Sunshine after the stormS

We’ve had our share of storms this year, medical, political, and natural storms, including the most recent one, first labeled hurricane, but in spite of the weather forecast prediction, Cristobal was kind enough to shift west and then north. This past week, we had a gorgeous weather in South Florida and the ocean looked so appealing, I couldn’t resist. After several months of lockdown I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my first swim of the season.
The residents of Fort Lauderdale are mostly retirees and wise people who follow instructions and take the right precautions. No crowd on the beach. Mostly couples strolling, often with a mask on.

Two days ago I received an incredible surprise: my granddaughters’ visit. Number One turned sixteen in May and just received her driver’s license. With their masks on their faces, they signed up at the front desk of the building where a security guard recorded their temperatures. They went directly to the beach. My husband and I were waiting for them on the terrace. We took off our masks and headed straight to ocean. No hugs. I haven’t hugged them since February. This was the first time in four months that we indulged into spending time together. But what a fun time it was dodging the high waves. I lost my cap and my granddaughter saved my prescription glasses and ran to hide them in my flip-flop on the sand. After an hour, soaking the salty water, breeze and radiant sunshine, they left. They didn’t come upstairs to the condo to change or eat something, but drove straight to their house. Welcome to our new way of family life.

Maybe we will feel normal again, eventually. Although I’m not ready yet for shopping or eating at a restaurant. But the stressful lump in my throat is slowly melting away and I’m writing my new book with a light heart, and not because I have nothing else to do.

A Dance for Prince Eric: A ballerina on the run for her brother’s sake. A prince who saved them both. Do fairytales exit?
DOCTORS IN LOVE: Passionate and Dedicated, with dynamic and life-saver heroes And intelligent, warm-hearted heroines.
DOCTORS IN LOVE 2 – Sexy and Determined, the docs alleviate suffering, protect life and health, and restore respect for human beings
IRRESISTIBLE WEDDINGS Romantic, joyful, lavish, unexpected, noisy and fun. Special weddings with hot grooms and lovely brides. All about love!
SWEET AND SASSY DADDIES- Nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than the sight of a loving single dad caring for his child
CUTE BUT CRAZY: Undeterred by misadventures and challenges, these strong-willed ladies take life and love by the ears, embracing the men they have chosen through good times and bad.

The Beauty of May … @josieriviera #mgtab

We’ve arrived. It’s May!

Hopefully, those April showers bring us May flowers. I am looking forward to everything blooming.

It can be difficult to see the BEAUTY in the world right now, and yet, it is there.

Here are a few beautiful things that have stood out to me recently:

  • Mother’s Day certainly was different, but celebrating our mothers, adoptive mothers, step-moms, or our “chosen” moms continued. We still celebrated them and what they mean to us, even if it was in a different way.
  • Students will still receive their diplomas and degrees. They have worked hard to earn them, and that will not change.
  • I expect parents have found a new appreciation for teachers.
  • ZOOM calls are not just for business anymore, and who knew they were so fun! Many people are having virtual game nights, happy hours, book clubs, crafting circles, the ideas only limited by your imagination. I even had a friend say that she feels more connected right now because of using ZOOM.
  • This extra time has become a freedom for many of us. People are getting outside for walks, learning new things, families are playing games, and many are really connecting.
  • Communities here and around the world are coming together to support each other. The posts and videos of people applauding healthcare workers, orchestras performing free concerts, and people having parades to celebrate birthdays are heartwarming.

Let’s take the good we’ve found during these challenging days to carry with us in May.

What beauty do you find in the month of May? Please leave your comments below.

Grab my new recipe book, Recipes From The Heart.

Are you drawn back to certain recipes because they bring up memories?

A heartwarming story is the hallmark of a romantic read, and every one of my books contains a recipe submitted by a reader, my beloved mother or grandmother, or friends in Ireland.
Now these recipes are all together in one book for easy referral.
Savor the magic of my sweet reads—from Tudor to Contemporary, Holiday to Homemade fudge.

Enjoy your happiest moments spent in the kitchen, and bring back the joy and memory of my sweet romances, and the recipes created by my characters.


Each recipe is a grand celebration of love.

 

Staying healthy

I found this article carefully saved in my To Keep folder. “The 10 Best Fat-Melting Foods” as suggested by Lucy Danziger. I don’t exactly agree with all she suggested.  But with the pandemic confinement, I added twelve pounds and I’m seriously concerned about not to being able to shed them.

Apples: This fruit’s 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods. YES, AGREED
Lentils: These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. NOT SURE.
Sweet Potatoes: These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. I RARELY EAT THEM. Eggs: The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. YESSSS!!!
Edamame: The green soybeans supply 17 g of protein per cup, and your body torches more calories digesting protein than it does processing carbs and fat. NEVER TRIED IT.
Kiwifruit: A large kiwi has 84 milligrams of vitamin C—more than a day’s quota. C helps form carnitine, a compound that transports fat into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy during exercise. NOPE. I PREFER MANGO.
Wild salmon: The fish’s omega-3 fatty acids could help you fight flab more effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it. ONCE A WEEK IS A MUST ON MY TABLE.
Yogurt: Lowfat and nonfat Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup. DAILY. SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
Quinoa: A complete protein, quinoa has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. LOVE IT, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK IT. INSTEAD I COOK RICE.
Olive oil: Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage.
the weight that dieters who ate the same calories but less total fat and protein and more carbs lost, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals. A MUST FOR ME.

Sitting at my desk six to eight hours a day doesn’t help. But writing is as important to my soul as comfort food.

Recommending the following books and boxes of books:

ON AMAZON: What could be more exciting for a American architect than to live in a French chateau owned by a handsome count, and to work on the restoration of a chapel in the Loire Valley?But when her professor is killed because he knew too much about a missing statue, Cheryl’s summer job changes into a dangerous treasure hunt and Count François is faced with a difficult choice. Are the statue and his chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who’s turned his life upside down?

ON AMAZON: Natalie Borikev’s dream is finally materializing with a fabulous contract to dance on a Las Vegas stage. To save her young brother from drug addiction, she escapes to Boston with Eric Devereux, a devil-may-care, running away from gambling thugs. In Boston nothing is as Natalie expected. Her charming rescuer is actually a prince with bright prospects, but she lost everything—her budding career as a dancer, and even her brother’s affection.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08413RKNN/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084HNMFBL
https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B084FJFCFB/
http://mybook.to/IrresistibleWeddings
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0855W6MLB/

A Wasted Day

For those who don’t know me, I’m pretty intense at times. Especially when I am focused and need to stay on track to complete my tasks. I’ll be the first to admit that the state of the world has kept me occupied more than I wish it would.

Luckily, the other day, I finally got my footing again and jumped back into work with both feet. Only to be brought to a standstill yesterday.

My day started out like any other, I worked on my marketing, answered my emails, dealt with my other business, and then I went back to my email to catch up on ones that didn’t need immediately attention. There was one from my website stating that UPDATES were done to my site and to check to make sure that it was working well. Okay, sounds simple enough, right?

Holy Batman!! My site was gone–crashed. Kaput! Well, crap! Okay, I’ve had this happen before, no biggie. Get on tech support, get it figured out. I got this.

Three hours later – three support people later – and I was learning that my website was HACKED. Not just screwed up from an UPDATED – but it has been hijacked and trashed! They tried to say it was my fault, say that I changed my permissions, that I caused the issue. Um–NO!!!

See, let’s jump back to April 21. I received this great email saying that they had my password. It was a really old password that could have gone to a bunch of different things that were of no importance–or so I thought. In this email, they said they had control of my computer, and my cameras. They also said they had a bunch of naughty videos that they would send to my contact list. Well, hard to do when my cameras are disabled and not connected to my computer, but whatever! I’m sure if there were videos, some people might have gotten a laugh or two.

At the end of the email – they were attempted to extort me for a 2000 bitcoin. Yeah, blocked the email and moved the email to a folder where I keep weird stuff (Can’t take the cop out of me).

So back to the story of being hacked, when I was finally able to restore databases (3 more hours later), I find that I need to go back all the way to April 20th – and BAM!!! There were 35 attempts to log into my website that day from an unknown spam IP address.

Needless to say, that after almost 8 hours of fussing with my website, I was done for the day and got absolutely nothing else done! I did, however, change every freaking password, added extra safety features.

Today is another day, and I am back to focusing on what I need to get done. Like preparing for my newest release, Mission: Accept that comes out on May 22nd.

Mission: Accept is the second story in the Rise Again Warrior series.

Dana Donahue might be Shane Logan’s cousin, but she’s nothing like him—she’s quite the opposite of him. Her thoughts focus on what money and people can do for her. She never approved of Shane joining the military and knows little about the world he has lived in for most of his life. All that will change when she has to ask him for a job after her father cuts her off.

Derek Stall lives on the streets by choice—not circumstance. Memories of what he did under order sometimes haunt him, other times give him the strength to move through one more day until he can finish the mission he started.

A chance meeting between Dana and Derek will lead to an unlikely friendship that might just save his life, but the drastic differences between them could be the dividing wedge that keeps them apart.

When Derek feels he has to leave Rise Again Warrior to complete his mission, he begins to realize that he could be leaving behind more than just a few friends. Could he be leaving behind the possibility of a healthy future before he finally accepts his past?