Travel with Mona to Thailand

Visit the Island of Phuket

When I was still at University preparing for a Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry I became a good friend with Tumany, a graduate student from Bangkok, Thailand. She talked daily about her home town, its history and many treasures. When she offered to have her brother act as our guide, I couldn’t resist the temptation of going to Thailand. My husband had endless free mileage from business trips and said why not. Several of our professors asked me to bring back sapphire rings or necklaces for their wives and daughters. During an exhausting three-day visit of Bangkok we ate the spicier food I’ve ever tasted, admired the most gorgeous sapphire rings I’ve ever seen, and visited more than a dozen temples, and then we headed to Phuket.

Years later I returned to Phuket on a cruise. This island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches with fine white sand, nodding palm trees and glittering sea such as the mystical Phang Nga Bay.

The rock was the filming site for the 1974 James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun.

Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. I had the chance to soak my feet in the Indian Ocean. But we were more attracted by the exotic aspect of the island.

The statue of the Big Buddha looms above the city. It’s a150 ft statue made of marble. We didn’t visit it but I took pictures from far.

Wat Chalong or Chalong Temple is the most visited, revered, and largest temple in Phuket. Highly considered as a must cultural visit in Phuket due to its history and scale.

Built in 1837, Wat Chalong Phuket is the most popular Thai Temple on the island and is one of the cultural highlights on many Phuket sightseeing tours. The tallest building, Chedi, is 60 meters high and is said to hold a bone fragment of Buddha himself. The interior of the building contains pictorial illustrations of Buddha’s journey. The building alone is three floors filled with golden statues.

Its historical significance was that the monk founders of the temple, Luang Pho Cham & Luang Pho Chuang led Phuket’s Chalong District citizens to fight against the Chinese Rebellion in 1876 using their knowledge of herbal medicine to heal the injured.

As a place of worship, tourists will experience many locals offering prayers and lighting candles, which is generally a very peaceful experience, but one that is often interrupted by the loud bang of Chinese Fire Crackers to ward off bad spirits.

Dancer
Silk weaving

At the Thai Cultural Village we enjoyed several shows with dancers and watched silk weavers at work.

LAST CHANCE PLANS https://amazon.com/Last-Chance-Plans-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B0BL1ZPD41… Sweet and Sassy Emotional, Sensual, Humorous. During a flight to Miami, she meets the charming businessman and his mother. Rick doesn’t hide his attraction. But…

Release Day!

The Puck Bunny – a hockey rom-com by Stephanie Queen

PLUS A BONUS HOCKEY ROMANCE!

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from the Some Girls Like It Cold series

What made me so self-conscious?

It was my name. Not Sara–my last name–Bellagamba. (I knew you’d understand.)

When I was young I couldn’t say it right and when I tried, the kids made fun of me.

Handy Hint: explaining the meaning of your name–Bellagamba means beautiful leg in Italian–to a bunch of five-year-olds won’t stop their teasing. In fact, I think it’s like some kind of trigger for escalation.

And I’m pretty sure if I didn’t run, they would have stoned me for being crazy. (only slightly exaggerating)

Fast forward

to my current post college career and nothing much has changed. I’m still self conscious and still have a tendency to say ridiculous things at inopportune moments.

Except now I’m working for the Boston Brawlers NHL organization, my dream job–because I’m a massive hockey fan and a particular fan of one player–Quinn James.

The Brawlers just signed him and I almost passed out with excitement over the unexpected news.

I won’t lie–I want him. (Yes, that way.) Bad.

Fat chance of that happening

Even if I weren’t so self conscious, I’m not in his league. He dates starlets and models and was last seen with a princess on his arm…

Quinn

Why did I sign a deal with the Boston Brawlers?

I was a f**ing NHL super star in L.A.. My life was perfectly scripted with fame, fortune and all kinds of women throwing themselves at me.

But a hushed up incident with a certain princess caused me to miss seeing my dad on his death bed. Now my family is pissed at me. And I need to deal with them–and the loss of my dad.

So I signed with the Brawlers, moved from L.A. to come back east and return to my roots.

Between hockey and dealing with the need to square things with my family and get real about relationships, I have plenty to concentrate on.

So why do I find Sara, the awkward little puck bunny and big f-ing distraction, so irresistible?

Why do I let Sara Bellagamba of all people, sidetrack me from what’s most important in my life, family and hockey?

The Puck Bunny, a Boston Brawlers Hockey Spin-off, is the first in the Some Girls Like It Cold Series, a funny and poignant romp where the awkward girl gets her dream guy against all the odds, scoring big for her team which includes every secret Puck Bunny everywhere. And the dream guy gets the deeply satisfying life with the dream girl he never knew he desperately wanted. HEA Ending! (duh!)

(Warning: language and sex for a mature audience.)

GET IT NOW WITH A BONUS!

*********Early Bird Bonus!*********

When you buy it or read on Kindle Unlimited, you get a link to a FREE BONUS BOOK, Hockey Heartthrob by Kat Obie.

You need to get the book by 3/31, because after that, the bonus disappears.

In the meantime, check out the blurb for Hockey Heartthrob. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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Hockey Heartthrob

Second chances don’t happen every day. I was too focused on trying to break through with my hockey career to really make a move on Nastia Schmetinova when we were at the U together. Imagine my surprise when I learned that she was going to ref our Saint Patrick’s Day game.

I couldn’t make the same mistake twice. I had to give it a shot.

Hopefully I didn’t wait too long to make a move and I won’t sacrifice team unity by following my heart. But I can’t ignore my feelings for her.

Hockey Heartthrob is a second chance romance filled with sexy hockey players who give it their all when it comes to romance. Grab the fifth novella in the Loving the Puckers Series which makes you go “Awww.”

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Coffee to Improve my Health!

Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily, including ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee, is associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality, compared with avoiding coffee, a new analysis of the prospective UK Biobank suggests.

Ground and instant coffee, but interestingly, not decaffeinated coffee intake was also associated with reduced risk of new-onset arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation. “Daily coffee intake should not be discouraged by physicians but rather considered part of a healthy diet,” Kistler said.

“This study supports that coffee is safe and even potentially beneficial, which is consistent with most of the prior evidence,” Carl Lavie, MD, who wasn’t involved in the study, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

“We do not prescribe coffee to patients, but for the majority who like coffee, they can be encouraged — it is fine to take a few cups daily,” said Lavie, with the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Significant reductions in the risk of incident coronary heart disease were associated with habitual coffee intake of up to 5 cups/day. Coffee consumption at all levels was associated with significant reduction in the risk of congestive cardiac failure and ischemic stroke. The lowest risks were observed in those who consumed 2 to 3 cups/day.

“Coffee consumption is associated with cardiovascular benefits and should not empirically be discontinued in those with underlying heart rhythm disorders or cardiovascular disease,” Kistler told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology

“Caffeine has also a role in weight loss through inhibition of gut fatty acid absorption and increase in basal metabolic rate. Furthermore, coffee has been associated with a significantly lower incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus,” Kistler added.

So enjoy your coffee while reading a new book, or better a box of new books.

No love can ever be as special as your first.
What if you could have the chance at a new beginning with your first love?
Find true love and your happy ever after in the pages of these SIX BRAND NEW, full-length steamy stories from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

TWO HEARTS REUNITED by Tamara Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author. When Lieutenant Eric O’Neill returns to Crystal Rock for a family reunion, he’s shocked to run into none other than Anya Weldon, the only woman he’s ever loved. Learning that her life’s been filled with tragedy, he’s determined to win her back—even if it means assisting with her search for her sister, who she believes was abducted by human traffickers ten years earlier.

BACK TO ME by Natalie Ann, USA Today bestselling author: Cooper Winslow accepted that his first secret love in college was lost to him forever and moved on with his life. Years later, fate brings them together and now he wonders if he is going to lose her again with all the family drama he’s lived with for years.

SWEET SUCCESS by Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today bestselling author: Carly and Jake love each other, but have goals that will place them at opposite ends of the country. When their dreams fall through, will love still be an option?

YOUR DANGEROUS KISS by Alicia Street, USA Today bestselling author: Rafe March considers his career on the big screen a fluke that he isn’t sure he ever wanted. With magazine cover good looks, a near genius IQ and a wealthy family, his options in life are plenty. Too bad the only thing he ever really wanted was Lucinda.

WE’RE ALL WINNERS by Mona Risk, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author: Scheming people and secrets separated them. With help from her toddler and his German shepherd, love may bring them together again.

THE REGAL ROSE by Susanne Matthews, International bestselling author: She’s a princess in distress; he’s her knight in shining armor. Can he rescue her one more time?

Travel with Mona to Argentina

I went to Argentina twice and enjoyed it tremendously. Often described as the Paris of Latin America, Buenos Aires owes its reputation to its wealth of beautiful Belle Epoque buildings. Many of Buenos Aires’s architectural landmarks were built in the early decades of the 20th century when the city exploded from colonial outpost to one of the wealthiest metropolises in the world. 

I loved this lively city so much that I described it in my most recent book, LAST CHANCE PLANS. Although the novel is set in Fort Lauderdale, one chapter takes place in Buenos Aires. Madison Howell, a flight attendant, is flying there on an assignment, and billionaire, Rick Lambert, joins her for a business trip that soon brings a lot of fun.

Plaza de Mayo

The Plaza de Mayo is a city square and main foundational site of Buenos Aires. It was formed in 1884 and became the political center of the country. Surrounded by the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the city’s main cathedral, Plaza de Mayo is the place where Argentineans gather in vehement protest or jubilant celebration.

Casa Rosada — from which Eva Peron addressed adoring crowds of workers.

The Plaza de Mayo is decorated by the Pyramid de Mayo (built in 1811 to commemorate the May Revolution a year earlier) and a grand statue of independence hero General Belgrano as well as towering palm trees and soothing fountains.

<<From time to time, Rick caressed her palm with the pad of his thumb as he glanced out of the window and listened to their driver, Mario, who took them to the famous Plaza de Mayo. “Tomorrow, you should walk in the square and take pictures,” Mario said as he waved at the May Pyramid, their oldest national monument.

“We will,” Madison promised.

Next, Mario drove along the Rio de la Plata waterfront at Puerto Madero, explaining that all streets in the district were named after women. They passed in front of the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes and the Teatro Colon. As he continued along 9 de Julio Avenue, he pointed at the obelisk that was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city, and he insisted they should have lunch or dinner at the famous Café Tortoni.

“Tonight we’re just getting an overview. Tomorrow we’ll walk and visit all these places and more,” Madison declared.

Rick smiled at her enthusiasm, determined to spice up their visit with his own brand of excitement.>>

The Monument to the Carta Magna and Four Regions of Argentina is located in the intersection of Del Libertador and Sarmiento Avenues, a landmark site in the Palermo, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is commonly referred to as the Monument of the Spanish. 
The Equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano is a landmark of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located at Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada. It depicts General Manuel Belgrano holding the Flag of Argentina, and it is made of bronze over a pedestal of granite.
The Pyramid de Mayo, located in front of the Casa Rosada, or Pink House, in the Plaza de Mayo, location of many historic and political events.
El Obelisco
Built by Alberto Prebisch in 1936 to commemorate Buenos Aires’s 400th anniversary, this pointed needle is the city’s unofficial center, and a useful landmark for getting one’s bearings. Standing 222 feet tall, the obelisk has four sides on its shaft that represent moments in the city’s history, from its founding in 1536 to being named as Argentina’s capital in 1880

La Recoleta Cemetery

La Recoleta Cemetery
Argentine aristocrats were known to sell all their worldly possessions to pay for a spot in the country’s most exclusive cemetery. A maze of splendid mausoleums and dramatic crypts, it’s where the country’s most controversial figures (including, most famously, Eva Perón) sleep. 

The Abasto Mall

The Abasto shopping center was built in 1930s in the Art Deco architecture.
In 1999, Abasto was reborn into a shopping center as it was refurbished completely on the inside, and with additional structures at the back and side, but keeping the original beautiful Art Deco façade.

Café Tortoni:

You’ll know you have reached this legendary fin de siècle café located halfway along Avenida de Mayo from the lines that snake out the door. Modeled on the Parisian coffeehouses of the 19th century, it’s been a meeting point for artists and intellectuals since it opened in 1858 and still hosts regular jazz and tango nights. 825 Avenida de Mayo.

<<Around seven, just after sunset, Mario dropped them at the tango restaurant. “I’ll be back for you at 10:00 p.m. You have time for dinner, the show, and a tango lesson.” Apparently, the dancers taught the patrons a few steps after their show.

<<Inside the restaurant, where long tables faced a stage, they were seated next to each other with other patrons. After sampling various bits of meat from a tray a waitress passed around, they ordered the local steak and a bottle of wine. They toasted, chatted, laughed with the other guests at their table, and enjoyed their meal.>>

Caminito

Caminito is a well-known pedestrian-only street in Buenos Aires, famed for its brightly colored houses built from scrap metal and painted with leftovers from the shipyards. The street is also known for being the birthplace of tango, which originated here in the late 19th century. Nothing beats the tour of the old city and the lunch in restaurant offering Tango shows.

 The Best Tango Shows In Buenos Aires: The authentic tango that you’ll see in these Buenos Aires tango shows is very different than what you’ve seen in the movies. It tells a passionate story. The movements are complex. The man signals to his partner with subtle cues that they’ve practiced religiously.

<<The music filled the air and the lights dimmed. Bright spotlights focused on the stage where a couple glided in, the man in a black, silk shirt and satin pants, the woman wearing a sexy, short, tight, sparkling dress that molded to her figure. The loud tempo of the music focused their attention as the man splayed a hand on the woman’s back and held her other hand in a tight grip.

The dance started with sharp, staccato movements, the male dancer bringing his partner against him, pulling her in with a passionate attitude. The music’s frenzy escalated, prompting more sensual steps in the dance while the dancers maintained their sober expressions.

Lips parted, Madison seemed totally mesmerized by the dance. Rick wrapped an arm around her waist, slowly pulling her back against his chest, needing to share the dramatic dance with her. She melted against him, her fingers clenched on his arm.>>

A tango show
My husband posing for the picture.

<<The server entered, set the tray on the desk, accepted his tip, and left with an “Enjoy your drinks.”

“All that?” Madison stared at the two giant ceramic mugs, miniature replicas of the famous Obelisco adorning the center of town.

“Here, they say that Buenos Aires is the city that never sleeps. The Buenos Aires Zombie is the perfect drink for a night meant to go on until dawn.”>>

Last Chance Plans, Love Plans Series, book 10

Today is the Release Day. 99 cents to celebrate its release.

At twenty, Rick Lambert ran away from the US to escape the accusations hurled at him. Fifteen years later, he returns to settle in Fort Lauderdale. His mother agrees to live with him and take care of his two sons who have been raised by nannies and boarding schools.

Flight attendant, Madison Howell loves nothing more than her job. During a flight from Dubai to Miami, she meets the authoritative businessman and his mother. The sweet old lady befriends her, and Rick doesn’t hide his attraction. When his children come home, Madison finds herself entangled with the Lamberts way too often. As she helps the young boys adapt to their new life, she falls in love with their gorgeous father, but she’s not sure she really knows Rick, her charming lover. A loving son and dedicated father but also a womanizer and tough businessman with a hidden past.

When people from long-ago cross his path, secrets are revealed, threatening to ruin their romance. Now mature and powerful, Rick confronts his enemies to clear his name, but will it cost him the woman he loves?

Love Plans Series #1

To celebrate the release of LOVE PLANS SERIES, book 10, Last Chance Plans, the Love Plans Series #1 will be half-price during February.

Heal My Heart

To celebrate the release of Last Chance Plans, Heal My Heart will be FREE on February 7, 8, 9 and February 21 and 22