Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Mae Li had loved Chen Zhu for years, and he loved her. As she turned eighteen, she held high hopes that the matchmaker would contract their marriage.  The matchmaker chose someone else for Mae Li, so she knew that the same had happened to Chen. She was beyond distraught.

When Chen told her he would not disgrace his family even though he loved only Mae, she knew she could never marry anyone else. As a token of his love and a parting gift, Chen gave her a precious comb encrusted with pearls that had belonged to his grandmother. Mae could not stay and watch Chen marry another nor could she marry the brash man chosen for her, so she ran away to Shanghai with only her few clothes and no money.

A naïve and penniless young woman from a small country village did not do well in a city teeming with all types of people. She was almost kidnapped by a brothel owner, but escaped. Starving, she searched for an honest way to earn food, but none appeared.

When she was at her weakest, she took out her ancestor tablet and prayed to her ancestors to help her. By this time she was so weak from hunger and exhaustion, she could not rise. She had a sense of someone pulling her up—an old woman—and knew nothing but being shaken awake to be fed a bitter soup. Each time she woke, she was stronger.

Finally, Mae Li realized she was strong and left the bed. When she did so, she met the woman who had saved her, Mrs. Tan, the Shanghai matchmaker. Her hostess explained that she had seen Mae Li in a dream and sought her. As fanciful as this sounded, Mae believed her, for how else had the woman found and rescued her?

Mrs. Tan asked Mae to serve as her apprentice for one year before she decided whether or not she would stay. Mae spent the next twelve months learning to read and write, to judge which partners would make a happy match, and to learn all the things she needed to become a matchmaker.

At the end of the training period, Mae changed her name to Pearl because she was a different person. She assumed the role from the dying Mrs. Tan. Before she passed away, Mrs. Tan gave her a magic coin that would help her for generations to come across the world—until she chose her own successor.

Pearl had agreed to remain alone in exchange for her power and position, but she was content.  She took pleasure in helping make happy matches for her clients. After many years, a man knocked at her door. She was shocked to see Chen Zhu.

His wife had died and he had come to search for Mae Li, who told him she now went by Pearl. He was pleased to see she wore the pearl encrusted comb. They exchanged a kiss and embrace, but Pearl told him of her duty. Knowing they would love one another for all eternity, they parted. The first time was for his duty; the second for hers. But this time, Pearl knew only peace because she was loved and had a purpose.

This story is a Prequel to The Power of the Matchmaker Series – 12 stories in 12 months

BROKEN THINGS TO MEND by Karey White, January 2016

NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE by Rachel Anderson, February

IF WE WERE A MOVIE by Kelly Oram, March

LOVE IS COME by Heather B. Moore, April

FOUR CHAMBERS by Julie Wright, May

O’ER THE RIVER LIFFEY by Heidi Ashworth, June

CHASING FIREFLIES by Taylor Dean, July

BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN by Michele Paige Holmes, August

MR. WRONG by Janette Rollison, September

TO MOVE THE WORLD by Regina Sirois, October

KING OF THE FRIEND ZONE by Sheralyn Pratt, November

THE REFORMER by Jaima Fixsen, December

You can find this poignant story at Amazon

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