Word of Wisdom

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” ~ Timothy Leary

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.” ~ Mike Ditka

“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?” ~ Jean Cocteau

“Courage is the price that life expects for granting peace.” ~ Amelia Earhart

“It’s choice — not chance — that determines your destiny.” ~ Jean Nidetch

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel — not a destination.” ~ Roy M. Goodman

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” ~ Bill Cosby

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” ~ e. e. cummings

“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” ~ Denis Diderot

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” ~ Lord Byron

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~Anonymous

Here are two recently released novels that will take your breath away and have you read the whole book in one sitting.

Healing Plans

Love Plans Series, book 8

Melissa Blake, a bright young surgeon, worked long hours to gain a remarkable experience. Fed up with her controlling mentor, she interviews for a better position.
After his wife left him, Dr. Jason Randal raises their two small kids on his own. Although he’s carefully avoided dating, he’s attracted to the lovely Dr. Blake he’s just hired. He gives her a tour of the city and a taste of the passion she’s missed.
When her mentor needs open-heart surgery, Melissa leads a team of surgeons, including Jason, all through the delicate operation. Life gets complicated when she becomes dizzy during the surgery, but Jason discretely takes over and saves their famous patient.
Will this unforgivable weakness cost her a medical career and Jason’s love?

No Vacation Plans

Love Plans Series, book 9

Denise Lambert fell in love at first sight with Damien Booker, a biracial law student. They danced the night away, and she welcomed his passionate kiss. But then he disappeared.
Five years later, she can’t believe her eyes when the pizza delivery boy sporting a long frizzy mane and a bushy beard is none other than Damien. He kisses her and runs away. She manages to get his phone number and reconnect with him. For weeks, they chat on the phone, until she bumps into Zorro, the exotic male dancer, at her friend’s bachelorette party—Damien again who kisses her senseless. But Denise is fed up with the jack of all trades, working long hours at three low-paying jobs. She’ll have to break it off with him unless…
Determined to be worthy of her love, Damian set aside his resentment against discriminating lawyers. Clean cut and well-groomed, he applies to various firms, until he garners several interviews and finally lands the right position in the right firm. Will his effort pay off? Or will he have to fight her friends and relatives to bring Denise into his arms?

Travel with Mona to Florida

Why would you go anywhere else on New Year Day? Since I moved to Florida I have often wondered how I coped with living in the north for so many years. And Fort Lauderdale is the best of Florida. So what would you expect to find in Fort Lauderdale? A glorious sunshine, wonderfully warm temperatures, sandy beaches, the turquoise ocean, … Should I continue?

Sunrise on the ocean in Fort Lauderdale

If you are a snowbird escaping from the cold, you will love sunbathing on the sand, walking along the coastline, or swimming in the ocean.

Sunset on the city and the canals in Fort Lauderdale

Sunbathing on the beach: With over 23 miles of smooth sand, Greater Fort Lauderdale provides plenty of space to soak up the sun in one of Broward County’s beaches.

A picture from the ocean: The high-rises lining the coast

Swimming in the ocean: Average annual water temperature on the coast in Fort Lauderdale is 79°F, by the seasons: in winter 73°F, in spring 77°F, in summer 84°F, in autumn 81°F. With minimal current, exceptional water quality, typically calm sea conditions, shy marine life inhabiting the nearby coral reefs, and professional lifeguards stationed above, visitors find safe swimming conditions at the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale.

My favorite beach Fort Lauderdale Beach

Walking along the coastline: The paved beachfront promenade highlights Fort Lauderdale’s world-famous coastline and stretches the 7-mile length of the beach, and is lined by an array of shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues.

The famous Fort Lauderdale promenade

Bicycling in a park: Fort Lauderdale’s “Central Park” was gifted to the city by Hugh Taylor Birch. The park is named after him. Hugh Taylor Birch Park is complete with gopher tortoises and boat access from the intracoastal waterway. The park is a vibrant center for the community of Fort Lauderdale, and residents take pleasure in activities from inline skating to reading under the shade of palms and oaks. Visitors can access the beach via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A.

Seen while walking on the promenade

Seen while walking on the promenade

To visit Fort Lauderdale—a city of canals—we hoped on a Water Taxi and experienced the multi-million-dollar mansions, hotels, and seafood restaurants lining the canals. In addition to sightseeing, the water taxi stops at boutiques and eateries along Las Olas Boulevard.

Boating along the intercoastal

Some of the mansions along the main canal

Las Olas Blvd is the main strip in Fort Lauderdale – Stretching from the heart of downtown, through the business, shopping and dining districts all the way to Fort Lauderdale Beach. Las Olas Boulevard is at the forefront of everything from fashion boutiques and art galleries, to memorable restaurants, sidewalk cafes and bars…The oldest and most famous bar in Fort Lauderdale is the Elbo Bar. It was featured in the movie ” Where the Boys Are” with Connie Frances and George Hamilton in 1961. It’s always crowded.

If you have time you can visit the Everglades Holiday Park where you can take a boat ride and watch an alligator show.

If you come to Fort Lauderdale, I’ll be happy to take you around and give you a
tour of Fort Lauderdale–my Paradise on Earth, especially at Christmas time.

LAST CHANCE PLANS on Preorder

Available at Amazon

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. His mother agrees to live with him and take care of his two sons who have been raised by nannies and boarding schools.
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. The sweet old lady befriends her, and Rick doesn’t hide his attraction. When his children come home, Madison finds herself entangled with the Lamberts way too often. As she helps the young boys adapt to their new life, she falls in love with their gorgeous father, but she’s not sure she really knows Rick, her charming lover. A loving son and dedicated father but also a womanizer and tough businessman with a hidden past.
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?

Social Life Health Benefits

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of articles on how to improve my health without relying on medications. Maybe it’s part of growing old. The following ideas were found on Better Health Channel.

Health benefits of strong relationships: The number and strength of our relationships affect our mental and physical wellbeing. The benefits of social connections on good mental health are numerous, including lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen our immune system, and may even lengthen our life. The good news is that while many of these benefits can make us happier and more contented, there’s also a flow-on effect, whereby people around us will want to spend time with us. In this way, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Impact of loneliness on health: Loneliness can have dramatic consequences for our health. Loneliness can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, elevated blood pressure, and increased cortisol (a stress hormone). It can affect our immune system and decrease our overall sense of contentment. Loneliness is also a risk factor for antisocial behavior, depression and suicide.

Older people are particularly vulnerable. If your mobility decreases, it can be harder to get together with other people. However, older people who remain connected with others and have strong relationships are likely to: have a better quality of life, be more satisfied with their life, have a lower risk of dementia and mental decline, need less domestic support.

Younger people (teenagers and people in their 20s) are also at risk when they are isolated. A lack of social relationships can have a direct impact on a young person’s physical wellbeing by increasing the risk of obesity, inflammation and high blood pressure.

Feeling lonely is hard to cope with. Even if you live a healthy life, you still need to be socially active to stay well and happy. It’s important to recognize that loneliness is different from solitude. Feeling lonely is a problem, but being alone may not be a problem at all. Many people live alone and have happy, fulfilling lives.

One way to strengthen your social connections is to reach out to the people you already know, such as co-workers, family, school friends or neighbors. Give someone a call, or write or email them and let them know you would like to be in touch more often.

Spending Time With Friends Is One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Health. Remember that having friends and social connections is good for your health and wellbeing; being lonely or isolated can affect your mental, emotional and physical health.

NO VACATION PLANS (Love Plans Series, book 9)

Denise Lambert fell in love at first sight with Damien Booker, a biracial law student. They danced the night away, and she welcomed his passionate kiss. But then he disappeared.
Five years later, she can’t believe her eyes when the pizza delivery boy sporting a long frizzy mane and a bushy beard is none other than Damien. He kisses her and runs away. She manages to d reconnect with him. For weeks, they chat on the phone, until she bumps into Zorro, the exotic male dancer, at her friend’s bachelorette party—Damien again who kisses her senseless. But Denise is fed up with the jack of all trades. She’ll have to break it off with him unless…
Determined to be worthy of her love, Damian set aside his resentment against discriminating lawyers. Clean cut and well-groomed, he applies to various firms, until he finally lands the right position in the right firm. Will his effort pay off? Or will he have to fight her friends and relatives to bring Denise into his arms?
No Vacation Plans is part of Love Plans Series.

Travel to Vienna with Mona

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Vienna, the capital of Austria, is known as the City of Music due to its musical legacy. Many famous classical musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Johann Strauss (father and son), Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler called it home. Vienna is also said to be the City of Dreams because it was home to the world’s first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud.

I visited Vienna in the nineties and was impressed by the elegance of people in the streets. The picture of an older couple relaxing in a public park is forever etched in my memory. Dressed in suit and fur coat, they were sitting on a bench, their haughty dignity contrasting with the simplicity of the children playing and running around.

When I returned in 2011 and 2014, I was struck by the diversity of the population and costumes. Vienna had become more cosmopolitan and less European. But the monuments and landmarks haven’t changed and attract interest even more than in the past. Vienna has so much to offer to the tourist.

The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna is where the two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions. The foundation stone was laid in 1874; the building was completed in 1883. 
The Austrian Parliament Building: Theophil Hansen, the architect responsible for its Greek Revival style, designed the building in a comprehensive way, aiming to have each element in harmony with all the others. 
St. Stephen Cathedral is the most important religious building in Vienna and has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history. With its multi-colored tile roof, it has become one of the city’s most
recognizable symbols. 
The Maria Theresien Platz is located directly at the Ringstrasse, embedded in an imperial scenery between the Museum of Natural History and the one for Art History. Directly across the Ringstrasse you can find the Hofburg Palace.
The monument of Empress Maria-Theresa
One of the Museums at the Maria Theresien Platz.
My husband and I in front of the Maria-Theresa monument
Heldenplatz is a public space in front of the Hofburg Palace. The President of Austria resides in the adjoining Hofburg wing, while the Federal Chancellery is on the adjacent Ballhausplatz. Many important actions and events took place here, most notably Adolf Hitler’s ceremonial announcement of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany on 15 March 1938. 
The Spanish Riding School is the only institution in the world that has existed for 450 years and continues to cultivate classical horsemanship in the Renaissance tradition– It can also be found on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.

The Spanish Riding School is dedicated to the training of Lipizzaner horses. The performances taking place in the Hofburg are also a tourist attraction.
St. Peter Church
St. Stephen Platz (plaza) with the Plague Memorial Monument
Art History Museum at Maria-Theresia Platz
Mozart
Goethe

There are so many palaces in Vienna. Some are now museums, some are still used as official sites for the government. We never had time to visit the Vienna Opera House, but we attended a fabulous Strauss concert with a performance of waltz presented by professional dancers.

The Music Palace and garden during the day
Strauss Concert and performance of waltz.

A visit to Vienna is not complete without a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Hasburg emperors.

Schönbrunn Palace: Front view
Schönbrunn Palace: Back view

 

Baroque Sculpture that intrigued me in the fabulous gardens of Schönbrunn Palace. It represents the abduction of Helen of Troy by Paris.

Vienna is one of the most romantic capitals of the world.

Four books in each box– Eight romance novels, romantic comedy or romantic suspense set at Christmas time.

If there is one thing Senator Howard Dutton hates, it’s scandal, and all that it entails, juicy gossip, paparazzi, tabloid magazines, and the likes that could negatively affect his career. A family man with political ambitions, he’s happily married to a beautiful woman and he adores his four sons, David, Joshua, Ethan, and Brian, and his only daughter, Julia. Fiercely protecting his stellar reputation, he taught his children at an early age to work hard and avoid disreputable people. While in college, the children made him proud, until things turned rotten … just before a re-election campaign.

His sweet Julia, the apple of his eye and a gorgeous fashion designer, breaks her engagement a week before her wedding—the wedding of the century with seven hundred guests, all loyal supporters of Senator Dutton.

Joshua, a successful lawyer and his father’s right hand, now feeds the tabloids by flaunting a new beauty every week. David, a dedicated doctor, has marital problems and is going through a messy divorce. Senator Dutton would rather not talk about Ethan, the black sheep of the family who dropped out of college after a noisy argument with his dad. And what could he say about the relatives who add their share of problems. Thank God, young Brian discreetly restricts his amorous pursuits to his medical school and hospital.

Senator Dutton is ready to issue a warning. They should reform, at least during his campaign season, or else…

The Senator’s Family Series #1

The Senator’s Family Series #2