Cherry Blossoms

From Dreaming Spies:

Arima was a village nestled into a fold in the hills. Cherry trees, coming into bloom near the coast, here showed but the smallest touch of pink in the buds.


Cherries & lamps

Cherries playing field

It was not entirely deliberate, but the trip I took to Japan in 2012 coincided with the height of the cherry blossom season. Weather conditions can shift the blossom of the flowering cherries by a week or more, so it’s hard to plan very far in advance—in Japan, the weather association forecasts when the blossoms will open so people can plan their hanami, or viewing parties, when park lawns are draped border to border with garish blue tarpaulins laden with food, drink, and people in kimonos. With an emphasis on the drink.


The chrysanthemum may represent Japan’s emperor, but the cherry is the country’s defining image: ephemeral, wide spread, and with a beauty that moves the spirit, sakura flowers embody the Buddhist precepts of life.

Cherries in sun

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17 days until Dreaming Spies! Other posts about writing and researching the book can be seen here, or you can read a long excerpt here

You can pre-order a signed copy from Poisoned Pen Books or Bookshop Santa Cruz, and unsigned or e-books from IndiebooksAmazon/Kindle, or Barnes & Noble/Nook.

My upcoming events are here.

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  1. Merrily Taylor on January 31, 2015 at 6:53 am

    So beautiful, you were fortunate to see them in Japan.
    For many years I went to Washington, D.C. several times a year for meetings. In the spring I would always hope to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, but every spring I’d arrive and someone would say “You should have been here last week, the cherry blossoms were at their best,” or “It’s too bad the cherry blossoms aren’t out yet.” I think over the course of twenty-two years, I saw them at full bloom twice!
    All this is a long-winded way of saying, you are so right about the difference the temperature makes!

  2. Carol RogersE on January 31, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I am counting down the days and I am enjoying the daily posts to make the time go more quickly. The cover is striking and the beautiful cherry blossoms make our Wisconsin winter feel a little less snowy.

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