Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Lady Dragon of Chinatown by Noel Plaugher

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Lady Dragon of Chinatown by Noel Plaugher. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an enlightening guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Lady Dragon of Chinatown
Author: Noel Plaugher
Publication Date: January 11th 2023
Print Length: 265 pages
Genre: Urban Fiction Action
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Maggie Long has only ever wanted to study martial arts, but it was forbidden. She found a teacher, Sifu Chang, to teach her in secret and she became a Kung Fu master.

After years in self-imposed exile, Maggie has returned to Chinatown to pursue her dream. The forces that govern Chinatown are working against her, and she'll have to fight for her school and her life. Is she strong enough to withstand all the forces against her?

A martial art story set in a neon-soaked Chinatown of the 1970's. The first book in a new series.
 
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EXCERPT:
The sifu stepped forward. Maggie and the teacher stood opposite each other in the center of the school, on the red matted surface. The class encircled them and waited silently and still. Both fighters were in their fighting stances and studied each other expectantly. Maggie and the sifu eyed each other like two gunfighters waiting for the telling moment, a twitch, or a breath held too long, that would signal that the other was about to make the first move. With their gazes locked, the sifu’s body started to tremble and vibrate. At first, slightly and then violently, his body appeared to build up with rage as if he was preparing to explode. In an instant, the sifu yelled his fury and launched his body at Maggie. A fierce flurry of kicks and punches streaked toward her as he crossed the floor like a locomotive, his powerful body driving the attack relentlessly toward her.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Noel Plaugher grew up in the San Francisco bay area of California. (1968- ) He planned on becoming a musician but things changed in 1990.

Noel was a victim of violent crime. He started studying martial arts in 1990 as a way of coping with the post-traumatic stress and as rehabilitation.

After attaining his black belt in Shou Shu Kung Fu he started studying various methods of Qigong and Xing Yi Quan. He completed his Xing Yi Quan certification in 2005.

"The power of the mind over the body is amazing and has always fascinated me. Xing Yi Quan is a deceptively simple style, and I have found that it benefits my health and martial arts."

Noel edited the book How To Be A Champion by world champion fighter Richard Trammell.

Noel's first book Standing Qigong For Health and Martial Arts was released in March 2015.

"This book has both martial and health postures. It is my hope that practitioners of other styles as well as those seeking an internal form of exercise will try it out. I think martial artists will be surprised by the great results they get from such a simple practice. If you are a Yoga practitioner, this will be a great addition to your current study."

Noel is an avid martial arts practitioner and writer, and lives in the USA in Atlanta, Georgia with his family.

“Noel has been studying martial arts since 1990 and writes about Qigong and martial arts-oriented material in both fiction and non-fiction.”

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GUEST POST:
- How much research did you have to do for your book?

When I think of research, I picture a desk piled high with books and folders and a befuddled author, with glasses halfway down their nose, flipping through texts. I definitely didn’t do that for my latest book, “The Lady Dragon of Chinatown.” No, I more or less chose a subject that I knew a lot about and flanked it with other things that I “mostly” knew about. While I didn’t consciously choose to write what I know, I suppose that is what I did.

Still, I had to look some things up to make the story work. While I grew up in the 70s, I was a pre-teen boy, so I wasn’t completely up on what was happening in women’s fashion. I remember asking my wife, “Hey, what do you call those outfits, that are all one-piece, that they used to wear on Charlie’s Angels?”

I was greeted by a perplexed stare. “A jumpsuit?”

“Jumpsuit!”

Aside from the ins and outs of women’s fashion, I did also have to find out what song would likely be playing on the radio in 1979, even though my own recollection was a little different. In some cases, I went with my experience and in others, I deferred to what may have been more historically consistent. That said, I would never want historical accuracy to get in the way of a good story.

Taking the cue from some of my favorite movies, I like the idea that if it works it works, regardless of how true it is. Imagine how boring Star Wars would be if all those space battles didn’t have fire, which is impossible in space. Or the shark not being blown up at the end in Jaws. What if in all those stories where someone awakens from a coma, they first went through 6 months to a year of physical therapy before the story got started? What if the completely implausible method that Tarzan uses to teach himself to read in Tarzan Lord of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs had been left out? No need to quibble over the details, in my opinion. If you’re going to accept that there is a war going on in outer space, then a couple of explosions with massive fireballs shouldn’t be that far of a reach.

I think that all things are artistic choices, whether to put something in or to leave something out, and they are up to the author. I look to fiction for entertainment, a commentary on the human condition, and more, but mostly to enjoy an escape from my current reality. If I’m not looking for escapism, I wander over to the nonfiction section where there is a heavy dose of reality, but it’s usually not as much fun.
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GIVEAWAY:
Noel Plaugher will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

81 comments:

  1. Love the setting of the story and the cover.

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    1. Thank you! It is a story that has been in my head for a while. Love the cover as well.

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  2. Thank you for having me!

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  3. You had me at Kung Fu. Good work

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  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Thank you reading it. Glad you liked it.

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  5. Sounds like a great book! Congratulations on the book release.

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  6. this sounds like an interesting book

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    1. I hope readers find it as unique as I do. (Obviously, I’m completely biased.)

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  7. This sounds like a good read. I like the cover and excerpt.

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  8. Sounds like a good one

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  9. Replies
    1. I hope you like it. It is part of a series. Would love to get the rest out as well.

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  10. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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    1. I think it is important to decide what you want. That sounds simple, but I think it is critical and often overlooked. Sometimes, it seems like people are trying to do what someone else has done, and that may not be right for them. A person needs to define what success means to them, personally. Also, a person should do what they want. That sounds simple too, but I see people asking whether they should have a prologue, or if they should include profanity in dialogue, etc. I look at it all from an artist's perspective. I don't think a painter would ask a group of people if they should use more purple, or if abstract art is back in vogue, etc. They just do it. You should do what you want. Otherwise, it gets very dangerously close to "writing by committee" or "people pleasing" and that is a horrible idea, if you ask me. I ignored most of the conventional writing norms, because I was simply not aware of them, and I think it served me well. Most of what I learned about publishing (and querying) I saw on a C-Span panel with acquisition editors from the big publishing houses back in 2006. I followed their advice, which was free, and it has worked out pretty well, I think.
      Lastly, I think anyone putting themselves out there has to make friends with rejection. You don't have to enjoy it, but you have to accept it. When I query, I scan the responses for the word "unfortunately," delete, and move on. I give it no energy. I also don't tell anyone what I'm doing. (no posts about it) In the end, it's about the hits, and not the misses, so I don't count them. You have to keep "attacking" to be successful. (to use a martial arts analogy) Feel free to reach out to me personally, if you would like.

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  11. Sounds like a very interesting book.

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    1. It is part of a trilogy, so if readers enjoy it, there is more where that came from. :)

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  12. I enjoyed reading this well done excerpt.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  13. This sounds like a good book. I've added to the TBR list

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    1. Awesome! Thank you for considering it.

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  14. The book cover caught my eye- after reading the book excerpt- I would like to read this book

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  15. Do you have a favorite book?

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    1. Like my favorite food or music, it changes every day. "1984" is one that I seem to go back to a lot. It introduced me to the idea of the dystopian future, which is seemingly ever-looming. ("It Can't Happen Here" is another) I got into the classics for a while, and really love Joseph Conrad and Victor Hugo. I love Flannery O'Connor's short stories. Most of them sort of start like Andy Griffith, and then end like "Deliverance." I think she is under-appreciated. I love to read, and I read many different genres and subjects. It's hard to pick a favorite. While I enjoy contemporary books as well, like old movies, older books seem like a portal into another time and that fascinates me.

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  16. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover!

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    1. Thank you! Once you read it, I think you will see how appropriate it is.

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  17. Replies
    1. The story is one that I hope resonates with readers, so I can let you in on the rest of the story. (first in a series) ;)

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  18. Replies
    1. I know. I was floored when I saw it. Couldn't be happier about it.

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  19. Replies
    1. Thank you. I have high hopes for it! Would love to hear what you think about it.

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  20. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  21. Great graphics on the cover. Enjoyed reading the excerpt.

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  22. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you. I am hoping that readers will give it a shot and enjoy it.

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  23. great cover, was it hard to design

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    1. I just gave some input. The publisher handled the rest. I think they did a great job.

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  24. looks like a fun one

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  25. I can't wait to read this

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  26. How long did it take you to write a book?

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    1. I think it depends on when you consider the actual start of it. I believe I started a first draft in 2016 or 2017, I think. I had a computer failure, so some things are lost forever. In the interim I was writing other things as well, so it is hard to say. The biggest changes/improvements happened over the last two years though. Take all that and put it to the side, because I wrote my first book in 8 weeks. I think it just shows that there is no standard. Granted, they are different in the sense that one is fiction and the other nonfiction, but still it's a pretty big difference. I do think having an actual deadline made a big impact on the first book. In the end, it takes as long as it takes.

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  27. Your book sounds riveting!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you like it.

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  28. Replies
    1. Eggs and tomatoes. Although, I usually just have some fruit. I'm not much on the giant breakfast with all the "stuff." I usually feel really sleepy after. I have two Americanos, and sometimes one in the afternoon if I am getting sleepy. (Sleepy is a recurring theme, huh? )

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  29. looks good id give it a go for sure

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  30. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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    1. Loving the cover. I hope the world of LDOC is one that readers enjoy.

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  31. The urban fiction action book looks fun to read. Thank you for the introduction.

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  32. Replies
    1. I hope it is fun, entertaining, and a brand new experience. There is more coming!

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  33. This sounds like an awesome book! Congratulations on the book release. thank you

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate it. It's been a long time of me living in the world of LDOC all by myself. It will be nice for others to see it as well.

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  34. Wow! What a fantastic sounding book! I am very much looking forward to reading this one!

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    1. Thank you for saying so. Who knows, maybe there will be a streaming series or movie? :)

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  35. I hope you have a wonderful weekend

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  36. This one sounds sooo good. It made me think of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I definitely like those sort of long titles. The next books in the series have shorter ones though.

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  37. How was your week?

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    1. Awesome. It was great to interact with everyone. So much of writing is just a person working by themselves. It's great to hear from actual people and not just the ones in my head. :)

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  38. You are very talented!! Thank you for sharing your talents.

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    1. Thank you for saying that. I appreciate it. As I said above, a lot of writing is being in your own head for long periods of time, so it is nice to get out once in a while.

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