Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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 Weber

hitting shelves March 1st, 2016
from Thomas Nelson Books
The realization hits: We re not going to win. It s why I couldn"t defeat Draewulf in Bron because this power was never mine anyway. I drop my arms and let the energy die off.And turn around to face Eogan. After a fierce battle with Draewulf, Nym barely escaped with her life. Now, fleeing the scorched landscape of Tulla, her storm-summoning abilities are returning; only... the dark power is still inside her. Broken and bloodied, Nym needs time to recover, but when the full scope of the shapeshifter s horrific plot is revealed, the strong-willed Elemental must race across the Hidden Lands and warn the other kingdoms before Draewulf s final attack. From the crystalline palaces of Cashlin to the legendary Valley of Origin, Nym scrambles to gather an army. But even if she can, will she be able to uncover the secret to defeating Draewulf that has eluded her people for generations? With a legion of monsters approaching, and the Hidden Lands standing on the brink of destruction, the stage is set for a battle that will decide the fate of the world. This time, will the Siren s Song have the power to save it?"

My thoughts: LOVE love love this series. So much. Incredible characters and world building and adventure. Each time the endings just tear your heart out and leave you absolutely freaking out for the next book. If you haven't read these, check out my reviews of Storm Siren & Siren's Fury. Is it March yet???

Saturday, November 21, 2015

FANTASTIC FIVES!! Interview & Giveaway

So guys, I know I've ignored this fact for far too long: Stories & Sweeties turned FIVE this year. In January!! LOL Yea, I know, I'm on the better side of six years now, but I can't let a milestone like FIVE YEARS go unnoticed! :D All year long, I kept meaning to celebrate it somehow, so when I saw this crazy fun event being put on by Jaime at Two Chicks on Books and Amber from Me Myshelf and I, I jumped at the chance to celebrate this fantastic blog birthday with some of my own favorite blogs who were also turning 5!

First off, let me point you to the other fabulous blogs that are also celebrating their BIG FIVE!! You'll want to visit their sites too, as we are ALL holding separate giveaways of some pretty awesome stuff!!
November 8 Books Etc.
November 9 Fiktshun
November 10 Two Chicks On Books
November 11 Me, My Shelf and I
November 12 Bewitched Bookworms
November 13 Novel Novice
November 14 Book Angel Booktopia
November 15 Maer Wilson
November 17 YA Book Shelf
November 19 Bookish Lifestyle
November 20 Once Upon A Twilight
November 21 Me! :D
November 22 Bookaholics Anonymous
All of us, every single one, we all turned...

So as part of the event, each of us get to blab a bit about ourselves, our blogging, our experiences, and then fave lists!! Eeee, I love lists. ♥ :D  So here we go...

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ack...always hate the part where I have talk about myself LOL. Well, I'm not a teen, lets start there. I'm preeeetty darn far from my teen years actually. But my love of YA knows no bounds :D. I'm a mommy, a library assistant, a book hoarder, a fangirl of Doctor Who, Sherlock, and all things British, a tea drinker, a chocoholic, a lover of all things vintage, a fairy tale fanatic, and a cancer survivor. 

2. How did you get started blogging? 
Actually that last thing I mentioned about myself played a big part in my starting a blog. I was reading tons when I was first diagnosed. It was a fantastic distraction and took me out of my own head for awhile every day when I needed it.  I guess my decision to start a blog came partly for my own desire to share my thoughts on all these lovely stories I was reading, partly to have something fun to throw my energy into, and partly because I was reading so much I was having trouble keeping track of it all! 

3. How did you pick the name for your blog?
I like stories and I like sweets. I suppose it could have ended up Stories & Sweets, or Stories & Cupcakes, but at the time I think I was watching the Chronicles of Narnia an awful lot (because James McAvoy is adorable, even with goat legs LOL) and I loved how the Queen called Turkish Delights "Sweeties".  And there it was...a very british term for sweets.  Stories & Sweeties was born. 

4. If you could go back in time and tell your newbie blogger self 1 thing what would it be?  Remember to keep this fun for yourself! Don't take on too much, and don't say yes to every book that gets waved in front of your nose.  Overextending yourself if the quickest way to fall into a slump.

5. What have you learned in your 5 years of blogging?
•See above for lessons one and two ;) 
•Don't have books personalized to you unless you REALLY loved them. Reading tastes change sometimes and a signed book that's not personalized makes a great giveaway. 
•Get out there and socialize.  I stayed in my own little shy blog bubble for so long. Finally I got myself going on twitter and it makes being part of the book community so much more fun! 

6. What was the first ARC or book you ever received from a publisher?
It was Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev from Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends. GOSH I was so excited about that. Loved that series. 

7. When you’re not reading or blogging, what can we find you doing?
Baking. Mommying. Redecorating my house. Sometimes writing, but not very steadily. Watching my shows. Shopping at Target, with a cart-full of stuff I don't need.  

The Fives: (and yes, you can ONLY have 5! *muwhahahah*)

Five Favorite Books
Cinder, The Cure for Dreaming, Little Women, Never Let Me Go, and right now Wink Poppy Midnight. But honestly, for this one, I didn't even try to pare a list down. There are just too many favorites, these are just the first of hundreds that came to mind :)

Five Favorite Book Quotes
I honestly don't make notes of quotes as I'm reading most of the time. But here's one I loved from Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano:
He knows that I'm not like the other girls---the normal ones---that a part of me is slipping off this floating city, and he doesn't care. He doesn't care.  

Maybe we're both beyond saving.

Five Blogging Tips For New Bloggers
•Memes like Stacking the Shelves & Waiting on Wednesday are a great way to start interacting with the community.
•I don't read other reviews of a book right before writing my own. I'm always terrified a phrase or wording will unintentionally slip into my own. 
•Don't expect to start getting ARCs right away. Most publishers will look for at least 6 months of steady posting and reviewing before sending an ARC your way. 
•Comparing your blog to others in numbers/traffic/popularity is a waste of energy. Blog for yourself and to share your love of reading, not to become the next big book blog!
•Don't forget to enjoy the book community outside of your blog if you're able---book signings, conventions, book-to-movie adaptation viewings---its fun meeting people you might know from other book blogs plus a recap of the event makes a great blog post afterward! 

Five Blogs You Want The World To Know About
I'm gonna pass on this one and just direct you to my blog roll on my left sidebar. Seriously, there are way too many great blogs out there to just name five :D

So as a big huge HUG and thank you for everyone who's been reading this blog, whether you've been with me for the full stretch of five years or you just found me today, HERE'S A GIVEAWAY! :D   I wanted to keep this one international so I'm offering a book (or books) of choice up to $25 to the winner! If you can get two books out of that $25, that's awesome! :D
Enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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 Adriana Mather

hitting shelves July 26th, 2016
from Knopf Books for Young Readers
For fans of Conversion and Mean Girls, comes a debut novel where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for thosetrials and immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. 

Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history is about to repeat itself.

My thoughts: OKAY, now this sounds fun.  Anything Salem Witch Trial related will always have my attention, but you throw in a comparison to Mean Girls and a handsome ghost?? Yeah, I'm there. PLUS, the author is actually descended from the Mathers that were involved in the Trials.  I can't wait to read this!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern: Spotlight + Giveaway

Guys, I am thrilled to be today's  blog tour stop for a fantastic looking debut, 
Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern!

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

photo credit: Liz Vidyarthi
Kate McGovern has taught theatre and language arts to middle schoolers in Boston, New York, and London. A graduate of Yale and Oxford, she currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was born and raised. RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES is her first novel.

WIN A COPY of Rules for 50/50 Chances!
Thanks to the lovely folks at Macmillan, I get to give away a copy to one lucky winner!  Enter below!
•Must be 13 or older
•Open to US mailing addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {147}

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 kept my mailman busy these past two weeks:

SO you'll notice some doubles this week.  This is because I very zealously traded for some of my most-wanted titles...only to have them show up from the publisher a few days later. LOL. Clearly I need to slow down on my #booksfortrade addiction.  But, the good thing is, as I said before, I'm planning a few great giveaways a little later in the month to resurrect my Thanksgiving-away Event originated a few years ago! :) So guess where some of these double will be going? 

From publisher:
Persuasion by Martina Boone
YAAAS. Whoever at S&S made this magically appear in my mailbox, I ♥ you!! 
The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton
Loving the sound of this one. 
Ravenous by MarcyKate Connelly
Loved Monstrous so much. High hopes this one will be just as good.
Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
So curious about this one! Author always has such a bizarre writing style. 
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro 
Eeeeee! This is probably my most anticipated debut of 2016.  I won the second copy from goodreads. 
Love, Lies, & Spies by Cindy Anstey
This looks fun and swoony! :)
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Loving all the western YA coming out, but especially excited for this one!
Red by Liesl Shurtliff
For the blog tour next March!
Unforgiven by Lauren Kate
I had to go searching for this to photograph it---my daughter had already snatched it away!
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
So excited to see this author doing historical again! I loved Revolution!
Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson
Not sure if this one's my cup of tea, but it looks interesting. 
The Yearbook by Carol Masciola
Time travel, 20s historical...this is more my speed :)

Traded for: 
Revenge and the Wild (double)
Down with the Shine (double)
Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong
Need to track down the first two now LOL
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
Love this series' covers. Love where book 1 left off, so I'm excited for this one!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
From my lovely Britt! ♥ Thank you, sweet girl!!
Ash  & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Loved this one. My bestie Amy gifted me a HC because my doggie spilled tea on my ARC. LOL

WINTER by Marissa Meyer
This one needs no explanation, does it?  Technically I purchased 4 of these this week. One for me, two for friends, and one for an upcoming giveaway! ;D

Ridiculous gushing gratitude to HarperCollins, Random House, Merit Press, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Jolly Fish Press for all the lovely books! And to all my trade buddies! :D

The Weekly Nutshell:
Here's what went down since my last Nutshell post:

So this haul and recap covers the last two weeks.  Last weekend, I took my son on a surprise trip to Disneyland!! :D  I love surprise fun trips---my parents used to do it to me all the time. I woke him at 5:30 am and said "Let's go to Disneyland!!"  He was so surprised. :D  And we had a blast, despite the park being insanely crowded.  
Right now I'm reading and loving Carry On. I've never read Rainbow Rowell before, but I love the funny snarky style---it feels like Harry Potter with swearing and a few mature innuendos. LOL  I'm also reading Love That Split the World and enjoying that quite a bit. I'm hoping to get a First Impression review up for that this week.  
So that was my past two weeks! Hope everyone is having a great week.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dangerous Lies Spotlight: Q & A with the fabulous Becca Fitzpatrick!!

Today I am super excited and honored to be featuring Becca Fitzpatrick and her newest book, Dangerous Lies!  I'm a long-time fan of this wonderful author---her Hush, Hush series is one of the things that got me started in my love for YA!

Now Becca has set her talents on a series of stand-alone intense psychological thrillers. The first one was Black Ice, and now she's come out with this beauty:

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

A  Q & A with Becca Fitzpatrick
•In 5 words, paint us a picture of Dangerous Lies.
Damaged heroine, sexy cowboy, redemption. 

•Tell us about the main characters in Dangerous Lies and what you hope people connect with about them.
I hope readers give Stella a chance. She is not easy to love. She’ll push you away.  Consider  yourself warned! Chet, on the other hand, makes everything easy for the reader. He’s sweet, sexy, and a true hero. He’s just as damaged as Stella, but he handles his grief differently. Not better, just differently. Theirs isn’t a perfect story. But it feels authentic. In the end, I feel like they earn their relationship.

•Where do you hide away from the world to write?  Where’s your ideal writing space?
I write at home. In my office. In silence. I know, I know! Too much excitement! 

•What kind of books did you like reading as a teen?
Sweet Valley High. I loved all the drama. I also loved the classics. Like, I was crazy for Heathcliff. He was my book boy crush. Now that I’m an adult, he terrifies me. 

•Is there anyone special, a teacher or mentor, who inspired you on your path to becoming a writer?
I think authors inspired me. I loved reading. I loved stories. I told myself, “They did it. You can too.”

•Have any advice for those tackling NaNoWriMo this year?
Give yourself permission to find your own process. What works for one writer isn’t universal. I’ve been told a hundred times during my career, “Don’t edit as you go!” But I do. It works for me.

•Okay, everyone who visits Stories & Sweeties answers this one:  
  Do you like cupcakes? Frosting or cake better? ?
Frosting! Totally. 

photo credit: Krista Sidwell Photography
Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga, including Hush, Hush;CrescendoSilence; and Finale all debuted as New York Times best-sellers. She graduated with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely running, prowling sales racks for shoes, or traveling. She lives in Colorado with her family.


More books by Becca Fitzpatrick:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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 Catherine Egan

hitting shelves June 7th, 2016
from Knopf Books for Young Readers
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. 

It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned--crime pays.

Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding--though from what or whom?

Worse, Julia suspects that there's a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.

The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she'd ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

My thoughts: Lots of things catching my attention here: unusual abilities, odd assortment of characters, forbidden magic and a clever-sounding spy. This definitely has me curious!