A Bride for Prince Paul on Kindle Scout

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My Kindle Scout campaign for A Bride for Prince Paul has launched.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

May I count on your nomination? If I get selected you will receive a free copy of this delightful book set in Paris and Rensy Island in the Channels.

After you enter your nomination and rating, please leave your name in the comments or email me at mona@monarisk.com To thank you, I will gift you a copy of one of my books from the Holiday Babies Series.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

To Nominate me, click HERE

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1) by MONA RISK

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!

To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

I wrote this story while cruising the British Isles. The setting of the book was inspired by the quaint Guernsey island, an island in the Channels.

 

 

 

The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors over seventy. The island has alternatively belonged to England and France, and is now part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

I loved the romantic setting. My muse immediately replace the governor with a prince, just like Monaco or Luxembourg, both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married. The ruling prince is old and dying, and his grandson is a handsome businessman and playboy who enjoys his freedom and his work. But grandpa worries about the future of his country and summons his grandson!

All of this played in my head while I was in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

 

 

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide, in Paris, to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

 

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Grandmother on Mother’s Day

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While browsing through my old blog posts I came across the following one that brought tears to my eyes. It was published on my own blog in May 2008:

Today I celebrated Mother’s Day as a daughter, mother and grandmother. My son-in-lay invited four generations of women to lunch: my mother and me, my daughter and her two little daughters, 4 and 2, and my son’s daughter, 3.

Lunch was lovely. We ignored the spilled glass of orange juice, the I-don’t-like-it whining and the crumbles forming a hidden mess under the table.

It took fifteen minutes to sit the ladies for the picture of the century. Moving my mother and her walker to a strategic place, and then having her hold on the rail of the restaurant’s entrance stairs wasn’t too difficult, but gathering three laughing, squealing and squirming little girls and having them stand still for two seconds was an enormous challenge. But the effort was worth the pain. The children are growing too fast and we don’t know how long we will be blessed with my mother’s presence.

Sometimes Mother’s Day is a difficult time. I know it is extremely difficult for my cousin who lost her mother a week ago. For her and her family, Mother’s Day consisted in a trip to the cemetery to deposit flowers on a new grave.

 Enjoy your mothers and enjoy your day as a mother.

My mother left us two years later.

To honor her I wrote a contemporary romance called MOTHER’S DAY BABIES, a novel full of emotion and humor. I dedicated the book to “the Mother we celebrate on Mother’s Day and those we remember with love.”

I had two great models for my middle-aged heroine, my mother and mother-in-law. Both spoke their minds and distributed good advice whether you were ready to listen or not.

My mother told us to always ‘look your best’. She professed that being nicely dressed, combed and jeweled helped her forget she was a very sick person and she practiced what she preached. The assisted living residents complimented her and tried to follow her example. The staff admired her positive attitude.

Most of my books include a grandmother among the characters. Depending on the setting of my stories, the children call her grandma, momom, abuelita, nonna, yaya, or baboushka, but the grandmothers in my various novels have a lot in common.

Like my mother and my mother-in-law, they adore their grandchildren, cook delicious meals, and often meddle in their children’s life —for the children’s good, of course. They are strong women who have encountered their shares of problems and learned life’s lessons from personal experience. They are also generous mothers who would go out of their ways for their families.

MOTHER’S DAY BABIES: http://tinyurl.com/cz3v5a8

This book is dedicated to the mothers we celebrate and those we remember with love.

MOTHER’S DAY BABIES

Widowed for seven years, Barbara Ramsay lives and breathes for her five grownup daughters and their babies. She’s also used to chatting over the phone with her good friend, Lou, and soothing his stress. But why has he invited her to come to Paris with his TV Network crew?

Powerful News Director, Lou Roland is certainly not marriage material, yet he has suddenly decided he wants Barbara in his arms. Not an easy task when his pretty confidante from Kentucky proves so difficult to date–unless he follows her rules. Can the over-fifty confirmed bachelor and the widow loyal to her husband’s memory find true love and share a future?

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Cold weather and Flu

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Winter may evoke a beautiful scenery of snow and Christmas time, but winter is also the time when cold and flu spread; the time for sweaters and coat; and probably hat, gloves and snow boots on certain days.

We spend more time indoors in the winter. In planes, buses or trains, at work or in school, we’re pressed against spluttering commuters, misting up the windows with their coughs and sneezes, it’s easy to see how this could send us over a tipping point that allows the flu to spread through a population.

A cold can leave us with the strange feeling that we’ve swallowed a scratchy throat, a running nose and a mild headache; if we’re unlucky, our body is wracked with a high fever and aching limbs for up a week or longer.

The flu season arrives so predictably when the mercury drops that it’s an integral part of winter. In the short days of winter, without much sunlight, we run low on Vitamin D, which helps power the body’s immune system, making us more vulnerable to infection.

How can you protect yourself and avoid becoming one of the flu victims? I have developed my own preventive system based on doctors’ recommendations, on reading various books and on my grandmothers wise advice.

  • Get a flu shot I have been taking it for twenty years. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch the flu but it helps avoid complication such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Avoid shaking hands and hugging too many ‘friends’. Especially your adorable nephews. Children spread germs much faster than adults!
  • Keep a scarf in your handbag to wrap around your throat if it’s suddenly. When I fly I surreptitiously cover my mouth to avoid breathing the germs that the plane fans generously distribute.
  • Gargle with Cepacol morning, night and during the day. When I worked as a pharmaceutical analyst at Dow Chemical, the company placed bottles of Cepacol in the restrooms and insist all employees should gargle after washing their hands. I haven’t been sick during my years at Dow Chemicals.
  • Swallow a Vit C 500mg daily. It boosts your immune system.
  • Swallow a pill of Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc. Excellent to improve your immune system.
  • And now a few useful tips from my grandmothers that really, really work:
  •  Suck on ginger candies such as Ginger Chew from Trader’s Joe. They may taste bitter the first time and some of my friends spit them right away and yelled at me but others got used to the taste and like them.
  • Snack on pumpkin seeds from Publix or Kroger supermarkets–very rich in zinc that boosts the immune system.
  • Savor a tablespoon of honey with a few drops of lemon before you sleep.

Do you have any special suggestion to avoid catching a nasty cold? Please share with us.

Nothing like a hot hunk who adores you to keep you warm in winter!

Finally, Claire’s dream of a wonderful white wedding to the man she’s loved for ten years is about to come true. Two weeks before the big day, Claire and David receive an unexpected announcement that can destroy their relationship. Is their love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best?

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A Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk

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The holiday season has officially started. For Christians, it’s the Advent and the joyous preparations to celebrate Jesus’ Birth. For Jewish, it’s the Hanukkah and lighting of the Menorah. Both traditionally happy celebrations.

I am not trying to depress you, but being a realistic person, let me ask you, what if the coming days are not particularly happy? One of our dear friends lost her husband this week. I wonder how her holiday will turn. Another friend just had open-heart surgery and four by-passes. We hope he will recover soon. Oops, sorry if I’ve depressed you. Not my intention. Life is not always rosy.

In my story, Holly Jolly Christmas, the heroine’s father is very sick. He knows his days are numbered, and he fight hard to build as many happy memories for his family as he can. His Christmas must be a Holly Jolly Christmas. And it does. Even after he passes, he leaves a last letter to his wife Barbara, and his five daughters–a legacy of hope and clear encouragements.

Dear Family:
Life MUST continue. Claire and Tiffany, I count on you to ace your studies and go to college. Roxanne and Madelyn, do your best at work, but remember that a career is not enough to fill a heart. You need a loving partner. Heather and Jeff, take good care of your baby. Barbara, you need to learn to live again. Loneliness is not good.

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is my contribution to the USA Today bestseller anthology, LOVE, CHRISTMAS. You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a well-known Christmas carol and we hope while reading these delightful stories, they will put a song in your heart.14481843_10207545069410046_3314279722083324058_o

http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasKobo
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasApple

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is the prequel to the Holiday Babies Series

With high moral values and a strong sense of unity, the Ramsay family counts five daughters—Madelyn, Roxanne, Heather, Claire, and Tiffany, and their mother Barbara. Later, stepdaughter Monica Roland joins the clan.
Christmas Babies: Can a career fill her life? (Madelyn and Dr. Nick Preston)
Valentine Babies: Can he love a woman expecting another man’s baby? (Roxanne and Dr. Greg Hayes)
Mother’s Day Babies: Never too late to find love and happiness. (Barbara and Lou Roland)
Wedding Surprise: Is it the worst or best wedding surprise? (Claire and David Wheeler)
Christmas Papa: Who’ s my papa, Mommy? (Monica and Michael Wheeler)
meme-2On Christmas Eve: We want a mommy for Christmas. (Tiffany and Dr. Matthew Alonso)

Free today: RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN

 

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Holiday Preparations by Mona Risk

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I think we have officially started the holiday season. I saw Christmas trees in several malls and Christmas articles are already flooding the stores. Thanksgiving is next week, immediately followed by Black Friday and its incredible sales. And then we prepare for Christmas–or Hanukah– and New Year.

Personally I am very busy cooking, baking, buying presents, and publishing a new Christmas story: On Christmas Eve

meme-2

Available at Amazon

And I am also very busy promoting books.

An Unusual Christmas is free on 11-17-2016 and 11-18-2016

m-of-n-y-t-an-unusual-christmas-6-7-2015

40 reviews 4.8/5 stars average

Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In a faraway country, a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas, with the help of a baby girl and four little boys . As Jillian and Fyodor work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

A NIGHT OWL REVIEWS BOOK REVIEW:

Mona Risk is one of my favorite authors for several reasons. She knows how to pull a reader into the minds of her well-crafted characters and she also makes you want the best for them. Her work also takes me on a journey be it local or overseas. She does all of this again as she took me into Russia in her latest medical inspired romance.
Have you started your holidays’ preparations?
Are you busier now than you were last month?
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A Holly Jolly Christmas

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Love Christmas boxed set red image

 

 

 

 

 

 

My contribution to the Love Christmas box is a 23,000 word novella.

Here is the book cover revealed for the first time.

CoverFinalMD-HollyJollyChristmas Holly Jolly Christmas is the prequel to my HOLIDAY BABY SERIES, the story of the Ramsay family that counts five daughters.

When I wrote the first book of the series, CHRISTMAS BABIES, I started with the story of the eldest Ramsay daughter, Dr. Madelyn Ramsay. The mother of the clan, Barbara Ramsay, is already a widow and her daughter #3, Heather, is married and has several children.

Holly Jolly Christmas takes place when Heather is only eighteen-years old and the father, David Ramsay, is still around but quite sick. Enjoy the first chapter.

Chapter One

“Hi babe.” Jeff’s joyful greeting morphed into a puzzled grimace and a worried frown at the sight of Heather’s puffy eyelids and the smear of mascara shadowing her sky-blue eyes. “You’ve been crying. What’s wrong? Your dad? Is he worse?”

With Kentucky’s July temperatures soaring in the nineties, she’d sported a strapped blouse flowing over white shorts that offered him an enticing view of her long tanned legs.

A sniffle and a shudder answered him before she averted her gaze. “No, not Dad. He’s okay. I mean, not worse, but I… I…”

She’d been upset, all right. And she’d tried to hide it under a layer of makeup—something she rarely used with her healthy complexion and lovely features. Eager to gather her in his arms, Jeff led her inside the small foyer of his lodge and closed the door behind them. With infinite care, he drew her against him. Heather’s head burrowed against his shoulder. Her silky ponytail draped over his chest and sobs shook her.

“I know it’s hard, especially when it’s your own dad. But you have to be strong.” He stroked her blonde tresses and brushed her temples with soft kisses.

After heaving a deep breath, she eased away, dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand and faced him. Dismay still puckered her forehead.

To cheer her up, he decided to share his good news right away, instead of waiting until a more appropriate time for celebration. “Babe, listen to this.” Impatient to see her reaction, he cupped her face. “I’ve been accepted to MIT for a Master in Agricultural Engineering. With a scholarship.”

“Ah, congratulations.”

That was it? No smile, no hug?

“When are you leaving?” Her mournful tone of voice damped his elation.

“In September.” Something didn’t click. Where was his sweet and passionate Heather always ready to support him and nestle into his arms? “Honey, I thought you’d be happy. We can become engaged right away, and marry in two years. If you start college in Boston we’ll be together.”

“No,” she said, her tone suddenly frigid. “I can’t go to Boston.”

“Oh, because of your dad? Let’s be optimistic and hope he’ll improve.”

“It’s not about my dad. It’s about us.”

Jeff squinted. “Us?” There was nothing wrong with them. They had loved each other forever. Puppy love, his brothers and sisters teased. But Jeff knew he would never love another woman as long as he lived. And he knew Heather wouldn’t.

In the last two months, studies and finals had kept them busy. They had seen each other only a few short times in his lodge, though long enough to kiss, make out, and run back to their desks. Had Heather met someone else?

Suddenly apprehensive about their future together, he held her at arm’s length and peered into her eyes. “What’s going on? Shoot.” Had it been puppy love for her?

“I’m expecting—”

“Who?” The single word whizzed through his lips, carrying denial and pain as he tightened his hold.

Her eyebrows shot up. “I’m expecting a baby. A baby, Jeff.”

Not sure he understood, he continued to stare. “A…”

“I’m pregnant.”

His arms dropped to his sides and he froze, eyes wide open, throat clogged, mind blank.

“I’m going to have a baby.” She tapped his chest with her finger and touched her belly.  “Your baby.”

“Oh God. A baby. Oh God. Oh God,” he muttered, his voice hardly audible. He fixed a wild look on her tiny waist and flat belly and rubbed his forehead with a shaky hand. “How? When?”

How?” The word came in a shriek and her lips curled to one side. “You should explain. Especially when you insisted we were safe. Apparently not that safe. The baby will come in five months.” She lowered her head as if the whole world weighed on her delicate shoulders.

Guilt pummeled him. She’d been dealing with her secret for four months. All alone.

He pulled her down onto the sofa, and wrapped an arm around her to show his support. “Sweetheart, why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

She clasped her temples and sighed, a long heart-wrenching sigh. “I didn’t realize for two months, because I’m not… Well, you wouldn’t know. It’s a feminine thing.” A blush covered her cheeks. “The third time I missed, I wondered if I was sick. The fourth time I was terrified and tried to grasp the situation.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“No.” She shook her head. “And I haven’t told anyone. Not with Dad going through chemo. We must spare him any stress.” Her eyes filled with tears. “It would kill him to hear that his daughter has…has misbehaved.”

“Babe, it’s not your fault. I take full responsibility.” He shouldn’t have touched her. She’d been only seventeen when they first made love in his lodge. He was four years older but he loved her so much and lost control after blazing kisses. Trying to think with a clear head, he scooted to the end of the sofa.

She tortured her lip and watched him.

What could he tell her parents? If he lived long enough to explain anything. The Ramsays had been his folks’ neighbors and good friends for twenty years, but David Ramsay wouldn’t hesitate to shoot him for taking advantage of his little girl’s innocence. To think of it, his own father would probably thrash him soundly at the first word and Mom would cry her heart out.

“Heather, you’re not alone anymore. This baby… Our baby is going to have a loving father and mother.” He spoke slowly to convince himself it was the right thing to do.

Forget the scholarship. Forget the MIT dream and plans for the farm.

The middle child of a family of three boys and two girls, he’d always done the right thing to satisfy his parents, always studied hard and excelled at sports. Until he started kissing Heather.

His mind still reeling from her incredible news, he stood and paced the eight by ten living room. He loved his small lodge—their love nest as Heather called it. Four years ago, when he’d joined the University of Kentucky and decided to commute, he’d transformed an old barn at the edge of his parents’ farm into a modern place.

They could live here, make love every night, and raise their child. “Heather, we’re going to get married right away.” Together, they would be happy anywhere with or without advanced degrees.

“Are you crazy? You have a scholarship waiting for you at MIT.”

“So? Our priority now is that ba…our baby.” Damn, he had to get used to the idea he was going to be a father at twenty-two.

Right now, he felt like smashing a fist into the wall. Fool, idiot, stupid. He knew exactly how she got pregnant. He’d always used a condom when they made love, but when he’d done a repeat performance in the throes of passion, he’d forgotten to protect them the second time around. And it had happened several times.

“No, Jeff. You can’t give up the MS degree and scholarship. It’s your dream.”

“And yours is to go to college in September at UK. Big deal. Meanwhile, we’ll fulfill another dream by getting married.”

“Stop it, Jeff. You can’t plan our future in a few minutes.” She stood and faced him, her eyes shining with a new maturity way beyond her eighteen years. A woman who meant what she said. “I spent two months evaluating my options. And I have everything organized in my head.”

What on Earth had she concocted on her own?

~*~

Seeing Jeff so rattled had somehow calmed Heather. He’d been her hero since she was five. At fifteen, she considered him the most handsome man in Lexington, and at sixteen she’d known without the shadow of a doubt that she would love him forever. And she’d multiplied the opportunities to make him notice her.

Of course, she couldn’t let him bear the responsibility of their passionate encounters when she’d been the one coming to visit him here—knowing she shouldn’t—and throwing her arms around his neck and sitting on his lap. How could he resist when she’d tempted him with reckless innocence? Although she’d never thought they would go all the way. Once they did, Jeff had promised that they would get married after graduation. Reassured that he loved her too, Heather had seen no reason to deny him, and herself, such ecstatic moments.

But she’d never ever imagined she would end up with a baby at the wrong time.

To give up a scholarship at MIT would devastate Jeff. He’d worked so hard to achieve his goal. Besides, she couldn’t tell her parents she was pregnant. The news would surely kill Dad. What lousy example would she set for her young sisters, Claire and Tiffany? Her older sisters had made Dad so proud, Madelyn graduating from medical school and Roxanne from Journalism school. Heather wanted to follow into their footsteps.

“Trust me. I have it all planned. Madelyn will help me. She’s a doctor and knows many people. Like all of us, she’d do anything not to hurt Dad now.”

A few lines wrinkled Jeff’s smooth forehead. “How would Madelyn help?”

“Let me talk to her first.” Not ready to share her ideas, Heather tried to soothe him with tenderness. She stroked his cheek and brushed his lips with a light kiss. “I promise I will tell you everything.”

“Before making any decision, I want to know what you have in mind. Heather, this is my baby too. And I plan to be a good father.”

Stunned by the direction of his thoughts, she backed up to the door and opened it. “See you later,” she threw over her shoulder and jogged away.

“Heather, come back,” he called from his patio, but she soon disappeared in the fields toward her home.

Instead of entering her house by the kitchen door and facing too many people, Heather slid into the open garage, and carefully padded through the mudroom that harbored the laundry machines. As soon as she walked inside the hallway, she found Madelyn in front of her.

“You look out of breath.” Her oldest sister gave her a blatant once-over.

Trying to calm her racing pulse, Heather inhaled and exhaled slowly. “I went jogging.”

“Through the fields?” Madelyn’s eyebrow arched. She’d often babysat Heather, Claire and Tiffany when they were young and ordered them around with the authority of a surrogate mother. “Maybe toward Jeff’s lodge?”

At first, Heather panicked, and then she remembered that she’d planned to enlist Madelyn’s support. There was no need to play innocent now. “Actually, I was jogging away from his place.”

“What happened?”

“Can we go to your room?” No one dared to cross the threshold of Madelyn’s room without invitation. Mom had instilled in her daughters a deep respect for their eldest sister’s need for privacy to study in peace.

“Come,” Madelyn answered without hesitation, for a change giving more importance to a sibling than to her sacrosanct medicine.

Silently rehearsing the words she’d have to say to convince Madelyn to help her, Heather followed her sister to her bedroom. She hadn’t stepped into this place for ages for fear of disturbing Big-Sis.

“Have a seat on the bed.”

Heather flopped onto the edge of the bed covered with a brown comforter.

“We’ll talk soon, but first I want to examine you.”

“What?” Heather jumped to her feet.

“I’m worried about your health. You’ve been throwing up.” Madelyn dug into her medical bag and brought out a stethoscope and a blood pressure kit.

“I told you I had indigestion that day.”

“And two days ago? And yesterday again? Either something is wrong with your stomach or…” The end of the sentence hung in the air ominously.

Good God, Madelyn knew already.

Her hands fisted, Heather threw her a pleading look.

“Lie down and let me do my job.”

No need to argue. She obeyed.

“I’ll start by taking your blood pressure.” Dr. Madelyn put the BP cuff around Heather’s arm and checked her watch. “It’s too low.” She removed the cuff and put it aside, then slipped the metallic disc of the stethoscope under her blouse to hear her heart and lungs. “Lower your shorts.”

Heather sighed but did as asked. Madelyn pressed the disc on her belly and slowly moved it. Heather closed her eyes, waiting for the agonizing moment to pass.

“Do you want to hear the baby’s heartbeat?” Madelyn asked in a gentle but professional voice.

A punch in her face wouldn’t have hurt Heather more. “No.” She bounced up to a sitting position, her eyes filling with tears. “No. I don’t want to. And I don’t want to hear anything about that baby.”

“Heather, what are you talking about? Any mother would be—”

“I don’t want to be a mother. I’m too young and I’m not ready. Please, listen to me, Madelyn.” She dropped her legs to the floor and zipped her shorts.

“I’m listening. Go ahead.” Madelyn had abandoned her firm tone to speak very softly.

“Madelyn, I have been in love with Jeff forever.”

“We know, sweetie. And we know he loves you too. I’m sure you two will marry eventually.”

“Yes, but not now. Not because we made a mistake.”

“Ah, but isn’t it a beautiful mistake, easy to fix since you love each other?”

“No. Jeff has received a scholarship at MIT. His dream. And I am starting at UK in September. We can’t lose that.”

Madelyn crossed her arms and scowled. “What do you intend to do?”

“Don’t look at me like that. I don’t plan to abort.”

“Thank God. Not when I can hear the heartbeat. How far along are you?”

“Four month, I think. I will deliver the baby, but I want you to find a loving couple who would adopt him.”

~*~

 

 

 

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The Joy of Grand-Parenting

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I am blessed with four adorable grandchildren. I call them Sweetie (3.5 y), Honey (3 y), Spicy (1.5 y) and Buddy (1 y)  Needless to say, when they are all together the adults keep quiet, listen and smile.IMGP0940 c

At the birth of my first grandchild, Sweetie, I flew to Virginia to help the new Mommy. I spent six months babysitting because both Mommy and Daddy worked long shifts. I re-learned to change diapers, give bottles, bathe a baby, and sing lullabies. It was lovely and I enjoyed my precious time with my Sweetie. When I left, Sweetie went to daycare and got sick three weeks later. Of course, I received an emergency call and flew to Virginia to take care of the sick child.

When Honey was born, my son asked for equal favors. By then I was exhausted and I understood why God in his wisdom usually gives babies to younger parents. But fair is fair, you can’t give one of your kids more than you give the other. So I started traveling to Chicago, and alternated the trips, Chicago, Virginia, Chicago,… I left a few clothes in each house for convenience. To maintain my sanity, I took my laptop wherever I went and included babies in the romance novels I created.

Two years later, a second batch of babies arrived three months apart. This time my husband protested. He, too, needed some TLC and felt neglected while I pampered my babies. I stayed only two months in Virginia to take care of Sweetie while Mommy dedicated herself to Baby Spicy. I didn’t have to spend too much time in Chicago. The other grandmother took an early retirement and asked for grand-mothering rights, which I gladly shared.

Last born Baby Buddy was smart enough to realize that big sister Honey wasn’t ready to give up one minute of her pampering time with either of their grandmothers. And he decided the only way to be noticed was to be an easy baby who just wanted to eat and sleep.

Baby Spicy didn’t share his philosophy. She claimed attention with loud shrieks the moment we tried to set her in bed. Big sister Sweetie got used to the new baby’s screams. When we asked her how was her baby-sister, she just shrugged: “Baby crying.”

My son and daughter-in-law were lucky enough to find a nanny who adores the children and raises them perfectly well while the parents worked long hours. But my daughter and son-in-law tried daycare center, baby-sitters at home, foreign au-pair students, and decided nothing beats having grandma at your beck and call. They moved to Florida to be next to us. “You see, Mom, we came here just for you, so that you can enjoy the children.”

I am enjoying them all right. Even though they are no longer babies, we still babysit, pickup from school, drive to various after-school activities and sports, and sleep over when Mommy is on call and Daddy travels. The children are well-taken care of and the parents can work long hours without having to worry about their sweethearts.

Now the grandparents have to submit their schedules of traveling for approval a year ahead so that both set of parents can get organized accordingly.

I feel bad for the young couples who are torn between so many responsibilities with family, work, social life, vacation and others, but…

What about the loving grandparents?  According to their grownup children they are wonderful people who have nothing to do all day and are so lucky to be granted the joys of staying with their adorable grandchildren. I hope you too will experience the joy of grand-parenting eventually.

If you are a working mother, who takes care of your children? If you are a grandmother, are you involved in your grandchildren’s lives?

The heroine of MOTHER’S DAY BABIES is the perfect example of a young grandmother caught between her own life and dreams, and her babysitting duties.

N Y T LG-MothersDayBabies (3)A widow for seven years, Barbara Ramsay lives for her five daughters and their babies. She’s also used to chatting over the phone with her good friend Lou and soothing his stress.

Powerful TV News Director, Lou Roland, is certainly not marriage material, yet he has suddenly decided he wants Barbara in his arms. Not an easy task when his pretty confidante from Kentucky proves so difficult to date, unless he follows her rules.

Can the over-fifty confirmed bachelor and the widow loyal to her husband’s memory find true love and share a future?

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The Most Important Sense

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You may think that seeing and hearing are our most important senses. Yet a recent study by a professor and specialist of neurology revealed that the power of touch is unique and difficult to replace. After an extended study, he explained that people who lost loved ones, especially elders who have no one in their lives to hug or kiss them suffered enormous psychological damage.

Professor Linden interviewed an 88-year old woman among others. She’s been married for fifty years. She used to cuddle with her husband before falling asleep. She said that it kept her warm and relaxed. Her husband died twenty years ago. Since then she had trouble sleeping in her cold bed. Adding blanket, wearing socks or raising the room temperature didn’t help.

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My mother and her great-grandson who at 3y understood that Momom needed him.

Recently, in the nursing home where she lives the residents have been encouraged to mingle and build friendship, to hug and kiss. This has made a huge difference for her well-being and her companions’.

As part of the research, it was found that older people who receive professional massage are in a better mental health than elderly who are never touched.

Depriving babies of touch is a disaster. Growth is slowed and behavioral disorders emerge according to Professor Linden. Touch is crucial for forging that first emotional bond with a parent. The necessity of touch endures as we age. It is the social glue that binds parents with children.

One study showed that basketball teams that engage in more celebratory touch, such as high fives and chest bumps, play more cooperatively and win more games.

So don’t be afraid to touch and hug people you care for. And don’t hesitate to have your hero and heroine kiss.

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Fearless reporter, Roxanne Ramsay, doesn’t think twice before traveling for important assignments, even in a war zone. But her last trip led to a life-altering mistake.
Getting involved with the strong-headed and too generous reporter involves more complications than Dr. Greg Hayes faces in the OR. Yet what wouldn’t he do to save the love of his life ?

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