I love books. And I love cupcakes. I spend alot of time reading blogs about both. Then I thought to myself, wouldn't it be fun to have it all in one? So here's the plan. Here on my little blog, you're going to find book reviews (mostly YA, because I'm absolutely addicted to them) and once in while I'll show you what I'm cooking up in my little vintage aprons, recipes and all. It's gonna be fun---visit often!! :)
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I am currently accepting YA books for review, but I no longer accept ebooks.
For as long as Fei can
remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain
and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and
her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the
treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink
and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire
existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s
jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth
and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...
My thoughts: This sounds like a stunning story in an exotic setting and I love the gorgeous cover. Yup. Want.
and Amazon.com will offer an exclusive flip book print edition!
STEIN has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past, and that's always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew, and everyone she thought she could trust, has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.
ETHAN is left with a serious problem after what should have been a routine mission. He's fractured, a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.
Want to know more about The Lost Imperials Series? Check out below:
In a battle for control of the time stream, the past and the future will collide, either saving mankind, or destroying it.
The Tesla Institute stands on one side of the battle. Controlled by the mind of one of the greatest inventors in history, the Institute recruits gifted, young time travelers called Rifters. Those who survive his training are sent into history with the mission to preserve the time stream, recruit more of their kind, and better humanity through subtle, controlled event manipulation.
Standing in the way are the Hollows, a rogue group of Rifters who have vowed to put an end to the Tesla Institute, at all costs. They steal, cheat, and bend history to their own ends. Using children stolen from time as their personal armies, they fight not only for control of time itself, but also for self-preservation.
You can also find EXTRACTED, book 1 of The Lost Imperials everywhere books are sold.
...sad about this?
I know I usually do the book cover makeovers in a group post, but this one I was especially sad about. I actually gasped when I saw the cover to book two, Firewalker--and not in a good way LOL. The original cover design was so gorgeous and fitting. While I kinda like the cover re-do of book one, I am terribly disappointed in the cover for book 2! It's one that I'd been anticipating seeing for a while, especially since the cover for the Kiss of Deception sequel came out with a cover that looked like it should have gone with this series instead. Nope, can't say I like it. :(
and the makeover:
(kinda cool, I guess.)
and finally, the cover for book 2:
I have to give it a big MEH.
What's going on with the purple trees?
STILL, Trial by Fire was one of my favorites last year. Loved it. Nothing could keep me away from this sequel---they could have wrapped it in baby-poop-colored construction paper and I would still read it. But still...
March is here! Next week I lose an hour of sleep to the "Spring ahead" so I'm not looking forward to that LOL. Other than that, I'm glad for Spring's arrival, ready to get out into my garden and hopefully we'll have a nice loooong Spring full of rain---California definitely needs it! I realized that I just completely ignored my 5 year blog birthday in January!! Shame on me! Keep an eye out for a celebration post sometime this month! 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
First things first! The winner of February giveaway was: Danielle S.! Congratulations!!
Giveaway Details: One winner will win a YA March release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends March 31th, 2015 at 11:59 PM
• Must be 13 or older.
• Open internationally. *International winners will be required to
choose a book that is available through BookDepository.com.
•Extra entries can be earned by commenting on February or March reviews,
and can be done once per review. Come back throughout March whenever
you comment on my reviews and get your extra points! a Rafflecopter giveaway
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas ♦publisher: HarperTeen ♦release date: February 24th, 2015 ♦hardcover, 352 pages ♦intended audience: Young adult ♦series: A Wicked Thing, book 1 ♦source: from publisher for honest review
One hundred years after
falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome
prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All
the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as
Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind
stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes
while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new
world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a
fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once
ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the
ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Review: I went into this book knowing it was a Sleeping Beauty story, nothing really beyond that. I was immediately intrigued with the grim twist on the classic: what if Sleeping Beauty was awoken not months or a year after falling under the curse, but one hundred years? Aurora wakes to find her family long dead and a whole new world around her. While I loved the idea, I couldn’t help but think this would have been fun to take this even further into the future, where she really would have been immersed in a changed world—the 20s maybe, or the 40s WW2 era? Still, this was a good story. The prince that wakes Aurora belongs to the new royal family of her homeland, and they are not good people: a cruel king, willing to take desperate measures to keep hold of a kingdom on the verge of rebellion, and his cold and conniving wife. The prince seemed a bit clueless at first, but you soon find out that he has a good heart, is a loving big brother, but he's a bit spineless when it comes to his parents. While at first I feared not a love triangle, but actually a love square (?) with Aurora softening to the Prince, meeting a handsome rebel in the town when she sneaks out, and having some flirtatious tension with a prince from a neighboring land, there sort of turned out to be not much in the way of romance at all---which, actually I was fine with. After an attack on the castle, she is holed up in her room, and really not a lot happens for a while, leaving the story dragging a bit. Aurora just seem to be floating along, torn between who she wants to be and what is expected of her as the legendary Sleeping Beauty. She's powerless to make any change or any decisions, but she doesn't seem to do much to fight for it either. It was hard to know who to root for and I felt a disconnect from the story. I pressed on, though, and I’m glad I did! The ending pulled me back in. We finally see Aurora open her eyes to her own secrets, the kingdom’s secrets, and she grabs the opportunity to make a stand for herself. It’s left on a bit of a cliffhanger, but with a few important and unexpected twists at the end, I’m definitely drawn in enough to pick up the second book!
family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of
World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving
her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the
intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a
diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level
mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.
Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s
torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she
abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when
her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can
refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.
leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to
extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the
members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of
Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and
its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment.
To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction
to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where
personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can
Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for
From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of
one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with
My thoughts: First off, gorgeous vintage-y cover. LOVE. Secondly, I loved Teri Brown's YA debut, Born of Illusion, so I am super excited to see her take on another fascinating era of history with a strong and clever heroine. Can't wait!!!
As you probably know, hitting shelves TODAY is a book that
many of us have been eagerly anticipating---V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic is out in the world!!! So I am super excited to be today's stop on the blog tour! I've been officially assigned to White London (gasp!! sounds terrifying!) and I'll be featuring a Q & A with Victoria, a video of Victoria exploring London, and lastly an international giveaway for you to win your own copy of this fantastic book!
A little about the book:
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red
London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty
presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has
murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and
the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there
was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.
Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red
London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each
London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a
glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up
for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of
Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves
him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery
lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first
need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.
For the tour, I got the privilege of asking Victoria a question:
What are your 3 favorite spots in London?
Victoria:Westminster Abbey, St. James’ park, and the
banks of the Thames. Though truthfully, I’m as captivated by the
twisting roads and narrow streets that connect all three. There’s one
just off the Abbey, beside the Dean’s Yard, with all
these little wooden doors set into mossy stone, and another, a few
streets away, where it feels like you’ve stepped into another time, if
not another world. I’ve always been more a fan of the places they DON’T
put on the map.
And here is a fun video of Victoria exploring London & discussing A Darker Shade of Magic!
More about the author:
V. E. SCHWAB's first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels The Near Witch, The Archived, and The Unbound, and the Everyday Angel series for middle grade readers.