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Saturday, April 30, 2011


Song of the Silk Road

The Chinese have many expressions about Spring. My favorite is “Crabapple sleeping in Spring” In fact, it has nothing to do with fruits, or flowers, but women.

The phrase means a beautiful woman sleeping seductively. And it’s Spring that makes all the difference, because, for the Chinese, Spring is the season for lust, for the stirring of love. A lot of Chinese women, especially courtesans in ancient China, feign sleep to seduce, as portrayed in my first novel Peach Blossom Pavilion, the story of the last Chinese geisha. Poets described geisha’s provocative posture as “crabapple sleeping in Spring.”
We love Spring because it is the season when we feel we can fall in love all over again.

In my new novel Song of the Silk Road, set not in ancient but in contemporary China, Lily Lin and Alex Luce met while traveling the Silk Road in Spring. Unlike the courtesans in old China, Lily did not feign sleep to seduce Alex. It happened by accident, when he spied her bathing nearly nude in the therapeutic hot spring at the site of the old imperial palace. Thinking she was safe from any prying eyes, Lily recreated the famous Concubine Yang’s seductive poses when she seduced the emperor a thousand years ago as they frolicking in the imperial bath. It was when Lily was raising her leg, twisting her waist, arching her back and imaging what it would be like to seduce an emperor that Alex happened passing by the pool and saw her half naked body.

Smitten by Lily, Alex traveled after her along the Silk Road, despite her attempts to evade him, fearing that he would find out about her huge inheritance of three million dollars. Lily had come to the Silk Road to carry out tasks that were specified for her to gain the inheritance. She had not even known her aunt existed until a few weeks earlier when she unexpectedly received a letter from a law firm announcing that the money was hers – but only if she traveled to China and retraced the same routes the aunt had taken, meeting the same people, and doing the same things her aunt had done. Then she would be a rich woman – if she survived.  

If you want to know whether Lily survived her harsh journey, got the huge interitance and what happened with her young lover, the answer is in Song of the Silk Road!

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say: “Yip's lively new novel manages to be at once modern and traditionalSurprising and often funny. Yip's (Peach Blossom Pavilion) modern heroine's quest is filled with unique companions, unforeseen dangers, unexpected joys, and bitter sorrows. Part epic, part coming-of-age story, part modern fairy tale

Mingmei’s new novel is Song of the Silk Road, (Kensington, April 2011). Her debut novel Peach Blossom Pavilion (Kensington, 2008), story of the last musician courtesan of China, has received numerous favorable reviews and is now in its fifth printing.

Her second novel is Petals from the Sky, (Kensington, 2010) a Buddhist love story, which Booklist describes as “a serious, engaging story of faith, devotion, and the commingling of cultures.”

Mingmei’s other work in English is Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories (Tuttle), of which she both wrote and illustrated. She is now working on her second children’s book.

In Hong Kong, Mingmei was a columnist for seven major newspapers. She has appeared on over sixty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US.

Visit Mingmei at:


Judy said...

I really enjoyed your post. I enjoy hearing about all the different traditions around the world. Your books really look good. I am going to check them out!!


Angelwolfstorm said...

Great post and great sounding book!

cheryl c said...

"Crabapple sleeping in Spring" is a lovely expression!
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Maria said...

Song of the Silk Road sounds very fascinating. Love the phrase
"Crabapple sleeping in Spring" is lovely.


Jean P said...

Love the phrase,"Crabapple sleeping in Spring" it is very lovely.
Song of the Silk Road sounds like a great book.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

chey said...

Nice post!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Terra Pennington said...

I so love this cover and the books sound like a good one which I have added to my wish list. It is cool that you also write children books as well.

Off to look at your web site.


B. J. Robinson said...

I love the Green Veil and look forward to reading the others in the series. I posted a review of it on my blog. Happy writing and blessings. BJ

Sarita said...

What an interesting post!

snowdance1 at gmail dot com

mingmei said...

Hi everyone, thanks for all the comments and support!
Hope you'll enjoy Song of the Silk Road -- adventures await!