Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Under the Painted Sky Blog Tour

We are todays stop on the Under A Painted Sky Blog Tour hosted by Pageturnersblog!

At this stop of the tour, we will be interviewing Stacey Lee!

Interview 1

1. Three things we should know about you.

One, I wear a lot of purple.  It’s a family thing.  My two sisters, my mom and my dad ALL WEAR PURPLE.  Two, I’m an insomniac. Three, I got a black eye last year attempting to surf.

2. Favorite line of the book.

“Dear God, my tree is on fire.”

3. What are some things you learned while researching but couldn’t fit into the book?

I love this question, as there were a lot of scenes I had to cut because they didn’t move the story forward.  Like, I learned that the pioneers would sometimes leave notes staked to the dirt for the next travelers to find.  It’s like they wanted a way to connect with their fellow human beings.  Also, at Independence Rock about halfway down the trail, travelers would carve their names into the granite, or paint them on with wagon grease.  You can still see the inscriptions today.

Independence Rock, by William Henry Jackson.

Inscriptions on Independence Rock.

One of the more sinister things I learned was that sometimes people were so eager to be on their way, they left their dead behind before they were even dead, and even dug graves for them to fall into when the time came. 

4. The cover is a beautiful sunset and then what looks to be 2 snakes, 2 rabbits and 2 Chinese dragons, is this symbolism that comes from the book?

Yes, and thank you for noticing that.  Sammy sees people through the lens of the Chinese zodiac.  She was born in the year of the snake, which she believes makes her unlucky.  Andy was born in the year of the dragon, to which Sammy attributes Andy’s intelligence and confidence.  Sammy’s love interest, West, was born in the year of the rabbit, and so he is sensitive and compassionate under all his cowboy bravado.

5. If people want to learn more about the history included in your book, what resources do you suggest?

First, visit the Trail!  Designated as one of our country’s National Trails, the Oregon Trail is under the protection of the National Park Service.  Parts of the trail are immensely hikeable and scenic.  One of the places I visited was Carson Pass, an important landmark on the California Trail in the Sierra Nevada.  The rangers there are experts on the western expansion, and love sharing their knowledge with others. 
I would also suggest reading pioneers diaries.  Many pioneers kept diaries, as what else was there to do? 
Last, if you find yourself in New York and want to learn more about the Chinese in the United States, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is a great place to spend an afternoon, with fascinating displays of Chinese history in the U.S. 
Here is a picture I took at MOCA of Chinese medicines.

I visited a stagecoach and covered wagon maker in Fiddletown, CA.

I also dined with old timers at a cowboy cookout!

Hiking Carson’s Trail, which “Argonauts,” or gold rushers, used to get to California.

About the book:

A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship. 
Out March 17th 2015
Under A Painted Sky Goodreads/Amazon/B&N

About the Author:

Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain. She plays classical piano, raises children, and writes YA fiction.
For more information -

Page Turners Blog is hosting an Under the Painted Sky giveaway. Each stop will have a tour word that will give you an extra entry to win the grand prize. Our tour stop word is


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