Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

release date: May 8th, 2012

hardcover, 400 pages

intended audience: Young adult

series: Hemlock, book 1


source: from publisher for honest review
reviewer: Amy

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Hemlock stands tall and makes its presence known, just as a Hemlock tree stands unwavering in any storm brought upon it . This, I think, is also the perfect metaphor for the main character, Mackenzie. A character that can only be described as bad ass. She is one of the strongest female characters I've come across in a long time. Tough, unwavering, head strong and able to tackle any fight or challenge that is thrown at her.

This book takes off right at the start and and keeps you hanging in your seat for the whole ride. Its not often I pick up a 400 page book and read it in a day and half, but this book so beautifully captivated me, I couldn't put it down.

Kathleen Peacock spins a wonderful and believable tale of a normal teenage life shattered by death. Not only the death itself...but the mystery surrounding the death as well. With the question of who murdered Mackenzie's best friend, Amy, and discovering all the secrets that lie in the roots of the small town Hemlock, I found myself thrown into tears one minute and wanting to cheer out loud the next. And crazily enough I found myself also wanting to believe in the possibility of a Lupine syndrome---which had me fighting the urge to glance over my shoulder in the dark of night, wondering if werewolves could really exist.

The author does an impeccable job blending the plot of the characters and the story line to make it feel so believable. All I can say is she left me out on a limb waiting for the next book in this trilogy.

And on a little side note:
Team Jacob fans will be delighted to note that you will not be disappointed. Finally a book that makes you still believe in werewolves, and gives satisfaction to those who were left wanting more!
A definite must-read!

Visit Kathleen Peacock's site:

Purchase Hemlock at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell

Hey there! This has been quite a week in book-blog-land, no? So as you can see, I'm starting a new feature here on Stories & Sweeties. I'm sure you can all guess why, I won't rehash the fiasco. But I will say this and nothing more: Blog with integrity, dear book-lovers. I honestly can't bring myself to support or participate in a blog that doesn't. It's a personal choice, and I certainly don't judge anyone who chooses differently.
And that's the last I'll say on the matter.

So 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 Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books posts) 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) Note:Book-haul sharing and weekly recapping are nothing new, and this is not a meme, but you are welcome to use the graphic if you like it.

On we go!
What I Bought:
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Retelling of the Frog Prince!!
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
This cover makes me drool. Started it, love so far!
Kill My Softly by Sarah Cross
I've heard this is a bit like the show, Once Upon A Time, which I love!
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Still have to read book 2, but daughter would kill me if I didn't buy this now! :)

And What I Got For Review:
Fated by Alyson Noel
Very excited for this one, and the color is just gorgeous!
Endlessly by Kirsten White
Eee! Can't wait to see what happens next!
So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Fall From Grace by Charles Benoit
Masque of Red Death by Bethany Griffin
2nd copy! I'll be given one away with my review!

For Review (cont.)
Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
A mysterious society of Secret!
Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard
Heard this one was excellent from one of my favorite bloggers (Hi Leanna! :D)
The Deserter by Peadar O Guili
Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse
This cover seriously freaks me out. Illustration or not, it's creepy.

Many thanks to Random House, HarperTeen, and St. Martin's Griffin!

The Weekly Nutshell:
This week at Stories & Sweeties, in an almond nutshell (because they're my favorite; eating them as I type this, as a matter of fact):
{Sunday} Book Trailers: The Vicious Deep & The Last Echo
{Tuesday} Waiting on Wednesday: Gravity by Melissa West
{Wednesday} FairyTale Hop : Win The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland...!
{Thursday} Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
{Friday} Spotted in the Wild: Two May Releases out early at Barnes & Noble!

I have two giveaways ending this week---check the top right sidebar to get those entries in!
I am a bit backed up on reviews...have three that need to be written. I took it easy this week due to a family loss. My wonderful, hilarious grandma has gone up to heaven. She lived a fantastic, full life to the amazing age of 91---she had over 50 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren!! (Yes, our family gatherings are something the behold!) She will be dearly missed by all of us! ♥

Have a great week, everyone! And if your weather is as beautiful as it is here...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spotted in the Wild!

Spotted two May releases that I'm very excited about in my local Barnes today! I love when they slip up and put stuff out early! :D

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (due out May 8th)
Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (due out May 1st)

So, of course, I snatched one of these up. My stretched book budget demanded that I choose between the two, and my infinite love for fairy-tale retellings and gorgeous covers won out, so I walked away with Enchanted. Vicious Deep---you will be mine soon! :D

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

publisher: HarperTeen

release date: April 10th, 2012

hardcover, 326 pages

intended audience: Young adult

series: Darkness Rising, book #2
(review of book 1 here)


source: from publisher for honest review

Warning! Description and review may contain slight spoilers for book 1 in this series. If you haven't read The Gathering, stop here!

description: Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

Review: I was wavering between a 3.5 rating and 4 for this second installment of the Darkness Rising series. In the end, after it has settled for a few days, I decided that I did really enjoy this one. It's a very fast, exciting read and while at times, fell victim to the "second-book syndrome", it was fun and engaging.

It was great to get back to some of these characters. They are all very different, and some of them take some very surprising personality turns. Still loved the humor and back-and-forth banter between Maya, Daniel, Calvin, & Sam. Once again, I laughed out loud more than once. Once again, I loved the strong friendship between Daniel and Maya---I know many readers will hope to see them together, but for me they are awesome together even just as best friends.

Largely, the second book is one big chase through the woods---and by "second-book syndrome" I mean that at times it felt more like just a catalyst from book 1 to the grande finale in book 3. And while I understand that is the basic purpose of a middle book in a series, I still tend to like when each book in a series has a nice story arc of it's own. You learn a tiny bit more about one of the groups chasing them, and a bit more about what Maya and all her friends are, but not really what any of it all means. I was very excited to get little hints of how this story might circle around to cross paths with Armstrong's Darkest Powers series, which I loved.

The ending was, of course, a cliffhanger, but surprisingly felt a little less harsh than what I'm used to seeing in this author's books. Not that I don't secretly love them sometimes, (they leave my heart pounding and my mind reeling and dying for the next book!) , but for those who liken cliffhangers to whiplash, this one was a nice departure.

A super-quick, thrilling read---this is definitely a series I'll be sticking with to the end!

Visit Kelley Armstrong's site:

Purchase The Calling at: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Fairytale Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and vvb32reads!
This time around, we're all giving away fairytale themed books---which are some of my favorite books to read!

So as part of this hop, I'm sharing who my Top 3 Fairy Tale Heroines are!
Here goes:
Cinder - this was one amazing retelling of Cinderella!
Rosie & Scarlett from Sisters Red - those girls in hoods kicked some serious Fenris butt.
Ash - a courageous and independent Cinderella in this unique retelling!
(links go to my full reviews of these)

Today I'm giving away one ARC of (get ready...its a mouthful!) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making! by Catherynne M. Valente!
(Please note: the ARCs for this book were a different color that shown, but with the same artwork. Still so pretty!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sorry everyone! I guess my rafflecopter wasn't working before---it's all fixed now!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Fairytale giveaways!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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 Melissa West

hitting shelves October 16th, 2012 from Entangled Publishing

In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

My thoughts: This is one of those books that I read the synopsis of long ago and my mind was immediately alight with thoughts of.."WOW this sounds good. Wonder what the cover will look like?" and "What the heck is creepy guy doing floating above her bed??" and "Oooo, Aliens!" Yes, this one caught my attention, even before the awesome cover was released. And it IS awesome--Entangled Pub seems to have a knack for cool covers. :) This is one is no exception---and perfectly conveys that this will be an epic battle for the earth. Very excited!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Trailers: The Vicious Deep & The Last Echo

Came across these two trailers to share! Enjoy!
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (all three trailers for this series have been seriously creepy!

Definitely looking forward to both of these books!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In My Mailbox {112}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren,
where we all share what we got during the week.
Got some goodies this week! 
Hubby and I both love this series, so I'm very excited for this one! 

For review: 
Super excited to read this---saw some awesome reviews of it this week!

For review (cont.) :

 Kind of an interesting mix that came this week! What was in your mailbox? :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

released: April 3rd, 2012

hardcover, 549 pages

intended audience: Young adult

series: His Fair Assassin, Book 1


source: from publisher for honest review

description: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Review: When I delved into the pages of Grave Mercy, I found myself immediately drawn in to the fantastic atmosphere of a country on the brink of war and change, a people who still worshiped the ancient gods, and a convent veiled in mystery where the nuns are trained to carry out the will of the patron saint of death, St. Mortain.

Ismae is such an interesting character. When she finds herself at the convent, she quickly relishes the idea of becoming an assassin. While this could have just come across as heartless and violent on her part, you can easily see her side---the only thing she had ever known is cruelty. All she knows of her mother is that she tried to have an herbwitch remove her from her womb with a poisoned branch. All she's gotten from her father is cruelty and hate, until she is sold to a vicious, barbaric husband. So she easily swears her oath to serve Mortain, and is trained in the art of weaponry, poisons, luring in her victims---everything she might need to carry out her duty. There is also a little of a paranormal touch to the story, as Ismae has the ability to communicate with a newly dead soul, can sense when death is coming to someone naturally, and is immune to all poisons. It's an amazing journey to watch what she does with this new life she's fallen into and what she learns along the way.

The storytelling is incredibly engaging. There is political intrigue, a bitter fight for the hand of a young duchess, plotting and scheming and murdering, all grandly played out by a huge cast of amusing characters, some of who truly surprised me by the end. At the front of the book there is a character index, and this really came in handy a few times---with such a long, complex story and so many characters, they can be hard to keep straight at times! My favorites were Beast---named for his looks and his ferocity in battle, but such a funny, big-hearted character with an almost instant connection with Ismae---and the duchess, Anne. I felt so much for her with such a huge burden on her young shoulders and loved her bond with Ismae. The love story was perfectly done---a slow-blossoming attraction that goes against everything Ismae thought she was and believed in.

This one was so very close to a 5-rating for me. On the whole, I loved the rich, elaborate storytelling and wonderful characters. But there were just one or two times where my attention started to wander and one very important predicament that I couldn't help but feel was solved just a bit too conveniently. Other than that, it was a wonderful historical fantasy and one that I highly recommend.

One last very good note: Grave Mercy is part of a series, but it's a complete story that stands alone. The next book will be about Sybella, another of Ismae's sisters in the convent. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series and learning more about Sybella!

Robin LeFevers has a gorgeous website! Visit here:

Purchase Grave Mercy at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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.

Alice in Zombieland

by Gena Showalter

hitting shelves September 25th, 2012 from Harlequin Teen

She won’t resist until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

My thoughts: Ok. So, normally, I kind of veer away from zombie books. You won't see them much on Stories & Sweeties---I'm just a bit too wimpy for them lol. BUT THIS. Well, what can I say. My love for anything Alice far outweighs my squeamishness for zombies. I was literally raised on Alice in Wonderland. My mom is a collector of all things Alice so we had all manner of figurines and illustrations and stamps and hundreds of collectible copies of the book all over the house. And while I'm sure there will be some squeam-worthy zombie action here, it sounds like one awesome reimagining of one of my favorite stories of all time. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

publisher: HarperTeen

release date: May 1st, 2012

paperback, 464 pages

intended audience: Young adult (recommend 14+)


source: from publisher for honest review

description: What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Review: One of my brilliant fellow bloggers told me drop whatever I was reading and read this ASAP. And so I did. And she was so right (thanks, Mindy!) I actually finished this book last week, devoured all nearly 500 pages of it in about two days, and it's taken me this long just to find the words to explain how much a I LOVED this book. Sweet Evil is one fantastic bit of storytelling. As much as it's been done in YA, I have to give Wendy Higgins huge props for taking the Angel & Demon concept and giving us something completely original and outstanding. It was fun and sexy and dangerous...not necessarily non-stop action, but just non-stop awesome.

If you read my reviews, you know how much importance I place on great characters. Sweet Evil brings it in this department. Anna, Kaidan, her family, his friends, and the whole creepy demonic cast---every single one of them jumped off the page and captured my interest. Anna, who has been raised by her adoptive mother with impeccable southern values, is just a joy to read. She has an unexplainable ability of being able to see other's emotions as glowing auras. Strangely enough, she also has a very disturbing draw to substance abuse---and she's about to find out why. Enter Kaidan Rowe. This mysterious drummer seems to have all the answers she's been looking for---but what he knows is still only a small piece of her story. What does a sweet southern girl do when she finds out the main purpose of her existence is to bring sin into the world?

Another really interesting and unique aspect of this story came with the relationship between the demons and their children. It was sort of a twisted aristocratic secret society and the nephilim were treated more as employees--- slaves, really, to do their parent's bidding or face sometimes deadly consequences. In contrast to that, was Anna and her father, who has been imprisoned since her birth. I loved how their part of the story played out. It was so surprising. I also loved Anna's adoptive mother, Patti--she was a fierce mama-bear. :)

The plot really has it all, a fantastic love story, a family drama, mortal danger and all manner of sins, heart-stopping seduction, bravery in the face of pure evil, and even a road trip adventure. I can't say it enough...READ THIS BOOK.

Visit Wendy Higgins site:

Purchase Sweet Evil at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound

No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop!

So excited to be participating in the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop! Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this!

Today I'm giving away one finished copy of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. This book is awesome, people. The book comes out on May 1st, so a copy will be pre-ordered as soon as the winner is picked. As the contest says, no strings attached---just a one-click entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the rest of the great blogs participating in the hop:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sweetness on Sunday: Raspberry Rosewater Cupcakes

Another little bit of yumminess for you here on Stories & Sweeties! :D
If you've never had anything with rosewater in it, you might be a little skeptical, but believe me, these are wonderful and the rosewater adds more of an aroma than an actual "taste" and no small bit of sophistication to a plain raspberry cupcake! As you lift the cupcake to take a bite, you get a little hint of the aroma of roses and sweet raspberries---it's a lovely cupcake experience! :)

Raspberry Rosewater Cupcakes:
For the cake:
white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup raspberry preserves (seedless if you want. I use Smuckers for this)

Mix first four ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the raspberry preserves and gently fold in until incorporated but not completely blended want to avoid the batter turning pink if you can. Spoon into prepared cupcake pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes at 350.

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temp
1/4 milk
1 tsp vanilla
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2-1 tsp rosewater
pink food coloring

Mix together first three ingredients and 3 cups of powdered sugar until smooth. Add in additional powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until frosting is creamy, smooth and still a little firm if you want to pipe it. Mix in the rosewater 1/2 tsp at a time until it is enough for your tastes, and just a touch of pink food coloring.

Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with a fresh raspberry. Eat, eat, enjoy! :D

Until next time...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox {111}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren,
where we all share what we got during the week.

My lovelies for the week:
For Review:
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
This is a duplicate copy, but it's a lovely finished hardcover, so be on the lookout for a giveaway of my ARC!

Silence by Michelle Sagara West
SO excited to read this one. It sounds amazing!

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
Ok, so I've always wanted to read this series, but haven't yet. This came for review so I definitely want to read it, but sneaking in 12 books to my reading schedule is not gonna happen...who wants to fill me in on the series so far
? xD Does it read like most YA series, where I would be completely lost if I just jumped into this one?

Huge thanks to HarperTeen & Penguin for these!!

That's all for this week!

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my "In YOUR Mailbox" giveaway from last week for a huge stack of lovely ARCs!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Life Is But A Dream by Brian James

Life Is But A Dream by Brian James

publisher: Feiwel & Friends

release date: March 27th, 2012

hardcover, 234 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: from publisher for honest review

description: Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? her decision may have fatal consequences.

Brian James calls Life is But a Dream "the most intense book I've written. Bringing this unique character to life and seeing the world through her eyes, with all its beauty and confusion, was an immense challenge that I hope is just as rewarding to read as it was to write." Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely.

Review: Reading Life Is But a Dream is such a strange surreal experience, and one that definitely takes a few pages to really sink into. Sure there have been many book about characters dealing with schizophrenia, but how many have you read that are told from a first person perspective? This was a first time for me, and looking through Sabrina's eyes, with her world full of colors and landscapes that change with the swipe of her hand, and who doesn't know where her dreams end and the real world begins---it is mind-boggling, surreal, and emotionally exhausting. For such a short book, this actually took me most of a week to read because told in her POV, you really feel both the intensity with which she believes in her own way of seeing the world, and her confusion, especially once Alec convinces her to secretly stop her treatment and her world starts to spin out of control. While not a pleasant read by any means, it was incredibly fascinating.

It also showed how caring for someone so much can blind you to seeing what is best for them. In Alec's case, he definitely had some major problems of his own---anger issues, family issues---but I truly believed he loved Sabrina and wanted to believe that her condition was something creative and imaginative, instead of a completely lost grip on reality. As a spectator on their lives, I couldn't help but be angry that he was given so much access to her in the first place! She looked at the world with so much innocence, I just wanted to shake him and yell "You're not helping her!" It was so sad to see him so easily derail her treatment, so heartbreaking to see him think he is helping her when he is hurting her so much in the process.

Beautifully written, and characters that emotionally bind you to them, but a hard, emotionally taxing read.

My favorite quote: "I think about the girls I was friends with in elementary school and junior high and how they now spend so much of their energy hating so many of the things we loved back then because they are afraid of liking something that makes them different. All of them are so hypnotized by the spinning of the world that they don't realize they are simply dizzy."

Visit Brian James' website:

Purchase Life Is But A Dream: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rock the Drop!!

I'm rocking the drop today in support of Teen Lit Day!! This yearly event is hosted by Readergirlz, and book lovers across the country are dropping books in parks, bus-stops, restaurants, etc, for some lucky reader to find!! HarperTeen has generously sent a box of books that I'll be leaving around my area. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@storiesweeties) and the hashtag #rockthedrop because I'll be taking photos and tweeting the location of where I drop them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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.

Blink Once
by Cylin Busby

hitting shelves September 4th, 2012 from Bloomsbury

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia.

She’s the girl next door—sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he’s been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia—to love her, even—certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he’s fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.

My thoughts: Lots of elements that call out to me in this one! Medical mysteries, strange nightmares, and what sounds like the potential for a bizarre love story. This one is definitely on my radar!

Monday, April 9, 2012

IBBA: Please Vote for Stories & Sweeties!!

I need the help of all my blog readers today! :D I'm sure a lot of you have heard about this already, but Goodreads is hosting a fantastic competition called the Independent Book Blogger Awards and Stories & Sweeties is in the running! They are awarding four book blogs in four different categories with a trip to Book Expo America in NYC in June!! Living all the way over in California and on a family budget, I can't begin to tell you how amazing it would be to be able to attend BEA!! The blogs are judged in the finals based on writing, analysis, design and presentation, as well as reader impact---but to get to the finals, my readers have to vote me there first!

So please take a few minutes to cast a vote to get Stories & Sweeties to the finals! I would be so, so grateful for your help & support! Vote below, or come back any time through April 23rd to vote through the link at the top left-hand sidebar!

Independent Book Blogger Awards

Vote for this blog for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Not In My Mailbox...In YOUR Mailbox!!

Ok, guys...sorry about the last few days of blog silence. I came down with a nasty cold and was pretty much in bed for the past few days. UGH. Glad that's over. Well, almost. I'm out of bed, but still feeling a little fuzzy. I'll get there.


I didn't actually get anything in my mailbox this week. Nothing for review, I didn't buy anything (pat on the head), and no moments of weakness at the library. I'm afraid I have nothing to show you, BUT...

Let's talk about YOUR mailbox!!!

In just a few weeks, one of you lucky-duck blog readers is going to have this lovely lot of 2011-2012 ARCs in their mailbox!SO WHO WANTS IT??
Just fill out THIS FORM :)

•US addresses only. (Sorry!)
•Must be 13 or older
•Ends May 5th, 2012

Good Luck!! ♣

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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 Gennifer Albin

hitting shelves October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

My thoughts: The Fates! This sounds very cool. I love mythology-based stories, so this one about a guild that weaves the fabric of life definitely catches my attention! And look at that cover! Beautiful colors and a unique design that makes me think of threads flying everywhere. Gorgeous!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's New: April YA Releases & Giveaway!!

April!! Well, they weren't kidding about April Showers. I've been dying to get out and plant some pretty flowers and get my herb garden going for the season, but no...we've had rain and rain and more rain. Today was the first clear day for awhile. Sigh. On the other hand---rainy days make for a great excuse to sit on the couch and read all day long with a cup of hot chocolate. :)

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 off, the winner of March's giveaway was: Leanna @ Daisy Chain Book Reviews. Congrats, Leanna!!

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

Above by Leah Bobet
Cat Girl's Day Off by Kimberly Pauley
Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson
The List by Soibhan Vivian
Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Black Heart by Holly Black
The Fame Game by Lauren Conrad
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Immortal City by Scott Speer
The Marked by Inara Scott
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Belles by Jen Calonita
The Book of Blood and Shadows by Robin Wasserman

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Crater by Homer Hickman
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo
Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mademoiselle Odile by James Reese
Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter

Losers in Space by John Barnes
Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand
Though Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
The Last Apprentice: Grimalkin the Witch Assassin by Joseph Delaney
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Liberator by Richard Harland
Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers
Ascend by Amanda Hocking
Blood Born by Jamie Manning
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Dark Eden: Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman
The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Purity by Jackson Pearce
Rebel Fire by Andrew Lane
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
Spirit's Princess by Esther Friesner
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
Thumped by Megan McCafferty
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Zero by Tom Leveen

The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony
Seven Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

(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 April Release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends May 1st, 2012
• Must be 13 or older
• Open internationally. *International winners will be required to choose a book that is available through

I've switched it up a bit this month and am using rafflecopter, so there are some extra entries if you want them! I'd love to hear some feedback on this---do you prefer rafflecopter or the google doc entry form?

a Rafflecopter giveaway