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

Spring Into Love by @AliciaStreet1

Do you believe in love at first sight? Your eyes meet his, and just like that, you know you might have met THE ONE.

I am a firm believer. You see, I experienced love at first sight myself. And my husband and I have been married for many happy years.

Love at first sight is the running theme of the latest multi-author boxed set in the Irresistible series.

IRRESISTIBLE ~ SPRING INTO LOVE

Eight brand new steamy stories from New York Times, USA Today bestselling, award-winning authors.

Spring Into Love

TWO HEARTS IN RETREAT by Tamara Ferguson, USA Today Bestselling Author. Mel’s an R.N., and Steve’s an ex-Navy medic and physical therapist. Although they’re instantly attracted, they’ve both suffered incredible loss. Will they ever be healed enough to stop their sparring and finally admit that the attraction they’re fighting just might be love?

BELIEVE IN ME by Natalie Ann, USA Today Bestselling Author. Caden Finely discovers that having it all isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But the sexy nurse who treats him makes it all better for a man who never believed in love, let alone love at first sight.

BAYOU MARDI GRAS by Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today Bestselling Author. When Maggie Angel’s friend Katrina, visits Cypress Cove during Mardi Gras, her intention is to get a little R & R. But a fisherman’s boat runs aground near Maggie’s dock and his presence changes everything for Katrina when romance is added to that rest and relaxation.

THE SHERIFF’S TROUBLE by Cynthia Cooke, USA Today Bestselling Author. Witness to her best friend’s brutal murder, Callie must remember who the killer is to stop him from coming after her again.

WINDSWEPT LOVERS by Alicia Street, USA Today Bestselling Author. Who says being a wallflower doesn’t have its perks? Max Tribane always preferred being in the background, and her job keeping things going behind the scenes for a successful mover and shaker like Ashley Welz is the perfect fit—until they both fall for the same guy.

SAILING AWAY PLANS by Mona Risk, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author. Lonely and frustrated by his grownup children, surgeon and widower, Dr. Steve Winston quits work to start a new life in the Caribbean, on his new boat and in a new clinic, when love strikes at the wrong time, and his kids rush in to keep him company.

THE SEAL’S TEMPTATION by Jacquie Biggar, USA Today Bestselling Author. A right-wing militia group infiltrates the area. But will DEA Agent Maggie Holt and her partner be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies?

WHISKEY COBBLER by Jen Talty, USA Today Bestselling Author. Crew’s detective skills might be rusty, but he doesn’t have cobwebs for brains. And Heather was about as guilty as sky was pink.

So go out and enjoy the spring sunshine—then Spring into Love! Sink into your favorite reading chair and get lost in a fresh bouquet of romance.

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?