Changes, deals and easy meals

Happy National Homemade Bread Day!

Yep, that’s a thing, and I didn’t know it until today. This reminds me of the days back in high school, when my dad fell in love with homemade bread. For about a year I made bread every single day, a recipe that I had learned from my grandmother, and by the next day without fail there was not a single crumb left.

I haven’t made bread in years, but a few days ago I made a delicious batch of cheesy snacks, which in Romania are called “sărățele”. These are made with cheese, butter, eggs and flour. You can sprinkle all sorts of things on top of them, like poppy seeds, grated cheese, sesame seeds, or whatever you like. Find the recipe here.

And because nothing goes better with a snack than a good book, I would like to present to you my new covers. The trend for rom-com covers leans heavily on illustrations right now, so I decided to give my covers a facelift. What do you think?

Today and tomorrow, Celebrity is at 99 cents, so if you haven’t given it a try already, now is the time!

And for all the binge-readers out there who love to read rom-com after rom-com, laugh, dream, and forget about the news for a while, I put together a box set with my entire Lovestruck series.

I hope you have a great rest of the week, and I wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Melinda

 

I love being an old lady!

I love being an old lady.


I’m aging. Silver hair, wrinkles, and a few liver spots ensure I’m no longer referred to as a chick (cute, dumb, or otherwise) or a ditzy broad (although I have my senior moments). I don’t have to worry about spending hours on make-up, styling my hair, or wearing the latest fashion.
Men both young and old open doors for me. Clerks offer to carry out my groceries. Do they think I’m feeble or do they respect me because of my age? Either way, I don’t care. No one has been rude to me in ages, and I don’t have to stand while commuting in a public conveyance.

I don’t have to worry about fancy clothes, either. I go with the three C’s: Clean. Comfortable. And Convenient. No glittery low-rider pants with hard-to-find belt loops that always seem to come undone, tight hammertoe-creating shoes, flaking eyeliner and mascara, pokey, pushup underwire brassieres, and hand-wash only blouses.
My usual attire consists of a colorful ‘scrubs’ top with front pockets for my pen and notebook, a tissue or two, and smartphone with gray yoga pants, shorts, or sweats, depending on the season. If it’s really cold, the scrubs are replaced with a bright hoodie. After I slide into my Crocs (no chance of blisters or bunions), I’m ready to tackle the world.


There are a few negative aspects of being old. I need reading glasses, but not for gardening or watching rainbows and wild turkeys. I don’t like the achy joints that came with the years, but other than that, I’m doing okay. I beat COVID (the 2020 nasty version). My heart and lungs work well enough that I can get where I’m going. My brain still functions well enough. I may not remember what I came into a room for, but I know my name and all the important stuff: phone, social security, and where I hid my credit cards.
I’m glad I paid attention to my grandmother. I brushed my teeth, ate well (maybe too well), and still take vitamins. I have all my teeth, pertinent parts, and can cook and clean better than any woman half my age (when I want to). My advice and/or opinion is still sought (sometimes) and I can crack a joke with the best of them. True, I only get wolf whistles from my husband, but he’s the only one I want them from anyhow. And thanks to that now long-gone miserable time of life referred to as ‘the change,’ I no longer have to worry about getting pregnant. Phew!

Do I have any regrets? Yup. Don’t we all? However, I’ve learned that no matter what, I can’t change the past. I can do my best not to make the same mistakes again, can gently urge my daughters, granddaughters – and anyone else who might listen and benefit – not to make rash choices and ALWAYS treat others as they want to be treated.
Yup. Be kind, patient, and enjoy the life you have right now. Tomorrow you might be laid up from an accident, or without a job or best friend because of hasty or cruel words, or maybe have a horrible toothache because you didn’t brush your teeth.

I’m hoping to avoid all of the above discomforts because I’m getting older and, I think, wiser.

Here’s a great story about an older woman who was able to do it all over again, but in a younger body. In a different time era. And with a severe case of amnesia. Perky old lady in a young, hot body. Will her innate sense and savvy get her out of predicaments with cougars (the mountain lion-type), creeps and kidnappers? Check out NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, #free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Why we love collections and binge-reading

Happy World Smile Day! I hope you have a reason to smile today, wherever you are in the world.

We had a beautiful October day today, and had a chance to enjoy the falling leaves and the amazing colors of autumn. I like my seasons the way I like my books – in bundles of three. In preparation for the holiday season that is getting closer every day, I would love to share with you this lovely collection of books from our friends over at Written Musings.

Three heartwarming holiday stories featuring children writing letters to Santa in hopes of achieving what they want most: a happily ever after for their family.

Women’s Fiction – Single Dad – Romance
Decker needs help pulling off a remodeling job before Christmas. His daughter wants a mother. Will the new woman in their home bring joy, or tear their world apart?

What readers are saying…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Sometimes life is better than a soap opera. This book is gut wrenching, heart breaking, and beautiful. Wishes do come true for Christmas.​.”

Kindle ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo

Also on Audible!

Women’s Fiction- Single Mom – Romance
When single mother Maura moves to Chicago with her eight-year-old son, she teams up with fellow employee Rick to fulfill the Christmas wishes of children across the city. Will the spirit of the season bring their hearts together, or will secrets tear them apart? ​

What readers are saying…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Definitely could be made into a Hallmark movie…​”

Kindle ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo

Also on Audible!

Detective – Suspense – Adoption
Detective Finola McGregor’s job is mostly routine — until she joins a team that uncovers a human trafficking ring that kidnaps children and forces them to beg. One look into the little girl’s eyes, and Finn will risk everything to make Maddie’s Christmas wish come true. ​

What readers are saying…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Ms. Colt did a great job handling this subject, and the case was quickly solved, bringing Christmas magic to little Maddie.”​

Kindle ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo

Also, if you’re in the mood to discover a new favorite, award-winning author Susan Tarr has a FREE literary fiction book for a limited time, and a bunch of other amazing books to check out.
My name is Malcolm. I used to think it was MmmMalcolm. I used to stutter back then, back when Mummy died and everything changed. Now I don’t stutter.
This is my story.
I always wanted regular boys’ shoes. Brown. Mine were always black boots, and one boot was made especially for my gimpy leg. Now I have regular men’s shoes. Brown. I have learned to talk again and to write. I used to. When I was at school. When I was ‘bright’. I remember that as clear as the day I fell into the goldfish pond. I was showing Julie the goldfish. One day something bad happened. Then it went dark. And I was back in the mental hospital up the hill from the little railway station where my father and Bella left me.
And finally, if you haven’t checked these out already, feel free to add them to your list of binge-reading, because they are seasoned for every season! 🙂
Until next time, my friends.
Fondly,

Cruising the Danube with Mona: The Iron Gate and Serbia

As mentioned in my September 1st post, we spent the first days of our river cruise visiting Romania and Bulgaria, and Day 5 all on deck, cruising the Danube, admiring the scenery, and snapping pictures.

The most spectacular scenery was the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATE, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage on the Danube. The Iron Gate divides the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. It is about 2 miles (3 km) long and 530 feet (162 meters) wide, with towering rock cliffs that make it one of the most dramatic natural wonders of Europe. 

Our cruise ship approaching the Iron Gate dam,
and going through the Iron Gate dam.

In the 1960’s, a massive lock and dam were built to help control the speed of the river and make navigation safer. The joint development project of Romania and Yugoslavia on the Danube River (including a dam and hydroelectric power plant) was completed in 1972, providing equal amounts of energy to each country and quadrupling the annual tonnage of shipping. The name Iron Gate is commonly applied to the whole 90-mile- (145-kilometre-) long gorge system.

Our cruise ship going through the locks.
The crew member changing the flag as we entered Serbian territory.
Our cruise ship cruising in the open again.

On our way to Serbia we passed the rock sculpture of Decebalus, a colossal carving of the face of Decebalus (r. AD 87–106), the last king of Dacia, who fought against the Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan to preserve the independence of his country, which corresponds to present-day Romania.

It was commissioned by Romanian businessman Iosif Drăgan and it took 10 years for twelve sculptors to complete it. The lead artist sculptor’s name was Florin Cotarcea. According to Drăgan’s website, the businessman purchased the rock in 1992, after which the Italian sculptor Mario Galeotti assessed the location and made an initial model. The first six years involved dynamiting the rock into the basic shape, and the remaining four years were devoted to completing the details.

Under the face of Decebalus there is a Latin inscription which reads “DECEBALUS REX—DRAGAN FECIT” (“King Decebalus—Made by Drăgan”).

The carving was placed opposite an ancient memorial plaque, carved in the rock on the Serbian side of the river facing Romania. The plaque, known as the Tabula Traiana, records the completion of Trajan’s military road along the Danube and thus commemorates the final defeat of Decebalus by Trajan in 105, and the absorption of the Dacian kingdom into the Roman Empire. 

The Tabula Traiana marker laid by the Roman emperor Trajan over 2000 years ago can be seen on the left bank of the Danube.
You will also pass a beautiful Orthodox Church built on what appears to be a pier.

On Day 6 we arrived in Belgrade, capital of Serbia, and previously capital of Yugoslavia, situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers.

Overlooking the city of Novi Sad with a spectacular view of the Danube and surroundings is
Marshal Vauban’s unconquerable Petrovaradin Fortress. Dramatic events in the recent past
have shaped both the present and the future of this region, resplendent with natural beauty and
a proud history. Located high on the right bank of the Danube River in the city of Novi Sad, the Petrovaradin Fortress (Petrovaradinska Tvrdjava) has played a significant role in Serbia’s history. Over the centuries, the site of the fortress has been used by the Romans, Byzantines, Celts, Turks, Hungarians and Austrians. Starting in the 17th century, the Austrians spent nearly a century building new fortifications, including new walls, water moats and channels with movable bridges and control gates. A 16-kilometer long system of underground tunnels was completed in 1776.

 Pobednik (in Serbian Cyrillic ‘The Victor’) is a monument in the Upper Town of the Belgrade Fortress, built to commemorate Serbia’s victory over the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires during the Balkan Wars and the First World War. Cast in 1913, erected in 1928, and standing at 14 metres (46 ft) high, it is one of the most famous works of Ivan Meštrović. The park is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Belgrade and the city’s most recognizable landmark, a good place to watch the sunset over the city.

The Temple of Saint Sava  is the largest Orthodox church in Serbia, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches and it ranks among the largest churches in the world. It is the most recognizable building in Belgrade and a landmark, as its dominating dome resembles that of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul that has been converted to a mosque, after which it had been modelled. Every day, its grandiose bell towers with almost 50 bells announce noon. The interior is famous for its exquisite mosaic work. It was under remodeling when we visited.

The city center has a lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. There were colorful cows statues everywhere.

Tennis champion Novak Đoković is the big hero of Belgrade–and a generous one. We heard of Restaurant Novak 1, Tennis Center Novak, Nova Vita hospital…

We were treated to a special performance of local folkloric dances before the river ship sailed away from Belgrade.

When going on any cruise you shouldn’t forget your books. Here are two newly released novels for your entertainment.

Available on Amazon
He adopted two minority children but lost his wife. Finally things settle for him, until the lovely surgeon he hires turns his life upside down.

Released September 22

Available on Amazon
A biracial lawyer and jack of all trades, he fights discrimination to win the heart of the pretty blonde travel agent.

Release Day October 5