All posts by Bijou Li

About Bijou Li

Bijou Li's passion for writing had started before she could write. When she was three years old, she spent all her waking hours scribbling on her dad's notebook during a daylong train ride. But she didn't follow her passion for another two decades. In college, Bijou Li majored in English literature and anthropology. While doing her research in the Great Cool Mountains in China, Bijou lived with the Mosuo, an ethnic group who practiced "walking marriage." The hard-working Mosuo women inspired Bijou to write Country of Daughters and other novels.

Book 2 is coming soon!

Love and the Summer Palace, Book 2 of my time travel duology will be out soon on August 31. The regular price is $3.99, but for pre-order is only $0.99. Here is the first chapter for you to preview:

CHAPTER 1

 

 

I found myself lying on a desert ground. It took me a moment to register my surroundings. I was supposed to be inside the pit that functioned as the time chamber. But there wasn’t a lush forest from the eighteenth century nor was there trash from the modern time. The whole place was barren and brown. I climbed out of the pit and looked for the road, following a small path, until it took a turn and was blocked by a gate. Why a gate? I looked around me and saw what looked like a brick house on top of the hill next to the gate. It seemed like the area, including the pit and the hill, was private property now. Strangely, the gate was locked from the other side. I had two choices—either go down the slope and come back up the road, bypassing the gate, which was a long way; or climb over the gate, which was a shortcut, but daunting, especially in the cumbersome Manchu gown. I lifted the qipao over the waistline of my pants, then grasped the post of the gate and climbed, stepping on the rails as I moved up. Just as I was about to step over to the other side, I heard a shout behind me. Continue reading Book 2 is coming soon!

Old Summer Palace

Since Garden of Perfect Brightness, or the Old Summer Palace is a major setting in the second book of my time travel duology, I would like to share some pictures that depict the garden’s original and current state with my readers.

Apricot Blossom Spring Villa

The one on top is part of Forty Scenes of Yuanmingyuan, a painting commissioned by Qianlong Emperor in 1744. The one on the bottom is a picture reconstructed by modern artists.

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Image result for 圆明园 杏花春馆

Current State

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Heavenly Islands

MIT Visualizing CulturesImage result for 圆明园 蓬岛瑶台

Current state

Image result for 圆明园 蓬岛瑶台

Nine Continents

ymy1003_Jiuzhou

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Current State:

Related image

For more information please visit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Summer_Palace

https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/garden_perfect_brightness/ymy1_essay03.html

New Favorite Drama

Three Lives Poster.jpg

While resting before I dived in to researching and editing my next book, I discovered a popular Chinese drama on Netflix. Its English subtitle is Eternal Love but in Chinese it’s a couplet meaning “Three Life Times / Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Flowers.” What caught my attention, besides the beautiful, otherworldly picture,  was Yang Mi, who I liked in the drama Palace. In the beginning I was not impressed by Mark Chao, because I couldn’t hear what he was mumbling most of the time. I thought I was going to watch for a minute or so but it was a mistake. For the next two weeks I would be glued to the couch in front of the TV! I didn’t enjoy every detail, and skipped some of the unpleasant ones such as jealousy fights, but it was the first time in years when I became so addicted to a TV show. Continue reading New Favorite Drama

Qing Dynasty Time Travel

Love and the Forbidden City was inspired by numerous Qing dynasty time travel books and dramas that I had been addicted to in the past few years. The genre Time Travel in Chinese is Chaoyue, meaning pass through. Since a favorite period is Qing dynasty, a sub-genre is Qingchuan, or pass through to the Qing dynasty. The plots invariably involve an ordinary woman from the twenty first century time-traveling to the eighteenth century, normally during Kangxi’s reign, and falling in love with one or more of his sons. The reason that authors favor that particular period is not just because of the amount of princes available for the protagonist to fall in love with, but also because of their fierce competition for inheriting the throne.

If Qingchuan is new to you and if you’re interested in finding out more, then I would like to make the following recommendations. Continue reading Qing Dynasty Time Travel