Teaser Tuesday: Touched

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 comes from Touched by Corrine Jackson:

The pain didn't ease, but I struggled to get my barricade in place to block the onslaught of energy still pouring from Asher. He reached inside me with his power, as if he scanned me. Only he wasn't healing me. THIS was the danger he'd warned me of. As he stretched his senses through my limbs, his energy grew and expanded, while mine weakened. I understood, then, what he'd tried to tell me.

He didn't just hold my energy hostage, he could steal it. He was a thief. (pg. 91)

I'm currently reading the ARC of Touched through Around the World Tours and let me tell you, it is SUPER enjoyable. I am FLYING through it and get bummed when I'm forced to put it down! Curse you, work! CURSE YOU!!!! Seriously though, this book is awesomesauce and I'm in love with it so far. Highly recommend EVERYONE add it to their TBR pile. It's set to release November 27th, make sure you add it to your list! Enjoy! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Out of the Easy


It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Well, this one was definitely not my cup of tea. I've never really been into historical books, but that really wasn't my issue with Out of the Easy. As much as I tried, I just couldn't form a strong emotional connection to the characters and while I was interested enough to read to the end to find out all that happened, I really wouldn't have been upset no matter how things went. That generally isn't a good sign for me when it comes to books.

Out of the Easy introduces us to Josie, the teenage daughter of a prostitute in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Josie has struggled her entire life with the prejudices that come from being the daughter of a local whore, but has worked hard to ensure that she will never be forced to make the choices that her mother has made. Living independently since she was 12 years old, Josie is counting down the days until she can flee New Orleans once and for all, escaping her sordid-by-association past.

Before Josie can put her plan into motion, a high-profile murder takes place on New Years Eve and Josie is dragged into the middle of the investigation. Josie finds herself knowing more than she should, and then a shocking betrayal puts Josie right in the line of fire. Will she make it out of New Orleans alive, or will the French Quarter claim another victim? Death, mystery, betrayal, and heartbreaking choices abound in this novel by Ruta Sepetys.

I really struggled with rating this book because there is a lot of good in it... Sepetys did a wonderful job of making me feel like I was right in the middle of 1950's New Orleans. I feel like I got to know some of the characters really well, and it was a book that I found very easy to keep on reading. That being said, I still ended up rating it 2 of 5 stars on Goodreads, meaning I thought it was just ok.

I think it was hard for me to really get into this book because I just found so much of it SO freakin' sad. Josie's mother was just plain AWFUL and it's heartbreaking to think that a 12 year-old girl was forced to grow up under those conditions. And while I really liked Cokie, Sadie, and even Willie, it still made me sad that those were the people Josie had. What a sad childhood! And while I really liked Patrick and Charlie, that situation was just plain sad too. Sadness is overflowing in this book!!

But in fairness, this book is probably a VERY accurate depiction of life in the French Quarter of New Orleans back then. Historical books have never been my thing, so it may not be all that surprising that I didn't love this book. And while I doubt I'll ever re-read this one, I am pleased with where things ended up. Josie? That girl is going to be all right. She's a tough cookie and I think she'll find a way to overcome her past and carve out a new future.

Hurricane Sandy

Even though it feels super late in the season to be talking about a hurricane, that's EXACTLY what I'm going to do because I live in southeastern VA and we're getting pounded by Hurricane Sandy as I type this! Luckily, it's mostly a rain situation, the winds aren't too terrible so widespread power outages haven't occurred yet, but since our area is at sea level, rain of this caliber proves to be a MAJOR issue with flooding. Because of all the rain (on average, 6-10 inches from last night through tomorrow night), lots of flooding is occurring throughout our region. YAY. What does this mean for me?

Well, for one thing... I don't have to work tomorrow. Which normally, would make me jump over the moon excited, except the way our lovely school board has worked out our inclement weather days, if we miss a day before Veteran's Day (November 12) we have to make it up instead of getting that holiday. So instead of a great three-day weekend with at least the POTENTIAL of good weather, we're getting a three-day weekend of truly horrible weather, weather that's relegated me to my couch. I couldn't even get Chinese food for lunch today because they were closed. Yes, I'm whining... I can't help it!

The other bad thing for me is that Veteran's Day is the Monday before my wedding and I could REALLY use the time that week to tie up loose ends and whatnot. It sucks to get a day off now that's going to end up being a wasted day. So thank you, Sandy. You suck!!!

I did use the time today to wrap up reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it. And hopefully the weather doesn't keep me from mailing it on to the next person tomorrow! I plan on making some hot chocolate and writing my review tonight. Got to find some way to pass the time! Hope everyone is doing well and that your weekend is drier than mine. And as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Crescendo


Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.

If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

I ADORE this series. It had been a loooooong freakin' time since I had read Hush, Hush so I re-read it so I could read the rest of the books in this series since the fourth and final book came out yesterday. I'm pleased to say that Crescendo, the second book in the series, did not disappoint. I was worried that it would come off a little flat after the awesomeness that was the first book, but I found myself super entertained and engaged and now I cannot WAIT to start the third!

Crescendo picks up after the events of Hush, Hush and Nora has become quite comfortable with the arrangement of Patch as her guardian angel. Having your boyfriend as your guardian angel could never be a bad thing, right? Trouble is, Nora and Patch's relationship has caught the eyes of the archangels and Nora learns that Patch is risking being sent to hell by continuing a relationship with her. A messy break-up results and if that wasn't hurtful enough, it seems like Patch has immediately moved on to Marcie Millar, Nora's lifelong rival. Love, apparently, hurts like hell...

Enter Scott Parnell, an old childhood friend, that Nora finds herself spending time with, partly out of a desire to hurt Patch, and partly because something about Scott is very intriguing. Nora quickly learns that Scott has some major secrets--he also happens to have ties to the man who killed Nora's father. Nora dives into a dangerous world, trying to uncover the truth about The Black Hand and the secret Nephilim society hellbent on tearing down the fallen angels. Will she survive unscathed? Or will someone she never expected turn on her when she needs them the most? Crescendo is one hell of a ride, a ride you'll NEVER regret taking.

Mmmkay. I have to say this... WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THAT CLIFFHANGER?! UGH!!! Haha. Thank goodness I'm way late to this party and can start reading Silence, the third book, right away because that cliffhanger would have killed me if I had to wait over a year! And wow, wow, WOW! Talk about some plot twists in this one! Crescendo is a fast-paced speed demon of a book that will keep you on your toes all the way to the end.

Not that this book was ALL fabulous (even though I'd STILL rate it 5 of 5!) though... there were moments I wanted to chuck it against the wall! Patch was in fine form *sarcasm* sometimes and I wanted to punch him! Then there were times I wanted to punch Nora or give her a good shaking! And Vee borders between adorable and obnoxious off and on throughout the book. But all in all? It was FABULOUS. Good books are capable of creating intense emotions in readers. And this book? You'll be feeling some emotions all right!

I don't want to spoiler the plot twists but geeshhhh... not sure HOW I feel about the major one. I've really got to start reading the next book!!! If you haven't tried this series out yet, I'd give it a whirl. It's seriously entertaining and has a bad-boy character that will just have you swooning. He's so bad, it's GOOD. Enjoy! *XOXO*

The Power of the Re-Read

I read... a LOT. As I'm sure do all of you who blog or visit blogs like mine. Reading is amazing, an addiction, a fulfilling hobby... but there does come to be a point when it almost feels like too much at times. I know you're probably thinking, "This chick is crazy" but hear me out.

If you're like me, you have a lot of stuff on your plate. I work full-time in a pretty stressful job. Don't even GET me started on the mess I had to deal with today! Add to that, I have four cats, a new puppy, a wedding in less than a month, and that all adds up to me being one very busy chick. So sometimes reading is forced to take a backseat and that provides the first challenge for me in terms of remembering ALLLLL the different book series I'm currently following.

The second challenge is just the sheer NUMBER of amazing books out there. The more I read, the more I find I WANT to read. My TBR pile mocks me daily! And while I wish I could say my memory is awesomesauce, it just isn't. So when a book series is set to only release a new book every year to two years, that poses a serious issue for me in that I totally forget key points of the storyline by the time the newest release comes around. It's gotten to the point where I am purposely waiting for some series to wrap up before I allow myself to engage in the first book.

But what about those series that are just too fabulous to push off? I've found lately that I HAVE to re-read the book or books that came before. And while I hate it in a way, because it takes valuable reading time away from me, I'm finding that it's helping me enjoy these series much more than before. No longer am I confused and left to wonder, "What the heck happened in that last book?". And I'm REALLY trying to let a couple books get out before I do a re-read so that I have at least two new books to read. Sometimes it's hard to wait, but then I look at my TBR pile and realize that I won't be left twiddling my thumbs!

Anywho... just my reading ramblings of the day. Hope everyone is well! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Necromancing the Stone


With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well... not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

*SQUEEEEEEE* Anyone who has read anything I've ever said about Lish McBride and her books knows that I ADORE this woman. Her writing is fun, witty, entertaining, and literally makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD at points. I was nervous going into Necromancing the Stone, worried that it wouldn't live up to it's predecessor since Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is one of my all-time faves. Lucky for me, McBride struck gold again with another super enjoyable, fast-paced, wild and witty ride!

Necromancing the Stone picks up not long after the events of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. Sam is busy trying to adjust to his new life--not only did he inherit Douglas' seat on the council, but he also inherited Douglas' house, a house that is full of interesting, and devious, creatures. Add to that the fact that his best friend is dealing with becoming a werebear, someone put a knife in Haley's door, and a shocking murder rocks the supernatural world, an event that places Sam directly in the line of fire.

As Sam begins to investigate the truth behind the murder, disturbing clues come to light, clues that have Brid and the pack questionning Sam's loyalty. Before Sam loses it all, will be discover the truth behind the attack? Or will it be too late for him--too late for them all?

I REFUSE to spoiler this book for a single soul because that would be criminal. Let me say though that I LOVED this book. So much so that at one point, I actually hugged it! Haha. It's got fabulous pacing, packs the same witty punch as the first book, and the storyline is just BETTER than the first, which I didn't think could be possible. Seriously, this book was awesome!!

While it was fast-paced and funny, it also was TOUCHING. I seriously cried at one point. This book made me fall in love with some of these characters! I especially was intrigued and entertained by James. I loved getting to know him more and I really, really, REALLY hope there is a third book in this series because McBride has just started tapping into all that could be there in that character. And his chemistry with another character is VERY intriguing!! Really want to see where that storyline may be headed.

So now it's time for me to plea... 1. To those unfortunate souls who have not tried this series, I beg you to consider it. It's REALLY good and you won't be sorry! 2. To Lish McBride, please write a third book cause I'm not ready to say goodbye to Sam and the gang! And hello, love cliffhanger! You owe us faithful readers another book!!! :)

I hope everyone loves this book as much as I did. And as always, HAPPY HAPPY READING! *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 is more of an explanation... cause this gal has been BUSY! I haven't been blogging nearly as often as I'd like to and the major reason behind this is I'M GETTING MARRIED!!!! I think everyone knew that, but the wedding was supposed to be in June 2013. Because of some family issues, mainly an illness, we decided to move the wedding to this November. Talk about a whirlwind! We made the decision the beginning of August and have been frantically trying to wrap things up since then.

On top of that, I started back at work the end of August. I work in a high school as a counselor and the first two months of the school year are INSANE. And THEN... we decided to adopt a puppy. As if we didn't have enough going on! We adopted a 14 week old Boston Terrier and she is a hot mess! I've always been a cat person so it's been a huge adjustment for me but she's cute as a button. Our timing, admittedly, could have been better, but we're making things work.

Anywho... just wanted to explain my spotty attendance on here. I anticipate it will be like this through November. We're getting married November 17th and then going on a cruise for a week. But after that, life SHOULD *fingers crossed* return to normal. Hope everyone has been well and has been finding time to read! That's been a challenge for me but I did just finish Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride and loved it. Hoping to maybe get a review written today or this weekend. Take care! *XOXO*

TBR PILE Reading Challenge: September Update!

Wellllll, I don't know why I'm even bothering to post this because I read ZERO books that qualify for this challenge. EEP! In my defense, I'm a school counselor at a high school and since the kiddies come back in September, life gets INSANE and it's really hard for me to stay on top of things. Fun things, anyway!!

I'm proud of myself that I still managed to read 5 books in September but unfortunately, they were all either ARCS or new releases. I'm not giving up though! I've still got time to reach my goal for this challenge. And it's not too late if YOU want to join in as well. Check out the link of my sidebar for more information. And as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*
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