New Books to Look For

Posted in Bianca D'Arc, Jess Dee, New Releases on June 29, 2013 by biancadarc

As it turns out, I have a new book coming out in about three days. Here are the details:

The Dragon Healer by Bianca D'ArcThe Dragon Healer

What’s better than a knight sweeping you off your feet? Two knights.

Silla is a healer riding circuit on the border, helping those in need. When she hears the pained cries of a dragon in distress, she comes to his aid, using most of her precious supplies to help the badly injured creature.

The dragon’s knight, Brodie, is fascinated by the woman – the miracle worker – who has come to help his friend. She is both beautiful and kind hearted and he quickly realizes she is his destined mate. And if she is Brodie’s mate, she is Geoff’s as well, for Brodie’s dragon was mated to Geoff’s dragon many years ago.

Geoff doesn’t believe in the tales of love at first sight among knights, but he knows that when either he or Brodie finds a wife, they will share her. Hearing about the dragon’s injury, Geoff and his dragon race to help, only to find the dragon on the mend and Brodie in bed with the most stunning woman Geoff has ever seen.

Love at first sight turns out to be real and it strikes them all as they come together and realize that no matter what the obstacles, they are meant to be together. Silla is the missing link that will join their lives and make them a true Lair family.

Warning: Knights like to get frisky and these two are no exception. Beware the passion, playfulness, a bit of bondage and a whole lot of three-way loving with a tiny bit of exhibitionism thrown in for good measure.

Pre-Order Now from AmazonBarnes & NobleSamhain

 

Winter clothes

Posted in Jess Dee on June 28, 2013 by Jess Dee

You know what I love about winter clothes?

They’re big, and bulky and long – and hide the fat!!!

(Which is a problem, coz if you don’t see the fat that’s hidden by clothes, you eat like a piggy wiggy. Or I do, anyway.)

But I digress. I’m here to talk about my favorite winter clothes, not what they hide.

Actually, it’s not the bulky stuff I love the most. It’s the accessories.

Hands down, my best thing to wear in winter are black boots. Flat boots, heeled boots, wedges – I love them all. Passionately. I cannot put on a pair of boots without feeling like a million bucks. And I don’t know what it is, but when I put on a pair of heeled boots, not only do I feel like a million bucks, I feel sexy!

These are my newest boots. They cost an untold fortune when I bought them, and then, of course went on sale two weeks later. (Murphy’s law)

Then of course, there are the snuggly, deliciously warm treats for your winter feet: Ugg boots. They’re almost as good as a hot bath on a cold night.

And, my last favorite thing to wear in winter? Scarves.

Love them. They always look awesome – smart or casual, and are incredibly effective at keeping out the cold.

And here’s the link where I found this image. Some handy dandy tips for different ways to wear a scarf.

64 days of winter to go…

But who’s counting?

Jess

Summer Clothes

Posted in Bianca D'Arc on June 27, 2013 by biancadarc

Oh boy. Summer clothes is our next topic. First, let me say, I really hate shorts. Very few people actually look good in shorts and most of them are half my age. Even when I was that young, I didn’t wear them often. So that wouldn’t be on my list of favorite summer clothing choices.

I used to really look forward to flip flop season, but in the past few years, I haven’t wanted to go through the first few weeks of painful toes before I got used to wearing them again. I’ve fallen out of the habit. Likewise, I don’t really wear sandals anymore. Not sure why. But I do still love my Keds. I love that part of summer. The little white sneakers with cute little socks.

Summer weight fabrics are nice. I enjoy switching from big, bulky sweaters to lightweight cotton, and summer dresses are lots of fun! We have a lot of beachy-themed fabrics here on Long Island. Sun dresses in all sorts of lengths. Some very flowy things that can double as beach coverups. Lots of casual wear that’s super comfy.

I’m not much of a fashion plate myself anymore. I spend a lot of time in jeans or sweats. T-shirts and light-weight printed tops. It’s nice not having to go to an office every day anymore. Wearing suits in the summer was  a serious drag. But I admit, I’ve become a bit of a slob since I don’t actually have to “go to work” anymore. I work, but I’m a comfy little slob sitting in my comfy little computer chair. And I enjoy every minute of it! 🙂

Favorite winter foods (and drinks)

Posted in Jess Dee on June 26, 2013 by Jess Dee

Ah, as much as I hate winter, so I love food. Passionately.

So while I can complain and moan about the cold until you want to smack me, one thing I can’t badmouth is winter food. Coz let’s face it, there’ s nothing quite like filling your tummy with warm, comforting, yummy food or drink on an icy day.

The problem with winter food, is the need to shove as much carbohydrate into my body as possible. Anyone else feel this way? Do you crave pasta and sauce, or breads and toast, or potatoes when you think you’ll never be warm again? I guess it’s my body’s way of saying it’s burning off too much energy trying to get warm. But if that were the case, then I wouldn’t pick up five kilos every winter, now would I? So I guess it must be my head convincing my body it’s not warm enough.

Hmmm, a conundrum.

Okay so my fave winter food or drink? Hands down, a good cuppa tea. No, I’m not talking about the herbal, healthy for you, tastes like water kind of tea. I’m talking about a good, strong mug of Ceylon tea. With a healthy dollop of milk.

Found this image on a page that tells you how to make the perfect cup of tea – something I bet you thought you already knew.

Next fave food? A hot bowl of thick soup.

Ok, I’m not proud to say this, but I am a godawful cook. One of the worst. I can make all of two things:

1) The best damn cheesecake in Sydney

2) The best vegetable soup in Sydney

But…I confess – I cheat. See at the supermarkets in winter, in the fresh veg section, you can find bags of ready diced vegetables. Carrots, celery, potatoes and onions. If these bags did not exist, I would not make soup. I’m not one to spend hours laboring over food, peeling and slicing and chopping veggies . So ripping open a few bags of ready cut veg? PERFECT! Add a few extra carrots, a sweet potato (yam), salt, pepper, the right vegetable stock and some water, and boom, four hours later (yep, I cook that soup for a long time!) you too could have the best soup in Sydney.

Found this piccie and a yummy looking recipe for soup over at Exclusively Food.

And here’s my one last favorite thing to warm my belly on a cold winter’s day. Chai latte. (Not to be mistaken for Chai tea. Nope. You need the steamed milk for this one!) I’d never heard of this drink before I came to Australia, but when I tried it that first time…mm, mmm, mmmm. Heaven.

It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s delicious. Like getting a huge cuddly hug – from the inside.

Go on. Admit it. You’re dying for a hot drink now.

😉

Jess

Favorite Summer Foods

Posted in Bianca D'Arc on June 25, 2013 by biancadarc

Summer on Long Island usually means lots of barbeques. Hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, potato salad… All the standard barbeque fare in the Northeast of the United States. The food tastes even better when you’re down by one of the many beaches we have here. The ocean facing beaches are a little bigger and nicer than the ones that face the Long Island Sound, but they’re all nice, really.

I live sort of in the middle of the Island. It’s about a twenty minute drive either way to the sound or the ocean, so I have my choice. Or I can just stay home in my lovely green (overgrown) garden. I’m not a big fan of heat when it comes to weather, so on really hot days, it’s a lot better for me to stay in, set the ceiling fan to high and get a tall glass of water with a bunch of ice cubes in it. If it gets really hot, I put on the air conditioner, but I hate the noise, so I use it somewhat sparingly unless it’s in the upper 80’s, or above.

One great way to beat the heat is to make your own fruit pops. I used to love to buy the different ice pops they sell in the stores, but they don’t always have the best ingredients. Lots of sugar. Lots of unpronounceable things in them. And it’s pretty easy to make your own, healthy pops or ices.

Italian ices are basically sugar, water and a little flavoring frozen in a cup. A fruit ice, which is what I call my little creations can contain any fruit you have on hand. Simply throw a bunch of fruit in a blender. I like to use honeydew melon, grapes, berries and a little orange juice. Puree, then pour it into small Dixie cups and put them in the freezer.

If you want to make them into pops, put a stick in the middle before freezing and pop them out later, by dipping the cup into warm water for a few moments before popping them out. But if you don’t have sticks, you can just eat it with a spoon from the cup after it’s frozen, just like an Italian ice – only healthier. Enjoy!

My favorite things about winter

Posted in Jess Dee on June 24, 2013 by Jess Dee

Ah, winter. The cold air, the frosty breath. Icy mornings getting out of bed, cold days when you wish the sun would shine a little harder and warm up your bones, and freezing nights that seem to get more freezing with every passing minute.

Know what I like about winter?

Nothing!

I know. Pathetic, huh? But it’s the truth. I despise being cold.

North Americans don’t really understand why I complain so much. Let’s face it, when it comes to winter, Sydney’s temperatures are pretty moderate. The coldest day here would reach about 12 degrees Celsius (53 degrees Fahrenheit.) And nights MAY drop to 6-7 C (42-45F). But here’s what we don’t have. Central heating. And the houses aren’t built to keep out the cold. So if the wind howls, it also blows in cold air through cracks around the doors and windows. Which, in a nutshell, just makes winter f***ing cold and miserable.

I’ve had to really think hard to find something good about this season. And I did manage to come up with two things:

1) My bed!

(Nope, sorry. This isn’t actually mine. This image is taken from Crate and Barrel, advertising their bed linen.)

There is very little I like more than getting into bed on a cold winter night. We change the summer doonas (or duvets for those who don’t talk Australian) for the warm, cozy winter ones. And boy oh boy, climbing under those covers is about the best treat in every day.

This treat is only made more special by Mr Dee. See, Mr Dee has two things going for him in winter: 1) He radiates more heat than a heater and 2) he’s a snuggler.

So, my bed + my doona + my hubby = one content Jess.

2) My bath

(Oh, my. However did a photo of Eric in the bath tub pop up on one of my blog posts???)

In summer, I’m a shower girl through and through. And even in winter, I start every morning with a shower.

But come a miserable winter’s night, when my toes are freezing and I can’t imagine ever being warm again…there is nothing to beat a bath.

Stepping into that heated water, feeling it envelop your icy skin, settling down into its depths…

*SIGH*

Yep, its the perfect way to end a cold day. Add a book to the picture? Heaven!

(Oh, and add Eric to the picture… 🙂 )

——————

Today is the 24th of June. Which means I have two months and six days to go until spring. Or 68 more nights.

But who’s counting…?

Jess

My Favorite Thing About Summer

Posted in Bianca D'Arc on June 23, 2013 by biancadarc

Jess Dee and I are sharing the blog this week and since it’s summer in the States and winter in Oz, we decided to compare notes about summer vs. winter. I’m starting off with my favorite things about summer.

Bianca's BunnyHmm… well… to be honest, I like spring and fall most of all. Winter is probably my third favorite season, followed, in last place, by poor old summer. But there are a few things about summer that I find fun. First and foremost, I’d probably have to say, the garden. Everything is growing, blooming, buzzing and just going crazy back there during the summer!

I keep a row of about four birdhouses in my backyard that my mother originally put up years ago. Every year, we have multiple families of sparrows who take up residence to raise their little ones. I can see them from my window as I work on my computer and I spend a lot of time each day, when it’s not too hot, with the back slider open, the ceiling fan set on a lazy swirl and a glass of ice water at my side, sweating, as I write.

It’s actually kind of nice. 🙂 Summer on Long Island usually involves the beach, but I like marching to the beat of a slightly different drummer. My garden and all my little feathered and furry friends do it for me. (The pic is of a little wild bunny that decided to nibble on carrots in my garden last year.) Besides, the beaches are just too crowded this time of year. I’d rather walk along the shore in the early spring or fall, before school’s out. 😉 Who’s with me?