The official blog of Historical Fiction author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Come and join me on the hunt for everything mythological, as well as historical. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
Book Spotlight ~ Wings of a Flying Tiger by Iris Yang #NankingMassacre #China #mustread @IrisYang86351
Wings of a Flying Tiger
By Iris Yang
In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.
Jasmine Bai, an art student who had been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.
With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered.
Love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery all play a part in this heroic tale that takes place during one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.
Jasmine was half
asleep when a voice jolted her awake. She didn’t know how long she’d dozed off.
It felt like only a minute. Sitting upright, she blinked to bring the world
into focus and realized the rickshaw had stopped.
“Get down,” the
puller said, an edge of panic in his voice.
“But….” She looked
around, rubbing her eyes, confused. “But we’re not there yet.”
“It’s only ten
minutes away. I can’t do it anymore.” He grabbed her arm.
the pull. “What are you talking about? I’ve already paid. You—”
“There you have
it.” The man took the money out of his pocket, thrust
it to her, and dragged her off the cart. Two bills slipped out of her grip,
floating on the wind.
“Money is useless if one is dead,” he said, picking up
the handles. Before she could argue, he turned and ran, leaving her in the
middle of a littered street.
Jasmine shook her
head as she chased the bills. She snatched one, but the other had blown to the
edge of a building and landed at the bottom of an
outside basement entrance. Hissing a sigh of irritation, she trod down the steps.
The bill lay on
top of a propaganda leaflet. A picture showed a
smiling Japanese soldier holding a Chinese baby while giving food to her
parents. A few words printed near the Rising Sun flag—“Trust the Japanese Army.
We will give you rice to eat, clothes to wear, and a home to live.”
As she picked up
the papers, shouts erupted. Gunshots and explosions followed. Instinctively,
she hunkered down. With hands over her head, she hid behind the wall, making
herself as small as possible. She was afraid to even take a breath.
From her hideaway
below street level, she heard a few people pass in a hurry. They were shooting
and yelling in Chinese. Her hands covered her ears
so she couldn’t make out anything except for a couple of words like “Fire” and
Rat-tat-tat-tat. Rapid fire exchanged, and ear-splitting explosions
going off. The sound of firearms mingled with yelling and screams.
Soon a much larger
group rushed by, shouting in Japanese.
She recoiled. Her
fear grew into a full-blown panic. Her body shook uncontrollably. The sickening stench of blood and gunpowder blended with the animal manure. With
one arm shielding her head, she jammed
her fist into her mouth to prevent her from crying out loud.
Time seemed to
Jasmine, the fighting seemed to go on forever, but it actually lasted only a
few minutes. The soldiers moved on, and the area became quiet.
listening, making sure she was alone before peering out. No one was there—at
least no one was standing. Ten yards to
her right lay a corpse in the blue cotton Nationalist Army uniform. He was on
his face, a mat of blood on his back. Further away, two more Chinese combatants lay on the
sidewalk. One man’s chest was a giant red blossom, and half of the other man’s
head had been blown off. Stray dogs circled the bodies.
Blood drained from
Jasmine’s face. For a second, she stood frozen, immobilized by shock and grief.
But she allowed herself only a moment before she jumped to her feet.
She moved as fast
as she could. In case she had to hide
again, she kept running near the edge of the buildings and paid close attention
to the basement entrances or any other hideouts. Rubble from artillery fire, abandoned vehicles, weapons, and
Nationalist Army uniforms littered the street.
distance seemed longer than the Great Wall. Luckily she didn’t encounter
another soul before reaching the house. She was out of breath. Her chest seemed
about to explode. She was trembled so violently that she could hardly stand.
the frame, she banged on the door. Huffing and puffing, she yelled at the top
of her lungs, “Mom! Dad! Open the door. It’s me, Jasmine. I’m home. Open up!”
Iris Yang (Qing Yang) was born and raised in China. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child, but in China creative writing was a dangerous career. As famous writers and translators, her grandmother and her aunt were wrongfully accused as counter-revolutionary Rightists, so Iris had to choose a safer path—studying science.
After graduating from Wuhan University and passing a series of exams, she was accepted by the prestigious CUSBEA (China-United States Biochemistry Examination and Application program). At age 23, with poor English, little knowledge of the country, and 500 borrowed dollars, she came to the United States as a graduate student at the University of Rochester.
Later, she received a Ph.D. in molecular biology, trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and worked at the University of North Carolina. Although she has published a number of scientific papers, she has a passion for creative writing, and her short stories have won contests and have been published in anthologies. Currently, Iris is working on a story based on her grandmother, who was the first Chinese woman to receive a master’s degree in Edinburgh in the UK. Iris now lives between Sedona, Arizona and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Besides writing, she loves hiking, dancing, photography, and travel.
Iris loves to hear from readers, you can find her: FacebookTwitter Recent press interviews with Iris Yang: