Nonfiction and Fiction

Princess Sorghagtani: The Woman Who Changed Global History
She was Chinggis Khan's favorite daughter-in-law. He had arranged her marriage to his youngest son, Tolui Khan.

As the niece of the most powerful khan in the steppes, Princess Sorghagtani was no stranger to political intrigue. Her youth was a time when tribal warfare turned the steppes into a seething cauldron of violence and a struggle for supremacy. Horse theft, bride theft, many were the causes of war.

Then the man who was to become the most powerful sovereign in Asia, her father-in-law Chinggis Khan, founded the vast empire that ruled from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. He issued a code of laws that brought peace for a century.

The designated successor of Chinggis Khan was a liberal ruler, but not a wise one. The empire was becoming bankrupt. He died and his son inherited the throne. The son was worse than the father. Her sons were the best of men, with intelligence and ability.

She was renowned for upholding the law when the nobility who ruled the central government spent their days violating the law. She was upright and was the most admired woman of her age, not only among the Mongol nobility but also by the Europeans at court, sent to spy on what type of threat the barbarians were for the West.

She watched her father-in-law build the empire and she watched the designated heir destroy it. Her husband had fought alongside The Conqueror in all the battles. Her sons were good men. She had reason to believe that she was entitled to put an end to the destruction.

Sorghagtani could not stand to watch the ruin. She made an alliance with the Khan of Russia, the great Batu, that put her sons on the throne.

How did she do it? Mongol women had more status and freedom than the women of China, or of Greece or Rome, for that matter. While the royal women of China were not allowed to own property and did not ride horses, Sorghagtani did both. She owned property. She was the counselor to khans.

This is why John of Plano Carpini, the envoy of the Pope of Rome to the Mongol court called her the most remarkable woman of her age.

An Offer He Could Not Refuse: The Conqueror Recruits the Man of Letters
Genghis Khan Conquers China.

China has been split apart many times in its history. For four hundred years, barbarian dynasties ruled in the North.

The greatest of the conquerors was Chinggis Khan. This is the story of the military campaign that broke through the Great Wall and set up a conquest dynasty in North China.

The strategy was brilliant. The commanders were unequaled. 120,000 men crossed the Gobi Desert. It is one of the most staggering feats in military history and yet it has been forgotten in the West.

The great cavalrymen of the steppe had raided China before, but never had they attempted to govern it. How did they do it?

Here is the invented diary of Chancellor Yeh-lu, who served Chinggis Khan for thirteen years. Formerly a high official in the government of the deposed dynasty, Yeh-lu came into the service of Chinggis Khan and served the conquest government.

It might be said that he saved Chinese civilization, for the Mongol generals wanted to raze all of North China and turn it into pasture for their horses. A thrilling story, here an excerpt.

The Mortal Wound: Why the Mongol Khans Destroyed the Caliphate
Why did the Mongol Emperor give Orders of Submission to the Caliph of Baghdad?

In the year 1258, Hulegu Khan, the younger brother of the Mongol Emperor, acting on imperial orders, toppled the Muslim centers of power in the Middle East. A new power had risen in the East and it tolerated no insubordination, even from the Muslim Caliphate.

The caliphate was the Sunni government that had been ruling for five hundred years in Baghdad, a thriving center of commerce and the possessor of a brilliant culture.

The Order of the Assassins were the rival center of power, a breakaway rebel sect of the Shia, who had been unsuccessful in establishing a rival caliphate in Egypt. They had been committing murders for hire all over the Muslim world and the orthodox Sunni wishes to be rid of them.

Hulegu destroyed them both and founded the Persian Khanate. He himself was Christian, but his sons converted to Islam and were among the greatest rulers of Islam. How did this happen?

Hulegu did not ride against the Muslims because they were Muslims. He rode against them for political and financial reasons.

It was one of the most momentous events of the Middle Ages and even though it echoes down to us from the pulpits of mosques all over the region down to the present day, it has been forgotten to history. This is the story.

It was said that the Tigris and the Euphrates ran red with blood and black from the ink of the thousands of volumes pitched into the rivers from the great libraries of Baghdad.

Taifun: Khubilai Khan Invades Japan by Sea

Why had a man born to the horse taken to the sea? Khubilai Khan was the Emperor of Heaven. He was the first man to sit on the Dragon Throne and rule over all of China in 400 years. He had sent the general out to conquer the south and unify China, and he was the most powerful sovereign in Asia. He ruled over a magnificent court. He was wealthy beyond description. And yet, he was not satisfied.

This is the story told in "Taifun" when a kamikaze or Divine Wind saved Japan from the Mongol fleet of 2300 war junks. Not once, but twice.

Khubilai Khan became obsessed with invading Japan by sea. He tried twice and failed both times and the failure destroyed him.

He was like a character out of Shakespear, King Lear, a man undone. The failure to have Japan submit to him as a vassal, as it had to the greatest emperor of Tang, was a major factor in his descent into depression, alcoholism and obesity.

Batu. Khan of the Golden Horde: The Mongol Khans Conquer Russia
For news junkies who wonder why there are Tatars in the Crimea who wish to remain loyal to Putin's Russia, the answer is, that they are the descendants of Chinggis Khan's armies.

Batu Khan was the senior prince of the empire after the death of Chinggis Khan. He ruled the Russian Khanate, and in fact, was a military hero in the campaign that brought Russia under Mongol rule.

This is the story of his conquest of Russia and his rule of Russia, that was making him immensely rich. It is the story of how he removed one house of Chinggis Khan's descendants from the throne of the Mongol Empire, and put another house on the throne. Though these events occurred eight centuries ago, they mark the end of the medieval period, when the Muslim caliphate ruled the banking and financial structures of the world, and marked the beginning of the rise of the West.

Russia was critical as the Muslim powers wanted to take Russia and Batu had no intention of letting it go. This too had serious consequences for the results of Batu's being a kingmaker resonate down to the events on the front pages of the world's media to this day.

The bad part about the Mongol conquest of Russia was not that it happened, that the princes who elected their rulers in the medieval cities were forced to "go to the horde" to pay tribute, including the great hero Alexander Nevsky, but that the Mongols did not go away for two hundred years. Until the time of Ivan the Terrible, the first of the Romanovs, the Mongols ruled Russia with a vast army while they grew rich from trade of the western branches of the Silk Road. This was when Europe was a backwater. The period ushers in the rise of the West. A fascinating era, with stories that are like Shakespeare in Asia, about power, greed, betrayal, conspiracy, true love and its corruption and the nature of rule.

Tibet Unconquered: An Epic Struggle For Freedom
An overview of history beginning with the Chinese claim to Tibet dating from the Mongol Empire and continuing up through Chinese dynasties and contemporary history. Contains a roadmap to a twenty-first century win-win solution for Tibet and China.

Nominated for a Woman's Courage in Journalism Award 2011.

Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, Goodreads, iTunes and Google Books.

China's Wild West: A Most Strategic Region
Why set a story in China's Wild West, the Muslim province of Xinjiang? Take a look at the maps and see for yourself.

The Blogger of Kashgar: A Work of Historical Espionage
Xinjiang Province, in China’s Wild West, is located at the Roof of the World.

This is the high ground of Inner Asia, on the border with Afghanistan and Central Asia, a region with two hot wars, Kashmir and Afghanist, and three nuclear powers, China, India and Pakistan. The region has a jihadi problem and China has a long open border that it cannot patrol.

The local Muslims have been protesting, demonstrating in the streets, rioting and setting off bombs. They want freedom. They want rights. They want ethnic identity. They are against the Han Chinese who have moved in and taken the best jobs and best housing.
They resent being punished for their religion and for using their own language. The Chief of Security of the Province, Secretary Lu, has put down many riots in his day, but he wants information about who is behind the rioting and there is only one man who can get it for him.

Gordon Farr, old China hand, returns to China. The return of Gordon Farr to China did not start out as a nuclear incident, but that is what it became, as Gordon attempts to stop the import into New York City of nuclear materials that could go off in Manhattan and render a large part of the city uninhabitable for decades.

The Gnome of Islamabad: A Work of Historical Espionage
The town of Bamiyan is situation on the ancient Silk Road in Afghanistan. The town was a trading town, a crossroads for trade between China and the Middle East for centuries. The cliff of the Buddhas had been in existence since the whole region was Buddhist, before the coming of Islam. It was built on the ruins of a place called the City of Sighs, because this was the ruin of an ancient city destroyed by Chinggis Khan in the siege of Bamiyan in the year 1221. It was one of the most visited places in Afghanistan because of the ruins. Until the Taliban blew up the monumental Buddhas which had stood there for a thousand years.

This was an outrage. The First Lady of the United States had made the traffic in looted antiquities her issue as First Lady. So when the Taliban approached the United States military in Kabul and said that they were willing to ransom precious Buddhist art, even though it was art of the idolaters, the First Lady prevailed upon her husband, President Richard Everest, to send his special envoy, Gordon Farr, CIA, old China hand, expert in antiquities and his new wife, Rachel Adams, archaeologist extraordinaire, to Afghanistan to get the art.

Chinese Writing: An Introduction
This work explores the oldest picture-language in the world in narrative and photographys for young readers. It shows how Chinese artists, through the medium of the brush, have captured in their writing the abstract beauty of the line and the energy of nature. Gives an understanding of the art as well as a how-to guild.

Illustrated with photographs from the collection of the modern Chinese painting master, C. C. Wang.

Winner American Library Association Most Notable Book Award, in the year of its publication.


For students and young readers everywhere, as Chinese is widely studied as a foreign language in American high schools. Also for interior design professionals who wish to get a quick but authoritative illustration of the four major styles of Chinese calligraphy with images from masterpieces from the collection of a modern Chinese painting master.