Blog Tour: Defy by Raine Thomas

As some of you may remember, I was part of the cover reveal for Raine Thomas’ new series, Firstborn. The first book in this series, Defy, comes out today!!!!!!! *throws confetti and starts and epic dance party* To help in the celebration I am 1) participating in the blog tour (my stop is on May 2nd so make sure you come on by!) 2) posting the GORGEOUS book trailer for all of you to see and 3) being a link fairy for all of you! After this post you will be able to add the book on goodreads, purchase an e-book for your Nook, an e-book for your Kindle, or if you are like me, you can purchase the REAL THING! And now, I present to all of you, this gorgeously, awesome book trailer!

Add on Goodreads

Purchase for your Nook

Purchase for your Kindle

Purchase the REAL THING

TGIF (46)

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:

Reading Blues:

We all get them from time to time. What helps you overcome those reading slumps when nothing seems to grab your attention?

As always, another great question from Ginger! Like writers have their writing blocks, us readers/reviewers/bloggers most certainly have our own reading blocks! In fact, this whole past year has been one giant reading block for me *sad face* Sometimes work, school, and general life gets in the way. Other times I can be let down by certain books or overly impressed by others. And then let’s not forget the good ole’ excuse of being lazy. No matter what the cause of the reading slump may be there are always a few different things you can do to fix the problem!

DON’T FORCE IT: If a book really just isn’t holding your interest, don’t push on until you can’t stand it anymore. I used to be very strict on myself about always finishing a book once I started one. It took some time but I have finally realized that I am not being fair on myself or the book if I am forcing it.

FIND OUT WHAT’S BUGGING YOU: Maybe it is not that you are in a reading slump exactly. It could be stress from real life, the fact that your car didn’t start, or maybe it’s that Teen Wolf hasn’t been on TV for almost a full year now! Whatever the case may be, try to figure out if there is a separate source bugging you and then address it. If it’s school, I study and get caught up on homework. If it’s work, I focus a bit more time and energy towards that. Try it out, it really helps!

SWITCH UP THE GENRE– It very well could be that you are sick of a certain genre. Maybe you’ve read one too many Dystopian or Contemporary novels. By switching it up a bit, you gain a fresh, new perspective. Plus as a super awesome All Time Low song says, “Too much of anything is too much.”

READ A FEW BLOGS– Sometimes it is good to just step away from your “book” reading to do some “blog” reading. I don’t know about you guys but I sure as heck have been guilty of forgetting that I am part of a blogging COMMUNITY. There are other bloggers out there to talk to if I need it, who have blogs to read at my leisure, and they are there to interact with on a practically daily basis. It is always so much fun and refreshing to check out new & old blogs. I like that you are able to see what they have been reading lately, check out what is new in the bookish world, and join in a variety of book-related conversations. Also, seeing everyone else’s passion for books and reading can help reignite your love for it too!

PUT THE REVIEW BOOK DOWN. RIGHT NOW!!!– Nothing wears me out more than endless amounts of review books. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reviewing books for various authors/publishers but sometimes I can be a bit overwhelmed when I accept too many at one time or get too far behind. Don’t stress, it will only make your reading slump worse! Remember to take the time to read a book just for the fun of it!

LISTEN TO MUSIC– Come on, this is a music blog almost as much as it is a book blog; you just had to know  that I would say it! If you’re already in a reading slump and things just don’t seem to be working out for you, then so be it! Close that darn book, turn on your favorite jams, pull out that hairbrush-turned-microphone, and have a DANCE PARTAYYY of epic proportions! Have a little fun, let the music carry you away, and when you are finally feeling the burn from all that booty shaking, try picking up your book again; I guarantee it will work out better for you!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/20-4/27):

TGIF (45)

Tune In Tuesday (56)

Unicorns and Rainbows!

Katelyn has officially lost it!

Katelyn has officially lost it!

I am sorry for all the random posts, the irritating and unpredictable tweets, the never-ending complaining but I really can’t help it right now! I know full well this blog is supposed to be about books and music but I have been guilty on many accounts of letting my real life seep through the seams. Just a fore-warning, this is happening RIGHT NOW. IN THIS VERY POST. So if you are of the majority that cannot stand whiny, self-obsessed, over-worked, stressed-to-the-max, yet still completely likeable *wink, wink* college students, you may want to stop reading right about….now!

Please allow me to complain…err I mean explain: Work is totally insane right now. I am talking 30+ hours every week (which really isn’t a whole lot but in addition to everything else I have going in, it truly is exhausting) and costumers who take joy in making my life miserable (seriously two made me cry yesterday. One even called me, and I quote “a skinny, little sh*t.” First off, it’s rude to call people names to their faces and secondly, even if that was meant to be a compliment, isn’t there a nicer way of saying “I think your teenage body is more physically fit than my much older yet still normal and fit body”???).

Oh, but let’s not forget that I still have school. Dear last semester, I have HATED you so very much. Like if you were a living, breathing, human being, I would break every one of my moral codes to kill you in the most painful of deaths…perhaps plungers and toothpicks would be involved (sorry, I get gruesome when I am stressed). Political Science is okay, the teacher is actually pretty cool. If I really wanted to dig for a complaint here, I could tell you that I have to wake up way too early for it but that’s only if I was digging for complaints. English sucks hardcore mostly because the content is boring, completely out of date, and irrelevant to my future studies. In addition to this, the professor is off his freaking rocker. And then there is Calculus, the very class that is making my life a living H-E-double hockey sticks. Up until this past semester I had hoped to teach high school math but this class has me seriously reconsidering it. Do you know how depressing it is to have a class so hard it makes you question your very future? Trust me, it is none too fun (oh looky there, I can rhyme!) and I know this because this has happened to me TWICE now! By the time I finally realized I had not a freaking clue as to what was going on in the class, it was too late to drop said class. So for the past months I have been going to my 3 hour Calc class every Tuesday & Thursday and I sit, stare at the teacher, pretend I know what I’m doing, fail each test and quiz, and then repeat.

And now finals are coming up. I have SO MUCH going on right now it gives me a headache just thinking about it. Tests to prepare for, papers to write, studying to be done…and guess what I am doing instead? I am tweeting non-stop about procrastinating. And to this last statement I give you evidence:

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3

That’s right folks, I think I have officially gone mental. First I have a month to do a paper. Then I put it off until the week it’s due. And now I put it off even more by 1) procrastinating 2) tweeting about procrastinating and 3) procrastinating even more by blogging about how I procrastinated by tweeting about procrastination. Confusing, I know, but this is also what my brain does when stressed.

So you may be asking yourself, what was the point of me reading this long and seemingly unimportant post? To that, I give you this: there is absolutely no good answer, unless you are in fact procrastinating right now and looking for things to distract you. In all honesty, I really just needed to vent and who better to do that to than my uber fabulous and incredibly supportive fellow bloggers!?! So thank you!

Again, I apologize for my randomness, negativity, and general lack of thought-provoking, intellectual posts (haha!). And if you are in fact still confused by what I was trying to accomplish with this blog post:

1) It got me out of writing my paper….for the time being at least

2) It allowed me to admit my problems with procrastinating (they say admitting the problem is the first step)

3) I was able to let you all know that if I don’t return, college as finally done me in

and finally…

4) I am able to tell you this: If in fact I can survive this, my blog will be back to its semi-regular musically-tastic and bookishly-awesome self very shortly!!!

Unicorns and Rainbows!

Alrighty bloggers, readers, and all-around random people, I have a post here for you today that is a bit out of the ordinary. I had planned to review a book but 1) I ran out of time 2) I am entirely too lazy and 3) after the whole debacle yesterday, I have no urge to blog about anything of any importance.

I know the world is not made of unicorns and rainbows, I can really grasp that concept. But shoot me for being the “glass is half full” type of person. I am a believer of “kill them with kindness” & “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all”, I borrow out things knowing full-well I may not get them back, I help out without a second thought, I run around in open fields picking daisies and chasing butterflies (kidding), and I like to believe in the best of everyone. I am not a saint but I try very hard every day to be a good person. Yesterday I witnessed a lot of things that truly disappointed me and I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people. It made me oh so sad.

p.s. Katelyn does NOT like being sad.

My opinion on this whole Story Siren issue is for me and me alone. I will not be writing up blog posts (aside from this one) and taking over Twitter with tweets that have most likely already been said. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I agree 100% that they have the freedom to express those opinions in whatever social outlet they feel necessary BUT that is just not me. This whole thing, however wrong it may or may not be, is quite honestly none of my bee’s wax.  So as of now (but really since the whole thing came to light) I am taking a vow of silence on the issue. It hurts my heart to see what the book blogging community (As a whole. I am not singling anyone out) has come to.  I’m going to be taking a day or two off in which I will be going to work, doing my homework, and trying my very best to SAVE THE DRAMA FOR MY MAMA. While I am away, you guys get to watch a video that cheers me up when I am feeling down. And yes, there are unicorns involved!

Update: The video must be watched on Youtube. The embed feature has been turned off for this particular one.

Tune In Tuesday (56)

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 past weekend I attended 80’s Fest with a few of my friends and it basically rocked our socks off! 80’s Fest is this weekend long event in a town right next to us in which you dress up in 80’s attire, look at 80’s memorabilia, listen to some AMAZING 80’s cover bands (Rock Star and The Square Pegz), dance your little butts off, AND raise a ton of money for cancer research. As you can tell, this is by far one of the most epic of things to occur in this boring, little Michigan town. I am a 90’s child by birth but in my heart, I know I am an 80’s child. The music, the clothing, the movies, just EVERYTHING shouts Katelyn to me. So since I have been in such an 80’s mood lately, I will try my best to get all of you in an 80’s mood as well by having you listen to some of my favorite songs!

p.s. There will be pictures at the end of our radical 80’s Fest get-ups (which may be a tad bit different from what 80’s clothing really looked like)

Pour Some Sugar On Me by The Maine (Def Leppard Cover)

I love The Maine AND this song so very much so when I figured out they had covered it I just about died!

Here I Go Again by Whitesnake

They just don’t make videos like that any more.

Time After Time by Quietdrive (Cyndi Lauper Cover)

By far one of the best cover songs I have ever heard!

Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield

Nothing makes me think of 13 Going On 30 like this song <3

Push It by Salt-N-Pepa

While at the RT Convention, Jasmine had this song stuck in her head so when they played it at 80’s Fest I FREAKED out (in a good way!)

Your Love by The Outfield

This is and always will be one of my favorite 80’s song. For those on the braver side, I suggest listening to I See Stars cover of the song. There’s a bit of screamo involved but I still love it!

   

TGIF (45)

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 Influences:

Has there been a particular book blogger who’s influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.

Answering this question could go one of two ways: First I could compile one freaking huge list of bloggers that have influenced what I’ve read (even though I kind of already created this list on my Bloggers To Check Out Page!) or secondly, I could name one specific blogger who got me to read a book that I would not be the same without. So since I suck at making decisions, I’ll do a bit of both!

First off, book bloggers as a whole, influence what I read. They are the ones that are making my TBR pile grow exponentially every single day. Whenever I see a book featured on a blog (review, author/character interview, cover reveal, IMM posts, etc.), and it seems interesting to me, I eventually go buy it or find a way to read it. So thank you to pretty much all who are reading this! I may love you but my wallet hates you :)

As for the one specific blogger that pushed and pushed until I couldn’t stand her pushing any more, that would be the insanely wonderful book blogger, Ashley @ Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing! Ashley has been a busy little bee with her new job but before things got to crazy for her she made it her life goal to get everyone she knew to read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I am not kidding you guys, she would tweet me ALL THE TIME to see if I had read it yet and then once I did read it, I would get on Twitter to see her attempting to get another person to read it; pure brilliance! Thank goodness for this girl’s ability to be extremely persistent because that book rocked my world so hard. It was so beautiful, descriptive, the story was rich and heartbreaking but also so full of love…okay I will stop trying to describe it yet again (trust me, trying to do it the first time while reviewing was hard enough). Basically, this story is one of the best I have ever read and it is all because of Ashley that I took the time to read it!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/13-4/20):

TGIF (44)

Swag Giveaway!!! (Still open!)

Tune In Tuesday (55)

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

RT Teen Day: Re-cap!

Re-Cap: RT Teen Day

YOU GUYS!!!!! Are you ready for a post in which I tell you all about the awesome adventure I went on? You better be because there is a ton of WIN in the following novel-ish re-cap of Teen Day (beware: lots of !!!!!!! and ALL CAPS ahead)!

Teen Day was quite possibly the most fun I have ever had! I got to meet so many bloggers, authors, other random bookish people; it was just pure brilliance! Here’s how the trip went down:

Kati and I left Michigan early Friday morning. After getting lost only about 3 times (all my fault), we arrived in Chicago at around 1:30, checked in at the hotel, then proceeded to get lost in the city (also my fault). We got to see a whole lot of the city but what we really wanted was The Cheesecake Factory. It was hours later when we finally realized that the book signing we were going to that night was in fact an hour away (again, my fault). We somehow found The Cheesecake Factory, Cookie Dough for me and Lemon Raspberry for Kati, and then we were off.

We got lost on our way to the book store (you guessed it, my fault) but we managed to get there with a few minutes to spare. Kati and I took our places managing to cause a little bit of a scene which may or may not have included me tripping over my purse (don’t ask) and then making friends with a guy behind us who I have seen at a previous book signing. Some of my very favorite bloggers were at this event, and since my navigation skills suck hard-core, I was not able to see them before hand. Lynn (Bringing the Epic) and Laci (Blog-O-Rama) were some of the few lovely ladies wondering where the heck I was (never fear, I was only sitting in the back…behind very tall people *insert sad face*). The authors, Veronica Rossi (Under The Never Sky), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me), Anna Carey (Eve), and Cynthia Hand (Unearthly, Hallowed ) talked about their books, they were insanely funny and super sweet, then we got in line for the signing. Kati and I made lame jokes to one another the whole time and probably drove everyone else in line completely crazy.

After getting everything signed, I was FINALLY able to talk with everyone! The bloggers that were at this event were: Laci (Blog-O-Rama), Jamie (The Broke and the Bookish/The Perpetual Page-Turner), Heidi (YA Bibliophile), Kristi (The Story Siren), Anna (Anna Reads), Lynn (Bringing The Epic), Jasmine (The Reading Housewives of Indiana), Jacinda (The Reading Housewives of Indiana), Jen (Makeshift Bookmark), Tara (Fiction Folio). I will be honest, I was totally freaking the eff out! They might not have known who I was at the time but I knew of them (not literally of course, but from their SUPER AWESOME blogs) and I was finally seeing them in person! It is so crazy to finally meet someone you talk to on a regular basis, or see someone who writes a blog you read all the time, in actual person! Seriously you guys, I was basically in awe by how lovely, funny, and sweet these bloggers all were. (I’ll stop sounding creepy right about…now)

After we took a group shot, Laci, Jacinda, Jasmine, Kati, and I all went out to eat. I am pretty sure that at this point we were all so hungry we may have considered gnawing on the super cool recycled straws at the table. During dinner we talked about Jasmine’s SUPER tiny town (seriously, one cop!?!? And come on, how does this ONE COP manage to get his squad car stolen?),Jacinda’s (and my grandma’s) inability to pay attention when being talked to, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, and probably a whole lot more randomness. They were so funny and we all had a genuinely brilliant time, but mostly I was still super excited that I finally got to meet them. And then, what’s dinner without the desert (so what if I had cheesecake just hours before!)? We went to this tiny gelato place and it was so good! After that we went back to our hotels to get some rest before our next crazy day!

Saturday was the actual event. Kati and I got up and ready, I decided to rebel against dry floors by soaking our bathroom while showering (this made Kati…upset), we ate delicious waffles made by yours truly, and then we were off again. We got lost again (yes, my fault but I also blame the city’s super sucky “Parking Ramp This Way” signs). We managed to find a parking spot a whole half mile from the event, got my bags of books and headed in. So of course we arrived pretty early but an hour late in bookish people timing. We got redirected a million and one times, Kati asked Kimberly Derting if we were in the right line to check in (we were not, it was the Starbucks line), but we finally made it. And after waiting for forever, they finally let us in.

Holy AMAZEBALLS! I have never seen so many people in love with books in one place before. It was amazing for lack of a better term. We got to the Teen Author section and this is where everything is a bit of a blur. I met SO MANY people that I could hardly keep my head on straight. Stacey Kade, Kimberly Derting, Kristi Cook, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Nancy Holder, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, Jennifer Armentrout, Ally Carter, Kiera Cass, Elizabeth Cheryl, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Stephanie Kuehnert, Alyson Noel, Erica O’Rourke, Jeri Smith-Ready, Stephanie Perkins, just to name a few (yes I do consider that list a “few”). The list goes on and on and on… I wish I could tell you all about every super awesome person I got to meet but we’d be here for forever, seriously! But I will say this, I got to meet nearly every YA author there, and I was truly blown away by how generous, sweet, and all-around awesome they were. Every time Kati and I went up to a table, the author was so quick to start a conversation with us regardless of how socially awkward we both are. I still can’t get over how great this part of the day was.

After checking out of the book signing and paying for the crap-load of books I bought, we finally took the stuff back to the car (which, if you remembered, was a half-mile away. FUN!). I regained some feeling in my arms at this point and we headed back into the convention. There were then three sessions of panels and author events you could choose to go to. We first went to the Author Speed Dating session. This was so much fun! There were about 20 tables set up and you sat at one of them for the whole time. The authors rotated between all the tables every three minutes. Many of the authors remembered Kati and I from the book signing (what can I say, we are incredibly lame and hard to forget) and then we were able to make friends with the new ones we hadn’t met yet. After this we attended two sessions of Author Speed Reading. Each author had a short amount of time to read a section from one of their books. It was great to hear a little bit of each of their stories but the authors teased us so much!

Finally it was time for the Teen Party!!! We got in line again (they really liked lines at this place!) but it wasn’t for too long. Teens at this event got an awesome bag filled with books (heck yes for being a teenager!!!). There was food set up, a psychic in one corner, a face painter in another, and then there were authors crawling all over the place! It was the perfect time to chow down on cupcakes and take pictures with some of your favorite authors. Kati and I got to take pictures with Stacey Kade, Stephanie Perkins, Franny Billingsley, and Kimberly Derting, and then we even got a few more of our new books signed! After making our rounds around the room 20+ times and stalking just about every author there was to stalk, it was time to head out. *sad face*

The whole day, as you can clearly see was SO FANTASTIC! It was the first big bookish thing I have ever been to and it honestly couldn’t have been a better first experience. I will definitely be going to it again in the future.

After the event, we had food (…again! Obviously we like to eat.) and went back to the hotel to pass the out. We woke up, packed up, and then headed into the city for our very last time. We got to spend a few hours exploring Chicago and seeing all sorts of cool things. This was Kati’s first “real” time in the city so I just HAD to show her all the great things in Millennium Park. All too soon, we had to head home. It was a long drive but we finally made it. Visiting Chicago and attending the RT Convention was one of the greatest trips I have ever been on. I was so excited to go to a fun place with Kati, I learned that I was one crap-tastic navigator, I was able to meet so many AMAZING bloggers and authors, and I got a whole slew of new books and swag; what could be better?

And now, a slideshow of the whole thing!!!!

p.s. This song’s for you Ginger! (I sooo wish you could have been there! One day, we’ll meet and it’ll be epic)