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About Weina Dai Randel
WEINA DAI RANDEL is the award-winning author of historical novel series The Empress of Bright Moon, historical novels about the first female emperor Wu Zetian in China. The first novel, The Moon in the Palace, was the winner of RWA RITA® Award in 2017, Goodreads Choice Awards nominee and a RT Book Reviewers Choice Award nominee. It was called one of the “most beautifully written, impeccably researched and well-constructed historical fiction novels released this year” by Book Reporter, named as one of the Biggest Historical Fiction books of 2016 by Bookbub, and recommended by Texas Library Association’s 2017 Lariat Reading List.
The two novels have been translated into 7 languages and sold worldwide.
Weina was born and raised in China. English is her second language. She first studied English in middle school in China and came to the U.S. at the age of twenty-four. She holds an M.A. in English from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. It took her ten years to research and write The Moon in the Palace. Find more about Weina on her website: www.weinarandel.com
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"A powerful story of the relationship between a Shanghai heiress and a Jewish refugee...one readers will never forget." ―Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star
"A must-read for historical fiction lovers. Filled with page-turning suspense and a poignant and unforgettable love story, Weina Dai Randel wholly immerses the reader in this richly detailed and powerfully drawn story." ―Chanel Cleeton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music...
1940. Aiyi Shao is a young heiress and the owner of a formerly popular and glamorous Shanghai nightclub. Ernest Reismann is a penniless Jewish refugee driven out of Germany, an outsider searching for shelter in a city wary of strangers. He loses nearly all hope until he crosses paths with Aiyi. When she hires Ernest to play piano at her club, her defiance of custom causes a sensation. His instant fame makes Aiyi's club once again the hottest spot in Shanghai. Soon they realize they share more than a passion for jazz—but their differences seem insurmountable, and Aiyi is engaged to another man.
As the war escalates, Aiyi and Ernest find themselves torn apart, and their choices between love and survival grow more desperate. In the face of overwhelming odds, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever.
From the electrifying jazz clubs to the impoverished streets of a city under siege, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a timeless, sweeping story of love and redemption.
Winner of RWA RITA® Award 2017
Goodreads Choice Awards "Best Historical Fiction" semi-finalist 2016"
RT Book Reviewers Choice "Best First Historical" nominee
Recommended by Texas Library Association's 2017 Lariat Reading List
One of the Biggest Historical Fiction books of 2016 by Bookbub
"I absolutely loved The Moon in the Palace... A rare and beautiful treasure." -- Elizabeth Chadwick, NYT bestselling author
There is no easy path for a woman aspiring to power
A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. Young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget.
Mei's intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.
In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel paints a vibrant portrait of ancient China--where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death--and the woman who came to rule it all.
"A full immersion, compulsively readable tale." -- Booklist, Starred Review
"One of the most beautifully written... historical fiction novels released this year." -- BookReporter
"A must-read for fans of historical fiction set in ancient China." -- Library Journal, Starred Review
The time for taking hold of her destiny is now
At the moment of the Emperor's death, everything changes in the palace. Mei, his former concubine, is free, and Pheasant, the heir and Mei's lover, is proclaimed as the new Emperor, heralding a new era in China. But just when Mei believes she's closer to her dream, Pheasant's chief wife, Lady Wang, powerful and unpredictable, turns against Mei and takes unthinkable measures to stop her. The power struggle that ensues will determine Mei's fateand that of China.
Surrounded by enemies within the palace that she calls home, Mei continues her journey to the throne in The Empress of Bright Moon, the second book in Weina Dai Randel's acclaimed duology. Only by fighting back against those who wish her harm will Mei be able to realize her destiny as the most powerful woman in China.