USA Today Bestseller
Romantic Times Best Historical Romance Adventure Nominee 2013
All About Romance - Best Historical Romance Set Outside UK 2013
First in a new series - Pingkang Li Mysteries
It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang Li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China...
Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she's content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress-until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang.
Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, yet alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang's position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine-will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?
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I first fell in love with the colorful culture of the infamous Pingkang li, also known as the North Hamlet, while writing the novella, "Capturing the Silken Thief". This entertainment district has a unique place in history, bringing about a literary culture that revolved around the specially trained women who served as companions, hostesses and fellow-poets to the scholars and officials who frequented the quarter for business and pleasure. To simply call them "prostitutes" would be incorrect. To call them "courtesans" seems insufficient. The western world occasionally refers to them as "Chinese geisha", a term that ignores the fact that China developed a rich and distinctive courtesan culture which pre-dated the geisha culture in Japan. Chinese scholars have written numerous lines of poetry attempting to capture the complicated and multi-layered nature of these clever, talented, elegant and fiery women.
At the same time, the Pingkang li was a place of contradictions. While scholar-gentlemen professed to be enthralled by the courtesans, ultimately these women were slaves. Despite their elevated status and illusion of independence, they were bought and sold as commodities.
The Lotus Palace explores the juxtaposition of this intricate social dance and the art of love verses the challenges of finding true romantic fulfillment. There is a reason so many classic Chinese love stories end in tragedy!
The Pingkang li, with its dual persona of sensual decadence and refinement, became the perfect place for me to explore the many roles that women took on in society, to investigate a murder most foul and to find true love.
To find out more about the drama and romance of ancient China, you can find me online at jeannielin.com. I love hearing from readers!
Jeannie is known for writing groundbreaking historical romances set in Tang Dynasty China with Asian heroes and heroines starting with her Golden Heart award-winning debut, Butterfly Swords. Her Asian historicals have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and The Dragon and the Pearl was listed among Library Journal's Best Romances of 2011.
She currently writes two historical romance series for Harlequin Historical and HQN featuring Chinese warriors and scholars, courtesans and swordswomen. Beginning in 2014, she will be starting a steampunk series set during the Opium Wars.
Find out more about Jeannie Lin online at jeannielin.com
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