Beginning in Fridays this February, our blog is joyfully hosting a number of author friends here to talk about life, their books, and whatever Small Triumphs is talking about this month. For today, we’re excited to welcome Jill Archer, Author of Dark Light of Day. You can find her on the web at www.jillarcher.com. Take it away Jill!
Valentine’s Day: Ten New Things to Do or Give
By Jill Archer
1. Sunset flight: My husband is a recreational pilot and one of the most romantic, fun things we do is take sunset flights from time to time. (I’ve included a picture from one of them). No worries if you or your partner aren’t a pilot though. There are plenty of other ways to see sunsets from the air. Hot air balloon ride anyone? I’ve never taken one, but I’ve always wanted to. And some of the packages around here sound pretty neat, like this one from Air Ventures in Chester County, PA: http://www.air-ventures.com/ (the “Sweet Escape” package is pricey but includes a two night stay at a B&B and balloon flights over the Brandywine Valley area. We drive through that area quite a bit and it is beautiful!)
2. Visit a greenhouse: There is nothing more romantic than strolling through a hot house full of orchids and other exotic flowers, citrus trees, and other greenery when it is sub zero outside and the ground is frozen solid. My favorite greenhouse is the one at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA: http://www.longwoodgardens.org/MainConservatory.html
3. Plant an evergreen tree together: My husband is a Jonny Appleseed wannabe and I’ve helped him plant many a tree, including two evergreens – both of which we planted in the winter. Evergreens are romantic because they are symbols of something that is eternal and everlasting. (Here’s a picture of one of the evergreens we planted).
4. Take a candle making class: I haven’t done this, but it sounds like fun. (I’m not sure what my husband would think of it, but he’s usually up for trying new things). You can throw a Valentine’s Day themed dinner party – lit with the candles you made. Give books as favors!
5. Watch the moonrise: Although it’s cold in February, I did this recently, and it *was* pretty darn romantic. Granted, the scene was a little bit different than you might imagine. Instead of my DH and I snuggled together in REI Expedition -20 sleeping bags sharing hot chocolate in some moonlit forest clearing, I actually watched the full moon rise one night in my backyard. I was standing by a small bonfire, sipping a beer, while watching my kids and husband skate on our backyard skating rink. It was truly a magical moment (because shortly thereafter the increasing temps and relentless wind ripped our poor liner to shreds). A picture of my family’s 2013 short-lived rink is included for your viewing pleasure (yes, we’ll try again next year. Many more moonrises to see!)
6. Go star gazing: #6 is an obvious add-on to #5. With constellations like Perseus and Andromeda to provide inspiration, who wouldn’t be romantically inspired by the winter sky in the northern hemisphere? Even more fun: download an app like Star Walk (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-walk-hd-5-stars-astronomy/id363486802?mt=8) to help you find everything.
7. Go to the flower store and pick out a bouquet together: Flowers are beautiful, and also meaningful. Bonus points if your partner already has some floriography knowledge. Internet lists abound, but here’s one to get you started if you’re like me and need a cheat sheet: http://www.santamonicaflowers.com/pages/floriography
8. Make a flaming or fiery dessert together: Sure, bananas foster and cherries jubilee come to mind immediately, but there are other fun choices. I love crème brulee and have always wanted to use one of those torches. (Haven’t you?) And if you haven’t made chocolate fondue at home yet, what are you waiting for? I get the works: marshmallows, pretzel sticks, fresh grated coconut, sprinkles, strawberries, etc.
9. Write each other a poem: Even if you are not a poet (especially if you are not a poet!) this romantic exercise can be both hilarious and sweet.
10. Hit the bookstore or visit an old library: Since I wrote this post for Alex’s LOVE AND BOOKS EVENT, and it’s the idea nearest and dearest to my heart, I left it for #10. Some libraries are so romantic, you want to move in. Or, at the very least, get married in them, like the gorgeous, awe-inspiring, unbelievably romantic George Peabody Library in Baltimore (if you love beautiful libraries, click here: http://www.peabodyevents.library.jhu.edu/photogallery.html). But if you’re already married, you can still search the stacks for books with your partner or take advantage of whatever Valentine’s Day themed activity they have going on.
11. (Lagniappe idea!) Check out Dark Light of Day: Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday that’s celebrated in my novel Dark Light of Day. But that doesn’t mean there’s not romance in it. Noon Onyx, the main character, is a twenty-one year old post grad magic user who spends quite a bit of time in her library. To avoid chance encounters with fellow students who are way too attractive for their own good, she hides in the unpopular tax & tithing section. But some people have a way of finding you no matter how dark, secluded, or far from the door your hiding spot is!
So, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year? Whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s romantic and fun! Thanks for having me here today, Alex!
DARK LIGHT OF DAY BLURB
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.
Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.
Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
JILL ARCHER BIO
Jill Archer writes genre-bending fantasy novels. Her first novel, Dark Light of Day, was released last fall. The second novel in the series, Fiery Edge of Steel, is being released on May 28, 2013. She can be found online at her website (www.jillarcher.com), Twitter (@archer_jill), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jillarcherauthor ), and Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782149.Jill_Archer).
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