by Dedra L. Stevenson

My name is Dedra L. Stevenson, and I’m best known for my work in Fantasy Fiction. The Hakima’s Tale: The Revenge of the Blue Jinni, is my first book, and will always be my favorite. The characters in the book: Phoenix, Uncle Heesham, Angrit, Venucia, and all the others will always be with me, no matter where I go and what I write.

After finishing the trilogy with The Rise of the Warrior and The Dawn of Redemption, I went on to pen a crime drama called Desert Magnolia and a horror called The Skinwalker Resurrection. After this, I realized that I’m the kind of writer that needs to go where inspiration takes me. I can’t stay inside a box, no matter how much I may want to. Let’s face it, life in the box is safe, happy, and easy. Life outside the box is dangerous and edgy.

Dedra standing in her grandmother's kitchen.

Dedra L. Stevenson standing in her grandmother’s kitchen.

All my life, I must admit that this disdain I have for mundane things made me a terrible housekeeper, but cooking is something that I’ve grown to love. A lot of creativity is involved in cooking, and it definitely doesn’t have to be the same thing every day, at least not in my kitchen!

Cooking is an art form and another means of expression. For me, cooking expresses love and harmony. That’s why big family gatherings are so awesome. If you really think about it, the food is one of the warmest memories you have of each of those wonderful get-togethers. Whether they were in a backyard with a barbeque or a fancy dining table with the finest dishes properly placed for the guests, a gathering can be made or broken by the food.

This love of food and family is universal, and it was this notion that prompted me to start a unique program during the holy month of Ramadan, 4 years ago. Well, I figured that Ramadan is a time that we should be more bonded with the whole world, in the spirit of love and generosity, I proceeded to prepare our Iftar (breaking of the fast) meal from the cuisine of a different country each night. I posted my results on social media, and it was a hit! What I loved most about it was the fact that everyone seemed to show a little more appreciation for people from unfamiliar countries and cultures.

Those who followed the postings really wanted me to compile some of the recipes in a book, so that’s what I did, and that’s how Breaking Bread Around the World was born!

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