Their love, fiercely resisted since 1971, is still under siege 50 years later! They've Escaped together often, Living, Loving & Married, 3 times, on 3 continents, hiding in forests of N. America and the Jungles of S. America

Based on a Real-life Love Story With photos & artwork

But Just maybe this love Story really had it's roots in 1700's France?
This original, old oil painting belongs to Nicholas, of these novels, kept in the master bedroom, where it's a constant reminder of the tenuous (and also enduring) nature of true-love, which though it is embodied in 2 persons, if unrequited, lives on after they're gone, patiently waiting, trying to find that happy ending that's long been eluding it, but now needing surrogates to do so!

The Legend, France, 1700's. Childhood sweethearts, Genevieve and Charles, are forced apart as their families flee from persecution in France, to safety in England (via Holland for Genevieve) and Southern Africa, for Charles. Just before his family's ship sailed for Africa, on the dock, he gave Genevieve a silver ring, and a letter. As he stood on the deck of the departing sailing ship, Genevieve read his letter. He'd finally declared his love for her, and told her that if somehow she could come and join him in Southern Africa, he'd propose to her and make sure they got married right away! But by now his ship was already far out at sea, so she had no way of reciprocating. Being 15 (almost 16) she dutifully fled France along with her parents, to a new life in England. Once there, her parents (especially her mother) were intent on her staying with them in England, and took all possible measures to keep her there. Thus it was that they were cruelly separated, lost contact, but never, ever forgot each other or their young love! Their love-story remained unrequited for 2 and 1/2 centuries. In England Genevieve married an Englishman and they had several children. Her descendants, as would be expected of all Huguenot families, remained protestants, and the ring passed between generations, its significance ever more shrouded in mystery over time, more so out of necessity than neglect, since at first everyone wanted it (and fought each other for it) until eventually, to keep the peace, the story was downplayed and later, kept secret, known only by the future designated ring-bearer (a granddaughter) and its previous custodian, not even by daughters or others.  As a result, nobody wanted it anymore. It's value was now reduced to just a little bit of silver with a modest, round, lilac colored stone, an Amethyst. Most often it was just worn as jewelry, an heirloom from a granny, but soon it would be used as an engagement ring ... then next as a wedding ring! Around the mid 1800's, a protestant Reverend and his wife (with French protestant roots) left England for a new life in South Africa, by then a thriving British colony. They started out in the tropical port-city of Durban, at the opposite end of the country to where the original French Huguenots settled in the wine-growing region near Cape Town. At last descendents of Genevieve and Charles were together in the same country again! Finally there was a chance for long overdue reunions of their direct descendents ... but who? How? Where? When? After 50y, this all became apparent with the benefit of hindsight  + research (DNA profile ongoing)


 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-1*
Summer Love

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Christmas Romance #1, Christmas (Summer) Holidays, 1971, South Africa. Elizabeth (almost 15) about to enter grade-10, and Nicholas (almost 16) entering grade-11, both have just broken-up with their teen summer romance partners, from this and the previous summers. It's the Summer Solstice, and a most unusual brief "chance meeting" occurs, initiated by her mother, who gets her husband to stop their Mercedes to give a young man walking back from the beach to the large, busy caravan park they're holidaying in, a ride. As he get's into the back seat, he briefly makes eye contact with a petite young girl with long brown hair, still in her powder-blue bikini, returning from the beach, without any words being exchanged, yet both feel a momentary flash of recognition! So, on 21-Dec-1971 Elizabeth briefly met Nicholas, before they once again are parted and disappear from each others view. Maybe it's just a strange coincidence, but an antique silver & amethyst ring Lizzie inherits from her paternal granny, would indicate otherwise!. Unbeknownst to each other, they both spend the next few hours frantically searching for each other in that busy Caravan park, out of necessity using the same paths, both feeling strongly compelled to do so, not knowing exactly why? But they do not find each other, and so they return to their families, having failed. "Mom, I'm bored" says Lizzie "What can I do?" she asks. "Go to the Duka and get yourself a paperback book to read" is the mother's suggestion, and so Lizzie heads off to the Duka. Meanwhile Nicholas sighs as he encounters his mom, who looks at him and says "Cheer up Son! We're out of milk, here's some money. Please go to the Duka and buy us milk". Lizzie gets there first, and is browsing through the books on the shelf. Nicholas is far away in thought, the milk-money in his hand, as he walks into the Duka. He freezes, not believing his eyes! There, in the Duka (Swahili - "little store") in a welcome moment of Serendipity, their lives converge again. She turns around, he's still frozen in place ... then with a beguiling smile beckoning him, she walks out of the Duka. Almost in a trance, he quickly follows her outside, catching up to her, walking with her. As they start talking excitedly, both clearly happy to have met again, they discover each other's names, surnames, hometowns - but both are still intellectually quite unaware of any shared French heritage. Deep-down in their souls they feel an unusual familiarity, a level of comfort commensurate with already having known each other. Walking together, down to the river, chatting away happily, quite unforced, not far from the Duka, he instinctively reaches down for her hand. She does not pull away, instead turning to look at him, with a warm smile, she gives his hand a welcome squeeze. Back then, it felt as if somehow they were just continuing on from where they'd left off in the past, without even knowing much about their shared history ... yet. Three days later, on Christmas-eve, they leave in a boat, called "Jabula" (Zulu for "Happiness") - but this time, together (not saying farewell) off to their first dance. That's the first of many special Christmas-eves they've spent together. Then with the dance-band playing "I can see clearly now" (still their song) over the distant sounds of the tenor Sax ... their first kiss, at Fairy-Knowe, on the banks of the river, in Africa's moonlight, under tall palms. It's difficult to explain the panic they felt at only briefly making eye-contact, then losing sight of each other within minutes, and the strong need they both felt  to find each other again, as well as the instant, comfortable familiarity they felt, from the moment they'd met again. Maybe they're somehow connected by a shared distant past? For some this may sound like fiction or fanciful day-dreaming - but, as you'll read, the unfolding evidence indicates that it may well not be! For them that's the only way they've been able to rationalize what they've instinctively always felt. But be prepared for a long, wild-ride as their young love is found, then lost. That heart-wrenching cycle keeps repeating for the first 7 years, and the first 7 novels, as in real life, all start with love found (or found again) - but sadly all end with "love-lost" - yet again, for different reasons each time, but all traceable back to "the Queen" (her mother) in this real-life fairytale. Despite "the Queen's" repeated attempts to keep Lizzie and Nicholas apart forever, there's some reason to hope that the designated ring-bearer and her soul-mate have a date with destiny that is stronger then "the queen's" malice. As this real-life story unfolds, with so much stacked against their young love, a happy ending seems very unlikely, as time, wars, distance, competing suitors, continents and worse - her mother, all conspire to keep them apart! But even after 7 reunions and 7 subsequent forced separations in 7y, the big question is: "Will their love overcome all malice pitted against them, as well as all those challenges?"

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-2 *
Jealous Winter

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Christmas Romance #2 - It's Summer vacation in South Africa again, and Elizabeth's getting ready for Grade-11, at Huguenot High school, Nicholas Grade 12 at St. Andrews. Exactly one year later, against the odds, they're back together again for a 2nd. Summer Romance, in the same place they met and enjoyed Summer last year. However, her mother, "The queen" of this story (though Lady Macbeth would be a more accurate description) has successfully plotted a coup on her husbands behalf, and now he's the Managing director (President) of the company, which was his best friend's position. Her family now has the best home in Wellington, and her dad's best friend is dead, and it appears that his 2 little girls are destined to be orphans. But all this comes at a price! Just as it did for Lady Macbeth, Constance is now having to deal with her conscience! Meanwhile Elizabeth and Nicholas, teenage sweethearts experiencing young-love, are blissfully unaware how that's setting the stage for a series of very sad farewells  - for the two of them. 

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-3 *
Prince Charming

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Christmas Romance #3 - It's Summer in South Africa, then later Elizabeth's ready for grade-12, Nicholas has just graduated. They enjoy a last summer vacation before he's drafted into the war effort. Meanwhile, Constance has ambitious plans for Elizabeth's future! She's worked stealthily to  introduce Charles, an English school-chum of Prince Andrew, to Elizabeth. She's plotting to edge Nicholas out of Lizzie's life. For now, back on their favorite old wooden bench on the banks of the river, happy teenagers in love, comfortable with each other, neither of them know - yet! 

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-4 *
PS. I Love You ...

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1974, CUBA invades Africa and Nicholas is drafted into the war effort, so he's not going to be seeing Elizabeth for a very long time. Elizabeth is 17, in Grade-12, Nicholas 18, and to try and keep their romance going, he plans a short trip to see her, in her home town of Wellington, Cape. However things just don't go quite as he'd planned and way too soon they say farewell at the train station. Just before his train leaves, taking him to the air force academy, about as far away from Lizzie as one can get in South Africa, she hands him a letter, whilst he holds onto the letter he'd written her the night before. Then as the train starts to move, he opens her letter, and realizes that he really should have given her his letter too! So he holds the letter out of the window, and Lizzie starts to run to grab it, but the train is picking up speed and she's almost at the end of the platform already! As you can surmise from the cover, he drops the letter, she retrieves it, then returns to sit down on a bench and read it. It's everything she always wanted to hear from him! But the problem is, she has no way of  reciprocating, no address or phone number. Nicholas is once again beyond her reach! She realizes that's exactly what happened to young Genevieve, 1749, in France, dockside, with one important difference! Unlike for Charles and Genevieve, Nicholas at least knows her home address! She'll patiently await his letter, giving her his new address. But the queen's determined that no letters of his ever get to Elizabeth ... and they don't! Going back to the 1700's, little is known about attempts by Charles to contact Genevieve, now in England, from S. Africa, but even if there were any, or if Genevieve tried to make inquiries of mutual family friends, somehow, her mother, out of self-interest and supposed concern for her daughter's future, successfully blocked them all. Now history is repeating for Elizabeth who'd once tearfully implored Nicholas to never just simply vanish out of her life.

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-5 *
The Queen's Proposal

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Charles proposes whilst Nicholas is gone at war, with the blessing of "the Queen", her mother, Elizabeth's 19, in her 1st year at UCT (the University of Cape Town), Charles is 20, and Nicholas is now gone and has never been heard from again - at least that's what Lizzie thinks. From these photos, it's clear to see Elizabeth's French Huguenot heritage, but now she's set to marry Charles, a very English man, whilst the descendent of  Genevieve's French Huguenot soul-mate, Nicholas, is stuck far away at war, and all his attempts at contacting Elizabeth are stymied by her mother. But then, let's not forget that Elizabeth is the designated ring-bearer, and there's still a unrequited love-story from the 1700's that needs to end happily ever after. Will Elizabeth's choices further diminish her dwindling French heritage, or will she team up with Nicholas to solidify her French heritage? Now she feels that choice is gone, forever. Nicholas just vanished out of her life, even though she made him promise to never do that to her! Both are unaware of how or why that happened. Both, understandably, feel rejected and very sad.

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-6 *
Oh ... Canada

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Christmas Romance #4 - Summer in South Africa Serendipity Elizabeth's 19, Nicholas 20, Charles 21. The queen's plot to estrange Elizabeth and Nicholas, and get the very English Charles (no relation to Genevieve's sweetheart, Charles du Plessis) to marry her daughter, unravels in a very spectacular manner! After almost 2yrs, during which time all his letters to her were thrown away, and his phone-calls intercepted, Lizzie believed that Nicholas had forgotten about her, never even bothering to write her once, even if just to break up with her. Nicholas believed much the same, thinking Lizzie never responded to any of his letters, because she'd moved on with Charles, as he was told by her mother who'd intercepted his desperate phone call to Lizzie. Now it's  Christmas time, 1975: After almost being resigned to having lost her forever, Nicholas decided to gamble everything on a long-shot, trip to the Wilderness, to meet Lizzie again and get closure. So it was that Lizzie was walking along the beach, and Nicholas, riding in his dad's truck, having been met at the local airport by him, told Dr. Strauss "Dad! Please stop the truck! I need to get out now!" Then he ran up behind Elizabeth - a total unscripted surprise, and from behind, hugged her ... What unfolded next was downright dramatic! For the next 3 years, together in Cape Town, their love flourished and they got engaged. All that time Constance was plotting & scheming. Alas, Nicholas and Lizzie were forced to say goodbye, yet again! On Oct 6th, 1978: Nicholas watched from the outside balcony of Cape Town's International airport, forlorn, as below him, his fiancee, the ring bearer in this story, and the last hope for marrying Genevieve's long lost (finally found?) soul-mate, Elizabeth, is leaving Cape town and him, on flight SA866, a Boeing 747, bound for London. But there's a cruel, unexpected twist! Walking across the tarmac to the 747, she's with someone he suddenly starts to recognize - Charles, her mother's chosen husband for her! The final destination? Canada! It seems that "the queen" had won, and soon an all too familiar sadness and heart-wrenching despair returns to this long-running, hard-fought for, love-story. That's how this 6th novel "Oh ....Canada", ends, though to fully understand you'd need to read the final chapters for context, of what was unfolding, and why. All is not quite as it seems - there's always hope!

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-7 *

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Christmas Romance #7, 1978, Romance #7, Canada. Nicholas travels to Canada on a secret mission - the carefully planned rescue of Elizabeth. They're betrayed by her sister, and so their plan to elope back to Africa is uncovered by her mother. In a pre-emptive strike, they're literally thrown out into the cold, by her parents - taken to downtown Kitchener, Ontario by Lizzie's dad, on direct orders of her very cruel mother, and left there in the cold, to fend for themselves, completely out of their element. And so they celebrate their first ever cold, snowy, Canadian Christmas!  
Knowing no one that could help them survive there, and their finances now dwindling fast, Elizabeth, 21 and Nicholas, 22, long since engaged, are forced to concede defeat. They have to say goodbye to each other, maybe forever. They spend their last day together, at Niagara Falls (actual photo below, Dec '78) which is normally a place for honeymoons, not sad farewells, before Nicholas returns to Africa, alone. So they were "Reunited" - for a very brief moment in time. In this novel we finally understand why these novels are titled "Africa's Snow-White". It's the most difficult novel to relive, for reasons that become obvious as the story unfolds. Lizzie has to face facts now ... it's all up to her now to save their love-story! But her mother, with the slavishly loyal help of her dad and sister, was plotting to ensure that she'd fail!

Imagine after 7y, having finally come so close, separated again. Here's exactly how she felt back then: 

This song (All over the world) by Francois Hardy, a beautiful French singer from our era, who looks similar to what Jennifer looked like in 1978/1979, was a hit single then. Jennifer literally lived it's words:

All over the world
People must meet and part
There's someone like me
Feeling a pain in their heart
Some may meet again
Under that same bright star
If maybe some night
You come back from afar
Who cares if tonight
I don't know where you are
Are you thinking of me now
Missing having me around
If you have forgotten me
My world will come tumbling down
All over the world
Others are sad tonight
There's someone like me
Watching the sun's fading light
All over the sky
There is the same warm glow
Here under that star
, I'm wanting you to know
Wherever you are
, That I still love you so ...
Francois Hardy After this sad chapter in our lives, in 1981 also got married, 2yrs after Jennifer. Though they never got divorced, it was not a happy marriage, which is truly sad, but not uncommon in the music/entertainment industry. This soulful, popular ballad dates back to our youth. Both Jen and I (and so many others) knew it well. Little did we know that we were destined to experience all of the emotions of this song, again and again, for the 7y+7m, starting from Christmas '71 till July '79. It's words haunted us, but also gave us hope! One romantic Christmas-eve, under the stars in the Wilderness national park, we'd found a bright star, made wishes together "on that star" agreeing to always find our bright star if we were apart, wherever we are, then while looking up at it, think loving thoughts of each other, even when she was in Canada  with me in faraway Africa. Fantasy played a pivotal role in keeping love & hope alive.

 *** Africa's Snow-White *****
 * Volume-8 *
The Wedding

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After almost a year at the opposite end of the world from her  choice of a husband, soul-mate, true-love and possibly even pre-destined husband, as a captive of "the Queen", it's time for WEDDING#1 for Elizabeth 22, who secretly plans her escape from captivity in Canada. Lizzie succeeded in her secret bid for freedom, and the Queen's furious! She refuses to assist her in any way, vowing she'll not have a wedding dress, family wedding or her dad and any of her family present, that she's on her own now - "persona non grata". Ultimately Elizabeth is disowned, but she bravely resists all that cruel pressure, and leaves back for Cape Town to marry her soul-mate, so we finally do have logical conclusion to this real-life Fairytale, a wedding, at which her Granny's old heirloom silver & amethyst ring is used as her wedding ring,  7years+7months  later. Just maybe it's 2 1/2 centuries later? Read on. In "The Wedding" that mystery is explored further. As we've done through the years, let your imagination run wild, then let your heart decide if this ending remedies an unrequited 2 1/2 century old love-story originating in France in the 1700's. Several secrets and surprise findings are revealed that tie the loose ends together, plus a sneak-peek of penultimate novel "Redemption" and final novel "Deliverance", also some post-wedding updates - here's one: This (2021) Christmas marks 50y since they first met, and besides their ongoing romance, they're still the very closest, warmest best friends ever, chatting away about anything and everything, spending each and every day together in their cottage in the jungle, next to the river with crystal-clear natural pools and beautiful waterfalls, high up in a mountainous National park in Panama, rather than participating in activities that separate them, such as golf, sports-games, going out with girl-friends, buddies etc. For them it's a happy, comfortable existence, isolated from the world, arguably not everyone's "cup of tea", but finally they're safe, free to just love each other ... and be best friends for life.

By age 13, Jon became fascinated by space-themed computer games. Jonathan didn't just want to play them, he wanted to create them! That soon became his passion, and music was all but forgotten. He threw himself into designing complex Star-Wars type games, and all on his own developed an action game that became very popular with PC gamers. He'd spent years obsessively creating a complex game, all on his own (normally that takes teams of many people) and he never once told us that his forearms and hands were progressively becoming crippled and useless ... until it was too late! He progressively lost the use of both his forearms and hands, from the elbow down. Canadian medical experts couldn't help him. Soon after we decided to leave Canada and head south to warmer, friendlier climes. Africa's Snow-white (Lizzie in the novels) is shown there, sitting between Jon (LHS) - both his hands at that point, useless, and Dan (RHS) our eldest son. What a truly helpless feeling! In that time, we didn't lose faith. We all trusted that somehow (and there were very low days along the way) things would work out and Jon would regain the use of his arms and hands - but honestly, we didn't know how? Without any practical use of his hands, Jon asked me: "Dad, what can I do now?" and I said "Son, remember what Ouma taught us? You can do anything if you simply put your mind to it and believe!" You can use your feet, you can move your head and you can speak!" So using my Computer training, I built a specialized PC to track his head movements with a laser-beam (mouse pointer) + R&L foot switches to press (Mouse buttons) and a microphone-headset to speak into. His computer translated his speech into a word document. Thinking about what story to use for his first novels, Jon asked "Mom, can I write your life-story, since I know part of it already and the rest I can easily interview you and dad about?" Jennifer replied "Yes son, as long as there's redeeming value to telling the story - so even though they're novels, try to weave them around the real-life story". So Jon started writing the novels, painfully slowly! Novel #1, then 2,3,4,5 until 6 were done in the "Africa's Snow-White" series of romance novels ... all without the use of his hands! He will never forget that! Neither will we.

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That's how he became a novelist. There was one word that was frowned upon in our family ... "Can't". My standard reply was: "Wanna bet?" I can thank mom for that (Kathleen Strauss, in these novels). She raised us to believe we can do anything .... if only we kept believing that we can! So we never gave up hope. It took 7yrs for that curse to lift. It turns out that during a crucial growth-spurt, with so much overuse, for so long, plus incorrect muscle-building exercises, his nerves became trapped/squeezed at the elbow (funny-bone) which rendered his forearms and hands, almost useless. After 7yrs, Jon Hopkins medical center operated, and restored the use of his arms and hands. Today Jonathan is famous SciFi author, Jasper Scott (AMAZON). His whole future was changed by that epic, painful 7y long challenge. Now we all look back at those years and see it's what God wanted (also didn't want!) for young Jonathan's life. No gain. That "curse" has been turned around into a wonderful blessing instead!

In the 1800's Genevieve's descendents moved to Africa too
, but not yet to the wine-growing region where French Huguenots who'd fled France, lived. Rather to the sub-tropical city of Durban. Lizzie's grandma, Louise, was born there, the youngest of 4 daughters and 1 brother. Their mother Rose (Rosamund Pike - born French) ensured that all her daughters had French names. Their names, in order of age, were Emmeline, Maude, Rosamund and Louise. Their dad was Reverend John Harvey Gathercole, a Protestant and very British! Later they moved to East London from Durban. Louise married a British man, Walter James Pike from Port Elizabeth (the city's chief civil engineer) and moved there, where ultimately Lizzie's uncle, dad and aunt were born, as well as all 3 grand-daughters, Lizzie being the eldest. Then in 1961, almost 5 years after her birth, Lizzie's family moved to the wine-growing region of South Africa, to Wellington, near Franschhoek (French-corner), Paarl, Stellenbosch and Cape Town where all the original Huguenots had settled. She attended the large, unique, prestigious Huguenot school, for her entire schooling! Quite a coincidence - or was it? A strong bond had developed between Granny Louise and Elizabeth, her first-born grand-daughter. Around 1967 Granny Louise & Grandpa Walter went to visit Lizzie's family, please to see her school and to also see the renowned Huguenot monument nearby, along with Lizzie. She smiled a happy smile as she realized that of all the places to be in the world, her granddaughter, young Elizabeth was now perfectly placed to meet her French Huguenot soul mate! Now the fast-waning French part of her heritage would likely be saved - even strengthened! Lizzie's school was literally teaming with the descendents of the original French Huguenots - much more so than in any other place on earth! In real-life, the Elizabeth of these novels, is Jennifer, which is the English form of Genevieve. Perhaps that's simply another coincidence, or maybe in some mysterious way, this is a happy ending of the
unrequited love-story of Genevieve & Charles?

But a big surprise awaited them! By the 1970's, descendents of French Huguenots had spread all over southern Africa, though most were still present near/in her school and the surrounding wine-lands, where in the 1700's his ancestors started wine farms after arrival from France. Far away in the interior, totally unaware of his French Huguenot  ancestry, Nicholas attended a prestigious, private, Anglican, English boarding school, St. Andrews, in Bloemfontein, birthplace of Tolkien, Lord of the rings author.

At about this time the University of Pretoria was documenting his family tree, as a founding family of the old Boer Republics. What they found complicated matters! After arriving in South Africa from France, Charl du Plessis married a Dutch lady, Maria van Ellewee. They had several children. Charl's daughter, Maria Sophia du Plessis, married Nicholas's forefather in 1773 - from whom all of his family (in Africa) originate. There was a "Charl du Plessis" in Nicholas's family tree from the correct era, from the wine-lands near Elizabeth. Maybe he was "Charles du Plessis" from 1700's France? It stands to reason "Charl" was anglicized to "Charles" by successive generations retelling the story, in England, over 2 1/2 centuries? Since there's no record of a French Huguenot "Charles du Plessis" arriving in South Africa, the logical conclusion is that "Charles" is really "Charl". That would certainly make this story very intriguing! As you've read, on 21-Dec-1971 (Southern Summer Solstice) the stage was set for a long overdue reunion between descendents of childhood sweethearts,
Genevieve and Charles, in 1700's France, so cruelly separated by Cardinal Richelieu's attempts too kill all protestants or drive them out of France.  Is this all just a whimsical flight of fantasy? Perhaps ... but not for those with romantic hearts!

For skeptical people or curious minds, consider the scientific phenomenon of Synchronization:
Two Firefly's in France, in close proximity, will in a short time, synchronize their flashes. Now separate them - one to England, the other to Cape town, and they will flash seemingly randomly - not in sync. Now move both to Fairy-knowe in the Wilderness, under the same palm tree on the banks of the river, and once again they'll flash at exactly the same time! Skeptics will say, yeah, but fireflies have eyes and that's what causes their synchronization. Metronomes are inanimate objects, and simply replacing the two fireflies in this thought experiment with metronomes, results in exactly the same outcome! The once perfectly synchronized metronomes of France, beat out of synch when they're separated to England and Cape Town, but later, when they're placed next to each other on the river-bank at Fairy-knowe, they will quickly return to beating in synch, you know, like "two hearts beating as one". Strange but true! There are many similar examples of this phenomenon in science: At the atomic level (Quantum entanglement) in the solar system, and even in the universe.
When talking about love, romance, relationships or life experiences, people often speak of "unseen mystical connections and phenomenon" such as Serendipity, Soul-mates, Fate, Intuition, Telepathy, Premonitions and etc. Since we're all just complex assemblies of atoms, it's intriguing to realize that these "mystical Connections" exist and thrive in the subatomic world (all of our basic building blocks) thanks to a bizarre counterintuitive phenomenon called quantum entanglement. The basic idea of quantum entanglement is that  2 or more particles can be intimately linked to each other even if separated by billions of light-years in space; and they remain in instant communication, so that any change induced in one will affect the other - instantly! What if a pregnant mother shares some of these entangled atoms with her unborn baby, growing within her - which is highly likely! When that baby is born, grows-up and later moves away from home, do they stay linked in some way? Instinctively most people feel that's true. Here's a real-life example (1 of countless many) that's truly amazing! [Watch this video from 1:54 to 10:50] <== There's no "natural" explanation for what unfolded.

We now know that if we put 2 or more atoms close together and cause them to become entangled, even if they're then separated for millions of years, over time and space - even galaxies away from each other, they'll stay being "soul-mates", instantly communicating with each other! Perhaps it's a group of entangled atoms within us - part of  our DNA, passed on to successive generations via our familial DNA, that perpetuate this "special bond", even over centuries and great distances. That would explain how two lovers instinctively feel that they're soul-mates, as instinct is thought (scientifically) to be perpetuated through inherited DNA. There's countless examples of this phenomenon. The takeaway is: "Don't be such a skeptic - strange things that seem to defy logic, do happen ... dare to dream!" The unusual love of soul-mates involves some form of natural, physical, hormonal, emotional, spiritual, synchronization between two people, but maybe even at an atomic level in our DNA? But if there's no synchronization, people become strangers, moving on to try and find synchronicity with another - their soul-mates. If they succeed, they'll want to be with each other for life, not wanting to be apart, ever again! That's just as true for two 250y old metronomes from Cardinal Richelieu's France (that Huguenots fled from) once upon a time beating in perfect synch, one belonging to Genevieve's family, the other to the family of Charles, separated across continents and finally reunited, in the same place. In a very short time synchronicity "magically" returns, like two hearts beating as one, again, as it does for 2 romantic souls that were once sweethearts in France, then separated across continents, finally reunited, 250y later, in super-romantic Africa, Christmastime, in a national park at the seaside. We call the metronomes "a synchronized pair", the lovers ... "Soul-mates". It seems their romantic destiny's coded in their DNA, passed on to them from their ancestors who'd found themselves in a similar romantically entangled state too... once upon a time.

We're 64 & 65. Over the years, since our mid-teens when we met and fell in love, many of the pieces of the hereditary puzzle that we didn't or couldn't seriously research back then, have surprisingly fallen neatly into place! Some time back we joined a popular Heritage research network, soon discovering Jennifer's family tree does indeed indicate a distinct French heritage on her grandma Louise's side of the family, prior to their lives in England, later South Africa, plus clear non-Catholic, non-Anglican, protestant roots - all strong clues of French Huguenot (The French Protestants) Heritage! My family tree confirms, beyond any doubt, my direct French Huguenot roots. We then ordered DNA test kits to investigate further. A tense wait began to confirm (or not) our presumed joint French Heritage. We've shared our research and DNA results below. Either way we've been part of an intriguing mystery - one that's been very unifying for us to believe over the years. But of course, we we're very curious! At best we'd find circumstantial evidence which supports the possibility that our ancestors were from the same areas in 1700's France, before they fled to England and South Africa. Due to the expansion of the British empire, those in England moved to South Africa, and finally everyone ended up together in one country where, over time, maybe their direct descendants met up again, fell in love again and finally were married? That's sure a lot to hope for - but hope's a good thing!

Heritage DNA tests should  show something like this. Ideally, the world maps of our heritage - the parts of the world that our DNA originates from, will show a clear intersection - France. Clearly it will show a common South African heritage, but since we know that all came later in time and in this story, that's to be expected. What we needed to discover, is what European DNA we have, and share? That came before the South African DNA history, for both of us. Since I now have a very detailed family tree dating back 300 years, I know I have no (zero) British ancestry, just German, French Huguenot, Dutch and Scandinavian. From what I know of Jennifer's family tree, she has a lot of British ancestors, and so far, one tantalizing connection back to France, which may be legend, or it may be reality? We needed her ancestry confirmed, using DNA, since her well documented family tree, starts in Britain, only briefly hinting at a previous French heritage. Much was known about her subsequent British ancestors - little about any possible French ancestors. We were hoping to see an intersection of our DNA - in France, as in this DNA derived  heritage map (above) which is not our DNA, but somebody else's. It's very tempting to leave everything we think we knew swirling around in the realm of the legend - but we can get DNA heritage testing done, so we've done that! Without giving too much away yet (Jennifer won't let me) DNA tests often also confirm (and identify yet more) relatives we'd never known we had! Jennifer's dad was a travelling salesman, spending 1/2 the year away from his, by then, menopausal wife, for almost 30 years, before old age (early 80's) and her, forced him to retire. In that time he'd stay for several weeks at a time, in each of: Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, S. Korea, Philippines, Mexico, China, Japan + many other "exotic" locations. He and fellow salesman pals loved to party (he wasn't allowed to do any of that during his brief visits to wife & home in Kelowna, BC, Canada) and consumed way more alcohol (which clouds judgment and removes caution - or should I say "precaution") than was sensible, partying with his naughty salesman pals and others. We live in Panama, so we know all too well that women in Central and South America are very beautiful (they win most of the world's beauty pageants, looking like they've fallen out of the pages of Playboy) and all of them want European (white) babies! It's like winning the jackpot in all these countries, even if the biological dad doesn't stick around, as none do in these parts anyway. Often he's not even aware he's fathered a child, but almost always the woman told him she would not get pregnant, so not to worry, meanwhile she's selected him to be the father of her child. Put another way, it's way cheaper/easier than working through fertility clinic, which can cost $10,000 and there's another plus - she gets to meet and select the sperm-donor, the father of her child! I'm not sure when (if ever) it would be appropriate to disclose any such "DNA findings"? Jennifer's dad passed away July 18th 2020. His wife and Jen's sister decided they'd hide that fact from her, out of spite. That was really nasty of the mom and sister, done purposely to hurt her - one last time. Jen and her dad got along well and on his trips he'd "secretly" visit with her and our family, until he was found out and his wife prohibited him from visiting or contacting Jen ever again. But so much of significance transpired or came to light when he was able to still visit and speak with his daughter that the mother and sister do not know about! Jen and her dad are part of a whole new family that his wife is not part of. That should intrigue you - and them! So should we still hide his surprising legacy from them? A cousin found out 9m later, giving Jen the sad news that he'd died. But Jennifer has long-since been much more meaningfully related to her dad, than he was to his wife or to Jen's sister! What exactly was said and done on that last visit they've ever had together, is not fully known to either of them, or it's significance understood. But Jen and her dad fully appreciate all that transpired during that last visit! I'm still debating with Jen what to disclose, when, or what good (if any) such revelations would achieve? Maybe I'm being way too cautious by not disclosing the unexpected, unusual "inheritance" that stemmed from his last (surprise) visit to his daughter, a visit that suddenly found Jen, him and us all part of another family, but nothing's obvious about when (or under what circumstances) is a good time to disclose all that was learned, done and said that day, or for that matter, to whom ... at least, not yet. I think sometime it should be revealed!

All of that said, sometimes our grandparent's stories (legends) are just fairy-tales. When asked "Grandpa, how did you meet Granny?" by our youngest grand-daughter (age 5), I tell her the story of how her Grandma was a mermaid, and I met her sitting on a rock at the edge of the sea, and I instantly fell in love with her, as Mermaids do that kind of thing to humans! The she says "Grandpa, I don't believe you! Where's granny's mermaid tail?" So I tell her how granny's mother (whom I appropriately call the "Sea-Witch") was opposed to our love, wanting to keep her mermaid daughter with her forever - but she swam away to meet with me instead/ Later, after we first kissed, she became fully human, losing her tail, getting shapely ballerina legs instead. So she could never return to the sea. That made the "Sea-Witch"  angry - determined to kill me! So we ran away together, many times, to escape her wrath, our latest escape being to Panama, where she was born. Then she looks at me skeptically, wanting to say "I don't think so, Grandpa!" So now I double-down, showing her this "photo" (painting done from period photos of Jen on the Wilderness beach, at 15) of her beautiful, much younger grandma sitting on the rocks, where we met by the seaside - with a tail, and she's fascinated! Then she asks "And Grandpa, why's your hair white?" I then put on my most serious face as in hushed tones, full of danger, I reply "The Sea-witch cursed me!" Immediately her eyes and mouth open wide in horror, as she hurriedly asks "What about the hair growing out of your ears and nose?" Then I confirm her worst fears, replying "The Sea-Witch!"  She gasps and protectively puts her hands over her mouth and nose, and still with eyes wide, she exclaims "Oh Grandpa, I want to keep my long blonde hair, and I don't want hair growing out of my nose and ears! I'll never go near to the Sea-Witch!" That also tips me off that's it's time again for using my little trimmer. Of course there are strong overtones of truth to my allegorical tale - since if you replace the mythical beings with humans in my little Fairy-tale, it all actually happened, as you've gleaned from the synopsis of the novels above. I just tell her our story in a way that all young children understand ... as a Fairytale. Then she starts to doubt, so I show her this ==> Short Video of her Grandma (the mermaid) animated from the painting (above) and it's so real, amazingly real, actually, but of course, an animation of a painting has no sound! In this particular case that's not a problem, since in the fairy-tale of the "Little Mermaid" which she knows well, Ursula, the sea witch, lets Ariel exchange her voice for legs, after which she can only use her eyes and smile to win her true love. Giving up her voice not only means she can no longer sing, but more importantly, that she can no longer speak! She must get the Prince to kiss her within three days of them meeting or Ariel will turn back into a mermaid and become the sea witch's lifetime slave. Then I quickly point to the painting (cover of the 1st novel) showing us kissing, and say "But as you can see, just with her beautiful eyes and smile, granny got me to kiss her before the 3 days passed, and so she got her voice back and she got to keep her legs and stay human. The sea-witch was very angry about that!" Over time she's becoming skeptical of the "sea-witch" being real. Recently I drove by a big mansion at the seaside where we all often go and have beach fun with our family, with a name plate on the wall announcing that it's the "Sea-Witch's" mansion (I'm rather puzzled as to the origins of that sign!) One day soon, I'll drive by there with Granny and her, and point it out, with a lot of drama added (for special effect) in hushed tones, hinting at the immense danger we're in for being so close to the "Sea-Witch" - pointing to my hair and hers. No doubt she'll tell me "Grandpa! Drive away fast! Then our family legend of "Granny the Mermaid", will stay real for her, at least for a few years more. By contrast, Granny's love-story, that unfolded (summarized above) over the last 50y, is real, and we've found tantalizing clues tying us both to the Huguenots of 1700's France. We've updated this story (below) with the results of our research, which we had hoped would shows our shared French heritage. We knew that if our research uncovered a shared French past, about 250 years ago, we'd definitely celebrate! If not, we'd be a little sad, sigh and say "Oh well, it was an intriguing possibility!" But reasonably speaking, at least some - but likely many love-stories from that era, cruelly ended as closely connected, terrified families fled religious persecution in France, must have experienced eventual reunifications (known or unknown) when descendents of all those exiled families came into contact with each other again, as many did in South Africa and elsewhere. So why not ours? We've always felt we're each other's soul-mates. That's not never will! It explains our compelling need to search for each other, each time we were separated, to be together again - often against all the odds. The fascinating thing, however, is that Jennifer's family presented as "British only", and I only found out much later about her French heritage. For that matter, whilst our family knew we had a lot of French in us, I had no idea of the original "French Connection's" significance, only about my 2 grandmothers being French. It was like both of us were on "auto-pilot", actively being guided by unseen, loving, determined forces. Honestly, we knew we'd felt, instinctively, that we were soul-mates, but we had no idea of anything deeper than that. Only as time went by did we begin to look a little deeper for the reasons that we'd met, fallen in love and ended up marrying, despite all the opposition to our young love (which still persists to this day - albeit in the ice-cold heart of a 90y old matriarch) and circumstances that often felt way beyond our control. We just never gave up.

Most Fairy-tales end with a wedding and "They lived happily ever after, in a land far, far away!" That's true of this story too. Some people ask "OK, but what happened after the wedding?" Well, "Happily ever after" as of 2021, is 42y married (and counting) 50y since Christmas 1971 when we first met and fell in love (or maybe met again?) "Far, far away" is Panama, not Africa or Canada. But how did all this happen? An excerpt from "Deliverance" is included at the end of "The Wedding", plus Images, photos & videos. Here's our 23d Great-Trek, by road; 11,000km, July 2006.

After retiring at 43 in Canada (Okanagan valley) at 50 we all escaped to Panama

L-R: Daughter of friends, Mom (Elizabeth) & Dad (both 60+) Sons, their wives, all in Panama, where we've found many replacements for the "Secret place" in the Wilderness, from our youth. Now Elizabeth has an eldest Panamanian grand-daughter! One day "the Ring" will be hers, and help her find true-love.

Cape Town 1979: The wedding of Elizabeth & Nicholas (Jennifer & Ian in real-life)

1979: Rosebank Methodist church, Elizabeth  is married using her granny's ring! But that's not all there is to this part of the story. I was so elated that Lizzie had run away from Canada and "The Queen" holding her captive there, back to me in Cape Town, that I hurriedly arranged for the wedding, not even thinking that we needed another ring - I mean, she already had an engagement ring and we could always get a wedding ring later? The Reverend didn't even think to check that I'd got a ring, so when we ran up to the altar (we were a bit late) hand in hand, and he started proceedings, at the appropriate time, he asked for the ring. In a panic, I replied "But I didn't think we needed a ring?" and he, rather exasperated, relied "Oh yes, In this ceremony you most definitely do!" Lizzie turned to look at me, and realizing I was panicking, she smiled calmly, removed her Granny's ring from her right hand, handing it to the Reverend, asking "Can we use this old family heirloom of mine, as my wedding ring?" to which the flustered Reverend quickly replied (very relieved) "Yes, I don't see why not. It looks like it has lots of history attached to it too. Maybe it's the perfect ring with which to get married here today!" Then he smiled at us (to calm us down) before proceeding. When he handed the ring back to me and we'd got to the "With this ring I thee wed" part, it seemed appropriate for me to say "With this ring, your granny's ring, I thee wed". We all seemed quite relieved - happy with that long-overdue outcome!   

2003: Same place, Lizzie & sons, her solemn childhood wish (prayer) came true! 

Let's take another look at that wedding photo - this time with 250yrs of history added:

France, 1700's: Genevieve & Charles (Charl) Cape Town, June 1979: Jennifer & Ian

UPDATE: Here's the heritage overlap/link we've been looking for! Ian's heritage, well documented back to the early 1700's, is entirely European, with Zero United Kingdom DNA to be found in his family tree. His heritage is German, French & Dutch from his dad + Scandinavian, Dutch & French from his mom. All were Huguenots/Protestants!

Jennifer's heritage is mostly English & Scottish PLUS a good French representation! Her ancestors were Protestants which likely means they were also French Huguenots!

When we overlay Jennifer's heritage over the top of Ian's heritage here's what we get

The likelihood of a Shared French-Huguenot Past, for Jennifer & Ian, is very high!

How often have you heard people say "I wish I had a Fairy-tale life!" Maybe you've even said that? I personally don't know of Fairy-tales without dastardly evil villains victimizing innocent people, so there's that to look forward to. It turns out "evil drives the story", as without evil, typically there's not much of a story left to tell. That's so true of real-life too - just watch the news, it's fixated on evil and mankind's desperate struggle against evil. Generally, whilst couples and people in fairy-tales face tough times (foisted on them by the evil villain) they do overcome many challenges together, so in the end all ends happily and successfully for them. That's the "Happily ever after" part we all prefer and like to dream about. What is also just as true, is that the evil, which seems so powerful for most of the story, get's defeated! Good triumphs over evil, love over hate, truth over deception. While reading the summary of these novels (above) you may be tempted to wonder what it would be like to have a fairy-tale life and love-story? At some point in the synopsis (above) it should become clear that what you're really wishing for, is just the tip of the ice-berg (the visible, enviable 20% part above water) But what you don't see (and wouldn't want) is the connected 80% of that ice-berg, hidden, under water! Down there, out of view in the cold, murky depths, is where most of the Fairy-tale's action happens. When you tell your story, don't just mention the good parts. Both the good and the bad got us to where we ended up. It's always a case of "No pain, no gain!" You get to have all of the ice-berg, or none! So do be careful what you wish for, as fairy-tales are not simple, gentle little stories! They're 80% danger, sadness, despair and challenges - maybe only 20% easy, fun and rewarding! So let's look at some of that dramatic 80% now.

But with icebergs you see just the small part above the water. Most of the iceberg is obscured from view, under water, and it's very dangerous in those cold, murky depths! Here's a peek under-water. Elizabeth in the novels (Jennifer in real-life) was an almost perfect daughter ... an over-achiever in almost all things, still is! She never drank in high-school, or smoked, or did drugs, came top of her class consistently, a ballet star, wasn't promiscuous, well mannered, gentle and kind. She was extremely loyal, quite dependent on her mother, and kept that way - until she met me. The mother disliked me (I was not her chosen husband for Jennifer) especially since they were planning to leave South Africa for Canada, and Jennifer and I were at university together and soon engaged. Naturally she feared that she'd lose her daughter, despite my reassurances to the contrary. She wanted to control the outcome immediately, and get a guaranteed outcome, so I was disposable. That set in motion a range of very cruel over-reactions, by her, designed to punish her daughter for choosing to love me, getting engaged to me and for choosing to stay with me in Cape Town whilst I finished my Computer degree there. Her goal was to keep upping the pressure on Jennifer by ignoring all her letters and any attempts to still be part of "the family" (shunning her) till she cracked, mistakenly blamed me for all of her pain, then left me to return back to mother in faraway Canada, without me, back to her old family. Only then would she ease up on the pressure. That's a diabolical strategy (and very effective, since Jennifer chose to stay with me in Cape Town) and it may even have worked - except that I understood what she was up to, and so one day I told Jennifer, struggling through depression "Your mother's cruelty has forced me to capitulate, for your own survival, which is more important than my own happiness!" As the old saying goes "If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, then they were yours to begin with." I'll not mislead you, that was one of the toughest things I've ever done in my entire life! So it was that I put Jen on a plane, back to her mother in Canada. I thought that would go smoothly - but I had no idea just how dramatic the day of her departure would be! Friday 6th of October 1978, will be one I'll never, ever forget as without our knowledge, Charles (the mother's chosen one for Jen) appeared seemingly out of nowhere, to accompany Jennifer out of Africa, and away from me, even managing to arrange to sit next to Jen on that 747. That made for a very stressful time, which would have been exponentially worse, if God had not intervened with a small miracle, that defeated Jennifer's mother's plots & schemes to get her way - designed to end Jennifer's attachment to Africa and me, forever.  So it was that Jennifer arrived in Canada alone. Jen naturally missed me, and looked at her mother, daily, saying: "You're the reason I'm not in Cape Town with my beloved. I'm not a child anymore, I'm 22! How dare you try to ruin my life and control whom I love and where I live! You're selfish and cruel and would never have allowed your parents to do this to you!" The mother just doubled-down and upped her control and cruelty, trying desperately to still blame me for any of Jennifer's unhappiness - but I was gone. In every letter I wrote Jennifer, in Canada, I was honest with my feelings, telling her how very much I loved her, and how much I missed not having her with me, and how if we ever got back together again, I'd insist we get married as soon as possible! All of those emotions were genuine, heart-felt. Jennifer felt the same in distant Canada. Finally it was all quite clear to her (as it always was to me) that the real reason for Jennifer's unhappiness, was not me (as her mother would have her believe) but the cruelty of her mother. So it was that we became mortal enemies, and though I made several well-intentioned attempts to change that through the years, she refused to even try to get along, rather choosing to keep using her once successful strategy - to reject Jennifer (her near-perfect daughter) until she'd finally crack under the strain and got rid of me to appease her mother, in the vain hope that since it had once worked so well, it would again. Sadly she managed to enlist the support of some unwitting extended family members, who simply didn't ask the right questions or worse yet, didn't care, such as: "Since you only had 2 children, both girls, why didn't you give either of them weddings?" All the extended family were rather confused and hurt! "Why did you so aggressively cover up the protracted childhood illness of your youngest daughter, and insist we all do so too?" or "Why did you stop your husband and his family from celebrating grandpa's final birthday, when you could so easily have stayed one day more, and joined the rest of us doing so, instead of going to a nearby caravan park for a holiday?" Plus a whole lot more! Ironically, the mother's side of the extended family (Likely since they knew her better) only had to listen to any one of the recordings (examples below) I'd made of Jennifer and her sister speaking about these kinds of things, to throw their support behind us. Sadly Jennifer's dad's sister and family, even knowing that his wife was "a real piece of work" after hearing all the recordings, took the mother's side (we suspect to appease her) but in so doing, re-victimized Jennifer and our family - often feeding back sensitive private information, about our family, to her! Knowing that, I used them to send false information to Jennifer's mother to help us escape. Then I ended those duplicitous family-ties, as even though they all readily presented as "Christians", I told Jennifer "I'm sorry Jen, but with one exception - you're cousin's husband, I find no courage or integrity among them, just self-interest. They always seem to curry favor with your parents at our expense. As such, they pose a distinct danger to us, going forward!" I'd done a lot of research into the mother's past, to find clues to her very strange behaviors, to find weaknesses, to fight back. Soon I found much more than I'd bargained for and my dislike of her became disgust! As the years went by, her behavior became ever more cruel and dictatorial. There was literally a trail of dead bodies behind her - even a grandson, Jennifer's sister's first child. But there was so much more I'd discovered! When it became apparent I'd uncovered her deepest, darkest secrets, Plan-A was to have me killed (no, I'm not kidding!) but we were forewarned by Jen's dad and we escaped, first to live near the Niagara falls, on the other-side of Canada, then we returned to live across lake Okanagan, from her, right under her nose - the last place she thought to look for us. "Closer to danger, further from harm" When, after 7y, we realized that our cover was blown by Jen's aunt, whom she mistakenly had trusted with all of our sensitive plans and other information, including the fact that we were living right under her mother's nose, we purposely told the aunt we were leaving Canada in September of 2006, for good - while actually planning to leave months earlier, knowing that she'd betray Jennifer's trust and dutifully tell her mother. Then we sold everything and left Canada by road, for Panama, arriving 23d later, after an arduous, dangerous 11,000km journey that's definitely a one-way-trip! We later heard from our old neighbors that just before when we'd told the aunt we'd be leaving (September) out of the blue, Jennifer's family arrived at our old home, perplexed and quite angry to find we'd escaped. We've lived safely out of her reach, in the jungles of Panama, since 2006. Plan-B was to isolate us from any/all family who we could subsequently reveal truths to, by implying that Jennifer was "mentally unwell", therefore they must not believe any of her possible revelations. Considering Jennifer had been a model daughter, that was a terrible thing to do to her. It was a diabolical, pre-emptive plan, designed to demoralize Jennifer and also to keep her isolated, shunned, sent to Coventry - kept there! Of course that allegation wasn't true, but by the time we figured it out, the damage was done, and reversing that carefully placed "poison pill" would be painful. For years, Jennifer & I lived with that status-quo, just happy to at least have escaped and to finally be living free of her unrelenting weirdness and cruelty. So it was that even when we journeyed back to Cape Town, we didn't make the effort to re-connect with family (like we'd once tried) as it just seemed like such a arduous process to even contemplate. It seemed that the mother had succeeded in her determination to isolate Jennifer and render her witness irrelevant and unbelievable. Meanwhile I'd made secret recordings of phone conversations between Jenifer and her sister (living with mother - supposedly fully loyal to her) in which the mother's cruelty was revealed by? None other than her sister, and all of it was shocking! Armed with those, I selectively sent recordings to just some relatives who'd bought into the mother's lies. They were shocked to the core!  Ironically it was her birth-mother's side of the family that accepted Jen back, first. A large part of her dad's family (in Canada) callously glossed over these startling revelations, in their selfish efforts to curry favor with Jen's dad and mother, at Jennifer's expense. That didn't work out well, as Jennifer's mother harbored a deep distrust of them, for decades! Either way, the tables are now turned and it's the mother who's now isolated. Jennifer is inclined to just forget about her, to let God be her judge and punish her accordingly, and do nothing more. But I'm not in full agreement! I hate it when "evil" thinks it's succeeded and sometimes there's a final straw ... here it is: Jen was close to her dad, who since his mission to warn us of his wife's evil Plan-A, was forbidden to ever visit with us again. 24 years later, he died, on July 18h of 2020. Jen's sister was commanded not to let Jen know, there was purposely no obituary or burial. It's as if he just disappeared, forgotten, as if he'd never lived. 7 months later, a relative found out and told Jen that her dad had died, and when. As I watched my lovely wife having to deal with the grief and the hurt, realizing that extra efforts were made to hurt her, yet again, I decided it was time to start to make all of this public! Evil flourishes in the dark - it's time to shine a bright light of truth on it, to expose it in all it's ugliness! Now that her Dad's gone (RIP) and Jen's sister is terminally ill, given just months to live, soon the mother will end up alone, having long-since chased Jennifer and our family away. One would think out of a sense of survival she'd at least try to mend relations with Jennifer, but she's more aggressive than ever - at 90! Her tactic was (still is) to break Jennifer's spirit, have her give up on an independent life, and return to mother, broken, on her terms. She has no friends, all neighbors dislike her, grandchildren were chased away or killed - Jennifer's sister was forced, despite her desperate, anguished pleas to be allowed to keep her son (Click link to Listen) to abort her first son, or lose her parents, no other option! She ultimately chose her mother, which predictably ruined her life. She regrets it to this day! That taped conversation is tremendously sad, but there's worse. Later she had another son, but this time followed our advice, telling mother only after it was too late to be forced to abort him, (Listen here) she then plotted and schemed to lose her custody of that son, to get her to return to live with her in Kelowna, alone, broken. Listening to Jen's sister relive what it was like being (Listen here) put into an orphanage, by her mother, as a young child, not even 10, to bully her into being totally compliant to mother's iron-fisted rule, one realizes that being disowned and rejected, as Jen was, is actually a huge blessing! It's time she pays for a life-time of callously inflicting misery and pain on others. These revelations (really just the less insidious ones - the tip of the ice-berg) came as a huge surprise to some relatives, probably because abusers are very good at covering-up and most people want to believe they're nice, normal people. They're not! As a result their victims suffer even more abuse - both from their abusers plus from anyone else they convince to unwittingly support them. Both sisters (and their dad) agree that she's never said "Sorry" to anyone, ever, because she honestly believes she's done nothing wrong, so nothing to say sorry about; also that she's never cried for anyone's pain or suffering, except for her own, but she's often relished the misfortunes, pain - even the deaths of others, showing no empathy, merely saying "Serves them right for criticizing me!" Jen's sister succinctly replied, when she'd asked her "But Why?" (2nd Recording, above) "Because she's cold... Cold... Cold!" Well, she hasn't changed! She's as cruel now as ever before - fearful that her carefully crafted, life-long illusion of "a perfect life" (she firmly believes she's led a perfect life despite mountains of evidence to the contrary) may soon be shattered. These recorded phone calls are damning evidence, yet they're not her deepest, darkest secret, which Jen's aunt in Cape Town (RIP June 2021) unwittingly alerted us to, as newlyweds. The threat of that revelation terrifies the mother. We've agreed to share part of our story for several reasons: (1) Jennifer's/Elizabeth's mother was determined to control her daughter's life or failing that, to destroy it. God (King) Jesus (Prince) me (her Knight) and all who cared about Jen, helped and cheered as she broke free of tyranny, succeeding wonderfully, despite all that evil pitted against her! (2) We want people to know that if 2 people really are determined to love each other, then despite any/all of the obstacles, as long as they never give up on each other, their love for each other will triumph! Love's more powerful than evil! (3) Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer & faith! We did not reach "50 years and still in love" on our own! (4) To be alive is to have problems & challenges! I asked my dad (Dr Strauss in the novels then well into his 80's) "Dad, when does life's stresses end?" His answer stuck with me: "When you're dead son, when you're dead!" (5) Many people face problems far worse than anything we've had to deal with! Please remember "This too shall pass. Tough times don't last! Determined, faithful people, depending on God's mercy and provision... do last!" (6) Sometimes people (even family) are jealous of your looks, talents, youth, success; then try their best to put you down to make themselves feel better. Break away from that! If you Google "Jennifer Eloff" you'll find a lot of success! If you Google her birth-mother... Zero! Jen's had the world's #1 Facebook pages for Low-Carb/Banting/Keto for 7y straight and counting. She's written 21 cookbooks, 5 Best-sellers! (7) Jennifer depends on Heaven's help + protection! She's humble, grateful, thanking God daily for loving and protecting her, for adopting her into His family when her birth-mother cruelly rejected her, and for being the best "Daddy" (ABBA Father) she could ever wish for! PSALM 27:10 "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in" Now that's the best "happily ever-after" ... that's the most valuable of all the possible happy endings, ever!

Back in the late 1970's, in Cape Town, people would stop and wave at Elizabeth, saying "Hi Kate!" You have to be older to have watched "Rich man, Poor man" to remember how, in the south of France, in an epic love-story, Tom & Kate got married, and how, sadly, that love-story took a sudden, unexpected, deadly turn, as their honeymoon started. It had exactly the unhappy ending Constance ("the queen", Lizzie's mother) day-dreamed about, over her afternoon cup of tea, in faraway Canada, whilst Elizabeth & Nicholas were on their honeymoon in South Africa. She'd recently seen "Rich man, poor man" and knew everyone thought of Elizabeth, as Kate's doppelganger. She relished "poor man" Tom's death, on his honeymoon, fantasizing about a similar fate for Nicholas. Thanks to Lizzie's dad getting her to promise not to return to Siesta after their wedding, that saddest of endings, common in South Africa then, much more so now, didn't happen for them on their honeymoon!

With the help of Elvis, here's the 3 min "Cole's notes" video version (Circa 2015)

[Click this photo/link to see what did they leave behind in Canada]
As you can see, we left Canada for the tropics, white beaches instead of snow


Awaiting Elizabeth's {Jennifer's} go-ahead to release:

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Click on either Novel (or this link) to Download a Revealing PDF Excerpt!

Constance spent much of her life trying to devalue Elizabeth's life, love and accomplishments, putting her down, attempting to regain control over her. She was jealous of Lizzie, that much was plain to see! The most generous thing that can be said about her life, is that she excelled at evil plots & schemes, but at little else! She's earned her title as "the queen", Snow-White's mother, the villain in this real-life story. But the King (God the Father), the Prince (Jesus, our Savior) me (her knight/champion) and others (friends, fans, supporters - even some of her relatives, though sadly, not all) were equally determined to help Elizabeth break free of that oppressive tyranny, encouraging her to summon-up all the strength deep inside her - to fight back, to never give up! So it was that she kept believing, worked hard at her dreams  and succeed beyond even her own wildest expectations! She even found the time to homeschool her sons, who have both excelled in academics and in life. Here's just one example of what God has done with Jennifer's life, a sweet, humble young girl from Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa: World's #1 Low-Carb/Keto/Banting Facebook pages for 7yrs straight, and counting! Here's statistics for her main Facebook page (1.1 Million likes) which crossed 1 Million Likes right on Valentine's day 2021 - a loving gift from the Lord! It makes up 1/3rd of the team's totals. Here's the top 5 countries that adopted Jen, becoming her champion. All are important countries from Jen's life story!
United States (USA)
South Africa
United Kingdom

Here's a list of the top 45 cities (of her fans) in the world. Cape Town, her old home, is #3 in the list Pretoria is #21, major Australian cities are all there - but the USA is by far her #1 Champion! And Texas stands out in the crowd, being by far her most ardent champions world-wide, with 9 of 45 in the list of Jen's world's Top cities - that's almost 1/4 of them, from one state - Texas! To be fair, many more cities, love and support Jen, and she loves them too! There's still a lot of nice people in this world - despite what the "bad news", here, there and everywhere would have us all believe. It's been a wild ride and it's drawing to a close. Jen turns 65 in 2022. This photo's for Texans, of the adopted Low-Carb cowgirl off to enjoy "the Greatest outdoor show on earth", the Calgary Stampede, Alberta, Canada.


Houston, TX
San Antonio, TX
Cape Town, S Africa
New York, NY
Fort Worth, TX
Phoenix, AZ
Chicago, IL
Oklahoma City, OK
Jacksonville, FL
Louisville, KY
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Dallas, TX
Austin, TX
Melbourne, VIC, Aus
Indianapolis, IN
Sydney, NSW, Aus
Atlanta, GA
Philadelphia, PA
Tucson, AZ
Pretoria, South Africa
Corpus Christi, TX
Wichita, KS
San Diego, CA
Nashville, TN
Tulsa, OK
Charlotte, NC
Lubbock, TX
Mobile, AL
Brisbane, QLD, Aus
Perth, WA, Australia
Colorado Springs, CO
Omaha, NE
Amarillo, TX
Orlando, FL
Baton Rouge, LA
Albuquerque, NM
Tampa, FL
Knoxville, TN
Lafayette, LA
Memphis, TN
Columbus, OH
El Paso, TX
Raleigh, NC
Mesa, AZ

Visit with Jennifer and her team at =>

Whenever Constance worked to undermine her daughter's plans, to make her fail with her "Red Kryptonite apples", to more easily control her life, I'd put this photo on her desk looking at Jennifer working on her PC. Granny's "Green Kryptonite" worked!