Tuesday, May 31, 2011

200 Follower Giveaway Winner!

I'm so excited to say that EYO has reached 200 Followers, Yay!
And I would also like to thank all of EYO's followers - Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for being the wonderful people that you are!

And now for the winner of EYO's 200 Follower Giveaway 


Again, thanks to all those following EYO!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

tgif #11: Follow Me Friday & Book Blogger Hop, Yay!

It's Friday, and that means it's time for some book bloggin fun! Thank goodness because I don't think I could go another day without blogging. My hunny was in the hospital for 5 days, so of course I stayed with him, WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS, and visitors couldn't leave the rooms after 9pm. It felt like prison, ahhhhh. But we are finally free! And Thank God It's Friday, literally. 

Now for the Friday fun!
This week's featured blogger is Louise who blogs at Book Bliss. Hop on over to her blog and check it out.
And this week's question is...
"How many books do you read in a week? And in what format to you read them, or listen to them?"
This is a tough question bceause every week is completely different, in terms of reading that is. When I first started blogging, I was recovering from heart failure, so I had a lot of free time on my hands and read two books a week. I know that doesn't sound like much to those super speedy readers out there, but my meds make me so tired and I already have the attention span of a squirrel, lol.
Since I'm feeling sooooo much better, I started putting a lot of time into my artwork and my novel (yes, I'm writing my first urban fantasy novel, yay!) so I'm lucky if I get through one book in a week. Some weeks I'm super focused on writing, but when I hit a road block I switch to painting or reading, whatever I'm feeling at the moment. I'm definitely a spontaneous person when it comes to the hobbies that I enjoy most, but aside from that, I'm a geeky, super organized, plan ahead kinda girl. 
As for format, I like both hard copy and ebooks, but I would never be able to pay attention to an audio book. I'd be lost before the end of the first chapter, haha. Lately I've been reading two books at once, one hard copy and one ebook - I read the hard copy at home and read the ebook when I'm at the office or waiting in line at the grocery or doctor's office. It may take me a little longer to get through each book, but I don't lose focus as quickly when I switch it up a 

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question comes from Britta
who Blogs at I Like These Books
"What book to movie adaption have you most liked? Which have you disliked?"
Great question! There are a ton of books-to-movies that I absolutely love, but my favorites are Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella , Runaway Jury by John Grisham,  The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.  Obviously there are some differences (setting is a major difference in Runaway Jury & High Fidelity), but the movies definitely stay true to the spirit of the books.  And it doesn't hurt that John Cusack plays the lead role in two of them :) Love love love all of these!
I hope no one wants to kill me for saying this, but my least favorite book-to-movie would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I absolutely loved the book (one of my favorite series), but there were just too many inconsistencies in the movie, and it really, really bothered me. I found myself picking out all of the differences between the two rather than enjoying the movie.  It doesn't matter when little details are left out of a movie (obviously there isn't enough time to get every little detail into the film), but it really bothers me when they are absolutely wrong. For example, Meyer described Bella's horrible, old computer and dial up internet connection in her room at Charlie's house in detail several times throughout the book, which really gives you a clear picture of what kind of guy Charlie is - down to earth, simple, with no need for technology. But in the movie, she has a laptop, grrrrr.
Another thing that really bothered me was that Bella didn't cook dinner for Charlie and herself every night, which to me was an integral part of the plot -they went out to eat at the diner instead. i really appreciated that part of the book and was very disappointed that it had been omitted from the film. I also felt that Edward and Bella fell in love a little too quickly in the film. The build-up to their romance was what I loved the most about the book, and I feel like that was lost in the movie. I could go on for days about all of the inconsistencies, but I would rather not have a mob of angry Twilight fans show up, pitchforks in hand, at my door. 



TV Thursday #4: Congrats Scotty!

As all of you American Idol fans will agree, today is a very sad day for all of us because the season has finally come to an end (sniffle, sniffle). But I must say that last night's finale was the best the show has ever had and each performance was absolutely amazing, especially Steven Tyler's performance of Dream On. I'm going to miss this year's contestants, but I'm already looking forward to watching next season's auditions in January of 2012. 

And now a big ol' CONGRATULATIONS to the 2011 American Idol, 

To see videos of the amazing finale performances, click here

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Book Boyfriend #1: Ethan

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by The Unread Reader.  Talking about hot, sexy male characters is the perfect way to start off Humpday! 

My Book Boyfriend of the week is...

from Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series, yum!

He's absolutely the most beautiful undead man! Blonde hair, green eyes, and a face and body that could make a nun sweat, lol. I usually go for dark hair and dark eyes, but Chloe Neill has a gift for creating the sexiest characters, and I could care less about his hair or eye color. He's the Master of Cadogan House, super strong, super sexy, and the definition of an alpha male. Gotta love those alphas!

If Mr. Sullivan were real, here's what I think he would look like...

Who is your Book Boyfriend this week?

Friday, May 20, 2011

tgif! #10


And this week's question is...
"It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them..."

Oh goodness, here goes nothing...

1. I am totally obsessed with zebra print. I have soooooo much zebra print decor (strategically placed throughout my house so that my future husband doesn't freak out), clothing, jewelry, oh and SHOES (just bought a pair of zebra print stilletos-they are hottt!).
2. I always have a watermelon flavored push pop in my purse. Push pops are the best candy on the planet!
3. Home Depot is my favorite store - a girl can't have enough power tools, lol.
4. When I get married (which will hopefully be soon), I'm wearing sparkly flip flops. I take pride in being vertically challenged.
5. I have an addiction to tattoos and am currently working on a sleeve on my left arm, and it is bad ass!

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question comes from Ivan who
 blogs at Ivan Bookworm...

"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

My Answer: I would most definitely love to spend a day (well a night) in the Cadogan House of the Chicagoland Vampires, under the condition that I was indeed a vampire. I absolutely love all of Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires books, but I would prefer to hop into the vamp scene before Hard Bitten (if you have read the book then you understand why, sniffle sniffle). Who wouldn't love to be surrounded by hottttt vampires for a night?

Don't forget about my

Enter for a chance to win a 
$15 Amazon.com Giftcard!

Have a great day and thanks for following EYO!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thinking on Thursday #5: New Artwork

Today I was thinking about showing off my new artwork, so here are a few of my new pieces...

Fleur de Lis on Ceramic

Fleur de Lis on Canvas

Ncw Orleans Jazz on Canvas

I've also been working on personalized items like the ones below.

I absolutely love painting - it's super relaxing and can't believe it took me this long to realize that I'm actually good at it, lol.

If you like any of the pieces above and would like one, email me at embraceyouroddities@gmail.com and let me know what size/colors/name/team/etc that you want. I have great prices that won't hurt your wallet :)

Thanks for following EYO! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #4

Today's Top Ten: 

(from books and/or movies)

Here are my picks...
1. Lestat
2. Marsilia
3. Aro
4. Caius
5. Claudia
6. Demetri
7. Armand
8. Marcus
9. Stefan
10. Alec

Share the love or agree to disagree - I love comments!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review of Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Original edition (October 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 045122793X
ISBN-13: 978-0451227935

Product Description (from Amazon.com):

The story of a young heiress's initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues...

Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle-the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.

So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them-someone with an ancient grudge...

My Review

I applaud Chloe Neill for bringing such an amazing story to life. After reading Friday Night Bites, the second book in her Chicagoland Vampires series, I’m absolutely hooked and craving more of Merit and her journey of becoming a Cadogan vampire.

I love stories with strong and sassy female protagonists and it was super easy for me to relate to the conflicts that Neill has created for her protagonist. Merit’s transition into the role of Sentinel of Cadogan house was not a smooth one, and trying to find a happy median between the past and present is only making it more difficult to fulfill the expectations that her Master, Ethan Sullivan, has set for her. But what makes Merit truly interesting in that she is in constant battle with herself. She values her humanity and fears that if she lets the vampire within her lose, she will take over completely and the human emotion she cherishes so deeply will be lost forever. As Merit’s character developed further, I began to appreciate her human qualities even more – they made her much more real, much easier to connect with. But while Merit has both human and vampire qualities, she doesn’t exactly fit into either world, which causes more conflict.

This conflict was not the only enjoyable aspect of this book. Neill has created a variety of unique characters which bring flair to this wonderful story. Merit’s relationship with Ethan is mind-boggling at times and very often left me frustrated and nearly defeated, but their love-hate relationship left me wanting more. But just when Merit and Ethan left me screaming, Mallory and Catcher made me laugh. I loved their easy relationship and the intense connection that they shared.

The only part of this book that didn’t leave me jumping for joy was when Merit is forced to reconnect with that God-awful family of hers. At one point, I wanted to punch her father in the face. I completely understand that Merit’s relationship with her family is vital to the story’s plot, but it created a very cold, emotionless atmosphere.

Overall, I was completely satisfied with this fast-paced, super steamy book. The Chicagoland Vampires is my new favorite urban fantasy series, and I can’t wait to start reading the next book, Twice Bitten.

My Rating

Name Your Link

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Upcoming Reviews

My apologies for so few posts over the past few weeks - I've been super busy working on my novel & artwork, not to mention paperwork at the office and keeping my house together. Time really does fly by when your busy! 

Anyhoo, here is a list of the reviews I will be posting this week:

Friday Night Bites  (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill
Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe Neill
Hard Bitten  (Chicagoland Vampires #4) by Chloe Neill
Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead

Hope you enjoy! Thanks for following EYO and have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Southern Fun: Music Festivals & Other Events

My most favorite event of the year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, has sadly come to an end but was wonderful while it lasted. Here's a recap of what went down at the New Orleans Fairgrounds for the past two weekends...

The festival is a two weekend celebration of New Orleans music and culture, a completely original and amazing experience. If you are thinking about taking a trip to New Orleans, schedule it for either the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May so that you can join in on the festivities.

There is a huge variety of live music at the festival, encompassing every style associated with the city and state: Bues, R & B, Gospel, Cajun, Swamp Pop, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, Folk, Latin, Rock, Rap, Country, Bluegrass and everything in between, and of course Jazz, both contemporary and traditional. Tons of major and local artists perform at the festival each year - each day from 11am to 7pm, a variety of artists perform on 12 different stages, each with its own unique theme. If you are interested in hearing some amazing rock music, take a walk over to the Acura stage. In the mood for some southern rap? Head on over to the Congo Square stage. Sadly, it is impossible to see every artist/band at the festival, so plan ahead and choose a day or weekend that features your favorites, but regardless of when you go to Jazz Fest, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Here are just a few of the major artists that appeared at the 2011 Jazz Fest (I saw Kid Rock and he was absolutely amazing. Had a blast!):
Robert Plant & the Band of Joy, Wyclef Jean, Irma Thomas, Bon Jovi, Jason Mraz, Partners & Crime & 5th Ward Weebie, John Legend & the Roots, Kenny G, John Mellencamp, Tom Jones, Cindi Lauper, Better than Ezra, Arcade Fire, Willie Nelson, Lupe Fiasco, Mystikal (so sad to have missed him perform), The Strokes, Lauryn Hill, Jimmy Buffet, Cowboy Mouth, Kid Rock, the Neville Brothers, Maze feat. Frankie Beveryly, and many more. 

Crafts & Marketplaces (from nojazzfest.com)

Beginning in the early 1970s with a handful of artisans — from self-taught painter and street preacher Sister Gertrude Morgan, to acclaimed jewelry designer Mignon Faget to Louisiana Coushatta basket weavers — the Festival's Crafts now include the diverse works of hundreds of regionally and nationally acclaimed artists in multiple distinct event venues.
Filled with music, art, and energy, the CONGO SQUARE AFRICAN MARKETPLACE is alive with the culture and spirit which helped create the jazz and heritage for which New Orleans is known. You will find an array of local, national, and international artisans exhibiting ancient crafting techniques, as well as modern variations and adaptations of those techniques. Enjoy the exchange of wares, customs, and ideas that embodies a true marketplace experience as you encounter people and art from throughout the African Diaspora.

CONTEMPORARY CRAFTS, set among blues, jazz and gospel music tents in Heritage Square, is a nationally recognized showcase of alluring handcrafted clothing, beautiful leather goods and musical instruments, along with a brilliant array of paintings, photographs, sculptures and irresistible jewelry. Observe ongoing skilled demonstrations of metal work, painting and fiber work, as well as pottery turning – it's certain to please your creative inquiries.

In LOUISIANA MARKETPLACE, the state's finest traditional and contemporary artists display and sell hand-colored photographs, pine needle baskets, whimsical jewelry, and other creations that evoke the state's unique cultural landscape.

The Festival also features a wide variety of vendors with local foods. The official food policy of the Festival is "no carnival food." Indeed, there are more than seventy food booths, all with unique food items, including but not limited to: Mango Freeze,crawfish beignets, cochon de lait sandwiches, alligator sausage po' boy (sandwich), boiled crawfish, softshell crab po'boy, crawfish Monica and many other dishes. All food vendors go through strict screening for quality, food handling practices and capacity, all  vendors are locally owned small businesses, all who set up and dish out there goodies at three distinct areas: contemporary, Congo Square and Folk.

Culture (from nojazzfest.com)
In the Louisiana Folklife Village, master artisans and tradition-bearers create cultural treasures by using generations-old techniques. Here, Cajun musicians meticulously handcraft accordions and boat-builders transform bald cypress into the graceful pirogues and skiffs that ply our waterways. Watch as New Orleans architectural tradesmen forge decorative ironwork and fashion intricate wood trim characteristic of historic New Orleans homes. Learn the traditions of Mardi Gras Indians and Marching Clubs, and watch as float makers create carnival masterpieces from papier-mâché. Visit the Folklife Village and bear witness to our state's unique cultural history.
A component of the Folklife Village, the Native American Village celebrates the rich heritage of our state's indigenous peoples. Relax under the shade canopy of a palmetto-thatched chickee while enjoying traditional drumming and singing by Southeastern dance and pow-wow troupes.
The air-conditioned Grandstand gives Festival-goers a chance to take an intimate look at the vibrant culture, cuisine and art of Louisiana. This year's programs includes Special Exhibits spanning both weekends on the 1st Floor, West Wing, and four intriguing stages: Zatarain's Food Heritage Stage (1st Floor East), Zatarain's Cajun Cabin (on the apron outside Food Heritage), the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage (2nd floor East), and the Lagniappe Stage (in the outdoor paddock).

Upcoming Louisiana Fun & Festivals:
Mid City Bayou Boogaloo:  The 2011 festival will feature a wide variety of musical genres including New Orleans roots in Blues, Jazz , Funk, Cajun, Zydeco, Latin, Brass, Country, Alternative, Hip Hop and Rock.  There will be something for everyone! 
The Great Souther RallyMotorcycle Rally on 250 Acres at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center - Camping, RV Hook Ups and the best biker party in the Great South! Swamp rides - Cajun Poker Runs - MFG Demos over scenic 10 mile River Road Run - 100's of Vendors - Music - Outdoor Activities and More. Food and Hospitality...The Southern Way!
New Orleans Greek Festival: the name says it all!
Fleur de Lis Memorial Day Weekend Craft ShowThis indoor show will feature handcrafted items from artists and craftsmen from a four state area. This is our 6th biannual event. No admission fee to public.
New Orleans Oyster Festival: the New Orleans Oyster Festival will educate the country about the benefits of the Louisiana Gulf Oyster, honor and celebrate the restaurateurs and oyster farmers who have solidified the New Orleans French Quarter's position as the "Oyster Capital of America."Proceeds from the event will go to "Save Our Coast". Come out to see live local music and eat great food! Don't miss out on the Acme Oyster House World Oyster Eating Competition.

is a multi-day music and arts festival in New OrleansLouisiana that was originally held on Halloween weekend in 1999, it has since moved between the weekend before Halloween and Halloween weekend throughout the years. The festival returned to Halloween weekend in 2009.
The Voodoo Experience is known for its blending of high profile national artists from all genres such as Eminem50 CentRed Hot Chili PeppersKissThe Black Keys,Duran DuranNine Inch NailsR.E.M., and 311 with local Louisiana musicians including The Original MetersTrombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and Dr. John.
Obviously this is not a complete list of all the fun events that Louisiana has to offer, but I chose these because they are some of my favs. I'll post a complete list of all of the events at a later date.

Happy Blogging!

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