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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 Memory of a Dog

“Dogs are often known for their loyalty, intelligence and maybe even their short attention spans. But a study published in Current Biology found that a dog’s memory may be better and more complex than we previously thought.” Global News

I just read an article on Google that couldn’t be more appropriate.

Bosty is a happy dog who loves to play with friends.

He was due for a grooming appointment at the same place where his mommy has been taking him for four years.

Professional dog grooming comprises the cleaning and hygienic care of a dog, including bathing, hair removal, nail trimming and ear cleaning. Good groomers also check for signs of health problems by looking out for swelling, parasites, heat, cuts and thrush. Regular dog grooming helps a dog stay fresh, keep calm and enjoy a coat that’s free of tangles and fleas.

Bosty is always happy to go out, whether walking or riding in the car to run an errand with his mommy.

Today, when the car stopped in front of his usual pet groomer store, Bosty stared through the window and barked. His mommy opened the door for him to jump out. Instead he shook his head, backed up to the other end of the car and cowered on the floor, whimpering and refusing to move. There was no way to make him move from his corner. His mommy gave up and returned home.

It turned out that at his last grooming, the tech cut near his ear by mistake, a tiny cut that must have hurt him, although his family didn’t notice and the store didn’t report it.

Now Bosty will go to a new dog groomer.

FREE on March 19 and 20 (today and tomorrow)

IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS: A Romantic Comedy: Can Sylvia turn her life and career upside down for Baby Clementine and for James who wants her to stay with him for reasons he has trouble explaining?   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077B78S4D/

Sweet and Sassy in the Snow

on Count Down Deal 3/24 to 3/29

Spirit me away from icy loneliness, shelter me with warm hugs, and cover me with soft kisses!

Find forgotten (or new) passions in this box set of winter and snow-themed romances by award winning novelists. From Navy aviators to bad boy escorts, lawyers and park rangers to exotic dancers, join our troupe as they battle betrayals and kidnappers, strong emotions and challenging weather to survive and find comfort in each other’s arms.

FAKE FIANCEE:

A sweet Romance and Romantic Suspense

Her German shepherd is her only friend until a senator’s son refuses to take advantage of their fake engagement and teams up with her dog to protect her. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAW3TRE/  

Coffee for you…

Like many of you, I can’t function without coffee and drink an average of three cups per day. To reduce my calorie intake, I shifted from cream and sugar to black or with a touch of skim milk. In addition to my regular coffee, I often enjoy a variety of different coffee or designer coffee—cappuccino, mocha, laté, espresso, Turkish coffee or Greek coffee, iced coffee, and my favorite ice cream coffee.

We probably heard of the adverse effects caused by too much coffee, such higher risk of bone fractures, gastroesophageal reflux disease and anxiety, but coffee can also benefit our health thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.

Here are the top 13 health benefits of coffee. *

COFFEE:

1. Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter.

2. Can Help You Burn Fat and boost your metabolic rate.

3. Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance: Caffeine can increase adrenaline levels and release fatty acids from your fat tissues. It also leads to significant improvements in physical performance.

4. Contains Essential Nutrients-  A single cup of coffee contains: Riboflavin (vitamin B2); Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5); Manganese and potassium; Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.

5. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin. For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

6.  Can Fight Depression and Make You Happier.

7.  Coffee appears to be protective against two types of cancer: liver and colorectal cancer.

8. Coffee may cause mild increases in blood pressure, which usually diminish over time. Coffee drinkers do not have an increased risk of heart disease and have a slightly lower risk of stroke.

9. Given that coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases, it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.

10. Coffee is quite high in antioxidants. Studies show that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined.

So enjoy your coffee and improve your health!!!

*Reference: Kris Gunnars in HealthLine

In most of my books, my heroines and heroes can’t resist the warm fragrance of a freshly brewed cup of coffee to clear their heads and help them evaluate their problems. Half a Dozen with Love is part of The Senator’s Family Series

Half A Dozen With Love

When a tragic accident deprived Tammy Fletcher of her loving parents at the age of nineteen, she pledged to take care of her five brothers and sisters, ranging in age from eight months to sixteen years. But she’s up against her greedy step-aunt who wants to get her hands on the children’s trust fund, and the CPS caseworker who insists on putting the children in the foster care system.

Dr. Jack Conan, the orthopedic surgeon treating the children’s grandmother, is both impressed by Tammy’s efforts to keep the family together and irresistibly attracted to the gorgeous and so-serious young woman. Determined to help her, Jack goes out of his way to solve her dilemma. Will his unorthodox solution only complicate Tammy’s problems—or bring her into his arms?