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When people ask me about the most interesting thing I have ever done, I can’t help smiling as I answer without hesitation, “Traveling.”  Every time I discover a new country, a new city or village, beach or mountain, or an ancient civilization, I imagine a lovely American young woman, my heroine, surveying the scenery as a tall, dark and handsome man, living in the area, approaches and exchanges a few words with her. If I feel they have the potential to share a good chemistry, I visualize a few more scenes, grant them life and start my novel in the setting that inspired me.

To Love A Hero   and   Heal my Heart   are set in Belarus where I traveled in the nineties as Project Manager to refurbish laboratories under a contract from the Department of Defense. Both books highlight the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusian officers who sing and toast and make a woman feel like a goddess.

We left for our first trip to Belarus at the end of October. We included: a government person and his interpreter, me, my lab manager and computer specialist.

My two books relate my first impression: cold weather, gray skies and cigarette smell everywhere. The curious looks of the local people made me feel as if I was wearing the wrong clothes. Of course I didn’t have a chapka (that fur hat that is a must over there). I remedied the problem on my first visit to the bazaar where I bought myself the cutesy real mink chapka. I still have it. I literally froze in my drafty hotel room and continuously requested and begged for a hot cup of tea. I was often offered vodka instead.

Many of my special stories are related in my books. In To Love A Hero, I even included my fall on the broken escalator of the airport. I was rescued by my lab manager while my heroine fell in the arm of a hero to die for, the handsome Major General Sergei who made her pulse race and stole her heart.

Traveling is not only about visiting monuments and palaces in foreign countries or snapping photos in front of famous landmarks. Traveling opened new horizons, exposed me to different cultures, and introduced me to new languages. Every time I traveled I felt indelibly marked by what I saw, what I heard, even what I smelled. I discovered that the right setting triggers my imagination, sets my muse into action and creates characters for me.

My readers love to take an armchair trip with me to France, [Mother’s Day Babies in Paris, The Missing Statue in the Loire Valley]; to Greece [Her Greek Tycoon set in Mykonos Island]; to Sicily [Husband for a Week]; to Belarus, or enjoy a Mediterranean cruise in Spain and Italy [Honeymoon Cruise].

The whole series of Modern Princes deals with the Princes of Rensy Island. Rensy Island is a fictitious British island in the Channels, so similar to Guernsey.

A setting is not just a place or a time in history. It has its own architecture and colors, the particular noises associated with the area, the scent of the fields, the beach, and the streets.

In my novels, I let the setting mirror the characters’ feelings and use a romantic setting for a special kiss. The top of the Eiffel Tower, with Paris lights sparkling at night, provided an exceptional background for a first kiss in Wright Name, Wrong Man and also in A Bride For Prince Paul.

In Last Chance Plans, I included a trip to Argentina and an unforgettable tango dance that led to a fabulous love scene.

Love on the Slopes and Sunshine Over Snow are set in ski resorts in New Hampshire. In Time For Christmas takes place in airports during a blizzard and We’re All Together in St. John during a hurricane so similar to the hurricanes Wilma and Irma that I personally experienced in Fort Lauderdale. But many other books have stories starting or ending in Florida or St. John Island [Sailing Away Plans  and the whole Love Plans Series] or in small towns in Kentucky, Ohio or Georgia.

I included a war zone in some books—Valentine Babies with the war in Iraq and We’re All Heroes, with a rescue trip to the border of Poland and Ukraine.

Several of my medical romances are set in hospitals and their ORs but the wink of the hero in medical scrub and mask sends delicious tingles to the heroine at the wrong moment and creates the beginning of a romantic scene in a very unromantic place. Babies in the Bargain, Christmas Babies,  On Christmas Eve,   A Complete Family,   We’re All Winners, …

#New Release We’re No Saints

The ghosts from the past destroyed her peace of mind. Can the charming lawyer help her while keeping his own secrets?

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.


Contemporary Romance with emotion and a touch of humor.

Pre-Order We’re All Heroes

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

NCAA Women’s Final 4 by @TaylorLeeWrites

For those of you who follow my blogs know that I’m an avid sports fan. AND I’m a huge supporter of women in sports. That said if you missed the NCAA Women’s Final Four you missed the beginning of an era. One that will be remembered as the game that put women’s basketball on the trajectory to greatness. I love the article by Greg Moore of the AZ Republic below. Heck, it’s got all the hot knocks guaranteed to get attention. Supposed racial slights, social media and broadcast television going crazy. Heck even Jill Biden got in the mix (to her regret).

What if this was the moment that the women’s basketball world has been waiting for, and we all missed it?

The NCAA women’s Final Four was the story of spring.

Think about it.  Angel Reese vs. Caitlin Clark was bigger than anyone could have predicted. It was bigger than Opening Day in baseball. Bigger than the NBA playoff race. And bigger than the Masters tournament.

“It’s been coming,” former Arizona State women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “It’s been culminating. Even pre-pandemic. 2019 NCAA Tournament was the most viewed. Biggest fanbase. … It’s been trending great.”

It’s a key point that’s been lost in the debate over whether racism was the reason that Reese has been considered obnoxious while Clark has been viewed as precocious, and why in the world Jill Biden thought it was a good idea to invite a losing team to the White House, and why we credit the wrestler John Cena with Clark’s silly hand gesture when he stole it from the rap star Tony Yayo: We were debating women’s hoops with the intensity typically reserved for Jordan vs. LeBron!

This normally would be the space where we explain in detail what happened in the aftermath of LSU’s win over Iowa in the women’s championship, but it feels unnecessary given all that already has been been written and said, which is the exactly the point.

I missed it at first, too. That was until I called my mother on Easter Sunday. When she gave me an update on the family, she told me about my niece, who’s 9, and said the little one has been talking about making the WNBA, which prompted my mom to watch the final.

It must be said that I don’t think my mom has watched a game in her life — of any sort.

Not a Super Bowl, World Series or Stanley Cup game. Not an All-Star, celebrity or charity game. And let’s just be blunt about it, I played seven years of football, and she maybe — MAYBE — came to see me once. (In her defense, I didn’t play much, and when I did, I was a horrifying combination of scrawny and slow. She probably didn’t want to see her only son trampled. I can’t blame her. I wouldn’t have watched me, either.)


LSU’s Angel Reese (right) shows her ring finger toward Iowa’s Caitlin Clark after the Tigers won the women’s national championship.

But this month, my mom was watching a game between two teams with which she had no direct connection and was so invested that she brought it up to me, unprompted.

TV networks and social media have played a huge role in that attention, which is a far cry from Turner-Thorne’s playing days.

“Back in the Stone Age,” the consultant and broadcast analyst said in a phone interview, “we didn’t have media coverage, so it was hard to draw fans.

“When I played, Pablo Morales, the Olympic swimmer, covered our team. … That was our claim to fame. Other than that, it was pretty pathetic.”

Now? Traditional media outlets were all over Dallas. But forget them. “Saturday Night Live” made Reese into character on Weekend Update.

“The Bayou Barbie is in the building!” cast member Punkie Johnson said as Reese, wearing a No. 10 LSU jersey.

Rhonda Bennett, associate commissioner for women’s basketball with the Pac-12, appreciates the attention.

“It was great that we had people talking about the women’s game, two and three days after the national championship and on the weekend after the national championship game,” she said.

As for the “SNL” jokes, Bennett said “that’s showing that women’s basketball is engaging fans that maybe aren’t traditional women’s basketball fans. It’s getting into pop culture. I think that’s great.”

She thinks the growth is sustainable because it’s part of a trend.

“I think this has been building over several years, I don’t think this is a fluke,” she said, citing sold out Final Fours and huge moments, including Morgan William of Mississippi State hitting a buzzer-beater in 2017 to end a 111-game win streak by UConn.

There’s still room for the sport to grow before the Final Four reaches Phoenix in 2026.

We still don’t see early tournament games at neutral sites. We still don’t see big attendance numbers in November and December. And we aren’t seeing the big endorsement deals that put players on national television ads.

But it could be coming up.

After all, my sister says that my niece just had her first basketball practice.

If my mother is watching, that’s a good sign.

Could be that in 50 years, we’ll all look back at this as the moment women’s basketball arrived.

I invite you to check out my book…

Sapphire: Book 1 Ladies of the Night Series.

Kindle Books Sapphire

Gabriella Shaw, Code Name: Sapphire

Sapphire is hired to seduce and capture the leader of a lucrative international human trafficking enterprise. The epitome of the mastermind’s targeted women, Sapphire is the consummate bait. Unfortunately for the evil man, Sapphire is as deadly as she is beautiful. Paired with former Col. Jase Malone, the two agents enter the Caligula Club to trap their prey. The club is the salacious playground for the rich, famous and deviant, and the conduit to the human trafficking horror. The only thing more challenging than the mastermind to the fiercely independent Sapphire is her commanding partner. The sparks fly as Sapphire and Malone fight to capture the criminally insane mastermind while their fierce personal attraction threatens to bring them both—and the mission—crashing down.

And while you are feasting on the two sexy Special Agents, check out this great Box Set by my ABB pals:

Unforgettable Loyalty

Is there anything more important in a relationship than loyalty from the one you love…knowing that person will always be there for you?

My book in the box set is:

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Knockin On Heaven's Door

She’s a go-it-alone detective. He’s a psychiatrist and FBI profiler. A serial killer brings them together. In more ways than one.

Tyra Stone is the lead major crimes detective in the city’s busy police department. Beautiful, brash, and a declared loner, cooperation isn’t part of her vocabulary. Deacon Walsh has more degrees than any one man should. A former Special Ops physician, psychiatrist, and now FBI profiler, the stunning black agent has spent a year tracking the serial killer of four Colorado girls. When the trail goes cold, a brutal murder of an Albuquerque girl with all the marks of his victims convinces Deacon his killer is responsible.