Tuesday, April 30, 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 Carol Goodman

hitting shelves October 7th, 2013 from Viking Juvenile

Welcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.   

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.   

Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.

My thoughts: Love the sound of this one---boarding school setting, magic and mystery, and a family with a "murky past".  Sounds like my kind of book. :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {45}

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)

From the library: 
I keep hearing how awesome this series is---so I snatched it up when it came through at my library!

Even the cover pulls at my heartstrings.  This was my WoW pick a few months back, been excited to read this one for a while!

From publisher:
I haven't really gotten into the NA genre yet.  I got both books in this series, so I'll probably be passing them both on to other reviewers.  Shoot me an email if you're interested!

The Weekly Nutshell: 

So to be quite honest, I'm not sure what my blogging time will be like for the next month---I'm coming on to what will probably be my busiest time of this year for my family! May is almost here and with that comes a graduation, a few birthdays, parties to plan, pictures to take, announcements and invitations to get out.  UGH.  Stressing myself out just thinking about it.  I never did get that books-to-trade list up but I'm hoping to some time this week! 

Link me up to those new goodies!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Amy's View: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

If I Should Die by Amy Plum
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: May 7th, 2013
♦hardcover, 405 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Revenants, book 3
  reviews of Die for Me & Until I Die
♦source: ALA
I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

Review:  Amy Plum doesn’t disappoint in this heart stopping conclusion of the Revenants series. 

I love how this book picks up exactly where the last book left off. No lapse in time, no momentary pause, just the space of a heart beat and a breath. After Until I Die, Kate is left with the pieces of a shattered heart, holding on to every ounce of hope one can have, basing her life on the whispering of two words she believes she heard,“ mon- ange.”Not only Vincent’s secret name for Kate but the sign that means all is not destroyed. Resulting in more questions than there are answers. 

This series endures on with the ultimate battle of good and evil, in revenant proportions. A story of sacrifice and strength, including fortitude of character, along with what one person is willing to sacrifice to bring back their one true love.

In this epic conclusion, the time has come for the numa and the barida to battle it out in legendary proportions. While a new light shines bright like a beacon, the destiny of Kate and Vincent is finally revealed. With echoes of love and loss resonating throughout, their heart’s desires leads to a path of healing and bloodshed. Friends will live and friends will die, some will even betray their own, as all gets revealed. New definition of heroes and villains are defined.

Amy Plum paints an alluring and realistic description of a picturesque Paris, making the streets come alive. The story takes you on a historical tour of French art history and language as well as keeping it all beautifully tied into the storyline.

The heart stopping conclusion doesn’t disappoint and even left me with a tear as I closed the book to a series I adored. It is hard to say farewell.
Find Amy Plum online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase If I Should Die:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Wednesday, April 24, 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 In-Between
by Barbara Stewart

hitting shelves November 5th, 2013 from St. Martin's Griffin

description: When Elanor’s near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by bold, beautiful Madeline, she finds her life quickly spiraling out of control.
Fourteen-year-old Elanor Moss has always been an outcast who fails at everything she tries—she's even got the fine, white scars to prove it. Moving was supposed to be a chance at a fresh start, a way to leave behind all the pain and ugliness of her old life. But, when a terrible car accident changes her life forever, her near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by Madeline Torus . . . Madeline is everything Elanor isn’t: beautiful, bold, brave. She is exactly what Elanor has always wanted in a best friend and more—their connection runs deeper than friendship. But Madeline is not like other girls, and Elanor has to keep her new friend a secret or risk being labeled “crazy.” Soon, though, even Elanor starts to doubt her own sanity. Madeline is her entire life, and that life is drastically spinning out of control. Elanor knows what happens when your best friend becomes your worst enemy. But what happens when your worst enemy is yourself?

My thoughts: Near-death experience is always a good start to draw me in, but this sounds like a psychological thriller about an alternate reality, which really has me intrigued.  Add to that a cool cover and a very high recommendation from one of my favorite authors, Jodi Meadows?  SOLD. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Becky's View: The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: April 9th, 2013
♦paperback, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she's with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I'm crazy.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily's movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily's secret.

But when Lily's father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily's mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily's own identity.

Review: This is the story of Lily and Iris.  Lily lives a fairly normal life, except for one thing---she has always had a voice in her head, a consciousness inside her apart from her own.  For the most part, she thinks nothing of it, it's all she's ever known.  They support eachother, cheer eachother; it's a second opinion, another idea.  It's Iris.

But what is Iris, really? And what is this big mysterious danger that her parents seem to think she needs protecting from? That's where the real story lies.  I enjoyed watching this intriguing plot unfold so much.  While I admit that once I hit a certain point, I got a pretty strong inkling of what was really going on, but the exact details always escaped me until I watched the secrets completely unravel into Lily's lap. 

The only thing I didn't absolutely love about this one was the love story.  Unfortunately, the triangle really plays a bigger part in the story than I think it needed to.  While they both could have been two people in her life helping her through an incredible tough time and helping her find out what really happened, as love interests both Ty and Lily's best friend, Wyatt, became petty little boys.  I couldn't get behind Ty---he is kind, but you know from the very beginning that he is just hiding way too many secrets. Even if his intentions were good, he just went about them in such a backward and shady way.  And Wyatt---loved him as Lily's friend, but once they start toward something more, he just got whiney and overprotective and surprisingly insensative toward the fact that his best friend's dad just died. They both have their good moments, but they both definitely also have their bad ones.

BUT love story aside, the concept and mystery of Lily and Iris was strong enough on it's own to really keep me enthralled with this story.  I love fact that until almost the end, you really don't know if you're reading a psychological thriller, a ghost story, a sci-fi, a paranormal---it really could have gone any direction.  It really compells you to need to hear the truth.  And when the ball finally dropped, I was completely satisfied with the direction the story took and how it ended: with Lily really making peace with the truth and using it in the best way she could.  I really enjoyed this one and recommend it!
Find Jennifer Archer online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Shadow Girl:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {44}

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)

Soooo, some lovely new goodies this week, including these books:

For review:
(keep an eye out, Jane Austen fans.  I'm going to be giving one of these away soon!)
Superheros! I took a peek in this one as soon as it hit my doorstep..love the writing so far!
This one came unsolicited, and it didn't really looks like something I would enjoy. I'll be putting out a "books to trade" list soon and it will most likely be on there, if you're interested!
This week, I also bought this vintagey-looking library cart, that I am currently in love with.

 Ikea, people...I love that this place can still surprise me with little treasures.   WAY cooler that the ugly books carts we use at work, I can tell you that much!  (ignore the bottom of the bookshelves please LOL, we're currently replacing all the baseboard in my house!) 

The Weekly Nutshell: 
{Friday} Review of Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout (needs some comment love!)

So I was a bit of a lazy blogger this week, I guess.  Behind the scenes, I was reading away (Apollyon, The Shadow Girl, and started End Games my T. Michael Martin).  I DNFed one book (Nameless by Lili St. Crow---just couldn't get into the writing style or the characters) and finally went through all my books and made a list of books to trade. List will be up later today, so come back and take a peek if you'd like to do some tradin'! 

Happy reading, everyone!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Becky's View: Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
♦publisher: Spencer Hill Press
♦release date: April 4th, 2013
♦paperback, 360 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Covenant, book 4
  reviews of Half-Blood, Pure, & Deity
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

Review:  The covenant series continues to wow readers with heart-stopping action, Olympian-size danger, and an intense love story.  While I continue to really enjoy this series, I have to admit that so far, Apollyon is my least favorite of the four.  Now bear with me, because I have my reasons for that, and from other reviews that I’ve read I am in the minority about the things that bothered me in this one.  So definitely don’t let what I’m about to say deter you from this awesome story. 

So let’s get it out of the way---the few things that I didn’t like:  (and I know I’m going to be in the minority on this one, especially you romance readers out there!) As much as I love Aidan (and I do) and I love Alex and Aiden together (because I’m definitely team Aidan), I thought there was too much making out. *ducks to avoid books flying at me* *peeks out* Is it safe? Ok. :)  Also, I thought hearing about the silvery shifts in Aidan’s eyes was a little repetitive.  I love the guy, I do---brave, loyal, romantic, honest, and serious kick-ass.  But really, he must betray some emotion in other ways than if his eyes are a steele gray or silvery pools.

Also, of all four books so far, this one felt the most like the “bridge” book, delivering us to the finale in book 5.  There were some great high-impact surprises this time around and a few really great plot spikes, but there was also a lot of training and waiting and  traveling and preparing for what is inevitably to come in the grand finale.

But all griping aside---I still really enjoyed this book.  Alex is just as kick-ass of a heroine as always.  I still love the way she has her whiney moments, but she totally owns up to them. Her sharp tongue is just as quick as ever.  We get a bit of a painful shock at the very beginning, seeing her so very opposite of the Alex we’ve come to know and love, but she overcomes it as she has so many other things before.  There are some great emotional moments having to do with both Alex and Aiden’s parents, and also with Alex’s  school “archenemy”, Lea---it’s great to see how their relationship kind of shifts and grows this time around, and makes one thing that happens hit all the more grimly.  And I love how things have developed between Alex and Marcus.

Once again, Armentrout’s writing and storytelling are really well done and she expertly knows how to draw us in to really caring about these characters, including  Seth (who we hardly get to see this time around, but enough to leave me conflicted about him and his evil ways!) and make the big moments pack a huge emotional punch.   

A great addition to this series, Apollyon is a superfast-paced, exciting read, despite the few little quirks I had with it.  Bring on book 5, Sentinal--- it should be one amazing grand finale!!
Find Jennifer L. Armentrout online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Apollyon: Amazon  • BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interview with Cat Winters & In the Shadow of Blackbirds Giveaway!

Today I am so pleased to welcome to Stories & Sweeties, Cat Winters, author of the fantastically haunting In the Shadow of Blackbirds!  If you missed my review of this wonderful book, you can find it here.   Cat was kind enough to answer a few question about her writing and her book, and down below you can enter for a chance to win your own finished copy!

Welcome, Cat! 

Give us 5 words that describe In the Shadow of Blackbirds:
Haunting, intense, heartbreaking, hopeful, romantic
Tell us a little bit about the photos that were included in the book:
Throughout the novel I’ve included images from WWI, the Spanish influenza, and early- twentieth-century spirit  photography. During the book’s time period, spirit photographers
were people who invited customers into their studios, had them sit for a portrait, and in the developed photograph, customers would find the spirits of their departed loved ones standing behind them.

I wanted to include historical photos throughout the novel  because (A) photography plays an integral role in the plot, (B) I felt compelled to prove that the strange, sad, and surreal events of 1918 actually occurred, and (C) the images from the time period  are so chilling, they seemed the perfect way to bring the troubling era further to life.

Can you tell a little about how you got interested in writing?
I became interested in writing pretty much as soon as I learned how to read. My parents filled our house with children’s books, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with storytelling. I began writing down poems in a little spiral notebook when I was seven or eight, and by the time I was nine I was attempting to write novels. Writing has always been a part of who I am.

Where do you escape to write your stories? Tell us about your ideal writing space: When my kids are in school and my husband is at work, I typically write at home. When everyone’s around or I need a change of scenery, I head to my local indie coffeehouse or the library. I consider the coffeehouse one of my ideal writing spaces because I somehow find the white noises of people chattering around me and eclectic background music less distracting than the stark silence of home.

Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?
Some of my all-time favorite authors are Margaret Atwood, Harper Lee, T.C. Boyle, Daphne du Maurier, Sarah Waters, and Ruta Sepetys. I’m in between books right now, but the novels sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for me to read them, include GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, POISON by Bridget Zinn, OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys, and THE FLAME IN THE MIST by Kit Grindtsaff. 

What kind of books did you love to read as a teenager?
I adored classic Gothic literature, such as WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Brontë, JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë, REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier, and the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

What are your favorite things about your main character, Mary Shelley Black?
I’ve always loved her curiosity. When she first came to me as a character, she was already brimming with interest in science and technology, and she seemed the perfect narrator for a novel about a highly illogical time period. If you’re experiencing your darkest moment in life, she’s the type of person you’d want to have by your side.

A few fun questions now! :)

Favorite snack while writing?
Quaker Chewy Dipps granola bars (chocolate chip)

Favorite movie?
I’ve been a huge movie buff all my life, so it’s really hard for me to pick just one. Some of my favorites include the original WILLY WONKA, A ROOM WITH A VIEW (starring a young Helena Bonham Carter), ED WOOD, and ELF. I love everything from fantastical childhood movies to subtitled foreign films.

Favorite color?
I used to always say pink, but these days I’m drawn more to burgundy.

Favorite band and song right now?
I never get tired of listening to “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men when it comes on my car radio. The lyrics remind me of Mary Shelley Black and her ghost, Stephen.

Favorite teacher from your school years?
Mrs. Martin, my teacher for both second and third grade.

And everyone who visits Stories & Sweeties answers this one: Do you like cupcakes? J
Frosting or cake better?
Yes, I LOVE cupcakes! The frosting is my favorite part.

Check out these GORGEOUS yummy looking cupcakes that Cat brought to her launch party in Oregon!!  Love the gears and blackbirds!

About the author:
Cat Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing.

Her critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds—a YA ghost tale set during the World War I era—is now available from Amulet Books/ABRAMS. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two kids.

Cat’s online haunts:
  Twitter  •  Facebook  •  Goodreads

I've decided to give away one finished copy of In The Shadow of Blackbirds!
Open Internationally! Just enter below!
(must be 13 or older • contest ends May 9th, 2013)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 17, 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 Jennifer L. Armentrout

hitting shelves December 10th, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press

It's a beautiful day for a war. Alex must face a terrible choice between destruction of everything she loves and her own destruction. The final book in the COVENANT series.

My thoughts: It's been an exciting ride so far...can't wait to see how this one ends!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {43}

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 came through my mailbox this week! 
 For Review:
I have the last three of this series and I haven't had a chance to start it, so keep an eye out this week--I'll be giving away books 12, 13, and 14! 
Ghosts and witches and healers...this one sounds awesome!
How cute is this cover?? A fairy tales world and godmothers for hire---this one sounds so FUN!
 I shared the trailer to this one earlier this week hereA story penned by two brothers about a mansion where children seem to just disappear. Can't wait to dig into this one! 

Thanks to NAL/Penguin and Jolly Fish Press for these!!

The Weekly Nutshell: 
{Wednesday} Amy's View: Dead River by Cyn Balog (comment love needed!)
{Friday} Becky's View: Frost by Kathryn James + Giveaway! 

 Did you see that you can win both books in the Mist series by Kathryn James?? These two great books aren't available in the US so I wanted to pass on my copies! It's a fun fantasy series! Go enter! :)

Happy reading, everyone! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Becky's View: Frost by Kathryn James + Series Giveaway!

Frost by Kathryn James
♦publisher: Hodder Children's Books
♦release date: March 1st 2013
♦paperback, 323 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Mist, book 2
  review of book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Last time Nell went into the mist she rescued her sister. This time she’ll have to go farther than the Elven forest, farther than the frozen wastes beyond and onto a lake of primal ice so treacherous she’ll be lucky to return at all.

It’s the New Year, Woodbridge School is closed and the country is snowed in. While the blizzards rage and Nell’s mum works double shifts, their house is full of Gwen’s friends permanently crashing out on every bed and sofa. The Elven world is frozen, too. It’s deep in snow and ice storms are ravaging the forest. Worst of all the massive Harps that keep the Elven land twisted out of sight are falling silent. No music, no land.

Can Nell and Evan cross the deadly frozen lake that surrounds their land, and fight through freezing blizzards? And if they do reach the Harp will they be able to overcome the two enemies waiting for them - Loki and Laki Winter? They are feared Ice Elven, a race so secretive that most young Elven think they’re myths used to scare them into being good. The scheming Winter twins are all too real, though, and they’ll stop at nothing to make sure the Harps stay silent.

Review:  After thoroughly enjoying Mist last year, I was more than eager to delve back into another  adventure with Nell and Evan.  Much like it's predecessor, Frost is a beautifully told, fun, and enchanting story of a girl who has found her way into the mysterious land that keeps the Elven that are still free hidden.  The rest of the Elven population, sadly, is being held in iron camps by a human group who fear that the Elven will take over if given their freedom.  This time around, the stakes have been raised and the danger amped up tenfold, as Nell and Evan work to not only free the captive Elven, but save the entire Elven world from dying out. 

Frost introduces a few new characters to the mix.  The Ice Elven, who are creepy and cold-hearted enough to strike fear even into the hearts of Evan and the other forest Elven, were a complicated bunch and added a sometimes fun and sometimes frightening twist to the whole story.  They are mischievous and roudy and when we see them all together they reminded me of a band of vikings.  Laki was a favorite of mine, even though she kept me guessing though the entire story.  The Vanir, the Elven gods, were also new to the scene---some of them welcome, some of them not so much.  One in particular that just made my skin crawl.

Nell and Evan were just as much of a joy to read as last time around.  Their relationship is so cute and funny and flirtatious.  They saw their share of problems this time around, as he fights to keep her out of danger and she fights to be in the midst of it, she refuses to stand by helpless.  They find out that it's a journey they have to make together and this brings them both farther apart and much closer together.

As I said with Mist, this reads almost like a middle grade book with a light bit of romance thrown in, but it's a perfect fit for the story.  It's a great fantasy adventure full of wonderful creatures, dangerous challenges, and heroic triumphs!  There were times when I had some issues with the dialogue being a bit choppy and felt overly immature for the characters (including an awkward over-use of people telling each other to "shut up"), but overall, nothing that took away from my enjoyment of this book.

Sadly, I think this is it for this series! I definitely would have enjoyed more time with these characters.  But things wrapped up nicely and I especially loved the last chapter.

I definitely recommend both Mist and Frost!
Find Kathryn James online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Frost:  AmazonUK  •  Book Depository 

Since this series is not available at all in the US, I've decided to giveaway my copies to one lucky winner!!  Fill in below for your chance to win both Mist and Frost!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
•open to US mailing addresses only 
 •must be 13 or older to enter 
 •ends April 27th, 2013 at 11:59 PM, PST

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Amy's View: Dead River by Cyn Balog

Dead River by Cyn Balog
♦publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
♦release date: April 9th, 2013
♦hardcover, 256 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River.

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong. 

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog.

Creepy, raw and terrifying. A ghost story that winds you through a ghostly tale of destiny and fighting for where you belong.

Spending a weekend rafting on the Dead River, instead of prom, leaves Kiandra with more to worry about than just hiding the trip’s whereabouts from her father. Convincing herself this is just the weekend getaway she needs, ends up turning fatally wrong.   

Kiandra has spent her life trying not to think about what goes through a person’s mind before they plunge themselves in a river, to never be heard from again. Her life was happy and surreal spending her days on the river as a child fishing in the best spot on the Delaware, until the fateful day her mother waded into the river to end her life. Kiandra’s life was uprooted instantly, leaving everything she has behind at a moment’s notice, starting a new life away from the water’s edge.

Soon she feels the call of the water, pulling her towards it just as it did for her mother. Even with the precautions her father took to protect her, the tragedies that lay in the undercurrent of her family history, has no match for the pull of destiny.

The moment Kiandra arrives at the Dead River the water beckons her, calling to her as if it was a sweet lullaby.  Lulling her to be pulled underneath into its angry, unforgiving wrath, spinning promises like a delicate web.  Only after it’s too late, does she discover that the Dead River is unrelenting and unwavering in its deceit, unable to deliver on its promise.

With Kiandra’s freak accident, the Dead River changes everything. Destiny is finally able to present itself, where she can discover who and what is most important in her life as well as the truth behind her mother’s suicide.

Constant brushes with death add to the paranormal level of this thriller. Chapter after chapter, life and death resonate through the ghostly beings presented throughout the storyline, with each of their personal stories being brought to life in a captivating way.

This is an amazing ghost story, unlike any other traditional ghost stories that are told. A story that legends are created from, and destined to be campfire stories for years to come. Hang on while the undercurrent catches you unaware through the build up and the twists and turns. For in the end, you will lay there washed up in its wake, amazed at the story that lay before you.

This genre of book is where the author Cyn Balog should have been the whole time. Horror fans, open your door whole heartily and welcome her in, you will not be disappointed.

Find Cyn Balog online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Dead River:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Tuesday, April 9, 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.
Backward Glass 
by David Lomax 

hitting shelves from Flux in October 2013

Crack your head, knock you dead, then Prince Harming's hunger's fed.

It's 1977, and Kenny Maxwell is dreading the move away from his friends. But then, behind the walls of his family's new falling-apart Victorian home, he finds something incredible--a mummified baby and a note: "Help me make it not happen, Kenny. Help me stop him."

Shortly afterwards, a beautiful girl named Luka shows up. She introduces Kenny to the backward glass, a mirror that allows them to travel through time. Meeting other "mirror kids" in the past and future is exciting, but there's also danger. The urban legend of Prince Harming, who kidnaps and kills children, is true--and he's hunting them. When Kenny gets stranded in the past, he must find the courage to answer a call for help, change the fate of a baby--and confront his own destiny.

My thoughts: This sounds creepy and amazing!! A time travel mirror, a creeper who uses it for dark deeds, and the hero who will stop him (fingers crossed!)  I am definitely looking forward to reading Backward Glass!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Trailers: The 5th Wave, The Taken, Siege & Storm, and Pitch Green

New trailers out there!
This first one FREAKS me out... but definitely makes me want to read it!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Taken by Erin Bowman

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

This last one is from a small publisher that I've just recently come across.  Jolly Fish Press has some pretty cool books hitting shelves and this one, Pitch Green, looks incredibly creepy!! Definitely right up my alley!

Pitch Green by The Brothers Washburn

Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {42}

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 & 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)

Ok, so I know I'm really late with this post!! *Sigh*  It's been a busy weekend, I guess!
Here's what I acquired this week:
For Review: 

Got an interesting mix this week! ;)

 The Weekly Nutshell:
Not sure what this week of blogging holds! We're doing some home renovations here and I haven't felt much like reading when there are walls to be painted and counters to be ripped out! LOL  Have a great week everyone!