Here’s what L.J. has to say about CITY OF JADE:
"This book has been nothing but a labor of love for me. Even as it has frustrated me at times, made me a little teary or made me laugh at myself, this story means a lot to me because it is written with love. I love the history of this period, the history of the different nations and dynasties, the clothing, the food, the nuances between trade markets. I love the characters as they came to me and the incredible photos I looked at of the sites they travelled through, photos captured in recent years by travelers in the regions and shared for all on the internet.
I am a historian, and a quote from David Eddings, says that “turn a historian over and you’ll find a storyteller.” I think that’s quite true, as history is the story of humans past and is endlessly fascinating. For myself, I find the Byzantine Empire of particular interest and the years of the Third Crusade as well. I did a lot of research for this book, and peered at maps, photos, and articles as well as reading blogs from archaeologists and travelers. I would love to follow this route along the Silk Road, but as much of it is in warzones now, that isn't really possible.
1131, The Silk Road.
Gallienus of Constantinople, a scarred soldier who used to work the city gates, enters a new phase of his life when he meets and falls in love with Misahuen of Gyeongju. But prejudice of same-sex relationships dominates Byzantine society, and both the Emperor and the Church denounce such love. Should Misahuen and Gallienus be discovered, the punishment is castration or death. Fearing he’ll lose Misahuen, Gallienus decides to go with Misahuen when he leaves the city forever.
A former farmer, Misahuen fled war-torn Korea and journeyed to Constantinople with a merchant caravan. He didn’t expect to take such an interest in a wounded soldier at journey’s end. But he understands the danger, so he and Gallienus join another caravan as guardsmen and begin a two-thousand-mile trip along the Silk Road. Now all they have to do is persevere to their final destination without the truth of their relationship being discovered and being killed because of it… or by the other dangers along the Road.