My Splendid Concubine by Lloyd Lofthouse

Join Lloyd Lofthouse, author of the historical fiction novel, My Splendid Concubine (iUniverse, Dec. '07), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in December and January on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

About the author:

As a field radio operator, Lloyd Lofthouse was a walking target in Vietnam in 1966. He has skied in blizzards at forty below zero and climbed mountains in hip deep snow.

Lloyd earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. Later, while working days as an English teacher at a high school in California, he earned an MFA in writing. He enjoyed a job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub and tried his hand successfully at counting cards in Las Vegas for a few years. He now lives near San Francisco with his wife, with a second home in Shanghai, China. Lloyd says that snapshots of his life appear like multicolored ribbons flowing through many of his poems.

This link takes you to Lloyd's 'Vietnam Experience' page filled with photos. He took many of them. Since Lloyd still has to edit the photos so they load faster, this page may load slow for older computers.

This link will take you to a media piece from a Southern California newspaper that Lloyd copied and posted on his Website that will give you an idea about his teaching years.

If you are interesting in learning more about Lloyd's teaching experience, you are welcome to read about it at AuthorsDen. 'Word Dancer' is a memoir of the 1994-1995 school year. He kept a daily journal that year. He is using that journal to write 'Word Dancer'. Everyday, when he arrived home, Lloyd wrote an entry in that journal. It sat on a shelf in his garage for fourteen years gathering dust. Spiders moved into the binder and built a nest. After all those years, Lloyd forgot he'd written it. When he was cleaning the garage, he found it again. Lloyd started reading, remembering and writing. Everything he writes in 'Word Dancer' happened. He's using a primary source as his guide. Memory may be faulty, but a daily journal written the day an event took place is as accurate as it can get from the author's point-of-view.

Accomplishments: Lloyd's short story "A Night at the Well of Purity" was named a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.

As a teacher, Lloyd found satisfaction in the number of students that published nationally and internationally while attending his English and journalism classes.

You can visit his website at

About the book:

Driven by a passion for his adopted country, Robert Hart became the “godfather of China’s modernism,” inspector general of China’s Customs Service, and the builder of China’s railroads, postal and telegraph systems, and schools, but his first real love is Ayaou, a young concubine.

My Review:

What is a concubine? Concubines are women who cohabit with men but are not married to them. In ancient China it was common for successful men to have several concubines – the Chinese Emperors often kept thousands. Concubines’ situation ranged from pseudo-wives to poorly treated prostitutes. In this book, Robert Hart reveals the information about his concubine, Ayaou, to the Empress before he leaves China and heads back to die surrounded by his family.

Once again, I have found that historical fiction draws me in. I have to admit that I have never heard of Sir Robert Hart, but I have actually googled him to find out even more after reading this book. After reading the first few pages, the description made it easy to visualize the scenes the author was depicting in this story.

I have always had a fascination for the Chinese culture, and this book only piqued it more. Robert Hart leaves Ireland for a new beginning - he needs an escape from the disgrace that he has bestowed upon his family. He is thrust into a culture that he only slightly understands, but he vows that he will be a new honorable man. Then he meets Ayaou.

Robert feels more for Ayaou than he has ever felt for any woman before. He is willing to do absolutely ANYTHING to be able to keep her company, and when he finds out that her father is selling her he decides that he must have her. But sadly, it is not to be. Instead, he ends up buying her younger sister - and at 14 she is quite young to be owned by a man not of Chinese culture. This fact may be disturbing to some readers, but this is a fact based novel, and it is tastefully written. I for one was fascinated.

I found it hard to believe that this was the first book by this author. It was evident that there was much research and hard work put into it. I look forward to reading his next book.


MY SPLENDID CONCUBINE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on December 1 and end on January 30. You can visit Lloyd's blog stops at in December and January to find out where he is appearing!As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced at the end of every month!

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