Looking forward to finding some great new blogs out there!!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Looking forward to finding some great new blogs out there!!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Beautiful Darkness by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
releasing: October 26, 2010
Description from Goodreads:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
The first is this series is completely fantastic (you can see my review here), so I can't wait to see what is next for Lena & Ethan!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
1st place: Sara of YA Vampire Books
2nd place: Spav of Fiction Kingdom
Thanks so much to all who entered and to all my readers!! Don't be too bummed if you didn't win, you can always check under the banner for the next great contest and enter away!!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
To my readers: Do you prefer the description to be posted right here on the blog or do you mind clicking the link to Goodreads to find out the details? Just curious!! :)
although not book related. A new addition to my family!!
Hope everyone had a great week!! Link me up to what you got! :)
Friday, April 23, 2010
I'd like to welcome Knight Angels author, Abra Ebner,
to Stories & Sweeties!!
Knight Angels is my second series, and I believe that changes everything. My first series was from the hip, but Knight Angels is a lot better orchestrated. I believe the complexity of characters is, quite frankly, a lot more fun! I love having four narrators, because the secrets seem juicer—you feel like a part of it. It’s addicting in that respect, much like a soap opera. When the scene changes, you find yourself (I found myself, even after reading a million times) wanting to read just a little bit more. There’s always something happening.
Is there a planned release schedule for the following books in the series?
I know that Book Two: Book of Revenge, will be this summer, but after that, there’s no telling. I’m planning for four books, but we’ll see how the story goes; it all depends on that.
Can you tell a little about how you got interested in writing?
I’ve always loved writing, but it never dawned on me to actually write until I studied abroad. I didn’t have a TV, and books were rather pricey. I decided to start writing my own books to pass time. It wasn’t until 6 years later when something finally came of it.
Tell us about your ideal writing space.
The couch. I know it sounds uncomfortable, and it is at times (need a new couch), especially after sitting for six hours—as I have at this moment. I don’t do well sitting at a desk, even though I have a lovely office. Sometimes I’ll sit in bed, but that’s dangerous because I forget to stop and eat. When this is all you want to do, it’s hard to remain and active member of society.
What is your inspiration for Knight Angels and the characters in it?
My own life, as I’m sure it is for most people. I was an observer when I was young. I never talked much, but I still had many friends from all planes of popularity and personality. My high school boyfriend died in a car wreck, and I suppose that’s where I get the idea for guardian angels. My boyfriends and friends were always different from one another, sometimes drastically. I’ve seen it all, so to speak, and they’re all in there somewhere.
How would you describe your writing style?
From the hip. Even though I said I plan a little more now, that still doesn’t mean much. I like the story to surprise me as well, not just my readers. First and foremost, my books are meant to entertain, including me.
Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Wicked Lovely, but that changes fast. When I get on a roll, I will read a book every two days. Sunday I read Shiver (loved it) and today, Wednesday, it’s Wicked Lovely.
Favorite books this year include: Hush, hush; Fallen; The Immortals Series; Shiver; and Beautiful Creatures…
What kind of books did you love to read as a teenager?
Harry Potter was my favorite—but that’s a given. I read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. That was probably my favorite, though I think I was twenty by then. I also fell in love with Lovely Bones and Time Traveler’s Wife. When you’re young, those are electric.
Which of the characters that you've written is your favorite?
Probably… Elle, from Feather Book Series, but Max from Knight Angels rivals that. I had meant for Jane to be my favorite, but then I loved Max more!
I just got my hands on one of your previous novels, Parallel, about a boy who gets launched into the future. If you could go anywhere in time, future or past, where would it be?
Third grade. I loved my teacher, Mrs. Livingston. I swear I learned nothing that year other than the importance of being creative and open. Many mothers had a fit, but not mine. My Parents have always supported my free-thinking and creativity. They sent me to
Now for a few fun questions:
Favorite snack while writing?
Thomas Crown Affair—I can’t watch it enough. And then Becoming Jane Austen—Male lead is, well, hot!
Blue and Pink
Favorite band and song?
Dave Matthews Band—You and Me
Favorite teacher from your school years?
Mrs. Livingston!!!You can find more info on Abra and her books at her website!
And because I absolutely loved her newest book, Knight Angels, I am giving away a copy (not my copy! I'm keepin' that!!) to one lucky winner!! I'm keeping this giveaway sweet and simple---all you have to do to enter is comment with your email and your favorite fact about Abra! On May 15th, I will choose a post number with a random number generator. Unfortunately, I have to keep this one within the U.S. and Canada, but for my international friends, please feel free to enter if you have someone in the U.S. who is willing to ship it to you!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Knight Angels by Abra Ebner
publisher: Crimson Oak Publishing
release date: April 26th (but its shipping now)
paperback, 395 pages
intended audience: Young adult
Description from author's website:
When I think of death, I don’t see what everyone else does. There’s a soft whisper when you find it, and a voice telling us that everything will be okay.
We never die alone, because they are always there watching over us, protecting us, and guiding us. They are silent, like a simple gust of wind, but it is in that wind that our world can change.
When the accident happened, and my father died, I was there. I saw them. I can’t remember their faces, but I know they weren’t human.
There were two—one was the murderer, and one was my knight. I was spared. Ever since, the nightmares of death haunt me.
Somewhere deep inside, I know that I should have died.
Review: I'd been eager to read this book since I first discovered it on the author's website a few months back. The gorgeous cover drew me in first and when I finally cracked the book open, I was anything but disappointed! What a fantastic, whirlwind of a story! This book was told chapter by chapter, alternating between the points of view of the four main characters: Jane, her younger sister Emily, their lifelong friend Wes, and the mysterious new guy Max. This was the perfect format for this story. Because there was so much going on with each character, it really gave you a good sense of connection with each one. I have to say, I loved all four of them. Each of their relationships between eachother was complicated and real. The story was exciting and moved fast, with little pieces of the plot falling into place with every turn of the page. You feel the love and the confusion, the danger and the helplessness against the enemy, the wonder at all the magick...definitely not one to be missed!
The second of this series is due out this summer and I'm so excited to see what happens next!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
release date: May 25, 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.
Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .
It's not hard to see why I am anxiously awaiting this one. The story sounds fantastic: faeries and Avalon?? I can't wait! I also can't wait to see this book up close...if it is this gorgeous on my computer screen, I can only imagine how breathtaking it will be close up!!
Sleepless by Cyn Balog
publisher: Delacorte Press
release date: July 13, 2010
hardcover, 224 pages
intended audience: young adult
Description from Goodreads:
Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . .
Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?
Review: I really loved this book and plan to read it again when it comes out in July! It's such a sweet story and such a unique idea. I've never read anything else that involved a sandman (I know there is more out there, but this is my first brush with it!) and it felt very fresh what Cyn Balog did with creating a Sandman culture, the rules to their existence, and how they become sandmen. The plot is great, so much more going on in this story than it's description lets on. All of the characters were well written and developed---I loved the two main characters, Julia and Eron. Eron was charming and a little bumbling because of his displacement in time (Oh, how I do love a little bumbliness!), while Julia was a bit of a mess, but strong and able to hold her own, which I loved.
Even though I thought, with this book being as short as it is, it would have been really great to see a few things even more fleshed out(for example, I would love to hear a little more about Eron's life before he became a sandman), it was still a fantastic and satisfying tale.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
publisher: Leap Books
released: December 2009
paperback, 328 pages
intended audience: Young adult
Description from bn.com:
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen year old Kasey would gladly give up. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into deep waters, a lead in a play, and into the arms of Josh. But Josh, too, has a secret. Something that could put them all in danger. To solve a mystery of a supernatural haunting, they must uncover the secrets of the haunted theater when they are trapped on the night of the full moon.
I really hate to give any book such an unflattering review, SO to give it a fair shot at a second chance with my blog readers, here are a few reviews from some great bloggers!
The Book Butterfly
The Book Cellar
La Femme Readers
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Oh my gosh..it was happy week for me. Three of the books I got I had been literally counting the days til they came out!!!
Knight Angels by Abra Ebner (thanks so much, Abra!!)
Freaksville by Kitty Keswick (Book It Forward Arc Tour)
Bought from Book Depository:
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Shadows: A Dark Touch Novel by Amy Meredith
The Clearing by Heather Davis
From the Library:
How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
Whadya get this week?? Show me, Show me!! :)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 20th, 2010
Description from Goodreads:
At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.
(sigh) Even the description gives me chills. All the reasons why I loved the first book so much come flooding back. Yup, this one will definitely have me standing in line at my nearest bookstore on the morning of it's release.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
publisher: Penguin Group
released: April 2007
hardcover, 198 pages
intended audience: Young Adult
Description from inside book flap:
When you've been best friends for four years, when you finish each others sentences, laugh at the same jokes, and share a secret cure for hiccups, what could ever come between you? A kiss.
Lissa and Kate had spent almost every day together since they were twelve. But then one night last summer, Kate leaned into kiss Lissa, and Lissa kissed her back. Now Kate is pretending that her friend doesn't exist, and it is Lissa who needs a secret cure for her feelings and confusion.
With the help of a book on lucid dreaming, a flaky new friend who claims to be an alien abductee, and her own keen sense of humor, Lissa discovers that there isn't a cure for life---that sometimes falling in love with the wrong person is the only way to find your footing.
Favorite quote from book: "I almost got sucked in. It would have been so easy. But feeling needed was one thing, having your own needs met was another."
Review: To say that this book was about a kiss between two best friends and Lissa's struggle with her feelings and confusion about it doesn't really do this story justice. It's about so much more than that! Sure, it's about a girl trying to figure out what these new feelings mean, but it's also about family and sisters being there for each other, it's about stepping out of your comfort zone, it's about friendships and knowing when to let them go, and mostly it's about facing yourself head on and not being afraid of what you find there or worrying about what the whole world will think of you.
I really liked the characters in this book, not only the main character Lissa, but her boss, her new friends, her little sister, and of course, Kate---all were very well written. And by the way, I didn't think her new friend, Ariel, was flaky at all...not exactly sure why they described her that way on the bookflap! She was eccentric and sweet, definitely danced to her own tune, and in the end, easily became one of my favorite characters in the book.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
So, what do you think? Do you love it as much as I do?? It makes me even more impatient to read this installment of the series! Hurry, November!!
Ah, yes. I kept it under control this week. Only three little lovelies to speak of, but so excited about all of them!
~ I finally got my little hands on a copy of Hex Hall and I can't wait to dig in. The reviews I've seen of this one make it sound like such a fun read---it may have to move up on the reading list.
~If I Stay came out in paperback this week, and since the copy I had a month ago was the library's and I never got to it, I picked it up. I love the new cover!
~Darkwood, I came across in one of my various Amazon browsing sessions. The description sounded so intriguing, I clicked right over to my library website and placed a hold. Hooray for library having it!
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Darkwood by M. E. Breen
That little lovely gadget there at the bottom of the pic is my new toy! I got a new Samsung mp3 player. What does that have to do with books, you ask? Well, I plan to put mostly audio books on it, of course! I was just thinking the other day about how many books I could tackle if I could read in the car (I get car sick if I try) and this was my solution, and just in time for an 6 hour drive to LA this week. Plus, I can listen to them at work while I'm book-mending! ☺
Show me watcha got!!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
release date: September 21st, 2010 (updated, thanks Kiersten!)
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.
Normal is so overrated.
Really, does this one need much more explanation of why I can't wait to read it!! Drop-dead gorgeous cover ( I would kill to see a gal "bag and tag" a werewolf in that stunning dress!!), a completely amazing-sounding storyline...nuf' said, right? And you really have to check out the author's blog...she is seriously the most adorable thing ever, and her post on the day her proof copy arrived is just hilarious. I'm sure if her fiction writing is half as entertaining as her blogging, it's going to be a fantastic book!! October is such a long way off---I'm hoping for a bump up to an earlier release date!! :)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
(STOP: spoilers ahead if you haven't read the first two books!!)
Synopsis:My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I'm not.
For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.
My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.
Definitely not normal.
And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.
As far away from normal as it gets.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Today I'm featuring, not cupcakes, but one of my favorite cookies of all time. Not exactly sure where I got this lovely recipe, but I am so glad it fell into my hands one day!
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies dipped in White Chocolate
Here we go:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Beat together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla until well mixed it.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk these together is a small bowl. Add alittle at a time to butter mixture.
1-1/4 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups dried cranberries
Fold these in to cookie dough until blended well and cranberries are evenly distributed.
Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. Cool completely on rack before dipping.
Melt one 12 oz package of white chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minutes, stirring half way through. To this, add one tbsp of vegetable oil (this makes it the right texture for dipping). Dip each cookie (as deep as you please! My mom always requests that I dip them almost all the way in! haha) and let set on wax paper until dry.
(digital frame graphic shown with the cookies is by digital scrapbooking designer, Lindsay Riches)
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Ok, I got alittle carried away on the purchases this week, but really, with temptations like this---who can resist?? For once in a long time, most of these little treats actually came "in my mailbox"!!! Book Depository and Amazon both loved me this week.
Amazon: I got some incredible deals! "How I let my hair out" and "How I found the perfect dress" were 3 bucks each! I am super excited to start this fun little series (I got the third book at the library last week). Abra Ebner's "Parallel" got a brand new cool cover; I'd been meaning to order it but I am so glad I waiting as I like the new cover so much better. "Maze Runner" I got for both me and hubby who keeps talking about reading this one.
Book Depository: I was right to order the UK versions of The Morganville Vampires "Glass Houses". This one is gorgeous. SO much better than our US editions. Not only is the cover art just less cheesy, but the swirls you see on there are shimmery... oooo, aahhhh. So pretty. "Body Finder" was a given...I've been dying to read this one. The plus was that I'd had it in my cart since before it came out, and the pre-order price was less so I got a deal that wasn't even available anymore! :)
Sleepless!!! So excited to read this one. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU, to lovely Miss Jessica at I Read to Relax, who was kind enough to share this one with me.
And, of course, Wish Stealers,..I can't go a whole week without at least one little library check out! :)
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Parallel by Abra Ebner
Sleepless by Cyn Balog
How I Found the Perfect Dress by Maryrose Wood
Why I Let my Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas
And on the yummy front: If you're looking for a great cupcake book, check this one out. I am a frosting girl myself, I believe the perfect frosting MAKES the cupcake. I think there are almost more delicious frosting flavors in this book then there are cupcake recipes. I'm in love.
SOOO..what did you get? Link me up!
Friday, April 2, 2010
released: March 2, 2010
hardcover, 470 pages
intended audience: Young Adult
Description from goodreads.com:
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Review: It took me a second after flipping the very last page of this book to realize how much it effected me. It was an incredible debut novel. It was heartfelt and amazingly honest, shocking and hopeful, and very, very smart. It felt important; one of the first things I did after finishing it and letting it settle in my brain was to hand it to my almost-fifteen-year-old daughter and say "Read this." I was unsure at the beginning--I absolutely disliked the main character, Samantha,--- it was a challenge to connect with her on any level because she and her friends were so cruel and irresponsible. BUT you have to start there to really see the meaning of this story. It was incredible to watch her grow and mature, to see her learn what really was important in life and how she would attempt to capture it.
The plot itself was not, by any means, unique---as a matter of fact it reminded me so much the "groundhog day" plot that I was not the least bit surprised to see that very movie mention in the pages of this book! (Of course, I noticed it probably more that some because I've literally seen that movie at least 15 times!) However, the author has taken this plotline and put such a wonderful spin on it, giving it so much more depth and meaning, that the similarities hardly mattered in the end. It was captivating to see what Sam did and what she tried to change as she relived the day of her death over and over again.
I have so many more thoughts on this amazing story---but nothing that wouldn't give away too much if you haven't already read this one. And if you haven't, I suggest moving it closer to the top of your reading pile!