Saturday, October 1, 2016

What's New: October 2016 YA Releases & Giveaway!

Welcome, October!! A.K.A. the best month of the year!!♥ When the weather is fiiiiinally starting to cool a bit here, the leaves are turning and collecting on the ground, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are flowing, and my son is asking on a daily basis for me to start making his costume---which I will procrastinate on and pull together last minute as always. xD  Best of all, it's time to break out the spooky reads & face out all my creepiest bookcovers on my shelves to go with the Halloween decor in the house. *sigh* I love Halloween. Can you tell? :D

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 international 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's giveaway is Mat'a! Congrats!! :D

October 2016 Releases:
Just like previous months, I've put a little lve by those books that I am really anticipating!

The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain
Incognita by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Ressurecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
The Stand-In by Steve Bloom
Unlocked by Margo Kelly 

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca
The Black Key by Amy Ewing
Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa
Clanless by Jennifer Jenkins
Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
Everyone We've Been by Sarah Everett 
Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil
Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Look Past by Eric Devine
Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Nemesis by Anna Banks
One Was Lost by Natalie Richards
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland 
Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl 
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin 
Spindle by Shonna Slayton 
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills 
Transcendent by Katelyn Detweiler 
We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore 
Wrecked by Maria Padian

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson
Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by Chelsey Philpot
Beast by Brie Spangler
Black Widow Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl
Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen
The Catalyst by Helena Coggan
Darkness Savage by Rachel A. Marks
The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker
Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel 
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh 
Frost by M.P. Kozlowsky
In Case You Missed It by Sarah Darer Littman
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria 
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch
My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill
Riding Chance by Christine Kendall
The Row by J. R. Johansson
Speed of Life by J.M. Kelly
Star Wars Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston & Jason P. Wojtowicz
Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King 
To Stay Alive by Skila Brown
Unblemished by Sara Ella
The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  
Kiss Cam by Kiara London
Life Uploaded by Sierra Furtado
Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams
Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast
No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista
The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz
Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas 
Royal Tour by Amy Alward
Saving Red by Sonya Sones
Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Useless Bay by M.J. Beaufrand

Bionic by Suzanne Weyn
Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Boy Robot by Simon Curtis
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith 
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike 
If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Illusion by Martina Boone 
It's Not Me, It's You by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter
Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff
The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia

Afterlife by Sandy Goldsworthy

(All links go to Goodreads)
Please feel free to email me if you notice any YA titles missing! :)

Giveaway Details: 
One winner will win a YA October release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends 
October 31th, 2016 at 11:59 PM
• Must be 13 or older.
• Open internationally. *International winners will be required to choose a book that is available through or up to $20 value.
•Extra entries can be earned by commenting on 
September or October reviews, and can be done once per review. Come back throughout October whenever you comment on my reviews and get your extra points! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Waiting on...

"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 Emily Bain Murphy

hitting shelves July 4th, 2017
from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home--and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together--scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream--vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible--and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

My thoughts:  This sounds like just the kind of wonderfully bizarre type of story I love. Disappearing scents, reflections, and dreams, family mystery, and on top of that, literary clues to follow??? YES. PLEASE.  Who's with me?? :) 

What book are you eagerly anticipating this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {172}

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)

Posting this a little later than usual but I got such lovely things this week, I didn't want to miss spotlighting them! Here's what dropped on my doorstep this week:
From publishers:
So excited to have lovely finished copies of these!! 
These look super cute, and though I loved the artsy original cover, these are so pretty, too!
Curious about this! It's not my usual type but it's got some great ratings! Might have to give it a try!

Huge thanks to Harper Voyager, Simon & Schuster, Tor Teen, Chronicle Books, and Bloomsbury for these!

This gorgeous subscription box was curated by A.G. Howard and I've been wanting to pick up her new book, The Architect of Song, so this buy was a no brainer for me! I'm so glad I ordered it---the heart pendant is gorgeous, the journal is so butter-soft and pretty (plus I just love journals--there's something about the potential of blank pages waiting to be filled :D), the soap smells like fresh gardenias, and ink and quill set are so elegant, and well, chocolate. I'm all ready to curl up for Fall with all this fun stuff. 
September Uppercase YA Box
I am so, so grateful for the amazing customer service from Uppercase Box. I'm not a regular subscriber, but when I saw this box on Twitter, with one of my favorite books of the year (check out my review of The Forgetting here) plus the super cute bag that's just a must-have for any library girl like me, I immediately wrote in to see if I could still nab one. They graciously let me put in a last minute gift subscription order and made sure I got this one instead of next month's. It arrived not even a week later!  Such great customer service, so thanks again Uppercase Box!! ♥♥♥

The Weekly Nutshell
recent posts:
Guest Post with Sarah Beth Durst: All About Renthia
Waiting on Wednesday: The Leaf Reader
Ghostly Echoes Review & Full Series Giveaway!!

Kind of a relaxing week, this past week, so that's been nice! I finished reading Queen of Blood so I'll be reviewing that this coming week. I'm about halfway through Every Hidden Thing and loving it! I know last week I was planning to start Three Dark Crowns but after Queen of Blood I wanted a little break from high fantasy and something a little less dark (because OH MAN the ending of Queen of Blood was pretty brutal lol) and Every Hidden Thing has been just the perfect thing.  Three Dark Crowns soon though! LOL  I've been seeing some pretty mixed feelings about it though, so I'm a little nervous--but we'll see. :) 

Have a great week, everyone! :D

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter {review + full series giveaway!}

Ghostly Echoes
by William Ritter
♦publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
♦release date: August 23rd, 2016
♦hardcover, 352 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Jackaby, book 3
  review of book 1, Jackaby
  review of book 2, Beastly Bones
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

Review: Another fun adventure with Jackaby and Abigail!  I love that in this installment, Abigail really seems to take center stage, and I love even more that we finally get the story behind of of my favorite characters in these books, Jenny Cavanaugh.  She's the ghost who was the former lady of the house at Jackaby's office. At the end of Beastly Bones, we were definitely left with some burning questions about Jenny and her increasingly erratic behavior, plus I've just loved these stories in general so this read was highly anticipated and did not disappoint!

I really appreciate that each of these stories have felt so different from each other---in Ghostly Echoes, we get kind of a mad scientist, evil corporation thing going on.  They have to race to solve the mystery of Jenny's murder and bring her peace before she completely loses herself to the dark fits of outrage that seem to be taking her over.  The story takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, through fearing the worst, despairing over who might be guilty , terror as the characters brave the unknown, and triumph as Jenny gets to learn her strength and face down her past. Abigail also faces some great challenges as she has to step out on her own to face the Underworld itself with only her bravery and brains to guide her! Jenny's murder converges with another mystery Jackaby is tracking, and suddenly unraveling her past may be even more important than they thought. 

A fourth and final book was recently announced and this makes me very happy! I have my fingers crossed that it will finish out with a little closer look at another favorite character, Charlie Cane, and maybe a few more romantic moments with him and Abigail. :)  All of these books are fast-paced and filled with imaginative twists, interesting folklore, and great adventure. If you haven't picked these up yet, you really need to! 


Reports of William Ritter’s birthplace are unreliable and varied, placing his hometown either in a series of mysterious Catacombs in Malta or in a quiet town in Oregon. His parents, it can be confirmed, raised him to value intelligence, creativity, and individuality. When reading aloud, they always did the voices.
At the University of Oregon, William made questionable choices, including willfully selecting classes for the interesting stories they promised, rather than for any practical application. When he wasn’t frivolously playing with words, he earned credits in such meaningful courses as Trampoline, Juggling, and Seventeenth Century Italian Longsword. These dubious decisions notwithstanding, he regrets nothing and now holds degrees in English and education with certificates in creative writing and folklore.
He currently teaches high school language arts, including reading and writing, mythology and heroes. He is a proud husband and father. When reading aloud, he always does the voices.
Purchase Ghostly Echoes: Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon
I'm giving away the full series (so far) to one lucky reader!! Winner will get a paperback of Jackaby, a paperback of Beastly Bones, and an ARC of Ghostly Echoes! Good luck, everyone!
•US mailing addresses only (sorry!)
•Ends 10/7/16

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Waiting on...

"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 Emily Arsenault

hitting shelves June 13th, 2017
from Soho Teen
Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is . . . eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old tea-leaf-reading book and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real.

Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. Rumor has it Matt and Andrea were romantically involved, though they’d always denied it. A faint cloud of suspicion still hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.

Suddenly the readings seem real. And they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous. But she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.

My thoughts:  Eccentric family, a murder mystery, and some good old divination---sound like my kind of thing! :)  I'm undecided on the appeal of the cover; it's very pretty but it looks very "adult book" to me and the title font lacks any interest. But it certainly wouldn't keep me from such an interesting sounding story! 

What book are you eagerly anticipating this week?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Guest Post with Sarah Beth Durst: Facts About Queen of Blood!

Today I have an awesome guest post from one of my favorite authors, Sarah Beth Durst! She's stopping by to introduce us to her newest fantasy novel, Queen of Blood letting us in on some facts about the world it takes place in, Renthia!

Welcome, Sarah!! 

An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. 

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

Facts About Renthia

Here are some need-to-know facts about Renthia, the world of my new book THE QUEEN OF BLOOD (which is the first in a new epic series from Harper Voyager called THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA):

1. Any travel guide to Renthia should mention its beauty.  The land is full of stunning extremes of nature, from the towering Lothlorien-like trees of Aratay where glittering cities perch halfway up the trees, to the endless ice fields of Ehlim and the cloud-piercing mountains of Semo -- all thanks to the work of the nature spirits.

2.  Any travel guide should also mention that those nature spirits want to kill all humans.

3.  But don't worry -- the queens of each land have the power to control them and keep the spirits from slaughtering everyone.  Except when the queens fail.  Or die.

4.  That's why there are so many heirs.  Girls with power are chosen and trained to become heirs, ready to take power if/when... okay, let's face it, it's always "when" (queens don't have an impressive life expectancy)... the current queen dies.  So as long as you survive the transition period, you'll have a very pleasant and peaceful journey through this lovely world.

Hope you'll join me!

I truly loved writing this book.  It was one of the best writing experiences I've ever had, primarily because it was so immersive.  Every day I'd sink into this world and trail along with my characters.  Daleina and Ven -- an idealistic student and a banished warrior -- became so real to me.  I am grateful for the fact that there are two more books after THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, so I didn't have to say goodbye!

For me, that's one of the hardest parts about writing: saying goodbye.  But it's followed by one of the best parts: sending the book out into the world, so others can say hello.

And so, hello!  Welcome to Renthia!  Just watch out for the trees.  They bite.

*        *        *        *       *

Thanks so much, Sarah for giving us a little more insight into this world! 


Sarah Beth Durst is the author of ten fantasy novels for adults, teens, and kids, including ConjuredVessel, and Ice. Her latest book for kids, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, came out in November 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next book for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in September 2016 from Harper Voyager. She won the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Shelf Goodies & The WeeklyNutshell {171}

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)

So just one little lovely thing in my mailbox this week...
This looks like such an epic fantasy! And that cover is so gorgeous and intense. 
Thanks go out to Keymaster Press & San Francisco Book Review for the chance to read this!

The Weekly Nutshell
recent posts:
{Review + Giveaway} The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
{Waiting on Wednesday} Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon
{Review} Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

So after last weeks haul, it was kind of a relief to just get one amazing piece of bookmail! :D  I desperately need more shelf space...maybe it's time for a shelf purge and some giveaways, huh?? I'll see what I can put together in the next few weeks.  It's a shame I don't do a beauty blog, because I did get some great beauty mail this week! :P
Not much reading done this week because I was part of my sisters wedding, which was today and turned out just amazing. So much love. ♥.♥
I'm still reading Queen of Blood and really enjoying. I hope you'll all come by the blog Monday for a guest post with the author (one of my faves!), Sarah Beth Durst!
Next up for me is either Three Dark Crowns or Kingdom of Ash & Briar---so either way I'm sticking with the fantasy streak! :D

Hope you all are out there reading something amazing! :)