15 Biographies And Memoirs Of Amazing African Women via #WomenWriters #StrongWomen @PatFurstenberg

15 Biographies And Memoirs Of Amazing African Women

What makes a woman amazing? Is it in the way she dominates a boardroom, or the way in which she commands a room full of people when she walks in? Is it the way her mouth curls at the corners when she smiles, or the way she holds herself up even when she is tired? Or perhaps it is the way she picks herself up when life has knocked her over? Maybe it’s the way she makes us feel when we are around her, giving us inspiration and strength?

Here are 15 biographies and memoirs by amazing African women to inspire you this Mother’s Day — and any other day of the year.

1. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was U.S. poet, singer, memoirist and civil rights activist best known for her seven autobiographies focusing on her childhood and early adult experiences.

Mom & Me & Mom’ is delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humour and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou’s forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible.” – The Washington Post

  1. This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s First Woman President

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Monrovia, moved to the United States to further her career at Harvard University and returned to Liberia. She was the 24th president of Liberia, 2006-2018.

In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice.

She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the U.S. to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighbourhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power and gives us all hope that we can change the world.

  1. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
    Helene Cooper is a Liberian-born American journalist and the Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. She received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

    The House at Sugar Beach’ is a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country. The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy, forgiveness, and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor’s gentle humour.” (Simon and Schuster)



    4. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Perry Bundles

    On Her Own Ground” is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker — the legendary African-American entrepreneur and philanthropist — by her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles. On Her Own Ground” is about a woman who is truly an African-American icon. The book is enriched by the author’s exclusive access to personal letters, records and never-before-seen photographs from the family collection.</

    1. Brutal Legacy: A Memoir by Tracy Going

    Tracy Going is an award-winning former TV and radio news anchor.

    “It’s for every mother who has run, every sister who has picked up the pieces and every friend who hasn’t fled. It’s for every brother who’s cried and for the children who have watched. Every South African should read it.” – Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country”.

  1. Reflecting Rogue, Inside the mind of a feminist by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola

Pumla Dineo Gqola is a gender activist, award-winning author and full professor of African literature at Wits University.

In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, Reflecting Rogue” delivers 20 essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.

  1. Cancer: A love story by Lauren Segal

Lauren Segal is a South African author and museum curator.

“Cancer: A Love Story” is the intimately searing memoir of a four-time cancer survivor. The book breathlessly tracks Lauren’s journey coming to terms with the untold challenges of the dreaded disease. But in the midst of her lonely horror, in a quest for deeper meaning, Lauren discovers the unexpected gift of awareness of unanticipated opportunities that cancer presents — to confront her unmasked humanity; her fears, strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog

Antjie Krog is a South African poet, journalist, academic, and writer, the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Gouden Ganzenveer (the golden goose feather), being the first non-Dutch speaking recipient.

“Country of My Skull” captures the complexity of the Truth Commission’s work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog’s powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog’s profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.

  1. Selected Stories by Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer is a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognised as a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has been of very great benefit to humanity” (Alfred Nobel).

In stories written over a period of thirty years, individuals caught up in racial and other South African tensions choose or fall victim to visions and fears of freedom and change.

  1. Nervous Conditions, semi-autobiographical by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga is a Zimbabwean author and filmmaker.

Nervous Conditions” was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989 and is regarded as a significant contribution to African feminism and post-colonialist narratives.

The semi-autobiographical novel focuses on the story of a Rhodesian family in post-colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s. The novel attempts to illustrate the dynamic themes of race, class, gender, and cultural change during the post-colonial conditions in the country that is now Zimbabwe.

  1. The Aya Series by Marguerite Abouet

Marguerite Abouet is an Ivorian writer of graphic novels best known for her Aya series.

The series is one of the few works of postcolonial African fiction that focuses almost entirely on the middle class. Although not entirely autobiographical, the story is based on the author’s life in Côte d’Ivoire. It was adapted into a critically acclaimed animated film, “Aya de Youpougon”.

  1. Prison Diary by Fatima Meer

Fatima Meer is a South African writer, academic, screenwriter, and prominent anti-apartheid activist.

This diary, written by an anti-apartheid activist during her incarceration in the Old Fort in Johannesburg in 1976, begins with her arrest and ends after her release and arrival back in Durban. Details about living conditions, treatment by female guards and visits with her daughters are provided. Her 113 days in captivity are recounted, including how she the practised her Muslim faith and read the Quran.

  1. Eyebags & Dimples by Bonnie Henna
    Bonnie Mbuli was born in Soweto, South Africa.”From child star to mother and wife. From abuse to transcendence. From public figure to piercing private pain. ‘Eyebags & Dimples’ is a portrait of a woman healing by owning every part of who she is. Bonnie’s bravery and vulnerability exemplify the kind of new personal narratives that will inspire the women of South Africa to self-reflect, reclaim and change the emotional status quo of our lives as well as that of our society.” – Lebo Mashile

    1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

    Publication date: November 13 2018 — we’re promised an intimate, powerful and inspiring memoir by the former first lady of the U.S.

    1. Winnie Mandela: A Life, by Anne Mare du Preez Bezdrob

    Everyone has an opinion about Winnie Mandela, and usually a strong one. She has been adored, feared and hated more than any other woman in South African history. But few people know much about the life behind the headlines, myths and sound-bites. This biography is an in-depth and intimate look at Winnie Mandela’s personal and political life and takes the reader on a remarkable journey of understanding.

    This article was first published on Huffington Post SA on 10 May 2018

You might also like to read:

Inaugural South African Indie Film Festival Sets The Bar

Spilling The Beans: Why #PayWithAPoem Day Is For Everyone

Why We Need A (New) Generation Of Readers in South Africa

 

 

 

 

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As Good as Gold Blog Tour, a Success #AsGoodASGold #BlogTour #humour #poetry #haiku #dogs @PatFurstenberg

As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg
As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

My new book As Good as Gold, A dog’s life in poems was released just a few weeks ago as eBook and paperback and it enjoyed many wonderful blogger’s attention during a five day powerful and uplifting blog tour.

Here are some of lovely comments As Good as Gold received:

“I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a dog lover. I’m more a cat person so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy As Good As Gold, celebrating dogs. I needn’t have worried. I thoroughly enjoyed this charming collection of verse and as a result of reading it I think I understand dogs so much better.” @Lindahill50Hill on her blog,Linda’s Book Bag

“Patricia has caught the canine personality beautifully in her poems.” @LoveBooksGroup on Love Books Group blog.

“We enjoyed reading through all the poems and seeing the adorable pup photos with each one.” @J_Mischenkoblogging at Read Rant RockAndRoll

“These are beautiful poems to be read with a child, by a child or as a pet loving adult. There is something for everyone to relate to.” @susanhampson57 on her blog Books From Dusk Till Dawn

“a lovely book. I think it would appeal to any dog lover or animal lover, children and adults alike.” @ShortBookScribe blogging at Short Book And Scribes

“Many people are put off poetry as they find it inaccessible and this is why this book of poems is such a pleasure to read, each one uses words and images we all know.” @Walescrazy on her blog Books Are My Cwtches

“I always enjoy reading Patricia’s books not just because they centre on dogs but because she always manages to capture their personality as they grow and find their way.” @mgriffiths163 for @JenMedBkReviews blogging at JenMedsBookReviews

My favourite poem is “As Pink as a Puppy’s Tongue” because it has a pug in it and pugs are my favourite dog. This is a very good book.” review by a young boy reader at @x2mum on blogmumjd

“I particularly liked the haikus at the end. It’s quite a challenge to write a haiku with its strict rules but the author has managed this beautifully with each a small complete story and still from a puppy’s point of view.” @portybelle ‏ blogging at Portobello Bookblog

“This book is a pure delight to read! It is uplifting, positive and a pleasure to read and as a dog lover it warmed my heart” @dmmaguire391 blogging at Donnasbookblog

“All of these poems are so incredible and I truly hope that readers everywhere will check out this new release by Patricia Furstenberg. She continues to prove herself as an outstanding writer and her words truly make the world a happier and more beautiful place!” @jenthomason1109 on her blog Dandelions Inspired Blog

“I really enjoyed seeing all things from snowflakes and autumn leaves, to other creatures in the garden, through all these dog’s eyes. What we consider normal and everyday for our puppies and our older dogs, may not be so ordinary and normal. Maybe we could learn from the excitement of our dogs, a new “wonder” in all the things around us.”@Haydnsgrammie for @ReviewThisSites at Review This Reviews

this could be easily used in a classroom reading a poem a day and using this as a discussion to talk about feelings and emotions too. Children will love seeing the world through a puppies eyes .@ggilly47on her blog gilly918

“My little girl loves dogs so she really enjoyed listening to the poems as they really were lots of fun and designed to make you smile. Then there is the lovely addition of photos of both dogs and puppies that we both loved” @Rae_Reads1blogging at raereads1.blogspot

“I’d recommend As Good as Gold to fans of poetry and books about dogs in general. It’s a great read for people of all ages.” @pixyjazz on her blog Book Reviews By Jasmine

“The well-written poems with vivid imagery are enjoyable, entertaining, and uplifting. This brilliant poetry book is one that dog-lover parents and their children will not want to miss.” @singlibbooks on her blog Singing Librarian Books

“This is a charming collection of ‘doggy’ verse with an extensive range of other animals and nature included, as well as some delightful haiku at the end.” @JuliaThumWrites blogging at Julia Thum

You can purchase As Good as Gold from Amazon worldwide:

As Good as Gold eBook: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon worldwide

As Good as Gold paperback: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon worldwide

As Good as Gold Large Print and dyslexia friendly: Amazon UK, Amazon US

 

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As Good as Gold, e-Book Cover Design Awards, July entry by @PatFurstenberg

As Good as Gold: A dog’s life in poems by Patricia Furstenberg

As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg
As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

eBook and Paperback:

Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Amazon US 🇺🇸Large Print Edition, Dyslexia friendly:

Amazon UK, Amazon US.

 

 

 

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Susan Day @SusanDayAuthor Interview: Enthralled Magazine – for #Authors and #Writers. Submissions Open Internationally via @PatFurstenberg

Susan Day @SusanDayAuthor Interview: Enthralled Magazine – for Authors and Writers

Susan Day is a gifted Australian Author and Editor, “an avid blogger and a chocolate lover”. Susan is the creative mind and the force behind Mypuppyclub.net, Astro’s  Adventures Book Club,  Astro’s  Adventures Books,  a website for grand-parents as well as being the author of the book Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing. Susan visited my blog last year, you can read her thoughts on why books make best gifts here.

Susan Day is also the head of the Enthralled Magazine , “put together by a bunch of authors, writers and graphic designers who have a passion for sharing everything and anything to do with writing”.

Susan, why did you create a magazine for authors and writers?

To be honest I was part of a group of authors who shared articles each month in what was loosely called a magazine. However, the end product was very disappointing. It was difficult to read because it was just a web page with a black background and white writing. There was no opportunity for authors to share links to their websites, social media or their books.

I thought there must be a better way of doing this. I had seen online magazines and once the idea began to grow and develop it picked up momentum. After a lot of research, and positive encouragement from other authors, I put together the first issue in January 2018.

I wanted to create a place for writers and authors to share their experiences. I wanted them to be able to feel safe to share how they felt about their publishing experience, and to celebrate what it means to be a writer and an author.

Where did the name enthralled come from?

Like many ideas the name for the magazine seem to come from nowhere. However, it just seem to be the perfect word for the writing and reading experience. Authors and writers are enthralled with their work, they have deep relationships with their characters and an even deeper emotional connection with the story itself.

As well, readers are often enthralled by the story they are reading. How many times have you heard of readers say I couldn’t put this down I had to keep reading until the end. Some people said the magazine should have a name that reflects its readership, “authors” or “writers” for example.

I wanted this magazine to have a name that encapsulated all that was wonderful and creative about the writing process oh, and of course the experience of reading a fabulous book, poem or story.

Is Enthralled a magazine for authors and writers only to share their stories and poems?

Enthralled magazine was created for authors and writers to share their experiences.  It’s more a platform for sharing knowledge and technical skills.  For example, we are currently running a four-part series on topics authors can blogger about.  Other articles include how one author’s book is being turned into a movie – that’s in issue one.  Also, how one famous Australian author plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his book – that’s in issue two.

There are some stories and poems which add to the diversity of the content of the magazine.

As well, each year I hope to create a special edition of Enthralled magazine that celebrates the creative talents of how authors and writers.  This will be a bumper issue that will include stories and poems only.  It will not have any articles.

For this year the theme is simply the colour blue.  Anyone who is interested in contributing is welcome to contact me all find more information by clicking this link – Blue Issue

What do you hope to achieve with Enthralled magazine?

I hope to achieve greater sharing of the power and intrigue writing and publishing provides to us all. Enthralled was created to give authors the power to share their knowledge and experiences. I hope in the future that it is shared and amongst of thousands of people because we all have a story to share and we can all learn from each other.

I also wanted to create something that was truly beautiful.  Something that people would just love to read and treasure.  Some people have call the magazine “brilliant” and “precious”.  People have said that the images are stunning.  I would take a long time choosing the images to match the articles and make sure they look amazing in the E magazine format.

Where can people see a copy and how much does it cost?

Enthralled magazine is free and costs nothing to access or share.  It is supported by the generous donations of its readers, subscribers, and advertising. People can donate as little as they want. Donations and subscriptions are part of the generous culture I want to cultivate, and are more than just money offered to help pay for the running of the magazine.

At the moment, however, Enthralled magazine is more about sharing a passion for writing and a love of the written word. It’s also a great place to meet new authors and see what they are doing.

Where can people find out more about Enthralled magazine?

Anyone who is interested in reading or even contributing to Enthralled is more a welcome to visit the website. I have set up a website and a Facebook page.

Website: https://www.enthralledmagazine.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enthralledmagazine/

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Announcing #AsGoodAsGold by @PatFurstenberg #BlogTour 21-25 May and Giveaway

📢 Announcing 🌍21-25 May 🐕 As engaging as a tail wag! Can YOU resist it?

☕️Come visit amazing book-bloggers and their fabulous blogs!📚

AsGoodAsGold - GIVEAWAY schedule. Get them on Author.to/PatFurstenberg on Amazon
AsGoodAsGold – GIVEAWAY schedule. Get them on Author.to/PatFurstenberg on Amazon
#AsGoodAsGold Blog Tour @PatFurstenberg
#AsGoodAsGold Blog Tour @PatFurstenberg

Follow the Blog Tour on my website here or by subscribing to the #AsGoodAsGold Twitter list here and never miss a post!

Thank you! Looking forward to interact with you during the Blog Tour!

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From MyPuppyClub to Astro’s Adventures, a Journey of Sunday Blog Posts

A lovely collaboration and friendship was born on Twitter. In July 2016 I met wonderful and talented Australian author Susan Day. Susan invited me to write a Guest Spot for her comprehensive blog Mypuppyclub  “all you need for a happy, healthy, well-trained dog!”

Patricia-Furstenberg for MyPuppyClub.net
Patricia-Furstenberg for MyPuppyClub.net

What started as one blog post soon turned into my Sunday Dog Tales column as I wrote a post each Sunday until the 29th of April! 86 posts 🙂

Starting with Sunday the 6th of May I will be moving over to Susan’s exciting blog Astro’s Adventures Book Club!

My very first post written for Mypuppyclub was Tara, From “Gone With the Wind” to “Happy Friends”. Here is my last post for Mypuppyclub:

Bailey the Sea Dog

(inspired by a bunch of dogs we saw during our holiday in Ballito, South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal North Coast)

 

In the little house with a brown gate, by the sea,

Lives Bailey the dog, his two brothers and one sister, Rea.

And two distant cousins, Scraps and Flea;

Six dogs and their owner – not me.

And if you think a home with six dogs is filled with glee,

Then you are… wrong. I know. Bailey told me.

In the house with a brown gate, by the sea,

Where six dogs live with their owner and nannie, Calliope,

Happy patter or paws, cheerful barks and… sticks from two trees

Are often seen and heard; as well as… balls; one, two, three.

For where six dogs live there ought to be some balls,

Some sticks to chew on and the rhythm of happy feet on wooden floors.

All day long Bailey, his sister and brothers, all six

Snooze in the sun, crawl to shade, bark and, occasionally, sneeze;

All along waiting for the hands of the clock to move past three:

The time when “daddy” comes home and they all go to swim in the sea.

All – meaning Bailey, the sea dog; the rest walk with dad, enjoying the view,

Run on the soft sand, fetch the ball and might, just might, jump a wave or two.

But Bailey! Every day he tries to become one with the sea.

White as the foam he is, restless like the waves he flees;

In and out of the swells Bailey jumps, spring, skips,

Although most of the time our brave dog swims licking his lips.

The cool waves, the blue sea, the pungent breeze

Is all he’s been dreaming of while snoozing at 30 Celsius degrees!

Bailey is in love, in love with the sea, the waves, the foam, and the winds

And all Bailey wants, is to swim in the blue deep, to surf the tides.

In and out he jumps; his tail is a flag, a rudder, a mast;

While his brothers chase the ball on the shore, Bailey is having a blast.

Only his sister, Rae, tries every now and then to bring him out of the waves;

You try to ask the swells to obey, the ocean to stand still and behave.

Bailey is one with the sea now; he is the jubilant spray atop the waves!

Thank you for reading!

You can find more poems like this one in my poetry books about dogs Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles and As Good As Gold, a dog’s life in poems both available through Amazon.

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You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin @BooksInHandbag, Author Chat and Book Review by @PatFurstenberg

It gives me great pleasure to share with you the chat I had with lovely Jessie Cahalin best known as the original, highly creative and ever so supportive of all authors @BooksInHandbag. Jessie just released her debut novel You Can’t Go It Alone,  a book focusing on life through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), love and the importance of music and friendship.

Here are my thoughts on You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin

You Can't Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin
You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin

Sophie and Jack are the main characters of this novel and the story opens as they just moved in Vine Cottage in the village of Delfryn. We soon discover that life for this young couple is not a “picture postcard” as Sophie dreams of, as they undergo a treatment of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). The emotional roller-coaster they both go through and the pressure it puts on their relationship are presented with feeling and in-depth knowledge.

Jack’s parents, Jeanie and Max and their camper nicknamed Molly, bring humor and, surprisingly, a lot of action into the story. They, too, have their own struggles. I enjoyed the positive shift in relationship between Sophie and her mother-in-law Jeanie.

Next door, in Dove Cottage, lives Ruby with her daughter Daisy and partner Dan. Ruby has to deal with her own personal struggles. We discover that, sometimes, by opening up to others, unexpected help comes when we most need it. Nearby is Rose Cottage where widower Jim Evans lives alone with his dog, Lassie. There are a few secrets here that burden his last days, but also unexpected, happy news.

The main setting for this novel is, however, The Olive Tree Café run by Italian descendants Rosa, her jealous husband Matteo and their talented daughter Olivia. Why is Matteo so suspicious of his wife and daughter? Is it only his Italian blood to blame? And what keeps Rosa’s spirits up?

As one character says: “Maybe all the secrets hide in each branch and they fall away with the leaves.”

My favorite character was Rosa. I liked her creativity, all the effort she put in her small yet chic cafe while making time for everyone, her dedication towards her husband (even since the times they were just engaged) and how she knew how to support her young daughter Olivia. I liked how she kept her heart young.

You Can’t Go It Alone is a novel that appeals to all the senses.

The nature comes alive through Cahalin’s picturesque descriptions: you feel the April breeze through your hair, the rain washing over your face only to be dried up by warm sunshine.

Crickhowell, South Wales inspired Delfryn
Crickhowell, South Wales inspired Delfryn

“As they neared Delfryn, the light vanished from between the lush green trees, and the grey sky absorbed the colour.”

You hear the sounds, thunder and laughter, billowing voices and a little girl’s giggles, soulful chitchat and women singing, happy clinking of cups and saucers mingled with guitar music, tires screeching, laughter and sobs. An innocent girl laughs as she skips along the pathway to her “Magic Garden” and you hear the pebbles under her shoes.

It is a book filled with fragrances too; rosemary and lavender, freshly grinded coffee and cocoa dust, the earthly scent of olive oil and sweet tomatoes on bruschetta; the scent of wet ground and leaves and the sterile, impersonal smells of hospital.

It is a book of memories and secrets, of what it could have been, of what it really happened but most of all of what the future holds for all the characters: hope. The importance of communication and of speaking the truth is intertwined with each character’s journey.

Just as in the opening line of You Can’t Go It Alone,

“As Sophie looked up at the sky, its vast blueness held endless possibilities.”

this novel is alive and filled with love, for each other and for life, and a zest for life. It is the perfect pick-me-up read, with warm, engaging characters, a gorgeous setting and unexpected situations, both sad and humorous.

Find You Can’t Go It Alone on Amazon:

Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia

Jessie Cahalin Outside Bloggers' Cafe
Jessie Cahalin Outside Blogger Cafe

For such an amazing novel setting I headed over to Jessie’s Blogger Cafe to discus her thoughts and dreams for this book.

Patricia:  Jessie, we have been communicating for a year now and working together on my book launches.  You seem happy and positive about life and we have developed such a special, supportive relationship.  Can you capture your life in two sentences?

 @BooksInHandbag
@BooksInHandbag

Jessie: I’m the proud author of You Can’t Go It Alone and creator of Books in my Handbag Blog.  Life is great, and my only regret is not connecting with the bookish world earlier.

Patricia:  How would you describe You Can’t Go It Alone and the central themes?

Jessie:  You Can’t Go It Alone explores the impact secrets can have on relationships and pursuit of happiness. The themes of the novel are: love, infertility, bereavement, loneliness and literacy.

The reader is invited to the fictional Welsh village of Delfyn where you can gain a little taste of Italy while listening to the music.

Patricia:  Identify one of the key emotional journeys in the novel.

Jessie:  Through Sophie and Jack, I show how a couple struggles to deal with IVF while getting on with life. Surrounding the characters with other people meant I could integrate emotions, comments and situations faced by couples like Jack and Sophie.   Moreover, I decided it was important to give the husband a voice and this is conveyed via a blog.

Patricia:  You introduce women from different decades, explore differences in their opportunities, and move in and out of their lives.  Can you explain this?

Rosa, the leading lady of the Olive Tree Café, must face issues in her marriage. Sophie, a teacher, helps others to communicate but struggles to communicate with her husband, Jack, about their IVF journey.  Married in the seventies, Pearl struggles to pursue her dream.

Patricia: In your book you approach the medical and emotional struggles of a couple going through IVF proving that a lot of research went into it. Can you share how you went about researching for your book?

Jessie: The IVF journey is from personal experience. When writing the book, I did research fertility websites and records of our treatment.  Over the years, I have also spoken with many women about the experience and have realised I was not alone. And, I am always happy to support others who are going through the treatment. In You Can’t Go It Alone,  I wanted to covey the experience through characters placed in real situations; hopefully it will connect with the readers.

Patricia: Gosh, Jessie, I had no idea you went through IVF. Having just read Sophie’s story I do admire you so, your determination and strength… *hugs*

Which character was the closest to your heart?

Sophie’s struggle is close to my heart.  I can connect with the frustration and anger she experiences.  Sophie has worked through the anger at her situation and is learning how to count her blessings.  I had to nudge her to think of her husband’s perspective as she had become a little self-involved, but she is a kind person who can’t stop helping others. Although Pearl has an absent presence, I also feel connected to her through Jim and may tell her story, in more detail, in the future.

Patricia:  I would love to read a follow-up to You Can’t Go It Alone! Who would you like to read your book?

I hope the story will resonate with everyone and should appeal to anyone who likes a good story and real, flawed characters. Despite the heavier themes, it is a feel- good book and conveys my commitment to the simple things in life.

I hope the book would support to anyone who is going through IVF or is about to embark on the process.  The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope.  As C. S. Lewis said, ‘We read to know we are not alone.’

Patricia:  What do you do when you are not writing?

Jessie: When I am not writing, I adore walking, cooking and procrastinating.  Walking helps me to sort out tangles in my narratives or blog posts.  We live in an area where there are some impressive mountain treks and costal walks, and we also have beautiful castles on the doorstep.

Jessie Cahalin’s Biography:

Jessie is a word warrior, bookish and intrepid virtual explorer.  She loves to entertain with stories, and is never seen without: her camera, phone, notebook and handbag.  Having overcome her fear of self-publishing, Jessie is now living the dream of introducing the characters who have been hassling her for decades. Her debut novel, ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’, is a heart-warming tale about the challenges women still face in society.  The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope.

Jessie hails from Yorkshire, North England, but she loves to travel the world and collect cultural gems, like a magpie. She searches for happy endings, where possible, and needs great coffee, food and music to give me inspiration.

Connecting with authors via her Books in her Handbag Blog is a blast. She showcases authors’ books in the popular Handbag Gallery and has fun meeting authors in the virtual world.  Fellow authors have deemed her ‘creative and quirky’ and she wears these words like a blogging badge of honour. The challenge is to get out there and meet the authors face to face.  She has already set up a few interviews for June and have travel adventures planned.

Her debut novel showcased on the virtual red carpet and was supported by the wonderful bookish community. One day, she would dearly love to roll out the red carpet and host a huge book launch for indie authors.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XQ5RVD5/
You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin

About You Can’t Go It Alone

Love, music and secrets are woven together in this poignant, heart-warming narrative.

Set in a Welsh village, the story explores the contrast in attitudes and opportunities between different generations of women. As the characters confront their secrets and fears, they discover truths about themselves and their relationships.

The reader is invited to laugh and cry, with the characters, and find joy in the simple things in life. Listen to the music and enjoy the food, as you peek inside the world of the inhabitants of Delfryn.

Let Sophie show you that no one can go it alone. Who knows, you may find some friends with big hearts…

‘Jessie creates soulful connections between her characters and the reader.  These relationships crescendo and blend until the reader is into the full depths of human nature.  It’s not every day one finds a book they can’t put down.  This is reserved for the undeniably human writer.’

Jennifer. C. Lopez

Connect with Jessie Cahalin through her website, Facebook: Jessie @BooksInHandbag and Facebook, Jessie Cahalin Author, on Twitter @BooksInHandbag  or drop her a line jessiecahalin@aol.co.uk

Remember: You Can't Go It Alone
Remember: You Can’t Go It Alone, by Jessie Cahalin @booksinhandbag

 

 

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As Good as Gold by @PatFurstenberg #CoverReveal – coming soon with @BooksInHandbag

Update: Read Jessie’s lovely introduction to my gorgeous cover find out how As Good As Gold came to be.

As Good as Gold by Patricia Furstenberg #CoverReveal – coming soon with @BooksInHandbag

When: Tuesday, 8th May

Where: jessiecahalin.com

Follow on Twitter: @BooksInHandbag and @PatFurstenberg

 

Praise for As Good as Gold:

There is something truly magical about this wonderful collection. Having read each poem, I love how every word celebrates our canine companions from the tip of their wet noses to the wag of their tails.

Susan Day, Editor and Author, enthralledmagazine.com

A super sweet and poignant book of poetry about what a pup thinks of his world; the objects and creatures in it, the sun, the moon, a snail, an owl, a pigeon, his human mommy and daddy, as he discovers what it is to be a puppy. As a cat lover I especially was tickled by his relationship to the cat. Any dog lover would adore this book. The photos were appealing. Haikus at the end were tiny diamonds.

Kathryn Meyer Griffith, long time author
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHIXNS

Pre-order here (release day 23rd May in eBook and Paperback):

Amazon UKAmazon US ,  Amazon Canada

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Amazing Book-To-Movie Adaptations Coming To SA’s Big Screens

If you’re a bibliophile or a film buff, 2018 is sure to put a spring in your step, as a large array of popular novels will come to theaters and televisions.

Between June and August, expect to be entertained by movies adapted from books hot off the bestseller list. From family and musicals to drama, comedy and horror, there is something for everyone — and still enough time to read one or two of the books on which these movies are based.

1. “On Chesil Beach” (based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan) – June 2018

What’s it about? In 1962 England, a young couple dates and marries in quick succession, but immediately runs into trouble on their honeymoon night.

Genre: Historical

Who’s in it? Saoirse Ronan, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff


2. “Love, Simon” (based on the novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda) – June 2018

What’s it about? The book follows a high school student whose life is turned upside down when his classmate threatens to out him as gay.

Genre: Young adult, coming-of-age

Who’s in it? Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel

3. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (based on the Marvel comics with the same title by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby) – July 2018

What’s it about? As Scott Lang balances being a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Genre: Superhero, adventure, sci-fi

Who’s in it? Evangeline Lilly, Hannah John-Kamen, Paul Rudd

4. “The Meg”(based on Meg, A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten) – August 2018

What’s it about? Seven years ago, and seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, Dr Jonas Taylor encountered something that changed the course of his life. Now he must confront his fears and return to the crushing depths to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

Genre: Suspense, thriller, sea adventure

Who’s in it? Ruby Rose, Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson


5. “Asinamali” (based on the play of the same title by Mbongeni Ngema) – August 2018

What’s it about? Adapted from Mbongeni Ngema’s Broadway production of “Asinamali”. In the prison yard on Robben Island, a man named Nelson Mandela told Msizi Dube: “Go and do it for all of us, for all our people. So one day we may join you in a free South Africa.”

Genre: Drama

Who’s in it? Kevin White

6.  “The Darkest Minds” (based on the novel of the same title by Alexandra Bracken) – August 2018

What’s it about? Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control over their future. For fans of “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games”.

Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, thriller

Who’s in it? Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Gwendoline Christie

7. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (based on the novel of the same name by Mary Ann Schaffer) – August 2018

What’s it about? A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II, when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Genre: Drama, historical, romance

Who’s in it? Lily James, Matthew Goode, Michiel Huisman

8. “Crazy Rich Asians” (based on the novel of the same title by Kevin Kwan) – August 2018

What’s it about? Three wealthy Chinese families prepare for the wedding of the year. When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

Genre: Comedy, romance

Who’s in it? Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding

9. “The Wife” (based on the novel of the same title by Meg Wolitzer) – August 2018

What’s it about? A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. But behind the compromises, the disappointment and disillusionment, there lies a secret…

Genre: Drama

Who’s in it? Christian Slater, Elizabeth McGovern, Glenn Close

10.  “Black KkKlansman” (based on Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth) – September 2018

What’s it about? Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully managed to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan and became the head of the local chapter.

Genre: Comedy, biopic, thriller, drama, crime

Who’s in it? Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Laura Harrier

11. “Submergence” (based on the novel of the same title by JM Ledgard) – September 2018

What’s it about? In a room with no windows on the east coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance.

Genre: Thriller, romance, drama

Who’s in it? Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Alexander Siddig

12. “A Simple Favor” (based on the novel of the same title by Darcey Bell) – September 2018

What’s it about? Stephanie, a mommy vlogger, seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s sudden disappearance from their small town.

Genre: Crime, mystery, thriller

Who’s in it? Blake Lively, Linda Cardellini, Anna Kendrick

 

13. “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” (based on the novel of the same title by John Bellairs) – October 2018

What’s it about? A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

Genre: Adventure, fantasy, horror, thriller

Who’s in it? Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Sunny Suljic


14. “Venom” (based on the Marvel comics by Todd McFarlane and David Michelinie) – October 2018

What’s it about? When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he has to release his alter-ego, Venom, to save his life.

Genre: Horror, sci-fi, thriller, superhero

Who’s in it? Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson


15. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (based on the novel Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger by Lee Israel) – November 2018

What’s it about? Melissa McCarthy stars in the adaptation of the memoir “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, the true story of bestselling celebrity biographer Lee Israel. When Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

Genre: Biopic, comedy, drama

Who’s in it? Melissa McCarthy, Julie Ann Emery, Richard E Grant

16. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (based on the classic story of The Nutcracker by ETA Hoffmann) – November 2018

What’s it about? A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

Genre: Adventure, ballet, family, fantasy

Who’s in it? Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Mackenzie Foy

17. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” (based on the novel of the same title by David Lagercrantz) – November 2018

What’s it about? Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

Genre: Crime, thriller

Who’s in it? Claire Foy, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks


18. “Hunter Killer” (based on the novel Firing Point by George Wallace) – November 2018

What’s it about? An untested American submarine captain teams up with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.

Genre: Action, thriller

Who’s in it? Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Ryan McPartlin

19. “The Grinch” (based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss) – December 2018

What’s it about? A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Genre: Adventure, animation, children, comedy, family

Who’s in it? Benedict Cumberbatch

20. “Robin Hood” (based on the novel The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle) – December 2018

What’s it about? A war-hardened crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography and a timeless romance.

Genre: Adventure

Who’s in it? Taron Egerton, Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson

21. “Mortal Engines” (based on the book of the same title by Philip Reeve) – December 2018

What’s it about? Many years after the Sixty Minute War, cities survive on a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels, attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.

Genre: Fantasy, sci-fi, adventure

Who’s in it? Hugo Weaving, Frankie Adams, Stephen Lang


22. “Mary Poppins Returns” (based on the books by P.L. Travers) – December 2018

What’s it about? In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins. Through her unique magical skills, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Genre: Family, musical

Who’s in it? Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth

 

Here are nine of the book-to-movie attractions to look forward to in 2018 in South Africa between January and May.

1. The Maze Runner: Death Cure – January 2018

What’s it about? – When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.

 Genre: Young adult, teen, adventure

2. 12 Strong (based on the novel Horse Soldiers) – February 2018
What’s it about? 12 Strong” tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

Genre: Intelligence and espionage, history.

3. A Wrinkle In Time – March 2018

What’s it about? In 1962, Madeleine L’Engle debuted her novel “A Wrinkle in Time“, which would go on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal. Bridging science and fantasy, darkness and light, fear and friendship, the story became a classic of children’s literature and is beloved around the world. Now Disney is bringing it to the silver screen!

Genre: Teen, young adult, time travel, science fiction

4. Red Sparrow – March 2018

What’s it about? Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to “Sparrow School”, a Russian intelligence service, where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

Genre: Espionage, political thriller

5. Peter Rabbit – March 2018

What’s it about? A feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.

Genre: Children’s, bedtime, animals

6. Ready Player One – March 2018

What’s it about? It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty and disease are widespread.

Genre: Young adult, dystopian

7. The War With Grandpa – March 2018

What’s it about? Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves right into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs. Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back.

Genre: Teen, young adult, humour

8. Death Wish – March 2018

What’s it about? Dr Paul Kersey is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as victims are rushed into his ER – until his wife and college-age daughter are viciously attacked in their suburban home.

Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense

9. Every Day – May 2018

What’s it about? From the genius of David Levithan, co-author of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson“, and “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist“, comes a love story like none you’ve read before. A shy teenager falls for someone who transforms into another person every day.

Genre: Teen, young adult, science fiction, dystopian

These two articles combined have been initially published on Huffington Post SA in 2018.

Huffington Post SA
HuffPostSA

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We Need A Multicultural Children’s Book Day In South Africa

We Need A Multicultural Children’s Book Day In South Africa – Reading expands children’s levels of empathy and broadens their minds.

U.S. readers of all ages will celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day on Saturday, January 27.

In 2014, teachers and educators from Jump Into A Book and PragmaticMom presented their very first January 27 Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The result was overwhelming, as authors, publishers, parents, teachers, bloggers and librarians joined forces to present an online event designed to shine the spotlight on diversity in children’s literature.

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

Thanks to their sponsors, book review bloggers and thousands of readers, Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2014 achieved its goal of highlighting all of the amazing multicultural children’s books available to young readers, teachers, librarians and parents worldwide.

What is a multicultural book?

Multicultural children’s books are:

  • Books that contain characters of colour, as well as characters that represent a minority point of view;
  • Books that share ideas, stories, and information about cultures, race, religion, language, and traditions;
  • Books that embrace our world and offer children new ways to connect to a diverse and richer world.

Our total social media shares for three days of our 2017 event (on the day before, day of and day after Multicultural Children’s Book Day) were an astounding 3.6-billion!

Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media.

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Maya Angelou.

Reading puts us in touch with our humanity

Reading and access to diverse books offer children a safe door towards real life; towards what life is or how it could be; towards the lives of people from different nations and cultures. Towards different kinds of struggles, emotions and ideals; how and why are they like or unlike our own.

Reading expands children’s levels of empathy and broadens their minds.

Diversity and its meaning today in the book industry

The fact that different kinds of people – poor or rich, men and women, white and black – can write books is often a revelation for many young readers. “If they can do it, so can I!”

The book monopoly is a thing of the past. Today access to books and their creative journeys belongs to the young as well, and to women equally. The knowledge of this variety is undoubtedly empowering for many young minds.

Why diversity in children’s books is a win-win situation

The more children are exposed to different cultures and emotions through books, the more empowered they feel, as these books reflect their own race or inter-race, religion, sex or physical health, and home upbringing (including divorced families, immigrants, and single-parent families). Children feel good about themselves when they read about characters like them.

You can find free diversity book lists and activities here for teachers and parents.

The more we are exposed to different cultures, the more we gain in variety and humanity. By telling the same story in different languages, each time it becomes a new narration with a new lesson to pass on.

We live in a world that’s confronted, more than ever, with a wide variety of issues that impact directly on our lives and those of our children: global warming and social migration, terrorism and out-of-control political spectacles.

Access to diverse books offer our children the best tools to comprehend and deal with the worldwide chaos they have to live in. A diversity of books will hopefully empower our children and grant them the wisdom to understand themselves and their world . It will help them discover the power needed to stand on their own two feet and lead a life of humanity and empathy.

10 diverse books to enjoy (or find your own at your local library):

Who Was Nelson Mandela – As a child, he dreamed of changing South Africa; as a man, he changed the world.

Malala’s Magic Pencil – As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil that she could use to redraw reality.

The Cheetah And The Dog – Inspired by the true story of Kasi, the orphaned male cheetah, and Mtani, the female labrador, who struck up a remarkable friendship and remained lifelong friends.

They All Saw A Cat – The many lives of one cat – and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

A Long Walk To Water, Based On A True Story – The New York Times bestsellerbegins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two 11-year-olds in Sudan: a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985.

Home Of The Brave – Kek comes from Africa, where he lived with his mother, father and brother.

Little Suns – “There are many suns,” he said. “Each day has its own. Some are small, some are big. I’m named after the small ones.”

Giant Steps – Elephants have long been targeted by humans: not only are they killed for their ivory, but their extraordinary strength, intelligence and charisma have seen some of them captured, chained and effectively jailed for life.

We’re All Wonders – The unforgettable story of August Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.

Wishtree – Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories…

Until South Africa hosts its first Multicultural Book Day, you can join the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Partyon Saturday, January 27, from 9:00pm to 10pm; U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

This article was initially published on the Huffington Post SA on 26 January 2018, here.

Huffington Post SA
HuffPostSA
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