Syd Goldsmith


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Jade Phoenix

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Readers’ Blog – All Posts are Unsolicited

Dear Readers,

            This is your space, so I will only take a little of it to say that your unsolicited e-mails have made all the heart and soul I put into Jade Phoenix worth it. The rewrites, the cuts, the anxiety and agony of the publishing world during the four years from first draft to seeing this book in print have been amply rewarded by kind words, most from wonderful people who I have never met except in cyberspace or airports.  To put your comments in this space, write  Negative comments will be posted along with the positive ones, so long as you let readers know why you liked or did not like Jade Phoenix.

“Jade Phoenix is FAN FAN FANtastic, wonderful. It would make a great movie. you nailed Taiwan PURRFectly......! what a great writing job!” Dan B. from Taiwan (met at a book fair)

“I have enjoyed your story telling. I find myself annoyed having to leave the work. It is a seductive tale, not just in content but in form. I like the way the tales weave together. I like that you have used the modern technique of telling different stories simultaneously. And then I like that you have not given into the current short attention span style of writing. You tell a very satisfying, complete aspect of the story before moving to the next part.

I did not like the little wart on her nose. Next time use a mole. ..

I really love the way you have told the tale. The reader is truly transported to the environment and yet the descriptive narrative flows very naturally and does not belabor any point. I think it’s awesome.” Susan K.

The book held everything that it had promised. It was entertaining with the right mixture of interesting characters whose lives were deeply influenced by their cultural backgrounds and political situation. Though being a novel, the historical context as well as the description of the personal feelings and thoughts mainly of the Taiwanese characters give a very good impression of that era. A history book can not catch those important nuances, only facts.

So your style of narration is very important particularly for foreigners, but also for young Taiwanese to see different views on Taiwan.

As you see I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the book from the first page to the last and am very impressed by your ability to write even about difficult issues with such ease. It is hard to believe that this is your first novel!” Saskia S. from Germany

“I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your book.  I read it the next day after receiving it.  It was such a lovely well-written story.  I loved the way it was woven into facts and places at that time.  I felt that I was there and could experience it all.  Thank you.  I am looking forward to presenting it to my book clubs.”   Judy L from California (met on a plane)


“I have just completed reading JADE PHOENIX and what a fantastic read it was.  You have a great writing style which reminds me of Dan Brown; presenting factual data consisting of times, customs, politics and culture and weaving a story through those elements.  You are a very talented writer.  Do you have another book in mind?  If you do, I’m already looking forward to reading it!”   Walter M


“I have just finished reading your novel, "Jade Phoenix." I have been telling everyone to read Jade Phoenix because it is so much more than just another paperback. It draws you back in no matter how many interruptions to its reading have come into my life. Your writing is exciting.
It was everything that the back cover promised. This is a history lesson that we all need to know. I was intrigued with your main characters, Jade and Nick, and I feared and loathed some of the others. When I neared the last chapter, I hid the book so I wouldn't be tempted to read the last chapter for a few days because I didn't want the book to end. Congratulations! Your first novel was a great read!”
Irene L, New York State


“I am consumed by the story.  I found the book eerily close to home in a very personal way.  At so many points, I got chills from it… I learned so much of history as well from such a unique perspective.  If history books could have masked the lesson in a love story, I would have done so much better.  It is a book I will never forget.”     Douglas F


“I just finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I've always loved all things Chinese, but I am ashamed to say that I was pretty darn ignorant about Taiwan.   I was fascinated by how you got all that stuff I didn't know into the book without preaching or pontificating, while I sailed along enjoying Jade and Nick and Kosa's stories.  I liked your descriptions of places; I could picture them.  Your dialogue was terrific too, and helped nail the characters who were anything but stereotyped. 

 I think I'm trying to tell you how much I liked reading your book!  Now I have to go on a quest to learn more about Taiwan.”   Beth M, wrote that she is from Minnesota.


“You may not remember me as it was last fall when we met at O'Hare airport.  We had a lively talk while we waited for hours for a plane to take us to DC.  You were so kind to give me a copy of your book and I promised to let you know what I thought of it.  

I really enjoyed the read.  It was a fun and fascinating story.  It flowed along well and kept my interest with just the right mix of sporting fun, intrigue, history and passion.  I have to admit that I now have a growing interest in scuba diving!  I enjoyed the story enough that I sent copies to friends and family who read a lot.  So far, it's thumbs up from those I've heard back from.  I particularly enjoyed talking about it with my mother as she worked for the Chinese Nationalist Army in DC in 1945-6.  She loved the book - it was a beautiful springboard for her to remember and talk about her experiences.  She talked about the parties they used to have and how their manners were impeccable.  I think she truly appreciated the perspective that was presented in Jade Phoenix.  I know I enjoyed hearing her thoughts!”   Margaret T, from the Washington, DC area. 


”Can't wait for your next book ..hope it has a nautical flavor !”  Dave L, e-mail address indicates he is from Maine, and he wrote that he served on the USS Bristol (DD857) nearly ten years before I did.


“Picked up the book at the Taipei American School bookstore … [and] really enjoyed it. I will buy 4 more copies and will be mailing them to classmates I went to Mandarin Training Center with in '83.

Carl W, from Taipei


“What interesting and tough times and people you portray in Jade Phoenix. It was a great and engaging read.”  James M


“I just finished reading your book" Jade Phoenix". It was so informative about China and Taiwan.

I had forgotten some of the history during President Carter's administration. Your characters

were so real-life.  I enjoyed the read.”   Marcia J


“Your book IS WONDERFUL!  I loved it, had a hard time putting it down at
night when I knew it was time to go to sleep, and the characters are still
with me.”  Virginia F


“It was wonderful. Of course it made me think about which aspects of it you really lived. At first I was put off that one of the major jacket blurbs called it a "romance" and then yesterday I read a great New Yorker piece about some translators of Tolstoy and it reminded me that all novels used to be called romances -- so what the heck.” Robert H


“The book is very engaging and interesting. It's well written and definitely holds my attention. Have you sold the movie rights? I'd love to see it as a film.” Sharon G.


“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jade Phoenix, it was captivating, intriguing and so, so readable. I really hated to put it down at intervals. You are definitely among my favorite writers now and look forward to your next book. Will it be fiction along the same story line?” Joanne S


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