UPDATE: Jade’s winner is Barbara Bettis. But remember that everyone can download Jade’s White Tigress and a new novella on her website!
I met Jade Lee for the first time in Daytona, FL in 2006. She and I were seated side by side at my very first Romantic Times book signing. This gracious USA Today Best selling author was so kind to a newbie and we’ve stayed in touch through the years. Now she’s got a brand new series coming out from Berkley set in a Regency bridal salon!
But I first became acquainted with Jade’s writing through her Tigress series. I’m fascinated by unusual settings and different cultures, so this series was an auto buy for me. I’ve told Jade before that thanks to her, I’ve walked in the very tiny shoes of a 19th century Chinese woman. (At the end of this post I’ll share how you can download the first story in the Tigress series free!)
Mia: As you know, I’m a sucker for historicals in unique settings. Tell my readers about your Tigress series and why we’ll find it fascinating.
Jade: Chinese Tantric Sex. I’m sorry, was there a question? I’ve just got this tick when I talk about this series. Sex to attain heaven. It’s hard to stop. Chinese occult. Happens whenever I talk about–tantric sex—my China set historicals. The truth is that my editor suggested I write something about my heritage, so I started doing research into China history and Shanghai in particular. I ended up tripping over (literally) a book: The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress by Hsi Lai. It talked about a cult of women that still exists today that use physical orgasms to have a religious/ecstatic experience. Wow, was that fascinating! And yes, rather titillating. Think about it. In a country where sexuality is often seen as dirty, shameful, and potentially animalistic, this was a cult of repressed women who used sex to attain the highest spiritual status.
There were other draws for me into this world too. In this time period–around the year 1900—there were a million misunderstandings between the Europeans and the Asians. The Emperor declared that whites were like monkeys who live in colonies. The whites in turn saw the Asians as barbarians ripe for exploitation. They were busy importing opium by the boatload, rapidly addicting the entire upper class. This (as well as other things) led to the Boxer Rebellion and more political unrest. Etc, etc,
All of that became a rich soup for me to explore love stories between White and Chinese in a unique backdrop. Not to mention having lots of sex, sex, sex!
Mia: Of course, I’m fascinated by the history of the era, but the Tantric teachings are pretty compelling. What can you explain a little more about that eastern discipline?
Jade: It’s a relatively simple concept, but very foreign to the western mind. By stimulating the physical body—at the creative center—a wellspring of creative energy rises. And rises. And rises until it takes the spirit to a heavenly realm. What does that mean in literal terms? For women, it means unceasing orgasms until you have an ecstatic event. Like orgasming for days if possible until it happens. For the man, however, the belief is that an orgasm releases your creative energy and a year off your life. So every ejaculation shortens your lifespan. To avoid this, the man goes to the verge of release, then stops and meditates to pull all that creative force back inside. And he does it again and again and again until he has an ecstatic event. You can see why this is more of a female religion!
If you’ve ever watched a traditional Chinese martial arts film, you’ll see the hero is often an acetic—meaning he denies himself sex, lives in moderation, trains obsessively. His purity gives him his amazing martial arts powers. (This fits in with the Christian concept of a monk’s life.) The villain, on the other hand, is often a tantric. He is constantly stimulated sexually, but he never gets to release. Why? Because he’s a tantric and he rolls all that creative sexual energy into his villainous plans. The fuel for his amazing martial arts power is that sexual, creative wellspring. I suppose you could say that both sides in the purity vs. tantric war are fighting from a wellspring of sexual frustration!
Mia: Yes, it sounds like a feminist philosophy. I can pretty much guarantee you my DH would pass on the whole tantric concept! LOL! What are you working on now–either traditional or self-pubbed or both?
Jade: I’m continuing my Bridal Favors series. Four women in regency England run a dress shop (bridal salon). There’s a wedding in each book, more humor than I usually put into my regencies (I’m going for a lighter tone!), and of course my trademark sexuality.
Your readers can get the first novella for FREE! To pick up Engaged in Wickedness for free, click here. And if our readers leave a comment at this blog, someone will win a free copy of Wedded in Scandal! Excerpt and buy link here: JadeLee.com (And btw, it’s a really FUNNY excerpt…)
Mia: It certainly is. I highly recommend you all pop over there for a fun read after you leave a comment here, of course! Jade, let’s learn a little more about YOU! When you’re not writing your exciting historicals, what keeps you out of mischief? Or gets you into it?
Jade: I play a LOT of racquetball as shown by my achy knees and tight low back. In fact, I went pro for 2 weeks (over a decade ago) before blowing my knees. But I still play regularly. Just not at the level I used to.
Mia: Sounds like me and singing. To keep a skill at that level requires hours of dedication each day and you and I are bound to our writing now.
Jade: I go to a lot of conferences too! I’ll be in Wisconsin at the beginning of June and Denver a little bit later. Here are the links: Come find me there!
June 1 – 3 WisRWA Write Touch Conference – Wausau, WI
Speaker, The Core of Romance
June 22 – 24 RomCon
Speaker – Chat with Jade Lee
Speaker – Strip a Hero
A USA Today Bestseller, JADE LEE has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. Now an author of more than 30 romance novels, she finally gets to play in the best girl-heaven place of all: a Bridal Salon! In her new series, four women find love as they dress the most beautiful brides in England. Look for the first books in Feb/March 2012 with Engaged in Wickedness, an e-book novella, and Wedded in Scandal, a Berkley Sensation novel. The next set comes out July/Aug 2012 with Engaged in Passion and Wedded in Sin.
And don’t forget KATHY LYONS! She’s Jade’s lighter, contemporary half. Kathy writes for Harlequin Blaze. Look for her newest Blaze Night After Night… in March 2012.
Thanks so much for visiting, Jade.
OK, gang, now to recap all the goodies you can get today. First, there’s the free download of White Tigress. Then there’s the free novella Engaged in Wickedness to kick off Jade’s Bridal series. And lastly, leave a comment for Jade here and you’ll be entered in the random drawing for a copy of Jade’s delightful new Berkley release Wedded in Scandal!