Waiting on Wednesday... Leap Day Edition!


The twins of prophecy have been split. Nicholas Flamel is near death. John Dee has the swords of power. And Danu Talis has yet to fall. The future of the human race lies in the balance—how will the legend end?

Release date: May 22, 2012

I had gotten to a point in my reading where I was OVER open series. I read a lot and thus would end up forgetting a lot, so re-reading had become par for the course. And re-reading takes up valuable time I could be spending reading brand spanking new books! So I decided to wait to start some series and this is one of those. I've got all the previous books sitting on my shelf and I'm super stoked to give these a whirl. When The Enchantress is released, I will be ALL over this series like white on rice!

Anything you're waiting for? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! I hope you use some of this extra day for reading! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Lies Beneath

Teaser Tuesday 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 week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown.

The girls erupted into squeals of laughter that made me wince. I was on board when it came to the end result we all desired, but I still couldn't embrace their methods. Sure, I fantasized about killing Hancock, but it wasn't in me to prolong the torture. Particularly if he knew nothing about his father's promise. pg. 27 of NetGalley ARC.

I'm only on the fifth chapter but I have to say that this one has hooked me already. It hooked me from the very first chapter and I LOVE it when a book does that. Leave me a link to your teasers, I'd love to check them out! :)

Manic Monday! (18)

Welcome to 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 a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The first book I'm highlighting this week is Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver:


I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

The second book I'm highlighting this week is Perception by Kim Harrington:


When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

Hope Monday is treating you all well! Have a great week and HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Something Deadly This Way Comes


I'm Madison Avery, in charge of heaven's hit squad . . . and fighting it all the way.

When Madison died the night of her prom, she knew her life would never be the same. Now she has a powerful amulet, a team of rogue angels by her side, and the ability to flash forward into the future to see the shape of destiny. And of course, now she's finally with Josh—a perfect boyfriend who doesn't even mind that she's dead.

But being dead has its disadvantages, too. Madison feels caught between the light and the dark, and between her real life and her timekeeper status. When Madison has the opportunity to get her body back—to be alive again—she faces her most difficult decision yet. If she claims it, she could return to being a normal girl—and have a chance at a real relationship with Josh. But would having the one thing she wants most in the world also mean giving up everything she's worked so hard for?

Something Deadly This Way Comes is the third and final installment in the Madison Avery Trilogy by Kim Harrison. Another super fast read, this book provides a satisfying conclusion to Madison's story.

This book picks up with Madison and her crew after their success in saving a person's soul AND life, something that had been deemed impossible for thousands of years. Madison flash forwards into a terrifying scene--a teenage girl, Tammy, watches as her little brother's dead body is brought out of a burning apartment building. This event triggers a downward spiral in Tammy's life that leads to her soul being lost and her life having no meaning. Can Madison save both Tammy's life and her soul? Complications arise as the seraphs interfere and other reapers enter the game. A game that's ultimate prize could be Tammy's soul.

Madison, her reapers, and some other friends are on a race against time and fate itself. Thrown into the mix? Madison has found her body and has a major choice to make--does she claim her body and risk her dark timekeeper status or does she give up the one thing she wants more than anything else? Life sure isn't easy when you're dealing with angels, fate, and your own death.

This book was very satisfying and if you've been toying with the idea of reading this series, I HIGHLY recommend you do so. The books are all super easy and quick reads and you'll find yourself rooting for Madison and company. I really like the concept of this book with the whole choice versus fate debate. My only complaint with this book was that by the end, I had already forgotten some parts of it. It just didn't stick with me. And since it's such a fast read, that is saying something.

All in all, this series is cute and enjoyable. Grab it up if you haven't! You could read all three in a weekend and you'd be happy you did. Enjoy! *XOXO*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today isn't really a tidbit about my personality, it's more about facts today. There are some things I don't think I could make it through the day without and I want to talk about a few of them. First being Blistex. Goodness gracious, they MUST put something addictive in that lip balm because I cannot live without it. Once I realize that I don't have it with me, I start to freak out! I have bought more than I can count at drugstores, grocery stores and the like, because I've been out and about and needed one. And it's got to be the teal one. I don't like crazy flavors and whatnot!

My second daily addiction: Coke. And maaaaaan, cause it is NOT good for you. But I love it. I'd bathe in it if it weren't so sticky. Ok, maybe not but I really, really love the stuff. Cherry, regular, whatever! I have a Coca-Cola shirt that I have proudly worn into the ground. I did try Cherry Coke Zero the other day for the first time and I have to admit that it wasn't all that bad. I might buy a 2-liter to see if I can stomach it for the long haul.

My third and last addiction I want to talk about: Advil. I have the WORST sinuses ever and thus always have wicked headaches. I probably should go to the doctor because I pop pills more days than not. Advil is a gift from the heavens for me since Tylenol doesn't do a thing! Speaking of... it's been a stressful day and I feel a tension headache trying to take hold. Advil to the rescue! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (23)


Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.

Release date: July 10, 2012

This one sounds really interesting to me. I majored in Psychology in college so the subject matter is something I'm definitely drawn to! I can't wait to read about how OCD affects the characters' relationship. And stories about siblings are always intriguing to me since I grew up as an only child. Bring on July! :)

*REVIEW* Don't You Wish


When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.

Don't You Wish is Roxanne St. Claire's debut young adult novel and it does not disappoint! Don't You Wish is a cute, fun, and romantic ride that will keep you entertained until the very end.

Annie Nutter is a nobody... invisible to the popular kids at her school, unless they're mocking her. She's got a crazy inventor dad, and a mom who is struggling with some major what ifs. She's also got an annoying little brother who burps more than anyone alive it seems. Typical teenage life? Sure seems so! A shining spot in Annie's life, other than her braces, is her relationship with her best friend, Lizzie. But Annie still can't help but wonder... what would life be like if she was perfect and led a flawless life?

An invention of her dad's shows Annie what that possible life could look like, at least physically. And Annie likes what she sees in that mirror! After a freak incident in a storm, Annie wakes up and suddenly... she is that perfect face. She has woken up as Ayla Monroe, completely gorgeous and rich, and the most popular girl in school. Everything should be perfect, right? But Annie has remained Annie and although she is living Ayla's life, discontentment quickly brews as she realizes that perfect lives on the outside are rarely as perfect as they seem.

As Annie navigates the waters of her new life, will she remain true to who she is or will she give in to the pressures of popularity? And will befriending an unlikely student lead Annie to total social destruction or will she find everything she's always wanted? Which life will Annie ultimately choose? You've got to read it to find that out!

I highly recommend this book. It was an easy read and it was super fun. It's impossible to read this book and not like and root for Annie. What a fabulous character she is! I ended up truly FEELING her indecision because she's faced with a tough choice. I'm extremely happy with the conclusion of this book and think everyone should go out and snag this one up when it releases on July 10, 2012. You won't be sorry! Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Manic... TUESDAY?!

Welcome to Manic Monday on TUESDAY! You have to love three day weekends! Normally, Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday because we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So on each Monday, I highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help my followers find that silver lining!

Since today is Tuesday, I'll be highlighting a book that actually releases today. So if you're looking to grab a new read today, this one could be for you! The book I'm highlighting is The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg:


Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Definitely got to have this one! Hope you all have a great week! *XOXO*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit: I am a Harry Potter fanatic. I loved the books more than I could possibly describe. I have read all of them more times than I can count. In fact, I read the first two hardcovers so much, they started to fall apart! Because of that, I bought a set of paperbacks to read instead so that my hardcovers could remain for display only. But then I got to worrying... what would happen if those paperbacks started falling apart too? So I bought ANOTHER full set, still in it's packaging. I'll store it until I need it. I didn't want to take ANY chances, haha.

It's not just reading the books, I also collect stuff. I have a set of four globes that feature the sorting hat on top and a scarf for each house, with a saying on it. They're really nice and I keep them displayed at work. I have stuffed animals, figurines, jewelry, t-shirts, bookmarks, and more.

This all culminated in my FINALLY going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this December. It. Was. AMAZING. I actually had to fight tears, I was that moved being there. I took tons of pictures, rode the rides, had breakfast at The Three Broomsticks and went in each and every store. My fiance and I left the park with wands, a pillow, a keychain, a stuffed animal, and every type of candy that looked good at Honeydukes. It really was an experience of a lifetime and if you're a Harry Potter fan, you OWE it to yourself to go there.

The Harry Potter series will always have a special place in my heart. It's the series that got me reading again for fun. When I have children, they WILL be introduced to these books. These stories will last forever. *happy sigh* My gushing ends here. I hope you all have a MAGICAL holiday weekend. *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (22)


Miranda has lived on Whym Island since the death of her parents. She has taken comfort in its seclusion and in the folklore that claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and its surrounding waters. It's just been easier to believe that things are out of her control.

But when a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy that haunts her dreams. As the guilt of the accident consumes her, she finds refuge in her late night swims. Then, she meets Christian, a boy who seems so familiar, but won't tell her where he is from and why they can only meet at the beach. As Miranda falls for Christian and begins to put the accident behind her, she discovers that there are secrets that Christian is keeping to protect her that may only end up bringing her nothing but harm.

Release date: May 1, 2012

First of all... the cover? Yowza!! :) That alone has me intrigued! But the synopsis is where I really get hooked. This one sounds like it has it all... mystery, tragedy, romance, suspense. Yes, please! I'll be scooping this one up ASAP! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Early to Death, Early to Rise


Seventeen, dead, and in charge of heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.

Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.

Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of the heavens.

But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.

Early to Death, Early to Rise is the second book in the Madison Avery Trilogy by Kim Harrison and it does not disappoint! The story picks up with Madison learning how to handle her responsibilities as the new dark timekeeper, while finding a way to change a system that has been the same for thousands of years. Change like that does not happen easily, and Madison and Co. are in for quite an adventure!

This book deals with an ultimate dilemma: Fate or Choice. The seraphs give Madison a chance to prove that the dark reapers can work with the light reapers to give fractured souls the opportunity to make a different, better choice, a choice that can affect their future fate by stopping the horrible chain of events that have been foretold. Is there a way to save these souls that does not involve blind guardianship or early scything? Madison sure thinks so and she will go to great lengths to see it come to fruition.

I really enjoyed this installment, even more than the first one! I like Madison a lot and I'm impressed with her determination to enact major change to a system as old as time. For someone thrust into the position, she sure has some lofty goals! In addition to Madison, this series has some great characters. My favorites are Barnabas and Nakita, two reapers who are going through some major changes themselves. I'm really curious to see what happens with them as they continue their journey with Madison. As Nakita points out at one point in the book, Madison has a way of changing the people she comes in contact with and the angels are not immune to this.

Middle books of a trilogy sometimes struggle, but I was impressed with Early to Death, Early to Rise. While I thought that the plot could have been progressed a bit more, I was pleased with where things ended up and will be reading the third and final book, Something Deadly This Way Comes this weekend. If you're looking for a fun, quick, and entertaining read, this series may be for you. Check it out, it's definitely worth a look. Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Don't You Wish

Teaser Tuesday 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 week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire. I am reading the Netgalley version on my nook for review. Don't You Wish is slated to be released on July 10, 2012.

He wiggles his butt, which only makes Lizzie crunch my knuckles harder. It doesn't matter. All pain is numbed by the sight of him, the object of our every fantasy, the subject of our every sleepover, the man candy we can only dream of tasting in this lifetime.

Shane Matthews is about to clock me in the head, and all I can do is wait in breathless anticipation. pg. 9 of Netgalley ARC.

I'm just at the beginning of this one, so I can't say too much yet! I'll keep everyone posted as I get in deeper. If you're participating in Teaser Tuesday, leave me a link so I can check it out! *XOXO*

Manic Monday! (16)

Welcome to 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 a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The first book I'm highlighting this week is Bewitching by Alex Flinn:


Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

I had featured this book on a Waiting on Wednesday post and I'm still just as excited! I really, really enjoyed Beastly and cannot wait to get into the mind of Kendra.

The second book I'm highlighting is The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers:


Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House. But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

This one sounds AWESOME. I haven't heard of the author before so I'm excited to see how her writing is and what happens in the story. Hope you all are waiting for something great tomorrow! Happy Reading! *XOXO*

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Here are books I've either won, been given, borrowed, or bought this past week:

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

For Review: *not pictured*
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
New Girl by Paige Harbison
*thanks to Netgalley, Random House Children's Books, and Harlequin*

What a great week! B&N had a deal on paperbacks, so I snagged up a couple I've been wanting to get. The fiance really wanted to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter so it worked out! I'll definitely be reading it after him. And I've got some great looking books to review so I'm a happy girl. What did you get? Leave me a link, I'd love to check it out! Happy Reading! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Once Dead, Twice Shy


My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Once Dead, Twice Shy begins by introducing us to Madison, a girl who was killed by a dark reaper. The catch? She stole his amulet, allowing her to have a corporeal form and trick everyone into believing that she didn't actually die after all. With the help of Barnabas, a light reaper, Madison has been trying to learn skills, skills that will hopefully aid her as she adjusts to undead life and tries to stay off the radar of the dark reapers and the one who tried to kill her, the one who has her actual body stowed away somewhere.

Things aren't as they appear though, and Madison quickly learns that she may not know the whole truth about why she was targeted, and who the bad guys really are. An encounter with Josh, a cute boy from her school, leads Madison to finally confide in a living soul and chaos ensues as Madison and Josh decide to take the fight to the source himself, Kairos, a dark timekeeper who seems to be pulling all the strings. Will Madison finally learn the truth about why she is caught up in this war between reapers? And will she have the strength to make a choice and/or accept her fate? Fate and free will collide in this tale from Kim Harrison.

I have to admit that I wasn't super thrilled with this one in the beginning. I kind of felt like I was dumped into a story that had already been going on for quite awhile. After doing some research on Goodreads, it appears I am correct. Madison's story actually began in Prom Nights from Hell, an anthology published in 2007. So I think to really feel settled when beginning this book, I would recommend reading Prom Nights from Hell before starting it. And even after I figured out how Madison had ended up in this position, it still took me awhile to fully grasp what was going on and I think that confusion kept me from really enjoying the book for several chapters.

Once I felt more comfortable with what was going on, I thought this book was pretty good. It definitely had it's confusing moments, but I ended up invested in Madison's story and I HAD to see where the story would take her. And I really liked the ending and where things seem to be headed next. The author really makes an interesting case: Is fate the most important force in the world, or does free will overcome all?

While I didn't love this book, I did like it and will be reading the next book in the series, Early to Death, Early to Rise. I'm excited to see what happens next. Anyone read the whole series and have insights? I'd love to hear them! *XOXO*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to the fourth edition of FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit isn't really about my personality, it's about what's going on in my life right now. I am moving. Which is really exciting, but super stressful. My fiance and I are moving out of our apartment to rent a house from a family member. We're scheduled to move in by April but the house is vacant now so we've been working on renovations and such over there that were needed cause the house is older and has been vacant for a couple years. We've gotten all the hardware stuff and cleaning done and this weekend, we're starting the painting. After being in an apartment of all white walls for quite awhile, we're both ready for some color.

It's an exciting time, but also extremely stressful as most of our free time is spent moving things and working over at the house. Of course the first thing we moved was all my books! Haha. Had to make sure my babies were taken care of. I guess what we weren't anticipating was the money costs though of moving from an apartment to a house. We need a LOT of furniture and will be taking quite a lot from our savings account, money that was put aside for our wedding that we're also paying for completely by ourselves. To say life is stressful is putting it mildly!

We both know it will be worth it in the end though. I'm super excited and ready to be settled. Sacrifices will have to be made to recoup some of the money loss that we're looking at. But staying in at our new house? Sounds good to me! I'll have a nice, cozy library to snuggle up in. Pictures will be posted once we're all settled in. I really cannot wait. Hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend. Make the most of it!! :) *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (on Thursday!)

So yesterday was an insanely busy day at work AND after work, so I didn't get to do my WoW post. I decided, to heck with it! I don't want to wait any longer so here is my Waiting on Wednesday... on THURSDAY! :)


Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance.

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

Release date: March 20, 2012

This book sounds AWESOME!! Looks like Michelle Zink has done it again! And the love stuff? YAYNESS! Sounds like there's going to be some hot romance in this book and that's just what I'm in the mood for. Is it March yet? :)

What are you waiting to read? Leave me a link so I can check it out and as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Once Dead, Twice Shy

Teaser Tuesday 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 week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison.

I glanced at our driver as she turned the boat, silently urging her to hurry up. Her eyes were now showing over her sunglasses. Blue, I first noted, and then fear slid through me. Even as I watched, they shifted to silver as she smiled in quiet satisfaction. She was a reaper. The driver was the dark reaper. Barnabas was on the wrong boat. Damn it, I knew she was too pretty to be alive. pg. 14

I'm about 50 pages in and I'm not too sure what I think so far. I almost feel like I've been dropped into a story where I'm supposed to know more than I do. It's pretty confusing and I'm not loving it yet. I hope it gets better since this whole series has been sitting on my shelves for longer than I care to admit! Anywho... what are you reading this week? Leave me a link, I'd love to check it out! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Ballad


In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love. Haunted by fiery visions of death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.

I have to admit that I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Unlike so many others, I wasn't blown away by Lament and was worried that Ballad would hold the same fate for me. This worry ended up being completely unnecessary as Ballad gripped me in a way that it's predecessor failed to... Ballad was a wonderful love story that will keep you frantically flipping the pages, full of desire to see what happens next to our unlikely lovers.

After the crazed events of Lament, James and Deirdre both begin attending Thornking-Ash Conservatory, a private school for students with exceptional musical gifts, gifts that can attract the wrong kind of attention. It's not long after beginning that James attracts the worst kind of attention possible--a faery muse who survives by ultimately killing humans after making a deal with them that not many aspiring musicians can refuse. The unimaginable occurs when this faery, Nuala, forms feelings for James that she did not think she was capable of. Feelings that make her question her existence and the way that she wants to live. And James begins to fall for Nuala too, possibly sealing his fate in a very deadly way. Couple this with the fact that James and other exceptionally gifted students are hearing Cernunnos' death song nightly, and the fact that Deirdre is slowly unraveling, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Mystery, heartbreak, and impossible choices face the characters of Ballad as Halloween draws near. If James is forced to make an extremely difficult choice, can he find the strength to choose the hard path, even if it means his heart could break beyond repair? And can his friendship with Deirdre be salvaged, or is it far too late for that?

I REALLY liked this book. MUCH more than Lament. James is a fantastic character, and you can't help rooting for him, wanting to see him find the happiness he deserves. There were moments in this book that I just wanted to hug him, and to punch Deirdre in the face! But love wins out when James finds Nuala. Will that love last though or is fate set against them? I'm not spoilering that one for you, you're just going to have to read it to find out! :)

I am super happy with this one though, Ballad gets a strong 4 of 5 stars from me. The main relationship was much more believable to me than Deirdre and Luke were in Lament. I actually CARED what happened to James and Nuala. And James... *sigh* Gosh, I adore him. If you haven't tried this series yet, what are you waiting for? Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing storyteller, you won't be disappointed! HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

Manic Monday! (15)

Welcome to 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 a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The first book I'm highlighting this week is Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood:


"Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret."

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.

This one sounds REALLY interesting. I'm not usually into "period pieces", but this one sounds too good to pass by. And the cover is so pretty! What can I say, I totally judge books by the cover :)

The second book I'm highlighting is The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan:


The New York Times bestseller by Suzanne Collins is now a major motion picture -- and this is your guide to all of the movie's excitement, both in front of the camera and behind it. Go behind the scenes of the making of The Hunger Games with exclusive images and interviews. From the screenwriting process to the casting decisions to the elaborate sets and costumes to the actors' performances and directors' vision, this is the definitive companion to the breathtaking film.

Do I really even need to explain this choice? I CANNOT wait for The Hunger Games movie!! To see such an amazing story brought to the big screen? AH-mazing!! The trailers look awesome, I can't wait to see it!! :) *ubersquee*

Hope Monday is treating you all well! And for those who watched the Super Bowl last night and who, like me, wanted the Giants to win... YAY! YAY! YAY! :)

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Here are books I've either won, been given, borrowed, or bought this past week:

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

*squee* I am SO EXCITED to read this one. I've fallen (haha) way behind on this series but with the end coming, it's time I get fully caught up with things. Isn't the cover just stunning? *sigh* Anything that pretty to look at has to be great, right? :)

It's been a slow couple weeks, I didn't even do an IMM post last week. I'm making an effort to actually read the over one hundred books that I've bought and haven't read that are currently sitting on my bookshelves. It's hard not to run out and snag the latest and great books, but I really want to read some that I've been putting off for WAY too long.

Due to this, my IMM posts may be sporatic. Though I DID just order four books on the Barnes&Noble website so expect an actual real-life picture next week. (Don't judge me, it's a crying shame to not use coupons!) I figured for one book only, taking a pic wasn't worth the effort. It's Sunday, I'm entitled to be lazy. Hope you all had a great book week! Leave me a link, I'd love to check it out. Happy Sunday! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Lament


Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

It's no secret that Maggie Stiefvater is a beautiful writer. There's truly something magical about the way she puts a story together. While I did enjoy Lament, I have to say that it didn't have the same effect on me that Shiver did. I was greatly surprised by this as I am a HUGE fan of faery books.

Lament begins by introducing us to Deirdre, an extremely gifted harpist who is performing at a musical competition. Just as she is struck with her usual stage fright induced vomiting, she encounters a beautiful and otherworldly boy, a boy she thought only belonged in her dreams. From this moment on, Deirdre is thrust into a world full of strange beings, mysteries, and assassins determined to end her very existence.

See, Deirdre is a cloverhand--a person who has the ability to see faeries. And Luke is no ordinary boy. He's a gallowglass, a soulless assassin sent by the Faerie Queen herself to kill her. The Faerie Queen is convinced that Deirdre's talents will lure the loyalty of the fey away from her. Instead of committing the murder he was sent to do, Luke finds himself infatuated with Deirdre. As they form deeper and deeper feelings for one another, one thing becomes clear... everything is about to change.

We're introduced to a host of supporting characters throughout the adventure, one of the most lovable being James, Deirdre's best friend who also happens to be in love with her. James is involved each step of the way, and finds himself in a precarious situation which results in Deirdre having to make a tough choice, a choice with consequences she could have to deal with forever.

There were things I really liked about this book, and then there were some things that really didn't work for me. I loved the writing... as I said before, Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words. I really liked Deirdre as a female antagonist. I felt she was very relatable. I liked the overall story and am interested to see where the sequel, Ballad, takes the characters.

I guess the things I didn't like about the book are mostly about the connection I felt to it. In the beginning, I didn't understand why Deirdre was so interested in Luke because he really didn't do all that much for me. Usually I am ALL about that type of male character, but I got nothing from him really. I didn't feel the passion between the characters and I frankly wanted Deirdre to just stay the heck away from him! I warmed to him a little as the story went along, but I never fell for their romance. Even at the last page, I couldn't seem to care much about their fate. I much preferred the character of James. I could see something in him worth reading about and he was funny! I usually don't root for the best friend, but I was definitely in his corner.

That's probably the biggest let down for me in this book... the male romantic lead fell flat for me. Maybe I was feeling cynical when I read it, I don't know. I'm hoping I enjoy Ballad more. I've started it and after a couple chapters of a certain POV, I'm thinking I may like this one a bit more. Only time will tell.


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to the third edition of FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit: I am extremely goofy. NO JOKE. I have special happy dances, one that is called the "wave the fart" dance, I love to sing loudly and super off-key in the car, and it's rare to catch me without a smile on my face. I love to laugh. And I laugh at EVERYTHING. I crack myself up on a regular basis. I make horrible jokes, try to come up with raps that end up sounding very, very white girl with no skill, and I make sound effects that are so awful, I have to tell people what they're supposed to be.

I suppose I feel that life is just too short to be grumpy. Yeah, things suck sometimes and I can get in a mood just like everyone else! But my default setting is uber-happy. It's AMAZING what dancing it out can do for you on a rotten day. I fully subscribe to the silver lining theory... if you try hard enough, you can find a sliver of hope in just about any type of situation. And seriously, when all else fails, turn on some hip hip and shake your booty. In no time, you'll be giggling if you're as bad a dancer as I am! Hope you all have a great weekend!! :) *XOXO*

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge: January Update!

I LOVE this challenge! It's really motivated me to read some books that I had been passing over for quite some time. I managed to read 5 books that have been sitting on the shelf, feeling lonesome and ignored. Click the link to read my review of each book and if you're interested in the challenge, it's not too late to sign up! Click the picture on the right of my blog for more information :)

Waiting on Wednesday (20)


Keep your enemies close. . . .

For the first time since moving to New Salem, Cassie Blake feels normal. She's dating her soul mate Adam and making new friends in town. But between the secret coven of witches she belongs to and the incredible power she holds within her, Cassie is leading a far from ordinary life. When tragedy strikes the Circle, Cassie realizes being extraordinary can be a curse.

The Circle is being hunted by an unknown enemy—and anyone could be the next victim. As they struggle to protect themselves, alliances are formed and relationships are tested. No one knows who to trust or who to fear. Will Cassie be able to save the Circle . . . and herself? Or will her choices break it apart forever?

Release date: March 20, 2012

I must be super late to the party, cause I just NOW realized that this series is continuing! I adored The Secret Circle books by L.J. Smith and am super stoked to see them pick back up again. I'm assuming this decision was based on the popularity of the TV show. I have to admit, I only tried the first episode and wasn't blown away. I'm thinking I jumped ship too soon though, considering even my mother is addicted to it now! Haha. Does anyone watch the show? Anyone else excited to see this world revisited in printed form?

Leave me a link so I can check out YOUR Waiting on Wednesday post... hope you are all having a fantabulous hump day! And as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*
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