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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Island of Delos by Margot Justes

About a thirty minute ferry ride from Mykonos is the island of Delos. And what an island it is.
Uninhabited, that is not exactly true-there are approximately 25 people living there), but they are either archeologists or security personnel.
The island is bare, there are no snack shops, no hotels, no restaurants, the wind can whip up in a quick frenzy, it is in fact quite desolate. There is a museum where you can buy books and other Delos souvenirs, but that is the extent of the touristy trade.
What makes this island unique are the ruins. Amazing ruins. The whole island is covered with them. It is an immense site and one not easily forgotten.
Delos is said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Archeological traces indicate the island was inhabited as early as 3000 B.C. Some of the ruins are so well preserved that you can actually imagine what the structures looked like and how they were utilized.
From the Doric Temple of Isis to the Archaic Lions, the mosaic floors, the sites are truly inspiring.
Off the beaten path, I observed an archeologist crouched on a low portable chair, a pad and pencil in hand as he meticulously measured something on the ground and then put it on paper. I snuck up on him and watched as he quietly continued his research. Time stood still and the serenity on the island was disturbed only by the fierce wind.
If you ever find yourself in Mykonos, do take the time to visit Delos. I promise, you will not be disappointed, you will in fact be enthralled. Wear comfortable shoes, the terrain is brutal.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mykonos by Margot Justes

The water lapping the shore, the beaches along the coast primed for tourists, the cafes and restaurants all facing the deep blue water, the caress of a gentle breeze, the radiant sun warming your soul; all is well with the world. At least the world of Mykonos.

I only spent about three very short hours in Mykonos, but they were memorable hours. I walked the length of the beach in the center of town and of course stopped in the obligatory shops, just because you have to stop, it's the touristy thing to do, and never let it be said I'm not a tourist. Nor were the cafes neglected, just in case there were any questions about my coffee addiction, I happen to love Greek coffee, sweet. Very sweet.
It has been said that Mykonos is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. It's history is vague, but somewhere around 1207 and 1390 the island was ceded to Ghisi family. There is also a record that at some point in time the inhabitants turned to piracy. By the 18th century the island established an economic presence and today tourists provide a great deal of economic prosperity. Of course there is more to the rich and vibrant island, but I'm only writing a blog.
There are some 400 churches on the island, the most renowned is the Virgin Paraportiani, and of course let's not forget the famous Windmills, as they beckon the ferries, boats, ships and anything else floating in the water. Up close and personal they are huge and oddly welcoming.
Next week, the reason I only spent three hours in Mykonos-the island of Delos-an island like no other.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Burt Wolf and Me by Margot Justes

It would appear I have wonder lust, or better yet travel lust. There is that itch begging me to go somewhere exotic. To be sure cruising the Mexican Riviera will be pure vacation, visiting the ports, relaxing, swimming, all the great stuff. But I wouldn't mind living out of a suitcase on a more permanent basis. And more to the point, in my next life I would love to come back as a female version of Burt Wolf.

This very elegant man who travels all over the world, has a terrific sense of humor, stays in the best hotels, eats in the best restaurants, writes his own stuff, seems to have a marvelous time and he gets paid for doing it. What a career.

I have watched his shows for many years and have greatly enjoyed every one. He provides a glimpse of the local culture, food, art, places to see and things to do, and everything is done with great style.

So, in this life I'm preparing myself for future possibilities and during the cruise I will write a daily blog while cruising on Royal Caribbean, the ports we'll visit and of course the ever present food on board ship.

But in the meantime, next week, I'll start writing about the Greek Islands, starting with Mykonos. Purely to quiet down the yen to pack and go somewhere. Maybe it work.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is for Librarians and Booksellers and friends of the above mentioned, this way if you know a Librarian and/or bookseller, you can extend an invitation to the Bookseller-Librarian Appreciation Reception at the Chicago North RWA Spring Fling 2010. (That is a mouthful).

I volunteered to help with this event, and somehow wound up chairing it. Odd, that.

Below is the information you will need:

Chicago North Chapter of RWA Spring Fling 2010 Conference
Bookseller-Librarian Appreciation reception
Friday, April 23, 2010
7:30-9:30 pm
Hyatt Deerfield
1750 Lake Cook Road Deerfield, IL 60001

Sign up for this FREE event at the conference by visiting
then fill out the RSVP form.

Our guest of honor is Cherry Adair and Julia Quinn, and the warm welcome will include our fabulous chocolate reception, we know how well chocolate and romance go together.
And if you register by March 30th you will receive a goody bag full of books and other surprises.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at

Till next Time,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Resolutions by Margot Justes

I tend not to make resolutions because I never keep them, usually by the third day, it’s gone. The most common one is a diet…I wonder how many of us after the non-stop eating during the long holiday season are saying that at this very moment. Our family holiday season starts with Halloween and ends in the New Year. Two long months.

Okay, I’ll admit it’s on my list. Not a resolution exactly, but I brought the South Beach Diet book from my office to the kitchen table. And I started this morning, but still have Chinese food left over and tomorrow we’re taking our son-in-law for his birthday celebration and it is a delightful and delicious buffet at Pinstripes in Glenview. There goes the diet.

I also booked a ten day cruise to the Mexican Riviera, and if you have cruised, you know that food is available practically round the clock and it is plentiful. Absolutely no diet. But to offset the food, there is plenty to do, walking and swimming which I love, lessons in ballroom dancing and even belly dancing; there are activities to keep the pounds at bay however, there are also deck chairs, a library and a couple of books I plan to bring with me, not exactly a strenuous exercise but absolutely necessary.

Back to resolutions, this year I hope to keep the only true one I made; to learn more about this fascinating world of internet promoting, our very own Morgan Mandel is a mistress, and I plan to learn from her.

I know I’ll keep this one after all I have a novel and a novella to sell.

Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1
available on