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Archive for September 13th, 2010

I love watching Hong Kong cinema for the complex characters, the amazing cinematography, the beautiful costumes. The conflicts are larger than life: brother against brother, man against country, love against the most impossible of odds. Anything can happen, as long as in the end…everybody dies.

Well, not everybody. Some secondary character can live to tell the tragic tale and remind us that in the end, all we are is dust.

That’s how I was starting to feel about these movies. The ones that have made the American market are only the tip of the iceberg. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The House of Flying Daggers. Hero. Watch an Asian movie and unless Jackie Chan is in it, there will be no happy ending.

Of course I know there are happy Asian movies out there, but the scale seems to tip toward tragedy. There are important messages in sadness and despair, I know. And I do like to get my heart wrenched open once in a while. I love a good cry, but I want my happy endings too!

It’s not just for the fantasy, the warm fuzzy glossing over of the hardships of life. There is empowerment in “happily ever after”. It’s a message of hope. Love and family are worth fighting for. Conflict and struggle can earn you happiness.

Happiness is a worthy goal. Happiness is just as poignant and validating and revealing of the human spirit as tragedy. Happiness is not a “cop out” or an illusion.

I want my happy endings, and that’s why I write what I write.

Jeannie Lin writes historical romantic adventures set in Tang Dynasty China. Her short story, The Taming of Mei Lin from Harlequin Historical Undone is available September 1. Her award-winning debut novel, Butterfly Swords, will be released October 1, also from Harlequin Historical. Join the launch celebration at http://www.butterfly-swords.com for giveaways and special features. Visit Jeannie online at: http://www.jeannielin.com

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Faced with a proposal from a man she despises, impetuous Mei Lin makes a daring declaration: she will only marry the man who can defeat her in a sword fight. She has bested everyone who has so far tried to teach her a lesson…until a handsome stranger comes to her village. In captivating swordsman Shen Leung , Mei Lin finally sees a man she wants to marry. A man she’s willing to surrender to in every way….

Excerpt:

Tang Dynasty China, 710 A.D.

Mei Lin could feel the strands of hair slipping from her knot, tickling against her neck. Uncle made her stand outside during the hottest part of the afternoon, even when there were no customers. She wiped her brow and looked over at Chang’s tofu stand at the end of the street with envy. He at least had the shade of a tree to duck under.

If she planted a seed today, she reckoned she’d still be here selling noodles by the time the tree grew tall enough to provide shelter. And Uncle would still be growing fat, napping in the shade.

A tingle of awareness pricked against her neck. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see someone had stopped just beyond the line of the wooden benches. The stranger wore a gray robe, but that was the only thing plain about him. He had the high cheekbones of the people of the north and stood with his shoulders back, lean and tall. Unfortunately the town riffraff stood just behind him, grinning and poking at each other over some boyish joke only they found humorous. Mei Lin ignored them as she always did.

“Little Cho.”

The boy came eagerly running at her call. Her little cousin was not yet corrupted by his father’s laziness.

“Fetch the tea,” she said and he went running to the stove.

She turned back to the intriguing man. He remained at the perimeter watching her. He had a pleasant expression and seemed particularly still, as if supremely comfortable in this heat and in this world. She stood there with sweat pouring down her back wishing her hair wouldn’t keep falling over her face like it did. It was so rare that strangers came to their village.

He bowed. “Wu Mei Lin,” he greeted formally.

Even rarer that strangers came who knew her name. The smile she was about to give him faded into a frown.

“Little Cho.”

He had just returned with the teapot.

She blew a strand of hair away from her face impatiently. “Fetch my swords.”

Copyright © 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2010 by Jeannie Lin
Permissions to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.

The Taming of Mei Lin

Harlequin Historical Undone

ISBN-13: 9781426852923

Available Now from eHarlequin, Amazon, B&N.com

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Journey to the very edge of honor, loyalty . . . and love

During China’s infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury, yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.

Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for a defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior…

Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her – which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….

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