“The Concubine Saga” Web Tour Schedule – June 2012

May 30, 2012

So Many Precious Books May 30 Review & Giveaway

Broken Teepee June 1 Review & Giveaway

My Little Pocketbooks June 30 Review

My Little Pocketbooks June 4 Interview & Giveaway

Bookish Dame June 6 Review

Bookish Dame G & GP June 6 Guest Post & Giveaway

J.A. Beard June 8 Interview

My Devotional Thoughts June 8 Review

My Devotional Thoughts June 9 Guest Post & Giveaway

Book Dilettante June 11 Review

Book Dilettante June 12 Guest Post

Joy Story June 12 Review

Books, Books, & More Books June 13 Review & Giveaway

Live to Read June 14 Review

Peeking Between the Pages June 14 Guest Post & Giveaway

Col Reads June 15 Review

Celtic Lady’s Reviews June 18 Review

Ink Spots & Roses June 18 Guest Post & Giveaway

The Readers Cafe June 19 Review

Knitting and Sundries June 20 Review & Giveaway

Sweeps 4 Bloggers June 21 Review & Giveaway

The Reading Life June 22 Review

The Reading Life June 21 Interview

Historical Fiction Connection June 22 Guest Post

Layered Pages June 25 Review

Layered Pages June 26 Interview
Historical Tapestry June 25 Guest Post

Peaceful Wishing June 26 Review

To Read or Not to Read June 27 Review

To Read or Not to Read June 28 Guest Post & Giveaway

M Denise C. June 28 Review

Succotash Reviews June 29 Review & Giveaway
Moonlight Gleam June 29 Guest Post & Giveaway

Jayne’s Books June 29 Review & Giveaway

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR RELEASE before June 1, 2012
CONTACT:
Lloyd Lofthouse, author
lflwriter@gmail.com

IN THE 19th and EARLY 20th CENTURY, ROBERT HART WAS CRUCIAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF CHINA!

WALNUT CREEK, CA (3/2/12) — Robert Hart (1835 – 1911) was the ‘Godfather of China’s modernism’ and the only foreigner the emperor of China trusted. In fact, Hart played a crucial role in ending the bloodiest rebellion in history, and he owed this success largely to his live in dictionary and encyclopedia, his Chinese concubine Ayaou. In Dragon Lady, Sterling Seagrave wrote that Ayaou “was wise beyond her years”. In Entering China’s Service, Harvard scholars wrote, “Hart’s years of liaison with Ayaou gave him his fill of romance, including both its satisfaction and its limitations.”

With sales in the thousands, award-winning author Lloyd Lofthouse brings My Splendid Concubine (2007) and the sequel, Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine (2010) together in The Concubine Saga (2012).

My Splendid Concubine was the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

In the sequel, Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine, he was the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusted.

Soon after arriving in China in 1854, Robert Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Christian upbringing and almost break him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese and soon finds himself thrust into the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion, the bloodiest rebellion in human history, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.

My Splendid Concubine earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival, and in 2009 at the Hollywood Book Festival and San Francisco Book Festival.

Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the Los Angeles Book Festival, Nashville Book Festival, London Book Festival, DIY Book Festival and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards.

In addition, The Concubine Saga picked up an Honorable Mention in Fiction at the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival.

Lloyd Lofthouse served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Marine and lives near San Francisco with his wife and family with a second home in Shanghai, China. As a former Marine, Lloyd earned a BA in Journalism and an MFA in writing. His Blog, iLook China.net, currently averages 600 views a day with more than 200,000 since its launch in January 2010. My Splendid Concubine.com, his Website, has had 72,000 visitors since December 2007. At Authors Den, his work has been viewed 336,000 times.

Virtual Author Book Tours.com arranged the June 2012 book tour of 27 book Blogs.

In addition, in 2008, following the launch of My Splendid Concubine, Lofthouse appeared as a China expert on more than 30 talk-radio shows from The Dr. Pat Show on KKNW 1150 AM in Seattle to The Smith and Riley Show on WFLF 540 AM in Orlando Florida.

The Concubine Saga
ISBN: 978-0-9819553-8-4

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Eating Smoke — a question and answer with the author, Chris Thrall – Part 2/5

October 17, 2011

Guest-Post by Tom Carter
Interview with Chris Thrall, author of Eating Smoke continued…

On October 16, 2011, nearly two years since Chris Thrall originally contacted me, his long-awaited book, “Eating Smoke”, will be released in America and Amazon.com.

Advanced sales have already brought the title to the top of the Hong Kong bestseller list (patting my own back for my prediction) while Eating Smoke has achieved a massive cult following on Facebook.  Hailed as a “Sin – Shantaram” in a review by the South China Morning Post, and being compared by fans to Alex Garland’s The Beach for its drug-adelic theme, we can now confidently predict that Eating Smoke will, too, be optioned for film rights and follow those popular books to Hollywood.

Despite his past connections with Chinese triads, and in spite of his newfound celebrity as a bestselling author, Thrall remains one of the nicest and humblest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing…even though I have yet to actually meet the man in person.  So it wasn’t too hard to twist his arm into putting my Q&A at the top of his to-do list of media interview requests (ah, the fame!).

TOM CARTER: My first and most pressing question, Chris, is if you are at all worried that the 14K will be hitting you up for a percentage of your book royalties once word of Eating Smoke’s success trickles up the Wan Chai gangland hierarchy?

CHRIS THRALL: Ha ha! The news from Hong Kong is that “serious players” are reading my book as we speak. But I’m not worried as it’s not a tell-all on Hong Kong organized crime. It’s more the story of a former Royal Marine Commando who thought he knew a bit about life, who then moves to Asia to run what was a successful business but spirals down into psychosis from drug addiction.

In that respect, Eating Smoke is unique. I’m not aware of any other book that gives the reader the opportunity to experience what it’s actually like to descend into mental illness through the eyes of someone as they do. I just happened to work for the 14K as a nightclub doorman – moreover, their “East-West go-between” – when it happened.

CARTER: Eating Smoke is about your decent into drug psychosis in Hong Kong’s triad heartland, but it’s also about the series of unfortunate, albeit hilarious, events that prevented you from ever finding your financial footing in Hong Kong, ironically Asia’s wealthiest city; a “testament to the stark reality and ephemeral nature of the relationship between people, drugs and profit,” as you wrote in the book.

Do you have anything to say to all those coked-out rich white bankers that Hong Kong is notorious for?

THRALL: No! I have nothing to say to anyone – coked-out rich white bankers included. If people truly enjoy what they do, they should carry on doing it.

Personally, I didn’t want to see my youth slipping away in a suit as I chased dollar signs at the expense of more fulfilling experiences. So having overcome addiction, I made an inventory of what I wanted to get out of life. Then I set out across six continents through seventy-five countries to get it. Writing a book was the last thing on my bucket list.

CARTER: China is adamantly anti-drugs, and the court system does not hesitate to execute drug traffickers, even foreigners.

In fact, China even blames foreigners for being responsible for a majority of its drug trade, a grudge no doubt held over from the Opium Wars.  Even though there are arguments to be made against the death penalty, the fact remains that, due to their zero-tolerance policy, China has one of the world’s lowest crime rates, a statistic that, all things considered, I’m sure America and the UK envy.

As a former drug user, what’s your take on criminalization of drugs, and do you think the west should follow China’s example?

THRALL: I don’t have a take on it. I’m not a spokesperson on substance use or the law surrounding it. I just told my own story.

However, research would likely show that mankind has always taken drugs in various forms and continues to do so (alcohol and cigarettes often cited as the most damaging), which might suggest that education on their usage and dangers is the way forward, in addition to harm-prevention strategies.

As for crime, a sociologist once said that a zero crime rate would make society a frightening place to be. I think Orwell’s 1984 was meant to imply this. I take no stance on drugs per se or cast judgment on people who choose to buy, sell, or use them.

It was addiction that I battled and that’s a separate issue. It’s a psychological condition that could relate to gambling, sex or food. It makes you wonder how prohibition could ever fix this.

Continued on October 18, 2011  in Eating Smoke – Part 3, return to Part 1, or if you have the time and do not want to wait for the five-part series to finish posting, click View as Single Page.

Chris Thrall was born in the UK. At eighteen, he joined the Royal Marine Commandos. Following active service in the Northern Ireland Conflict and training in Arctic warfare and survival, he earned his parachutist’s ‘wings’ and went on to serve as part of a high-security detachment onboard an aircraft carrier. In 1995, Chris moved to Hong Kong to oversee the Asia-Pacific expansion of a successful network-marketing operation he’d built, part-time, while serving in the Forces. Less than a year later, he was homeless, hooked on crystal methamphetamine and working for the 14K, Hong Kong’s largest triad crime family, as a doorman in Wanchai’s infamous red-light district. Eating Smoke, a humorous yet deeply moving first book, is his account of what happened.

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Travel photographer Tom Carter is the author of CHINA: Portrait of a People, a 600-page book of photography from the 33 provinces of China, which may be found on Amazon.com.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top right-hand side of this page and then follow directions.


Spinning a Web – Part 2/2

August 17, 2011

Since The Opium War by Julia Lovell will not be released until September 2011, I do not know if Ms. Lovell will provide a balance in what she writes.

However, we could find citizens of any country willing “for a fee of course” to sell out their government and people. Why should some Chinese be any different, or are the Chinese judged by a different standard?

It will be interesting if Lovell mentions the Taiping Rebellion, which was one of the bloodiest civil wars in history between the Manchu dominated Qing Dynasty and millions of Christian, Han Chinese rebels led by Hong Xiuquan.

The Taipings had three goals: defeat and replace the Manchu rulers of China, rid China of Opium, and spread Christianity.

It is estimated that The Taiping Rebellion (1845 – 1864) saw about 20 million Chinese killed and the Taipings were not the only Chinese rebelling against the Manchu rulers of China.

For an example of some people willing to do anything “for a fee of course”, a United Nations publication of 1998, “Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking,” says,”With estimates of $100 billion to $110 billion for heroin, $110 billion to $130 billion for cocaine, $75 billion for cannabis and $60 billion for synthetic drugs, the probable global figure for the total illicit drug industry would be approximately $360 billion. Given the conservative bias in some of the estimates for individual substances, a turnover of around $400 billion per annum is considered realistic.” Source: World Statistics Updated in Real Time

In addition, in the American media, we often hear of the Mexican and Columbian Drug Cartels but seldom do we hear that if it were not for Americans doing the same thing that some Chinese did during the Opium Wars, it would be difficult and/or impossible to sell illegal drugs to Americans.

In the US, distribution and the sale of drugs are mostly conducted by extremely violent, nationally affiliated American street gangs.

Justice.gov says, “Street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs are the primary distributors of illegal drugs on the streets of the United States. Gangs also smuggle drugs into the United States and produce and transport drugs within the country.

“There are at least 21,500 gangs and more than 731,000 active gang members in the United States. Gangs conduct criminal activity in all 50 states and U.S. territories.”

Just because some Chinese cooperated and worked with the British, French and Americans (among other countries) that were selling illegal drugs to the Chinese people during the Opium Wars, that doesn’t mean that all Chinese were guilty. I hope Ms. Lovell makes that clear.

Return to or start with Spinning a Web – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Spinning a Web – Part 1/2

August 16, 2011

Is Julia Lovell spinning a web to deceive about the First Opium War (1839 to 1842)?

ACN Newswire posted a press release recently announcing the pending publication of The Opium War by Julia Lovell (available September 2011).

Lovell’s reason for writing this book was to “see whether things really were as black and white as the Chinese textbooks seem to say it was.”

“Seem!” Doesn’t Lovell know what the Chinese textbooks say?

If you check to see who runs ACN Newswire, you will discover it is an associate company of Japan Corporation News K.K., which may mean nothing or everything when it comes to a nonfiction book that aims to make the Chinese look as guilty as the British regarding the Opium Wars.

Julia Lovell says, “It wasn’t a clear-cut story of innocent Chinese on the one hand, and the British invaders on the other.”


British author Julia Lovell talks about writing her book.

“But even if you look at the time, what’s going on during the time of the war itself, the Chinese are supplying the British, they are navigating for the British, they are spying for the British, for a fee of course, so there is an extraordinary pragmatism,” Lovell says in the ACN Newswire press release. “They don’t necessarily feel the loyalty to the idea of the Chinese imperial centre or the emperor or anything else, they will go with where the smart money is. And the British couldn’t have won the war without this assistance.”

There are two key phrases of Lovell’s proving her theory is more complicated than she makes it sound. The first phrase says, “for a fee of course” and the second, “They didn’t necessarily feel loyalty to the idea of the Chinese imperial center or the emperor or anything else…”

In fact, little is “clear-cut” about the Opium Wars. Since the Qing Dynasty was not ruled by the Han Chinese (which represents 90% of the population), but was ruled by a brutal Manchu minority, many Han Chinese probably felt little or no loyalty to the Qing emperor.

Continued on August 16, 2011 in Spinning a Web – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3/3

June 13, 2011

As you may have learned in Part One and Two, Old-World parenting was an improvement over the way children grew up before the 18th century and the Chinese may have learned this parenting method from the invading Western nations after The Opium Wars.

However, parenting methods developed further and by the 1960s, according to research, the best method of parenting is not Authoritarian but Authoritative, which is characterized by moderate demands with moderate responsiveness.

The authoritative parent is firm but not rigid, willing to make an exception when the situation warrants. The authoritative parent is responsive to the child’s needs but not indulgent. Baumrind makes it clear that she favors the authoritative style.

The worst parenting style represents what studies show are the “average” child and parent in the United States today.  These parents are Permissive, Uninvolved or a combination of both.

Since the “average” parent in the US today talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and the “average” child spends more than 10 hours a day dividing his or her time between watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, social networking on sites such as Facebook, or sending hundreds of text messages monthly, it is obvious what the results are. Source: Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Since the Permissive and/or Uninvolved parent has few requirements for mature behavior, children may lack skills in social settings. While they may be good at interpersonal communication, they lack other important skills such as sharing. The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance abuse.

Return to A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2 or start with Part One.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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