DABWAHA bribe – Unpublished scene from Jade Temptress sequel


Permission granted via Holoong.com. Check out clothing line “Rumentnishang” at their website.

As promised, here is a teaser scene from Wei-wei’s story–if it were to ever see the light of day. This is completely unedited and hot off the presses, so you can see what typically goes into an ugly draft. Please excuse any mistakes. It’s also in first person unlike the rest of the Lotus Palace books because I’m RIGHT in the middle of editing a first person book and I just found it too hard to switch at the drop of a dime.

Come vote for The Jade Temptress for DABWAHA Round 1 from midnight to noon on 3/20! I’m up against Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover…which, has a pretty cool cover. 🙂

If I make it to Round 2, I’ll type up another scene. This one will feature another potential hero as well as possibly Wei-wei’s first kiss. 😉


This is an unpublished and unedited excerpt from an untitled and unproposed story featuring Wei-wei, a secondary character from the Lotus Palace mystery series.
It occurs after the events of The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress.

Tang Dynasty China, 849 A.D.

The moment I entered the second courtyard of our house, I knew there was something amiss. The garden doors of our main study had been propped open and I could see my half-brother inside, seated at his desk. That was nothing strange. Chang-min was the most studious of us, due in part to my iron fist when it came to his lessons.

Standing over Chang-min was my elder brother, which was certainly strange. Huang had always hated the study. When we were younger, he’d half-heartedly flipped through Father’s lessons while I diligently pondered every character. I loved the crisp feel of pages beneath my fingertips, the earthy smell of ground ink stick, and the way the black stroke flowed from my brush onto snow white paper. That was why I had taken over our younger brother’s studies.

Another man in a dark-colored scholar’s robe and headdress stood beside my elder brother. At first I thought it might have been Father. Who else would be hovering over Chang-min’s shoulder as he bent over his writing?

But I knew from the breadth of his shoulders and his strident that he was certainly not father. My father had a quiet, commanding presence that he carried wherever he went, whether it was the Ministry of Defense or our parlor. This stranger was a visitor in our home, yet he took up space in a way that was jarring, intrusive. Space that was usually mine.

“Elder Brother,” I greeted, stepping into the study.

I spared our guest the barest of glances, but long enough that he was aware of it. He straightened to his full height to regard me curiously.

“Wei-wei.” Huang gave me a brief nod. “I’ll be with you shortly.”

His tone was brusque, dismissive. Sounding nothing like himself. I narrowed my eyes at my brother. He may have earned the high degree of jinshi and a minor imperial appointment, but both Huang and I knew what a struggle it was for him. He was neither a scholar nor a bureaucrat at heart. This gravely serious demeanor didn’t fit him.

“I came to check on our brother’s progress,” I said coolly. Huang flicked his hand in a furtive gesture, trying to usher me away, but I ignored it. “He was assigned an essay this morning.”

“Sister, this is Yu Jin-Quan,” my elder brother introduced, resigned. “His family comes from an esteemed line of imperial scholars.”

I squared off against the intruder as if doing battle. “Honored to make your acquaintance.”

“Lady Bai.” He bowed, but barely. “And I yours.”

His tone was flat, his broad jaw fixed. For a moment we stared at each other, neither of us blinking. My younger brother glanced up from his essay, then wisely ducked his head back down to continue writing. My neck ached from staring up at this man who dressed like an academic, but had the brutish quality of a…of an ox.

“Our brother has been reviewing the course of his studies with Master Yu,” Huang began.

I felt my fingertips going cold. “Why would he have any interest in that?”

“I understand Lady Bai has been in charge of her brother’s studies,” Yu Jin-Quan remarked. “A woman with any familiarity with the Classics is certainly….commendable.”

Commendable? With a pause?

“Young Lord Bai has made adequate progress,” he continued. “He will have much more to cover to be prepared for the provincial exams, but this servant believes that the student has a grasp of the basics required.”

Heat rose up the back of my neck. I had more than a passing familiarity with the Classics. These were my books. My study. At five years old, I’d been the one sitting at that desk with Huang beside me. I’d read through all of these shelves in the years since then.

And Chang-min was my pupil. Aiding him in his studies was my one valuable contribution to our family. It was the source of my freedom. But now this Yu Jin-Quan had appeared, from a long line of imperial scholars. Using the words of a servant, but the tone of an equal.

I couldn’t even gather my wits to give him a cold farewell as Huang thanked him for coming. Instead, I remained frozen, staring at the characters flowing from Chang-min’s brush as the two men moved around the desk to go.

“We have some things to discuss,” Huang said quietly to me as he passed.

We did. But I was afraid I already knew the answer. It didn’t matter how much I’d read and studied from our personal library. I could never attend the academies in the city or engage in tea room discussions between candidates and scholars. I didn’t have the experience, or the respect that someone like Yu could offer.

I was trapped in the silk robes of a woman, the prettiest shackles in all the world. And those chains were about to tighten.

Excerpt Monday: The Sorcerer’s Daughter part 2

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Is it that time again? Time flies when you’re on deadline! Well, um, self-imposed deadline that is.

Excerpt Monday was started by two lovely writers: Bria Quinlan and Alexia Reed. Visit the other links for some interesting reads from unpublished and published alike and if you’d like to join up for next month, take a look at the main site: The Excerpt Monday blog.

Excerpt Monday is back! The contemporary romantic elements, Shinjuku, was coming along nicely, but after a while, I realized I might want to submit it. I think the rule is no more than 10% can be excerpted, right? Hmmm…that’s probably a made up rule someone told me. Must research.

I’m falling back to the historical fantasy I’m working on for this month’s Excerpt Monday. It’s a full length novel, so I have some more leeway, right? At least until it’s picked up by someone. 😉

The first draft is halfway done and I am going to fight tooth and nail to finish it, despite a minor melancholy I’m currently suffering after finishing GGK’s Under Heaven. I posted the opening to Sorcerer’s Daughter a while back, before it had been titled. It’s about a mysterious branch of the Emperor’s guard tasked with fighting demons and evil spirits. Kind of like an imperial X-files, I suppose.

Part 1: The Sorcerer’s Daughter


Tai Shen swung around to face the clearing behind them. The air around him thickened as his hand closed around his sword. Shadows twisted and danced. His senses became honed, focused as he drew from the spirit energy around him.

“Tai Shen–”

Jin’s warning wasn’t necessary. He could see the mass of demons now. They formed into a slithering horde around the altar house, rising from the earth and spinning out from the air.

So many. Memories of his village came to him in a flood. The demons had been invisible to him then. He’d only seen the deaths they’d caused.

A furnace raged at his back. The burning talismans would send the cabin up in flames.

“Get her out of there.” He shouted the command over his shoulder, then strode forward to face the gui.

The spirit realm surged around him as he unsheathed the blade. Wandering souls tugged at his mind, screaming into his ears like a deafening wind. They sensed his life-ridden body opening to their energy. Tai Shen wanted their power. He needed it to fight the demons before him, but the ghosts wanted his warmth in return. His breath and his pulse.

The demon horde took shape. They moved with wrenched bodies and claws that sprouted from what should have been hands. No two gui were ever alike. Symmetry was a law of nature.

Tai Shen drew the energy, the qi, through his sword and let it flow into his muscles as he focused only on the enemies in front of him. When the hunters fought together, they moved as if of one mind. That was the training. Jin would take care of the girl. The demons were his.

Tightening his grip, Tai Shen swung hard, blade set. The steel ripped through the front line. Putrid jelly fell to corrupt the ground where they landed.

The monsters solidified into bone and muscle and jagged teeth. A leathery creature leapt at him. Its eyes gleamed bone white through the darkness. The eyes were the worst to look upon. The eyes gave the semblance of something living, but they never closed. Not even when he cut off the head.

Tai Shen swiveled and cut down another one, his blade slicing clean. His heart pumped steadily. He controlled it with circular breath and will, slowed it even more as he moved faster. Qi flowed through him. He leapt above the thick of the oncoming horde and hovered suspended. Chose his targets. The wide arc of sweep of his blade cut through them like a scythe through the harvest. Yet more grew from the shadows.

“Where are they coming from?” he shouted.

“I don’t know.” Jin stood outside the cabin, keeping Song Yi close.

Tai Shen speared another creature through its torso. The next gui that approached from the darkness of the night was nothing like the monsters that littered the ground. It was a red-skinned demon, twice a man’s height. The body was nearly human. Arms and legs and a head, at least. A tongue of flame flickered from its wide mouth. It held a rusted broadsword in the grip of its claws.

He fell back a step. “Jin, go now.”

“Tai Shen–”


The red demon stared at Tai Shen with its tireless eyes. Its grin seemed to widen. That was another temptation — to believe that demonkind had human thoughts and emotions.

His hand tightened on his weapon. The lost souls around him wailed to be let in. They sensed what he was. A conduit, a vessel. The opposing forces of light and dark twined within him. Shifu had warned them to only take what they needed. The power would always tempt.

He launched himself upward. His feet lifted from the earth, higher than mortally possible. One well-placed strike at the thing’s neck was all it would take. Tai Shen drew his sword arm back to deliver the killing blow, but the red demon raised its broadsword. The two blades clashed with a shriek of metal. Tai Shen landed and dug his heels in to regain balance. His arms shook from the impact.

This was no mindless monster. Tai Shen had defeated worse, but he’d had help then. First Brother had fought by his side.

No time to think. The red demon was upon him again. Tai Shen deflected the first strike. This wasn’t like fighting another swordsman. There was no heart to pierce, no blood to spill. He dodged the second attack and somersaulted over the demon to land behind it.

A flash of white cloth caught his eye. Brilliant in the nighttime. He bit back a curse. Jin was supposed to get Song Yi out of there.

He needed to end this. The demon advanced on him, but as he raised his sword, a halo grew around the hulking beast. Brighter. Brighter still, before the demon melted away with nothing more than a whisper on the breeze.

Song Yi stood where the gui had been. She held a sword carved out of wood, arm stretched out from delivering the final blow. It was more a dancer’s pose than a warrior stance, elongated and graceful. Her white robe gleamed like new, soft snow.

Next –  Part 3: The Sorcerer’s Daughter


More excerpts:

I haven’t screened all of these myself, so please heed the ratings. These excerpts may contain content not typical of my site.

WELCOME to those coming back and those who are new! We hope you find some fun and fabulous free reads.

Don’t forget to come back on the first Monday of June for New Release Monday. See what’s coming out and enter to win a free basket of New Releases.

So, to kick it off, your hosts:

Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)
Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)

Joining us this week:

Bonnie Dee, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Debbie Mumford, Memoir (PG 13)
VK Sykes, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)

Kendal Corbitt, Erotic Romance (R)
Mary Quast, Contemporary Romance (R)

Sara Brookes, Science Fiction Romance (NC 17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, contemporary paranormal (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Science Fiction Romance (NC 17)