This book is under contract with Earnshaw Books for publication, with a target date of fall 2019.
Genre: Historical Fiction (1300s China)
Word Count: about 97,000 words
Description: How could a poor Chinese peasant from the middle of nowhere, a young man who lost his family to the plague and spent years as a wandering Buddhist monk, recognize within himself the martial strength of a conqueror? That is the question explored in my novel, The Lacquered Talisman. I envision it as the first in a series of stories about the Ming founding, one of the great tales of all time. My story begins at the beginning by telling how the Zhu family of bean-curd sellers produced eight sons, the youngest nicknamed “Fortune.” This youngest son survives smallpox and is nearly beaten to death for stealing a calf. Then a vicious plague strike decimates his village and destroys his family. Left with nothing but his grandfather’s necklace, the “talisman” of the book title, Fortune lands in the village temple, but is soon turned out to beg for food. Fortune feels the awful burden of being his family’s sole survivor. He is worried that his mistakes will cause torment to the souls of his parents and brothers. And yet, signs and dreams leave him convinced that he has a special, if unclear, fate. Is he to be the abbot of a monastery? An imperial astronomer? A general? He is unsure. What matters most is that he prove himself a filial son.
Excerpt: Click here to read a seven-page excerpt from Chapter 6.
Contact me: My WeChat ID is LaurieBadgerland, and you can find me on Twitter at