Dragon Got Run Over by a Reindeer (Dragon Guard Series Book 27)

The holidays only come once a year, but this crazy couple plans to make it last forever.
After all, not even Fate stays home for the holidays.

Take one dragon racing around the North Pole…
Add a reindeer who refuses to be tamed…
Mix in the outrageous antics of an elf who hates the snow …
And you’ve got a holiday tale of thrills, chills and more than a little snow-melting fun.

Put on your feety pajamas, grab a cup of hot cocoa and gather around the fire while our dashing hero and trusty cohorts race to save the holidays and in the process, find the happily ever after they didn’t know they were looking for, all neatly wrapped in shiny paper with a bright red bow.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Darling!

Delightful short holiday read with the Dragons and the granddaughter of Santa’s reindeer, Vixen. Somehow I didn’t read this before, but it is definitely adorable.

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Quick Tip from My Kitchen

Now that we’ve all been stuck at home for the last 5 months, many people find themselves making meals at home as opposed to ordering them. Face it, it’s much cheaper to cook from scratch than it is to order. Now, most of us buy groceries for a number of days each time we go and the meat goes in the freezer.

If you aren’t in the habit of remembering to take the meat out in the morning, (before you left for work), you may occasionally find yourself at lunchtime hoping that your meat will thaw in time!

It’s August, and for most of us, that means hot temperatures. I discovered that if I put the wrapped meat on a plastic plate and sit it on something outside, that it will thaw just fine. For me, hamburger can be taken out at lunchtime. The ribs in the photo needed to be thawed by 2 pm so I could start working them. Luckily, Florida weather takes care of thawing things.

So, give it a try! It works really well for me.

Dragon in the Mist (Dragon Guard Series Book 26)

Out of the Darkness…
Into a World Long Forgotten…
This Guardsman Emerges with a Hunger for Vengeance and a Thirst for Justice…

One small voice in the dark…
One tortured plea for help…

Two hearts beating as one…
Two lives hanging in the balance… 

Three seconds to decide between life and death…
Three simple words that changed everything… 

“Please help me,” she cried.
Now, it’s out of the mist and into the fire.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Nice! Nice to see the first mention of the Beserkers. Uther is a long lost member of the Enforcers. Mara is the unwilling host to Thanatos. She is also Uther’s mate. What a combo

Dragon Guard by  Julia Mills

Weeknight Stir-fry Dinner

This is a simple recipe for a weeknight dinner that can be adjusted to feed more people if needed. Stir Fries are usually made with leftover rice but my husband can’t eat rice so I use Orzo pasta instead.

I start by cooking the orzo first. Another good substitute would be brown rice. Doing this first gives the rice/orzo time to cook while you prep the remaining items.

Cut the meat up into bite sized pieces. Use whatever leftover meat you find in your refrigerator. Don’t be afraid to mix up different kinds of meat if you’re feeding a crowd!

Vegetables come next. Take a good look at the refrigerator shelves. I tend to skip this soft ones and go for the crunchy ones. Another good choice is frozen vegetable mixtures. I used Broccoli Normandy for my picture.

At this point, your rice/orzo should be done that you can drain it. Drag out a non-stick deep skillet. If anything isn’t cooked, do those next. If you have to, as things get done, take them out and place in a bowl.

By now everything should be done and all you need to do is assemble it. I start with the Orzo so I can brown it a little bit. Add the veggie and meat(s). If it starts to stick, add a little bit of soy sauce. Serve in Bowls with additional soy sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Update – He’s Gone.

This is probably the hardest post I’ve written. My darling little scrappy charmer passed last night at about 10pm. I’m trying to be strong for my husband’s sake, but it is so very hard. He was Craig’s “Emotional Support Dog” and filled a important role for Craig.

Here in a little bit, I’ll start gathering up all the many things we had in the house for Odie. Somethings, like his stroller, I’ll find a friend who needs it. Other things will be thrown away because they carry his scent.

We’ve found a pet crematorium that will take care of that for us. They do things in a very dignified manner. Thankfully they are close by the SPCA so we can leave Odie’s food, treats and other things with them for donation to the SPCA on Monday.

On the way home, we stopped by Ted and Carol’s house where they consoled us and listened quietly as we remembered our baby. That was something we desperately needed. Now that we are back home, we’ll struggle on, and force ourselves to get out for walks and bicycle rides. The last thing Odie would want for be for us to go back to sitting all day long.

Thank you for listening to my ramble. I needed this more than you could know.

FURY: Shifting Vale Haven (Dragon Guard Book 25)

When the past meets the future in the present sparks will fly, but when Pippa meets Fury it’s nothing short of explosive.

The Universe has Spoken. Fate Will Not Be Denied. And…No one escapes the Fury of Her Dragon.

Drowning in visions of an ever-changing future, unable to recognize reality from fantasy, this powerful Guardsman was driven from the world of his kin and forced to take refuge atop the mountain of his Ancestors. Decades passed, the predictions eased, and Fury finally learned to deal with the loneliness. Life was pretty good until dreams of a fiery redhead with boundless courage and a heart of gold called to the soul of not only the man but also his Dragon.

Mourning the loss of two of the three people in the entire world she’d ever trusted, swamped with guilt and resentment, this strong-willed private investigator with the ability to see the past was thrown into a tailspin. Forced to leave the only home she’d ever known in search of answers, what started out as a simple road trip, quickly turned deadly. The dreams of her Guardian, a Purple Dragon who always provided comfort and refuge suddenly became all too real. Then to ensure she had to face a new reality, her ‘mythical’ Warrior burst onto the scene, sent a Demon packing, restored her fraying nerves, and filled her with a hope she’d been sure had abandoned her long ago.

Can an Orphan and a Dragon save the future of an entire race? Will the power of the Mother Goddess and the Ancient Dragon Kings be enough to defeat an enemy as old as time? Will Shifting Vale become a Haven or a Graveyard?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Guardsman who sees the future. A woman who sees the past. Fate has paired these two people together? Well, enjoy the wild ride!

Dragon Guard by Julia Mills

We’re Losing Him

He came to us roughly 14 years ago. A scruffy little charmer who quickly wormed his way into our hearts.

He found us at a time in our lives when we were marking the passage of time by the TV show we were watching. An enthusiastic kiss alerted us to the need for a walk.

It didn’t take us very long before we were taking him everywhere with us. By utilizing a bicycle basket, even a quick ride to the store was a opportunity to keep him with us.

Over the last few months we started to notice him slowing down. A walk that once took 15 minutes now took 20. He started to not want the snacks he once enjoyed. We bought a doggie stroller for him.

Just about a week ago, he stopped eating. He would still drink so we tried everything we could think of to get him to eat. It’s not working. This is Odie today

We’ve finally realized that there’s nothing we can do. The life expectancy for his breed is only 12 – 15 years. He’s reached the end of his story and we can’t change that. But honestly, I’m not ready to lose him. So tonight just like we did last night, we’ll sleep in the living room so we can keep an eye on him.

Homemade Ricotta – Instant Pot

Store-bought ricotta can’t hold a candle to creamy, rich homemade cheese. You don’t need any special equipment, and the YOGURT setting on most Instant Pot models gently heats the milk to the perfect temperature, so there’s no worrying about scorching the milk on the stove. If you don’t have a Yogurt setting, heat the milk on Sauté on Normal/Medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer reaches 190°F before proceeding as directed. Ricotta is only as good as the milk you use to make it, so buy the best milk you can find and make sure that it isn’t ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk. The UHT process changes the proteins in the milk and will prevent it from forming curds. You can use fresh lemon juice to make the milk coagulate, but I find it easier to add citric acid, which you can find at spice shops or buy online. The liquid left over in the pot after cheese making is called whey, as in Little Miss Muffet’s “curds and whey.” It’s full of beneficial probiotic organisms, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, so don’t pour it down the drain! You can use it in soups, sauces, and smoothies as a neutral-flavored liquid that adds a big nutritional boost.

The full recipe can be found here:

Don’t Let Your Guard Down Just Yet! #COVID 19

Just about the time everyone thinks they can return to life as “normal,” the virus resurges and the death count starts rising again.

The CDC has stated time and time again, that “people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” CDC Guidance

You would think that it would be obvious to everyone, there’s a right way and a wrong way to wear a mask.

This is a great example of the WRONG way to wear a mask!

Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

Notice that they included “sneezing” in this list. Now think about what happened when you sneeze. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

That’s right, it ends up involving the nose! So not covering your nose 👃 doesn’t help much.

This is the correct way to wear a mask. And folks? We’re all going to have get on board with this if we’re going to get through this together!

Dragon Down (Dragon Guard Book 22)

This dragon may be down, but he’s definitely not out… or is he?

Revenge is a dish best served cold… 
Cold was not Kamdyn’s style. Never had been. Never would be. She was the daughter of Evan McGregor, heiress to the power and magic of a hundred centuries of unstoppable witches and no one, not even a cold-hearted, thieving murderer was going to take it from her. She would get back what was hers, defeat the traitor who’d dare to take her family from her, watch him burn then leave his ashes for the Elements. Revenge may be cold, but vengeance burns white-hot. 
If it hadn’t been for that blasted dragon…

Be careful what you wish for…
Wishes and dreams were for other people. Callum had learned at a young age to make the most of the hand he’d been dealt. Life was tough, but he was tougher. As the son of one of the most revered Guardsmen of all times, he would take what he wanted and make no apologies. Go down with your sword in your hand and no regrets in your heart was the O’Shea family motto but this dragon had no intentions of going down and regrets… well, they just weren’t his style. Come to think of it, neither was being careful.
If it hadn’t been for that infernal witch…

Secrets revealed, rising passions and an enemy they never saw coming force this couple to accept their Destiny and fight side-by-side to save all they hold dear.

Will it be enough? Will they be in time? Will this be the one time that Fate will be denied?

This dragon may be down, but he’s definitely not out… or is he?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So funny! I had the hardest time not snickering at Kam’s cursing. Cal was just as cute in his frustration. And what he did to Maddox was fabulous.

Hey, Y’all! Julia Mills, the Sassy Southern Storyteller here. Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Just a little bit about me – I’m Southern to the bone, love my children more than life itself, and adopt animals like most people collect dust bunnies. (Oh come on, we’ve all got them under one bed or another.) I came by the tagline Sassy, Southern Storyteller honestly and many years before I ever started writing. (My dad thought it was a hilarious nickname for his kindergarten teaching daughter.)

I live by three simple rules – (1) Treat people how you want to be treated. (2) Smile lots. (3) Try everything, ’cause hearses don’t have luggage racks. 

Now, go out there and create your own story!!! Dare to Dream! Have the Strength to Try EVERYTHING! Never Look Back!

I ABSOLUTELY adore talking to readers!

Send me a message ANYTIME right here on my website or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JLakeMills/

XOXO Julia

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