Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Children’s #GreatDanes Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

I enjoyed reading Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg and picked up one of her children’s books and reviewed in April 2020, Joyful Trouble.

This turned into a trip down memory lane, as much of the action takes place in Simon’s Town Naval Station where my father was based 1963 -1965 and where I went to Saturday morning cinema each week and to Christmas Children’s Parties. Including the excitement of seeing Father Christmas arrive by helicopter.

About the book

A humorous read about an incredible dog and how he found his true, yet unexpected calling.
A dog. A friendship. A purpose.

Proven to warm your heart, “Joyful Trouble” is a fast-paced, engaging and funny story.

Patricia Furstenberg paints a charming portrait of the bond between a small girl and boy and their much-loved Grandad. This book takes readers on an unbelievable journey, tackling universal themes and voicing animal rights and the importance of fighting for what is right.

When a Great Dane arrives in a Navy base nobody expects him to win everybody’s hearts, although breaking some rules along the way. But things soon turn sour as somebody threatens to put him to sleep. Who will stand up for this four-legged gentle giant?

A charming celebration of innocence.

My review for Joyful Trouble April 4th 2020

This is a lovely book for all ages, but particularly for children as they are introduced to not just Joyful Trouble and his extraordinary story, but also dogs in general with their amazing abilities and their special bond with humans. This involves some valuable lessons on how best to treat man’s best friend with kindness and respect with the wider view as to how we as humans should behave towards each other.

Great Danes are massive dogs and when they get into trouble, it is difficult not to miss it. Joyful has already bonded with a little boy who goes to boarding school, leaving his best friend behind, which leads to the dog wandering the town and connecting with sailors from the naval base and accompanying them on their trips into Cape Town on the train when off duty. Clearly not appreciated by everyone including grumpy ticket inspectors.

However, a high ranking naval officer sees a solution and this leads to the true story of the enlistment of Joyful Trouble into the Royal Navy. There are several escapades that follow, and it is a wonderful story of how animals and humans find companionship and solace in a time of war, when young men leave home and find themselves in a very rigid and unfamiliar environment. Anyone who has ever been owned by a dog will love the book as well as the characters of Grandad,Tommy and Ana, who are the delightful recipients of his stories of this wonderful dog he was given responsibility for.

At the end of the book, as an added treat, there are some recipes for Vetoek a traditional fried dough bread and some delicious sounding lemon and cinnamon cookies. There is also an introduction to the poem Jock of the Bushveld that will delight any child as they sample the cookies.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of  other books by Patricia Furstenberg (some in Afrikaans)

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK BlogAlluring Creations Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @PatFurstenberg

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a skilled author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about mind, brain and education and the psychology behind it.

Her latest book, “Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for”, is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. “Silent Heroes” is a narrative about the value of life. Whose are the spoils-of-war? A new look at the War in Afghanistan, at the MWD, Military Working Dogs and the brave Marines fighting it, but also at the Afghans caught in it.

When she’s not writing Patricia enjoys reading, researching for forthcoming books and traveling with her family. She never counts how many cups of coffee she enjoys in a day.
Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Joyful Trouble…and that you will head over to check out Patricia’s books in more details.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book – #Afghanistan – Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg


Welcome to the series where authors in the Cafe and Bookstore an extract from their most recent book. If you are in the Cafe, and would like to participate you can find all the details here: Share an Extract

The first author in the new series is Patricia Furstenberg with an extract from Silent Heroes, set in Afghanistan where families, troops serving their country and service dogs, face daily dangers. A book that I can highly recommend.

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate.

The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

An extract from the book

One of the favourite pastimes of the U.S. soldiers deployed to FOB Day was soccer.
In this lonely outpost situated in the middle of hostile territory, where the only links with home were through the language they spoke and the short Skype video calls to families left behind, taking part in activities outside their daily routine of physical training and killer missions, like soccer, was relished by all.

Even the dogs from their K9 unit were watching the display of unbound testosterone and childish banter.

Seb’s dog Tara, a three year old Belgian Malinois with fawn fur and a black mask over her nose, a combination that made her look more like a fox than a dog, was lying with her head on her front paws, only the subtle lift of her inner eyebrow and the movement of her eyes revealing that she was actually watching the game. Every now and then she would puff with gusto through her nose, as if saying ‘they act like a bunch of kids playing.’

Honda, next door, was Dunn’s dog, a seven years old German Shepard with a classic black and tan coat and black saddle, an IED and human sniffer dog, especially of hidden Taliban insurgents. Honda slept now. She would keep her legs extended, save for her front right paw that was bent and would spring with the cheers of the soccer crowd as if she, too, chased the ball.

Next to Honda, awake and alert, was Kent’s dog Rambo. He was a black German Shepard with tan socks, an IED and human sniffer dog. His thick, luscious coat shined with his every move. He sat now, eyes trained on the ball, ears perched, only to stand every now and then and approach the fence of his enclosure, tail low, wagging in support. He would have spotted Kent’s tall frame among the players.

Covered in sweat and dust the Marines relished in the general buzz, the homely feel of a hassle-free game of two halves. For these young men, some of them not even 21 years old, so intent on finding IEDs and hidden Taliban fighters, so set in their army ways, the only purpose now was to get a turn at kicking that ball around. It didn’t matter that their entire field of action was an 18-yard box. It was their sixty minutes ticket out of reality.

The fourth MWD was Xena, Conde’s tireless Belgian Malinois with tan fur and an all-black face. Xena was trained to sniff explosives, but right now she sniffed some action past the group of football players. The door of the briefing room pushed open and out strolled Captain Marcos.

Xena jumped forward, alert. Tara and Rambo followed while Honda half opened an eye. There was going to be some action.

By the time the agile frame of Captain Marcos reached the football players, the game had already ceased, all eyes trained on him. There was still a cloud of brown dust hovering around the Marines’ khaki shorts, tinting the scene in shades of sepia; a herd of stallions panting, their ears attend, nostrils quivering in expectation. One of the Marines had picked up the ball, popping it between his arm and hip. Tara’s tail wagged, recognizing her partner and human handler, Seb. Another Marine slapped Seb’s shoulder in a friendly manner and it was Xena’s turn to snort, recognizing Conde. Dancing on the spot, Tara blew air through her nose and yapped at Honda in the next cage. Rambo spun around, pacing along the fence. Will Kent get a turn at holding the ball? Will he? Only Honda cracked a sleepy eye, her tail sweeping the ground once before rolling over onto her back, snorting. Honda enjoyed action as much any dog, but she also knew that the humans did a lot of talking before any action would begin. Until she would sniff Dunn approaching her cage, Honda couldn’t be bothered.

One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes on Goodreads

Apr 24, 2020 H.A. Leuschel rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This was a fabulous read. I normally shy away from books that are set in war zones or describe life in the military. However, I also love challenging myself and learning about countries and characters that will teach me how different their lives are to mine. This book is perfect in all aspects!

I admire the author’s beautiful pen, her way of describing Afghanistan, the day to day fear and stress that soldiers have to go through as well as the local population. She offers vivid descriptions of the difficulties in staying alert while also staying human and empathetic towards the communities where the military staff are stationed. The underlying plot that kept the narrative going added to the gripping scenes that flowed off the page.

Another aspect I loved about this book was the friendship between soldiers and their dogs who worked as a team on site. I had no idea just how clever these dogs were, so sensitive and perceptive and their presence seemed to help all of the military staff to feel emotionally stable. The author opened my eyes to a new world that of course I hear about in the news but am never quite able to really understand. I walk away having read a great book and having learned a lot along the way. Throughout the narrative I always felt it was very realistic so have to add that the book was extremely well researched in the details provided about Afghani culture, the political conflict and ensuing devastating recent history. Highly recommended if like me you’d like to know what it’s really like to be stationed as a solider in a war zone.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books (some in Afrikaans) by Patricia Furstenberg

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

Blog: Alluring Creations
Twitter: @PatFurstenberg
Facebook: Patricia Furstenberg Author
LinkedIn: Patricia Furstenberg Author
Pinterest: Pat Furstenberg

I hope that you have enjoyed this extract from Silent Heroes and will head over to buy the book thanks Sally.

If you are in the Cafe, and would like to participate you can find all the details here: Share an Extract

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Convents: the Religious Life of Medieval Women by Patricia Furstenberg


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and for the next week it will be running parallel with the new series which is all about Family and Friends and if you would like to participate here are the details: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

This is the second post by author Patricia Furstenberg who shares her research into the religious life that became an option for women in the middle ages, as the founding of convents offered an alternative to marriage.

Convents - religious life of Medieval women

Convents: the Religious Life of Medieval Women

I am researching again, a task both exhilarating and overwhelming as I have to sieve such fascinating information and only retain the story bits that I need. I want to learn about Medieval women, especially, in the belief that women can write about war as well as take part in it. Mark Twain said: “The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” Hmm. So, here’s a bit of my research: Convents, the religious life of Medieval Women.

While most of us live in an era where women have freedom of speech, the right to education, to own a property, to a fair and equal wage and a life free from slavery and discrimination, let us remember that this wasn’t always the case.

After centuries-old prejudice against education for women the beliefs that women were not capable of learning or likely to use an education, medieval women had few choices and little support with regards to their own lives. When the average life expectancy was only 31 years, girls as young as 14 years were considered ripe for marriage, having no say no matter their intellectual or religious aspirations. Still, a few women resisted.

Convent of Christ in Tomar convents religious life medieval women

Convent of Christ in Tomar

Why Convents?

Convents were the first institutions to rise in the Early Middle Ages, mimicking closely the rise of monasticism in the West of Europe, from a desire to enhance celebrations of God and to expand Christianity. They came at the right time to meet the women’s need for education or for furthering their religious aspirations.

Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, dedicated herself to God from an early age. She spent her life in the company of other religious women and is considered the founder of the first convent during the 5th century, the women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism.

Scholastica came from a wealthy family, having the means to support herself while pursuing her religious dreams without the shadow of a forced marriage looming over her youth.

Benedict and Scholastica, Klosterkirche Elchingen. Wikipedia. convents religious life medieval women

Benedict and Scholastica, Klosterkirche Elchingen. Wikipedia

Two centuries later the Canon laws, a set of ordinances made by the Church leadership, supported furthering the education for girls and women, directing the abbesses and the abbots to cultivate a love of reading in their communities and all members of its religious societies, male and female, to be literate in Latin.

Why join a convent?

During the Middle Ages, girls of seven years of age were sent by their families to a nunnery to gain an education until the age of 14 when they were expected to get married. Few girls dedicated their life to God to pursue a calling, like Christina of Markyate, a 12th century religious Englishwoman with visionary powers who, having made a vow of virginity in her youth and determined to resist marriage, fled to the protection of local hermits. A community of virgins grew around her, while through her spiritual and managing abilities she became the prioress of a flourishing Benedictine convent.

Some women saw in convent life the only way of pursuing their learning interests. There were also those who joined a convent to escape the dreary prospect of death through childbirth backed by marriage, often denigrated in favour of virginity. A virgin was respected more like a man than a married woman was.

And convents didn’t disappoint.

Scholarly nuns who rose to the rank of an abbess were treated as equals by men and their social class. Their voice, once silenced in their whisper, was suddenly heard through writings of treaties on logic or rhetoric, through music, even as advisors to popes, kings, and emperors, such as Hildegard of Bingen.

©Patricia Furstenberg 2019

My thanks to Pat for this fascinating look at religion for women and a look behind the doors to the convents of the time.

A small selection of other books (some in Afrikaans) by Patricia Furstenberg

One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes

 Gina R Mitchell 5.0 out of 5 stars An intense, well-written war story  Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020

Silent Heroes is a thought-provoking story of a Marine K-9 unit serving in Afghanistan. The storyline is graphic and intense, yet, filled with the underlying beauty of the country.

I can not imagine the hours of research Ms, Furstenberg invested in writing such an in-depth book. She crafted every word to evoke the struggles the characters endure. The pacing is excellent. Just when you lose your breath due to the intensity, you are offered a respite through interactions with the elderly, women, and children.

The K-9 members of the unit are equally as important as the humans. Their job is dangerous, deadly, and essential to the survival of all. Each dog’s personality shines through the author’s words.

I learned quite a bit about the history of Afghanistan, and it’s people through the author’s well-crafted story.

This book should be required reading for everyone. I highly recommend this book to fans of fiction, drama, war stories, and history.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

Blog: Alluring Creations
Twitter: @PatFurstenberg
Facebook: Patricia Furstenberg Author
LinkedIn: Patricia Furstenberg Author
Pinterest: Pat Furstenberg

My thanks again to Pat for allowing me to share her post, and I hope you will head over to browse through her archives.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – Orthodox #Easter Eggs, folktales, symbolism, traditions #culture #history by Patricia Furstenberg


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and for the next week it will be running parallel with the new series which is all about Family and Friends and if you would like to participate here are the details: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

This is the first post by author Patricia Furstenberg and this week shares the history and explanation of the markings on orthodox Easter Eggs which are beautifully decorated.

Orthodox Easter Eggs, folktales, symbolism, traditions culture and history

It was an erstwhile custom that a mother, no matter how elderly or ailing she felt, would take it upon herself to bring food to her lad bided elsewhere as soon as the snow thawed and the first white spring shoots pierced the ground.

A folktale tells that Mary, the mother of Jesus, took it upon herself to visit Jesus in Jerusalem and thus she packed a basket with fresh eggs. It wasn’t much else she could take him, Herod having just increased his taxes, again.

The road was winding through the verdant green hills of Judea and Mary’s heart felt light for each step brought her hither to her son, which she hasn’t seen in a long time. As the morning progressed her own shadow became but a puddle by her feet. Soon enough the basket began feeling heavier and heavier in her work-worn hand and her steps became slower and slower and she felt like her journey to Jerusalem had become a quest for shade. Not many trees were in bloom so as soon as Mary spotted a stream sheltered by a little arbor she quickened her step and stopped to cool and quench her thirst. It was a thirst like she had never felt before. So she looked about and decided to stop for a few moments.

The road was winding through the verdant green hills of Judea and Mary’s heart felt light for each step brought her hither to her son

The stream sang and Mary saw a new nest above her head and smiled. Life was precious. The water moved softly over her fingers and, when she removed her hand, a few droplets lingered on her fingers. She brought the hand to her eyes and smiled, a whole life scene embedded in those tiny see-through pearls.

It was a peaceful moment and life’s moments were just like this string of beads following each other on her outstretched hand. Each one connected to the next, stronger together. Filled with love.

But it was time to move along. Before getting up something tugged at her heart and Mary lifted the white cotton fabric that covered the basket to see if the eggs were still in good shape.

A dreadful sight unfolded before her eyes. It was as if the sun had stopped shining, no gurgling from the stream could glide through the air and all proof of life on earth had been stamped out.

The eggs had turned blood red and the Blessed Mother of Jesus understood that the time had come for her son to pay for our sins. But she was first a mother and he was her baby boy and so she wept, Mary did, and as her tears rolled down her cheeks and dripped onto the blood covered eggs they drew patterns, a cross, a star, lines and spirals.

Easter eggs symbolism traditions

When Mary reached the place where Jesus hang on the cross, she laid the basket at his feet and knelt to pray. Then Jesus spoke and asked her not to cry for Him, but to share those blessed eggs with the people who believe in His resurrection.

***

This is why on the Orthodox Easter we color boiled eggs in red, we draw patterns on them and we share them with our loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, knocking egg against egg and saying: “Christ has risen,” and answer “It is true He has risen.”

Easter eggs symbolism traditions

The symbolism of the Easter egg

The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ.

The cracking of the egg (through knocking) symbolizes His Resurrection.

The Ritual of coloring Easter Eggs

It is said that coloring Easter eggs is a sacred ritual. The day when one colors the eggs is special and no other activity will take place.

On counting the eggs that are to be colored, one doesn’t begin with one, but with “one thousand”, thus bringing wealth in the house for the remainder of the year.

The paint was already prepared, using different plants for different colors. GREEN – was made from walnut leaves, sweet apple skin. RED came from the leaf of a sweet apple, corn leaves or thyme. A special flower was used for YELLOW. Oregano was used to give the colored eggs a heavenly perfume.

The room where the eggs were painted was also special. No worried or upset person was allowed to step inside and no bad rumors or news of people who just passed away were allowed to reach the ears of the egg-painter.

Easter egg color symbolism

Easter eggs are nowadays colored in a rainbow of shades.

WHITE – means purity

RED – symbolizes the blood of Christ and life

BLUE – symbolizes the sky above, uniting us all

BLACK – means fertility

GREEN – means nature

YELLOW – symbolizes sun and energy

Easter eggs symbolism traditions

Easter eggs symbolism traditions

Orthodox Easter Eggs Design Symbolism, Traditions

A straight vertical line means life.

A straight horizontal line means death.

A double straight line symbolizes eternity.

A rectangle pattern – symbolizes thought and knowledge.

A sinuous line symbolizes water and purity.

A spiral means time and eternity.

A double spiral symbolizes the connection between life and death.

Cross – symbol for Christianity

A cross with additional small crosses at the end of each arm is a Russian cross.

Orthodox cross on a red Easter egg

A star – is called the “shepherd’s star”

A monastery – symbol of Christianity

Other motifs used for decorating Easter eggs: bees, frogs, snakes, lambs, garden tools, fir tree, tulip, wheat.

Other traditions call for all the family members to wash their faces with fresh water on Easter morning, water from a container that holds a red egg and a silver coin. It is believed that the red egg brings good luck, good health, warn off evil spirits and all spells.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Easter eggs’ symbolism and traditions.

You might also enjoy reading:
A Journey through the Medieval City of Sighisoara, Romania
Convents: the Religious Life of Medieval Women

© Patricia Furstenberg 2019

My thanks to Pat for sharing this very interesting explanation behind the beautiful markings on these Easter Eggs.

A small selection of other books (some in Afrikaans) by Patricia Furstenberg

One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes

 Gina R Mitchell 5.0 out of 5 stars An intense, well-written war story  Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020

Silent Heroes is a thought-provoking story of a Marine K-9 unit serving in Afghanistan. The storyline is graphic and intense, yet, filled with the underlying beauty of the country.

I can not imagine the hours of research Ms, Furstenberg invested in writing such an in-depth book. She crafted every word to evoke the struggles the characters endure. The pacing is excellent. Just when you lose your breath due to the intensity, you are offered a respite through interactions with the elderly, women, and children.

The K-9 members of the unit are equally as important as the humans. Their job is dangerous, deadly, and essential to the survival of all. Each dog’s personality shines through the author’s words.

I learned quite a bit about the history of Afghanistan, and it’s people through the author’s well-crafted story.

This book should be required reading for everyone. I highly recommend this book to fans of fiction, drama, war stories, and history.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

Blog: Alluring Creations
Twitter: @PatFurstenberg
Facebook: Patricia Furstenberg Author
LinkedIn: Patricia Furstenberg Author
Pinterest: Pat Furstenberg

My thanks again to Pat for allowing me to share her post, and I hope you will head over to browse through her archives.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Scifi Richard Dee, #Crimeshorts Jane Risdon, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Afghanistan #Dogs Patricia Furstenberg


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first author today is D.G. Kaye who as you know is a regular contributor to the blog with  The Travel Column and the Laughter Lines. With a wonderful selection of non-fiction books and her memoirs of significant events in her life, there is something for everyone. The featured book today with a recent review, is Twenty Years After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging..

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

The author married a man who is twenty years her senior. At the time of their marriage, she did reflect on what could or would happen in the future as the relentless march of time took its toll, but she loved Gordon so much that she decided to grab the happiness and job life was offering her.

I found this book particularly interesting because my mother is ten years older than my father. My mother has always been “young” for her age and my father a bit “older” for his. They are now 80 and 70, respectively, and it has been interesting to watch the changes to their relationship and lifestyle. Ten years is half of twenty years, so such a big age gap does seem rather overwhelming to me and I was curious as to how the couple managed their life together now that they were both older. It turns out that they manage very well indeed, and I found this memoir uplifting and even inspiring.

The author addresses all sorts of aspects of married life, many of which are relevant in any marriage, regardless of the age of the spouses. I learned a lot from her thoughts and ideas, in particular, the idea of counting to ten before speaking in rage and never saying anything deliberately spiteful or hurtful. I have heard this message before, but never understood it quite like this. I am going to take this lesson learned forward in my life especially in my relationship with my one son, who is so like me we often fight like cat and dog.

The information covered in this book about living with a senior and travelling with a senior is useful to anyone who spends time and travels with parents so it is all very relevant and useful. I is also interesting to note how the author manages medications and illness with her senior husband.

This is a great book with numerous important messages that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people of all age groups looking to gain the best from life and relationships.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby via her blog: D.G. Writes

The next author with a wonderful collection of of Sci-fi books, some in series that would make a great gift this Christmas is Richard Dee. The featured book today is Andorra Pett and her Sister which has received a recent review.

About the book

“When a sister hates you, that really is the end of the world.”

Andorra Pett is back for another adventure, and this time it’s personal!

Trouble seems to follow Andorra Pett, wherever she is in the Solar System.

Andorra Pett hasn’t seen her sister for a while, they never really got on; there was a falling out and they drifted apart.

Out of the blue, Andorra gets a call while on a business trip to London. As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with, it turns out that her sister’s in trouble, big trouble.

There are allegations of drug-smuggling and money laundering, it’s so unlike the staid, respectable life that she remembers her sister leading.

How can she be involved in things like that? And why isn’t her husband, Simon, sorting it all out for her? Could he be part of the problem?

The police have decided that she’s guilty, Andorra is her only hope of avoiding prison.

Against her better judgement and without her friend Cy to help her; Andorra starts to investigate.

All she has to do is work out what’s really going on. At the end of the day; family comes first.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nov 12, 2019 Steven rated it it was amazing

Andorra Pett – space station café owner, scooper pilot and sometimes super sleuth – returns for another adventure. Andorra finds herself on Earth to sort out her ex, Trevor’s affairs following his grisly murder at the hands of a mobster on Mars.

Intending this to only be a brief stay to finalise affairs before returning to the space station orbiting Saturn and the comfort of partner Derek. Unfortunately, as ever, trouble manages to find her in the form of her estranged sister Tia. When she is arrested for smuggling through importers and money laundering she calls the only person she can for help – younger sister Andorra.

Suspecting from the start that something is amiss, not least Tia lacking the sense to pull off such a crime, Andorra cannot help but be drawn in to solve the mystery and see that justice is served. Smugglers, corrupt police and a chance run in with Clive – an old face from her first ever mystery – make for high jinks aplenty. He is found running what he claims to be an official Oort Cloud Café tribute bar complete with sleazy Andorra lookalike waitresses and slanderous tales of fictitious romances assuming Andorra will never hear of it way back in space.

Once again Richard Dee has delivered a wonderfully funny murder mystery with a cast of characters new and old to entertain readers. The mystery becomes farcical as it twists and turns to a conclusion. Andorra sees herself in her share of trouble and tight spots all in the pursuit of clearing Tia’s name. This third instalment of the Andorra Pett series is a wonderful addition and only makes me long for book four in 2020 that much more.

A small selection of other books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Richard: Goodreads

Connect to Richard via his website: Richard Dee’s Scifi

And if you are into some crime themed short stories then this collection by Jane Risdon is for you… Undercover: Crime Shorts with a recent review.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of short stories by Jane Risdon who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Each story twist and turns and just when you think you have figured it out it twists again . The stories are so well written the only problem I have is that once started I cannot put the book down ! . Looking forward to the Ms Birdsong book ,the taster at the end of the book had me hooked . Jane is such a versatile author wether it’s Crime, Murder Mystery or a Love Story ( Only One Woman) the reader is captivated from page 1.

Also by Jane RisdonRead the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jane:Goodreads

 

Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Risdon WordPress

Another author with a wide selection of books to delight fantasy lovers is C.S Boyack and his latest book Serang has received a recent review.

About Serang

Monastic life is all about duty, service, and harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval brings chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of it’s predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Readers were first introduced to Serang in Boyack’s VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH. I was immediately taken with her obvious strength and her hidden vulnerabilities. It was clear to me that she’d suffered in her past.

SERANG puts an end to my questions and reveals her backstory.

Readers who are looking for the light-hearted banter and hilarious antics of Lanternfish’s root monsters will not find it here. This is a serious tale covering serious topics. But Boyack handled them brilliantly. I felt her pain, her despair. I reveled in her determination and her strength. I feared for her life and celebrated her triumphs.

You can’t ask for more than that.

This is an excellent companion piece to the Lanternfish franchise. One I highly recommend.

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow C.S. BoyackGoodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog: Cold Hand Boyack

And the final author today who has a wide range of books for younger and more mature members of the family, especially dog lovers, is Patricia Furstenberg with a recent review for her latest release  Silent Heroesreviewed the book a few weeks ago and can highly recommend.

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

Silent Heroes will prompt you to pause and think several times. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing, long-term struggles these people have endured under the Taliban and how lucky many of us are to live our lives as we want. You will feel both pride and sadness as you read about the Marines and the experiences of their teams. But you will also feel joy and hope about the sacrifices that are made for us each day. Silent Heroes is an incredible novel that I highly recommend. Regardless of your usual preferred genre, this is an excellent read that is realistic, full of well-developed characters, and will stay in your heart and mind long after finishing.

A small selection of books by Patricia Furstenberg

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

Connect to Patricia via her blog: Alluring Creations

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm…thanks Sally.