A Pandemic Story?

We have been in a pandemic state for more than a year. Wearing a mask, keeping distance, avoiding crowds, working from home is our new reality. Should we, authors, set our new books in this new reality? Here are a few difficulties if we try to be realistic:

1-Love at first sight would be out of the question, unless we have our heroine remove her mask for a minute—maybe to sneeze or blow her nose—long enough for the lucky hero to catch a glimpse of her lovely features.

2-We still can describe a handsome hero, his tall frame, wide shoulders, and solid chest. But how will you describe a heroine’s gorgeous features when half of her face is covered by a mask? Will the eager hero fall in love just by admiring her long, silky hair and her sky-blue eyes?

3- Where would the hero and heroine meet if they work from home, avoid public transportation, and stay away from gatherings?

4- Assuming they manage to overcome the above obstacles and start a relationship, where will they meet to sustain their flame if they can’t go to restaurants, theaters, or gym? Maybe they can stroll on the beach if we set their story in summer or if they live in Florida.

5-We should remember to have them wear their masks every time they leave the house.

6- More importantly, would my hero or heroine feel comfortable kissing a partner they met during pandemic? Should they start a romantic moment with, “I’m dying to kiss you. Did you test negative? Did you get the vaccine?

We authors have a wide imagination. I’m sure we can get around any problem when writing a great story. How about having our hero/heroine meeting during a Zoom meeting? I saw my son and daughter-in-law working from home. He donned a serious button-down shirt, but didn’t bother to change his shorts, no one could see. She wore a fashionable blouse, combed her hair, put makeup on and earrings. If these virtual meetings occur often, my hero and heroine may manage to get attracted to each other.

Still, I am not comfortable enough to write a Pandemic story. Too many people —twelve so far— I personally knew, from among my family, extended family and friends died within the past thirteen months and one is on life support. I am trying hard to forget last year and its depressing moments and wouldn’t want to relive it through my writing. So don’t count on me to offer you a Pandemic story.

Instead, I’d rather talk about the eight romantic comedies and romance novels I wrote last year or the many boxes the ABB group put together.

BETWEEN BABIES AND GIRLFRIENDS: Romantic Comedy. He’s the serious Dr. Brian Dutton. His former girlfriend is the sassy, passionate daughter of the Governor of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and she returns to the USA to play nanny for the twin babies abandoned in his office, but his fiancée doesn’t like the babies or the nanny. Can it get more complicated? Yes when his mother thinks the babies are his, and volunteers to take care of them.

HALF A DOZEN WITH LOVE: Romantic Comedy. The Foster Care system wants to separate Tammy’s five young siblings. Her grandmother’s surgeon, Dr. Jack’s unusual solution keeps the family together but complicates Tammy’s life and could bring her in his arms. https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HKQSRYC

UNFORGETTABLE LOVERS
IRRESISTIBLE SPRING INTO LOVE
SEXY AND SEDUCTIVE

Come cruise with me…

It’s difficult to realize how our lives have changed in the last year. How often do you curse the CoronaVirus ? I do it more often than I can count. Probably every time I open my closet and glance at the gorgeous silver sandals I bought specifically for my April 2020 cruise on the West Coast, the cruise that we never took, the cruise that was canceled because of the pandemic.

Some people miss socializing, eating in restaurant, going to movies, shopping at the malls. I miss my cruises. I miss them like hell. Cruises are becoming the most common way to see the world and unwind in an enjoyable surrounding. My husband calculated that it was cheaper to board a ship from Fort Lauderdale and go on a week cruise than pay airfare, hotel, restaurants and entertainments.

Prior to pandemic, my life was divided into two parts, my life at home, a dutiful life spent writing, babysitting, driving the kids, cooking for the kids, inviting friends for dinner, and a carefree life on the ship, pampering myself, indulging in doing what I like, not what I was expected to do, visiting new countries, and far away cities, walking on the deck, showing up at the restaurants to eat meals cooked by the ship cooks, attending shows, writing new stories in a quiet lounge, playing cards with friends,… A useless, uneventful, selfish, boring life that I adored.

Now when I missed my cruises, I look at my pictures neatly organized in folders. I remember the special places with nostalgia and suppress a tear.

Would you like to travel with me around the world? I will take you on my wonderful ship to my favorite places.

In 2006, we started our South American cruise in Santiago, discovered a world of history and culture and reveled in the sights of Viña del Mar, known as the “Chilean Riviera.” We visited the authentic adobe homes once belonging to the Incas. We sailed to a Chilean Patagonia’s maze of fjords, crossing through rivers, steppes and mountains to the north, and observed a colony of delightful penguins, and continued to the Falkland Islands.

In 2014, we explored the East side of South America, cruising from Fort Lauderdale all the way to Brazil. We spent two days in Rio de Janeiro, ascended to the Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car, and had a peak at the aerial view of Copacabana, the Christ statue, and Guanabara Bay.

Next our ship docked in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. I fell in love with this European city that reminded me of Paris, and Washington DC with its monuments, parks, statues and architecture. We visited the VIP cemetery and the mausoleum of Eva Peron. Nothing beats the tour of the old city and the lunch in restaurant offering Tango shows. Here is a picture of my husband posing with a tango dancer.

 

 

BETWEEN BABIES AND GIRLFRIENDS is a romantic comedy set in Miami, FL and Buenos Aires, the special romance of Dr. Brian Dutton, a very busy American doctor, and Carla, the sophisticated, passionate and sassy daughter of the Governor of Buenos Aires.

Working Heroines

My heroines have guts. They are all career women who struggle and succeed. But their world is not centered around work only. They often carry a heavy load on their own. Single mother, or a woman hiding a physical handicap, or even one trudging despite an emotional turmoil, they often represent the strong modern women around us.

Once upon a time, I was the career woman who had to struggle to succeed in a man’s world for thirty years. And I made it. But I was lucky to have a supporting husband at my side. My heroines are alone and will find love after their long battle.

Three heart-warming Christmas stories in the Love You Doc Series.

LOVE ON THE SLOPES IS RELEASED TODAY. Book 3 of Love You Doc Series.

When novice skier Gabriella Levano finds herself stuck on a dangerous slope, volunteer ski patroller Dr. Nathan Dutton guides her safely down the hill and offers her lessons to improve her skills. Spending time together on the slopes, Nathan and Gabriella are attracted to each other. An orthopedic surgeon, Nathan promises to fix an old injury to her knee that afflicts her with pain and gives her a limp. Gabriella is afraid to let him examine her. So many men have mocked her in the past. So many doctors have assured her she may end up in a wheelchair if anyone touches the injured nerves of her knee. Can she trust Nathan with her love and her knee?

 

LOVE IN THE ER: Book 2 of Love You Doc Series.

Following a traumatic experience as an ER attending physician, Dr. Sophia Dixon vows never to set foot in that department again. After completing a new residency, she applies for a position in Internal Medicine (IM). When she receives an offer at St. Emmanuel Hospital, not in IM as she hoped, but in the ER, her first reaction is to refuse. Yet she badly needs money to support herself and her three-year-old daughter, help her mother, repair her parents’ crumbling house, and…

Dr. Ryan Todd is the perfect boss, professional and courteous, and Sophia easily adjusts to her new job. While multiplying their effort in the ER, Ryan and Sophia get closer. Over the next few months, they exchange passionate kisses and Sophia often ends the night in Ryan’s arms at his condo. A no-commitment situation that suits them both. But she doesn’t share the pain and the secrets of her past.

When the truth comes out, Ryan is frustrated by her lack of trust and her continuous guilt feelings. Yet he doesn’t hesitate to brave a hurricane for her sake. Will Sophia ever be able to redeem herself and reach a closure?

A COMPLETE FAMILY is Book 1 of Love You Doc Series.

Nurse Melody has an adorable four-year-old girl, a protective German shepherd, a meddling neighbor-nanny. But Dr. Aidan wants to give her a complete family.

What I miss the most…

CoronaVirus has locked me at home since mid-March–six months to the day. At first I thought it would be a three to four weeks confinement and accepted the situation with resignation. I prepared myself a uniform for grocery shopping, something easy to wash regularly, and I chose a pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt I was about to give away, my oldest pair of sneakers, a cap, and the little yellow purse I hate. Unfortunately after three washes, these clothes shrank…and I uploaded five pounds all around.

In front of Walmart

But grocery shopping once a month was not enough outing for oxygen breathing. I was suffocating at home, writing eight hours a day or chatting on the phone. I hardly saw my grandchildren once or twice a month, on the beach or in their backyard, always with masks on and never for more than twenty minutes. To exercise, without mask, I walked on the building catwalk with my Fitbit recording 4 to 5 miles a day. I lost my claustrophobic feeling but developed a horrible pain in my left heel, diagnosed as Plantar fasciitis by the podiatrist. I had to stop walking and I started swimming–actually floating with a noodle–in the ocean, or swimming in the building pool if I was on my own or with only two or three people. Now I bought a foot peddler and use it while watching TV at night.

Life has changed so drastically. I miss hugging my grandchildren. I don’t even see the Chicago grandkids. I miss seeing my friends and our Saturday evening dinners in a restaurant or at each other’s place. I miss shopping at the mall or my favorite stores. After gaining fifteen pounds during this pandemic, my wardrobe is reduced to a pajama with elastic band and a t-shirt. I miss wearing dresses, jewelry, makeup. And oh God, how I miss going on cruises! I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable in a plane or a cruiseship again.

Unfortunately, we lost too many relatives during the last six months, two to the Covid-19 and several to strokes, heart problems, and even a goal bladder inflamation, all not treated on time for fear of going to the hospital. I was tested once for Covid-19 when I had a cold in July and was so relieved the results were negative.

Now I live day by day. It’s too depressing to remember the easy-going life from before Pandemic and too scary to think about the future. As long as I can swim, use my peddler, cook and write, I count my blessings.

I just uploaded four new books, funny stories and heart-warming romance that will cheer you up. They are on pre-order:

His Son, Her Daughter: High school sweethearts reunited after twenty years by their small children. Their conflicting baggage prevents them from fully trusting each other. Yet what wouldn’t Daniel do for his son and her daughter? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HKPNRWH

To be RELEASED on Septenber 23, 2020

Sunshine Over Snow: When his children manage to ruin his second wedding, Brad is caught between a furious fiancée and an offended ex-wife, both determined to keep him and make him pay for his mistakes. https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HHNSSSK

To be RELEASED on October 14, 2020

Half a Dozen with Love: At twenty, Tammy is left with the responsibility of five brothers and sisters. Dr. Jack Conan stops the Foster Care system from separating the children, but his unorthodox solution may complicate Tammy’s problems—or bring her into his arms? https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HKQSRYC

To be RELEASED on December 2, 2020

Between Babies and Girlfriends:Abandoned baby twins, a former girlfriend, an almost fiancée complicate Dr. Brian Dutton’s life to no end.

To be RELEASED on February 11, 2021