Friday, September 27, 2013

**GIVEAWAY** Interview with Jeannie Lin -The Lotus Palace

Today I'm welcoming a local author who I had the pleasure of meeting at a bookstore signing a few Saturdays ago. She's chatting about her new Harlequin release The Lotus Palace. When I asked her what interested her most about the Tang Dynasty when the novel takes place she said ––"What interests me most is how the Tang empire was so vast and the history so colorful that you can tell almost any type of story in the Tang Dynasty." See what else she says about the Tang Dynasty then enter for a chance to win your very own copy of Jeannie's novel sponsored by her wonderful publisher Harlequin.

  • ISBN-13: 9780373777730
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384


It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China…
Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she's content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress—until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang.
 Reviews for Jeannie’s novels:
"A deeply satisfying romance set in the midst of a fascinating world of glamour and intrigue." - Lauren Willig, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Lush history, heartbreaking romance, fascinating mystery, and a happy ending! What more can anyone ask?" - Patricia Rice, New York Times Bestselling Author
"The Lotus Palace is a poignant love story to treasure." - Elizabeth Essex, award-winning author of Scandal in the Night
"Lin ...combines wit, seduction, skill and intelligence." -Publishers Weekly on My Fair Concubine, starred review
"Beautifully written, deliciously sensual and rich with...detail... Exceptional." -Library Journal on The Dragon and the Pearl, starred review

Contest is open to US and Canada
Sponsored by Harlequin
Enter below using the Rafflecopter form
Thank you Jeannie and Harlequin
Good Luck!!

Please welcome award winning romance author Jeannie Lin to The Reading Frenzy

Jeannie welcome, tell us a little about your latest novel The Lotus Palace.
Jeannie: Thank you and so happy to be here. 
The Lotus Palace is both a romance and a mystery set in the pleasure quarter in the capital city of Changan. It involves Yue-ying, a clever maidservant, and Bai Huang, a nobleman’s son who is known for being a playboy and failed scholar. 

Jeannie your novels take place during the Tang Dynasty in China.
What about this era interests you the most?
Jeannie: What interests me most is how the Tang empire was so vast and the history so colorful that you can tell almost any type of story in the Tang Dynasty. My previous novel was titled The Sword Dancer
 and it was a swashbuckling adventure romance involving a female bandit and the thief-catcher who hunts her down. I’ve been able to explore many different types of stories within this period.

Jeannie are your fans older or younger than you expected?
And what is the average age of your fans?
Jeannie: I’m quite surprised at the range of ages. I get fan mail from some teens and also letters from people who have been reading romance for thirty, forty years. Then there are readers who have never picked up a romance novel before mine. I wouldn’t be able to say what the average age is. I always assumed my readers would be close to me in age because these are the stories I love, but I can’t say for certain. 

Do you see yourself writing in any other genre?
Jeannie: Very interesting you should ask! I’m actually working on a historical short that might be classified as magical realism
 and another that’s a contemporary right now as I try to clear my head for my next big project. (Hint: It’s an Opium War steampunk)

How did it feel winning the RWA Golden Heart Award for your manuscript for Butterfly Swords in 2009? (To learn more about the RWA Rita Awards see my blog post dedicated to the 2013 winners
Jeannie: Winning the GH was a dream come true. This award means different things to different writers, but for me it was the start of everything. 

Your bio says that you started writing while teaching high-school.
Can you expand on this and tell your personal journey to being a novelist?
Jeannie: I was teaching high school science in South Central Los Angeles and teaching took up every last ounce of energy and emotion I had. When I wasn’t teaching, I was thinking about my next lesson or my students or that lab I had to set up. One day, we were talking in the lunch room and one of my fellow teachers asked us what other job we’d want to do if we weren’t teaching. I said without hesitation, “I’d love to write romance novels.”

So I researched and there was a class at UCLA that specifically taught how to write a romance novel. I just fell in love with the process. The instructor, author Barbara Ankrum, became a mentor for me. 

For the longest time, I thought it would still be nothing more than a hobby. I finished my first book after more than two years. Then my next book took only two months to finish the rough draft. Somewhere in the process, I’d gotten hungry. I wanted this.

That second book was Butterfly Swords. When it was done, I spent some time editing it and then I started querying like mad. At the same time, I started writing a third book, The Dragon and the Pearl.

Now that you’re a published author what about writing, as a profession is not what you expected?
Jeannie: I think it’s a challenge to negotiate the artistic or creative side of writing with the professional side. To use a teaching analogy – some days, I just didn’t feel like teaching. I didn’t feel like getting up in the morning, putting on my game face and hitting the lesson plan like a rock star. But I had to do it. And if I didn’t give 100%, I would know in how my students responded.

That’s why it’s called a job.

Before you publish, writing is a hobby. It’s not a job, no matter how serious you are about finishing that book. Some days you don’t feel creative, so you don’t write. You brainstorm, talk it over with fellow authors. You angst about craft. You question things that you do and try a bunch of new things.

This is all great for figuring out your creative process, but once it’s for real, there’s less time to dawdle and second guess and experiment. You have to produce like a rock star even when there are whole periods of your life when it’s tough to write. (I have twin infants. At times while writing The Lotus Palace, I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. Thank goodness for editors and critique partners!)

People who know me know how strong I feel for the whole Harlequin brand; as far as I’m concerned Harlequin makes the world go round.
Why do you choose to write for Harlequin?

Jeannie: Actually, Harlequin chose me. That makes them a class act in my book. J

I think Harlequin had enough variety in their lines and enough reach in the U.S. as well as internationally that they could take a chance on me and find a place for my books somewhere.

What would surprise us about you?
Jeannie: I think people would be surprised to learn I’m funny. Really, I am! I come off as very serious on paper (or online).

Jeannie according to your website you’re a local author, I’m from St. Louis too J Small world.
Were can fans find your complete schedule so they could meet you in person if possible?
Jeannie: Oh wow! That’s really cool.

I totally have to update my schedule online. I had a two year hiatus from any speaking appearances so I sort of let things lapse. However, I always keep my newsletter subscribers informed of my schedule. There’s a sign-up right on sidebar of my website (

My newsletter is also the best place to get news updates and giveaways. I also have regular updates on Facebook.

Jeannie thank you for chatting with me. Good luck with the new novel!


Connect with Jeannie – Website  Facebook - Twitter

For those of you who don't win or want more chances
Goodreads is also offering a contest HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love that you have readers from all ages, wonderful interview:)

    1. I was surprised by this fact too.
      Thanks for commenting Kim

  2. I prefer contemporary but I guess the era doesn't matter too much as long as it has a beautiful romance ♥ Nice reading about Jeanie! And wow, a GH!

    1. I do too Lorelei but I'm beginning to see the error of my previous ways. And you're so right it's all about the story