Behind the Story – Empress Cixi

If you have read any of my books, it’s pretty easy to see that China’s last empress, the Dowager Empress Cixi, is a recurring character. Who was Empress Cixi and why do I write about her? Empress Cixi was born in 1835 to a poor and unimportant Manchu family, but she didn’t remain in obscurity for Read More

3 Defectors – Memoirs from North Korea

Even though my main focus is China, I’m also very interested in what is going on in North Korea. I know that for most Americans, North Korea isn’t really on their radar, but here in China, the “hermit kingdom” can’t be ignored. Even though I mostly review books on this site that specifically deal with Read More

There and Back Again – Going Full Circle

I mentioned in a previous post that big changes were coming (as if bringing our daughter home only six months ago wasn’t a big enough change!). So today I can finally announce that… We are moving to Yangshuo! Our China journey began nearly seven years ago in Yangshuo in Guangxi province. We came to China Read More

A Chat with Cherith Vaughan, Cover Designer for Murder in the Forbidden City

Today I am so excited to share the cover for my new novel Murder in the Forbidden City! Aren’t they just gorgeous! I am so excited for this novel. Check out the blurb: Peking, 1867 When one of the Empress’s ladies-in-waiting is killed in the Forbidden City, she orders Inspector Gong to find the killer. Read More

Hiring a Housekeeper in China

Long time readers of this blog might remember one of my more popular posts from a couple of years ago about my Housekeeper from Hell, Annie. Long story short, Annie came across some very personal photos of mine while cleaning and shared them on WeChat, China’s most popular social network, and called me a prostitute. Read More

Two Americans in China in Japan – Foodie Fun!

As our last hurrah before the baby comes, we went to Japan for the National Day holiday. We went to the Kansai area – Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe. It was amazing. I’m going to have to break up the trip report into different posts because there is just so much to talk about. The first thing Read More