Welcome to My Blogiversary Party!

Chinese dragon head

It’s time to celebrate!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I started this blog. Time really does go quickly.

First, I want to thank everyone who has liked, commented and followed my blog. I have enjoyed interacting with you and look forward to many more years!

Thank you with red hat box

Now to the party:

Come on over and make yourself at home. The day is warm and breezy here on the beach. The pink chair is mine, though 🙂

chairs on a beach

Sample all the food, especially the fruit and desert buffets.

fruit display

desert bar

For entertainment we will have:

* A Feng Shui consultant to help balance your life energies to bring you luck and prosperity.

Fengshui_Compass

* Jackie Chan & Jet Li may stop by to give a martial arts demonstration.

Jackie Chan

MTV Studios, Times Square

* A surfer hunk will give surfing lessons for anyone brave enough to tackle the waves.

surfer-on-the-beach

* And something for my male friends, a bikini model will be available for photos.

bikini

Fun for all!

But the highlight of the party will be when one lucky person wins a signed copy of my new book – Hong Kong Treasure (released on Chinese New Year, Thursday, February 19, 2015).

To be eligible for this grand prize all you have to do is Like my Facebook Page and Share this post. The contest will end Wednesday, December 31, 2014 and the winner will be randomly picked from eligible contestants and announced on this blog on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Hong Kong Treasure is a romance with a little mystery and action thrown in for good measure.

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

To read an excerpt, go to My Romance Books Website

Good Luck and enjoy the party. Be sure to tell me your favorite part of the festivities in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Here’s to another great year 🙂

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Wing Chun Legend, Yip Man

In my last post (My 4 Favorite Male Martial Artists) I mentioned that I loved Donnie Yen in the Ip Man movies. So this post is about that legendary Grandmaster, Ip Man (Yip Man).

Ip Man portrait

On October 1st, 1893, Man was born the 3rd of 4 children to a wealthy merchant family in Foshan, Guangdong. He began learning Wing Chun, a style of martial arts developed in Southern China more than 300 years ago by a woman, at the age of 7.

He became a policeman when he was 24 years old and started informally teaching Wing Chun to his friends and coworkers. From 1937 through 1941, Man served in the army then in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party came into power he fled to Hong Kong, where he eventually opened a martial arts school, becoming the first master to train students publicly.

Ip Man with wooden dummy

Ip Man with wooden dummy

Despite being 5′ tall and 120 pounds, Man was one of the most respected masters of his time and among his notable students was Bruce Lee. (For more on Wing Chun and Bruce Lee, check out my post: Could Bruce Lee Owe His Fame to 2 Females? )

Ip Man & Bruce Lee

Ip Man & Bruce Lee

To read an interview with Ip Man: www.kwokwingchun.com

Ip Man died of cancer on December 2, 1972. Artifacts from his life are on display at the Yip Man Tong Museum on the Foshan Ancestral Temple grounds.

There have been several movies based on his life. My favorite are the Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen. To watch a trailer from the movie: www.imdb.com/title/tt1220719/

Ip Man movie cover

 

Donnie Yen as Ip Man

Donnie Yen as Ip Man

“It is difficult for a student to pick a good teacher but it is more difficult for a teacher to pick a good student.”

“Regardless of who starts first, ability decides seniority in Wing Chun.”

Ip Man

 

Sources: wikipedia.org, http://www.biography.com & http://www.malineage.com

 

Do you study martial arts? Have you seen any of the movies based on Ip Man’s life? I would love to hear from you.

 

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

Coming in 2015 from Assent Publishing.

To read an excerpt: romancebyddominikwickles.wordpress.com

My 3 Favorite Females in Martial Arts Movies

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I love martial arts and its movies. And what can make a good martial arts movie even better? A kick-butt female character! So this post is dedicated to them.

Here are my 3 favorite females in martial arts movies:

1. Michelle Yeoh

 

Michelle YeohHer training is originally in dance, having graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance, but she brings that strength and grace into her fighting onscreen. Her beauty won her titles in such pageants as Miss Malaysia and Miss Moomba. She, similar to Jackie Chan, has done most of her own stunts and was known for many years as the ‘Queen of Martial Arts.’ I was particularly thrilled to find she and I share the same birthday (August 6th)! She now has her own production company, Mythical Films.

 

You may have seen her in the following movies:

  • Police Story III: Super Cop (1992)
  • Tai Chi Master (1993)
  • Wing Chun (1994 – See my previous post: Could Bruce Lee Owe His Fame to Two Females?)
  • James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 – achieved international success)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

 

2. Zhang Ziyi – 

 

Zhang ZiyiZiyi also began her career in dance along with gymnastics, which has strengthened her onscreen fighting. Besides being athletically talented she modeled for such companies as; Tag Heuer watches, Maybelline cosmetics, Pantene shampoo and Coca-Cola (in China).

 

You may have seen her in the following movies:

  • Rush Hour 2 (2001)
  • Hero (2002)
  • House of Flying Daggers (2004)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
  • The Grandmaster (2013)

 

3. Maggie Cheung – 

 

Maggie CheungLike Michelle and Ziyi, Maggie has had no formal martial arts training. Her career also began with her beauty in modeling and commercials. She was a semi-finalist in Miss World and won first runner-up at Ms. Hong Kong. Maggie was the first Chinese actress to win Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival (1992).

 

You may have seen her in the following movies:

  • Police Story (1985)
  • Twin Dragons (1992)
  • Hero (2002)

 

Sources: http://www.imdb.com and http://www.biography.com

You can also find interviews and movie trailers on http://www.youtube.com

Have you seen any of these actresses or do you have other actresses that are your favorites? I’d love to hear about them!
dragon illustration

Hong Kong Treasure – A deadly Philippines typhoon has stolen Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?

Coming this summer from Assent Publishing.

Could Bruce Lee Owe His Fame to 2 Females?

Early in the 1700’s, during the Qing Dynasty, the government of China burned Shaolin temples which they believed to be harboring revolutionaries. One of the Five Elders of the Siu Lam Temple, a Buddhist nun named Ng Mui fled and survived. According to legend, Ng Mui studied a confrontation between a crane and a snake then used their movements along with her style of Chinese boxing to create a new, unnamed martial art style.

Female martial art

Ng Mui had one and only one student, a beautiful fifteen year old girl named Yim Wing-Chun (Forever Spring). Wing-Chun was being harassed by a local, bandit warlord to marry him. She refused then finally agreed only if he could beat her in a fight. Wing-Chun trained with Ng Mui in the new form of self-defense and defeated the warlord. Later, she married Leung Bac-Chou (Leung Bok-Chau), a salt merchant who eventually named the art style Wing Chun Kuen (Wing Chun’s boxing).

There are other theories as to how Wing-Chun was created and named but I like this legend the best. Call me romantic.

Red Black yin yang

Wing Chun uses natural movements to block and strike and requires less force to be equally effective. This means a person’s size or gender is not a handicap. Today, Wing Chun is globally practiced in 64 countries. Legendary Grandmaster Yip Man (Ip Man) was only five foot tall and weighed 120 pounds. Yip Man was the first to teach Wing Chun to the public and one of his most famous students was Bruce Lee. If the legend of Na Mui and Yim Wing-Chun is true – could Bruce Lee owe his fame to these two females?

Wing Chun has been featured in many movies. The 1994 movie, Wing Chun, loosely portrays Yim Wing-Chun’s life with Michelle Yeoh playing Wing-Chun. In 2010, Kung Fu Wing Chun, stars Bai Jing portraying Wing-Chun.

There has also been three Ip Man movies, the first in 2008 with Donnie Yen as Grandmaster Yip Man. I saw the first Ip Man movie and loved it, soon to watch Ip Man 2.

movie passes and popcorn

For several years I studied Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido. Very good exercise and a lot of fun. My favorite part was the kicks!

Have you studied or ever wanted to study martial arts? If so, what style did you study and what was your favorite part?

 

Sources: http://www.blackbeltmag.com; wingchunmaster.com/history.html; http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/yim_wing_chun  (pics)www.morguefile.com

dragon illustration

 

 

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

Coming this summer from Assent Publishing.

First Things First

I thought I’d start this blog with telling you a little about myself. I am married with two sons, one in college and one finishing high school. Our cat showed up on our doorstep one icy November day eight years ago and now has us all pretty well trained to her specifications.

I was considered a tomboy in many respects growing up but I also spent a good deal of my time curled up in a chair reading a book. Although I’ve had a few different jobs, I now work part-time at my local library. To be around books and people who love them as much as I do is my idea of paradise. And getting paid to be there – wow!

In my early twenties I discovered a love for martial arts and studied the Korean style of Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido. I also enjoyed watching martial arts movies. Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jean Claude Van Damme … but my favorite was always Jackie Chan. They were all the inspiration for my first novel.

Hong Kong Treasure, is a contemporary romance which takes place in Hong Kong. Deshi Han is a famous martial arts actor and director who has no time for a serious relationship. His career and charity works are his life and a relationship would take valuable time and energy away from them.

However, on a charity trip to the Philippines after a typhoon he agrees to help a young Caucasian woman stranded with no memory. He brings her back to Hong Kong to rest and recover assuming it was just another act of charity. He soon finds his scheduled life taking some unexpected turns. Not only does he have to deal with his budding affection for the girl but a danger revealed in the girl’s nightmares may turn out to be real.