Bridal Shower

After an unusually windy and cold winter in Florida, today we welcome spring, and with warmth and flowers, we expect the season’s events. Graduations for two of my grandchildren, weddings and bridal showers for three young cousins, engagement for three relatives–a happy time to enjoy.

The last bridal showers are attended were years ago, long before the covid that messed up our lives. Three of them popped into my mind this morning.

My niece’s shower was kind of conventional with the women of the family bringing household items from the bride’s registry.

But my daughter had two unusual showers. The first one organized by her high school friends had a lingerie theme. With only me and my sister from the ‘older’ generation in attendance, the bunch of young women had a blast, giving the bride a collection of bedroom…hmm…cute things!

To compensate, one of my friends threw another shower attended by our friends. The guests were asked to bring a useful gift and more importantly to write ”good advice” for the bride. Several of our friends put together a cookbook for my daughter. As the mother of the bride, I prepared a Ten Commandments for a Happy Long-Lasting Marriage based on my experience. Later many mothers asked me a copy for their daughters/sons about to get married.

Another unusual bridal shower I attended was that of my daughter-in-law. The bride already had a shower organized by a friend and this one was prepared by my daughter. My son and his fiancée had recently bought a house and she wanted him to remodel it, so my son asked to ‘borrow’ her second shower and make it a wedding shower or more specifically a ‘groom shower’. The guests (male and female) received a copy of registry at Home Depot and Harbor Freight Tools. On the day of the shower, the happy couple opened their gifts together, and my son received every tool you can think of, from electric saw, to electric drill, tool cabinet, etc… We never laughed so much.

If you have a wedding or shower coming up, use your imagination and gift the young couple with something that will really help.

We’re All Heroes

They’re all heroes who pay a big price for freedom—The Ukrainian mom who spies for her country; her three small kids who struggle to survive; the wounded major who gets them out of a war-zone; Lauren, the flight attendant who brings them to the US; her parents who receive them in their home; and her ex-fiancé, Dr. Jake, who operates on the injured. And let’s not forget the two German shepherd puppies that dive in a pool to save a two-year old. Will the many crises they face head-on strengthen or destroy Lauren and Jake’s relationship?
We’re All Heroes is book 12 of the Love Plans Series.

FAKE FIANCEE ebook Audio book

Romantic Suspense FAKE FIANCEE “It was so good I couldn’t put the book down. I literally cooked while reading! Awesome! Thank you so much for making my world a better place.”

Joshua Dutton’s lifestyle and tabloids pictures threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. His parents insist on finding him a sweet temporary fiancée to repair the damage. With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma Cassiero struggles with a heap of problems. Attraction sizzles between her and Josh, but no one mentions the secret deal made by her stepmother and the Senior Duttons. When the truth comes out Emma is devastated. Were Josh’s kisses part of the charade? Has Josh lost her or would he be able to team up with her German shepherd to love and protect her?

A Bride For Prince Paul

A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL ebook Audiobook

“Mona Risk has written another winner. Prince Paul is handsome and noble, and Amy is a dedicated doctor. Enjoy the sights of Paris and France, while reading this heartwarming romance.”

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown! To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito as her driver, during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and Paul, but the unexpected announcement of her engagement to the Crown Prince of Rensy Island infuriates her. Can Paul convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission? Would he be able to persuade her to put aside her medical dream and become his princess? The inspiration for the story: While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel. This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became the setting of my new story—Rensy Island. 

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!

Travel with Mona to Spain

We went to Spain several times, mostly to Madrid and Barcelona, but my favorite trip was the bus tour we took around the south and west. I will share here some of my favorite places, mainly Cordova and Seville.

We flew to Lisbon, Portugal, and drove through Andalusia, a region of hills, rivers and farmland bordering Spain’s southern coast. It was under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries, a legacy that shows in its architecture, including such landmarks as the Alcázar castle in Seville, the capital city, as well as Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.

Our first stop was in Cordova (Cordoba). It was an important Roman city and a major Islamic center in the Middle Ages. It’s best known for La Mezquita, an immense mosque dating from 784 A.D., featuring a columned prayer hall and older Byzantine mosaics. After it became a Catholic church in 1236 and the Cordova Cathedral, a Renaissance-style nave was added in the 17th century. 

A new capital

Following the overthrow of his family (the Umayyads) in Damascus by the incoming Abbasids, Prince Abd al-Rahman escaped to southern Spain. Once there, he established control over almost all of the Iberian Peninsula and attempted to recreate the grandeur of Damascus in his new capital, Córdoba. He sponsored elaborate building programs, promoted agriculture, and even imported fruit trees and other plants from his former home. Orange trees still stand in the courtyard of the Mosque of Córdoba, a beautiful, if bittersweet reminder of the Umayyad exile.

Known locally as Mezquita-Catedral, the Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the oldest structures still standing from the time Muslims ruled Al-Andalus (Muslim Iberia including most of Spain, Portugal, and a small section of Southern France) in the late 8th century. Córdoba is a two hour train ride south of Madrid, and draws visitors from all over the world.

Temple/church/mosque/church

The buildings on this site are as complex as the extraordinarily rich history they illustrate. Historians believe that there had first been a temple to the Roman god, Janus, on this site. The temple was converted into a church by invading Visigoths who seized Córdoba in 572. Next, the church was converted into a mosque and then completely rebuilt by the descendants of the exiled Umayyads—the first Islamic dynasty who had originally ruled from their capital Damascus (in present-day Syria) from 661 until 750.

Seville

This southern Spanish capital is famous for its historic churches and palaces, Moorish buildings, flamenco dancing, and more.

Plaza de España is a semi-circular brick building, Renaissance/neo-Moorish in style, with a tower at either end (tall enough to be visible around the city, these towers – north and south – are major landmarks). In front of the building, following the curve of its façade, is a 500-metre canal crossed by four bridges, and in the center is the Plaza itself. Plaza de España, Seville’s most impressive after the cathedral, was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (Expo 29), along with many of the pavilions in and around the Parque Maria Luisa.

All along the wall by the canal are 48 alcoves with benches, one for each province of Spain, each with a relevant tableau and map, all designed on colorful azulejos (painted ceramic tiles). 

Considered the heart of Seville’s tourist district, Santa Cruz is easily one of the most beautiful barrios (neighborhoods) in the whole of Spain. This neighborhood is home to many popular tourist sites, including the Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar, an old palace with stunning gardens to explore.

We spend a day in Santa Cruz, walking through the picturesque streets of Seville.

Going from shop to shop, looking for unique handicrafts and ceramics.

The fans of Game of Thrones will recognize the Real Alcázar de Sevilla as the Water Gardens of Dorne. The incredible royal palace was built for King Peter of Castile, a Christian king and the Alcázar was constructed on the site of a Muslim fortress.

Cathedral of Seville

Also known as the Cathedral of St. Mary of the See, it is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the third Christian temple after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. Since the conquest of the city, on November 23, 1248, the building of the aljama, or the Almohad Mosque, was converted into the cathedral of the archdiocese of the Kingdom of Seville.

The Tomb of Christopher Columbus and behind the statues of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
Inside the huge cathedral

A flamenco show to end a long day.

The next day, tasting wine in Malaga.

Last Chance Plans

Love Plans Series, book 10
Sweet and Sassy
Emotional, Sensual, Humorous

NEW RELEASE

A Bad Boy Billionaire story

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.
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.
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?