Amore Island…A Place For Love

I’ve never been much of a traveler as I tend to get carsick. And airsick. Any kind of sick when the ground is moving under my feet faster than I like.

But I always find it great to lose myself in my writing. That’s where Amore Island came from. A fictional island off the coast of Boston that allows me to travel whenever I want in my mind.

The Bond family has become part of my family it seems. I’ve been building them up since the first book was released over a year ago. In a few days, the sixth in the series will be live. Eli Bond and Bella Kingston.

This series is turning into one of my favorites to write and read. If you’re looking for love on a remote island, then check out Family Bonds!

A Business Trip to Belarus

In a different life, when I was still working as a Director of the Analytical Division for an environmental hazardous waste company, I spent many hours in the lab supervising chemists who performed analytical tests on water, soil, and air samples. Everything changed when I received a request for proposal from the Department of Defense (DOD) for the refurbishment of a military laboratory in Minsk, Belarus. Excited by the new challenge, I wrote a winning proposal, but I never expected to travel to Belarus as Project Manager of our new DOD contract.

I went to Belarus for the first time at the end of October 1994, with my lab manager and our computer specialist. The long and tiring, twenty-four hour flight to Minsk started from Cincinnati, OH, on Delta, to New York, where we met the other members of our delegation: the program manager and the quality assurance manager from the DOD and their interpreter. We spent three hours before boarding the big jet to Germany, and arrived in Munich the next morning around seven. We hardly had two hours to change terminal. Carrying and dragging a lot of luggage, a couple of suitcases, carryons, and big bags, we rushed from one terminal to another to catch the Lufthansa flight connection to Minsk that flew only three times a week. Missing our connection meant being stuck for two days in Munich or rerouted to Moscow.

In Minsk, we were greeted by army officers who helped us through passport control and other formalities. Outside the airport, a brisk cold seeped through my bones and freezing rain left us drenched until we reached the military cars waiting to take us to the big Hotel Belarus. Colonel Eugene who became our delegation escort–and guardian angel–informed us that the government stops the heating between May 1st and October 31st. I spent several days shivering outdoors and indoors. On my first night at the hotel, I literally froze in my drafty room and stuffed a rolled blanket along the windowsill. During the day, I continuously requested a hot cup of tea (shaye), but was often offered vodka instead.

Our first official meeting attended by officers, chemists and doctors, took place in a government building called the Hall of Officers. After a series of speeches, our Belarusian hosts invited us to celebrate the new contract with toasts of vodka that we were supposed to drink bottoms up while saying Na Dzhrovia.  No orange juice or ice was added to dilute the 40% alcoholic drink. My throat burned and my stomach caught fire. After several trips to Minsk, drinking vodka became part of my job description. I found it a practical way to stay warm. When I got sick, my Belarusian friends insisted on treating me with vodka, their universal remedy against cold, cough, stomach pain, and headaches!

Receiving the American analytical equipment at the Minsk airport with two colonels present to facilitate the customs’ complicated formalities, transporting it to the Ecomir lab in trucks that we had to rent, and moving it to the actual lab by lifting the humongous boxes through the windows because they wouldn’t fit through the facility’s doors was a monstrous performance I never thought we could accomplish.[I will be eternally grateful to the staff of ECC and Ecomir]

The Belarusians are very hospitable people. The colonels invited us often for dinner in their homes. After the inevitable toasts of vodka, we ate the delicious stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, black bread and sausage. The children impressed me with their impeccable manners and fluent English. They often acted as interpreters for their parents.

In Minsk, I used a car with an excellent heating system and a chauffeur who spoke English. My rental car became a haven during the freezing months of winter and the only place where I felt warm and comfortable. Out of curiosity I took the underground train once. It was old and not very clean, a far cry from the magnificent trains of Moscow.

Many of my personal adventures are related in my book, TO LOVE A HERO.

The first chapter of TO LOVE A HERO relates my first impressions: cold weather, gray skies and cigarette smell everywhere. The curious looks of the local people made me feel weird as if I was wearing the wrong clothes. I was one of the only women without a hat. I remedied the situation on my first visit to the bazaar where I bought myself the cutesy mink chapka. I still have it.

I even included my own fall on the broken escalator of the old airport on my very first trip when my pointy heel was caught between the irregular mechanical steps. I was rescued by my lab manager while my heroine fell in the arms of a hero to die for, the handsome Major General Sergei who made her pulse race and stole her heart.

TO LOVE A HERO, highlights the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusian officers who sing and toast and make a woman feel like a goddess. I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope you will discover a new country and interesting civilization while reading TO LOVE A HERO.

The Russian hero is a perfect example of an alpha hero: a patriotic officer, authoritative and chauvinistic but protective and gallant, honest and loyal.

HEAL MY HEART is another book set in Belarus, depicting the life of a middle-class family, a doctor and widower who lives with his small children and his strong-minded mother, a woman determined to find him a second wife.

HEAL MY HEART: Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In a faraway country, a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas, with the help of a baby girl and four little boys. As Jillian and Fyodor work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another surprises them both.

Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

Just the Two of Us #Memories #Anniversary @jacqbiggar

Just the two of us, that’s all we need…

It’s funny, the older I get the more I think about the past. This week, hubby and I celebrated our thirty-seventh anniversary. It made me think about the tumultuous first years of our marriage, and how no one thought we would last.

We were like two rams butting heads over the most trivial things, but I think part of that was growing pains. We’d been together since his eighteenth birthday, the night we met, and were still wet behind the ears as far as day-to-day living goes.

He’s the youngest in a family of six kids, with a set of twins just a year older. Everything he wanted or needed was done for him (he admits that himself, lol) while I was the oldest of three, with a twelve-year difference from the youngest in the family. I took care of him when my mom was busy and so learned responsibility at an earlier age.

Hubby had to come into it after we were married. It was undeniably tough for him- for both of us- but our love guided us through the rough patches and grew over time.

Life hasn’t always been easy; we each lost our grandparents, our fathers, and recently, hubby lost his mother, which only verified the importance of counting each day we’re together as a blessing.

My love of romance novels taught me to persevere when times are rough and celebrate the moments that make the journey worthwhile. Being in love takes work. It takes dedication, commitment, loyalty, and humility. Your wants and needs are important, but so is your partners. Compromise; it’s worth it.

For some great #summerreading, check out Irresistible- Shh… It’s a Secret Baby

International: https://books2read.com/IrresistibleShhItsASecretBaby

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/irresistible-shh-it-s-a-secret-baby-irresistible-romance-book-8-by-jacquie-biggar-and-jen-talty

#Romance #Kindle #Reading #Boxset

FREE eBooks for the Taking @Donna_Fasano

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Free eBooks

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