Mamma Mia On Crete

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(*Update:  Book release date April 30, 2019)

Writing a book is like birthing a baby.   Except the labor has been over two years long.  There were moments I literally screamed, “I CAN’T DO THIS!” but it was there inside me demanding to be born.  And I knew that the labor would produce a happy ending.  A beautiful reflection of my soul.  Or at least I hope so.

Things are moving fast now and I’m “pushing” to the end of this project.  Manuscript edits are completed, as well as cover design and back cover text.

And I have a name picked out:

Uniquely Crete:  Life Redefined on a Greek Island.

Now the big push for book release this summer.*  Then comes the hard work…announcing to the world that my baby is out there for everyone to see…and love.  Of course, I’m fully aware that not everyone will see my baby in the same glowing light as me.   But I don’t care.  I’m a proud (and exhausted) mama.

More to come on that later….

As I was writing this travel memoir I had so many flashbacks to my years of living on Crete and many opportunities to revisit this island both in my mind and in the flesh.


On one of my recent visits back to Crete, I sat down with a friend who immigrated there from Zimbabwe when she was just 22 years old.

Meet Jeannie – a modern day Mamma Mia.  An entrepreneur with a flair for hospitality.

Jeannie always had a heart for the sea and dreamed of living by the water someday.  When she turned twenty-two, she packed up everything she owned, immigrated to Crete and started looking for a job in Hania. She cleaned hotels, waitressed, cooked and was a self-proclaimed “jack-of-all-trades.”

“I pride myself on being a very positive thinker.  I could be mopping floors and be thinking about new ideas for my next venture.”

She married a local Greek when she was twenty-four, but even when that ended in divorce, she stayed “because of the love of Crete, not a man.”

Never one to sit still, Jeannie took odd jobs, eventually landing in management positions at various resorts.  Her newest venture is managing and promoting the Clio resort hotel outside of Hania.


When I lived on Crete, the Clio was a tired deserted-looking hotel in an absolutely stunning location.  I remember thinking, “This place just really needs some love.”  Jeannie thought the same thing.  Only she did something about it.  When the owner announced he was going to close down the Clio for good, Jeannie approached him and said, “Take a chance on me.”  (Cue music from Mamma Mia.)

Today, the Clio is a vibrant but quiet retreat with spotless rooms and view to die for.  There’s no better place to view the sunset.

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Jeannie’s secret to success?  “Believing! I focus my attention on what I want to do, see the  opportunity and take it.  I don’t hold back. I’m always looking forward, not back.  And when I hit a snag, I get through with prayer. I believe my difficulties are what make me strong and that I am a winner with God on my side.  My confidence comes from deep inside because I believe.”

Great advice for a writer.








17 thoughts on “Mamma Mia On Crete

  1. Elaine Howe

    More power to you Gal I can’t wait to get the book when it is published Bev would (and always was) be so proud of you In just your writing I feel so much of her Let me know when the book hits the market

    I am leaving July 22 until after Labor Day Going to my sons in Nevada They are hosting my 2 great grandsons 8 and 10 this summer so I will get to see them The boys return to Ohio and then over Labor Day Emily, Justin and my dear great granddaughter, Ada 3 will come there for a visit You met them in CO That means the only other great grandchild I will miss is Marilyn Elaine 2 in Ohio Have never seen her but hope I can in the future Isn’t life a blessing?

    On Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 8:24 AM, Melanie A Crane wrote:

    > Melanie A Crane posted: ” Writing a book is like birthing a baby. Except > the labor has been over two years long and at times painful. There were > moments I literally screamed, “I CAN’T DO THIS!” but it was there inside me > demanding to be born. And I knew that the labor would ” >


    1. Melanie A Crane

      Thanks so much, Reg and Daph. We are planning on a book promotion trip to the UK and Crete next spring. Let’s stay in touch!


  2. Gail

    Mel, I’ve been looking forward to your “baby” arriving for so long and it’s almost here! Your writing has always been so well done and you paint pictures of the places you love beautifully. You sure have what it takes to have your book be an exciting addition to anyone’s library. Can’t wait to feel it in my hand and open that cover❤️


  3. Melanie A Crane

    You “get” me, Jeannie. My memories of Crete and the people there have nurtured my heart and filled my soul even over time and across miles. See you next spring on the island!


  4. Jana L. Brosman

    My husband & I spent a month, October to November in 1984 on Crete. Most hotels were closing for the winter. It was cold. We toured around the island by bus. I am sure much has changed since then, the Drachma to the Euro, higher cost of living. I think Crete is more important than the more popular tourist destinations. Thank you, Melanie, for bringing back so many great memories.


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