Waiting on Wednesday (+ Cover Reveal and Giveaway): The Key to Everything

12:00 PM Serena 12 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature, started by Breaking the Spine, for bloggers to talk about upcoming releases they're eagerly anticipating. This week, WoW is going to go a little differently for me in a couple ways. The first being that I've actually already read a very early copy of this book, and it's one that I adored. The second being that this post is also doubling (and tripling, I guess) as a cover reveal for the book with the opportunity to win the book. Are y'all excited yet? I know I am. So, without further ado...

This week I'm waiting on...
The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes
Expected Publication Date: Fall 2017
Add it on Goodreads 

And now, I'm going to leave it to Paula to talk about this awesome upcoming new adult novel. 

Hi everyone! Thanks to Serena for helping me reveal the cover for my new adult novel, THE KEY TO EVERYTHING. I really love this cover and hope you do too, but first a little bit about the book:

I got the idea for this story back in December of 2014. I was on a short vacation with my sister and we were talking about the trip to Thailand we’d taken several years earlier. I fell so in love with the country that I returned for a second trip on my own a couple years later. I had always wanted to set a book there, and once I came up with the general plot for this story, the different locations in Thailand just fell into place. I have personally been everywhere the group goes in the book, and some of their “travel mishaps” are actually based on my own experiences.

The book was fun and easy to write. I started it on Christmas as my present to myself and finished the first draft just after Valentine’s Day 2015. But then I went into heavy promotional mode for LIARS, INC. and later I got swept away in the crush of revising both GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE and VICARIOUS for 2016. Because of all that, this novel had to sit on the back burner for quite a while.

I eventually completed revisions later in the year and my agent and I submitted the manuscript in early 2016 to a handful of larger houses that were still acquiring new adult from debut (new adult) writers. We didn’t find an editor and I decided rather than to sub the book to smaller houses that I would publish it myself. Nothing against small publishers—they’re great! But my thought at the time was that keeping up with the unpredictable overlap of two publication schedules had exhausted me to the point of burnout in 2016. It made sense to put the book out on my own timetable rather than risk adding a third editor to the mix, who might or might not have needed edits from me at the same time as my other editors.

So now, over two years after finishing the first draft of this book, I’m finally making preparations for publication! The book will release in October or November of 2017, depending on the timetable for some self-publishing logistics that I’m still learning. The e-book will be Amazon only for the first six months to a year, but the paperback will be available at B&N and other places.

Ready for the cover? Here it is!

Here’s the cover copy (still subject to obsessive tweaking by me):

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

Someone mentioned on Goodreads that the synopsis makes Oakland sound like the crazy ex-girlfriend. I won’t confirm or deny that, but if it matters to any readers, Oakland is the one who broke up with Seth because she was going away to college and he was staying local ;)

Does this sound like something you’d like to read? Great news! I’m giving away 75 e-ARCs to people willing to check out the story in the next three months and post reviews in two places. The places can be Amazon, Goodreads, Booklikes, Riffle, other bookseller websites, your blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram—I’m totally open. You can be US or international, and you don’t need to have a book blog or big social media presence to qualify. I will leave this form open through August 13th. If I get more than 75 requests, I will give priority to people who subscribe to my mailing list. Sign up here if you like. If I get more than 75 mailing list people, priority will be first come, first served. Unfortunately, ARCs will be in MOBI format only. I apologize to those who that leaves out. (I actually had to download the Kindle app to my laptop to be able to read this myself.)

If you don’t read MOBIs or don’t want to review the book in two places, never fear! I’m also doing an international giveaway for a signed paperback version of the book when available. And since it probably won’t be available until early to mid fall, I’ll throw in your choice of any other book by me while you wait. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.

What do you think of the cover? Does this sound like a book you’d enjoy? What other books set in foreign countries have you really enjoyed? Let me know in the comments or you can tweet Paula or myself!

About Paula Stokes:

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently This is How it Happened, Vicarious, and Girl Against the Universe. 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 as @pstokesbooks.

What are you guys waiting on this week? I'd love to know!


  1. Love the cover! I come from Belgium so /every/ book is set in a foreign country for me! But I do enjoy reading books set in countries other than the usual US/UK, mostly european road trips and such :)

    1. Road trip books are so fun! Have you read Jen Malone's Wanderlost? That's a European road trip YA that I absolutely adored. Thanks for stopping by, Morgane!

  2. I so love the cover, so stop tweaking it, you mad woman! ;) Cannot wait till I can get my hands on a physical copy of this one to add to my collection of Stokes books!

    1. I agree! I'm so in love with this cover. And me neither! I'm very excited to see it on my shelf.

  3. I think the cover fits this book well. I see a girl standing by herself (as Oakland starts off as single) trying to decide which door to choose for her next path/adventure/life choice. When I can find symbolism on book covers, I love them even more.

    1. That's a good way of looking at it - I hadn't thought of that! It's definitely very fitting.

  4. I love the cover! The only thing I might change would maybe make it a little less bright (reminds me of when I get carried away with the "make brighter" feature when I'm editing photos). It's fine, I just think it might actually have more success if it were less washed-out looking (we readers are often fickle like that ;) ).

    Most of my reads that take place in other countries have been fantasy, like I want to visit Prague because of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It sounds beautiful! Otherwise, I like quite a few set in the UK--Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, any of Cat Clark's books, the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison, Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall, and similar.

    Thanks for the chance.

  5. I like the cover. It has a warmth to it and it really coveys that idea of someone starting a journey

  6. I read loads of books ser in foreign countries. I'm from Denmark.
    I recently read the first three books in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series, and one of them is set in Thailand :)

  7. I really like that cover! The typography is absolutely gorgeous.

  8. I love the cover! It looks so bright and that little glimpse of the setting is beautiful! I love Paula's books so can't wait to read this one ♥

  9. I really love the warm colours and the overall atmosphere of the cover. I think it's perfect and I wouldn't change a thing other than perhaps the contrast, fade, and brightness. That way, it really catches the eye!