Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Waiting on...

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for. Though actually it almost never gets posted on Wednesday LOL.
by E.K. Johnston

hitting shelves October 6th, 2015 
from Disney-Hyperion
LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My thoughts:
Fabulous cover and with all the promise of myth, magic and monsters, I am SO ON BOARD. :)


Monday, March 30, 2015

Lies I Told Blog Tour! 10 Random Facts about Michelle Zink!!


Today I'm thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Lies I Told by Michelle Zink!  Michelle was one of the first authors I read that really got me hooked on YA, and I've been a fan ever since! Read on to find out more about her latest book, learn 10 fun facts about her, and enter to win an awesome Lies I Told Prize Pack!



What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself?

Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.

But it’s all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught...including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.


COMING APRIL 7TH from HARPERTEEN!


Michelle Zink: 10 fabulous facts!

  1. I was born in Northern California and spent most of my adolescence in Southern California.
  2. I’ve lived in eight different states, and until the house I live in now, had never lived in one place longer than three years.
  3. I’m secretly addicted to a game/app called Covet.
  4. The fact that this is a fashion game and I spend 80% of my time working in pajamas is an irony not lost on me.
  5. Cats.
  6. I cry easily in movies (and even commercials) but will fight valiantly to make sure no one sees me doing it.
  7. I’m a bit of a foodie, but I rarely measure anything. This results in recipes with instructions like, “Then you just throw some balsamic in there…”
  8. I’m not a great everyday friend. I forget birthdays and generally just drop off the earth for long periods of time. But if you need me, I’m there.
  9. Prophecy of the Sisters, my first published book, was my fifth complete project (aka Keep Writing).
  10. I’m a huge movie junkie and see at least one movie every Friday with my teenagers. Whoever is with us gets to hear our post-movie analysis. Whether they want to or not. ;)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Zink is the award-winning author of six published novels and six novellas. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters, was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels and a Booklist Top Ten YA novel. It was also on the Lonestar List, New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best. Her character, Alice, is the recipient of the Best Villain Award from the Teen Read Awards, an award won in competition with Lord Voldemort. Michelle’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and published in over twenty countries. She lives in New York in an old converted barn with too many teenagers and too many cats.

 WEBSITE   TWITTER  •   FACEBOOK  •  TUMBLR

*        *        *        *        *
Michelle has put together a fantastic prize pack for each tour stop, including a signed finished copy of  the book, a peacock pocket mirror, and a bookmark!! UM...can I enter my own contest??? hehe...
•Open to US/CAN mailing addresses
•Ends 4/13/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {121}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

Here's what's new on my shelf this week:
For Review: 
Super excited to Jackson Pearce take on MG! :)
Ack, I didn't realize this was a sequel when I accepted this one for review..will have to track down book one. 
This looks so fun and right up my alley! Many thanks to the author for offering a gorgeous signed hardcopy! 

Many thanks to Bloomsbury, St. Martins, and Gregory Funaro for these! 

Well, I'm going to skip the usual weekly rundown, because I only posted once for Waiting on Wednesday. I've gone and caught a horrible cold or allergies or something completely hiddeous.  UGH my whole head is in pain, but especially my eyes so I haven't been reading much at all either. Just sleeping and watch copious amounts of Dr Who, Fixer Upper, and Graham Norton when I can stand to have my eyes open.  Lots of tea (my lovely daughter brings home a yummy blend from work at Teavana that actually helps congestion) and lots of rest and I'm sure to be all fixed up soon.  

I hope you all had a more enjoyable week! :D

Tuesday, March 24, 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 Rebecca Hahn

hitting shelves September 1st, 2015 
from Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…

Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.

So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.

My thoughts:
I loved Rebecca Hahn's debut, A Creature of Moonlight, absolutely gorgeous writing style with such a classic fairy tale feel. Now I can't wait to see her take on mythology. Plus, beautiful cover! The author tweeted about the finished cover--it has a metallic swirl effect that looks almost holographic! Check it out here!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {120}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

Here's the fun stuff that landed on my doorstep this week! :)
 A lovely package from Bloomsbury!
Women Who Broke the Rules:  Sacajawea & Judy Blume by Kathleen Krull
How fantastic are these!  
This cover gives me chills and  the story sounds intense!   
This looks like it's going to be a tearjerker. Hopefully a good one, though!  



This week I read Burning Kingdoms and, while I planned to read Miss Mayhem next, I found myself drawn to picking up Beastkeeper, so that's what I'm reading now. :) Then there are two books I have to read on a deadline, so most likely those are up next. I'm excited for both though, so that's good! But *sigh* someday soon I'll get to Miss Mayhem!  Beastkeeper has a very good fairy tale vibe though, and I'm enjoying it so far. 
Not much else going on this week, except that my car has died on me. UGH :(  A month before I was planning to get a new one. Double-UGH.  It's going to be an interesting next few weeks.
Have a great week, everyone! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma {review}

The Walls Around Us 
by Nova Ren Suma
♦publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
♦release date: March 24th, 2015
♦hardcover 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦stand-alone
♦source: from publisher for honest review
“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Review: This book. Wow. I’ve read other books by Nova Ren Suma before and she has such a gorgeous, haunting, and sometimes gritty writing style. The Walls Around Us is definitely no exception to that.  I haven’t read anything like it before and I thought it was stunning.

In this story, two girls tell their tales of guilt, regret, truth, and vengeance.  Violet is a serious ballet dancer, clawing her way to the top.  She’s about to leave for Julliard, doing one last show with her current school, when she receives a gruesome gift that makes it clear that the past is not forgotten. Three years ago, her best friend, Orianna, was charged with murder and sent to a detention facility, and only Violet knows what truly happened.  The other girl, Amber, is an inmate at the facility who crosses paths with Orianna---but she’s been dead for three years.

Amber and Violet are both bold, unforgettable voices full of emotion, hurt, guilt, and near madness at times. It’s incredibly fascinating getting inside each one’s thoughts and emotions, seeing how they think after the the things they have both done and been through.
The two (three actually, if you count Orianna, though she is only spoken of by the other two) characters are developed in a way that makes you care for them and not trust them and so curious about what will happen to them all at once.  The story in unrelenting in its intensity, told in line after line of beautifully crafted prose that sear themselves into your mind. There are scenes in this story that I don’t think I will ever forget. And it’s all in the way they are written---the truth seeps out in almost abstract ways that sneak up on you, then suddenly it’s crystal clear and knocking you sideways. 

It's an absolutely mezmerizing story from start to finish. The Walls Around Us is a daunting and gritty tale, but one that you do not want to miss. 
Find Nova Ren Suma online: Website  •  Twitter 

Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Tuesday, March 17, 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  Linda Buckley-Archer

 hitting shelves October 20th, 2015
from Simon & Schuster

An English teen questions all she knows about aging when she encounters a set of journals that date from the present back to the reign of King Louis XIV in this blend of contemporary and historical fiction from the author of the acclaimed Gideon trilogy.

Stella Park (Spark for short) has found summer work cataloging historical archives in John Stone’s remote and beautiful house in Suffolk, England. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and her uncertainty about living at Stowney House only increases upon arriving: what kind of people live in the twenty-first century without using electricity, telephones, or even a washing machine? Additionally, the notebooks she’s organizing span centuries—they begin in the court of Louis XIV in Versailles—but are written in the same hand. Something strange is going on for sure, and Spark’s questions are piling up. Who exactly is John Stone? What connection does he have to these notebooks? And more importantly, why did he hire her in the first place?

My thoughts:
Yesssss. Not sure how I missed this one, but I am so excited now!! Linda Buckley-Archer wrote the Gideon Trilogy which hubs and I both loved, and hasn't written anything since the last book came out in 2009. Now I find out she's coming out with a YA historical!! Eeeee! :D 

Monday, March 16, 2015

FINALLY!! :D

HURRAY! Two of my most anticipated covers of 2015 were revealed this past week! Fall cannot come fast enough for me, mostly because of these two books!!
They've done a fantastic job with all the covers of this series.  I can't wait to read more about Winter (who of course we met just briefly in Cress!)

 Absolutely love that they kept with the same style as Jackaby's cover, though I admit it's not quite as striking as the teal and red was. I still love it, though! :D

What do you think of these?  
And what are some of your most anticipated cover reveals for this year??

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {119}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

It's been a few weeks since I did one of these posts! Here's what's recently been added to my shelves:
 For review:
Lovely finished copy! Reading this right now!
This looks fantastic and I loved her debut steampunk series!
I may have danced around and petted this book a bit when it arrived. :D It has one of those lovely suede-feel covers, so that's okay right?
I hadn't heard of this one before, but it looks so good! Excited to give it a try.

Purchased: 
I came across the second book in this series and was tempted by all the amazing reviews of this one. Plus...the cover!! I had some credit on my BN account that was about to expire so I went for it. :) 

Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster, Scholastic Press, Thomas Nelson Books, and HarperTeen for the lovely review copies! :D



This week I finished up The Walls Around Us---absolutely incredible. Full review to come, of course, but if you have this waiting on your tbr, I highly recommend it! After Burning Kingdoms, I'm starting Miss Mayhem as I am in dire need of a bit of Rachel Hawkins humor. I've been reading so many dark and serious things lately---need a little fun!!
Oh I saw The DUFF last week! Daughter and I loved it.  Now, I haven't read the book, so I can't vouch for how well it stuck to the storyline or anything, but I do love Mae Whitman. She's got such great comedic timing and I thought she was perfect for this.  That's all that's going on here, so I'm going to wrap this up and get back to reading my book! :D
Happy reading, everyone! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

First Impressions Review: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren Destefano

First Impression Reviews is a new feature here at Stories & Sweeties where I give my first thoughts at 50-100 pages into a book. For a details about this feature, go here!



where I'm at: pg 57

first impressions: So excited to be continuing this series.  Last year, I gave Perfect Ruin 4.5 cupcakes--but the funny thing was, I loved the beginning, almost DNFed at about 120 pages in, and then picked it back up, got sucked back in and ended up loving it.  So I'm curious to see how this one will be for me. As of right now--LOVING it. So that's good. lol

Burning Kingdoms picks up exactly where Perfect Ruin left off, down to the minute!  NOTE: Don't read past this point if you haven't read book 1!>>
Morgan and the rest of the crew have landed on the ground and are taken in by the family of the King's right hand man. They are all astounded by how different things are on the ground: the customs, the food, the weather,...not to mention, it seems they've landed in a world on the brink of war.  I love all the new characters---the family is made up of quite a few children (another thing that shocks them since the population is under such tight control on Internment) and the oldest two are right around Morgan's age. I can tell already the eldest boy, Nimble and the oldest girl, Birdie, are going to add some fun twists to this story. Morgan and friends are very wary of their father and the King's intentions for them, though, so the tension is very high!

This is starting out really well, I tend to love stories that take a look at the earthly world from an outsider perspective---there's something wondrous about seeing a character in awe over snow and the ocean and even eggs for breakfast, things we take so much for granted. Plus, it seems there are a few fantastical things happening as well on this version of "earth". 

Once again, Lauren Destano takes our world and adds her own creative and compelling spin to it. I can't wait to see what else is in store!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury {review}

The Sin Eater's Daughter
by Melinda Salisbury
♦publisher: Scholastic Press
♦release date: February 24th, 2015
♦paperback, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Sin Eater's Daughter, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...

Review: For the most part, I really enjoyed this one. I loved the unique bizarre customs of the land it takes place in, loved the stoic voice that Twylla tells her story in when we first meet her.  She's a girl who's life is very much out of her control. She made a choice to become the embodiment of the God's when she was too young to really know what it meant, and as a means to escape the destiny that she was born into---as the daughter of a Sin Eater.  Her mother is a massive woman who ritually eat's a meal off the coffin of the dead, a meal meant to symbolize their sins. It's not hard to see why a young girl would do anything to escape this morbid fate.

But Twylla hates her new lot in life even more---as an executioner to those who commit treason.  She's been mysteriously imbued with the powers of the Gods and no one can touch her or they'll be struck down by the poison in her skin. So she is completely alone. But in her voice you can feel that she is almost accepting of it, like she's just gone numb.  Then she meets Leif--a new guard who finally treats her like a person, not a weapon, not a God, but a girl.  I loved watching the two of them grow closer and I loved the realization that she comes to because of him.

BUT...
Once it got to the part where they were in love, sadly this was where the story kind of lost me.  At first it was sweet, and then it just seemed they both lost their minds and any common sense. (Whited out for spoilers)>>Why on earth would they act so carelessly in a room that both the queen and the Prince could walk into at any moment?? I understood they were falling in love, but that was just asking to be caught in the act. <<(end spoilers).

And THEN...what a love-story twist at the end!  It's quite a heart-wrenching shocker, whether you like their relationship or not.  Also, there's an odd twist to the plot as a whole, and I wasn't sure if I liked it or not; it brought in a danger that seemed like it didn't have much to do with the whole rest of the story, had only been slightly mentioned in passing and suddenly it was the whole threat. It just felt a bit disjointed. 

I actually loved the very end though, loved where Twylla ended up---might be one of my favorite results of a love triangle ever! I know this is a series with more to come, but actually I'd have been quite satisfied even if was a stand alone!  I may still read the rest of the series, but really, it was a great ending on it's own!  Despite a few issues, I really enjoyed this dark fantasy quite a bit.
 Find Melinda Salisbury online:  Website  •  Twitter  

Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Tuesday, March 10, 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  

 hitting shelves August 18th, 2015
from Kathy Dawson Books

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season--when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17--is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season--whether she’s ready or not.

My thoughts: 
This sounds very Alice Hoffman-esque to me. Which is a good thing ;) I do love long-hidden magical family secrets! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Shadow Scale Blog Tour Giveaway!

To celebrate tomorrow's release of Shadow Scale, the fantastic follow-up to Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, the wonderful folks at Random House are letting me give away two finished copies!!


About the book:
The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?

Don't forget, there will be TWO winners!
Enter below!
•US/CAN mailing addresses only please
• Ends 3/23/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 6, 2015

When My Heart was Wicked by Tricia Stirling {review}


When My Heart Was Wicked
by Tricia Stirling
♦publisher: Scholastic Press
♦release date: February 24th, 2015
♦hardcover, 192 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦stand-alone
♦source: from publisher for honest review
"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing power of plants. So when her father dies, Lacy tries to stay with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good and healing. She fears the darkness that her real mother, Cheyenne, brings out, stripping away everything that is light and kind.

Yet Cheyenne never stays away for long. Beautiful, bewitching, unstable Cheyenne who will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to keep control of her daughter's heart. She forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and before long, the "old" Lacy starts to resurface.

But when Lacy survives a traumatic encounter, she finds herself faced with a choice. Will she use her powers to exact revenge and spiral into the darkness forever? Or will she find the strength to embrace the light?

Review: While When My Heart was Wicked was an interesting read and a very short one at that, I found I kind of struggled through it, begrudgingly picking it up each time.  I wasn’t easily drawn into the plight of the main character, Lacy, and couldn’t get into the writing style, turned off both by the use of first-person present tense which left me feeling a bit removed from everything going on, and by the addition of random offensive material that I wasn’t sure why it was in the story at all (i.e. Lacy talks about how one of her teachers racially slurs a classmate on a daily basis and everyone seems to think that’s alright because the teacher is, in general, “a douche”). Still, at times the writing is intense and takes us along for Lacy’s struggle to control the mean spirit that her mother brings out in her, her grief for her father and her old life, and her love/hate relationship with the unpredictable mother who abandoned her and has now resurfaced.  There were times I felt for Lacy and other times I just felt letting herself go down a dark road, using her mother as an excuse to become that person again.  I did like that she was smart and that she was very close to her stepmom who taught her natural magick. She seemed to love practicing light magic, but also seemed to have a pretty flimsy grasp on that desire when it was challenged.

I appreciated the parallels that the author created between Lacy and Holden Caulfield while she's reading Catcher in the Rye. I could completely see how Lacy would see herself in that character. I also liked the friendships she made while at her new school, though at times the guy, Martin, seemed more like a 12-year-old than 16 or 17.  

I did like how through most of the story, it’s never actually clear if the magic that Lacy believes in is real of just her own feelings of power (or lack thereof) over her own life. I was really enjoying that as a theme, then suddenly the story takes a bizarre twist and the magic becomes very literal---it was kind of jarring and, for me, took away from the impact and emotion of seeing Lacy realize that she can decide for herself if she wants to be good or evil.

I can’t pinpoint if this book just wasn’t what I was expecting, or not what I was in the mood for---either way, the story as a whole just didn’t work for me.
Find Tricia Stirling online:  Website  •  Twitter   •  Facebook

Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

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:

Ebook_COMBINED_TheLostImperials

and Amazon.com will offer an exclusive flip book print edition!

flipbookcover

PRODIGAL:

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.

RIVEN:

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!
 
{1}

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

{3}
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
 
{8}

Out of the Dragon's Mouth by Joyce Burns Zeiss
 
{10}

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

{17} 
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

{24} 

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

{31} 

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 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