Wednesday, June 18, 2008


In a few hours, FRENCH PERIL, will be a published book. It’s exciting and scary. I am going through a terrible case of angst as if I was passing an exam tomorrow. I spent years wishing and praying to be published. Yet I am terrified. My first book TO LOVE A HERO, a story set in a Russian country, was published on January 17, two days before my birthday. Now six months later almost to the day, FRENCH PERIL is released. Two books in six months. It took me five years to revise, edit and sell TO LOVE A HERO, but it took six months to write, edit and publish FRENCH PERIL. I guess it’s called building experience.
Here are the links to buy my books:



Let me go back to my trip to release the stress.

Malta is built on a cliff. You can see the city walls here. And the Church of St. Paul who converted the locals.

Spilt in Croatia: City walls and the statue of their patron. His toe is golden. Tourists rub it for good luck.
Here is the first scene from FRENCH PERIL:

“Chinese restaurant… Malaysian student…”

Cheryl Stewart raised the volume on her cell phone and pushed it closer to her ear to decipher the intermittent mumbling. “What’s wrong, Doc?”

“Heart…stomach…” A pause amplified the labored breathing of her mentor.

She connected the hardly audible words. “You’ve been to a Chinese restaurant with a Malaysian student when you felt sick?” Leaning forward, she tightened her grasp on the phone. “Where are you now?”

“Am… Amb… ” The strident wail of an ambulance siren interrupted his effort and Cheryl’s pulse raced at the sound.

“Which hospital are you going to?” God, she should have insisted he take better care of his health.

“ER… Cam…bridge Hos…pital…”

“I’m coming.” It made sense that the paramedics had rushed him to the medical center closest to Harvard School of Architecture.

“Don’t. I need… ” Doc’s voice, suddenly forceful, filled the line and then collapsed as if he’d lost his last shred of energy.

“Yes, what do you need?” Her throat constricted in anguish. She’d do anything to help the man she’d considered a surrogate father for the last eight years.

Her question must have triggered some awareness. “Go to France. My plane ticket in my office. Left drawer. Take my laptop… Password statue.” His voice shattered, then came back. She didn’t know if she’d missed something. “Go. Careful. Watch… ” His panting reached her across the line, louder than his words. “Tell François…tell…”

“Yes?” She probed, her heart drumming in the deafening silence.


“What about you?”

“Maybe food poisoning… Better soon.” He grunted and gasped. “Go.” The connection was cut. Cheryl checked the calling phone number. His cell phone. Had Doc closed the line because a new surge of pain assailed him?

Professor Howard sick? He hadn’t missed a day of work since she’d sat in his class for the first time eight years ago. Should she disobey his orders and rush to the hospital to reassure herself he wasn’t in danger? She bit her lip, hesitating. No, she couldn’t do that. If he’d taken the trouble to call her on his cell phone while in the ambulance writhing in pain, she’d better do exactly as he said.

Her briefcase under her arm, she left the graduate students’ studio at Harvard School of Architecture and strode down the hallway to Professor Stanley Howard’s office. He’d given her a key two months ago when she worked with him on the statue’s project as part of her Ph.D. thesis. She unlocked his office, closed the door behind her and went straight to his desk.

After collecting her laptop carrying case, she left the studio and locked the door. As she glanced down the hallway, she gasped. A man was just stepping out of Doc’s office. What the hell was he doing there? Except for Cheryl and security, no one else had a key to her mentor’s office.


Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations on the release of
your newest book! Just read the
excerpt, it sounds very good!

Pat Cochran

alissa said...

Congratulations on the release of French Peril. I have been enthralled with the excerpts. All the best. Love the photos.

Anonymous said...

Congrtast Mona on your release. The excerpt was great. Can't wait to read more.

ruth said...

Congratulations on French Peril's release. Have a wonderful day and enjoy this celebration. Enjoyed this wonderful excerpt.

Rebekah E. said...

Congrats on your new release. It sounds like a great book.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you, thank you. I didn't sleep much tonight. FRENCH PERIL is out. If you have time come join us at Two Lips Review as we chat and post and read excerpts, and joke and compare notes.

My contest continues until Saturday.

Tomorrow I will post the prizes and pull names on Saturday night.

Thank you for your support. It means the world to me as I go through the highs and lows of publishing.

Heather Redmond said...

Yeah! Congratulations!

Toni V.S. said...

Mona, the photographs are beautiful. Out of curiosity--who is the patron saint of that city? A golden toe on a statue--that is such an intriguing act! So is all I've read of French Peril, too!

Sandra Cox said...

Yay! Mona! This is a wonderful book. Wishing you many sales!

principessa said...

Congratulations on the great release day. Can hardly wait for French Peril. Your excerpt and characters are unique. Best wishes.

Mona Risk said...

Heather, congratulations to you too for In Flight.

Toni, the statue is that of a bishop with a complicated slavic name. I can't remember it. It was right outside the walls of the city, like guarding it.

Sandra, thanks for your help reading and critiquing.

Principessa, dear Italian princess, I can't wait for you to read my book.

JeanMP said...

congrats on the release of your book. great excerpt.