Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our giveaway over the past few weeks. Thank you, especially, to all the bloggers who posted it on their sites and everyone who shared the links on social media. We really appreciate your help spreading the word about our books!

We are happy to announce that the giveaway winner is Charlotte Steggall. She will receive copies of all three books in the post soon. Charlotte used to be an expat in Japan and Germany. You can check out her blog here!

If you didn't win the giveaway but you'd still like to grab a copy of any of the books, here are the links one more time. Thank you for your support of these new stories of life and love in Asia. Happy reading!

Year of Fire Dragons: An American Woman's Story of Coming of Age in Hong Kong by Shannon Young ($7.99 on Kindle)

Here Comes the Sun: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras by Leza Lowitz ($9.99 on Kindle)

The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater ($10.99 on Kindle)

Thursday, July 2, 2015


This week I'm participating in a joint blog tour with two other authors of new memoirs set in Asia. You can enter our giveaway here. We each read each other's books, and I'm pleased to share my thoughts on the second one today: Here Comes the Sun by Leza Lowitz.


An American woman finds love in Japan and embarks on a journey toward motherhood through adoption and yoga.


If you're a fan of How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit, the expat women in Asia anthology I edited for Signal 8 Press last year, you might recognize this title. Leza Lowitz contributed a moving excerpt of her then-unpublished memoir to the anthology, also called Here Comes the Sun. Now we get the full story! 

Leza's memoir follows her journey to motherhood through adoption, and to peace and self-understanding through yoga. Set primarily in Japan but also featuring Leza's roots in Berkeley, California, the memoir is a beautifully written reflection on life, motherhood, and finding a home.

Leza's background in poetry is evident in the language of this memoir. There's a moving simplicity to her words that draws you in as you follow her move to Japan, her romance with a handsome Japanese writer, and her search for the child she knows is calling out to her.

In addition to the story of her family finding each other, Leza's memoir features her heartfelt attention to yogic practice and philosophy. Leza writes about her decision to open a yoga studio in Japan and organizes her story around the eight chakras. Her spiritual journey is particularly interesting because she brings together her practice of yoga and the traditions of her Jewish upbringing. It's a story for modern, multicultural times if there ever was one.



The Kindle edition is $9.99. I received a free copy of the ebook for review. Disclosure: Leza also wrote a very nice blurb for my memoir, Year of Fire Dragons.


If you'd like to win a copy of Here Comes the Sun, along with The Good Shufu and Year of Fire Dragons, you can enter our giveaway here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

THE GOOD SHUFU by Tracy Slater

This week I'm participating in a joint blog tour with two other authors of new memoirs set in Asia. You can enter our giveaway here. We each read each other's books, and I'm pleased to share my thoughts on the first one, The Good Shufu by Tracy Slater.


An American academic finds herself falling in love and moving to Japan with a Japanese salary man.


American Tracy Slater was not looking to move abroad. It came as quite a surprise when she fell in love with a Japanese businessman who also happened to be one of her English students. In this candid memoir, she shares the process of coming to terms with the new life she would share with the man she loved. Rather than permanently moving to Japan, Tracy spent years trying to split her time between her new life and marriage and her first love: the city of Boston. Eventually, the combination of her father-in-law's ailing health and her efforts to conceive throughout her early forties drew Tracy further into the arms of Japan.

This memoir is a candid look at a journey of love and compromise as a couple works to make a life together despite vastly different backgrounds and plans for their lives. The central relationship in the memoir is sweet in its earnestness, and you really root for Tracy and her husband throughout the book. The portrayal of Tracy's relationship with her father-in-law is especially moving as his health slowly fails. She examines what it is like to take on a highly traditional carer role as a woman who never quite expected her life would take this turn.

The memoir is deeply thought-provoking because of the way Tracy's expectations and affluent background war with her new life as a wife in a more conservative culture. Her journey to conceive after the age of 40 is heart-rending. I won't spoil the ending, but this is a book that will leave you thinking for days afterwards.



The Kindle edition is $10.99. I received a free copy of the ebook for review.


Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the hardcover edition of The Good Shufu, along with copies of Here Comes the Sun and Year of Fire Dragons. Look for my review of Here Comes the Sun tomorrow!
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