Cruising the Baltic Sea: Bruges

Bruges is a bustling port, a historic and vibrant city, known as the Venice of the North because of its network of canals.

Walking through the old city

Visiting the lace shops–lace is the specialty of Bruges together with beer.

At a brewery.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood.

Visiting Bruges by horse carriage.

Visiting Bruges by boat.

Visiting Bruges by boat.


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Would you like to go on a cruise?

What a question! I bet anyone would answer, “Of course, I’d like to go on a cruise, if I could.”

Well, prepare to sail with me on a voyage of discovery where we will be introduced to spectacular vistas, visit new sites with historical significance, experience new cultures and fresh perspectives.

Are you ready? For fourteen days we will live on the ship for a memorable Baltic Sea cruise. Of course, when I travel I always bring my Kindle, loaded with new books to read.

We sail from Southampton, England, a port on the English Channel, located at about two hours from Heathrow Airport, London. The cruise line guarantees a stress-free vacation–as much as possible. No need to rent a car or call a taxi to drive to the port. Usually agents from the cruise line receive you at the airport and lead you to a bus. Once you entrust your luggage to the bus driver, they are safe. You will find them on the ship at the door of your state room.

In spite of an uncomfortable long night in the plane, our traveling companions present a  smile of joyful anticipation and stare at the window to catch a glimpse of the British countryside.

Soon we arrive at the terminal where our ship is docked. During check-in, we receive two plastic cards that become our ID cards aboard, room keys and credit cards. Nothing beats the exhilaration we feel while striding along the jet-bridge, the gangway, leading to the ship. Boarding the ship is my favorite moment, the beginning of the cruise.

When all crew and passengers are on-board, we attend the Passenger Muster Drill and learn the basics of safety on a ship and emergency evacuation, after which the ship departs while a band plays on the top deck. I love watching the ship moving away from the dock and starts its journey.

Visiting the old city of Bruges and sailing through the many canals.

During the Baltic Sea cruise, our first day stop is in Belgium with an excursion to the historic old city of Bruges.

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Fascination with Royalty

We all grew up listening to fairy tales as bedtime stories or special treat, or even as a mean to keep an active child quiet for a moment. But many grownups are also fascinated by celebrity gossip and princess stories.

If you browse through Yahoo or Google, you will find a daily article about the British royals–the latest dress or hat worn by Duchess Kate, an adorable pictures of little Prince George and his sister, or even the amorous escapades of Prince Harry.

Remember the incredible success of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot?

The inspiration for A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL
While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel. This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became Rensy Island, the setting of my new story. Prince Paul’s romance was inspired by Prince William and Kate’s, but my heroine is a dedicated American doctor.


The reigning Prince of Rensy Island is very sick. To secure the future of his country he decides to match his grandson Paul with the American descendant of a Rensian princess.

Prince Paul is a successful businessman who leads a jet set life and often feeds the tabloids with juicy gossip. And he’s the last person who would let anyone manipulate him into an arranged marriage. Yet to please his dying grandfather, Paul agrees to meet the young woman in Paris and drives her around without revealing his title or goal.

Dr. Amy Tyrone has been planning a vacation to celebrate her appointment as a fellow in pediatrics at Harvard. When her boyfriend refuses to accompany her because of a medical conference cruise, she reassesses their lukewarm relationship and travels to Paris without him.

Attraction sizzles between Paul and Amy and soon turns into an irresistible passion. But Amy is a dedicated pediatrician who puts her patients and career above all else. When the ruling prince’s health fails, Paul and Amy are summoned to Rensy Island. To Amy’s shock, their engagement is announced.

Will Paul be able to convince Amy that he sincerely loves her?

How can she abandon her patients for his crown?

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