Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is coming up on Saturday, January 28th. Get out your chopsticks and green tea to celebrate a tradition centuries old.

Chinese Lion Dance

Chinese Lion Dance

Some facts about the Chinese New Year Festival:

  • The date of the celebration (which could last up to a week) changes each year but it always falls between January 21st and February 20th. The date is determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries besides China, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, Macau, Malaysia, etc.
  • Chinese New Year has the world’s biggest annual fireworks display to scare away evil spirits. China invented fireworks in the 7th Century and now produces about 90% of the world’s fireworks. fireworks
  • Some no-no’s of the festival include washing your hair or clothes, in the fear that you will wash away good luck, and sweeping your house because you might sweep away wealth. Any washing, sweeping, cooking and cleaning are done before the festival to start the new year out at your best.

Chinese fish lanterns

So decorate with red and yellow lanterns, eat some Chinese food and watch a Jackie Chan martial arts movie to entice a little good luck and wealth your way for 2017.

Jackie Chan

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! (Be sure to let me know which martial arts movie you watch)

 

If you are interested in Feng Shui, check out these posts: Feng Shui Intuitive Collage and Ten Feng Shui Tips for Love and Romance

Chinese New Year 2016!

Yesterday began the Chinese Year of the Monkey. Are you a monkey? Don’t know your Chinese Zodiac animal – click here to find out. I’m a dragon 🙂 Dragons are witty, intelligent and lively but lean toward arrogant and impatient. They are also sensitive, ambitious and romantic.

Chinese New Year

I want to wish everyone a prosperous and happy new year!

Over the past two years I’ve written several posts around Chinese subjects.

Here are a sample:

 

 

 

 

Here are some interesting Chinese blogs I follow:

 

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I have always loved martial arts and romance novels. In 2015 my debut novel, Hong Kong Treasure, was published.

Hong Kong Treasure

A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory.

Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her

from the danger she has forgotten?

Excerpt:

Leyte Province in the Philippines. Her running steps echoed from the walls. Would he catch her? It meant white slavery if he did. Slamming open the kitchen door, she burst out of the hotel despite the typhoon ravaging the eastern coast. The destructive winds and rains were buffered in the alleyway behind the hotel, but she still had to fight for each step away from the man she knew was just behind her.

Without warning, massive walls of water rushed into the alley from both ends. The sixteen-foot wave scooped her up and battered her against the buildings. When the storm surge receded, she lay bruised and unconscious beneath a mass of water-logged debris.

To read more, click Romance by D Dominik Wickles

So what are your goals for 2016?

What Could Be Better Than Cats With Your Tea?

I love herbal teas and I love cats. So naturally, I would love the idea of cat cafes!

grey kitty on laptop

The world’s first cat cafe opened in Taiwan in 1998 and since, they have sprung up across the globe.

cat mug

Cat cafes would naturally appeal to cat lovers but they serve a more important purpose. They let people who are not allowed pets in their apartments/condos, ‘rent‘ a cat or two for awhile. Also, people with family allergy issues or someone who has a spouse/mate who refuses to let a cat into their living space can come to a cat cafe to get their daily/weekly cat fix. And any cat lover will tell you they would die without a constant supply of their cat fix 🙂

person with cat

Benefits people can get from cat cafes:

  • a warm, fuzzy cat to snooze in their lap
  • cat-themed foods and desserts (although it may be a bit pricey)
  • you may get to provide a forever home for a cat – many cat cafes help find homes for strays
  • purrs to lower your heart rate and blood pressure
  • licks from a scratchy pink tongue

black & white tabby

 

Cat cafes can be found in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York City, Oregon, Russia, Japan and others. So look up the closest one to you and go give it a try!

Has anyone ever been to a cat cafe? I’d love to hear where you went and what you thought of it. Or just the idea of cat cafes in general – what do you think? Would you be likely to try it out?

(Here is a photo of our Aggie Girl, a rescue 8 years ago)

Aggie Girl

Sources: http://hellogiggles.com, http://www.lifewithcats.tv, http://www.shanghaidaily.com, http://webecoist.momtastic.com

 

My Friday Post: Celebrating Dragon Delights

I found someone else who loves dragons as much as I do.
Enjoy!

K Y R O S M A G I C A

dragon-238931_640

Golden Dragon

Oh,

Mighty Dragon

 Your fiery dare,

 Gleams in a challenge,

No Childish mask,

Highlights your eyes.

Golden elixir promises,

Hang in the air,

Lining up,

To slide off the curve of

Your celebrated tongue.

A challenge!

Adventuress, take a ride.

Will I or forever still,

 Remain in this moment,

Too fearful to slip on,

Temptation’s back.

To sail the secretive seas,

Witness the wonder of sunsets,

Smell the sweet aroma of Waterfalls,

Discover Dry Deserts

And Tempting Temples.

Cavernous Canyons,

Concealed Caves,

Resplendent Rainbows,

Rippling Rivers,

Incandescent Islands,

Languid Lakes,

Majestic Mountains,

Too many splendours,

To describe.

I step back from,

Tempestuous skies.

  Foolish, I.

Must I question

when I can do.

Trust my,

Ever growing,

Heart’s desire Dragon,

Please.

Take me,

with

you!

 

Link:

th

The Incandescent Britania Islands: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/467819/the-incandescent-britania-islands

Cuevas del Drach, in Porto Cristo, Mallorca.

cave-374728_640 Dragons lair Mallorca Dragons Lair Mallorca

Dragons Lair

I took a risk,

Now I am here,

In Lair,

With you.

Enchantment,

Lingers,

Tapering Black Stalagmite,

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An Interview with Deshi Han From Hong Kong Treasure

Since the release of Hong Kong Treasure is so close, I thought it would be fun to interview Deshi Han.

(Deshi walks in dressed casually in wind pants, a t-shirt and sneakers, and I am immediately aware of his energy and maleness. He sits with an easy, confident grace of one in peak physical condition which is visible from the fit of his clothes. Very sexy!)

Deshi, thanks for coming in to talk with us. I know you’re a very busy man.

microphone

“Yes, very busy but am pleased to talk to you. “

So you are forty-four years old, Chinese and a famous movie star and producer in Hong Kong. How did you get into acting?

Hong Kong Shoreline with ferry

“I like to jump around when I was kid so my Mother sign me up for movie. Very small part in movie but make me want to learn acting and Kung Fu.”

Then you eventually started making your own movies. Did you ever make any here in America?

film set

“Yes, I make two movies in America but they not make big success. Maybe I try again some day.”

You’re really big into charity work. Can you tell us about that?

“Yes, charity, everyone should do. If everyone help someone, then not so many people need help. You understand? My English not always so good.” (chuckle and smile)

(Deshi has a cute little boy smile)

I can understand your English just fine. So, what kinds of charity do you do?

“When bad storms come, typhoons, tsunamis, hurricanes, I bring money and supplies to the people. We also build centers for our seniors who need food and care while families work. I also take presents to children hospitals for sick kids. Any thing I can help, I like to do.”

That’s how you rescued Annie. Taking food and supplies to the Philippines after a typhoon, right?

typhoon

“Yes, she lose her memory in typhoon. She too upset in shelter so I take her home to Hong Kong so she rest and get memory back.” (frown) “I thought it be so simple. She get memory back and I take her back to family.”

Things aren’t going as you planned?

“No. She mix-up my schedule all the time, she has nightmares that are memories of some one who wants to hurt her and everyone tease me that I fall in love with Annie.”

You mean you aren’t falling in love with Annie?

(runs his hands through his hair and looks away) “I have no time for love. I am very busy man. Make movies, do charity. People need me. No time for silly love story.”

Blue_Eyes

Yet, when Annie confesses her fear that someone in her past is after her, you assign one of your stunt crew to be her bodyguard when you can’t be with her.

Yes, I need protect her, but more trouble starts…

 

If you want to know what else happens to Annie and Deshi, you’ll have to pick up a copy of Hong Kong Treasure at its release. (eBook release February 19 and print book in March)

Until then, you can read an excerpt here: Hong Kong Treasure

A deadly typhoon stole Annie’s memory. And now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?

Hong Kong Treasure will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and others.

 

Buddhas and Skyscrapers

10

I follow this blog for her great photos of Hong Kong. It’s easy to imagine my characters, Deshi & Annie from my book Hong Kong Treasure, seeing the same places.
This post takes you to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Some of the Buddhas are funny and others are just gorgeous. Enjoy and tell me which Buddha you liked best!

Peanut Butter and Mussels

Thursday 14th August

As Josh is an avid collector of Buddhas, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery was an inevitable destination during his visit! We hopped on the bus to Sha Tin and stopped off at Bene Italian for fuel. Josh had gnocchi (mainly to show me what they are) i.e. small dumplings made from potato, semolina or flour. They just tasted like cheesy dough to me…probably something that I’d enjoy as part of a meal, rather than a dish on its own.

hong kong

My lunch was mediocre too.

2

However this means that our day could only get better, right?! After lunch, we made our way over…

The long uphill journey to the monastery is an attraction in itself, as the path is lined on both sides with 500 life-sized golden Buddhas, each in different (and often hilarious) poses.

45678

Almost there…

910

WE MADE IT!

11

Founded in the 1950’s, the Ten Thousand Buddhas…

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Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony

The purity of tea represents pure love;

the stability of tea stands for faithful love;

the fertility of tea represents many children.

The first written record of a tea ceremony was during the

Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A. D.).

At a traditional Chinese wedding the tea ceremony is a significant event, formally introducing the bride and groom and showing respect to their families.

After exchanging vows, the couple will serve tea to the groom’s family (the bride would have served tea privately to her own family earlier) or, as a more modern approach, tea will be served to both the bride and groom’s families together.

Chinese Wedding tea ceremony

wedding-tea-ceremony 2

This act shows respect and gratitude to the parents for all their years of love and care. Sometimes the bride and groom will kneel while presenting the tea or sometimes they will bow. The parents will be seated and the order in which the tea is served is very important. Parents are served first then grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts then elder siblings. The groom’s sister or relative assists in pouring the tea and washing the tea cups.

longans red dates lotus seeds for tea ceremony

Traditionally, red dates, peanuts, longans (tropical fruit) and lotus leaves are added into the wedding tea. In Chinese, reading those four ingredients sounds like “to have baby as soon as possible,”  a good wish for newly married couples.

Any sweet tea is used because it is believed to bring happiness to the couple and to foster good relationships between the newlyweds and their new in-laws.

After drinking the tea, gifts are presented to the bride and groom. These gifts are usually either red envelopes of money or pieces of jewelry. If it is jewelry, the couple will wear it immediately.

tea-ceremony-red-envelopes

tea ceremony jewelry 2

The Chinese wedding tea set is a keepsake of the wedding and is a gift from the bride’s family. These tea sets can include traditional Chinese cups or Western cups with handles.

singapore-wedding-tea-ceremony tea pot

tea-ceremony-pot-2

I love weddings and I love tea, so if ever I renew my wedding vows I think I’ll include a Chinese wedding tea ceremony.

What part of a wedding ceremony, Chinese or Western, do you find to be the most romantic?

Sources: http://www.chinese-wedding-guide.com/tea-ceremony.html and http://www.teasenz.com/chinese-wedding-tea-ceremony

dragon illustrationHong Kong Treasure: A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?

Coming this September from Assent Publishing.