SPRING IS BUSTIN’ OUT ALL OVER: MONA RISK

In spring, flowers begin to bloom, trees begin to leaf. There is a sense of rebirth happening in nature and in our heart. This year, spring is a very special time for me as I welcome my fifth book. Rx in RUSSIAN was released today by The Wild Rose Press.

In Ohio, the appearance of yellow daffodils in my front yard signaled the beginning of spring and two to three weeks later the crabapple tree blooms with an explosion of pink flowers, heralding the new season. Soon trees topped with white, red and pink crowns of flowers formed an honor row for our dead end street. We threw our snow coats and let the children roll their bikes out of the garage.

Now I live in South Florida where spring brings a very different scenario. While we enjoy the perfect temperatures that allow us to dive in the ocean, April also brings a horde of tourists escaping the freezing North.

Floridians love to see the snowbirds strolling on the Las Olas boardwalk in their bikinis, sitting at the cafes, dining at restaurants. Although true Floridians complain about traffic jams and carefully avoid the crowded public beaches during spring-break, they welcome with open arms the snowbirds who bring a much needed income to the local industry. If you live in the North, don’t hesitate to come. We’d love to have you.

In Russia, springtime marks the beginning of “dacha season,” the time when many residents of Russian cities and smaller towns leave the wet bare soil of lawns and travel to the countryside to enjoy the bright sunshine of spring.

A few years ago I traveled to Minsk, Belarus, once a month for business. I was surprised by the unusual sight of icy monticules in the middle of avenues and small streets, often blocking the way. While zigzagging without slowing down, my chauffeur-guide-interpreter explained that drivers caught in a blizzard abandoned their cars. No one dared to complain since the local authorities didn’t have the means to clear them from their icy boxes. So they remained there until the weather improved. For Belarusians spring came when the ice melted and they were able to retrieve their cars. I wrote about spring in Belarus in my current release, Rx IN RUSSIAN.

Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer— Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. Jillian blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage—Duty demands that Fyodor provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and big family.

 When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

Excerpt:


“Look how beautiful it is.” Fyodor opened the building door, raised his arms, and breathed deeply.
“Yes,” Jillian said, her eyes skimming the bulging muscles of his arms and wide shoulders draped in green scrubs. “Yes.” She licked her lower lip as her gaze skittered down to his flat, hard stomach. She’d seen him naked, gloriously handsome, powerful and sexy. How on earth was she going to erase the picture from her mind?
“The ice is melting.”
“Huh… oh yes. The streets seem wider.”
“Because people are collecting their abandoned cars now that they can be freed from their covering of ice. Spring is here.”
Yeah, and soon she’d have to leave.
A sigh escaped her, and Fyodor glanced at her. His hand rested on the small of her back as he led her around the block. She recognized Fyodor’s old car. “Your car?” She frowned. “What for? Where are we going?”
“I wish you would trust me, Jillian.” He opened the passenger door. “Get in, please.”
“But what’s going on?” Why was he acting so weird?
Turning around, he jumped in, started his car, and took off. “Remember the Botanical Garden I wanted to show you in the spring? The flowers are blooming there, and the fragrance is heaven.”
Arching her eyebrows, she stared at him. Had he lost his mind? “We are leaving the hospital to admire the Botanical Garden?” When had he turned into a romantic?
“We are taking a break. They can reach us in case of emergency. We both have our cell phones. We are five minutes from the hospital, and the streets are clear now.”
He parked against the curb, opened the door for her, and tugged at her hand. Shaking her head, she followed him. She’d have one look at the flowers and go back. When they reached the end of an alley, she stopped in her tracks.
“Is that the Garden of Eden?”
“You said it right.” He sat on a bench and pulled her beside him.
Rows and parterres exploded in a rainbow of colors from an artistic chaos of daffodils, peonies, irises, and other flowers she didn’t recognize. A floral scent wafted on the breeze and enveloped her, relaxing her. Careful. Relaxing near Fyodor could only lead to trouble.

As a Ph.D. in Chemistry and former director of an analytical laboratory, Mona Risk traveled to more than fifty countries on business or vacation. To relax from her hectic schedule, she avidly read romance novels and mentally plotted her own books. Now, Mona lives in sunny Florida with her husband. She likes to set stories in the fascinating places she visited and throw conflict at the American heroines and foreign heroes she creates.

Mona is the author of two international romantic suspense novels available at Cerridwen Press: To Love A Hero and French Peril. Her contemporary romances, Babies in the Bargain, Prescription For Love and Prescription In Russian are available at The Wild Rose Press.

Comments

  1. Thank you LASR for having me on your beautiful blog.
    http://www.monarisk.blogspot.com

  2. Great post, Mona! Your book sounds wonderful. I enjoy reading stories with international flavor. Can’t wait to read yours!

  3. Spring is just arriving in northern Minnesota. Such a long-anticipated event! I uncovered my garlic yesterday in a drizzle. The earth is like quicksand–one wrong step and a boot sinks up past the ankle.
    Spring in Russia would be equally celebrated, I imagine.

  4. MONA–isn’t it interesting that Spring is different, yet the same, all over the world? Yes, it’s a time for newness, but each has different flowers and weather patterns. Everyone loves spring. I read somewhere that the bright light green of new leaves on trees in the spring has a psychological effect on us–a happy feeling, euphoric.
    Congratulations on your release..I’m sure it will do as well as your other novels…here’s hoping for a good run! Celia

  5. Nice blog, Mona! I live in
    Florida and love our spring here, before the summer heat arrives. Even then, summer evenings are wonderful! Love what I read of your book!

  6. Hi Wendy, thank you for stopping by. Like you I love international settings and armchair traveling.

  7. Hi Ana, spring in Russia was a mess with the big meltdown and abandoned cars looking weird in the middle of the roads but then the flowers and colors made everything beautiful.

  8. Congratulations on your new release! I have a friend who travels to the Ukraine 3 times a year for a couple of weeks and it’s always interesting to hear the stories of the differences and similarities between our countries. They do have harsher winters than what we experience where I live.

    Thanks for the excerpt, sounds very interesting!

    junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. I’m a native of Ohio too!

    Love the info about Russia!

    bicknellbrown @sbcglobal.net

  10. Congrats on your new release.

    bc428(at)juno(dot)com

  11. Enjoyed your post, that must have been interesting seeing all the abandoned vehicles, can’t imagine leaving them until they thaw out in the spring though.

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  12. Hi, Mona. I’m fairly new to Florida but I’ve already learned how to tell the tourists from the residents: the tourists are red and peeling. LOL!

    I can’t imagine leaving my car until it thawed out, but I’ve heard it’s similar in the Alaskan Interior. If someone forgets to plug in their car’s engine heater, the block freezes and the car sits there until the spring flaw.

    Now you know why I didn’t go north.

  13. That actually sounds like quite a cusom in Belarus!

  14. I’ve seen pictures of the snowed-in cars in Russia, very funny. Not for the owners though.

    Spring is wet here today, thunder storms rolling through. But the lawn is greening up – fresh greens for my hens.

    You’re book sounds great – I love to armchair travel. Congratulations!

  15. Hi Celia, I bet spring must be gorgeous in Texas. I miss seeing the daffodils, tulips, and forsitia I had in my backyard in Ohio.

  16. Judy, our Florida spring means: hop in the ocean. It’s 85 today in South Florida and I hope I’ll have the time to swim.

  17. I love the premise of this book and really enjoyed the excerpt.

  18. As a retired hospice,neonatal ICU nurse I enjoy reading medical romance suspense.Loved the excerpt and want to read the book.i could feel the tension of possibilities between the two characters who need to love and trust again

  19. Maria, tell your friend I went to Ukraine for business, to the beautiful capital Kiev and to Uman, at four hours from Kiev. Imagine we were in the Uman Grand Hotel, but we had water from 5 pm to 6 am. They gave us pitchers, one for drinking water, one for washing and bathing, and one for flushing the toilet. Please tell your friend about my books, Rx in Russian and To Love A Hero. Both are set in Belarus.

  20. Hello, Faith. Isn’t spring gorgeous in Ohio? I was from Cincinnati. Where are you from?

  21. Hello Rebekah, thank you so much for your good wishes.

  22. Fascinating info. about cars abandoned in Russia, among other things. 🙂 I’m envious that you traveled the world for business. You must have many, many stories to tell.

  23. I’ll take a break in the botantical gardens with Fydor any time! LOL!!

    How interesting to learn that they just abadoned their vehicles like that Mona. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with sales!

    Smiles
    Steph

  24. Jean, actually it was scary seeing these monticules in winter. My driver was super as he navigated his way and zigzagged between them in winter. I often post pictures og Minsk at my blog. monarisk.blogspot.com

  25. Hi Keena, interesting. I didn’t know abandoning frozen cars also happens in Alaska, but it makes sense.

  26. Hi Joanne, life in Belarus or any of these cold Russian countries was quite difficult, even more so for an American on business trip as was my case. But since I was staying for only one to two weeks at a time I tried to make the best out of it, and I enjoyed the exotic places.

  27. Lu, I also have pictures of the snowed-in cars. What a sight! Rx in Russian will take you to a fantastic armchair traveling through the romance of Jillian and Fyodor.

  28. Growing up in South Florida I remember the tourists coming, however I always hated that there are really not the change of seasons. I now live in GA where you can definitely see the change.

    angelwolf_storm@hotmail.com

  29. It sounds so heavenly, Mona. Spring with Fyodor. Sigh. I can just picture it.

    I used to have boatloads of daffodils in Maryland. I don’t have any down here, but paperwhites bloom in January, so I guess daffodils would too if they can tolerate the heat and drought.

    Enjoyed the read!

    Maggie Toussaint
    Georgia author of mystery and romance
    http://www.maggietoussaint.com
    http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/

  30. How fascinating about the snowed-in cars. A friend of mine lived in Siberia for several years and really loved it there. She felt very much at home and comfortable in the Russian culture.

  31. Mona,
    What a fascinating life you’ve led. Your book sounds wonderful and I wish you much success.

  32. Congratulations on your latest release, Mona! It sounds like another winner, and just the story to read as spring begins.

  33. That’s really crazy about having to wait until the ice melts to retrieve your car!

    The new book sounds great!

    castings at mindspring dot com

  34. Hi Cathy, oh yes I have so many stories to tell, I wish I could write day and night. You can enjoy armchair traveling through my romances.

  35. Hi, MOna, congrats on your new release.Russia! I think my experiences there were much different than yours, but that’s what makes traveling so interesting. We all pick up different experiences to write about. Your latest books sounds very interesting. I remember reading all those early ‘nurse/doctor’ books way back when. Haven’t read one in a long time, guess it’s time to check it out! BTW, the southern tier of NY is enjoying very warm spring weather today – been out uncovering the flower beds so the blossoms will open in time for Easter. All the best, Carol

  36. Hi Nightingale, I am glad you like the excerpt.

  37. Owldreamer, my daughter is a neonatologist. I love to hear her talking about difficult cases and how she saves preemies.She gave me once a video to study about resuscitation in order for me to describe the procedure. Two of my books, BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, and Rx IN RUSSIAN are about heroines who are pediatricians and neonatologists.

  38. You’re book cover is beautiful, and the excerpt was great! I am going to have to get me a copy of this book. Great post 🙂

    Stormgoddess 925 @ yahoo. com

  39. Angelwolfstorm, with spring snowbirds are leaving Florida and going back North, while us Floridians start venturing in the ocean that is still a bit cool for my taste.

  40. Steph, I wish I had pictures of the Botanical Garden. It was just behind the Ecomir Lab and the Academy of Sciences where we worked in Minsk. We used to go there for breaks and a quick lunch.

  41. Hi Maggie, I was never good at planting or growing anyhthing, but my Dad had lovely daffodils in his frontyard in MA. They heralded the beginning of spring for their street.

  42. Hi Barbara, people hear about Siberia and shiver. Yet I almost went there for business. I heard it was quite an interesting place. I am sure your friend must have loved it.

  43. Thank you Patrice for your good wishes.

  44. Liana, I love spring so much I haver a spring scene in each one of my books.

  45. Cheryl, believe me if they could get their cars out, they would have done it. LOL

  46. Hi Carol, I have two sides of impressions about the Russian countries, those I collected over four years while working with the locals, enjoying their warm hospitality and building friendships, and then my impressions as a tourist when I visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, and admired the palaces and churches. And yes, Craol, it’s time to check my romances. LOL

  47. Mona,
    Your writing is gorgeous, and your settings exquisite. And, you’ve lead such an exciting life!

  48. Mona, lovely excerpt! It sounds like Belarus is a place of contrasts and beautiful surprises. Congratulations on this release!

  49. Hey, Mona. Spring equals pollen and blooms and sneezes and warm weather and such in Georgia. I love it anyway with the dozens of blooms on trees, bushes, and flowers.

    Going out to write a note on my neighbor’s car. One good use of pollen. SNEEZE!

    Your books are always interesting!

  50. Josie, thank you for loving my books. LOL

  51. Yeah, Nikki, get your copy of Rx IN RUSSIAN. You won’t regret it:)

  52. Hi Mona! Great blog, if it wasn’t for the snowbirds and more heat, we’d never know it was spring!!!

  53. Hi Allyson, so happy to see you here. Belarus holds wonderful memories for me and I tried to share them through my heroine with my readers.

  54. Mary, careful about allergies. That’s the bad side of spring.

  55. Yes Mary you said it. The snowbirds make us feel winter is here and spring is starting.

  56. Your book sounds like a great read. I love reading about international places. I did a research paper on Russia one time and really found it interesting. Would love to read your book.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

  57. I really enjoyed your post!! I always enjoy your books!! I live in the South, so we have great Springs, I love seeing the pecan trees budding out!!!

    Judy
    magnolias_[at]msn[dot]com

  58. Loved the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  59. HI Mona, Only our very early bulbs are blooming here in Toronto, snowdrops and squills, crocuses in sunny nooks. The official opening of dacha (cottage) season is on the Victoria Day weekend. Everyone who can heads for cottage country. Those left in the city celebrate by clearing the garden and planting flowers.

  60. Happy Spring, Mona.

    The story about the frozen car mounds tickled my funny bone. I can see that happening.

  61. Great post Mona!
    Congrats on your latest release!
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  62. Mona,

    How interesting that you write about the places you’ve been. I am writing too and have often thought that I should write stories about the places I’ve lived. I currently live in Maine and spring is just stretching it’s arms and yawning awake. But soon I’ll be going back to Texas where spring is alive and well and wide awake with blue bonnets. Maine offers 4 distinct seasons, but no matter where spring is a wonderful time of hope and renewal.

  63. Hi Virginia, if you like interesting informations and pictures about Russia follow my blog http://www.monarisk.blogspot.com
    and enjoy my books. tahnk you for being here.

  64. Judy, I love your comment. Think of me when you eat pecan pies. I love them too.

  65. booklover- Tracey, thank you.

  66. Joan, forget clearing the yard. Going to your dasha is much more fun. wink:)

  67. Hi Eleyne, glad you enjoyed my spring blog!

  68. Hi Peg, of course you should write about the places you know well and love. Write about them with passion, let us see them through your characters, and your book will be so alive.

  69. You’ve had a very busy life. Lots of travel. I bet you’ve seen some really neat places. My mother is a chemist. She worked for Rohm & Haas in Louisville, KY. Good luck in your writing endeavors!

    Shannon Leigh
    http:shannonleigh.org

  70. Hi Shannon, who knows, maybe your mother and I met. I was a chemist in Cincinnati and my lab analyzed samples for so many companies. Thank you for stopping by.

  71. Wow, Russia. Sounds like a wonderful read!

    Spring is sprung here in Michigan. Yesterday it was 78 degrees! But today it was a bit cooler. *sigh* You never know about Michigan!

    Carol
    ceb 0140 (AT) hot mail DOT com

  72. Wow 78 in Michigan? That’s nice for the month of April. Thank you for stopping by, Carol.

  73. Great post, as always, Mona. I’m so excited about this book and can’t wait to read it!

    Spring is here in the UK too and has been for about a week. We’ve had gloriously sunny weather and all the blossoms are out. I’m sure it won’t last, but for the moment it’s lovely to have the windows open and be able to hang washing out.

    Hope your travels bring you this way soon!

  74. Hi Mona
    Many congratulations on your new release, I wish you tons of sales and much success,

    As Anna says, it’s lovely here in the UK, although it’s a little cooler today than it has been, but it’s such a joy to hear the birds singing and see the spring flowers appearing everywhere

  75. Anna, so good to hear from you. Enjoy the beautiful English spring.

  76. Hywela, I am delighted to have two British friends catch up with this blog. I am sure your spring is a little cooler than the eighties that warmed the States yesterday.

  77. RX in Russian sounds really different. Except for Susan May Warren, I haven’t really read many books set there. I’m intrigued! Thanks for the excerpt.

    Crystal

  78. Oh man I need to get Rx in Russian. The excerpt just blow me away. Sound like a yummy book.

    Terra
    tpen89@charter.net

  79. Sorry to show up so late to the party. Rx in Russian sounds like another wonderful novel, with that special international flavor you’re so famous for. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  80. Crystal, get the book swetie. I promise you won’t regret it. It will give you an armchair trip to Belarus as I saw it during the fifteen times I traveled there on business.

  81. Terra, I’m glad you like the excerpt. A fan reda it and wrote on Facebook:
    ~Oh boy!!!! I started Rx in Russian last night around 10pm and didn’t go to bed until 4am. Woke up at 7am took my kids to school and finished the book. Anyways my theory is: if the book keeps you awake at night, there are no words to describe how good it is. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you Mona, the book was lovely and I enjoyed every sentence of it.~

  82. Clarissa, you’re last but not least. Glad to see you here. LASR is my all time favorite blog. I had so much fun, I keep checking it every day.

  83. Mona, thank you for the great post and congrats on the new release 🙂 the book looks great! 🙂 Happy Spring!
    Ashley A
    ash_app@hotmail.com

  84. I’m so ready for spring! A great excerpt, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  85. My neighbors are snowbirds – they leave MN in Feb and don’t return until April. Crazy.

  86. Hello Ashley, sorry I am so late answering. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy my new book. Happy reading.

  87. Sarita, lovely to have you. Rx IN RUSSIAN is the book of my heart. Full of passion, emotion and humor.

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