Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {90}

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:
 A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
So many great reviews of this series, I can't wait to dive in!
Divided by Elsie Chapman
I didn't hear much about book one, does anyone recommend it?
Hexed by Michelle Krys
Seeing mixed reviews of this, but still excited to try it!
Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
Now that the full series is out, I'm excited to read this series all at once!
The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton
Sounds like an interesting mix of mythology and modern world. Such an eerie cover, too!

Thank you Harper & Random House for these!

The Weekly Nutshell: 

So who else played the nightly game of "Lemme look at all the BEA tweets and book hauls!"? :D  It looked like such a great time and oooh, there were some lovely treasures. 
School is out for my little guy now, so things may be a bit slow around here while we settle into Summer vacation.  Just under 4 weeks now until ALA14!  Anyone else going to fry with me in the Vegas heat?? :D

Friday, May 30, 2014

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times by Emma Trevayne {review}

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times
by Emma Trevayne
♦publisher: Simon & Schuster
♦release date: May 13th, 2014
♦hardcover, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Middle Grade
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London.

Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones.

Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack.

Jack’s wonder at the magic and steam-powered marvels in Londinium lasts until he learns he is the pawn in a very dangerous game. The consequences are deadly, and his only hope of escape, of returning home, lies with a legendary clockwork bird.

The Gearwing grants wishes. Or it did, before it was broken. Before it was killed.

But some things don’t stay dead forever.

Review:  Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times hit the internet with its stunning cover last August and put forth a promise of an alternate London, faeries, clockwork dragons and all manner of steampunk goodness---I've been dying to read it ever since.  This was easily one of my most anticipated books of this year.  Fortunately, it was worth the wait; I loved this unique story full of magic and adventure and, much to my surprise, heartbreak.

Each year, ten-year-old Jack is shipped away to school and when he finally gets to return home, his parents are absent or negligent---too busy with work or hiding him away while they throw lavish parties. He's left in the care of the housekeeper, Mrs. Pond.  After a strange man comes to call at his house, he follows him and finds a crack in the wall near Big Ben that leads to Londinium, an alternate version of London that is all clockwork and faeries, drunken gargoyles, and souls kept in brandy bottles.  He immediately falls in love with the place and decides he wants to stay.  He befriends Beth, a clockwork girl, and Dr. Snailwater who built her.  He discovers that the strange man who led him here had evil intentions to kidnap Jack and turn him over to The Lady who will claim him as her son. When he finds out that Jack is there, he stops at nothing to force Jack into the palace.

I loved Jack’s curiosity and inquisitive mind, he was always asking why and how things worked in this new world. He’s always loved fiddling with gadgets so a clockwork world was a dream come true for him.  When he gets caught up by the sinister Lorcan, it becomes really apparent just how love-starved this poor boy is from his parent’s neglect.  He’s just trying to find somewhere that he feels wanted and when he thinks he's found it, it easily blinds him to things that are not quite right.  It’s pretty heartbreaking to see, especially when he’s forced to face the truth.

The world building is brilliant and detailed and incredibly creative, but I sometimes found myself wanting a more concrete explanation for why the world existed in the first place and it's never quite made clear where Lorcan and The Lady came from.  The whole story is a bit dreamlike, and you half expect Jack to wake up and find Londinium was all in his head (though I’m glad that wasn’t the case---I do hate that sort of ending unless I’m reading Alice in Wonderland!) It has a subtle kind of pacing through most of the story, but it was balanced with some great excitement and wonder and despair and one really fantastic ending as Jack works to solve the mystery of the clockwork phoenix and discovers where home truly is for himself.

Find Emma Trevayne online: Website  •  Twitter 

Purchase the book:  •  BookDepository   •  Indiebound  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Morgan Matson & Jenny Han Event Recap & Giveaway!

Recently, at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA, I had the absolute pleasure of attending a book signing with two fabulous authors, Jenny Han and Morgan Matson.  People, if you get the chance to see them, especially together, take it! These two are a blast to meet, they are both so outgoing with their  audience.  They actually interviewed one another, which felt much like sitting in on a conversation between old friends---which they are! These two have known each since college!

 From the crowd, they got some really great questions.  They each read from their books, then talked about their writing processes, writing the YA voice, and shared stories about seeing each other succeed after being in the same writing courses in college.  Morgan spoke about her own best friendship that inspired Since You’ve Been Gone and also talked a little about writing under her pen name, Katie Finn. Jenny let us in on how she doesn’t write the scenes of her books in order, a scene here, a scene there(!! Fascinating!!).  She also talked a little about parallels of her own experience growing up Korean in comparison to her main character, Lara Jean in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and how making that part of Jean’s experience has caused some negative comments from readers.  This led to a great discussion on why we read, and how reading should make us more open to other life experiences and cultures, not the opposite.  It was great food for thought.   She also gave us a little insider info on the next book in the To All The Boys duology and who it will be about!

They gave out some fun prizes, one of which was a very cool pink pen and journal set embossed with the To All the Boys title (which we won!).  They signed lots of books and graciously posed for pictures.  Best part was Jenny declaring that my daughter was her character come to life! She said her look and outfit (you can't see them but she wore this dress with cute knee high socks and vintage-y shoes) was exactly how she pictures Lara Jean!

Such a fun night!

On to the giveaway! :D
Ok, this is an odd one, people.  I'm giving away signed ARC of both books BUT in full disclosure I want to mention that:
A- The To All the Boys ARC is a bound manuscript with a picture of the cover on a white background and has what looks like a staple ding on the page edges. It came from the publisher that way. BUT the cool thing is---Jenny signed it ON THE COVER :D.  
And B-The Since You've Been Gone ARC is signed... but it's signed to me LOL. Bit of a mix up on my part oopsie!
SO if you don't mind all that, enter away! :D  

Ends June 12th, 2014
US mailing addresses only please.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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.

Chasing Power
by Sarah Beth Durst

hitting shelves October 14th, 2014 from Bloomsbury

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.

My thoughts:  This sounds like a fun story and I'm a big fan of Sarah Beth Durst...Vessel, Conjure, really enjoyed those two. She always creates really unique worlds and characters. Excited for this one!

NOTE:  I just installed  Disqus and I'm hoping all went through okay! If you have any trouble commenting, please shoot me an email at!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {89}

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)

Got some fun new goodies this week!
For Review:

 For Review (cont):

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas 

Many thanks to Harper and Quirk Books for these!

The Weekly Nutshell: 
{Friday} Cover Story

It's been a busy week, with all manner of crazy things happening, including my AC breaking on a 90 degree day (the bad) and meeting Kiera Cass, Amanda Maciel, and Kevin Emeron (the good!).  That copy of The One up there is actually a duplicate from the publisher and I got both signed so keep an eye out for a giveaway and recap this week!  I still need to recap the Jenny Han/Morgan Matson signing, too..ugh, so behind in everything.  It's also the last week of school for my little guy so lots, lots, lots going in every corner of my life. Eeeks.  
All of you lucky peeps going to BEA, I am so jealous and I hope you have a fabulous time!!   We're also a month out from ALA Las Vegas, they have started announcing some of the fabulous author signings and I am getting SUPER excited.  But I am absolutely over the moon about one author in particular---JUDY BLUME will be signing O_O  Judy freakin' Blume, people!! Her books pretty much define 90% of my childhood reading experience. :) I may die of excitement. But hopefully not until after I get a pic with this amazing woman.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cover Story

Lots of new cover eye-candy!

by Jay Kristoff
Thomas Dunne Books, September 23, 2014

In the Afterlight
by Alexandra Bracken
Disney-Hyperion, October 28, 2014

by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Albert Whitman Teen, September 1, 2014

The Spiritglass Charade
by Colleen Gleeson
Chronicle Books, October 1, 2014

by Claudia Gray
HarperTeen, November 4, 2014

Whisper the Dead 
by Alyxandra Harvey
Bloomsbury Children's, October 9st, 2014

by Fiona Wood
Poppy, September 16, 2014

Dating Down
by Stefanie Lyons
Flux, 2015

What do you think? What's your favorite out of these?  The Lotus War books have had amazing covers all the way through the series. Love the handrawn/watercolor style of Dating Down. Love the exaggerated font on Wildlife. Spiritglass and Thousand Pieces are just so pretty.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Born of Deception by Teri Brown {review}

Born of Deception by Teri Brown
♦publisher: Balzer & Bray
♦release date: June 10, 2014
♦hardcover, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Born of Illusion, book 2
  review of book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review (via SF book review)
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.

Review: Teri Brown’s YA debut, Born of Illusion was a favorite of mine last year with its glitzy 20’s setting, showy stage magic, and a mysterious plot that held me captive from beginning to end.  In Born of Deception, Anna Van Heusen is striking out into the world on her own, excited to be free of the emotional chains of her mother.  She’s joined up with a traveling vaudeville troupe with her new solo magic act.  Her London destination also means meeting up with Cole, and being introduced to a secret society that is meant to research and help people with her kinds of abilities: not stage magic, but real magical gifts.  She arrives to find the society in upheaval and people are going missing, some even turning up dead. She must use her gifts and her connections, new and old, alive and dead, to help her discover who is behind the attacks.

While I didn’t love this second book as much as the first, Teri Brown’s strong writing and story-weaving is still there. The 20s setting still shines, and I loved that we get an even more descriptive look into the life of show business back then.  There are at least twice as many characters as last time, all fun additions to the story.  Especially the new man who happens into her life as a much need ray of sunshine.  Billy is a self-made cowboy, and does rope tricks in the vaudeville show.  He’s handsome and charming and jovial, a stark contrast to the sullen and serious Cole.  It does turn into a bit of a love triangle, but actually the choice between the two is more indicative of Anna’s struggle to decide what she really wants in life, not just in love.  I was actually not a fan of Cole and Anna’s relationship this time around. It concentrated far too much on jealousy.  She was literally flaring into jealousy every time he spoke to another woman, and Cole was doing much the same---it got annoying after a while. 

The conflicted mother-daughter relationship continues to morph and grow, which I really enjoy reading about again.  Anna’s really starting to question if she wants a life of show business or a settled life; it’s interesting to see how love has changed Anna’s mother…and then again, not changed her. It definitely makes Anna consider her options.  Also, she learns that a life with Cole might be more dangerous that she thought.  

The mystery of the murders is twisty and suspenseful and fun, nothing really mind-blowing, but still very entertaining.  It gets dark at times, and with so many additional characters coming into play, it kept me guessing.  I wasn't head-over-heels with this follow-up like I was with Born of Illusion (and I think that this is the only follow-up planned in this series), but then again, in my eyes, the first book was a lot to live up to. 

Find Teri Brown online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Born of Illusion:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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.

How to Fall  
by Jane Casey

hitting shelves August 26, 2014 from St. Martins Griffin

Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mother suddenly takes her to spend the summer in the tiny English town where she grew up. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more she learns about Freya’s life, the more suspicious the circumstances of her death start to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

Beloved author Jane Casey breaks new ground with How to Fall, a cleverly plotted and remarkably written young adult mystery.
My thoughts:  This looks like a great murder mystery, but I'm hoping it involves some spookiness, too! We'll see! Gorgeous cover, too!

Monday, May 19, 2014

SYNC Free Audiobook Downloads for Summer 2014!

It's that time again, audiobook fans!  Every summer, SYNC offers an awesome lineup of free audiobooks, two each week with a coordinating theme, usually a current title paired with a classic.  There are some truly awesome titles available this year and I definitely plan to grab some of these!

Check out the line-up and download dates:
May 15 – May 21
WARP: THE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN by Eoin Colfer, Narrated by Maxwell Caulfield (Listening Library)  
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells, Narrated by Derek Jacobi (Listening Library)

May 22 – May 28  
CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge, Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden (Harper Audio)
OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles, Performed by Michael Sheen and a full cast (Naxos AudioBooks)

May 29 – June 4  
CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, Narrated by Emma Galvin (Hachette Audio)
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Richard E. Grant (Harper Audio)

June 5 – June 11  
ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill, Narrated by Meredith Mitchell (Tantor Audio)
JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare, Performed by Richard Dreyfuss, JoBeth Williams, Stacy Keach, Kelsey Grammer, and a full cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 12 – June 18  
CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, Narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell (Bolinda Audio)  
THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie Ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, Narrated by Bernadette Dunne (christianaudio)

June 19 – June 25  
I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter, Narrated by Renée Raudman (Brilliance Audio)
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery, Narrated by Colleen Winton (Post Hypnotic Press)

June 26 – July 2
FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, Narrated by Noah Galvin (Hachette Audio)  
OCTOBER MOURNING: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman, Narrated by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Christina Traister (Brilliance Audio)

July 3 – July 9  
TORN FROM TROY by Patrick Bowman, Narrated by Gerard Doyle (Post Hypnotic Press)
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Narrated by Jim Dale (Brilliance Audio)

July 10 – July 16  
CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Narrated by Channie Waites (Brilliance Audio)
WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George, Narrated by Felicia Bullock (Oasis Audio)

July 17 – July 23  
THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)  
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

July 24 – July 30  
HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)  
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

July 31 – August 6  
DIVIDED WE FALL by Trent Reedy, Narrated by Andrew Eiden (Scholastic Audio)
THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane, Narrated by Frank Muller (Recorded Books)

August 7 – August 13  
LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS by Ben Lesser, Narrated by Jonathan Silverman and Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publishing)
THE SHAWL by Cynthia Ozick, Narrated by Yelena Shmulenson (HighBridge Audio)

Check out their website HERE to find the download links! 
See any that you're excited to snag?? I'll definitely have it on my calender reminders to download Cruel Beauty, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Peter and the Starcatchers, All Our Yesterdays, Code Name Verity, I'd tell you, but then I'd Have to Kill You, and Murder at the Vicarage!! So much good stuff! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {88}

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 didn't do a book haul post last week, so this is what I got the last two weeks:
For review:
Been wanting to try out this author's work!
 Creepy tree trunk of grabby hands...such a bizarre but awesome cover!
Love the sound of this one, and I enjoyed this author's last book.
 Wizards and faeries and old eccentric aunts...this looks FUN!
I'm going to be binge-reading this series in June! I can't wait!
 Link and Ridley finally get their chance at the spotlight! :)

Many thanks to Macmillan, Penguin, Scholastic, Harper and Little, Brown!

The Weekly Nutshell: 
{Monday} Meet you on Monday
{Tuesday} Waiting on Wednesday: Gates of Thread and Stone
{Thursday} Review: Dead Silent by Sharon Jones 

 Hope everyone had a great week! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dead Silent by Sharon Jones {review}

Dead Silent by Sharon Jones
♦publisher: Orchard Books
♦release date: February 6th, 2014
♦paperback, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Poppy Sinclair, book 2
  review of book 1: Dead Jealous
♦source: from publisher for honest review
A snow angel etched in blood. An elite society. A secret dying to get out.

When Poppy Sinclair and her boyfriend visit snowy Cambridge, she doesn't expect to discover the body of a student - arms outstretched in the act of smearing bloody angel wings on the chapel's floor.

Suddenly, Poppy is faced with the possibility that the one closest to her heart might be the one committing the most malicious of crimes.

Dodging porters and police, dreading what she might find, Poppy follows the clues left by a murderer bent on revenge...

Long-hidden secrets are chillingly revealed, an avenging angel seeks forgiveness and red-hot vengeance must be quelled in the amazing new Poppy Sinclair thriller.

Review: This was another dark and fun mystery with some smart sleuthing by the heroine, Poppy Sinclair.  This time around, Michael and Poppy are visiting the university that Michael is trying to get into, and also visiting Poppy’s estranged father, Jim, who is the chaplain there.  They find themselves mixed up in a gruesome murder investigation and Poppy starts seeing strange visions of the victims, unsure if they are dreams or the murdered souls trying to reach out to her.

Poppy’s eerie ability adds a bit of creepiness overall, but doesn’t do much to propel the plot. It’s a compelling enough murder mystery even without the one small paranormal aspect, but since she does have the ability, I do wish it had been more significant in solving the mystery and in driving the plot forward, like it was in the first book, Dead Jealous.  But it does add a few good spine-tingling moments.  Poppy is definitely still her determined and inquisitive self when it comes to solving the mystery.  I also really liked reading the progression of her relationship with her father.  There’s a lot of hurt there and they seem to be cautiously working through it.

There is one thing I didn’t like in this story, and that is the romance between Michael and Poppy.  I remember in the first book there being the tension of “will-they-or-won’t-they get together” and that was fun.  This time around, they are going strong but I can’t help feeling the whole subplot of “will-they-or-wont’-they have sex” seemed kind of oddly timed and just thrown in so a teen issue would be present.  They also spend a good part of the story bickering like siblings and just not trusting each other’s judgement on anything.  So I could have taken or left the romance.

The setting is perfect for this tale, the stark winter-white grounds and the looming stone buildings of Cambridge. It was a good mysterious murder case, full of secret societies, religious themes, a few creepy and gruesome moments, and plenty of suspicious characters to keep the reader guessing.
Find Sharon Jones onlines:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Dead Jealous:  •  BookDepository

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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.
Gates of Thread and Stone
by Lori M. Lee

hitting shelves August 5th from Skyscape

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
My thoughts: Gorgeous cover!! Wow. This will be one that I have to have on my shelves just for the prettiness alone!  As for the story, it sounds amazing as well.  So curious about her time-weaving powers and her origins and this sketchy shopkeeper! LOL  Very excited for this one!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Meet You on Monday!

Hello, all!  So, we've been on vacation this past week, so I decided to take a vacation from the blog, too. Now I'm back and ready to Meet You on Monday! This is a very new semi-regular feature here: I’m going to be posting a fun question or subject (sometimes book related, sometimes not!) and of course, answer it myself here.  Feel free to answer it also, in the comments or grab the banner and do your own post! Through this feature, I hoping we all get to know each other better! :)

This week's question:
What's your preference: SERIES or STAND-ALONE? 

Confession:  I suck at trilogies.  I'm always excited to see a new fantastic-looking series announced, but in the back of my mind, I have to face the facts that unless I absolutely am jumping up and down in love with the first book, the chances of me actually finishing a three-book (or more) series is slim.  And sometimes not even then.  I've left trails of unfinished series in my wake that I actually loved: Unearthly, The Dark Divine, The Body Finder, The Ghost and the Goth, and soooo many more. I do hope to finish them someday! Some of my favorite successes at finishing 3 (or more) book series:

(Cinder is, of course, not done yet, but I would stick with that series if she wanted to put out ten of them!)
(Oh, and there are more, I promise.  These are just what comes to mind right now!LOL)

So I have to admit that when a book comes out as a stand-alone, it catches my attention even more.  Oh, the joy!  To know that I'm going to get the entire hopefully-fabulous story arc in one shot, that there will be no fear of the dreaded second-book slump, that Iwon't be left hanging off cliffs at the end in a devious ploy to tempt me back for the next book, and that a sweet and glorious finale is not two or three years away.  Unfortunately for me, my favorite genre is fantasy and paranormal, so we all know how often one of those comes along as a stand-alone. Rarely, at best.  Here's a few of my favorite stand-alones:
(Those last two are part of a "series" but each of the books are stand-alone.)

  BUT what I do LOVE LOVE LOVE is the growing trend toward DUOLOGIES.  
These, of course, have always been around, but it seems like we're starting to see them a bit more often, and that makes me ecstatic!  Perfect for readers like me, who fall in love with a story and it's characters, need just a bit more than one book to get our fill, but want to know it's not going to be drawn out for-freaking-ever! Anna Dressed in Blood is my favorite in this catagory---I adored those books.  Loved Masque of Red Death but haven't read the second (yet!). The other four, I'm just super excited that they are planned for a two-book series!

SO basically, here's my answer: I love them all, but I tend to fail at series with 3+ books. ;D

How about you? Prefer trilogies? Stand-alones? Duologies??  
Oh and hook me up! Any duologies or paranormal/fantasy stand-alones you're excited about?? Do tell!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {87}

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)

This week's goodies:
For review:
This looks so good, and I'm eager to try this author's work. 
Vampires, magic, high fantasy---looks interesting!
I was planning to pass on this one, but I read a really great review of it this past week. Maybe...
Need to try out this series, I've heard mixed things. 
MG, I think? Coming of age story, set in the early 60s.

The Weekly Nutshell: 

I'm on vacation from my regular job this week! Not sure if that will mean I'll be around on the blog more or less LOL. Generally we take a week off every spring to get our yard and garden back in order. As I said before, I'm a terrible gardener, but none-the-less, zucchinis, cucumber, basil and few other things will be going in this week.  I'm so excited about the response to my new feature, Meet You on Monday!! I really hope you guys keep coming around for it and answering the questions I post! I want to get to know all of you more! :)  Super excited to be going to a signing for Morgan Matson and Jenny Han this week! Look for a recap later this week or next!