Based on a true story ...
These novels  chronicle a most unlikely love-story between a young English girl growing up in Wellington in the beautiful wine lands of South Africa in the 1970's, who attends Huguenote High school, an Afrikaans school, where she learns the ways of the Afrikaners, and a young Afrikaner boy from the far away Orange Free-state, who attends an English boarding school, learning the language and ways of  the English. It plays out over 43 years, starting one summer, at age 16, in the Wilderness national park of S. Africa, moving (against it's will) to North America, and finally eloping to South America, where in a dense jungle, it finds that elusive "happily ever after" we all are so used to seeing in all fairy-tales, inside of a National park - exactly as it began in 1971. That young English girl, who was supposed to marry a school-friend of Prince Andrew - to please her mother, chooses instead to marry that Afrikaner boy with whom she fell in love with at 16 in the Wilderness, is subsequently disowned ... but chooses to fight for true-love, and against all odds, 35 years later, wins.

       Here's a Romance-scene and a crime-scene, from Wellington:
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Turning the clock forward a few decades ... some romantic fun: "Fairy-Tales can come true, it could happen to you"
And here's a SAMPLE of BOARDING-SCHOOL Hi-Jinx:

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By the end of July, 2013, the first 6 novels will be on Kindle and in print
  The 7th novel, in this series, is done and due for release soon. It brings with it an interim-conclusion to this love story ...
7 years, 7 months and 7 days after it first starts, in a beautiful National Park along the Indian Ocean at the tip of Africa.
 These novels, are based (very closely) on a true story, which starts 43 years ago in the South Africa of the 1970's. The novels are written with a unique style quite different to the teaser (not by the author). The reason for the Series title quickly becomes clear as we meet a contemporary of the evil queen, and her daughter. However, the Prince in this series, is not who you think it should be - and the Dwarves are, well let's just say - "unusual".

Let's journey back to a distant land and time ... to the soft, warm sands of the Indian Ocean and the early 70's.


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a beautiful young girl (Elizabeth, daughter of a company vice-president) fell in love with a physician's son (Nicholas) whilst spending her summer holiday by the sea.  Her family was very English - his family were Afrikaners. In South Africa back then, this often was a problem! Nicholas spends most of each year at boarding-school, St. Andrews, a prestigious English private school. Lizzie spends her year as a day-scholar at Wellington's renowned Afrikaans Huguenot High-School, but these two schools are very far apart - at opposite ends of South Africa.This was a time when phone calls were so very expensive that hand-written letters sent by mail were the only way to stay in touch. There was no Internet, email, Facebook, cell phones (no BBM WhatsApp) or cheap long-distance calls. For the 2 sweethearts (16) it was a case of "Love at first sight". Naturally (but rather naively) they expected everyone else would be happy for them too, and would gladly support their love for each other. Sadly, they were mistaken, for there were those that were genuinely happy for them - then there was the queen in this fairy-tale ...


She was not amused at all ... working tirelessly to annihilate their young love by imposing her own choices, dreams and ideals, her own proud iron will and agenda at any price!" Couple this with her ongoing secret envy of the family of the President (MD) of her husband's company and her determination to profit from their family's tragedy, manipulating everyone around her to bring about  her desired goals, and a strange Macbeth-like tale of greed, ambition and "death most foul" unfolds. Through all of this, the only other person who has some knowledge of what she has done is her daughter, Elizabeth. Thus the queen must keep young Snow White totally controlled (to safe-guard her dark secrets) or failing that, dispose of her. For almost 3 decades Africa's Snow White and her family resorted to hiding out in a variety of secluded forest homes, but always the queen found a way to arrive with her "basket of shiny apples - every last one of them poisonous!"

However, in all fairy-tales of note, there would not be much of a story to tell if it were not for evil villains. No Snow White, no Sleeping-beauty, and no Cinderella and, in this case, no Africa's Snow White either - just: "She met her true love, got married and lived happily ever after". No series of novels there. These villains, with their constant plotting and scheming - their obsession to control or destroy the lives of those around them, force their victims to take extraordinary measures just to stay alive, let alone to thrive and to strive for happiness and freedom. The more sinister, obsessed villains generate more intriguing stories, and their unflinching persistence lengthens those stories. A "difficult" in-law, parent or family member is a nuisance, but not really the seed for a novel - especially not a whole series of novels. However, a sinister unrelenting "always right, self-absorbed, will stop at nothing, not even death to get their way" kind of villain, spawns a classic fairy-tale! So it was, from a young age, that in Africa's Snow White's life, the totally obsessed queen constantly hunted her daughter down - trying her best to destroy her, plotting and scheming to turn her many defeats into that one ultimate irreversible victory. "Africa's Snow White deserved to pay the ultimate price for daring to have a mind and heart of her own" - the queen reasoned. So, the next time you hear someone wishing for a "fairy-tale life", please remind them that Fairy-tales are not simple, harmless happy little tales, but rather, they are filled with danger, death, sadness and often many wasted years before any eventual "happily ever after".


Well, that's the way this love story really does start. It really did all happen a "long, long time ago, in a land far, far away" - about as far away as you can get from here - or even from most places, actually. This story starts in the historic colonial town of Wellington, located in the beautiful wine-lands of the Western Cape at the southern-most tip of Africa. As the story unfolds, people from Bloemfontein ("Fountain of Flowers") and every corner of South Africa, as well as from every part of its society, are drawn into the pages of these novels.

The wait is over for VOL-1. ... July-3-2013
Africa's Snow White   Click to buy it >>
Summer Love                                 
(Click here to read a SHORT-STORY from this novel, 4 pages)

It was 1971, Southern Africa, Colonial times—and it was Summer Vacation! Nicholas (the son of a traveling African Dr.) and Elizabeth (the daughter of a company VP), both 16, meet in the Wilderness, a national park and sub-tropical paradise along the golden shores of the Indian Ocean. Soon they become inseparable—but their hopes of seeing each other again are shattered when Elizabeth's mom vows they're never going back. Expecting to never see him again and feeling she can be totally honest with her feelings, Elizabeth writes Nicholas (who is far away from her in a boarding school at the other end of the country) an epic love letter, pouring out her heart and soul to him—here's a short excerpt from her letter: 
"Nicholas, I know we have to continue with our separate lives now. We really have no choice. My mother and friends remind me of that daily—that ours was only a summer romance, that those are never real or lasting, that I'm only 16 . . . I fully expect that you're going to see Denise again. She seems like a lovely girl, and I cannot fault you for that. She's real—I no longer am. I feel so helpless now. Not long ago I held your complete attention, for 3 wonderful weeks . . . but now I'm reduced to just a small black and white photo and some words on a page. Nicholas, if we never meet again, I want you to know at least this, our summer romance, the one that everyone else tells me to forget - was unforgettable! I will never forget it, not for as long as I live, and I hope you feel the same?" 

Meanwhile Elizabeth's dad's boss and best friend, Lawrence, has lost his 8-year-old son to leukemia. Thinking they'll want to distance themselves from painful memories, Lizzie's mother sees an opportunity to profit by their situation and offers to trade her home for their mansion, to help them forget. Blinded by grief, they accept, but nothing changes. Lawrence's wife, Rebecca, starts drinking, forcing him to get a maid to help out at home, and soon Rebecca finds that even her two little girls don't need her anymore, leading her down a path that will destroy what's left of her family. Summer Love is based on a true story, and as is often the case, "Truth can be much stranger than fiction." It's written for a mature and/or mature-teen audience who will be able to relate to the hopes, dreams, and struggles of both teenagers and adults. It's also a real-life "Veronica, Betty, Archie, Reggie, etc." tale, with all of the same basic plot lines, but who's who? Who does Archie marry, and what about Reggie?

Background: These were colonial times in Southern Africa—a romantic era of steam trains transporting not only people, but their love letters. Long-distance calls were prohibitively expensive! Youngsters had no real autonomy or means to chart their own destinies. Their country was at war with brutal forces determined to overthrow colonial rule. Girls graduated, then went to college, but young men were drafted into the war effort. If they survived that ordeal, only then could they join their girlfriends in College—by which time often these girls had moved on with their lives. It was not practical, or even common, for high school students to ever go steady. Young girls were encouraged to keep their options open, usually dating several competing suitors each year, leading to exciting romances with heartache and euphoria guaranteed. 

Aside: All cover art for this series was done (as a personal favor) by world-famous artist Jonathon Bowser, whose art Saddam Hussein liked so much that he stole four images to illustrate his own romance novel: Zabibah and the King, which went on to sell more than one million copies! See: for details.

FOOTNOTE: The first six books in this series were written by Jonathan without the use of his hands. Thankfully, after an operation at the John Hopkins Medical center, that problem was finally resolved—just in time for the last books in the series! So, if you know someone in a similar situation, you can give them hope telling them about this.

REVIEWS:  "A delightful read. It evoked in me memories of my own teenage years, growing up in Cape Town. My father was from the Free State Province of South Africa and went to St. Andrew's School in Bloemfontein in the early 1920's as a boarder. When we later went back to Bloemfontein as a family in the mid-1960's, my father was Chairperson of the St. Andrew's Old Boys' Association and I got to know the school well, although I never attended St. Andrew's. I am sure my father would have enjoyed the passages about the school and the typical schoolboy pranks. I now serve the people of South Africa as Ambassador to Panama and have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the author. I look forward to reading Jonathan's sequel to this book, as I am sure there will be one."
--Ambassador Leslie Manley, Ambassador from South Africa to Panamá, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Perú

"As the title suggests, Summer Love - Jealous Winter is a story of innocence and treachery. On one level there is pure, innocent teenage love in a simpler time, but underneath, controlling even the innocent, is the conniving manipulation of the antagonist. From the start, I was curious to discover how the innocence and treachery would mesh. Well, I was not disappointed. The tension mounts; the suspense is gripping. This seemingly gentle novel became a page turner that threatened to keep me up all night! Eloff has cleverly woven the divergent threads into a powerful ending."  --Margaret Wolf, High School English Teacher

"This fact-fiction fairytale is the beginnings of an amazing love story intricately woven against the backdrop of South Africa. It is textured and spirited and manages to lure the reader into its pages. I expect to see great things from this young, new writer and am looking forward to the sequel."
--Geraldine Cilliers, Qualified Librarian and Book Reviewer (worked for Rootz Magazine in South Africa)

"Jonathan Eloff beautifully weaves together true life events of romance, heartbreak, betrayal, and suspense all the while describing South Africa's natural landscape and daily life at the end of the Apartheid era."
--Jody Hussey, ESL Teacher

"Tender, hilarious, captivating . . ."  --Sue Merralls, Special Events Organizer

Vol-3 is out now ... July-11-2013

Africa's Snow White  Click to buy it >>
  Prince Charming - 
the 3rd novel in this series, due out by July-15-2013 
"Prince Charming" establishes the supremacy of the mother's choice for her dau ghter, an Englishman born into wealth and privilege, well connected in high-society. But the reality is that Snow White has two suitors. One has the Queen's blessing and help, the other stubbornly occupies a small, well-guarded corner of Snow White's heart ... but is that enough to overcome the Queen's determination that her daughter marry her choice of husband, and move to Canada? Forty years of love, of real-life (and these novels) will tell an amazing story of what happens ... in the end. This series of novels relates a tale that simply cannot be imagined, proving once again that "Real-life is often far stranger than fiction"! Will Africa's Snow White ever get to live happily ever after, like her fairy-tale counterpart? Meanwhile, the queen's conscience is haunting her. It begins to look like her cover is blown and she fears she will lose her ill-gotten gains, driving her to consider some options never before on the table. The young Snow White, now in possession of the key puzzle pieces of the queen's wickedly successful scheme, silently mulls over what to do with this information ...  perhaps some things are best left alone - for now? This second novel quickly develops the love-triangle, bringing it to a most dramatic and unexpected conclusion! It would seem that in the end, Snow-White's mother gets her way  ... but between you and me, she celebrates her victory a little prematurely! The farewell scene at Wellington's train station, between Lizzie and Nicholas, is not one that can easily be imagined - yet it is more dramatic than most that can be imagined! It's the romance equivalent of a "hail-Mary" pass, in the truest sense of that word ... with surprising results.
So what becomes of the villain? Ah ... now that's a story still a few books away from told! 
Fairy tales can came true; it can happen to you!  

REVIEWS: “I'm pleased to see my prediction, of a sequel to Jonathan's first novel, come true. I'm delighted to see the characters from his first book mature in his new novel and go on to experience all the ups and downs and challenges of making one's way in the South Africa of that time, of trying to come to terms with living in a country as divided as it then was. I look forward to seeing how Jonathan deals with the challenges faced by so many individuals and families in South Africa in his upcoming novels. Once again, the references to St. Andrew's School evokes many memories for me from my own years as a student in Bloemfontein. Although I was not at St. Andrews, my father was head of the old boys' association, and therefore, by osmosis, I got to know something of the school and knew many of the pupils and teachers of the 1960's. St. Andrews, which was founded in 1863 in the old zuid-afrikaanse republiek, has seen many changes taking place around it over the years. I hope that Jonathan's books attract many students from abroad to this wonderful school. Jonathan, we are proud of you, keep up the good work and I look forward to the next in the series.”
Ambassador Leslie Manley, Ambassador from South Africa to Panamá, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Perú

"Prince Charming—fear and hope, sadness and elation, love and conspiracy, all centered around one family and set in the romantic scenery of Southern Africa. When you remember his first wonderful novel, Summer Love - Jealous Winter, immediately you recognize and appreciate Jonathan Eloff's unique style of writing. Again every word comes out of his heart, but he leaves one most vexing question open for his readers: What's in this princess's future? Fortunately for me, I now know some of the answers."
Karin Forster, German Journalist and TV talk-show moderator.

“In my capacity as editor in-chief of a large German news organization, I often interviewed world leaders such as Nelson Mandella and Mikhail Gorbachev. In the last few years, my wife and I have come to know this talented young author well. Again, as portrayed so well in his novels, I find that some of the most interesting stories are to be found by interviewing the people affected by the decisions of these world leaders, over a glass of wine.” Kurt Forster, Editor-in-chief, Rhein-Zeitung (Retired)

”An alluring tale of love and deception.  Jonathan displays exceptional skills painting vivid scenes for the reader. A great escape that will have you glued to your seat.”
Dr. Sylvie Raymond, English Lecturer  - United Arab Emirates University, EdD University of Exeter.

The wait is over VOL-5 arrives (July-31-2013)

This 5th novel in the series sees Lizzie's mother, hand-picking Snow White's husband. For her to do so is a must - both to ensure total future loyalty (thus protecting herself and her dark secrets) as well to acquire an elevated social standing for her family. So, enter "Prince  Charming"  or more accurately, the real-life charming English school-chum of Prince Andrew, whose dad was a fabulously wealthy industrialist in South Africa. Together with him, Africa's Snow White would live every girl's dream. She was chauffer-driven on dates to fancy restaurants and clubs in a classic, black Mercedes limo, sipping champagne together, sitting on custom-embroidered seats. Afterwards the butler served them liqueurs in a luxury ocean-front penthouse in Sea-point, whilst dreaming of Paris ... and castles with huge marble staircases. For the English Snow White, now done with her freshman year at UCT, now a Sophomore, and her Afrikaner childhood sweetheart, embroiled in wars beyond his control, serving in the South African air force, (SAAF) far, far away ... imminent danger lurked! The queen's proposal was abundantly clear: "Choose true-love and a modest nondescript life - or choose wealth and power, and let love come later!" So it was that "True-love" lay precariously on one side of the queen's scale, while "Marry him now, fall in love with him later!" rested on the other, with the queen's finger firmly and not so subtly pressing down on it! What could possibly happen to upset such an imbalance?  Of course, there was another option which she had purposely made no room for on her scale: "Marry your true love now, be supportive and patient, wealth will come later" ... but selfish scales simply cannot weigh all the options. So it was that the queen colludes with "Prince Charming" to propose. As per their agreement, he arrives as usual before sunset, in his chauffeur-driven Mercedes limo, and whisks Africa's Snow-White away to "Ons Huisie" - a charming little restaurant in Blouberg Strand, overlooking Cape town and Table Bay, to watch the sunset and dine on Perlemoen and champagne. Then of course, he proposes to her, deftly slipping an impressive diamond ring onto Snow White's delicate finger, and she accepts. Soon they are being driven back to Wellington, still giddy with champagne and the evenings events, by James, the older Xhosa man on his last official duty as their chauffeur, just before he retires and returns to his wife and his home in the Transkei. As they arrive at Snow White's home, Charles rushes in to give the queen the good news that their plans have worked perfectly, while Lizzie lingers to say goodbye to James, and to thank him for the many times he acted as their chauffeur. Sensing his last opportunity to help Nicholas and Lizzie, James throws caution to the wind and tells Elizabeth what really has been happening without her knowledge.  He tells her how the queen and Charles conspired to prevent Nicholas from taking her to her Matric Farewell, almost 2 years ago, how together they delighted in foiling every attempt by Nicholas to contact Lizzie. He tells Lizzie how Charles and the queen lied about Nicholas not being able to make it, then substituting Charles just barely 1 hour before Nicholas arrived all the way from AFB Waterkloof. James recounts to Lizzie how Charles laughed all the way home after the dance, after the queen told him about "poor Nicholas, who arrived right on time, but 1 hour too late!" Lizzie is bewildered, but she knows James has no reason to lie to her, that he is telling her the truth. Nicholas did not join the S. African Air Force, and then simply forget about her, he really simply  just stood no chance against this unholy tag-team. It all makes sense now. Lizzie is NOT amused! She thanks James, turns, and then storms into the house, interrupting the queen and Prince Charming's gleeful celebration. Taking off her new ring and handing it back to Charles, she tells him that the engagement is off and that he is not welcome to join her in the Wilderness in 2 weeks time, over the Christmas holidays, as they had planned, then storms off to her room, leaving the queen and prince Charming standing there - stunned, but leaving her now unattached heart open to that most romantic of all reunions possible, true love's reunion.


In a beautiful, blessed land, the land of "far, far away", deep within South America's jungles, surrounded by warm, brilliant blue oceans and soft, white sandy beaches, in a valley time seems to have overlooked, there is a place where hummingbirds never leave, flowers always bloom, spring never dies, bananas, papayas, pineapples and mangos abound, crystal clear waters cascade down mountains, over craggy cliffs into deep turquoise swimming pools surrounded by large, warm, smooth rocks, the effervescent cascading waters often hiding rocky caves ... There, where beautiful multi-colored birds sing sweetly from  surrounding trees and large metallic-blue butterflies flutter all around, lives "Africa's Snow White", now well into her 50's and, as you can see, aging gracefully. For her, warmth and color has returned, and with each passing day comes this realization:  She and her family are finally free to enjoy their God-given right to live, to love and to dream - finally safely far enough away from that relentless queen so unnaturally bent on her daughter's total destruction.

But that's not how this story started - it's how it ends. 



"Elizabeth" - Fortunate to be born with a snow white complexion in the South Africa of the 1950's ...
but to a mother right out of the pages of the original Snow White Fairy-tale

One could easily imagine these colorful local jungle tribal women to be some of our fair Snow White's "dwarves".

A land of "Forever Spring" - with warmth and brilliant colors everywhere.

As in the original fairy-tale, this ending may well not have happened at all if dark, malevolent forces had prevailed, as very nearly happens in both stories! Across hemispheres and continents, along with evil's tell-tale signature of gleeful satisfaction at every funeral, against incredible odds, this very African love story plays out in a way that cannot be imagined, proving again that "Truth is definitely stranger than fiction!"

The Final novel in the series, due out in 2014:
The actual title will again be true to life:
 "3 continents ... and 3 Weddings"

But for now, let's turn the clock back to Dec. 21st, 1971 ...

The "Garden-route", SA. How difficult it is to forget what turns out to be totally unforgettable ... 

The Wilderness beach (almost 40 yrs ago, December 21st, Christmastime 1971) - The perfect stage for "Summer Love".

I met "My little Mermaid" (age 16) one Summer, long, long ago, in a land far, far away ...
Christmas 2013 - S. Hemisphere Summer, that will be 42 Christmases ago: Summer Love  

Nicholas ("Beaver"), a young Afrikaner boy from the Transkei, (attending St. Andrews, an English boarding school in Bloemfontein) falls in love with Elizabeth ("Lizzie") a beautiful, young English girl (attending Hugenote Hoërskool, an Afrikaans high school in Wellington in the Boland) in a most unusual way. Serendipity? Perhaps. Providence? Definitely! Theirs is a summer romance for 3 short weeks each Christmastime. For the rest of the year they return to their lives at opposite ends of South Africa. In that life she is paired off with a school friend of Prince Andrew, the British-schooled son of a wealthy Western-Cape industrialist, whilst her Afrikaner suitor is destined to marry the "girl next door", the youngest of 3 vivacious Irish - South African sisters. They are his childhood friends in the Transkei, attending Aliwal-North's Holy Cross Convent.  Despite their fondness for each other, and his romance with the youngest, they unselfishly help him in his seemingly elusive quest for true love.



For 3 Christmases (summer holidays) these sweethearts met for 3 romantic weeks each year, but SA was at war on several fronts, so in 1973 he was called-up (drafted) for 2 yrs of active service in the SAAF, in Pretoria, making visits practically impossible. So then all that is left is writing letters, but all of these are intercepted by the queen. However, during their farewell at Wellington's train station, on his way to join the SAAF, after one last visit with Lizzie, she invites Nicholas to her matric farewell (Prom) dance. Miraculously, with a lot of help from his St. Andrews high-school friends (together with him in the SAAF) he finds a way to travel down to Cape Town, from Pretoria, for the weekend of the dance - and so he makes an all important phone call (tough and expensive to make in those days) to confirm his intentions to be there for Lizzie on her special night ... But Nicholas gets to speak to the queen instead, whose relentless plots and schemes are now paying off, and so he arrives to find that Elizabeth has left for her Matric farewell dance (Prom) with Charles. Nicholas is informed, by the queen that Lizzie does not love him, that she is in love with Charles, and that he had better get over her. So he leaves, heart-broken, devastated! Naively, he believes the queen. These young sweethearts now lose total contact, no longer meeting each year at Christmas in the Wilderness, at their romantic beach. Meanwhile, Lizzie is confused!  After promising he would find a way, Nicholas did not arrive to take her to the dance - he just disappeared. There's no letters, phone calls, or explanations - and that after their very special farewell at Wellington's station just months ago - It does not make sense? Obviously the harsh realities of war must have kidnapped their childhood and put an end to their love story. The queen was pleased! For 2 years, her plans for her young daughter were unfolding perfectly - unhindered! Elizabeth was going to marry Prince Charming - her choice for her daughter's future. Her daughter can jolly well fall in love with him later. But then a courageous act by James, Charles' Xhosa chauffeur from Nicholas's hometown in the Transkei, upsets her cunning plans - then, dramatically, Lizzie calls off the engagement! However, the queen and Charles conspire to try again - to triumph. The fact that 2 weeks ago Elizabeth had handed the ring back to Charles, is viewed by them as merely a temper-tantrum - a temporary setback. The queen has arranged for Charles to join them over the Christmas holidays, to stay at the Wilderness Hotel, and tonight he is due to surprise Lizzie, in this most romantic of places, the honeymoon capital of South Africa, with the engagement ring - again.

What could possibly go wrong with the queen and Prince Charming's plan?
There have been quite a few "pivotal" moments in this decades long romance. This was certainly one of them!

Lulled into a smug sense of security, the queen just could not see the bigger picture unfolding.  Nicholas, Lizzie's true love, returning to join his parents till vacationing in the Wilderness, flies into  the George airport in an old military Dakota (DC3) where he is met by his dad, Dr. Strauss, then driven to the beach to join the Strauss family. But, just before they arrive there, Nicholas spots Elizabeth some 70 yards ahead, walking along the beach with  her back turned towards them ... in her familiar blue bikini. Asking his dad to stop the truck, getting out, Nicholas throws caution to the wind, runs up behind Elizabeth and throws his arms around her ... Lizzie Spins around, flustered, bewildered ... then suddenly delighted, as the recognition of "who's arms she's in" dawns on her. Their true love, for two long years thought by both of them to be lost forever, gets a precious second chance. Dr. Strauss, moving his pickup forward, rolls his window down and interrupts them briefly, suggesting that they go for a long walk along the beach, to the secluded rocky pools, and there overlooking the crashing waves, catch-up on what's been happening in each other's lives over the last two years. Waving to him as he drives off, they start walking, hand in hand again, along that familiar Wilderness beach, chatting excitedly as they walk. An hour or so later, after comparing notes on what really happened to keep them apart after their heart-rending farewell, Lizzie get's up and, taking Nicholas's  hand, gently tugs at him, enticing him to follow her, saying: "Come with me Nicholas, I want us to go and surprise my mother ... but please, when she sees you, do your best to act as if we are still very much in love!" Nicholas, without hesitation, pulls Lizzie back down onto his lap, smiling gratefully as her arms move around his neck again, their faces now close enough to kiss, and looking deep into her eyes he softly replies: "Lizzie, you should know from our farewell two years ago, at Wellington's train station, that I've never had to act as if I'm in love with you ... I've always loved you Lizzie, and I always will! But how about you?" For a moment Lizzie's speechless, remembering the cruel events that conspired against them - that prevented her from replying to Nicholas's declaration of love 2 years ago, at the train-station, the day when the queen and war robbed her of her true-love, seemingly forever. Sitting there, on his lap, with waves crashing around them on the rocks, both adults, back where they first fell in love as children, Lizzie looks deep into Nicholas's eyes for signs confirming what she's just heard, for the very first time face to face. No longer unrequited, the warmth of their love is finally flowing unhindered between them. Finding the reassurance she needs, with a renewed confidence and sense of purpose, Lizzie smiles coyly, kisses him on his forehead, rises again, squeezes his hand reassuringly, then tugs more urgently at him this time, beckoning him to follow ... her voice now strong and sure, as she says: "Come with me Nicholas, let's go meet her again - but this time, not as her victims! I want both you and me to see the look on my mother's face when, in just a few minutes, she gets the surprise of her life! I want us both to remember - to savor this moment well, whenever we're together, forever, for the rest of our lives ... and Nicholas, please listen carefully when I tell her exactly how I feel about you, then you'll have my answer to your question!"

Well, what happened next was just so poignantly hilarious, dramatic, life-changing and romantic, that it is best left for the talent of the novelist - but I will share one small funny story from that meeting. Right after the queen got the surprise of her life, before she could stop him, Lizzie's father (Edwin in the books) grabbed his camera and asked Lizzie (still in her blue bikini) to pose next to Nicholas (in his air force uniform) for a "classic romantic" photo. What a photo that would be to have in Lizzie's photo album today! Several photos of them were taken, whilst hugging there, on the beach, with the sea in the background - before the queen snatched his camera away and declared that Lizzie can "forget about ever having these photos"! When their family returned home, and the dad had his film developed (Slides, actually) he was able to let Lizzie get a sneak-peek at them, before the queen took possession of them. After which, those photos have been "withheld" from Lizzie (now 55) for all her adult life. That very unfair incident, was the catalyst for the above painting by a very famous artist ... which then grew to have him painting all of the "missing scenes" in Lizzie's childhood romance - as a 25th anniversary present for Lizzie, which then came in handy years later as the covers of Jonathan's novels! Just another of the queen's rotten tactics that backfired spectacularly! Suffice it to say that at the end of this novel, as in real-life, the queen and prince Charming suffer a huge defeat, but still they conspire to triumph - trying, yet again, to defeat true love.



Lizzie and Nicholas, for many summers (without realizing the significance of it) had regularly traveled
down-river, to romantic dances at Fairy-Knowe ... in the powerboat "Jabula"! (ZULU for "happiness")

Now their love story switches gears, no longer just a summer romance, they are together all the time.
He has lost 2 years of his life, and is a freshman, whilst she already is a sophomore ... but both at UCT.
The Soweto uprisings have happened, and the queen is distracted just long enough not to notice that ...

1977: Her daughter defys her - and the family curse! Six years after first falling in love, her Afrikaner sweetheart, Nicholas, as he promised, delivers on his pledge to match Lizzie's commitment made before the enraged queen at their momentous re-union, Christmastime, two years ago, on the Wilderness beach, by asking Lizzie to marry him. Elizabeth, repeating the same declaration of love she made to Nicholas on that day in front of the queen, accepts! Finally they formalize their relationship. Lizzie is now officially engaged to her Nicholas - in defiance of the queen!

But the queen insists on her plans for everyone's lives taking
precedence ... and, for now, the family curse was on her side! 

1978 ... the story continues with its many twists and turns, as can be inferred from the above novel's cover. Snow White and her fiancé, in love for many years, find themselves forcibly separated by hemispheres, continents, oceans - and all seems lost. As if matters could not get any worse, her fiancé was forced to watch from the balcony of the Cape Town international airport, as Africa's Snow White walked across the tarmac from the terminal building and up the stairs, boarding the SAA Boeing 747 bound for London - next to his nemesis, Charles, the prince's friend ... the queen's choice. Standing there, totally unprepared for this turn of events, perplexed and powerless, he watched as they paused at the top of the stairs, and both turned to face him. Then he saw a torturous arm move up and around Elizabeth's shoulders, and both waved farewell before entering and taking their seats - next to each other, flying out of his life. Unbeknownst to the sweethearts, the queen had organized for Charles to accompany her daughter - to "kidnap" Snow White out of Africa and take her to the queen's lair in Canada, far away from her country and her true love. Reality dictated that it would be at least 2 days before she could contact her fiancé and reassure him that this was the queen's plan, not hers! So it was that a truly sad day for Africa's Snow White and her Afrikaner sweetheart - now took a turn for the worse. Their lives were changing in ways far crueler than they had ever imagined was possible. The queen's relentless pressure had worked. Her revenge was nearly complete.

Following the advice of his 3 childhood girlfriends to not give-up, her Afrikaner sweetheart sold his car and flew to Canada (Christmastime 1978) trying to effect a different outcome, pleading for the independence of Snow White, kind of like when Pres. Paul Kruger traveled to see Queen Victoria to plead for the independence of the Boers. (The irony was that Snow White's Afrikaner champion happened to have had 5 of his forebears marry 5 of President Paul Kruger's children). But once again, the very Victorian queen would have none of it! Having heard from her spies that the young couple had barely enough money for Snow White's ticket back to Cape Town, sensing that final victory was now within her reach, her heartless diabolical plan unfolded. The two South African sweethearts were unceremoniously dumped out onto the bitterly-cold, snowy, deserted streets of a Canadian city named after Lord Kitchener. While Canadians all gathered in warm houses, around Christmas trees, oblivious to their plight, they had to figure out how to survive. Completely out of their element, with no support group, soon they exhausted their meager funds, to stay alive, and spent one last Christmas together. Now all that remained was for him to return back to Cape Town - defeated, and for Snow White to return to the queen's lair - defeated! Adding insult to injury, amid all the confusion, the queen arranges for his departure from Canada to England 2 weeks early, but fails to rebook his onward flight to Cape Town, stranding him in London, in January, with very little money. With their last options now exhausted, the cruel distance between Elizabeth and Nicholas took its toll. The die was cast and The Queen's revenge was complete!

Africa's Snow White would spend almost 28 years in Canada.

Canada - a vast and beautiful land with kind, gentle people ... no shortage of dwarves to help Snow-White. But dwarves can only assist. In the fairy-tale they do not defeat the evil queen. So too it was in real life.  Snow White had to look elsewhere for the help she so desperately needed, to be saved from the queen's plots, with one notable Canadian exception, "Chaplain Jim" of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ... no dwarf!

  War-time Buddies ... 

From time to time we catch up with Pastor Jim, who long since left pastoral ministry to become the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Chaplain for BC (British Columbia) and the Yukon. It is an awesomely demanding but interesting position to hold and sees him traveling in lands very similar to Alaska and having some truly great adventures. He really aught to write a book about his adventures some day!  To make this all more real for you, the reader, here is a reunion picture of old "war-time" buddies, taken 7years ago when we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on Vancouver Island. God's warrior - what a blessing that he was there for us when we desperately needed someone, not to just help us avoid the queen, but to help us effectively fight and contain the queen! Sensing definite gross injustices, the indomitable RCMP chaplain rode to the rescue of the victims, taking on the queen - then trained Snow white and her family to do the same. One of very few people to defeat and successfully contain the queen - look for his character to appear in this series too, in "Oh Canada!" Rumor has it that he will not be on horseback - but back on his signature Harley again, in RCMP uniform, boldly riding into battle. When certain defeat loomed large, Canada's Mounties came to the rescue of Africa's Snow White, turning the tide of the battle in a very dramatic way, delivering a decisive victory for justice. The queen has never been able to recover lost ground, try as she may - and she does try hard!

As you probably have figured out, I'm certainly not a man of few words, but on that momentous day, I literally was speechless - reduced to
being a mere spectator,  watching as Africa's Snow White was assisted in defeating the queen, then sending her scurrying away, in full retreat. 

And so it was that Africa's Snow White (for 28 cold years) came to terms with the "Snow" in her name.

But the queen underestimated Snow White's tenacity ...

Africa's Snow White was forced to endure the agony of her mother's unrelenting, vicious attacks and fought valiantly for the freedom to live and love - many times almost losing on both fronts. As in the original fairy-tale, the queen was indeed jealous of the fairer younger Snow White, but her obsession to totally control or, failing that, to destroy her daughter, was because Africa's Snow White was the only other living person who carried with her the deepest, darkest secrets of the queen. With the possibility of Snow White's marriage to a man not of the queen's choosing (not under her control) came the realization that her daughter's loyalty was not assured, thus the real possibility existed that the mystery surrounding the sad family tragedy and the death of a leading Wellington businessman of the early 1970's, in the wine lands of South Africa, would finally be solved, and the queen's sinister role in those events would emerge - and her fears were well-founded. After years of being her helpless victims, it occurred to Snow White that every villain has an Achilles heel. Then the queen made a fatal mistake. She tried to replay her once stunningly successful plot, but this time aimed squarely at Snow White and her family. It failed spectacularly! Suddenly all the pieces of that plot's puzzle fell perfectly into place in Snow White's mind. It took a journey back to Africa, a visit to 2 graves and a year-long search for the 2 little girls left behind, to fully grasp the depths of the tragedy unleashed by the queen's callous ambitions back in the early 70's, in faraway Africa. In "Prince Charming" that mystery (first alluded to in "Summer love, Jealous winter") is finally solved. Realizing that her daughter had finally completed the puzzle, and that her exposure now loomed large, she dispatched her "huntsman" with deadly intent. Instead he again took pity on Snow White, and warned her of the dire consequences already flowing from the queen's immense rage. It was time for them to disappear - but where would the queen not think to look for Africa's Snow White? 



Perhaps right under
the old queen's nose?

Fire approaching the city of Kelowna - almost all the luxury homes visible in its path were destroyed.

Whilst living across a huge lake from the queen, in yet another forest hide-out (right under the queen's nose for 6yrs, with the queen searching everywhere else in Canada, but there - "Closer to danger ... Further from harm") disaster struck. A lighting bolt landed in the midst of the tinder dry forest bordering the city of Kelowna and sparked one of Canada's worst natural disasters. The fire burned unabated for 2 months. Nothing could stop it from destroying a large part of the city neighborhood where the Queen lived, forcing an evacuation of 1/3rd of the city of Kelowna ... until finally it rained. Fortunately there were no deaths, but living with this fire for so long and seeing its huge billowing "atomic cloud" glowing every night ... even watching it safely from across the deep cold moat, was truly terrifying!

Africa's Snow White, 4 decades after falling in love - wondering what could have been. Standing across the lake from the queen's neighborhood, in flames. For 28yrs in Canada, Africa's Snow White had always left indirect lines of communication open to the queen, for reconciliation, then she patiently hoped, and waited. Instead the queen used those lines of communications to harass Snow White, and sometimes, to establish her location - after which all of hell broke loose. Then Snow White and her family were forced to move to yet another forest hideaway. Looking across the lake of fire, at the queen's land, she calmly said to her family: "It's over, and I'm done waiting! Forgive me for putting you all through this. Together we've tried many times to hide in this vast, beautiful country - but even as we stand here looking at those fires burning around her house, it seems our cover is blown, yet again! So let's begin to plan our exit from Canada - let's plan to all go as far away from here as possible now - only this time, let's leave absolutely no traces as to where we eventually all end up, absolutely no clues, what-so-ever, of our future location". Good game-plan - but that's way easier said than done! It takes a while to unravel 28 years, her whole adult life. And just when Snow White was beginning to have second thoughts about such a major move, she got a call from Chaplain Jim of the RCMP, to tell her that the queen had recently indirectly contacted him, and that from the message she sent him, it was very clear that the only change in her - was for the worse! Now it was time to act decisively. This time would be different.

Now just in case you think that you know everything there is to know about these fairy tales,
about exactly what should have happened in this story - about how wisely she did choose (wink),
well, you may just want to take a look at some recent photos of Africa's Snow White's life first.

(In this cover-art, Africa's Snow White appears as a 3yr old girl, and a 35yr old woman)
Actual title: "3 continents ... and 3 Weddings" **Due out in 2013**

Did Africa's Snow White ever get to marry her true love, her choice?
Did Africa's Snow White ever make good her escape from the queen?
Well, the phrase "running for your life", took on a whole new meaning!
As the queen grew more and more infuriated at the young Snow White's
determination to chart her own course ... in love and in life, she set about
implementing the same elaborate plot that succeeded in destroying a family
in South Africa - only now she targeted her own daughter. It failed spectacularly.
But, in the process, Snow White's family got to fully understand her modus operandi
and then, with the secret information that only she (and the queen) knew, they were
able to solve the mystery of what had happened long ago - then used it to hold the queen's
"feet to the fire". But nobody gets to do that to the queen, and lives to tell about it - least not
until now. After the Mounties rode to the rescue of Africa's Snow White,  the queen was furious!
Soon after she dispatched her dutiful "huntsman" with a very deadly mission, but as before he took pity on
Snow White and her family, and they were able to make good their escape, leaving the aging queen incensed!
Her classic Jezebelian plot unfolds in Summer love, Jealous Winter - the mystery is solved in Prince Charming.
Then an urgent search was launched (from Canada) for 2 graves ... and for the 2 little girls left behind and alone
in Africa long ago - yet more easily forgettable collateral damage arising from the queen's own selfish ambitions.

Africa's Snow White was disowned by her birth mother (the "queen") for daring
to marry her true love ... but then never left alone by the totally obsessed queen,
who methodically schemed to destroy Snow White ... before she could piece together
the clues within the information that only she had been privy to - and solve the mystery.
As the old queen approached 80, as obsessed as ever, it was finally time to vanish forever.
And so it began - an arduous, perilous, 23 1/2 day overland voyage (11,000km - 500km per day)
to their new home in South America (from BC, Canada - below Alaska) and with each passing day,
 as their distance from the queen grew ever larger ... their sense of immense relief grew ever larger too!
An awesome feeling of elation set in. They were finally free - the stubborn, selfish, family curses finally broken.

A big tree, a bicycle, a cow, a vulture, mountains ... and a long winding road that seemed to go on, and on, forever!

Much of the driving was along Pacific ocean cliffs, like these ones in Mexico, never knowing what's around the corner.

Happy, used to the cold placid lakes of Canada, discovers that this Pacific "lake" can suddenly reach out and grab him.

Far, far away from civilization - fascinating, beautiful, but dangerous on so many levels, especially with corrupt officials.

This epic voyage was, in may ways, comparable to a voyage from Cape Town to Kenya - and definitely a one-way trip

South Africans are quite familiar with the words "Great Trek", but the use of this phrase in this book's title is only partially appropriate. One would immediately think that it applies to the many European South Africans who leave their beloved country, but in this case "Great Trek" refers to a 23.5 day epic, perilous 11,000km overland voyage from British Columbia, Canada, to a new life in South America. But why go to all that trouble, economic upheaval and face those many dangers at 50? Canada is a modern, wealthy, beautiful country with wonderful people! Well, Africa's Snow White felt an urgent need to finally get away from the rule of the "old queen Victoria" in her life - much like the Afrikaners did in the 1830's. Besides, while she was born into a very "English" family, she was schooled in a fine Afrikaans school in the Boland, dated Afrikaners, speaks "die taal" quite well, albeit with a definite Boland accent ...  even fell in love with and was engaged to one. This all instilled in her not only a love for biltong, boerewors, sunshine, Cape wines and braais, but also an appreciation for the importance of personal freedom, to believe, to love, to live free - happily ever after. But why drive? Flying is much safer, quicker and cheaper! Well, all of the airlines refused to fly Snow White's 11yr old little dog, Happy, and so her family, united in their determination to have him remain as an integral part of their family, did what people should do for loved ones. After all, his loyalty and love were never in question. Still, he'd require special permission from every country they passed through along the way, but they all did arrive safely ... in the end. Happy enjoyed yet another adventure with his loved ones, and then retired in style in South America where he lived for another 3.5 years. With all of those trees in the jungles, he sure went on a lot of awesome walks and marked a lot of new, exotic territory.


Happy ("are we there yet?") examining the long road ahead

A special bond existed between Happy and Snow White. Every morning Snow White would take Happy's furry little face in her hands, and would say: "Good morning Happy, did you sleep well?" - and, as he had been trained to do, he would give her just one little lick on the tip of her nose. Happy is sorely missed by his family! His grave, in Snow White's jungle garden, is the site of these eternally-blooming, multi-colored impatience.

RIP "Happy Eloff" (1995 - 2009) after one last adventure with your family.

Once again, that's not how this story started - it's how it begins to end. 

And here is where this story begins to end ...
The Bridge of the America's - the gateway linking North and South America,
and after crossing this bridge into South America, the trail of Africa's Snow White grows cold.

South America - a gentle, gracious continent ... filled with warmth.

In these lands of "far, far away" we finally see the "happily ever after" ending for  ...

proving again that: "Fairy-tales can come true ... it can happen to you!"


Tomorrow is where I will be
When you look on and say
That yesterday is not quite where
you want for me to stay
Move on, move on
let the past, be the past
Move on, move on
let the past, stay the past
For tomorrow is where you'll see
The waking roses bloom
Yesterday isn't what you thought.

(c) Jonathan Ian Eloff, April 22, 2004.


Mark Twain:“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!”

One island (of more than 300) a short distance from the shores of Snow White's jungle home.

Africa's Snow White ... constantly driven by the queen into living her life right on the edge - yet it's there
that she gained wisdom, lived an adventure, discovered beauty, savored true love ... and found happiness.



It would've been very nice if this was a story about a caring, doting mother, one
who was proud and supportive of her daughter - not jealous, controlling or destructive.
But that was just not meant to be, so instead ... this is the story of Africa's Snow White.

I hope you enjoyed reading this "teaser" as much as I enjoyed writing it,  and "yes", the author is Snow-White's son, and he is my son, he is our son. And "yes again" ... It was me, still in my air force uniform that ran up behind Lizzie (in her trademark blue bikini) and threw my arms around her, and it was me standing on the balcony of Cape-Town's airport, watching as Charles "kidnapped" Lizzie out of Africa, watching as my fiancée flew off to London with him, and out of my life. And later, I was the one with Lizzie, alone on the deserted icy-cold streets of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Chrtistmas-eve, 1978. I am Nicholas, Dr. Strauss' son. Jonathan and Daniel are our sons, and Lizzie is my wife (She aught to be, we've been married three times!) Yes, I've been involved in 3 of the 4 "weddings" with Africa's Snow-White - and I know that sounds really bad, but you'll have to trust me - it really isn't. And, it was all of us that ran away together and have lived in the Jungles of South America - for almost 6 years now, never to return! This Christmas marks the 40th Christmas since Lizzie and I met and fell in love, and we have only been apart for one of those. In the end, against incredible odds, the boy from rural Africa - the boy from Saints, won the hand of Africa's Snow White. Our family is thankful that most fairy tales, even real ones, like this one, do eventually end with: "And they all lived happily ever after". All these things, and so much more, really did happen, and now, thanks to these novels written by Jonathan, we cannot ever forget them!

Elizabeth has been ... from the day of our very first meeting  (Tuesday, Dec. 21st 1971) ... my "magnificent obsession"!
My family knew that, my boarding-school chums knew that, our friends knew that - even our enemies knew that
With apologies for my English, "Nicholas Strauss".( 11-1-11  November 1st, 2011 )

This painting (above) is not scheduled to be a book-cover, but one never knows, it may yet become one? However, for the astute detectives among you, there is a book-cover within this teaser, with a title, that appears to have something said about it. - but not really. Yes, there are words adjacent to the cover-art, but they are almost totally unrelated. That cover represents one of the most dramatic of all these stories. It details how and when Africa's Snow-White finally got married, the 1st time, and the price she paid. 

Although we are grateful to have had so many people say such nice things about these novels,
one man's words carry with them a very special significance. Ambassador Manley served before,
during and after the transition to democracy in South Africa. He has seen so many families react
in many different ways to events unfolding around them, events over which they had no control.
Ambassador Manley is the longest serving diplomat left in South Africa's diplomatic corps ... by a
few months. Ironically, the current Ambassador to Japan, is the second longest serving diplomat,
and was my history teacher for a while in St. Andrews school. Both are men of integrity, and have
     represented South Africa in good times - and in bad. We all owe them a special debt of gratitude!     

Snow White's family - just one of the many South African families forced to navigate the storms that started in the mid-'70's

[3]Africa's Snow White is the 3rd. generation of her family to be told "who not to love", "who not to marry", "who not to spend her life with".  [2]The queen was forbidden to marry Snow White's dad, by her father, but did anyway. [1]But stranger yet, the queen's uncle and the aunt of Snow White's dad, were instrumental in her parents first meeting - they had been forbidden to marry each other by Snow White's great grandfather (the queen's grandfather) but got married anyway. One would think that the queen should have known better, having witnessed the pain of sweethearts being forbidden to marry and having felt it in her own life? Sadly, one would be wrong! So what could break a family curse dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria? Perhaps resisting the queen's interference, not just once, but 3 times, eloping 3 times, then officially marrying her own choice of husband, 3 times - once in S. Africa, again in Montana and finally in S. America? 3 fully legal marriages with her maiden name, on 3 continents. Will the curse that's haunted her family for 3 generations finally be broken by Africa's Snow-White's 3 marriages, against the will of her mother - who told Her "Who not to love", "Who not to marry" and "Who not to build her life with"? 

If this story was fiction (or a movie) then at this point the queen may "see the light", smile, and all would end happily - but it's not, it's a real-life fairy tale, and in keeping with all fairy tales, this ending is appropriate for both the villain and heroine. Besides, we (and all fairy tale characters) know that if the villain is happy, and smiles, it's not a good sign! It's because they think they're back in control and have gained the upper-hand again - and not because they want what's best for their victims. 

Jen was my "Christmas present", decades ago in Africa (TRUE STORY!) At the time of that momentous reunion, just before Christmas in 1975, when I ran up behind her on the Wilderness beach and, well, you remember .... Realizing that she had no Christmas present for me, on Christmas day, she tied a Christmas card around her neck, with a gold bow (dressed in a tank-top and shorts - "Daisy-Duke style") and walked into the gathering around the Christmas Braai (BBQ - In South Africa, families often have Christmas BBQ's. December is summer holidays there) with all her and my family, and friends, chatting away, and sat down directly across from me ... she just sat there, with a gorgeous smile and a "twinkle in her eyes", looking at me, saying nothing, until I finally "twigged" - that she was my Christmas present! Little wonder 2011 will mark our 40th Christmas together! Her mother, also present and still very miffed with Jen's stubborn behavior - was NOT AMUSED! Sadly, Jen was later disowned for not marrying her "very Victorian" mother's choice of husband (a rich school chum of Prince Andrew ... penthouses, chauffeur-driven Mercedes, private tables at ocean-front restaurants) and even more sadly, that injustice never changed! As you read, we eventually got tired of waiting for mother to "warm-up" and all ran away together, simply sold everything, got into our minivan in Canada, and drove south until the road ended (11,000kms and 23 days later) and there started a new life. We've lived inside the Jungles of S. America (see Jen's blog) for almost 6 years now,  in a beautiful, peaceful land, far, far away, still happily ever after. I often have to  pinch myself, as does Jen. It all seems like a dream at times, but it's very real. It's tough to plan for a life like this - clearly God's creativity far exceeds our own! Only now is it dawning on us that it's a little "different" ... and that maybe we should look at it as less of an ordeal, and more of an adventure. Now it's helping our son get started as a novelist, by giving him a  unique story to base his novels on. I must say, it's been a very surreal experience for us!


Based on a true story ...
Click on any cover (below) to go directly to the catalog listing ...
(You can often get to read these novels, on Kindle, FREE of charge via Amazon's "BORROW IT FREE FROM YOUR KINDLE" )

By the end of July, 2013, the first 6 novels will be on Kindle and in print
   The 7th novel, in this series, is done and due for release soon. It brings with it an interim-conclusion to this story ...
7 years and 7 months after it first starts, in a beautiful National Park along the Indian Ocean at the tip of Africa.

The 7th Novel (which will be the final novel in this series, for now) is due in 2014

     (c) 2006 - All rights to these novels and to this story, are reserved, and belong to author, Jonathan Eloff.

One thing that is often overlooked in all of this is that many people that leave South Africa are children, and often are not of an age when they can dissent. Thus many South Africans are simply forced to leave all that they have known and loved, often against their will. What quickly becomes clear though, is this: "You can take South African's out of Africa ... but you simply cannot erase Africa out of their hearts!" So too it was that Africa's Snow White unwittingly became Canada's Snow White (definitely a case of "serendipity"), then later eloped to a new life, becoming South America's Snow White. One day, God Willing, the circle will finally close, and Africa's Snow White will return to Africa? At the very least, for an extended visit? With all of the major characters now in their 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, many still alive (many still in Southern Africa) most of this story is known and most of its mysteries are understood by Snow White's inner circle. It's really puzzling to see a queen, living in her "glass castle", who persists in "throwing so many stones"! Since even the most callous, deepest, darkest secrets of the queen are unveiled in these novels, readers of these novels; too will understand that there is a very real sense of justice in them having been written by  ... her grandson.

Now almost 4 decades later, who better to write these novels than an author who has been with Africa's Snow White on most of her tumultuous and perilous adventure? Her Canadian-born son Jonathan, of course. Jonathan - who would have been the queen's grandson ... if she hadn't have disowned her daughter, that is.

Jonathan Eloff, the Canadian author of the Africa's Snow White series of novels,
 on a trip within South America with his South African - Canadian - South American mom.

The author interviewing one of the real-life characters (now well into her 50's) of this true story, for his novels at her home located inside a national park encompassing one of the most pristine jungles of South America. From 21 years of living in the warmth of Wellington in the wine-lands of the Western Cape, with many romantic summers spent savoring the uniquely magnificent beauty of the Wilderness, stretching along the soft sandy shores of the warm Indian ocean - along the Garden-route, for the next 27 years this story shifts to Canada with its stark, cold beauty. Finally we follow Africa's Snow White as she and her loved ones undertake a epic perilous 11,000km long overland voyage to freedom, escaping the evil queen in her fire and ice dungeon, to a new life in South America. Just as in the fairy tales of old, let's hasten to add this: "and they all lived happily ever after". Now all that remains is for Snow White to travel back to Africa, to her homeland and home town, there to meet again with the many characters so well described in Jonathan's novels, sharing wine, beer, sunshine, braais (BBQ's) and laughter, reunited with friends (four decades later) finally closing the circle. For now the real-life characters live within Jonathan's novels, in a most entertaining and nostalgic way. These novels represent a uniquely tumultuous part of South Africa's past that may soon be forgotten, and since so many South Africans have shared similar feelings and experiences, Jonathan's novels are indeed a treasure chest to hold the memories of the last gasps of colonial splendor. From boarding school memories, to summer holidays and romances at seaside Caravan parks, to multiple wars and internal strife shredding the very fabric of their colonial home, to the major upheavals that scared many parents into fleeing their beloved country, forcibly moving their children to new countries, schools and climates; these novels accurately describe what it was like for most European South African families to have lived in South Africa in the 60's and 70's and to then have been forced by their fears to leave their homes and families behind, to move to countries like Canada in the 70's, 80's, 90's and the first decades of this new millennium. For the children of parents that decide to "flee" South Africa, it's tough enough to adjust to new climates and cultures, but certainly easier if their families are supportive. Having to make many of life's transitions with a very dictatorial and destructive parent is tough indeed - but those were often the exact circumstances under which so many of our favorite fairy tales arose. Then again, there just would not be enough material for a novel, let alone a whole series of novels if it was about a normal, supportive mother and her daughter. As in fairy-tales of old, the treachery of the villain is fuel for the story. So too it was for ...


and they all lived happily ever after ...


ADDENDUM ... so how did it all end?

Some Trivia: Not many people know this much, but in the original Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, the queen was not the wicked step-mother - she was the wicked real mother of Snow White! Decades later a publisher changed the villain to being the step-mother of Snow White, so as to be less scary for children, and no doubt also to increase sales.

For the Curious: Why did the author choose to name Africa's Snow White, "Elizabeth" in his series of novels? In Jennifer's favorite movie (Pride and Prejudice) there's a famous scene where Elizabeth's mother is insisting that her dad (Mr. Bennet) tell her she must marry the "soon to be rich Landlord - but boring" Mr. Collins. Here is that scene: "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents.—Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." Lizzie's dad, letting Lizzie know she does not have to marry her mother's choice of a husband, has always been a fantasy for Jennifer. Real names obviously needed changing, and Jennifer - Elizabeth, Jenny - Lizzie, Jen - Liz  just somehow felt right. When it came time for Nicholas to ask permission from the real-life Lizzie's dad, for her hand in marriage, Elizabeth's dad did defy his wife and grant his permission. Sadly, after that he very seldom summoned up the courage to help his daughter - but then there was that one splendid last day. Why did the author choose "Nicholas" for Africa's Snow White's childhood sweetheart in his novels? In Jennifer's other favorite series of books, the classic Angélique series of romance novels, Angélique's childhood sweetheart ... is Nicholas.

But why choose the title: "Africa's Snow-white"?
Well, "Africa" is self explanatory, but in order to fully understand the rest of the title,
we really do need to tie-up all the loose ends and put the pieces of this puzzle together.

I have to be candid, this connection had not even occurred to any of us until a few years ago. Under constant attack, reflective thought is a luxury. Our family spent most of our time and energy combating this mother's aggressive attacks, all of them surprises, none of them pleasant.

That "horrible" final realization - one Africa's Snow White, like many others, also finally had to face ...

Then one day Jennifer finally made this rather momentous statement, an admission that no daughter (or son) should ever have to make: "I could never have imagined (not even in my worst nightmares!) that by far the single worst enemy I have ever had - In my entire life ... was my very own birth mother". This was Jen's definitive "Snow White moment". It's that moment in time when the one truth that she was just not programmed to consider and that she was trying so hard to deny, gelled and became unmistakable undeniable reality in Jen's mind. It's also the moment the little "Aha! light in our minds" started to glow bright ... Somewhere, in our past, we had heard of something similar to all of this? I guess I can understand how one would want to desperately try to avoid coming to this conclusion. This is indeed a very painful thing to have to accept! When Jen finally gave up trying to convince herself that her mother's treatment of her and our family was in any way loving, and saw it for what it really was ... in that moment, she faced this stark reality: It was controlling manipulation, cruel and selfish; it was abuse - plain and simple! Certainly the one thing it was not - was love ... just the opposite. This was a major breakthrough. It's true, you know: "The truth will set you free". Suddenly, for Jennifer, "black was black, white was white, day was day and night was night". Now all things made perfect sense to Jen - no more clouded confusion of being told one thing while instinctively feeling another ... and we were all quite relieved! Even so, I felt desperately sorry for my lovely wife. I would have given almost anything to just have had Jennifer and her mother enjoy a more normal healthy happy relationship like all my childhood girlfriends had enjoyed with their moms! Facing these brutal truths, actually takes a LOT of courage!  

Living across the lake from our enemy - Closer to danger, further from harm

The year 2002 ... Jen gets a surrogate mom who regards
our sons as grandchildren - and she is nice, even to me!

The year (2002) would not be complete without introducing you to a new member of our family. You will remember that one of Jennifer's mother's famous quotes (Personally, we really all wish she never said it) was the now infamous: "I'll forget I ever had you and I'll get myself another daughter and some other grandchildren". How stupidly sad! By the way, Jen's mother has been unable to replace this family - not Jen or our sons (or even me). It turns out that absolutely nobody wants to "step into our old shoes". I cannot say I blame them - do you? Well, throughout this story you have met Jen and our sons and seen exactly what the old-matriarch gave up ... The word "Stupid" comes to mind!

It is interesting to note that while Jennifer's mother has not been able to find herself "another daughter and some other grandchildren", the reverse is not true! Some time ago Jennifer met a 73 year old lady who's own daughter had cruelly rejected her, declaring herself no longer "of this world", and no longer in need of an "imperfect" mother and totally ignoring her mother's repeated pleas to try to fix whatever it was about her that now "irked" this daughter. But nothing was good enough for the daughter, a self-proclaimed "Prophetess" ... and so the old lady was callously "pushed-aside" and abandoned by her. Needless to say, the many friends of this fine old lady did not feel the same way about her and all of them rallied round her and moved her out of the daughter's house and into an apartment where she now has no shortage of visitors ... including us. Now she has several daughters, sons and grandchildren visiting her and calls Jennifer her "daughter", and Jennifer has adopted her as "her mom" and, quite naturally, our sons call her "Grandma Jean". All Grandma Jean's friends would have been really happy for her if her own daughter "came down to earth again" and treated her nicely, so it was not an absolutely perfect scenario for all of us involved, but, to be fair, it's so very much nicer than the lonely alternatives! Rather than write too much about this, here is a picture - that's worth a thousand words:

Let this photograph stand as "a lesson in reality" to all those eternally nasty people who think that we have to put up with all their nonsense ... regardless, just because they are genetically related to us! We don't have to, and we will end up "voting with our feet to exit stage left ".

Real mom
As an adult, I never had a real mom,
but in you I found a mom that's real …
for the many things that moms should do,
for all the loving things that moms should feel.

For so long now I’ve not had a mother,
but from you I've had a mother's love.
I've had the kisses and the many hugs -
and a willing ear sent from up above.

Some say I should have gone crazy,
with the things that I've been through,
but I survived that wicked onslaught,
in no small part … because I met you!

(Jennifer Eloff , Mother’s day, 2006)

Jen and our family have had Jean visit with us on every mother's day and every Christmas, for many years. She has been like a mother to Jen, and a mother-in-law to me (I jokingly tell Jean that if only she could be really mean to me, occasionally, it would all seem more authentic to me) and she has been a Grandmother to Dan and Jon. She was cruelly robbed of her children, but God saw fit to introduce Jen and Jean to each other when we first moved to "Chalet Rose", and she and all of us have benefited greatly from the many years we have known each other - a perfect example of God's love in action! So here then, is a photo of Mother's Day 2006 celebrated in "Chalet Rose" with "grandma Jean" and our friends.

For any of you folks who have followed much of our story, and seen how, for 31 years now how Jennifer's mother has tried to do battle with "True Love" ... and repeatedly lost, I have to make this point: Do you see how incredibly happy we all are? And how our family stands united and is so blessed? Well, if ever you are tempted to do battle with "true love" and it's lovers, or you become aware of anyone else who is tempted to do so, just remember this ... It's a grievous wrong, and needless pain and suffering will ensue for all involved. So why not just try and get along?

2004 ...  Jen has written some lovely poems. Here is another. Earlier you got to see what I did for Jennifer to say: "Thank you" to her on our 25th wedding anniversary (These paintings). So how exactly did Jen choose to say "Thank you" and "I love you" to me on our 25th anniversary? Well, Jen wrote and then read me this poem ... and you'll understand when I say that for me it was "choke-up time"!


A 25th Wedding Anniversary Poem for You, My Darling Ian:

I don't think you will
Ever fully understand
How you've touched my life
And helped form who I am today

When you're not here to share my days
My life feels so incomplete
For you are my only love
The "oneness" I had known to seek

How could you ever know
Just how truly special you are
That even in my darkest hours
You are my brightest star

You have made my dreams come true
You have shown me
And opened my heart wide open
To what unconditional love can be

This journey together was started long ago
Before this time and place
The journey of completeness
As two hearts and souls embrace

You've stood beside me through thick and thin
Through all that life has thrown our way
Now I know the special love we share
Will sustain us each and every day

You are an amazing person
Each day is fun to spend with you
Your love for God and family and joy of life
Completes me ... and I love you!

Forever is what I want with you
For the search has long ago ended
Our hearts found each other
As lovers, as soul-mates, as friends!

Poem by Jennifer Eloff (June 2004)
Jen borrowed the 3 verses in black from "Keeper of my Dreams" - a poem by Denise Mangano

Needless to say it was a pretty emotional poem to write and every bit as emotional to receive! It's one thing to give something romantic, loving, something nice, to the ones you love, But it's entirely a different experience to receive the same things gracefully. I'm working on that.

So what did the old queen do to commemorate our 25th anniversary? Having long since had no direct contact with any of us, frustrated that she could no longer inflict her special kind of "pain and suffering" at will, she wrote a letter to ANYONE who knew us in our youth (including  my parents!) saying how her daughter could have done so much better for herself - if only she had listened and married "her choice" ... not me! Then recently on our 33rd anniversary, she managed (at 81) to sink to new lows, signaling, yet again, her evil intent for our lives & happiness.

To illustrate our options, we may as well resort to 2 images ...

Jen's mother's neighborhood across the lake (see actual photo above). The flames raged on for almost 2 months ...
But even when the rains finally came, living near her meant we "felt the heat" (emanating from hell) in our lives.

23 days of driving, 11,000 kms ...after crossing over this Bridge and journeying to our final destination further
on, into South America, we finally breathed a sigh of relief! We felt surrounded (and protected) by God's Love ...
Tranquility, Beauty, Love, Happiness, laughter, Music, Flowers, Color, Pleasant warmth ... Freedom.

SCROLL up and down a few times ... compare our options. What's left to say but:
"Fairy-Tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you're young at heart",
As you can see ... they came true! Clearly there's no going back to Option-1.

And, for those who read about Lizzie and Nicholas' first 2 wishes on page 187 of "Prince Charming" ...

made on Christmas eve 1973, at their "Secret place" deep inside of the Widerness National park in S. Africa (above)

S. America, 35 years later ... Wishes really do come true! 35 years later, 6 of their 7 wishes have come true ... only one still awaits.

South America ... inside the National Park where they all live happily ever after ... Lizzie swimming with her 2 sons.

This story ends, EXACTLY like it began 43 years ago, inside of a National park again, like it started in faraway South Africa,

Exactly like described in the wishes of Vol-3 of Africa's Snow-White, "Prince Charming". Dreams ... they can come true!

READ more at: 

Acknowledgement:  All of these beautiful art works, as well as the cover art for these novels were painted by the world-famous CANADIAN artist, Jonathon Earl Bowser. To see more artworks (depicting well-dressed women in beautiful natural settings) you can browse the website located at:  We discovered him, encouraged him and became his publisher too. 

Here's another little fact: Despite the queen's determined efforts to sabotage every aspect of Jen's life, Jen succeeded & lives happily ever after.
NOTE: Houston's not Jen's hometown. That's a fortunate print error that helped us hide right under the queen's nose, undetected for nearly 7yrs!

Visit Jennifer's WEBSITES:  www.AmongFriends.US BLOG: and www.Low-Carb.US
  and also visit her and her friends on the team's FACEBOOK:
and also the FACEBOOK page for this series of novels at:

As for the background to these novels, what is important to understand, is that though South Africa was independent from the Britain by the 1970's, it clearly was still heavily influenced by the colonial era and many of its structures - but for the Africans of European descent, there really was little realization that they were sipping their sundowners during the sunset of the colonial era. That would later come as a huge shock to most of them, and that shockwave continues to ripple and crest to this day! However, back in 1971 when these books start telling their story, the "last of a handful of surviving African colonies" was still peaceful and did not yet have television, which further ensured its isolation from the outside world. Its many families of European descent enjoyed a lifestyle matched nowhere else on earth, while the more numerous indigenous (black African) peoples were tightly controlled to preserve that lopsided, super-privileged status-quo. This was the system known as "Apartheid", but what many people outside of South Africa do not realize, was that color was not the only divide. For decades, directly as a result of clashing European colonial interests during the 1800's, there was within the ruling peoples a very real cultural (language) divide as well - not too different from that between Quebec and English Canada. But every year, for 3 - 4 weeks, they all enjoyed Christmas (summer) vacation together, at the seaside, many of them in caravan parks. There, often their children met each other and fell in love, forcing these families to confront and come to terms with the issues of this particular cultural divide.

How did South Africa's leaders feel about Television? In the 1960's, Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerd compared TV with atom bombs and poison gas, claiming that: "They are modern things, but that does not mean they are desirable - that government has to watch for any dangers to the people, both spiritual and physical." Dr. Albert Hertzog, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs said that TV would come to South Africa: "Over [his] dead body," denouncing it as "a miniature bioscope [cinema] over which parents would have no control." He also argued that "South Africa would have to import films showing race mixing; and advertising would make [non-white] Africans dissatisfied with their lot." The new medium was, back then, regarded as "The devil’s own box, for disseminating communism and immorality". Well, progress (good or bad) can be delayed but never stopped. On 5 January 1976 television broadcasts started. By the end of 1976 there was an explosion of "Black rage" over many legitimate issues (the Soweto riots were mainly about education) ... but soon it broadened in scope.

Many South African families (of European origins) decided that it was time to leave. They concluded that their once peaceful, prosperous life was doomed forever, and so it was that the many tragedies, of families and sweethearts splitting apart, began. To better comprehend the scale of all of this, in the 1980's a Dutch Reform Dominie (Pastor) asked his large, packed Sunday church audience to put up their hands if they had been impacted personally by their family and loved ones leaving South Africa - almost all of them raised their hands. In time politicians started the move towards a peaceful handover of political power to the African National Congress, but it was anything but peaceful at first - and even more families fled their beloved country. To put this in some perspective, imagine events that would unfold if a third of Americans felt compelled to leave their homes and families to resettle in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, as control of the USA was handed over to Mexico - then one can begin to understand the scale of the transformation in just part of South African society. This started in the mid 70's and continues even now, with millions of innocent lives impacted!

With all of this as backdrop, the author chose to base these novels on the lives of a few representative families. One was an English family living in a very Afrikaans Town, Wellington (hometown of Rev. Andrew Murray) forced to send their daughters to Hugenote Hoërskool, a very Afrikaans school. Another, an Afrikaner family living in a remote corner of the Transkei (Nelson Mandella's birth-place) - forced to send their children far away to a British-style (English) boarding school in Bloemfontein (J.R.R. Tolkien's birthplace). Yet another South African family, of Irish decent, were traders in the Transkei, and sent their 3 vivacious daughters to Aliwal-North's Holy Cross Convent. The other families and characters in these novels are drawn from a broad cross section of the society that existed back then, from every province and every major city, as well as the farms and favorite holiday spots. One of these characters, in particular, bears special mention - an older Xhosa gentleman from the Transkei, a chauffeur of the rich in Cape town, who intervened on the side of true love - a courageous act that turned the tide of the battle for Elizabeth's heart - at the most crucial point in young Snow White's life. Once again, we see how even the seemingly most powerless, often hold the key to the future. Much has changed in society since then, but that was a time when it was impossible (and illegal) to fall in love across color boundaries, impractical (and frequently discouraged) for youngsters from the two major European cultural (language) groups to fall in love - but it happened! Add to all of this the several regional wars that South Africa was part of in the 1970's (a result of the end of the colonial era in southern Africa with communism threatening to spread in that region) and the subsequent conscription of all of its male high-school graduating citizens to fight in those wars (think of Vietnam) as well as the internal push back against "Apartheid" and the mayhem that followed. The stage was set for truly dramatic (and traumatic) human dramas on all sides of the cultural and racial divides!  The author accurately describes how all of these events influenced the lives of those families whose dreams and fears, loves and lives, ambitions and hopes were intimately intertwined, resulting in a real life fairy tale unfolding with all of the expected heartbreak, danger, death, despair and redemption that most such tales encompass and, for some, we even get to see the hard fought for (customary for fairy-tales) "happily ever after" materialize. But amongst all of that, there is humor, love and friendship.

In the new South Africa the danger exists of a huge part of South Africa's history being lost in the shuffle, and these millions of real-life very human stories, will simply disappear. That would represent a huge cultural and historic loss for South Africa, Africa and the World! Perhaps now, after South Africa's very successful hosting of the FIFA Soccer World cup, people's interest will be piqued enough to start exploring a truly unique country, its peoples and its history. We have all heard a great deal of how the colonial and apartheid eras affected Black Africans and nobody can deny their very real trauma! However, millions of European settlers with 100's of years of family history in Africa, paid a very dear price too, and their trauma still continues - unabated! With the shame of the apartheid era now behind South Africa, and forgiveness on both sides of that struggle now well underway, it is finally time for all of South Africa's very human stories to emerge from apartheid's shadows, to take their place on the world stage.