Tuesday, October 11, 2016

VICARIOUS: Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway

Hi guys :D In case you missed it, I revealed the cover for FEROCIOUS as part of the YA Scavenger Hunt. I love love love love it, maybe even more than the cover for VICARIOUS. I honestly can't decide. Check it out in extra-large size:

We're not releasing the official description for the book yet, because it will be hard to do so without spoiling any of the twists in Vicarious, but I'm going to give away a signed ARC to one lucky reader (INT) who has read and reviewed Vicarious online.

Wondering why I'm running a reviewer appreciation giveaway? Here are some reasons why reviews are important to authors:

1. There's the obvious way, where if a book has a lot of positive reviews, then a prospective reader might be more willing to take a chance on it. Positive reviews have the power to influence readers who are "on the fence."

2. There's the inverse (converse?) where a negative review might prevent someone who wouldn't like the book from picking it up, which is also a good thing. Sometimes I’ll read a negative review that says “This book had too much swearing and underage drinking” or “I hated that this book had a love triangle.” Readers are totally justified in not liking those things. However, those things don’t bother me, so those reviews they don’t affect whether I’ll buy a book. Other reviews says stuff like “This book was really slow-paced and took 250 pages to get to the inciting incident” or “I hated that the heroine’s pet kitten died a brutal death.” When I read that, I’m less likely to pick up a book, and that’s actually a good thing for everyone involved. Maybe it means that I don’t buy a book I was thinking of buying, but I am much more likely to buy the author’s future books if I haven’t labeled her or him in my brain as slow-paced or “Violent Kitten Killer Author.” 

3. So-so reviews can also sell books. One of the three-star reviews I've seen for GATU was extremely well-written and complimentary--the reviewer mostly felt that book was kind of long. (It is.) If a reader sees that and likes long books, that might be even more persuasive than a 5-star review. Also, everyone knows that not all 3-star reviews are the same. Some reviewers have their reader-meter set to LOVE and three stars means the book let them down. Other reviewers have a "no five star" policy since no books are perfect, and three stars might be a really good review from them.

4. Even one-star reviews can sell books. I will openly admit that when I see a book being obliterated with one-star reviews, my curiosity is piqued and my sympathy-response is activated. I am more likely to read that book. Also, some one-star reviews are more "it's not for me" than "no one should ever read this." One of my Liars, Inc. one-star reviews says this: No matter how I didn't like the plot/decisions of the characters, I will say the writing was exceptional, and the book is a fast read. I love flawed characters and fast reads. That's basically a blurbable quote from someone who "borderline-hated" the book.

5. Most book-buying websites also have algorithms that cause the more "popular" books to come up more frequently in site "If you like [Book] you might be interested in [Other Book]" features and targeted emails, etc. This placement can be tremendously helpful in getting the word out about a new book to targeted audiences--almost like free advertising. One way a book's "popularity" is measured is by number of reviews.

6. Sometimes just the sheer numbers of reviews (say 60 on Amazon vs. 10) is enough to cause a potential buyer to click for more info. The only reason I ever clicked on Susan Ee'sAngelfall is because it had a massive number of reviews, and I really enjoyed that book. Volume of reviews can influence casual browsers who might click on "People who bought [Book] also bought [Other Book]" links.


1. You must have read Vicarious in order to enter.
2. Your review must be at least 50 words long. (Reviews that you have already posted also count. No need to edit or update, unless you need more words.)
3. You can copy/paste the same review to different sites for multiple entries.
4. You must fill out the Raffecopter below, providing links/identifying info to your reviews.
5. There are more points for Amz/B&N than GR/your blog because right now those are the places where more reviews will really benefit the book, and also because I'm hoping this giveaway might encourage people who reviewed on their blog/GR to cross-post those reviews to Amz/B&N.

If you want to enter but you don't generally leave reviews because you're not sure what to say or not comfortable sharing your prose publicly, consider leaving a list of things you liked and/or didn't like about the book. That adds up to 50 words pretty quickly :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The dangers of running a giveaway likes this include that people will plagiarize/write fake reviews to qualify or that people will think I am bribing readers for positive reviews. It's important to me that neither of these things happen. So:

1. If I think your review is fake or plagiarized (meaning that you copied someone else's review, not that you used quotes from the book--that's totally fine), I will disqualify you from consideration without notification.

2. Any honest review qualifies you to win the ARC. 5 stars. 1 star. A GR review with no rating if that's how you roll. I probably won't even read your review unless you're the contest winner. And if you didn't like the book and would prefer a $10 gift card to Amazon or Book Depository instead of an ARC, that's fine too.

Got questions about the giveaway or about reviews? Put 'em in the comments.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Hi hi! Once again it's time for the YA Scavenger Hunt!!! YASH gives you a chance to check out scads of fun bonus material and enter to win like a bajillion books. If you're confused about how to play, check this site for instructions on how to hunt.

This hunt I am proud to represent the GREEN TEAM.

I'm hosting Jennifer Bardsley who is new to YASH this year. Welcome, Jennifer! I hope you have a blast :D Be sure to check out Jennifer's website because there are at least 5 pretty things in her header that I wish I had, starting with that cake. Is that red velvet?

Jennifer wrote GENESIS GIRL.  Here's a little bit more about the book:

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she's been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn't even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders. 

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

Dude! How awesome does that sound? Can you imagine what you'd be like right now if you had been shielded from the Internet your whole life? What a cool premise!

For her bonus content, Jennifer is sharing the official playlist for GENESIS GIRL. Check it out:


“Girl is On Fire” Alicia Keys

“God’s Gonna Cut you Down” Johnny Cash

“It’s My Life” Bon Jovi

“To Be With You” Mr. Big

“Help Me Find It” Sidewalk Prophets

“I Won’t Give Up” Jason Mraz

“Cups” Anna Kendrick

“Galileo” Indigo Girls

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” Everclear

“She Will Be Loved” Maroon 5

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” The Proclaimers

“Soldier” Gavin DeGraw


What a fun mix of songs! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer :D BTW, here's more about Jennifer herself.

Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her debut YA novel, “Genesis Girl” was published Month9Books on June 14, 2016. The sequel, "Damaged Goods," releases next year. “Genesis Girl” is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 20,000 followers on Facebook, and 15,000 followers on Instagram. On Facebook, she hosts the weekly instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where YA Gal friends geek out, share pictures of what they are reading, and chat about books. Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle, WA where she enjoys spending time with her family and her poodle, Merlin.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter as @JennBardsley and check out her website!

For more info and to buy GENESIS GIRL, check out the Amazon page.


One lucky green team winner will score a 20-book prize pack, including a finished copy of VICARIOUS. But you guys know I love these secondary giveaways, so a second lucky winner will win their choice of any of my last four releases (shown in the sidebar.) Read more about each title on my Books page.

The book the winner chooses will ship directly from me if you're local or from The Book Depository or Wordery if you live outside the US. 

Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter. The comment prompt is:

Do you write reviews on book buying sites like Amazon or international sites? Why or why not? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more about why reviews matter, especially to midlist or non-bestselling authors, check out this post I wrote before THE ART OF LAINEY released or this updated post with even more reasons. (Note: The reviewer appreciation giveaway on the second post is over, but I will be starting a new review-themed giveaway after the hunt.)

Are you ready for more YASH epicness? Lisa Amowitz is next for TEAM GREEN.  Happy hunting, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Once again, A HUGE THANK YOU to the organizers of the hunt for including me, and to all of the participants for taking the time to stop by our blogs and enter our contests. Books and <333  --Paula

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Vicarious Gratitude Giveaway

It's time for another gratitude giveaway! I'm very thankful to Lindsay Cummings, Victoria Scott, and Kristi Helvig for providing blurbs for VICARIOUS. Scoring blurbs for a book's jacket is something that is highly stressful to most authors, and extremely so for me, because I have been rejected a lot--way more than I ever got rejected by agents. (Stuff like this is part of what I mean when I tell people the rejection part of writing increases dramatically after you land an agent.)

All three of these fabulous authors have written books that I think are good comparison titles for Vicarious, and I am grateful they found the time to fit reading my ARC into their busy schedules. If you have enjoyed their novels, chances are you'll enjoy the action-packed sci-fi storyline and tough but vulnerable heroine of my latest novel too :)

Lindsay also hosted the book's trailer reveal! Vicarious features Korean sisters as main characters. ICYMI: You can read more about why I made Winter and Rose Korean in my blog tour posts.

For this contest, I'm giving one lucky reader their choice of one currently available book by Lindsay, Victoria, or Kristi. This giveaway is INT and I will be ordering from The Book Depository or Wordery. Here's some information on each author's latest book or series.

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Do you already own a copy of The Murder Complex? Check out Lindsay's other books here.

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit 
neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

Victoria's got two fantastic series in addition to Titans. See her whole collection here.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

Have you already read Burn Out? Here's more information about Kristi's other books!

Enter in the Rafflecopter below. Don't forget to comment on the post and tell me one bookish thing or person you are grateful for :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome to the YA Dash

What is the YA Dash, you ask? It's a blog hop where you can win a slew of awesome  YA suspense novels. Participating authors were asked to put their posts up early so the organizer can make sure everyone's links are working, but the YA Dash officially starts at 8 a.m. Eastern Time on August 25th and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 29th. If you have shown up early, some of the links might not be functioning yet. For more info, check the official site here.

The DASH rules:
Participants in the DASH need to visit all fourteen authors and tally the answers to the featured question. Count how many authors chose A, B, C, D, E or F as their answer. The most popular answer will unlock the Rafflecopter and enter participants into the prize pack draw. Please note, only those participants indicating the correct answer will be eligible for the prize draw. Participants can find the Rafflecopter for the YA DASH prize pack draw at theyadash.wordpress.com

Here are all the books you can win! Pretty sweet, huh?

I'm giving away a hardcover of my new thriller VICARIOUS. Vicarious features sisters, high-tech stunts, murder, car chases, knife fights, shark diving, shocking revelations, and a diverse cast of characters.

My first ever mood board. How did I do? :)

Here's the official info:

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Check out the super-cool book trailer:

Now back to business. Here's my answer to the YA Dash question:
What’s your favorite way to kill a character?
A. Gun
B. Poison
C. Buried Alive
D. Drowned
E. Strangled
F. Fire
Winter carries throwing knives and I like myself a good old-fashioned fictional stabbing, but since that is not an option, I'll go with my second choice, which is F for Fire. 

I've got a secondary contest for a second signed Vicarious hardcover giveaway for people with a US address. INT people, you're welcome to enter this Rafflecopter too, but I'm limiting my INT postal allowance until I have ARCs of FEROCIOUS to give away, so the INT prize for this RC is signed Vicarious swag.

However, I do have an international social media graphics contest for a finished copy of VICARIOUS going until Sept 1st. All entrants score signed bookmarks. One winner gets a finished hardcover. I only have about five entrants right now and the contest ends soon, so if you're feeling artsy, your odds are pretty good :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ready to keep dashing? Author Y.S. Lee has the next stop!

Friday, August 19, 2016

VICARIOUS: Guess the title to the sequel!

Sometimes I know the title to a book before I even start writing it (like with Liars, Inc.), but more often, the title reveals itself during the writing process (like with Vicarious.) Occasionally the title to the book is decided after all of the writing and revision is completed (like with Girl Against the Universe.

The title to the Vicarious sequel was one of those third ones. I kept a running list of title ideas on the document file, and then crossed them off when I decided they didn't quite work. There was one I liked a lot, but it happened to be a single word that had been used in multiple other book titles over the past few years. I try really hard to come up with unique titles when I can, because this makes them easier for readers to find online by searching. The title my editor and I settled on isn't 100% unique, but it's close :)

I thought it would be fun to post clues to the title and let people try to guess. The first person to guess the right title wins their choice of a finished copy of Vicarious or an ARC of the sequel. I'll make this contest international so everyone can guess, but after this I'll be cutting back on INT contests because I've spent over $600 on postage this year already 0_0 If you live outside the US and want access to regular contests, I run them several times a year in my newsletter, and most of those are INT. Subscribe by clicking the "Mailing List" tab and filling out the form.

Here are the rules for this contest:
  • All entrants must be at least 13 years old.
  • You can only guess here on the blog. I might post clues on Twitter or Instagram, depending on how long it takes people to guess, but all guesses have to be in the comments here.
  • You can only guess once per comment.
  • You can only comment once per hour.
  • I turned off comment moderation temporarily, so you can see that your guess went through, but if you violate the one guess per hour rule, all of your guesses will be invalidated and deleted.
  • In order to win, you have to have the right title and spell it correctly.
  • I'll add clues to this post sporadically throughout the day (and weekend if no one guesses today.)

Here are a couple of clues to get you started:

Clue #1: The title is one word.

Clue #2: The title ends in US.

Clue #3: The title is a word that can be used to describe at least one of the book's major characters.

Start guessing, or stay tuned for more clues. In the meantime, have you checked out the official VICARIOUS book trailer?

UPDATE: This contest has been won! Add FEROCIOUS to your Goodreads TBR list :)