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.

Weddings in the Time of Coronavirus by @Donna_Fasano

Last year, I received a Save The Date card for a huge destination wedding of a family member that was to take place this month. But then COVID-19 hit our country hard and large gatherings were prohibited. The bride and groom have decided to postpone their wedding until 2021. This young couple are going to wait a whole year to tie the knot! I feel so bad for them, but what else could they do?

The question got me thinking about weddings during the pandemic. People have to go on with their lives, right? Or is everyone postponing their nuptials? THOSE questions had me going to Google to do some research.

It seems that lots of couples have put off their weddings. But others have decided to elope… just the two of them. Hey, when LOVE calls, ya gotta do what ya gotta do! Others are settling for what are called “mini-monies,” which are miniature ceremonies that include guests of only 10 family members and friends. The important thing to these people is the “getting hitched” part and they’re not too hung up on the size of the guest list. Even though they must settle for a minimalist approach now, they can always plan a bigger celebration later.

Do you know a couple who was planning a wedding? Did they cancel? Or did they decide to go for it?

This month, I’m offering my book, THE WEDDING PLANNER’S SON, for just 99¢ for Kindle readers. Click the cover below and you’ll be taken to the Kindle Store.

On Shutdown

As of today Florida is on shutdown. The police is enforcing the order, Beaches Are Closed. An order that the young population on Springbreak looked at with incredulous snorts and simply ignored. Well today, police cars are bloking all accesses to the beach and the high rises locked their doors leading to the beach. Under a glorious sun, a gentle breeze and a perfect weather, the beaches look like deserted islands now.

Spring break in Fort Lauderdale

In the supermarkets, people amble around empty shelves, wondering if they could find something more to stock. Most of the restaurants are closed. Today Florida churches received the order to close too. We were advised not to ride the elevator wih other people!

So what do we do? We watch TV, read, and try to keep busy. I have been editing two books and I am plotting a new one. I am sure you will be thrilled to know we can offer you several boxes of books to keep you entertained.

DOCTORS IN LOVE-Passionate and Dedicated

DOCTORS IN LOVE- Sexy and Determined
CUTE BUT CRAZY
SWEET AND SASSY DADDIES

A Cruise around the British Isles by Mona Risk

In the summer of 2016, my husband and I took a fifteen-day cruise around the British Isles. Our first stop was in St. Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey Island, the largest of the Channels islands, located west of Normandy, France.

 

 

In the south, Guernsey rises in a plateau with ragged coastal cliffs. It descends in steps and is drained mainly by streams flowing northward in deeply incised valleys. Northern Guernsey is low-lying, with the soil on lower ground made of blown sand, raised beach deposits, and the fills of old lagoons.

The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes (or pay very low taxes) and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors over seventy. The island originally belonged to the Duke of Normandy and then alternatively to England and France. Now it is part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

St. Andrew Chapel built with ceramic pieces donnated by Wedgewood.

I loved the setting.

My muse immediately replaced the governor with a prince, just like the rulers of Monaco or Luxemburg, both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married.

Gernsey Island became the Rensy Island of my new story.

 

 

The ruling prince is old and dying, and he worries about the future of his country. His fondest wish is to see his grandson married. But… 

The young prince, a handsome businessman and playboy, enjoys his freedom too much to be trapped into an arranged marriage.

 

All of this played in my head while I was in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide in Paris to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

And now what if Meghan Markle decides to work after marrying her prince?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

I wrote the first draft of A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL during my cruise.

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1)

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!   To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

Have you been inspired to write a book during a particular vacation?