The Temple of Heaven (Made in China #2) by Z. Allora
Cover Art: PL Nunn
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Z. Allora here today talking about painting, writing, and the lastest release in the Made in China series, The Temple of Heaven. Welcome, Z.
Greetings! Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and your fabulous readship for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, Chinese painting, and my new release The Temple of Heaven. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of The Great Wall, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)
Most folks know I love art. When I lived in China I was lucky enough to take classes with art professor. She spoke as much English as I spoke Chinese meaning NOT MUCH.
My teacher and I met at an art auction.
I converted her work but the price quickly went well beyond my budget. I was horrified that the man who won didn’t seem to appreciate her or her incredible talent. He just wanted the status of donating that much to charity.
In my broken Chinese I told her how much I loved her work.
She gave me her number and address.
My friend called for me and scheduled a time for us to meet. I thought I was going to her gallery but she had invited me to her home.
I found out that she was a retired art professor at one of Suzhou’s colleges. I had nothing to lose so I asked if I could persuade her to take me on as a student.
My friend translated.
The artist ran out of the room.
Had I insulted her?
Within 30 seconds she returned with a chopstick in hand and held it out to me.
HOLY FUK! This was my karate kid moment. I could feel it deep in my bones. The pressure built. I didn’t want to screw this up.
I took a deep breath and grasped the chopstick between my fingers and thumb.
She snatched my hand and studied my finger placement.
I started to sweat. Did I do it right?
She looked me in the eye and said, “I teach you.”
I wanted to dance around the room but I settled for shaking her hand and calling her teacher… or mouse because the words sound almost the same.
Over the next six years while I lived in China, I created seven pieces. Chinese Brush Stroke (or water color) is time consuming… especially if you don’t know the language and have little talent for painting. She taught me through demonstration and at times with hand over hand.
I included a few of my pictures.
*Many of the shades of green are made from Indigo Blue and no yellow needed to be added.
*Chinese Water color is done with mostly water.
*You’re supposed to hold your water and your ink brush in one hand (though if you’ve just had carpal tunnel surgery like me that’s not possible).
*Students are not allowed to create original pieces. You learn by reproducing what the Masters before you have made.
*My paintings were made by her tracing other artists designs and then I was to paint them after practicing exactly what to do off page.
*My chop (signature stamp) was too “mannish” for my teacher’s liking.
*After every class she made me eat watermelon > I don’t like fruit. I ate it weekly for six years.
In The Temple of Heaven, Jordon Davis takes art class from my teacher. While once I got past the idea of copying someone else’s work, he does not. We see him struggle with her demands that he adhere to the rules. In the end he negotiates and addresses his issues with drawing his own boundaries.
The Temple of Heaven’s Blurb
Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first… until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be.
Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that.
Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.
To Enter the Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us what you would paint if you could. Winners will be picked July 20th. (Leaving your email helps but isn’t necessary)
Many hugs, Z.
To contact Z. Allora:
FACEBOOK: Z Allora Allora
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/z-allora-637