In My Mailbox (40)

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!

I only have one book and a few CD’s to share with you guys but HOLY CRAP I am excited about what I got!

Bought:

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

My Thoughts: You may or may not know this already but I am a HUGE fan of Marni! Her first book, Awkward is one of my very favorite books (and not JUST because I am an awkward person though that may have something to do with it). When I found out her newest book, a sorta-sequel to Awkward was out this week, I just had to go and buy it. I am so, so, so excited to read this one!

The Carpenter by The Avett Brothers

My Thoughts: I LOVE these guys but had yet to own a CD by them (I generally just listened to them on Spotify) but now I do and I couldn’t be happier!

Megalithic Symphony by AWOLNATION

My Thoughts: There are quite a few songs by these guys that I adore like no other. They do a superb job at getting me pumped up!

The Lateness of the Hour by Alex Clare

My Thoughts: My obsession with the song Too Close led me to purchase this CD. Good thing the whole CD is made of awesomeness.

Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons

My Thoughts: I had the new Mumford & Sons CD in my hand to buy and I was SOOOO excited for it but I really didn’t feel like spending so much money at once. My sister saw how torn I was over this CD and said she would buy it and I could make a copy of it. I liked the sound of this idea until I went to go copy the CD and found she didn’t purchase the new one! I mean, this one is still purely awesome-tastic but I suppose I will be buying the new one after all…

Well that’s it for me this week. I hope you all had an awesome, bookish filled week!

Life As Kate (25)

I hope you all have had a lovely week! This past week I was crazy-busy but it ended up being an AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME week. Three awesome’s in all CAPS LOCK must mean it was pretty epic. Here’s what went down:

Last Saturday I had work until pretty late but that didn’t matter much because afterwards I went to hang out with Kati and Stacey (it’s become a bit of a tradition!)!!! We ate lots of junk food, talked way too much (as if there were such a thing), and we watched 21 Jump Street. I know, I know, we are the three lamest best friends that ever lived but we had fun together!

Then Sunday rolled around and I had to work late again, 10:30 to be exact! Our mall closes at 7 but they thought I would just LOVE staying an extra 3 & 1/2 hours to clean up everyone else’s mess. Irritating yes but I am happy I was able to organize a bit because I am weird and like to organize everything I see.

Monday morning and afternoon I had classes. Let’s just say it was extremely uneventful. After classes I had an awesome opportunity to hang out with my friends AND go see a pre-screening of Pitch Perfect. Holy jeez you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I have to say is GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was a super cute movie, absolutely HILARIOUS (in fact I probably missed most of the funny parts because I was still giggling/cackling at something that already happened), and the music was INCREDIBLE! Afterwards we couldn’t help but gush about how awesome it was and then sulk a little bit because we all suck a great deal at singing and would never be able to join an a cappella group like that.

Tuesday I had work..again! This shift was kind of suck-tastic because I had to be there at 8 a.m. I mean come on! That means I need to get up at 6:15, be out of the shower by 6:30, blow-dried and dressed by 7, and have my hair done + make-up done + be out of the house by 7:30. I can generally handle mornings but I do not enjoy such early mornings! Then on Tuesday afternoon, Kari, Zack, Zeke and I went to the bookstore. My brother’s were in prime form a.k.a. they were being giant. rambunctious pests but they were also entertaining so I didn’t mind much! Zack couldn’t find a book he wanted so Zeke picked up every other book he could find and would shout something about it. The highlight of the shopping trip was when Zeke held up a Harry Potter book and was like “Zack, look! It’s Tootie Totter!” 4-year-olds can be so funny sometimes!

Wednesday I had classes again and it was still pretty uneventful. However, after classes I had something very fun to do: A Detroit Tiger’s game with Kati, Stacey, and Christina (Stacey’s sister)!!! We had seats right behind the third base line and only 7 rows from the field; they were INCREDIBLE seats! Within the first 20 minutes I was almost hit by a foul ball…seriously. I was distracted and when I looked up I noticed a small white thing flying right towards my face. Thank goodness the man next to me stopped it from smashing into me because it is likely that would have hurt…a lot. We ended up having a fantastic time at the game.

On Thursday I slept in until Noon which I never, ever get to do so this made for a very happy and well rested Katelyn. I did a whole lot of nothing on this day except a bit of homework and A LOT of stressing. You see, on Thursday afternoon I got a call from my boss asking if I would be interested in interviewing for a manager position. It is safe to say I freaked out majorly after that phone call!

Friday was the big day! I woke up nervous, ate breakfast nervous, got ready for work nervous, drove to work nervous, and did my interview nervous but I am thinking it went alright! I should be finding out pretty soon if I get the job so fingers crossed!

And now that it’s Saturday, I have a big day ahead for me. My youngest sister, Abby, has her first high school homecoming! So before I go off to work I have to help her get ready for the dance and I couldn’t be more excited.

I hope you all have a great weekend and that you are enjoying the fall weather!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK:

My brother Andrew got his senior pictures taken this week! Aside from making me feel SO OLD, his senior pictures made me so proud of the wonderful (and handsome) young man he has become!

 

 

 

Tune In Tuesday (71)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! The feature is hosted by Ginger over at GReads! but until further notice you can find it over at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few) and link up at the bottom of this post!

Picking songs has OFFICIALLY gotten super hard! I thought it would be a great idea to star 800+ songs on Spotify and create a playlist for every band I have ever listened to pretty much ever and now I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. A little pathetic, I know, but it is what it is. In an attempt to not completely lose my mind with the whole decision process, I decided I would just pick one band/artist at random and the one I picked was Imaginary Cities!

So here’s the thing about Imaginary Cities: they are unique, soulful, and simply AMAZING! It is incredibly hard to find female-led bands that really have it together. When I do find one that I like, I listen to them like crazy and this is most certainly the case with Imaginary Cities! I love relaxing in my room at the end of the day and just listening to their songs. There are ones that I love to drift to sleep to and others that make me want to skip/stomp/attempt to dance around my room. Take a listen to my favorites below and if you really like, you can subscribe to the Spotify playlist (linked above!)

Marry The Sea by Imaginary Cities

If you really want to hear something special, listen to the acoustic version of this song. I love it!

Ride This Out by Imaginary Cities

Just listen to this song. The lyrics and the beat will draw you in, I promise!

p.s. The stomping/dancing I mentioned above? Well it totally happens during this song!

Say You by Imaginary Cities

This is the first song I heard by this lovely group so naturally it is my favorite!



Blog Tour + Giveaway: Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes

Yay!!!! Today is the official release day for Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the series, Uncontrollable is the second book in “The Nature of Grace” series. Untraceable, the first book in the series, has won and been nominated for several awards including Winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award (YA), 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (YA Nominee), and a finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s “Best Indie Book of 2012 (YA)”. Even though I have not yet read this series (yet another one in my large TBR pile) it has been on my radar and I have been SO excited to read it for some times now. Here’s a quick summary of Uncontrollable for you lovelies

Title: Uncontrollable (The Nature Of Grace #2)

Author: S.R. Johannes

As Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new “Red Wolf Reintroduction Program”.

While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants.

After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues.

Little does she know, she is being hunted too.

PRAISES FOR UNTRACEABLE:

“Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn’t need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!” –Kimberly Derting, author of the The Body Finder series (Harper Teen) and The Pledge series (S&S)

“This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page.” – Kirkus Reviews

2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarterfinalist (under the original title of Grace Under Fire) – Judges Reviews:

“This story starts out with a bang…it reads like the young woman were narrating it to a friend, and had the ring of a young person’s style and intensity. Grace sees authority people, or at least those she knows, as a bit bumbling, which is true to age. Authentic representation of youth in action also. Original in premise and style, and good use of background…Good story!” – Sue Grafton, author of bestselling Kinsey Milhone series

“This murder mystery features a teenaged heroine, but she has the self assurance of a woman twice her age. The prose is very descriptive…and the dialogue is genuine. The setting of small town North Carolina and the surrounding woods is appealing. The story moves along at a brisk clip, and it feels as if we already have some important clues. We look forward to seeing what’s in the case file and what Grace and her motorbike, Luci, will be up to next.” – Sue Monk Kidd, author of Secret Life of Bees

GIVEAWAY:

Now if you know what’s good for you/you want a chance to win something AWESOME, then you’ll head on over to Mundie Moms for a Big Uncontrollable Launch Party with tons of prizes and then over to SR Johannes blog for even more!

To continue on with the blog tour, check out the line up! On this blog tour, SR talks about anything from marketing to writing to her books to personal interviews and giveaways!

WHERE TO PURCHASE THE BOOK:

Uncontrollable is on sale in paperback and e-book at all major

booksellers including Amazon, iBooks/Apple (coming soon),

Smashwords, and B & N.

If you haven’t read Untraceable, you can get it in paperback and e-book

at all major booksellers including AmazonAppleSmashwords,

and B & N.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

S.R. Johannes is the author of award-winning and Amazon bestselling Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She has also published short novelettes as well as a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes.  Uncontrollable, the sequel to Untraceable, is scheduled for September 2012.

S.R. Johannes is a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult) and was also recently nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult). Untraceable was also recently named a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Indie Book of the Year (YA)

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.  She 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.

Follow S.R. online on her websiteTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest

You can also sign up for her newsletter to keep up on author or book news.

In My Mailbox (39)

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!

The past couple of weeks I had really slow mail weeks (Keep in mind slow does not necessarily mean sucky. I am REALLY EXCITED about what I did get) so I waited until I had enough for a good IMM post. Hope you enjoy!

For Review:

The Art of Disappearing by Elena Perez (e-book)

My Thoughts: I cannot wait to read this book! I want to learn all about Delia’s life and this little “gift” of hers!

Bought:

Easy by Tammara Webber

My Thoughts:Goodness gracious people, I freaking love this book so very much!!! Don’t believe me? Read my review for it right here!

Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1) by Tammara Webber (e-book)

My Thoughts:Clearly I was on a bit of a Tammara Webber kick these past couple of weeks. After Easy I just HAD to have other books by her. I cannot wait to get started on this series!

Where You Are (Between the Lines #2) by Tammara Webber (e-book)

Good For You (Between the Lines #3) by Tammara Webber (e-book)

Wanderlust by Windsor Drive

My Thoughts: I know this isn’t book related but I am so excited about the awesome music I got in my mailbox this week that I just had to share it with you guys. If you haven’t heard of Windsor Drive before, I suggest you all check them out!

Books for school

My Thoughts: I don’t see how it can cost me $200 for 4 books, all used, and three of which I am only renting but whatevs. It’s all a part of the college life!

Gifted/Won:

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

My Thoughts: Thanks Justin! This book sounds so fantastic and it’s been a while since I’ve read a good road trip book!

Well that’s it for books the past couple of weeks. I hope you all had awesome book weeks & happy reading!

 

 

 

Life As Kate (24)

Last Saturday started off way earlier than one would normally want on a day off. At 8:00 a.m. I got up (Not because I wanted to. Screaming, little, half-naked boys tend to wake any person up) and went upstairs only to have my dad say to me: “I need you to move your car because I have a load of dirt being delivered.” Here are a few things to keep in mind about what “load of dirt” means in our house:

-It is a DUMP TRUCK full of dirt. As in one of those gigantic trucks that carries gigantic loads of stuff.

-It means someone will be on our tractor(s) depositing smaller bucket loads of dirt all over the yard. The person filling this position(s) will likely be a male since they are apparently the only gender capable enough to maneuver a tractor around the yard. You know, sitting on your butt, driving a tractor all day can be really challenging work and us weaker females are not strong enough for such duties….

-And most importantly it means someone (my sisters, stepmom, and I) will be raking out these smaller piles of dirt to make the yard more level all while my dad and brother (the ones driving the tractors) are pointing, dictating, and critiquing our work.  This is a task that works more muscles in more places than I even knew I had. For instance, my love handles hurt for a solid two days afterwards. I didn’t even know 1) I had love handles and 2) that love handles could hurt after excessive amounts of yard work.

Now that you know just what this means, you can understand the insta-horror I felt that morning. But since I like to pretend I don’t hear unpleasant things, I decided to bake instead of springing off outside to do yard work. I made some uber delicious Reese’s Krispie Treats (if you haven’t tried them yet, I suggest you do so like RIGHT NOW!) for my cousin’s wedding later that day. Once I was finished there was nothing left to do but face my morning/afternoon full of yard work.

I will spare you most of the gruesome details but yard work = gross.

Once we were all cleaned up, the whole family went to my cousin’s outdoor, old-fashioned, country themed wedding. There were hay stacks, old bicycles/wheels/armoires/frames/windows decorating the yard, and glass jars for our drinks. It was basically the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Plus there was a photo booth area so it’s safe to say my family was highly amused for at least a full hour.

Sunday I spent my morning and early afternoon cleaning and doing a crap-ton of homework. Afterwards I had work which wasn’t too bad considering it was a 9 hour shift and I was there until 12:30 a.m.

Monday I had classes. I rocked my quizzes, spent too much money on vending machine snacks, and tried my best to ignore all the creepy guys that keep sprouting up around school (Seriously people, creepy guys are multiplying like rabbits). This day was made infinitely more incredible when I got my mail. You see, there is this band that I sort of love, Windsor Drive (you may have heard me gush a time or two) well anyway, I pre-ordered their newest CD and it came in the mail along with a signed poster. Those guys are made of pure awesome!

Tuesday I got to go visit my cousin Stephanie who is away at university. Even though the school is only about 45 minutes away, it has been so hard for us (her, my sister, my stepmom, and I) to all get together. But we had a blast, giggled uncontrollably throughout our whole lunch, caused a scene at the restaurant, and had a fantastic day!

Wednesday was school which was basically a repeat of Monday minus the vending machine snacks; a girl’s gotta watch her shape ;)…really I just got snacks from our school bistro instead of the vending machine.

Thursday and Friday I had work which wasn’t a complete suckfest, more like a partial suckfest. The work part of it went quite alright but I had a cold for most of the week so this made even the smallest nuisances just a bit more irritating.

On top of everything this past week we (my family) were all still getting used to the new school schedule. Trying to figure out homework times, play times, bath & bed times, as well as sports schedules and school meetings can be a bit tough. Even though our schedules have been hectic, I am so proud of my youngest brothers this past week. Zack (the 8-year-old) came home from school every day this week and was EXCITED to do his homework with me. He was also thrilled to bring home his first book order form. This made for an incredibly happy Katelyn.

I have a few awesome things coming up this week: a movie night with a friend, a Detroit Tiger’s game with Kati and Stacey, plus a special little surprise for Stacey this weekend. And also, Abby, my youngest sister, has her first homecoming dance next weekend. It’s going to be a busy week but I cannot wait for everything!

I hope you all had a fan-tabulous week!

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:

Yay! New, awesome music!

Zack insisted on wearing that hat…

Me, my stepmom Karie, my sister Abby, and my sister Kari

My sister’s and I. I <3 those girls!

My brother would likely kill me if he knew I put this on here…

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 416 Hardcover

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Source: I received this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. Thank you Bloomsbury!

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

There is not too much I can say about this book that hasn’t been said before. When I think of this book words like awesome, kick-butt, and enchanting come to mind and as far as I can see, that seems to be the common consensus. But just to be thorough and in case you have been living under a rock, I’ll try to convey just how spectacular I found Sarah’s book, Throne of Glass to be.

From the very first second we met Celaena, I was in love. She was such a unique, tough, independent, strong heroine. Celaena was an assassin, a kick-butt assassin at that and I found that I adored that about her (this just may be the most shocking thing I’ve said in a while). Celaena’s lifestyle may not be a completely desirable one, with the whole killing people for a living aspect, but I think it makes her the truly remarkable and complex person that she is.

Celaena’s complexity throughout this book made getting to know her so enjoyable. She was smart, kick butt (obviously), tough, guarded, but behind this really tough exterior you were also able to see a funny, somewhat sweet, and broken-hearted girl. I loved that to the world she was this supreme killer but she was really just a girl trying to sort through all of her emotions and the pain her past has brought her. Celaena’s undeniable inner and physical strength was something to be desired and I think a lot of readers will truly enjoy her as a main character.

As far as the writing and the world building in this book, the word impeccable comes to mind! Sarah’s writing was so fantastic and I was instantly captured by it. I loved how even though this was a high fantasy with a new world to learn about, I was still able to understand and picture everything with ease. Everything that Sarah created was so magical and enchanting even if the story showed there was a lot of evil lurking about. I wouldn’t want to be a main character in this book (I don’t do well with killing, assassins, evil things, and the like) but I would certainly love to live in the world that Sarah created!

And to add to the list of other captivating things about this book, the storyline itself was so interesting! Clearly it is about a young female assassin but not just any young female assassin; she is THE ASSASSIN. First, I LOVE that it is a girl. I am all about Miss Independence/Girl Power/ Etc. so having the main character a girl and an extremely powerful girl at that was remarkable. Celaena is taken out of prison to compete along with several other assassins/thieves/generally bad people to see who will be the King’s Assassin. And not to mention she also has to find a secret evil that is lurking about the castle. Can I just say epic!?!?

Last there is the romance, or what I hope to be romance in the next book. In this book there are two dashing young men: Dorian, the Crowned Prince who was charming and sweet, and Chaol, The Captain of The Guard who is tough and treats Celaena as an equal (LOVE that about him) both of whom are off-limits for Celaena. Not only is Celaena an assassin but she is also a prisoner so if either one of these guys were to fall for her, that would be a bad, bad, BAD idea for multiple reasons. Good thing Sarah enjoys bad ideas just as much as I do! I am not going to lie, the romance between Celaena and Dorian in this book fell a bit flat. I just didn’t really see a point in it (the book was incredible enough without it!) and their attraction to each other seemed not necessarily superficial but more of a “you are so unknown to me and I am curious” attraction. However, through the multiple P.O.V.’s in this book, we were able to see some inkling of an attraction between Chaol and Celaena so this gives me hope for future books!

If you are in the mood for a kick-butt book that contains a tough, complex main character, beautiful writing, and a mesmerizing new world then you will do yourself a favor and pick up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.