Sunday, March 25, 2012

Greece Independence Day

Today is Greece Independence Day.
What better way to celebrate than drink a glass of ouzo, eat dolmathakia (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese baked in Phillo Crust), Gyros, tsatsikis (cucumber dip with yogurt, garlic and dill), lamb chops, souvlaki (marinated pork grilled on skewer), moussaka (baked eggplant. Fort dessert, baklava of course, and rice pudding. Now you can lie down and relax with a fun book set in Mykonos Island.

 GREEK ENCOUNTER, available at amazon kindle for only $0.99.

Counselor Ashley Sheppard is a gorgeous redhead who knocks Stefano off his axis when he meets her incognito. Sparks fly during a first encounter that leads to a memorable night of passion. In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise. Her handsome Greek god is the opponent. Her heart gnaws with pain, yet she attacks him with all her strength to defend her grandfather's case. Stefano wins the lawsuit, but will he lose Ashley?

To keep her in Mykonos, he strikes a deal with his old enemy. Does Ashley dare to trust the Greek playboy? Or even understand her grandfather's strange change of heart regarding the Pink Villa?

GREEK ENCOUNTER An armchair trip to Greece. A hot and humorous romance.  at

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Greek Encounter

Product Description: Stefano Kostapoulos plans to demolish the dilapidated Pink Villa inherited from his grandmother and build a modern resort on the Greek island of Mykonos. But the American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his attorney to Greece--a lawyer Stefano plans to shred to pieces at the hearing.
Except that Counselor Ashley Sheppard is a gorgeous redhead who knocks Stefano off his axis when he meets her incognito. Sparks fly during a first encounter that leads to a memorable night of passion.

In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise. Her handsome Greek god is the opponent. Her heart gnaws with pain, yet she attacks him with all her strength to defend her grandfather's case.

Stefano wins the lawsuit, but is about to lose Ashley. To keep her in Mykonos, he strikes a deal with his old enemy. Does Ashley dare to trust the Greek playboy? Or even understand her grandfather's strange change of heart regarding the Pink Villa?

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Greek Romance, March 10, 2012
By H. M. Taylor "silvarie" - I've read all Mona Risk's books and enjoyed them, but this has to be my favorite. It captured my attention from the first page and I couldn't stop reading until Stefano and Ashley found their HEA. Stefano is a delicious hero, as hot as the Mediterranean sun and determined to do right by his family. Ashley is equally determined to see justice done for her grandfather. When the two go head to head sparks fly in more ways than one. Something I love about Mona Risk's books is the exotic settings. This book is full of lovely descriptions of Mykonos that transported me to the island and provided a wonderful backdrop for the romance. Recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Vacation to Greece. Mona Risk whisks You Away, March 16, 2012 By Debbie A.- After reading Mona Risk's romances, I have become such a fan. This story is steamy with the fiesty Ashley meeting up with her very own sexy Greek god where sparks fly and motives clash. As in her other stories, the author makes you feel like you've taken a vacation and fallen in love. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Visuals and Excitement, March 17, 2012
By Seniorcitizen -Mona Risk has a knack for making the reader savor every word in each of her novels, so real, as if you're there, whether it's Paris or Belarus, or here, on a beautiful yacht, in summer, in the stunning Greek Islands surrounded by turquoise seas. Ashley and Stefano set the beach on fire. This is basically two memorable love stories in one, and I enjoyed them both. I can't wait for her next novel.

5.0 out of 5 stars Very endearing characters against the breathtaking beauty of Mykonos Island, March 21, 2012 By Martha Paley Francescato "martísima"- No wasted time. We enter Mykonos Island and immediately meet Dimitri Stefano Alexios Kostapoulos, who is scanning the old villa facing the Aegean Sea - the house that was a sad page of his family's past. But what catches his attention is a vision in a green sarong with reddish blond hair who comes out of the dilapidated yard.

Meet Ashley Sheppard, the lawyer who has traveled from Boston to protect the interests of her grandfather. Stefano owns half of the house and he wants to tear it down to build a resort. He has the backing of all the people. But the other half is owned by George (Yorgho) Zanis, Ashley's grandfather, who had built the house for the love of Elena, the mayor's daughter. Theirs was a sad story, and everyone holds George responsible for what happened and consider him the enemy, as they think that he had dishonored and abandoned Stefano's grandmother, Yaya Elena, years ago.

Against this backdrop, Ashley Sheppard and Stefano Alexios (as he introduces himself to her so that she doesn't know who he is) have to be opposites in court, but not until they have fallen in love in just a few hours. Their attraction is intense, and we understand it. For him Ashley is the vision of Aphrodite - for Ashley he is a Greek god she thought belonged only to mythology.

We follow their tempestuous relationship throughout the book, with the background of the Aegean Sea and the wondrous beauty of the island, which we can appreciate together with Ashley from Stefano's yacht, the Athena.

It is not easy to express what we love more - the characters or the breathtaking beauty of the location. They are both equally endearing, as in this novel the male character is sincere and understanding. The past is a reflection of the love between Elena and Yorgho that is being passed on to their grandchildren, Stefano and Ashley, so that they can enjoy something that was denied to their grandparents.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A trip to Greece

I set my latest romance novel, GREEK ENCOUNTER, on the Island of Mykonos, Greece, that I visited several times over the years.
In Greek mythology, Mykonos was the location of the battle between Zeus, the God of gods, and the Titans, and the island was named in honor of Apollo's grandson Mykons. Since 1960, Mykonos has been a sought-after destination for tourists.

Take a cruise around Mykonos with the hero and heroine, Stephano and Ashley.

Ted led her to a sidewalk café where a sign greeted the tourists in Greek and English: Welcome to Kaffe Paradizio. Proper attire required. NO bikinis or half bikinis on premises.
Ashley snorted inwardly. At least here, she wouldn’t feel out of place...

How had that Greek woman, Elena, managed to inflame Grandpa George with a love that endured a fifty-year separation?

Irritation pinched Ashley’s insides. Her own romances had never lasted more than a year, earning Grandpa’s reproachful looks and his never-wavering advice. Look for a Greek man who can love you unconditionally. Did Greek men belong to a special brand of lovers whose passion could survive the test of time and distance?

“Nothing beats the view of Mykonos from the sea.” Pride underlined Stefano’s casual assessment.
“Stefano has a yacht anchored at the end of the island, beyond the Pink Villa,” Ted added nonchalantly.“He loves to brag about the island where he was born. No one knows it as well as he does. Believe me, Ashley, you’ll enjoy the ride.”

"I’ll get the boat closer to Chora.” Stefano turned to Ashley. “It’s the downtown area of Mykonos."

The Athena glided through the water and gained speed. The island shrank to a wide ribbon, and she could hardly detect its landmark, the famous three mills of Mykonos that heralded the tourists as they approached the island.

Stefano opened the side windshield and let the breeze invade the pilot station. “What’s your pleasure?”

With a toss of her head, Ashley flung her hair back and took a deep breath. “Can we stay close enough to the shore to discover the beaches?”

“Absolutely. This little cruise is all yours.”

Exhilaration filled her heart. She steered a superb ship and the captain was determined to please her. “Thank you, Stefano. I really appreciate you taking the time to show me your beautiful island.”

“We’re passing Korfos. Keep straight. The main island is looping into a cape. Now you can see Agios Ioannis—St. Jeanne Beach there. It’s small but picturesque.” He handed her a pair of binoculars and she scanned the beach.

Blood rushed to her cheeks at the sight of the topless bathers lying on towels or relaxing on lounge chairs. A couple hours ago, she’d been soaking up the sun on a similar chair—in a similar pose. Good thing Stefano had been lazing in a café. Besides, he didn’t know her at the time and wouldn’t have noticed her in the crowd.
Lowering the binoculars, she glanced at him. His face expressionless, he stared at the horizon and hadn’t noticed her embarrassment. “We are crossing a strait between Mykonos and the ancient island of Delos. I’ll handle the helm while you enjoy the view. The rocky islet offers an impressive exhibit of columns, temple remains, and statues of lions.”

Ashley shifted to the other side of the pilot station and adjusted the binoculars to her eyes while Stefano took back the control of his boat.

“Delos is the birthplace of Apollo. His mother, the nymph Leto, was seduced by the god of gods, Zeus,” Stefano explained while Ashley admired the sculptural ruins of sanctuaries. “When his wife, the goddess Hera, learned of his treachery she banished the pregnant young nymph from earth.”

“What happened to Leto?” she asked, genuinely interested in the sad love story. Had all the Greek maids been destined to suffer because of love? She had Greek blood in her veins and wanted to hear of a happy ending.

GREEK ENCOUNTER, available at for $2.99

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My procedure

What is upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy?
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum—the first part of the small intestine.
How is upper GI endoscopy performed?
Upper GI endoscopy is conducted at a hospital or outpatient center.
Patients may receive a local, liquid anesthetic that is gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. The anesthetic numbs the throat and calms the gag reflex. An intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in the arm if a sedative will be given. Sedatives help patients stay relaxed and comfortable. While patients are sedated, the doctor and medical staff monitor vital signs.

During the procedure, patients lie on their back or side on an examination table. An endoscope is carefully fed down the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the doctor to perform biopsies, stop bleeding, and remove abnormal growths.

Recovery from Upper GI Endoscopy
After upper GI endoscopy, patients are moved to a recovery room where they wait about an hour for the sedative to wear off. During this time, patients may feel bloated or nauseated. They may also have a sore throat, which can stay for a day or two. Patients will likely feel tired and should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Unless otherwise directed, patients may immediately resume their normal diet and medications.

Some results from upper GI endoscopy are available immediately after the procedure. The doctor will often share results with the patient after the sedative has worn off. Biopsy results are usually ready in a few days.

What are the risks associated with upper GI endoscopy?
Risks associated with upper GI endoscopy include
•abnormal reaction to sedatives
•bleeding from biopsy
•accidental puncture of the upper GI tract

Patients who experience any of the following rare symptoms after upper GI endoscopy should contact their doctor immediately:
•swallowing difficulties
•throat, chest, and abdominal pain that worsens
•bloody or very dark stool

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.

Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former block. In many regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and St Valentine’s Day.

I was in Minsk, Belarus, on March 8, 1995. My company had won a contract to refurbish the Ecomir Laboratory, where radioactive and environmental samples were analyzed to assess the pollution left after the Chernobyl disaster.

Around 11 am, one of the Belarusian chemists came to tell me, the Ecomir director was inviting me and all the ladies in my team to a Women’s Day lunch. I had no idea what she was talking about, but we followed her to the big canteen of the Academy of Sciences, next to Ecomir.

The huge room was packed with Belarusian women. A lunch with vodka--of course-- was served and the Director presented me with hand-made straw place mates and a wooden tray crafted locally. Each of the female chemists in my team also received a gift.

Then the entertainment started. Children recited poems in Russian, or sang in groups, or danced in ethnic costumes. They were adorable. All I understood was Mamoushka and Baboushka! But I smiled, clapped hands, and hugged them.

I learned from the chemists in the lab that they were invited for dinner by the special men in their lives, husbands, fiancés, lovers or brothers or sons. And they were not supposed to cook, clean or do any housework on that special day.

Of course, I had to close the lab after lunch and give them the afternoon off.

From my book, Rx in RUSSIAN,
Rx in RUSSIAN, international romance on kindle. Sweet and sensual novel with Russian culture. Armchair trip to Belarus,

“Today is Women’s Day in the Russian countries, a day when we celebrate our special women, Fyodor said. “Tonight, it will be just you and me.”
“Okay.” Yes, yes. Jillian needed to go out and forget her disappointment, brainstorm with Fyodor about a new solution for the orphan baby, but mostly she wanted to be with him. Alone with him. Maybe in his arms again. Oh yes. In his arms. His special woman. She smiled, her heart in her eyes. “I’d like to go out.”
“Dr. Vassilov.” Sofia sauntered toward them. Fyodor straightened up. “Your mama called us last night. My mama and I are coming to your apartment for dinner tonight. To celebrate Women’s Day.” She tilted her head coyly and granted them a sweet smile. “Maybe I can leave with you after work. Mama will go straight to your place.”
Fyodor stared at Sofia as if he’d seen a ghost. “Tonight?” Jillian stood, flicked a glance from Sofia to Fyodor, and walked to the door. “Jillian, wait.”
“Did you forget?” Sofia pouted.
“Uh... Yes. I’m sorry, I completely forgot. Jillian, please, wait.”
But she’d heard enough. Her back stiffened. Talk about embarrassing. She should have known better.
You are here on a mission. And that mission didn’t include being in Fyodor’s arms or sharing kisses. She was not the woman for him.
Sofia was the one.
The one his children needed. The one he should marry. The one who had a right to be in his arms.

Blurb: Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer. Duty demands that Fyodor provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and big family. Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. Jillian blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage.

When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?