The Student and the Dog

Lilly is a sophomore student, smart, hardworking, and determined to achieve her goal. Packing her car to the rim, she drove to college three weeks earlier than her first day of class for orientation on the first week and sorority rush on the second week. The apartment Lilly would share with three roommates wouldn’t be available for the next two weeks. A friend gave her the keys to her apartment, and Lilly settled there on her own.

Soon she discovered that with without her friends, the campus was too boring. To kill the time, she browsed her social media and discovered a picture that melted her heart and a post she couldn’t ignore. A five-year-old German Shepherd in the Animal Shelter needed a foster home until it could be adopted. With nothing else to do, our generous student went to visit the shelter and met Jane. It was love at first sight, and Lilly offered to foster the German Shepherd for a couple of weeks. She never expected Jane to be such a sweetheart, so loving, so obedient. Boredom disappeared but a new problem arose.

Lilly couldn’t imagine abandoning her new companion to shelter life. But she couldn’t adopt her either. The rented apartment where she would move into soon had a strict no-pets policy. Desperate but determined to save Jane from a miserable future, Lilly called her parents, asked and begged for a special favor. But… Her family has a lovable cockapoo, Bosty, a hypoallergenic dog, that doesn’t shed. Mom has asthma and can’t live with a dog that sheds. Could they find a solution?

Grandma studied the Internet for hours and found out that if Mom brushed the German Shepherd every morning with a bristle brush, got rid of loose hair with a hair dryer at high speed, and then rubbed the dog’s coat with olive oil, the shedding would be controlled. Mom should also wear a mask while brushing the dog, and give him a bath three times a week.

Mom agreed to give it a try for two months. If everything went well, the family would keep the new dog for a year, and Lilly will take her back when she moves to a new apartment next year. Grandma also researched the food that would help minimize the shedding.

Lilly is my granddaughter! Yesterday, she drove Jane to her parents’. I hope and pray her new dog doesn’t send my daughter to the ER!

Here’s the first meeting between Jane and Bosty. Bosty was petrified by the big monster and couldn’t stop shaking. The family improved things by going on a walk together and giving both dogs treats and new toys.

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Contemporary Romance with emotion and a touch of humor.

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Contemporary Romance with emotion, passion, action, and humor.

Travel with Mona

Visit Prague

When my daughter was at university she took a year off and spent it in Paris. Before flying, she booked a train-pass for $200 that allowed her to hop on a train and travel anywhere in Europe. One of the places where she went with a friend was Prague. Do I need to mention that during that year, half of my hair turned gray! When she returned home safe and sound, she had a lot of stories to tell us. Two of them practically gave me a heart attack.

The first one was that she saved a lot of money by not staying in a hotel in Prague. “So where did you stay?” I asked a bit worried. “There were people at the train station showing us cards with pictures of their apartments and a room we could rent for $10 per night.” Try to imagine my gasp of terror. “You stayed with people you didn’t know???” “They were very nice and had two adorable little girls. Besides, we were two. So I only paid $5.”

The other story was even worse. She and her friend were eating dinner at a café. They lost track of time and suddenly realized the place was closing. They were walking toward the train station when they noticed a car following them. The girls panicked and started running in the deserted dark street. The car followed them slowly. Finally they found a lit pizzeria, and banged on the closed doors. For their good luck, the owner spoke a little bit of English. The girls explained that they were afraid and wanted to call the police. The two men in the car came behind them to the store. It turned out that they were secret police and thought that the two girls were gypsies trying to attract men!!! No need to write here my reaction and my response.

My husband and I visited Prague twice, in more classy ways, staying in hotels. We loved Prague. So let me tell you about this beautiful city.

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings and Gothic churches. My favorite sites were the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show, and the pedestrian Charles Bridge which is lined with statues of Catholic saints. 

Charles Bridge is a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the early 15th century. 

The first statue to be erected on the Charles Bridge is made of bronze. This is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk, the patron saint of Bohemia. According to legend John of Nepomuk refused to reveal the confessions of the wife of King Wenceslas IV, and was thrown off the side of the bridge to his death.

Charles Bridge is an icon of Prague and the Czech Republic. For many centuries until 1870, it was the only way for people to cross the Vltava. It is also one of the few Medieval bridges still standing and in use today.

The Prague astronomical clock or Prague Orloj is a medieval astronomical clock attached to the Old Town Hall in Prague. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still in operation. It shows the relative positions of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and Zodiac constellations. It also tells the time, provides the date, and, best of all, provides entertainment for the tourists on the hour, every hour.

Old Town Square in Prague.

I bought a gorgeous crystal vase and a wooden old-fashioned clock hanging on my kitchen wall.

New Release– On Pre-Order MESSY PLANS, Love Plans Series, book 11

Fully dedicated to his patients, Dr. Matt Lopez, Chief of the ER at St. Lucia Hospital spends his free time on his boat and dates nurses from the hospital—but not from his own unit. Rule number one in his ER: never mix work with pleasure, thereby avoiding a conflict of interest. When the lovely Cathy Cooper joins the ER staff, every doctor, including Matt, is ready to break the rules. The new nurse practitioner is too gorgeous for her own good and too independent for Matt’s peace of mind.

Cathy Cooper goes an extra mile for her patients, especially for the children of the public school where she subs. When Cathy takes Tommy, a young patient under her wing, gets involved in his home situation, and discovers the truth, trouble follows.

Life will never be the same for Cathy, her boss, or Tommy as they try to repair the mistakes of their pasts. Can they reconcile their personal feelings and work obligations?

Messy Plans is book 11 of the Love Plans Series.

Searching for Happiness

We are all searching for happiness. But how do we achieve it? What are its greatest determinants?

The Harvard Study of Adult Development may be the most comprehensive study ever conducted, as it followed its participants for their entire adult lives. The study was started in Boston in 1938 and has already covered three generations: grandparents, parents, and children, who are now considered “baby boomers.” It analyzed more than 2000 people throughout 85 years of longitudinal study. By following this large population for more than eight decades, the study uncovered the factors most correlated with well-being and happiness. Here, I have summarized some of the authors’ main concepts.

The study’s happiest participants had two major factors in common throughout its 85 years: taking care of their health and building loving relationships with others. It seems obvious that being in good health is essential to living well. However researchers determined that good relationships were the most significant predictor of health and happiness during aging. The happiest people valued and fostered relationships.

Professional success on its own does not guarantee happiness, even though it may be gratifying. Levels of education and cultural awareness, which tend to be higher among those with higher salaries, were also important factors for adopting healthy habits and for better access to healthcare.

Loneliness is increasingly common and creates challenges when dealing with stressful situations. It is essential to have someone with whom we can vent. Therefore, one should foster, strengthen, and broaden relationships. Maintaining social connections requires constant practice. Friendships and relationships need regular commitment to keep them from fizzling out. A simple telephone call can help. Participating in activities that bring joy and encourage camaraderie, such as sports, hobbies, and volunteer work, may broaden the relationship network.

Social media almost always shows the positive side of people’s lives and suggests that everyone lives worry-free. However, the truth is that no one’s life is free of difficulties and challenges. Social skills contribute to resilience.

It is never too late for a turnaround and change life through new relationships and experiences. The study showed that good things happened and good news appeared when least expected it.

IRRESISITIBLE Accidental Heroes

They never intended to become heroes…
But actions speak louder than words.

Find true love with these accidental heroes, in the pages of EIGHT BRAND NEW, full-length steamy stories, from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

No Expiration Date for Sex!

“Humans are sexual beings throughout their lives, yet the culture has concealed that fact,” says Dr. W. Gianotten.in an interesting article I want to share with you

According to Rome, the purpose of sex is to make children. According to Hollywood, sex is only for the young, the healthy, and the beautiful. For the medical profession, sex consists mainly of risks or dysfunctions.

The results of these biases? Many middle-aged people fear their later sexual life. And medical professionals rarely ask about sexuality. “That failing can be harmful. Sexuality and intimacy are essential elements for quality of life, with clear physical, emotional, and relational benefits. Let’s look at the data when researchers dared to ask seniors about their sexuality,” Dr. W. Gianotten added.

The 2015 UK national research study on sexuality found a link between age and a decline in various aspects of sexual activity — but not a zeroing-out. For example, among men ages 70-79, 59% reported having had sex in the past year, with 19% having intercourse at least twice a month and 18% masturbating at least that often. Above age 80, those numbers dropped to 39%, 6%, and 5%, respectively. The reason behind the declines? A combination of taboo, fear of disease, use of medications or other interventions that disrupt sexual function or cause disfigurement, and a little bit of age itself.

What about women? Among women ages 70-79, 39% said they’d had sex in the past year, with 6% having intercourse at least twice per month and 5% masturbating two times or more monthly. Above age 80, those numbers were 10%, 4.5%, and 1%, respectively. Driving the fall-off in women were the same factors as for men, plus the sad reality that many heterosexual women become widowed because their older male partners die earlier.

Although erectile problems affect many in long-standing relationships, there is no reason to abstain from sexual pleasure. Many couples will replace intercourse with more cuddling, kissing, digital stimulation, and other forms of sexual pleasure.

What about the expiry date for sex? Beckman’s group interviewed 269 Swedish seniors, all without dementia, at age 97. Sexual desire was affirmed by 27% of men and 5% of women in the survey. Meanwhile, 26% of the men and 15% of the women said they missed sexual activity.

When caring for those with chronic diseases, or cancer, in the course of physical rehabilitation, and even in the last phase of life, the clinical experience indicates that patients are happy when physicians address sexuality and intimacy. Roughly 25% of patients are sufficiently helped simply by talking about sex. Addressing the importance of sexual pleasure is nearly always valuable.

If addressing sexuality has benefits, what about sex itself? We are gradually learning more about the many short-, intermediate-, and long-term health benefits of solo and joint sexual activity. Short-term benefits include muscle relaxation, pain relief (even, perhaps ironically, for headaches), and better sleep — all pretty valuable for older adults. Examples of intermediate-term benefits include stress relief and less depression.

Research from the United States has found that hugging can reduce the concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, and kissing positively influences cholesterol levels. Finally, while the long-term benefits of sex might be less relevant for seniors, they do exist. Among them are delayed onset of dementia and a substantial reduction in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems in men. More sex has been linked to longevity, with men benefitting a bit more than women from going through the entire process, including an orgasm, whereas women appear to gain from having a “satisfying” sex life, which does not always require an orgasm.

MHO, any book dealing with romance or sex will greatly benefit you. Voila!!!

Amazon

Celebrate the Big 30 with Romance!

Once again, the amazing writers of The Authors’ Billboard have come together to bring you a box set filled with amazing stories of Unforgettable Love: Unforgettable Wonder. The 30th in the Unforgettable Romance Series box set collection will give you tingles and set your heart atwitter.
Join these talented and award-winning ladies on incredible and diverse journeys, where lovers find each other for the first time – sometimes under difficult or seemingly impossible conditions – or are reunited by fate after being torn apart by situations or deceptions.

No matter what life throws at them, these strong men and women will discover that Love will prevail.

Mona Risk – Secret Kisses: Will the three friends manage to convince their families to let them marry for love or will tradition tear the lovers apart?

Rebecca York – Nightfall: Will the mail-order bride be able to introduce her virgin husband to the pleasures of married love, while hiding her secret, all while living on a nearly lawless planet where savage wildlife roams?

Susan Jean Ricci – Sharing Sea Glass: A summer adventure nearly turns tragic when a young woman almost drowns. Her gratitude morphs into something else entirely different when she gets to know her handsome savior.

Stacy Eaton – Sometimes You Win: Can Haley be lucky enough to win the lottery and Devon’s heart too?

Josie Riviera – 1-800-IRELAND: A strong minded Irishwoman pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman ready to retire. Can two determined people separated by years find true love at the end of a rainbow?

Susanne Matthews: Beneath the Ashes: Can the archeologist’s fantasies really be memories of a past life in Pompeii? And if she gives in to them, what will happen to the future she has planned?

Rachelle Ayala – Longer Than: Storytelling and horses foil Desiree’s father’s plan to marry her off to Kyle’s cousin, the town’s most eligible bachelor. Desiree wants to please her father, but when Kyle weaves his magic with her as his muse, she’s drawn into a romance haunted by his dark tales.

Taylor Lee – All Gia’s Men: Fiercely independent, accustomed to controlling and managing every element of their lives, will this go-it-alone couple embrace or reject the joys of parenthood?

Mimi Barbour – My Cheeky Angel: In one sweet night of loving, everything changes friends. Due to an overabundance of nightcaps, his lady ‘buddy’ doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget!