Monday, September 30, 2013

Cover Story

New covers to make us drool!

by Amy Kathleen Ryan
St. Martin's Griffin, January 7th, 2014

by AC Gaughen
Walker Children's, February 11, 2014

by Melissa Kantor
Harper Teen, February 18, 2014

by Laura Lim
Strange Chemistry, January 4th, 2014

The One 
by Kiera Cass
Harper Teen, May 6th, 2014

by Tessa Gratton
Random house, June 10th, 2014

The Young World 
by Chris Weitz
Little Brown, 2014

by Christian Schoon
Strange Chemistry, April 1st, 2014

So excited to see The One cover! Beautiful! Love the colors in Flame Shadowplay, and Maybe One Day and the boldness of The Young WorldUnder Nameless Stars definitely tempts me to start that series!

Any new favorites here?  Any titles that you're desperately waiting to see cover reveals for?? Two for me would be The Hollow by Ransom Riggs and The Seers by Julianna Scott.  I check almost daily for them!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {63}

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 week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

I got quite a few lovely additions to my bookshelf this week!  Some of these are duplicates so I'll be doing a giveaway soon!
For review:

The Weekly Nutshell:
 Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Becky's View: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce
♦publisher: Strange Chemistry
♦release date: August 6th, 2013
♦hardcover, 288 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series (possibly)
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Sixteen-year-old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them - letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn't make it in time? The Darkness will come for her... She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she's bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she's not going crazy.

And then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn't know who killed him, so there's no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret-society at her school where no one is allowed to leave... And where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death. Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him? And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

Review:  Jumping right into the action, The Weight of Souls starts off by showing you exactly what Taylor's curse is.  She is touched by ghosts, given a mark that she must pass on to the ghost's killer.  She has a few weeks to do this---the Darkness will come for whoever bears the Mark, whether it's the killer or Taylor herself.  It's a dangerous life for a teenage girl, going after these murderer's, but her mother trained her well.  

While it took a while to really connect with Taylor, I felt for her harsh life.  Not only does she have to live with this curse, but her father doesn't believe in it and insists it's a disease he can find the cure to.  Her best friend is fed up because Taylor always has to cancel on her to chase after killers---she doesn't know about the curse and Taylor is too afraid to tell her.  She is also constantly bullied at school---cruelly, physically, and racially bullied by a seemingly unstoppable group of popular kids. It was hard to watch her weather so much alone.

Everything changes when the head of the popular kids winds up dead and he unintentionally marks Taylor.  She can't begin to find his killer until she can convince him first that he is dead, and second that he was actually murdered.  As they are forced into being together, I loved that they didn't immediately connect, that she didn't forgive him right away for the horrible way he treated her.  Their closeness grows slowly and their relationship evolves as he works to gain her trust and a few secrets and vulnerabilities are revealed. 

The story is interwoven with Egyptian mythology and the history of how the curse was formed, and it circles around to the climax of Taylor's story.  As much as this information was necessary, I did feel the journal-entry way it was presented made the pacing of the story a bit choppy in parts.  Still, there were some really heart-pounding scenes, a few good romantic moments, and great emotion flowing through the whole story.

 As far as I can tell, there's nothing in the works yet, but The Weight of Souls ends with some definite series potential.  Nothing cliffhanger-y, but the twist at the end and the very last chapter gives the reader an inkling that Taylor and Justin's story might not be finished just yet.  I did love the way it ended with Taylor finally finding a bit of well-deserved peace and happiness, but the story could continue with something even more mythologically epic!
Find Bryony Pearce online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase The Weight of Souls: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Wednesday, September 25, 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 Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
by Leslye Walton

hitting shelves March 25th, 2014 from Candelwick Press

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

My thoughts: Sounds hauting and strangely peculiar in the best way. :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Becky's View: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia + Giveaway

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
♦publisher: Little Brown BYR
♦release date: October 1st, 2013
♦hardcover, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Legion, book 1
♦source: from trade
I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Review: From start to finish, Unbreakable is a shot of adrenaline.  I tore through this one, literally in one dinner break at work and a few hours the next day. While is may not be ground-breakingly original or incredibly deep, I found it so entertaining and just a fun, exciting read.

Kennedy is ripped away from her good and fairly stable life when her mother dies suddenly.  She is about to be uprooted and put into boarding school, when twin brothers Jared and Lukas burst, quite literally, into her life in the middle of the night, heroically saving her from the same fate as her mother and cluing her in that she is a descendant of the Legion, a secret demon-fighting society.  Her mother was the only member of the society who didn't train their child to follow in her footsteps, which leaves Kennedy completely in the dark.  She finds herself a suspected runaway, having to put her trust in four strangers---the other children of the Legion, all of whom also lost their family on the same night as Kennedy. Now they are bound together, using each of their special skills to track down a mysterious demon-killing weapon and fight off the angry spirits that guard each piece.

The action was the star of this story---lots of exciting fights and some really spine-tingling horror moments.  The ghostly encounters were all incredibly creepy and the settings were the perfect backdrop: an old abandoned house, the bottom of a murky well, an orphanage with a sinister history, and a grisly old prison.   

I felt for Kennedy, she and her mother were close so she is battling many emotions; grief, a feeling of being completely alone, and an extreme doubt that the Legion has the right person as she feels so out of place.   I was a little torn on her relationship with the twins---I generally don't mind a love triangle, but hate when they involve two brothers.  However, the twins' relationship proved to be more complicated than that and their conflict about more than who gets the girl, thank goodness.  I did love Priest---I pictured him as a cool little guy with tons of attitude and a steampunk-ish look to him with his goggles and gadgets.  I actually can't remember if that was how he was described, but that was how he took shape in my head.  I also loved the kind of underlying maternal relationship between him and the outwardly bad-ass Alara.  

The ending was...well, the ending made me kind of mad. Made me feel like their whole quest was for nothing. BUT once I reminded myself that this was a series and there will be more to this story, I was okay with it.  It definitely made me wish I had the next book right now

Just a fun, fast read and definitely a perfect choice for a Halloween creep-fest!
Find Kami Garcia online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

 Purchase Unbreakable:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Thanks to Little Brown, I have a copy of Unbreakable to give away! 
•US only, no PO Boxes (publisher's rules)
•Must be 13 or older 
•Ends 10/8/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {62}

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 week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

New on my shelves this week:
For review:
This looks dark...very dark. 
Turn of the century spiritualism and seances...popular subject this year! Luckily it's one that I love!

Oh, this looks creepy good. And if you have checked out the trailer, you must. Right here.

Thanks to Random House for the review books!

The Weekly Nutshell:
Happy reading, everyone!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Becky's View: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
♦publisher: Scholastic
♦release date: September 24, 2013
♦hardcover, 304 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger...

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Review: Being a ghostly horror story featuring one of my favorite historical figures and written by an author that has always been a favorite of mine put Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer at the top of my most-anticipated reads list this year.  And as with Katie Alender’s other books, I was not disappointed.  Her writing style was perfect for this, bringing in the beautiful Paris setting through the eyes of a first-timer, giving us characters that are complicated and realistically flawed, and bringing in just the perfect amount of creepiness and horror, while still leaving the real gore to be filled in by the imagination.

The main storyline finds Colette discovering that her ancestor is connected to Marie Antoinette.  They arrive in Paris in the midst of a serial killer rampage…several well-connected young people are meeting a bloody end at the hand of what appears to be the ghost of Marie Antoinette herself.   When Colette starts to see the ghost everywhere and finds she is connected to the victims, she must find out how to stop the murders before her own time runs out.

Colette is, as I said, flawed, sometimes frustratingly so.  Her dad walked out on them recently, leaving them struggling to make ends meet.  She also struggles with severe claustrophobia which lends to a few heart-pounding moments in the plot.  Both things leave her insecure and living a lie with her rich friends, one of whom she knows will cast her out if she knows Colette’s not rich anymore. While it was irritating to watch Colette make such poor choices and bend over backwards for her snotty friend, it definitely left her room to grow and left me rooting for her to finally realize her own worth and stand up to the horrible Hannah.  The ending outcome had me cheering for both Colette and her sweet friend Pilar. 

Helping her find the connection between the murders is their tour guide, Jules.  I had to love him, he was sweet and helpful and sincere, and sees more in Colette that she is able to see in herself.  I also loved Audrey and was glad she was there to help Colette with the mystery and with becoming a better person.

The setting itself is a wonderful character in the story.  From Versaille to the Catacombs, and of course a very classic scene set at the Eiffel Tower, Alender paints a gorgeous visual of the City of Lights.  The sights of Paris are woven right into the storyline, amping up the  magic and wonder and horror in key scenes.

A perfect balance between the story of a girl deciding who she wants to be and a chilling murderous ghost story---Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer gave me one more reason to call myself a fan of Katie Alender.
Find Katie Alender online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Marie Antionette, Serial Killer:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Wednesday, September 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 Inventor's Secret
by Andrea Cremer

hitting shelves April 22, 2014 from Philomel

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.

My thoughts: I just...need more steampunk in my life. That's all. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Once We Were Blog Tour: Kat Zhang Interview + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Once We Were blog tour! Today I'm please to have Kat Zhang here to answer a few questions about the next book in the Hybrid Chronicles and her writing life.

Welcome, Kat!!

•Eva and Addie are a little like siblings, a little like rivals, and both very different personalities. Which was your favorite to write? 
I don't know if I can say I have a favorite, haha! The series is from Eva's point of view, so that means I'm "in her head" more than I'm in Addie's, and the narrative sort of shares Eva's biases. They are definitely quite different, and I think they need each other, often, to balance themselves out.

What’s Left of Me had a very unique style and mood to it---did you have a favorite place to write to help get in the mindset of the story?
I don't really have a favorite place to write--in fact, I don't life writing in the same place for too long, so I often pack up and move if I've been working for more than a few hours. My favorite times of day to write, though, are early in the morning and late at night. The "in-between" hours, so to speak, when the rest of the world is quieter, and real life seems less intrusive :)
•I’m sure Eva and Addie are up for many more twists in their story---do you already know how the series will end?  Do you think it will morph and change as you write it?
Well, considering I just finished the final major edits for Book3, yes, I do ;) I always had a general idea for the story's ending, but the path on how to get there morphed over time. Stories are always like that, I think--at least for me. 

•Is there anyone special, a teacher or mentor, who inspired you on your path to becoming a writer?
When I was twelve or so, I met a lady through an online writing forum who was the first person to tell me in no uncertain terms that I would be published one day. I'm sure for her it was probably just something nice and encouraging to say to a kid, but no one had ever told me that before (understandably-- "you will definitely be published one day" isn't something just thrown around!), and it really gave me a lot of hope.

When I finished the very, very first draft of WHAT'S LEFT OF ME, I let my crit partner, Savannah Foley, read it (we'd only just met back at the time, so we didn't even know each other that well). I'd never let anyone else read the whole thing (though some of my high school friends had read the first 1/2 or so while I was writing it my senior year). So when Savannah told me she thought it was really good, I was so thrilled and encouraged :)

•What kind of books did you love to read as a teenager?
Well, this is more during my pre-teen years, but fantasy and science-fiction, mostly. THE GOLDEN COMPASS, and ENDER'S GAME, and GREEN ANGEL are three that really encouraged me to start writing when I was like 12. I still read as a teen, but less, actually, than before. I was so busy reading books for school!

Fun questions:
•Favorite snack while writing?
 fruit. also cereal. :P

•Favorite movie?
oooh....hmm...I suck at picking favorites... Recently, I watched Atonement again, and I do like that movie. I dunno about favorite, though!

•Favorite color?

•Favorite band and song right now?
Don't really have a favorite band. I find myself humming "Bruises" by Train a lot recently, haha. I like songs that tell a story, or hint at one.

•And everyone who visits Stories & Sweeties answers this one:  Do you like cupcakes? J  Frosting or cake better?
Yes, I do! And I like the cake part better ;)

Thanks for having me!

 Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Enter below to win and ARC set of the first two books!
US only  •  Must be 13 or older  •  Ends 9/30/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the Once We Were blog tour!  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Becky's View: Memory by Christoph Marzi

Memory by Christoph Marzi
♦publisher: Orchard Books(UK)
♦release date: August 1st, 2013
♦paperback, 329 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
This is a book about a ghost called Story. She's lost in the city - alone, afraid and without her memory. Then she meets Jude, a boy who sees the dead. And he is the only one who can help her remember...
A thrilling urban ghost story set in the twilight cemeteries of London.

Review:  Even just this tiny little blurb was enough to get me excited for this book.  Tell me it's a ghost story set in the cemeteries of London and I'm all in.  I wasn't sure what to expect beyond that, so I wouldn't say I was disappointed---but I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. Christoph Marzi's Memory has a bit of a mishmash of things going on: a fun cast of characters, a likable main character, a mystery, some chills and thrills, and a last minute direction change that left me feeling like it was too different from the rest of the book to be a satisfying twist.

Jude is a sweetheart.  He recently discovered that he can see ghosts and enjoys spending his days in the cemetery with his newfound ghost friends. Despite being seventeen, Jude read much younger for me.  I couldn't help but picture him as closer to 13 or 14 from his personality throughout the book.  One day he finds a girl on a bench and discovers that she's not quite a ghost and not quite alive.  He brings her to Gaskell, an eccentric and long-dead rock star, and Miss Rathbone, a living not-quite-human who also hangs with the cemetery crowd.  They name her Story and realize that her current state means she is not dead, but in danger of dying if they don't find her body soon.  She has no memory except for a few details, so Jude follows the meager clues to find out who she is and what happened to her.  And so, the adventure begins. 

Their quest is filled with stories within stories; legends, backstories, histories.  At times, this made the story all the more rich.  But there were also times when the pacing and plot felt bogged down with overabundant and sometimes insignificant details.  I was surprised by a lot of the quirkiness and humor.  The story's mood swings from comical to sweet, spine-chilling to joyful, casual to fantastical.  There are so many characters and creatures that it is sometimes hard to follow, but the main crew is colorful and fun to read.  There are more than a few nods to every corner of British culture: Mary Poppins (a chalk artist in the park that calls himself Van Dyke), The Beatles (both musically and the main characters are named Jude and well, I won't tell you Story's real name...spoilers!), and Dr. Who (creepy angel statues that attack, creatures that you can only see out of the corner of your eye)...just to name a few.

All in all, a mostly fun read with a few drawbacks and distractions.  Despite my own few quirks with it, I do recommend giving Memory a try for a lighter Halloween read!
Find Christoph Marzi online:  Website  •  Facebook

Purchase Memory: Amazon  •  BookDepository 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Spark Unseen Blog Hop, Day 3

Today I am super excited to be part of the A Spark Unseen Blog Hop!!  In this post you'll find an insider look at one of the books many settings, a quote from A Spark Unseen, and an awesome giveaway for a copy of The Dark Unwinding!  Be sure to click the banner above to get all the details about the hop and the rest of the stops, or click the arrows at the bottom of this post to move forward or backward among the participating blogs!

If you haven't read The Dark Unwinding yet, let me tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT!  I adored this book and gave it a glowing 5-cupcake review last year. Check out my review here.

Now here's a bit about the newest book in the series, A Spark Unseen:

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.

Want a little taste? Here's a quote from A Spark Unseen:

And now, author Sharon Cameron tells us a little about one of fantastic Parisian settings that Katharine will face in her new adventure:

The Catacombs
As a lover of all things hidden below the surface, the Paris underground fascinates me. Stone quarrying from Roman times onward means that the entire city of Paris sits on a honeycombed labyrinth of tunnels. In modern days these tunnels have come to be known as The Catacombs and are the meeting places of anyone and everyone, from teens to urban explorers to the chic party giver. But 200 years ago these tunnels were also the perfect place to stash things that no one had any use for. Like the dead.

By 1788 the high mortality rate, lack of city planning, and custom of burying the dead in consecrated soil (the ground surrounding a Christian church) meant that graveyards were full to bursting. Literally, as in bodies popping out of the ground every time it rained. Quick lime was poured over the bodies to make sure they decomposed quickly, and when they had, they were dug up, the bones piled in stone receptacles, and the ground used again. And again. And again. An unacceptable practice for a city whose main water source was its wells! The solution? Stick the all those extra bodies in the catacombs! It took years of constant horse-drawn funeral processions to accomplish this. And then, somebody came along and decided that all these piles of bone really could use a spot of organizing.

And so, beneath the city of Paris , there are places like this:

And this:

The remains of an estimated six million bodies went into the catacombs to create these creepy designs. And who knows how many more might be down there, lost and forgotten, like the bone pile Katharine Tulman finds herself climbing through in A Spark Unseen.


Here's your chance to get started on this series! Enter below to score a copy of 
The Dark Unwinding!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now on to the rest of the blog hop! Click the arrows below to move forward or backward in the hop! 

Tuesday, September 10, 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 Michelle Krys
hitting shelves June 10th, 2014 from Delacorte
description: If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
My thoughts: This looks like a fun one.  As much as love a super creepy, eerie tale, I also love a book that gives me a main character with some fun wit and attitude (think Hex Hall or Ghost and the Goth, two of my favorites!).  This sounds like it has that same fun feel to it, and I can't wait to read it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cover Story

Recent cover gorgeousness.  Have a lookie:

Half Bad
by Sally Green
Penguin, March 14, 2014
Very out the synopsis 
of this one. It sounds awesome.

by Ann Brashares
Delacorte Press, April 8, 2014
Interesting! Looks like a prism.

by Libba Bray
Little Brown BYR, April 22, 2014
Meh.  I'm waiting to see the UK cover
for this one. The UK cover for 
Diviners definitely had the US beat. :)
I do like the font, though...very art deco.

by Page Morgan
Delacorte Press, May 13, 2014
Goes nicely with book 1!

Til Death
by Kate Evangelista
Entangled Teen, March 4, 2014
I want that dress. So pretty.

by Laini Taylor
Little Brown BYR, April 1, 2014
Stunning, like the rest of this series.

And last but not least, my personal favorite of this bunch:
by Sarah Fine
Margaret K. Elderry, August 2015

Tell me what you think, cover-lovers!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

{Blog Tour} Guest Post with Daisy Whitney: 5 Favorite Works of Art

Today on Stories & Sweeties, I'm pleased to welcome Daisy Whitney!  Her new release from Bloomsbury, STARRY NIGHTS, features romance and curses and priceless works of art. Doesn't that sound fabulous??

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can't help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world's greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they've ever known.

Like a master painter herself, Daisy Whitney brings inordinate talent and ingenuity to this romantic, suspenseful, and sophisticated new novel. A beautifully decorated package makes it a must-own in print.

*      *      *      *      *

In keeping with the art theme of the book, I asked Daisy to share with us her own 5 favorite works of art! Here's what she had to say:

Oh, but to choose five favorite works of art is so difficult! There are so many I adore and cherish!
Nevertheless, I shall attempt the near impossible.

1. Starry Night over the Rhone by Van Gogh: There’s a reason I chose this piece of art for the title. It’s such a gorgeous work with deep blue and gold and colors that invite dreams and imagination. It hangs in the Musee d’Orsay and is my absolute favorite.

2. Nighthawks by Edward Hopper at the Art Institute of Chicago. Three lonely people in a diner at night - this work is the perfect depiction of loneliness and togetherness at the same time.

3. Any of Monet’s Japanese Bridges. I could gaze upon these works for hours. The play of light, the way each image looks a bit different from the others, the feel of the colors, and most of the all the way the work transports you to Monet’s Gardens.

4. Francesco Hayez, The Kiss - Le Sigh. Such a gorgeous, passionate depiction of kissing. I love the folds on the woman’s dress too.

5. Any Dutch still life of flowers, vases, goblets, lemons or oysters - Many of the Dutch masters from the 17th century created gorgeous still lifes - they are so richly detailed they look like photos.

photo credits: all artworks found at

Gorgeous! Thank you, Daisy, for sharing these beautiful pieces with us!  

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {61}

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 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 I got this week:
 For review:
Lovely finished copy! I'll be seeing Kendare Blake in just a few weeks so I'll be giving away a signed copy soon!
Time travel  & Steampunk!! This looks awesome!
Loved the first book, very excited for this one!
I WoWed this title a few months ago, so I was super excited to see it my mailbox!
Zombies!  Funny, I always say I steer away from zombie books, but the few times I've braved them, I end up loving them! 

Thanks to Spencer Hill Press, Tor Teen, Scholastic, and Abrams for these!

The Weekly Nutshell:

{Friday} Becky's View: What's Left of me by Kat Zhang

That's all for this week, book lovers! :D