Tag Archive | China

November New Releases

Good morning!  My apologies for not posting since August. But when you see the results, I’m sure you will forgive me.

Hypatia of Alexandria webOn 1 August I took up a challenge I honestly did not think possible:  write “Hypatia of Alexandria” and release it before the first week of December.  Why did that seem so difficult?  Consider this:  it took nearly a year and a half to research and write “Empress Matilda of England” (LWWH book 7). And while it’s true I wrote Boudicca in less than a month (still my best-seller), Boudicca had ONE appendix in its initial release.  Hypatia has THREE.

And so I put aside the blog and really focused on writing.  In the middle of that I was a guest on the “Condensed History Gems” podcast hosted by Jem Duducu (@historygems) and Greg Chapman (@CondensedHist). Those interested can listen to my guest episode.

Persistence pays off and thanks to a lot of long days and nights, I succeeded in finishing Hypatia in September, allowing me to focus on the editorial and promotional work so essential to a successful book launch.

arban saman webIn the middle of that I had a bit of an attack of life, both personally and spiritually. Rather than blog about it, I decided to express what was in my mind in the form of historical fiction.  “The Arban and the Saman” takes me back to my roots in Chinese/East Asian history. The story begins in the year 1211, just five years after Temujin becomes Chinggis Khan when the Mongols first invaded the nuzhen (Jurchen) homeland. This is roughly the time period I played when I was a re-enactor in the Society for Creative Anachronism when I was known as “Biya.”  Biya means “the moon” in nuzhen/Jurchen/Manchu and it’s one of the few characters from the original nuzhen language used in the Jin dynasty that survived decades of warfare against the Mongols.

“The Arban and the Saman” explores the subject of soul mates and soul family. It’s a deeply spiritual historical romance that takes you far more intimately into my own life experience than really any other book I’ve written to date. In the book I take you into what it was like during some of my “near” death experiences and what I experience when I meditate.  I take you into Asian medicine. And yes, I challenge you intellectually to think about the subject of soul mates, soul family, and reincarnation and our assumptions about them.

It’s a beautiful story and one I hope you will enjoy.  And yes, that model on the cover is me.  The photo was extracted from a musical performance I gave near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the winter of 2006.

To my great surprise I finished and published “The Arban and the Saman” on 1 November, 2017 and released it immediately with the promotional blog tour scheduled for February 2018 in celebration of Chinese New Year: the Year of the Dog.

Hypatia of Alexandria launched on 10 November 2017. The promotional blog tour for Hypatia begins on Sunday 19th November, 2017.

Defend the light candle 2Prizes will be given during both blog tours.  For “Hypatia,” three lucky winners will “defend the light” with special votive candles, plus one grand prize winner will receive a signed paperback copy.

rose quartz pendants

To celebrate the magic and mysticism of “The Arban and the Saman” three lucky winners will each receive a beautiful rose quartz pendant. The grand prize winner will receive a selection of Chinese teas from http://www.enjoytea.com.

Happy holidays! Thanks for reading! And don’t remember to always DEFEND THE LIGHT of knowledge and wisdom.

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Chinese excerpt: Boudicca 《不列颠女王布迪卡》

Boudicca Chinese cover

《不列颠女王布迪卡》是一种创造性的非小说类传记适合年轻读者探索古代世界最伟大的女主人公之一的生命。在 61 CE 布狄卡在什么成为最后的大立场,反对英伦三岛的罗马人征服团结大多数英语凯尔特人震惊罗马元老。

可以点燃在中国英文印在纸上(只有英文),和音频编辑理查曼叙述。

在这个场景中,从第四章,一个虔诚的布狄卡寻求智慧的摩瑞根。

————————————-

爱西尼人度过了两年和平安稳的时光。至今为止,那个罗马城主似乎一直在

履行着他的诺言。但是时间一天天过去,爱丽丝和摩根越来越焦虑不安,因为她

们的预感越来越强烈,可怕的梦境似乎很快就会成真。

布迪卡看着女儿们,她的心也随着她们所受的煎熬而疼痛。终于,在仲夏节

的三天前,她和莱内特驾着她的轻巧战车驶向了一个供奉着摩莉甘女神的小神殿,

那座神殿坐落于她们村庄北边一片葱郁的古老森林里。布迪卡和莱内特不眠不休

地祈祷了整整一天一夜,祈求女神的指引。

最终,黎明的曙光穿过了厚重的树林,鸟儿也从睡梦中醒来。莱内特站起来,

将手放在布迪卡的肩膀上,“殿下,我们必须回去了。”

“我们没有办法在即将到来的惨剧中存活下来,我亲爱的朋友——虽然现在

的情况似乎是我们取得了短暂的和平,但是我们都知道,属于我们的战争即将到

来。罗马人并不像我们一样平等地对待妇女,那个城主——保利努斯,他甚至从

没将我当做爱西尼的王后看待过——他认为我只是我丈夫寝宫里的一个私人奴

隶罢了。一旦我的丈夫出了什么事,他们就会将所有东西占为己有。爱西尼人会

重蹈我的族人的覆辙。”布迪卡哭泣道。

“我们不会成为他们的奴隶,我们可以反抗,可以战斗。事实上西边的战争

号角已经吹响,他们会践踏我们的信仰,但是我们不会害怕。我们拼尽所有同他

们战斗,女神会帮助我们。殿下,正如我们所尊崇、所追求的目标:人人自由与

平等!他们认为我们这些体质柔弱的女人生来就低人一等,但是我们知道不是这

样的,我们知道我们都是平等的。诸神会帮助我们打赢这一仗,战神卡姆洛斯会

成为我们的战士!”莱内特的眼中似乎燃烧起了熊熊烈焰。

“卡姆洛斯肯定恨罗马人夺走了他的城市并占为己有,他肯定尤其憎恨在他

的城市建立起的供奉死去的克劳迪亚斯皇帝的神殿。然而神殿还在,我们从前向

他祈祷的地方现在也成为了克劳迪亚斯的祭祀场,却什么都没有发生——这样的

卡姆洛斯战神如何能为我们战斗?”布迪卡问。

“所有的这些都将成为他帮助我们清理个充满罗马人恶臭的城市的理由。当

我们会将这座城市重新贡献给他——当我们获得自由的时候。”

这时森林里突然传来一阵尖叫声。莱内特和布迪卡立刻拿起她们的宝剑向声

音传来的方向冲去。当她们抵达声音的发源处时,只看到普拉苏塔古斯躺在地上,

血流了一地。时间像是过了一年那么久——国王被杀害了,为了他的子民,将自

己作为祭品贡献给了神明。普拉苏塔古斯向上看去,他的眼睛已经变得模糊,“布

迪卡?”

布迪卡哭着跪了下来,任由从他胸前的伤口流出的鲜血染红她的裙子,“我

在这。”

“一个罗马的,侦察兵,我,他没想到我会出现在这里。”普莱修亚斯大口

喘气,想要告诉他的妻子发生了什么事,却无能为力。他知道他一死,愤怒便会

倾覆她——针对罗马的愤怒。

布迪卡温柔地吻他,“亲爱的,我的爱人,不要离开我!”普拉苏塔古斯一遍

又一遍地回吻她,他们一直都专注地看着对方的眼睛,直到有一方再也无法看到。

布迪卡感觉到他的生命逝去的那一刻,悲伤得好像她的整个生命也随之而去了。

最终,布迪卡还是勉力站了起来,和莱内特合力将她的丈夫搬上了战车,指挥着

马慢慢走向家的方向,走向那个悲伤的未来。

几天后,一个二十人士兵小队和五个百夫长带着他们的手下从曾经的爱西尼

人的南边邻国——特里诺万特的首都,现在的罗马首都科尔切斯特出发来到爱西

尼部落。这支队伍对于罗马人而言算是规模比较小的,代表着罗马掌权者希望能

够避免冲突,顺利执行普拉苏塔古斯的遗嘱,取得爱西尼的掌控权的心愿。走在

队伍最前方的是百夫长马库斯·维特斯,他在当地出生,母亲却来自于塞纳河畔

的埃杜维部落。当他来到布迪卡所在的这座军事化防卫的村庄外时,布迪卡不能

自已地盯着这个颇具埃杜维人长相的男人。布迪卡果断拦截他,“来者何人?”

“我,百夫长马库斯·维特斯,代表伟大罗马皇帝尼禄和城主盖乌斯·苏维

托尼乌斯·保里努斯来此。你们的国王已经死去,你们的王国现在属于我们。”

“不,百夫长。我的女儿们和尼禄各自拥有一半。按照英国人的惯例,在我

的子民认为她们具有管理一个国家的能力之前,我,作为王后,作为普拉苏塔古

斯的遗孀,有权接管这个国家。”

“你是个女人,在罗马律法下你没有权利这样做。”

“但在爱西尼法律下我有。”

“现在没有爱西尼了,只有奴隶。”马库斯宣布,并在布迪卡拔出她的宝剑

前抢先将她制住。在其他百夫长的帮助下,马库斯捆住了一直在挣扎的布迪卡和

她的女儿们,并堵住她们的嘴,强迫她们看他们的士兵怎么扫荡整个村庄。每个

爱西尼人都拿起武器,在他们的国王尸骨未寒时毅然决然地反击罗马的入侵,勇

敢地与罗马人战斗,硝烟一片。趁着罗马人的注意力完全被激烈的战争吸引,莱

内特悄悄地逃出村庄向不列颠岛的其他部落示警。

Aisin-gioro Pu Yi Is Dead

1922 at the age of 16. Emperor in name only.

One hundred years ago, I lived in the Forbidden City.  From 7th February 1906 to 17th October 1967, my spirit was known by the name Aisin-gioro Pu Yi, the Xuan Tong Emperor.  I was the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, a life that was used against me early in this life, as if being reborn as Laurel A. Rockefeller was merely a continuation of who and what I was before.

Can it be any wonder that in “The Ghosts of the Past” many of my characters have exactly the same problem, continuing in each new incarnation as if they still lived as each previous self?

 

I remember one of the earliest rituals done to me as a little girl, memories burned into my mind because they were so hurtful.  In a circle of candles a small Manchu-style crown was placed.  The dagger used to cut my throat just below the left ear was covered in Chinese characters in a message conveying some sort of evil purpose.  In the ritual, my former life was evoked many times.  I was still responsible for my mistakes, they said, mistakes born out of a very different time and situation.  On my head they placed guilt, claiming that I was responsible for the millions slaughtered in my name as the Emperor of Manchukuo — a paper emperor.

I was a coward, unwilling or unable to stand up for myself, to counter the relentless humiliations and bullying.  On one hand, people flattered me with “wan sui,” the traditional salute calling for an emperor to reign ten thousand years.  They bowed and called me by honorific titles.  But at the same time, they bullied me and demeaned me, constantly playing mind games and controlling me.

My spirit never broke, but I found myself very lost.

 

Evoking the past made me start this life feeling just as lost as I was in the 1940s.  That was by design, of course, to make me think that God hated me for “letting” the Japanese commit their crimes.  As if I could really be responsible for the concentration camps across Manchuria.  As if my hand slaughtered the countless civilians in 1937 in Nanjing.  Guilt, sorrow, despair.  How can a three year old be yoked with such as these?

As emperor of Manchukuo

On top of this, my church called me “evil sorceress” for saying no when my body was sexually violated.  What their logic was, I cannot understand.  No three year old is a sexual wanton!

 

Still through these dark times, I remember feeling as if someone watched over me in a truly kind and loving way.  In my dreams, I saw him in the guise of a medieval knight like in the stories of King Arthur, my own appearance like a fine English princess locked up in a tower like in the storybooks.

In my dreams, my “prince charming” told me all was not lost, that I was me, not Pu Yi.  He said he did not know where I was, but he would find me and rescue me from my despair.  He said he loved me.  He said he has always loved me across every life, every incarnation.  Fear not!  Believe in tomorrow!  Believe in love and true love’s kiss.  For he would never stop searching for me until he found me — even unto the ends of the world.

 

I only heard him in my dreams.  I only knew him on the deepest levels of my mind.  But he never left me.  I still feel him in my dreams.  Only this time I know he lives in England.  This time I have a clue who he is.

 

With my feelings of loss and isolation over the completion of Boudicca, I chose to watch the movie, The Last Emperor, the story of the life I lived as Henry Pu Yi.  One might call that emotional torture — not the thing you really want to watch when you are already feeling lonely and sad.  But I am rather pleased with how I handled it.  Before I would get lost in those memories.  Tonight I finished the movie (half last night; half tonight) mostly feeling just the weight of all that bullying.

I have been told that I am too humble, that I do not credit myself enough for my abilities and my accomplishments.  What really struck me about the movie was just how relentlessly I was bullied and controlled.I was never granted the freedom of normal men; everyone used me for something.

In some ways, it feels like not much has changed.  And yet it has.  Pu Yi is dead.  Laurel is alive.

How can I ever soar on the wings of success as long as I feel chained into the ground by that yoke put upon me as a little girl.

 

But here is news and this I hereby affirm:  Pu Yi is dead.  When he died, all responsibility for his actions died with him.  Whatever cowardice characterized his life, I have a new start as Laurel.  His life is his.  My life is mine.  I am Laurel.  I am Laurel.

As Laurel, I get to decide my own future.  I refuse to live Pu Yi’s life anymore.

I live mine.

Love will come to me.  Success is mine already.  My writing is beautiful.  I am beautiful.  Rest in peace, Pu Yi.  Your life is over.  Laurel’s has just begun.