Bronze Medal, Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards

We were thrilled to learn that Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards has bestowed a Bronze Medal on “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” in the Fiction (Adult) category. Thank you, Billy Bob Buttons and your hardworking reading groups in the U.K. and Sweden! This award means a lot to me because “civilian” volunteer readers under Mr. Buttons’ leadership read… Read more »

Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist! Multicultural (Adult Fiction) Category

Drumroll, please…we are proud to announce Toru: Wayfarer Returns has been named a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist, in the Multicultural (Adult Fiction) category. And there’s a nice five star review from Foreword/Clarion from last fall too! Winners will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017…. Read more »

The US Review of Books Awards a Recommended Review, 5 Stars

We have to admit we love this review and cannot be all cool and pretend we do not. Here’s the link to The US Review of Books site, and to reviewer John E. Roper’s five star rating on Goodreads!  The full text is provided below for your reading enjoyment. Savor our favorite bits, like “Impressive debut,”… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: BooksChatter

Thank you, BooksChatter, for hosting our guest post today, on, well, why you should rush out immediately and read “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” even if Japan is not your thing! Or dirigibles. Because if universal human stories are your thing, then you should read “Toru.” In our most humble opinion. Here’s the post if you are… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: The Avid Reader

We’re grateful to The Avid Reader for hosting this Author Interview and Excerpt from “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” where we discuss why Toru is such a stiff and Jiro is so much fun. Check out the post on The Avid Reader here, or read it below! Excerpt: “Rather than argue with them, you should invite them to make… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: Fabulous and Brunette

We enjoyed our visit to blog “Fabulous and Brunette,” a lovely name! Today we are featured in an Author Guest Post where we talk about researching “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” and explain how research led to Jiro getting his beer taken away from him in the second draft. Sad! Check out Fabulous and Brunette’s blog here,… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: Megan Morgan

Today we visited fellow author Megan Morgan, romance novelist. Check out our Author Interview, where I explain that scary moment in a first draft when there’s no way back and no way forward, but one must persist! You can also enjoy an excerpt featuring Jiro, everyone’s favorite character in “Toru: Wayfarer Returns,” as he begins his… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: Mixed Book Bag

We are grateful to Mixed Book Bag for hosting a guest post on “Toru: Wayfarer Returns.” I share how I stumbled down the rabbit hole of steampunk literature through a chance invitation to a Victorian dress ball and my attempts to stretch the boundaries of the genre to fit the story I wanted to tell…. Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: Reviews by Crystal

We’d like to thank Reviews by Crystal for hosting an author Q & A for our tour! After we get through critical information like my preference for mint chocolate chip ice cream, we get down to the important stuff, like protagonist Toru’s daddy issues, the historical inspiration for the fictional Toru, why American audiences need… Read more »

Blog Tour Whistle Stop: Author Deborah A Bailey

We appreciate the warm welcome at fellow author Deborah A Bailey’s blog for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns.” Deborah writes science fiction and paranormal romances with what sounds like a fair amount of heat! Our guest post on Deborah’s site featured more musings about genre, steampunk and why I needed to blend alternate history, historical fiction, steampunk… Read more »

  • Foreword Reviews

    “An enjoyable and believable work of alternative historical fiction,” is our Toru: Wayfarer Returns, according to Foreword Reviews’ editorial reviewer Felicia Seeburger. You can find the full review here, as well as below on this page. As you know, we are as curious as you about what genre Toru is. Market and editorial feedback is nudging… Read more »

  • Author Interview: SFFWORLD.COM

    Thank you, Dag Rambraut of Science Fiction and Fantasy World, for this thoughtful interview. We’ve posted the full interview below for those of you who don’t like clicking away!   Toru: Wayfarer Returns is an alternate history steampunk novel set in 1850s Japan on the eve of Commodore Perry and his Black Ships arrival to… Read more »

  • Bronze Medal Winner — Multicultural Fiction

    Well, a few posts ago, we were excited because we had figured out our genre. Fantasy! Not so fast. It turns out “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” is actually something called “Multicultural Fiction.” Or at least the nice folks over at the eLit Awards think so, for they have bestowed upon “Toru” the 2016 Bronze Medal in Multicultural… Read more »

  • Author Interview: Our Sewing Machine Issues Explained

    Thank you, Tommy Turner at @profusionnerdiot, for the fun author interview ! We admit we love words like “this absolutely riveting novel.” Plus it was fun to explain our sewing machine issues (oft commented upon…) and why Toru and Jiro and Saigo never get to drink beer but must always content themselves with sake. So, dear readers, now… Read more »

  • Cover Design Award!

    Congratulations to Biserka Design, the awesome team behind this cover. They’ve been awarded a gold star, one of four runners up to the April winner out of 96 entries, by Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer. I would also like to give a shout out to the photographer and model who posed for the figure of… Read more »

  • Awards Season

    So..kind of a fun weekend on the editorial review and awards front. First we got word that the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards had awarded Toru: Wayfarer Returns a Finalist award in their Fantasy category. We’re not certain ourselves what genre Toru is,  although we had not seriously suspected Fantasy was an option. No elves, no wizards, no dragons,… Read more »

  • Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Kirkus Hath Bestowed A Recommended Review

    “Cool alternative-history yarn of yester-century Nippon, a promising steampunk-energized start.” — Kirkus Reviews Very exciting. I’ll pretend to being jaded and blasé about surviving the Kirkus gauntlet on some later book. For now, let’s celebrate! And read the review! Help a budding author out by sharing the review on Facebook or Twitter from the Kirkus page. Get inspired… Read more »

  • A (Very) Short History Of Japan

    A good friend warned me not to make my recent Meet the Author Talk a history lesson, or a geography lesson. “They want to hear about the story, the characters.” Fair enough. And but… Tōru: Wayfarer Returns, is very much a story based in the history and culture of Japan. And the geography of Japan. Where… Read more »

  • More cover art!

    With publication less than two weeks away, and the final battle raging to get all the behind the scenes distribution details worked out so you can purchase “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” anytime, anywhere and in any format, I realized I never shared with you my other cover, which will adorn the hardcover version of the book…. Read more »

  • My cover is blown!

    Stephanie R. Sorensen is a pseudonym. If you made it all the way here to my author site, you now know the truth. Due to the magic of image matching on Google search, my secret identity will not remain secret long, so why not share a little local news!? Here’s a fun article in my hometown… Read more »

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