Travel with Mona, in Train through Switzerland

We flew to Geneva in August, supposedly the warmest month in Europe and landed through dark clouds and pouring rain. My first impression wasn’t the best.

My first sight of the Lake
with the Geneva Water Fountain
Geneva is well-known as the headquarters
of Europe’s United Nations and Red Cross

From Geneva we boarded the train to Zermatt, in southern Switzerland, a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking.

Zermatt’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants, and also has a lively after-ski scene. 
No combustion engine vehicles are allowed in Zermatt. In fact, this Swiss municipality has been free of cars for most of its history. In 1961, the citizens voted to uphold the ban.
After two delightful days in Zermatt, we boarded the Glacier Express Bahnhofstrasse. 
The town, at an elevation of around 1,600m, lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak.
The slopes of Matterhorn present the magnificent beauty of the landscape and nature. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding during the winter or hiking during the summer.
The Glacier Express train has panoramic sealed windows all the way to the roof. 

A journey with the Glacier Express: The Glacier Express is a direct train from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The train is also referred to as the ‘slowest express train in the world’: the journey takes about 8 hours. There is a good reason for this slow pace: the train squeezes its way through the Alps, through narrow valleys, tight curves, 91 tunnels, and across 291 bridges, allowing us to admire breathtaking views.

In Summer
In Winter

St. Moritz: A tiny Swiss mountain town with a big, glitz-infused name, StMoritz is the winter getaway that made the ski holiday a high-life ideal.

In Summer
In Winter
In winter the lake is frozen and becomes a skating rink

From St. Moritz that was outrageously expensive, we traveled by train to Zurich.

The city of Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, lies at the north end of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus (town hall).

A view of the Old Town

A delightful place for children as they enjoy a train ride.

A waterfront promenade

In Zermatt and Zurich, we ate some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted. Their bread pudding and apple strudel were out of this world.

After a week touring Switzerland, we boarded the train one more time from Zurich to Strasbourg and Paris. But that’s a story for another time.

NEWSLETTER

Reading for February:

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

They were high school sweethearts in their senior year. The top of the class nerd and the dashing athlete. She helped him with math problems and he helped her shed her bashfulness. In between homework and torrid sex, they shared their goals for a successful future: no marriage, no children, no family, until they realize their dreams.
They meet eighteen years later at a hospital fundraising event. When Ethan Dutton, now a millionaire contractor recognizes the gorgeous Dr. Elyana Matteo, a brilliant pediatric cardio-surgeon, he bets $50,000 at an auction to open the dance with her.
He wants to date her. Elyana has no time for fun. She’s a widow with a teenage daughter and triplet toddlers, and a very busy career. Ethan who’s never taken no for an answer, asks to visit the boys’ daycare center and soon offers to remodel her old mansion. The boys adore him and Elyana falls again under his charm.
But their past threatens to destroy their present…
Can they forgive the selfishness of their youth?
Can they make room for unconditional love?

Resolution or Word- Whatever it takes to Inspire Your Life #amwriting #inspiration

Did you choose a New Year’s Resolution or Word for 2022?

Resolution:

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1: the act or process of resolving: such as

a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones

b: the act of answering SOLVING

c: the act of determining

Word of the Year

From Elizabeth Rider

INSTEAD OF A RIGID RESOLUTION, A WORD OF THE YEAR IS YOUR CONSTANT (YET GENTLE) REMINDER TO FOCUS ON CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE.

Your Word of the Year Sets an Intention, A Theme Per Se, For How You Want Your Year to Flow.

It depends on the person, of course. Some are dedicated and work hard to make their resolutions a reality.

For me, not so much. Resolutions tend to be set aside after the first month or two and I end up navigating the year with no real guidance.

So, when I heard fellow authors choosing a Word for the year, I became intrigued. The one you choose is meant to be a guideline for the goal you want to achieve, whether personal or professional. It can make your life more rewarding and help you to make choices that count rather than impulses you regret.

Some words I’ve come across so far, curiosity, reflection, calm, centered, successful, healthy, generosity.

So many choices!

I thought it over for a couple of weeks and came up with…

Stretch

I plan to extend my creativity and have started a new-to-me genre- YA (young adult) duet written simultaneously in first person. It’s challenging, but maybe that’s what I need in order to grow and find my voice.

Stretch myself physically with more walking and I’d like to try biking again. A couple of years ago, I wanted to join DH (darling hubby) and kiddo for a ride but found my leg wouldn’t make the swing over the seat. Kiddo tried to help by lifting my leg and I almost went over like a felled oak! lol

I want to stretch by expanding my horizons. Travel this beautiful island we live on and make a trip back home to see family and friends. Try new things such as whale watching, hiking, zip-lining (maybe :))

I’m going to work on expanding my readership by writing more meaningful blog posts, as well as communicating regularly with newsletter followers. If you’d like to chat with me there, sign up below:


The characters in these books know how to stretch their boundaries and strengthen bonds. Both are on SALE for just 0.99 pennies!

Click the covers to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase using a link.

Join the men and women of Tidal Falls as they learn love can conquer any odds 

HOT NEW adventure romance super bundle. Spice up your summer with 4 action-adventure romance stories set in the quaint little town of Tidal Falls, Washington, where all is not what it seems. 

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Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?


Have I inspired you to STRETCH your limits?

#Thanksgiving Memories and a failsafe #Recipe @jacqbiggar

Thanksgiving is October 11th in Canada!

Thanksgiving dinner is serious business. Most other nights you can get away with anything from Hamburger Helper to Spaghetti and your family won’t complain. They don’t dare.

However, tonight is all about family. It’s special, and the meal you serve needs to portray this.

A lot of houses will be serving ham, turkey, scalloped potatoes, Brussel sprouts :), and while this sounds great, at our house we do things a little differently.

When my daughter was young there wasn’t a lot of money, so I began cooking lunches at our local Farmer’s Market to help with bills. This way she could go to ‘work’ with me.

Needless to say, she was a hit with both the other venders and the buying public. Who can say no to a cute little two-year-old?

 

Brandy and her big cousins

One of my most popular dishes was something we called Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls, served up with potato and cheddar pirogues covered in fried onions, sour cream, and bacon bits.

We usually sold out long before market ended. 🙂

My daughter developed a taste for these and throughout the years, regularly pestered me to make them up for her.

That’s how it became our Thanksgiving Tradition.

I thought I’d share my recipe here, and maybe it will become a tradition in your home also.

2 pounds of med ground hamburger
2 med heads of green cabbage
Approx. 4 cups of uncooked long grain rice (no minute rice)
3 cans of a good brand of Tomato soup (I use Heinz)
Salt and Pepper

Start by mixing in a large bowl your hamburger, rice, and a small handful each of salt and then pepper. Mix until the rice has mostly been integrated into the beef.
Wash hands thoroughly.
Cut the cabbage up into slivers similar to what you’d use for coleslaw.
Using a good-sized Dutch oven, start with a thin layer of cabbage, about an inch thick, in the bottom of pot.
Spread a layer of rice-beef mixture loosely on top of this.
Repeat procedure until you reach the top of pot. You want to end with cabbage on top.
Open two cans of soup into the bowl you used for beef mix, (it’ll pick up residual spices) then take each can and half fill with water and swish before dumping into bowl. Stir until mixed.
Slowly pour this mixture over the pot of cabbage rolls, spreading it across the top.
Put a lid on and cook in pre-heated 350 oven for 2.5 hours.
Remove lid and spread last can of soup undiluted over the top of your casserole.
Leaving lid off, replace in oven for half an hour longer.

Remove and enjoy. 🙂

Hope you give this a try one day. Let me know how it turned out for you.
Any special traditions you do in your homes that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

Facing Life’s Challenges Head-On- #amwriting @mgtab @jacqbiggar

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

No one said it would be easy…

Why is it some people seem to breeze through life as though they’re blessed by every good luck charm known to man? Gorgeous, popular, healthy, rich, if you want it, they’ve got it.

Obviously, there’s more to these divine beings than what we lower humans see, but it’s hard to believe. They’re just so… perfect.

For the longest time, romance writers focused their H/H on these imaginary deities, the dashing earl or beautiful movie star. But as the industry grew, readers demanded more. They wanted relatable characters. One who go through real life traumas and come out the other side stronger, wiser. It’s not enough anymore to have a meet-cute relationship ending in a happy-ever-after. Writers need to dig deeper, make readers gasp, cry, and swoon as they follow the protagonist’s journey of growth and personal awareness. We want to share their pain, laugh at their blunders, and celebrate their successes.

Romance is still an important component of these books, but not as necessary as knowing in the end, the H/H have overcome their internal crises and vanquished personal demons in order to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with the less-than-perfect love interest.

Because life is real, and while we might dive into a book to escape to an imaginary world for a few hours, we crave a deeper connection and count on our favorite author to make our emotions sing.

The story I’m working on will hopefully achieve this goal. It’s based on the true story of a little girl’s life-changing battle with cancer. I met Luna on Instagram and was immediately taken with her warm spirit and positive attitude even though continuous chemo treatments are ravaging her body. She works hard to stay strong and her beautiful smile is never very far away.

If you get the chance, follow her. She’s an inspiration!

https://www.instagram.com/luna_perrone/

Love, Me

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, he is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace is in need of a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iZ5SJv

Universal: https://books2read.com/Love-Me-A-Christmas-Wish-Novel

bookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-me-a-christmas-wish-novel-by-jacquie-biggar

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58805215-love-me

What do you look for in a romance novel?