Monday, July 16, 2012


Hi Caroline, I’m so glad to be visiting your beautiful blog.

There is always a special story behind the official story of a book, or a special reason that leads an author to select a particular setting for her novel.

Why did I set my latest romance novel, SAILING WITH YOU, in the Island of Mykonos, Greece?
Granted it’s a romantic place, an attractive island and a fabulous resort where tourists flock in summer. But then there are so many equally beautiful sites that I’ve visited during my numerous travels. Yet, they didn’t stir a similar yearning in my heart or even talked to my muse. It’s probably the Greek blood running in my veins that makes me love to go to Greece and share its beauty with my readers.

From a book written by my uncle who lived in Canada, I learned that my ancestors dwelt in the Island of Salonika. The father, Yorgho Zanis, was a merchant selling fabrics in the old market area. After his death, his three sons decided to immigrate to America, build their fortune, and come back to their roots as rich men. But after they sailed for two days, one of the brothers became violently ill and had to disembark in the first port where the ship docked. He settled in Alexandria while his brothers continue to New York.

I visited Greece six times over the years and discovered its islands and beaches with renewed pleasure. I knew from the first time that I wanted to set a story there.

Blurb:  Can the pain of the past bring about the happiness of the future?

When Greek billionaire Stefano decides to demolish the dilapidated villa inherited from his grandmother, the American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his attorney—and pretty granddaughter—to contest the demolition. To check out the opposition before he faces her at the hearing, Stefano meets Ashley incognito and convinces her to take a sunset ride on his yacht. Sparks fly and passion sizzles during a memorable night.

In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise about her handsome Greek god and Stefano is about to lose the only woman who’s ever touched his heart. Will Stefano be able to convince Ashley he’s not the enemy anymore?

Determined to keep a vigil on the potential threat created by the presence of a stranger in his grandmother’s house—and what a stranger—Stefano raised the binoculars again watching the scenario unfolding on the shore.

The young woman untied her beach wrap and threw it on the back of the lounge chair.

“Lovely.” The word escaped him with a groan as she revealed perfect curves molded by the bikini like a second skin. Stefano blinked, assessing and admiring.

Aphrodite’s hands slid behind her back and remained hidden for a good moment. What was she up to? She turned around. This time he could see her profile and her fingers clasped on the hook of her bikini top.

With impatient twists, he fiddled with his binoculars. Damn it. It was already in perfect focus. Eyes narrowed, Stefano stiffened and zeroed in his attention on the beach.

Her head swiveled right then left. Was she scanning the stretch of sand carpeted with topless sunbathers? Guessing the woman’s intention, he swallowed hard.

Take it off or not take it off? What a dilemma.

She must be a foreigner. Probably a bashful American on her first visit to Greece. No doubt about it. A European beauty wouldn’t have hesitated to remove her bra on a beach where topless was the norm and full bathing suits the exception.

His senses on alert, Stefano stilled, focusing and waiting. Would she shy away from revealing herself or follow the locals’ example?

Her breasts swelled and rose while she seemed to struggle with her thoughts. Her fingers clenched behind her back on the thin strip of material. With a swift gesture, she unhooked the clasp, snatched the bikini top off, and crumpled it in her palm.

Stefano sucked in his breath. Simply gorgeous.


Mona Risk, Author
Mona Risk never thought that hazardous waste analysis would lead her to writing novels! When her Ph.D. and work in chemistry landed her international contracts to refurbish laboratories, she traveled to more than sixty countries on business or vacation. To relax from her hectic schedule, she avidly read romance novels and mentally plotted her own books. Eventually she left a scientific career to share with her readers the many stories brewing in her head. M. Risk likes to set her stories in the fascinating places she visited from exotic Belarus, and historical France, to the beaches of Greece, the monuments of Egypt and the mysterious Islands of Seychelles.

Caroline, thank you for hosting me today.


Maggie Toussaint said...

This is one of the best scenes in the book. I've read this one and highly recommend it. I love the fun and the international setting!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Mona, welcome to the blog with your great book! Such a gorgeous cover, too. Readers will love this as much as your other books.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Maggie, I'm glad you enjoyed my book.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Caroline, thank you for hosting me on your blog.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Mona, I enjoy your international romances very much. I feel like I'm getting wisked off my feet myself. hehe


Judith Keim said...

Mona, loved the family history behind the Greek setting and loved reading the excerpt! Congrats on another wonderful book!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Steph, I am so glad you like the international setting.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Judy, I have to relate to an international setting to be able to write about it: Greece because of my roots; France because I speak French; Russia where I worked intermittently for several years.

Vince said...

Hi Mona:

I love the Greek Islands. I’ve been to four and would like to see them all. I bought your book for the cover but after reading your post, it goes to the top of my TBR pile.

Are you going to do any more stories with a Greek Island setting? I hope so.


Mona Risk said...

Hi Vince, good to see you here. You wrote me one of the nicest reviews I've ever received years ago for Babies in the Bargain. If you enjoy Sailing with You, please give it a review.

As for writing another story set in the Greek Isles, I wouldn't mind doing it. Santorini or Rhodes would be my next favorites.

If you like stories set in Europe, Right Name, Wrong Man is set in the Loire Valley and in Paris, in France.

Beth Trissel said...

Hello ladies! Love your blog, Caroline. Mona is an awesome author, as is clearly evident.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Beth. Coming from such a great author as yourself that's a wonderful compliment.

Mary Marvella said...

Love the look of your blog, Caroline! Mona visiting Greece is good for you isn't it!

Good blog!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Mary, Carolyn's blog is gorgeous. I'm so glad to be here.