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‘House Of 8 Orchids’ By James Thayer

They came out of the west, five or six of them. There was no sound, not at first, and they were almost invisible, lost in the brilliance of the setting sun. The huge red crosses on the Chinese tents made no difference. Yellow tracers streaked in from over the river. The ground erupted all around, spigots of sand and pebbles. Bullets ripped into tents and soldiers, plowed the ground, and ricocheted off the boulders.

I grabbed the doctor and shoved her down, my arm across her shoulders. A hole the size of a dinner bowl was punched through her guard’s chest, and he fell to the shingle.

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Find out more about both book and author by reading this excellent guest post.

Check out those all important “First Lines”, … Would they make you want to read on?

Teaser Tuesday Image Updated December 2016 'The Purple Booker'


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by … Ambrosia @ ‘The Purple Booker

Anyone can take part, by just doing the following:

Grab your current read.

Open to a random page.

  1. Share a couple of  “teaser” sentences, from somewhere on that page.
  2. Be careful not to share “spoiler” sentences.
  3. Remember to share the title and author too.
  4. Head on over to ‘The Purple Booker’ and leave a link to your post, so that others can share it and you can share other people’s.

It would be great if you then decided to leave a comment for Ambrosia, as we all like to receive them and are interested in sharing your thoughts.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Cath,

      This book is full of powerful excerpts, in fact the entire story is powerful and powerfully written, so what doesn’t happen is probably more to the point!

      There is an underlying storyline which continues throughout and is quite strong, but from my own personal point of view, this is an excellent piece of historical literary fiction, which has me glued to the pages, although having to read them quite slowly to digest all the facts.

      I can definitely feel 5 stars coming on for this one!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

  • Cath’s right…it is a powerful except. Sadly, makes me think of reports one hears in today’s news.

    I’m currently reading the latest in a favorite series of mine by Jan Karon. The following is from page 158 of Come Rain or Come Shine:

    “What would the new grannies do? His old granny had watched TV all day and all night with a lot of screaming and killing people. He hated screaming and killing people. His old granny made him eat his cereal dry and wear diapers till he was three. He had not liked anything about his granny, but he would not tell this to anyone ever. If she heard he had said something bad, she would come and scratch his eyes out. That’s what she said she would do if he didn’t shape up. He did not want his eyes scratched out; he wanted to see everything about his new life – for as long as it lasted.”

    I’m happy to know Karon has another Mitford novel due out in the fall.

    I hope your day has not been too emotionally exhausting. ((hugs))

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for your lovely words and kind thoughts. the day went as well as could be expected, although I am so pleased that it is all over after waiting so long for the funeral to come around.
      If you check out my reply to Cathy, you will see that ‘powerful’ can sum up this book so far, in a single word.

      The ‘Second Sino-Japanese War’ or the Chinese rule of the legendary and infamous, Chiang Kai-Shek, although I of course know of them, were not specifically studied areas of history that I am up to speed with. However the excellent descriptive narrative is drawing me in as if I were actually experiencing the trauma the protagonists in the story are enduring and the characters have come to life through the pages of the book.

      I know what you mean about the parallels between the decades though. They are so right when they say that politics and religion are the cause of all wars and I can’t ever see that changing, can you?
      I’m not really sure that ‘The Mitford Years’ is a series I would enjoy, but that could be because there are so many books in the series and you know how that affects me!! I did chuckle at your teaser lines though. I had one grandmother who I favoured over the other when I was little, but that was because she always spoiled me, so I used to spend every Saturday with her after my grandad died when I was five.

      The closest UK equivalent I could find to ‘The Mitford Years’ series, were probably the two series written by Dora Saint AKA Miss Read. Once again, I haven’t read either series because of their length, although the stories themselves are fairly short, but they are hugely popular over here …


      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

      • I’m afraid I disagree with your statement about the cause of all wars. While I’ll concede that many horrific things have been done in the name of religion (whether it be Christianity, Islam, or any host of others, especially some of the ancient Pagan religions), I believe most wars have been fought over power. It might take the form of land acquisition, politics, maybe cultural beliefs… but ultimately coming down to power. When I posed the question to my daughter (she and her husband both have advanced history degrees), she agreed and added that, in her opinion, religion is sometimes used as a scapegoat or justification, but that’s just as a tool to further an agenda. Honestly, I’m struggling to come up with more than a handful of wars that I think were truly fought over religion.
        So…. we’ll just have to “agree to disagree” on this topic. (which is fine since the world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything) 😉

        • I agree that ultimately all wars are waged as a power struggle, but I still have to maintain that rightly or wrongly, they are often fought in the name of religion.

          I need look no further that Northern Ireland, Palestine, Bosnia and more recent theatres of war such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

          The only true ‘power struggle’ war, where religion isn’t an obvious motive, seems to be that waged by Russia on its neighbours.

          As you say, if we can agree to disagree, that’s probably best 🙂

    • Hi Nikki,

      I have noticed that you haven’t been online as much as usual and that when you do connect, you very rarely discuss books these days. I am so sorry to hear that you have been going through a rough patch with your illness and I hope that you find the strength to battle through to come out on the other side that much stronger. I miss your bookish recommendations, but hope that you are managing to keep adding those titles to your TBR list in readiness for your return 🙂

      With the death of my father a little over four weeks ago, I too have been noticeable by my online absence lately, although I have tried to make short intervals to keep up with reading ‘House Of 8 Orchids’, which is so far holding me in thrall, as it is just such a good storyline and so well written.

      Thanks for making the time and effort to stop by, I really appreciate the visit and comment and wish you all the best for a speedy return to fitness 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      This story is full of non-stop action, although this liberally interspersed with some excellent descriptive passages and narrative, which reflect the well defined characters and the utter brutality of a time and place I knew little about.

      One of my best literary fiction reads for some time!

      I hope that you have some good things planned for the weekend 🙂

Written by Yvonne