Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Book News




Genre:  Contemporary Romance, available as ebook and paperback

Publisher name  : Cerridwen Press

Cover image: see attached

Buy link:


Two Lips Review: Mona Risk tells a poignant yet beautiful and sweet story of two people falling in love, who must fight their attraction. .. To Love A Hero is a first for Ms. Risk. This is a story readers will enjoy.
Review Your book: To Love a Hero has a complex plot. There are twists and turns that the reader will not expect. Mona Risk is a talented author. She knows how to weave intrigue and romance into her story. The characters are well-developed. Fans of romance and suspense will enjoy To Love a Hero.

Mona Risk's TO LOVE A HERO is a wonderful love story complete with deception, conceit, stubbornness and the love of a lifetime for two people who couldn't be more different. Ms. Risk hits a homerun with this story.

Publishers Weekly, Saturday Blurb Special  Beyond her Book Blog on June 28, 2008. Reviewed by Joysann

The sense of the unfamiliar makes the story exotic, and a subtle tension was maintained with the trace of fear for an unknown culture and its politics.  I found myself googling Belarus for some of its history, and that means I enjoyed the story a lot.


Admired by men and adored by women, General Sergei is a true hero in his country. When a lovely American chemist stumbles on the airport escalator, straight into his arms, Sergei has more on his mind than patriotic duty.

On her first international business trip to Belarus, a Russian country dominated by male chauvinism and intrigues, Cecile finds more chemistry than she bargains for. Caught in a clash of cultures, can she betray Sergei’s trust to save his career? Will her love cost him everything he values?

Video Trailer:

Excerpt from Chapter Three:

Cecile surveyed the elegant place. A mirrored sphere flickered with silver glints over the small dance floor at the end of the room. On a raised podium, a gorgeous singer with long golden hair sang while swaying to soft piano music played by a tuxedo-clad man.

The drinks came. They clinked their glasses, mingling the cheers and nazhtrovias.

Cecile struggled to concentrate on the conversation. Not an easy task with the general sitting so close beside her.

“It’s a pleasure to have you with us. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay in Minsk,” the general said, his gaze warming her cheeks like a soft caress.

“I’m sure we will. You have welcomed us with incredible hospitality. We appreciate your kindness,” she replied with a smile.

Elena asked through her husband if Cecile’s fall on the escalator had left any lasting bruises.

No lasting bruise but it was a fall Cecile wouldn’t forget as long as she lived. She smiled at Nicolai’s wife. “Thank you for your concern. The general caught me just in time. I felt better right away.” Oh my God. What had she said? She hoped no one thought she enjoyed being in his arms.

Cecile glanced around furtively. While the others drank and talked, the general’s lips curled to one side. He hadn’t missed the possible double meaning.

Another wave of heat spread over her throat. Dang, there was definitely a lasting bruise on her senses. She took off her jacket and smoothed her skirt. As dinner was served, she fiddled with a lump of bread and avoided his penetrating gaze. She ate little, preferring the potato pancakes to the greasy meat. With the strong presence beside her, a different hunger built in the pit of her stomach. Suddenly thirsty, she gulped her beer and forced herself to participate in the general conversation.

Nicolai stood and tugged at his wife’s hand. “Please, excuse us. I want to dance with Elena. We don’t often enjoy the luxury of such expensive places.”

John followed suit and pulled Tania to her feet. “Come on. Let me shake my old legs.”

Cecile remained at her place. She took a piece of bread and balled it between her fingers. No one had mentioned dancing as part of this evening. She felt the general’s gaze on her. No please. Don’t ask. She was here to work. Only to work.

The general stood and extended an open palm “May I have the honor?” She placed her hand in his and steadied her wobbly knees.

He swept her away from their table, toward the dance floor and wrapped an arm around her waist, branding her with his touch. Blazing heat penetrated through the silk of her blouse. They mingled with the crowd, gliding around. Cecile floated on a cloud. She was back in his arms. And not by accident, this time. At first, they moved slowly to the music, then he brought her closer and her body recognized with pleasure the rock-hard chest. He tightened his hold. She almost groaned, her senses focused on the taut biceps pressing on her side. “Crassiva,” he whispered in her ear.


“You’re so lovely, Cecile. Crassiva means pretty.”

“General, please. I’m here on business.”

“I’m not about to forget it. But can’t you relax and enjoy the evening, the soft music?”

“I am enjoying myself. Really, your hospitality is amazing.”

“Our hospitality?” He shook his head. “Cecile can’t you stop being the Program Manager for a few hours? I’m trying to talk to you, to the beautiful woman I’m dancing with. Is it an unforgivable mistake?” His breath fanned her earlobe. She had trouble making sense of his words. Was it the result of the morning’s vodka, the beer she drank a moment ago, or the strong arms holding her pressed against his muscled chest? “Tonight we should have fun. Tomorrow we will work.” He smiled at her, such a beguiling smile that she sighed. Her legs turned into jelly and her insides melted into delicious, hot syrup.

“Tomorrow?” she repeated in a whisper. Tonight she wanted to have fun, to forget Rob, her project and the many obstacles waiting for her. Her hand slipped from his shoulder and curled around his neck.

“Yes. Tonight we celebrate, we drink and we dance.” The charm and sultry sexiness in his voice held her motionless. His finger traced a line along her forehead, circled her cheek and swept over her lips in a gentle caress. She guessed he expected her to raise her business flag, to hide behind the contract and their professional relationship.

For the life of her, Cecile couldn’t pull back. She wanted to feel—just one more time—the strength of powerful arms holding her against the shelter of his solid chest. Linking her fingers around his neck, she leaned against the muscled torso and relaxed, secure in his embrace.

He whirled around and danced them to the darkest corner of the dance floor. His lips slid from her temple to her closed eyelids, brushed her cheek and rested for a fleeting second achingly close to her mouth. Her breath caught in her throat as she waited and yearned for his kiss. But he pressed his cheek on top of her head and held her tightly. She swallowed a frustrated groan as she listened to the comforting thump of his heart and hung on his neck, almost forgetting to dance.

After a couple of dances, she thought she recognized an old classical music. “Is it by any chance Strangers in the Night?”

“I don’t know the name in English but it’s your Frank Sinatra’s famous song. Do you like it?”

“Well it’s kind of old.”

“Maybe old but special for us now. We are still strangers tonight. I’ll sing it for you in Russian.” Cecile forgot the goal of her trip and the illustrious identity of her companion as he hummed the classic melody with words she didn’t understand but felt deep in her heart.


Mona Risk said...

Thank you Diana for featuring me on your blog.

Barbara Monajem said...

Ulp. What if I don't have something witty to say? LOL. That's never stopped me before.

I've been meaning to read this story for quite some time. I love that the setting is so different from the usual. Thanks for the excerpt!

Mary Ricksen said...

I so enjoyed Mona's book, To Love a Hero. Who wouldn't fall in love with a man like Sergai?

Mary Marvella said...

Witty? Hey, Mona is a fab writer and this chapter would make a believer of me! But I already was one.

Diana Castilleja said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog and visiting. Happy to have you Mona. :)

Mona Risk said...

Hi Barbara, just you stopping by is so nice.

Barbara, Mary, Mary M, you are the best friends.

Mary R. I am in love with Sergei too. I have trouble believing he's not real. LOL

Diana, I'll try to stop again tomorrow if I can as I am leaving for a very long trip. Thank you so much.

Keena Kincaid said...

Oh, Mona, the general can sing to me anytime he wishes. Great excerpt. The book sounds wonderful!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Diana and Mona! Wowsa, that Sergei is so romantic. I love that he sang Strangers in the Night to her in Russian. What a mental picture that makes. Enjoyed the post.

LK Hunsaker said...

Very romantic and what great reviews!

Have a nice trip and catch inspiration while you're there. :-)

Mona Risk said...

Hi Keena, what would you say if I told you a colonel was singing to us while another played his guitar!!! I love these Belarusian officers.

Mona Risk said...

Thanks Maggie, my romantic Sergei is a mix of two colonels and one general. They made my trips unforgettable. Oh actually I should have had Sergei singing Unforgettable. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Loraine. I hope I get some inspiration and good pictures.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Mona,
Great excerpt. Sergei sounds gorgeous, my type of man.


Joanne said...

Wonderful book and wonderful excerpt. Sergei is a Russian dream.

Dayana said...

Hi, Mona, Diana!

Nice blog and interview, Diana. Mona, what can I say, woman. You know I loved the book.

If you haven't read it you will want to. A wonderful story!



Celia Yeary said...

Hi to two of my good friends--one of whom I actually know in person (Diana), and one I know via the internet(Mona). I already have To Love a Hero--I won it!! But haven't read it yet. Alas, I have been away, and as soon as I catch up, I'll read it--I chose it, because I've read excerpts through The Book Spa (I'm one of the 4 moderators)and it intrigued me. Congratulations, Mona, on the wonderful success you've had so far. Celia

Mona Risk said...

Margaret, I am sure you will love Sergei. Especially if he serenades you. LOL

I alreday started my trip.Looking forward to try the tam-tam (tim-tam?? not sure of the name and the Pavlova. Yummy

Mona Risk said...

Joanne I know you remember it from our beginners' days.

Mona Risk said...

Dayna, sweetie. YOU made my day. Thank you.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Celia- I am looking forward to your review.

Mona Risk said...

Diana, I am in Los Angelos and have managed to connect to the Internet. I may try again tomorrow from Fiji. Not sure it will work. Thank you so much for having me on your blog as a featured author.

Diana Castilleja said...

Thank you Mona for sharing the day with us. It had made it lively. :) Thank you to everyone who has come by to support Mona. It was wonderful to see everyone and make new friends.

Have a safe trip to Fiji

Sandy said...

Hi Mona,

It sounds like a lovely story with a wonderful hero and heroine.

Great reviews.

Diana, you have a really good site, and I like your slides.