Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.  
by Cat Winters

hitting shelves August 11, 2015
from William Morrow

Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

The Uninvited is an atmospheric, haunting, and utterly compelling novel.

My thoughts: Cat Winters.  Will read anything she writes...forever. :D  This is her first adult novel but it sounds just as wonderfully amazing as the other two, and I'm sure just as incredibly researched to put the reader right into the time setting. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {109}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

Here's what came through my mailbox this week!
I ♥♥♥ this series!! 

For review: 

It was just a week of outstanding covers in my house! :D

 The Weekly Nutshell 

Well, not much going on around here, as I warned at the beginning of the month!  But sadly not as much NaNo writing as I'd like going on either! Kids, work, the daily stuff---some stuff just can't be put on hold lol. What is great is that my daughter, seeing her mama writing has gotten her in the mood to write again and I love that. :)

I finished reading Darkest Part of the Forest this week. My review won't be up until closer to publication, but I will say it was good, but didn't 100% grab me.  I had to put off starting Winterspell  because of a few other deadlines, but I did start This Shattered World, another book that I am super excited to read! 

We went to see Big Hero 6 this week and I loved that movie so much!! It was funny and sad and exciting and, oh man, such great Halloween costume potential! :D  Has anyone else seen it? Please tell me I'm not the only one that cried at the film short before the movie.  That was just the cutest, sweetest thing.  We also finally saw The Maze Runner, which was really intense and a great story, but my hubby tells me some really key elements of the story were left out so now I want to read the books!

Have a great week everyone!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

by Mary E. Pearson

hitting shelves July 7th, 2015 from Henry Hold & Co.
(Watch out for spoilers ahead! If you have read book 1, skip the description!)
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

My thoughts: AHHH so excited. I loved book one (check out my review here) and I can't wait to see what happens next with these characters.  Also anxious to see how this one reads without that intriguing "not knowing who is who" factor we had in the first book.  Kind of surprised at this cover! It is definitely breathtaking, but I actually think it's a better match as the sequel of Trial by Fire! Don't you think? We'll see how it fits the story!

What future books are you excited for this week?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {108}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

I haven't posted a haul in a while but I've really had some great books come into my life so I wanted to give them some attention!  These are from the past three weeks, some in the mail, some from a recent trade show I attended, and one from the lovely book depo (which I'm so grateful for because they allow me to buy gorgeous books like that one in the middle there, that aren't released in the US until next year!)! ;)
SO. Freaking. Gorgeous. Illustrations enhanced with metallic ink!!

For review: 

So I'm just going to state a blanket "SO EXCITED" for all of these. But yea, Orphan Queen and Miss Mayhem, from two of my favorite authors---I grabbed those both at the trade show and both publishers got to witness me squealing and jumping up and down like a crazy person. No hiding my love for these two writers!!  But with it being NaNo month and me not reading hardly at all...I think I'm itching to read all of these even more because I'm "suppose" to be concentrating on other things. LOL

The Weekly Nutshell

Well, also because of NaNo, I haven't been posting much.  Do be sure to check out all the fantastic November releases & a giveaway here!  I am reading Darkest Part of the Forest and it's actually a bit slow for me. Maybe just a mood thing, but I'm not really loving it as much as I'd hoped.  My attempt at NaNoWriMo is going well---if not a bit slow. I've discovered I'm more a plotter than a pantser so I've put in a lot of time on plot and character outlining, figuring out where I want my story to go and how to get it there! :) If anyone missed my kick-off post, and are interesting in writing at all, you must check out Susan Dennard's writer's toolbox---it is chock full of invaluable writing advice. 

Don't know if any of you remember, but a few weeks ago I said I was taking on Macarons. My first attempt at baking these crazy-fickle cookies ending with Macarons-1, Becky-0. They came out cracked and hollow---fortunately they still tasted pretty good even as almost-flat wafers LOL. Stay tuned for round two! 

Have a great week, everyone! Happy Reading (and writing, for my NaNo'ers!):D

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What's New: November YA Releases & Giveaway!

November is here! If you caught my post last night, you know what I'll be doing all this month! Hopefully there will lots of lovely rainy days to encourage me to stay inside and write! How was everyone's Halloween? Fun and spooky, I hope!! :D  As you can see below, the publisher world is slowing down for the season, but there are still some great books coming out!
So if you're new to Stories & Sweeties, here's a little run-down of this feature: at the start of each month, I do a little thing called the "What's New List & Giveaway" where you'll find a full list of the new releases in YA for the month, and entry to the giveaway. At the end of each month, one lucky winner will get to choose any new release as their prize!

First things first! The winner of September giveaway was: Julia Rain!! Congratulations!!

November 2014 Releases:
Just like previous months, I've put a little lve by those books that I am really anticipating!

The Fire Seekers by Richard Farr
Sneaker Kings by Eric McLaurin

How We Fall by Kate Brauning

Betting Blind by Stephanie Guerra
Broken by Marianne Curely
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger !
Crashland by Sean Williams
Dangerous Deceptions by Sarah Zettel
Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forester
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
A Thousand Pieces of you by Claudia Gray
True Fire by Gary Meehan
Visitors by Orson Scott Card
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Wild Rover No More by L.A. Meyer
The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

The Accident by Kate Hendrick
Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall
Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P.T. Jones
The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer
In Real Life by Lawrence Tabak
Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath
The Name of the Blade by Zoe Marriott
Slump by Kevin Waltman
Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers
Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Renegade by Antony John
Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown

Bright Coin Moon by Kirsten Lopresti
I Wish by Elizabeth Langston
Stolen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper
Girl Online by Zoe Suggs
Ice War by Brian Falkner
On the Edge by Allison Van Diepen

(No links yet, sorry! I will try to link up this list a little later!)
Please feel free to email me if you notice any YA titles missing! :)

Giveaway Details:
One winner will win a YA Novemer release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends
Novemer 30th, 2014 at 11:59 PM
• Must be 13 or older.
• Open internationally. *International winners will be required to choose a book that is available through
•Extra entries can be earned by commenting on
October or Novemer reviews, and can be done once per review. Come back throughout Novemer whenever you comment on my reviews and get your extra points!     a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Opening Post, Some Useful Links & a Giveaway!!

 As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month! This year, for the first time, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, and I'm so pumped to get going.  I know that life tends to creep up during the onset of the holidays, but I'm hoping to really make a go of achieving my goal!

It's all in good fun, though---if I reach the finish line or not, I think if I reach even a quarter of the way to 50k, I'll just be super proud that I got back to writing.  I've always loved it, since I was just a tiny third grader and I had this wonderful teacher that saw something in my storytelling and gave me such wonderful encouragement.  I've had a few more amazing writing teachers throughout my life since then, and I have all of them to thank for instilling the love of the written word in me!  I also have to give a shout out to my sometimes-co-blogger Amy. She is the one who pushed me to get off my butt and take on the challenge this year!  She is participating, too---so wish us both luck! :D

So obviously, I'm going to be throwing myself into this full force---and that means the blog will be a bit quieter for the month of November.  I don't plan on reading or reviewing this month so that I can really focus on my own story.  I do have one review that is already scheduled, and the November release list tomorrow, oh and I will probably pop in once in a while with a book haul or WoW post, but other than that, I'll be a bit scarce!

If you're taking on NaNoWriMo this year as well, I wish you the absolute best of luck and lots and lots of WORDS and beautiful PROSE flowing fast and freely from your fingertips! :D
I've started a Pinterest board with lots of great links and writerly quotes but here's a direct link to one great resource that I especially love:
Her blog has pages and pages of fantastic writing wisdom.

Also, I've teamed up with Sourcebooks to offer a giveaway of the newly updated version of this great book!

•US/CAN address only please
•Ends 11/10/14
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The author, Regina Brooks, is also running a YA Discovery Contest during November!  Those who submit the first 250 words of their novel can win the chance to have their manuscript read by her literary agency, and top YA editors in the industry.  Find out more here!

Here are two more books I love for great writing tips and sparking creativity:

 And lastly!! If you are participating this year, I'd love to be one of your writing buddies!
Let's cheer each other on! :D

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!
It's always a busy day at my house, but I wanted to stop in and wish everyone a fun and safe and SPOOKY day!!  

Here's a few ideas if you want to get in the mood with some spooky reading!