Tag Archive | Freebies

Book review : The Pope’s Stone by Marc Kuhn plus US/International giveaway!

Hi all!

Today I am reviewing an American historical novel by Marc Kuhn. First let me introduce the author to you:

Marc KuhnAuthor Marc Kuhn has worked in radio broadcasting most of his life as a journalist, a program director and a marketing executive. He has held positions at major radio stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Now retired, he has turned his attention to writing. His first book, NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE! is a collection of whimsical verse for young children.
ABOUT A FARM is his second children’s book. It features lessons in life beyond the barnyard.

A third book, THE POPE’S STONE, is Kuhn’s first adult novel. It is a fascinating historical novel about two descendants of the same family who live parallel lives, but a century apart!

Kuhn lives in South Florida with his wife, Rosemarie, and seven grandchildren.

Book Blurb

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THE POPE’S STONE is a fascinating historical novel that follows the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas, descendants of the Barrington family of Virginia. Each young man keeps life-long journals which eventually reveal their parallel lives; lives that are mirrored by similar events and experiences, similar relationships and consequences. The two, however, lived a century apart. The only connections between them are their family heritage, their journals…and the Pope’s Stone.

The Pope’s Stone was a slab of engraved marble given to America in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. It was to be embedded within the walls of the Washington Monument, then under construction in the nation’s capital. John Henry Barrington, a stonemason working at the Monument site, was persuaded to assist a small party of anti-Catholic activists in stealing the Pope’s Stone, smashing it to pieces and tossing them into the Potomac River. The Pope’s Stone was never to be seen again, except for a fragment that John Henry secretly kept for himself. This small piece of the stone passes down through generations of Barringtons, leaving a path of hardship and unexpected tragedy for those who possess it. Coincidence? Bad karma, as Cousin Sarah calls it? Or is it more than that? And, what role does the stone play in the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas? These are some of the questions you’ll be asking…discover the answers in THE POPE’S STONE.

The Pope’s Stone Website

My Review

I have got to say. I don’t like historical fictions. It’s not like I have had a bad experience reading the likes of it before. But I tend to link history with the word ‘boring’, probably because of my boring history classes from school!

However, imagine my surprise when I found The Pope’s Stone, an American historical novel, to be anything but ‘boring’. It was my good friend, Monica of Impressions of a Princess who brought my attention to this book. The summary caught my fancy immediately. It’s not the usual kind of plot. Two people keeping identical journals and leading identical parallel lives but yet having lived a century apart is definitely intriguing. I was introduced right into the heart of the story but it never was too soon or too slow. The book moves back and forth between the journal entries of Nathaniel from the mid – late 18th century and Nicholas from mid- late 19th century. Sometimes, I don’t quite like the jumping from time to time part however, in this book, everything has a well denoted year to it, so it never was confusing.

The lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas are very well described. There were many profoundly touching and moving scenes described throughout the book. Also, one question propelled me quickly through the pages and that was, how exactly does The Pope’s stone fit into these two people’s lives. I like the author’s choice of words at times. Simple yet packed with such an impact!. I love how the twists of fate are explained in the book. There are tragedies in the book. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But it makes you ponder more about our life, death and the timing of everything.

The plot is very well thought of. Everything is linked seamlessly. The author has captured the bonds shared by family, very beautifully. I understand that writing about history is not very easy. Not everyone can do it, because it’s not like you can simple tap into your imagination and write about your thoughts and fantasies!. Actual historical events play major role in such books and that means you need to know your history well. That’s exactly what I found here. The author has very well researched everything, obviously with the help of many people to whom he wrote a beautiful acknowledgement at the end of the book.

He also thanks his wife, to whom he has been happily married to for 45 years, for her constant support, in such a way that it really moved me to tears!. Familial bonds move me a lot. Believe me!!. I think the cover of this book is very nice by the way. The light from the top, emphasizes the title of the book beautifully, as is the open journal and a part of the Pope’s Stone.

I would highly suggest this book to just about anyone. I give this book a 4/5, which by Goodreads standards means that I really liked it!

Contact the author

Website * Blog * Goodreads * Twitter

How I received a copy!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.



Marc Kuhn, the author of the historical novel The Pope’s Stone, is very generous to offer a combo prize package of a signed paperback of his book plus a simple black journal. To sweeten the deal, there will be four winners!!. Two US residents and two international participants will be chosen by an electronic raffle after the giveaway ends. Kindly check the rafflecopter links below. The first one is for International giveaway and the next is for US only.

International Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Both giveaways are open until Friday, March 22. All entries will be checked for validity. On or before March 25, two international and two US residents will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter. These four winners will be announced in this blog and they will have 48 hours to respond/comment on the announcement post. I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize. The author will be handling the shipment.


The Pope’s Stone Tour Schedule (March 8-19)

March 8 – Impressions of a Princess

March 10 – YA Big BOOKworm

March 11- Book Adoration

March 12 – For the Love of Books

March 13 – Naznin Azeez

March 14 – Amidst Books

March 15 – Lollipops and Rainbows

March 16 – Emma Snow

March 17 – Prisailurophile Blog

March 18 – Pretty Little Dreamer

March 19 – Edge of Jade


Naz 🙂

First blogversary and giveaway! (Closed)

Hi guys!

!!!!!!! OMG it’s my first blogversary !!!!!!!

I can’t tell you guys how excited I am. One year has passed since I started blogging. It’s unbelievable!


On this special day, I decided to do some facts for you, as below:

1) I STARTED BLOGGING because, I wanted to share ideas, opinions & my knowledge with others and meet awesome people from around the world. It’s an exhilarating feeling when people view my posts and comment on them :). I have 6867 views at the moment. How awesome is that!!

2) My FIRST EVER POST was a really short introduction. At that point, all I knew was that I didn’t want my blog to be about any one thing only. I felt that to be boring. I wanted it to be a versatile one. I wanted to be able to write about just anything. I am pleased by the kind of posts I have put out so far and the kind of response I have got. I have done product reviews, book reviews, DIY cards, DIY haircare/skincare posts etc.

3) My FIRST EVER PRODUCT REVIEW was for MAC’s Kissable Lipcolor in Flaunting it.

4) My FIRST EVER FOLLOWER was Kate of Sleeping Bootay, from Ireland. Her posts are full of liveliness and loaded with awesomeness :D. I am thankful to her for placing her trust in me, even though I was a newbie at blogging.

5) I have SEVENTY followers so far!. Thank you so much for following me, you guys. Though there are 70 of you wonderful people, its just a very few of you who show constant support by commenting/liking my posts. I am extra thankful for those of you. You know who you are 🙂

6) My blog has received THREE awards so far. All of them were awarded to me by Monica of Impressions of a Princess. I am yet to do a post on my third award. I will do it soon 🙂

7) Including the giveaway in this post, I have done THREE giveaways so far. I love giving back to you guys. So please do support me by letting me know your thoughts on my posts.

8) My TOP THREE COMMENTERS are Monica of Impressions of a Princess, Praseena of Coral Crue and Charlotte of Book Adoration. I am ever so thankful for your love and support!

9) The BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING is that I could meet so many new and wonderful people from all around the world. I have met fellow book lovers, people who share my love for makeup and even book authors!. Blogging has made me a better person I can say. Because of it, I always have something to look forward to in my mundane day to day life.

10) Out of the 45 published posts so far, two posts have CROSSED OVER 500 VIEWS each. They are posts about Sunfeast Dark Fantasy biscuit (MY FAV EVER) and Dubai Shopping Festival.

11) I FELT REALLY SAD when I lost TWO followers right after my last giveaway winner announcement. Believe me, the giveaways are to show that I appreciate you. Not everyone can be a winner. Know that if you don’t win this time, there is always a next time as I will definitely be doing more giveaways!. It’s disgraceful when people follow for only giveaways. Its saddens me.


Blogging requires a lot of time and effort to be invested into each post. The least you guys could do is let me know your FEEDBACK as that is what I consider to be the reward for the effort I put in. I am not asking for a long comment. A single sentence would do!. Also, if you really like a post, please SHARE that post using the buttons below each post. It would make my world!


In order to celebrate one year of blogging, I would love to give away the following:

20130311_1448032013 - 1

1) Clarins Intense Color & Shine lipgloss in 02 nude worth AED90

2) An ecoTools cosmetic bag/brush holder (Can hold upto 5 brushes and is made of natural cotton and hemp)

3) Big pretty silver hoop earrings

4) An ecoTools lash & brow groomer (The brush can be used to give brows shape by brushing upwards and out. The comb can be used to separate and lengthen lashes after applying mascara)

5) Green butterfly earrings

6) Long chain with a black and white butterfly locket

7) A Barbie necklace made of candy!

8) A really pretty purple eyeshadow from yh Beja cosmetics. Comes in a 4gms container

9) A really pretty tee, in size M, which I got from Mall of Emirates (MOE)

A close up of some of the items below:

Close up

Conditions to take part in the giveaway:

1) Must be a resident of UAE. If you are staying abroad but you have family living in UAE, you can enter this giveaway!. I might do international giveaways in future but right now am not in a position to do it. Sorry about that!

2) Must be willing to share full physical address and contact number with me (so that I can provide the same to the courier service)

3) Must have parents permission if below 17 yrs of age.

4) The winner MUST send me a photo of themselves with the prize so that I can share it here, on my blog.

HOW TO ENTER (Please read all 3 steps before commenting)

1) Be a follower of this blog. Once you click the Follow Me button, an email will be send to you for confirmation. Please do confirm that.

2) Comment ONCE below anything relevant to this post PLUS what item out of these 9, are you most excited to win. If you are performing step 3, please add that to this comment.

3) This is OPTIONAL. Share this giveaway on Facebook OR Twitter just ONCE and leave the direct link to your post or tweet along with your comment (from Step 2) for one extra entry into this giveaway. You can use the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post. Simply saying you shared will not count. I do need the link. Believe me, it makes checking easier and I can easily give out the extra entries to the deserving people.

The giveaway will go on until April 12th, 2013. One person wins it all. The winner will be chosen at random using the fruit machine and will be announced on April 14th.

Goodluck all!

Lots of love,

Naz 🙂

Note: All items are brand new.