head at Minamoto. Violences flashes over Minamoto’s eyes as Kentaro turns towards me.

“Itami-sama, before the earthquake, I was prepared to get back to you about my support. I am willing to throw the full weight of my house behind you, but I ask one thing in return.”

I keep my face as passive as possible. Here it comes.

“You currently have no consort. You are twenty and of the age that such things are permissible. It would be advantageous for both our families if you were to take my son, Kentaro.”


Buy it now: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBookstore
Learn more about S.J. Pajonas:

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