7 Lessons for 2022

We’re already into the second month of a new year, but I’m still learning from the stuff I did and didn’t do last year. Here are a few things I’ve come to recognize.

Some things will never get done, no matter how hard I push. Even though I diligently put them on a list, somehow I can’t seem to get those jobs ticked off. I’ve learned that nothing gets done before it is ordained for me to complete it – even if I fight to accept what is.

I can do anything, if I stay focused. Lists work wonderfully well for me, as long as I stick to them and actually look at them once in a while. 2021 taught me that I am a master at slaying impossible deadlines, but I’m aiming to be more focused in 2022.

Knowing when to say ‘Stop!’ Many of us would be amazed at the amount of time we waste aimlessly scrolling through social media sites. After realizing how many minutes I was using up by gawking at things that didn’t concern me, I developed the habit of saying, no more, you’re wasting time! That has been enough to get me to pull back and continue with some productive activity I should have been doing anyhow.

Stop comparing. Besides being a time suck, gazing over the fence can lead to comparison. Gee, Suzy Success is doing so well … and here I am, not even making a dot on this landscape. Comparison will steal contentment every time. I’ve tried over the past year to be more grateful. It is important to realize we’re all on different journeys and that life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Choose friends and associates with care. At times, we get caught in the trap of drifting into relationships that are not always mutually beneficial. Sometimes, it’s only when I’m in the boat and rowing like mad that I realize not everybody is moving those oars in the same direction. I’ve learned that less can be more, and synergy is super important when I’m aiming for my version of success.

And the bonus stuff I learned this year—When God says yes, no man can or will say no. I’ve proven this so many times in one year that it’s unreal and I’m grateful for the many mountains He has moved for me.

Also, even in small things, I can be a source of inspiration for others. When I don’t believe anyone sees what I’m about, a random comment reminds me that while people might not say anything most of the time, they notice what I do.  I also tell people around me to operate with a spirit of excellence. Go beyond what’s expected, even if you’re the only one who knows about it. This way of doing things has rewarded me in amazing ways. I’m sure you can say the same thing as well.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Unforgettable Courage, be sure to do so. This #0.99 boxed set is a sweet romantic suspense deal you won’t want to miss.

Together, they’re like oil and water, but they can’t stay away from each other.

And if sweet romance is your thing, be sure to pick up this boxed set of fifteen novels at $0.99. Finally Got It Right is sure to satisfy your reading needs.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Travel with Mona, in Train through Switzerland

We flew to Geneva in August, supposedly the warmest month in Europe and landed through dark clouds and pouring rain. My first impression wasn’t the best.

My first sight of the Lake
with the Geneva Water Fountain
Geneva is well-known as the headquarters
of Europe’s United Nations and Red Cross

From Geneva we boarded the train to Zermatt, in southern Switzerland, a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking.

Zermatt’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants, and also has a lively after-ski scene. 
No combustion engine vehicles are allowed in Zermatt. In fact, this Swiss municipality has been free of cars for most of its history. In 1961, the citizens voted to uphold the ban.
After two delightful days in Zermatt, we boarded the Glacier Express Bahnhofstrasse. 
The town, at an elevation of around 1,600m, lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak.
The slopes of Matterhorn present the magnificent beauty of the landscape and nature. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding during the winter or hiking during the summer.
The Glacier Express train has panoramic sealed windows all the way to the roof. 

A journey with the Glacier Express: The Glacier Express is a direct train from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The train is also referred to as the ‘slowest express train in the world’: the journey takes about 8 hours. There is a good reason for this slow pace: the train squeezes its way through the Alps, through narrow valleys, tight curves, 91 tunnels, and across 291 bridges, allowing us to admire breathtaking views.

In Summer
In Winter

St. Moritz: A tiny Swiss mountain town with a big, glitz-infused name, StMoritz is the winter getaway that made the ski holiday a high-life ideal.

In Summer
In Winter
In winter the lake is frozen and becomes a skating rink

From St. Moritz that was outrageously expensive, we traveled by train to Zurich.

The city of Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, lies at the north end of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus (town hall).

A view of the Old Town

A delightful place for children as they enjoy a train ride.

A waterfront promenade

In Zermatt and Zurich, we ate some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted. Their bread pudding and apple strudel were out of this world.

After a week touring Switzerland, we boarded the train one more time from Zurich to Strasbourg and Paris. But that’s a story for another time.

NEWSLETTER

Reading for February:

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

They were high school sweethearts in their senior year. The top of the class nerd and the dashing athlete. She helped him with math problems and he helped her shed her bashfulness. In between homework and torrid sex, they shared their goals for a successful future: no marriage, no children, no family, until they realize their dreams.
They meet eighteen years later at a hospital fundraising event. When Ethan Dutton, now a millionaire contractor recognizes the gorgeous Dr. Elyana Matteo, a brilliant pediatric cardio-surgeon, he bets $50,000 at an auction to open the dance with her.
He wants to date her. Elyana has no time for fun. She’s a widow with a teenage daughter and triplet toddlers, and a very busy career. Ethan who’s never taken no for an answer, asks to visit the boys’ daycare center and soon offers to remodel her old mansion. The boys adore him and Elyana falls again under his charm.
But their past threatens to destroy their present…
Can they forgive the selfishness of their youth?
Can they make room for unconditional love?

Meditation by @TaylorLeeWrites

Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.”― Louis L’Amour 

I swear that I have the “busiest”, “never quiet” brain in the world.  That’s why I’ve been paying more and more attention to the study of Meditation and Mindfullness. Take a look at some of the evidence below from an article by Alice G. Walton, a Forbes Magazine contributor, and see that there are real concrete benefits to “taking the time out to be still.”

 

Below are 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain: 

  1. Meditation Helps Preserve the Aging Brain 
  2. Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain’s “Me Center” 
  3. Its Effects Rival Antidepressants for Depression, Anxiety. 
  4. Meditation May Lead to Volume Changes in Key Areas of the Brain 
  5. Just a Few Days of Training Improves Concentration and Attention 
  6. Meditation Reduces Anxiety — and Social Anxiety 
  7. Meditation Can Help with Addiction 

Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”  Amit Ray 

Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.”  ― Catherynne M. Valente,   

 Now that you’ve seen how meditation and mindfulness actually change the brain check out these meditation  “Myth-Busters” by the inimitable Deepak Chopra and decide whether meditating just might be for you! 

7 Myths of Meditation by: Deepak Chopra, M.D. 

Myth #1: Meditation is difficult. 

Truth:  This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality, when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. 

Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice. 

Truth:  This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn’t about stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind – both of these approaches only create stress and more noisy internal chatter. We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them.  

Myth #3: It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation. 

Truth:  The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice.  

Myth #4: Meditation is escapism. 

Truth:  The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all but to tune in and get in touch with your true Self. In meditation you dive below the mind’s churning surface, which tends to be filled with repetitive thoughts about the past and worries about the future, into the still point of pure consciousness. In this state of transcendent awareness, you let go of all the stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, what is limiting you, and where you fall short – and you experience the truth that your deepest Self is infinite and unbounded 

Myth #5: I don’t have enough time to meditate. 

Truth:  There are busy, productive executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. 

Myth #6: Meditation is a spiritual or religious practice. 

Truth:  Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into a place of stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs.  

Myth #7: I’m supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation. 

Truth:

Some people are disappointed when they don’t experience visions, see colors, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate.  Although we can have a variety of wonderful experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and oneness, these aren’t the purpose of the practice. The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and silence of our practice with us, allowing us to be more creative, compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter. 

“In the end, just three things matter:
How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go” 
― Jack Kornfield 

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And when you are through meditating and are super mellow, grab Topaz, the third book in my provocative Ladies of the Night series and crank up the excitement. The Ladies are covert agents in a secretive, off the grid security organization.  Highly trained fighters, they’re as gorgeous as they are dangerous to the evil men they’re hired to bring to justice. The only thing these formidable women are NOT is “ladies.”  

Topaz 

FREE Jan 28-Feb. 1 

Maya Taveras, Code Name: Topaz, is a mixed-race Zoe Saldana look-a-like.  As mysterious as her heritage, a hideous incident in Topaz’s troubled past gives her a dangerous  connection to the   international Cartel leader at the top of the DEA’s most wanted list.  Agent Grayson Webb joins Topaz to infiltrate down the formidable organization. Not surprisingly, Webb falls for his partner, the sultry Topaz. A roller-coaster of a ride rife with violence, sexual attraction and unexpected rivalries make this stormy tale a page turner from the first page to the last. 

And if you can’t get enough of sexy ‘Good Guys” check out my gang’s latest collection: 

Unforgettable Courage

Unforgettable Courage: Protection and Loyalty 

My book in the set is 

The Courage to Triumph 

Caught in a hotbed of White Supremacist activists, both Ava and Luke become the targets. Not only do they have to overcome the constant danger, but Luke and Ava must decide if they can give their love a second chance.  

The beauty of … A New Year

I posted this last year, and it was so popular, I am reposting. Happy New Year!

“I’m walking into 2022 with a clear heart and mind. If you owe me, don’t worry about it-you’re welcome. If you wronged me, it’s all good- lesson learned. If you’re angry with me, you’ve won. If we aren’t speaking, it’s cool (I love you and I wish you well.) If you feel I wronged you, I apologize. Life is too short for all the anger, grudges, and extra pain, and we as people are not perfect. God bless us all! Here’s to 2022!”

New Release! New Year Hearts Only 99¢ for a limited time.

New Year Hearts

Enjoy three emotionally satisfying sweet romances. The boxed set includes:

A Chocolate-Box New Years

Some recipes don’t turn out quite as you predicted…

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding

A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside Irish town where it all began?

1-800-NEW YEAR

Her lost love is back in town. Is he back for a second chance…or closure?