Friday 8 December 2023

Review of A Warlock In A Cursed Kingtom by Nathan Taylor

“You won a battle today, but the war is far from over.”

Declan Moore is a Warlock. He doesn’t know what that means, he doesn’t know how to use his power, but he has hopes that the people of Vedmark do.

Armed with the knowledge of what he is, Declan’s only chance is to harness his unique power and stop the Fatesmiths for good. But in a Kingdom where he is neither welcome, nor wanted, finding a willing teacher seems an impossible task.

Who can you trust in a land where every question comes with a cost? In a country where enormous eagles prowl the sky, and a Deathless Demon inhabits the forests?

As Vedmark grows more dangerous, Declan grows more desperate. There are things he must learn. His parents may be gone, but he can still save his best friend.

Euryma needs him.

Even if it doesn't want him.
My Review:  5 STARS
I picked this up having read the first book and was desperate to find out what happened next. Declan, the world, the magic and all the many twists and turns had me hooked from the first page. I went along for the ride, and found myself unable to exit until I knew what lay ahead for Declan and the others. There were many reveals that I’d not seen coming and couldn’t help but feel lie I’d missed some pretty big clues along the way. I adorable the rich worldbuilding and the way everything seemed to interconnect. Overall an amazing book, and a series that I will continue to devour when possible! 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


Tuesday 5 December 2023


Tara is pretty firm on who she shares her secrets with...


[ID: A blurred sky with a branch with green leaves in focus background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SECOND SIGHT at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just above the title. The except reads:

“I am not telling Cassie. End of discussion,” I snapped, before taking a bite out of my sandwich.
“What aren’t you telling Cassie?” Cassie said, appearing behind me. Obviously whatever meeting she’d been dragged away too hadn’t taken too long.
“I’m er…” I stumbled.
“Well, come on Tara? I’m waiting,” Cassie said, adopting a tone that was almost identical to Mr. Andrews this morning. Kaolin snorted and almost choked on her sandwich. Good, I hope it hurts. This is all her bloody fault.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website, in the top left corner is the Readers' Favorite review seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 4 December 2023

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Taking Time Off


It's come up to the end of the year and if, like me, you celebrate holidays then, you might be thinking about taking some time off. You might also just be getting to the end of the year and thinking it'd be a good idea to take a break from writing and work for a bit because this year has been super busy and a whole lot to deal with. All of which is valid, and I am right there with you!

That said, when it comes to being an indie author, it can be hard to really find time to take off from work because your work is kinda constant, and if you don't keep up with the promo and the like, it'll be really hard to capture attentions when it comes to restarting in January and the like. This is where I come in, both in telling you that it's okay to take time, however long that may be, and also that some things can be prepared in advance to allow you have a proper rest time.

So how do you do that? I'm going to take you through what I do when it gets close to the end of the year and am getting ready to take some time away from writing, work and all of that!


I know that sometimes that is a big time suck, and it can be tempting to think: oh it'll only take me a minute or two to post this, or share that. But it's not how it ends up going. You end up with several things to post and before you know it, it's been an hour and you're kinda thinking you should respond to comments and the like while you're there and then scroll through and watch stories, oh and answer this email. NO!

You need actual time off and for those of us who can't afford to hire someone to do it for us, there are ways to schedule posts. Now there are some sites that don't have this, and for that you might just have to go dark for a week or however long you plan to be gone, because unless you're relaxing and not working, it's too easy to get sucked into the work that comes from socials.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, they all allow you to schedule posts. My blog here will let me schedule posts, and I know it works because I use it all the time. You might have to spend a little time preparing everything before you head off, but once it's done, you can switch off and know that's taken care of, just be sure to make it clear that you're taking time off so people don't assume you're still there and will be responding as quickly as you usually do.


I don't use this as much as I should, but I know the most email providers have a way to set a message so that any important emails coming through get a response that tells the sender that you're taking a break for however long. It means you don't have to worry too much about work emails being left unanswered while you're away.


By this I mean there will be some people who do kinda need to be aware. If you are meant to be talking and you won't, or hosting a live or the like, or any number of things, then let people know that this time block will be your time off and make sure they're aware that you won't be responding, or around should they need you to be. Everyone needs breaks and anyone saying differently is just plain wrong!

So there we go, those are my three tips when it comes to taking time off at the end of the year. I will be doing the same, taking the last week off and just chilling and relaxing, and very happy about 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 1 December 2023

Review of Veil Of Synnor by Scott Thompson

 When lifelong friends Acalan and Iverissa are forced to choose between each other and safety in the city of Synnor, nothing will ever be the same.

The Elemental Titans watch over Synnor, the only haven from the surrounding wasteland. In return for their protection, citizens are selected to compete for their lives with bows and arrows.

Acalan and Iverissa are happy until the Titans demand that they compete against one another, where only one can survive. Evading their selection means fleeing the city that they once called their sanctuary.

As they traverse foreign lands and meet unexpected allies, all that matters is staying together.
With each step beyond the boundaries of Synnor, they inch closer to uncovering the harrowing truth that lay hidden beneath the city's deceptive charm.


My Review: 3 STARS

I picked this up because of the cover and the blurb. I was in the mood for some dystopian and in that regard the book did not disappoint. The world building was rich, but I did feel like there could have been more expansion on it. The characters were relatable and pulled you in, but there were times when I felt like they were a little stiff. The story was well-written but it lacked some of the depth I would have hoped for. Overall it was a good read, and the story came to a satisfying ending, but did feel like the story as a whole could’ve been longer and more engaging that way.

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 28 November 2023


Tara doesn't make friends easily...


[ID: A cracked yellow wall background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FIRST TOUCH at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just above the title. The except reads:

“You missed a good party, Friday,” Jody told her, totally missing the fact that Kaolin didn’t care.
“Hmm,” Kaolin mumbled.
“Why don’t you sit with us?” Jody asked,
“No, thanks.”
“Come on, you don’t know what you might catch from Tara.” She turned to look at me. (Don’t look directly into her eyes – you’ll lose your soul!) “What is wrong with you anyway? I hope it isn’t contagious.” You see? This is what I mean about her – she’s a total bitch. The fact is that she actually takes pleasure in saying things like that. I’ll tell you something, she’s lucky Mr. Miller appeared at that moment because otherwise I would have had to resort to violence.

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


Monday 27 November 2023

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Knowing Who To Kill


I have been writing crime for a number of years, I've been reading it for even longer, and I gotta say that while some writers will think that you can just kill anyone for no reason other than maybe trying to shock the reader, or make them sad for that loss, that it very much not the case. I'm sure you've heard it from other places, how you need to make sure that every death is done for a reason and means something, and you're gonna hear that a bit from me too.

The reasoning behind this advice is that killing anyone for no reason has no impact on the characters or the plot. If the death doesn't make sense, if it's just death for deaths sake, then readers are going to know about it. They're going to work out that you're after shock value rather than any plot related reason, and that does not have any kind of impact on the reader, if anything, it makes them question the plot more, and wonder if you even really know what you're doing, which is not what anyone wants.

So how do you decide who to kill? How do you weigh up that choice and make that death mean something? I'm glad you asked because I'm going to give you some of my tips when it comes to this topic. I've killed a lot of characters over the years, some had affected me as the writer more than others, and all of them have died to serve the plot and there has always been a meaning behind their deaths.

Ask yourself this. If the answer is, that there needs to be a death and they're not the main character or their not someone that adds much to the plot, then you're probably doing it wrong. I'm not someone who likes to say that someone is writing 'wrong' because my thinking is that there pretty much is no wrong way to do it, but in this case, killing someone because there needs to be a death and they're disposable, it's not going to have the same impact because if a character is disposable to you, they are also that to the reader.

Now if there's a plot based reason that someone needs to be sacrificed for reasons I can't think of right now, then yes, that is a necessary death, but you need to be making sure that whatever character you choose is someone that has, at least, had some other impact on the plot. If you have side characters that can be removed without it having any impact on the story, then that's a sign you've not developed them enough, which is a whole different problem.

So keep in mind, that if a character is disposable, or can be removed from the story completely and nothing changes, you need to be thinking about why, and working out the answer to how to either make them into a more fully fleshed out character, or remove them, and have someone else have that hard choice of being sacrificed to further the plot.

I know that a lot of the memes around writers are along the lines of making our readers cry by killing off their favourite character, but there are a whole ton of stories, crime and otherwise, that don't have any character deaths. You don't have to kill someone if the plot doesn't need it, and you don't need to kill just for killing sake. While yes, a good death can have a massive impact, just killing someone because you think you have to will not have that impact.

Sometimes death can not be avoided, but when that happens, it should always be the right character who dies. There are numerous ways to decide that and I do not have the time or energy to go into all of them, but for just a quick breakdown. The character should be someone who makes the biggest impact, it should make sense for them to be in that situation. They should be unable to, by whatever means, get out of it. The death should be pretty much unavoidable, and it should always, always, be someone that matters to the story itself.

So there you go, those are my two tips. I will just clarify that I am talking about main characters and side characters who mean something to the main. Obviously there are minor characters who die all the time, but that is the nature of the beast. When it comes to a death that your readers are going to really feel, it needs to mean something and not just be because you thought you had to.

Good luck with writing!

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 24 November 2023

Review of The Non-Magical Declain Moore by Nathan Taylor

“We are special. You are not.”

Declan Moore knows he’s not the chosen one. In a modern nation controlled by witches and wizards, he has nothing but a famous surname. All he needs is an inkling of power to dampen the disappointment of being a LAMP—one Lacking All Magical Potential.

Then the world falls apart.

Overnight, every witch and wizard he knows—his parents included—is turned to iron and captured. Declan avoids the same fate thanks to a mysterious girl who seems to know more about him than he does himself. As he searches to save his parents, an uncomfortable reality bubbles to the surface.

Declan isn’t helpless. He’s dangerously powerful.

And using that power to save his parents could kill them all. 

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because of the idea of a completely not chosen one. I love to see some tropes inverted and turned on their heads and I fell in love with Declan from the first page. He was a delightful and relateable character, one you could empathise with and get to know through the many twists and turns throughout the story. I loved the worldbuilding, the way the magic worked and ending the way it did, I’m very glad I bought book two and can dive right back into that world and the next stage of Declan’s story. All the characters were expertly crafted and this is a series 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