Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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.

Dead Silent 
by Sharon Jones

hitting shelves February 6, 2014 from Orchard Books

A snow angel etched in blood. An elite society. A secret dying to get out.

The second Poppy Sinclair Thriller.

My Thoughts: OK, so the synopsis is not much to go on, but we do have the trailer!

I really enjoyed the first book in the series (check out my review), and this one looks like another fantastic setting for Poppy Sinclair to solve a mystery!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, Sweeties!

I'm on a bit of an unplanned hiatus right now, but I wanted to stop in and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year! I hope you're all out there spending time with your families and making wonderful memories and eating lots of goodies!! :D

I'll be back soon!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Becky's View: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
♦publisher: Disney-Hyperion
♦release date: December 10th, 2013
♦hardcover, 374 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Starbound, book 1
♦source: gifted
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

This book. THIS BOOK.  ♥♥♥

Most of the time, I don’t really go for survival stories, and I’ve even started to cool a bit toward the dystopian/sci-fi genre, but this book brought me right back into love with both.   The scope of These Broken Stars just feels so grand, and romance builds so genuinely that it doesn’t overpower the story. It's just the perfect blend of so many things that really make this story shine.

The Icarus is basically like the Titanic in space.   Wealthy, spoiled heiress Lilac, daughter of the ship’s creator, is on board.  Tarver, a recently decorated war hero , is on his way home to his family.  The story is told in alternating POV by these two and that worked so perfectly for this story to fully bring the reader into their completely opposite worlds.  They catch each other’s eye almost immediately, but their second encounter ends in disaster. 

And then the ship goes down.

Tarver and Lilac find themselves thrown together on a deserted planet.  As much as they try to keep hating each other---sometimes to emotionally protect themselves, sometimes to protect the other---they each can’t help but be surprised by the other’s cleverness, kindness, or unexpected skill.  I love how slowly the ice melted between them and how the reader gets to ease into knowing each of these characters back story and the reasons for being the way they are.

What I loved most is the eerie feeling of the planet itself.  The mystery surrounding the lack of life or terraforming,  the creepy, haunting occurances that start to happen, the psychological  play between madness, hallucination, or…something else.  It all had a very “Twilight Zone” type of feel to it.  There are a few wicked twists that will literally tear your heart out and leave your jaw gaping.

Beautifully crafted storytelling, a tale that I found myself swallowed up into from the beginning and hypnotized by until the end.

Find Amie Kaufman online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook
Find Meagan Spooner online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase These Broken Stars: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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.
The Looking Glass
by Jessica Arnold 

hitting shelves February 25th, 2014 from Month9Books

Find the diary, break the curse, step through The Looking Glass!

Fifteen-year-old Alice Montgomery wakes up in the lobby of the B&B where she has been vacationing with her family, to a startling discovery. No one can see or hear her! The cheap desk lights have been replaced with gas lamps and the linoleum tiled floor with hardwood and rich Oriental carpeting. Someone has replaced the artwork with eerie paintings of Elizabeth Blackwell, the insane actress and rumored witch who killed herself at the hotel in the 1880s. Alice watches from behind The Looking Glass where she is haunted by Elizabeth Blackwell.

Trapped in the 19th century version of the hotel, Alice must figure out a way to break Elizabeth’s curse—with the help of Elizabeth's old diary and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is investigating the haunted B&B—before she becomes the inn's next victim.

My thoughts: I am always up for another trippy take on Alice in Wonderland, and with the addition of ghosts of insane actresses and haunted B&Bs, this sounds like a fun read! Plus an outstanding cover.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Extracted Blog Tour: Time Travel & Steampunk!!

Welcome to this stop on the blog tour for Extracted!! Today I have a fun guest post from authors Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley where they'll tell us a little about their inspiration to meld Time Travel with Steampunk!!  Below, don't forget to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite Touch!

About the book:

Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex's girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It's there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both again.

Steampunk + Time Travel = Match Made in Heaven

One of our most commonly asked questions is “Why did you combine steampunk with time travel?”  Well the answer is quite simple and complicated…just like time travel.  We didn’t really set out with intentions to write a steampunk novel; it truly came organically.  As we were writing our outline, we fell in love with it and then moved on to world creation.  To be honest, I had never heard of steampunk, and as we were creating our world Sherry said, “You realize you’re turning this into a steampunk novel, right?” 

After a little research we realized that steampunk just fit with what we were creating.  The world is a great blend of advanced technologies and archaic ones. Being a time travel novel, it allows us to explore and blend modern, futuristic, and turn of the century sciences all under the same umbrella. What’s not strictly steampunk is the dialogue.  We didn’t do Victorian Era dialogue because 1) It’s not our thing 2) It really didn’t fit with the book and 3) We wanted it to get published before 2020 and that’s how long it would have taken us to write it, (see reason 1).

One of the best perks of it becoming a steampunk novel were all the sweet conventions we’ve gotten to attend.  Portland’s Gear Con was a blast, plus we got to eat VooDoo Dougnuts.

 In the spring we attended Anomaly Con where we unveiled the official Extracted trailer:

And, of course, Comic Con NYC was pretty much our dream come true:

While we didn’t set out to write a steampunk novel, we are so happy we did.  We’ve been introduced into this amazing world with some of the most dedicated fans. 

  *  *  *  *  *  *

About the authors: 

Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full-time writer and internet radio show host with more mouth then good sense. She has a serious book addiction, but continually refuses treatment, much to her husband’s chagrin.
Tyler and Sherry met one fateful day and bonded over their love for books, science fiction, and donuts. Their first co-written novel came shortly after. Now, they still do all those other things, but also go to various steampunk conventions and events under the guise of ‘research’. They can often be found lurking on the Lost Imperials Facebook page or over on the official website, www.thelostimperials.com.   

Find Extracted:
Amazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound  •  Goodreads 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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.
Born of Deception
by Teri Brown

hitting shelves June 10, 2014 from HarperTeen

Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.

My Thoughts:   With Born of Illusion still holding a spot as one of my favorites of 2013 (check out my review), Born of Deception is definitely going to be at the top of my most anticipated reads for 2014!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {70}

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)

I haven't done one of these for a while, but here's what I've received recently! 
( Lots of faces! :D )
 For review:
Starters and Enders by Lissa Price 
Interesting looking series!
Infinite by Jodi Meadows (!!!)
I LOVE this series, so excited to see how it ends!
Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce (!!!)
I've read a bit of this, loving so far! Snow Queen and werewolves!
Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
Not YA, but this looks super cute.  

The Weekly Nutshell:


Friday, December 6, 2013

Curtsies & Conspiracies: Event Recap & Signed Series Giveaway!

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a great event at Copperfields Books
in Petaluma, CA for author Gail Carriger, on tour to present Curtsies and Conspiracies to the world!  First I want to tell you all, if this author comes anywhere near your town, definitely don’t miss the chance to see her! She is such a great author to meet and hear speak about her writing.  She loves to entertain and it shows.  The second she walks into the room, she makes an impact with her adorable outfits (I’ve actually met her twice and both times she was dress to the nines in such chic retro dresses!)   Plus her books have a huge dedicated fan base, so you’ll often spot a few event-goers in full steampunk costumes!

The event was kicked off with pizza and red vines and we were all treated to the book’s awesome trailer played on a very antique looking movie projector screen.  Gail went on to tell a little bit about Cursties & Conspiracies and then opened the floor for questions.   She let us in on lots of fun facts and talked about her writerly ways.  When asked the classic “where do you get your ideas from” question (I think I’ve heard this question at every author event I’ve ever attended) she had the whole room laughing with her answer:  “My ass. If I sit on it long enough the stories ideas will come!”  Then she got serious and told us how small ideas grow and grow with a lot of “what if’s” and how worlds are built from being shaped around smaller details and what she called “thought experiments”.  I personally love the steampunk worlds she has created so it was fascinating to hear about her creative process.  She also mentioned that she loves Tamara Pierce---her desert island book is The Forgotten Beast of Eld---but that she doesn’t read anything but non-fiction when she’s writing.

She shared so much great insight on her books!  If you happen to be a fan of her adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, apparently the Finishing School is about the same world several years earlier.   A few characters from one can be spotted in the other, and she had so much fun dropping in little “cookies” for readers of both series to pick up on.   She definitely made me want to go back and read her first series!  Especially when she said that one setting in her third book, Blameless, is in Egypt and was her first excavation site when she was an archeologist!  I’m a sucker for little details like that!

When asked about the writing style and the language in the books, she answered that they are a fun gentle parody of Victorian times and language.  I heartily agreed with that---I love the liveliness of her writing and how readable and hilarious it all is for an era that is known for its propriety and manners.

There are two more books to come in the Finishing School series! They will be Waistcoats & Weaponry in 2014 and Manner & Mutiny in 2015.  Also, another adult series in this same world is in the works based on one of the characters from the Parasol Protectorate! Prudence will be out October 2015 (Gail says it must face a few rewrites because it’s just not funny enough yet!)

Definitely a fantastic author to see if you ever get the chance.  But wait…see what Gail is doing right here?? She is signing gorgeous copies of her book.  And guess what?  I got two extra signed copies for one lucky winner!!

 Enter below to win a signed paperback of Etiquette & Espionage and a signed ARC of Curtsies & Conspiracies!!

•US mailing addresses only
•Must be 13 or older
•Ends 12/26/13

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Becky's View: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
♦publisher: Little, Brown
♦release date: November 5th, 2013
♦hardcover, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Finishing School, book 2
  review of book 1, Etiquette & Espionage
♦source: from trade
Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to bestselling author Gail Carriger's YA debut Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

Review: It’s so easy to fall back into Gail Carriger’s cool steampunk world of espionage and tea time, mechanimals and fancy ball gowns.  In Curtsies and Conspiracies, Sophronia is knee deep into all the intrigue again, sneaking around their floating airship finishing school, deftly using her training as an intelligencer to discover the purpose of a mysterious gadget, what it has to do with the groundbreaking airship flight into the aethersphere, and why someone would be trying to kidnap her best friends, Dimity and Pillover. 

This series is just a joy to read. Carriger infuses her storytelling and her characters with such great humor and gusto.  Each one is memorable, every single one, including most of the teachers.  Even with almost a year between this book and the last, the characters still felt familiar like old friends.  Not only that, but each book has it’s own story arc, so I think someone coming into the series at book two would catch on easily enough to really enjoy it on its own .

There are some new faces this time around, my favorite being Felix, a slightly goth but utterly charming and funny boy.  All the characters are definitely a bit more grown up this year---Sophronia is 15 now---and her sweet friendship with Soap is evolving in adorable and awkward ways. With him, she faces the age old dilemma of not wanting to lose a great friendship by letting it grow into something else.   With the appearance of Felix, there is a little bit of a triangle forming, so we’ll see where that goes!  Vieve, just as much of a firecracker as ever, is actually a big part of the story this time around, as her and Sophronia strike a deal to finagle her way into the boy’s school for evil geniuses.  This leads to plenty of madcap adventure and espionage.  

Lots going on in this one---and I loved the chaotic and humorous climax scene, it definitely made me think of an old silent movie.  With all the gowns and gadgets and manners and creatures; this whole steampunk world is so fully imagined and visual.  If there is one series that I would love to see brought to life in a movie, even just for the imagery alone, this is it.   It would be gorgeous! 

Two more books are still to come in this series. Waistcoats and Weaponry and Manners and Mutiny.  These will both definitely be on my must –read list in 2014 and 2015!

Find Gail Carriger online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Etiquette & Espionage:  Amazon  •  BookDepository.com  •  Indiebound 

Trailer of awesome!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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.
The Seers 
by Julianna Scott
hitting shelves February 4th, 2014 from Strange Chemistry
After nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue — Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike... but is he willing to help?

Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out for Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.

A race to uncover Ciaran’s secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.

My thoughts: LOVED book one, The Holders (see my review here) so I can't wait to see this story continue!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Becky's View: The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist + Giveaway!

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
♦publisher: Running Press Kids
♦release date: October 22nd, 2013
♦paperback, 352 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Opal Mask, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face--including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

Review: Upon turning the last page of The Princess in the Opal Mask, I couldn't help but wish for a copy that was leather-bound, edges tipped in gold, maybe an illustrated copy full of gorgeous hand-drawn pictures to give it the outside that matched the beautiful tale inside.  Not that the cover isn't gorgeous---it definitely is and fits the story so well---but this story feels like one of the fairy tale classics.  Vast kingdoms with deep legends and histories, intrigue and secrets, royalty and their advisors, each with their own hidden agendas.  And in the midst of it all, two girls who are searching for their true selves.  One has been raised to rule, the other seems born to, but both are lost in the chaos of conspirators all around them.  

The story is told in alternating points of view.  Elara is a poor girl living with a cruel adopted family. She has endured solely by her own strength of mind and by putting on a good act, and her treatment has only made her stronger and able to cope with any situation, and also more determined that ever to find out where she came from. She knows how to guard herself and her emotions and do what needs to be done to survive, whether that means manipulating those around her or wielding a dagger.   Wilha is raised as a princess in the opal palace, but also as nearly a prisoner. No one will tell her why she must wear the masks. Rumors fly around the kingdom, even among her own servants, about her hidden ugliness, or her ability to curse or bless anyone who sees her...or the horrible tale that her mother died, cursed just from looking at Wilha's uncovered face.  She is not thick-skinned and the way she is feared hurts her deeply, leaving her feeling completely alone.  When they meet, the truth about who each of them is and why they were raised the way they were will come out and their lives will both change forever. 

The story really kicks off when the two are brought together and both are sent to the kingdom of Kyrenica, a rival kingdom.  I loved seeing how both cities are set against each other based on rumors and prejudices, how both sides have hatred for each other based on nothing but an old legend. With dangerous war-mongering men determined to keep the two kingdoms at each others throats, and loyalties constantly in question, both girls will learn that who you can trust is not always obvious or instinctual.  Elara and Wilha and the paths they take not only break through all of that, but help them find their own places in the world and they both end up thriving in lives that neither could have ever imagined. 

So much love for this book!  It's a fun and fast read, gorgeous world-building of two very different kingdoms, all with the feel of a grand fairy tale adventure. There is more to come from this series, and I can't wait to see where Elara and Wilha's lives will lead them!
Find Jenny Lundquist online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase the book:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

This is definitely a book I want to share!!
I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! 

•US mailing addresses only
•Must be 13 or older
•Ends 12/17/13
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"What's New": December YA Releases & Giveaway

Well I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday! You might have noticed it's been a bit quiet around here lately; I went on a little unplanned hiatus for a few weeks due to a few health issues and other distractions.   It was nice to just take it easy for a while, take a little break from everything, and spend a nice Thanksgiving with my family. :)

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 November's giveaway was: Katie! Congratulations! :D
(I know there is probably more than one Katie that entered lol---I've emailed the winner so you know who you are! :D)
December 2013 Releases:
Just like previous months, I've put a little lve by those books that I am really anticipating! As it happens every year, December is the month where the releases slow down quite a bit, but we still have some fantastic books to look forward to!

Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Rain of the Ghosts by Greg Weisman
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
Swamp Angel by Colleen Boyd
The Third Lie’s the Charm by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer
Spoils by Tammar Stein
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman by Meagan Spooner

Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley
Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe
What We Lost in the Dark by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Poor Little Dead Girls by Lizzie Friend

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa Walker
Echo in Time by C.J. Hill

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Control byLydia Kang

Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
The Book of Love by Lynn Weingarten
The Offering by Kimberly Derting

(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 December release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends December 31st, 2013 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.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 22, 2013

Becky's View: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron + Giveaway

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron
♦publisher: Scholastic Press
♦release date: September 24, 2013
♦hardcover, 352 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series:The Dark Unwinding, book 2
  review of book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron's blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.

The Dark Unwinding was one of my favorites last year; I loved the steampunk Victorian London setting, loved the heroine Katherine Tulman’s spark, loved the sweet relationships that slowly built between her and Uncle Tully, Lane, Mrs. Cooper, Mary and the other people of Stranwyne.  I was so happy to come back to this world to see what would happen next, and I was not disappointed at all. 

A Spark Unseen sweeps us back into Katherine’s world and her plight to keep Uncle Tully safe.  A race to rule the seas is setting France and England against eachother and shady characters from both sides will do anything to get their hands on Uncle Tully’s creation, a clockwork “fish” that is said to be able to take down an enemy’s iron ships.   Katherine decides the only way to keep him safe is to fake his death and secretly hide him away in her grandmother’s house in France.  With Uncle Tully’s tantrums as volatile as ever, getting him across the sea is a feat in itself.

Once again, Katherine faces challenge after challenge with a brave face and determination.  She is constantly driven by her protectiveness of her uncle and her solid belief that Lane Moreau is still alive somewhere in France, and she searches for him tirelessly despite everyone’s insistence that he is long gone.  Unfortunately, she isn’t as well hidden as she thinks and the line between who she can trust and who she can’t seems to constantly blur.  Her quest gets her mixed up in all manner of political intrigue and takes her everywhere from the morbid catacombs beneath France and into the dangerous company of Napoleon himself.  

Cameron’s storytelling delights with a few great twists, surprises, and triumphs that make this story worthy of its predecessor.  I can only hope there will be more adventures with Katherine, Mary,  Lane, and Uncle Tully to come!
Find Sharon Cameron online:  Website  •  Facebook  •  Twitter

 Purchase A Spark Unseen:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

I have an extra copy of A Spark Unseen and I want to pass it on to YOU!! 
Enter below to win an ARC!

•US mailing addresses only
•Must be 13 or older
•Ends 12/6/13
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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 Christina Lauren

hitting shelves 2014 from Simon & Schuster

Sublime is the story of two teens, Lucy and Colin, who fall in love, but the the problem is … Lucy's a ghost.

Slowly, she begins to remember more about her life and death as daredevil Colin take himself to the edge of death where their realities overlap so he can be physically closer to Lucy.

Lucy starts to wonder if she's Colin's salvation or the means of his demise.

My thoughts: Not much yet on this one, aside from a gorgeous cover and a very short and vague description.  Still can't wait!  I love a good ghostly love story. I'm always curious to see how the writer will make it work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Old Books, New Looks {8}

Time again for another round of Old Books, New Looks, where I feature the covers of books that have already been released and their redesigned paperback counterpart! :) Sometimes I like the new better, sometimes I like the old. Here's a few that I've come across lately:


First up, a full-on change: cover, model, even title.  Same book, though.  I really actually like both.
APPLAUSE!! Love this change, second one is so pretty. 

I'm on the fence with this one.  Kind of like both, love the mischievous glare from the original, love the dresses on the new, but I kind of don't care for the stark "photograph" feel of the new one.

Hm...not sure about this one.  The new one looks kind of like an old 80s after school special cover. But didn't really care the first cover either.

This one, I like the original better; she just looks too computer generated in the new one. She kind of does in both, actually, but the new one looks like lower quality cgi video game.  Plus, it's so similar, why did they even bother redesigning?

Now, these last two....

Why did they change this one? Why? I loved the original cover!! Now it looks washed out and just ordinary.

And for the grande finale>>>

Are you kidding me?  I literally didn't know what to say when I found this one. Granted, her wings are a bit odd and disproportionate in the original, but the new one? What is going on there? This has to be one of the worst cover changes I've seen...ever.

Weigh in on what you think of these!  I'd love to hear what your thoughts!!