The Gilded Fan is written by Author Christina Courtenay and published by Choc Lit.
How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?
It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?
Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?
During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…
The Gilded Fan is a follow on from The Scarlet Kimono but definitely can stand alone as you are transported back to Japan and following Midori’s journey this time. There is no need to have read The Scarlet Kimono first to fully appreciate this book – but why wouldn’t you want too!
Christina’s heroines are always so likable and engaging and the hero’s are without doubt the most captivating leading men amongst the Chic Lit collection (and they have some fabulous ones!). The book starts off in Japan and we follow Midori’s struggles there until she decides to take her own destiny into her hands and boards a ship to find her mother’s family in England. Obviously being set in the 17th Century, it is not as easy as it sounds and a kimono dressed lady turning up in Plymouth isn’t a welcome sight.
This book is everything you’d expected from a talented Author like Christina, great characters, fast-moving plot and bags of historical and locational references that you know she has researched with the greatest care.
As always, a wonderful read and extremely well written.
Available via Amazon UK as an eBook or paperback The Gilded Fan
I asked Christina the following questions:-
1)The Gilded Fan follows on from The Scarlet Kimono, but certainly stands alone if you haven’t read that. What made you want to write the second book and is there likely to be a 3rd book in the series?
I’m afraid I just couldn’t let go of the characters, or rather, they wouldn’t leave my head! Some stories seem to cry out for a continuation and this was one of them. I started wondering what would happen to the next generation and when I did some research for that historical period it all seemed to fit really well, so I just had to write it 🙂 And yes, I did get a little bit carried away and wrote a third book too, so hopefully that will be published at some point (working title The Snow Ghost). One of the characters from The Gilded Fan was very insistent on having his/her (I won’t give away which) own adventure, and so I had to give in and write it down.
2) It is very obvious your passion for the Far East and particular Japan, where does this come from?
I lived in Japan as a teenager and I’ve been back since for several visits. I just love everything about the country; it’s quite simply fascinating, amazing and awesome! Best not to get me started or I’ll go on about it for hours … 🙂
3) All the books of yours that I have read are either are set in the past or have flashbacks to the past, what is it about these past years that interests you so much?
I really have no idea, I’ve just always been fascinated by history. I still remember my first history lesson at school (age 9 or 10?) which had me spell-bound and I’ve been hooked ever since. To a certain extent, it could be because I loved fairy tales, and they’re usually set in the past which is what made them seem so romantic. And I love reading about ancient treasures and cultures like the Egyptians and the Romans who were so advanced and then disappeared.
4) Can you tell us what we can expect (and when!) from your next book?
Well, my next book is a completely new departure for me, a contemporary YA romance called New England Rocks. It will be out in August this year and is the first in a series. I originally wrote it to give myself a break from the historical – they entail a lot of research so it was fun just to write something without having to study the subject first. Luckily for me, the Choc Lit tasting panel liked it. (The cover and blurb are on my blog at the moment – http://christinacourtenay.com/?p=1436 ). It’s a bit scary to change sub-genre like that, but at the same time very exciting! I love reading YA novels myself, so this is something I’ve been wanting to write for a long time.
And you might be happy to hear that I’ve just finished the first draft of the third book in the Kinross trilogy, Jamie’s story (Brice’s brother). He was behind a lot of Brice’s heartache in Highland Storms so I thought it only fair that he should get to tell us his version of events! (I’m very happy – can’t wait for Jamie’s story!!)
5) What has been your favourite book of the last 12 months?
I’ve liked all the Choc Lit books that came out this year, but apart from those, I think my favourite was The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. It’s a time slip, which I love, and it was just magical from start to finish.
Many thanks for having me here!