Wednesday, March 4, 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 Richelle Mead

 hitting shelves November 17, 2015
from Razorbill

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.

When 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 starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle 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. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Series Spotlight! Prodigal & Riven by Tyler H. Jolley & Sherry Ficklin

Today I'm shining a spotlight on the next two books in the gorgeous steampunk time travel adventure series by Tyler H. Jolley & Sherry D. Ficklin!  LOOK at those covers---absolutely beautiful!

Welcome (back) to the TIME WAR...

Books 2 & 3 of the best selling Lost Imperials series

Releasing 5/5/15

from Clean Teen Publishing

Click on the cover to read more!

Exciting news! Prodigal and Riven will be available in 2 special combined print editions!

Barnes & Noble and other retailers will feature a standard combined print edition:


and 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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Anyone else feeling a bit...

...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. :(
Original gorgeousness:
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...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What's New: March YA Release List & Giveaway

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 their prize!

First things first! The winner of February giveaway was: Danielle S.! Congratulations!!

March 2015 Releases:
Just like previous months, I've put a little lve by those books that I am really anticipating!

Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan
Disappear Home by Laura Hurwitz
Down from the Mountain by Elizabeth Fixmer
Infandous by Elana K. Arnold
The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
Painless by S. A. Harazin
Prairie Fire by E.K. Johnston

As White As Snow by Salla Simukka & Owen Witesman

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby 
Charisma by Jeanne Ryan
Kin by Lili St. Crow
Dark Water by Seth Fisherman
Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman
Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
Death Marked by Leah Cypess
Deviate by Tracy Clark

How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews
The Memory Key by Liana Liu
Mosquitoland by David Arnold 
My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp
Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier 
Remnants: Season of Fire by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Sorceress by Claudia Gray
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace
Terminal by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs 
The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe
An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Out of the Dragon's Mouth by Joyce Burns Zeiss

The Agency 4: Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow
Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStephano
The Dickens Mirror by Ilsa J. Bick 
Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw
Game Seven by Paul Volponi
The Infinite by Lori M. Lee
Little Peach by Peggy Kern
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
Seed by Lisa Heathfield
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash
Tether by Anna Jarzab
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver 
What is Lost by Lauren Skidmore

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman
Hostage Run by Andrew Klavan
Pretty Wanted by Elisa Ludwig
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne


Boys Don't Knit by T. S. Easton
Catalyst by Lydia Kang
The Door in the Moon by Catherine Fisher
Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Half Wild by Sally Green
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie & Alyssa Sheinmel

In the Time of Dragon Moon by Janet Lee Carey
Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed


Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
Instinct by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Kidney Hypothetical: How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee
Playing a Part by Daria Wilke & Marian Schwartz
Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord 
What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott
Warrior by Ellen Oh
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
The World Within by Jane Eagland

 (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 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
•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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas {review}

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 tale.

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! 

Find Rhiannon Thomas online: Website  •  Twitter

Purchase A Wicked Thing:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Wednesday, February 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 Teri Brown

 hitting shelves October 20, 2015
from Balzer & Bray
Samantha Donaldson’s 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.

When 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.

Her acceptance 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 them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

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!!! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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.

Grey 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.

Officially, 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 'proper adventure'.

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:

Me: 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.


Want ADSOM?  Get it here:

And last but not least, the fabulous folks at Tor are letting me give one finished copy away to anyone in the world!! Whoooop!
•Open internationally
•Ends  March 9, 2015
a Rafflecopter giveaway