Hunting Author Paula Stokes

It's YASH time!!!

I’m excited to be hosting Paula Stokes and her novel The Art of Lainey! Welcome to those of you who are visiting my website for the first time. I hope you’re enjoying the hunt!

To participate in the Spring 2014 Young Adult Scavenger Hunt, and win up to 50+ books, you can start here. Follow the directions below and hop from post to post until you’ve seen all the authors on my team. Then you can begin on team two!

If you get lost, don’t worry. You can always check in on the Hunt’s main webpage.

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt!



Hi! Paula Stokes here, so psyched to be a part of YASH!

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame.

 Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn’t someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn’t going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him…

 Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what’s really worth fighting for.

And… here is an exclusive excerpt!


“The secret,” Micah says, turning down the radio volume, “is to look for the bears at the very top of the hill.” I peer across him at the steep incline on the left side of the road. I don’t see anything but tall grass, leading up to a tree line. The sun breaks through a low ribbon of clouds. A beam of light reflects off Micah’s eyebrow ring, highlighting the scar on his temple and the faintest hint of beard stubble on his jaw.

The car moves around another bend in the road and starts slowly up the hill. A rustle in the shrubbery catches my eye. A fat-tailed squirrel emerges from beneath a bush, scampering across the crushed gravel.

Micah pulls the Beast over to the side of the road at the very top of the hill.

“Now what?” I ask.

He turns the music up just slightly. “Now we wait.”

I resist the urge to fill the silence with idle chatter. There’s something kind of otherworldly about hanging out at sunrise, the two of us on a random hunt for bears. I can see the beginnings of a ravine through a thin opening in the trees. I watch the opening, sneaking peeks at Micah every so often. If he’s lured me out here for anything other than high-quality bear spotting you wouldn’t know it.

I snuggle back in my bucket seat, humming along to one of the songs by Arachne’s Revenge. And then, something black crosses in front of my vision. Without thinking, I grab Micah’s arm.

“Did you see that?” I ask. Before he can answer, I see the black blur again. A bear cub peeks its head through the trees. I gasp. It stares curiously at Micah’s car. I fumble in my purse for my phone, cursing at how long it takes my camera function to start up.

The bear cub disappears from view. Crap. I start to open the car door.

“Lainey. We’re not supposed to get out of the car.”

“It’s just a little baby,” I scoff. “Not like it’s going to hurt me.”

Micah mutters something that sounds like “annoying drunk chicks” under his breath. “Okay,” he says. “But I’m going with you.”

We sneak around to the front of the Beast, crouching down to peer into the foliage. The bear cub runs across the opening again. I stifle a giggle. “Ohmygod, Micah,” I say. “It’s totally cute.”

“Yeah, it’s adorable.” He runs a hand through his mohawk. “Go on and get your picture.”

I hold my phone up but the bear waddles down into the rocky ravine. I creep forward a couple more steps and angle my phone down toward the rocks. The cub peers up at me with big brown eyes. Just as I snap the photo, I hear a deep growl. Mean. Menacing. It couldn’t have come from that sweet little…

“Lainey,” Micah’s voice sounds far away. “Don’t move.”

I turn to look at him over my shoulder and that’s when I see it. A bigger, blacker, momma bear, just inside the tree line. My brain deconstructs it into pieces. Disproportionally small Mickey Mouse ears. Snout. Fuzzy black coat. Giant paws with five-inch claws. White teeth, dripping with saliva.

“Don’t run,” Micah says.

Too late.

I’m already turned around, making my way up the far side of the ravine in my platform sandals faster than I ever thought possible. Micah swears loudly. My heart lodges in my throat. Behind me, the bear growls again. Micah lets out some kind of primal scream. I flick a look over my shoulder, just to make sure he’s not being eaten. He’s scooping up rocks from the side of the ravine and throwing them at the bear one after the next. The bear cub cowers behind its mother, probably traumatized for life.

“Go,” Micah yells. “Get in the car.”

He doesn’t have to tell me twice. I race up the grassy incline, plunge through the trees, and skid to a stop in front of the Beast. I’m hyperventilating, half from the run and half from the shock of almost getting mauled to death.

I watch Micah slowly retreat back up the hill, still flinging rocks one after the next. When he hits the gravel road, he drops his remaining stones to the ground. His hands are shaking so bad he can barely get his car door open.

“Ohmygod,” I say, as we both slide back into the Beast. “I’m sober now, if there was any doubt.”

“Are you okay?” he asks.

“Are you okay? I thought you were going to get eaten,” I say, looking at Micah in sheer amazement. His hands are dirty and his face is slick with sweat.

“I’m good,” he says. “But that better be one hell of a picture.”


For more Lainey and Micah fun, check out my YA contemp releasing on May 20, 2014. If you like books with heart, humor, hot boys, and happy endings, you’ll love The Art of Lainey.


Bonus Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the next stop on the Hunt, visit Kay Honeyman


  50 comments for “Hunting Author Paula Stokes

  1. April 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you both for being part of this year’s YASH! That was an awesome deleted scene from Lainey. She’s such a troublemaker! Maureen, I really like the updated covers. I think they’re really eye-catching!

    • MaureenMcGowan
      April 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks, Mary! Good luck in the YASH!

  2. April 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    thank you! thank you! thank you!

    • MaureenMcGowan
      April 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! :)

  3. April 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I prefer the new covers! They are so gorgeous and eye-catching! I always like covers best without faces, but I showed these to my students. They loved them as well. :) Best wishes!

    • MaureenMcGowan
      April 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Awesome! I love the colors, too!

  4. Morgan
    April 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    The new covers are amazing and I liked the old ones but I think the new ones are more on trend and will sell really well! The new ones also look great together they are very unified!

  5. April 3, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I like the new ones better! Thanks for the giveaway and being a part of YASH! (:

  6. April 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I have nothing against the old version, but LOVE the new one :-)

  7. bn100
    April 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    the old ones

    • MaureenMcGowan
      April 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      The old ones will still be there for the hardcovers…. :)

  8. Destiny Carroll
    April 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I prefer the new ones :)

  9. Melissa M.
    April 3, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I love the new covers, but I tend to grab “first cover” copies when I buy books

    • MaureenMcGowan
      April 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Grab your copies of the old ones in hardcover while they’re still around then! 😉

  10. April 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I like the new covers. Though the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, alot of people do, so more eye-catching cover could be more appealing.

  11. April 4, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I prefer the new covers. I love the typeface that’s in the new cover and the colours are so much brighter! Thanks for being part of YASH!!

  12. Ranae
    April 4, 2014 at 2:05 am

    I like the new covers. The colors really make the books stand out.

  13. Olivia
    April 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I love the new covers! The design and colors are so eye-catching. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. April 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I *love* the contemporary look to the new covers. They’re intriguing and out of the ordinary. Love!

  15. Denice
    April 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I like the new covers… They’re so colorful!!!

    Thank you!!!

  16. April 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I love the designs of the new covers. They remind me of cool tattoos or something.

  17. Pauline D
    April 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Love YASH! Excited to read your books!

  18. April 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I think both are great. I think I prefer the old ones only because I have the first book with the old covers and now the new ones won’t match.

  19. Michael
    April 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I absolutely love the new covers of your books

  20. April 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    The new covers are amazing!!!! :)

  21. April 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I already commented how much I love the Glory cover, but I love the redesign of Compliance and Deviants too!

  22. Kassiah
    April 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I just left this comment on someone else’s blog but MY GOSH! I love these covers! I’ve got to have these books for my shelf :)

  23. Megan D.
    April 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Oh the new! I love them! :)

  24. 1110cg
    April 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I love the new covers!!!

  25. April 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I love the new covers better!

  26. April 5, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I think the new covers are great! Very eye catching.

  27. Kellani
    April 5, 2014 at 3:08 am

    I like the new covers much better.

  28. April 5, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I loooove your new covers!! So cool:) Because, despite what people say, you DO judge a book by its cover and if a book has a fantastic cover, then its just 100% more tempting to pick it up! :)

  29. April 5, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I prefer the new covers acctualy ^^

  30. eli yanti
    April 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I like new cover :)

  31. cassidy singleton
    April 5, 2014 at 10:04 am

    love the new covers there so intreguing nd love the colours youve used!!! so great!!

  32. hollybindurham
    April 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Oh, I also commented on the cover reveal page before I saw the question in this giveaway :) I really liked the original covers, but I sure do love this new one! Can’t wait to see Deviants and Compliance too.

  33. April 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I am loving the new covers… they are eye-catching 😀

  34. lkish77123
    April 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I really like the new covers. They are very interesting.

  35. April 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I really like the new covers! They’re eye catching and the colors are awesome! :)

  36. April 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I like the new covers because they have a modern feel to them.

  37. April 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for the extra giveaway, I am loving the new covers!!

  38. January
    April 5, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I definitely prefer the new covers! They’re so gorgeous and eye catching! Thanks for participating in YASH! :)

  39. gabby amorelli
    April 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I prefer the old covers.

  40. Melissa Robles
    April 6, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Ohh I don’t know, it’s hard to choose! I think both versions are great, although the new ones really make the books pop out. :)

  41. Cal
    April 6, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE NEW COVERS! I feel like they help make the books more unique as well as stand-outy. They definitely would catch a readers eye much better! I can’t wait until the release of Glory! Congrats and thanks for participating in YASH!

  42. Bailey Orr
    April 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    The new covers are great!

  43. Bailey Orr
    April 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

    The cover is amazing!

  44. Sven S
    April 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I like the new ones but I loved the old ones

  45. Shelby von Wahl
    April 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    oh the new ones are nicer, the colors are so much more eye catching and interesting :)

Comments are closed.