Land of Hope, Junying Kirk



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!


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 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.

Author Interview, Christa Polkinhorn


Author Interview #17, with (multi-talented) writer/translator/poet/painter, Christa Polkinhorn!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Optimistic, passionate, opinionated, solitary, gregarious – contradictory? Yes, that’s me.

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

They watched as the vibrant greens of the fields darkened and the mountains turned from reddish-brown to orange, vermilion, and then to a deep purple. The shadows lengthened and poured into the crevices along the folded rocks. Above the dark surface of a lake in the distance, the snow-covered mountains lit up once more before they, too, faded into the night. The sun left a band of intense crimson in the sky along the horizon, as if to remind the world that it will rise again. (Love of a Stonemason)

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

We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hot plate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter.” (Chocolat by Joanne Harris

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

I published several poems in poetry magazines and a small volume of poetry Path of Fire with a small traditional publishing company. When I tried to find an agent for my novel, the publishing industry just entered a period of great uncertainty due to the economic crisis and the revolution in digital and ebook publishing. I realized that it might take a very long time to find an agent who would accept an unknown author and, perhaps, even longer to find a publisher. I was in touch with several authors who published their work independently. I have some background in computers and started to format my novel as an ebook. It was just an experiment to see if I could do it. The longer I was involved in the process, the more excited I became. An artist friend of mine designed a cover for the book, which I liked so much better than most of the book covers created by publishing companies (which I often find gaudy and over-crowded). In the meantime, I also formatted my novel as a paper back with CreateSpace. I just got the proof and I love it. Independent or self-publishing may not be for everyone. I have always loved to be independent and do things on my own. Since I am not interested in becoming a bestseller author but would love to have a group of dedicated readers, who enjoy my work, self-publishing seems to be the way to go.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

For me, good writing is a combination of heart and mind, plot and language, meaningful content and vivid imagery. I love the quotation by Ben Franklin: “Either write something worth reading, or live something worth writing about.”

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

You are allowed to write “crap.” When you start to write something, turn off the internal editor and let it flow. Once you have a draft, then turn on the internal editor, grab that red pen, and be ruthless. Cut, cut, rewrite, cut, cut. Then find a good editor and let him or her read your draft. We as writers are too close to our own text to be objective. The most difficult part is to know what suggestions from the editor to accept and what to discard. It’s a matter of honesty and practice. Never cut something that’s really important to you, but when five people tell you, it doesn’t work, then you better take a second or third look at it! That’s a lot more than one tip. But the business of editing is of particular importance for independently published writers.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

Amazon Author Page:
Indie Books Blog:

Much thanks to Ms. Polkinhorn for the chat!