Archive for the ‘self-discovery’ Category

Rozsa Gaston - Author

Buda Romance Kindle cover 6-20-15Publishers Weekly weighs in on my Dec. 2014 latest release Budapest Romance in its June 22, 2015 issue:

“The traditional healing properties and beauty of the thermal spa baths still enjoyed throughout Budapest are the true stars of this thoughtful romance.”—Publishers Weekly


Budapest Romance is now available on all major online retail sites. Thank you, Publishers Weekly, for this greatest of all honors, a review in the publishing industry’s most respected news magazine.

Readers—for those of you who read and post a short review of my tender romance set in Budapest’s thermal bath spas, I will be delighted to send you an eBook thank you gift of your choice of any of my other books.

Enjoy and stay playful. —Rozsa Gaston


Széchenyi Baths front façade, Budapest

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Carcassonne 2-5-15, p. 1Carcassonne by Rozsa Gaston for Westchester Guardian, 2-5-15

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“They all had that private club, private school aura about them. Like they knew something other people didn’t. She wanted to claw their eyes out.”

What was Farrah’s problem?

JLo in a 2004 Vogue spread exudes qualities Farrah wishes she had, but doesn't

JLo in a 2004 Vogue spread exudes qualities Farrah wishes she had, but doesn’t

Excerpt from Running from Love:

“So you’re not a trust fund kid,” he said, hoping he didn’t
sound like he was fishing.

“No way,” she snapped then caught herself. “I mean—no—
I’m not. No one is where I come from.” She put her hand up
to her face, nervously smoothing a wisp of hair from her cheek.

“What about you?” she asked, looking guarded.

“I grew up with a lot of them, but I wasn’t one.” He locked
eyes with her. If only she knew how happy he was that she wasn’t one either.

Kentucky Derby participant captures the private club aura

Some know how to exude the private club aura better than others

“Did you want to be?” she asked, intuitively.

“Sometimes I thought I did,” he responded truthfully, surprising
himself. “What about you? Did you?”

“I didn’t even know what a trust fund kid was until a few
years ago. Then I found out the hard way.” She looked away,
shifting in her seat.

“So you bumped into one.”

“Not exactly.” Farrah’s eyes flamed again, this time with

“Let me guess. You dated one, and it didn’t work out.”

“I dated someone who left me for one.” She clapped her hand
over her mouth, then released it. “Never mind. I didn’t mean to tell you that.”

Jacqueline de Ribes knows how to get across private club membership. Farrah's not quite there yet.

Jacqueline de Ribes knows how to get across private club membership. Farrah’s not quite there yet.

“I’m glad you did. So the guy made off with a trust-fund babe? Let me guess. Someone with rich parents who works at an art gallery or in public relations?”

“P.R. How did you know?” Farrah looked astonished.

“Her father works in finance or law, and her mother is an interior decorator or kindergarten teacher at a private school and sits on a board.”

“That’s—you’re—how do you know all this?” she stammered, looking as adorable as she did vulnerable as she stared at him. She didn’t lack the wound.

End excerpt from Running from Love by Rozsa Gaston

What wine would you sip while contemplating this quote?

Contemplating the concept of exclusion suggests sipping on something just a bit more exclusive than usual, then enjoying the company of one’s own private club while savoring it. Are you the only member? Even more exclusive.

St. Germain liquerI would recommend a St. Germain cocktail: the simplest imaginable combination of 4 oz. of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc topped off by 1 oz. of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. This delicate yet heady elderflower liqueur delights the taste buds, ushering one into a state of refinement after a single sip.

Serve St. Germain cocktails as an aperitif to kick off your next social event. Your guests will think you have very good taste and want very much to join your club. Let them.

The way you will feel after sipping a St. Germain cocktail

The way you will feel after sipping a St. Germain cocktail

Don’t forget, darlings—if you don’t have time to read these days, download Running from Love audiobook and listen to Jude’s and Farrah’s story on your commute or while you work out.

Decorated arch, Gellert Spa Baths, Budapest

Decorated arch, Gellert Spa Baths, Budapest

Next week we will take a look at thermal bath spas in Budapest to set the stage for my upcoming release Budapest Romance.

Must run now. I’ve got a date at the club.

Playfully yours,

Rozsa Gaston


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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz is a simply amazing book. Diaz’s full quote is as follows:
“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”

Diaz’s writing so so fresh, so alive that reading his books is more like hanging out at an edgy downtown club where you’re a little excited and a little uncomfortable all at the same time. His other book, This is How you Lose Her 2This is How You Lose Her, is also full of life, spice, and tragi-comic wisdom. I’ll never write like Diaz but because I’ve read him, I’m a different writer. Reading his work will change you: that’s how good he is.

Fresh, darlings. When they talk about a writer having a unique voice, Junot Diaz is IT. Read him and learn, read him and hate his characters and the world they inhabit. Most of all, read him and wonder why reading feels different when you’re caught up in Diaz’s tales. Maybe it’s because Diaz is actually a poet who writes novels.

What would you sip while contemplating this quote?

I wouldn’t need to drink a thing while reading Diaz because reading his books means drinking in words. However, while contemplating “The only way out is in” from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (referring to Oscar Wilde, pronounced Dominican-style), I might choose something equally paradoxical. A wine that combines opposites, for example, a Frenzy Pinot Noir.  Smooth yet spicy.  About $11.99 a bottle and drastically under priced.  Hard to find. Look for it.

Look for my books too. Paris Adieu for those of you with a taste for all things French and an adult coming-of-age story; Running from Love for runners and lovers, or my latest book, Lyric, to find out how a former hedge fund marketer finds happiness in a simpler life.

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Jesus on Cross 3-29-13

Santa Barbara Mission crucifix, made in Italy

You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd,

You, Lord, are both prince and slave.

You, peacemaker and sword bringer,

Of the way you took and gave.

You the everlasting instant;

You, whom we both scorn and crave.

Clothed in light upon the mountain,

Stripped of might upon the cross,

Shining in eternal glory,

Beggared by a soldier’s toss,

You, the everlasting instant,

You, who are both gift and cost!

You, who walk each day beside us,

Sit in power at God’s side.

You, who preach a way that’s narrow,

Have a love that reaches wide.

You, the everlasting instant;

You, who are our pilgrim guide.

Worthy is our earthly Jesus!

Worthy is our cosmic Christ!

Worthy your defeat and victory.

Worthy still your peace and strife.

You the everlasting instant

You, who are our death and life.

-Sylvia Dunstan

Sylvia DunstanSylvia Dunstan (1955-1993) was early encouraged by her family in her love of music and song, and she began studying with Sister St. Gregory in St. Joseph’s Convent near her home. She began writing songs in her teens, finding inspiration in the Catholic liturgical music of the early 1970s in the style of Ray Repp and the Medical Mission Sisters. One of the Mission Sisters, Sister Miriam Therese Winter, helped her learn how to write Scripture-based folk songs. Michael Hawn quotes Dunstan about these songs, “Most of these songs are now under a well-deserved and merciful curtain of oblivion,” and Dunstan moved on to concentrate on composing hymn texts rather than music.

Dunstan earned a bachelor degree from York University and received graduate degrees in theology and divinity from Emmanuel College, Toronto. She was ordained by the United Church of Canada in 1980, served as a prison chaplain for ten years, as editor of the Canadian worship resource journal, Gathering, and went on to serve as minister at the Malvern Emmanuel United Church in Scarborough, Ontario.

At the 1990 summer conference of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, she was invited to lead a session exploring her hymnody. The Hymn Society released a collection of thirty-seven of her hymns and three gospel songs titled In Search of Hope and Grace in 1990. A second collection of seventeen hymns, Where the Promise Shines, was published posthumously by GIA Publications in 1995.

In March 1993 Sylvia Dunstan was diagnosed with liver cancer, and she died four months later on July 25 at the young age of thirty-eight. Her reputation continues to grow as one of the leading hymn writers of the twentieth century, and her work appears increasingly in published hymnals and choral works.

From http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/hymn-studies/resource/you-lord-are-both-lamb-and-shepherd-christus-paradox

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Nancy Moon rides the waves
Nancy Moon rides the waves

Surf’s up – get playful.

March’s debut heralds spring’s arrival. Throw off those February doldrums and get playful. You.

What’s that? You spend all your time helping others so you can’t find time to play? Care giving at both ends of the generational spectrum? Tired of everything, starting with yourself?

Stop boring me to tears. Get up from your desk, get outside, and get playful. That’s an order.

Here’s a babe who knows how to do just that. Does this chick look like she’s sitting around compiling a grocery list for dinner? Don’t think so. The Moon Girl is in the moment, following her bliss. What about you?

Facing the wave
Facing the wave

By the way, Moon Girl is not twenty-five years old or under. She just looks like she is because she feels like she is. Not all the time, but at the moment these images capture.

Can’t afford to drop everything and take a trip to a surfing destination, never mind that you don’t know how to surf? That’s not an excuse.

Moon Girl glows in golden sun
Moon Girl glows in golden sun

Get out there and get some sun on your face. Today. That’s right, go out and greet Mr. Golden Sun and feel the vitamin D pour into your soul, filling every cell of your body with vitality. It’s easy, really.

The sun glows golden in the late afternoon right before it begins to descend. It’s a bit like the way the French refer to a woman of a certain age as “une femme mûre” or “a ripe woman.” The French highly admire attractive women in their golden late afternoon chapter. Many Americans do too. Connoissieurs of finely seasoned beauty can be found in many unexpected places. Find out more in Chapter Ten of Paris Adieu.

Did you see that man on the corner giving you the eye as you sauntered past? What? You didn’t notice? Next time you take a walk, saunter. Find your inner French femme. When you start to do that, the connoissieurs of this world will take note. Promise. You may even want to meet some of them. You won’t, if you’re in a rush.

Now back to your March marching orders. Go outside this afternoon and let the sun’s golden rays sink into your psyche. Later in the afternoon, coincident with that mid-afternoon energy slump, the sun’s rays are less bad for your skin than  between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. Have you got a packed day today? Don’t have a single second to yourself?

Fuggedaboutit. Make it happen, darling. Take ten minutes and instead of hitting the vending machine, go downstairs, out the door, and say hello to the world that is your stage. Connect with nature. Open your ears to hear what that bird is singing about. He’s heralding spring’s arrival. A few weeks early, granted, but he’s out there noticing all the signs, just as you should be.

Thumbs up to life
Moon Girl says thumbs up to life

Thumbs up to life, friends. If yours isn’t as glamorous as Moon Girl’s, remember — these shots capture just one golden afternoon. The rest of the time she’s running around like the rest of us, busy, attending to the needs of others, spilling her vitality right and left. But inside, she has bottomless energy to give. Because she knows she’s Moon Girl. Be a Moon Girl too. Follow your bliss. You owe it to yourself. Start today.

What wine would I sip while contemplating this quote?

Meiomi Pinot NoirSomething brand new that I JUST discovered, mes chères. It’s  a vintage 2011 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties.  Ruby styling, luscious blackberry notes, sexy and satisfying. A delightful companion to thoughts of surfing off California’s most notable coastal areas. That Meiomi name?  It means “coast” in the language of the California Wappo tribe. A wapping fine wine from Belle Glos wines. About $24 per bottle.

Playfully yours,


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Be extraordinary today. You owe it to yourself.

Rozsa knee hang free arms swing 2-16-13_crop

Attending trapeze school at Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic last week gave me a chance to be extraordinary. Give yourself a chance to be extraordinary too. Join me here on the adventure of the trapeze then move in your own direction and find your own moment to be extraordinary.

Let’s walk through the steps for our beginning trapeze experience. First, we climb the ladder.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Up on the platform, we experience our first terrifying moment, especially as the platform sways in the wind. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Immediately two cables are hooked onto either side of our tightly cinched safety belt. We have a brief second of relief followed by another moment of sheer terror when the instructors tell us to let go of the cable with our right arm, lean forward out into space and grab the trapeze.  KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThis horrifying moment is then magnified one hundredfold by the next command. “Let go of the cable and grab the trapeze with your remaining arm.” Once you’ve accomplished this, you are committed. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAReady?

I wasn’t either. The instructors tell you to hop off the platform the moment they say “Hep!” What nerve! Of course I did no such thing, so you can imagine my shock when they then pushed me off the platform. HELP!!!!KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Here I look lame as I basically hang on for my life. RG swings 2-16-13_cropThe next task is the most difficult of the entire exercise. At the EXACT moment the instructors yell “tuck!” you tuck your knees up to your chest and try to get your toe under the trapeze bar. RG trapeze 2-16-13_cropOnce you’ve accomplished the toehold, you’re golden. After two rounds of severe humiliation, I managed the toehold on my third attempt. What a great feeling!Rozsa trapeze2-15-13 Once the knees are hooked on, you think you have pretty much accomplished everything you need to do for the rest of your life. But just when you are feeling fabulous about yourself, the instructors yell “Hands off bar and swing!” What cheek. As if I hadn’t already done enough. After the terrifying second when you let go of the trapeze with both arms and realize you are not dead, this is your moment to look even more fabulous than the less glamorous knee hook moment. Here I am pointing my fingers in order to make my accomplishment look even more technically sophisticated.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This is truly the moment to take wing like a swan, so let’s review that very first image again as I soar backward and arch my back. Do you see how masterfully I’ve managed to point both index fingers? Sheer genius, no?Rozsa knee hang free arms swing 2-16-13_crop

The next incredible accomplishment is the back flip dismount. Yes. Really. The instructors yell at you to kick your legs forward, backward, then forward with force and let go of the trapeze. Again, what cheek. RG trapeze knee tuck 2-16-13_cropA formidable back flip ensues, thanks to the instructors pulling on your cables, and voila! you end up on the safety net, hopefully in a respectable standing position.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA After you again realize you survived and are now on your feet, you dismount the safety net with a neat forward flip that looks fairly impressive.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

On solid ground again, your body literally shakes with pride of accomplishment. Or happiness to still be alive. Not only are you alive, but you are blissfully alive.

Rozsa and Ava Gaston with Dominican beauty

Rozsa and Ava Gaston with Dominican beauty

What wine would I sip while contemplating the art of the trapeze?

I would skip wine altogether and drink an ice cold Presidente. That’s the blonde Pilsner-type beer of choice in the Dominican Republic. The second I finished my final trapeze round each day coincided with the start of cocktail hour (trapeze school for adults at Club Med Punta Cana runs from 4-6 pm daily).  At 5 p.m. after my final extraordinary trapeze feat for the day, I would head straight to the bar for a cold one.

With my Presidente in hand, I would then return to the trapeze area to cheer on those skilled enough to try the catch, which takes place from 5-6 p.m. only. That’s the next step up of the trapeze experience, and as you guessed, it means another trapezist catches you by the forearms the second you swing off your own trapeze.

The art of the trapeze catch is all about timing, friends. When I try it, I will share my story with you. Meanwhile, let’s sit back and sip our cold ones. Enjoy!

Playfully yours,



Paris Adieu

Running from Love

Dog Sitters


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