Novel on Zhu Yuanzhang to be released Feb 1

The Lacquered Talisman, a novel based on the life of Ming Dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang, is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold.  Try your local bookstore! https://www.indiebound.org/book/9789888552467

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300 pages, list price of $19.99

The Hong Kong-based Earnshaw Books is publishing this work of historical fiction, which is intended as the first in a series about the Ming founding.

A sweeping coming-of-age epic, The Lacquered Talisman launches the story of one of the most influential figures in Chinese history. He is the son of a beancurd seller and he will found the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368-1644. Known as “Fortune” as a boy, Zhu Yuanzhang has a large and doting family who shepherd him through hardship until drought ravages the countryside and heralds a plague. Left with nothing but a lacquered necklace from his grandfather, Chen the Diviner, Fortune is deposited in the village temple and is soon wandering the countryside as a begging monk. He encounters pockets of resistance to the ruling Mongol dynasty, studies the stars, and tangles with Taoists as he seeks to understand his destiny. Signs and dreams leave him convinced that he has a special fate. Is he to be the abbot of a monastery? A general? What matters most is that he prove himself to be a filial son.

 

Happy Birthday Empress Ma!

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Happy 687th birthday to Empress Ma!
She was born (on what corresponds to August 9 on our modern calendar) in 1332, married in 1352, and died in 1382. To be more specific, she was born in a Water Monkey year on the 18th day of the 7th month of the 3rd year in the Zhishun 至順 reign of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty’s Wenzong 元文宗 Emperor Tugh Temur.
The historical records do not reveal her given name, but Empress Ma was known for her unbound feet and her calming influence over her husband – the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
She is the subject of the next volume in my historical fiction series on the Ming founding.  Volume 1, titled “The Lacquered Talisman,” launches the story of Zhu Yuanzhang, the Ming founder, and is currently in the production stages with Earnshaw Books.