Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paperback for "Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square" is available in Amazon

                                                   Click here to get your copy

                                           An Excerpt From Chapter 3

Several hundred people assembled in front of the men's dormitory, #41, near one of the campus gates.   The red Beijing University flag was billowing in the wind.  Some windows of the dorms were open and the students who'd overslept yelled, "Wait for me.  I will be down in a second." Some came down with a piece of bread in their hands. 

When Baiyun, Yumei and their roommate Li Yan arrived at 7:00am, each girl had a different feeling about being there.  Baiyun wore blue pants and a faded jacket, hoping her appearance would attract no attention. Yumei's bright orange sweater indicated that she wanted to be noticed immediately. Li Yan wore a neutral white top and black pants, as though she was still in mourning for the death of Hu Yaobang, which was absolutely adequate. Her approach to life was more realistic.  She was a stout girl with two bushy pigtails and she loved sports and politics, so she was just happy to be a part of it.

Their decision to skip class on Monday was a big one.  The liberal arts students organized the march.  Since the girls were chemistry majors, Baiyun, Yumei and Li Yan would probably be the only people there from their class.  Besides, most chemistry majors would not have a friend like Longfe, an economics major, to inform them about the march.  Math class was important but easy to skip.  Physical education wasn't as important, however it was much harder to skip because as soon as they lined up, the instructor would notice who was missing immediately.  The physical education teacher was reasonable. Everyone loved to skip the Political Science class.  No one listened during those lectures anyway.  Everyone read either their math textbook or a novel right under the instructor's nose as he tried to politically indoctrinate his students by swinging his arms and spraying saliva through spaces between his teeth.

The sky looked gray on that spring morning, for the sun hid behind thick layers of clouds and seemed far, far away.  Occasional gusts of wind blew the dust into the air, a familiar scene in Beijing.  Yumei was a girl from Shaanxi, an ancient province southeast of Beijing.  She began to sing loudly, even though they hardly knew anyone around them.

"Beijing, our great capital,
  Beijing, a beautiful city.
  But in the spring,
  Ladies cover their faces with gray scarves."

Li Yan was a news addict, and she kept informed on everything through her radio.  She was carrying a Walkman. "On the broadcast they said it might rain today." Li Yan informed them.

"Come on, I never believe the weather forecast.  They are rarely correct," said Yumei, absent-mindedly.

"But it rained yesterday," said Baiyun, pushing her glasses up a bit on her straight nose.

"Maybe God is weeping for Hu Yaobang's death," said Yumei, looking around to see if anyone had noticed her.

"Have you heard anything interesting on the BBC?" asked Baiyun.  She knew Li Yan listened to the BBC short wave broadcasts every day.

"Yes, they're making all kinds of strange predictions about China's future.  Some say Hu Yaobang's death is a sign that the conservatives will come back.  Some say his death could stir up a full-scale student movement, which would begin to turn China into a more democratic society."

Longfe approached the girls.  "Hi, Yumei!  It's nice that you are here already."  He wore a tan blazer and a pair of blue jeans.  His big eyes were beaming behind his square-rimmed glasses.

Baiyun felt ignored after Li Yan left to join students from other departments.  She found Longfe very attractive.  She liked his big tall body, the deep set of his eyes and his smooth round face.  But every time he was around, she was too nervous to open her mouth.  She felt embarrassed just standing there, and an idea dawned on her.

"Yumei… I'm going back to pick up our raincoats or an umbrella for us." Baiyun interrupted Yumei and Longfe's conversation.  Longfe stared at her and frowned.  Baiyun turned and ran away.

On her way out, she saw Li Yan along with Xia Nan, a communist party member and the head of the student association in the economic department, talking to a group of students with a megaphone.

Baiyun quickly got back to the dorm, and after looking through the suitcases, drawers, and under the beds, could not find any raincoats or umbrellas.  Then suddenly she realized that she had left hers at home and Yumei had probably had lost hers as usual.  She decided to go to the campus grocery store to buy an umbrella.  If she was late, she could always ride her bicycle to catch up with everyone.  In any case, she wanted to be truly part of the march this time instead of being just a bystander as she had been on previous occasions.  She was famous for always missing exciting events by staying in the library and studying.  As she walked toward the store, she heard a voice accompanied by the noise of a motorcycle behind her.

"Baiyun, what's the rush?  Let me give you a ride."

Lao Zheng, fully equipped with a helmet, leather jacket and goggles, had stopped his motorcycle behind Baiyun.  He had a big grin on his face. Yuck, what is he doing here?  Baiyun asked herself.  She quickly composed herself and faked a smile. "You've come to the wrong place to find Mother."

"Well," he set his left foot on the ground.  "Are you going to Tiananmen Square? I can give you a ride.  It's such a long way to walk."

"How did you know about the march?"

"I saw a group of students marching out of the gate when I came in.  I asked them where they were going."

"Have they already gone?"  Baiyun felt bad.  What would her friends think of her if she wasn't there?  They would think she had missed another important event again. Baiyun could just imagine how the others would talk about her: "How clever, that Baiyun.  Going back to get an umbrella is just her excuse.  Do you remember how she got out of the march last time?  She stayed in the library overnight and came out once everyone was gone."

"Ha... You really need a ride now."  Lao Zheng smiled like a victor.

"Would you?"

"Let's go"

Baiyun jumped onto the back seat of the motorcycle.  Although she hated the cigarette smell on his jacket, she had to hold on to it tightly and bury her head in it, because she did not want others on campus to see her riding on a motorcycle with such a man.

The streets were full of busy people going to work on bicycles, buses or occasionally on motorcycles.  The ringing of bicycle bells and honking of bus horns awakened the city like a rooster's crowing at dawn.  At every street corner, there was a little yellow cylindrical station painted with red stripes.  Policemen wearing white summer uniforms and sunglasses either sat in the station looking out, or stood in the center of the intersection of two streets, directing the busy traffic with a little blue and white stick.  Sometimes a policeman would stop an unfortunate bicyclist because he was carrying his son or both his son and his wife on the bike fender seat.  They usually got a warning from the policeman and were told to walk to the bus station to let the wife and son take the bus.  But as soon as they were out of the policeman's sight, they would get back on the bike and fly.  Violating traffic laws was not considered a crime in China.

Lao Zheng and Baiyun found the marchers stopped in front of a big farmer's market, two kilometers from the campus.

"Hey, Baiyun, we caught up with them in no time at all.  Let's ride along with them.  What do you think?"

"Would you let me get off?"  She pointed toward the market. "So I can buy an umbrella and find my roommate."

"Don't you want to march with me?  We have a motorcycle, the modern transportation."  Lao Zheng stood by his motorcycle proudly.  With his sunglasses and shining new leather jacket, he almost looked like a movie star.

Baiyun was not impressed.  "Please let me off!"  She screamed.

"Actually your mother asked me to come here and pick you up.  She worries about you," Lao Zheng's tone changed.

"I don't believe you.  Mother never bothers me at school.  She trusts me."

"Ok, I came here to find you myself.  I think you'd enjoy going out with me. We'll spend some money and have a good time.  This demonstration is boring.  What do you think?"  Lao Zheng put on his charming mask again.

Baiyun jumped off the slowly moving motorcycle and ran to the other side of the street where the students were, trying to hold back her tears.

"Baiyun!  Baiyun!" shouted Lao Zheng, dumbfounded.

"Baiyun, why are you so late?"  Baiyun could hear someone in the crowd yelled at her.

As Baiyun was crossing the street, she saw that Yumei, Longfe, Li Yan and the other students were staring at her.  She blushed.  How shameful!  She said to herself.  But to the others, she was speechless.  There was a lump in her throat.

"How do you know someone who owns a motorcycle?  How exciting!" said Yumei.  Then she took Baiyun's hands and smiled charmingly, which cheered Baiyun.

"According to the BBC, motorcycles are the practical modern transportation for the future in China.  I'm proud of you, Baiyun.  You'll be a pioneer motorcycle rider on campus," said Li Yan.

"I didn't know there is another side of you, Baiyun. Your hidden side is really exciting," said Longfe, looking impressed.

Yumei hit Longfe on the shoulder. "Stop!"  Then she took Baiyun to the side.

"What's the matter with you?"

"I feel awful."  Tears streamed down Baiyun's face.

"So, that's your mother's boyfriend? What does he want?"

"He wants me to spend the day with him."  Baiyun stared down on the ground as though this was the most embarrassing moment in her life.

"Oh, my God.  He's really interested in you," said Yumei, half teasingly.

"Yes, is that awful?"

"I don't know.  If you don't like him, yes."

"I'm not going to go back home anymore."

"Ok, stick with us."

"Sure," said Baiyun.  She couldn't think of a better way to spend the day.

The following books have been published by Fantasy Island Book Publishing and are available at

Terps by Elaine Gannon
After Ilium by S. M. Swartz
Children Of The Elementi by Ceri Clark
Emeline and the Muntant by Rachel Tsoumbakos
Miranda Warning by Marilyn Rucker Norrod
Brother, Betrayed by Danielle Raver
Ednor Scardens by Kathleen Barker
Land Of Nod, The Artifact by Gary Hoover
Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth
The King Of Egypt by  J. J. Makins
The Last Good Knight by Connie J. Jasperson
The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca
Black Numbers by Dean Frank Lappi
Beloved by Patty Sarro
The Last Guardian by Joan Hazel
Sand by Lili Tufel
Servant of the Gods by Valerie Douglas
Sin by Shaun Allan
Sakuri by Jacob Henzel

Enchanted Heart by Brianna Lee McKenzie
Silent No More by Krista K. Hatch
Sons of Roland: Back Story by Nicole Antonia Carson
City of Champions by Daniel Stanton

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square" is FREE Today

"Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square" will be FREE again on January 14th, 2012 (Saturday).

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349 Free in Kindle Store: "Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square" is on her way up the rankings chart.
#14 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical

                                                                      Click here to get a FREE copy

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Scariest Moments In My LIfe: Why did I decide to become a novelist?

I have experienced a few scary moments in my life as I was growing up in China.  The scariest moment was when my mother was threatened at knifepoint by one of her co-work/boyfriend at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution when I was 10 years old.  It was indescribable fear.  It was like someone had pushed me against the wall and pressed the knife-edge on my neck.  The time was frozen.  I thought of going off to find some neighbors for help.  Yet most of them were still at work and I was running out of time.  I could imagine mother lying in a pool of blood, struggling to get up and putting cigarette back to her mouth. 

The second scariest moment was when my father raised a cleaver threatening to cut off my mother's head when I was 15 years.  Now in age fifty, I just begin to fell its impact on me after having a successful family and a relatively successful engineering career.  This is why I have written two books and one of them "Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square" is in Kindle now.  It has taken me 20 years to get it published.  However, I have felt immensely lucky.  Here is a short excerpt from my novel "Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square":

“I don’t know.  Because of my harsh childhood, I felt like an old woman by the time I was fifteen.  Now I feel so happy, I’m actually getting younger.  Maybe I’m too young to die.  I want to experience true love.”  Baiyun stared at Dagong and her eyes were brimming with tears. "I can't think of anyone I'd rather share my last meal with."

“So, you picked me.”  Dagong beamed at Baiyun. 

“I think you have picked me.  Remember, it was your idea to come here?” Baiyun sounded a little happier.  She was smiling. 

“I think we have chosen each other.”  Dagong reached across the table and took Baiyun’s hands in his. 

 “Are you ready to order?” The waitress showed up all of sudden.

“Sure,” Baiyun was skilled at switching her moods as needed.  She had plenty of training in hiding her emotions during her complicated childhood.  “I would like to order a plate of sliced beef tongue and a plate of pig ears.”

“I would like to have some crispy shrimp. That’s it,” said Dagong.  He handed the menu back to the waitress, who walked away, wiggling her hips as she went.

“I hate that she interrupted our nice conversation about the life, death and love, especially the last one,” said Dagong.  “I’m still curious about why the Qigong knife feat disturbed you so much.  Do you care to tell me?” 

“Why not, even though it will give me nightmares tonight,” said Baiyun in a matter-of-fact way, as though she was commenting on the furniture.

“You don’t have to if you don't want to.  I don’t want to wreck your mood.”

“No.  Everyone knows that I’m different and strange sometimes… it is because of this… it's about time for me to tell everyone, so let me begin with you.”  She looked boldly at Dagong.  “It is time for me to come out as a young woman instead of staying an old one.” It felt good for Baiyun to say it out loud.

“Great.  I’m glad that I helped you to come out,” said Dagong.

“One day, I arrived at my apartment after school.  After walking through the dark hallway, I opened the door. I saw my mother sitting, smoking a cigarette and on her right standing by the bed was a slender young man with mustache…” 

The north-facing one-room apartment was dark in the late afternoon.  A double bed and a single-bed filled up the far side of the room.  On the left stood a dresser with a big vacuum radio on top and a big wooden desk; in the center, a square wooden table.  Initially it was so quiet that Baiyun could make out the clock ticking.  Then she saw the young man with the knife in his hand and the world no longer stood still. 

Baiyun heard thunder in her head; her mind was racing.  She remembered the young man coming to her apartment once before and she thought he was friendly.  She quickly realized that she was mistaken and the young man was obviously mad.  He was mumbling chants and waving a knife as he slowly approached Meiling.  Then with swing of his long arm, he grabbed Meiling’s head and held the knife to her throat.  Baiyun was ready to leap forward to punch him, or bite and kick him. 

Baiyun heard Meiling’s steady voice.  “Take the knife away.  Have you heard me?  Take the knife away,” said Meiling.  Her voice was so firm that it made 

Baiyun think it might be a joke that the young man was playing against Meiling.   All those years later, as Baiyun told Dagong about the incident, her voice was not nearly as steady as Meiling's was that afternoon.   Baiyun stopped speaking to take a breath as Dagong listened.

“What happened next?”

 “Nothing.  Mother is still alive.  He didn’t even break the skin.  He packed his things and left, as she finished her cigarette.”  Nothing happened.  And yet it was the most intense moment in Baiyun's young life.

Dagong was engrossed in Baiyun's story.  He didn’t even notice that the food they ordered had been set on the table before them.  Baiyun began eating.  "Does it give you nightmares?" he asked her.  She did not answer, but not because she did not have nightmares.  She did not answer because her mouth was full.  Dagong did not yet understand; he assumed the best and joined in the feast.  “As long as you are eating, you are doing fine.  Otherwise you wouldn’t have grown to be a college student.  You would have perished a long time ago.”

“You are right.  I’m doing fine.  Don’t worry about me… it only showed me that my mother is invincible.”  As Baiyun said it, she realized that she could be invincible as well.    

Baiyun looked at Dagong carefully, trying to gauge whether his attitude toward her had changed.  She nearly regretted telling him so much.  But whom else could she speak to? 

Dagong touched Baiyun’s hand. “If you ever need to talk about it, talk to me. ” 
Baiyun smiled at Dagong through a mouthful of beef tongue.  She swallowed before she spoke.  “Am I full of surprises?” 

“I love the fact that you are full of surprises.” 

Dagong held Baiyun's hand, and she knew he understood her.   “How about you, Dagong?  Do you have any secrets?”

“Of course.  But I think we have revealed enough secrets for now.  Maybe if you're lucky I'll tell you one of mine over the cream puffs.”  Together they laughed over their past tragedies.

                                                   Get your copy in Kindle

Next post: I was raped but didn't know about it until now.

My website:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A New 5-Star Review for "Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square"

               Love the Chinese Voice of Lisa Zhang Wharton
                                     By Connie J. Jasperson

I love the Chinese voice that Lisa Zhang Wharton writes with. Her experience as a Chinese woman comes across in her story, and it feels almost autobiographical. You feel the grimness of the conditions that the people of China lived under during the time of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Hope thrives under the conditions of hopelessness. Baiyun struggles with her mother's morality, her own wishes and dreams, and with the burdens that were inherent to being a modern woman in China. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves modern literature, and especially those who love anything about China, as I do. 

                                    Amazon Link: Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is Kauai heaven, Pierce Brosnan Thinks So

In the spring of 2010, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Wharton’s family reunion in the north shore of the Kauai Island.  The Wharton family only has reunion once every ten years.  But every time, it is in heaven – the Kauai Island.  We stayed in a house that was only three houses away from Pierce Brosnan’s house and resident at the time.  His kids went to the same school with my sister-in-law’s kids who lived across the street.  One day, my husband ran into Pierce on the beach during a stroll and had a picture taken with him.  No, actually my husband was too shy to do anything.  Piece stared straight at him.  My husband almost said that “Pierce, don’t piece me.” 

Kauai offers a little bit something for everyone.  You can either stare at the violent ocean thinking I’m glad that I’m not in it.  Or you can jump straight into a 200 feet waterfall to have some thrill.  I did it with the aid of a rope swing.  Even though my hips got slapped red when I jumped in, it was really rewarding when I swam lazily in the water afterwards watching others jump in one after another, yelling and screaming.  I saw people of all ages leaping into the waterfall as though there were no tomorrow.

Kauai Island is one of a few islands where you can take a water color painting class in fancy hotels like Mariotte and Hyatt and Sheraton.  Taking a painting class in a boring classroom is one thing.  Taking it in the courtyard of the Mariotte surrounded by tropical birds and flowers is really a treat.  My sister-in-law Sarah Riggle, mother of my book cover designer Jake Riggle has created this class along with serveral her artist friends.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is planning a vacation to the Kauai Island.

Kauai Island also has a vibrant theatre community.  Jake's brother Toby Riggle, a talent singer and actor, performed in many shows in Kauai after moving there about seven years ago.  So when I heard that he was going to perform in the local dinner theatre's "South Pacific", I jumped up and down with joy.  It was quite an experience watching "South Pacific" while in South Pacific!

In the evening, when the sky was painted with red, pink and blue, when the cool breeze swept across my cheeks, when the violent tide pounding against the shore, I couldn't help calling out, “Paradise!”  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Top Ranked and 5-star Reviewed Novel "Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square" is Now in Kindle

Check out my novel in Kindle now:

See the following review:
Lisa Zhang Wharton was born and raised in Beijing, China. In Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square, her first full-length endeavor, she explores everyday life in China in 1989, focused on Baiyun, a college student at Bejing University. Baiyun living at school and finally away from her highly dysfunctional family for the first time, is studying hard to pass the TOFEL exam, which would allow her to study in America and be the gateway to a better life. 

She gradually becomes embroiled in the Student Democracy Movement, protesting the authoritarian government and demanding increased freedoms for all of China. While working as a reporter covering the Movement for the school paper, she meets Dagong, an older factory worker volunteering to help the students, and over the course of several action-filled days, experiences true love for the first time. 

Intertwined with the global events culminating with the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the book also tells the story of four families huddled within the confines of a government mandated collective house, once the single family dwelling of a prominent family, but now post-Cultural Revolution, divided into four tiny apartments.

As the military gradually clamps down on the protesters, and situation becomes dangerous for all involved, Baiyun learns that Dagong is married and has a young child, and sees her love, her ideals, and the remnants of her dysfunctional family disintegrating before her eyes.

This novel works on many levels. In addition to being a simple love story with a backdrop of world events, it's a close-up look at the lasting effects of the Cultural Revolution on everyday Chinese families and an intriguing exploration of historical events. It's truly a must-read for all audiences.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Butterflies: A Surrealistic Writing Class

The following story was inspired by the Paris Writer's Workshop I attended in 2007:

Butterflies: A Surrealistic Writing Class 

            I got up in the morning in my second day in Paris and had a healthy breakfast from the landlady, Christina, who wanted to feed me like a horse.  I turned down the ham but happily accepted the cucumber, yogurt and a delicious cup of hot cocoa.  After having a quick Parisian goodbye, hugs and kisses with Christina, and stuffing the first manuscript we were going to discuss into my leather bag, I stepped out the door on my way to my class– Master Class for Novel Writing.  It was going to be taught by an American-French writer, Ms. Catherine Texier.  It was perfect for me, a non-native speaker, to be taking a class in English in Paris.
            The weather was cool but not rainy.  Since I didn’t know how to take the subway, I decided to join the briskly walking Parisians on the street.  The Google map said it would only take about twenty minutes to walk to the class site but it actually took twice as long, including getting lost twice at the same street corners where I got lost the previous day.  Since I had figured out how to get through the doors in Paris by pushing buttons and pulling latches the day before, I had no trouble getting into the building.  But I had no idea where the class would be.  I decided to go straight to the garden at the far end where there were a fishpond and many beautiful flowers.  Since this place resembled paradise, it had to be somewhere near here.  But I was wrong; there were no human beings in sight.  Instead, there was a garden full of butterflies.
            “Hello!”  One of the butterflies said, fluttering right in front of my face.  I almost fell backwards.
            “I can lead you to your classroom,” said the Butterfly. 
            I was dumbfounded.  What sort of place is this?  The Butterfly must be some kind of high-tech navigation device.  I obediently followed the butterfly.
            As I walked up the squeaky staircases, the atmosphere became more mysterious.  I could see light smoke hovering in the air.
            “What sort of place is this?”  I asked.
            “You will find out soon,” The Butterfly flapped her wings and went ahead.
            Like being drugged, I started feeling light headed and followed ahead.  So when I saw the green rolling hills, the colorful flowers, and the happily running squirrels and rabbits, I was not surprised.  I slowed down, checking the surroundings of this wonderland.
            “Hurry up.  Otherwise we will be late,” said the Butterfly.
            We entered a forest, and crossed a few streams over some miniature wooden bridges.  Then we came to a log cabin.
            “Here is your classroom,” said the Butterfly.  Then she started flapping her wings rapidly.  “Open the door, please.”
            I could hear loud footsteps coming to the door.  Then the door opened and a frog’s big green head stuck out.  “Welcome.  You must be here for the Master Class for Novel Writing.”  The frog had an impeccable British accent.
            Without even asking why I was here taking a class from a frog, I stepped in.  Maybe I was drugged.  Maybe I was in a dream.  Or it was simply an adventure, which for a writer was a golden opportunity. 
After I had found out, who my classmates were, I was not sure that I was in the right class.  Sitting around the table were a giant moth, quite old but beautiful, a raccoon, very earnest, a beaver with prominent nose and a parrot who couldn’t stop talking. 
            “A human?  I haven’t seen one for a long time,” said the Parrot.
            “Have you noticed how young she is,” said the Frog.
            I looked at myself up and down and was surprised to see that I wore a red and white pleated skirt and an apron.  I had two long black pigtails hanging down on my shoulders.  For some reason, I pulled up my skirt and curtsied.
            “You can sit down now.”  The Frog waved her hands.  “One, two, three, and four.  We have one missing.  Before we start, let me pour some tea for everyone.”  She went to a miniature stove and grabbed the teapot.  There were already a few tea ups with saucers on the little wooden table.  The Frog started pouring the tea into the teacups carelessly as though the tea would spill all over the table.  But magically every cup was filled with tea all the way up to its edge and there was no visible sign of a mess.  Then everyone was pushing the teacups and saucers across the table to each other like they were playing a game.  Whoever could push the teacups and the saucers the farthest without knocking over the other teacups won.  Then they started throwing the teacups and saucers at each other through the air like airplanes.  Then this wonderful game was interrupted.
            “Knock.  Knock.”
            “Who is it?”  The Frog asked.
            “I’m Robbie.”
            “Oh, come in.”
            A giant gray rabbit jumped in, panting.  “I didn’t hear my alarm.  Sorry,” he sat down next to the Raccoon.
            “Now everyone is here.  Let’s start,” said the Frog, “Beaver, you can start first.  Read the first three pages of your writing.”
            Beaver started chewing a piece of wood.  The Parrot interpreted his story for him.  “Beavers are slaughtered in large numbers because the humans like the fur.  They are always living in fear.  They have to build special shelters and only go out in the middle of the night.  If they do have to go out during the day…”  Beaver started crying uncontrollably.
            “I really like the story,” said Moth, flapping her wings.  “It’s moving.”
            “Why don’t you fight back?”  Forgetting the fact that I was a human, I couldn’t help but be on the Beaver’s side.”
            “We are too weak to fight humans,” said Beaver, still weeping.
            “You can hire an army of Raccoons to help you,” said the Raccoon with his two big eyes.
            “I’m not sure that humans can be defeated by armies of raccoons,” said Moth with an air of authority.
            “I have good relationships with humans,” said Parrot proudly.  “They like me.  They pay a lot of money to buy me.  This story is too depressing.  I like uplifting stories.  I think that we should make peace with humans.  What do you think, guys?”  Parrot glanced around.
            “You are just satisfied to be a pet.  You are coward,” said Robbie.  “I love freedom.  I represent all the freedom loving animals, let’s fight the humans!”  Robbie jumped up and down to make his point.
            “I agree with you.  We should just give up our lives and our fur.”  As he was speaking, the Raccoon started glancing toward me.
            All of sudden, I felt every creature in the room was staring at me with not-so-friendly facial expressions.  I was sweating.  I couldn’t stand this anymore, I was telling myself.  This roomful of creatures would definitely defeat me.  I stood up and ran out of the door as fast as I could.  There must be a door out of this wonderland!  As I was running, I heard a loud scurrying sound behind me.  I looked back and saw a troop of mice chasing me, holding chopsticks-like swords.  Their captain was sitting in a cart that resembled a Chinese-takeout box.  As I was running, the flowers nearby started closing in on me and tried to block me.  I pushed them away and ran even faster.  The funny thing was that these flowers all had faces and they looked very surprised with their oval-shaped mouths and pedal bonnets all standing up.  I couldn’t help laughing.  What kind of creatures were they?  Just before I was about to be captured by the mouse troop, I dove into the flower bushes.  I pushed and shoved to get in as far as I could.  Then I came to a rose-covered cabin guarded by two guards with peony heads with frog’s bodies.  I stood in front of them and bowed.  One of the guards waved me in.  After I entered the cabin, I discovered a flower palace.  There were tulips on the wall, on the ceiling and on the floor.  I was actually walking on rose pedals.  On the flower-covered throne, there sat a Frog king who also wore a flower crown.  There was an enormous green bronze fountain covered by all different colors of flowers next to the throne.
            “My child, are you here for the fountain of the creativity?”  His eyes looked enormous behind a pair of very thick glasses.  He looked very intelligent.
            “Sure.”  I said.  Do I have other choices, I asked myself.
            “Let’s congregate!”  As soon as the Frog king waved, creatures of all kinds came out from behind the flower curtain and gathered around me.  I looked around and saw my teacher, Ms. Frog, and my classmates, the Beaver, the Raccoon, the Moth, the Parrot and the Rabbit.  Everyone was holding hands. 
            “Are you ready?” asked the Frog king.
            “Yes!”  Everyone yelled in unison.
            All of the sudden the room went pitch dark and lightening came followed by thunders.  The clouds swept through like thousands of sheep.  The sky was going to be split into half.  Many ghosts came in from all directions.  They were tangled up as though they were in a battle.  Then two enormous ghosts were left alone in the sky, yelling at each other. 
            “You told me that you loved me,” said one ghost with trembling voice.
            “That’s history.  I don’t love you anymore,” answered another ghost apprehensively.
            “Remember we used to do so many fun things together?”  The first ghost sounded on the verge of crying.
            “It’s getting old.  Let’s move on!”  The second ghost wouldn’t budge.
            “I’m going to kill myself!”
            “Go ahead!  I’m tired of hearing this.  Please do as you have said for once.  Die, die!”  The second ghost’s voice was so penetrating that it hurt my ears.
            Then they were gone.  The sky had turned peaceful as though a curtain had been closed.  But the peace was short-lived.  The enormous wind started blowing accompanied by thousands of ghosts howling.  It was followed by the rain, the blood rain, to be more precise, as I could taste it.
            “Drink, child, drink!” said the Frog king.  His voice sounded dreamy.

            I woke up in the garden under a grape vine.  Looking around, I didn’t see one single butterfly.  Instead, I saw writers standing, drinking and talking about writing, which seemed so surreal for me.  I sat up and tried to wake up.  But a voice startled me.
“Hello, Young lady!  Why didn’t you go to my class?”  I raised my head and saw my teacher standing in front of me.  Her red curly hair made her look like a lion roaring at me.

“I, I thought that I just took a, a class,” said I, still feeling dreamy.

“Where did you take it?  I certainly didn’t see you in my class!” 
“I, I took it here,” said I.  My voice drifted down and I knew that I had felt a sleep here and had completely missed the class.
“Ok.  You are still jet-lagged so I forgive you today.  If this happened again tomorrow, I will have to have a talk with you.”  She turned around and disappeared like a gust of wind.
 I decided that it was time to go back to my bed-and-breakfast.  I walked all the way back without even getting lost once.
            I opened the apartment door.  I could hear the loud music playing inside, which I recognize as Rock & Roll.  Then I noticed the shadow of two people hugging. Then I started making out that one of them was my landlady Christina in the dim late afternoon light coming through the opened living room door.  They were kissing.  Feeling like an intruder, I quickly averted my eyes and ran to my bedroom like disappearing shadow.  I closed the door and tried to take a nap.  Yet I was as curious as a cat.  I walked to the door and pressed my ear on it, listening.
            “I missed you so much,” said the man.
            Then Christina stepped out from the living room in her usual tights and a low-cut short-sleeve black top.
            “I’m glad that you are back.”  She kissed me on both cheeks.  I’m getting used to this, I was telling myself.  “How is the class?” she asked.
            “Surreal!”  What else could I say?
            “I would like you to meet with my former boyfriend Jean-Paul and his wife Lila.”  Then she lowered her voice.  “Please don’t tell anyone else that they are in town.  Jean-Paul’s life is in danger in this country.  They snuck in just to visit me.”
            I nodded.  Gee, I thought the drama in my life had stopped in the flower palace.  It just kept on going.
            I ended up watching Christina dancing with her boyfriend Charlie, a much younger man from the Congo.  Jean-Paul and Lila watched also since they were much too frail to dance.
            Watching Christina and Charlie swirling around in the small but well-lit living room, I could not help thinking that, Paris is a writing workshop.

The Fantasy Island Book Publishing will publish my book “Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square”. It will come out in Kindle very soon.

The following books have been published by Fantasy Island Book Publishing and are available at

Terps by Elaine Gannon
HarBinGer by Anabell Martin
The Rose Tower by Connie J. Jasperson
Don't Feed the Fairies by Eileen Gormley
After Ilium by S. M. Swartz
Heather's Heart by  Douglas A. Sanburn
Whatever Became of the Squishies by Claire Chilton
Children Of The Elementi by Ceri Clark
Emeline and the Muntant by Rachel Tsoumbakos
Miranda Warning by Marilyn Rucker Norrod
Sofia’s Story, The Shattered Seeds by Clu Gallagher
Brother, Betrayed by Danielle Raver
Ednor Scardens by Kathleen Barker
Land Of Nod, The Artifact by Gary Hoover
Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth
The King Of Egypt by  J. J. Makins
The Last Good Knight by Connie J. Jasperson
The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca
Black Numbers by Dean Frank Lappi
Beloved by Patty Sarro
Sin by Shaun Allan
Recycled Souls Lynette Ferreira