Years ago, in a different life as director of analytical chemistry, I won a contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus. During my fifteen visits to Minsk, capital of Belarus, I worked with colonels and generals, was invited to their homes and became friend with their wives.
My new book, PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN highlights the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusian officers who sing, toast with vodka and make you forget the frigid weather of a Belarusian winter.
The first time Colonel Eugene invited me and two my colleagues to his home, I was surprised by the lovely reception prepared for us. Col. Eugene lives with his wife and two daughters in a small two bed-room on the third floor of an apartment building. The entrance door is through a courtyard on a back street. The colonel led me to a narrow dark elevator where only two people could fit. My two companions climbed the stairs.
In front the apartment, I stared at the door. It consisted of double set of doors lined with thick leather, with an empty space between the double doors. Eugene unlocked the door with a sculpted bronze key and explained that such doors were excellent for sound proofing and privacy from KGB eavesdropping. Later one of my companions added. “These doors are a special privilege for high ranking personalities.” Too bad I don’t have a picture of such doors.
Natasha, Eugene’s wife, had prepared a lavish reception in her small living room that doubled into dining room. A hand-embroidered tablecloth covered a long table set with lovely china. At night, the girls used the multi-purpose room as bedroom after removing the folding table and opening the sofa. Our host introduced his daughters, Katia, a student in medical school, and Daria, still in high school. Like their father, the girls spoke fluent English and served as interpreter for their mother.
I sat on the worn-out burgundy velvet sofa under the bay window. Eugene removed shot glasses from the cherry wood wall-to-wall unit and filled them with the traditional vodka and handed us the full glasses.
Natasha set several plates of home-cooked hors d’oeuvres on the table, orange caviar, sausage, raw ilk, (yes raw, a delicacy) and black bread. With a bright smile, Eugene raised his glass. “As you well know by now, in Belarus, we greet our friends with a toast. Nazhtrovia, moy drouk, my American friends.”
I cautiously sipped my drink until I got used to the fiery liquid. My cheeks burned and my eyes tickled but toasting was unofficially included in my job description,
Later the girls helped their mother with the dinner, stuffed cabbage, roasted chicken, potato pancake. Eugene poured more vodka. I made sure my glass remained almost full.
After dinner, he brought his guitar and sang Russian songs to entertain us. Natasha and the girls joined him after bringing a delicious dessert, some bread pudding, and strong coffee that reminded me of Espresso or Turkish coffee. We stayed past midnight singing and drinking.We regularly ate at Eugene’s place or at other officers and always had a blast. By the way, most of the women were named Natasha.
Blurb for Rx IN RUSSIAN:
An American Pediatrician / A Russian Surgeon
A woman who lost a son and frantically avoids marriage and family
A man with four adorable sons who badly need a mother
Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?
"Risk does a wonderful job establishing the setting by sharing the customs, food, and climate of Belarus with the reader. Her rich details bring a wonderful authenticity to the story... Risk's writing is crisp and easy to read, engaging the reader on the first page...What makes PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN shine is the rich characterization... The story is sophisticated for romance readers and the love scene is tasteful, evoking a rich, sensual chemistry that Jillian and Fyodor share... PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN is a lush, international contemporary romance you can't put down".
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with passion.
BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.
Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.