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.