Wednesday, June 10, 2009

St. Kitts and St. Martin

I never heard of St. Kitts, previously called St. Christopher, before this past January. The island is located in the Eastern Caribbean. The ocean is warm, offering exciting wave action on the Atlantic side and calm gently lapping waters on the Caribbean side.

At the center of St. Kitts stands the spectacular, cloud-fringed peak of Mount Liamuiga, covered by dense tropical cloud forest filled with elusive green vervet monkeys and brilliant tropical flowers. We saw a lot of monkeys but I couldn't catch any on my camera.

The mountain range rises to a high of 3,792 feet. The foothills, particularly to the north, form a gently rolling landscape of sugar-cane plantations and grassland, while uncultivated lowland slopes are covered with thick tropical woodland and exotic fruits such as papaya, mangoes, avocados, bananas and breadfruit.

Here is the Fort of Bristol Hill.

The beauty of the islands of St. Kitts masks a turbulent history. These islands were originally settled by the Carib Indians. The Caribs were a war like set of Indians, who were mostly cannibals. It is from them that the Caribbean gets its name. The islands were discovered by the Europeans in 1493 on Christopher Columbus' second voyage.

Colonization began on St. Kitts in 1623, with the arrival of Sir Thomas Warner, his family, and fourteen others at what is now Sandy Point and their settlement at Old Road Bay. The English were joined in 1625 by French settlers led by Pierre Belain d'Esnambue, who had sought refuge on the island after a losing fight with a Spanish galleon. The two groups wiped out the Carib Indians in a massacre at Bloody Point in 1626, weathered a Spanish attack in 1629, and then turned their attentions to colonizing the islands around them.

France captured the island again in 1706 and lost it once again after that. But the French returned to lay siege to the British fort on Brimstone Hill in 1782. The British eventually fell after a heroic defense.

St. Kitts was returned permanently to the British in 1783 after the Treaty of Versailles.

St. Kitts, like only few other island in the Caribbean, is a lush tropical paradise. The atmosphere here is characterized by an intoxicating blend of sunlight, sea air and fantastically abundant vegetation.

St. Martin ( French side) or St. Maarten (Dutch side) is a lovely island with gorgeous beaches.

Saint Martin is also a vibrant blend of Caribbean paradise and French sophistication. The first time we visited it with two other couples, we rented a taxi and asked the driver to take us to a "nice" beach. Guess what???
He took us to a nudist beach as we discovered after he left. We spent two hours stuck there with no transportation, the only people "overdressed" with a bathing suit. But we never laughed so much. Hmm...

Here are some pictures of St. Martin taken this past January.
The weather is tropical, with the always present trade winds keeping the temperature pleasant all year around.

The shopping is fantastic in St. Martin, with more bargain than in other islands.
The winners of my second contest are:
Eva Silkka and Jane Cheung.
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already.

Here is a list of my prizes, mostly books or exotic magnets to post on your fridge.
Paranormal Romance: Lady of Light And Shadow by NY Bestselling author C.L. Wilson
The Scorpion & the Seducer by Bonnie Vanak, specialist of Egyptian historical/ paranormal
Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank, The Nightwalkers series.
The Magic Knot by American Contest/RT winner Helen Scott/Taylor, my wonderful critique partner.
Historical Romance:Tempted Tigress by Jade Lee, USA Today Bestselling author
A Little Bit Wicked by NY Bestselling author Victoria Alexander

A thriller: The Death Dealer by the incomparable Heather Graham from my local chapter FRW.
HQ Supperromance A Not So Perfect Past by Golden Heart winner Beth Andrews

Several medical romances by Margaret McDonagh, Carol Martinelli, Melanie Milburne, Lilian Darcy , Olivia Gates,...

Copies of my own romantic suspense ebooks: To Love A Hero and French Peril.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.Meet the spirited heroines and the alpha heroes who share irresistible chemistry.


Patricia Barraclough said...

Love the pictures. Sound like great places to go. I'll have to add St. Kitts and St. Martin to my list of places to go. Can't wait to get out there and start.

Jane said...

Great pics. I guess I would have to make sure to visit the French and Dutch sides.

Thank you for the prize. I would like Heather Graham's "The Death Dealer."

Mona Risk said...

Patricia you will enjoy St. Kitts'relaxing beaches and St. Martin's fun atmosphere.

Jane, The Death Dealer is yours. Please email me your address. Congratulations. Keep coming, there are many more prizes.

Mona Risk said...

I just received an email from the Wild rose Press announcing that BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is available for pre-ordering now and will be at on July 3 in addition to being sold at The Wild Rose Press. Yeah!!! I hope you all get ir. It's such a warm story.

Molly Daniels said...

Yay! (Jumping for joy) I'm off to pre-order it asap! And whew...I didn't spell St. Martin's wrong:) Big relief...thanks Mona:)

A friend of mine has made several trips to St. M's and I'd love to go down there...not to the nude beach, though. St. K's looks fascinating too!

Cheryl said...


I will probably never get to go to these places, but I love the pictures you posted, and telling about them! Anyplace warm is great with me, and sooooo beautiful!

Congratulations on Babies in the Bargain! I'm going to order it along with some others that I want to take with me when we go to visit my husband's family in a couple of weeks!

Love this post--I can travel vicariously.


Mary Marvella said...

Mona, your photos rocked and the descriptions made me want to be there. Loved the models in the photos, too.

Estella said...

Your photos make me want to visit St. Kitts!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Mona! You must have done a lot of traveling this past January. Although our cruise didn't really count much toward seeing any sights, more of making new friends.

Enjoyed the tropical pics.

Mona Risk said...

Maggie and Cheryl, welcome to my blog. I am so happy to see you here. Sorry for the late response. After spending the whole morning and afternoon at my Mom, I had to come and babysit my little ones. We are sleeping with them tonight. It was too much fun to open the laptop. I try to "stay in the moment" as much as I can.

Mona Risk said...

Mary and Estella, I am so happy you like the pictures. I promise I will take you to places you may have hardly heard of. The Seychelles Islands that I call Paradise on earth, the Faulklan Islands (not sure I have the spelling right) Russia, Ukraine and Belarus that inspired my To Love A Hero.....

Babyblue22 said...

Mona!!!! I love the pics!!! I really need a vacation!! But untill I can get on just keep the beautiful places coming :-D

Eva S said...

More beautiful pictures!

Thanks for picking my name, I'd love to read The Magic Knot by Helen Scott-Taylor.

Mona Risk said...

Afsahn, you will have more trips from your chair.

Eva, congratulations.

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