Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blog Tour: The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes

Hi there! Today is day 3 for the Blog Tour of The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes. So today Paula will tell you all about Phuket (there's an excerpt and a giveaway!), but first, let's check out the book. And don't forget to check out my review!
College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filed with friendship, romance, and gorgeous faraway settings, The Key to Everything is a book for anyone who's ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.

Here are some links you may be interested in:
Add it on goodreadsBuy the book

And now, here's a message from Paula Stokes:

After Bangkok, Oakland and her friends travel by bus to Phuket, with a couple of mini-adventures along the way. Phuket (pronounced poo-ket) is a mountainous rainforest island off the West Coast of Thailand with over thirty beaches. The area was devastated during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami but has since completely rebuilt.

Here’s a mood board for Phuket, with lots of pretty beach scenes, a street food cart, and some muay thai or Thai boxing!
Here’s a short excerpt from the beach:

For the rest of the afternoon, I manage to put Seth out of my mind, sort of. I still check my phone about every ten minutes, but eventually Tyson convinces me to go in the water with him. I’m not usually one for getting wet at the beach, but the water looks so perfectly clear here and I could stand to cool off. I leave my phone on the beach in Morgan’s custody.
         “I’ll scream ‘shark’ if anything pops up okay?” she says. “That’ll get your attention.”
         Tyson tugs off his T-shirt and jogs out toward the water’s edge. I take a moment to make sure my bikini straps are tight and follow him out into the waves. We’re only knee deep when he points at a buoy bobbing in the waves about fifty meters offshore. “Race you out there.”
         “Um…is now a bad time to tell you I don’t know how to swim?”
         He looks back over his shoulder. “Seriously? A California girl who can’t swim?”
         “I’m a California girl by way of the Midwest. I can’t put my head underwater without starting to panic.”
         “You don’t have to put your head underwater to learn to swim,” Tyson says. “Want me to teach you?”
         “What? Like right now?” The water is almost up to my waist. The current is gentle but some of the waves are breaking right in this area. I inch my way a little farther out, to the point where my feet are still on the bottom but my head and shoulders are well above the surface.
         “No time like the present. You should at least know how to stay afloat. What if your plane had crashed?”
         “Who thinks like that?” I say. And then I remember how Tyson’s mom died. I remember he spends his days dealing with stuff that might blow up in his face. Of course he thinks like that. “Sorry,” I continue quickly. “That was a stupid thing to say. You’re right. I should know how to swim. But you don’t have to spend your vacation teaching me.”
         “We’ll just start with lesson one,” he says. “Treading water.”
         “Okay. If you want.”
         “Let’s do this.” Tyson slides his hands under my armpits and guides me a little farther from the shore.
         The sand beneath my feet falls away suddenly. My blood accelerates in my veins and my mouth goes dry. “I’m scared.”
         He smiles. The whole smile, with the eyes and dimples. “I got you. I promise. I’m not going to let anything bad happen.”

Aww, isn’t Tyson sweet? [SPOILER: He is very sweet ;D] To find out exactly how sweet he is, score yourself a Kindle version of THE KEY TO EVERYTHING for the introductory price of $2.99.

Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win your choice of a wooden spirit house or an elephant print tote bag (or choice of bag up to $16.99 price from veradashop), both handmade in Thailand.
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What’s your favorite beach? Do prefer them quiet and secluded or full of jet-skis and partiers? Tomorrow’s tour stop is up north is the rainforest region of Chiang Mai. Stop by Gabriella M Reads to meet an elephant!
About Paula Stokes:
Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious, Ferocious, and This is How it Happened. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram as @pstokesbooks.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes {review}

Hi everyone! I can't believe this is my first post of 2018 (YAY, finally!), and it feels kind of weird to say this but, it is also my first post after the hurricane. Things have been... I don't even have a word for it. But anyway, I'm saying all of this because today, I'm reviewing one of the books I read during/after the hurricane.
Book title: The Key to Everything
Author: Paula Stokes
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 328
How I got the book: Sent for ReviewI received an eARC copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Ok, I think you all know I'm a big fan of Paula Stokes and of course, I was super excited when I heard her first New Adult book was coming up! But I won't lie, I was a little scared... Why? Because I love Paula's writing style on her YA books so I didn't know what to expect. But now that I've read it, I can honestly tell you, The Key to Everything was literally everything and more.

I LOVE the relationship between Oakland and Morgan! They were like this kind of friends who can tell each other everything. By the way, Morgan even made me think of one of my classmates, who happens to be obsessed with soldiers. I also liked the relationship between Tyson and Jed. All the characters were relatable. At first, I wasn't really connected with the whole situation of finding Seth, Oakland's high school boyfriend AKA "The One". But then it kinda made sense, you know? Maybe I couldn't relate to the situation, but I could see why she felt the need to reach out to him. But honestly, at one point I felt like she could have let go of the situation and just enjoy her time in Thailand (with Morgan... and Tyson, of course!). Anyway, I felt like I traveled to Thailand with Oakland, because of all the descriptions and details. So I enjoyed every place she visited! And it took my mind off almost everything related to the hurricane. Even if it was for only a couple of days.

Remember when I mentioned that I was kind of scared of Paula's writing style in NA? Well, I felt it was following her YA books, except for the sex scenes, duh! So yeah, I really liked it! I felt it was the right amount of spiciness... Lol, at least for me. I mean, I'm not an expert on NA books because I haven't read that many, but this one didn't made me feel uncomfortable. If that makes sense... By the way, I remember when I read the first sex scene I was like "WHATTTT, girrrlll, what?!?!" Lol. And I didn't had electricity!!! So I had to take a ride with my husband on his car, so I could charge the iPad and be able to keep reading. I will never forget that day!

Oh, can I just say that I loved every time I read something related to Puerto Rico?! And even my favorite bookstore, The Bookmark, was mentioned! (at least on the ARC version). And on a side note, I just want you to know that I finally found my book boyfriend! TYSON!

Have you read it yet? What are your thoughts? If you haven't read it yet, you can add it to your TBR.
Be sure to check out tomorrow's post! Because I'll be joining the Blog Tour for The Key To Everything.