Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reviewing 2011 resolutions:

Walk 3-5 miles a day, several times a week.
Check: I walked 4 miles a day, 3 to 4 times a week for two months.
Positive results: so proud of myself for this accomplishment
Negative results: developed a bone spur in my right heel. Very painful.

Podiatrist had me wear booties when sleeping. Orthopedic doctor gave me a cortisone injection in the heel. So painful I almost kicked him while lying on my stomach, my leg bent upward. The nurse was holding me with all her strength and I was alternatively biting my teeth and screaming from pain. Doctor also ordered special orthoses to cushion my sneakers. The injection and orthoses helped for six months and then the pain in my heel returned when I fell. This time I went through a long therapy to remove the inflammation. It looked like I'll have to receive another cortisone injection to be able to walk normally.

Counter-Resolution: Never again! No more resolution to exercise or walk. If I feel like walking, I'll walk. If I feel like exercising, I will. No need to force myself with a challenge. My body knows what's best.

Diet. No high calorie food. No chocolate, cookies, desserts, ice-cream. I replaced these with nuts: almonds and pistachios.
Check: I lost weight.
Positive results: so proud of myself for this accomplishment
Negative Result: an acute pain in my left side, stomach problem that turns out to be goal bladder stones.
Gastro-enterologist visit, tests, c-scan. And an order to eat a bland diet: bread, potatoes, noodles,...
Results: I gained fifteen pounds.

Counter-Resolution: Never again! No more resolution to diet. If I feel like eating chocolate, I will. If I feel splurging on ice cream, I will. No need to force myself with a challenge. My body knows what's best.

So what resolutions can I make for 2012?

It's not healthy not to have goals and make resolutions. I need easy ones.
Help me choose easy resolutions that won't break my bones or hurt my system!

In RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN, my heroine has lost 90lbs before the story begins. But she had an incredible motivation.
A 5 Stars plus review
$0.99 at

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Children's Christmas

For me Christmas is not the same without my children and grandchildren. 
Every year we sit them on the same sofa in front of the TV and take the same traditional picture.

 So when my daughter said that she was on call at her hospital and won't make it to our family gathering at my place, I was quite depressed.
I finally accepted the fact that she had her priorities and her little patients needed her more than we did. I planned my cooking and baking, and started decorating my apartment.

 But one day I received a lovely phone call announcing she'd agreed to switch with another doctor. He'll sub for her on Christmas and she'd sub for him on New Year, and yeah, they were coming, but would leave early on Christmas morning.

We opened the Christmas presents on the 24th in the afternoon for the children to have time to enjoy them. My neat living room turned into one happy messy area.

Our building came up with a fantastic Children's Party on Christmas Eve from 3-5 pm, in the lounge. All the children visiting on that day were invited to sing along and light the Menorah. What an amazing idea to unite all the children and have them share the holiday fun together.
To the children's delight, Santa Claus came later. Each kid was invited to sit on his lap for a memorable photo.

For more fun during the holiday, load your kindle with romantic comedies at for only $0.99

NO MORE LIES: a lie that brings a smile or a truth drawing tears? Secrets and second chances with humor.

RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN: Whispering another man’s name in fiancé’s arms? Oops, wedding plans still on? or what now?

And here is my best Christmas gift:

Review by Seniorcitizen for RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN:
Unforgettable, December 27, 2011
This is a five star plus from Mona Risk. Pulled me in within the first chapter and kept me hooked. And oh, that night in Paris in a  heavy rainstorm - I just had to re- read it several times for the sheer pleasure of it. I couldn't have imagined it any better.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What to eat?!

"Don't touch nuts. Stay away from chocolate. Absolutely no drinks.

Don't eat raw vegetables. No salad. Cheese no good. Avoid coffee."

Is my doctor crazy or is he trying to make me crazy?

Everybody knows that nuts or chocolate are necessary to avoid depression.

How can you socialize without a drink? Friends will think I'm snubbing them

Without salad or raw vegetable my diet is going in smoke.

No cheese means no calcium, bad for my bones.

Avoid coffee? That is the last drop!

Should I tell my doctor, I write medical romances and know a thing or two about a healthy diet?

It's Christmas time. Can I cheat and eat what I want? I'm ready to suffer a little bit to happy time.

Good thing he didn't tell me stop writing romances. Although he mentions not to sit too long in front of my computer!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are you ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas?

1. Christmas tree? check, with a two-foot tree standing on a side table and decorated with a string of tiny lights and chocolate balls wrapped in bright colored foil. My grandchildren will have a blast with these after dinner.

2- Christmas decorations in the living room? check, my granddaughters helped me put them since before Thanksgiving. It was a way to keep them busy on a rainy afternoon. They were especially careful with the Santa Claus a friend of my mother made for me twenty years ago.

3-Christmas cards. Nope. For the first time, we’ll send emails.

4-Christmas letter. I’ve written one every year for the past five years. I really don’t feel like doing it now.

5-Shopping for presents: blessed be the Internet and on-line shopping.

6-Cooking: half of it is done. A friend came to help me.

So what have I been doing during this Christmas season?

Visiting doctors for several problems and going to therapy every day to try to heal the spur bone in my foot that prevents me from walking. In addition three friends and a close relative are/were in the hospital for surgeries or treatments. Too many depressive things around.

T’is the Season to be jolly. Not really here. Not this season, as we wonder collectively: “What’s happening this year?”

To overcome the gloomy mood, I count my blessings every day and try to convince myself that anything that can be cured is no big deal.

So yes, it’s the Season to be Jolly. My kids and grandchildren will be here for Christmas. My house will turn into a happy noisy mess. The parents will warn the kids to behave. And I’ll tell the parents to bug off. In my house, the grandchildren always behave, but they are free to play, sing, yell as much as they want. Sometimes, I swear their parents are the ones who need to take time out.

Oh and I have two lovely sexy romantic comedy on Amazon for only 99cents. Make them part of your reading relaxation or gift them to your relatives and friends.

NO MORE LIES: A lie that brings a smile or a truth drawing a tear? White lies and second chances with humor,

RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN: What’s a girl to do when she whispers another man’s name in her fiancé’s arms? Doesn’t that put the kibosh on wedding plans?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

LK Hunsaker

I am honored to host a friend and multi-published author.
LK Hunsaker wrote a string of novels centered around the arts and societal issues, combined with strong romantic elements. As spouse of a decorated career soldier, she traveled widely, moved several times, and held down the home front. She was honored with meeting some of Washington D.C.'s top names and a prized possession is her first novel signed by a former first lady. Having received inspiration and instruction from her family of recognized artists, Hunsaker also holds arts and psychology degrees heavy with English and creative writing emphasis. She is now settled in western Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

LK has been labeled a master storyteller by reviewers and peers, and has won several peer awards and commendations. Several of her short stories, poems, and articles have been published in literary ezines and print magazines.

Please welcome LK Hunsaker.

Hi Mona, thanks for having me here today to talk about my newest release, MOONDROPS & THISTLES! I look forward to chatting with your readers, so questions are very welcome.

1. What inspired you to write this story? What is the story behind the story?
Moondrops & Thistles was basically a fan request. Daws, my hero, is a secondary character from my 2009 release, Off The Moon. In it, he plays a hard-nosed, gentle-hearted bodyguard to a young pop star. One of the most commented thing about that novel was how readers just loved Daws and wanted more of his story. So when Nanowrimo 2010 came about and I needed a story idea, I grabbed Daws and the basic knowledge that he used to be military, and I built a story around him.

It’s also a story I’ve wanted to do for years and wasn’t sure how to approach until Daws came along. I was an Army wife for 17 years, my husband is a Desert Storm vet, and I wanted not only soldiers’ voices heard from all of those years of experience, but also their spouses’ voices.

2- Are your characters inspired by people you know?

Absolutely. Daws has a few of my husband’s traits and I pulled plenty of things I saw and heard from other soldiers and spouses to include. I had fun writing the parts of Daws’s men because honestly, soldiers are maybe the most fun group of people you’ll ever find. They work hard and they play hard and they learn what to truly value and what it takes to hold onto those things. And you have to have a good sense of humor to do what they do and still come through it back into the real world.

There are also a couple (at least) of true personal experiences thrown in, such as the bath drain and the vacuum cleaner.

3- Why did you choose that setting? Tell us why you like it?The story bounces between New York City, Fort Drum NY, and Bennington VT. NYC is where Ryan, Off The Moon’s hero, lives and Bennington is where his family is. Moondrops is set 9 years earlier than Off The Moon and so Ryan, my young pop star who is pivotal to this story as well, is still living at home. I used Fort Drum mainly because of its placement in regard to both Bennington and NYC. It worked for the story. Unfortunately I haven’t been there but some friendly soldiers and wives who were stationed there during the writing of it helped with a bit of detail.

4- Is there a message behind your story? What kind of audience will particularly enjoy your book?

All of my books have messages. They are very society oriented, as well as relationship studies. The main message behind Moondrops is just the truth behind military life and who soldiers really are and what their loved ones have to deal with on a regular basis. There are bits and pieces of other messages, as well.
Audience: Anyone who is truly interested in that separate but connected part of society that is the world of the U.S. Military and who loves fiction with substance, plus a nice growing romance, should enjoy Moondrops & Thistles. It is lightly sensual with a bare touch of adult language and situations. Nothing too graphic, either with love scenes or war drama. It does have some emotionally charged spots and readers have already let me know they cried through parts of it. But it’s upbeat overall, with some humor and an ending that is both an end and a beginning.

There is also the slightly spicier version with less military action and societal dealings and more focus on the romance. That one is available as ebook only. The full version is both trade paperback and ebook. This is the first time I’ve done a shorter and spicier edition and so am anxious to hear readers’ thoughts!

5- At what point are you in your writing career? Have you achieved your goals? What more would you like to do?

By now I have six novels published and a children’s book inspired by my Rehearsal series. I feel like I’m just getting on a roll, although I’ve been at it since 1996. There is a huge learning curve that you can’t get any way except doing it. I’m not at the top of the curve yet, but I can start to see the top and I think it may be reachable.

I’ve only started to fulfill my goals. I have several books in progress and am branching out in more directions. My main path is with my literary romances. It’s an odd mix and can be a hard sell, since literary fiction readers and romance readers tend to be two whole different audiences, but I think it can work and I’d like to see that extend. There are now literary thrillers and literary sci fi books, and I think that’s incredible. I love the genre mixing. I’d like to help encourage that. And I’d love to help advance the idea of independent authors writing stories they feel the need to write without the restrictions of fitting a specific genre or whatever the market wants at the moment.

I’m also working on a straight literary novel and have the rough start of a couple of young adult books. I want to stretch while still staying true to my own voice. I also hope to keep growing as a writer as far as craft and technique.


Daws, aka Sergeant Fred Dawson, U.S. Army, is a determined and highly respected leader. Called to serve in Desert Storm, he performs two impromptu rescue missions and manages to bring his men back home. While still haunted by the cost of his actions, he loses the most important person in his life, in an accident for which he feels partly responsible.

Deanna Meyers has had it with men. As far as she's concerned, there isn't a true loyal and honest gentleman left in New York City. In the midst of trying to advance in the world of advertising where the men in charge are more interested in her other attributes than in her skills, she finds herself in another destructive relationship, this time to the possible detriment of her career.

When they run into each other at a bus stop in the pouring rain after midnight, Daws and Deanna recognize the spark of a connection that draws them to each other the way they are both drawn to the city lights at night.


“So?” She was an adventure seeker. It was in her eyes, her gaze, the way she was daring him to spend more time together.

Daws gave himself a second to regain his composure before he answered. “You don’t understand how hard it can be to even hold a friendship together, much less anything else...”

“You think I don’t?” She raised a hand to his neck, let her eyes follow her fingers. “Try being a female professional in New York where men are in charge and intend to stay that way. They want you to bring their coffee and warm their beds. They don’t want you to be competition. And there are more of them. How many friendships do you think I have under the circumstances? Most of the women I know are the wives and girlfriends and mistresses and receptionists. The ones who are professionals or trying to become that see me as competition. They don’t want that, either. I know how hard it is to hold a relationship together. Trust me; that I know. I’ve yet been able to do it. But I keep trying. Does that make me naive?” She shrugged. “Maybe. But it also means I’m strong enough to keep trying. It means I want it enough to keep trying. I’m not a quitter. I’m not afraid of failure. And I’m not afraid to be on my own.”

The fire he saw drew him in, despite how hard he tried not to be drawn in. The warmth, the energy, was hard to resist. He brushed wet strands of hair from her face. “What would you say to breakfast before you start apartment hunting?”

Her expression was half amused, half wary. “You expect me to ask you up tonight?”

“No.” He lowered his hand. “I meant I’ll come back in the morning. There’s a little place I always go for pancakes when I’m here. Wouldn’t mind company.”

“You are an actual gentleman. What do you know? I didn’t realize there were any left.”

“Don’t jump to conclusions. You don’t know what’s going through my head right now.”

Deanna laughed. “Well, Fred Dawson, at least it’s not coming out through your fingers. That’s close enough.” She touched his hand but didn’t quite grasp it. “I would love to meet you for breakfast. But I don’t plan to be up early. I plan to linger and lounge and make full use of this too-extravagant room while I have it.”

Thanks again, Mona! I’d love to give away a copy of the shorter, spicier edition to one of your readers wo comments on this post. I’ll be here now and then through the day to take questions and answer comments. I also have a separate contest posted on my blog in relation to this blog tour. Be sure to check it out for the chance to win a personally signed copy of the full version plus a transforming mug and a Support Our Troops bracelet!

Here’s where you’ll find me:


Blog: (for contest and buy links)

Moondrops Facebook page:

Saturday, December 3, 2011


RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN, a comedy romance novel set in France, at 99 cents, perfect lighten your holiday stress with a few smiles.

What’s a girl to do when she whispers another man’s name in her fiancé’s arms?

When forbidden dreams about the sexy French Dr. Yves Malroux assail her at every turn, Mary-Beth puts her wedding plans on hold. She signs up for a summer training program in surgery with Yves, and flies to France to confront her past and the man who broke her heart years ago.

But she never expected the French doctor--who’s also a count-- to insist on his trainees staying at his historical chateau. Sleeping under his roof, next door to his bedroom, is more temptation than Mary-Beth anticipated. Desire for Yves burns as hot as ever, especially when he focuses all his charm on Mary-Beth to convince her she needs passion in her life. While too many questions still swirled in her mind, her jealous fiancé summons her back home.

Will Mary-Beth let her heart decide who’s her right man? Will Yves break his no-strings-attached rule to offer love and commitment?

Even at the slow speed, they reached home too soon. Once in the garage, Mary-Beth darted from the car to the guestroom and jumped into a long cotton nightgown, ready to claim an honest headache.

A moment later, Steve stood at the door, his eyebrows raised in disbelief. “Come on, not that ugly thing.”

Her hands clenched on the reassuring plain material as she glared at the bottle of Cognac and the two glasses in his hands.

“Wear the short red silk one I bought you two weeks ago.” A suggestive smile formed on his lips. “Darling, it’s Saturday night.”

His unspoken demand swirled the gourmet dinner up into her throat. She clutched her middle, gagged and dashed to the bathroom.

“You’re not sick? Are you? Not tonight, for heaven’s sake.”

No, she wasn’t sick, just terrified of lying with him, making love, and screaming the wrong name again.

“Sweetheart, how are you feeling?” he asked from behind the bathroom door. His concern needled her with remorse.

“I’m better.” She brushed her teeth, splashed cold water on her face, dabbed it with a scented towel, and donned the tiny silk negligee over her shivering body. She took a deep breath. “I love you,” she said with a forceful voice when she opened the door.

“I love you too, my precious one. I become a younger man when I hold you in my arms.”

They toasted their future with a drink of Cognac and climbed into bed. In a swift movement, Steve peeled her nightgown over her head and covered her breasts with kisses.

Stiff as a board, she watched him wide-eyed.

Exasperated, he raised his head. “What’s wrong? I feel like I’m kissing an ice block.”

“I’m sorry. I’m tense. Maybe I worked too much this past week.” Alarmed at the possibility of blurting Yves’s name again, she bit her lips.

“Let me help you relax. Turn over. I’ll massage your back.” He kneaded her muscles with firm hands and she breathed easier. “Think about something nice. Our honeymoon. We’ll go to France. My friend Yves Malroux has often invited me to visit his chateau.”

“No,” she snapped. “I don’t want to go to France.”

“Oh, I thought you’d like it. Such a romantic place, perfect for a honeymoon.”

“No, we’ll go to Italy, or Greece, or England.” Damn it, anywhere except at Yves’ chateau. If that was Steve’s way of relaxing her, it wasn’t working. “Forget the massage. Make love to me.” She turned around and pulled him on top of her.

“My pleasure. Glad I managed to put you back in the mood.” He captured her mouth with eager lips, and she concentrated on his caresses.

Steve excelled at everything he did, surgery, research, social life and lovemaking. Soon enough Mary-Beth forgot her inhibitions under his expert hands and kisses. Soon enough she sighed and moaned with pleasure.

After they collapsed in panting orgasms, she snuggled against his shoulder. Content, she raised her face for one more kiss. “Love you, Yv...Ste-eve, Steve.”

“Love you too, sweetheart.”

“Again. Oh God.” She jammed her fist against her mouth as she jumped to her knees and stared at him.

Yanked from his happily sated semi-slumber, Steve frowned. “I can’t do it again. I’m not twenty anymore.”


“It’s very flattering, my love, but… Why don’t you come in my arms and try to sleep?”

“I’m sorry. Did I scream?”

“No, you just whispered in a kiss, ‘Love you Ste-ee-eve’, several times.” He stroked her arm. “That’s what I love about you, your passion for life, your youth. Damn it, you make me feel so good.”

Off the hook one more time, she exhaled. She’d caught herself this time, but how long could she keep on saying another man’s name when her fiancé held her? And why on earth, did it happen now? Three years after Yves had left. Did she need a shrink?

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. What do you think Mary-Beth should do? Stay and marry her fiance or go to Paris and confront her past?

Leave a comment, then read the book to see if you have the right answer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

99cent Ebooks Special

The Buffet Opens December 1!
Today was an incredible success with people shopping non-stop.

This is the place to find fantastic fiction, value priced for a limited time for only $ .99 each!

This sale is brought to you by all the participating authors:

■Alicia Street & Roy Street;■Amber Carew;■Anya Winter;
■Barbara McMahon;;■Barbara Phinney;■Bella Street;■Bev Pettersen
■Calinda B.;■Carey Corp;■Carly Carson;■Cat Kalen;■Cathryn Fox;
■Christy Hayes;■CJ Lyons;■Cynthia Justlin;■Cynthia Woolf
■Dale Mayer;■Deb Sanders;■Debora Dennis;■Deborah Hale
■Debra Holland;■Debra Maher;■Denise Grover Swank
■Donna Marie Rogers
■E. Ayers;■Edie Ramer;■Eilis Flynn;■Elysa Hendricks;■Emma Jay
■Gemma Halliday;■Georgina Lee;■Gina Black
■Heather Hiestand;■Helen Scott Taylor
■J.A. Templeton;■J.D. Faver;■J.E. Hopkins;■Jacqueline Diamond
■Jamie Lee Scott;■Jana DeLeon;■Jenna Bennett;■Jennette Marie Powell
■Jennifer Colgan;■Jill James;■Joan Reeves;■Jordan Summers
■Joyce DeBacco;■Julia Phillips Smith;■Julianne MacLean
■Kandy Shepherd;■Kat Brookes;■Kate Kelly;■Kathleen Long
■Kathy Bennett
■L.j. Charles;■Laurel O'Donnell;■LD Madison;■Leslie Langtry
■Lia Slater;■Linda Andrews;■Linda Hall;■Linsey Lanier;■Liz Jasper
■Liza James;■Lynda Hilburn
Maggie Toussaint;■Maree Anderson;■Margery Scott;■Mary Marvella
■Minx Malone;■Misty Evans;■MJ Fredrick;■Mona Risk
■Nikita Black;■Nina Bruhns;■Nina Pierce;■Norah Wilson
■Opal Carew
■P.R. Mason;■P.T. Michelle;■Paty Jager;■Pepper Phillips;■PJ Sharon
■Renee Pace;
Sophia Knightly;■Steena Holmes;■Stephanie Queen;■Susan Speers
■Tamara Hunter;■Tara Manderino;■Tawny Stokes;■Tea Trelawny
■Theresa Ragan;■Tori Scott;■Trisha Wilson
■Vivi Anna;■Vivienne Westlake

The authors with highlighed names are also part of the
99cent EBOOKS blog
 with a special: buy 5 ebooks each at $0.99 and get an extra ebook free.

It's Christmas Season and holiday time. If you are shoping for wonderful gifts at wonderful prices stop by the 99cent EBOOKS blog 
or the Book Lovers' Buffet.

I cahnged my cover for RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


What’s a future bride to do when she utters another man’s name in her fiancé’s arms–– a name she thought she had erased from her heart after one blissful night, years ago? Before setting a wedding date, Mary-Beth Drake must reassure herself she has outgrown her youthful infatuation for handsome surgeon Yves Malroux. A trip to France and training with Yves would convince her she’s in control of her emotions. Except that sparks fly between them. Will Mary-Beth ever realize who’s her right man?

“Love you, Yves.” Marie-Beth Drake purred and cuddled deeper against her lover’s broad chest.

Already half-asleep, Steve squeezed her to his side, with a faint “Hmm”. Soon, his light snores filled the air. Sated and relaxed, she stroked his silvery hair. “Love you—”

She froze.

What had she called him?

Oh God, oh God. Had she said Steve or… Yves?

Her fiancé grumbled in his sleep. She immediately yanked her hand away from his head. Her fingers flew to her lips and her stomach somersaulted. She couldn’t have whispered the loathsome name? She’d buried it long ago and forgotten the sexy French doctor and his charismatic smile.

Had Steve noticed the slip of her tongue?

Heart pounding, she studied his closed eyes and slightly gaping mouth. Not to worry. Her fiancé slept as peacefully as a man content with life—as he did every night.

Shivering with mortification, she slid out of his arms. Her throat ached with sudden dryness as she covered herself with a robe and rushed downstairs.

In the living room, she grabbed a bottle of Merlot from the bar, filled a glass and swallowed it, and poured a second one. Her mind in shambles, she settled on the sofa to organize her thoughts.

Hanging over the fireplace, her fiancé’s portrait focused a serious look at her. She blinked. “I don’t know how it happened. Honestly,” she groaned with an apologetic grimace.

Sultry images of the French surgeon obscured her vision. Yves smiling, his knuckles caressing her cheeks, his face reaching closer to hers. She snatched her head back and touched her lips, swollen from Steve’s kisses. And remembered Yves’s passionate embrace. “No, please.” Her world tilted on its axis.

Weary and confused, she emptied her glass. “You’re history. Gone, Dr. Malroux.” To think he’d left Boston the next day after the blissful night she’d spent in his arms, and never came back, never called the chubby medical student she’d been then. “No more crazy dreams or heartaches,” she scolded in a strangled groan.

Available at for only $0.99

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My first snow in three years

Today is October 29. Imagine that it snowed in VA.

Maybe for you who live in the North it's a bit unusual, but for me who flew last night to VA,  from Florida, from an 80 degree weather in Fort Lauderdale, it''s simply unbearable. I've been freezing for the last twenty-four hours. My daughter has heating in her house, but the sight of the beautiful flakes flying outside somehow makes me shiver. Beautiful, but chilling.

Inside the house, there are gorgeous Halloween decorations everywhere. Black bats on the windows, Scarecrows on the deck. Skeletons and pumpkins in the front yard.

Today I helped two little girls, seven and five, carve a huge pumpkin. I think we did a good job. I cleaned the inside of the fruit, separated the seeds from the pulp. I washed the seeds and roasted them in the oven. I have been munching on these seeds all day, and teaching the girls how to crack the pumpkin seeds and eat the inside of the seed only. I've tried to make a pie with the pulp but failed miserably. No one liked my concoction, even with cinnamon and sugar.

After lunch, my oldest granddaughter wanted to go out and buy white cobweb to spread over the bushes. No way was I going to drive under the snow. I stopped ten years ago when I moved to FL. but my son-in-law, good daddy that he is, drove us. The girls bought all what they wanted. We celebrated his birthday with an ice cream cake, and now he and my daughter are out for dinner.

Tonight I'm babysitting. While I'm finally checking emails and blogs, the girls went through the Halloween candies to be distributed to the neighborhood kids. Tomorrow I'll replace them.
It was a lovely pre-Halloween day.

Special at for $0.99

A lie that brings a smile... or the truth that draws tears?

Dr. Olivia Crane lives a quiet life. No one questions why she doesn’t socialize or where she spends her weekends. When the visiting physician from France strolls into her office, with open arms and a confident smile, her perfect control is about to crumble. He’s Luc George, the man she loved ten years ago. Should she return his scorching kisses, or should she lock her door before he digs into her many secrets?

Secret daughter, secret friend, secret enemy. Had Luc really known his sweet Olivia back then? He wants her back, but he wants the truth too. Now, Olivia has to face her past before she can grab her second chance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Preferences

I can read anywhere if I can manage to create reading time but as it happens, most of my reading takes place in a plane or at the airport when I travel, or just before going to bed at home.

Because I write contemporary romances, romantic suspense and medical romances, I read these genres to study the market, but I read historicals to relax. Recently I developed a liking for paranormals, and particularly for werewolves, after reading Stephanie Burkhart’s The Wolf’s Torment, The Hungarian, and the Count’s Lair.

If I have to choose between short length, full-length and novella, I prefer full-length novels— if well written. Lowering my head in embarrassment, because if the book isn’t well written, I can’t continue reading after three or four chapters. I rarely read novellas. They finish too early for my taste. Category books are perfect for character-driven stories.

Most of the books I read are in third point-of-view, but I read a few that were fantastic in first point-of-view, Courting Danger, a short romantic suspense, by Carol Stephenson, that I read in one sitting, and the hilarious comedy, Replacing Barnie by Patrice Wilton.

My greatest fear after becoming a published author has been, and still is, the need to promote until death. Particularly participating in live chats. Strange, since giving presentations at conferences or meetings was part of my job description as a director of analytical chemistry. But chat... I was literally in panic mode at my first author’s chat, hoping no one would show up so that I could run away and hide. But many friends were there, holding my hand. I relaxed and enjoyed the chat immensely.

My hope is to share wonderful stories with my readers and take them around the world through my stories. In contemporary romances, readers can relate to the characters, their conflicts and emotions. My stories tackle problems that are real and often emotional. But I always lighten the drama with humor.

I was told by reviewers that I create unforgettable characters in unique settings.
The Romance Studio chose TO LOVE A HERO as Sweetheart of the Week. ~ Ms. Risk is one of those authors who puts together a tale that captivates from first page to last.

Night Owl Romance chose FRENCH PERIL as Recommended Read. ~Mona Risk will pull you in with her amazing characters and in-depth twisting suspense... Travel has never been this suspenseful nor this cheap!

The Long and The Short Reviews chose BABIES IN THE BARGAIN as Best Book of The Week. Ms. Risk has done an outstanding job with Babies in the Bargain and is a very talented writer who gives the reader what they are after.

Happy Ever After gave a MUST BUY to NO  MORE LIES: “A wonderfully written book about true love and the rarity of second chances.”

2011 EPPIE Award Finalist and Readers Favorite 2010 Best Contemporary Romance.

Special at for $0.99

A lie that brings a smile... or the truth that draws tears?
Dr. Olivia Crane lives a quiet life. No one questions why she doesn’t socialize or where she spends her weekends. When the visiting physician from France strolls into her office, with open arms and a confident smile, her perfect control is about to crumble. He’s Luc George, the man she loved ten years ago. Should she return his scorching kisses, or should she lock her door before he digs into her many secrets?

Secret daughter, secret friend, secret enemy. Had Luc really known his sweet Olivia back then? He wants her back, but he wants the truth too. Now, Olivia has to face her past before she can grab her second chance.

What are your preferences about reading and writing?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reach More Readers

Mark Cocker, Founder of Smashwords teaches serious writers how to reach more readers in his coming ebook, The Seven Secrets To Ebook Publishing Success.

Secret #1-- Write a great book.
Ninety percent of your book’s success is determined by its quality . The other ten percent is marketing and luck. If your book is poorly edited or poorly conceived, readers will reject it. If you write a great book that satisfies readers, they will reward you with their word-of-mouth. Don’t rush your book before it’s ready to be read. A good cover image adds to the reader’s enjoyment of the book.

Secret #2-- Write another great book. each new book gives the author an opportunity to reach new readers and earn their trust. At the end of each book, add a section titled, “other books by this author”. Think of each book as a fish hook in the ocean. Each book is an advertisement for the others.

Series writers are among the most successful. Once a reader becomes emotionally invested in a series, they’ll want to read the complete series. Don’t cut corners. Don’t divide a single full-length book into multiple shorter ebooks. Readers hate this and they will review your book poorly.

Secret #3-- Maximize distribution. If your book is not broadly distributed, it’s not discoverable and purchasable. With ebooks, never choose one retailer over another. Choose them all.

Secret #4-- Give some of your books for free. Free books receive 20-30 times more hits than paid books. If you have a series, offer the first title of the series for free. Hook the reader.

Secret #5-- Patience is a virtue. Ebooks never go out of print. Sometimes a book starts poorly for months, and then suddenly takes off. Give your book time to develop a solid base of reviews.

Give readers the option to shop where they like, and offer direct link to each retailer.

Secret # 6-- Trust your partners and readers. Writers often worry about things that don’t exist. Control the urge. Don’t be afraid of piracy. Let you readers share your ebooks with their friends. Trust your readers. Some bestselling authors consider piracy as a form of marketing.

Secret #7-- Marketing starts yesterday. If you wait until your book launch to start marketing your book, you’re too late. The moment you start writing a book, you should start marketing yourself, the author.

Cultivate your social network. The idea is not to attract thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook so you can spam them with with solicitations for your book. Instead, contribute to the success of fellow authors. They are your partners, not your competitors. Enlist them as members of your volunteer work force.

Books are a word of mouth business, and always will be.

Special at for $0.99

A lie that brings a smile... or the truth that draws tears?

Dr. Olivia Crane lives a quiet life. No one questions why she doesn’t socialize or where she spends her weekends. When the visiting physician from France strolls into her office, with open arms and a confident smile, her perfect control is about to crumble. He’s Dr. Luc George, the man she loved ten years ago. Should she return his scorching kisses, or should she lock her door before he digs into her many secrets?

Secret daughter, secret friend, secret enemy. Had Luc really known his sweet Olivia back then? He wants her back, but he wants the truth too. Now, Olivia has to face her past before she can grab her second chance.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

About Blog Posts

Are blog guest posts worth your time? according to Tracee Gleichner, Founder and CEO, Literal Exposure.

Are guest posts necessary to make a virtual book tour successful? Are they necessary to get your name out there or to help market your book?

No, but that doesn't mean that they are not beneficial on many levels.

What can you do to ensure your post is up to par?

It's your opportunity to shine and show the audience your style. Have fun and try to be original. Being creative is the key to making the audience sit back and get to know you.

There are some guidelines when writing a post:
Length of post: Between 250-500 words. People who follow blogs have limited time. Keeping the post short won't encourage them to skip to the next post on their list.

Links: Always plug yourself and your book. It is important to include pictures and links to any site you want to highlight. At a minimum have a link to your website and to your purchasing site.

Key words: Choose carefully. If you use generic words such as fiction, paranormal, will be hard to get your name to the top of the search engine.

Title: Try to make it something that will catch the eye of the reader.

Show a different side: You probably want to talk about your book. But Tracee
suggests writing about something totally different. You can incorporate our book, but show a different side. Maybe a favorite hobby? A bad experience? Things like that make you engage with the readers.

The New way to market according to David Wilk, Creative Management Partners:
It’s all about relationship building. It’s all center around the author, not around the book.
Important marketing tools: Author blog; Author newsletter; Facebook presence; Twitter; Goodreads; Amazon Author Central; Book video or trailer; YouTube;Email marketing; Amazon / B&BN placement; Reading groups’ E-samplers.

Special at for $0.99

A lie that brings a smile... or the truth that draws tears?

Dr. Olivia Crane lives a quiet life. No one questions why she doesn’t socialize or where she spends her weekends. When the visiting physician from France strolls into her office, with open arms and a confident smile, her perfect control is about to crumble. He’s Dr. Luc George, the man she loved ten years ago. Should she return his scorching kisses, or should she lock her door before he digs into her many secrets?

Secret daughter, secret friend, secret enemy. Had Luc really known his sweet Olivia back then? He wants her back, but he wants the truth too. Now, Olivia has to face her past before she can grab her second chance.

Friday, October 21, 2011

NOVELISTS, Inc Conference

Ninc, 22nd Annual Conference, at the TradeWinds Island Resort, St. Pete Beach, FL
The Ninc is an organization for published authors and industrial professionals.
The title of this conference was:
The New Publishing: Welcome To Tomorrow

Hundred and sixty-eight people attended, mostly published authors and some publishers and marketing specialists.
On this panel from left to right:
Mark Coker: Founder and CEO, Smashwords.
Liz Scheier: Editorial Director, Digital Content, Barnes & Noble. com
Linda Quinton: VP of marketing , Tor-Forge
Don Weisberg: President, Penguin Young Readers
David wilk, Creative Management Partners.

The speakers on the first panel explained what traditional publishers still offer.What alternative publishers do? How sustainable is self-publishing?

Don Weisberg-- Opportunities for writers are greater but also more difficult. Penguin works with authors as a partnership. They don't look for a book but for an author to develop.

Linda Quinton--she loves to spend time working with the community, talking and listening to what they love.

Lou Aronica, publisher of The Story Plant-- small press focuses on one area. They know where the readers are and they don't mind working all the hours of day and night. Digital opened more sales. according to him, authors should focus on one genre to develop readership. Readers are more interested in things than we give them credit for.

Caolyn Pittis, senior VP at Harper Collins--They have seen a lot of changes. There are two markets: Value Market that gives bestsellers and seller markets.
Editors and readers alike want to be touched by what you write. Books with vampires or such characters are more likely to be pirated.

Mark Coker: Founder of Smashwords: He and his wife wrote a novel that was rejected by publishers. He ended up publishing it on his own, then he published two books for friends, the year after he published 100 books, and the year after 80,000 ebooks! It's a great time to publish ebooks. Publishers and editors acquire what they think will sell, but they release it after 10-16 months. By then the readers look for something else. Also self-published authors set more realistic prices than publishers. Consumers are looking for less expensive. Blog about subjects related to your book.

Liz Scheier: Barnes &Noble sells150,00 ebooks a day.

From Left to right: Thubten Comerford, CEO WePost Media
Tracee Gleichner: Founder and CEO, Literal Exposure
Joan Schulhafer: Publishing; Media Consulting

Whether you're working with a publishing house or on your own, you have to find your readers. This is easier and harder than ever. You either need money or time to do it.You can use a publicist to help you. The people above are expert in the field.

They do the advertising for you, while you keep writing. Price: $250 per module--they will specify what the module includes, or $249 for two months to promote one book with a virtual blog tour the publicist arranges in blogs that have over 1000 hits a day. Of course you write the blogs on subjects she suggests. Price also includes sending newsletters, notes on Facebook,  Tweets and Re-Tweets. and others...

Doing your own marketing is considerably cheaper, as long as you have a huge amount of time to do it. Build a useful social media presence, email list, and web presence.

The quality and distinctiveness of what you write has never been more important for writers. If you manage to bring readers to your book, you want them to find a long list of good reviews.

 Special at for $0.99

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are you too busy?

We live in a speed-driven culture, always on the run, having too much to do and feeling overwhelmed. How often have you decided you couldn't handle anymore responsibility, and yet accepted another task only a few minutes later in order not to disappoint a friend or a relative?

"I've got to run."
"I'm too busy right now."
"I don't have time for myself."
These are complaints we repeat several times a day. We have reached the point where we feel guilty if we stop our daily activities to take care of ourselves. But if we neglect our  physical and mental health, how can we take care of our children, spouses, or older parents?

We are so used to being a busy bee all day, twenty-four seven, that we can't accept any different concept without feeling guilty. If something in our to-do list goes undone, the world would fall apart. As a result we trudge through rush, worry and stress.

Stress may slowly disappear if we learn to prioritize and say no to things that can wait. Give ourselves personal time to relax, to read for fun, chat with friends or play with the kids,...

Are you too busy? How can you make time for yourself?

My heroine Olivia never had time for herself, until Luc taught her that life had to be enjoyed.


Blurb: A lie that brings a smile or a truth that draws a tear?

Successful physician and loving mother, Olivia Crane fiercely believes youthful mistakes should be kept buried. Dr. Luc George, the French psychiatrist, she loved ten years ago, detests secrets. When Luc strolls back into her life, Olivia welcomes her second chance. But on her own terms. The past forgotten, no questions asked. As Luc tries to unravel her many secrets, he also threatens to shatter her carefully constructed world.

Can Luc help her conquer her inner fears or will he get burned by the past?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Inspirational True Story

Recently there have been troubles in many countries around the world.

In one of these countries I will not name—a beautiful country where tourists gravitated to, in better days—the troubles turned vicious against the Christian minority.

The Christian young men walked out peacefully, carrying crosses to protest the burning of their churches. But the government released army tanks to stop them. The tanks rolled on the sidewalks, smashing and killing without mercy.

One of the soldier after killing seven with his tank hit a priest, hurting him in the shoulders and arms. As the religious man tried to stand, he noticed that the tank has overturned and burst into flames, trapping the screaming soldier.

The priest crawled to the soldier and dragged him out of the flames, keeping him against him to protect him from the furious and panicking crowd of Christian protesters.

The soldier was scared when seeing himself held in the arms of a man that he’d been taught to consider an enemy. He tried to disengage himself. The priest calmed him down. “Stay here, my son. Don’t be afraid. No one will hurt you.”

“How come you’re saving me? I killed seven of your Christians just now.”

The priest said: “It’s Jesus-Christ who is saving you. I’m only his instrument.”

The soldier remained quiet. No one attacked him.

Someone sent me the video. I was so impressed I had to share it.

A true Christian, this priest lived his faith and didn’t practice revenge.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


My first self-published book offered at $0.99


and at      Smashwords     in PDF, Kindle, and other formats


2011 EPPIE Award Finalist
2010 Best Contemporary Romance ~ Readers Favorite

"A fantastic read. The plot was very well thought out and the pacing on target. ~Night Owl Romance

"A charming story. Keeping the reader entertained with the twists and turns in the plot." ~Got Romance!

"Full of emotion, suspense, intrigue, good intentions and determination." ~The Long And The Short Reviews

"A wonderfully written book about true love and the rarity of second chances." ~Happy Ever After

Product Description

A lie that brings a smile or a truth that draws a tear?

Successful physician and loving mother, Olivia Crane fiercely believes youthful mistakes should be kept secret and skeletons are better left in closets. Unfortunately, Dr. Luc George, the French psychiatrist, she loved ten years ago, detests secrets and has a professional tendency to dig into people’s minds.

Determined to rekindle their former relationship, Luc strolls back into her hospital and her life, tries to unravel her many secrets and threatens to shatter her carefully constructed world. Against her better judgment, Olivia succumbs to his charm and welcomes her second chance, but on her own terms. The past forgotten, no questions asked.

Can Luc help her conquer her inner fears or will he get burned by the past too? Will Olivia grab her second chance and finally find happiness with the love of her life?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Iron Gate Dam along the Danube River

If you remember a month ago I started posting about my river cruise along the Danube. With pictures and notes, I shared my visit to Bucharest, Romania, Varda, Bulgaria, and the Black Sea. 

Next we crossed the Iron Gate Dam and encountered three sets of locks along the Danube. The River ship crawled into the locks. The water level was raised to allow the ship to cross to the high level of the river, and then the lock closed behind us and the water level lowered. A fascinating procedure we experienced three times during the same day. The longest locking procedure lasted and hour and a half. We were all on deck watching with amazement. I have seen the same type of locks while crossing the Panama Canal. 

Along the way, we discovered remarkable stone statues from the Neolitihic era of Lepenski Vit, indicating that the area has been inhabitated for at least 8000 years. One of the oldest settlement in Europe.

Here is a huge cliff carving of the Dacian king Decabalus who fought the romans and preferred death to submission.

One can still see the the remains of the Trajan Bridge, the first Roman bridge built over the Lower Danube. Above is a picture of the Tabula Trajana or Trajan's Tablet, the only part that remains of a fortress that was covered by the Danube waters.

Years ago someone sculpted a huge egg. For some reasons --I don't remember the story--it ended here along the River and remained for centuries.
The 84-mile Iron Gate is one of Europe's most impressive gorges. One of the narrowest stretches we had to crossed to go from Romania on the right and Bulgaria on the left, to Serbia.  The river carved this narrow passeway between the Carpathian Mountains and the Balkan Mountains.
The Miracula Church

Stay tune for a visit to Novisad and Belgrade in Serbia, followed by Budapest and Vienne.

And here is my first self-published, contemporary romance
NO MORE LIES that will soon be available at as Kindle for only $0.99!!!!!!!!!!

A lie that brings a smile, or a truth that draws a tear.

Night Owl Romance ~ Top Pick

[Prescription for Trust] [NO MORE LIES] was a fantastic read. read.
Got Romance! ~ 4.5 Diamonds
Mona Risk writes a charming story. Keeping the reader entertained with the twists and turns in the plot.
The Long And The Short Reviews~.4.5 Books. Nominated for Best Book of The Week.
[Prescription for Trust] [NO MORE LIES], is full of emotion, suspense, intrigue, good intentions and determination. , depending on which character POV you are looking from. Mona Risk’s
Readers Favorite~ 5 Hearts 2010 Best Contemporary Romance.
If the rest of the books in this string is of this caliber, Ms Risk will find herself with a very successful series on her hands.
Happy Ever After~ 5cups- It is a wonderfully written book about true love and the rarity of second chances. I would prescribe that anyone wanting a lighthearted fast-paced love story should read this book.