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:
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!
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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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