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!
_______________________________________________________
Synopsis:
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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 authorpaulastokes.com 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 Review I received an eARC copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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.
            

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Love, and you {book review + author interview + giveaway!}

Hi everyone! Today I'm reviewing one of my favorite poetry books. I'm so excited because there's also an author interview AND a giveaway! So let's get started with the review...

Book title: love, & you
Author: Gretchen Gómez
Genre: Poetry
Publication date: March 29, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 130
How I got the book: Purchased it on Amazon
Review

Ok, this is a short review. Like I said, this is one of my favorite poetry books. This book contains over 100 modern poems. It was a light read; I read it very fast. In terms of content, there are some strong poems that I suggest you practice self-care after reading them. This book was a journey from heartbreak to self-love. With the synopsis, you can tell this is very personal. Gretchen takes you into her life, and it's like a process... you can see her vulnerability, the love, you can experience the heartbreak, the pain, and then she gives you life! I'm not kidding! I felt like that in just a couple of hours, because I devoured this book. Every time I read it, it gives me different emotions. Even though I haven't been through a break-up, I could get myself in the story, I felt all the pain, I cried and I grew with her. By the way, this is not a book "just about a break-up"; it's SO much more! You can definitely get the meaning behind all the poems. That's why I'm always recommending this book!

Interview with Gretchen Gómez
Tell us a little bit about you, your blog and your book.

Hey everyone! First off I want to thank Mariely, a fellow Puerto Rican, for having me on her spectacular blog. My name is Gretchen and I like to read, write, and sing. I'm Puerto Rican born and raised in the bronx and my first language is Spanish. If I'm not at work, then I'm usually at home with my dog either reading, writing, blogging, or watching make-up tutorial on YouTube. I have a blog that shares my love for books in book review form, gush form, meme form, and I also share a lot of my long poems there too.
My poetry book, love, and you, is about a toxic relationship. The in and outs of my everything I went through while being with this guy, what I went through mentally and how found myself in the mist of the storm. It's also about my healing process and the things I learned because of this toxic relationship. It's not a pretty situation and I get really in-depth about my life. Please proceed with caution and self-care!

When you decided to share your poems?

Before blogging, I was on booktube and I found myself really angry because I wanted to do more. Not just with my passion on books but also with my art which is writing. At this point, there was a lot going on in my personal life and I had stopped making videos for months. I took some time to think of maybe going to blogging and once I found the platform I felt most comfortable with, I crossed over to blogging. I was really scared to share my poetry on my blog but I went for it. I never expected the positive feedback and here I am today. This all happened May-June of 2016. I now share my writing with literally the whole world.

What do you love the most about poetry?

I can name so many thing but I would have to say the expression of it all. I love the connection there is from words to soul. Sometimes, you read one poem that can change your whole day and not make you feel alone. The power of poetry and what it can do to a human is something I really love.

Are you currently working on another book? :D

YES!!!!!

Name 5 random facts about you.

1. I love lipstick and will buy one color in a million different shades
2. I'm dyslexic and a lot of people don't know it
3. The only child I will ever have is Baxter, my Pomeranian dog
4. I am a planner nerd! I use stickers, washi tape, and bullet points
5. I'm a pastors daughter lol

Thank you SO much, Gretchen! You can find her here:
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Giveaway
Ok, now it's time for the giveaway! One (1) lucky winner will received three (3) poetry books (paperbacks), including love, & you by Gretchen Gómez. Two months ago, Gretchen gave me some book recommendations, so I decided to add two of those books in this giveaway. I will not name the other two books because I will like for you to experience a blind date with a book. It is something that I've been seeing a lot in local libraries, and I actually tried it in my book club. We all loved it! So yeah, one lucky winner will receive love, & you by Gretchen Gómez; one poetry book about catharsis, self-love, and self-revolution; and another poetry book about love, loss and rebirth. If you already own one of the books, I invite you to pass it along so someone else can read it.

Rules:

1. Follow me Instagram OR Twitter
2. Tweet about this giveaway, something like "Enter to win 3 poetry books, including love, and you by @chicnerdreads!!! Check out @MarielyVP giveaway: (and include a link to this post)".

OR

If you don't have Twitter, you can post a photo on Instagram and include a caption similar to this one: "Enter to win 3 poetry books, including love, and you by @chicnerdreads!!! Check out @wereadblog giveaway."

Be sure to tag me, so I can be able to see it. Please notice that my Twitter handle is NOT the same as the one I use on Instagram. The Twitter/Instagram account has to be public. No giveaway accounts allowed.

*Extra entry: comment on this post on what do you love about poetry OR your thoughts about a blind date with a book.

Terms and conditions:

Open to legal residents of US and Puerto Rico, who are 18 years or older. All entries will be verified. Winner will be chosen using random.org on September 23, 2017. Winner will be notified by Twitter and/or Instagram. Potencial winner will need to provide mailing address within 48 hours of notification. If potencial winner does not respond, another winner will be selected. If I don't receive a response, I will repeat the steps. This giveaway is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Twitter or Instagram.

Thanks everyone! And good luck!
            

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Journey: My Dream Poetry Conference Panel

As some of you may know, I've been writing. (Check out my poem: Breathing). I don't know... it was something unexpected, but I was really inspired because I've been reading a lot of poetry lately. I think what got me started was reading some kind of self-love, a wonderful poem from Gretchen Gómez. So with the help of Eventbrite, I came up with my dream poetry conference panel called Poetry Journey. Here it goes...

Place
Ohhh, I would love to host this panel in Puerto Rico, duh! I mean, we haven't been able to enjoy many book events here, so I wouldn't pass the opportunity to host this event at my beautiful island. The venue? The Embassy Suites Hotel at Dorado, Puerto Rico. Why? Because it has been one of the best hotels I've stayed in. Besides, this panel would be a 3 day event, so people would need a place to stay... A win win situation!

Guests
I would invite some of my favorite authors, including Gretchen Gómez, José Francisco Avilés-Acosta, Gabrielle Armstrong Velázquez, Cordelia Jensen, Amanda Lovelace and Rupi Kaur.

I would also invite some of my favorite book bloggers and bookstagramers; like Marianne, Cam and Jennifer from Boricuan Bookworms, Sylvia from Serial Bibliophile, Olivia from Stories for Coffee and Natalia, Dianelisse and Dash from Mil y un vidas entre páginas.

There would also be surprise guests: other authors and bloggers!

Moderators
Members from my book club, Reading Buddies! I would love for my friends to be able to moderate this poetry conference panel.
But the main moderator would be my lovely friend, María del Mar.

Everyone selected for this Dream Poetry Conference Panel, from the authors, the bloggers and moderators, holds a special place in my heart. That's why I selected them, because this would be a special event.

Agenda
Day 1: Panel with authors; they would talk about their tips for writing poetry, maybe something about creating writing, their publishing process, talk about their inspirations and more. They will also read some of their poems. There would be a pool party-book signing event, at the end of the day.

Day 2: Panel with book bloggers and bookstagrammers; creative writing and social media tips.

Day 3: Workshop with authors. Poetry reading and prices. It would also be great to have a book fair the weekend of the event.

If you like this idea and would like to be able to organize and register for conferences or events in your area, check out Eventbrite. This is the largest self-service ticketing online platform, and it's super easy to set up. I've been able to use it to register to events at my workplace and at college when I was studying. So, what are you waiting for?

By the way, if you work for a publishing company and happens to be reading this... PLEASE, bring more book events to Puerto Rico! :)

Have you been to a book event? If you could host your dream conference panel, how would it be? Tell me all about it, I would love to know!