Nine Fold Heaven
written by Mingmei Yip
published by Kensington Books
About the book: An ex spy and nightclub singer who undertakes an emotional and dangerous journey to reunite with her lost lover and the baby she was told was stillborn, and to discover the secret of her parents’ murder.
Come along with an ex spy as she returns to Shanghai where she’s a wanted woman – but she has to search for her baby and her lost lover. Is her baby really alive? Will she be able to find her lover? Can she elude the police long enough to find them? Learn much more about Nine Fold Heaven and Mingmei Yip at http://www.mingmeiyip.com and get your copy of this exciting and exotic novel at Amazon.
Nine Fold Heaven is part of a series about Camilla the songbird and female spy – you can also find Skeleton Women, the first book about Camilla, here at Amazon.
Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Mingmei Yip, author of Nine Fold Heaven, to the blog today. She is touring the blogosphere with http://bookpromotionservices.com/. She has prepared the following guest post about female rivalry in fiction for all of you.
A writer must try to write about almost anything, even things she has not directly experienced. Somehow, I’ve always been able to get inside a character’s head, be it a gangster, a nun, an adventurer, or a prostitute. I credit this to my free imagination and voracious reading, not only of fiction, but also many other materials, including Hong Kong’s notorious gossip newspapers and magazines.
So, although I’ve never been involved in a love triangle or bitter rivalry with anyone, I believe I did a good job writing about these in my novels. I’m particularly pleased with the love-hate relationship I describe in The Nine Fold Heaven, between the singer-spy Camilla and the magician Shadow.
There is a famous Chinese expression, tongshi tianya lunluo ren, meaning “two forlorn people at the far corners of the earth.” My two protagonists are women on the margin of society. Another Chinese phrase for them is qi nuzi, outsider “women” — left-over people.
In the beginning, the two skeleton women, or femmes fatales, hated each other, but later as they begin to respect each other as worthy rivals, they start to treasure each other. They then join hands to revenge their mutual enemy, the number one gangster head in Shanghai who is the cause of their miseries.
Here, excerpted from the novel, is a letter Shadow sends to Camilla after she uses a magic trick to revenge upon their mutual enemy, Big Brother Wang:
I used to hate you because you’re more beautiful and talented than me and charmed Lung, the man I most wanted for myself. If you were not in the picture, I might have become the number one woman in the Shanghai underworld. But if this had happened, I’d now be a widow fought over as a prize by rival gangsters.
I envy you. How come no matter how hard I try, you’ve always stayed one step ahead of me? Maybe it’s pointless to ask questions like these. Since Heaven will never let us know its grand scheme. Even if we find out, what good will that bring us mortals? All we can do is enjoy our journey, even without knowing its outcome.
Are we what the Chinese call qi nuzi, unusual women? Maybe…but also left-over people from the far ends of society.
I am glad that I had the chance to know you, understand you, admire you, hate you, and now, like you. We were truly each other’s worthiest rivals.
Fate has not been so bad to us, after all. Look at you, not only you get the fame and money, you’ve also gotten the loving man. In this life, how many people can taste both the fish and the bear’s paw?
Farewell my friend, and don’t try to look for me. Please don’t disappoint me or yourself by doing so.
So, let’s enjoy our youth and beauty before our faces wrinkle, our hair turns snow white, and our loved ones are no longer by our sides.
Your best friend and worthiest rival
About the author: Mingmei Yip has been writing and publishing since she was fourteen years old and now she has twelve books to her credit. Her five novels are published by Kensington Books and her two children’s books are published by Tuttle Publishing.
Mingmei is also a renowned qin (ancient string instrument) musician, calligrapher and painter. In Hong Kong, she was a columnist for seven major newspapers. She has appeared on over sixty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US.
Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!