Today I am delighted to welcome Patricia Furstenberg to the blog with a lovely guest post celebrating the release of her latest book, Silent Heroes. Patricia is here to tell us all about what book covers mean to her, but before she does, here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
How far would you go to save strangers in need? A group of Marines and their MWD, Military Working Dogs, are about to find out.
When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame. 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 a military base nearby.
But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians and to fend off the Taliban lurking at the ancient Qala-e-Bost fortress, 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 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.Available from: Amazon
Secrets of a Book Cover
Before I even open a book, I run my fingers over its cover. I allow my tactile receptors to decipher its pulpy consistency. Warm to touch, without being in the sun, the feel of paper is earnest. Homely. My eyes follow the letters printed on its front, engaging my brain, while my fingers still dance around the fresh colours that radiate from its image. Like a tango; my mind counts the steps while my feet follow the pattern of my heartbeat, yet one without the other would end in my tumbling onto the floor.
What is more important on a book cover, I ask myself. The title or the image? Surely, one won’t be able to name the book without its title, yet once removed, what story remains behind?
One of my first memories of how “Silent Heroes” came to be is connected with the photo of a soldier and his military dog. Coloured in the brown and beige shades of war life in Iran or Afghanistan, it tugs at your heart strings. Who takes comfort in whom? Has the soldier witnessed the death of an innocent bystander and it triggered memories of his family left behind? Has the dog been spooked by a loud explosion?
Man and dog take strength from their closeness, like an arch erected by a child out of two branches leaning against one other. Stronger together, nothing without the other. Much later have I found out that the teams of military dogs and handlers go through months of shared training before being deployed in a war zone.
War: life and death, light and shadow. Much like the sunset, when, without a choice, the promise of life fades in front of the night’s phantasms.
And this is the second picture I felt that belonged on the cover of “Silent Heroes”: the sunset over the magnificent mountains of Afghanistan, the Hindu Kush. Sourcing the life-giving Helmand River, a centuries old transhumance and, lately, harbouring the devious Taliban.
The War in Afghanistan, like all conflicts, is not trapped solely in the pages of a newspaper, between the walls of a cemetery or in the hearts of the surviving families. The War in Afghanistan is a pandemic that consumed an entire population, inscribed itself into its land and its perspective of the future.
The third image is a glimpse at an Afghan’s eyes – and through his eyes.
Two children are born miles apart. One enjoys a life of security and opportunities; the other one has no other choice but to flee from the hand of death and adversity. What images remain imprinted on their retina?
The story of a book cover looks back at you. When all letters are gone, do you see me for who I am? Will you remember me? Will you tell my story further?
Thanks Patricia for such a thoughtful post. Really looking forward to reading the book.
About the Author
Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about mind, brain and education and the psychology behind it.
“Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first work of adult fiction. Like in many of her previous writings Patricia found herself gravitating towards dogs and war themes. How far human sacrifice goes? Whose truly are the spoils-of-war? Besides her books, Patricia blogs extensively and writes for various online journals. When she’s not writing or plays “mama-taxi” she loves reading, researching for forthcoming books and traveling with her family. She never counts how many cups of coffee she finishes in a day. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.