Today it’s my great pleasure to welcome author Patricia Furstenberg to the blog to help me spread a little more book love. We’ll be finding out all Patricia’s bookish confessions just as soon as we’ve heard all about the woman herself.
Patricia Furstenberg came to writing though reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. She always felt at ease with pen and paper in her hand and she’s been writing stories and poetry ever since she can remember; she even wrote a historical time travel play once.
Patricia became taking writing seriously after becoming one of the Write Your Own Christie winners. She enjoys writing for children because she can take day-to-day, grown-up concepts and present them it in fun and colourful, child-friendly packages while adding sensitivity and lots of love. Patricia enjoys writing about animals because she believes that each animal, no matter how small, has a story to tell if you only stop to listen.
After completing her Medical Degree in Romania she moved to South Africa where she now lives with her husband, children and their dogs.
Patricia is now working on a collection of three delightful children’s stories in rhymes inspired by unusual friendships between African animals, because she believes that friendship knows no boundaries and children, as well as animals, know this best. Find them soon on Amazon.
The stories are titled: The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, The Dog and the Cheetah.
Here’s a sneak-peak into the first story, The Elephant and the Sheep:
“Two little tails met one day,
Quite by chance under hot sun rays.
“Hello,” they swished, then wagged, “let’s play!”
They were not like each other, yet both were grey.
One had stomping feet, the other was shorter,
One smiled tall, the other’s mouth was smaller.
One had a long nose; the other’s nose was tiny,
One had wide ears, the other’s were pointy.
Yet it didn’t bother neither as they went for a stroll,
Glad to share the day, to talk, and patrol.”
Take home an unbelievable and humorous true story of an incredible dog and how he found his true, yet unexpected calling. You will love the moving tale of Joyful Trouble, a dog whose love for humans went beyond any human-dog connection.
When a Great Dane arrives in a Navy base nobody expects him to win everybody’s hearts, although breaking some rules along the way. With challenges arising along the way, who will stand up for this four-legged gentle giant?
A story that reads like a movie. A charming celebration of innocence.
Puppy – 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles
From the author of Joyful Trouble, a new children’s book that celebrates acceptance, family values and the unconditional love dogs have for all humans, young and old… now and forever! A perfect gift for all animal lovers!
From fun and playful to creative and crafty, Patricia Furstenberg’s musical rhymes express all the adoring and amusing happenings that puppies just happen to fall into when they enter our household, especially if children are present. With bright and humorous illustrations this is a book that children and grown-ups will love reading over and over.
A great gift for any occasion, but especially a unique gift for birthdays, dog lovers and graduation. Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles has a loving and innocent message that will endure for lifetimes.
Release date: 31 October 2017 (eBook and Paperback)
Favourite book from childhood
I vividly remember holding the lime green edition of Fridolin, a Funny Story for Children by Franz Caspar (original title: Fridolin. Eine lustige Geschichte für Kinder) and the warm feeling it put in my heart. I have kept the book and just the sight of its cover is enough to transport me back to my childhood days. I don’t know if my love for dogs began with Fridolin or if I thought of dogs needing protection and love before reading this book, as I never owned a pet as a child. But I loved so much this little sausage dog, brave and clever and helpful!
“Fridolin led a happy life and a Dachshund’s life couldn’t have been happier.” (Franz Caspar, opening sentence, Fridolin)
The first book you fell in love with
When I was in my pre-teen years I had two books I could read over and over again, cry my eyes out, then go back to the first chapter.
One was La Medeleni (At Medeleni) by Romanian lawyer and writer Ionel Teodoreanu, a turn of the century genius with an observant eye and a metaphoric, seductive style. Sadly, this book hasn’t been translated into English – yet wink
“Two peasants greeted the future master of the estate with an archaic and solemn gesture. The movement of the enormous hats enveloped Danut in the epic wind of glory. He stopped in the middle of the road like a gladiator acclaimed in the arena, with his heel on the body of the vanquished; his shield, a kite; his lance, a rope whose coil he held in his fist, forcefully pushed behind.” (Ionel Teodoreanu, opening paragraph, At Medeleni).
The other one was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I would get heart-broken and then feel on top of the world because of Jane, all the time proud of her strength as the plot developed and wishing I’d be as resourceful and as wise as she was.
“I will show you a heroine as plain and as small as myself.” (Charlotte Brontë on Jane Eyre).
Biggest book crush
The book character you’re totally in love with
My literary heroine remains Jane Eyre. She was someone I could easily relate to throughout my life, as I matured as a woman and a writer. When I was young, I liked her for being brave and a constant friend. Later on I dreamed of finding a true love like hers, someone who would appreciate me for my inner core. Now I come to admire her for not being bound to material things, rather take joy in being alive and I hope that one day I will be able to be just as honest with myself and stand up for myself, if need be.
“I have an inward treasure born with me. (…) I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre).
Weirdest book crush
I have two!
Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. This book is now listed on Amazon under self-help, business and management, yet when I first read it, many years ago, I merely plucked it from a library shelf. I remember finding it so cleverly written and distinctly remember how uncluttered and ordered my mind was while reading it, how neatly my thoughts were placed on the shelves of my brain, seeing life from a logical and ordered perspective. Perhaps, in the whirlpool that my life has become, I should visit Mr de Bono and his Hat Shop again!
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” (Edward de Bono).
At a certain time during my youth I went through the Herman Hesse frenzy, with The Glass Bead Game being the one book that got my attention the most. I remember imagining my life in that futuristic (yet timeless) era and wondering if I would be fit and brave enough to play their game. Wishing I was so clever and admiring Hesse for his genius and for thinking out such an extraordinary and complex plot.
““What you call passion is not a spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. Where passion dominates, that does not signify the presence of greater desire and ambition, but rather the misdirection of these qualities toward and isolated and false goal, with a consequent tension and sultriness in the atmosphere. Those who direct the maximum force of their desires toward the centre, toward true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervour cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout or wave their arms. But, I assure you, they are nevertheless, burning with subdued fires.” (Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game)
Hardest break up
The book you didn’t want to end
The Thirteenth Tale is Diane Setterfield’s debut novel, yet on reading it you’re left out of breath. There are so many secrets in this book; it reads so easy, yet it is so dark and it has your young and un-expecting heroine right in the middle of the murkiest and most twisted plot. I felt sick by the time I finished it, yet it let me longing for more.
“It gave me a queer feeling. Yesterday or the day before, while I had been going about my business, quietly and in private, some unknown person – some stranger – had gone to the trouble of marking my name onto this envelope. Who was it who had had their mind’s eye on me while I hadn’t suspected a thing?” (Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale)
Equally haunting was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. As a Romanian born I was enthralled by her take on the story of Prince Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula. Her detailed, accurate descriptions of eastern-European places and the communist era brought back many memories and, although gothic novels are not my on the top of my reading list, this well-structured work haunted me for many days and nights.
“When you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation.” (Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian)
The one that got away
The book in your TBR or wish list that you regret not having started yet.
Painting Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis is a gift from my daughter. I am so proud of my little girl for choosing something so well suited to my taste. I love books with mysteries and art, pages drenched in history and who doesn’t like a good plot as well, so I’m looking forward to reading it, at last!
“My likeness has been recorded on wood, with boiled linseed oil and pigments dug from the earth or crushed from semi-precious stones, and applied with brushed made from the feathers of birds and the silken fur of animals.
I have seen the painting. It does not look like me.”
Guilty Reading pleasure
Every now and then, when I want to get away from it all, I pick up a book by Dan Brown. Of course, The Da Vinci Code is top of the list and I’m thrilled about his new book, Origin, coming out October 3rd! I’m already queuing outside Amazon’s eBook shop!
I’ve got to share something with you. I love Dan Brown books, but, of course, who would say not to a Tom Hanks movie as well? A year ago I was frantically looking through my DVD collection, sure we had Inferno, yet the DVD was nowhere to be found. So I thought if I would Google it and remind myself of its cover; that should help me remember where I’ve put it. Good thinking, as I found out the DVD was not available yet, since the movie itself had not been released. The movie was playing in my head, upon reading the book!
“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?” (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code)
Love one, love them all
Favourite series or genre
Of course it has to be Dame Agatha Christie! The love for her books began with my mother, a huge fan of her stories, so you could say I grew up immersed in crime and mystery. Who didn’t go to bed with the lights on after reading Ten Little Indians?
To my delight, my son reads The Mousetrap for his English class and he loves it, so I’m hoping the passion will be passed on. There is something timeless about Agatha Christie’s witty, crime mystery style and you’re sure to find something to suit any season or occasion.
“If human beings possessed endless possibilities, then cities contained exponential hopes.” (Agatha Christie, Ten Little Indians)
Your latest squeeze
Favourite read of the last 12 months
The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory. I am guilty; I have a passion for historical fiction and strong women characters. Don’t get me wrong, history was not my strongest subject in school, learning all those years off by heart was intimidating. But Philippa Gregory put the love back in the history – for me, at least.
“To stop us reading forbidden books they will have to burn every manuscript. But to stop us thinking forbidden thoughts they will have to cut off our heads.”
Blind date for a friend
If you were to set a friend up with a blind date (book) which one would it be?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because it is sure to be a hit, no matter where my friend’s interests would lay.
Historical fiction, aye.
Strong female character, aye (strong headed too).
Love, aye, aye.
Wit and humour, aye.
Battle and hardship, aye.
Plot twists, aye.
“When the day shall come that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.” (Diana Gabaldon, Outlander)
Greatest love of all
Favourite book of all time.
The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton brings back such warm memories; I used to read this book at bedtime to both my children (and my husband J) and it took us a very long time, yet we all wished it will never end. A while later we started reading it again, just for the pleasure of spending time together and laughing with Mr Watzisname, The Saucepan Man, Moon-Face and the three lucky kids that could visit a magical land every now and then. Although I don’t think I would let my children visit magical places on their own – except for fictional ones.
“I don’t believe in things like that – fairies or brownies or magic or anything. It’s old-fashioned.’
‘Well, we must be jolly old-fashioned then,’ said Bessie. ‘Because we not only believe in the Faraway Tree and love our funny friends there, but we go to see them too – and we visit the lands at the top of the Tree as well!” (Enid Blyton, The Faraway Tree)
Thank you Patricia. A really interesting mix of books there. And another big tick for Dan Brown. Still not read any (or seen the movies) but can’t help thinking I should to see what all the fuss, good and bad, is about.
What do you think folks? Any suggestions for Patricia? Anything to rival Jane Eyre or Outlander? It would be great to hear your thoughts.
Do stop by next week when I’ll be sharing a little more book love, this time with Jen Med’s own guest blogger, Mandie.
Have a fab week all