Friday, 30 September 2022

Review of Onesies & Ouijaboards by Jamie Sands

Be careful what you wish for…

Arrow is fifteen, non-binary, and bored.

It’s one thing to read about magic, or watch ghost hunting shows. But Arrow yearns for something more. When they try out a prosperity spell from a magical library book, things start to go very very right.

Until they don’t.

Arrow’s good luck seems to be affecting a lot of the people around them. From A students suddenly failing quizzes to freak accidents, their good luck seems to be double-sided to say the least. Arrow’s best friend Ren knows not to mess with the unknown, but Arrow’s spell might just affect him all the same.

Arrow’s got to learn about how to wield their magic fast when the power they’ve drawn down proves to be beautiful, but dangerous as well.

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because I loved the title and the sound of the blurb. I also loved the idea of a non-binary protagonist and was delighted to dive into it. I adored Arrow and their viewpoint on the world. I loved the little bits and pieces that came along as they found out more about their ability and the wins and losses of magic. The world building was great, the story was a quick read, but nevertheless an enjoyable one. Overall, a nice little introduction to Sands writing and they are an author to watch. Very much recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

#TeaserTuesday

The last thing Jessie needs is a new trigger, but it seems she's got one already...

PRE-ORDER NOW: http://www.books2read.com/PANG

PRE-ORDER SWAG: https://forms.gle/VhF8Xr1yTUayxiAu7

[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and coming November 15th 2022 just below the title. The except reads:

Craig registered my pain quickly. “You okay? You've gone really pale,” he whispered, not wanting to draw attention to either one of us.
“Just a headache,” I said with a thin smile.
I couldn't really think beyond the pain. While I’d gotten better at dealing with pain levels, this was all still pretty new to me. It was possibly just my own body being the useless thing that it was, and yet it felt similar to the way Mum's migraine had felt, as in not really mine at all.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday, 26 September 2022

5 Facts About My Writing Routine

5 FACTS ABOUT MY WRITING ROUTINE

I liked giving you five facts about certain parts of my writing life, and thought that today I would give you five about my writing routine itself. I've been writing now for over twenty years, been publishing for over seventeen, and I've had so many different changes to my writing routine over the years that I couldn't tell you how many different variations there are. That said, I thought I would let you know the routine that's been working for me for the past few years or so.

FACT #1: I WRITE BETTER IN THE WEE HOURS

I didn't always used to be a morning writer. I have, in the past, been a night owl, an afternoon writer, an evening writer and everything in between. It's something that I kinda fell into when it came to this part of my writing process. My sleep pattern was, and still is, all messed up, and I was waking without an alarm consistently before five in the morning. For a time, I would putter about and then go and work on my writing at the usual time, but after a while I realised that it would be worth trying to have a go at writing first thing in the morning, and lemme tell you, it worked and I haven't looked back since!

FACT #2: I WRITE BETTER ON MY IPAD
Again, I didn't always. Before I got my ipad about three years ago now, I only had a tablet that wouldn't really let me write consistently when it came to doing other things at the same time. When I splurged on the ipad, it opened up a whole load of possibilities. I've done laptops, and obviously written at my main computer, but after a time it became easier to just keep the work in one place and on one device, which happened to be the ipad. While I do, obviously, do some work on my main computer, like writing blog posts and the like, I just prefer to be able to pick up and write anywhere, and it's easier to take a tablet along to places than it is to bring a laptop and the like.

FACT #3: TEA IS A MUST
I've always been someone who needs a cup of tea while they write. I've never liked coffee and I'm also allergic to it in that it'll make me wheeze, so tea was the natural thing to gravitate towards. I will always always have at least one cup per writing session, and while I mostly stick to decaf these days, I make sure that I have one before I start to write otherwise I find it harder to concentrate on the words and the like. It's been something that has stayed the same throughout all my years of writing, and I don't see it changing any time soon.

FACT #4: SILENCE IS GOLDEN

I know a lot of writers who swear by playlists and all of that. They can't write in complete silence, and they need to be fully immersed with sound as well. I don't know if it's down to my auditory processing issues, or just that I've always found it hard to listen and type at the same time, but I've never been a writer who's been able to write while having anything, music or TV or anything, in the background. Even when I write with other people in the room, I can't carry on a conversation of any kind and still manage to get the words written, or at least words that make sense!

FACT #5: COMFORT IS KEY
This might sound like a weird one, or maybe it's just something that every writer always has and kinda takes for granted. I have chronic pain issues, and I find that I have to be below a certain pain level to be able to effectively write. I also need to be somewhat comfortable, whether that's in bed, or in my wheelchair with the nice cushion, but if I'm hurting too much or struggling with comfort, then things just don't happen, and I find it harder and harder to get the words on the page.

So there we go, there are five facts about my writing routine, or at least how it looks right now. As I said, it changes, and fluctuates and all the rest, and I might do this again in a few years and see if any of these facts have switched around any, though I highly doubt the needing tea one ever will because I adore tea!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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Friday, 23 September 2022

Review of Beyond The Starlit Skies by Bethany Thompson

 Seventeen-year-old Zadie has lived on space stations her entire life, always fascinated by the stars outside her windows. When she graduates and lands her dream job – exploring the galaxy on a brand-new starship – she’s thrilled. Discovering never before seen planets? Awesome. What's the worst that could happen?

Oh, if she only knew.

For starters, she’s sent out to space with four hundred random strangers... plus the guy she's been crushing on for years. Talk about overwhelming. Now, lightyears away from everything she has ever known, Zadie must find the strength to navigate a new path and discover who she’s truly meant to be.

The farther Zadie travels from the world she once knew, though, the more perilous things become. Dangerous landscapes, unexpected alien creatures, and secret plots that threaten her very existence. What Zadie fails to realize when she signs up for her dream job? Space may be a perfect place for exploration, but it’s an even easier place for deception. This trek is going to be anything but simple, and if Zadie’s not careful? She might not make it home alive.

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because it sounded like an amazing sci-fi and I was not disappointed in the slightest. I adored Zadie from the first meeting, and her way of telling her story had me pulled in and desperate to know more. The twists and turns along the way kept me turning the pages until finally I reached the end. I loved the romance, the intrigue and the thriller vibes from the plot itself. It was a dazzling read, and the imagery and world building were perfect. Overall, an amazing sci-fi and one that I would recommend to all!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

#TeaserTuesday

Jessie hasn't had the best luck with telling people about the twitch and what it means...

PRE-ORDER NOW: http://www.books2read.com/PANG

PRE-ORDER SWAG: https://forms.gle/VhF8Xr1yTUayxiAu7

[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and coming November 15th 2022 just below the title. The except reads:

Craig and Roe knew I’d not managed to tell Meera, and both had kept silent on the subject while she was in earshot, but I knew where they both stood on it. Roe thought I should 'fess up before she found out some other way. Craig thought it was better to just start with the way I'd told him.
Of course when I'd told him, it had gone really badly. He'd said he believed me and then basically turned around and called me a liar.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday, 19 September 2022

Learning How You Work - The Creative Process

LEARNING HOW YOU WORK

I have been writing now for over twenty years, I have been publishing for over seventeen, and along the way I've found bits and pieces that have helped me get to the point where I'm at today. One thing that I wish I'd known all those years ago was how to find a way that worked for me faster. Don't get me wrong, it's not like there's an easy fix here, but I do wish that I'd had the resources that are now out there for newbie writers, back when I first started.

Of course, like I said, there's no easy fix, but learning how you, as a writer, personally work, can be a great tool in helping you stay on track and keep writing those words. It can be a game changer, as it was for me when I finally hit on the process I have now. For a quick recap, I write most days, and plan my time extensively. I track how many hours it takes me to do certain things, and I make sure that when I plan a new month, that's all taken into consideration.

Like right now, writing this piece, it's something that I do at the end of every month, the admin work of being an indie author, and plan accordingly. I write throughout the month, but the last few days are for me to record videos, to do vlog scripts for the upcoming month, as well as to write the blog scripts for that upcoming month as well. It's something that's really worked for me, and it allows me to then, somewhat, relax knowing that I have the content I need for that month, and can then put all my focus onto writing my chapters.

Now I know that not everyone is going to have that ability. I know how lucky I am to be able to call writing my full time job, even if it doesn't pay me full time. Other people have jobs, kids, other commitments that pull on their time, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people can't plan extensively because it's just not the way they work, and again, nothing wrong with that. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could plan and know how long things were going to take me. The tracking of my time has really only been the last two years or so, and even then, I haven't yet found a way to adequately track certain aspects of my work.

But if you are able to plan, it can be something that really helps you to learn how you personally, as a writer, work, and that can be a gold mine when it comes to finding out how to keep writing and keep moving forward towards your goals. So what are some of my tips for working all of that out? Glad you asked, because I'm gonna give you some here!

#1 WHAT DO YOU FIND EASIER?
This is a question that I asked myself way back when I started to plan and started to really take the writing life seriously. I knew that for me, drafting was pretty much my favourite part of the process, but that drafting took me a long time to complete because I didn't really have much in the way of a writing routine. By breaking down what I could do to help that, I moved onto setting goals for my writing sessions. I wanted to write, at first, a page a day, and then slowly and surely, it moved up to a chapter which is where I've kept it for a number of years. I do that because I don't want to burn out, and I know that when I have pushed myself to write more than one chapter, I've ended up frayed at the edges when it came to creativity.

So if you know that you find a certain part of the process easier than others, hone in on what you can do, and why it works for you, or doesn't, as the case may be. Like I know that revision is something that takes a lot of energy and a lot of time, so I make sure to do it separately to drafting. I will set aside a day where that is the only writing work I plan to do, and it's made it easier for me to focus and hone in on how that works for me.

#2 WHAT CAN YOU PLAN?
Now I know that not everyone can plan, and that's okay, if this isn't something you're able to do, then by all means skip it. However, if it's something you've not tried before, maybe give it a good try to find if that's the missing piece to help you work out your process for getting things done. Like I started with sticky notes on my computer, and then about three years ago, I moved into a paper planner and I've not looked back since. I make sure that I don't overload myself, and I know what needs to be done as well as when and how much and all the rest.

You don't have to go with a planner, you can just use the calendar app on your phone and the like. I do both in that I have a digital one on my ipad and my paper planner as well. There are a whole ton of different kinds of planners out there and I was lucky enough to land on the one I adored from the start, but that's where research comes into it. I knew I didn't want a dated planner because I liked being able to pick up and stop if need be without wasting it. That's just me, and for other writers they'll have a bullet journal or a completely different kind of planner. You gotta find what works for you and if, like me, you don't have a lot of spare funds, it might be that research is the best option here, or trying something digital before you move onto something physical.

#3 DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A PROCESS?
If you do, then it might be that switching things around with what I've said above actually help you hone down on how you work and how to make that work for you. I didn't have a process really before I started doing the page a day, so for me it was a case of a lot of trial and error before I hit on the one thing that really helped me.

If you don't think you do, then my advice would be to try and see different ways of doing things. It can take a while, but really knowing how you personally work can be such a good thing when it comes to approaching this writing life. Take the time you need, do the research, and pick and choose things based on how they sound to you. It might be that it takes you a long time, but there is no time limit here, and you can takes as long as you need.

Overall, finding how your work can be a great tool in planning, and also working out how to juggling the writing and author life. I wish you all the best of luck with it!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.

 

Friday, 16 September 2022

Review of Elemental Queen by Sean Fletcher

Her legacy will be forged in fire.


The trial through the Dying Lands is finished, but Riley’s real fight has just begun. Lukas, Onora, and the rest of the Conclave hunt her, barring her from the Dead City and her rightful throne.

The Outcasts are fractured.

A dangerous new rival threatens her friends.

And Jasper…if the blood oath doesn’t destroy him, he’ll be forced to kill Riley.

Most people would say everything is hopeless. She eats hopeless for breakfast.

With Onora summoning a deadly ancient being to wipe out anyone pitted against her, it’s up to Riley to stop it. For the Outcasts. For Jasper. For all paranormals.

Her ascent to the throne won’t be without terrible sacrifice.

But it’s time to claim her place as queen.
 

My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first two books in this series and was desperate to know what lay ahead next for Riley and the gang. I was hooked from the first page and was soon sweep along on the journey. I adored all the characters, they all seemed to be so well-written and fully formed, the twists and turns along the way made it hard to put the book down. That ending makes me think there might be more coming at some point, but otherwise an enjoyable, satisfying end to the trilogy. Fletcher has a way with words and characters that leave you desperate for more. Highly, highly recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here