Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Day left:

One day left for my romantic suspense, FRENCH PERIL, to be released by Cerridwen Press. Tomorrow, tomorrow…

Until then, I will tell you more about three places I visited.

Malta: Malta, home of the Crusaders, is a little island that you can tour in one hour. The number of churches and their magnificence are impressive for such a small area. Interestingly, one the churches called the Mosta Dome harbored an unexploded bomb. During World War II, the citizens of Malta took refuge in the church during the bombardment. A bomb hit the church, went through the dome, stopped near the altar …and didn’t explode. No one was hurt. The Maltese considered it a miracle. The bomb is still there but it has been deactivated.

Kotru in Montenegro: Montenegro is one of the new countries that separated from the former Yugoslavia. Our ship reached the port through the only fjord in the Mediterranean Sea. At 7:00 a.m., we heard the horn blowing. We rushed to the deck. The ship came close to a tiny island that had only a Greek Orthodox Church on it. People waved at us with towels. The church bells rang. The ship horn blew, and so on for a few minutes while the ship toured around the little island. A priest came out of the church. Apparently, it’s a tradition for any ship passing by to alert the church. In response, the priest gives his blessing for a safe trip. This artificial island was constructed by sinking 175 boats. The sailors built a church on it to thank the Lord for their safety after a terrible storm. At the end of the day, while leaving Kotur, the horn and church bells went through the same routine as the ship toured around the island on its way out of the fjord.

Corfu in Greece: In every historical church we visited, we were surprised to see a multitude of little silver boats hanging from the candelabras. The guide explained that when the sailors and fishermen met with storms but came back home safely they offered a silver boat in gratitude.

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.

Now back to FRENCH PERIL. Instead of an excerpt I will let the characters introduce themselves:

Characters’ Introduction:
Cheryl Stewart: I’m worried about my mentor, Professor Howard. He went to lunch with a prospective graduate student, a man from Malaysia, but became sick during the lunch and was rushed to the hospital for food poisoning or heart attack.
Professor Howard asked me to go to France on his behalf and help a French count with the restoration of a chapel and the search for a valuable statue that had been missing since World War II.
What could be more exciting than spending a couple months working in the plush Loire Valley, in France? I will have to live in the count’s chateau. The same count I saw at Harvard three years ago. The handsome playboy was so busy entertaining gorgeous women he didn’t give me the time of the day back then. I bet he won’t remember me.

François de Valroux: I am searching for an invaluable statue of the Virgin Mary that used to adorn the chapel of my chateau. The statue disappeared during the war bombardment. Was it destroyed? Did my grandfather hide it?
I have been impatiently waiting for Professor Howard who did a lot of research on the subject. I can’t believe he skipped our appointment and sent his graduate student. On the other hand, Cheryl is such a lovely young woman I can’t say I am too disappointed. Between you and me, I can’t resist a pretty woman. What can I say, it’s in my genes. I come from a long line of glorious adulterers and fabulous lovers.
When the Boston Hospital calls to announce Cheryl’s mentor died, I do my best to console her with a hug and a kiss, and pledge to protect her. It’s my pleasure. Huh…I mean my duty.
For her own safety, I ask her to keep the search for my statue secret from the five other students training on the chapel reconstruction.
Edith Blaise: I consider myself François’ current girlfriend. I want him badly but I also have a weakness for his title, his fortune, his chateau and its treasures. I won’t let anyone interfere with my goal of becoming the next Countess of Valroux. Certainly not, the American student, a nerd who lives in a pair of blue jeans and finds her happiness in old stones and computers.

Adriaan Van Deem: I come from Amsterdam. I’m studying archeology and I can’t resist the appeal of old stones. Especially if they have a high monetary value. It wouldn’t hurt to befriend the American student who seems to know a lot about the missing statue.

Juan-Pablo Rodriguez: My correct title is Don Juan-Pablo. I hail from the Universidad de Madrid and I am preparing a doctorate in the history of Romanesque churches. I’m a gallant man who always compliments a beautiful woman. Of course, I also like artistic treasures.

Roberto Cantari: I live in Milan, but I was born in Sicily. Women love my dark looks and I love women. People often ask me if I have mafia blood in my veins. Who knows? My nonna raised me and prays all the time that I remain an honest man. I respect my nonno, the most powerful and richest man in Palerma. I would do anything to please my grandparents. Anything…

Chuck Minho: I was born in London. I am a quiet man who doesn’t talk much, but I don’t miss anything going on around me. I don’t like the looks the American girl gives me. Dirty looks. As if she suspects me of killing someone, just because I look Chinese.

Karl Boderman: I’m studying art, painting and sculpting at the University of Berlin. I can’t believe the show these young studs put when a pretty face shows up. I don’t trust any of them. If you want my opinion, I don’t think they are who they say they are. But then…I’m not too.

Bernard: I am the old butler. I was raised in the chateau. My father served François’ grandfather. I love François as if he was my own son and I want to see him married with a good French woman. Mademoiselle Edith seems to love him. She’s always visiting and staying in the chateau, in the room next to his. But I think François is attracted to the American student. He asked me to put her in the room next to him, on the other side. I don’t like that. François sandwiched between the women’s rooms. I don’t like it at all. Especially that the rooms in this old chateau have secret communication doors.
My fondest dream is to find the statue and put it back on the altar of the reconstructed chapel. But someone hit me in the dark and asked me questions about the statue.

Cheryl: I pledge to go after Professor Howard’s killer and find the statue to honor my mentor’s memory. Things would be easier if I wasn’t so attracted to François.

François: Cheryl is careless and exposing herself to danger all the time. I’m constantly worried about her. She has turned my life upside down with her determination and bubbly laughter. I’m ready to give up the search for the statue to ensure Cheryl’s safety, but she won’t let me.
Together we need to find out:
Who poisoned Professor Howard?
Who hit Bernard?
Who broke into Cheryl’s room?
Where is the statue?
Why am I so jealous when the students flirt with Cheryl?


Vicky B said...

I simply CANNOT wait to read this! It sounds great!

Vicky Burkholder

Rebekah E. said...

Sounds like a great book. I love the pictures. It sounds like it was a great trip. I love seeing historical places. I use to live in St. Augustine and loved visiting all of the old buildings over and over again. One day I hope to go visit more amazing places around the world.

Judy said...

I would love to be able to travel to those wonderful places. Maybe that is why I do read alot of historical novels, I can go their in the books I read!! Your book sounds very interesting and the characters are fantastic!! Will put this on my TBR pile!!!

TamiC said...

I am soo jealous, I would love to travel. I want to get married in Italy, but that probably will not happen. A girl can dream right. Your book looks fantastic, can't wait for it.

JeanMP said...

the book sounds fascinating, characters are intriguing. You have some great pictures, would love to visit that area

traveler said...

I have been enjoying your wonderful photos of your vacation. I can feel the history and the atmosphere. Thanks for this glimpse into your great book and the characters.

anne said...

What impressive pics. What an amazing vacation. Your book is a winner and the fascinating characters.

ellie said...

Your book is enticing and thanks for this in depth look at the characters. Your travel photos are so wonderful. I would love to travel, especially to Italy which I am crazy about.

Beth Trissel said...

I so enjoyed reading your description of the islands, the churches and the people. It just sounds rapturous. As does your new read. Great title and cover too. You, my dear, are a shining light in the writing world.

diane said...

To travel to those special places would be like a dream. What a memorable trip. Thanks for the incredible photos. Best of success on this exceptional book.

robynl said...

Wow, according to the pics you had a wonderful vacation. Stunning pics.
Thanks to the characters for their introductions; I'm sure we'll become friends in the book.
Wonderful prizes in the contest.

Heather Redmond said...

Great pictures, Mona! Only about 13 hours til your book release. Congrats! We'll be sharing the page for a week. I have a French-type Chateau in my book, but it's in Michigan, LOL.

Mona Risk said...

Vicky, I read your excerpts and love them. I hope you like my book.

Rebekah, I've been dreaming of visiting St. Augustine. I live in Fort Lauderdale, not far from you. My friends organized a trip two years ago but I was sick at the time.

Judy, I will take you around the world with my stories and my blogs. TO LOVE A HERO is a story set in Belarus with a lot of vodka and nazhtrovia. French Peril is set in France. Island of Passion, in Mikonos, Greece...

Tamic, Italy is extremely expensive but has the most fabulous scenery and most delicious ice creams, the cassata napolitana. It would be a dream come true to get married there. May I suggest Sorrento? I fell in love with this town.

Jeanp, I humbly think that my story IS fascinating. My husband read it one sitting. I couldn't believe it. He usually dozes after reading two chapters of any book.

Traveler, I'm glad you like my pictures. I will have more tomorrow.

Anne said "your book is a winner". From your lips to God's ears.

Ellie, I hope you will enjoy my book and I hope you get the chance to travel to Italy. traveling is an obsession for me.

--a shining light--Beth, you are so sweet. All I want is to share my stories with readers who share my passion for traveling and love.

Diane, it was a memorable trip and I am so happy to share it with all of you.

Robynl I can't wait for you to read my book and meet my international characters.

Heather, come and hold my hand. Thirteen hours left. I am a nervous wreck. Wishing you many sales. I am glad you told me you have a chateau in your book. I am buying it--the book, not the chateau. LOL

Kammie said...

I enjoyed learning about you characters and loved the excerptyou posted. What beautiful photos, too. I want to go there and escape away for a little while.

Mona Risk said...

Kammie, I hope my pictures and books help you escape. That's the only reason I love to write: to escape in a dreamy world.

Mona Risk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The pictures are so lovely. I wish I could have gone too. the presents you brought back for us sound great too. LOL

Anonymous said...

Great pics. I can't wait to read this one. Great excerpt.

JACLYN said...

Who poisoned Professor Howard?
Who hit Bernard?
Who broke into Cheryl’s room?
Where is the statue?
Why am I so jealous when the students flirt with Cheryl?