Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, 1 Year Anniversary

5 books everyone should read in their lifetime

Celebrate with me Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for and its 1 year anniversary from its publishing debut on Amazon.
Looking at war from the perspective of all those sucked into it, civilians, soldiers, military working dogs, MWD, and eve belligerents, 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.

“What I tried to convey through Silent Heroes is that all those impacted by war are, at the end of a fighting day, human being with dreams and families. A war’s consequences, like the shadow of a nightmare, reach far beyond the battlefield.
Perhaps being a woman that writes about war I couldn’t ignore my inner voice speaking for the daughter, the wife, and the mother in me.”

Patricia Furstenberg
Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, 1 Year Anniversary, 5 books everyone should read in their lifetime
5 books everyone should read in their lifetime, Jodi Picoult, Ken Follett, Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg, Victor Hugo, Shantaram – as chosen by fantastic reader and book blogger Mani.

On the book itself and on how it came to be, read below.

Numerous other silent heroes, from countless wars, came before the book itself, especially the Military Working Dogs of Gulf War, Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. That was just the beginning.

Secrets Revealed in of Silent Heroes

5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. A Mysterious Underground Fortress
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. The Military Chain of Command
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. Taliban’s Secret Lair
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. Women’s Rights under Taliban
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. The Humanity of U.S. Marines

Music often inspired me. I invite you to listen to some of the tunes behind Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for on the book’s 1 Year Anniversary:

The Music of Silent Heroes

Songs that Remind me of the Marines, my Silent Heroes
Songs that Remind me of Silent Heroes: the Afghan people

The Setting behind Silent Heroes

5 Remarkable Places You Will Want to Visit After Reading Silent Heroes
Afghanistan, a Dangerous Landscape

The youngest human character in Silent Heroes is a little Afghan boy of eight years old, Rafik:

Rafik’s Travels in Silent Heroes

Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. An Afghan Village
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. At Camp Bastion
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. The Afghan Desert
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. An Oshkosh Vehicle
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. The Hindu Kush Mountains

Silent Heroes book Afghanistan military orking dogs Patricia Furstenberg

Of course, there would be no Silent Heroes, 1 Year Anniversary, without some:

Silent Heroes Poetry and First Chapters

The Soldier and his Dog, Silent Heroes
A Boy and his Dog
Read the opening pages of Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

If you love secrets and symbology you might enjoy reading:

Secrets of a Book Cover

Secrets of a Book Cover – a Guest Post: the soldier and his dog, an Afghan sunset, and Afghan eyes
Secrets Hidden in a Book Cover – the colors: red, brown and gold

Women Writing about War

How is my Writing Different in my Genre
A Resultant Force, Women Writing about War
Women Writing about War

Silent Heroes

And, how else:

Celebrating the Readers of “Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for” and Their 5 Stars Reviews for This Book

On the Sunny Side of the Street with John Mahoney, Marty Crane, Frasier

Sunny Side of the Street, Marty Crane, Frasier

‘Frasier” has to be one of my all time favorite TV comedy shows, with Marty Crane and his best friend Eddie the dog (a Jack Russell Terrier) my favorite characters.

In the episode 14 of season 11, aptly titled Freudian Sleep, Marty gives us a jazzy rendition of The Sunny Side of the Street. I love this part, and Marty Crane confines in us with his life motto:

“I focus on what’s good about my life.”

Martin Crane, Frasier
On the Sunny Side of the Street, Marty Crane and Ronee Lawrence (John Mahoney and Wendie Malick)
On the Sunny Side of the Street, Marty Crane and Ronee Lawrence (John Mahoney and Wendie Malick)

On the Sunny Side of the Street with Marty Crane in Frasier

Here are the lyrics:

“Walked with no one and talked with no one
And I had nothing but shadows
Then one morning you passed
And I brightened at last
Now I greet the day and complete the day
With the sun in my heart
All my worry blew away
When you taught me how to say

Grab your coat and get your hat
Leave your worry on the doorstep
Just direct your feet
To the sunny side of the street
Can’t you hear a pitter-pat?
And that happy tune is your step
Life can be so sweet
On the sunny side of the streetI used to walk in the shade
With those blues on parade
But I’m not afraid
This Rover crossed overIf I never have a cent
I’d be rich as Rockefeller
Gold dust at my feet
On the sunny side of the street
Grab your street

Source.
Songwriters: Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh
On the Sunny Side of the Street lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc.
On the Sunny Side of the Street with John Mahoney, aka Marty Crane, and Wendie Malick in Frasier. Focus on what's good about your life.
John Mahoney with talented Wendie Malick

I hope you enjoyed On the Sunny Side of the Street with talented John Mahoney as Marty Crane in Frasier. and if you found yourself humming the tune and trying a few steps of dance, even better! and, yes, Martin Crane loved the music of Frank Sinatra!

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

Angela Gheorghiu performs Tatăl Nostru in a deserted Bucharest

Renowned Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu performed ‘Tatăl Nostru‘, Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer, accompanied by Romanian violonist Alexandru Tomescu in front of the Romanian Atheneum, in a deserted Bucharest.

I would like to share her performance with you and take you through a few places of my native Bucharest.

The recording was made on 19 April 2020 by Pro TV, Romania’s most watched private television network.

‘During such times, I wish everyone courage, love and hope!’ (Angela Gheorghiu).

Alexandru Tomescu performed on a Stradivarius Elder-Voicu violin on loan from the Romanian government until 2023 – a privilege won through a contest. The violin is listed as a national patrimony item. It was manufactured in 1702 and purchased in 1956 by the Romanian state to be used by violinist Ion Voicu. In 2007, it was estimated at USD 1.2 million.

Composer: Anton Pann
Producer: Sabina Ulubeanu
Sound: Andrei Kerestely
A PRO TV (2020) production.

I have to admit I am a big fan of Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. I think she is not only gorgeous, but talented too. Nothing comes without hard work and sacrifice though, and she proved it more than once. Since her professional debut in 1990, she has performed in leading roles of several operas at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, Milan’s La Scala, and many other opera houses in Europe and the United States. She has a substantial discography primarily with EMI Classics and Decca and is especially known for her performances in the operas of Puccini.

The Romanian Athenaeum is the-most-gorgeous-concert-hall-ever. Of course is located in Bucharest! The building was designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, for the Romanian Atheneum Cultural Society and built on a property that belonged to the Văcărescu family (one of the oldest noble families of Wallachia, now Romania). It was inaugurated in 1888. The construction showcases the neoclassical style typical for the era with some romantic touches. The Romanian Atheneum is a symbol of Romanian culture and an European Heritage Site as well as one of Seven Wonders of Romania.

Bucharest is my home town so this recording is special to me. I have never seen this city so deserted during day time. If you don’t know, Romania is one of the safest countries to live in.

Follow me through the video.

Calea Victoriei walking towards Lipscani and Dambovita River. On the left is a Pizza Hut we love to visit whenever we get a chance.
Regina Eisabeta Street towards Mihail Kogalniceanu square. The Cismigiu Park must be on the right side.
View from the Romanian Atheneum towards the Royal Palace hoousing the National Museum of Art (left) and Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest Hotel (right). Stirbei Voda Street ahead.
Angela Gheorghiu in front of the Romanian Atheneum. Notice the Ionic columns on the right. Their proportions are similar to those of the Erechtheion Temple on the Acropolis.
Angela Gheorghiu accompanied by Alexandru Tomescu in front of the Romanian Atheneum. Note the neoclassic facade.
View from thee Romanian Atheneum towards the Royal Palace and George Enescu square.

Romanian Atheneum above, Cismigiu Park below – I have never seen Cismigiu so deserted. Cismigiu is lovely in summer for a stroll in the shade or a leisurely row and fantastic in winter for ice skating all day long and under the spotlight in the night.

An amazing view of the Romanian Atheneum in the center, its park in the front with the round cupola, Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest Hotel in the left with a reddish roof.
Angela Gheorghiu accompanied by Alexandru Tomescu in front of the Romanian Atheneum in the afternoon light. Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest Hotel in the background. A gorgeous contrast of light and creeping shadows.
Hats off to Sabina Ulubeanu and the camera crew.
Calea Victoriei at Revolution square, the equestrian statue of King Carol I, Royal Palace on the right.

One World: Together At Home #OneWorldTogetherAtHome

one world together at home a poem

One World: Together At Home is an unique, never before seen world wide event in support of health care workers and World Health Organization (WHO).
This is my acrostic poem.

On the day when the world turned outside-in,

None went outside, we were all forced within,

Enclosed between walls we once called a home

With our loved ones close, yet all alone.

On the day when most likely to happen

Remained inside a book and the unknown

Lived among us, with no face and no form,

Desired by none, the unwanted guest

That stuck to every thought, cornering hope

On the last step of a tower of soap.

Gravel underfoot, being in a crowd

Ever happened? Was a dream saved on cloud?

That day, nameless for us, for them meant fight,

Humble in white or blue, up dawn to night

Emerging in a mask to fight the plague;

Routine, for them, is stop faceless outbreak.

Attack, advance, retreat, regroup, surprise;

Thread gently, beam, cheer up, engage, excite.

Halt the pandemic, lock it in glass vile

Once and for all. We watch from a safe mile.

Meet us for a hug outdoors thereafter

Edit life for now, put back the laughter.

One World: Together At Home, a poem © Patricia Furstenberg

Have you watched the One World: Together at Home on the 18th of April?

My favorite performance must have been the one by Jennifer Lopez performing “People” (this classical Barbra Streisand song).
One World: Together at Home, J Lo, “People”:

You can watch the entire One World: Together at Home show here on YouTube.

Artists featured in the broadcast included:

  • Alicia Keys
  • Amy Poehler
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Awkwafina
  • Billie Eilish
  • Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day
  • Burna Boy
  • Camila Cabello
  • Celine Dion
  • Chris Martin
  • David & Victoria Beckham
  • Eddie Vedder
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Elton John
  • FINNEAS
  • Idris and Sabrina Elb
  • J Balvin
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • John Legend
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Keith Urban
  • Kerry Washington
  • Lady Gaga
  • Lang Lang
  • Lizzo
  • LL COOL J
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Maluma
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Paul McCartney
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Priyanka Chopra Jonas
  • Sam Smith
  • Shah Rukh Khan
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Taylor Swift
  • Usher

Artists featured on streaming platforms included:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Andra Day
  • Angèle, Anitta
  • Annie Lennox
  • Becky G
  • Ben Platt
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Black Coffee
  • Bridget Moynahan
  • Burna Boy
  • Cassper Nyovest
  • Charlie Puth
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Common
  • Connie Britton
  • Danai Gurira
  • Delta Goodrem
  • Don Cheadle
  • Eason Chan
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Erin Richards
  • FINNEAS
  • Heidi Klum, Hozier
  • Hussain Al Jasmi
  • Jack Black
  • Jacky Cheung
  • Jack Johnson
  • Jameela Jamil
  • James McAvoy
  • Jason Segel
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Jess Glynne
  • Jessie J
  • Jessie Reyez
  • John Legend
  • Juanes
  • Kesha
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Lang Lang
  • Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Liam Payne
  • Lili Reinhart
  • Lilly Singh
  • Lindsey Vonn
  • Lisa Mishra
  • Lola Lennox
  • Luis Fonsi
  • Maren Morris
  • Matt Bomer
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Michael Bublé
  • Milky Chance
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Natti Natasha
  • Niall Horan
  • Nomzamo Mbatha
  • P.K. Subban
  • Picture This
  • Rita Ora
  • Samuel L Jackson
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Sebastián Yatra
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Sho Madjozi
  • SOFI TUKKER
  • SuperM
  • The Killers
  • Tim Gunn
  • Vishal Mishra
  • Zucchero

Cecilia (Simon & Garfunkel) with Lily & Bear @lilyandbearmusic

Lily Bear Cecilia

Enjoy an uplifting tune, Cecilia (Simon and Garfunkel) performed here by Lily and Bear (Bianca & Heinrich) from South Africa!

Enjoy!

We were lucky to have met Heinrich and Bianca a (long) while ago and I can’t think of more talented musicians to present to you and to urge you to follow.

Heinrich is an accomplished musician and a painter and you can find more about him in this interview we did, oh my, over two years ago.

About Lily and Bear:

Husband and Wife team from South Africa. Guitar and Synth driven mix of Adult Contemporary Alternative Indie Pop with heartfelt Female vocals in English and Afrikaans.

Band Members
Heinrich Pelser
Bianca Pelser

Press contact
Heinrich Pelser

Quick links to contact Heinrich Pelser:

You can buy Lily and Bear music here (CD baby, ITunes, Spotify)

Lily and Bear on Facebook @lilyandbearmusic

Lily and Bear on Instagram

Heinrich Pelser on YouTube

I hope you enjoyed Cecilia (Simon & Garfunkel) with Lily and Bear.

Songs that Remind me of Silent Heroes: the Afghan people

songs to remind of Silent Heroes

My latest contemporary fiction, Silent Heroes, looks at the War in Afghanistan from a different perspective: that of the soldiers taking part in it and of the Afghan people caught in it. Because there are always two sides to a story. Part of my research was listening to music. I’ll share with you a few songs that now remind me of the courageous Afghan people.

Pentatonix – ‘Mary Did You Know’

The first time I heard Mary Did You Know, it was sung by my daughter’s college choir. I thought there wasn’t a more beautiful tune, nor more heartbreaking lyrics.

Mary Did You Know is a Christmas hymn to Mary, Mother of Jesus, but I feel that any mother can relate to it, especially the mothers of soldiers. While researching and writing Silent Heroes I often asked myself, how must these mothers feel like?

The soldier’s mothers, back home in the safety of their big cities, yet not able to pinpoint on the map the exact location of their children? How they felt in the first moment they heard their child will fight in Afghanistan, as a soldier?

The Afghan kids’ mothers, each morning they face another day of war, knowing that when their child leaves through the door it might be the last time they see him?

‘Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.’

Pentatonix, Mary Did You Know – Songwriters: Buddy Greene / Mark Lowry
Mary, Did You Know? lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Capitol Christian Music Group (source)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Fortunate Son’

This song was released in 1969, during the peak period of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. To me, it speaks more of the unfairness of disadvantages between different social classes, the unfairness that a war plays on the civilians of a country, an unfairness that will project itself over the future generations.

‘Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no.’

Songwriters: John C Fogerty
Fortunate Son lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company. Find lyrics here.

Afghani Rabab: “Valley” Folksong

Music speaks so much about the spirit of a nation, and so are its national instruments. There is so much intensity in this song, a love for life. I can see the sun rising over the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Afghan women spinning in dance, children chasing one another over rocky rivers, catching fish to take back to their mother to cook for dinner. One of many beautiful songs that remind my of unknown Silent Heroes, Afghan people too.

Afghani folk-song entitled “Valley” written and performed by Quraishi and accompanied by Samir Chatterjee on tabla.
A rubab, robab or rabab is a lute-like musical instrument originating from central Afghanistan. The rubab is mainly used by Pashtun, Tajik. sadly, making a rabab today is a dying art.

Afghani Rabab. songs-remind-Afghan-people
Afghani Rabab. SONY DSC

“They are Shiites and, most of the time, anti-Taliban,” Marcos went on. “Pashtuns dress differently and are easy to recognise. They tend to leave an end of their headdress loose so they can cover their mouth and noses in the dust storms of southeast Afghanistan, where they mostly live. Pashtuns are indo-Iranians by race and language. They mostly wear a qmis, which is a loose-fitting shirt that reaches down to the knees and a shalwar, pants tied with a string at the waist. Pashtuns typically have dark skin and more western features.”

Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
Pashtun culture. songs-remind-Afghan-people
Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

You can BUY Silent Heroes from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Australia, Amazon Canada, or Amazon Worldwide: link here to your preferred Amazon website.

I’m Gonna Love Me Again, Elton John, Oscar Winner

I’m Gonna Love Me Again, Best Original Song from Rocketman, composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin adds an Oscar to the long list of accolades – Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Satellite Award, Golden Derby Awards, and plenty more!

What an Oscar experience 2020 has been! With Parasite, winner of Best Foreign Language film, also winning Best Picture, Best Director (Bong Joon-ho), and Best Original Screenplay.

Perhaps Renée Zellweger, 2020 Oscar winner of Best Actress for her role in Judy (celebrating the life of legendary performer Judy Garland), said it best, thanking her “emigrants folks who came here with nothing but each other, and believed in the American Dream, how about this.” “Our heroes unite us. The best among us who inspire us to find the best in ourselves… when we look at our heroes we agree, and that matters… we agree on our teachers and we agree on our courageous… men and women in uniform who serve… when we celebrate our heroes we are reminded of who we are.”

Have you noticed that Renée climbed to the podium to receive the Oscar to the first notes of Over the Rainbow? (“Somewhere over the rainbow, Way up high, And the dreams that you dream of…”).

I think we all need to be remembered to love ourselves a little bit MORE.

(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again by Elton John, Taron Egerton Lyrics – wins Oscar for Rocketman

Oh, the joke was never hard to tell
Threw my spare change in the wishing well
The dream alone is always in your hands
If that don’t fill the boy and build the man
A heart has many secrets, so I’m told
Through the years, a theory can grow cold
I’m up to be the king, it’s gotten clear
The voice inside my head is the one I hear
Singing, I’m gonna love me again
Check in on my very best friend
Find the wind to fill my sails
Rise above the broken rails
Unbound by any ties that break or bend
I’m free, and don’t you know?
No clown to claim he used to know me then
I’m free, and don’t you know?
And oh-oh-oh, I’m gonna love me again
The golden age was somehow bittersweet
But now the past lies sleepin’ in the deep
The peaceful days that followed hollow nights
A kiss or touch could feel like Kryptonite
Praise the Saints that hung up on my wall
For trust is left in lovers after all
A whispered word emergin’ from a tale
My wake-up call to claim the cursed spell
Well, I’m gonna love me again (love me again)
Check in on my very best friend
Find the wind to fill my sails
Rise above the broken rails
Unbound by any ties that break or bend
I’m free, and don’t you know?
No clown to claim he used to know me then
I’m free, and don’t you know?
And oh-oh-oh, I’m gonna love me again
Sing, I’m gonna love me again
Check in on my very best friend
Find the wind to fill my sails
Rise above the broken rails
Unbound by any ties that break or bend
I’m free, and don’t you know?
No clown to claim he used to know me then
I’m free, don’t you know?
And oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, I’m gonna love me again
I’m gonna love me again
I’m gonna love me again
Source: LyricFind. Songwriters: Bernard J. P. Taupin / Elton John(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.

Thrilled to see Charlize Theron nominated again!

Song lyrics and movie clip are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes and personal use only.

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

silent heroes
Silent Heroes, the new action thrilling book by Patricia Furstenberg. Looking at war from a different perspective. Get it from Amazon.