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


Maggie Toussaint said...

what lovely photos. I enjoyed my mini-tour of Greece!


Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

You've lived an interesting life, Mona. Thanks for the tour.

Beth Trissel said...

Wow, Mona. Stunning pics and very intriguing info. Your story sounds fabulous too.

Josie said...

Excellent, Mona. Fun, fun, fun. Gorgeous writing and pictures.

Liana Laverentz said...

I've always wanted to go to Greece as well. Reading Mona's book is the next best thing to being there! Beautiful pictures, Mona :)

Ana Morgan said...

I had a romantic encounter in Athens years ago. My brother and I were on our way to Ethiopia to visit our parents for the summer. He detested me, so I went and did my own thing. Ah the foolishness of youth.

Mary Ricksen said...

the pictures say it all Mona! What I wouldn't give to see it all for real!
Great blog Mona!!!

Susan Macatee said...

Beautiful photos, Mona! Reminds me of my trip to Greece many years ago before I met my husband. I went with a girlfriend and these photos bring back a lot of memories of how beautiful the country was.

Great place to set a romance!

Mona Risk said...

Maggie, glad you enjoyed the pictures.

Dawn Marie, I've traveled a lot and I like to set my stories in the places I visited.

Thanks Beth. I concentrated on the dialogue lines relating to the tour.

Hi Josie, these are pictures I took three years ago when we stopped by Mykonos during a cruise. Too bad it was cloudy and cold that October day.

Thank you, Liana. I'm glad you enjoyed the armchair traveling through my books.

Wow Ana, that deserves a story.

Mary, glad you enjoy the pictures. It's a mini-trip.

Susa, I'm so glad my post brought you back your beautiful memories.

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Mona, I can't wait to read this one; I visited Mykonos three years ago. It is truly a romantic and magical place. Thqnks for sharing your beautiful pictures. Makes me want to return to Mykonos.

Mary Marvella said...

Amazing job!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Mona, this is a wonderful post. You have a talent for guiding your readers through amazing places. Loved being able to see the photos.


Liz said...

FYI: Mykonos

Mona Risk said...

Hi Scarlet, glad you like the picture. You can go back to Mykonos through my book.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Mary.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Paisley, I like to share the places I visited and liked. Greece is the land of my ancestors and very dear to my heart.

Mona Risk said...

Liz, thank you for directing me to the blog on Greece. I left a comment.

Calisa Rhose said...

The pictures make me want to go to Greece. I knew a Greek family as a kid and the grandmother didn't speak English. We, her granddaughters, my sister and I, used to get her mad at us just to hear her yell at us in Greek. lol

Liz said...

Jeff Siger also blogs re Greece here:

Constance Todd said...

Mykonos, Greece is an absolutely stunning place. It is one of the most beautiful and popular islands of Greece. What I love the most there is the deep blue ocean cordoned off by the golden sand. One of the beautiful beaches I visited was the Mykonos Agia Anna beach. It’s basically a paradise on earth, and the windsurfing there is one of the best.