You’ve found the holiday ornament! (The winners have been selected as of Dec. 23, 2010. Thank you for participating!)

Christmas in the Tang Dynasty

Did you know that the first recorded Christian mission to China took place during the Tang Dynasty? The visit is documented on the Nestorian Stele which was erected in the 8th century. The tablet details the arrival of a group of Christians led by a man named Alopen. The missionaries arrived in 635 A.D. to the capital city of Changan. Subsequently, several Christian places of worship were erected in China.

The Nestorian Stele – Notice the cross at the top?

So even if you don’t win the giveaway, you received a little trivia for your efforts, n’est-ce pas?

Here’s the lovely prize:

If you know me, you know I love cats. The “Lucky Cat” is actually not Chinese. Maneki Neko is a Japanese icon and he’s beckoning with one paw. He’s believed to bring the owner luck. I’ll be sending the lucky winner the Maneki Neko cat in in an ornate red “take out” box along with a Butterfly Swords souvenir charm. Red is a color of celebration, happiness, and good fortune in Chinese culture, which is why you see it everywhere.

Along with the takeout box, I’ll also be sending an autographed copy of Butterfly Swords. If the winner has already read it, they can give it to someone they love as a gift for Christmas. 🙂

For the Grand Prize giveaway: I LOVE my new Kindle, so I’ll also be adding a Kindle copy of Butterfly Swords and The Taming of Mei Lin to the Grand Prize.

Thanks for visiting. Add a comment below to be entered for both giveaways!

If you would like to be added to my newsletter for news and updates on releases, please use the link on the sidebar. E-mails for this contest will not be automatically added to the newsletter.


  1. Linda E.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 18:59:45

    Finally found it after much seaching. I loved Butterfly swords which I read as a Pink Heart Society Bookclub choice.

  2. Lori Connelly
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:02:09

    Loved both the search and Butterfly Swords 🙂

  3. Hannah B.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:03:04

    That was great fun! Thank you for participating in the contest. 🙂

  4. Julie Parrish
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:17:11


  5. Marcy Shuler
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:19:11

    I love the cat!

  6. Eva D
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:28:58

    Thank you for the chance to win! I loved the search 🙂

  7. Vicki wurgler
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:36:11

    that was fun, i have not read Butterfly Swords so I’d love to win!

  8. Janece Suarez
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:49:33

    VERY interesting! I love learning historical trivia!

    Thank you!

  9. Karen Dobbins
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:53:50

    Fascinating stuff! I’d love to read your book.

    Karen Dobbins

  10. Carlie A.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:55:05

    Here’s where I found the ornament:

    And might I say that it was so much fun hunting through your rich, exquisite site for it!

    Happy Holidays!


  11. Anne Clark
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 19:59:50

    It’s exciting to find new authors to follow.

  12. Katie M
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:16:20

    Thanks for the search would love to read the books.

  13. karen gales
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:22:29

    I also love cats and I adore the color red. What a great way to have a little more of both. Merry Christmas!

  14. Maya M.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:32:49

    I enjoyed the bit of trivia. Happy Holidays!

  15. Mary M
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:38:55

    Beautiful, lucky cat! Merry Christmas!

  16. chey
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:43:00

    Happy Holidays! Interesting trivia.

  17. Pat A
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:44:39

    I also have Neko cats, two are facing my front door and a miniature one sits in my car. Who needs St. Christopher when you have a Neko. Happy Holidays

  18. Judy Cox
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:47:35

    Oh, that cat is so cute. I would love to win it!!
    Your books also look very good!! Great fun!!

  19. Charlene Booth
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:51:20

    So many cats and books… I need another lap and more time 🙂

  20. Christine H
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:52:11

    Hi, That was fun, I love doing those svanger hunts!!

    Thanks for another entry to the kindle!!! 🙂

  21. LouisaCornell
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:57:36

    That was fun! And I LOVE historical tidbits like this. I had no idea Christianity visited China so early in history! And I am SO coveting that Lucky Cat and that box!! I’ve already read Butterfly Swords and ADORED it! BUT, I have several friends who I think MUST read it too!

  22. Kelly S. Bishop
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:00:38

    Love the cat – and this contest has already been a lot of fun.


  23. Theresa N
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:03:55

    My little fur balls are sure to love this cat. Happy Holidays!!

  24. Ashley McLure
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:21:10

    cool trivia and prize. I have 2 cats myself.

  25. Quilt Lady
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:21:13

    I love this little cat, would love to win. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  26. Jody F. (Joder)
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:28:03

    Thanks for the bit of trivia! I love learning cool things like that. And what a cute gift! I’m a cat lover myself and that charm is super cute and I really hope I win since I can use all the good luck I can get.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  27. Debby
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:28:46

    Great search and I love the books.

  28. Elaine Carlini-Davis
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:32:46

    This was interesting and…tricky. It took me a while to find the heart. Thanks for the information. I could use some luck about now. 🙂

  29. Caffey
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:44:56

    Love cats, we have 2 here and my daughter has two and brings them over to keep me company! Beautiful visiting here and reading about your books!

    cathiecaffey @

  30. Debra McDonald
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:49:18

    I love the search.I found it but I also found a new author.This was amazing.Thanks and the trivia was wonderful.

  31. Sheila
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:59:58

    Enjoyed the trivia. Liked your website also. I’m always interested in learning about a time and place I know so little about.

  32. Adrienne
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:00:35

    I love a good scavenger hunt!!!

  33. Gigi Hicks
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:06:44

    I could use a lucky cat. What a cutey.
    I enjoyed the tidbit of information. I never imagined there were missionaries during the 8th century the

  34. Ana Farish
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:09:23

    Woohoo, I found it! Great giveaway. 🙂

    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:09:34

    My wife is dying for a Kindle!
    Loved the scavenger hunt

  36. Cynthya P.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:22:05

    That’s a cute cat! And the cover of Butterfly Swords is gorgeous.

  37. Char C.
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:43:19

    My grandmother collects cat statues.She would love this.

  38. Cheri LaClaire
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:49:35

    Congratulations on all your successes!

  39. FredTownWard
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:52:09

    I already have “Butterfly Swords”, which I haven’t managed to read yet (It’s moving up in the TBR stack, I swear!), but it would be great to win the Kindle with “The Taming of Mei Lin” AND “Butterfly Swords” on it, as I have yet to obtain the first one, in which case I could read the two in the proper chronological order.

  40. Rita Smith
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:52:31

    I love scavenger hunts and “find it” puzzles. Would love to have a “good luck cat”. Thank you for participating in this contest. This is one way for me to find new authors to read.

  41. Nancy Parker
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 22:54:27

    Loved the hunt! Thank you for hosting this giveaway! Can’t wait to read Butterfly Swords (just ordered it from Amazon)

  42. Eileen Burbage
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:07:35

    Thank you for the chance to win

  43. louise rogers
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:28:44

    Thanks for the contest! Merry Christmas

  44. librarypat
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:42:37

    Thank you for the little trivia lesson. I love the cat. Would love the book even more. The Kindle is on my list for SAnta this year. I am glad to hear you love yours, it has been hard deciding which e-reader to get.
    Thanks for participating in the giveaway.

  45. David L
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:50:48

    Good luck to all

  46. Nikki H
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:52:45

    I love cats, too, but my husband is now allergic! I miss them so much! Thanks for the chance to win! Happy Holidays!

  47. Betty Lewis
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:00:22

    Good luck and Happy Holidays to everyone. It’s a shame we can’t all win the prize, but we can still all win the prize of having awesome books to read!

  48. Kanch
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:04:28

    I loved the virtual scavenger hunt – thank you!

  49. Linda Birdsell
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:24:30

    That was fun, I hope I win!

  50. Anne DeRemer
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:26:08

    Lucky Cat!!!