Two Authors. Worlds Apart. The Jennieration – Pat Furstenberg

Two Authors.

Worlds Apart.

Serendipity on their Side.

What is better for an author than to do a book signing event?

Maybe a book signing half way across the world?

Or maybe… one in which you find yourself face to face with the opportunity you never dreamed remotely possible: to meet a kindred spirit and author friend who lives across the world.


When my new book publisher asked me to do a book signing at an historic book shop in some quaint little town within the state of Ohio, I didn’t hesitate for a second to agree. First, because I’d never set foot in the New World and I was so curious to find out if everything in North America is really ‘bigger than life’ as they say! But more importantly, because the bookshop where I’d been asked to do my signing could only have been a plan of pure serendipity or fate. It happened to be right down the street from my good friend’s home—an author with whom mutual admiration is shared and whom I’d never dreamed it would be possible to meet in real person!


Of all the bookshops all over the world I was about to walk into hers! Sweet Jen, who has supported my writing career with her un-curbed enthusiasm and whose unselfish attitude towards work and life has inspired and motivated me countless times. Talented, inspiring author and friend, Jennifer Campana Lopez!


So now, here I am at this very moment, nervous with excitement for the experience. I’m holding a red rose, searching among the myriad of busy Americans around me, for Jen and her red rose.

I know people do look a tad different when you meet them in person as apposed to their website or Twitter, so I’m hoping she’ll recognize me. We’re to meet for coffee first, here at this small and chic (I am impressed) coffee place right next to the bookshop. It feels like I’ve stepped into a world of times past. The coffee shop is one that’s been there for a very long time and has that old vintage feel. I see large windows at the back of the cafe- there are people looking down. I remember then, Jen saying the bookshop and café sat right atop a waterfall. I could hear it now—despite the bustle. Wow. This was definitely not what I imagined the U.S.A. to be like. Maybe because we aren’t in a large city.

And yes, I’ll answer your question before you even speak; we decided to meet like this for the fun of it! Is there a more exciting way for two writers to meet, I’m asking you?


There she is. We walk toward each other unable to contain our smiles and laughter.

Jen hugs me tight and says,

 “Finally a real hug instead of a virtual hug! You are so precious Pat.”

We tap our roses together and chuckle.

“Come on Pat, I’ve gotten us a table. The café will be clearing out soon- as the afternoon rush is over.”

The waiter sets down our two cups of expresso.

PAT: Ahhhh… It’s chilly here so this is perfect Jen. We’ve wanted to chat about so many things, but with our kids, family and writing, well—we just never have the time. I love your humanitarian efforts and you know it’s something we both feel passionate about. I’ll never forget when your Middle School ESL students read my book HAPPY FRIENDS and how they responded. It felt so great to hear that my little book had been appreciated in such a way.

JEN: Pat, it was so awesome to experience. Then, when your book JOYFUL TROUBLE came out, it spoke on such a deep level to both kids and adults alike. Ella and I were thrilled to write our endorsement for the cover. Are you so excited to be signing today for all your special animal stories?

My coffee’s gone cold, or is this the second cup already? We’re too engrossed in discussion to notice.

PAT: I can’t even begin to express my happiness Jen. Talking about JOYFUL TROUBLE is so fun—maybe because it is based on a true family story. Also it really seems to appeal to young and adults alike. I think it’s his human nature that makes the dog such a huge success. Through his sheer size, he commands respect. He reveres his sailor friends and has a loyalty towards them that is unsurpassed. The things he does…well, dogs do have this rare quality about them, to sense when they are needed. But Joyful Trouble is also a peaceful dog, a contrasting quality with his size.

Perhaps the fact that there is no self-interest in Joyful Trouble’s actions—yet they leave the reader astounded. I am grateful for its positive impact.

JEN: It sure does have a positive impact, Pat. Animal stories reach into the hearts of readers because of the unconditional love and tenderness their actions express. They themselves are lessons we humans can learn a lot from. 

 I smile, appreciating Jen’s understanding.

PAT: How did you develop such a tremendous love of Culture, Jen? I’ve always seen & admired it—so I have to ask.

Do read Jen’s spell-bounding reply as well as the remainder of this magical chat over, on Jen’s website.

🐣Twitter: @thejennieration

Collaboratives© brought to you by The Jennieration-


[The New Generation of Fearless Thinkers & Learners: The Jennieration©] Copyright 2015, 2016, 2017…All Rights Reserved.

eBook Publishing Day, Three Children’s Books Celebrating Diversity

eBook Publishing Day, Three Children’s Books Celebrating Diversity

Children's books by Patricia Furstenberg celebrating diversity
Children’s books by Patricia Furstenberg celebrating diversity

Available in paperback and eBook – FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited / KU on Amazon:

The Lion and the Dog

The Elephant and the Sheep

The Cheetah and the Dog

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles

31 October: Publication Day, Cover Reveal, Guest post, Free Book

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles
Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles available in eBook and Paperback. Buy now:
Amazon Europe:
Amazon US: 


An amazing COVER REVEAL of my next three children’s books and Guest Post 31.10.17 so come over to 

Cover Reveal for THREE NEW CHILDREN:S BOOKS hosted by lovely Jessie at
Cover Reveal for THREE NEW CHILDREN:S BOOKS hosted by lovely Jessie at

31.10.17 FREE BOOK, Joyful Trouble

Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg, Cover by The Book Khaleesi
Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg, Cover by The Book Khaleesi




Get Joyful Trouble FREE from Amazon EU:

Joyful Trouble FREE on Amazon US:


3 x Cover Reveal and Book Release

Cover Reveal for THREE NEW CHILDREN:S BOOKS hosted by lovely Jessie at
Cover Reveal for THREE NEW CHILDREN:S BOOKS hosted by lovely Jessie at

On 31st October 2017 head over to Books In My Handbag Blog for a triple COVER REVEAL and FREE books!



Remember that Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles will also be released on 31st October in both eBook and Paperback on Amazon.

What readers say about Puppy: “I cannot recommend Puppy enough” DANDELION INSPIRED BLOG

“My daughter loved this book. She enjoyed pointing out what was happening in the illustrations and listening to what the puppy got up to.” WHISPERINGSTORIES

“Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles will be sure to bring a long-lasting smile to all dog lovers for many years to come.”READERS FAVORITE

“Grown up or not, Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles is a must-read for children that will teach them love and tenderness towards animals.”***** NADANESSINMOTION

It was sweet and fun to read to my two year old son.BOOK REVIEWS BY JASMINE



Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes

Children’s Book Cover Reveal & FREE book offer 2 & 3 Sept.!

Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes, pre-order  Joyful Trouble, FREE

It is with great joy that I share with you the absolutely wonderful cover of my new children’s book, ready for pre-order NOW, out in October.

Don’t you just love this adorable Puppy?

Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles an Rhymes
Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes
Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes
Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes


Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes
Puppy, 12 Months of Smiles and Rhymes





Joyful Trouble, fun, engaging. Yours FREE 2Sept and 3Sept
Joyful Trouble, fun, engaging. Yours FREE 2Sept and 3Sept



















Now Joyful Trouble the bestseller is also available in Large Print. Click on the image below for your respective Amazon website.

Joyful Trouble in Large Print Edition
Joyful Trouble in Large Print Edition


Children’s Book Cover Reveal and Author Interview!

Exciting Children’s Book Cover Reveal and Author Interview!

When: 2 September 2017

Where: hosted by lovely, friendly and unique Jessie of

Author interviewed: Patricia Furstenberg @PatFurstenberg

Do come over for a cup of coffee, an author chat and freebies!

Children's Book Cover Reveal
Children’s Book Cover Reveal

Here’s How To Get Boys To Read In 5 Easy Steps

Between job requirements, commuting to work and school, extra murals, the latest Minecraft or Spinners, how does one win the battle of raising an all-rounder child? Inevitably, something will fall between the cracks. Don’t let it be your child’s love of books. Raising a boy who finds joy in reading sounds easier said than done, but, in the long run, it’s a battle worth fighting. Your mission is finding your way through the maze of everyday activities and temptations towards a half-an-hour bedtime reading.

Often disregarded, yet effective, reading equips children with much-needed life skills. Reading has educational, neurological and psychological benefits stimulating children’s developing minds and improving their emphatic skills, helping them socialise at school and thrive in life. To better understand this let’s see how reading happens. As you read this article, there are four different activities taking place in your brain:

1. Phonics: Associating a speech sound to each letter.

2. Sight: Some English words must first be recognised as a whole, then sounded (“the”). English vocabulary has 26 letters, yet when reading we use 44 speech sounds, 20 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds. Thinking skills are therefore involved.

3. Contextual analysis: Prediction of what will happen next.

4. Structural analysis: Understanding what a word means by looking at its root or figuring out its meaning from the context.

Here are the five steps on how to get your son to read – and loving it.

1. Visit the local library together, find books that interest him.

Image courtesy Unsplash
Image courtesy Unsplash

Let your son wander around the library, pick a book and sit down to page through it. Find books geared at your child’s age group and interests.

Read aloud to your son from as early in infancy as possible. Research shows that children who were read to as infants have higher chances to grow up with a love for books.

If your son can read, take turns reading aloud every day. Let your child read to you and don’t worry if he is mispronouncing some words. Rather allow him the pleasure of having finished that page.

2. Leave reading material around the house, reading means more than books.

Be it a picture book, a magazine, a joke collection, or even a comic book, you want your son to pick it up and enjoy a page or two at a time. How-to books on sport or another interest might be a great place to start getting a boy interested in reading.

Never make reading a chore. Rather surround your child with books than forcing reading on him. Place a bookshelf in his room and allow him to choose a few books he’s really interested in.

3. Read yourself… and make sure you get caught reading.

Children often mimic what they see, not what they hear and we, as parents, are our children’s mirrors. Waiting for your son to come out from school? Read; keep a book in the car just for this reason. Going to the Home Affairs for your son’s passport renewal? Take a book with you and allow your son to see you reading in public. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when we’re reading.

Modern day technology allows you to download eBooks on your phone. It is a casual way to get boys comfortable about reading in public.

4. Get dad, an uncle or a grandfather involved.

Get Dad to read too if your son struggles with reading. Try a father-son book club and perhaps get involved with other dads and their sons. Make it casual, have a BBQ-Book Club or a campfire. Pair books with an activity, away from technology might also help.

Remember, having positive role models helps both boys and girls stay interested in reading.

5. Start a reading list and have a rating system – think about it like a sport.

Write down what your son reads and what he would like to read next. Allow him to rate the books, group them in categories. This way you can both see where his interests lay and he can feel more in control over his reading.

Explain to him that reading is like a sport, it takes practice to get better at it.

Being a good reader will make learning during school years and tertiary education a lot easier. Reading entails an understanding of what is being said behind the literary meaning of the story, connecting that information to what we already know, relating to it and drawing knowledge from it.

Reading is the capacity of focusing on a task for a certain amount of time. And these skills, like the pieces of a puzzle, are what later help children experience a successful schooling career. For this is what reading entails, being able to focus for a prolonged time. Or at least until Mum or Dad come to switch off your light and forcefully remove the book from your hand because… tomorrow is school.

He is reading Joyful Trouble
He is reading Joyful Trouble – universal link









Joyful Trouble, a book that reads like a movie”, an Amazon Bestseller.

This post was initially written and posted on the Huffington Post SA.

Huffington Post SA

The 5 Lessons I Learned From Madiba

There are many magical places in the world, spaces where nature and time seem to have a place of their own. Where the earth is so fertile that even the people living there seem to draw energy out of it and where time has a different pace and a deeper meaning. For what is a man’s life, but a stepping stone on which his children’s lives and his grandchildren’s lives are built upon.

 Such a man, with a spirit as fertile as the rolling hills of his native land and a will power as inexhaustible as the wind’s, was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the man upon which a whole new nation was built.

This tall man with a bright, friendly smile and colourful shirts walked with the crowds and stood near the kings, listened to by all. Always one to speak of forgiveness, of dialogue and freedom, he had been an inspiration for many. Here are a few of the lessons he had taught us.

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela.

It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela.

“If there are dreams of a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to that goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” – Nelson Mandela

“Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.” – Nelson Mandela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Read more on the Huffington Post SA.

Huffington Post SA

5 Medical Symptoms Named After Literary Characters

Fairy tales may be full of charm and enchantment but they certainly provide valuable lessons. Identifying oneself with heroes from literary works is a healthy stage in one’s childhood as children’s imagination is one of the ways in which Mother Nature protects them from the harsh realities of daily life.

The tricky part arises when adults find themselves tied up to literature, whether they like it or not, as several physical and mental disorders are named after literary characters. Here’s a look at five of them:

  1. Sleeping Beauty Syndrome
Sleeping Beauty painting by Victor Gabriel Gilbert
Sleeping Beauty painting by Victor Gabriel Gilbert






This classic fairy tale, first told by Charles Perrault (17th century), retold by the Brothers Grimm (18th century) and made popular by Disney, is much loved by one generation after the other. The medical condition is also known as Rip Van Winkle Syndrome, after the title of a short story written by Washington Irving (19th century).

 Without even going into the symbolism hidden inside this story and leaving aside the medical and hygienic implications of a human body asleep for 100 years, let’s just look into the neurological syndrome named after it. Also known as the Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS), named after the medical doctors to have first mentioned and studied it, its first known case was reported in 1862.

This condition is characterised by frequent episodes of hypersomnia and behavioural disturbances. Individual episodes last more than a week, but less than a month. A normal lifestyle is out of the question as these patients tend to be bedridden. Patients experience approximately 20 recurrent episodes during more than a decade. Unlike the fairy tale that borrowed its name, the condition seems to affect predominantly male patients (68 percent) worldwide. It is a very rare disease, occurring one in a million. The onset of the condition seems to follow a viral infection. There is no known cure yet.

2. Munchausen Syndrome

The Baron Munchausen, illustrated by Gottfried Franz.
The Baron Munchausen, illustrated by Gottfried Franz.







One of my favourite stories as a child was that of The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by German writer Rudolf Erich Raspe (1785), based on true stories of a real baron.

The medical condition itself has nothing to do with the social satire depicted in the fairy tale, but rather with a desperate call for sympathy. The patients suffering from Munchausen Syndrome are not sick, but fake the symptoms in front of family and doctors, often secretly injuring themselves to maintain the illusion of illness. The Munchausen Syndrome is a mental disorder caused by childhood trauma, poor self-esteem, emotional or personal disorders. More common in men than women, it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics because lying is very common with this illness.

3. Dorian Gray Syndrome (DGS)

Portrait Of Dorian Gray painting by Mercuralis
Portrait Of Dorian Gray painting by Mercuralis











This medical condition is named after the classical story by Oscar Wilde in which the main character sells his soul to keep his youthful appearance and beauty until the very last moment of his life. The patient suffering from this condition will be overly preoccupied with keeping his/her young look and a “perfect” appearance.

Dysmorphophobia, or excessive dislike of a part of one’s body, will often manifest, therefore these patients will abuse cosmetic surgery to the point where depression sets in. In addition, they will often abuse weight-loss products, mood enhancers and even their gym membership card. A sufferer of DGS shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although a lack of self-esteem or a narcissistic personality might be the cause, the syndrome itself often conducts to physical disorders as well as causing social and mental health issues (depression, even suicide).

4. Othello Syndrome

The_Return of Othello, from Othello,_Act_II,_Scene_ii painting by Thomas Stothard
The_Return of Othello, from Othello,_Act_II,_Scene_ii painting by Thomas Stothard






Named after the main character in the Shakespeare tragedy ‘Othello”, the patient affected by this malady lives with the constant obsession that their life partner is cheating on them. Psychiatrists John Todd and Kenneth Dewhurst were the first to name and study this mental disorder in 1955.

Within limits, jealousy is a normal human feeling. But when it leads to repeated interrogations of one’s partner, searches for nonexistent evidence, stalking, even violence, it becomes a “dangerous form of psychosis” (Todd).

The Othello Syndrome is believed to be caused by a stroke, a tumour, or some other injury, especially to the right frontal lobe but also by substance abuse like dopamine prescribed in the treatment of Parkinson disease. Alcoholism and cocaine abuse can also lead to the onset of Othello Syndrome. Not to be taken lightly, this syndrome can affect both men and women and it can lead to disruption of marriage, homicide or suicide.

5. Peter Pan Syndrome

Peter Pan
Peter Pan





Named after the main character in the book with the same name by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, it was first made popular by Dr. Dan Kiley in 1983. This syndrome defines men who refuse to act like grown-ups and assume responsibilities. They prefer to live in a juvenile world, are enthusiastic and like to have fun, but never settle down in a relationship because they dislike restrictions. They lack decision making skills and the ability to assume responsibilities. To disguise this, they act overconfident and arrogant. Women found in the same situation are affected by the Wendy Syndrome.

These people, although having developed intellectually and having above average IQ’s, have not developed emotionally past adolescence. The main cause is, probably, a lack of affection during childhood. With the aid of psychotherapy these people can learn to overcome their fears, to assume responsibilities and lead a fulfilled, grown-up life. However, this is not a mental disorder. The Peter Pan Syndrome is closely linked to Carl Jung’s theory of “Puer Aeternus” (eternal boy).

A similar syndrome is the Huckleberry Finn Syndrome, named after the main character in the Mark Twain novel. Developing in children due to a feeling of being rejected by their parents, feeling inferior in school or due to depression, it seems to be a defense mechanism. It manifests by a desire to do anything but go to school; these children will waste their time on the streets or playing computer games. Moving into the grown-up stage of life, these children might be at risk of frequent job changing and absenteeism.

This post was written for the Huffington Post SA.

Huffington Post SA