Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Synopsis: NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Verdict: I had heard a lot of good and not-so-good things about Incarnate, therefore I didn't really know what to expect. But to be on the safe side, I prepared myself for the worst. So, imagine my surprise when I picked up this gorgeously covered book, began to read, and found myself hooked! I began this book at a little past twelve at night and would have the read the whole darn thing, if I hadn't snapped out of it and looked at the clock to see 4:54 blinking at me. I only had a few more chapters to go, but I ended up having to force myself to put it down so that I could get a good night's rest and finish it in the morning. So I went to sleep, but as soon as I woke up (and ate breakfast) I was once again drawn into the book. When I finished, I closed the book and gazed at the beautiful cover as a feeling of contentment washed over me. I am aware of its flaws, but I loved Incarnate just the same. The story and the characters enchanted me. In this dystopian world there are one million people and when anyone dies their soul is just reincarnated with a new body (Yes, this does mean that people can come back as a different gender). But Ana is different, she is a new soul and it appears as if she has replaced the soul of another. Ana feels really guilty over this and yearns to discover the truth behind her existence. So, she decides to travel to the city of Heart. On this journey she encounters dangerous creatures- one is called a Slyph and has the power to burn her and the other is a mere boy that has the power to break her heart, **sigh** Sam. This boy is just........ **sigh** beyond words. Antyways, this is where the story really kicks off, and it's a must-read that I definitely recommend- and one you won't want to miss! <3

Warning: This book may cause you to lose many hours of sleep and further distract you with daydreams about the love interest. Proceed with caution. (There's also a chance that you may catch a serious case of fangirling........ but it will be worth it.)

An ARC was won from Lori @Pure Imagination

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

New Release: On the Bright Side by S.R. Johannes

Okay you guys..... I have awesome news! We have all heard of S.R. Johannes because of her fantastic book, Untraceable. But today she a brand new book releasing, and it is *cues drumroll*............
On the Bright Side (The Starling, #1) by S.R. Johannes

Synopsis: As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven.

Back on earth, Angela starts hitting on Michael, Gabby’s crush and should-have-been boyfriend. Gabby’s pranks to quell the love are harmless at first until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, Celestial Sky Agent, Lawrence, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, steps into reveal that Angela has big problems, and what she really needs is Gabby’s help.

Determined to right her wrong and ease her mother’s grief, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.

Praise for On the Bright Side:

"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute sci-fi thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series

Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy she’s assigned to protect. A great read!
-Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)

“ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming – a tale that’ll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby who’ve got our backs.”
- Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)

"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!"
- Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)

About the Author:

S.R. Johannes lives in Atlanta Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.com
Doesn't it sound fantastic? And the author has even given me my very own e-copy. So stay tuned for that review!  :))

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (15)

"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:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Saturday Social (1)

This is a meme created by Naiche @The Book Girl Reads where you answer a blog/book related question each week.

Question: What's the worst review you've ever given to a book?
Before I begin, you should know that I really don't like giving books bad reviews because I am aware of how hard that author must have worked on it. But some books are just bad, it can't be helped.
The worst review I ever gave to a book was the one I wrote for  by

Friday, January 27, 2012

TGIF (5)

TGIF is a weekly feature hosted by GReads! that has a different question each week.

This Friday's Question: Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?
Most of the books I read come from the either Books-A-Million or Amazon. I also get quite a few books from Netgalley and authors. And, of course, I take full advantage of my public library.
Honestly, I like to own books rather than just have them on loan. This because when I really love a book, I just have to own my own copy. It's an addiction.  :))

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 14, 2012

Synopsis: Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Verdict: When I read the premise for Scarlet, I knew immediately that I just had to read it! Because first of all, it's a story about Robin Hood and second, because one of the members in his band of merry men is a girl. And she's not some doe-eyed damsel in distress either, Scarlet is a knife-throwing, take-care-of-herself kind of gal that you do not want to piss off! And Robin is a moody and very handsome do-gooder that may or may not harbor feelings for Scar. (To find out, you have to read the book!) Another member in Robin's band is John. He's a hunky specimen who actually has a heart and he may or may not harbor feelings for Scar. (Once again, if you want to know..... you have to read the book!) Last, but certainly not least, is Much. This guy is all heart and happens to be missing his right arm from when the Sherriff cut if off to punish him. Just like in all Robin Hood stories, these people steal from the rich and give to the poor. So, the Sherriff of Nottingham is taxing these poor people like crazy and Robin, Scar, John, and Much are working overtime trying to get enough money and food to help everyone. The Sherriff is of course trying to catch the Hood, but they are too elusive. So, he hires a thief-catcher to bring them in. Only this time, he might just succeed. This book was absolutely awesome! I loved the story and the characters! Scarlet is a very scarred person, but she had still managed to stay pure at heart. Robin also has a few shackles around his heart and you can sometimes glimpse some pain in his ocean-blue eyes, but he never fails to put others before himself. John and Much were both loveable brutes. I also want to thank A.C. Gaughen for coming up with this new unique twist in the classic Robin Hood story that I am hoping comes with a sequel ( because I am really loving where things are headed **hint-hint**)! <3

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Tour: Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt (Guest Post)

Hello Bloggy Followers! I am so thrilled to be participating in this virtual book tour for Victoria Foyt's new release: Save the Pearls Part One: REVEALING EDEN! (My review is below.)

Title: Revealing Eden
Author: Victoria Foyt
Series: Save the Pearls, #1
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press
Publication Date: January 10, 2012

Synopsis: Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

Do you want to buy this book? If you do, you can find it on Amazon HERE.

About the Author: Victoria Foyt is an author and filmmaker. Her debut novel, The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond, released in ’07 by HarperCollins, is a Young Adult coming-of-age mystery thriller. It achieved excellent critical reviews, including a five star, “must-read” rating from TeansReadToo.com, and was recommended by the Center for Children’s Books. Save The Pearls Part One REVEALING EDEN is a Young Adult, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction romance novel that deals with beauty and race released in January 2012.

Author Website: http://www.victoriafoyt.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/SaveThePearls
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VictoriaFoyt

Guest Post:
On Beauty In The Age of Gloss
By Victoria Foyt
Tell me the truth, Sister, on a scale of one to ten, how do you rate your beauty? Hmmm. I perceive your disdain, even through the nebulous reaches of the Internet.

That’s a guy thing, you say. Women don’t do that.
Really? Perhaps, when you look in the mirror, you do not slap across your chest an invisible beauty pageant banner that rates your visible assets. But I bet you rate, not only yourself, but every woman that comes onto your radar, and all the time, too.
You have your own system, or particular symbology for rating beauty, I imagine. Like my Italian mother who passes judgment on films with a number of meatballs, the higher the better, your cultural identity probably informs your ratings.
In fact, we all do it, my dear. Honestly, how can we avoid it when a constant barrage of images conspires to create insecurity about our looks? Have you noticed how quickly your self-imposed rating plummets after flipping through a fashion magazine? I’d like to see what would happen to their sales if those same high glossies advertised average-looking people.
Perhaps, the magazine editors know how much we despise ourselves and therefore, figure we would never buy their products unless we felt duly punished. Sadly, too many of us inwardly feel like Groucho Marx: “I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member.”
The day I caught myself comparing my grade-school daughter’s looks to the other girls in her class, I thought, this must stop! I understood that, on a subtle level, I would pass on to her the same limiting behavior with which I had been conditioned. In my heart, I only wanted to send a message that each girl was beautiful in her own way.
No doubt, beauty is power, often as formidable as a genius IQ over 140. In the evolution of humanity, it has served a purpose, with the selection of genes, just as in all species. I strongly suspect, however, that our obsession with beauty has deprived us of something of equal value, if not greater.
When I set out to write my new fantasy romance novel, Revealing Eden (Save The Pearls Part One), I found myself facing twin fears that, at the time, seemed thematically unrelated, but ultimately, came together in a perfect way. Eden Newman lives in a post-apocalyptic world where the ability to withstand extreme solar radiation defines beauty and class. The more melanin in your skin, and therefore, the darker it is, the better your chance of survival, the higher your beauty rating. Eden’s blond, blue-eyed looks brand her as an ugly, oppressed Pearl. She’s desperate to find a mate, and doomed if she doesn’t.
All she really wants is for some guy to see past her obvious defects and admire the Real Eden, the one on the inside.
Call me over-imaginative, but I fear that our fixation on external beauty is now as useless and as cumbersome to our survival as if we had reptilian tails.
We vote on leaders, not based on intelligence or soulful qualities, but by the style of their clothes or haircut.
We ignore the real reasons for deep problems like unemployment, economic disparity or the continuing destruction of our environment because solutions like better education or higher taxes or cap and trade require us to think of someone besides ourselves, to change how we look at the world.
We want quick fixes. We’re like the patient who only treats the symptoms, never approaching illness from a holistic point of view, body and soul. It’s a matter of perspective.
Can we learn to see who we are and where we are going before it’s too late? I hope so.
Next time you look in the mirror, tell yourself you are uniquely beautiful, just as you are, and send that message to the next person you meet.
-Kristen ♥

Review: Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt

Title: Revealing Eden
Author: Victoria Foyt
Series: Save the Pearls, #1
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press Inc.
Publication Date: January 10, 2012

Synopsis: Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

Verdict: Wow! What a way to start off the year! The story was fast-paced, action-packed, and caused me to officially fall in love with this book! (If you're wondering what happens when you fall in love with a book, it's quite simple: 1) Commence to Facebook and Twitter stalking the author, 2) Commence to adding all of author's works, but especially the sequel, as a to-read, and 3) Commence to writing a review with a lot of fangirling!) Eden is an inspiration to always be yourself and Bramford was beastly.... in a good way. I zipped through this book in two days! (It would have been one day, but when I had gotten past the half way mark it was already very late and I had to wake up early the next morning.) The story starts off with Eden working at the lab where her scientist father is conducting a huge, life-changing experiment. Now before I move on, I need to explain a little something about this dystopian world- it is ruled by coals (slang for black people); and pearls (slang for white people) are the hated lower-class minority. This is because the sun's radiation waves started penetrating through our atmosphere layers and it killed off most of the pearls because their light skin couldn't protect them as well as the coal's dark skin. So, Eden is a pearl and is turning eighteen soon, which is the deadline for when females have to be mated. Unfortunately, Eden's mate rate is only 15% which has been causing her a huge amount of worry. That is until something bigger happens; this is where the story really gets going and it pulled me in and wouldn't let go! I am dying to get the sequel and find out what else will happen between Eden and Bramford! And I can't praise Victoria Foyt enough for thinking up this beautifully unique story and sharing it with the rest of us! <3

A copy was provided by the publisher.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (14)

"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 Lori @Pure Imagination, I won:
An ARC of  by
An ARC of  by

From Netgalley, I got:

-Kristen ♥

Friday, January 20, 2012

TGIF (4)

TGIF is a weekly feature hosted by GReads! that has a different question each week.

This Friday's Question: Recommend It: Which book from the last 10 you've read
would you recommend to a friend?

Happy Friday Everyone! This is a hard one...... Out of the last ten I've read, I'd have to recommend:
Shade (Shade, #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Synopsis: Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart. 
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

This series is ahhh-mazing! So, as soon as you finish Shade, you're going to want to check out the sequel:  by

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux, #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: November 29, 2011

Synopsis: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Verdict: Obsidian has totally changed my view of aliens. Now when I picture one, I'm going to see a gorgeous black-haired, green-eyed guy that can light up like the Fourth of July! Jennifer L. Armentrout is a genius for thinking this up! When I started reading Obsidian I didn't stop until I reached the very last page. The story and the characters had me hooked. Katy might be one of my favorite heroines so far; she's sweet, tough, selfless, and did I mention that she reviews books for her blog? (She is awesome!) Then there is her best friend Dee, who is drop-dead gorgeous. This girl is a ball of fun energy bundled up in a wrapping of sweetness, fierce loyalty, and protectiveness. And then there is her twin brother Daemon. (He's the hot, green-eyed one.) I loved how for Daemon and Katy it wasn't love at first sight..... or second sight, or third, and so on and so forth! I mean, these two bickered like cats and dogs! Which I find rather endearing. Last, and most certainly least, I must mention the bad guys. They are called Arums and are seriously scary. They are basically these shadow creatures that you can't see and can kill you without breaking a sweat. But as bad as they are, the Luxens totally make up for it, because they are light. (And I mean that literally!) The bottom line is I am in love with this new series and can't wait for the sequel to be released and find out what is going to happen next! It is definitely being added to my favorites shelf! <3

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (13)

"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 Books-a-Million, I bought:

Friday, January 13, 2012

TGIF (3)

TGIF is a weekly feature hosted by GReads! that has a different question each week.

This Week's Question: 2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list
to be read this year (new or old releases)?

Before I begin I just want to say that I hope you all have had a good Friday the 13th!  :))
Now, on to the question: There are so many books to choose from! If I really made my 2012 Must Reads list, it would take me all day and would consist of hundreds of books! So, I'm going to narrow it down to just four.....

-Kristen ♥

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop!, which was organized by Kathy @ I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf. 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 Once In A Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber!!!

Once In A Full Moon (Full Moon, #1) by Ellen Schreiber

Synopsis: Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.
Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.
Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.
Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.
This is an international contest because the prize will be emailed to the winner. After the winner is announced on January 19th, 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!  :))

Happy 1st Blogoversary to Me!

Hello Bloggy Followers!!!

Today is The Cozy Reading Corner's 1st Blogoversary! I am so excited to have made it a year! I remember when I first started off I had a grand total of 10 followers, my blog looked awful, and I didn't know what a meme was! Now, I have a whopping 482 followers (and I am grateful for each and every one of you!), my blog looks pretty good (If I do say so myself!) and I am constantly participating in memes and reading challenges! :))

But none of that could have been possible without YOU! Yes, I'm talking about you! If you're reading this right now- I am totally sending over a virtual hug! Because you're the reason I continue to blog! Every time I open my inbox and I have an email telling me about a comment left on one of my posts or about a new follower, it makes me want to do a happy dance (which would be really embarrassing)! I know I'm kind of rambling right now, but I just wanted to say Thank You! And that I hope there will be many more Blogoversaries to come! <3

Now, what is the best way to really show my love? It's pretty simple! A giveaway!!! :)) Normally, I'd have this giveaway planned by now. But, I'm going to need a little more time. So, stay tuned for my HUGE 1st Blogoversary Giveaway that will be coming up very soon! :))

In the mean time, I hope you will enjoy reading about my journey during my first year which will be told in GIFs.  :))
Okay peoples. I remember I wrote my first post for this blog back on January 13, 2011. It was only a year ago, but my how things have changed. What I didn't know at the time, was how much more involved blogging truly was. Ya see, little ignorant me, thought that it pretty much consisted of writing down my thoughts and clicking enter. Boy, was I wrong. And when I found out how wrong I was and how much more involved it all was, I looked a lot like this:
Then I started to check out the blogs of more experienced bloggers and realized that I had a lot of work ahead of me. I began to search for prettier backgrounds and I discovered what memes were. It was a lot of work! (Not that I'm complaining.....) And I also realized that my blog's name was totally lame. And I needed to fix that. So, I began to brainstorm. And when I finally found the perfect name: The Cozy Reading Corner. I pretty much looked a lot like this:

So, after I put my name at the top of my blog I realized that something was missing. Something important...... that's right. A freakin' picture. So, then I was all like this:
I had no idea how to do it. So after spending many hours searching Google. I figured it out. Sort of. So, I put my picture in and felt pretty darn accomplished. But then, I said to myself, "Self, how come all those other fancy schmancy blogs have buttons with their blog picture on it and we don't." So I told myself I didn't know why, but that I would fix it. Because.......
So, after I was filled up with all of this self-confidence. I looked up how to make those bloggy buttons and was introduced to HTML codes. I was pretty overwhelmed and so I began to freak out and I told myself, "Self, we will never have of those cool bloggy buttons because I don't know how to do it." And my self replied with:
And that was when I realized something: I was right. I was being bloody rude. Because I was finally within walking distance of my dream and was about to just give up. So I swept away all of that doubt underneath a rug and I made a freakin' blog button.
After my latest accomplishment, I was feeling pretty awesome. Until I looked over at my GFC follower box and saw the number 10. Yup, I only had ten followers and I loved each of them very much. But gosh darn it, the selfish part of me wanted MORE followers and was already scheming ways to get it.
I was still very happy with all that I had accomplished and wanted to thank my followers. So, I had my very first giveaway!!! And I gained 5 more followers in the process. This satisfied the generous me and the selfish me. But I have to tell ya, that it took me a while to figure out the Google doc spreadsheets and I already hated it. So, I decided to unleash my killer dog on it.
But luckily, the killer vampire dog wasn't needed because I discovered Rafflecopter. The. Best. Thing. Ever. It made my life so much easier. And I want to give a shout out to Rafflecopter for saving my life.
Since then, I have discovered Giveaway Hops and have gained even more followers. And most importantly I am completely happy with my blog and couldn't be more proud. The first year was kind of tough, but it was worth it. I love reading and blogging and I want to tell all of my followers that you're the best. And that this next GIF is just for you.  <3
Let me know in the comments section whether or not you like these little GIF stories and if you'd like some more of them.  :)) Cuz if ya do, I'll just use a little magic to make your dreams come true.

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review for Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
Series: Deadly Cool, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 11, 2011

Synopsis: Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.

Verdict: First off, I'd just like to say that this is the fifth book I've read these past two weeks that I finished in one sitting! Deadly Cool set it's hooks in and didn't let go! I loved the main character Hartley (how cool is her name?) and her partners in crime: Sam (her best friend) and Chase (resident hot bad-boy). The story starts off with Hart finding out that her boyfriend, Josh, was cheating on her with resident good-girl and captain of the color guard, Courtney. When Hartley goes to Josh's hose to confront him about it, she finds Courtney's dead body stuffed in his closet. All the clues are pointing to Josh as being the murderer. It's up to Hartley to prove the innocence of her now ex-boyfriend. This is when the story really begins and I absolutely loved it! Hartley has so much snark that I found myself literally laughing out loud at things she said and did. And then there is Chase....... who is hot! And completely adorable! I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel so I can find out what other messes Hartley and Chase will find themselves in! <3

Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rafflecopter Launch Party Giveaway!

Hello Bloggy Followers! I have ahhhh-mazing news, the people over at Rafflecopter are throwing an awesome giveaway! What? How awesome you ask. Well, how does this sound:
You will have the chance to win a brand new 16GB Apple iPad2 for yourself and a brand new Kindle Fire for the person who referred you to the giveaway. How cool is that?!?!
If you'd like to enter my name- Kristen Michelle- as the blogger who referred you, that would be totally awesome and I would love you forever and send you virtual hugs!  :))

New Releases: Destiny's Fire and A Million Suns

Two books that I have really been looking foward to released today! And they are:

 Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe

 A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2) by Beth Revis

Don't they look awesome?!?! I am so excited! For more information, just click on any of the links below.

Destiny's Fire on Goodreads
Buy Destiny's Fire on Amazon
Trisha Wolfe's Website

A Million Suns on Goodreads
Buy A Million Suns on Amazon
Beth Revis's Website

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (12)

"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 Macmillan Publishing, I received:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Review for Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky, #1
Publisher: HaperCollins
Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Synopsis: Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Verdict: Before I begin my actual review, I have to tell you a funny little story concerning this book. I downloaded it from Netgalley the night before New Years and told myself that I wouldn't finish it until 2012. Because 1) I had just finished writing a meme post in which I wrote about the first book I read in 2011 and the last book I read in 2011, so I couldn't read anymore books for 2011 and 2) so that it would count toward my Debut Author Challenge by The Story Siren. But what happened? I opened it up to just read a few chapters....... and read the whole darn thing. I couldn't put it down. As a result, it won't count toward my DAC and my meme post is inaccurate. Oh well, it was worth it.  :D  Now, on to my actual review:

There was so much hype being brought up about this book that I began to doubt that it would actually be any good. I shouldn't have worried. Veronica Rossi totally had this under control and has written a great novel that has found its way onto my favorites shelf. I absolutely loved everything about this book! The cover, the story, the characters, and the setting. I am absolutely dying to get my hands on the sequel because the ending had me flipping the page saying, "No! There has to be more!" I can't even begin to describe the book or the characters in a way that will do them justice. Just know this- I have never, ever read a book like this before; it is completely unique and one-of-a-kind! You won't regret picking this book up and meeting all of the awesome characters (Aria, Perry, Roar, Talon) and visiting this new dystopian world! <3
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
Rating: 5/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

TGIF (2)

TGIF is a weekly feature created and hosted by GReads! that has a different question each week.

This week's question: Reading Resolutions: What are some of your reading goals for the new year?
  • On Goodreads, I challenged myself to read 130 books (30 more books from my 2011 challenge)
  • I have challenged myself to read at least 12 young adult debut books
  • I have also challenged myself to read at least 11-20 books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf
-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review for Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Title: Darker Still
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Magic Most Foul, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 8, 2011

Synopsis: The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...
Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Verdict: When I read a book, it usually has to really grab me and reel me in for me to continue to read it. If it doesn't then I usually end up putting it down and abandoning it, which is what almost happened to Darker Still. A little over half way in, the story kind of lost me, so I put it down to pursue other books. But like a siren calling sailors to the waters, I kept picking it back up. Which a book has never really done before, because when I put a book down, it doesn't get picked back up. Darker Still is a haunting tale that refused to be put down. I finished this book (albeit longer than my normal novel-finishing time) and I loved it! The story is told in the form of diary entries, newspaper articles, and police reports. It tells the chilling tale of Natalie Stewart and Jonathon Whitby (Lord Denbury) and how they escaped from magic most foul. I loved the overall mood of the story and how I was immediately transported to the time and place after reading just a few words. (On a side note: The cover is absolutely gorgeous!) Natalie has been a mute ever since her mother died when she was a little girl. She is now seventeen years old and has just been released from The Connecticut Asylum. She lives with her father (who I'm actually kind of fond of) and has no friends. That is until she meets Mrs. Evelyn Northe and her niece, Maggie. Through them, Natalie eventually comes face to face with the most handsome man she has ever seen. Oh, did I mention that this man is nothing more than a life-size portrait? At least that's what it appears to be. In reality, the man is Jonathon Whitby and his soul has been captured in the painting by a demon. Natalie is the only one who can communicate with him (so of course!), it's up to her to get him out. Although, neither one of them expected to fall in love..... Overall, this story was very addicting and I definitely recommend it, because it teaches a valuable lesson about finding your own "voice." <3

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In My Mailbox (11)

"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.
Before we begin, I just have to say that I can't believe it's already 2012!!! Happy New Years everyone!  :))  2011 has been a great year for books, but 2012 is here and it's already shaping up to be a great one!!!  <3

For Christmas, I got:
__________________ (Someone bought me a book I already have, so they are returning it and getting me a new one, that's why this one is still blank.  lol)
The Hunger Trilogy Box Set by Suzanne Collins
A Hunger Games T-Shirt
I bought:
The Hunger Games Soundtrack: Safe & Sound (Single) by Taylor Swift (feat. The Cold Wars)

From Sand Dollar Press Inc. Publishing, I received:
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