One Week left for my book to be released by Cerridwen Press

By Mona Risk
Available January 17, 2008

I can’t believe it!!! In seven days only, my book will be up for sale at Cerridwen Press. My first book. The book of my heart.

It all started ten years ago. In a different life, I was Director of the Analytical Division of an environmental company. I supervised a staff of chemists performing analytical tests and worked on various government contracts. A monotonous predictable life that suddenly changed when I won a contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus.

I traveled fifteen times to Minsk, capital of Belarus, and was able to appreciate the Belarussian hospitality. I worked with colonels and generals, directors and chemists, and even journalists. I was invited to theirs homes and became friend with their wives. During the inauguration of the lab we were featured on their national TV several times. Needless to say, I fell in love with the country.

Five years later, I took an early retirement to write my first book, TO LOVE A HERO. Through my novel, I lived again my fantastic trips to Belarus. My story highlights the warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarussians officers who sing, toast with vodka and make a woman feel like a goddess.


The hero, Major General Sergei Fedorin has pledged to cleanup his country of the nuclear pollution that killed his wife and threatens his nation with cancer. American aid allows him to start his mission by refurbishing an old military laboratory. The patriotic Sergei is a true hero in his country, an alpha man who protects millions of citizens, a controlled public figure watched and scrutinized by everyone, admired and revered but not allowed to breathe, or love, or live a personal life. He accepts it all because of his love for Belarus.


When the lovely American chemist stumbles on the escalator of the airport straight into his arms, Sergei has more on his mind than nuclear pollution.

Raised in boarding schools, Cecile learned to fend for herself at an early age. She buried her loneliness under long hours of study and work. Now she’s determined to excel in her first international contract. So many people are watching over her shoulders: her boss at EAL; John Thomes, the government auditor who came with her to Belarus; the chauvinistic Belarussians officers; the treacherous Colonel Roussov who would go to any length to destroy Sergei; and especially Rob, her ex-fiancĂ©, the sleaze ball who snatched her promotion at EAL. Nothing can detract her from her mission


In Belarus, a Russian country dominated by male chauvinism and intrigues, Cecile finds much more chemistry than she bargains for, and in the arms of General Sergei, she learns that chemicals are not the only things that can generate heat.

I had a lot of fun writing this story and I hope you will discover a new country and interesting culture while reading TO LOVE A HERO.

Some of my personal experiences are related in my book. I even included my fall on the broken escalator of the airport. I was rescued by my lab manager while my heroine (the smart woman) fell into the arm of a hero to die for, the handsome Major General Sergei who made her pulse race and stole her heart.


"Welcome to Minsk International Airport," the loud speaker announced as the aircraft bounced on the runway before coming to a halt.

Cecile Lornier rubbed her ringless finger, her spirit buoyant with triumph. "Belarus, here I come. Finally," she whispered, her nose pressed against the plane window for a first look at the remote little country, located south of Russia. Not much to see. But the gloomy sight of gray sky, barren trees and drizzling rain couldn't dim the joy that exploded in her heart. After a twelve-hour flight, she'd made it to Minsk. In spite of her ex-fiancé's dirty dealing. For the millionth time, she cursed Rob Spenser, the worthless creep who'd snatched her promotion and almost foiled her first international assignment.

With a sigh of relief, she hung her purse on her arm and collected her hand luggage to exit the plane. Dragging her carry-on suitcases, she proceeded up the bumpy ramp of the jetway boarding bridge.

A group of people clustered in front of a sign affixed on the sidewall. Russian or Belarussian? Might as well be Chinese as far as I'm concerned. Unable to decipher the foreign script, Cecile shrugged and followed the line of passengers through the arrival gate, toward an escalator.

As if this rickety machine could be called a mechanical escalator. The uneven steps jolted with a grinding noise, bouncing and shuddering downward. Cecile scanned the area for an elevator or stairway. There were none in sight. Was she expected to negotiate this crooked roller coaster with her luggage in hand?Apparently, yes. The passengers were carefully holding the railing, men helping their female companions and children as they went down. She eyed the rattletrap contraption. Her first taste of Belarussian obsolete technology. This was exactly why her company had been chosen to help modernize the local environmental laboratory.

A military officer dressed in khaki passed her. Cecile's gaze fixed on his large back and decorated epaulets. He was tall, solid. A brick wall of a man. The wobbly escalator didn't seem to bother him but then he didn't have two suitcases hindering his movements.

Cecile bit her lip, imagining the sneer on Rob's face if he could see her now, hesitating so long in front of the first step of her mission. Literally the very first step. She shifted her two carry-ons to her left hand and followed the officer onto the jerking stairway, hoping for the best. Wishful thinking. Her short heel caught between the steps of the damned escalator. Gripping the railing for dear life, she let her luggage slip out of her hand as she pitched forward.

"Welcome to Minsk…" the airport speaker roared in broken English.

A sturdy back blocked her fall. The officer turned and circled her waist with brawny arms, welding her to his rock-hard frame. She stopped moving, stopped thinking, stopped breathing, until the officer lowered her to stable ground as they reached the end of the escalator.

Her head still pillowed against the muscular chest, she took a breath, inhaling the scent of soap and spicy cologne. She was alive all right and oddly secure in this stranger's arms.

He said something in his native language. She tilted her head back. Her gaze collided with deep- blue eyes shadowed by long, black lashes. Still floating in a peculiar haze, Cecile squirmed to free herself. She gasped for air to clear her head and squeaked, "I'm sorry."

He stared at her, a glint of interest under the scowling eyebrows. "Americanka?" His baritone voice echoed against the metallic escalator's crunch. "Here, let me help you."


  1. Kelly Kirch // January 10, 2008 at 10:10 AM  

    Hi Mona!!! (waving madly) I'm so excited for your book to come out. From my interview for you to this, it all sounds so wonderful.

  2. Mona Risk // January 10, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

    Thank you, Kelly. I can't wait for D-Day in a week. I started the countdown.

  3. Anny Cook // January 10, 2008 at 11:35 AM  

    Congrats, Mona! Looking good!

  4. Beth Trissel // January 10, 2008 at 11:54 AM  

    Great excerpt, Mona. Well crafted and promises to be an intriguing read. Mega congrats!
    Cheering you on,
    Fellow Fuzzy

  5. Cindy Spencer Pape // January 10, 2008 at 12:09 PM  

    The more I see of this one, the more I want to read it Mona! Great job!

  6. Amarinda Jones // January 10, 2008 at 1:31 PM  

    I am hanging out for this release. I love everything from the cover to the excerpts.

  7. Mona Risk // January 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

    Thank you Kelly, Anny, Beth,Cindy, AJ. I am on an emotional roller coaster with the release of this book on one hand and a rejection from another publisher that threw me in self-doubt mode for a couple of days. Thank you for being around while I am learning the skills of promoting a first book.

  8. Mary Marvella // January 10, 2008 at 10:49 PM  

    Looks like a winner, Mona!
    No wonder you're so excited.

  9. Beth Trissel // January 10, 2008 at 11:07 PM  

    Don't let that negative publisher get you down, Mona. You're doing great.

  10. Joanne // January 11, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

    Congratulations, Mona. This is such an exciting time for you, and very well-deserved.
    I wish you mega success!

  11. Nightingale // January 11, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

    This must be a marvelously exciting time for you! I'm applauding you (hear?). The book should do very well. In keeping with my quote of today by my beloved Wilde, it is a well-written book!

  12. Sandra Cox // January 12, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

    Can't wait to read this one.

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