A Different Vacation–in Japan by Mona Risk

I had the unique opportunity to visit Japan a month ago. After a twenty-four hour flight from Florida to Illinois, a four-hour layover in Chicago, and an endless flight to Tokyo we finally arrived TWO days later–because of a thirteen-hour time difference–under a pouring rain.

Tokyo is a perfect example of modern capital, with more highrises than Manhattan and as many Toyotas and Hondas! Our organized tour around the huge city revealed a few surprises. Did you know that Tokyo has a Statue of Liberty offered by the US? And an Eiffel Tower taller than the original French Eiffel Tower?

The imperial palace is not open to the public, but we visited a reproduction newly inaugurated in April. Painted in bright colors on a golden background, all the walls slide open in such a way that you can have several small rooms converted into a large one. No furnitures encumber the rooms. People spread their futton mat at night and remove them in closets during the day .

The real old Japanese flavor survives in the temples boasting the vivid red colors favorite to the Japanese culture and the shrines hidden in caves overlooking the ocean or on top of mountains. To reach that particular shrine, Nichinan, we climbed down 400 steps. The problem was to climb them back up!!!

We visited gorgeous parks with incredible displays of colorful flowers. We walked around for hours, others navigated by train. Weddings are often held in these parks.

The blend of old and new is present everywhere. Every mall, airport or public place offers two types of stalls in the rest rooms, the very old style–a whole in the floor surrounded by ceramic. You don’t sit. You crouch low or stand and aim right! The other type is the expensive Toto type with a set of push buttons to spray water when you are sitting. A detailed set of instructions is affixed on the restroom door. 

 

 

In addition to all sort of suchi, we tasted new food, even new ice creams flavors: Green tea ice cream, gold or platinum ice creams: vanilla covered with a gold leaf or a platinum leaf. You pay double price for these.–$8.

 

 

 

 

Our tour guide explained that school children of all ages have one month of vacation in summer and one in winter. In addition to clearing their desks, the children must clean the class, the class restroom and the hallway in front of their classes. 

 

 

 

 

 

We visited the geisha area, fought the samurai, but didn’t ride in a pulled rickshaw.

It would take too long to relate all the highlights of this incredible journey to the other side of the world. Maybe one day I will use it as a setting for a new book.

Meanwhile let me offer you my newest book:  FOR SARAH’S SAKE

 

A broken marriage.

Second chance at love.

And a precious little girl trying to escape danger and hatred, to get herself a loving family.

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
 View website

Winter Flu by Mona Risk

Winter may evoke beautiful scenery of snow and Christmas time, but winter is also the time when cold and flu spread; the time for sweaters and coat; and probably hat, gloves and snow boots on certain days.

We spend more time indoors in the winter, meaning that we are in closer contact with other people who may be carrying germs. In planes, buses or trains, at work or in school, we are pressed against spluttering commuters, misting up the windows with their coughs and sneezes. It is easy to see how this could send us over a tipping point that allows nasty germs to spread through a population.

A cold can leave us with the strange feeling that we’ve swallowed a scratchy throat, a running nose and a mild headache; if we’re unlucky, our body is wracked with a high fever and aching limbs for up to a week or longer.

The flu season arrives so predictably when the mercury drops that it is an integral part of winter. In the short days of winter, without much sunlight, we run low on Vitamin D, which helps power the body’s immune system, making us more vulnerable to infection.

This winter season brought a virulent epidemic of flu. I heard that a hospital in California put tents in the front yard to accommodate the flow of patients rushing to the ER and organize an efficient triage.

I was sick too. After three days on home remedies, my cough escalated and I visited my doctor who put me on antibiotics, cough medicine and even steroids. Stay on bed rest and a lot of fluid.

How can you protect yourself and avoid becoming one of the flu victims? I have developed my own preventive system based on doctors’ recommendations, on reading various books and on my grandmothers’ wise advice.

  • Get a flu shot I have been taking it for twenty years. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch the flu but it helps avoid complication such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Avoid shaking hands and hugging too many ‘friends’ and young relatives. Children spread germs much faster than adults!
  • Keep a scarf in your handbag to wrap around your throat if it’s suddenly cold. When I fly I surreptitiously cover my mouth to avoid breathing the germs that the plane fans generously distribute.
  • Gargle with Cepacol morning, night and during the day. When I worked as a pharmaceutical analyst at Dow Chemical, the company placed bottles of Cepacol in the restrooms and insist that all employees gargle after washing their hands. I haven’t been sick during my years at Dow Chemicals.
  • Swallow a Vit C 500mg daily. It boosts your immune system.
  • Swallow a pill of Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc. Excellent to improve your immune system.

And now a few tips from my grandmothers —useful tips that really, really work:

  • Suck on ginger candies such as Ginger Chew from Trader’s Joe. They may taste bitter the first time. Some of my friends spat them right away and yelled at me, but others got used to the taste and liked them.
  • Snack on pumpkin seeds from Publix or Kroger supermarkets–very rich in zinc that boosts the immune system.
  • Savor a tablespoon of honey with a few drops of lemon before you sleep.

Do you have any special suggestion to avoid catching a nasty cold? Please share with us?

You can follow Mona Risk at BookBub and join my newsletter.

While you rest and relax enjoy a few good books by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
 View website

Joys of Life by Mona Risk

When you have been hit by a drama, you can’t continue looking at life in the same indifferent way. The death of a person close to you, the discovery of a health problem, the loss of a job, and other things can gnaw at your heart, make you suffer and somehow restructure your way of thinking, your perspective on life.

A French author, Alfred de Musset said that to write beautiful poetry one must have tasted real sadness. To write a book that touches readers, an author must dig deep in his/her own emotions and write from the heart.

Having experience problems, pain and frustration, in the past months, I felt disconcerted for a while, unable to resume my old routine, because whether I like it or not my routine has changed. In an effort to regain my self-control, I started looking around me.

And what I saw amazed me.

So many friends smiling, extending a helping hand, offering words of comfort, encouragement and support. So many of you, here on this loop and others, without whom I would have taken a longer time to smile again. Thank you.

I also saw people suffering because of difficult economical circumstances, and needing financial help.

I saw lonely senior citizens looking at me with sad eyes and telling me ‘your mother was lucky to have you visiting, we don’t have anyone here’.

I saw children begging me to play and laugh with them. Little did they know how their company helped me.

I saw handicaps teenagers who needed a drive–or someone to need them.

Again I looked around and saw a beautiful scenery: a palette of amazing colors in the trees. When I lived in the North, I never missed walking through parks and taking pictures of the foliage. In Florida, a stroll on the sand while watching the waves restores my good mood and fills me with inspiration for my stories. Nature offers a whole array of joys to taste.

Socializing is something I avoided, as I never had enough time to just sit with friends and chat, share a meal at home or in a restaurant, play a game or watch a movie. To think of it, I stopped watching movies or TV shows eons ago. Now I make it a point to follow the news and enjoy a few shows while knitting. Yes, knitting. To be honest, I hadn’t touched knitting needles since my son was four years old. Now I am knitting a long scarf for his daughter.

Another precedent for me. I volunteered to help baking at our church. Cooking I handle well, but baking! Good Lord, baking is something I avoided like a virus. Baking contributes to add pounds to one’s hips. But I decided it was time to show some goodwill by cooperating in the church’s kitchen. I was very proud when my cookies turned out to be nice-looking and delicious.

Now, I look around for little joys.

Unexpected good news can add tremendous joy. The success of our boxes, Unforgettable Romance, Unforgettable Heroes, Unforgettable Christmas, Sweet and Sassy, Sweet and Sassy Christmas and now Sweet and Sassy Valentine, definitely put a smile on my lips and kicked my muse back into work.

As always, writing is a joy, a passion and a soothing relaxation. My new story, A Bride for Prince Paul, is set in Paris and a fiction island in the Channels, Rensy Island, a twin of Guernsey Island. The story of Prince Paul and Dr. Amy Tyrone is a precursor to the romance of British Prince Harry and Megan Markle.

Tell me, please, where do you find your joys? How do you get over sadness, frustration or anxiety?

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk published twenty-five  books and “knows how to pull a reader into the minds of her well-crafted characters. Her work takes us on a journey be it local or overseas.”~Night Owl Reviews.

Mona Risk can be found at:
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Newsletter

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
 View website

With Passion by Mona Risk

Today someone asked me, “What do you like the best? What do you like doing with passion? What would you do for hours without complaining?”

Can you answer any of these questions spontaneously–the first thing that comes to your mind, without deeply thinking about it?

My answers came right away:

1-Writing a story: I can sit at my computer for hours–my record was 12 hours–writing non-stop, ignoring the world around me
2-Taking care of my grandchildren, playing with them, chatting with them, cooking or baking for them.
3-Swimming in the pool.  A few years ago I would have said walking on the beach. Unfortunately, my knee hurts now if I walk on the sand.
4- Reading. When I start reading a book I like, I have to finish the story in one sitting.

So what about you? Share your answers.

In Time for Christmas

 

 

A baby, her lawyer uncle, and a pretty doctor are stranded in airports because of the blizzard.
Baby cries, Uncle huffs, Doc helps.
And then…

“This delightful story by Mona Risk is a perfect holiday read with family conflicts, the desire to be home for the holidays, a Midwest blizzard, and a sweet five month old baby.” ~ Deutsche OMA

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
 View website