Transliterations are in pin-yin. This is far and away the best book I've found for learning to write the characters. I regretted the transition away from this book to other resources, principally because other resources usually use the printed form that ignores the aesthetic principles and turns beauty into ugliness. That sounds harsh, doesn't.
I agree that Burroway's Writing Fiction is the best of the best when it comes to books on writing. Though geared toward the academic setting, it can be easily used by the casual writer. Each chapter covers a different aspect of writing, includes exercises to hone that part of your writing, and short stories that exemplify the lesson.