TGIF (42)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Book Blogger Retreat:

If you could gather up a handful of book blogger friends to spend a weekend away talking books, where would you go? Tell us about it.

This question couldn’t have come on a better week! Work has been insane lately, school is always stressful, and I have been going non-stop for weeks now. A retreat with some of my favorite bookish people sounds like the perfect plan!

Since it is currently 40 degrees here and I am in some desperate need of sun, I just had to pick somewhere beachy. I normally would go for a cool little town with fun bookstores and good restaurants but we’ll have to save that for another retreat. For this one I am going to go with the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas! The weather would be perfect; sunny, slightly breezy, and perfectly warm. We could all spend our days on the beach or by the pool, soaking up the rays (and also protecting ourselves with the SPF. My dad has made me a worrier when it comes to sun exposure), drinking fruity drinks, talking about our favorite bookish boyfriends, which authors are our favorites, what character we would most like to be like, and of course other random things. Our days would pass by and then nighttime would come. We can have a little beach party, go out to dinner, stay in with some movies, or talk about books some more. Regardless of what we would do, it sounds like the perfect weekend to me; what do you guys think???

This Week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (3/23-3/30):

TGIF (41) Bookish Trends

In My Mailbox (33)

I’m Just So Excited!!! (Concert Post)

Tune In Tuesday (52)

The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox + Giveaway!!!

Defy by Raine Thomas + Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Defy by Raine Thomas

Title: Defy (Firstborn #1)

Author: Raine Thomas

Release Date: April 30th 2012


Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.

I am so honored to be a part of Raine’s cover reveal for this book! I recently read Becoming by Raine which is not part of this series BUT does take place in the same world. Raine creates such a magical, wonderful world that I cannot wait to learn more about in this series. Is April 30th here yet?

Now let’s talk about that cover! I think it is so gorgeous but if I am being honest, all of Raine’s covers are gorgeous! The peacock feathers throughout the hair, the pretty blue eyes that seem to match the color of “Defy”, everything about it is so pretty! Let me know what you think and of course, click the title above to add it to your Goodreads shelves!

P.s. You can pre-order this book from Barnes & Noble!!!!

Giveaway: The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

Title: The Magic Warble

Author: Victoria Simcox

Pages: 268 pages

Genre: Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.

In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one,” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble,” in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.


Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children’s Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.


Today I have a giveaway for TWO e-books of The Magic Warble! To be eligible to win this lovely MG novel, please do all of the following:

Follow Victoria’s blog!

Like The Magic Warble on Facebook!

Follow Victoria Simcox on Twitter!

Once the first three steps above are completed, fill out the form! The contest will run until 4/5!

The Magic Warble is available as an e-book on Amazon for only $2.99

Tune In Tuesday (52)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the very last week of Tune In Tuesday Book Playlist Edition and it makes me so sad! I really wish I didn’t miss that one week because there is a ton of music related books I would have loved to share with you guys! But since it is the last week, I will try to make it extra special by posting a few of my very favorite songs that remind me of a few of my very favorite books!

Endlessly by Green River Ordinance paired with The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I really felt so many raw emotions while reading this book that I could have easily picked 20 songs to go along with it! It broke my heart in the most beautiful way but it also showed me all about love and I think this song displays that perfectly.

Everything Falls Apart by Carter Hulsey paired with On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

I recently saw Carter in concert and picked up his CD. As soon as this song came on, I was reminded of Jennifer and Nathan’s story ESPECIALLY when the line from Robert’s poem is mentioned in the song. That plays an important role in the book.

Birds of a Feather by The Civil Wars paired with Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

This song has that sort of hauntingly beautiful feel to it and that is exactly what I experienced while reading this book.

Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift paired with Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I still don’t know what it is about this song. It could be the mention of green eyes but I like to think it is just the whirlwind of feelings flying between Zoey and Doug in this book. You can definitely tell there are sparks flying between the two!

Daughter Of The Sun by Windsor Drive paired with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is another hard one to really explain. It may be because I listened to this CD a lot right around the time I read the book but I like to think that the lyrics tell a very similar story.

You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson paired with The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

You know I had to pick at least one Sarah Dessen book! I actually had a super hard time because I feel as though her stories are so specific, it’s hard to match a song perfectly. I know this song gets paired with a lot of paranormal books but I actually really like how it fits with this story. Wes brings out a whole other side to Macy. She is just going through all the motions but Wes and the whole gang get her to open up and grow as a person.

I’m Just So Excited….

It has been a while since I’ve done a completely random, pointless post so I decided there is no better time than the present! As you can guess from the title I am super excited about something and as you may or may not know, there is only one thing that gets me super pumped…okay, I lied there are a ton of things that get me excited including but not limited to: ice cream, books, sleeping in, cats & dogs, etc., but for this instance we are just going to say MUSIC! I am going to a very out-of-nowhere, non-pre-planned concert! I got a tweet from one of my favorite bands the other day saying they were going to be in MI this weekend, yes I did flail crazily and squeal like a dying bird. Windsor Drive has been featured a few times on the blog and I constantly share their music with the people of Twitter (whether or not they actually listen to me when I say “LISTEN TO THIS NOW” is unknown but they are crazy if they don’t take just a little chance!). I first met them last summer at Warped Tour and since then, I’ve had a bit of an obsession. So you can only imagine how psychotic I have been acting the past couple of days! Coming along on this tour is Carter Hulsey (he rocks my socks off!) and From Indian Lakes (definitely a new favorite!). Kati, Kari, and I will be going later tonight so expect lots of pictures, lots more tweets, and perhaps a mixed CD giveaway a little later in the week! In the meantime, take a listen to the three Brilliant bands I will be seeing tonight!

Shine by Windsor Drive

Black and Blue by Carter Hulsey

Away! by From Indian Lakes

In My Mailbox (33)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library!

It has been far too long since my last IMM post! I tried to think of all the books that I got the past couple of weeks but if I forgot something, I apologize!

For Review:

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois (signed)

My Thoughts: This book was brilliant! I loved the journey the main character went on. Review coming soon!

Revealing Eden: Save The Pearls Part I by Victoria Foyt (signed)

My Thoughts: I am just now starting this one but the summary is definitely super interesting!


Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (signed)

My Thoughts: Thank you SO MUCH to Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books for sending me this awesome surprise. I cannot wait to read more of this series!

A special thanks to C.A. Kunz for sending over a Childe Bookmark! It was so nice to get a hand-written, thoughtful letter!

 A special thanks to Michelle I. Brooks for sending over a Bone Dressing bookmark!


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I loved this first book so much! I had it for quite a while but took it to Leah’s book launch to get it signed!!!

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I am so excited to see where this book takes Az, Eden, Gabe, and the whole gang!

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

My Thoughts: Lexcade has convinced me that I will love Leanna’s books and I trust her completely! I have been waiting a while for this one.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

My Thoughts: So heart-breakingly beautiful! I love this book so, so, so, so, so much. There will never be enough words to explain all of its brilliance.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

My Thoughts: Witches, sisters, first love, magic, really is there anything unappealing about this book? I think not.

So that is it for my mailbox this week! Leave a link in the comments section and I will be sure to check out yours as well!

TGIF (41)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Bookish Trends:

What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you’d like to see more of?

98% of the time I am completely out of the loop. This is true at school, at work, even at home so it does not surprise me what so ever that I am out of the loop when it comes to the bookish world. Want proof of this? I just read The Hunger Games for the first time…last week. I completely own up to the fact that I am a fail-face. I tend to take my dear, sweet time getting to “the next big thing”. So in fact what is new and catching my eye lately are books that were trending months possibly even a year or so ago.

So to be honest, I can only guess what is trending right now (be sure to ask me in a couple of months and I will be able to verify my answer!) I want to say that after few years of paranormal, fantasy, dystopian, and steampunk novels taking over the bookshelves (they have become a HUGE part of YA literature, I don’t think I will ever get sick of them!), contemporary books are finally coming back. Just take a look at a few of the most popular books that have been making their rounds across the blogosphere lately. The Fault In Our Stars. Lola and the Boy Next Door. Wanderlove. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. Getting Over Garrett Delaney. The One That I Want. Love and Leftovers.The list just goes on and on and on and on and, well you get the point!

There is not one particular trend I feel is receiving any less amount of attention than another…well at least from me! I read what I want when I feel like it. I could go a straight month reading nothing but Paranormal books and then switch it up for a couple of weeks reading Contemporary and just to keep things extra interesting, I might throw a historical fiction into the mix. I like having variety around so the book world can switch trends every two weeks for all I care, I’d still be just as thrilled!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (3/16-3/23):

TGIF (40) Social Networking

Tune In Tuesday (51) Book Playlist Edition: The Beatles!!!!

Becoming by Raine Thomas

Book Review: Becoming by Raine Thomas

Title: Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy #1)

Author: Raine Thomas

Publisher: Iambe Books

Pages: 250 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest and thoughtful review

Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.

To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.

Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.

Let me just start off by saying that you will want this book! It possesses everything I love and have come to expect from a good book: a strong MC, a unique plot that stays interesting throughout, and a sizzling romance that will melt your heart. Really, what’s not to like?

When the story first starts off, we meet Amber. You learn she is quiet, reserved, snarky, she has one heck of an attitude, she’s stubborn, but she also has a sweet side…down in there somewhere. Amber has faced a difficult life with having no real family, getting passed from foster home to foster home until she finally ended up with Mrs. B., and of course the fact that she occasionally bursts. Things are definitely not easy for Amber so you see why she tends to distance herself from others. I may not have had a whole lot in common with her but I still loved Amber from the very first page. This girl is a true fighter; she doesn’t back down when times get tough, she just keeps on fighting.

To make the story extra interesting and to create a few “oh la la” moments, we have Amber’s best friend Gabriel who happens to share a home and foster parent with her. Gabriel is undeniably gorgeous but we mustn’t forget how truly beautiful he is on the inside as well. I loved how confident, sweet, and genuine he was. Mrs. B. teaches him to be a perfect gentleman and that only adds to the natural charm this boy already has. Gabriel is a truly great friend to Amber, always nudging her along and trying to get her to come out of her shell. His fierce protectiveness over Amber and acceptance of her had me swooning before Amber even realized his true feelings. Even though all these qualities made me fall for Gabriel right off the bat, it was his loyalty towards Amber when things started going bad that made me truly love him.

The relationship between Gabriel and Amber is one all great authors should strive for in their own books. It isn’t perfect by any means, but these two just work so well together. Gabriel brings out this side of Amber, a brighter and happier side. I can only imagine her having that special glow that only love birds have whenever she is around Gabriel. Being friends first and then taking their relationship slow and one step at a time was actually really refreshing. It can become so boring to read of a romance that seems to form with just one glance.

So you may be a bit confused when see in the summary of the book that Amber explodes. It is hard to explain without containing a lot of spoilers but this power surges through Amber and it can be pretty creepy and dangerous all rolled into one. Since it has happened every 3 years since she can remember, Amber knows it is coming up. She feels this energy building up in her and she worries what will happen to her once the big “ka boom” moment actually happens. When it finally does happen, she is surprised to see that Gabriel stands by her side regardless of how strange this is. As you can probably guess, this made me love him even more <3 But more importantly it really added a sense of mystery to the middle of the story. I was desperate to know the answers as to why this kept happening to Amber.

A series of events lead Gabriel and Amber on an adventure in which we learn that Amber is not alone and not entirely human. It is also at this point that I got a little bit confused. We are introduced to some family members that Amber didn’t even know she had. I totally adore Olivia and Skye, we learn quite a bit about them in a short amount of time and they really added to the story with their little quirks. It was also great to see Amber interact with them. As I’ve mentioned she is usually pretty distant with people but when interacting with both girls, there is a different side of Amber that readers are introduced to, a much sweeter side.

Once we meet these two new characters, things only speed up and it is all action packed, information packed, and it was just a little too much for me to take in at once. Raine creates this alternate universe where magical beings live and it is just so complex, detailed, and unique. I found myself drinking in every detail about what Amber, Olivia, Skye, and even Gabriel were, their history, and the difficulties they would likely be facing in the future. The whole concept of Estilorians amazed me but it baffled me at the same time. While reading through it, I got lost on some of the smaller details of this fictional world but not enough to really take away from the story.

I know this review probably did not do this book justice. Raine created characters from different backgrounds and whose personalities are so vibrant and realistic that readers can’t help but love them. We watch as these very characters grow, change, and become more throughout the story while staying true to who they are. The magical world is one that captures your attention and the whole premise of the story is likely something you have not read about before. Things go from normal, to weird, to romantic, to even weirder really fast but it is one thrilling and magical adventure you will love reading about!

Tune In Tuesday (51)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the third week of Book Playlist Edition! The point of this edition is to pick your favorite book playlists, an author’s playlist they used while writing a book, or show us all some songs that remind you of certain books all throughout the month of March!

For this week, I decided to go with a book that is quite obviously one of the greatest music-infused books to ever be written. It is named after a super popular album by an even more popular band. The book cover portrays one of the most epically influential and most well-known album cover of all time. Certain chapters are sectioned off and are headlined with a lyric from a song that you MUST know because it is practically illegal to not know at least one song from this band. Have you guessed it yet?

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg!!!

The Beatles influence every aspect of this book from the mood and tone of each chapter, the character names, the book’s title, and of course we mustn’t forget that awesome cover! I loved reading through this book and falling in love with the whole story, but it was also amazing to just be reminded of every great Beatles song. So without further ado, some of my favorites featured in this book:

Yesterday by The Beatles

Come Together by The Beatles

Revolution by The Beatles

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles

With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles

Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles

TGIF (40)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Social Networking:

Do you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog?  How has it benefited your book blogging experience? If not, how do you promote your blog? Share your twitter handle and/or Facebook link!

Holy heck, where would I be without social media!?!? I started my blog back in August of 2010. It wasn’t until December of the same year that I FINALLY decided to create a Twitter account (Keep in mind that when I say “decided” I really mean I was semi-forced by fellow book club members to join). It took me about 2 months to fully understand how to work it and trust me, those 2 months included a bunch of embarrassing moments like insanely dorky fan-girl tweets to authors, tweeting to myself SEVERAL times, and going weeks without following anyone because I didn’t know how. After I got the hang of it, I became addicted and with that my blog grew. I was able to follow authors, bloggers, and other book lovers with a click of a button. In a similar manner I was able to show all my followers what I just posted on my blog. Sure that brought more visits to my sight and that was a quick plus to the whole Twitter thing but there is one HUGE long-term benefit that comes with joining. I have gotten some of the best of friends through this whole thing. I am able to visit more blogs, share more thoughts with people, and form relationships so much more quickly than before I joined Twitter. On top of Twitter, I also have a Facebook (show me one person out there who doesn’t have a Facebook. Even my 92 year-old Grandpa has one!). I have my personal Facebook account and a page dedicated to my blog. I don’t use these two nearly as much as I should but that is one of my goals for this coming year.

Basically what all this means in short is YES I do use Twitter (and sometimes Facebook) to promote my blog. I share the links, people sometimes RT (especially Ms. Mandie…to this day, I am still stunned by this girl’s RTing powers), and it is just a grand ole time. I would be lying if I said it didn’t help my blogging experience so far. I may not know for a fact but I sure has heck can believe that Twitter brought more readers to my blog and it also brought a whole slew of new bloggers and authors to my attention!

Now if you all want to join in all the fun, here’s how you can “connect” with me:

Twitter- @KatelynTorrey

Facebook (personal)- Katelyn Torrey

Facebook (page)- Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands