Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

According to the Internet: Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. It did not become a federal holiday until 1941.

Thanksgiving was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God, but is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. The First Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the pilgrims survive the brutal winter. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians.

The traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Americans may eat these foods on modern day Thanksgiving, but the first feast did not consist of these items.

On the first feast turkey was any type of fowl that the pilgrims hunted.Pumpkin pie wasn't on the menu because there were no ovens for baking, but they did have boiled pumpkin. Cranberries weren't introduced at this time.Due to the diminishing supply of flour there was no bread of any kind. The foods included in the first feast included duck, geese, venison, fish, lobster, clams, swan, berries, dried fruit, pumpkin, squash, and many more vegetables.

The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.The cranberry is one of only three fruits—the others are the blueberry and the Concord grape—that are entirely native to North American soil, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long.

Many people we know had a bad year, lost their job or had to sell their home. Like the colonists, let's look to the future and give thanks. Here is a lovely prayer I found:

Oh God,When I have food, help me remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home, help me remember the homeless;
When I am without pain, help remember those who suffer.
Make me concern enough to help, by word and deed those who cry out for what we take for granted.

On Thanksgiving Day, we count our blessings.
I am grateful to be healthy and have wonderful friends whovisit my log often.
I am grateful to be able to vist with my son and his family.
I am grateful that my mother who has been so sick all year is still around to share the holidays with her family.
I am grateful that my son-in-law and daughter-in-law finally found jobs.
I am grateful for my husband's love and support.
And I am so grateful to have four books published and enjoying great reviews.

And I want to share my joy at just discovering that Prescription For Trust is in stock at Yeah!!!!

What are you grateful for? Share with us.

Monday, November 23, 2009


My new book Rx FOR TRUST is in stock at

Rx For Trust will be released by The Wild Rose Press on December 4, 2009.
Contest Awards: First Place in Central Ohio Ignite the Flame; Second Place in Heart of Denver, The Molly; Third Place in FTHRW Golden Gateway.

Short Synopsis: Olivia Crane is a psychiatrist at Cincinnati University Hospital . She is also a woman with a troubled past and secrets by the bucket-load. Luc George, the French psychiatrist, she loved ten years ago, detests secrets. All hell breaks loose when Luc strolls into her office, with a confident smile and a perceptive eye, determined to rekindle their relationship and threatening to unravel the secrets of her thorny past. Can Luc win Olivia’s trust and love before her inner fears destroy their second chance at happiness?


“Olivia, why didn’t you tell me you knew Dr. Vicour-Michelet?” Bypassing morning greetings, the Chairman of Psychiatry, Dr. Herb McMillan, never wasted precious minutes on the phone.

“I don’t.” Tapping the faded, old desk in her windowless office, Dr. Olivia Crane scoured her mind to put a face to the name. “Never met him. But I read his articles, the ones you passed on to me. He seems like a brilliant psychiatrist. I’m sure he’ll be an excellent addition to our department.” Maybe she’d be able to sleep a little more than four hours with the French doctor on board for six months.

Doc cleared his throat then paused as if to choose his words. “When I sent him your enthusiastic report last Thursday, he e-mailed back on Friday that he’ll be here on Sunday. And voilĂ , as he said.”

“VoilĂ , what?”

“He arrived last night.”

“Already? He wasn’t supposed to be here for two more weeks.” With her busy schedule, Olivia hadn’t had time to check the visiting physician’s website yet.

A soft chuckle sounded on the other line. “The first thing he told me was he couldn’t wait to see you.”

To Why? Olivia blinked.

Doc kept mumbling in her ear as she pulled one of their visitor’s articles from the pile on her desk and punched his website into her computer.

The name Vicour-Michelet flashed on the screen, along with a photo that stopped her heart. A perfect, amazing picture of Luc.

Her Luc.

The picture didn’t make sense. How had Luc ended up with such an incredibly long and aristocratic name?

Olivia zoomed in on the photo by two hundred percent. With the cursor, she traced blue eyes framed by dark lashes, chiseled nose and smiling lips.

“Dr.” Squinting at the screen, she studied Luc’s handsome features. He was here? In Cincinnati ? “Oh no.”

“Yes,” Doc replied, his voice excited. She heard a faint, “I’ll bring him over.”

The phone slipped from her sweaty palm and banged on the desk.

Olivia had welcomed the opportunity to co-author an article with a brilliant psychiatrist to further her career. But she was expecting an older, distinguished physician, Dr. L. de Vicour-Michelet, probably graying or bald.

Not drop-dead gorgeous Luc whose image was woven intimately into her most sensual dreams.

Darn. Luc might imagine she was behind the decision to invite him back to the Cincinnati University Hospital . Too late now for the chairman to politely withdraw the invitation.

An insistent beeping caught her attention. She reached for the receiver and put it back in its cradle.

Ten years was a long time. Maybe he was married. Her throat constricted. God, I hope he doesn’t come here with a wife and family.

Her gaze frozen on the screen, Olivia couldn’t tell how long she remained at her desk, staring at the monitor where Luc’s picture smiled at her.

Someone knocked. Her office door opened. She bolted out of her chair, took a step, and stopped in her tracks. Doc came in, and towering behind him...Luc George.

Her pulse raced, her knees wobbled, her head swam. She stared at him, hands clenched behind her back to conceal their trembling.

With confident strides, Luc passed Dr. McMillan and circled her desk. A wide grin on his face, he halted in front of her, his hair mussed with a strand across his forehead, his eyes as bright as a cloudless sky. She recognized the amber and spice scents of his favorite cologne. The evocative fragrance transported her back to a time when she still believed love could work miracles.

“Olivia.” His voice was hoarse. Different.

Awareness clicked in her foggy mind. She had to welcome him, a physician greeting a visiting colleague. She stiffened and extended her arm for a handshake.

Ignoring her hand, Luc cradled her shoulders. In a swift motion, he brought her against him and kissed her three times on the cheeks—right, left, and right again—in the French way. His lips left fiery spots where they touched her face, and her heart skipped a beat. She stepped back.

“Olivia,” Luc repeated with a devastating smile.

“Luc?” Heat radiated to her throat, her chest, her belly.

Beyond the desk, Doc cleared his throat a couple of times.

Good grief, what was happening to her? Ten years of perfect control threatened to crumble in a few minutes.

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.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


We booked the whole cruise because I wanted so badly to visit Dubrovnik, the “well wooded” in Slavic. I was not disappointed.

This is the modern city.

The old town is protected by very high walls, a moat and drawbridge. A statue of the town's patron can be seen above the entrance gate.

Dubrovnik is by far the most picturesque town on the Mediterranean Sea. It's part of Croatia now. Note the ancient clock that chimes the hours.

Their motto is: Liberty cannot be sold for all the gold on earth.
The Cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt in 1713. The Harvard Scool of Architecture sends its fourth-year students to study the architecture and train for two weeks in Dubrovnik.

From the earliest times, slavery and torture were forbidden in Dubrovnik. Refugees were welcomed.

No cars are allowed inside the Old Town where about 1000 people live. Note the narrow paved streets and the stairs to reach higher part of the town.

We visited at least ten gorgeous churches with elaborate interiors and a wealth of painting, statues and decorations that reminded me of Italian churches.

We were treated to a show of folkloric dances in a stone theater set against the town ramparts.

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.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RHODES: a strong island

According to Homer, the first colonists were Greek. They founded the city of Rhodes at the northern tip of the island and built a powerful citadel to protect it.

In its day of greatest power, Rhodes became famous for its impressive sculptures, like the huge bronze Colossus which stood at the entrance of the harbor. Created to honor, the sun god Helios, it was at least 110 feet high and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, the Colossus only stood for 56 years before an earthquake toppled it in 224B.C. but the enormous fragments remained half-submerged for another nine centuries. A scrap dealer carried the pieces away on 900 camels.

The most glorious episode in Rhodes history began in 1309 when the Knights of St.John took control after being expelled from the Holy Land following the Crusades. They built the St.John's Chapel and the St.Mary's Church.

One of the tunnels that allowed the Knights to secretely escape.

They settled in Rhodes and increased the fortifications. The ramparts are impressive, several feet high. A moat circled and protected the city when the drawbridge was raised.

After Constantinople was captured by the Turks. Repeated sieges of Rhodes by the Turks weakened the city. At the end only 180 Knights remained to defend Rhodes.

They were expelled to Malta and Rhodes became Turkish property.

The Italian navy seized Rhodes in 1912 and it was turned over to Greece in 1948.

The famous movie of Guns of Navarone was filmed in Rhodes.

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.

My first newsletter has been going out. Some of you may have received it. Other will soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ephesus: A Historical Site

Ephesus was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean area and a dazzling paradise of nature. The Historical site of Ephesus is now part of Turkey, not Greece.

Old sources record that the city was founded by the Amazones of the goddess Artemis—goddess of hunting and chase-- who was born there according to Homer’s immortal work. Temples to Artemis, Athena and Apollo adorned the ancient city.

Ruins of stadiums, gymnasiums and theaters can still be seen, together with the famous two-story library.

We saw remains of houses and the public baths. Our guide explained, that before going to work the men would stop at the public male restrooms. There they relieved themselves while discussing and conducting business. But the benches with holes were made of marble and quite cold in winter, so an hour earlier, they would send their slaves to reserve and warm their places. The women stayed home!!!

The first city built in 2000 bc was abandoned, buried by the sand carried by rivers.

A new city was built later a few miles away from the site of the first one with a huge cathedral erected by Emperor Justinian, one of the first Roman emperors to convert to the new faith.

What remains of the Christian city were the ruins of the Cathedral and the tomb of St. John the Evangelist who came to Ephesus, lived there and wrote the fourth book of the New Testament.

But St. John didn’t come alone to Ephesus. He brought with him the Virgin Mary after the death of Jesus on the cross. St. Mary lived in Ephesus the last years of her life until her dormition. Both the cathedral and the house of Mary were destroyed and disappeared.

In 1822, a Bavarian woman, Catherine Emmerich, who never left her village received revelations about the exact site of the house of the Virgin Mary. Those revelations were transmitted to the Pope and then to the Turkish government who agreed to perform excavations. The remaining of the house of St. Mary and the cathedral were unearthed at the place mentioned by the pious Bavarian woman. A little chapel was built at the place of the house. We were able to visit it.

Here I am drinking from the spring water that has contributed to so many miraculous cures. It is now canalized into a fountain.

Next to the little house, there was a wall where prople left their petitions.

Ephesus is an amazing place where Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and later early Christian civilizations developed.

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.

My first newsletter has been going out. Some of you may have received it. Other will soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today Santorini is a rock shaped like a fishhook. Centuries ago it was called Thera and was shaped like a cone. But that cone was formed by a volcano that erupted before 1600 BC. Excavations began in 1967. and scientists wondered if Thera was not part of the lost continent of Atlantis described in Greek literature.

The current name of the island comes from its patroness, Saint Irene of Thessalonika, who died in 304. The Venetians called her, Sant’Irini and the name stuck.
The present capital of Santorini is the town of Thera built on top of the cliff.
Views from this picturesque town are especially beautiful.
The highest point of the island is marked by the monastery of the Prophet Elijah. On the eastern shore of the island there are beaches of black sand from previous volcanic activity.
In addition to a temple dedicated to Apollo, there is a shrine cut out of rocks to honor the Egyptian gods Isis, Serapis and Anubis, a reminder of the Egyptian presence during the Ptolemaic period.

You can reach the top of the cliff and the town of Thera walking or by cable or riding on a donkey which is by far the most popular and fun way.
We used the cable. Since I am terrified of height I held my husband’s hand and closed my eyes, then opened one eye when my husband insisted the view was terrific and I was missing half of my life by not looking.
Once up on the cliff top, I agreed it was worth the scare. Look at the gorgeous pictures and be the judge.
Santorini is an ideal place for honeymooners.

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.

You may soon receive my first newsletter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Naples and Capri: Day Two

The sunny Bay of Naples is a beautiful sight as one approaches the city by ship. The plumed heights of Mount Vesuvius dominate the skyline. We didn’t have time to visit Naples but strolled along the streets lining the harbor to check a fortress or old castle.

A half hour ride in the ferry took us to the romantic island of Capri that I visited when I was eight years old with my parents.
All I remember from that first visit was that I lost my brand new straw hat. The wind blew it from my head to the sea and I stared at it unable to believe Daddy couldn’t get it back, then I started crying. I bought a straw hat in memory of my Dad and this time I held it with both hands. It came with me to the States!
From Capri, we took a boat to the famous Grotta Dell Azura.

You can’t see any grotto from the sea. Just a rock with a small opening.

And I mean small. Not higher than a table, about four-foot wide. Only a canoe could go through.

After waiting for our turn for another hour, we finally jumped from the boat into a canoe operated by an expert who asked us to lie down and put our arms inside the canoe.
He rowed through the narrow arch in the rock. Suddenly we were in the dark, pitch-black. We heard Italian songs, mingled with exclamations. I looked back toward the opening and was stunned by the incredible blue color. The water and air looked bright blue, a festival of blue light as if a thousand blue lamps illuminated the grotto. Unfortunately the pictures don’t give credit to the ethereal atmosphere.

Two new reviews for BABIES IN THE BARGAIN:
Joyfully Reviewed: This an old-fashioned, tender romance... Romance blooms amidst tragedy in BABIES IN THE BARGAIN. It tugs heart strings and stirs emotions.
Readers Favorite: 5 Stars. This is Mona Risk at her best. The characters are easy to relate to. The plot is excellent. fns of romance will love this story.