Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Book To Bring You Out of A Reading Rut

The Many Thoughts of a Reader Blogger Emily Dittmer wrote yesterday of Blossoms and Bayonets
Oh my goodness.  You know when a book brings you out of a reading rut? Wow.  I was interested in the book when I heard about it but then I started it and man, I didn't want the story to end. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blossoms and Bayonets Book Giveaway!

The Open Book Society is giving away a free copy of Blossoms and Bayonets. Stop by their blog for the opportunity to win.
Says OBS Reviewer: I don’t normally read books about war or violence in general, I believe life is hard enough as it is, but I am always open to new experiences and this one was definitely new: I know close to nothing about Korea, unless you count my watching the TV series M.A.S.H. (which I loved, by the way). So, I was very excited about the prospect of reading this book and I came out of the experience extremely happy.. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Win a Free Book!

Priscilla Tan of is giving away a free copy of Blossoms and Bayonets. Stop by her blog to enter to win. She wrote the following review (excerpted):

The Japanese Occupation is a historic moment. I learnt about it when I was in primary school and my dad ocasionally talks about it during mealtimes.... It’s brutal and heartbreaking. 
I found Blossoms and Bayonets exhilarating, especially the last 80 pages — you will not be able to put the book down. And just when I thought the worst was over, the ending completely shocked me.

My favourite line from Blossoms and Bayonets: Isn’t it strange how all of our games are miniature versions of war?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Join the Blog Tour!

For the month of May, Blossoms and Bayonets is on tour with seven blogposts. Starting today, bloggers around the globe (from Florida to Canada to Singapore) will be discussing the book...and in some cases giving away a free copy. Blogger Kristianne Pidiaoan from Texas reviewed (in excerpt):
This was nothing short of an amazing story. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down... Reading this book was a truly humbling and eye opening experience. It was honest, angry, emotional, beautiful, tragic and encouraging all at once....
Check out today's tour courtesy of Miss Nose in a Book

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Poetry Student Published

I taught a course in writing last year to middle school students. The class consisted of a wide variety, from those who couldn't find their crumpled papers to those who really wanted to master this craft. There was one young woman that I'll never forget. She forgot her assignment, and asked if it was okay to give me something else. I expected a crumpled piece of paper. Instead, I got prose that blew me away. Her mom wrote me last night to say that one of her poems not only won an award, but is part of a compilation in Windows to the Teenage Soul. Get yourself a copy. All proceeds go to back to supporting the school.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

AAUW Hosts Wonderful Event

Last night the American Association of University Women hosted Marjorie Johnson, Nancy Curteman and me at the Fremont Library. (We even were treated to a fire drill--something I haven't done since I was a child.) We spoke about writing, travel, history and strong women characters. It was great fun.  

Thank you, AAUW! And thank you Mary Pelican for taking photos!

What People Are Saying About My Half of the Sky

My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010

"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review November, 2008

“It is a rare women’s novel that sensitively describes the life of a young educated woman in modern-day China in its full complexity, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism. Jana’s deep knowledge of the realities of life in China and Singapore makes the reading extra rewarding. In fact, with every new page the novel gets harder to put down and you find yourself gobbling it up before you know it. Finally, the author has given a voice to the Li Hui in all of us, as we struggle for the golden middle between tradition and the modern momentum of our world.”
Isabella Sluzek
Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008

You'll be rooting all the way for Li Hui as she struggles, ahead of the curve, to be her own woman in an emerging, modern China. Jana McBurney-Lin's My half of the Sky is a beautiful, witty, touching debut novel.
Thomas B. Sawyer
Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
Author - The Sixteenth Man

A complex and mesmerizingly original tale of a young Chinese woman caught between the modern world and the pull of her ancient culture. McBurney-Lin’s intimate portrait of China sparks with insights and is peopled with characters so rich and alive, they seem to breathe on the page. Dazzling and unforgettable.
Caroline Leavitt,
Author - Girls in Trouble

McBurney-Lin's debut novel is a gift. Li Hui is a memorable heroine, a young woman torn between her heart and her culture.Her daunting journey is a trip into China's complicated soul, and a deeply moving exploration of love, honor, duty, and loss." Frank Baldwin, Author - Balling the Jack

My Half of the Sky is a wonderfully-crafted story that was obviously written with a piece of McBurney-Lin's heart. A masterpiece."
Lee Lofland, Author - Howdunit: Police Procedure and Investigation

My Half of the Sky heralds the arrival of a fantastic new storyteller. With artistry and precision, Jana McBurney-Lin's clear-eyed prose takes the reader on a new journey into a past world that speaks to a modern sensibility, a modern world, a modern woman. This is a book to be treasured.
Emily Rapp, Author - The Poster Child

Through vivid descriptions of sights and smells, Jana McBurney-Lin's My Half of the Sky is a haunting, emotional journey of what it means to be an honorable female in modern China. Jill Ferguson, Author - Sometimes Art Can't Save You