Well, this is probably my last post for 2006! And in case I won't be logging on until 3 Jan, I would like to wish everyone a...

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At a graduation night ten years ago, Katrina Spencer finally musters her courage to seduce Brock Denton, a bad boy whom she likes but knows they are not destined to be together. But Brock turns her down, sending her away and deeply humiliated. She never forgets that night, until ten years later, she meets him again on a deserted island.

Brock Denton is now an undercover FBI Agent. Things are going smoothly with his job until he answers to his real name accidentally and has his cover blown. Now he has to flee before the smugglers catch up on him. He manages to escape and ends up on an island, and is equally shocked to meet face to face with a grown-up Kat.

Kat wishes she is with her friends at a bachelorette party at Vegas, instead of spending time to herself at a family private island before marrying to her fiance, Ian whom she admires but doesn't love. When she sees Brock again, he reminds her of the night when he had turned down on her, but Brock thinks otherwise, for he has never forgotten about her. Now Kat doesn't know what to think; although she tells herself she is going to get married within a few days' time, still she can't fight the yearnings she still have for Brock.

But danger catches up on Brock and he vows to protect the woman whom he had let down once, as well as to deal with the sparks that fly between them.

Will Kat allow herself to be seduced and follow her heart? Or is this just part of Brock's remedy of the past?

Toni Blake has weaved a wonderful romance suspense story. Readers will be Swept Away with this book.
Now I know why the server is extremely slow (or at times not even responding) yesterday!!! It was due to a 7.1-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Taiwan last night; the underwater cables in the Asia Pacific region that carry internet traffic were damaged and the internet service in countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and even Australia is jammed.

My heart goes out to the Taiwanese, and I'm hoping there won't be too many casualties. I feel there are more natural disasters in this year as compared to the others, and wonder in a way if the earth is about to change... Yeah, I know, it's a scary thought but well, one just can't help thinking about that if too many things happened in a year!

Anyway, just to share this with you regarding our internet situation here; I can just imagine how this will deeply affect the stock market traders or other businesses who rely on telecommunications. Let's just hope this matter will be resolved soon.

(Note: It seems to work fine with me this morning...keeping fingers crossed!)
Read more from AP Yahoo News and AFP Yahoo News.
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You Are a Kinetic Learner

You learn best by doing, and you have a talent for complicated, physical tasks.
You excel at athletics, drama, and fixing things.
You would be an excellent Olympic athlete - or a Broadway star!

I almost laughed out loud at the result. Me? An excellent Olympic athlete? I never like sports in the first place, haha. And er...Broadway star? Too funny. But I admit I prefer to learn things by doing (or I prefer to call it 'experiencing'), and I have no comments about having the talent for complicated, physical tasks, as I think that should leave it to other people to judge me rather than judging myself.
Pete Trayhern is a marine combat engineer Major and is in charge of a construction project in Afghanistan. He is requested to work closely with the construction companies, but he never expects the head of the construction project to be a female civilian by the name of Calandra Roland, not in this unpredictable third world country. He has involved in several military projects and though he thinks Cala is attractive, she is definitely not the person he thinks will be in charge of building a power station in Afghanistan. But he tells himself he will ignore the sparks between them to ensure that the work will go smoothly.

Cala is one courageous lady, and together with her directness she is slowly making him drop his guard. But as they try to ignore their attractions towards each other, danger is slowly creeping upon them. And the most critical thing they have to do is to finish the project and find out who is behind the destruction before they embrace their love for each other that is worth a lifetime.

Beyond The Limit sizzles with actions, excitement and intrigue, and is part of the Morgan's Mercenaries series. Lindsay McKenna is one talented writer who knows how to write great military romances and suspense. I love reading them.
Hey everyone, just wanna wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Today is the day of Dongzhi, one of the chinese traditions and we celebrate this festival by eating Tang Yuan. I love eating Tang Yuan. I remember when I was younger, I used to watch my mom making Tang Yuan from glutinous rice flour with a small amount of water added to form the balls. Usually she will put chopped peanuts or rock sugar inside the balls as the fillings. Then she will boil them in soup (with a little sugar added) and it is ready to serve. Other fillings also include sesame paste and red bean paste, depends on individual's preference.

I also remember fighting with my younger sister for the pink Tang Yuan, as the glutinous rice dough comes with two colours: white and pink. (White is the most commonly found in the wet markets, since it's considered the 'traditional' colour for Tang Yuan, although most would like to add in a few pink balls to create a more 'colourful' effect).

Tang Yuan can be eaten all year around, and is most commonly associated with Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival and even at Chinese weddings where the new couples believe it will bring them luck and all the good blessings.
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I just watched this movie last evening and have not read the book yet (in my TBR pile) but I did read several reviews - both the book (it was first published in 2003) and movie and just don't understand the fuss from the reviewers. Most of them said the movie isn't as great as the book (doesn't this applies the same to the others as well?), and compare it with the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (fair enough - a little comparison is good after all).

It begins with a farm boy named Eragon when he finds a polished blue stone in the forest while out hunting. Thinking it is something special that can exchange some meat to his poor family, he soon discovers there is more than he thinks, and when he brings home he is astonished to find a dragon hatching from it! Soon he finds himself raising the highly intelligent creature which he names Saphira, and that they are able to bond mentally and soulfully. With the advice and guidance of the storyteller Brom (he was formerly a dragon rider but lost his dragon as it was killed!), Eragon learns he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself, and that he will avenge for his uncle and fight the dark enemies which is ruled by an evil King, where the world of magic and power reigns.

Although the plot isn't new, but still I will give credit to the author, Christopher Paolini who first penned this novel when he was only fifteen (never mind about the clichés and all!). After all, writing a book isn't considered an easy task especially at that age, and that there is always room for improvements (and hey, editors play an important part too!). Yes, I enjoyed the movie as it is entertaining, and will definitely read the book.
This is actually the second book of the Lords of Avalon series. I enjoyed reading it that I had to search for the first book (Sword of Darkness), and which is now lying amidst my TBR pile.

Varian de Fey is a hitman for Merlin for countless centuries. He is raised with hatred and anger, and is able to walk between Camelot and Avalon. When Merlin informs him there is a traitor amongst them and shows him an image of Grail Knight Tarynice being dead; he decides to seek the truth and ensures that Grail Knight Tarynice didn't release the secret which involves the remaining five knights who each holds a clue to the sacred Grail. He then meets Merewyn and helps her, who has earlier made a deal with Narishka that made her a deformed hag for eternity.

Meanwhile, his mother, the evil Narishka and right hand of Morgen Le Fey, wants Varian to join their forces. He refuses and is captured by her where he is locked in the dungeon where he is tortured, but Narishka knows his weakness - pity, when he has once showered on Merewyn and decided to use Merewyn's charms to lure him (Narishka has to turn Merewyn into a beauty due to this plan).

Merewyn is delighted to be a beauty again, but she also understands that she will never get out of Narishka's evil grasp, thus she decides to flee Varian and leave with him. But there is nowhere for them to go, except Val Sans Retour (The Valley of No Return) and they have heard rumours that whoever goes to that path never returns, but they have no choice and that it is better than to stay in Narishka's territory. While they make their escape, they are accompanied by Blaise, who is able to turn into a dragon, and through this dangerous journey Merewyn and Varian began to fall in love.

Kinley MacGregor has weaved a great romance fantasy in this series, which is unlike her other historical romances, and I'm sure readers who love reading fantasy will enjoy this as well.
You Are Best Described By...

The Starry Night
by Vincent van Gogh
Actually I don't intend to put too many polls on my blog (since I had posted one not too long ago), but this poll calls to me like a neon light and I just want to know the answer. I love paintings (although I have stopped doing so after graduated from High School!), and I have a Mona Lisa puzzle framed at our living room (if only this is the original painting!!!), haha.
I enjoyed reading this book! It makes me laugh, and well, Fred the dog in this book is just so cute that I wish I can adopt him! LOL. Well, you can say this book focuses a lot on him, besides the hero and the heroine as well. In fact, Fred plays an important role between them and he is almost like a 'matchmaker' to them.

Just turning forty and divorced, Nina Askew wants to have a new life. She wants freedom, and be happy staying on her own and getting a perky dog. But instead she gets Fred, who is overweight, middle-aged and depressed. She feels pity for him; and decided to take him home, and they begin their new life together.

Nina then meets Alex Moore, a single ER doctor who happens to be her neighbour and is ten years her junior. He seems perfect to Nina, but the thing is she feels their age gap is too wide, and that they will have no future together. Alex, on the other hand, thinks otherwise. He is attracted to Nina, and he doesn't give a damn about the age gap or the funny dog that gets between them.

He decides to follow his father's footsteps and be a cardiologist, thinking that it will earn him big bucks and please his father as well; and on top of that Nina's ex-husband does well with his career and he thinks this is what Nina wants - by providing a comfy life for her.

Besides this, Nina is also trying to get her best friend Charity to publish a memoir (where Charity lists her past relationships with different men), and she encourages Nina to go after Alex. Then Nina has a small accident and when she is in the hospital, she begins to see Alex in a whole new light, while Alex tries his best to banish his 'kid' image and pursue the woman who invades his mind day and night.

Anyone But You is actually a reissued copy and was first published in 1996. I love the characters in this book, and great (amusing) dialogues too.

These are some of the pictures we took while shopping at Orchard Road on Saturday. The streets were packed with people, and most of them carried shopping bags in their hands. Don't you love this festive season? :)
This is a Thai horror movie. Oh yeah, I love watching horror movies (I guess most people do anyway). Don't really understand why we will spend money scaring ourselves, but I admit it's kinda fun isn't it? LOL. Anyway, this movie has been released some time ago, and I watched the DVD.

Tun, a photographer and his girlfriend Jane have a car accident after having a drinking party with Tun's closest friends. Jane is terrified that she has hit someone, but Tun stops her from helping the girl as he is scared of having caught. They ran off, not even bothering to check if the girl is still alive or not.

Then, something 'unexplainable' appears on the photos Tun has taken. At first, he thinks it is just a bad picture, but he continues to see these 'bad' pictures subsequently and he comes to realize there is something more behind with these pictures.

Tun and Jane began to investigate the pictures, and to their horror find the supernatural image looks very much the same as the girl whom they hit during the car accident. Jane later discovers that Tun holds a secret; and that the girl she hit is actually his former girlfriend Natre. Natre met Tun while they were in college, and she liked Tun. On one occasion, Tun and his friends stayed late in the laboratory, and they were delighted to find Natre in the lab as well. The boys' teasing has turned to rape, and Natre watched in horror as Tun did nothing to help her but took pictures of them under peer pressure from the friends.

One by one, Tun's friends began to die mysteriously...leaving Tun the only left amongst the group. Tun begins to realize he couldn't escape from his past, no matter how far he runs or where he goes...

I enjoyed this movie, although I have to count on the subtitles to understand the whole plot. It sent chills down my spine, especially the ending part. {shudders}
This cracks me up. I was asked only one question and this is what I get:

Your New Year's Resolutions

1) Get a pet hairless cat

2) Eat more chocolate syrup

3) Travel to Australia

4) Study warrior dancing

5) Get in shape with water skiing


I bought these books at one go yesterday! Phew!! I can't help it though. I was hooked after reading Santa, Baby, so I was excited when I found several backlist from Jennifer Crusie (and some of them can be so hard to find).

Most of the times (and unintentionally), I picked up the second or third book of a series; and this time it is Kinley MacGregor's Knight of Darkness, the second book to her Lord of Avalon series which am currently reading. Thus my eyes lit up when I found the first book Sword of Darkness on the shelf, and it was the last copy so of course I have to grab it. Hehe.

Have not tried reading Jeanie London yet, but the cover attracts me (not to mention strong heroines fascinate me). There were a few occasions that I enjoyed reading the books judged by the covers, and hopefully this will be one of them.
Actually I have been anticipating this book when it was first released in hardcovers. (I'm not into hardcovers. First, the price is way too expensive, secondly it isn't easy to carry a book with that weight.) So the moment I saw the paperbacks hit the shelves, I made a run for it.

The beginning was great; the story starts off with a sunny afternoon in Boston, and the protoganist Clayton Riddell has inked a contract for his first graphic novel. But in an instant, his dreams...and everything is shattered when an eerie event hits the earth. Caused by a brain zapping burst of energy known as the Pulse, it would turn all humans into mindless killing machines once they use the cell phones. Others simply committed suicide without their knowingly... For those who aren't so lucky (at least I think those committed suicide is far better than those who are not), they walk the earth as zombies, killing anyone who crosses their paths. Everywhere is in chaos.

I hate to admit that I didn't finish this book. Frankly I was hooked with the beginning, and was anxious to read more; but when it came to the part where the people turned to zombies after pressing their cell phones onto their ears, my thoughts goes like: "Oh, so it's one of those 'Living Dead of the Night' story"...

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against this story, but I am just not into reading zombies' or anything of the same. Stephen King is a great writer, and I enjoyed his earlier works and liked them: titles like Carrie, Misery, Christine, It, Shining etc. I am hoping he will write more of these in future.
OK, so 2006 isn't over yet...but I have decided Mo Hayder's Tokyo (otherwise known as The Devil of Nanking) as my 'Book of the Year 2006'. I don't think any book I read will top this one. You may read my previous review by clicking here.

And here's my favourite reading list for this year (not in sequence):

I have read a few books by Melanie Milburne and have loved them. An Australian author, she writes for the Harlequin Presents and Medical Romance lines.

In The Secret Baby Bargain, Jake Marriot is never keen on marriage or babies. He has made this clear with his every relationships, and he always stick by his rule. So Ashleigh Forrester chose to leave Jake when she knows she is carrying his child.

After four and a half years, Jake returns to Sydney to resolve his past demons and to pick up whatever his father has left him before he passed away. He looks for Ashleigh, hoping they will renew their relationship but she is already engaged to Howard Caule, who owns an antique shop although she isn't fully in love with her fiancé. She feels they are more like friends than an engaged couple.

Jake offers to sell off some priceless paintings and antiques to Howard which his father has left, and he wants Ashleigh to do the assessment and work with him. Ashleigh is a little skeptical by his request, but she gives in knowing how those items means to Howard. While they are together, Ashleigh begins to know more about Jake and understand why he has refused to tell her about his past lives because he was abused by his father. She feels she should let Jake know about their son, but decides she needs some time but unfortunately her sister let the cat out of its bag accidentally. Jake is furious, and he demands for a marriage. Ashleigh then calls Howard, telling him that Jake has known of his son's existence; Howard tells her it is all right of her to fall back into Jake's arms, after all she and Jake has a son and he wishes her all the best.

Ashleigh isn't sure of Jake's intention of marrying her, and thinks he is doing it out of duty. But she is still in love with him, and moreover their son needs a father. On the other hand, Jake decides to bury his past and start anew with his life, and also giving his son the most important thing which he had missed during his childhood - love.
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz
I snagged this from Darla's blog. (Thanks Darla! ;) ) Interesting quiz. Most of them are quite true, except that I have read one or two major classic, not most major classic in school! Hehe.
This book is actually a reprint edition and was originally published in 1989. (Gosh, that sounds like a long time to me!) Anyway, I’m fascinated with the blurb and decided to pick up this book, since I have never read anything by Mary Balogh.

The Gilded Web is the first book of the Web trilogy, and the story begins with the heroine, Alexander Purnell who decides to escape from the hot, crowded London ballroom for a moment of privacy. She is then seized away by two people under Dominic, Lord Eden’s instructions, who think his sister, Madeline Raine is planning for an elopement and he is trying to stop her from doing so.

Alexander is then bound by the bed at Madeline’s room, until their elder brother, Edmund, Earl of Amberley heard her cries and went to her rescue. Thinking she will be ravished, she never expects she will be at the mercy of a man who will save her from certain scandal. Not wanting the others to think her position is compromised, he asks for a betrothal.

Alexander, on the other hand, feels she is smothered not only by her father’s strict rule, but by the society ton as well. Both Alexander and Edmund feel they are quite satisfied with their life and don’t need a marriage to trap them, but Edmund lives a life of service to others and he decides to end the relationship with his mistress and devotes his attention to Alexander. Edmund’s offer of marriage takes Alexander by surprise, and she resists his charm and thinks their marriage will not work and that she is not the one for him.

There are lots of conflicts and tension in this story. I can’t wait to read till the end, hoping that Edmund will do something extraordinary or romantic to make Alexander changes her mind. There are some times that I am frustrated with Alexander and feels she doesn’t worth Edmund’s love… but nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this book and will be waiting for Web of Love (Lord Eden and Ellen Simpson's story) and Devil's Web (Lady Madeline Raine and James Purnell's story) to be reissued.
I received this from a forwarded email (not sure of its original source) but I thought I want to share it with you:

The following is a "healthy food list" that will give you the biggest nutritional bang for you caloric buck, as well as decrease your risk for deadly illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Along with each description is a suggestion as to how to incorporate these power-food into your diet.


The Power: Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients.


The Power: Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger.


The Power: Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries.

The Power: A medium mango packs 57mg of vitamin C, almost your whole-recommended daily dose. This antioxidant helps prevent arthritis and boosts wound healing and your immune system. Mangoes also boast more than 8,000 IU of vitamin A (as beta-carotene). One mango has 135 calories, 1 gram of fat and 4 grams of fiber. Cut on up and serve it over leafy greens. Bonus: Your salad will taste like dessert!

The Power: Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium - almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie.

Cranberry Juice

The Power: Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Buy 100 percent juice concentrate and use it to spice up your daily H20 without adding sugar.


The Power: Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.


The Power: These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Sprinkle raisins on your morning oatmeal or bran cereal - women, consider this especially during your period.

The Power: A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. The Pill depletes B6, so if you use this method of birth control, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber. (Cookie lovers - fig bars have around 56 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber per cookie). Fresh figs are delicious simmered alongside a pork tenderloin and the dried variety make a great portable gym snack.


The Power: Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor.


The Power: Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Chop onions for the maximum phyto-nutrient boost, or if you hate to cry, roast them with a little olive oil and serve with rice or other vegetables.

The Power: These odd-looking vegetables contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol. One medium artichoke has 60 calories, 0 fat and 7 grams of fiber. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top, then pluck the leaves off with your fingers and use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin. When you get to the heart, you have found the best part!


The Power: Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins. A teaspoon of fresh gingerroot has only 1 calorie, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Peel the tough brown skin and slice or grate into a stir-fry.

The Power: Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup (chopped) has 25 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Don't overcook broccoli - instead, microwave or steam lightly to preserve phytonutrients. Squeeze fresh lemon on top for a zesty and taste, added nutrients and some vitamin C.


The Power: Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging. One cup has 7 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Add raw leaves to a salad or sauté with a little olive oil and garlic.

Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage)
The Power: Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis. A cup (cooked) has 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Find it in your grocer's produce section or an Asian market. Slice the greens and juicy white stalks, then sauté like spinach or toss into a stir-fry just before serving.

Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn)

The Power: Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer. One cup (cooked) has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Cut on in half, scoop out the seeds and bake or microwave until soft, then dust with cinnamon.

Watercress and Arugula

The Power: Phenethyl isothiocyanate, which, along with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may help keep cancer cells at bay. One cup has around 4 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Do not cook these leafy greens; instead, use them to garnish a sandwich or add a pungent, peppery taste to salad.

The Power: The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer. A clove has 4 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Bake a whole head for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and sweet and spread on bread instead of butter.
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