New Year, Fresh Start, New Resolutions

Have you noticed how hard it is to get used to a new year? At least for me it’s always a challenge for the first couple of months when I have to fill in the date. Thinking back of my childhood, it’s hard to imagine I’m in 2020. I mean, back then, that was the future! In one of my favorite movies, Back to the Future, Steven Spielberg had imagined a much more evolved 21st century. According to him, by now we should all travel in space cars, have voice-command appliances, and eradicate most illnesses. Wasn’t he an optimist, back in ’86 when he made the first movie?

While we’re working on technologies that will eventually make all of these things possible, everything is moving slowly. And although we can definitely survive without flying cars and smart refrigerators, our quality of life depends on our health.

When we’re healthy we are unaware of how important this is. It’s only when we’re confronted with illness—or worse, death—that we start appreciating what truly matters in life. I’ve had such a terrible revelation right after Christmas, when I learned that a high school mate of mine died of cancer at the age of thirty-three. The news was shocking for all of us who knew him. We all hoped and prayed for a miracle until the last minute, but in vain. I can only shudder when I think of his poor wife and six-year-old-son, who have to deal with so much grief. I was touched by how many people jumped in to help them, morally and financially. It’s probably not that much of a comfort, but seeing this proof of kindness reassured me there’s still hope for humanity.

It’s a bitter irony that I have just finished a book where the hero is a researcher and fights to cure cancer. Although the book is a fictional suspense romance, a lot of the medical facts are true. With medicine advancing fast, I pray this terrible disease will soon be eradicated forever and stop being a constant threat to us and those we love.

In International Affairs: LONDON, Dr. Gerard Leon develops not one, but two cures for cancer, with the help of Linda, a beautiful and wealthy Italian artist. If in life we’re not guaranteed a happy ever after, one of the things we can do is look for it in books…

She has the money; he has the brains. In their quest to cure others, can they also heal each other?

Gerard Leon is a physician and researcher. Linda Coriola is an artist and philanthropist. After losing loved ones to this silent killer, they both fight cancer in their own way—her with money, him with scientific breakthroughs.
Neither expected to fall in love, but when they do, it’s hard, fast, and mind-blowing.
But they have a common enemy who will stop at nothing to see them fail. Can they give into their feelings, stay focused on their goal, and live to fight another day?

International Affairs: LONDON is the first book in a new series of suspense romance novels, International Romance Collection. I hope you will love these stories as much as I enjoy writing them!
If this isn’t in your New Year’s resolutions list, remember: stay healthy. When it comes to most illnesses your body will give you signs so you can do something before it’s too late–don’t ignore them! It doesn’t matter that you’ll keep your job, or get that promotion, or keep that relationship, or do whatever you want to do if you won’t live long enough to enjoy them. We can find love, build fortunes, make dreams come true, but the one thing we can’t buy is our health. It’s the most precious thing we can have. Take care of yourselves above all else. ❤

Here’s a photo of me on Christmas Day. I had the best time of my life during the holidays because hubby took two weeks off work, so we spent every minute together. We didn’t go to any parties or fancy events, we just enjoyed our time together cooking, watching TV, staying at home, shopping or just walking the streets and goofing around. 🙂

A Victorian Christmas

Hello, I thought some happy Victorian Christmas poems would be great for this time of year, but they are hard to come by. The lyrics generally break your heart by the second verse.
But I was in luck as I found a humorous one, but I also came across this modern poem that touches the heart. So I put that one on first. The Victorian poetry that follows is light and flighty for the Victorians, that is!!


Little tree
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy…

Poem by E.E. Cummings found in Ten Beautiful Christmas Poems on website Leah Dobrinska

Berries on holly proclaim ‘tis cold!

Cousin Annette, I am warmer thus;

A hand and a waist if my arms enfold,

The hand and waist will be cozy, puss!

For here we can sit and defy the wind,

Though panes are rattled with blinding sleet,

And happily one of us thus may find

That winter is best for us both, my sweet!

 

Mistletoe grows on the oak they say!

Cousin Annette! – she is fast asleep,

But this is a dangerous game to play,

For wandering rogues may on tiptoe creep.

The mistletoe’s beckoning over her head,

My fluttering heart, you must cease to beat;

Sleep soft! While over the floor I tread –

And wake at the touch of my lips, my sweet!

 

Winter is bringing the travellers home!

Cousin Annette, have I cause to fear

Lest one loved better than I may come

To claim the hand that is resting here?

The falsest women are fair as you,

And lips as pretty have sworn deceit;

But on my honour I’d swear you true –

As true as the rose at your breast, my sweet!

 

Winter is long! Ay, winter’s long!

Cousin Annette, is it time to go?

Perchance the lover and love-sick song

May melt forever with winter’s snow?

The dearest thoughts in the heart lie deep

Through snows of winter and rose-time heat,

But if your memory tries to sleep,

Remember the mistletoe kiss, my sweet!

 

Excerpt from ‘The Mistletoe Kiss’ from London Society Christmas edition 1868.

The Mistletoe Kiss

A Winter Song by Clement W. Scott

HAVE A  WONDERFUL  AND HAPPY

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.

Short Christmas stories to enjoy all year long. Christmas Shorts, EIGHTEEN sweet to spicy tales to enjoy any time of year.

Games and Kids by Mona Risk

Homework was done but Nine-year-old couldn’t watch her usual funny shows as Grandpa was monopolizing the TV with boring news. So what could a nine-year-old do when she had nothing to do and it was not bedtime yet?

Play, of course. Except that Grandma didn’t know many games. One wondered how Grandma graduated from school and college without learning simple games like Money-Money and Master Brain. So be it. Nine-year-old decided to take a few minutes and teach Grandma, not thoroughly mind you, so Nine-year-old could beat Grandma.

Later we played Monopoly. Now that was annoying because Grandma knew this game and started winning. Honestly, the game became boring. How could you enjoy a game when you were losing to your Grandma?

So Nine-year-old took a break to put her pj’s and to eat an ice cream, but Grandma kept winning. Very frustrating! That was when Nine-year-old decided she was tired and ended the game before Grandma could win again.

Now you know why I love writing about children and babies, and where I find my inspiration. Next week I hope to publish the following two books.

A Complete Family

This book is part of
Unforgettable Christmas Dreams

Nurse Melody is continuously late at work. Determined to find out the reason for her tardiness, Dr. Aidan visits her house, unintentionally scares her little daughter, and is attacked by her German shepherd. But attraction sizzles…

The Captain’s Christmas Leave

This book is part of
CHRISTMAS SHORTS

The wounded captain is resigned for the worst. But his soon-to-be ex-wife has some ideas to cheer him up.

How audiobooks changed my life #mgtab @melinda_de_ross

Now a very popular format, ten years ago audiobooks were still making a shy debut – just when I needed them most. Reading has always been my biggest passion, but as I worked in an office all day with my eyes fixed on a computer screen, traditional reading became an increasingly difficult hobby. My eyes got tired easier, my neck became stiff from bending over a book. Not to mention that one can’t multi-task while reading a printed book. That was when my husband suggested I tried audiobooks.

At first I was reluctant. It seemed completely weird listening to someone read a book out loud. It didn’t sound the same when I read it in my head. However, my love of books was stronger than my stubbornness, so one day I took a chance and bought an audiobook. I remember it was Sandra Brown’s “Smoke Screen”, which was lucky because the narrator, Victor Slezak, is simply magic. From the first moments I was drawn in by his voice, fascinated by the way he interpreted each character, thrilled to hear the story brought to life. A love affair had begun!

Fast forward thousands of audiobooks listened and a career change later, and here I am today – a writer myself, who’s just producing her second audiobook. It’s funny how in the short run we never truly realize how much we’ve achieved, but sometimes in the rare moments when we take a good look back, we can be stunned by how far we’ve come from a certain period of our lives. Sandra Brown’s thrillers are still among my favorites, and although I like to think I’ve developed my own storytelling technique, her style will always be an influence on me. I know it shows in THE PLOT, my first suspense romance that was released as an audiobook. I had the privilege of working with an incredibly talented narrator, Austin Walp, who brought my characters to life in a way that still makes me grin in wonder whenever I listen to it.

An unconventional romance…

At 18, Yoko Hirano falls prey to a human trafficking organization and is forced into a lifestyle nightmares are made of. When the young Japanese girl escapes, her only focus is exacting revenge and saving other girls from the same fate by bringing down Michael Chen, the powerful mobster who destroyed her innocence.

Between two misfits…

Four years later she meets antiques dealer Mark Chandler, the only man who ever treated her with respect. Though she is torn by her unfamiliar feelings for him, Yoko’s grand scheme doesn’t involve falling in love, and a man like Mark would never want her if he discovered her past. What she doesn’t know is that he has his own dark secrets…

Brought together by love and revenge.

Mark never thought he could lose his head over a woman, but the haunted eyes of his beautiful new employee fill his soul with desire and tenderness. When he learns about what had happened to her, his vengeance knows no limits. Nor does his resolve to help her heal and discover love.

You can listen to a sample of THE PLOT on YouTube, watch the book trailer, and if you want to hear more, you can find THE PLOT on Amazon as well as on all major audiobook distribution channels. Enjoy!

Fondly,

Melinda