Land of Hope, Junying Kirk

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Part of the Land of Hope Blog Tour! (5 – 25 October 2012)

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I interviewed the very talented and cultured Junying Kirk almost a year ago.

Land of Hope is the third and final novel in Junying’s Journey to the West trilogy, which was recently published.

Here’s a book blurb and excerpt!

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Land of Hope [Blurb]:

Every year, millions of illegal immigrants cross borders in search of wealth, happiness and a life of ease in the Land of Hope. Some succeed. Others suffer unimaginable hardships.

When Jack Gordon, Inspector in the SCS (Serious Crime Squad) hires Pearl Zhang, a professional Chinese interpreter, they join forces to fight injustice in the corrupt underworld of international crime, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Pearl is the voice of broken dreams, translating raw, deranged, and colorful tales of those who cannot speak for themselves. As Pearl gets more and more tangled in the lives of strangers, Jack becomes a welcome diversion, complicated by the fact that both are married. Their trans-continental roller-coaster ride derails when Pearl tumbles into the sinister world of her clients, a world full of secrets, lies, and unspeakable violence — only this time, it’s directed at her.

Can she depend on Jack? Find out in this third and final book of Junying Kirk’s Journey to the West trilogy.

Land of Hope [Excerpt]:

A sudden, cracking sound from the kitchen interrupted her train of thought and made her mutter. “Shit,” came out under her breath. As if by magic, Jack appeared at the door in a flash.

“You all right?” His voice was filled with concern.

He is awfully quick on his feet, she noted, as she knelt down on the now-wet floor, sweeping up broken pieces of glass.

“I broke the vase, but it’s no big deal.” She stood up and glanced at Jack quickly before diverting her eyes, her face burning scarlet, reflections of the red roses.

Before she opened the cupboard to locate another container for the flowers, she heard Jack’s tender yet commanding whisper behind her. “Come here, Pearl.”

An electrical current shook through her as his strong arms reached out and drew her close.

Her back touched his first, before he turned her around to face him. She smelt a faint aftershave, assaulting her super-sensitive senses. His touch was so charged with an electrifying passion that her body responded with an unmistakably earthy desire. Involuntarily, and fatally, she allowed herself to fall into Jack’s inviting, enamoured embrace.

What happened next was beyond her control, as his ardent kisses showered first on her face and neck, then moved on to her mouth, which was already on fire. As soon as his lips touched hers, Pearl’s body started to tremble.

She let out a soft moan under his hot kisses and found herself responding to his fervent touch. Instinctively she pressed her body against his, willing herself to melt. The feeling of being wanted was so powerful that it overwhelmed all her other senses. In one quick movement, he picked her up and carried her towards the bedroom next door.

“Oh Jack,” was all she managed to utter.

Check out Junying’s interview with me, and the other Land of Hope blog tour stops (with Robert Pruneda on 13th October, and Andy Wood on 14th October)!

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Author Bio:

junying

Junying Kirk grew up in the turbulent times of the Cultural Revolution. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant.

When she is not traveling to Courts & Police stations as a professional interpreter, she loves spending her time reading & writing books, and traveling the world. Her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, ‘The Same Moon’, ‘Trials of Life’ and ‘Land of Hope’ have been published on Amazon.UK, Amazon.Com and Smashwords. She lives in Birmingham, UK with her English husband.

Improving Eyesight Naturally

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STICKY POST (as of Sept 2012)

AKA “My Eyesight Project”

Just a short post that I am going to be a bit slow with work for a while, as I slowly allow my eyes to adjust to doing close-range work without strain.

I was first fitted with glasses at 7.5 years old (and cried all the way home). My prescription then was -0.75 (myopia). My highest prescription was around -7.25 in 2006 (I have not been to an optician since; I buy my lower-powered glasses online).

I managed to get it down to -5.00 over a few years and am currently very close to -4.00 (for very far distances). I don’t wear glasses when I don’t need to as well.

For more info on improving eyesight naturally, you can check out my blog / follow my progress at http://eyesightblog.wordpress.com

I was very quiet about that blog (in case it “didn’t work for me”), though I’ve been making some progress as of late and hope for more people to try it out too (whether they are myopic, or far-sighted, with astigmatism, etc.).

Relearning good eyesight habits is far more important to me than finishing “[insert project name] by [insert soonest deadline].” It is too much mental stress and I understand now (from experience) how that directly tends to cause / worsen vision problems.

Why You’re Gorgeous, Book Review

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Quick Review of Why You’re Gorgeous (by Katy Gilbert)

I interviewed Katy Gilbert a few weeks ago on this blog. Katy’s latest book is titled Why You’re Gorgeous, a book that’ll leave you “inspired, relaxed, smart, confident, and a hell of a lot more self-loving” (text from official blurb).

I have a print copy of the book. To me, Why You’re Gorgeous is what a mainstream book should really be all about.

It’s a relatively slim, non-fiction book at 147 pages, but there’s very little fluff, so what you get is information that is sincere as well as useful / inspiring (refer to blurb text above to see what you’ll be getting).

Why You’re Gorgeous is divided into 10 chapters, which cover topics such as media and society, sex/relationships, body/appearance, and self-love. The book gets straight to the point in terms of literally reminding the reader why he/she is “gorgeous.” I think this is especially important in a world that’s very much driven by consumer culture, where materialism and external looks are given a lot more emphasis than something that’s more intrinsic and that sustains us from within (genuine self-love, in other words).

What makes the book extra special is the inclusion of contributors’ quotes and perspectives throughout the text. This was a very nice balance to the author’s main text, as it creates a tone that’s both personal as well as social.

Some excerpts:

(Pg 53 — Section on Bullying)

I have a right to freedom of speech!

Yeah, you do, and you’re lucky. What you don’t have it unqualified liberty to be a jerk.

Having the fortunate right to speak your mind does not entitle you to force your opinions on other people, cause physical or emotional harm to anyone in any way, or suggest that other people or their views are worthless. With freedom of speech comes responsibility for consideration, kindness and respect. Exercise it.

(Pg 62 — Section on Style)

Personal style is a goldmine of confidence, respect, creativity and fun.

“It’s not who we really are, it’s type of character we’ve morphed ourselves into because we think it’s right…What happened to ‘personality matters’? That has been completely overshadowed by these ‘clones’.” (contributor’s quote)

(Pg 87 — The fame game, all the same)

When so many celebrities are hand-picked and trained to be a certain size, their entire community appears to be made up of that one size and shape (skin tone, hair colour, etc etc). This presents an entire mini-world that is completely unrealistic but comes off as “normal”, so the lack of variation is projected as the way the world is — not true.

The writing style is suitable for all ages (tween, teen, young adult, older adult). I would’ve loved to have read this book during my teenage years :)

If you know anyone who’s struggling with body image issues, or is trying to develop a genuine/lasting/healthy form of self-love, do consider getting them a copy of Why You’re Gorgeous!

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Why You’re Gorgeous is available in eBook and print formats (at Katy Gilbert’s Website and her Lulu Shop), written by a lovely person with a lovely heart (Katy’s interview link).

Dave Baksh

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* Pic 1 (Dave Baksh) from here; Pic 2 (Sum 41) from here.

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I remember it was exactly 10 years ago that I first heard Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” (the year the song was released).

I was 15 or 16 years old at the time. I really liked that song because the tune was very catchy and the chorus had great lyrics:

“I don’t want to waste my time
become another casualty of society
I’ll never fall in line
Become another victim of your conformity
And back down”
— Sum 41, Fat Lip lyrics

There was a happy pop/punk sound which was exactly what I needed at that age.

Fast forward 10 years and I just happened to be thinking of this song, so I looked for a live vid on YouTube.

The above is a Tokyo live clip of Sum 41 performing “Fat Lip”…and omg, the guitar playing by Dave Baksh is totally insane!

Around the time while viewing the vid, I also read an MTV article (dated 2006) about how Dave found the mainstream music business to be too much of a competition, etc.

Dave Baksh is now with The Organ Thieves (a band whose sound/genre is “LYRICAL-EXPERIMENTAL-SOUL-ROCK”).

I always admire the passion people have for their art/music. The practical survival/money stuff is important, but so is  staying true to yourself and making the most of your talent(s). To me, I’ve always felt that when something (especially music) is too commercial, the soul is gone and it’s just not the same. So this is a quick blog post that reflects my admiration for people with the guts/passion to do things differently :)

After you’ve viewed the above video, you can check out these other links!

(1) Dave ‘Brownsound’ Baksh Says Sum 41 Got ‘Too Dark For The Public’ (MTV article)

(2) The Organ Thieves (Official FB Page)

(3) Last.fm (Organ Thieves’ music)

Erotic and Non-Erotic Updates

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Just a short note about My Inner Goddess (my recently completed Fifty Shades of Grey parody):

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Cover Design by jessINK | Stock photo by dpaint

Short Summary:

When literature student Bell-Ana Steale goes to interview the dazzlingly rich/powerful/handsome Christiano Gaynaldo (i.e. “Big G”), she encounters an Edward Cullenesque obsessive lover who she instantly desires as Her Man.

Cool, cunning, and intelligently amusing, My Inner Goddess is a devious satire that explores how far we’re willing to go to answer the question: Can love really conquer all?

Excerpt:

I inhale his sexy Christiano smell.

And he brings out that gray tie of his that he’s always wearing or has nearby…and wraps it around my neck.

Right now? my inner goddess manages to weakly mumble. Here? OK…

I watch as he pulls both ends of the tie–OMG!–tighter and tighter and tighter.

I flush. This is intense.

More Info: http://jessINK.com/fiftyshades.htm

Review Copies Available (eBook): Send me an email if you’d like to read/review My Inner Goddess ;) [missfeyATgmailDOTcom]

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The above is a promotional freebie eBook on “The Art of Erotic Writing” (where I talk about the themes and inspirations behind my works of erotic fiction.

‘Erotic fiction’ here refers to literature which deals openly and excitingly with sexuality as a part of human experience.

More Info: http://www.jessINK.com/erotic_writing.htm

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OTHER NEWS:

[1] I’ll be working on some genre series in 2013 to gain a wider readership. I’m looking forward to exploring deviant/taboo themes in the crime fiction vein (my type of erotic fiction will always be too complex to categorize neatly). I have some series outlined so it’s mostly a matter of sitting down and completing the project(s). While they won’t be in the “erotica” genre, I don’t intend to sanitize it too much either (I like things raw and realistic). I’ll certainly keep in mind the loyal readers/customers who’ve enjoyed my early work + provocative material ;)

[2] I’m about halfway through with editing The Darker Side of Life (elven trilogy book02).

[3] I’ve been invited to be on a couple of panels for Singapore Writers Festival 2012 (November ’12). More info soon (organizers are currently confirming the other authors involved).

Author Interview, Daniel Clausen

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Interview #65, with the author of “The Ghosts of Nagasaki”: Daniel Clausen!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Hopelessly romantic coffee drinker.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Inoue

This is the first paragraph from my upcoming novel, The Ghosts of Nagasaki:

The long backward perspective one gets from the angle of a word
processor some years later is a tricky one. As a connoisseur of
biography and autobiography I know that there is nothing less reliable than someone writing about his or her own past from his or her own perspective. And for the general welfare of those who look for the bare facts of the matter, I am obliged to stamp on the very first page, in the very first paragraph, in bold italics: All fact-seekers beware.

* You can join the emailing list for this book at: ghostsofnagasaki.com

* If you would like a free paperback or PDF version of the excerpt
“Silence” from this book, you can email Daniel at: lexicalfunk@gmail.com

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

Not my favorite book, but one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami.

I actually don’t have any copies of my favorite books, as strange as that sounds. Here is something from Kafka by the Shore.

The massive bank of thunderclouds crossed the city at a lethargic
pace, letting loose a flurry of lightning bolts as if probing every
nook and cranny for a long-lost morality, finally dwindling to a
faint, angry echo from the eastern sky.

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

That’s tough. A great deal of books on book marketing will tell you to begin your writing process with a target audience in mind.
This is counter-intuitive for most writers since most writing comes
from a desire to communicate something deeply personal. In other words, most authors start their books thinking about themselves, not their audience.

Even if you do decide to write something deeply personal, make sure
you get a good editor. Make sure you have an advertising
strategy that is practical and coherent. Make sure your book is the
best physical product you can have. And hopefully, the germ of your
inspiration to write will survive this process…there are no
guarantees.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I’m not sure what good writing is, but good fiction should aspire to
be more truthful than real life. Good fiction can reach for honesties
not captured by the world most people know.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

There’s no pot of gold, just the joy of doing good work. Doing good
work is difficult, so when you do it, it’s very rewarding.

Ah, diligence :) Your websites/blogs/etc:

ghostsofnagasaki.com

I just started the website, so please join the emailing list. If
you’re not sure how, just email me at: lexicalfunk@gmail.com

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Much thanks to Daniel for stopping by — do visit his website for more info about his project!