Tez Says: The following is a guest post for Christina Farley’s Gilded Blog Tour. Information about the novel is at the end. Up first are ten real places in South Korea that feature in the novel.
1. Sejong Arts Center: This is where the Illumination exhibit in Chapter 1 is displayed.
The Sejong Arts Center is located in downtown Seoul, not far from the main palace and the President’s Blue house. It was while watching a samulnori show here, that I was inspired to write Chapter 1.
2. Muui Island: This is where Jae’s grandfather lives.
The island’s name, Muui, means “dancer’s dress” in Korean. We used to take day trips out to this beach with our friends. If you want to stay longer, there are cute huts to camp out in. For a true Korean experience, you’ll need to sleep on a yo, a roll-up mat.
3. Silmi Island: It’s here where Grandfather’s secret cave is located.
Silmi Island is rockier, but it’s a fun place for exploring and splashing in the waves. You can walk from Muui Island to Silmi Island when the tide is out by taking this bridge.
4. Myeong-dong: A popular hangout for Jae and her friends.
I love shopping in Myeong-dong. At night, it’s beautifully lit up with tables set out full of all kinds of cute shoes, clothes and jewellery.
5. Yongpyong Ski Resort: The location where Jae’s class goes on a ski trip.
If you want to ski in Korea, this is the best place to go. We stayed at the Dragon Valley Hotel and you can choose a western or Korean style room. If you’re not a good skier, I recommend heading up to the Dragon Peak for a hot drink.
6. Seoul Foreign School: This is the international school Jae Hwa attends.
SFS is also the school I taught at for eight years. The students were amazing and I have so many memories from SFS that I will always cherish. Teaching at an international school is an experience of its own. International schools are totally different than a private or public school in the States, and I hope Gilded gives the readers a taste of this difference.
7. Pavilion of the Yellow Stork: The traditional archery center near downtown Seoul.
The link is the blog post I wrote when we visited the archery center.
8. Seongbuk-dong: The neighbourhood behind the president’s Blue House where Marc lives.
A lot of people take the walking tour around this neighbourhood because it’s full of old architecture, gardens, temples, and the palace. The link is an example of one walking tour.
9. Busan: Where Jae catches the ferry to Japan.
This is a pretty industrial city, but it’s the place where you can take the Beetle – a high speed-boat – and arrive in Japan in three hours.
10. Bonggil Beach: The beach that looks out to King Munmu’s tomb.
King Munmu’s tomb is said to be the world’s only underwater tomb, and it can be viewed from this beach. The tomb has never been excavated, but legend says the king asked to be buried there so he could become a dragon and protect Silla from Japanese invaders. Interestingly, if you look at it from above, it appears as if there is something in the center of the rocks.
Gilded (Gilded, Book 1)
Amazon Skyscape (US: 1st March 2014)
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Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next. But that’s not Jae’s only problem. There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own – one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.
Silvern (Gilded, Book 2)
Amazon Skyscape (US: 23rd September 2014)
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Jae Hwa Lee is ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life in Seoul. Until the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. She escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it. But Kud is a stronger and more devious god than Jae ever imagined. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.