Hello my lovelies, I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for Madam In Silk by Gini Grossenbacher. Not only am I sharing an exclusive Excerpt, which is so good – I can guarantee you will be desperate to read more, there is a chance for you to win a copy of this gorgeous book, so as always take your seat, grab a cuppa – and maybe a snack and enjoy.
Madam in Silk by Gini Grossenbacher
Publication Date: July 15, 2019
Publisher: JGKS Press
Format: eBook & Paperback; 476 Pages
Series: The American Madams, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction
San Francisco,1849. Despite her objections, twenty-year-old Ah Toy and her servant Chen voyage from China to San Francisco with her husband who dies on board ship. With little cash and bound feet, how is she to find employment in the Gold Rush town? Since she is the only Chinese woman there, she opens a “Lookee Shop,” catering to miners who pay in gold dust to see her exotic beauty. As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Will their love survive despite her frightening encounter with Sydney Ducks, threats from rival madam Li Fan, and a tempting offer from Henry Conrad who promises her wealth and security? Armed with her mystical beliefs of the inner dragon and Goddess Mazu, Ah Toy faces much more than the journey from the ancient ways in China to the new world in America. In fact, she must find the true source of courage in a life or death struggle for her own fate, justice, and dignity. Based on page-turning accounts about the life of Ah Toy, one of San Francisco’s most legendary madams.
“Readers were effusive in their praise of Gini Grossenbacher’s dynamic debut novel Madam of My Heart, based on the life of the infamous brothel owner Belle Cora. This, the prequel to her American Madams Series, is inspired by the life of a beautiful young Chinese woman of high birth brought to California against her will. She was able–and willing–to do whatever it took to find security and fortune in Gold Rush San Francisco. Madam in Silk is this year’s exciting addition to historical fiction.” -Cheryl Anne Stapp, Author of Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War
San Francisco,U.S. Military Territory, February 1849
Ah Toy’s husband Tung Chee told perfect lies, but for once he told a perfect truth. San Francisco Bay was a canvas of wondrous blue sky, mirroring placid water that lay like a sheet of glass. As soon as the brig Eagle entered the massive inlet, Ah headed to starboard, her lotus shoes pinching her bound feet. She grasped the railing as the trading ship rolled toward the dock, avoiding ships at anchor.
The Eagle’s timbers creaked as sailors scrambled up and down ratlines, pulled down flapping sails, and fed rope out to the longshoremen who waited, their arms outstretched. The pungent aroma of rotting fish stung her eyes. Her mystical inner dragon awoke, its nostrils flared, its eyes wide.
For a moment she pictured Tung Chee’s body, gray and still. Only a week under sail and consumption claimed the angry man. Gone was his nest of perfect lies about San Francisco: the weather would cure his coughs; they would escape his grasping brother Tung Chao, they would start their business anew and grow rich. When she objected, he backhanded her, leaving her cheek raw and sore. Even now, three weeks later, she saw the sailors tighten the canvas shroud around his body and heard the few words of the Captain. “May God rest his soul.”
She had stood next to Chen on the Eagle’s weather deck, the wild winds whipping around them. The black water of the deep Pacific opened its jaws to receive the plunging body disappearing under the waves. The Captain asked, “Do you wish to say a prayer, Mrs. Toy?” She shook her head. She had no sensation of grief then, nor now. Maybe she was numb—maybe she was relieved. So many times in Guangdong, called Canton by the British, she had wished him dead.
But now behind her the blue waters churned in the bay, swells that pushed back through the Golden Gate straits. Out beyond, the Pacific Ocean expanded endlessly until it stopped, China standing in its way. Had she really crossed the largest body of water on earth? She swallowed hard, her inner butterflies rising and falling with each breath.
Thank you, Goddess Mazu, patron of the seas. You delivered me and Chen safely to shore.
Erratic shouts in different languages from sailors and brown-skinned dock workers rang up and down the wharf. Ah watched horses draw away stacks of crates in open wagons. Some drivers arrived with empty drays, waiting to load barrels of porcelain, silks, and dry goods. Symbols for fish, tea, and rice marked crates on the dock. Men loaded heavy equipment onto other large drays.
Guangzhou’s wharf sounds were a mere hum compared to the bustle of this place. San Franciscans must be building houses, churches, and businesses. People who lived here would be hungry; people would want fine clothing and furniture for new homes.
Round-eyed men moved everywhere; many workers were tanned like the shoes people wore in Hong Kong. Where were the women? In Guangdong one would see them padding about in their bright qipao, children dancing by their side. Here? Maybe men kept them indoors like dolls. She sucked in a breath. Women of the rich, the wealthy, the highborn.
*Madam in Silk, Gini Grossenbacher; ©2019
About the Author
California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.
Blog Tour Schedule
Do check out the other blog which are participating in this blog tour.
Monday, September 23
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Wednesday, September 25
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Monday, September 30
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Tuesday, October 1
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Thursday, October 3
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Friday, October 4
Interview at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 7
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Madam in Silk! To enter, please use the Gleam form below here – Madam in Silk
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.