Friday, September 4, 2015


THIS IS A BOOK REVIEW: Of the book titled: JADE DRAGON MOUNTAIN by Elsa Hart, 266 pages. Publisher is St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books of New York.


I received a copy to read through the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest and unbiased review which I am happy to share now.
 I would give this Five Stars as a well told story, interesting, and the author clearly knows her subject.
Publication date of this book is September 1, 2015.
It is in the genre of History, Literature and Fiction, adult.
This Book Review is posted by Anna Patterson. Writer, Journalist, Book Reviewer,   date to be set, 2015

This book starts with a piece of a letter written by a bookseller to his nephew who is part of a sailing ship crew. In this way, the story begins an intriguing tale which leads to a mystery and a murder during a time when people are gathering to be a part of festivities for the Emperor of China.
The author describes this point in time in the 1700s in many eloquent ways including in this passage, “The great connoisseurs of tea could take a sip and follow in their minds the entire journey of the leaves, a mapped trajectory of taste and fragrance.”
This book’s main character, Li Du, is a man who has become a wonderer by circumstances and because he is forced to become a refugee. He stops along the way to see a relative and finds signs that The Emperor of China is expected to this quaint community of Dayan. The man wants to immediately leave, but is detained by his relative needing his temporary help.  
The events the man becomes entangled in are set against a beautiful backdrop of the place which the author describes so well and the people who inhabit this rich and beautiful country. At one point one of the characters of the book explains his reason to enjoy travelling as: “The quarrels of emperors and kings do not reach the caravans.”
The man, Li Du, is drawn into deep conversations and finds himself more involved than he ever wanted to be there, but he is trying to rush forward and leave the intrigue and danger he finds in the town as it awaits the Emperor’s state visit.
 The book, Jade Dragon Mountain, holds more than one beautifully told story within it. The scholar travels far away from the place he had once lived and worked as a librarian in a priceless library of books. His journey is becoming entwined with a mysterious Jesuit Missionary and another guest at the Emperor’s official guest house.
Talks over the famous tea of the period continue and the stories of captivating memories are shared. As one traveler states, “The East India Company is the real Western Power now in this part of the world – everyone knows it – everyone outside of China, that is.”
In a description of the book, the story is about a Chinese librarian, Li Du, whose travels bring him to the town of Dayan, the last Chinese town before the border with Tibet. He finds himself unexpectedly part of a large group of travelers, soldiers and merchants, all of them expectant to see within just a few days an eclipse of the sun. Although Li Du wants to continue his journey over the Jade Dragon Mountain and out of China, he is pulled back by the murder of an astronomer and his own desire for truth.

     About the Author: Elsa Hart was born in Rome, Italy and lived in Moscow until 1991 with her family. She has lived in the Czech Republic, the United States, and in China.

     She wrote this, her first novel, in Lijiang, the city that has grown up around the old town of Dayan.

She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


THIS IS A BOOK REVIEW: Of the book titled: POKERGEIST by Michael Phillip Cash, 172 pages. Publisher is Chelshire, Inc., Author Buzz.


I received a copy of this book to read through the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest and unbiased review which I am happy to share now.

 This book is described as a book about life and how sometimes life and also death can become an issue about Second Chances. Telly Martin is described as luckless, and an awful gambler, but despite this, has become a professional poker player. He finds some luck when he becomes the protégé of a world famous poker champion named Clutch Henderson.

 Unfortunately, Clutch is a ghost and under his companionship, Telly finds himself trying to navigate “the weedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas working towards a seemingly impossible win at the International Series of Poker”

 Learning to trust each other could mean everything to them, for it includes repairing shattered personal relationships and actually could lead to redemption in life and the hereafter.

 I would give this Four Stars I am a blogger and reviewer. I was privileged to read this book as a professional reviewer on Net Galley.

I would give this book a recommended reading, and thought it had an interesting angle and a delightful message that perhaps ghosts can be found in the most surprising places, like a championship tournament poker game.
I am posting a book review on my own blog site, which is linked to my Goodreads site and linked to a few other blog sites of mine.

I would recommend this book to my friends because it is a unique and fun find for me. It also had very serious overtones and characters not easily forgotten. It tells of a man “pushing seventy. . . with silver hair, light eyes, called the ‘Silver Fox’, by the ladies. He was at the top of his game, playing a young man who in online card games had to beat one hundred and sixty-five thousand contestants for the chance to play the Silver Fox card player in an International Series of Competitions.
Later, the book introduces a young man, Telly Martin, who is trying to climb that enormous success ladder, but he knew his own odds to succeed were awful. The author describes Telly as he thought of these things. “He pushed his hands deeper and felt the hard surface of a coin. It was a penny. That was it, his last penny.”
This book has depths with a firm niche in the genres of Fiction, Thriller, and Sci-Fi Fantasy.
The concept of a modern poker player being haunted by a former pro player was interesting and I also enjoyed how their separate lives played out as both tried to make sense of how the two of them came to this strange situation.
Publication date of this book was July 18, 2015.
It is in the genre of Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy.
This Book Review is posted by Anna Patterson. Writer, Journalist, Book Reviewer,   date to be set, 2015
Author Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning screenwriter and novelist. His Best Selling novels list includes Stillwell and Witches Protection Program.

He lives on the North Shore of Long Island. He admits, he has played poker for over twenty years and has also placed First in Poker Championship Tournaments.