Friday, June 20, 2014

The Valentines Files (Friday Edition): #SummerReads Val-Style + Giveaway


*Kermit flail*

And we haven't opened the Valentine files lately so I thought…. IT'S TIME. *cue Imagine Dragons song* *dances in grass skirt*

Ok, I'll stop.:)


Today we're going to have a Valentine Files meets  #Fridayreads + #Summerreads mash-up. WHO's IN?!:)

First question: "Where would your MC go on a summer vacation and why?"

Anne Blankman (PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG) says . . .
Gretchen has never been on a summer vacation, other than visiting her grandparents in nearby Dachau. But she's always dreamed of going to Spain or France, which is why she tacked postcards of Paris and Barcelona on her bedroom walls... Just don't tell anyone. Most of the adults in her life wouldn't approve.

Sara B. Larson (DEFY) says . . .
Alexa isn't really sure what "summer" is. In the jungle there's hot, really hot, so-hot-you-want-to-die and rain. She's pretty used to the heat. Now if she ever came into contact with snow, that would be quite the shock.

Jaye Robin Brown (NO PLACE TO FALL) says . . .

Amber's family doesn't have a lot of money so fancy far-flung vacations are probably out of the question. But, she'd probably catch a ride with her friend C.A. to do some shopping in Pigeon Forge, TN and than spend some time at Dollywood riding roller coasters. If she's extra lucky, she'll talk her friends Devon and Will into hanging out at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, TN. But mostly summer's about swimming down at the river, partying at the hiker barn with the AT through hikers, and being a little bit bored stuck at home in between all that.

Second Question: What does your MC love/hate about summer and why?"

(Note: this questions *may* be just a little PERFECT for sweet Sara Raasch who's debut SNOW LIKE ASHES is all about the seasons… and for lovely Kristi Helvig who's debut BURN OUT has an excess of heat . . .:D)

Sara Raasch (SNOW LIKE ASHES) says  . . .
Meira HATES heat -- actually, all Winterians do. Their natural Winterian blood makes them comfortable in frigid temperatures, so even the idea of summer makes Meira cringe. Give her a nice, relaxing vacation to Antarctica over Jamaica any day!

Lynne Matson (that's me!:D) (NIL) says . . .

Charley still loves summer, but the searing hot days give her goosebumps…the kind of days where the pavement shimmers from the heat. Why? Because those days remind her of being swept up by a gate--a  shimmering wall of blistering hot air that swept her into a vacuum of fire and ice and then dumped her on the mysterious island of Nil. Then again, if it weren't for the gate, she never would have met Thad…:)

Kristen Lippert-Martin (TABULA RASA) says . . .

My MC Sarah loves summer because she thinks she'd be a nice toasty brown if she could just get some sun on her skin. Instead, she's got the semi-sickly pallor of someone who spends all her time under fluorescent hospital lights. Also, the massive blizzard going on outside isn't helping matters. She feels like she's got a permanent case of the shivers.

Jen McConnel (DAUGHTER OF CHAOS) says . . .
Darlena LOVES everything about the summer, even the boiling North Carolina heat. Her birthday's in August, so she's got that to look forward to. Plus, she'd never turn down a break from school...that is, until she got kicked out. Nowadays, she'd give anything to be stuck back in a class at Trinity, but she's too busy trying not to destroy the world.

Bethany Hagen (LANDRY PARK) says . . .
Madeline hates the summer--it always means an unending vista of garden parties, picnics, outdoor brunches and lots of other dull events. She'd much rather be reading!

Kristi Helvig (BURN OUT) says . . .
Everything. Summer doesn't even begin to describe the never-ending season of scorched hell that the Earth has become. Since the oceans are long gone and she's only seen pictures of the beach on her tablet, she'd love to go to a planet that has a body of water—any body
of water, even a puddle, would make her year. :)

Amy Rolland (OF BREAKABLE THINGS) says . . .
When Alex was alive, she hated her limitations during summer. EDS prevented her from doing anything active. Her bones broke easily, and she bruised like an old banana. Her best friends, the Lasalle brothers, would go wakeboarding and tubing, and she could only watch from the boat. They went to sports camps while she stayed home. Summer always made her feel like an outsider.

Third question: "What is your favorite #summerread and why?"

Paula Stokes (THE ART OF LAINEY) says . . .
ANYTHING by the lovely and talented Rachel Harris. Her YA historical trilogy is the perfect mix of past and present goodness. It's full of romance and laughter and I have My Not So Super Sweet Life loaded onto my Nook for beach reading. [Sidenote: Holy crap! I live sorta near the beach now!] If you're feeling like a grownup book (it's okay--it happens to all of us occasionally :-D) Rachel's got you covered with her Love and Games series. Two Words: hot firefighters.

Bethany Crandell (SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS) says . . .

My all-time, favorite summer read is FIFTEEN, by Beverly Cleary. It’s got just the right amount of first-time swoons for a young reader. (The fact that my husband shares a last name with the leading man is just icing on the Crandell cake.)

Lindsay Cummings (THE MURDER COMPLEX) says . . .
I always read Delirium during the summer! :)

Philip Siegel (THE BREAK-ARTIST) says . . .

DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas is the perfect book to plow through on the beach this summer. Exotic locale, murder, mayhem. Lather up on sunscreen because you won't be able to pull yourself away from this book.

Hmmmm. . .


*bias alert*

Because I think the Vals books already out are the PERFECT #summerreads!  Here's why: 

Kick-butt sexy guards, steamy jungles, a cool MC, and MAGIC? DEFY rocks it ALL. Pack a fan.:) <3

Ball gowns, SWOON, and an epic GONE WITH THE WIND vibe? LANDRY PARK. *happy sigh*

Mysterious island, deadly animals, shirtless hotties, and only 1 year to live? NIL.  #LOSTvibe #perfect

Witches? Red magic? CHAOS?!! *gulp* Yes, please! DAUGHTER OF CHAOS>> your beach bag!

Hilarious LOL moments, wit, and a camp setting MADE FOR SUMMER? Yup.:)  SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS. #nobrainer

HOTTEST setting ever with equally hot and badass characters? BURN OUT. Duh.:) #amazing SF

Gorgeous writing, swoon, and historical fiction FTW! PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG. #notyouraveragebeachread #starredreview

Ethereal writing, a family of boy hotties and an MC stronger in death than in life? Heck yeah!:) OF BREAKABLE THINGS. 

Scheming, witty, relatable MC in a LOL comedy just right for the beach? THE BREAK-UP ARTIST. <3

A swoon-worthy hottie who cooks plus a smart MC with a master plan? Hawt!!! #TeamMicah THE ART OF LAINEY. #packitnow

Murder + swoon + OMG-I-can't-put-this-down-to-even-put-on-sunscreen? THE MURDER COMPLEX is 4 u.:)

Okay, for the rest of the Vals book, you'll just have to wait. *sad face* TABULA RASA is coming out next…in September, so be sure to pre-order it along with all the other Vals book! #shameless plug ;)

In the meantime, want to win the Val book of your choice? Leave a comment below telling us which Val book you want and why. If we get more than 100 comments, we'll pick 2 winners!

*Contest open for one month. Ends Friday, July 18th. Open to North Am residents only.:)

Happy Friday and happy reading!!!!!


  1. I would love to win either NIL or The Art Of Lainey, but these all look amazing! And I agree with Paula - Rachel Harris is wonderful and I love her books!

  2. I can't decide between Summer on the Short Bus and Nil!

  3. Nil, because I have already read the magnificent Summer on the Short Bus, and the heavenly Of Breakable Things (see what I did there). The little snippets that gave been floating around about Nil have me intrigued. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  4. I would love to win Landry Park. It seems really good.

    1. Sarah, you are the winner! Email me at lynnesmatson(at) and I'll ship you Landry Park!!!:) Congrats!!!

  5. I would love to own Daughter of Chaos! With a title like that, who wouldn't want it? It's one of my most anticipated books of 2014!

  6. Love all the summer celebrating! (Sara R, Amy, Bethany H... I guess I can forgive your characters' hate-ons for summer, but only because they have good reasons!) And Phil, awesome suggestion, I totally agree!
    Soooo with so much Valentine's awesomeness already out, how exactly do you expect us to pick ONE Val's book? ;) Okay okay, I'd love to win Nil because I don't yet have a finished copy of that one and I looove Thad and Charley. :)

  7. All of them sound so amazing!!!! But I think I would most like to read Snow Likes Ashes!!!! It love high fantasy and it just sounds so amazing!!!!

  8. LOVE this post! Makes me want to be besties with all the main characters and go on a summer trip with them :)

    I'd love Landry Park because of all the swoons and ballgowns ( I know, not a summer attire of choice, but totally romantic!) and the world :)

    Thank you so very much :)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  9. I would love to read Snow Likes Ashes, it looks like a great story!

  10. BURN OUT sounds awesome. I'd love to win it.

    Susan (blogginboutbooksATgmailDOTcom)

  11. I can't make such a decision! I want to read them all! But if I MUST choose, I think I will say The Murder Complex, because I keep reading great things and I am really wishing I had it right now. Of course, I may not be able to control myself, and buy it anyway!

    But I am definitely on board with the characters who don't like heat. I like summer in general, but when it is mostly enjoyed from the comfort of air conditioning ;)

    Thanks so much for the giveaway :)

  12. The Murder Complex is absolutely on my must have list!!

    kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

  13. I loved Defy and as I was looking up the release date for the second book I came across the link to this blog. I looked up all of these titles and they sound AMAZING. I will definitely be looking for all of these books at my public library and local bookstore. If I had to choose just one, I think I would pick Landry Park. I am a history nerd. I love anything to do with a modern take on old governmental systems. The idea of a futuristic United States set up in a Georgian/Victorian England type class system sounds awesome. Madeline seems like a really cool character. From the reviews I read on goodreads, she sounds like a strong, intelligent, brave girl who isn't afraid to fight for the truth. I also agree that summer is best spent reading a good book! :D Thanks for sharing your stories

  14. I'm sorry can I just mention that there were 14 comments when I read this post? BECAUSE THERE WAS AND IT WAS SO PERFECT.

    Do you realize how long I have to wait before my next pimp-the-YA-Val-Book-released tweet? So long.
    BUTS I would love to win Tabula Rasa or Snow Like Ashes or No Place to Fall, because let's admit it--I'm totally getting my hands on finished copies this summer.
    *whispers* Personally I love summer, but mainly because no school. Although that's kind of a dud with summer school. STILL. Who can argue with beaches and picnics?

    ...apparently a lot of characters. Oops?

  15. The Murder Complex has been something I have been really wanted to read seems so action packed! Comment away everyone

  16. Thanks for the giveaway! I'd want to win a copy of The Art of Lainey (I love the idea of the protagonist using The Art of War for inspiration and I've heard nothing but praise for it) or Snow Like Ashes (because fantasy is my favorite genre so I'm always on the lookout for new fantasy fiction, and also because I love fighting females and political intrigue).

  17. I would love to have NIL or Snow Like Ashes because I have never read any of the authors books and I have so many great things about both books!! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

  18. Ooh! Such a tough choice! I'd have to go with Defy or Snow Like Ashes. Really hard to choose, though! I need to win the lottery so I can buy all the books. LOL

  19. It's a toughhhh choice. I think I would love to have either NIL, Snow Like Ashes or The Murder Complex. I want NIL mainly because mysteries are my bread and butter. That also goes for The Murder Complex. *hides massive list of crime shows that I watch* And also Snow Like Ashes because I'm a winter person and also because epic fantasy!

  20. Snow Like Ashes because it's a total cover-love :)

  21. Snow Like Ashes! Either that or Of Breakable Things or No Place to Fall. Snow Like Ashes because I'm always up for awesome fantasy, and Snow Like Ashes definitely looks awesome. Of Breakable Things or No Place to Fall because OBT is the only Val book available I haven't read yet, and No Place to Fall looks great!

  22. Is it even possible to pick just one among sooo many great ones?! Since I actually read a few of them, I would choose either Snow Like Ashes or The Murder Complex, both sound amazing and are on my TBR list since I've heard about them. Thanks for a chance to win it! :)

  23. I would pick NIL or DAUGHTER OF CHAOS. I can't decide which! Thanks for the summer reading giveaway!

  24. I loved Daughter of Chaos!
    I've been wanting to read The Art of Lainey, and Summer on the Short Bus! They both sound great!

  25. I am looking forward to read SNOW LIKE ASHES! The plot seems interesting! also The Murder Complex! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. I would probably pick Snow Like Ashes because it sounds amazing and I love high fantasy! So far I've seen a lot of positive reviews, so I'm really excited for its release day!

  27. I would LOVE either Nil or The Break-Up Artist! I love the concept of both books and can't wait to read them!! :)

  28. They all sound really good! I think I'd love to read SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS because I could use a contemporary that makes me laugh :)

  29. I can't even choose! I'd want NIL or Landry Park I think.

  30. I really want to read NIL - anything with a LOST vibe sounds good to me!

  31. I would love to win NIL because I've heard wonderful things about it, but never got the chance to pick up a copy!

  32. Nil sounds like the perfect summer read! But you had me at "ball gowns" with Landry Park!

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  34. Defy and The Art of Lainey sound SO good. Defy sounds DEFYnitely (get it? like definitely?) action packed and The Art of Lainey sounds like a knee slapper.

  35. I've already read two of these books; Defy was pretty good, loved Alex, and Nil was great! It was like a mix of Survivor and The Maze Runner! I would love to win Prisoner of Night and Fog, it sounds incredible!!

  36. To me, both DEFY and NIL sound amazing. I can't pick between the two. I love high fantasies, but NIL reminds me a little of Lost, and I loved that show. =D

  37. I've read both Defy and The Art of Lainey and loved them! They were AMAZING! I really want to read Landry Park because who doesn't love ballgowns? Summer on the Short Bus and No Place to Fall sound really good too! These books are definitely on my tbr! :D

  38. Snow like ashes or The Murder Complex! Both look so good and a must read for this year! Thanks for the giveaway!

  39. The Murder Complex, definitely!

  40. Definitely Snow Like Ashes! :)

  41. So many great books!! I love ALL THE BOOKS! But I would choose NO PLACE TO FALL, in part because it feels like I have been waiting to read this FOREVER--why must we wait so long? WHYYYY? *stops whining* *savours the anticipation of reading great stories by all these lovely writers*

  42. I've been dying to read The Break-Up Artist, so I'd love to win it!! :)

  43. Ooh, this is hard, because I really want The Art of Lainey (it's been on my wishlist forever), but I also want Snow Like Ashes. I'm honestly torn between them. :)

  44. I'd want The Art of Lainey because everyone talks about how good that book is!

  45. I would love to win NIL by Lynne Matson! It sounds so fast-paced and fun, and I love books about islands! There's just something so mysterious and enticing about islands (especially island survival stories!), and this book sounds right up my alley :)