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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Current State

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Heavenly Islands

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Current state

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Nine Continents


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Current State:

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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

Nine Sons Competing for the Throne

It’s been months since I last posted, because I’ve devoted most of my time and energy to writing Love and the Forbidden City. Half of my time was spent on researching for historical facts, which was both rewarding and frustrating.  It was rewarding because I learned so much about Qing dynasty history, frustrating because it was still difficult to find the information I wanted, despite the plethora of information available online. While learning those valuable facts, I got the idea of sharing them with my readers. Now with my book in the hands of my editor for a second pass, I finally have the time for the task. I’ll begin with the historical event most important to my book, namely, the competition for the throne among Kangxi’s sons.

Continue reading Nine Sons Competing for the Throne