Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spring 2020 YA Scavenger Hunt

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 lots of books and other fun prizes. If you're new to the hunt, confused about how to play, or you get stuck somewhere, check this site for instructions on how to hunt. The hunt starts at noon Pacific (so 3:00 pm Eastern) on March 31 and runs through noon Pacific on April 5th.

This hunt I am proud to represent the  BLUE TEAM! I'm hosting K.M. Robinson and her book MULAN DRAGON SHIFTER.

There are no female dragon shifters in Yan Liu…except Mulan and her family. Only the enemy province has women with scales, so when they attack the Center as Mulan is dropping off her twin brother for his assignment with the army, she’s forced to play the role of a non-existent brother after she shifts and rushes into the battle to protect her real twin.

Together, they must lie to their commanding officer—Mulan’s secret boyfriend—and the entire army to protect her from their wrath should they find out and consider her an enemy, but Mulan’s special gift might be too great to keep her secret hidden for long. She may be the only one that can save the kingdom and return the black jade blossom to the emperor.

Can Mulan survive the war, navigate two men vying for her attention, and keep her scales hidden long enough to return the province’s life source to her people, or will dark, hidden forces destroy everything and cause her plans to burn hotter than her scale-melting dragon flames?

Wow, this book sounds like so much fun! I would say the ability to shift into a dragon is definitely one of the top 5 superpowers I wish I had, especially during this pandemic when we're all trapped inside. Social distancing in the sky--that sounds epic right about now.

For her bonus content, K.M is sharing an amazing piece of art for her book. Feast your eyes on THIS. K.M. made it herself. I'm in awe of her talent!

K.M.: The dragons in the background are actually her twin brother and her two love interests and it’s a reference to the special edition alternative cover printed on the hard cover book under the dust jacket which features more of the dragons that fans will be able to identify on the cover by their colors once they start reading the book!

Here's more about K.M.:

K.M. Robinson is a best selling storyteller who creates new worlds both in her writing and in her fine arts conceptual photography. She is a marketing, branding and social media strategy educator who is recognized at first sight by her very long hair. She is a creative who focuses on photography, videography, couture dress making, and writing to express the stories she needs to tell. She almost always has a camera within reach.


One lucky blue team winner will score all the blue team titles, including a copy of JADED by K.M. Robinson and your choice of any of my available YA titles (or a $10 gift card) since STRONGER THAN WORDS is available for free. But I love running secondary giveaways, so for this YASH I'm going to hook a second winner up with a $25 gift card for Amazon, B&N, Etsy, Society6, Target, Kohls, Best Buy, or Starbucks. If none of those gift cards work for you, you can also select to receive $25 USD via Paypal or your choice of any book(s) up to $25 in price from Book Depository or Wordery.

Most of the entries involve promoting STRONGER THAN WORDS. I haven't sold a book to a traditional publisher in several years, and although I'm still trying and I'll never give up, I would love it if more people read this uplifting and empowering story of overcoming adversity with the help of friends and loved ones. Bonus factors: strong women, sisterly love, adorable animals, iconic Portland settings, a love interest who is realistically flawed, and did I mention adorable animals?

You can read more about why the book is important to me on Goodreads, but I hope you check it out, especially if you loved GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE. At some point I will pull it off Swoon Reads and self-publish via Amazon, so it will not be available for free forever.

 To enter my secondary contest, just fill out the Rafflecopter below. The prompt for leaving a blog post comment is to share tips about how to handle the isolation and cabin fever that come with Social Distancing or to recommend a favorite book or TV series to help others stay busy while stuck at home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In case you missed it (or my coffee-deprived brain goofed up and included more than one number on accident) my secret number is 5. Good luck!

Are you ready for more exclusive content, fantabulous secondary contests, and general YASH mayhem?!? Lea Nolan is next for the blue team!

As always, 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. We couldn't do this without you. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Stronger than Words Street Team

I'm recruiting for a small street team for my latest release, STRONGER THAN WORDS, available now on Wattpad and the Swoon Reads platform. Teamers who complete all of the required activities will receive a $10 gift card plus the opportunity to use me as a reference for college, graduate school, internships, or relevant job applications! And if Stronger than Words is selected by the Swoon Reads team for publication, all teamers will receive $100 via PayPal or another gift card.

Here's more info about the book:
Formerly homeless Mackenzie Craig has worked her way up to the number two spot in her graduating class and secured a scholarship to a great college. But then she collapses at the state debate championships. She's rushed to the hospital where her prognosis is grave--she's having a stroke.

Mackenzie wakes up unable to walk or speak normally. She works hard to return to school in time to graduate, but when she overhears a classmate insulting her little sister, she doesn't have the words to tell him off, so she punches him.

When her college finds out about the assault, they threaten to revoke her scholarship. Mackenzie must meet with them to defend her actions before the fall semester starts. But August is only three months away. Can she re-learn to communicate in time for her hearing? Or will her stroke steal away her entire future?

Stronger than Words
is a story of perseverance, hope, and human connection.

Here are the street team details:

In order to apply, first read the entire story on Swoon Reads and leave a short review in the comments for the book. Then fill out this form to officially request to be part of the team. I will accept applications until February 26 and notify accepted teamers by Feb 29. Incentives will be mailed out at the end of June to teamers who complete all of the following activities.

In order to apply you must have (or be willing to create) the following:
  • a free Swoon Reads account
  • either a Twitter or Instagram account--ideally both
  • a Goodreads account
  • At least one additional way beyond the above to review the story--could be Facebook, Wattpad, a personal blog, membership to a YA review blog like YA Books Central, a YouTube channel, a Tumblr, etc. If you don't have any of these things and still really want to participate, you can agree to write a short review on your Instagram account.
  • There is no requirement as far as number of followers you have. If you're looking to get some book promotion experience, this is a great opportunity for people just starting out. International teamers welcome.

Here are the required activities:


  • Cross-post your review from Swoon Reads to Goodreads.
  • Add your quotes from STRONGER THAN WORDS to Goodreads, or vote for them if they've already been added.
  • Vote for STRONGER THAN WORDS on 3 Goodreads lists. You can also add the book to other existing lists.
  • Create four to eight quote/image graphics using your fave quotes from the story. You can make your own backgrounds if you own the rights to the images or you get them from a free image bank like on Canva. For an easier option, you can use templates I will provide formatted for both Twitter and IG and simply add text to them. If you've never done this before, canva.com is a great way to start. If you're unclear whether an image is copyrighted, for purposes of this team you must assume it is. I don't mean for these to be time-consuming unless you want to spend extra time making your own. If you use my templates, you should be able to cut/paste quotes from Goodreads and format everything in less than an hour.
  • Once a week, during March and April, for a total of eight times, post a quote/image graphic on Twitter or Instagram with a link to the book on Swoon Reads. You can use each quote up to two times if needed. If you forget one week, you can do two the next week, but no more than twice a week. Be sure to tag me (@pstokesbooks) so I can retweet if I happened to be on social media. 
You can make up your own captions, but if you want to use something ready made, here are a couple to make your life easier ;) 
Did you know you can read STRONGER THAN WORDS, an uplifting contemporary YA novel by @pstokesbooks for free on @SwoonReads? https://www.swoonreads.com/m/stronger-than-words/
Did you enjoy @pstokesbooks GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE? Check out her latest contemporary YA novel, STRONGER THAN WORDS, for free on @SwoonReads! https://www.swoonreads.com/m/stronger-than-words/

  • Catch up time--if you missed one or two of the March-April activities, you can do them now for full credit. Life happens to all of us and this "professor" accepts late work ;)
  • Review the story one other way--this could be YouTube, Facebook, Wattpad, personal blog, YA review website, Instagram, etc. You can cross-post your earlier review or edit it longer or shorter for the medium you choose.
  • Complete one additional promo activity of your choosing. This could be making and sharing a mood board (again Canva is great for free images), creating fan art, making and sharing a five-question discussion guide, interviewing me on your blog or social, getting three of your friends to read the story, hosting a contest in support of the book, reviewing the book on an additional site, etc. I'm totally flexible here and if you think it counts then it counts. Pick something fun!
  • Read at least 20% of one additional book (written by anyone) on Swoon Reads and leave a comment at any point during the February through June period. I don't want people to join the site just to enter a contest of mine without giving anything back to the community. I have pledged to read a book a month this year and I'm going to work hard to keep that pledge :)
  • Fill out the Street Team form (I will send to all teamers) by the end of June with links/images/whatever to show that you completed all of the activities

Here's what you'll get for being a teamer:
  • Everyone selected who completes all of the above activities by June 30, 2020 will receive a $10 gift card or a $10 book from Book Depository or Wordery. Sorry, I know it's not much, but this girl is financially struggling at the moment ;)
  • If STRONGER THAN WORDS is selected for publication by Swoon Reads, everyone on the team who completes all of the activities will receive $100 via PayPal or a $100 gift card.
  • Everyone selected who completes all of the activities is free to contact me at any point in the future to request a reference for college, graduate school, an internship, or a job that is somehow related to books and/or book promotion.

Here's the link to apply for the team. Thanks for considering supporting my latest novel. It was not a hard choice to give the book away for free. I love it, I believe it's quality work, and I think it could empower readers. However, not having a traditional publisher means there's no one with industry backing to get the word out about the book. Even if the street team is not for you, I hope you will consider checking out Stronger than Words on Swoon Reads, especially if you'd like to read more contemporaries from me someday :)