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Aug 292014
 

Title: It’s in His Kiss
Series: Lucky Harbor #10
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher

It's in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, #10)

From Goodreads:
ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

***

It’s the beginning of the end, folks. Only three books left in the Lucky Harbor series before Jill Shalvis wraps it up. *cue sobbing*

It’s in His Kiss is the first book in the last three-book continuation of the series, and boy does Jill Shalvis give it all she’s got. I love all of her books, but this one stood out to me more than others. I think a huge reason why is Sam Brody, the definition of a hot alpha male. You can’t help but be drawn to his moody personality, and you soon realize there’s way more to him than just a hot body (although that doesn’t hurt…AT ALL). I loved the chemistry between him and Becca and watching it get hotter and hotter as the story went on was so fun to read.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do when the series is over (other than cry), but until that happens, I’ll just get excited about reading the last two books coming out this year: He’s So Fine and One in a Million.

Aug 262014
 

I am thrilled to be kicking off the tour for Isabel Gillies’s debut YA novel, Starry Night, publishing on September 2! Check out my QA with the author below, along with the fun extra info about the book, and then enter to win your very own copy! Big thanks to Isabel (AKA Kathy Stabler for all you fellow Law and Order: SVU fans) for answering my questions and Macmillan for organizing the tour :)

Q: Where did you get the idea for Starry Night? Is the story inspired by a personal experience?
A: Starry Night has had a long and twisty road — but a fun one. I was inspired by love, teenagers, family, friends, school, walks in Central Park, heartbreak. And yes, lots of it was inspired by my own experiences, how could it not be? But a ton of it is made up, too. I think of it like a blended soup. All the vegetables go into the pot looking like what they are: broccoli, potatoes, etc, but then you put an emersion blender in there, whiz it around, and it transforms into something entirely different in texture and shape, even the taste will change. So if there was anything “real” from my life at the start of the book, it’s been soup-i-fied.

Q: You’ve had two highly successful memoirs published in the past few years. What made you want to switch gears and write a young adult novel, and what was the hardest part about making the switch?
A: I needed a break from memoir. It’s sort of exhausting to reveal so much of yourself that is real real real, so real people can say, “I remember when that happened!” I knew that I wanted to try fiction and I adore teenagers. I have three tweens in the house and I am fascinated by them. It’s definitely the most fun I have had as a mother. I love their conversations, their points of view, their ideas. I even love the back-talk! It’s scary because they are on their own in many ways, and have to fall down so they will learn how to navigate their way in life, but it’s colorful and rich and exciting. I LOVED being a teenager. The highs and lows are extremely clear, the feelings are big, bold, and so much happens. I fell in love for the first time as a teenager and it blew my socks off! I couldn’t get over how intense and incredible it was. It made sense to try my hand at fiction and have the main characters be teenagers. But it’s HARD! Writing fiction is so hard I had no idea. It took me three entire 400 page drafts just to get something that didn’t stink. I love this book for a couple different reasons, but one big one is that I did it at all!

Q: Can you share a phrase from Starry Night that you’re most proud of?
A: Well, the parts that keep popping to the top of my head are all the conversations Wren has with her parents Nan and David. I wanted to make the parents and secondary characters feel real and flushed out. In my first draft I neglected to do that. I didn’t mean to leave them out but I was so focused on Wren and Nolan I sort of spaced out on everyone else. My editor alerted me to this mistake and so I spent the rest of my time writing the book thinking hard about everyone who surrounds Nolan and Wren. Wren’s little sister Dinah says funny stuff — I dig her. Actually one thing Dinah says is, “Your ass is grass.” Anytime I think of her saying that in the book I smile.

Q: What are some of your favorite YA books? Did any inspire your writing in Starry Night?
A: Oh I love Judy Blume. I loved her when I was a teenager and I loved reading her The Pain & The Great One series to my kids not so long ago. She is awesome. I loved Wonder, The Catcher In The Rye, The Outsiders, The Fault in Our Stars, and Every Day by David Levithan. I love watching my kids read so many great looking books that I wish I could read, but end up not reading because I fall asleep too fast at night. I love and am inspired by John Hughes movies, and I know they are not books, but who cares if the work stays with you, feels true and real and inspires you all over the place.

Q: If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: This answer could go a million ways, but today, I think I would like to meet J.K Rowling. My kids are reading The Harry Potter series for the second time and they are OBSESSED — again! They all talk and talk and talk about Harry and Hogwarts, etc etc until the light goes out and they fall asleep. Those books melted in to all three of my children and I would love to go on a long walk with the author just to feel her vibe.

***

Learn more about Isabel Gillies and Starry Night
Add Starry Night to your to-read list on Goodreads
Join in on social media with #StarryNight
Check out Isabel’s website, follow her on Twitter, ‘like’ her on Facebook, and follow her on Tumblr

***

Isabel’s Upcoming Public Events
Saturday, August 30: Decatur Book Festival - Map of My Heart Panel (Decatur, GA)
Tuesday September 2: Barnes & Noble Upper West Side - Launch Event with John Searles (New York, NY)
Sunday, September 14: Books of Wonder - Debut Author Panel (New York, NY)
Saturday, September 27: The Voracious Reader - Reading/Signing (Larchmont, NY)

Starry Night Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, August 26: Fiction Folio
Wednesday, August 27: The Compulsive Reader
Thursday, August 28: Green Bean Teen Queen
Friday, August 29: Paper Cuts
Saturday, August 30: Love is Not a Triangle
Sunday, August 31: Gone With the Words
Monday, September 1: Mac Teen Books
Tuesday, September 2: Jenuine Cupcakes

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Aug 142014
 

I’m thrilled to be a part of the release day blitz for Dangerous Boys! I adored Dangerous Girls and all its twists and turns, and now the wait is finally over for this highly anticipated thriller!

Out Now!

August 14th, 2014

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Three teens venture into the abandoned lake house one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense?

Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Purchase Now!

Amazon: amzn.to/1wrph3u

iBooks: bit.ly/1mS0PXB

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Boys-Abigail-Haas/dp/1471119165/

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1AYM77B

 

Early Praise

“Dangerous Boys is a taut, compelling thriller balanced on the razor’s edge of suspense. I could not put it down, and could not stop grinning wickedly as I raced through the pages.” — Leah Raeder, USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable

“Abigail Hass is a master at her craft! This is a special book and a special author. This is the kind of storytelling and writing that stick with you no matter how much time passes.” — The Book Geek Blog

“As with Dangerous Girls, the closing left me with a huge, admittedly rather twisted smile on my face. I don’t know how Haas manages to turn me into such a gleefully evil creature.” — Dahlia Adler, blogger.

“Dangerous Boys was an intense, psychological read which was full of suspense and drama,…Abigail Haas has a way of writing books which reel you in and keep you there, hooked and addicted until the very last page.” — Goodreads.com

About Abigail Haas

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Aug 052014
 

Title: Mortal Danger
Series: Immortal Game #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: August 5, 2014
Source: Publisher

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)

From Goodreads:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. It’s a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what–she can trust. Not even her own mind…

***

Warning: do NOT read this book before going to bed. Unless you want to have nightmares and/or not be able to fall asleep like me.

Mortal Danger is a unique combo of super scary mixed with cute romance. I don’t know many books that can pull that off, but Ann Aguirre did it with this one. The book starts off on a very heavy note and doesn’t really let up except for the scenes with Edie and Kian, which manage to inject love and hope into an otherwise dark situation. Without that romance, I think the book would be too creepy for me to read.

I love books that make you think, especially ones that have a scary element to them. What if your deepest, darkest wishes actually came true? What if when you said, “I wish you’d suffer,” the person actually did suffer? Edie goes through a lot of this throughout the book and you can’t help but feel sorry for her. Everyone has bad thoughts at one point or another, but to have them actually happen is another story. I know I won’t be thinking negative thoughts for a while…

I will say that there were quite a few terms I didn’t understand that I just skipped over, so I’m hoping I didn’t miss out on something big. I was still able to follow and enjoy the story so I’m guessing no ;)

Haunting and creepy but with an oh-so-sweet romance, Mortal Danger is a great start to a promising series.

Jul 122014
 

Here we are, folks. I’m in shock that I’m celebrating my four-year blogoversary today. I get a little weepy because it’s a time to reflect on what blogging has brought into my life. I say this every year, and I’ll continue to say it in the years to come–I have met the most amazing people through blogging and I will treasure the friendships I’ve made forever. You guys are what make me stick around!

Speaking of…some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently this past year. I never realized working in publishing would have such an affect on my personal reading/blogging time, but boy has it! I’m not complaining because I absolutely love my job, but it’s more of a struggle now to find the free time for this little ol’ blog. I don’t plan on going anywhere, so thank you for continuing to visit Fiction Folio and keeping me motivated to read and review :)

And as tradition dictates: it’s giveaway time! Even though I’ve read fewer books than ever this year, I still have read some ah-mazing stories that I’d love to share with two lucky people. Here are the choices:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review)
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (review)
Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis (review)
Torn Away Jennifer Brown (review)
Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter (review)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (review)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (review)

I am going to choose two winners, and each winner gets to choose one book from the list. As always for my blogoversary giveaways, this is open internationally. So go forth and enter and good luck!

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Jul 102014
 

Title: Sinner
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5)

From Goodreads:
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

***

I can’t even tell you how excited I was to jump back into the world of Mercy Falls and explore Cole and Isabel’s relationship in Sinner. It feels like ages ago since I finished Forever on the plane ride home from BEA…I guess maybe it was ages ago because that was in 2011. Three years ago. Wowzers.

Sinner is chock full of the despair and teenage angst that Maggie Stiefvater continuously nails like a champ. You can’t help but feel everything Cole and Isabel are feeling, and boy is that an emotional roller coaster. I felt like I was seventeen again, when everything held so much importance and drama and it made me wonder how I ever made it out of my teenage years alive.

While I felt all the feelings and enjoyed being in the heads of angsty teens, I didn’t get much else out of the story. The actual plot was not very strong to me and I sadly kept asking myself, “What is the point?” The romance is the center of the story, which I loved, but there was very little else happening. I like a little more oomph supporting the romance in YA and I didn’t get it with Sinner.

I will say my new favorite character was Leon, Cole’s driver. He was a highlight of the story for me and I craved more of him to give that extra oomph to the story that I mentioned before. He provided a good balance to Cole’s personality and I found myself loving every scene with Leon in it.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls continues to be a favorite series of mine, and Sinner fits in well but just didn’t wow me as much as the other three books. That’s a tall order to match, so I might be unfairly holding it to a higher standard than the others, but I was hoping for more.

Jul 072014
 

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Source: Publisher

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

From Goodreads:
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

***

Whoa.

Holy crap.

Dang.

Wow.

So good.

These are basically the only words I can utter right now after finishing The Kiss of Deception about five minutes ago. This book is a whopper at almost 500 pages and I dedicated a whole day to reading it, determined to take my time and savor the story. I’m so, so glad I did. If you can read this in one sitting, I highly recommend doing so.

The Kiss of Deception is the Throne of Glass series mixed with the Fire and Thorns series with a dash of its own uniqueness. I just can’t even begin to describe this book. The book starts off running, with big things happening in the first chapter, and that pace stuck throughout the rest of the story (except for a few small areas where it dragged a bit). I couldn’t help but be 100% completely immersed in the story, and from every point of view — four, to be exact. Normally I would find four POVs to be a bit much, but the author handled it with such finesse and it really helped tell the story in a more well-rounded way.

I will say this as a bit of a warning: the story revolves around a love triangle. I know, I’m a bit tired of them too, but I have to say that there was an interesting enough twist in this book that it didn’t bother me at all. I won’t go into details about the twist, but I will say that it’s TOTALLY worth investing your time in.

The Kiss of Deception comes out tomorrow, and I can’t encourage you enough to go grab a copy. The wait for book #2, The Heart of Betrayal, is going to be brutal, people. Brutal.

Jun 262014
 

Title: Secrets and Lies
Series: Truth or Dare #2
Author: Jacqueline Green
Publisher: Poppy
Publication date: May 6, 2014
Source: Paper Lantern Lit

Secrets and Lies (Truth or Dare, #2)

Summary:
It’s been a month since the tragic boat crash in the choppy waters of the Atlantic. The local news called the drownings an accident, adding the names to an ever-growing list of teens who have died off the rocky coast of Echo Bay.

Of course, Tenley Reed, Sydney Morgan, and Emerson Cunningham know the truth: these deaths were no accident. Determined to find the killer—the same person who started their twisted game of Truth or Dare—the girls investigate both their enemies and their friends. Everyone is a suspect…because everyone has secrets to hide.

Who’s sending the dares? Who’s behind the deaths? Secrets and Lies, book two in the Truth or Dare trilogy, will have readers furiously flipping the pages from beginning to end.

***

Confession time: I’m a huge fan of the Pretty Little Liars TV series. It’s a ridiculous show and has so many twists and turns I can’t keep up half the time, but something keeps drawing me into the crazy. The Truth or Dare series reminds me of PLL a lot–just pure fun to lose yourself in the drama for a few hours and come out on the other side thinking, “I’m so glad that’s not my life.”

Secrets and Lies picks up one month after Truth or Dare leaves off, and we once again follow Tenley, Sydney, and now Emerson on their wild ride of figuring out who keeps blackmailing/daring them in order to keep their secrets hidden. There are a ton of characters and at times they can be difficult to keep straight, but the excitement and drama the author injects into the story keeps you turning each page faster and faster. I feel like this book was even more dramatic than the first, and I kept incorrectly guessing who the darer was, which made me keep guessing and helped get me really invested in the girls’ stories.

If you’re looking for a fun, dramatic read and you like the crazy as much as I do, the Truth or Dare series is the way to go. Fun characters, lots of drama, and a story that will keep you guessing until the very last page (and maybe even past that).

***

Jacqueline Green grew up in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, where she devoured books the way other kids did candy. She never stopped loving those books she read as a kid, so after receiving her BA from Cornell University, she went on to get her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She’s since worked in many parts of the children’s publishing field, from marketing to editorial to writing. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their very small dog, who moonlights as her writing companion.

 

Purchasing Links: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Goodreads
Social Media: Twitter | Website

Jun 242014
 

Title: The Crown of Embers
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication date: September 18, 2012
Source: Library

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)

From Goodreads:
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

***

My love for this series continues to grow after reading The Crown of Embers. I have a feeling I’m going to go on a huge fantasy quick after I finish The Bitter Kingdom.

The second book in the series picks up right where the first book left off. We’re once again thrown into Elisa’s world of power, deception, lies, and most important to me–romance. I was SO pumped to see a certain romance blossom and it was my favorite part of the story. I won’t say who, but I will say this: SWOON.

While the setting and characters were again spot-on, the book did suffer a bit from middle-book syndrome. There were times where the plot was a little slow and I was looking for more action. But, I know that The Crown of Embers was just setting up for what I bet is going to be a ridiculously awesome end to the series.

Fantasy fans, read this series. NOW. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Stay tuned for my review of The Bitter Kingdom soon!

Jun 102014
 

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication date: September 20, 2011
Source: Purchased

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

From Goodreads:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

***

Why, oh why, did I not read this book sooner?! *kicks self in butt*

I can be pretty picky about my fantasy, so I was a little hesitant going into The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I quickly realized that my hesitation was a complete waste of time. This book deserves the adjective epic.

The book starts off at a fast pace and does not stop until the very end. It had my adrenaline pumping the entire time and made me rush to the library to get the next two books in the series before I even finished it. That, my friends, is a testament to how much I loved the story. Elisa is so strong, admirable, and unique, but she also has her insecurities and doubts. I fell in love with her character immediately and felt her trials and successes right along with her.

World building is key for me in fantasy, and Rae Carson did not disappoint. The settings were so vivid and lifelike that sometimes I had to look up from the book to make sure I wasn’t in the desert with the characters. A few of the city names are pretty similar and I got confused at some points, but other than that the settings were spot-on.

There were just hints of romance in this book, which was the right amount for me. I wanted to learn more about Elisa and her situation, and now I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing more romance in books two and three.

Don’t be like me–start this series ASAP!