About Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She's a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist. Mona Risk's name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher's Weekly. Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home. If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.  View website

A Pandemic Story?

We have been in a pandemic state for more than a year. Wearing a mask, keeping distance, avoiding crowds, working from home is our new reality. Should we, authors, set our new books in this new reality? Here are a few difficulties if we try to be realistic:

1-Love at first sight would be out of the question, unless we have our heroine remove her mask for a minute—maybe to sneeze or blow her nose—long enough for the lucky hero to catch a glimpse of her lovely features.

2-We still can describe a handsome hero, his tall frame, wide shoulders, and solid chest. But how will you describe a heroine’s gorgeous features when half of her face is covered by a mask? Will the eager hero fall in love just by admiring her long, silky hair and her sky-blue eyes?

3- Where would the hero and heroine meet if they work from home, avoid public transportation, and stay away from gatherings?

4- Assuming they manage to overcome the above obstacles and start a relationship, where will they meet to sustain their flame if they can’t go to restaurants, theaters, or gym? Maybe they can stroll on the beach if we set their story in summer or if they live in Florida.

5-We should remember to have them wear their masks every time they leave the house.

6- More importantly, would my hero or heroine feel comfortable kissing a partner they met during pandemic? Should they start a romantic moment with, “I’m dying to kiss you. Did you test negative? Did you get the vaccine?

We authors have a wide imagination. I’m sure we can get around any problem when writing a great story. How about having our hero/heroine meeting during a Zoom meeting? I saw my son and daughter-in-law working from home. He donned a serious button-down shirt, but didn’t bother to change his shorts, no one could see. She wore a fashionable blouse, combed her hair, put makeup on and earrings. If these virtual meetings occur often, my hero and heroine may manage to get attracted to each other.

Still, I am not comfortable enough to write a Pandemic story. Too many people —twelve so far— I personally knew, from among my family, extended family and friends died within the past thirteen months and one is on life support. I am trying hard to forget last year and its depressing moments and wouldn’t want to relive it through my writing. So don’t count on me to offer you a Pandemic story.

Instead, I’d rather talk about the eight romantic comedies and romance novels I wrote last year or the many boxes the ABB group put together.

BETWEEN BABIES AND GIRLFRIENDS: Romantic Comedy. He’s the serious Dr. Brian Dutton. His former girlfriend is the sassy, passionate daughter of the Governor of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and she returns to the USA to play nanny for the twin babies abandoned in his office, but his fiancée doesn’t like the babies or the nanny. Can it get more complicated? Yes when his mother thinks the babies are his, and volunteers to take care of them.

HALF A DOZEN WITH LOVE: Romantic Comedy. The Foster Care system wants to separate Tammy’s five young siblings. Her grandmother’s surgeon, Dr. Jack’s unusual solution keeps the family together but complicates Tammy’s life and could bring her in his arms. https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HKQSRYC

UNFORGETTABLE LOVERS
IRRESISTIBLE SPRING INTO LOVE
SEXY AND SEDUCTIVE

A Cross-Atlantic Cruise

Two weeks ago we heard on TV that the Iceland volcanoes erupted for the first time in 6,000 years. I saw these volcanoes in 2013, during a Cross-Atlantic Cruise!

I live in Florida and have always been fascinated by the ocean. My bucket list included a Cross-Atlantic Cruise —Yes, crossing the Atlantic and other oceans, the way buccaneers  and pirates had braved the high winds and raging waves. Think of Christopher Columbus on his way to India, crossing the Atlantic and ending up on the Caribbean’s shores.

We started our Cross-Atlantic Cruise from Southampton, England and ended in New York. From Southampton, we sailed north to Bergen, in Norway, a thriving North Sea Port where we visited King Haakon’s Hall and the Old Bergen Museum, an open-air museum featuring a collection of 18th and 19th-century houses.

Next our ship headed to Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice. We docked in a modern, spotlessly clean small city, Akureryl. The weather was warm for early September and flowers bloomed everywhere. One-third of the world’s volcanoes are in Iceland. Bubbling geothermal springs and richly colored mineral deposits reminded us that the center of the earth was closer than we would think. Some of the craters we saw were not true volcanoes but rocky basins formed when the hot lava bubbled onto water logged ground. We spent hours admiring the Godafoss or Falls of the Gods.

We continued to the West Fjords, nature splendor. We saw glaciers and springs, and winding arms of the sea, and reach Isafjordur –don’t ask me to pronounce it– where volcanic soil is fertile and productive.

Reykjavik  is the capital of Iceland, a gorgeous city, and a unique place where you find ice fields, boiling thermal unit, geyser, waterfall.

People swim in the Blue Lagoon pool all year round.

The Icelanders use their geothermal energy to heat swimming pools and generate electricity. Geothermal water is used to heat around 90% of Iceland’s homes, and keeps pavements and car parks snow-free in the winter. Hot water from the springs is cooled and pumped from boreholes that vary between 200 and 2,000m straight into the taps of nearby homes, negating the need for hot water heating.

On our last day in Reykjavik we visited a real Viking boat.

Leaving Iceland where the weather was far from icy, we sailed to Greenland through the Arctic Ocean and crossed the Arctic Circle. We met with freezing weather and real glaciers floating in the water. In winter, you can’t navigate through this area. Greenland is part of the North Pole inhabited by Eskimos. The people were friendly and hospitable, laughing with us and entertaining us with songs as if they were trying to make amends for the glaciers with their own warmth. For transportation, they use sleds in winter, and kayaks in summer.

At the end of a two-week cruise, the captain gave us a special certificate and the Statue of Liberty welcomed us in New York. Although the Cross-Atlantic was very different from my expectations, we had a wonderful time and discovered uncharted territories.

A BODYGUARD FOR THE PRINCESS

A princess incognito at Harvard. A roommate killed in a residence of 18 students.

Can Chloe trust her neighbors? Some of them are not who they claim to be. But they all have one thing in common. They’re terrified of being the next victim and strive to discover the killer while going around their daily business—attending classes, lunching together and dating, and even lying to or cooperating with the detective in charge of the case. Danger looms in every corner. Fear sizzles in the building.

Who is the murderer? Who will be the next victim?

Coffee for you…

Like many of you, I can’t function without coffee and drink an average of three cups per day. To reduce my calorie intake, I shifted from cream and sugar to black or with a touch of skim milk. In addition to my regular coffee, I often enjoy a variety of different coffee or designer coffee—cappuccino, mocha, laté, espresso, Turkish coffee or Greek coffee, iced coffee, and my favorite ice cream coffee.

We probably heard of the adverse effects caused by too much coffee, such higher risk of bone fractures, gastroesophageal reflux disease and anxiety, but coffee can also benefit our health thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.

Here are the top 13 health benefits of coffee. *

COFFEE:

1. Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter.

2. Can Help You Burn Fat and boost your metabolic rate.

3. Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance: Caffeine can increase adrenaline levels and release fatty acids from your fat tissues. It also leads to significant improvements in physical performance.

4. Contains Essential Nutrients-  A single cup of coffee contains: Riboflavin (vitamin B2); Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5); Manganese and potassium; Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.

5. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin. For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

6.  Can Fight Depression and Make You Happier.

7.  Coffee appears to be protective against two types of cancer: liver and colorectal cancer.

8. Coffee may cause mild increases in blood pressure, which usually diminish over time. Coffee drinkers do not have an increased risk of heart disease and have a slightly lower risk of stroke.

9. Given that coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases, it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.

10. Coffee is quite high in antioxidants. Studies show that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined.

So enjoy your coffee and improve your health!!!

*Reference: Kris Gunnars in HealthLine

In most of my books, my heroines and heroes can’t resist the warm fragrance of a freshly brewed cup of coffee to clear their heads and help them evaluate their problems. Half a Dozen with Love is part of The Senator’s Family Series

Half A Dozen With Love

When a tragic accident deprived Tammy Fletcher of her loving parents at the age of nineteen, she pledged to take care of her five brothers and sisters, ranging in age from eight months to sixteen years. But she’s up against her greedy step-aunt who wants to get her hands on the children’s trust fund, and the CPS caseworker who insists on putting the children in the foster care system.

Dr. Jack Conan, the orthopedic surgeon treating the children’s grandmother, is both impressed by Tammy’s efforts to keep the family together and irresistibly attracted to the gorgeous and so-serious young woman. Determined to help her, Jack goes out of his way to solve her dilemma. Will his unorthodox solution only complicate Tammy’s problems—or bring her into his arms?

 

Travel to Seychelles

When people ask me about the most interesting thing I have ever done in my life, I can’t help smiling as I answer without hesitation, “Traveling.”  I visited over hundred countries on vacation or business trips. 

One of my most memorable trips was to the Seychelles in the nineties, after my husband and colleagues sold the first Boeing 767 with GE engines to the Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, where natives speak English, French and Creole. The spouses were invited to accompany and cheer the hardworking and successful delegation on the delivery trip, or virgin trip as the officials called it.

On the tarmac of the Boeing airport in Seattle before boarding.

The night before the actual delivery trip we arrived in Seattle, home of the Boeing Co., for a reception and the next day we headed to the Boeing hangar where we boarded the brand new airplane. After a takeoff closely monitored by the engineers, the plane flew directly to a freezing airport somewhere in Newfoundland to refuel, then crossed over the Atlantic Ocean, transited in Paris for two hours, and continued to Kenya where it had to drop boxes of medication as part of an international aid program. The Kenyan minister of tourism received us with drinks and snacks and then led us to a tower for a panoramic view of the area surrounding the airport. He kindly invited us to come back for a safari–still on my bucket list.

Map and general view of the Seychelles.

The plane landed in the largest island of Mahé, home of the capital Victoria, to the sound of music. Young girls welcomed us with flower leis. The president himself shook hands with each one of us, and toasted the arriving guests with glasses of palm wine Kalou and coconut water. 

L- Arrival at the airport. R- In downtown Victoria. In January, it’s summer in the Seychelles.

We spent our first afternoon in Mahé, and couldn’t wait to run to the Beau Vallon beach and experience the white sand and turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. The evening gathered our delegation for a dinner of local fish and seafood cooked with rice in a Creole style and the delicious octopus and palm salad. Let’s not forget the mouth-watering exotic fruits that appeared at breakfast, lunch and dinner: mango, papaya, passion fruit, guava and a few I didn’t recognize.

The next day the Minister of Tourism invited us on a submarine tour to admire the underwater life, flora, corals and colorful fish; later we swam and snorkeled in the area.

On day two, we flew to the island of Pralin in a twelve-seat plane. In Pralin we visited the rain forest called Vallée de Mai, home to famous—or infamous—Coco de Mer, a huge coconut, for the female fruit, and an… hum… extra long penis for the male fruit. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. These fruits grow on the tallest trees in the world. We had a fantastic day, but we were eaten alive by hundreds of mosquitoes guarding the rainforest. Back in the hotel, we spent the evening rubbing our legs and arms with a soothing cream made with the oil of Coco de Mer.

In the left top picture we are standing in the Valée de Mai, home of the Coco de Mer. On the right is a picture of the male nut.

On day three, we used the same small plane to go to La Digue island. It landed on a gorgeous white-sand desert beach with black granite rock shining in the sun—in my humble opinion, it is the most beautiful beach in the world. In La Digue, we also visited a park housing giant turtles. On the way back we had a bad surprise. Our small plane sank into the sand. We had to go down and push to get it out!

Over the years, I accompanied my husband to the Seychelles three times and enjoyed the islands tremendously: the beaches, the activities, the food. A perfect place for a honeymoon.

I wrote about the Coco de Mer in my book, THE GODS OF DARK LOVE, a sensual romance based on the legend of the gods, Isis and Osiris, in the Egyptian mythology. On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076K8442S/

Chapter 15 is set in the Vallée de Mai, home of the Coco de Mer.

“This forest is Gehanna created by a devil,” Shafika grumbled. “It has the most indecent fruits I have ever seen. I want to go away from here.”

“Stop it,” Isis ordered. “It’s the wrong time and place to whine.”

The girl pouted. “But my lady, look at those fruits. They must have been created by—”

“We have already seen so many of them at sea. Stop acting like a child.”

“But my lady, I am not talking about the Sea-Cocos.” She pointed to the top of a tree. “Look at these donkeys’ things.”

Exasperated, Isis exhaled and raised her gaze to where the girl pointed. Her breath clogged her throat. “Oh, oh. Osiris, look.” She caught his arm and shook it.

Osiris stared at the long fruits, shaped like a phallus as long as his arm, as long as a donkey’s penis. He swallowed hard and counted a dozen such cones on that tree.