Monday 7 October 2019

Join Historical Fiction author, Autumn Bardot, as she explores what life was like in the time of her fabulous book — Dragon Lady #HistoricalFiction #Giveaway @hfvbt @AutumnBardot

Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours Presents…

Dragon Lady
By Autumn Bardot

Prostitution required the violation of my body. Piracy required my soul. The first enslaved me. The second set me free.

A young girl is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a floating brothel. Xianggu begins as a servant, but soon her virginity is bought by the highest bidder. Ambitious and determined, she learns the business in hopes of earning her freedom from the madam. Her dreams are washed away when a midnight pirate raid changes her life.

Kidnapped by the notorious Red Flag boss, Xianggu embarks on a journey that demands beauty, brains, and brawn. But Xianggu must do more than learn to wield a sword, sail a ship, and swim across the bay, she must become indispensable to the pirate boss if she hopes to survive. The winds, however, never blow in the same direction, and Xianggu must make a decision that requires her to battle jealous men, ancient prejudices, and her own heart.

The triumph of the notorious Zheng Yi Sao is a sexy, fierce, and unflinchingly realistic story of how a prostitute became the most powerful and successful pirate in the world.

In 18th century China, when men made and enforced the rules, the Dragon Lady lived by her own.

Life in the time of Dragon Lady
By Autumn Bardot

Thank you so much, Mary Anne, for allowing me to guest post today!

 I’m sure lovers of historical fiction won’t be surprised to learn I did a boat load ( LOL ) of research for Dragon Lady. In fact, it almost did not get written. I really wanted to write about Zheng Yi Sao, the prostitute turned pirate, but knew I needed primary sources to write a historically and culturally accurate novel. I purchased quite a few books (okay, I confess, a stack) and hunted down an out-of-print book that provided a wealth of information about Chinese pirates of the time. (The footnotes had an amazing amount of information.) And after three months of typing in various keywords, I was able to find the transcribed account of one of the actual English naval officers kidnapped by Zheng Yi Sao. What a treasure!

 I immersed myself in the life and times of Chinese pirates. Even bought a model junk. It sits on the mantel in family room.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at how a Chinese pirate lived. Life was difficult for the poor. Fathers sold their children. But we’ve read about that in other Asian historical novels. Chinese pirates had their own lifestyle, codes, and morals. They were ‘water people’ that lived and worked in the waterways and harbors of southern China. Land dwellers claimed they had webbed toes and were wicked. *eyeroll* They had their own dialect. Most were desperately poor. But not all.

Pirates were rich! Well, at least the officers. Many worked their way up the ladder in ways that were very violent. Kidnapped adolescents might be adopted by the boss. Also, by means that would be considered not only illegal but immoral today. Adopted sons became part of the ‘family’, and it was this extended family that made the pirate’s reach very long. Family connections were everything!  

It was a violent business. Anyone could get thrown overboard (far from land) for a variety of offenses, have their feet nailed to the deck, or be cut into a hundred pieces. A new recruit, officer, hostage, concubine, or wife had to be very careful to obey the unwritten rules.

Life on board was harsh for the deckhands. They slept on deck or shared a tiny space below. They drank bee-chew (a type of alcohol), chewed betel nut, gambled, smoked opium, and often took other men as their wives—until they could afford a proper female wife. The bosses and highest-ranking officers had their own room, dressed well, and made a lot of money from kidnapping, protection fees, stolen goods, and revenues from their land-based business, like gambling houses.

Piracy at the time was a huge business! Its own kind of bureaucracy or cooperation. Some of the jobs included, ship chandlers, cooks, certificate makers, book keepers, collection bureau overseers, lookouts, accountants, attorneys, fellows of ink & brush, keepers of the treasury, religious specialists, incense burners, emissaries, store clerks, and stewards in charge of food, supplies, and firewood. They also hired appraisers, sailmakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, and I’m sure I left out quite a few.

 A person made more money working in some capacity for the pirate fleets than they did for the government. In fact, many government officials secretly worked for the pirate fleets. Or took bribes. The pirates were in cahoots with the secret societies, the Triads. The pirate fleets’ power was extensive, their wealth vast, and their fire power greater than the Qing navy. The Spanish and British navy feared them as well and cut wide berth around them.

Wives were expected to throw stink pots (fire baskets), javelins, fight, and row sampans. Bosses had several wives; however, women were never meant to be officers or bosses! Which is why the life of Zheng Yi Sao (which translates to wife of Zheng Yi) is so extraordinary. She dared to do what no woman ever had. More than that, she made rules regarding the protection of female captives and the women on board. She expanded and grew her pirate empire to become the most feared, respected, and wealthiest pirate in the world.

Zheng Yi Sao’s rise to power—and it’s not sugar-coated—is a fierce, unflinching look at a woman’s personal, emotional, business, and cultural battles to succeed in man’s world.

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Dragon Lady! Enter HERE!
Giveaway Rules

• Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is open to the US only.
• 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.

Pick up your copy of
Dragon Lady


Autumn Bardot
Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and erotica about sassy women and daring passions!
Her erotic fiction includes Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World, published by Cleis Press. Confessions of a Sheba Queen (erotica) will be available Jan 2020.
The Impaler’s Wife is her debut historical fiction, released in April 2019.
Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching literary analysis for fourteen years
When Autumn’s not writing or working, you’ll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue pooch. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting Dragon Lady! We appreciate your wonderful support!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx