Monday, June 16, 2008

Catching Up

Vacation is stressful. I mean coming back from vacation is stressful. By the time you open the suitcases, throw several wash loads in the washing machine, fold your laundry and put the clothes in place, read your mail, call friends, welcome the grandchildren…
Gosh, you need a rest. I don’t dare saying...a vacation.
My vacation was a serious one. Call it a research time: finding new settings for coming books. I took pictures and notes.

My next hero will be Sicilian. Why?

Because I loved Sicily, and the medieval town of Taormina nestled on a cliff overlooking the Med Sea. Here are two pictures showing the gate and town walls, and the main church.

The left picture is a monastery perched at the sommet of a mountain in Corfu in Greece. The bus climbed for an hour along a narrow road winding through the cliff while my heart dropped to my toes. Right picture is the town of Santa Margarita, in Italy.

I am posing in front of Napoleon's statue and the train that took us around the city of Ajaccio, Corsica.

I have been awake since four in the morning, reading and answering e-mails, checking blogs and leaving comments, writing endless to-do-lists…and drinking coffee.

I received the first edits of Babies in the Bargain and the book cover from The White Rose Press.
My romantic suspense French Peril will be released in four days by Cerridwen Press. Only four days. I love that book and I love the book cover. I think the art department at Ellora’s Cave did a great job. Now I need to advertize it full speed.

CONTEST: I am running a contest. Just read my blogs, blurb, excerpts and leave a comment.
Be my friend and reader. On Saturday, I will pull the names of three persons from the comments on the blogs of this week. Prizes: an onyx ring, adjustable to any finger, from Corfu, Greece. A golden bracelet coated with blue and green enamel from Corsica and a ladybug brooch with red and white rhinestones from Venice, Italy. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Here is an excerpt from chapter two of FRENCH PERIL. It shows the heroine’s character:

Later that evening, Cheryl stepped out on the back terrace. A long nap and invigorating shower had restored her usual optimism.

Loud laughter and the masculine voices of the dinner guests wafted toward her. She spotted François with three men, enjoying a drink. A table had been set at the end of the terrace overlooking a rose garden. Cheryl hesitated before crossing the twenty-foot wide terrace.

As if sensing her presence, her host glanced in her direction. His gaze held hers for a moment, paused on her décolletage, lingered on her waist and skated all the way to her toes bared by the sandals. The cool breeze caressed her naked arms and a strand of hair flew out of the unruly mane curling down her back. She brushed it away with a quick flip of her head, suddenly aware of her lack of sophistication. Pressing nervous fingers against the leg of her white jeans, she wished she’d taken the time to pack better for her trip. At least her flower-printed blouse with a deep V-neck enhanced the simplicity of her outfit.

Cripes, no one had told her that searching for a missing statue and digging under the ruins of a chapel necessitated an elegant wardrobe. Not that she cared about her appearance. Still. She stifled a groan as she studied her host.

François strode toward her exuding a rakish charm she couldn’t miss and a self-confidence that screamed power. Navy slacks wrapped his rugged, lean figure and contrasted with the white cotton shirt fitting over his muscled torso.

He smiled. A devastating smile that sent waves of heat to her face and down her neck. “Bonsoir. Good evening. I hope you had a chance to rest,” he said in a throaty French accent. He took her outstretched hand and kept it between his. Tingles skittered across her skin.

She stiffened, hoping her face lost its blush as fast as it gained it. Damn her inexperience. Why hadn’t she learned to flirt and have fun like her best friend Barb? Under the protective wing of her mentor, she’d been too busy studying. Granted, she’d dated a few boyfriends. Cute and clumsy. Certainly, none aristocrat or French, with an aura of power about them. François released her hand but remained next to her, so close, his breath warming her cheeks.
“I’m feeling much better, thank you,” she lied as she freed her hand and clenched the strap of her purse.


petite said...

What lovely photos.They are definitely sites to appreciate. Historic and beautiful. Thanks for this wonderful glimpse into your vacation. Yes, it does take time to catch up and get back into your routine. I enjoyed this great excerpt.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! You took some really great pics. I'm glad you had a wonderful time. Do you plan on taking another trip soon? Were talking about taking a cruise. Maybe....

Vicky B said...

What a wonderful trip you had - and so much fodder for new stories! Just imagine the settings you can now use. :)

Nice blurb too!

Vicky Burkholder

ruth said...

Impressive photos. I always enjoy perusing photos of places that I would love to experience. Your trip certainly is unforgettable.

pearl said...

Thanks for this chance to enjoy a new and amazing trip. Love your pics greatly. Hope that you have managed to adjust to being home again. The excerpt had my interest and best of success.

ellie said...

Sounds and looks like a dream trip. I would love to visit Italy and enjoy that type of cruise. The photos are great!

JeanMP said...

what lovely pictures. I enjoyed the great excerpt too

Mona Risk said...

Hi petite, I'm glad you like the pictures and mostly the excerpt. Two more days to have my book out.

Kimmi, it would be nice to go again. LOL. But no more trips for a long time. If you have a chance to go on a cruise don't miss it. It's certainly cheaper than to try to travel on your own.

Hello, Vicky, I've already started a story set in Greece,Island of Passion. And the hero of another story, a romantic suspense, High Rises Style, is from Sicily.

Hi Ruth, I will post more pictures tomorrow with special stories about Corfu, Montenegro and Malta.

Pearl, I adjusted to being back because I had no choice. My little granddaughters , 2 and 4, needed babysitting today and couldn't care less if we are still on jet lag.

Shelley Munro said...

I love the photos, Mona. I think the worst part about a holiday is coming home with all that dirty laundry!!

Rebekah E. said...

Great pictures. People always say I need a vacation from my vacation. Unfortunately vacations never seem as relaxing as we want them to be. But it sounds like you still had a great time.

robynl said...

Great pics again. One more day till launch time!!! Wahoo.