Category: China

Author Q&A | “Soulmated” by Shaila Patel an exciting new release for readers who love #DiverseLit!

Posted Monday, 30 January, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo dear hearts! I am pleased to be a part of the blog tour hosted directly by Month9Books for a new release of #DiverseLit featuring a cross-cultural romance between an Irish bloke and an Indian lass! I’ve had the pleasure of interacting a bit with the author via Twitter leading up to my tour stop – whilst being caught up in the pre-release excitement of having a new book begin it’s travels within the book world. Always an exciting time for authors & readers alike – what drew me into wanting to host this blog tour is the opportunity to talk to the author about her characters, the story-line itself and to help celebrate an author whose writing an #ownvoices release.

I have always read diversely, ever since I was a young girl, however, a lot has changed in publishing in the last several years – where #WeNeedDiverseBooks has become a movement I’ve been a part of since it’s initial Twitter storm of tweets supporting diversity and equality in literature to where we now can celebrate authors like Ms Patel, who are writing narratives from their own cultural heritage and background whilst being celebrated through the #ownvoices movement as well. Literature is quite an exciting time right now – but what moves me to the most to read stories, are the heart and soul centred stories where we truly get to enter into the lives of the characters through an emotional connective thread which gives us entrance into their lives.

As I read the premise behind Soulmated, I felt the author had a wonderful window into telling a story a lot of us could relate too, and would love to read. The fact that it’s a cross-cultural Romance with the added benefit for being inclusive of the Urban Fantasy arc of elements wherein the supernatural bits are interspersed with the lives of the characters, you feel as if your about to enter into an exciting story which has a fast pace of alighting inside your imagination.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Soulmated by Shaila Patel

Published By: Month9Books (@Month9Books)

on 24th January,  2017

Available Formats: Ebook | Paperback

Converse on Twitter via:

 #YALit, #DiversityInYA, & #DiverseSFF
 & #Month9Books

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

Two souls. One Fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.

Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Monday, 30 January, 2017 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), China, Chinese Literature, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Month9Books, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Parapsychological Gifts, Stories on the Rise, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Month9Books Friday Reveal | “Serpentine” by Cindy Pon a new release for #DiverseSFF #readers who appreciate wicked epic #Fantasy yet in a #YALit world!

Posted Thursday, 21 May, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Month9Books Friday Reveal Team by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

As per my return to the Month9 Friday Reveals, I am happily on the look-out for wicked new stories about to hit bookshelves as much as celebrating the authors who are being published by Month9Books! When I caught sight of today’s reveal author [ Cindy Pon ] my first thought was — wait a second! I know who this is because I remember tweeting a s/o to her whilst her ARCs were being shipped! Lovely print edition ARCs of whom I had hoped would find a happy return of readerly support!

Let me share the short exchange with you:

Now when it comes to icon speak on Twitter I’m at a loss but when a creature is preempted by a heart, I knew it was a compliment! Imagine my happiness in being able to feature the *Cover Reveal!* for the same book I was happily tweeting out a bit of joy to the author earlier this month!? I love when serendipity plays a central role in our lives, because we truly are all connected and sometimes things are meant to be before we even realise the why and how we find the authors and stories which alight on our paths. Read More

Divider

Posted Thursday, 21 May, 2015 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, China, Chinese Literature, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Historical Fiction, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Month9Books, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Parapsychological Gifts, Stories on the Rise, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones | Stepping back in time & visiting the Chinese #JazzAge!

Posted Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones

Night in Shanghai Tour via HFVBT

Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, (@HMHCo4 March, 2014
Official Author Websites: Nicole Mones website
Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook, & E-Book
Page Count: 288

Converse on Twitter:
#NightInShanghaiTour & #NightInShanghai OR #NicoleMones

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Night in Shanghai” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I’ve been swept into the Jazz Age since January of 2013 when I first read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Having read the biographical fiction of Zelda, I started to understand the undercurrent of the era. There was a lot about that time in our history and in Europe’s history that I was not clued in on. Bits and pieces which surprised me, especially about the salons for writers & creatives, which apparently were not as free as they appeared to have been! I felt the hot scorn that Zelda felt and the inaccurate self-worth she struggled to regain control of whilst her husband took the spotlight even off of her own writings. Through that book, and the motion picture of “The Great Gatsby”, I became attached to the 1920s & 1930s even a bit more than I had been whilst I watched the BBC drama “The House of Elliott!” To the extent, that I sought out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which is a bang-on brilliant BBC/Aussie drama set in Melbourne around the same era of time!

I read the description of this novel, then moved over to the author’s website & played the book trailer. Somewhere between the description and the trailer I made my choice to read this novel! It’s sweeping in its depth and what I love uncovering through historical fiction are little nuggets of the unknown moments against the larger backdrop of historical events!!

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones}: Book Synopsis :{

In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war.

Song Yuhua is refined, educated, and bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s most powerful crime boss in payment for her father’s gambling debts. Outwardly submissive, she burns with rage and risks her life spying on her master for the Communist Party.

Only when Shanghai is shattered by the Japanese invasion do Song and Thomas find their way to each other. Though their union is forbidden, neither can back down from it in the turbulent years of occupation and resistance that follow. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and world war, they are borne on an irresistible riff of melody and improvisation to Night in Shanghai’s final, impossible choice.

In this impressively researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese Jazz age, but also weaves in a stunning true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West.

 

Nicole MonesAuthor Biography:

A newly launched textile business took Nicole Mones to China for the first time in 1977, after the end of the Cultural Revolution. As an individual she traded textiles with China for eighteen years before she turned to writing about that country. Her novels Night in Shanghai, The Last Chinese Chef, Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light are in print in more than twenty-two languages and have received multiple juried prizes, including the Kafka Prize (year’s best work of fiction by any American woman) and Kiriyama Prize (finalist; for the work of fiction which best enhances understanding of any Pacific Rim Culture).

Mones’ nonfiction writing on China has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. She is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Chinese Jazz Singer Jasmine Chen

– “Give Me A Kiss” via Jasmine Chen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A passion for Jazz: I came to appreciate jazz and the blues from a young age, as I grew up in a home full of classical music and a deep passion for the living arts. I was free to decide for myself where my inclinations would take me musically, or even if I wanted to simply appreciate listening to music verse learning how to play an instrument or develop my vocality of voice. As a child I could not grasp which instrument would whet long-term interest to learn, therefore I became an appreciator of music. Symphony and orchestrations were the main focus as I loved attending live events at performing art centers in my hometown. Jazz came into my life a bit of a whispering on the musical winds, as like its counter-companion of the blues, the original inertia of interest was sparked by the stories of the origins rather than of attending concerts.

I was always drawn into those elements of the historical past which brought forward the ruminations of music, to evoke out a harmony of song, ballard or chord which drove into the human emotional well of giving back a living moment through a musical presentation. I vividly remember walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans in the early 1990s, at a moment in my life where I could not enter the Jazz clubs but I could partake of their sounds emitting out onto the streets — giving everyone the freedom to listen as ears finely tuned to their music could always embrace the sounds! Another memory is hinged to the latter 1990s where I heard a vocal artist from Washington, DC create distinctive evocations with her voice. She sung Jazz in a way that felt like an experience rather than a performance! She was one artist I had hoped I could have travelled to see again live as I only had the one chance to be in an audience of her artistry. Thankfully, a short conversation afterwards has never left my memory.

Bluegrass by comparison is another thread of music I tend to gravitate towards for the same reasons I am attached to Billie Holiday, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King, Dinah Washington, Lena Horne, and countless more artists as there is a strong desire to curate human emotion into sound; and as such turn the sound into a living testament of life through story, vocals, and instrumentation. My dream is to collect albums on vinyl record and listen to the greatest voices throughout history belting out one memorable performance after another whilst sipping fresh brewed tea.

My Review of Night in Shanghai:

May I simply say, that any publisher who wraps their hardback in the loveliest shade of lavender such as Night in Shanghai has already warmed me to the experience of what lies within its covers!  The cover-art is equally eye-catching as you want to know about the symbolism of the lanterns as much as your quite curious about where the stairs are leading you. Her inclusion of Chinese expressions, as well as their iconic alphabet lends the reader to emerge into the story as though part of our spirits are hinged directly to Shanghai during the setting of which is about to unfold before us. Little cues like these help us take a step out of where we are reading the book and directly connect into the reality of the story. The essence of jazz has to be in your veins to settle into the background of the story as I felt it heightens your ability to pick up on the subtleties and in evoking a strong thumb of presence on how Shanghai was changing in the face of war.

Night in Shanghai paints a light of appreciation how difficult it was for the musicians to make a living whilst finding their race to be in opposition of receiving a fair wage if they staid in America. Never one to understand the prejudicial limits placed on others, this is one thread of the story that I felt was given honour by presenting the facts which led to the choice of switching countries on behalf of the musicians who chose to live in Shanghai rather than attempting to nick out a living for half of what they were worth. The first half reads like a memoir of a bloke who is attempting to absolve his soul at the end of his life by representing his journey towards self-redemption and self-acceptance of his art. Yet, the story is actually on behalf of his lover re-telling the tale than the artist himself of whom we are given a front row and center look into the ambiance of his life as it started to root in Shanghai’s Jazz scene of the mid-1930s. A progression of musical revolution which had begun in the Roaring Twenties, as musical scouts were frequently travelling throughout America to recruit the men back to China.

The most compelling part for me is watching Thomas Greene sort out his bearings in a city as flavourful and colourful in all matters of decadence as Shanghai, whilst being greeted by the notions of how close on the edge of war he truly was by seeing shades of it bleed into his daily wanderings. A musician at heart and of soul, compelled to work tirelessly on his craft as he was not blessed with the ear yet the grace of reading the music by sheet; his was a journey towards achieving his dreams as much as arriving at a place of self-acceptance. His race was muted compared to others and in having his skin not representative of his origins gave him flexibility to perform but it confused him on how he choose to identify himself. I would think this would bear weight on a person’s mind as you are neither of one race or another, as you’re a hybrid of two. Add to the churning tides a high sense of political despondency and it is a miracle any of the American musicians could find their footing!

The intriguing bit for me was seeing how Shanghai echoed of Chicago in how the city was controlled by organised crime families, except they are known as triads instead. Clearly there is more to history than meets the eye, and like many cities of the age Shanghai was not immune to the darker shades of living. The entire underworld was fresh to the eyes of Thomas Greene who affirmed his surname by being ‘green’ in the ways of the world. The essence of neighbourhoods of distinctive origins from the boroughs of New York City and Chicago were also bloomed in full in Shanghai. Each district had its own rules and were segregated from each other.

I loved seeing how the fusion of the West and East in music organically started to percolate in the early 20th century, as one musician was influenced by another. The music became the lifeblood language which broke the barriers of race and ethnicity, and in many ways sharpened the ability to put a pulse on what was happening around the city. There was such a decorum of unease yet the blinded sort where everyone would refute the obvious and elect instead to carry-on as though nothing major was happening. Music became the one avenue of honest representation and in so doing, gave a generational lineage that is still thriving today. Music gives a voice to the emotions which are too hard to put into words alone.

Thomas and Song were intricately bonded to each other through a synchronicity of passion which became an electrified explosion of notes and chords arching out of his fingers as he played the piano the only tunes which could solidify their connection. In the music, they lived with a freedom neither of them had in life. The passion of two souls caught up in a world of war, desolation, and tragic pain. The title of the novel is a hidden symbolism of their love and of the hope they each had for what it signified as a whole.

Gratitude for authors like Mones:

Who take the extra leap of faith to chase after a story which has nestled into their conscience and find a way to draw the story out for the readers who are in full appreciation of their efforts! To give us a piece of known history during an era of a war and conflict that has been written about from various angles and uncover a breadth of enlightenment not yet realised to the Western world is extraordinary! How kind of her to pursue her intuition and nettle out the story of how lives were changed during one of the most brutally savage moments in history’s ink blotter! And, to give us all a pure sense of how ordinary men can be called to accomplish such wonderful acts of kindness in the shadows of intense personal danger.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Nicole Mones – Night in Shanghai via Connie Martinson

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWatch the Night in Shanghai Book Trailer via NicoleMones.com

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

{including the quotation by Langston Hughes!}

Night in Shanghai by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPreviously, I hosted an Author Guest Post about the creation of “Night in Shanghai”!

Blog Book Tour Stop, courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Virtual Road Map of “Night in Shanghai” Blog Tour can be visited here:

Night in Shanghai Tour via HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comCheck out

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

to see what I will be hosting next for

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTand mark your calendars!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Shanghai Memories – Golden Songs from the 1930s & 1940s via BaBanChineseMusic

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPlease take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered.

{SOURCES: Night in Shanghai Book Cover, synopsis, tour badge, author photograph and HFVBT badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. The book discussion video by Connie Martinson, Shanghai Memories music video as well as the excerpt by Houghton Miffton Harcourt via Scribd had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Shanghai Jazz – (shjazz.com)

Remaking all that Jazz from Shanghai’s Lost Era – (npr.org/blogs/codeswitch) There are videos and audio clips included in the article to give an introduction to the music which I found tranquil & lovely! I encourage everyone to click-over and discover the music!

The Shanghai Restoration Project – (shanghairestorationproject.com) I found this project through researching the Chinese Jazz era as this has a decidedly unique sound to the music.

Survivors of Chinese Jazz Age Play Anew – (npr.org/templates/story) More audio clips of music from the Chinese Jazz Age.

‘Night in Shanghai’ Dances on the Eve of Destruction – (npr.org) A beautiful Interview with Ms. Mones about the novel.

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, African-American History, Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, China, Chinese Literature, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Jazz Musicians, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Shanghai, the Roaring Twenties, The World Wars