Saturday, July 18, 2015

Today only--Get Liars, Inc. for $1.99

You will be grumpy if you miss this sale.

Hi guys! Just a really quick post to inform you that Liars, Inc. is today's Kindle Daily Deal. That means if you live in the U.S. or Canada, you can score an e-copy of the book on Amazon for just $1.99.

Here's the U.S. link.
Here's the Canada link.

While you're here *evil cackle* I also wanted to invite you to sign up for my newsletter! I'll be releasing at least five books in 2016 and 2017, and that means I'll be doing giveaways galore. Many of my contests will be exclusively for newsletter subscribers. You'll also get access to bonus excerpts and deleted scenes from forthcoming books, as well as preference when it comes to guest blog posts and blog tour inclusion. I promise never to spam you or share your info. You can expect six to twelve newsletters a year, at least half of which will include contests.

Here's the sign-up form!

Paula Stokes Newsletter--cooler name coming when I think of it (or one of you suggests something :D)

* indicates required

Saturday, July 4, 2015

#Badassreads giveaway

Hi guys :) Sorry for the lack of posts. The last few months were insane for me. March was all about promoting LIARS, INC. Then I spent April and May revising GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE and VICARIOUS. Then I spent June doing bookstore events and having a vacation with my family back in St. Louis.

And now I am just getting back into the swing of things in Portland and reading all the books I couldn't read over the past few months. Man, reading feels so good :) Anyway, the rest of my summer will be about more revisions and copy-edits for GIRL and VICARIOUS, as well as drafting my 2017 novels and doing one more round of revisions on an NA book before I show it to my agent. And playing around with some secret projects, of course. I wouldn't be me if I wasn't daydreaming about secret projects! :D

So I'm working on lots of fun stuff, and trying to have a little fun too. Speaking of fun, my pal Bethany Crandell is running this epic contest where you can win 25 awesome books this summer. You've probably seen it around, but just in case you haven't, check out the info and Rafflecopter below! Yes, I have shamelessly nicked the HTML code from her site--thanks, B! And check out the individual posts on her blog each week where we badass authors give you writing advice and tell you our most and least favorite words. We are an interesting bunch :D

Happy summer :)



AG Howard 
PLUS an UNTAMED postcard w/three paragraph sneak peek!!!

LANDRY PARK, Bethany Hagen
DEFY, Sara B. Larson
NIL, Lynne Matson

MURDER COMPLEX, Lindsay Cummings 
LIARS, INC., Paula Stokes (hard copy) 

NO PLACE TO FALL, Jaye Robin Brown
SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, Bethany Crandell 
PLAYING NICE, Rebekah Crane 
THE SUMMER AFTER YOU + ME, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Eric Devine

ASPEN, Rebekah Crane
THE ONE THING, Marci Lynn Curtis (hard copy) 

EXTRACTION, Stephanie Diaz (hard copy)
BURN OUT, Kristi Helvig
ANOMALY, Tonya Kuper



(paperback unless otherwise stated)

*Giveaway is US ONLY*


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bookaversary Contests for THE ART OF LAINEY!

Today marks exactly one year from the day The Art of Lainey was released. As you probably know, although I wrote a work-for-hire trilogy for Penguin/Paper Lantern Lit, LAINEY was the first book I wrote where I had the copyright and creative control. I thought I'd share why I wrote it.

Lainey Mitchell isn't me and her breakup isn't my breakup, but her pain was my pain after it didn't work out with a guy I really liked. I did actually meet a coffee shop rocker guy, and although we didn't engage in nefarious Art of War strategies or ever become more than friends, this guy showed me there are truly amazing guys out there. He reminded me I deserve to be treated well, that sometimes letting go of what you think you need is the first step to realizing what you really need is completely different.

That was one of two major reasons I wrote the book--to comfort people who had gone through a painful breakup. At its heart, The Art of Lainey is about opening yourself up to the possibilities. Not just romantic ones, but life possibilities. Lainey starts out desperate and floundering, but gradually begins to recognize she's been brainwashed by her friends and boyfriend into becoming someone she doesn't want to be. She doesn't trade Jason for Micah. She trades Jason for herself. I realize not everyone read the book like that, but that was my intent.

The other reason I wrote it is to show that we all hurt the same. I used Lainey, a sort of clueless "love-to-hate popular girl" because I was friends with girls like her in high school. And even though it's easy to look at them and think their life is perfect, really they have all the same issues and insecurities as everyone else.

I remember this article in Cosmo where teenage Britney Spears was listing all of the physical attributes about herself she didn't like. I read it thinking, "She's rich. She's famous. She's gorgeous. She's talented. Everyone loves her. If she's not okay with herself, then who is??" And so yeah, some of Lainey is inspired by that.

Obviously I'm not trying to compare Lainey's struggles to people living in poverty or under oppressive regimes or anything. But I do believe that the Lainey Mitchells of this world are insecure and scared like every other kid in a similar school/life situation. It's a fallacy to assume that someone has it way better because they are prettier, more popular, etc. I believe we are all more alike than we sometimes think.

I've read the reviews that laud this book as feminist fiction and I've read the other ones who think Lainey is an affront to girls everywhere, and for most people the truth is probably somewhere in the middle (though hopefully closer to the first one :D). I wrote her to be a girl with inner strength who has lost herself, a girl who wants to be better, but has to screw up repeatedly to find her way. My books are (and will continue to be) full of characters who start out flawed and end up still flawed, but in a better place than when they started. So, you know, if that's not your thing, caveat emptor ;-)

But if it is your thing, maybe you know someone who needs a little LAINEY (or Micah!) in his or her life. Perhaps it's someone going through a tough breakup, or someone who is worried about college, or someone hungry for a story with great family and friendship subplots. Maybe it's just someone who would enjoy a story about a girl who finds herself while engaging in win-back-your-ex shenanigans with a hot mohawked baker ;D I am giving away one copy of The Art of Lainey, but here's the catch. You can't win it for yourself. You can only win it for someone else by tweeting:

I think @pstokesbooks should #SendLAINEY to [my friend/sister/mom/roommate/neighbor/etc.] because [reason.]

What if you want a copy of the book for yourself? I guess you'd better find a friend who will tweet for you ;-)

This is open international, but people outside the US will receive a book from The Book Depository so make sure the country is listed as one they will ship to. You don't have to use a twitter hashtag for the person you think should receive the book, but you can. Be sure to use the #SendLAINEY hashtag so I can find your tweet. I'm going to pick a winner based on your reasoning on Monday morning 5/25 so you have until Sunday night your time to tweet. (If I can't choose--like usual--I will select randomly from my top favorites.) I will also send the winning tweeter a little surprise for their kindness in trying to win a book for someone else.

Speaking of kindness, maybe check out blogger Nova's Kindness Project at Out of Time Book Blog, if you'd like to express your appreciation for an author or blogger who has brightened your day.

Oh, and what's better than a contest? TWO CONTESTS :D And so here's a Rafflecopter for everyone (again, open INT, ends Sunday night) where you can win an amazing Art of Lainey book charm (made by Tabitha from Bows and Bullets Reviews), plus bookmarks, buttons, and a postcard signed by the main characters. But I'm going to make you work for it :)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Questions? Put them in the comments. Happy reading. Happy spring! Thanks to everyone who read, reviewed and pushed The Art of Lainey on friends <3 #BookPushersRock And thanks to Eli Madison for the cool Half a Heart graphics </3

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reviewer appreciation contest for LIARS, INC.

Hi guys. I'm soooo excited that so many people are reading and enjoying LIARS, INC. Thank you for your support <333

You're not going to see much of me online for the next six weeks because I am completely immersed in edits for both of my 2016 books. First there will be GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE (formerly called BAD LUCK CHARM) from HarperTeen, tentatively in May, and then VICARIOUS from Tor Teen, tentatively in August. GIRL is romantic and funny, but also thought-provoking and poignant. VICARIOUS is dark and mysterious and slightly sci-fi. I actually finished writing VICARIOUS almost two years before I finished GIRL, but it's releasing later, just one more example of how every book's path to publication is different.

If you know me at all, then you know how strongly I believe that reviews are essential to a book and author's success. Here are some basic reasons why:

  • More reviews can result in better placement on book-buying websites.
  • More reviews can encourage casual shoppers to pause and consider a book.
  • Good reviews encourage on-the-fence shoppers/readers to give the book a try.
  • Critical reviews can keep people who would not like the book from buying/reading it.

I think some people miss how critical reviews can help. Example: if you were offended by the profanity or sexual situations in LIARS, INC., I want people to read your review and see that. Because readers who don't mind those things won't be dissuaded, and people who do mind those things are much more likely to pick up my "cleaner" books like LAINEY or GIRL if they have not been offended by something else I wrote. Make sense?

And now onto the contest! But just so we're clear:

What this is:
  • A way for me to encourage people who have read the book to share their thoughts with others via reviews.
  • A way for me to encourage people who have already reviewed the book to cross-post their reviews to additional sites so more potential readers can find them.

What this is not:
  • Me trying to bribe readers for good reviews. ANY honest review of the book that is 50+ words will count.
  • Me expecting people to buy my book to qualify for a contest. It's in lots of libraries--look!

Hello Maggie Stiefvater and Amy Tintera. I love your books!
Thanks to @FlytoFiction for this image.

Here's how the LIARS, INC. review contest will work. 

In order to enter, you need to be at least 13 years old and have read LIARS, INC. If I think your review is fraudulent or plagiarized, I'll disqualify you.

Then you need to write an honest, preferably non-spoilery review at least 50 words long and post it in at least three places. [Note: If you read an unfinished advanced reader copy, I'd love it if you would mention that in your review, as I made a ton of tweaks to the final book that I think strengthen the story. A summary file of the changes I made is available upon request via email.]

The most helpful places for me are probably book-buying website like Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, etc. but I know not everyone uses those, so feel free to also post your reviews on Goodreads, your blog, your local library website, your local indie bookstore website, a friend's blog, your tumblr, your Instagram, your Youtube channel, the printed or online copy of your school newspaper, etc. I'm flexible. If you put it someplace other people can read it, I'll give you credit.

Fill out this LIARS, INC. Review Contest form before the end of the day on May 15th to be officially entered. US and international participants are welcome. I will choose a winner by May 18th and mail/order your prize by the end of May.

Oh, right, the prize!

One randomly selected winner will win a two-sided black LIARS, INC. T-shirt, a keychain mini-flashlight, 2 magnets, and 2 signed bookmarks, all wrapped up in crime scene tape and packed in an official evidence bag.

Sorry, the Lucky Charms are not included, but as a bonus I'll throw in a YA thriller book of your choice ($18.00 US max price) from The Book Depository. If you enjoyed LIARS, I recommend something like GET EVEN by Gretchen McNeil, DANGEROUS BOYS by Abigail Haas, THE CEMETERY BOYS by Heather Brewer, or I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga. But hey, it's your book--go crazy! Of course you're also welcome to select LIARS, INC. if you don't have a finished copy or THE ART OF LAINEY, which is absolutely thrilling in its own way, because Micah <333

As another bonus, I will send two signed bookmarks and a magnet to the first ten people who fill out the form and give me their mailing address.

As another bonus, I'll send two signed bookmarks and a magnet to another five random people who fill out the form before May 15th and give me their mailing address. So even if you're not first, you can still win some fun swag!

If you don't want swag or you've already won it from me and don't need more, just don't include your mailing address on the form.

Questions? Put them in the comments :)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Finding Happiness as a Writer: INTERMISSION

I'm about halfway finished with the series as loosely planned, but what I've discovered is that blogging is super-draining for me. I'm about to get hit with two edit letters and then I have to draft at least two more books this year (hopefully three 0_0), and all that work feels totally manageable compared to the thought of weekly blogging. And some of you do it every day on top of high school or college or a full-time job. I am completely in awe of you. Thank you for what you do for the publishing industry.

But I just don't have your passion for blogging or fortitude or je ne sais quoi, so I'm putting this series on hold indefinitely and will return to blogging about once a month, mostly when I have something to give away. I'll do my best to return to the series if I see an increase in hits, and in the meantime I'll turn off Captcha and turn on anonymous commenting w/moderation to see if that encourages more sharing and interaction on these posts.

Maybe check out the series from the start?

INTRODUCTION: Why did I want to write this series? Writers in general and myself in particular tend to struggle with negative emotions. Last year I found myself with many lovely writer things: my first copyright, four book sales, my first starred review, and more. But I wasn't happy. And I realized that was messed-up, so I worked on gratitude and focus and goal-setting and fighting back against destructive thought patterns. And it helped, so I wanted to share my process.

KNOW YOURSELF: This is a super-analytical, super-long post for eggheads, but it will show you that writers vary widely. Just because you chart your weekly sales numbers on a scatter plot and your friend is like "oh, I would never look at those" doesn't make one of you right and one of you wrong. This post will help you figure out who you are and what you need to maximize your happiness.

ACCEPT THE UNACCEPTABLE TRUTHS: This post will crush your soul a little bit if you're unpublished, because unpublished writers tend to think being in the query trenches is the worst and that things will be much shinier once they have an agent. Maybe. Maybe not. If you're a person who wouldn't look at sales numbers, you probably want to skip this post.

CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN: This post will glue the pieces of your soul back together a little as I take you back through all the unacceptable truths and give you strategies for dealing with them. There's a lot in publishing that writers cannot begin to control, but there are a few things we can do to maximize our chances for success.

MANAGE YOUR PANIC: Got stress? This post is all about managing anxiety--from full-blown panic attacks to that nagging feeling that every setback is going to lead to the worst-case scenario.

ESTABLISH A SUPPORT NETWORK: Writing can be stressful at any level. You need people in your corner. This post talks about finding the right mix of people to rely on. On the flip side, if you have unsupportive crit partners, frenemies, or family members who are hindering your writing, you need to set those people straight or kick them out of your writing world. This post has tips for that too.

TAKE A BREAK: Half for you and half for me, this midpoint post is about the importance of taking a break now and then. To facilitate your R&R, I give you my top TV shows for writers, and link you to a couple other blogs with additional choices. You might want to bookmark this post for the summer rerun season :-)

Obligatory kitty picture. I call this: Cat yoga--corpse pose.

See you next Thursday for YASH! I'll be hosting Rita Arens and doing some kind of secondary giveaway too :-)