Mar 6, 2015

Book Blast: Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes


For fans of Gone GirlI Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.



Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine 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


Mar 2, 2015


I am not incompetent.

So why do they decide I am?

Meeting in rooms, to talk about fates.

They're just people.

I am not incompetent.

from sjp.

Feb 15, 2015


This one has been sitting in my drafts for too long.

The air stung his cheeks as they sailed through the night, the dark brilliance of midnight hues dancing around him as he stared ahead.  Muscles began to strain as he hung from the rigging in silence, waiting to catch the sound that had stopped him in his descent.  The hull continued to creak beneath its load, the night crews muttering below, signalling between the other ships in the convoy.  Yet his gut persisted, there was something wrong here.


Turning to face the birds-eye below the rigging jerked with his movement, struggling to keep his foothold he glared at the interruption, nervous frustration seeping through.

"What is it?" he hissed.

The girl merely glared back, folding her arms in displeasure at his response.  Cocking her head to the side "What the hell are you doing?  You look like a gull arse up in the ropes." She sneered.

Sensing she was not about to leave him in peace he swung from the rigging, dropping the few feet to land beside her, unable to keep the smugness from showing on his face.  "Arse up hey Bridget?"

She shoved him away, smothering a smile as he pretended to flail backwards over the edge of the nest.  "What were you looking for then?" she prodded, leaning against the mast.  "Trying your luck with the Sirens again?"

"Well we all know you're the deadliest Siren out here Bridge" he teased, tousling her scarlet hair before becoming serious.  "I heard something.”

He watched her straighten, the ghost of a smile disappearing.  "You shouldn't joke like that Rufus." she said sternly.

Unable to commit to a carefree charade he returned to staring out at the wistful night.  She still watched him, shivering against the mast as they waited in silence. "You should head below Bridge, it gets cold around the Rocs..." A high pitched whistle wavered through the air, similar to what he had heard before, but this time louder, the feeling more urgent as he tried to pinpoint its familiarity.

"Get down now!" he yelled, dragging Bridget low into the nest as cracking wood echoed from below.  Shouts rose in chaos as the ship swayed under the impact, tilting to its side the crew cry out struggling to keep it upright.  Frozen in shock from the jolt their stomachs fall as they start slipping in the nest.  Eyes wide Rufus reaches for her shaking hands, grabbing the winch from his belt instead as another whistle sounded.

"Don't let go" he spoke coarsely finding his voice, hooking her to the wrought iron hoop.  A deafening crack tore through the mast under an explosion of splinters, catapulting him from their wooden bunker.  Scraping through the rigging he fought for a hold as it lurched treacherously beneath him, the ship moaning as it threatened to roll under the onslaught.  Looking down people were caught between securing themselves and attempting to steer the ship, but the mountainous silhouette emerging from the night was making both of those options redundant.  Everything tipped from controlled panic to tempering fear as the dark ship loomed like an abyss sinking its iron talons into their hull.  A dark swarm erupted, flooding onto the deck as ropes righted their ship and locked it down.

He could hear Bridget scream his name as the shattered mast faltered under the weight, tangled in the netting he felt it slip from his grasp, he looked over to her, struggling to release the winch and reach for him as the beam collapsed.

For now,
night awaits sleep.
from sjp

Nov 5, 2014


First of all, immeasurable thanks to DL Hammons and the Blitz team for making my day last week and flooding my fiction with their lovely comments, I honestly never thought I would be chosen when I signed up, I just really wanted to visit new blogs :)

I cannot believe it's November already, it's only just hitting me but this is definitely going to be a year I will reflect on with a smile at how much progress I've made.  My work as a music journalist is incredibly rewarding, even with the sleep I sacrifice to do it, and often when I'm told by people I know that an article was good, that my writing was good, I have to remember to let that sink in.  The further I go the more I surprise myself.

I still have doubts about my writing, I still guilt trip myself for not posting regularly here, I'm a terrible friend for keeping in touch.  But I am finally getting comfortable with it all, I'm finally getting ready to actually call myself a writer.

I started this for myself, I write for myself, every bit of praise or criticism is an everlasting bonus and provides the motivation to get these stories out of my head.  Otherwise I'd probably still be re-reading that first scene I ever wrote for my WIP over and over wishing there was more.

So as always, cheers to you all, for enjoying my stories as much as I do, even when I never give you the whole picture, or forget to name characters, or delay publishing the next scene in case it isn't good enough.  It's time all these drafts got some sunlight.

You guys push the perfectionist in my away, and let me see the story in my words when I forget what I'm writing for.

something I always tell my mates,
thanks for putting up with me.
from sjp.

Oct 22, 2014



The mouldy straw itched at his back, prying sleep from his exhausted mind.  Rolling to his side he stared at the dust filled air as it flickered in the sunlight, the segmented light searing through the grime of the abandoned barn from every split plank and crevice between wooden doors.  

It felt strange to be resting in the darkness when it was so bright beyond, to be forced to travel through the night was a precaution, but the hiding in the hours of the living he could not adapt too.  He felt too vulnerable knowing the Guides might catch them unaware, with such light to expose them and few shadows to shelter in.  Looking over to Clarissa as she slept, blissfully unaware as always, her auburn hair burning in a streak of sun even through the dirt they had soiled it with.  He fought the need to hide her away from them, to protect this innocence from their vendetta.  She was better off never knowing color, he mused.

"She worships you for showing it to her though,"

Startled he sat up to see Serena watching him, those amber eyes boring into him as though she were making a casual observation, and not intruding his thoughts.

"What are you talking about?" An edge of annoyance from being caught so obviously striking his voice.

Realising his embarrassment she merely shrugged and looked away, the same air of indifference around her.  As if anyone could hold such faith he fumed.

"She would have found the path without you, and will continue down it even when you have left." She said, standing to dust off her dress and peek through a rotted beam.

"You think I'll leave her to the fate of the Guides?" he asked incredulously.

"The Guides are just one obstacle - " she spoke hurriedly, turning from the wall she advanced upon him, "I can taste your doubt, I can see you cringe, know your need to abandon the futile and tend to the practical, you yearn to return to your inconspicuous life away from the struggles of hope."  He sat stunned beneath her glowering form, her body suddenly bristling with passion as she exposed everything he had ever second guessed.

"Yet I still hope that you will lead her through, and be the protector she needs," going to her knees she gripped his shirt, her eyes filling him with such intensity he could hardly breathe. "Fight for her," she growled, "and don't let yourself be consumed."

Before he could answer the barn door fell from its hinges in a cloud of splinters, and like a dam collapsing he was stunned by the light that washed over him, drowning out the darkness.  A heartbeat seemed to pass before he heard the cry, piercing his mind with fear as he searched for Clarissa through the spots flashing in his vision.  Leaping to his feet he staggered forward, reaching for her hand, tightening around her touch and pulling her behind him.

Everything seemed deafening as they ran in, yelling calls to surrender, threatening and imposing, their forms dark silhouettes against the blinding day where grey robes no doubt awaited.

Part of a scene where I nailed the heart and torment of a character,
my two favourite things.
from sjp.
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