Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Launch Date & Venue - The Green Phoenix




I am happy to announce that the book launch for my new historical novel The Green Phoenix: A Novel of the Woman Who Re-made Asia, Empress Xiaozhuang, will take place on Wednesday, November 15 , 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Bookazine, One Exchange Square (Shop 305-07), in Hong Kong. All are welcome! I will be signing books, chatting with readers and distributing beautiful bookmarks!

Whether you are a fan of Chinese history or not, chances are you will enjoy reading the colorful story of one of the most influential women in China’s history. Her efforts and ultimate victory at promoting peace and cultural diversity and tolerance in an afflicted China are significant not only in a historic sense, but are also an inspiration in our empathy-deficient times.

For readers’ easy reference, there is a complete List of Characters and a Chronology at the back of the novel. A physical book is much easier for flipping back and forth (versus an e-book). Plus you can get it signed by me at the book launch!

Looking forward to seeing you on November 15!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review - "Passionate Minds" by David Bodanis




It was an educational read about Voltaire and Emilie du Chatelet, two French intellectuals who had a great impact on the French Enlightenment. Specifically, through their combined efforts, they enhanced understanding of Issac Newton’s optical and gravitational theories, as well as inspired critical thinking about philosophy and religion. I had previously read Candide by Voltaire and had always wanted to read more about his life. This book satisfied a great part of that curiosity. I had not previously heard of Emilie du Chatelet, and was glad to have learned such a lot about her contribution to the sciences and philosophy.

Apart from giving information about their intellectual influence on French society, the book also offered an intimate glimpse into the personal lives and love affair of these two distinguished individuals, and how they inspired each other to live up to their respective ideals.

The background is packed with historical details relating to social mores, French court politics, class distinction, religious dogma, discrimination against women and press censorship in pre-Revolution France.

This was a solid 4-star read for me.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bookish Asia's Review of "The Green Phoenix"




I can’t imagine a better way to start the day than reading a heart-warming review of my book first thing in the morning. And the review is one from the renowned book review site Bookish Asia!


Author Alice Poon obviously loves her characters and Chinese history. She treats the historical story with great but not slavish respect, striking a reasonable balance between accuracy and narrative punch.

The Green Phoenix is a moving account of a great woman’s life, one which will appeal to fans of epic family sagas and Chinese dynastic history. There are the familiar pleasures of forbidden desire, royal splendor, court intrigue, and epic battles amid turbulent times, but here with the fresh focus on a less-familiar protagonist.




Alice Poon says an early source of inspiration was Pearl S. Buck’s Imperial Woman about Cixi, the Qing’s last Empress. I think the Empress Xiaozhuang story is every bit as compelling.
 

Thank you, thank you, Bookish Asia!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bustle's List of 11 Historical Novels to Look Forward to This Fall




I was googling something yesterday and accidentally stumbled on Bustle.com, a popular online American women’s magazine with 45 million unique monthly visitors. They had just issued a List of “11 Historical Novels by Women to Look Forward to This Fall”.

Guess what I found? The Green Phoenix: A Novel of the Woman Who Re-made Asia, Empress Xiaozhuang is on that List! Yay!

A tantalizing story of one of history's most fascinating women, The Green Phoenix will show readers a world like they've never seen before. - Sadie Trombetta, BUSTLE