I have joined forces with five other authors in publishing an anthology of romance stories that is now on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents. See details at the end of the blog.
One of my fellow anthologists is Mona Risk. She is my guest today talking about the book she contributed to the set, Neighbors and More.
Anna, thank you for inviting me to your beautiful blog and allowing me to present my romance novel, NEIGHBORS AND MORE, that is one of the ebooks bundled in THE ULTIMATE ROMANCE box set.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from? The dictionary defines neighbor as someone who lives near or stands next to another. In my book, the neighbor is any one of the people living in the four-hundred condos of the Blue Waves High Rise on the beach.
Ten years ago I moved from a house to an apartment in a multi-unit building. Downsizing and getting rid of numerous souvenirs was painful enough. Little did I know that living next to so many neighbors would involve losing part of the freedom I took for granted when I dwelt in a house.
My neighbors consist mainly of retirees who live all year round in their condos—and keep a pair of binoculars within reach to peek into their neighbors’ places, the pool area, or the beach terrace. In addition, you can count several snowbird couples who fly to Florida in winter, a few young working white collars who rent for a year or two to enjoy the proximity of the beach, and two or three families with a child. Our high rise is quite cosmopolitan, with South American, Russian, Canadian, French, Swedish, Greek condo owners,… A real Tower of Babel.
Soon enough I realized that the gorgeous and serene scenery surrounding us could hide many potential tempests. And I am not talking of the hurricanes or tropical storms only. Passions can simmer and sizzle when you live too close for comfort.
The real examples following astounded me and became inspiration. The woman on the fifth floor broke a stormy affair with her lover from the tenth; the old widower on the twentieth floor married the young divorcee from the third floor, and died three months later. The neighbor on the seventh floor got drunk and drowned in the hot spa. A lady from the tenth floor disappeared for several days and was found floating on the shore five miles away.
As you can see, life was not boring in a high rise. Actually it was too eventful for my taste. I changed building, and discovered a new set of stories. That is when I decided I absolutely had to write a romantic suspense set in a similar high rise.
Neighbors and More is a contemporary romance novel with elements of suspense and humor.
In the Blue Waves High Rise where so many neighbors live too close for comfort, Dante, the handsome Sicilian lawyer, and Alexa, the wealthy young divorcée, try to hide their idyllic romance. When a neighbor drowns in the Jacuzzi, life will forever change in the Blue Waves.
Wandering to the wall-to-wall bay window, Alexa glanced at the children playing in the pool, the sunbathers lounging on the beach, and the magnificent view of myriad boats gliding on the ocean, on a glorious April afternoon. Too numb to be excited by sceneries she’d always favored, she locked her heart against sentimental regrets and strode to her bedroom where she’d already packed two suitcases.
Get a grip, girl. She needed space to be herself and breathe freely. She’d leave first thing tomorrow, while her nosy neighbors still slept. Would they call her a quitter and other malicious names as they’d called her mother? Maybe the beautiful Annabelle had gone through the same hell before running away with her lover.
Unable to stay a moment longer in her apartment, Alexa slipped on a bikini covered with shorts and a see-through top, ready to go for a last swim and a farewell walk on the beach. As she opened her door, she was caught in a bear hug and pushed back into her condo.
“Oh my God.” Alexa squealed. Her breath jammed in her throat as Dante Cantari kicked her apartment door closed behind them and squeezed her against his chest. “Dante…” A masculine scent mixed with a whiff of lemon enveloped her.
“Cara mia, you are even more beautiful than when I left. Bella… Bellissima.” The Italian hunk in swimming shorts and tank top held her at arm’s length, and offered her a wide grin that brightened her living room more than a noon sun.
Her gaze roamed over his raven black hair, curly and thick, and in need of a cut, a strand falling over his sapphire blue eyes. “I thought you weren’t coming back. I thought you moved somewhere else without telling me. I thought…” Oh dear, she was babbling nonsense. Still unable to believe he was here, holding her, she blinked, glad she hadn’t left in the morning.
“Oh Alexa, I’d never do such a thing. You’re more important to me than you think.”
What do you know? Her wish had come true after all. Right away. She almost giggled. “When did you get back from Sicily?” To make sure she wasn’t dreaming, she stroked his chiseled jaw with her fingertips.
From chemistry in the lab to chemistry between people.
To be honest, I never thought that hazardous waste analysis would lead me to write novels, but I grew up surrounded by books, thanks to my father who was a professor and a published author. When my Ph.D. and work in chemistry landed me contracts to refurbish laboratories abroad, I traveled to more than fifty countries on business or vacation. To relax from my hectic schedule, I avidly read romance stories and mentally plotted my own novels. Eventually I left a scientific career to share with readers the many stories brewing in my head.
I write romantic suspense, medical romance, contemporary romances, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, my stories are set in the fascinating places I visited, from exotic Belarus, and historical France, to the beaches of Greece, the monuments of Egypt and the mysterious Islands of Seychelles–or more simply in Ohio, Florida, Boston and Washington, DC.
My books have garnered: Top Picks; Outstanding Read; Sweetheart of the Week; Best Book of the Week at various reviewers, and won several awards, from Best Contemporary Romance of the Year at READERS FAVORITE with two Gold Medals, to EPPIE award finalist and Best Romance Novel of the Year at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. More recently, my ebooks landed on the Amazon bestseller list for contemporary romance and medical romance and my name was posted in the list of The 100 most Popular Authors in Romance for several months.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and the alpha heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.
Thanks for being here, Mona.
THANK YOU for the opportunity to feature my book on your blog. Click here for the Box Set.