Tag Archives: Junying Kirk

First Impressions ~ Guest blog for @junying007

Today, I have the pleasure of guest blogging about my new book, Stranger at Sunset, and it’s hosted by one of my favorite people.

I have known author, Junying Kirk for sometime now. She is a wonderful writer living in England originally from China. A multi-published author and world traveler, she’s a fascinating woman who is also featuring Stranger at Sunset as her book of the month in July!

Read First Impressions on Junying’s terrific blog and find out how it ties into my book.

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Find out more about Junying by following her links below.

Website | Twitter @junying007 | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

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Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews, Stranger at Sunset

Madeira ~ Paradise in Portugal by guest blogger @junying007

Happy Chinese New Year! What better way to celebrate than to have a terrific guest blogger on this auspicious day.

Good friend and author, Junying Kirk and I share a love of food and travel, so she’s penned a wonderful post about her recent trip to Madeira, Portugal.

Enjoy the warmth of Madeira and Junying’s writing , and then hop over to her website to celebrate the year of the horse!

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Who is Junying?

Junying Kirk was born and grew up in China. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, she loves reading and writing books. Her Journey to the West trilogy, ‘The Same Moon’, ‘Trials of Life’ and ‘Land of Hope’ have been published on Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. She regularly blogs on books world travels, food and photography, in fact, anything interesting and worth sharing at http://www.junyingkirk.com.

She lives in Birmingham UK with her English husband.

Learn more about Junying in an interview we did here.

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Madeira, a Garden Paradise & Seafood Lover’s Retreat

To escape from the freezing chills of British winter, we head south, either to one of the Spanish Canary Islands, Gran Canaria or Tenerife, or as we do more often, Madeira.

We do not go to Madeira to languish on a sandy beach under blistering sun, hoping for a marvellous tan.

No, though no beaches, this Portuguese “Pearl of the Atlantic” has plenty of other attractions to offer.

madeira - scene

Madeira, closer to the coast of Northern Africa than that of Southern Europe, means ‘wood’, and its capital city Funchal is ‘fennel’ in Portuguese. It is covered with a wide variety of trees, plants and flowers which have inhabited this island from ancient times. Little has changed with 90% of the island since its ‘official’ discovery in the early 15th century by Portuguese navigators.

My ‘discovery’ of Madeira came much later.


At the end of 2006, following the recommendation of a dear friend, my husband, John and I, jetted off to this tropical garden paradise for the first time. We celebrated a warm Christmas in style and watched an amazing fireworks display, indulging our senses with a fabulous selection of gourmet Portuguese food, in fine, tropical weather surrounded by amazing flora and fauna.

JK at garden

We took a cable car up Monte, which boasts a couple of the most beautiful botanic gardens on earth, where we were greeted by the spectacular open amphitheatre of Funchal and the mighty, endless ocean as far as our eyes could see, it was like, WOW.

On our descent, we sauntered into a “tourist information centre”, or so we thought!

We booked a Levadaa mountain walk. It’s a must-do for all tourists.

Even though I was no longer as fit and energetic as my younger self, my desire to experience first-hand, anything adventurous and action-orientated made me tingle with anticipation.

Emerging two hours later, we had been sold a one week time share by a friendly, chatty American saleswoman—an unexpected New Year gift to ourselves.

madeira - JK in red

And here we are in 2014, on our fifth visit. As I leaned on our balcony looking out on the shimmering Atlantic in the sun, listening to the soothing sounds of huge waves crashing against the volcanic rocks just beyond the green palm trees and blue swimming pools below, I felt an incredible sense of calm and peace, a trickle of deep satisfaction about my life – I am a happy and blessed woman on holiday, and Woo Hoo, it’s paradise on earth Madeira!

During my travels I always try sampling local cuisine, and I am especially fond of seafood and exotic fruits. Madeira, as it turns out, promises a most delectable choice of cuisine, both local and international.

Madeira - JK in market

Our various visits have brought us in contact with a number of delicious dishes, from celebrated restaurants from Trip Advispr to side street small bars and grills, which offer a great variety. I especially love the local home-made bread, the “balo-do-caco”, made on a hot stone. As soon as you made your order, the waiter would bring you a basket where the bread is warm with garlic and herbs butter – Damn delicious!


Another of my favourites is seafood. The Madeirans do the most mouthwatering fish soups! Believe me, you would want more once you tried them. As a matter of fact, I have made it myself – a great bonus for having a luxurious apartment, where I can actually dirty my hands in a small but adequate kitchen, enough to pan-fry an occasional scabbard fish.

madeira - fish

Oh yes, you can buy the freshest black scabbard fish, Espada, which again is speciality of Madeira, as this kind of deep sea fish can be found in that part of the world. And, I simply adore the Workers‘ Market (Mercedo dos Lavradores) in Funchal, where you can get your hands on every kind of tropical fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of fish brought in from the ocean surrounding this evergreen island. I have found several unusual fruits, including one strange fruit called monstera, a hybrid of pineapple and banana – it’s kind of difficult not to have naughty thoughts when you see one :)!

madeira - strange fruit

Apart from the wide choice of seafood, you could try another of the local specialities “espetada”, a skewer with seasoned meat grilled on charcoal, often served on an iron spit hanging from an iron hook.

Then you’re in for a treat if you have a sweet tooth. Have I already mentioned the massive choice of locally grown fruits? How can you resist the temptation of a passion fruit or a papaya pudding with caramel topping? How about a slice of Madeira cake – the island used to be an important producer of sugar, so they boast a number of sweet recipes. My eyes nearly popped out when I saw the selection of colourful cakes on sale during Christmas time. I started drooling there and then!

John Kirk

During our dining at a restaurant in Funchal, the kind waiter brought us a bottle of Madeira wine (5 year old at least) and a basket of home-made ginger biscuits. A perfect way to round off a superb gastronomic treat!

After relaxing by the pool, devouring my favourite books one after another, I loved dipping in the cool waters for a leisurely swim. If you are a good swimmer and fancy a more adventurous pursuit, go diving, or surfing. There is also horse riding, or a thrilling ride on the Toboggan, racing downhill in a massive wicker basket – that was fun and adrenaline-pumping, to say the least.

Finally I’d like to share with you a short video on Youtube, which I made after our previous visit in 2012. Hope you’ve enjoyed the virtual tour with me :).

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Connect with Junying

Website | Twitter @junying007 | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

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Thank you Junying for taking us on a virtual holiday with you to Madeira!

If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

Don’t forget to visit Junying at her site and wish her a Happy New Year too!

Many thanks, 

~ eden

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Filed under Eden's Guest Bloggers

My Review and a Giveaway of TRIALS OF LIFE by @junying007

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I’m honored to be part of Junying’s final day of her Trials of Life blog tour.

Writing one book is not easy. I know, I’m in the middle of re-writes on my first full length novel at the moment.

That’s why I have infinite admiration for Junying Kirk. Trials of Life is the second in her  ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy following her brilliant first book, The Same Moon, and concluding with Land of Hope. She has rewritten parts of Trials of Life since it first released, so this is a new and improved version of the book.

Be sure to ENTER the RAFFLECOPTER DRAW at the end of this post to win a copy of Trials of Life!

journey to the west trilogy

My review ★★★★★ (Originally posted July 2012)

Trials of Life is the sequel to The Same Moon, which I truly enjoyed, and I’d highly recommend be read prior to this one, as it follows the main character – Pearl, in her quest to the West.

The style of writing is different in this one with shifting POVs. This goes against most of the conventional rules I’ve learned about writing, yet, once I settled into the story, this was not an issue as the plot drew me in.

We learn of Pearl’s education in the West —not all of it is good, and this story centers around a particularly bad part of it. The underlying theme, however, still touches on the immigrant experience for many who move to a new country in search of “a better life.” Pearl learns that although some things are better, the road is not all welcoming.

This is a well-told story of Pearl’s trials in a new world, and how along the way, she anchors herself to her new home with what is really important.

trials of life new

Buy Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Author Bio

Junying Kirk was born a spice girl, hailing from Sichuan Province in southwestern China. In the summer of 1988, a British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University, followed by further post-graduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. In her career spanning from the East to the West, she has played various roles as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, she reads voraciously and writes with passion and dedication. She enjoys drawing from the wealth of life itself  to create stories, which are both engaging and exciting. She travels widely and keeps her mind and heart open for the new, the good, the bad and the ugly. Her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, “The Same Moon”, “Trials of Life” and “Land of Hope” have been published in both electronic form and paperbacks.

She lives in Birmingham, UK with her English husband.

To follow her world wide travels and other creative pursuits, please visit www.junyingkirk.com

Junying Kirk

Book Blurb

On her continued “Journey to the West”, Pearl Zhang meets Andrew Church and they fall in love. Her determined, professional pursuits land her a plum international development job at a leading UK university. Life is on an upward curve, or so it seems.

Dick Appleton, a troublesome academic from a privileged background, wants a junior assistant other than Pearl, in his quest to discover China and what it has to offer him.

What happens when two powerful personalities and two different cultures meet and clash? Will life teach Pearl another sharp lesson in her adopted country, or will the ancient Chinese belief hold true that everything happens for a reason? Will she bow to her fate or fights for her beliefs?


“This wonderful book dissects and lays bare the entire course of an harassment claim, from the events leading to the claim through the hearing and its aftermath” – Tabitha Ormiston-Smith, Australia

“The Joker in the “Dark Knight”. Dr Hannibal Lecter in “Red Dragon”, The Judge from Blood Meridian. Ms. Kirk’s creation, description and actions of Dr. Richard Appleton will tremor your spine. – Vince Considine, USA

Multiple chances to WIN!

Hit Rafflecopter and find out how.




Filed under Author Promotions

TRIALS OF LIFE Blog Tour by Junying Kirk (@junying007)

trials of life banner

Friend and author, Junying Kirk is embarking on a week-long blog tour for her book, Trials of Life. It’s the second in her  ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy following her brilliant first book, The Same Moon, and concluding with Land of Hope.

I’m thrilled to be part of her tour and will feature her on my blog August 29th with a review and a giveaway.

In the meantime, be sure to follow her on all the sites of her tour. For details, visit Junying’s website.

Don’t forget to come back here Aug. 29th, where I will have details of how you can WIN her book!

trials of life new


Filed under Author Promotions

NEW RELEASE – Land of Hope by Junying Kirk (@Junying007 )

I’d like to welcome back, friend and author, Junying Kirk, who recently launched Land of Hope, the final book in her trilogy and the the long-awaited follow-up to The Same Moon and Trials of Life.


I’m her second last stop on a month-long tour which wraps up tomorrow.

Junying has offered a very sexy excerpt for my readers, so please have a read and pick up her books. She’s an excellent writer, and I know you’ll love her style.

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Land of Hope ~ Book blurb

Every year, millions of illegal immigrants cross borders in search of wealth, happiness and a life of ease in the Land of Hope. Some succeed. Others suffer unimaginable hardships.

When Jack Gordon, Inspector in the SCS (Serious Crime Squad) hires Pearl Zhang, a professional Chinese interpreter, they join forces to fight injustice in the corrupt underworld of international crime, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Pearl is the voice of broken dreams, translating raw, deranged, and colorful tales of those who cannot speak for themselves. As Pearl gets more and more tangled in the lives of strangers, Jack becomes a welcome diversion, complicated by the fact that both are married. Their trans-continental roller-coaster ride derails when Pearl tumbles into the sinister world of her clients, a world full of secrets, lies, and unspeakable violence – only this time, it’s directed at her.

Can she depend on Jack? Find out in this third and final book of Junying Kirk’s “Journey to the West” trilogy.

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Available on Amazon.UK | Amazon.Com | Smashwords

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Read an excerpt ~ Passion in a Pub 

Naked and satisfied, Pearl had one of Jack’s tattooed arms draped around her neck, which showed off his muscular torso and biceps. It felt so good having her soft curves nestled against his taut muscles, exuding strength and unmistakable maleness. He smelt damn good too.

She traced the shape of the Scottish flag on one of his arms, and dragons on the other. She let out a soft giggle. “What a funny name for a pub! What were they thinking when they came up with names like that?”

“They probably predicted that someone like me, with a fighting cock, would come here and spend a sticky afternoon with his lovely hot lass?” He also chuckled at his own joke.

Laughing, she leaned over and her pouting lips brushed against his nose, a feather-like kiss, just to tantalise him.

“Seriously, how did you know that they had rooms upstairs and we could, you know…?” She paused, still embarrassed that she had driven 80 miles at his beck and call, so she could get much-needed attention to her body and soul, from this man she had only met over a month ago.

“Have you brought other women here?” She did not meet his eyes, turning her head away, aware that she sounded like a jealous wife. The urge to probe simply emerged and burst out. She knew she had no claim on him, nor him on her. Still, a question hovered in her head and she was not the type to torture herself with questions she had no answers for, so better out with it.

“Oh no.” He raised his hands and turned her face towards him, looking her straight in her eyes, deep, dark-brown pools, drawing him in. “What do you take me for? I have been to this place before when I was still a sergeant, and investigated an arson here a couple of years ago. I was a bit surprised that this pub had a B&B upstairs, but no, I’ve never stayed here: until today, that is. Besides, I just invited you for a late lunch here, and it was you…”

Before he could continue, their mouths had found each other and their limbs were reaching for the other’s sensitive parts, probing and claiming. Their bodies became blissfully entwined, giving and receiving. Time was precious and it was silly to waste it on unnecessary chitchat.

She wanted him, badly, and he matched her in her every move, satisfying her every whim.

An hour or so later, when she had consumed his yang and he had greedily taken her yin for the second time that afternoon, Jack reluctantly disentangled himself. He went to the bathroom to remove his condom, and his sweat. Instead of feeling spent, he was energised.

“Sorry, Pearl, but I’ve got to go. I can only manage a few hours today. Double duty day.”

“Of course.” She nodded, a little disappointment in her eyes.

He returned to her side of the bed and knelt down, as if about to propose.

“I promise to make time next time. The past few weeks have been just crazy. We are really short staffed, not to mention further cuts on the way…”

She put her fingers on his mouth and stopped him from further explanation.

“I understand, Jack. I really do. I know you want to see me, and I love seeing you, but time is against us, and you’ve got work to do.”

In her moments of sanity, she was still incredulous that she had acquired a Sean Connery look-alike who wanted her and filled her with unbridled passion. In her wildest dreams, she had never expected to be conducting an extramarital affair with a police officer.

It was obvious that Jack had become besotted with her, or with her body at least, which was in wonderful shape for her age. For him, I am exotic and from a different world, hence more alluring, adding spice to his usual, bland English diet. Pearl smiled: food for thought.

For her, Jack filled a hole in her life, left empty by her husband.

But Andrew. Oh Andrew, how would he react if he finds out that I have a new man in my life? Or has he also found someone?

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Thanks so much Junying for sharing with my readers. An excellent excerpt! You are such a diverse writer.

Readers, please follow Junying tomorrow on her final stop at SS Book Fanatics.

She promises to have another great excerpt, a review, and fantastic prizes to win.

Help support Junying by celebrating the successful completion of her book tour.

Connect with Junying

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

Junying Kirk grew up in the turbulent times of the Cultural Revolution. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. When she is not traveling to Courts & Police stations as a professional interpreter, she loves spending her time reading & writing books, and traveling the world.

Her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, The Same Moon, Trials of Life and Land of Hope have been published on Amazon.UKAmazon.Com and Smashwords.

She lives in Birmingham, UK with her English husband.



Filed under Author Promotions