Friday, December 30, 2011

TGIF (1)

TGIF is a weekly feature created and hosted by GReads! that has a different question each week.
This is my first and last TGIF of 2011! It seems befitting, considering what the question is!  lol  :))

This week's question: First & Last: What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?

The first book I read in 2011 was:

The last book I read in 2011 was:
I loved both of these book very much! Even though they are the exact opposite of each other- A Walk to Remember made my cry...... like a baby, while Deadly Cool had me laughing out loud....... like a lunatic. I definitely reccommend these books to everyone! A Walk to Remember it deep and inspiring. Deadly Cool is light and inspiriting. And I am proud that these two books mark my start and finish!

-Kristen ♥

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop!, which was organized by Kathy @ I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and Babs @ Babs Book Bistro. A "hop" is when participating blogs hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. So, to find the linky all you have to do is click the link for one of the above blogs.
The Cozy Reading Corner's prize for this hop will be a pdf file ebook of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake!!!
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) by Kendare Blake

Synopsis: Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop!, which was organized by Kathy @ I'm a Reader, Not a Writer. A "hop" is when participating blogs hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. So, to find the linky all you have to do is click the link for one of the above blogs.
For this giveaway I will be giving away one of my favorite reads of 2011 which was really hard to narrow down! But I've decided that the prize will be a pdf file ebook of Delirium by Lauren Oliver!!!

Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

"In My Mailbox" is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren that features books that I've received/purchased/borrowed during the current week.

First off, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope your day is as special as you are!

Next, I'd like to give a huge thanks to Jessica @ Book Bound! I won her YA Christmas Giveaway and you won't believe the mystery haul I got!

I won:
Signed by Gena Showalter!

From Negalley, I got:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review for First Date by Krista McGee

Title: First Date
Author: Krista McGee
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 10, 2012

Synopsis: Addy Davidson discovers God's unexpected plans for her life when a reality TV show turns her quiet existence on its head.
The orphaned daughter of missionaries, Addy is quite content to stay in the shadows and never draw attention to herself. But when she's selected for a reality TV show to try to become the President son's prom date-a show she didn't audition for-she's suddenly in America's spotlight.
The lights, the make-up, the competitions, and the blogs discussing every move she makes all make Addy incredibly uncomfortable. But through her time at The Mansion, Addy comes to realize that first impressions aren't always right, that hiding out may not be what God had planned for her life, and that her faith should affect everything she does. It may just be that her selection wasn't random at all and that she's on this show "for such a time as this."

Verdict: I absolutely loved this book!!! Krista McGee is a literary genius! I finished this book in one day sitting because I couldn't put it down! The story starts off with Addy being chosen to represent her school in a reality T.V. show called The Book of Love. Addy along with ninety-nine other girls are competing to become the date of Jonathon Jackson, the President's son, at his senior prom. Did I mention that this guy is gorgeous? But Addy doesn't really want to be there, all she wants to do is stay home, read her Bible, do her homework (she's hoping to get into an Ivy League College), and hang out with her best friend Lexi. But of course, she ends up going because she feels that this is God's plan for her. I loved this book because of how real the characters were and how much I grew to care for most all of them. Addy lives with her Uncle Mike because her missionary parents were murdered when she was little. Her Uncle is a really great guy and loves Addy very much. Both of them are devout Christians but without being over-the-top and trying to convert everyone they see. Kara is Addy's roommate and the only girl at the competition who is actually nice to her, so of course they become best friends. Kara is awesome and so is her huge family! And of course, I bet you're still wondering about Mr. Jonathon Jackson........ not only is he gorgeous but he's got a kind heart. Fame has not corrupted him and fame does not corrupt Addy or Kara. They were all an inspiration and I am hoping against hope that Krista's got a sequel in the works! Because I could definitely go for more Addy and Jonathon (and the rest of the gang)! <3

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review for Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Title: Hallowed
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, #2
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 17, 2012

Synopsis: For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Verdict: When I finished reading Unearthly I honestly thought that the sequel could in no way compete. I was wrong. Hallowed is ahhhhh-mazing and I absolutely loved it! This book had me laughing, crying, and staring at the pages reeling in shock as I re-read sentences, saying to myself: "No, Cynthia Hand cannot do this!" But she did and she made me love it. Hallowed is a rollercoaster ride of emotions that I never wanted to end. Clara feels so real to me, like she is actually somewhere out in the world facing these problems. Book-smart Angela makes me smile. I want to give Jeffrey the hug he is in desperate need of. Christian Prescott has grown on me. And I am still helplessly Team Tucker! I honestly can't explain much of this book without giving it away but what I can tell you is that if you haven't picked up this series yet then you need to go do it right now, because (honestly?) what could be better than a story with angels, cute boys, great friends, and an actual message. Hallowed has earned a permanent place on my favorites shelf and has left me in absolute need of the third book! I can't wait to see what Cynthia Hand has in store for Clara next! <3

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Bookish 2012 New Year's Resolutions Challenge

Hello Bloggy Minions Followers!!! You guys are probably wondering what's up with the all the challenges........ well, I don't even know. This will be my FOURTH challenge for 2012 and while that might not sound like a lot to you, for a newcomer like me, that is MAJOR!!! I just hope that I'll complete them all..... which is where this challenge comes in!
I'm patricipating in the My Bookish 2012 New Year's Resolutions Challenge (MB2012NYRC) hosted by Butterfly-O-Meter Books!

This Challenge Runs From: January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012. You can sign up to participate at any time from the moment this is posted until the end of 2012, it's your set of resolutions, so have fun with it :D
Challenge: Think up your bookish list of resolutions for 2012, it can be anything related to bookish things (including completing other Challenges you're participating in as long as they're bookish-related)!

My one bookish resolution this year is pretty simple: Complete all of the Reading Challenges that I have signed up for!
Phew! I really hope I can get this accomplished! What are your resolutins for next year? Let me know in the comments section! And if you'd like to sign up for this challenge just click HERE.
-Kristen ♥

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Hello Bloggy Followers! I'm going to be participating in the 2012 Outdo Youself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen! This year, I have read 111 books, so I've decided to go with I'm On Fire and beat it by at least 16...... let's hope I can do this!  :))

  • Runs January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012 (books read prior to 1/1/12 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2012 than you did in 2011. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you could track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.
Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

2011: 111 books read
2012: 159 books read

-Kristen ♥

In My Mailbox (9)

"In My Mailbox" is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren that features books that I've received/purchased/borrowed during the current week.

From Authors, I received:

From Goodreads, I won:

**Note: I don't know why two of those pictures came in sideaways, but when I tried to fix it, it just kept doing the same thing! So I gave up and left it that way. Sorry!  :P

-Kristen ♥

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge

Hello bloggy followers! I have decided to participate in the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge because I feel like it will really help me clear out the stacks of books sitting on my shelves and collecting dust!  :)) As of now, I plan to start off with A Firm Handshake.

Welcome to 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge!!!

We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they're gifted to us.. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we'll finally decide to pick them up..

Join us on a quest to dust off your TBR Pile and read all the books you've been telling yourself you'll read next time you'll get a chance.. This is your chance! And we've got PRIZES!!! :D

Challenge guidelines:

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!

1-10 - A Firm Handshake

11-10 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

Evie from Bookish - @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea - @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - @mermaidvisions

Wrap-up POST Schedule:

January - Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February - Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March - Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April - Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May - Christa (Theme: MayDay - Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June - Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July - Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August - Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September - Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October - Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November - Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December - Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Here is what I'm planning to include in the challenge as of now (Please Note: This is subject to change!):

-Kristen ♥

Review for Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: May 4, 2009

Synopsis: Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

Verdict: Wow..... This book totally plays mind games with you! The story begins with the kidnapping of Gemma. Her captor is Ty and he is (of course!) the crazy, hated bad guy because he takes her away from her friends and family and keeps her captive in a shack in the middle of the freakin' desert! But as the book progresses Gemma starts to feel differently about Ty as she sees the real him, and she begins to feel that he isn't the bad guy she thought he was in the beginning. What he did was bad, but Gemma understands him. And if I'm being completely honest, so do I. Lucy Christopher was able to spin this haunting tale, that felt all the more real because of its ability to be actually happen, that had me rooting for Gemma and Ty to have their HEA. Which, c'mon people!, is completely wrong; a victim and her captive are not supposed to fall in love......
I can't really say anything else without giving the story away, but just know that this book is a must-read and is going on my favorites shelf. Because I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down! <3

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays Giveaway!

Since the holidays are in full swing and it's the time for giving. I decided to host my very own Happy Holidays Giveaway! for all of my followers- old or new. This giveaway will run from December 12 to December 25. The winner will receive a PDF ebook of Shatter Me by Tajereh Mafi, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke, Shut Out by Kody Keplinger and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins!!!
This is an international contest because the prize will be emailed to the winner. After the winner is announced on December 26, he/she will have 5 days to respond to my email before a new winner will be chosen. To win, all you have to do is read my giveaway policy, become a follower (unless you already are one), and complete the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck!  :))

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

"In My Mailbox" is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren that features books that I've received/purchased/borrowed during the current week.

From Netgalley, I got:

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Promise by Apryl Baker: Author Interview

Today we have an interview with Apryl Baker, the author of The Promise!  :))

Title: The Promise
Author: Apryl Baker
Publisher: Black Matrix Publishing
Publication Date: September 16, 2011

Synopsis: Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up in the sleepy town of New Salem, NC, the only non-believer in the tradition and power of the town Coven. When a stranger comes to New Salem, everything she thought was normal about her life unravels around her. Ethan makes her question everything, even her sister's death in a car crash years ago. As Cassie discovers the full truth about her heritage, and the clues start to pile up, she becomes determined to find out if the Coven was actually involved in her sister's death. What she uncovers terrifies her.
Her fate lies at the very heart of the secret the Coven protects. It's the reason she was born. Now, betrayed on every side, can she find a way to survive or will she be the catalyst that triggers a centuries old act of vengeance.


1: Can you tell us what The Promise is about in a single sentence?
Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ stop a maniacal coven leader, save the town, and still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous while surviving the darkness coming for her?

2: Can you tell us a bit more about The Promise and how it came about?
I call The Promise my Post-It Note idea. I was driving home from work and listening to Theory of A Dead Man’s Not Meant to Be. I passed this little community called New Salem and the image of a girl sitting beside a gravestone popped into my head. I couldn’t shake it so when I got home, I jotted it down on a yellow sticky and stuck it on the wall beside my computer. Over the next few days, I kept jotting down ideas and before I knew it I had a complete outline of a book on a wall of yellow, purple, and pink.
It's essentially a story of friendship and the ties that bind us together.

3: The Promise centers around the world of witchcraft, not Wicca, can you explain the difference for us, at least as it pertains to your book.
Wicca is a religion involving deities. In the world of The Coven series, witches practice witchcraft, not Wicca. They use the Elements for thier spell crafting and not prayers to gods and goddesses. They also fundamentally believe that true magic is niether white nor black, but a culmination of the two. We get to see both black magic and white magic at work in The Promise.

4: Was it fun writing the scenes between Cassie and Ethan?
LOL, yes. I laughed, I cried, and I blushed. I blushed a lot. They were very near and dear to my heart. My favorite scene between them is when they are lying on her front porch kissing and her Dad walks up and finds them. One of the seventeen year olds who did a test read for me told me when she read that, she dropped the book and felt her own face flame What girl wouldn't die of embarrassment to be caught making out by thier daddy?

5: If your book was being made into a movie who would you envision in the leading roles?
Cassie: Emma Roberts
Ethan: Jake Abel
Kay: Phoebe Tonkin
Jeff: Matt Lanter

6: A lot of authors have playlists for their books. Do you have one? If so, would you mind sharing a few of the songs?
Here are a few of my favorites and many, many ideas were born out of these songs. Music inspires a person as much as anything else and helps you to figure out sticky parts that give you trouble.
Theory of a Dead Man: Not Meant to Be
Dashboard Confessional: Dusk and Summer
Fall Out Boy: I Don’t Care
Thriving Ivy: Angels on the Moom
Buckcherry: Sorry
Dashboard Confessional: Stolen

7: Can you tell us a bit about your road to publication?
It was slightly You work so hard on your book. Then you polish it up and send it off on its merry little way only to have the dreaded REJECTION letter sent back to you. It was tough getting all those no's, but with each one, I went back to the book and worked on it. I remember the day I got the email offering to publish it. I jumped up and down and I swear the neighbors heard me screaming. It was great. The road here was hard and riddled with rejection, but so worth it in the end if I can make one person laugh or cry when they read my little sticky note idea.

8: What is your all time favorite book?
That's so hard. I love so many different ones. I would have to say my favorite is an old classic, Pride and Prejudice. Though, Kim Harrison's The Hollows series comes in a close second.

9: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
No matter how hard it is or how often you find yourself wanting to give up, don’t. When you get told no, go back and just keep working on it. Many agents and publishers will give you good advice on what they didn’t like about it. Find the things that are consistent and rework them. Just keep plugging away and eventually you will find a home for your book. There are great books out there and soon yours could be one of them.
Also find yourself a great writing group. The people there will help you to grow and hone your skills to an art truly worthy of the written word. The best advice I was ever given was to check out The folks I met there are the main reason I am published today. They are brutally honest, but they will support you and give you the help and encouragement you need to finish your work and make it the best it can be. I owe them a lot.

10: Where can our readers find you?
I'm always in need of followers on twitter and my blog. All are welcome to come listen to my ramblings and ask questions.
Twitter: @AprylBaker

Thanks Apryl!  :))

If you'd like to check out the book trailer for The Promise, you can find the link here:

-Kristen ♥
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