Beautiful Creatures Website!

I just found out through twitter that the Beautiful Creatures website has been updated and it looks AMAZING!

And be sure to grab the widget for Beautiful Darkness, the sequel that is coming out on October 26, 2010! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: The Vampire Diaries, The Return: Shadow Souls

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading:

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

This is my first time participating in Teaser Tuesday and the book I'm reading is The Vampire Diaries, The Return: Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith. Enjoy!

"Then, with a swoop of his head like a falcon on a mouse, he kissed her. He was more than strong enough to hold her still without hurting her."

"... he knew how to make her want to cry out in pleasure and how to soothe her." pg. 117

Tuesday Favorites! (#2)

Each Tuesday, I gush about some favorites of mine and this week I'm focusing on my favorite books that I have read so far this year. Since January 1st, I have read 26 books, some first-time reads and some re-reads. Of the first-time reads, my favorites are below. They are all highly addictive reads that will leave you dying to get your hands on the next book in the series:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Fallen by Lauren Kate:


There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—and goes out of his way to make that very clear—she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:


For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund:


Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

Happy reading, everyone! *XOXO*

Manic Monday! (#2)

Welcome to the second edition of Manic Monday! Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday, because who loves Monday? And we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So each Monday, I'll highlight some books, music, or movies that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

So this week's notable new releases... For books, the next in the popular Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is coming out:


All-new action in the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series!

When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

I am also completely stoked about a movie coming out this week. I missed seeing it in the theaters and it's one of my absolute must see movies:


The hangman did his job, Dr. Watson declared the condemned man dead...yet Lord Blackwood has emerged from the tomb to assert his deadly will over 1890 London. Is he in league with the forces of hell itself? Is the whole Empire in peril? It's a mystery macabre--and only Sherlock Holmes can master it.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law put memorable imprints on Holmes and Watson in this bold new reimagining that makes the legendary sleuth a daring man of action as well as a peerless man of intellect. Baffling clues, astonishing Holmesian deductions, nimble repartee, catch-your-breath scenes of one slam thing after another--director Guy Ritchie helms the excitement reintroducing the great detective to the world. Meet the new Sherlock Holmes!

That's what I'm most looking forward to for this week... hope you're surviving your Monday! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Vampire Diaries, The Return: Nightfall


Elena Gilbert is alive—again.

When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon—she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back.

Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What's more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire.

Stefan wants to find a way to keep Elena safe so that they can make a life together. Damon, however, is driven by an insatiable desire for power, and wants Elena to rule as his princess. When Stefan is lured away from Fell's Church, Damon seizes his chance to convince her that he is the brother she is meant to be with...

But a darkness is infiltrating the town, and Damon, always the hunter, is now the hunted; he becomes the prey of a malevolent creature that can possess him at will, and who desires not just Elena's blood but her death.

I was very excited when I heard that L.J. Smith was reviving The Vampire Diaries and writing a new trilogy, picking up where the old series had left off. I was beyond excited to get reacquainted with the characters I had grown attached to, the characters I had seen grow and mature as the original series evolved. I had high hopes for this book and while I wasn't completely disappointed, I did not love this book as much as I had hoped to.

The book picks up and you're instantly confused. Apparently, Elena has regressed. While she appeared to be normal at the end of the fourth original book, we learn that she has instead regressed to an almost child-like, spiritual place. She also has amnesia and is unable to remember who she really is, who the people in her life are, and how to do normal, every day things such as reading and talking. She can, however, harness strong "White Power". I have to admit, this part is bizarre. I found I didn't much enjoy this book until Elena is "awakened" and returns to her adult mind.

The evil in this book, because you know there has to be a big baddie, comes in the form of Japanese kitsune twins. We watch as they wreak havoc on Fell's Church, possessing and controlling several girls, including the infamously nasty Caroline Forbes. Damon also falls prey to possession, with disasterous consequences which include Stefan being kidnapped and taken to the Dark Dimension, where he is being held against his will.

This book is full of action and we get to see the story unfold as the major players of the story figure out the truth about what is going on in Fell's Church. It culminates in a big battle where Elena is faced with scary questions: Can she trust Damon? What will she do if she has to choose between saving Bonnie or saving Meredith? Will she ever be able to find Stefan?

For fans of this series, I say read this book. It is definitely darker than the original series, and the constant jumping between character point-of-views can make it difficult to follow at times. However, it is still the characters that you have grown to love and if you feel as I do, you will want to continue their stories to see how it all ends up. I'm hopeful that the next installment returns this series to it's former glory, because so far? The Return seems to lack some of the bite of the original.


A huge thank you goes out to Lena for bringing this to my attention... the summary for Crescendo, the sequel to Hush, Hush, came out and it looks like it's going to be as addictive as it's predecessor! Check it out:

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy, Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The further Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim bloodline has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

Woot! November 16th.... it's a long time to wait, but it sounds like the wait will be totally worth it!

Wildcard Wednesday!

Welcome to the first edition of Wildcard Wednesday! Wildcard Wednesday will be the place where I discuss one of my passions: FOOTBALL!! It's the offseason right now, so Wildcard Wednesday will focus for the time being on things I've taken a chance on and how things worked out. Cause just like a Wildcard team in the NFL playoffs, you just never know how it's going to play out!

This week, I'd like to focus on a book that changed my life. I'm talking Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. The reason I say I took a chance on this book is because I had never heard a single thing about it when I picked it up off the shelf at a local Waldenbooks. I wasn't even really shopping for books, I had happened to pop into that store since it was at the mall I was shopping at. I was intrigued by the cover so I picked it up and read the back. I had never read a book about faeries before, but the synopsis was so interesting that I decided to take a chance on it, and you have no idea how glad I am that I did!

Melissa's series is amazing... the writing is superb, the story is engaging and the characters invoked strong reactions in me. I was instantly snagged into her world and ended up reading Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity back to back in two days. But aside from an amazing story, Wicked Lovely led me to The Rath. The Rath is the fan forum section on the website. I had never joined a fan forum for a book before and I was instantly surrounded by wonderful and diverse individuals with strong opinions and beliefs about not only the books created by Melissa, but by other books and life in general. It is through The Rath that I have made lasting and true friendships and connections that will last for the rest of my life. The Rathers are an amazing and special group of people and I feel blessed that I was led to them.

So... if you're looking for an amazing read, pick up Wicked Lovely today! I guarantee you'll get hooked and if you love it as much as I did, consider joining The Rath. You won't be sorry!

And because this is Wildcard Wednesday, I feel like I should say something about football so here it is: Yay for the NFL changing the playoff rules in terms of overtime. I think it's wonderful that each team will be guaranteed to have the ball at least once. I think it's crazy that it's taken this long for that rule to be changed! So for you football fans out there, rest easy! If your team loses the coin toss in a playoff overtime game, you will get the ball! So if your defense is suspect, at least your offense gets a chance to tie it up, or possibly win you the game. Yay for football evolution!

*REVIEW* The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion


Elena: transformed, the golden girl has become what she once feared and desired.

Stefan: tormented by losing Elena, he's determined to end his feud with Damon once and for all—whatever the cost. But slowly he begins to realize that his brother is not his only enemy.

Damon: at last, he possesses Elena. But will his thirst for revenge against Stefan poison his triumph? Or can they come together to face one final battle?

Collected here in one edition are the third and fourth volumes of The Vampire Diaries, a riveting conclusion to the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

This book picks up right where the first omnibus left off and I have to say, this book was much better than the first for several reasons. Firstly, we see huge growth in the character of Elena. Gone is the selfish, self-centered girl that made it close to impossible at times to relate to. We watch as she struggles to adapt to her transformation and we see when she begins to truly care about not only her friends, but the entire town of Fell's Church.

This book is full of mystery and the twists and turns will keep you hooked. It's an easy read and the writing is much better than it was in the first omnibus. We get to know the characters on an even deeper level and see bravery, redemption, and heartwrenching sacrifice. The parts of the book narrated by Bonnie are wonderful, as Bonnie is an easy character to relate to and seeing the story through her eyes, and watching her grow as a character at the same time, is very enjoyable.

For readers who fell in love with Stefan and/or Damon, you will not be disappointed! We see the very best from both of these characters in this book. I highly would recommend this series to readers who enjoy supernatural romance. It has plenty of action, mystery, love, and friendship that will have you finishing it in one sitting. Trust me, you want to sink your teeth into this book!

Tuesday Favorites!

Each Tuesday I will gush about some favorites of mine... whether it's about books, authors, movies, TV shows, whatever. Of course, my ultimate passion is books. I'm addicted to reading and my books are like my children. If I lend one to you, I must really like and trust you! So, for my first TUESDAY FAVORITES, I'd like to gush about my favorite book covers for upcoming reads. A couple have come out recently that I just love and need to appropriately squee over:

The Torment cover is my favorite, I think I like it even more than Fallen's cover! With a cover like that, and a title like Torment, I'm already biting my nails trying to imagine what is going to happen next in the world Lauren Kate created. Ghost Town will be the first Morganville Vampires book to be in hardcover and I think it's gorgeous. The green is perfect and I'm stoked for Rachel Caine that this amazing series will be in hardcover now. Dark Flame will be the next edition in Alyson Noel's series, The Immortals. I really love the candle and am intrigued by the title. What's next for Ever and Damen? The title Dark Flame has me a little worried! The last cover is the next installment of The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Beautiful Darkness is a great title, and the cover is stunning. The gate and the stars are beautiful and are very fitting for the title. The title gives me hope that there will be some light through the darkness.

Well, that's what I have for you this Tuesday! Enjoy looking at the gorgeous covers... it makes the wait a little more bearable.


I love food... my hips can attest to that! But I love GREAT food more than anything. Starting now, I will maintain a "Scrumptious Delights" section on the blog where I'll recommend some truly amazing dishes. I hope to stick to places that are franchised so that everyone can check it out. So keep an eye out, your taste buds will thank you!

Manic Monday!

So... Monday is not exactly the most popular day of the week. For those of us pulling the dreaded 9 to 5, Mondays can be downright depressing. To help alleviate my sour Monday mood, I choose to look forward to Tuesday. And what does Tuesday mean? NEW RELEASES!! Each Monday, I'll highlight some books, music, or movies that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

So this week's notable new releases: I honestly didn't find much to cheer about in terms of book releases for this week so nothing to note there. I was more lucky in terms of movies with a DVD release that is quickly moving up my TBW (to be watched) list:


Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) knows little about family. Less about football. What the homeless teen knows are the streets and projects of Memphis. Well-to-do Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) knows little about his world. Yet when she and Michael meet, he’s found a home. And the Tuohys have found something just as life-changing: a beloved new son and brother. This real-life story of family and of Michael’s growth into a blue-chip football star will have you cheering with its mix of gridiron action and heartwarming emotion. Share the remarkable journey of the college All-American and first-round NFL draft pick who was a winner before he ever stepped onto the playing field.

I'm also very excited, yet slightly embarassed, about the new CD release by Justin Bieber:

I just can't help but be addicted to his songs! And if his newest single "Baby" is any indication, this album is going to be as catchy and addictive as his debut album.
Happy Monday everyone! Just think... tomorrow is Tuesday! New Releases can put a smile on any face! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle


Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

The Vampire Diaries centers around Elena Gilbert, a beautiful and popular high school girl who is accustomed to getting whatever her heart desires... and her heart desires Stefan Salvatore. From the moment she meets the dark, handsome, and aloof stranger, she is determined to win his affections, no matter the cost.

We watch as Elena schemes to win Stefan's heart, with the help of her friends. These friends include calm and collected Meredith, sweet and psychically-gifted Bonnie, and honest and reliable Matt. We're also introduced to Caroline, the classic "mean girl" that every high school seems to have. As Elena breaks down the walls Stefan has carefully constructed to protect him, we see young love unfold before us. But things are not completely perfect. Enter Damon Salvatore: dark, gorgeous, and alluring, he seems committed to making Elena his own.

As the story unfolds, mysterious attacks continue to plague the town of Fell's Church and suspicions are on the rise. The animosity between the Salvatore brothers increases as Damon's desire to possess Elena intensifies. Will Elena be able to resist Damon's advances, ignoring the electrifying chemistry between them? Will an evil plot to reveal secrets threaten them all? And has Elena bitten off more than she can chew, resulting in consequences too horrifying to imagine?

So... my thoughts. The first thing that I should mention is that the writing isn't stellar. Not terrible, but not fabulous. It's a quick and easy read and fans of vampires will not be disappointed. One of the biggest drawbacks of this book is the character of Elena. At the beginning of the book, she comes off as spoiled, selfish, self-centered, and shallow. Not exactly the type of character you bond with. She becomes more tolerable as the book continues, so my advice is to persevere through the beginning.

Stefan is loveable, but also slightly bland. The tortured vampire story is a little old, though these books were written long before the recent Twilight phenomenon so it can hardly be called a copycat. Damon is intriguing and though he commits some heinous acts, you can't help but enjoy the scenes he's in. He is definitely a more interesting character than Stefan, something about him is truly compelling.

The book ends with a terrible cliff-hanger, so be sure to have the next volume on hand because I guarantee you'll want to see where the story goes next. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who can't get enough of vamps, or who has become addicted to The Vampire Diaries TV show. While it will never be considered one of the literary greats, it's an entertaining read with enough bite to keep you hooked.


I've finally decided to jump on the blog bandwagon and I have to say, I'm quite enjoying the experience so far. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Karen and this blog is all about the things I am ADDICTED to in life. In terms of addictions, I think I do pretty well. My addictions aren't likely to lead me to a jail cell or some form of an anonymous meeting, so I really can't complain. The things I love: Football and the Indianapolis Colts, books, movies, TV shows, NASCAR, food, and more! Well, I suppose the food addiction could lead me to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting but that's a post for a different day!

Important things to know about me: I'm silly, outgoing, sweet, compassionate, idealistic, and stubborn as hell. I love my family and friends and am fiercely and insanely protective of them. I love my cats as if they were my children and would have a house full of them if it wasn't a) creepy and b) impossible cause I don't live in a large place. The beach is my favorite place in the world, with Barnes and Noble a close second. I love the smell of saltwater, the feel of sand between my toes, the feel of wind on my face, cool summer nights, the sound of rain, and opening up a new book for the first time. I'm highly addicted to Cherry Coke and Blistex and you do not want to mess with me if I'm hungry.

Is there more to know about me? Of course. But where's the fun in knowing everything from the very beginning? Come on this journey with me and I promise you'll learn a lot of things you never even imagined wanting to know. I hope to update this blog frequently so keep checking back as I get it set-up the way that I want it. I eventually would like to have contests and giveaways here so bookmark this page! And a huge heartfelt thanks must go out to Lena for spending time giving me "blog tutorials". Love you, woman!

That's all I have for now! Thanks for stopping by and check back frequently for updates! *XOXO*
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