Wednesday, December 14, 2011

~Tempest Blog Tour - Guest Post & Giveaway~

Hi guys, 

I know I've been MIA for a while now, but what better way to make a come-back than with an amazing book such as "Tempest" by the brilliant author Julie Cross. 

Title: Tempest (Tempest #1)
Author: Julie Cross
Expected Publication Date: January 17th, 2012

"Tempest" by Julie Cross is a brilliantly constructed, and immensely thrilling, novel chronicling the life of Jackson Meyer who is a normal guy in all respects - except the fact that he can time travel. But unlike the time travel of movies, his time-tumbling escapades come without consequence. That is, until the day some strangers alight on him and his girlfriend, and in the struggle that ensues, his girlfriend Holly is fatally wounded.

Now Jackson travels back to the year 2007 in order to save his girlfriend, but finds himself stuck there, unable to travel back to the present. "Tempest" is story of his attempt to understand and actualize his abilities in order to save Holly from her fate, and in the process he comes to term with his abilities, learns secrets about his father, finds out about the "Enemies of Time" and discovers much about his own self.

~Teaser Quote~

September 15, 2007 (8:00 a.m.)

I attempted to look angry. "First you assume I want to go out with you, and now you're assuming I want  get in your pants."

Which I do and have.

~Five Facts about "Tempest"~

Have I piqued your interest, yet? If not, well, here are FIVE FACTS from Book#2:

  • The setting takes place in more than one country.
  • Chapter 5 contains a red dress and a card board cut out of Miley Cyrus (you don't want to miss this!).
  • Something bad happens in a castle (how deliciously cryptic!).
  • Jackson in a tux! (swoon-worthy)
  •  Hollywood might not have gotten everything wrong about time-travel.

Don't forget to check out all the other blog posts in the BLOG TOUR for Julie Cross's "Tempest" - just click on the blog tour banner at the top of this post, and it will take you straight there. A big THANK YOU to all the other bloggers participating in this blog tour; not just for being part of the tour, but for also making this easy on me, and for helping me every step of the way. This was my second blog tour, and this book was a brilliant one to continue my journey with! :)

Would YOU like to win a copy of "Tempest" by Julie Cross? Make sure to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 signed copies by Julie Cross. Fill the FORM to enter - Giveaway ends on January 6th, so HURRY! Also, you must leave a comment to get to it! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The "Immortal Beloved" Blog Tour - An Interview with Katie M. John

Hello darling readers, today we have a special treat for you. Today marks the 1st day of the "Immortal Beloved" Blog Tour, which starts today and runs all the way through August 24th. Don't even miss a DAY of this tour, there will be interviews with the author, character interviews, giveaways, reviews,a LIVE Twitter chat and SO MUCH MORE! :)

There are lots of blogs participating, such as Reading Away the Days, Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers, and Two Chicks on Books.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Katie M. John, the incredibly talented author of the Knight Trilogy, the first book of which was “The Forest of Adventuresand the second novel is called “Immortal Beloved. Katie is an incredibly sweet and kind person, and an absolute joy to interact with, as a person. As an author, her books clearly showcase her immense talent which is at par with famous authors like Stephenie Meyer. She's also a doting mother and a loving wife...and an all around sweetheart! 

Immortal Beloved is set for release on August 25th, 2011 – and I assure you that as far as sequels go, this one’s a HIT! I have read both the books, and am an IMMENSE fan of her writing, so it is my utmost pleasure that she has graced my meager blog with her presence. 

Make sure to check out My Review of "The Forest of Adventures" and check both the books out on Goodreads as well, by clicking the pictures below. 

Enamored Soul: Hey Katie, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions for this interview. I am so very glad you agreed to this interview, and it is a pleasure of mine to have you on "The Chronicles of an Enamored Soul" today.

Katie: Hi, Hira. Thank you for having me today.

Enamored Soul:
Katie, my first and most important question to you is, why "knights" and "knighthood" - what led you to step away from the mainstream call for Vampire and Werewolf romances?

Katie: Good question because I so do love vampires lol! There are quite a few reasons why I decided to write a romance about knights. There are so many werewolves and vampire stories out there at the minute that I really didn’t think I had anything new to offer. I loved what Meyer did with the whole Vampire lore as it was so different from the traditional. I’m afraid I’m old enough to remember the last vampire craze as I was about fifteen when Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with a Vampire’ came out. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was my very first proper grown up reads at twelve and I can vividly remember bringing it home from the school library.

I do want to write a vampire story at some point, but I kind of want to write it on my own terms.

I’ve always been a romantic Goth at heart. When other girls had their Take That posters up on their bedroom wall, I had great big reproduction posters of pre-Raphaelite paintings. The one which hung above my bed was one of Queen Guinevere dubbing Sir Lancelot. Little did I know at that point what road I would be taking fifteen years later.

There has always been something incredibly attractive to me about knights: it’s that whole killer / gentleman thing going on. I find their duality completely fascinating – how one minute they would be out in the field literally tearing each other to bits, and the next they would be writing love poetry. In a way they hold a lot of parallels to vampires and hold the same kind of fascination of danger.

I love the shades of dark and light and the complex balancing of a knight’s moral nature. With vampires (pre-Rice and Meyer) they had a much defined nature towards evil.
Enamored Soul: Mina Singer, she's one of the most endearing characters I've ever read about - how much of Katie is in Mina's character?

Katie: Thank you. She’s quite a complex character. Not all readers find her easy or ‘endearing’. I didn’t want to write a heroine that was a crowd pleaser; I wanted her to be individual and flawed. I am very fond of Mina and I can relate to her because there is a lot of my own history in her. I always have a wry smile when some critics find aspects of her unbelievable which are actually based on my own, very real experiences.

Mina and I share the same traits in that we are quite introverted and don’t always connect with the way things ‘aught’ to be done – her feelings towards Sam’s illness is an example of this.

I’ve had somebody very close to me be very ill over a sustained period of time and, unlike the way it is often portrayed in films and books (or what we say to the public world) there is often a lot of anger and resentment. It doesn’t mean you don’t love that person deeply, but it comes back to the flaws of being human I mentioned earlier.

Her falling in love with Blake at first sight has also been criticised by a couple of readers. These are the comments that particularly make me smile because I did fall in love at first sight with someone in just the way that Mina falls for Blake. I used a lot of my own experiences of this time to write about their relationship.

Enamored Soul: What made you decide to place the sequel of the excellent debut novel "The Forest of Adventures" in Egypt, the beautiful land of the Pharaoh and Cleopatra?

Katie: I spent three years researching the ‘Secret History’, the Knights Templar, and the whole Grail myths and conspiracies. Through this research I became completely fascinated by the parallels in mythology across the European and Arabic cultures. The templar knights were very much a bridge between the two ‘worlds’ and it is sometimes easy for the ‘West’ to forget that Christianity as a belief system was actually born on the bridge between the two civilisations.

I chose Egypt because Egyptian belief systems were very much interwoven into early Christianity. For example, the Lords prayer shares parallels with the Egyptian prayer of the dead – some scholars even go far as to say that it is just a translation of the text. There are also parallels between Osiris, the Christ figure and King Arthur. They are all recognised as Sun Princes and are associated with light, resurrection and salvation.

So, Egypt became a natural choice because the whole myth structure fitted together beautifully. The belief in the underworld, Duat, also allowed me to  invert the Eurydice/Orpheus myth where he enters the underworld to bring back his true love Persephone.

Enamored Soul: I love that in this book, the knight isn't just saving the damsel in distress - the damsel is doing the saving as well. I think we definitely need more brave and adventurous heroines in literature - what are your thoughts on the subject?

Katie: I felt it important that it mustn’t always be Blake rescuing Mina because relationships are about saving each other. There was a real danger that because Blake is a knight, it might fall into the trap of him constantly sweeping her off her feet and coming to her rescue. There’s no denying that this element is slightly sexy – even the most independent and competent woman has moments in her life in which she would just love for somebody strong and capable to come to her aid. Being strong and capable all of the time is impossible and unhealthy, regardless of your gender.

There is still an issue in literature of heroines being placed into opposing sides – they are either passive and victim-like, or are hardened to the point of fierce (but lonely) independence. In a way this reflects the feminist dilemma. You see me engage with this idea in the way that Delta, Mina and Daisy are all different in their outlook and attitude. I wanted to try and avoid gender stereotypes (either way) as much as possible, and create characters that were just who they were without the politics.

Enamored Soul:
In the beginning of "Immortal Beloved" Mina is left alone, while Blake has journeyed on in his quest - the sheer pain and emptiness that Mina experiences is gut-wrenching. Was it difficult writing about our beloved Mina going through this hardship?

Katie: It was a real challenge to try and get the balance right. I wanted to express her true sense of desolation and sadness but avoid making her over indulgent and slipping into moaner mode. Mina is a character who feels things acutely and I make no apology for that. We see her deal with a private pain, and the reader is invited into her heart and mind to share it.

I wanted to go beyond her just feeling sad and tackle the issue of teenage depression and self destruction head-on. For several years I was a Head of Pastoral Care at a secondary school (high-school). I saw first hand how deeply teenagers could feel, and how they often felt isolated and unable to articulate their varying emotions. I was able to empathise with them as I was quite a troubled teenager myself. Several of my close friends went through destructive periods, involving behaviours such as, getting drunk, taking drugs, anorexia, joy riding and self harm. I only included issues in the story which I actually felt qualified on both a professional and personal level to comment on, and have had experience of.

Sometimes these ‘teenage issues’ are dumped into television programs and books as a shock element or for ‘educational’ value. I think this can sometimes be clumsy and alienate young people more. Events aren’t always on a ‘dramatic’ scale which is not to say they aren’t to be taken seriously. But, there is a sense of norm in these behaviours: Most of us will feel these kind of impulses in varying degrees, at some point in our lives.

Writing Mina’s reaction to Blake leaving was very much a form of catharsis. It laid a lot of ghosts to rest. Mina, needed to go through this in order to move into her more ‘adult’ self, so although it was painful see her struggle through, I understood the value of it.  

Enamored Soul:
Every girl needs a girlfriend like Delta! Smart, hilarious and ever-loyal, do you have a Delta in your life? And what can we expect for Delta's character in Book Three?

Katie: Delta is my favourite character too. I have a deep affection for her. When I started writing her, I had no idea how ‘big’ a character she would become. She was originally a very minor character and I thought it would be Daisy who would be Mina’s closest confidant.

I’m a detailed plotter and planner and yet Delta has managed to defy my plans at every point. I always smile when I talk about Delta’s behaviour – in a way I’m proud of her for bending the rules of my writing. I trust her character completely, and so when Delta tells me what were doing, and goes off on her own way, I’m happy to try and keep up on the keyboard. She makes me laugh when I’m writing and editing. In a way she kind of acts like a Shakespearean fool (often the cleverest character in the whole play. She adds a sense of grounding and insight into situations, providing a balance for Mina’s oversensitivity.

Delta has already decided how she wants the trilogy to end and we are now in negotiation with the other characters! As you can imagine, Blake has his own (very fixed) ideas. Blake and Delta clash quite a lot but he respects her. Delta challenges a lot of his very traditional notions and they are solid friends.

I was very fortunate to have a friend like Delta when I was a teenager and there is a lot of her in the character.

Enamored Soul:
In some ways, my heart goes out to Sam far more than Blake - everyone needs a Sam in their life. Is your husband more of a Sam or a Blake?

Katie: Oh, my! How do I even begin to answer that one? My hubby is a combination of the two of them, but more on the side of Sam than Blake. He’s not as ‘broody moody’ as Blake, but is as romantic.

Sam’s a wonderful character in his own right. I was worried at the end of TFOA that he would become a bit pathetic and made a determined effort to ensure Sam shone in Immortal Beloved. Sam is good man and has a heart of gold. Mina loves him dearly and truly. Sam is full of integrity and honesty as well as a lot of fun to be around. He would make a wonderful husband – far better than Blake. He’d offer you security, friendship and laughter as well as being cute to look at. 

Enamored Soul:
What more can we expect for Sam's character in Book Three?

Katie: Sam and Blake have an interesting relationship in that it isn’t the usual love triangle fall out. They both have enough about them to somehow elevate their acquaintance above that. They become unlikely friends and rely on each other tremendously in Book Three. They become more like brothers in the way that they don’t always like one another, or what they have done, but they are bonded by something bigger than petty squabbles. Sam has a significant role in Book Three but I can’t really say more than that without spoiling #2.

Enamored Soul:
I love how steadfast and true Blake and Mina are in their love for each other - do you believe love as pure and strong as that can only exist in fantasy/literature?

Katie: No I don’t only believe it is the stuff of fairytales. True and steadfast love is totally attainable in ‘real’ life, but what isn’t attainable is ‘perfect romance’. I’ve been married for ten years to my hubby: we went to school together. I was about to write that I am lucky to have such a strong marriage, but then I stopped myself because it has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with a lot of hard work on both sides. The quests that Mina and Blake undertake are a metaphor for this.
Romance isn’t a natural state of being human; it has to be ‘made’ in much the way a writer has to craft and plan the romance in a story. In real life, ‘magical’ moments require effort and thought. 

Enamored Soul: Wow, I absolutely LOVED every sentence and every chapter of "Immortal Beloved" - but way to leave us on a cliffhanger! *bites nails* What happens next? *begs* Please, please, please tell us in which direction you will be taking our dear Mina, Blake, Sam and Delta?

Katie: Oh, clip yourself in for a rollercoaster ride. Book three is mental. I’m genuinely beginning to regret calling it the Knight Trilogy as Quartology might have been a little easier on me! Things take a very dark turn in Book Three. We return to Europe and to the really gothic fairytale stuff. There are three routes in Book Three, and the characters travel different paths in different combinations. We head back into the forests – this time in France and also into the icy mountains of Switzerland. There is a lot of drama and you are all going to be furious at me over some of the decisions I have made (hopefully in a kind of good way). Make sure you have a box of tissues ready – you’re going to need them. BTW only the first ninety percent of it is planned.

The absolute ending – well you’re guess is as good as mine. I was thinking about doing three endings and you get to choose in a sort of nineteen eighties style! (Only joking.) I almost have the ending in place – the question is; will it be happy ever after?

Enamored Soul:
Katie, thank you for being SUCH a doll and taking the precious time to answer all my questions. Thank you, also, for writing such amazing characters, and such a beautiful and adventurous narrative. I'm truly a big fan - thank you so much! :)

Katie: No, really – thank you.  

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, straight from the source, Katie has made you and me privy to details very few people on the planet know of, for which we are truly quite grateful. Make sure to MARK YOUR CALENDARS – the date is August 25th, 2011 and “Immortal Beloved” is set to make waves, so make sure to go and get your copy. Also, Katie was generous enough to offer the readers of “The Chronicles of an Enamored Soul” some goodies, so time for a GIVEAWAY!

Here’s what we have for you today:

x 2 e-books of “The Forest of Adventures”
x 2 e-books of “Immortal Beloved”


And since this is an e-book giveaway, it’s INTERNATIONAL! This one is as simple as it gets, in order to enter, leave a comment with your name, your preference of which ebook you’d like and your email address so that we can contact you if you win. For extra entries, tweet the giveaway; make sure to mention both @inluvwithbookz and @KnightTrilogy in your tweets, and leave a separate comment. Add an additional entry (each) if you follow Katie and Me via Twitter. And if you create a sidebar post/blog post about this giveaway, leave three additional comments for three additional entries. The contest ends August 30th, 2011 and the winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Also, come back on August 21st for a review of “Immortal Beloved” on my blog, and make sure to visit Jaime and Patricia (say hi to them and Katie from my side, please!) of Two Chicks On Books
who have Katie on their blog for a guest post TOMORROW  *GASP* - you can’t miss it! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

~The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John - Love & Legend Combine~


Title: The Forest of Adventures (The Knight Trilogy, #1)
Author: Katie M. John
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House

Release Date: December 1st, 2010
Available to order here:  Author's Site
/ Amazon Kindle / Smashwords
View Book Trailer here: The Forest of Adventures

My Review
Katie M. John's "The Forest of Adventures" is the first book, in her 'Knight Trilogy' series, and it is not a book that disappoints. Although based in a magical realm, deep within the dense and dark foliage of an enchanting forest, the novel still remains deeply rooted in reality, and is full of characters that are real and believable.

Mina Singer is happily going about her life, with a steady and loving boyfriend in Sam, and a wonderful group of friends. And then Blake appears on her horizon, and instantly, she feels an attraction and familiarity with him that she cannot shake off. Following her gut, she begins getting close to Blake, and realizes that all is not as it seems in Blake's life. Before she can stop it from happening, tragedy strikes, sending Mina and Blake's life into upheaval. Will their romance stand the test? How will Mina deal with the surprising turn of events in her life?

"The Forest of Adventures" is a gripping read, that keeps you turning the pages, all the while maintaining the tense and electrically charged atmosphere. I must admit, that although Vampires and Werewolves are dark and sexy, the thought of of an Arthurian Knight is far more sexy. There is just something so very chivalrous and selfless about Blake's character, one can't help but be attracted to him. The author has a beautiful way of describing the forest, and the book has a few action-packed battles that will have the reader's heartbeat rising in anticipation. But the book balances the roughness of battle, with the sweetness of romance - and it is this blend that makes this book such an enjoyable read. If you're a fan of fantasy-romances, I'd definitely recommend you read this book! 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars *****
Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book for review, I was not compensated monetarily, or in any other way, for my opinion. The opinions stated in this review are solely mine, and are not representative of views of the author, or publishing company, of this book.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

~Sunday Stew - August 7th, 2011~

Sunday Stew is a Weekly Meme hosted at Books Devoured

Bookmark of the Week

This is one of my own creations. It's actually a half-page sized cardboard upon which I created a sort-of mosaic, using words and phrases cut out of magazines. Yes, I defile magazines. Magazines, yes. Books...NEVER! Haha. I made this one a while ago, and it is one of the two of my favorite mosaics. I tend to use it a lot, especially when I'm in a bit of a depressive mood. That's what I've been using for the past 6-7 days.

Book of the Week

Title: The Lake
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Publisher: Melville House Publishing

Comments: "Bananamania" is absolutely real, not just a mere phenomenon, I think it's a real love for this author's work. I've only read through a little of the book so far, but I love the dark, brooding, mysterious and absolutely atmospheric writing of Banana Yoshimoto. I love it so far, I'd definitely recommend everyone to look into reading this book. Plus, when you buy this book through Melville Publishing, part of the proceeds from the book go towards Japan's  Disaster (You can click on the book for more details).

Around The Web

Well, first of all, one of my favorite bloggers, Tynga (Cindy Bacon) of Tynga's Review put up pictures of her beautiful wedding up on her blog, which took place on May 28th, 2011. Just click on the gorgeous picture of her and her husband below to access her absolutely amazing wedding pictures.

Also, it's BOOK BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK!!! It's an annual celebration of book blogs, and their amazing authors/owners/bloggers. Don't forget to visit the website, and nominate your favorite book bloggers! I can think of a DOZEN amazing people I'd love to nominate, so make sure YOU nominate your favorites as well! :D Just click on the banner below in order to go to the website :D

Around Me

There has been just SO much going on around me that I think I'd need until next Sunday in order to tell you what has been going on since last week. I'm behind on EVERYTHING, because I've been busy my family. Also, due to Ramadan (which my family and I observe), we've been fasting while doing all that needs to be done - which, in hot weather like the kind we've been experiencing in Southern California, makes it that much more difficult. But it's a SPIRITUAL journey, and a rewarding one at that, so I'm hanging in there. Here are a few highlights of the week.

My uncle flew down from Oakland Hills for a conference. While he was busy with the conference, he spent time with his family (US!) in the evenings! :) Because he was in town, and we typically tend to do a dinner together every time anyone is in town, we proceeded to have a grand dinner to end our fasts on Wednesday evening. The following is the fare that was available at the dinner (half of which was prepared by yours truly! *beams*):

 We had Dahi Barray (Yogurt w/ Fritters), Haleem (a slow-cooked lentil curry), Tamarind Chutney, Mint Chutney, Sweetened Milk, Potato Samosas

We also had Ras Malai (cottage cheese rounds immersed in sweetened cardomom milk), Chholay (Garbanzo Bean Salad), Egg Curry, Fruit Salad, and Beef Samosas

Dates and Fritters (Assorted: Potato, Spinach, Eggplant Fritters)

By the way, I want to clarify that this is NOT the usual fare at the end of a fast for us. Fasting doesn't mean that you should eat enough for the entire day before sun-up, and then act like a complete glutton after sun-down. That would completely negate all the benefits of fasting, which is really all about gaining control over your own desires, and your own ego - allowing to free yourself from urges of hunger, desire, greed, gluttony, slothfulness, backbiting, gossiping, telling lies etc. This is just because every one was getting together, and an assortment of food was made to please everyone - and also, it seems like a lot of food, but it's technically for 20 people, so I hope you understand. My usual fare for a fasting day is drinking one glass of sweetened milk (& sometimes an egg) with 2 dates and a glass of water before sun-up, and half a glass of milk, 2 dates and a simple dinner (no different from every day dinners) right away. I don't eat between then and the next meal before sun-up (neither does any one else in my family).

This dinner also allowed me to spend some time with my little cousin Inaaya (my mom's brother's daughter), who is an absolute DARLING. Funny thing is, she looks and talks just like my mom, which is that much more endearing. She is a FIRECRACKER, though - and she's especially in that phase where she wants to do everything you do. Oh, and she LOVES posing for pictures, so when she got all decked out to pray with my mom, I snapped this picture of her.

 She wanted to act all adult-like and pretend she was praying - she got tired of that sash on her head REALLY fast! lol :P

She was out of her dressy clothes, and back to being the cute little nuisance she is in NO time! :)

Lastly, on Saturday morning my Uncle took us cousins out for breakfast. Funny thing is, we're all girls - so it was really fun. Just us, and our uncle. We were so busy having a good time, we completely forgot to take pictures. BUT, we did discover an absolutely AMAZING restaurant that I cannot help but rave about. So bear with me! :) 

La Creperie Bohemian Bistro & Bar is an absolutely beautiful establishment, with real ambiance, great music and, best of all, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS FOOD!!! I was fasting along with another cousin of mine, so we ordered food to go, which was delicious even after hours of sitting on the kitchen counter! My uncle ordered a "Latin Lover" (a sweet crepe filled with Nutella and fresh bananas), a cousin ordered "Romeo and Juliet" (a sweet crepe filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries and bananas), another one ordered a "Chocolate, Chocolate" (Warm chocolate crepe filled with nutella and strawberries) - ALL looked, smelled and tasted absolutely delicious! Before you make the mistake of thinking that they only serve sweet fare, they also serve savory crepes, pasta, salads, etc. As a matter of fact, another one of my cousins ordered a "Spa Vichy" (Strawberry & banana and yogurt parfait with granola), which she said was scrumptious. Also I ordered myself a "Zorba" (A savory crepe with fresh sautéed spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes, caramelized onions and kalamata olives in a vegetable broth), to eat later when my fast ended, and let me tell you, it can only be hailed as being absolutely DIVINE! Also, I MUST comment on the service provided. I have to admit, the host and the waitress were simply amazing - I literally felt like I was sitting in some cafe in Paris, and that I must be royalty, because they treated me so well!!! Also, at the end of our visit, the Manager (I assumed her to be the manager, but perhaps she was the owner *shrugs*) PERSONALLY thanked and greeted each of us. I was absolutely blown away by their hospitality!

So, the whole point of my rant was to tell you what a fantastic place this restaurant is. Unfortunately, it is only in Southern California. I went to the one in Chino Hills, but there are also branches in Downtown Long Beach, and on the Belmont Shore. So all my Southern Cali bloggers/friends - head on over to this wonderful restaurant, RIGHT NOW! And for those who don't live down here...whenever you're in town, MAKE SURE TO VISIT! :) You can click on the banner above to visit their website, and check out their amazing menu, or check out their Facebook page for some lovely pictures, and comments from other diners! :D

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this week's ~Sunday Stew~, I definitely enjoyed writing it. With this, I conclude this week's Sunday Stew post! Thank you for reading, feel free to leave me any comments/feedback you may like. I wish you a blessed rest of the week, and that you'll continue to visit! :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

~Sunday Stew - July 31st, 2011~

Sunday Stew is a Weekly Meme hosted at Books Devoured

Bookmark of the Week

I received some literature about Rosetta Stone as part of the pamphlets/flyers in a Barnes & Nobles order that I received. This was a bookmark with a perforated edge, to be separated from the literature itself and used. Of course, I jumped at that opportunity, because I think the message depicted is so absolutely adorable. "More than words. Understanding." which here applies to learning a new language, but could be applied to many other aspects of life as well. Come to think of it, although the expression of love is grand, there is often times one does not need any words at all to express love, or desire. I wish the whole world understood and accepted that concept - rather than creating rifts between one another based on caste, creed, color and language. 

Book of the Week

I have a review coming up tomorrow for this absolutely riveting mystery, so keep an eye out for that. But in the mean time, make sure to go and check out this amazing novel! 

Around The Web

Rosetta Stone is offering a chance for you to win an iPad if you just try out their demo. I think this is a delightful little opportunity, because I absolutely LOVE learning new languages. I tried out the Spanish (Latin American) demo and it absolutely ROCKED!!! I had so much fun, and having tried it out, I am convinced that one of the first things I'll buy once I have a job is the full set of Rosetta Stone learning CD's to learn Spanish. I also want to try out the Italian demo, so that may be next. What language would YOU like to learn, or try to learn via demo? For the love of language, or merely for the love of an iPad, click on the picture above, and go and try out the demo, and enter yourself in the race to win an iPad :)

Another absolutely wonderful giveaway hop. I had REALLY wanted to be part of this giveaway, but the truth is, with the Kindle giveaway, I am currently in no financial situation to be hosting a giveaway. So, I refrained from this one. I've been told, time and time again, that a giveaway hop is the BEST way to gain followers, but try as I may, something always comes up. But I'm not too worried, I've gained a lot of friends along the way...I'm sure it won't hurt me any. Next time, I promise! Click on the banner above, happy hopping :) Oh, and all of you...make sure to check out my Kindle giveaway!

All you people who have loved me, and supported me, shown me kindness, respect and encouragement - all this, my blog, is possible because of YOU! So I thought, why not give one of you the chance to win this here it is, just click on the banner above, and it'll take you to the giveaway post. Make sure to enter, pass the info along, etc. Wishing you ALL the BEST OF LUCK!!!

Around Me

For those of you who are Muslim and/or observing Ramadan (which starts tomorrow):

It's been a really busy week/weekend for me. With my mom home for the summers, she tends to want me to not sit still for even a second! So there's been a lot of cleaning. Also, this past week, I did most of the cooking.

I made "Chicken Haandi", a very flavorful, creamy chicken curry. In addition to that, I made a Pakistani/Indian rice dish called "Biryani" with beef and potatoes. And finally, yesterday, I made a Pan-Seared 7-Bone steaks along with Pepper Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed Mixed Veggies. You can see pictures of the fare below - they're not very clear since I used my cell phone to take the pictures. And the steaks, well, I was searing them and serving them right away, so I really didn't stop to take pictures! lol :P

 Beef Biryani with Potatoes

Chicken Haandi Curry

Lastly, my bestie Fei-Fei and I are doing a "True Blood" night again, for which I am SOOOOOOO excited. It's kind of become a ritual every Sunday, except last Sunday both she and I were busy (her boyfriend was moving, and it was my mom's birthday). But the Truebies unite, and we're planning on having a blast...AGAIN! :) For all you Truebies out there, here's a bit of a treat! :D 

First Eric gets naked, and splashes around in the water...during...the DAYTIME!

Then Alcide & Sookie come to his aid, and Alcide growls at Eric the way I'd like for him to growl at ME. Not to mention, there's two almost naked men in ONE frame - needless to say, it was the equivalent of multiple orgasms that Sunday! ;-)

But then, this past Sunday, it got even better...because first we saw Eric Northman, the absolutely and insanely sexy Sheriff of Area 5, become totally vulnerable and cry...

And then, to my utter shock and delight, the following happened!!!


So what measure of madness is going to take place tonight? If you're not following the show (and question that begs to be asked is, WHY THE HECK NOT!?!?) I'm sure you'll hear all about it next Sunday!!!! ;-) 

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this week's ~Sunday Stew~, I definitely enjoyed writing it. With this, I conclude this week's Sunday Stew post! Thank you for reading, feel free to leave me any comments/feedback you may like. I wish you a blessed rest of the week, and that you'll continue to visit! :)