The Dragon and the Pearl Launch Celebration

THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL releases on September 20, 2011 and I’m still a fresh-faced newbie author where every new launch is exciting. *bounces*

And of course there will be party favors and prizes like last time. I’m even contemplating how difficult it would be to make Dragon sugar cookies for my local booksigning. Butterfly cookies weren’t so hard, but Dragon cookies seem like an intricate affair. I might have to rethink that. Now Pearl cookies would be much easier LOL.

So join in for my launch celebration for THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL and its linked Undone story, THE LADY’S SCANDALOUS NIGHT (release date September 1, 2011), and be entered to win some lovely goodies. All you have to do is spread the word by blogging, tweeting, facebooking about the books. I’ve provided the HTML for the celebration badge the end of the post that you can feel free to link or copy. Remember to come back and comment here about where you posted so I can count you in. On Twitter, use the tag #dragonandpearl so I can find you. The celebration is open to US and international readers.

The Goodies

The celebration is really a way to give back to all the readers who have been so supportive of me from the beginning. Plus I love to throw parties and with a virtual launch celebration, I don’t have to clean up my living room. I hope you enjoy the goodies this time around. A lot of thought is put into creating just the right mood.

The first round!

On September 15st, we’ll have a drawing for the first set of prizes. Three random names will be drawn to receive one of three prizes.

First up, a digital download of THE LADY’S SCANDALOUS NIGHT for your reading pleasure. This linked story takes place concurrently with THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL and will hopefully whet your appetite for the longer novel.

Second, a DVD set with the international release of Red Cliff. Warlords, intrigue, Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro. The battle of Red Cliff featured in Romance of the Three Kingdoms takes place in the Han Dynasty rather than the Tang, but it’ll put you in the right frame of mind for the power struggle in THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL. (Alas, Tony and Takeshi didn’t answer my casting call for my book trailer.)

Third, a hardcopy of Cindy Pon‘s THE FURY AND THE PHOENIX, sequel to her debut book, SILVER PHOENIX. You’ll also receive autographed postcards with character art that Cindy commissioned herself. This Asian fantasy adventure takes place in the imaginary kingdom of Xia and features a love affair between a courtesan and a eunuch. What, a eunuch you say?!? Actually, those palace eunuchs were the only men allowed in the Emperor’s harem. Historically they had all sorts of affairs with concubines. They also wielded an inordinate amount of power. Scandalous, no?

Second Round – The Grand Prizes!!

On October 20 (this was updated from original date–I didn’t realize I’d be running around and have no time to promote this myself!) , I’ll have a drawing for the Grand Prizes. Three individual names will be drawn.

First, I’m so excited to be giving away a copy of Stephanie Dray‘s LILY OF THE NILE and the sequel, SONG OF THE NILE. I’ve read the first book and am eagerly awaiting the second which releases in October. Stephanie has the same love for ancient history as well as for “bad girls” of the ancient world that I do and her writing is gorgeous. Reading this story of Cleopatra’s daughter Selene made me reminisce about the big Marion Zimmer Bradley epics (Mists of Avalon, Firebrand) I used to love sinking my teeth into.

Second, it was hard to find a giveaway item that could be as exciting as the double swords from last year. My personalized dragon chop is always a conversation starter at signings so I thought I’d give away a customized dragon stamp made of wood. I’ll have it ordered in your name for you so you can have an official chop of your own — a must for signing artwork and doing business in China.

Third, the most popular item from last year was the annotated copy. I’ll be going through and jotting author’s notes in a copy of THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL. Think of this as the DVD commentary, but book style. What were the inspirations for specific characters? What sort of decisions did I have to make. What was I thinking when I did that? The annotated copy of BUTTERFLY SWORDS was sold at the Brenda Novak auction for diabetes research last year for a nice donation. I’m really looking forward to reading through the book again and putting down my notes. It’s a labor of love, truly.

Party favors – Romance Trading Cards

All newsletter subscribers can use the contact link in the newsletter to request THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL trading cards. I must thank for the use of the lovely costume pictures!

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FRONT BACK – Li Tao BACK – Ling Suyin


More Info and Events:


Copy and paste HTML for badge and link below:

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I’ll be giving away copies of THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL and THE LADY’S SCANDALOUS NIGHT on various blog tour stops. In the meantime, the Goodreads giveaway is open until Friday, September 2nd. Get an advance copy before the release date.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

The Dragon and the Pearl

by Jeannie Lin

Giveaway ends September 02, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Inside the Critiquing Process: Feedback on opening

Yesterday I posted an opening to a manuscript. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can check it out here. Working title – My Fair Concubine.

To be fair, my sister read the entire manuscript before commenting on the opening. So she’s working in not just whether this scene works or not, but what can be done with it in the larger context of the entire story.

Little Sis’ critique

When Yan Ling first meets Fei Long at the tea house–can you combine this to be the same tea house/inn that Fei Long finds his sister at and kicks out? I want Yan Ling more active from the start. It’s cute that her feet are tired, but if it’s combined, then all the servers will already know the scandalous story and she can be gossiping with them (this also colors the environment more. right now a little flat overall)–so she can be a little more sympathetic to his plight, admiring of the first noble that she’s seen, admiring of his bearing and manners, ect, until he throws out that line about needing a woman (then sparks fly and she dumps tea on him–so much for all her sympathy! he’s just one of those sleazy nobles, ect).  However, when he explains the plan, she can already be partially on his side, not just because of the money, but because she sympathizes and has thought, “Well if I were Pearl, I wouldn’t throw away such an opportunity…”  Because she has been described more than once as practical–show how she is practical.

On a tangent (sorry, my mind’s not as organized), Dao has a backstory where Yan Ling does not. That also makes Dao more of an interesting character. That’s why these first opening chapters can do a lot more. As well as having Yan Ling more active, having her talk to the other servers, having more of her thoughts, and her interacting will also give you a chance to build her character and her background. Why is she so much more practical? Why is she at the tea house? Has she no family?

Jeannie’s commentary on the critique

Whenever someone gives me feedback, the comments need to garner a sense of trust before I’ll accept them. With my sister, we already have an established critiquing relationship, but even if we didn’t, there are certain things about her feedback which make me trust it.

First of all, feedback doesn’t mean that the scene I wrote is all wrong. I’m wary if someone comes in and immediately says something like “the book starts in the wrong place” or suggests that I re-write the scene without sufficient backup. Sure, rewrites like that are sometimes needed, but if the feedback shows that the commenter understands what I was trying to do with the story, rather than just rejecting my work outright, then it builds that trust.

Sis discusses Yan Ling’s character development in a way that tells me she gets what I was trying to do. At least she appreciated the cute detail with Yan Ling’s aching feet. Sometimes when I get feedback, I’m not sure whether the reader just didn’t pay attention or whether I really failed in what I tried to do. Because I’m not sure and the trust has not been established, I’m not sure whether I should fix something. Little Sis has demonstrated an understanding of my opening and what I wanted to do with the characters. She does this by echoing back specific details — I did want to highlight Yan Ling’s practical, no-nonsense nature. I wanted her opening to be sort of cute. I wanted her to show a bit of a temper, but not be completely temperamental or feisty.

Sis also points out a fundamental weakness that became more evident as the book progresses — namely that Yan Ling doesn’t have enough backstory from the beginning. We’re dropped into the story here where she’s presented as a servant and very quickly embarks upon the story adventure which takes her away from that life. Dao is another character introduced later that Sis thought was overshadowing Yan Ling in terms of having more intriguing backstory and characterization — which would be a bad thing since Yan Lin is my heroine and Dao is a secondary.

Most importantly, Sis earns my trust by giving me some very specific and usable suggestions. Instead of saying — “Include more of the five senses” or “I want to get a better sense of the tea house” or “I feel like your heroine isn’t active enough”, her suggestions about making the tea house the same location as the inn and showing Yan Ling interacting more vividly with the other servants are both changes that I could visualize and see myself executing to the story’s advantage. She also explained her thought process behind the suggestions and what purpose they would serve. So if it was the case that I didn’t like the suggestion, I could still address the underlying gaps that she’s identified. Immediately, I could see how the pacing, tension, and characterization of the first two scenes could be vastly improved by these changes.

Tomorrow: I’ll post the updated opening based on Sis’ critique.

Want Little Sis and me to critique your first 30 pages? Bid at the Brenda Novak auction and get both of us cheap. 🙂