Sunday, March 29, 2015

Savory Sunday~Lavender Lemonade

How to Make Lavender Lemonade
Combine ¾ cup of water with ½ cup of sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a low boil and stir until sugar dissolves, remove from heat.  Add 3-4 organic lavender buds to heated sugar water mixture and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 
Prepare frozen lemonade as directed, minus 1 cup of water.  Remove lavender buds from sugar mixture, then pour sugar water into prepared lemonade and add fresh slices of lemon.  
For color (optional), mix ¼ cup of water with one drop of blue food coloring and one drop of red food coloring. 

For more info on this recipe here is the link to the original post :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Character Interview ~ Welcome Jesu, Ema and Jalmari from Dark Becoming!

I love it when I'm able to interview my favorite characters, and Author J.D. Brown makes it so fun. Please welcome Jesu, Ema, and Jalmari of the Ema Marx series as they celebrate the release of the third book in the series, Dark Becoming! 

Ema rings the doorbell. She adjusts her sunglasses and looks down at the blue plastic wrap in her hands. “I hope she likes the cookies.”

Jesu casually places a hand on Ema’s shoulder.  “I am sure she will.”

Charlene lights the candles on the mantel and then rushes to the door. Swinging it wide, she hopes the glare from the small flames won’t be too uncomfortable for her two guests. They are vampires, after all. “Ema, Jesu! Oh it’s so good to see you!”

Ema squeals and gives Charlene a big bear hug, almost knocking off her sunglasses. “Charleeeeeeeeeene!”

Charlene stifles a grunt as Ema squeezes her far too tightly. “Oh Ema! I’m so glad you came. It’s been too long!”

Jesu chuckles. “Ema…you will break all the cookies. And Charlene, too.”

“Oh!” Ema releases Charlene. She readjusts her sunglasses with one hand and holds out the package of Oreo cookies with the other.* “These are for you.”

Breathless, Charlene takes the package. “Thank you! They’re Oreos? My total fav! I’ll be sure to enjoy them for both of us since I know your taste buds have changed a smidget since… you know, becoming Vampyre.  Come in, come in! Thank you for coming all this way to my little corner of the world for my interview. I know you’ve been so busy.”

Ema and Jesu enter Charlene’s home and automatically settle into a settee facing away from the candles. Ema waves a hand through the air. “Are you kidding? We’re always happy visit! This is a great change of scenery after everything that’s happen. Yikes! In fact, let’s make plans to visit more often. Like, who says we need to wait for J.D. to finish another book?” 

Jesu smiles to himself. “I agree. It is always a pleasure, Charlene.”

Charlene chuckles. “We’ll definitely meet more often. And speaking of JD, tell me, how in the world you managed to get through that opening scene JD wrote you into! How traumatic!”

“I know, right? I almost had a heart attack! Or a mini stroke. It was bad.” Ema nods decisively.

Jesu winces.

“What thoughts went through your mind when you realized what had happened to Jesu, Ema?”

“Oh. I was so relieved!” She sighs. “Jesu is not allowed to die.” She turns and narrows her gaze at Jesu. “You are not allowed to die, got it?”

Jesu bites the inside of his cheek to suppress a laugh, and raises his hands in surrender. “I will do my best. Promise.”

“Jesu, what were your thoughts when you opened your eyes after it happened?”

Jesu pauses to think. “I wanted to see Ema…to know that she was okay. Then I wanted to pound my brother into a pulp.”

“No doubt! You do a lot of traveling in this book. Care to fill us in on the highlights?”

“Oh, yeah. It’s like we went from one side of the world, to the other. First we went to Venice, which is only an hour-and-a-half flight from Berlin, not too bad. But then, as soon we got back to Germany, we had to re-pack and go off to Panama! That’s a fourteen-hour flight! Can you imagine being forced to sit still and worry about dying for fourteen hours straight at thirty-thousand feet in the air?” Ema points to herself. “I can.”

Charlene nods “I would have been a bucket of nerves if I had to wait that long, knowing I was about to face Apollyon! So, let’s lighten the topic a bit.” She winks. “What of this new character, Valafar. I have to admit, he’s hot!

Jesu turns to Ema. “You never told me he was attractive.”

Ema makes a face. “Gee, I must have forgotten to mention it while dealing with his wise-cracking. Yeah, he’s hot, but he’s so not my type.”

“Okay. We’ll move on again.” Charlene laughs. “A lot of things come to light in this book. How about some sneak peeks?

“That’s for sure. Goodness, where would I even start?” Ema opens the book and flips a few pages. 

“Here, I’ll give you a few passages to share.”

Jesu shook his head. “You need to remember what you are dealing with, Ema. You want to play the hero and save everyone, but you need to wake up and realize that lives are going to be lost no matter what and, when it comes to my father, tortured. Those scars will never heal, Ema, because that is the kind of sadistic man my father is. It is not enough for him to physically hurt people; he has to impair their minds, too. He has to haunt them with reminders of what he has done so that they never fully heal. He has to make sure they break.” I yanked my hand away and glowered. “Good. I’m glad he mutilated me. You think I forgot the suffering and fear I went through? You’re wrong. It’s because I remember it that I want to end him so badly. I’m glad I have these scares to remind me. Apollyon didn’t break me, Jesu. I’m not broken until I’m dead.”
A lot of people might die. 
Jesu warned me, but the reality didn’t sink in until now. I didn’t know the names of any of Nikolas’ soldiers, if they had spouses or children, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t want any of them to get hurt. I didn’t want any of them to not come back. They rallied about the room like a bunch of high school football players before a homecoming game, completely amped on the goal of winning. No doubt. No hesitation. It was stupid and naïve—but I had to believe in their enthusiasm. I had to believe we would all survive this, that the only ones who would die would be Apollyon and his undead army. Not us. 
Not us.

“Wow. Those are some heavy scenes.” Charlene slowly nods as they sink in, and then shakes her head to get her mind on the next topic. “And how is Bridget doing? I understand she still holds a flame for you Jesu. How do you cope with that along with everything that’s going on?”

Ema crosses her arms over her chest. “Yeah, Jesu, how do you cope?”

Jesu shifts in his seat and clears his throat. “Um…not well, I’m afraid.”

Ema snorts.

“Ema, Let’s talk Apollyon. Any plans on how to end him? Or is that classified information?”

Ema glances at the ruby hanging from the silver rose anklet near her shoe. “Uh….”

Charlene follows her gaze and then winks. “Right. Let’s move on… I heard a rumor that I don’t like at all. I bet you can guess what it is too. Would you be willing to elaborate for my readers?”

Ema’s gaze widens and she learns forward. “What rumor?”

Jesu clears his throat. “I think Charlene is referring to us.”


“You know. Us. Our Relationship.”

“Oh. Ohhh… Oh.”

Jesu looks to Charlene. “It’s complicated.”

Charlene quirks her lips, a little annoyed by the evasive answer. “Hmm.”

The doorbell rings and Ema jumps. “What the heck is he doing here?”

Jalmari opens the door and lets himself inside.

“How did you get out?!”

Jalmari glances at Ema and raises one eyebrow. “I was invited.”

“But how did you get out?”

Charlene releases a breathless sigh. Jalmari is, after all, one of her favorite bad boy heart throbs. 
“Jalmari, come in, have a seat.”

Jalmari ignores Ema’s question and sinks into an oversized chair opposite his brother.

I’m afraid I don’t have any liqueur, especially the kind you’ve been, um, enjoying as of late. Some blood, maybe?

“No!” Ema and Jesu both yell. Ema smiles and her cheeks warm. “Sorry. My hormones have been very anti-vampyre diet lately.”

Jalmari looks at Charlene and winks. “Let’s keep the blood warm for later.”

Charlene smiles. “Sure, Jalmari. Can I ask you a personal question? Why do you blame Ema for Leena’s death?


Jamlari rolls his eyes. “Leena would still be alive if not for Ema. Simple as that.”


“Any chance you might find it in your heart to help her and Jesu get to your father?”

“If it benefits me.”

“What would make your life right again? Aside from, um, ending Ema?”

“Ending Ema.”

“Oh, Jalmari.”

Ema whispers to Jesu. “Why is he here again?”

Jesu shrugs.

Charlene leans her elbows to her knees as she faces Jalmari face on. “I hear from a very reliable source that Sarah fancies you. Any chance you might find love?”

Ema sputters. “What the…! Seriously? Oh, I’m going to have a serious girl chat with her!”

Jalmari blinks and his nose scrunches. “Princess Sara? Huh. Hmm.”

“Nope! No! You get that idea out of your head, mister! She is off limits. She can do so much better!” Ema pushes to her feet and flails her arms around. “I’m going to go talk to her right now!”

Jesu stands and nods to Charlene. “It’s been…interesting? Do have us back soon. Maybe without my brother?” He runs off after Ema, who is halfway down the driveway, muttering to herself.

Charlene calls after them. “Well, thank you for being with me today. It’s not often I have my favorite characters visit with me in my home. Please be careful as you head back to Germany. And do give my best to King Nicholas and Valafar!” She turns back to Jalmari with a wink. “Now, Jalmari. How about that glass of blood?”

~ * ~

Ema Marx is in a race against time. Or rather, a race against Apollyon. A powerful weapon—the legendary philosopher’s stone—could tip the scale in favor of whoever gets their fangs on it first. For Ema, obtaining the stone is an uphill battle through love, alliance, heartbreak, and loyalty. Winning should mean the beginning of beautiful things, but the closer Ema gets to her destiny, the more uncertain her future becomes. Could it be this war was never meant for her? And why the heck doesn’t morning sickness adhere to rules of its own name?

Available at AMAZON

About the Author:
J.D. Brown knows that vampires exist because she's dating one and no, he doesn't sparkle. Unfortunately, he's not immortal either (or maybe her standards are too low). A magnet for subcultures and weirdness, J.D. was that socially awkward girl with more fictional friends than real ones. As a child battling a hearing loss and a medical condition with no name, J.D. found comfort in books where strong women always saved the day and got the guy. An obsession with Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Heroes lead J.D. to believe that her mutated chromosome made her something more, not something less. Thus her stubborn flare to persevere was born. A lover of fine cuisine, coffee, and shoes, J.D. never understood why shoe stores don't serve Starbucks and soufflé. She resides in Wisconsin were she writes urban fantasy--aka vampires for adults--and has political debates with her dogs. She loves to hear from fans and is active on

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Until next time,
May your dreams be magical.