Thursday, March 4, 2021

Love and Other Moods by Crystal Z. Lee - Book Tour + Giveaway


Join us for this tour from Feb 24 to Mar 10, 2021!

Book Details:

Book TitleLove and Other Moods by Crystal Z. Lee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 18 yrs +, 322 pages
GenreNew Adult, Own Voices, Multicultural Romance
Release date:   December 2020
Tour dates: Feb 24 to Mar 10, 2021
Content RatingPG + M for drugs (only two pages), suggested sex scenes (nothing explicit), some triggers (assault)

Book Description:

Love and Other Moods is a coming-of-age story set in contemporary China, about falling in love, learning to adult, discovering strength and finding one's place in the world. Naomi Kita-Fan uproots her life from New York to China when her fiancé's company transfers him to Shanghai. After a disastrous turn of events, Naomi finds herself with no job, no boyfriend, and nowhere to live in a foreign country. Amidst the backdrop of Shanghai welcoming millions of workers and visitors to the 2010 World Expo, we meet a tapestry of characters through Naomi: Joss Kong, a Shanghai socialite who leads an enviable life, but must harbor the secrets of her husband, Tay Kai Tang. Logan Hayden, a womanizing restaurateur looking for love in all the wrong places. Pan Jinsung and Ouyang Zhangjie, a silver-aged couple struggling with adapting to the ever-changing faces of their city. Dante Ouyang, who had just returned to China after spending years overseas, must choose between being filial and being in love. All their dreams and aspirations interweave within the sprawling web of Shanghai. This multilayered novel explores a kaleidoscope of shifting relationships --- familial friction, amorous entanglements, volatile friendships --- in one of the most dynamic metropolises of the twenty-first century.

Buy the Book:
Book Depository ~ B&N ~ IndieBound
Booktopia ~ Waterstones

Author Interview

Topic: Setting and Culture in Love and Other Moods

Love and Other Moods is based in Shanghai, a city you had once lived and worked at. What’s your favorite thing about Shanghai?
I love that Shanghai is a city of contrasts. You can see its history and modernity coexisting everywhere in that metropolis. There are ancient temples right alongside skyscrapers, traditional food stalls outside of fancy restaurants. It’s a city that attracts people from every walk of life, from all corners of the globe. 

There are many, many delicious Chinese dishes mentioned in your novel. Do you have a favorite?
In Love and Other Moods, one of the characters is a magazine food editor, one is a restaurant and bar owner, and one cooks as a hobby. Naturally there are many gourmet meal scenes in the book! Here is a sampling of some of the dishes that appear in the novel: Shanghainese truffle-flavored xiao long bao dumplings, Chongqing style liangfen spicy noodles, glutinous zongzi rice stuffed in bamboo leaves, lotus root pork bone broth, sticky niangao rice, Taiwanese oyster pancake, Peking duck and hairy crab. My favorite would be xiao long bao dumplings!

 An author who has influenced your writing?
Chinese author Eileen Chang. Eileen Chang would've turned 100 years old in 2020. She is one of the most influential Chinese writers of the last century. Although her tales transport you to the 30s and 40s era of Shanghai and Hong Kong, her stories are still immensely relevant for every type of reader today. Maybe because aspects of her life are relatable for many: she was from a broken family, she came-of-age in a politically turbulent time, she suffered debilitating illnesses and was quarantined for awhile, and later, she was a refugee and immigrant. It's fitting that one character in her Chinese name is "Love," because she was a keen observer of romance. Under her pen, Shanghai and Hong Kong became an amorous playground, and at times a battlefield, for those searching for love, which is all of us. In Love and Other Moods, I included one of my favorite Eileen Chang quotes:

"You meet the one...amongst thousands and tens of thousands of people, amidst thousands and tens of thousands of years, in the boundless wilderness of time, not a step sooner, not a step later." 

Love and Other Moods is filled with Chinese expressions. Any Chinese idioms you particularly like?
“Nan de hu tu" is an expression first coined by a Qing dynasty magistrate. Loosely translated, it means “ignorance is bliss,” although this version doesn’t capture the depth of the original meaning. A friend in China explained it to me like this: rather than calculating every step, innocence—or naivety—is sometimes the wiser way. The beauty of Chinese idioms is that usually one interpretation doesn’t suffice, and the same expression can elicit varied understandings. Years ago, clueless and in my mid-twenties, I had moved to Shanghai with a broken heart. In that city I had stumbled, grieved, loved, healed. Personally, “nan de hu tu” meant wisdom could be found in seeing the bigger picture, and in letting it be. It’s a lesson in love I still carry with me today. 

There are many cities and locations outside of China mentioned in Love and Other Moods. What are some of them, and do you have a favorite city?
The majority of the settings in my novel is in Shanghai. However my characters also travel to a wide range of destinations. Here are some of them:

- Albrecht statue in Vienna

- Osaka Castle in Japan

- Paphos in Cyprus

- Houhai Lake in Beijing

- Broken Bridge in Hangzhou

- Legion of Honor in San Francisco

- Shifen and Pingxi in Taiwan

- East Village in New York

- Yebisu Garden Place in Tokyo, Japan

My favorite cities in the world besides Shanghai: Taipei, Venice, Singapore.

 Which films do you think readers of Love and Other Moods would enjoy?
I've been told by some of my readers that the mood of my book evokes the following titles: The Farewell meets Lost In Translation meets Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong. Another reader said it was like an Asian version of Emily In Paris and The Devil Wears Prada, but set in Shanghai. I'm grateful for these comparisons because I'm a fan of all of these visual stories, especially the film Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong.

 What are some books set in China that you would recommend?
Here are some fiction and non-fiction books set in China that I had enjoyed!

- Remembering Shanghai by Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao
- Spa Girl by Virginia Gray
- Shanghai Style by Lynn Pan
- South China Morning Blues by Ray Hecht
- Foreign Babes in Beijing by Rachel DeWoskin
- Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirsten Chen
- Above sea: Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai by Jenny Lin


Meet the Author:

Crystal Z. Lee is a Taiwanese American bilingual writer. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She was formerly a public relations executive who had worked with brands in the fashion, beauty, technology, and automotive industries. 'Love and Other Moods' is her debut novel.

connect with the author: amazon ~ instagram

Tour Schedule:

Feb 24 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 24 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 24 - Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 25 - Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 26 – The Book View – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 1 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book spotlight / author interview
Mar 2 – The Paper Reels – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 2 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 3 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 3 - Pine Enshrined Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 4 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 4 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 5 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 8 – Westveil Publishing – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 9 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 9 - Sadie's Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 10 – Deborah Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

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