Book Blitz: Rabbit in the Moon, by Heather Diamond

Rabbit in the Moon

Rabbit in the Moon cover

Rabbit in the Moon
By Heather Diamond
Genre: Memoir

Blame it on Hawaii’s rainbows, sparkling beaches, fruity cocktails, and sensuous breezes. For Heather Diamond, there for a summer course on China, a sea change began when romance bloomed with Fred, an ethnomusicologist from Hong Kong.

Returning to her teaching job in Texas, Heather wonders if the whirlwind affair was a moment of madness. She is, after all, forty-five years old, married, a mother and grandmother.

Rabbit in the Moon follows Heather and Fred’s relationship as well as Heather’s challenges with multiple mid-life reinventions. When Fred goes on sabbatical, Heather finds herself on the Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau with his large, boisterous family. For an independent, reserved American, adjusting to his extended family isn’t easy.

Life on Cheung Chau is overwhelming but also wondrous. Heather chronicles family celebrations, ancestor rituals, and a rich cycle of festivals like the Hungry Ghosts Festival, Chinese New Year, and the Bun Festival. Her descriptions of daily life and traditions are exquisite, seamlessly combining the insights of an ethnographer with the fascination of a curious newcomer who gradually transitions to part of the family.

Moving between Hawaii, Hong Kong, and the continental US, Rabbit in the Moon is an honest, finely crafted meditation on intercultural marriage, the importance of family, and finding the courage to follow your dreams.


Brief Excerpt from book:

Our gourmet eating tour includes visiting a series of tourist centers devoted to Chinese specialty foods. Our stops include a pork floss factory, a tea farm, and an eel farm where I refuse to get out of the bus. I’ll eat eels cooked and on rice, but I have no desire to discover how they’re raised, skinned, and smoked. In the bus, Amah passes around a package of sweet, dried, and shredded pork she bought to share along with all the snacks she purchased as gifts for friends. Americans give chocolates; Chinese give pork floss. I have to admit that it’s good. I gave up eating vegetarian somewhere between the last trip and this one, partly because of my desire to be a good traveler who can fit easily into a new culture and partly because I tired of being told that there was only a little pork or chicken in Chinese dishes “for flavor.” On the last trip, my special vegetarian soup was garnished with a chicken foot, which Fred quickly snatched from my bowl. Being too much trouble is an issue I’m working on.

Because there are so many of us, meals require two large round tables. I have always had a weak stomach when it comes to cleanliness in restaurants. My father liked to tease me about going to his favorite hamburger joint, Mel’s Diner, where I once found a crispy fly in my French fries. This trip poses challenges that go beyond my issues with Chinese table etiquette.

In a Teochew restaurant in Shantou, we’re squeezed into a tiny upstairs room that holds only four tables. We’re seated on stools like the ones at Number 10, and I’m sitting near the wall when I spot a good-sized cockroach lazily ascending. Not wanting to make a scene, I nudge Fred and tip my head toward the roach. Fred calls the waitress and points. She pulls the wet towel out of her apron pocket, smacks it against the wall and the roach, and tucks the rag back into her apron. She then calmly goes back to taking orders from the next table. I tamp down my gag reflex just in time to see a winking chicken head arriving on the next platter.

I have never seen a naked, boiled chicken head, and I do not understand how anyone could think it attractive as a culinary garnish. Yet there it sits, propped up in the middle of its own chopped, steamed, and sauced flesh, one eye closed and its comb flopping left. Fred turns to me with an exaggerated wink, his fingers crooked over his head like the chicken’s comb. Stifling a giggle, I nearly choke on my tea. Mimi sees him and says she heard that if you go out with your boss and the chicken head points to you, you’ll know you’re about to be fired. This strikes me as hilarious, and as Fred plops steamed chicken into my rice bowl, I’m shaking with the effort to contain my laughter.

Back in our hotel room, I put a shower cap on my head and prance around singing a made-up chicken head song in my beginner Mandarin to the tune of “Fish Heads,” by Dr. Demento: “Ji tou, Ji tou, heng pang ji tou.” We roll on the bed, whooping and wiping our eyes. Humor, it occurs to me, might be my secret weapon for surviving Lau family travel. I already adore this man for making me laugh, for the way he laughs with his entire body — shoulders shaking, head thrown back, snorting and gasping for air. For his playfulness, his silliness, his willingness to be the epicenter of a joke by laughing at his own mistakes and foibles. The first man in my life who makes me laugh out loud and thinks my jokes are as good as his own. Serious people like me are pressure cookers with stuck safety valves. Left to ourselves, we can ferment or implode. Levity lifts the lid, lets out the steam, and connects us to the world.


Author Bio:
Heather Diamond is an American writer in Hong Kong. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii and has worked as a bookseller, university lecturer, and museum curator. She is the author of American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition. Her essays have appeared in Memoir Magazine, Sky Island Journal, (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences of the Pandemic, Rappahannock Review, Waterwheel Review, Hong Kong Review, and New South Journal.

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Book Blitz: A Fat Girl’s Confidence + Giveaway

a fat girls confidence
 A Fat Girl’s Confidence
by Patrice Shavone Brown
Nonfiction Self development

Date Published: 10/30/2018

Publisher: My Story Publishing

 

 

Most people think big girls have low self esteem and do not feel as sexy as the models with the perfect bodies that we constantly see on TV. I never knew there was anything wrong with me until I kept seeing people on TV telling me I was too fat, too sloppy and definitely ugly. Every commercial emphasizes the need to have that perfect plastic-factory body. While everyone think that fat is sloppy or unattractive, I have learned to embrace it. I choose to live my life fat, free and fabulous! And I am here to motivate you. Patrice Shavone Brown reveals her truth and secrets to being and becoming a proud fat girl. As you read this book, you will discover the confidence that you never thought you could have. Join the Confident Fat Girls Movement with Patrice. “Let’s be the beauty they all said we could never be,” she concludes.

 

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About the Author

Author of A Fat Girl’s Confidence Guide, published by My Story Publishing Company, also the founder of the “Confident Fat Girls Movement” Patrice Shavone Brown is a mother of two beautiful children. She is also the big sister of two siblings. Most of all she is “me.”

She is a person that has had storms and mountains to climb. She is still climbing. Patrice lost her mom to cancer June 2017. She does not paint pretty pictures about her life or surroundings. Helping people is at the heart of everything that Patrice does. She has spent the last two decades serving her community as a Mental Health Counselor. Her greatest satisfaction comes from empowering others and assisting in people’s healing through the power of words.

“It’s hard, yet life is what you make it. And it is full of twists and turns,” says Patrice.

Patrice has owned and operated Restoring Bodies and Minds, restoringbodiesminds.org, for the past seven years. She’s an over achiever. She likes to excel, and she has tremendous drive and determination. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, is at her core.

Brown has also authored four books. Her books are based on her everyday life experiences. The titles are Secrets Of A Crazy Mental Health Counselor, The Day Momma Made Me Dance, We Blend Well Together, A Fat Girl’s Confidence Guide, A Fat Girl’s Confidence: Beating Depression and Building Self Esteem, The Finesser and The Finesser 2.

Patrice holds an MA, BA, and AAS. She is also an Anger Management Specialist

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Spotlight, Uphill and Into the Wind + Giveaway

Non Fiction / Memoir

Date to be Published: 10/15/20

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

 

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It’s 1973. Our nation is torn apart by the Vietnam War, and the massacre of unarmed students at Kent State. The Vice President has resigned for bribery and tax evasion. The President is being investigated for engaging in criminal activity.

At twenty-three, David Reed has become embittered by political strife and corruption. Disenchanted with his future, he wants out. Along with new friends, Rusty and Susie, David leaves everything he knows to cross the United States with little more than his bicycle and a camera.

The trio gets more than they bargain for, with menacing animals, extreme weather, and astonishing encounters.

Uphill and Into the Wind recounts an odyssey that spans 5420 miles on bicycles. It chronicles the sudden and surprising glories of nature, the raw beauty of the land, and the majesty of the mountains. But that is just the start. Through it all, the three are changed forever, in ways they did not expect, by their long journey into the unknown.

 

 About the Author

David Reed has spent a lifetime studying the natural world, from his youth in the woods, his University training, his apprenticeship as a stonemason, and his travels on a bicycle, to his career as an award-winning landscape architect.

A career highlight includes re-designing four major gardens in San Diego’s jewel, Balboa Park.

A visual storyteller, David has guest lectured at the San Diego Museum of Art, Rutgers University, Kansas State University, The New School of Architecture, and other venues. His professional work has been published in Sunset Magazine, Garden Design Magazine, and Building Stone Magazine.

Uphill and Into the Wind is David’s debut memoir. But his work has been published in A Year in Ink, the San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology and awarded at the Southern California Writers Conference.

David believes that life is “out there,” in the forest, and on the land, not inside the box.

He currently resides in San Diego with his wife and family.

 

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