I’m happy to be participating in my first book tour! Below is an excerpt from the book Double Happiness by Tony Brasunas, and you can expect a book review to be coming in March. Read to the end of the excerpt to enter for your chance to win a hardcover book. Tony’s generously giving away three.
The first promise of dawn paints a watercolor on Tiananmen Square. An old man dressed in navy blue flows quietly through the circular movements of tai chi; a woman on a bicycle tows a young girl in a red wagon. The canvas of this painting is the broad square stones beneath my feet, stones that murmur nothing about parades or riots, joy or mania, blood, the toes of leaping feet, tears. The moment holds only peace. Long stone buildings form the painting’s frame: The Great Hall of the People stands to the west, the People’s Museum of the Revolution is on the east, the granite-gray Frontgate towers to the south, and Tiananmen Gate stands at the north, guarding the count-less golden roofs of the Forbidden City. On every stone cornice, eave, and column, the air hangs silent and still, as if waiting between earth-quake beats of time.
Out of place amid all the stone is an electronic billboard in front of the Museum of the Revolution. “147,988 seconds,” announce its red digits, precisely measuring the earthquake beats of time that remain before the huíguī, the handover of Hong Kong, in a bit less than two days. The four dark squares to the left of the decrementing digits suggest that the billboard has been counting down for years, perhaps even for all thirteen years since Margaret Thatcher first pledged to return the colony to China. In any event, it’s June 29, 1997, and there’s little time left for the British to change their minds. Decorative flags hang everywhere, drooping patiently in the quiet air: Half are the familiar, scarlet Chinese banner; Half are the future flag of Hong Kong, which is also red but with a single white Bauhinia orchid succinctly replacing the British crown.
Three young women clutch miniatures of the two flags in their fingers, and they skip the scoreboard and stroll up to me. “Be in a picture?” one asks boldly.
I nod, and two of them stand beside me, tentatively touching me just at the moment the third snaps a camera. Then they’re gone, as always.
Follow the Rafflecopter link to enter Tony’s giveaway. Good luck!
If you don’t win, you can purchase Tony’s book at Amazon.
I received a free eBook copy of Double Happiness in exchange for posting the excerpt.