Sunday, December 23, 2012

I was tagged by the fabulous Beth Trissel, author of SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, and here I am answering a few questions.

What is the title of your book?
CHRISTMAS BABIES, very appropriate for the Christmas season.

Where did the idea come from for the book?The story takes place in Florida where I live. While living in northern states, I have often wondered how people celebrate Christmas on the beach. Now I know and I love it. Like my daughter, the heroine is a pediatrician and neonatologist. But what if this heroine who deals with tiny patients all day long can’t have children of her own?
What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary romance, with some medical scenes, although most of the story takes place out of the hospital or on the beach at Christmas time.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I love Kate Hudson. She’s sassy and confident. She can handle the role of Dr. Madelyn Ramsay. I can picture Matthew McConaughey in the role of Dr. Nick Preston.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The best synopsis was given by my friend Mary Ricksen:
Would that we all realize about love without needing a health scare to convince us.

Where (or when) can we get your book?
CHRISTMAS BABIES is available at Amazon for 99cents. It’s a bestseller with a rank #180 in kindle store and #41 in Contemporary romance. Link to order:

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
My manuscript is 36,000 wc. I wrote it in four weeks while in a cruise in the Middle East and India. I was relaxed. The words flew off my fingers.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is my first Christmas story. I wrote several medical romances in the same genre. BABIESIN THE BARGAIN, NO MORE LIES, and RIGHT NAME,WRONG MAN.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The story involves an interesting look at foster care and adoption. Believe me, I did some intense research about these subjects.

Blurb: A heartwarming holiday story set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.

But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

***The next stop on The next Big Thing (Monday the 31st) will be with the talented Celia Yeary, either at her blog:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Babies

CHRISTMAS BABIES available in Kindle format at Amazon.

A heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.

What would be the best Christmas she could give herself?

A charming doctor to date, like the secretive Nick Preston, who hides his own package of disillusions?

Or a pair of adorable babies, like the newborn twins, Celia and Liana, who’d already wormed their way into her heart?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Treat No Trick

what to do:

1) Visit each author's website and collect the Witch's Brew ingredients. Enter the Witch's Brew Drawing (form below) and list each author's featured book (aka "ingredient"). All authors are contributing goodies for the Witch's Brew Basket! Contest ends on Halloween at midnight. Winner will be randomly selected from entries and winner will be notified on Thursday, November lst. Good Luck!!

Visit my Website: Witches Brew ingredient: Find the title of my newest book.

2) "LIKE" each authors FACEBOOK page to be eligible for "treat" from each author whose page you visit and "Like." Look for the Halloween contest tab to enter. Prize varies from author to author. All contests end on Halloween at midnight, October 31st. Winners will be notified via e-mail on Thursday, November 1st. Happy Halloween!

"Like" my Facebook Page:: "Like" my page between Oct. 28 - 31 to be eligible for a prize. Winner chosen randomly. Winner notified on November 1st by e-mail.

All contests end at midngiht on Halloween, October 31st.

Neighbors and More is a romantic suspense, and the first book of the High Rise Series.

High Rises are like large families where members face love, hate, meddling, and gossiping. When the neighbor who was harassing her is found dead in the Jacuzzi, Alexa is a prime suspect.

Can she count on her dear neighbors,

including the delectable Italian, Dante, for help? With too many skeletons in their closets, would they save her or incriminate her?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

First Day: Naples, Italy

Bay of Naples
Following a long tiring plane trip, we arrived in Rome, early morning and rode the bus for an hour and a half straight to the port of Civitavecchia where we boarded our ship. Needless to say I was so exhausted with a swollen ankle from a previous fall two days before the trip that I collapsed on the bed in our cabin and slept a few hours until dinner.

Volcano of Mt. Vesuvius

In the evening the ship sailed to Naples where we arrived the next day.

Castel del Ovo
We had a lovely day in Naples and took an open-top bus to visit this old city. 

The Cathedral

Downtown Naples
 Stay tune for pictures of Santorini, Greece, tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trick-or-Treat Free ParTay!

GOING FREE October 10-11
As part of the FREE Par-Tay
(Previously titled Sailing with You)
            When Greek billionaire Stefano decides to demolish the dilapidated villa inherited from his grandmother, the American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his attorney—and pretty granddaughter—to contest the demolition. To check out the opposition before he faces her at the hearing, Stefano meets her incognito and convinces her to take a sunset ride on his yacht. Sparks fly and passion sizzles during a memorable night.
            In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise about her handsome Greek god and Stefano is about to lose the only woman who’s ever touched his heart. Will Stefano be able to convince Ashley he’s not the enemy anymore?

Trick-or-Treat Free ParTay!  For Two Days Only, Oct. 10th – 11th , "Her Greek Romance" will be FREE! If you like "Her Greek Romance" you might also like these other FREE books:
“Voodoo or Die,” A voodoo doll gift turns out to be anything but! By Stephanie Bond.

“Optical Delusions in Deadwood,” Packed full of humor, romance, sex, ghosts, suspense, and mystery! By Ann Charles.
“Light The Hidden Things,” A woman’s love saves a self-destructive PTSD veteran. By Don McQuinn.

“Stolen Secrets,” Danger threatens to tear them apart. By NancyRadke.
“Songs for Perri,” Danger wears a mask, nothing is as it seems. By NancyRadke.

To enter to win a Kindle and $25 worth of Amazon gift cards, simply visit and sign up for our newsletter!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Eleven (9-11)

Today is a day of remembrance and prayers. In my family, it is a day to give thanks to God for sparing my uncle and my cousin—his nephew.

On September 11, 2001, my cousin Alex, a twenty-five years old accountant was cursing himself for staying up late the night before, ignoring his alarm while still dozing, and missing his train from Long Island to Manhattan. His Mom had just arrived the night before and the whole family was celebrating her visit with a special dinner.

Alex took the next train and worried during the whole trip about what his boss would say. It was his first job after graduating with an MBA, a nice position as accountant in a firm on the 18th floor of the World Trade Center.

The train stopped for 20 minutes at the previous station and then zoomed without stopping for the next four stations. Alex and the passengers couldn’t understand why. They were told to evacuate the train and walk. While walking toward the World Trade Center, Alex saw the smoke and fumes darkening the sky. People were running in all directions. Someone told him about the attack. He tried to walk away, toward his home. From 9:30 am to 5 pm he roamed in the streets, not knowing how to find transportation and reach home. By 4 pm he finally found someone who agreed to let him use a cellular phone and he called home.

His mother had seen the attack on TV and collapsed thinking her son dead. The whole family gathered around her, supporting and comforting her with words of hope, as she screamed, prayed, cried for hours, until she heard my cousin’s voice on the phone.

That same day, my uncle, a VP in a contracting firm was meeting with important clients in the company’s office on the 80th floor of the World Trade Center. A man in his sixties, he often had health problems.

While driving at 8:30 on the Expressway, he felt sick and had to stop at a fast food restaurant to use the restroom. At 8:45 he called the office, talked to the administrative assistant and to the owner’s son and informed them that he would be fifteen minutes late for the meeting with the clients. A moment later, he raced on the highway. But at 9:15, his wife called him and said to make a U-turn. His office was no more. Later he learned that his boss’s son, a young man in his early thirties, ran down the 80 floors, but their administrative assistant and the old client waited for the elevator and never made it.

Today is a sad day for many. We will never forget 911.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

At Story Finds
Author Spotlight

Neighbors and More

High Risk Series

Mona Risk

High Rises are like large families where members face love, hate, meddling, and gossiping. When the neighbor who was harassing her is found dead in the Jacuzzi, Alexa is a prime suspect. Can she count on her dear neighbors, including the delectable Italian, Dante, for help? With too many skeletons in their own closets, would they save her or incriminate her?


Alexa couldn’t tumble into bed with him and later regret her bout of lust for months. But she wanted a night in Dante’s arms. A night of love, not of lust. She’d had her share of lust-without-feelings with her ex.

A banging interrupted her. Dante spun toward the bedroom door. “What’s that?”

She stiffened. “Damn it.”

“Someone’s at your door.”

“I’ll get it and be right back.” She checked herself in the mirror and smoothed her hair. Another knock on the door grated on her nerves.

 “I bet it’s your ex.”

“Probably.” Her recent euphoria died as she remembered the turmoil brewing outside her little haven.

“You should tell him to stop barging in without an invitation.”

Why was Greg here, now? Couldn’t he ever let her enjoy a moment of happiness away from him? She wanted her moment. She wanted Dante. Why was she fighting her desire for the man of her dreams?

A quick look at him had her groaning. All male and handsome, he lusted for her and his scorching gaze promised to take her to heaven and back. “Well, hurry up. It’s not particularly exciting to imagine you with your ex.”

As if to confirm it, another knock pounded loudly. After closing her bedroom door, she rushed toward the living room.

“Coming,” she called between gritted teeth.

I hate you, Greg Partson.

Alexa skated to the front door and pulled it open while blocking the doorway.

“What took you so long?” The assessing gleam in Greg’s gray eyes turned suspicious as he peered above her shoulder and scanned the living room.
Struggling to control her rising temper, she stabbed him with a stern look. “Why are you here?”
“I came to see if you were okay.” His voice oozed with saccharine sweetness. “And tell you—”
 “I’m fine.” Damn it, she was fine a few minutes ago, but he’d spoiled her mood at the worst possible moment. She plastered on a perfunctory smile and held herself rooted to block the entrance, her hands gripping the door and its frame. “Get to the point.”
“I just came to tell you a detective will meet us at eight in the conference room.”

“I’ll be there.”
“He’ll interview the condo owners who saw the deceased recently.” Greg leaned forward and grabbed her shoulders. “Was Steve Bairey here last night or today?” His breath blasted with alcohol fumes. Alexa almost gagged. She tilted her chin, refusing to lie but hating Greg’s distrust.

Dante was in her bedroom getting impatient. Could she push Greg out? Physically push him out with her fists and all her strength? How had she been able to withstand five long years married to the autocratic sleaze ball? She hissed and tried to bang the door shut, but he blocked it with his foot.

“Alexa, answer me, damn it.” His bellow made her jump. “Did Steve come today?”

“Yes. Yes, he came two hours ago.” Who cares when Dante is here?

“Around two?” he specified after glancing at his watch. “And?”

“I threatened to report him for harassment. But he said he came to say goodbye.” She exhaled her exasperation. Greg focused a stern look on her.

“Did he stay long?” Disapproval underlined his tone.

“For heaven’s sake, why all these questions?” She tapped her foot, ready to kick it into Greg’s leg. Was he dense or what? He arched a suspicious eyebrow. Understanding dawned on her. “Oh my God, you thought I could have done something to ki... kill him? Is that why you’re bombarding me with questions?” Alexa rubbed her neck to soothe the lump in her throat.

“Well, I remembered you saying once you wanted to kill him for stalking you.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting ready for storm and hurricane

Today in South Florida. Stormy but still sunny.
Two days ago, is was raining but the sun managed to shine on and off.

Today, I took the children--my grandchildren are here for two weeks--to the pool. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, but at 11:30 am a black clud appeared on the east over the ocean and rapidly moved inland. We just had enough time to rush out of the pool, shower, dry and collect our things. The rain caught up with us while we were running to the building door. From my apartment we watched the rain pelt the windows and whitecaps burst on the ocean.

The supermarkets are bustling with a crowd eager to stock on water and non-perishable food as the TV announces that tropical storm Isaac is heading toward Fort Lauderdale. No one here can forget Hurricane Wilma and the damage it caused in 2005.

The problem is that I have my grandchildren here and I don't want them exposed to nature fury. I am not sure if we will stay or drive north to escape the storm.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LASR 5th Anniversay Bash

The celebration for all groups (romance, erotic romance, YA/Middle Grade, Mystery/Suspense and SFF) will begin August 18th and run through August 26,2012.

In addition to several other prizes (including books, author swag, LASR promo items and various gift certificates), we plan on giving away at least one grand prize of the winner's choice of either a $100 Amazon or BN GC, three first prizes of $50 GCs, a total of three second prizes of $25 Amazon/BN GCs, and numerous $5 gift certificates. Number and amounts of prizes may increase based on participation. We have two different participation options.

Option #1:

We're hosting two two-day blog fests on our guest blogs to kick off and end our anniversary. We did something like this for the Christmas Holiday and it was a HUGE hit with authors AND readers. The participation was amazing. You'll be required to write a blog post of at 250 - 700 words on one of the following topics: vacation, summer, summer reading, back to school, or "what I did during my summer vacation" and submit it within a week of your application.

Prize (for each weekend – for a total of at least two prize packages – prize number may increase based on participation): $50 GC, $25 GC + several small GCs and prizes (including books, publisher GCs and author swag) throughout each day (every comment earns an entry).

Option #2: -- 100 Total spots

We're hosting a week long scavenger hunt between August 20 - 24, 2012. Participants' name and a link to their site will be included on a sponsor page and they will participate in a scavenger hunt which should drive significant traffic to their site.

Prizes: $100 GC, $50 GC, $25 GC + several small GCs and prizes (including books, publisher GCs and author swag) to be determined.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An amazing woman

Everyone knows Mother Theresa and her incredible work with the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Her funeral was broadcasted on TV, a week after Princess Diana’s. But very few people have ever heard of Sister Emmanuelle—or Soeur Emmanuelle as she was called in France and in the MiddleEast where her volunteer work had paralleled the good deeds of Mother Theresa.

I read Sister Emmanuelle’s book recently. A book she wrote at the age of hundred! The title attracted me, I am 100 years old and I would like to tell you... In French: J’ai 100 ans et je voudrais vous dire... It’s a kind of memoir of her last years, the most interesting part of her life.
She was born in Belgium in a wealthy family, but she saw her father drown when she was only six years old. After studying philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, she entered the convent and dedicated herself to teaching in the same nuns’ school where I was educated. I never met her but heard about her much later.   

In her book, Soeur Emmanuelle explained how she was asked to retire from her active duty in the convent at the age of 75. Free to do as she pleased with her time, she traveled to Egypt and was appalled and touched by the poverty in certain parts of Cairo, particularly in the area where the trash collectors dwell, sorting through the garbage for something to eat. Horrified by the conditions she had witnessed, she decided to live among them, and remained in Cairo for twenty years. She raised money through various fundraising organizations and helped the trash collectors build a factory to process the waste. She also established schools and daycares in Sudan to educate the girls and prevent their families from giving them in marriage at eleven or twelve.

In addition to her charity work, Soeur Emmanuelle was known for her unorthodox religious views, her approval of using contraceptive and her notion that catholic priests should be allowed to marry. When she reached 95, her convent insisted she retire. The Belgium and French governments publicly honored her. She remained alert, writing nine books and fighting for justice and human dignity, until she died at 100 in her sleep, a few weeks after publishing this last book.

Her philosophy: To do everything with love.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sailing with You


A story full of passion, humor, and emotion, set in the Greek Island of Mykonos.

Offered as a FREE promotion at Amazon for three days.

32 reviews 4.5 stars average.

“This book is full of lovely descriptions of Mykonos that transported me to the island and provided a wonderful backdrop for the romance. Loves Romance | 13 reviewers made a similar statement
"I read this book in one afternoon. D. Gerber | 7 reviewers made a similar statement

Torn apart, he hopes Ashley will save the villa, and he secretly hopes she will find love. Carolyn Smith | 5 reviewers made a similar statement
 When Greek billionaire Stefano decides to demolish the dilapidated villa inherited from his grandmother, the American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his attorney—and pretty granddaughter—to contest the demolition. To check out the opposition before he faces at the hearing, Stefano meets her incognito and convinces her to take a sunset ride on his yacht. Sparks fly and passion sizzles during a memorable night.

In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise about her handsome Greek god and Stefano is about to lose the only woman who’s ever touched his heart. Will Stefano be able to convince Ashley he’s not the enemy anymore?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


My granddaughters are spending their summer vacation with us. That means pool, beach, lunch, pool, beach, dinner, games, TV, and finally sleep. By then I am more tired than they are and probably collapse before them.

Yesterday it rained all day. We drove to the mall and got two Lego games. My girls are incredibly talented at building things and I just sat there and admired. Or cooked while issuing encouragement and applauding the little marvels. By 5pm the sun decided to appear. It didn't take them five minutes to be dressed in bathing suit and ready their bag of towels. We stayed till seven at the pool.

Today is a B-day, means beach day. Of course I can't write and don't even try to edit. But I read a lot while they are busy on their own.

I read Sold on You by Sophia Knightly; Journey of the Heart by Stephanie Burkhart;A Matter of Taste by Carol Devaney; Letting Go by Roxy Boroughs; Golden Lies by Barbara Freethy; Kissing Adrien By Siri Mitchell.Soul and Shadow by Susan McLeod;

And now I am reading Kat and the US Marshal by Celia Yeary. Next on my list The Bachelor's Baby Promise, My Cheeky Angel by Mimi Barbour and A Cowboy's Kiss in Wyoming by E. Ayers.

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing." - Eugene Ionesco I would add: "Or reading".

And here is my tentative book cover for NEIGHBORS or MORE... the first novel of High Rises series. I am still using watermarked pictures as I'm still playing with the cover.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012



Celebrate & Remember

USS New YorkUSS New York
It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions th at include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. 'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.'

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up.' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said. 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back.' The ship's motto? 'Never Forget'Please keep this going so everyone can see what we are m ade of in this country!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Already

Sunrise in Florida
Are you wondering with me how half of the year is already gone?

Was it a good half or ...?

Let see. The New Year started on the wrong foot with a friend in a bad accident, another in two surgeries, and my own stomach burning like hell with acute gastritis and ulcer. But even bad things come to an end. After three months in a hospital, several surgeries, and therapy, my friend is walking again. The other one is finally healthy, and my stomach problem is under control providing I don’t forget to take my pills.

On the publishing front, these past six months have been the best selling months I have ever had. My four self-published ebooks, NO MORE LIES; RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN; BABIES IN THE BARGAIN; and SAILING with YOU have maintained a bestselling status at

Fort Lauderdale High Rises
I just typed The End on NEIGHBORS AND MORE... The first in a new series called HIGH RISES. This romantic suspense is set in a high rise building located on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. High Rises are like huge families where members face love, hate, meddling, and gossiping. When you deal with three hundred plus condos there ought to be friction between some neighbors, friendship with others, and more with a select few.

Bulrb: When her neighbor, and suitor, is found dead in the Jacuzzi, Alexa is a suspect. Can she count on her dear neighbors for help?
The lawyer she loves, a mafioso's grandson; her ex-husband who is trying to keep her to himself; her former friend, the victim's ex-wife who blames Alexa for her husband's infidelity; the ex-husband new girlfriend; the widow's secret lover...

All dear neighbors who may help save Alexa...or incriminate her.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Remembering Dad

Dad in Deauville, France.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day.
Today would have been my father’s birthday. If he was still around. But he's been gone many years ago.

On this particular weekend, I remember him fondly.
He was a quiet, kind, intellectual man, always busy at his desk, writing. When I was small I could never understand why he wrote so much, and when I asked, he’d say he was correcting his students’ assays. I thought his students had too much homework. Or sometimes he composed books, not fun books I could read but very serious, boring for me, literary critiques of famous dead authors. At other times, he’d be looking in the air, thinking and then scribbling, erasing, and re--writing. And I knew it was a poem for my mother. Dad wrote a whole book of poems about my mother’s beautiful eyes, telling her she was his princess and he was her knight.

When I told him, I, too, wanted a poem, he read those he’d written especially for me. At six, I was so proud to show my whole class two of my very own poems. Except my friends didn’t understand the words. I didn’t either, but I loved their sound. Almost like music.
As I grew up, I admired him so much and wanted to write like him, but he insisted I should go into a scientific career. After my early retirement as a chemist, I gave in to my love of writing romance. I inherited from Dad his love of books, his writing talent, and his ability to read fast.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with passion.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Lover's Buffet

Welcome to the Booklover’s Buffet. The Buffet will open to the public on June 8, 2012 and close on June 22, 2012.
We’re excited to offer you more than 150 romance novels, each for the special Buffet price of 99 cents. We offer all romance genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, Romance, Inspirational, Erotica.

I am entering three of my books:

Also, we have wonderful contests and prizes offered by our participating authors.
To enter, go to

and click on the Contest button.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to lose weight

Eat "The 10 Best Fat-Melting Foods" as suggested by Lucy Danziger  

Apples: This fruit’s 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods.
Lentils: These
legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells.
Sweet Potatoes: These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in
lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating.
Eggs: The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption.
Edamame: The green
soybeans supply 17 g of protein per cup, and your body torches more calories digesting protein than it does processing carbs and fat.
Kiwifruit: A large
kiwi has 84 milligrams of vitamin C—more than a day’s quota. C helps form carnitine, a compound that transports fat into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy during exercise.
Wild salmon: The fish’s omega-3 fatty acids could help you
fight flab more effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it.
Yogurt: Lowfat and nonfat
Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup.
Quinoa: A complete protein, quinoa has all the essential amino acids needed to build
metabolism-revving muscle.
Olive oil: Healthful monounsaturated fats found in
olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage.
the weight that dieters who ate the same calories but less total fat and protein and more carbs lost, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Remembering Mom

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Since we'll be traveling, flying back home, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters are taking me out tonight. The little girls are preapring a special celebration for their mother and grandmother tonight. I know it will be a fun evening in a nice restaurant. Today I saw the two little girls trying to hide the cards they prepared to give us for Mother's Day.

Tomorrow will be a sad day for me as I will remember.

I'll remember your sweet smile, Mom, as you always answered my question, "How are you feeling today, Mom?" with a "I am feeling great. What more can I ask for with my daughter next to me?" And yet you were stuck in a wheelchair; you could hardly eat solid food; you rarely went out, but you always smiled and said, "I'm feeling great." I knew you didn't, but you tried to spare your daughter, even though she was a grown-up daughter and you were the one in need. But these are sad reminders of your last year that bring tears to my eyes. I'll do like you, paste a smile on my face and say, I'm doing great as I remember only the happy moments.

Your latest Mother's Day while still walking, with your daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughters.
Celebrating your 90th birthday with family and friends during a happy party where 50 people gathered to honor you.
Holding your great-grandson.
Proudly showing my first book, To Love A Hero

I know many of my friends will have to face bitter-sweet time and memories on that special day. I'm sure your mothers are smiling from behind a little cloud.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My back is hurting

I am so pleased with myself for writting non-stop last week. The weather was lousy so what better way to be productive. Sitting 6 hours in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 4 at night, I typed non stop. My new novel High Rise Style is just flowing out of my mind and my fingers are running on the keyboard.

But my back is  killing me. My hips feel so stiff, and legs are cramped. Is there no free meal.

HELP. Well here is help. I copied it from the Internet. It may help you too.

By Lucy Danziger and the staff at SELF

Hey, you in the chair! Get up and you’ll live better and longer. Women who sit for six or more hours a day have a 34 percent higher risk for early death from heart disease, cancer and diabetes than do women who sit less, regardless of how often they exercise, according to a study from the American Cancer Society. The easy fix: Ditch the chair. It may sound like a pain, but we found four women who say it’s a cinch. They scrapped sitting to lose weight, gain energy and knock out pain—and succeeded. And, says James A. Levine, M.D., an inactivity expert and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, they’re nabbing a longer life and lower risk for disease while they’re at it. Use their tips (and sign up for our free Drop 10 plan on!) and you can, too.

Monica Montiel, 27, program coordinator, Philadelphia
Moves and stretches throughout the workday
Her goal Maintain her weight. Montiel knows it’s not an easy feat when you’re locked into a desk job.
How she does it She now strolls around the office several times a day, stands while on the phone and even does 5 to 10 lunges during calls twice a week. She’s cut sitting time from eight hours a day to six. Montiel bikes or walks to work, and her home habits have also changed. “If I put on the TV, I’ll think, What a good time to clean,” she says.

Kelly Jensen, 27, blogger, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Built her own treadmill desk
Her goal A total health overhaul: Jensen hopes to shed 80 pounds.
How she does it Jensen used $30 worth of wood to create a desk attachment for her treadmill and began walking at 1 to 3 mph for an hour or two a day as she worked. Six months later, after working out more and eating better, she’d lost 40 pounds. (Go, Kelly!) Plus, she’s happy and productive. “Walking sparks my creativity,” Jensen says.
Make it work for you. One or two hours daily of walking at a slow pace is a great health target, says Michelle Segar, Ph.D., associate director of the SHARP Center for Women and Girls. Afraid you’ll fall? “I got the hang of it easily. You go so slowly, it’s hardly a workout,” Jensen says.

Marissa Wald, 31, doctoral student, Tucson, Arizona
Uses a standing desk most of the day
Her goal Ease backaches brought on by being tied to her screen. Wald tried an exercise ball, but her desk chair was too tough to resist.
How she does it She ditched her desk and chair and placed the computer on a tall table her husband found on Craigslist for about $75. “Now instead of sitting for 10 hours, I stand for 7 and rest on a stool when I get tired,” Wald says. “And it’s so great. I don’t have much back pain.” That’s even after Wald became pregnant.
Make it work for you. Moms-to-be should get a doctor’s green light to stand, Dr. Levine says. “But being active is important for the baby’s health, too.” Wald suggests adding a soundtrack: “Dancing and swaying make for a fun work environment.”

Marianne Hales Harding, 38, online college faculty, St. George, Utah
Works on a stationary bike
Her goal Stay energetic without scarfing junk food for a sugar rush. Hales Harding is a single mom with multiple sclerosis who works after her children go to bed.
How she does it Hales Harding uses FitDesk ($229), a stationary bike with a work surface in place of handlebars, to cycle slowly for 30 minutes to an hour most nights while she works, so instead of sitting still, she’s getting active. “It’s much more effective than Oreos for energy!” she says. “I love cycling and ride for MS every June.”
Make it work for you. “If a person with MS can do it, then we have no excuse,” Dr. Levine says. If your cop-out is a painful seat, seek out a wide, padded model, Hales Harding suggests. “It’s more like a comfortable chair.” Pedal power!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Romantic Island: Mykonos

Mykonos is probably the most cosmopolitan of the Aegean Islands. I visited four times in the last twenty years, the first time when my children were teenagers.

We fell in love the picturesque island and went back the year after. The streets are a maze of narrow, winding alleyways - many only two or four feet wide, overhung with dazzling pink and purple blossoms.

All the houses, shops, churches, restaurants and windmills are immaculately whitewashed, with door frames and window shutters highlighted with splashes of sky blue and jade green.
On every second doorstep sits a cat, gazing down serenely at passers-by.

From HER GREEK ROMANCE, here is a description of Mykonos as the heroine Ashley sees it from Stefano's yacht:

“See, we are passing Chora, the capital of Mykonos.”
Mountainous landscape and long sandy beaches faded away. Square whitewashed houses with flat roofs, flowered balconies, blue doors and window shutters lined the cluttered narrow paved streets of the picturesque villages. Beautiful churches, chapels and windmills lent a magical atmosphere to the quaint town.  

“Now, keep your hands on the helm and steer to the left.”

The Athena glided through the water and gained speed. 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 cafĂ©. 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.

“Poseidon, Zeus’s brother, rescued the nymph and had her deliver her baby on the island of Delos which wasn’t considered as part of the earth.” Stefano told her more about the history of Delos, a necropolis with too many burials for her taste.

No happy ending here. They passed Delos and continued to cruise.
“What’s next? Is there anything more fun than Delos and its dead?”

“Sure.” He navigated through the crystalline waters, along miles of golden sand uninterrupted by umbrellas. He gave her a strange smile and brought the boat closer to shore. “Keep watching. We are coming to the most famous beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise where young crowds like to gather.”
Scanning the coastline through the binoculars, Ashley spotted rows of umbrellas made of palm leaves, sun beds and beach bars, as the Athena smoothly sailed past. At the end of the crowded area, the shore curved into a hidden bay with clear water. Small rocks dotted the sand and rocky hills provided a background to the secluded place devoid of umbrellas and chairs. Yet the beach was not deserted. People strolled in group or couples.

Ashley scowled as she focused on the vacationers. Was she seeing correctly? She removed the binoculars and fixed her attention on a couple holding hands. “No way,” she gasped and then stared again through the magnifying lenses.
Stefano chuckled.

She swirled toward him. “They’re naked. I mean completely.”
“It’s a nudist beach,” he said matter-of-factly.

HER GREEK ROMANCE, 99cents at Amazon
5* “I was swept away to the beautiful Greek Isles and was lost in the story. Easy, quick paced, heartfilled read."

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?