Thursday, June 14, 2012


By Mingmei Yip

We all think we want men who will give us security and also a good time. But the Chinese say, “A bad man can always get a woman into bed.”

So, if a man is too nice and too proper, there’s security – but where’s the fun?

That’s why the two main male characters in my novel SKELETON WOMEN are not all good. One is a dandy with excellent taste, lots of money to spend who dearly loves Camilla the singer-spy. But his father, Master Lung, is a ruthless warlord, head of the Flying Dragon gang – and Camilla has been ordered to assassinate him.

The other man, a character I really like and enjoyed writing about, is Gao the head bodyguard of Master Lung. Gao is what the Chinese describe as tiehan rouqing, an iron man with tender sentiments. The bodyguard is tall, muscular, tough and loyal. But whenever he is in front of Camilla, his heart would become as delicate as silk.

There is another Chinese saying to describe this kind of men, raozhi rou, bailian gang -- soft as a silk handkerchief but strong as steel. The softness refers to the man’s heart when he’s with his beloved woman, and the strength his fearless personality, or, his maleness. So, with a man like this, what woman’s heart would not melt?

The famous sage Laozi once said that “The soft overcomes the strong,” like dripping water wearing away stones. And so it happens that powerful men may become powerless in the hands of helpless-seeming women. Softness can be more lethal than hardened steel.

Gao the bodyguard in my novel SKELETON WOMEN works his way up by taking brutal knife wounds and excruciating bullets for his gang boss. Each knife and bullet hole, instead of turning women away, works more powerfully on them than any aphrodisiac. Women cannot resist taking this damaged man into their arms to stroke his wounds with their warm lips.

But none of these women were invited to stay.

Because Gao loves only Camilla, the one woman who is beyond his reach – his gangster boss’ mistress.

What woman wouldn’t love a man like this bodyguard?♥

Mingmei Yip’s fourth novel SKELETON WOMEN (Kensington Books, June 2012) is the story of a singer/spy, a magician, and a gossip columnist, all scheming to survive the gang wars in the 30’s lawless Shanghai. RT book reviews describes SKELETON WOMEN as “A large, luscious box of chocolates…go on, you know you want to.” And Publisher’s Weekly, “Entertaining… diversion is (a strength of this book). Visit Mingmei at

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