San Francisco, 1849. Despite her objections, Ah Toy and servant Chen arrive in San Francisco from Hong Kong after her husband dies aboard ship. With little cash and bound feet, she opens a “Lookee Shop,” catering to men who pay in gold dust to see her exotic beauty. Among them policeman John Clark finds her captivating and they form a strong attraction for one another. Yet should she place her trust in this one man? Will their love survive despite her frightening encounter with Sydney Ducks? After she opens a brothel, she and her girls face threats from rival madam Li Fan, the lure of opium dens, and a tempting offer of wealth and security from importer Henry Conrad. Armed with her mystical beliefs of the inner dragon and Goddess Mazu, Ah Toy faces much more than the journey from the ancient Chinese ways to the new American world. In fact, she must find the true source of courage in a life or death struggle for her own fate, justice, and dignity. Based on page-turning accounts from the life of one of San Francisco’s most legendary madams.
Gini Grossenbacher taught high school English until she abandoned grading term papers to write historical novels instead. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the settings where they take place. In addition to writing her own historical novels, Gini leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.