Sunday, 18 August 2019

#SharingSunday


Tara has a choice to make. She can trust Nate with her gift or she can keep silent and hope he understands the deceit. 




[ID: A graphic with a waterfall in the background and the words Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending across the top. Underneath that is the release date of October 9th 2019. The excerpt reads:

I knew that telling Nate, while possible, would be too much of a risk.
If he even believed me, what happened when, not if, because I was pretty sure we weren’t going to stay together for ever, we broke up? What if he told someone, like Gareth? I had to protect myself and I wished I could tell him that my secrecy was me doing just as he wanted: keeping myself safe.
Did I want to tell him? Sure, there were times it would be nice to share that side of myself. I couldn’t risk it though, it wouldn’t end well and at best, he’d think I was lying or joking.
At worst? It didn’t bear thinking about.


END ID]

Friday, 16 August 2019

Review of Summer Heat: Imperfectly Yours Anthology

Summer Heat Anthology – Disability & Romance Authors

Footprints on My Heart – Julie Rowe
Gemma Foster had the perfect life until a horrific crash took her husband and her hearing. Every day is a struggle but she finds strength, love and support from her guide dog and maybe…possibly…hopefully from her dog’s trainer. Hank wants more than friendship but he’s afraid to make a move and Gemma needs to know why.

Emergency Love – Dianne Drake
Doctor Anna Quinn has been running for years, trying to keep her daughter safe as well as provide a good life for the two of them. Finally, she’s found the place where she feels safe, and settles in with Evie to begin their new life. But a familiar face in the hospital causes her to want to run, again.

The Deep End – Teri McGill
Harper and Brady briefly met as teens fifteen years ago. She was drowning, he gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and she never forgot that first kiss…even though she was unconscious for most of it. Now Harper’s a single mother of deaf twins and Brady hides behind scars, both visible and invisible, in addition to PTSD. Fate steps in when they are reunited at a camp for special-needs kids. Will their shared vision for the camp’s future include a happy forever after of their own?

Jeopardy – Lucy Marker
Trish is happy to bond with Charlie over comedies and cartoons but fears the vulnerability and intimacy of romance. He challenges her to recognize true beauty runs deeper than the appearance and limitations of her arthritic, mature body.

Rip Current – Susan Sheehey
The rip current of love is dangerous and unyielding, but it might be the only rescue for two adrift hearts. Even for an imperfect lifeguard who struggles with trust, and a psychologist, masking years of grief. Will embracing their flaws and accepting love save them from the tumultuous waters of life?

Snooze You Lose, Baby – Karen Chesley
Snooze You Lose, Baby, and you might miss the chance of a lifetime to find the one love destined to hit you like a rocket. Lucas was unprepared for such a moment, as was Sela. Together they fight their way to bliss and avoid the kiss of death…or do they?

Lakeside Kisses – CJ Matlyn
A shy businesswoman struggling with social anxiety connects with a hot guy who’s a communication guru and brings new meaning to the concept of opposites attracting. Both think mixing business with pleasure is a no-no. Or is it?

Second Chance Summer – Libby Kay
Maggie and Elliot were made for each other. Can they overcome their past and find a way back together? Elliot knows he can be the man Maggie deserves, but she’s been shaken by her MS diagnosis. Can she trust Elliot, and her own body, again? Follow the pair as they search for their happily ever after.

Guiding Light – Dal Cecil Runo
Hurley Morgan, a blind Folk-Metal musician, travels with the band to Iceland for a very special gig inside a lighthouse. There, a landscape photographer prepares a photo exhibit. An invisible force pulls these two strangers closer, reviving unexpected memories from their pasts.

No Protocols for Love – Jen FitzGerald
Tyson Collier swore he'd never go back in the closet. Hockey player Semyon "Semka" Novikoff can't ever come out of it. They embark on a secret relationship with an expiration date. When they part ways, both miss the other, but they can never be. At least that's what they tell themselves.

Between the Pages – Joelle Casteel
Joon and Adam enjoy their trip to the library. Afterwards, Joon recounts their first date with Adam adding cherished details. At home, Adam helps Joon feel better with massage and lovemaking. After they score a new power scooter for Joon, seeing how it works for impulsive, hot sex gives them moans and laughs.

All Royalties for this eBook will go to: @PetsForVets https://www.petsforvets.com/

My Review: 5 stars
I've never really been someone who read anthologies that much simply because I'd never found the right one. And this was the right one! All the romance in bite-sized pieces and all about protagonists with disabilities by authors with disabilities. I adored every story, I fell in love with the way they were told, each new voice bringing a different feeling to mind. I liked the way it didn't stick to male and female romance but branched out. The stories were beautifully told, the authors all having that talent to make you want to ship their characters, and will be checking out their longer novels soon enough. I adored the whole thing, and I especially loved Guiding Light, No Protocols for Love and Second Chance Summer. Overall an amazing read and one I highly recommend for 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, 13 August 2019

#TeaserTuesday


Tara has a choice to make, but it doesn't really feel like she has much say in it..




[ID: A graphic with the background of a waterfall, with the heading for Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending and the release date as October 9th. The contents of the excerpt read:

“Do I have a choice?” I asked, softly.
“Of course you do,” he said.
“But?”
“But it could mean that they, my bosses I mean, decide that the trauma is too much to expose a minor to.”
“So I don’t really have a choice, then do I? I mean, Clare doesn’t know half of it, she doesn’t know about my gift and as far as she’s aware, I just volunteer here with my time. How do you plan to ask her for a mental health report, if you can’t even tell her why?”


END ID]

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Revisiting New Ideas


THE TRIALS OF A CRIME WRITER: REVISITING NEW IDEAS
 
One of the things I hear going around the writing community a lot is the thought that your idea that you've come up with for your novel isn't "new", that it's been done before and therefore is invalid as an idea. I'm here to tell you that's just not true. I wrote a piece about it way back and you can find that here. I wanted to go back over my points simply because it seems to be something that keeps going around and I felt like adding my two cents would be a good thing.

So, what can I tell you that someone else hasn't? There's really only so many ways you can say that every idea has, in some form, been done before, but it's not just that. For me, thinking up new ideas is a process that has changed a lot over my years as a writer. I used to sit and brainstorm for ideas. I didn't have anything solid and would just think up plot points and try and connect them together. Of course, I was 19 and didn't even think about the fact that they'd all, most likely, been done before. I was just happy to start creating whatever I could think of.

Now that I'm older and wiser, I see some of those other ideas linked tangibly to the ones I wrote. I don't know whether I was influenced by books I'd read directly or if it was just a subconscious thing, but I do know that my ideas whether at the basic premise level they were the same, did not end up that way. Because that's the thing when it comes to writing. Everyone tells a story a different way and while the nuts and bolts might be the exact same thing as the person next to you, you're both going to tell wildly different stories. Which is awesome and something that's worth remembering when you get struck by that self-doubt and thinking that you're just copying someone else.

In my time writing I have had, quite a few, ideas that have been tangibly similar to either books I've written before (and abandoned) or stories that I've read. I read a whole ton, usually over 150 books a year so I have a lot of influence from fiction. However, I know that when I sit down to write, I'm thinking about my own characters and my own way of doing things, and I'm not reading someone else's work to do that.

Touching on that books being abandoned point. When I first had the idea for Lynne & Hope, it was basically the same as what is now Destination: Unknown. I abandoned the first draft of Lynne & Hope because I couldn't get into it, and I didn't like where the story was going. I filed it away and planned to pick it up at another time. In the end, it was only once I finished a book and didn't have anything else to write that I went looking through that pile in my storage cupboard. I found the bare bones of Lynne & Hope and changed it completely into the story it is now.

However, that idea never really left me because it then got turned into Destination: Unknown, something I only thought to write when we moved from my flat into the house I live in now which is part of my town's history. It was that link that made me think: hmm, what if? And then I got writing and the rest is history. My point is, that I was able to use the same idea twice and neither book were anything alike. Ideas are the bare bones, the rest is up to us as writers to do with what we will.

I'm pretty sure there are no completely unique ideas, but books are unique in their execution. So when someone says that your idea is too close to this book or that, remember that you, as the writer, will have a lot of power at how that plot and story goes and don't shove an idea away because it's been "done before". Unless you were the one to tell it, you can probably tell a different story. And even if you are the one who told it, you can still add twists and turns that are nothing like the first.

So keep writing and remember that no idea at its core is unique. It's the writing it out that makes the story and only you can do that.


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, 9 August 2019

Interview with J.L Keathley and review of Distant Memories


I am delighted to welcome JL Keathley to the blog for an interview and my review of her book - Distant Memories. Here's a little bit about her:

J.L. Keathley is a self-published author who focuses on YA Fantasy. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters. She loves animals and has a variety of pets. She has always loved to read and decided to write what she wants to read about. She likes to travel with her family and find adventures.

And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
Honestly I would have to save Jade. She is different from everyone else around her and doesn't care. I am the same way, I am the "odd one" and don't care.

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?
I do read my own genre mostly. I prefer YA, so yes it is my favorite. I like that it's not too complicated and not a lot mature scenes.

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
Simple, Light, Fun

What was the first story you ever told?
When I was in Elementary school, I wrote a children's book about my dad and I going camping. It was made of construction paper. Ha can't believe I forgot about that until now.

Was writing always your dream choice of career?
No, it sorta just happened. But now I love it.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!
I write where I can, not one particular space.

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?
No, I tried but I just want to sing a long with a song if I know it instead of write. So a playlist isn't a good idea for me.

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?
Facebook, pages are great of course but I would have say the groups on there are a lot more helpful. They help you connect with other writers to get feedback and advise as well as allow you to promote yourself on a budget (which is great for most authors).

Where do you hang out most online?
Facebook :)

Do you have a favourite app for writing?
Word, it's user friendly and love the features it has.

Organised or not?
Organized for sure. I have virtual stickies and notes that help me with everything.

What's your favourite book you've read?
This question is always hard! I have ready so many great ones. Esh, um if I had to choose just one I would have to say A walk to Remember.

Morning or evening writer?
Evening, I am not a morning person (haha).

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?
#expecttheunexpected


About to turn sixteen, Jade was looking forward to getting her first car and a little more freedom. Life, however, had a different path in mind. A thirst for blood and newfound fangs exposed a secret world to her... a world hidden from humanity. To leave behind everything she knew and enter The Shadow Realm, she must embark on a fateful journey to uncover the truth about the past, and understand her strange dreams. Daring efforts to unravel her destiny will reveal new powers, new friends, and very real enemies.

My Review: 4 stars
I picked this up as it sounded interesting, a story of a change at the age of sixteen and thrown into a world she knows nothing about, Jade is quick to adapt to the newness all around her. I loved the way the story was told, loved Jade and her point of view and the friends that she surrounded herself with. It was an engaging read, and beautifully written. A solid four stars!

You can follow JL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & her website.

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, 30 July 2019

#TeaserTuesday



Tara might be getting back to work with Mike, but she can't help but be a bit nervous about it after the investigation...


Pre-order here: http://www.books2read.com/DTEE

And don't forget the Pre-order SWAG: https://forms.gle/5tundLE6FUTGjAF67

[ID: A background of a waterfall with the heading Dying Thoughts -Eighth Ending and the release date as October 9th 2019. The excerpt reads:

“So maybe today is the day when you get back in?” she said. It was typical of Kaolin to try and put a bright-side spin on things.
“Maybe,” I said.
We’d reached the door to the station and I pulled it open, thankful for the rush of breeze that cooled me down a little. The weather wasn’t all that bad, it was just the end of a long day in a stuffy classroom, and nice to feel the air on my face.
“Maybe he has some news,” she said. “Try not to get all stressed out before you know why he called.”
END ID]

Monday, 29 July 2019

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Revisiting The Hats


THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: REVISITING THE HATS

When I first started doing advice pieces, I did one that talked about the many hats of an indie author (found here) and in the years since then I've thought about talking about it again. Especially since it wasn't included under this sub-topic and I feel I've learned a lot since then. The general consensus when it comes to being indie is that you'll be doing, or paying for, a lot of the work yourself. You're not just in charge of writing the book, but editing, promoting, paying for the cover design, getting the word out, paying for your editor and such and all that goes into publishing.

So how have things changed in the many years since I wrote that first piece? Well for a start, I've grown as both a writer and an author. I now see things that I didn't back then - like the fact that a good cover is better than the worst one you can ever dream of. I've also done some signings and as such gotten the word out about my books in a different way. I've won two awards for my books and I've gotten more comfortable in this whole job as an indie author.

When I first talked about the hats, I was thinking too small. I only labelled the jobs that I personally had done. I didn't think beyond that and what it meant for me as an indie author, or for anyone else looking to take this path over the traditional one (though even traditional authors pay for a lot of their own marketing). I didn't look into things like pre-orders, because they weren't possible on KDP back then. And I didn't know how much of this author life I would come to see as my full time job.

So what hats do I wear now? I'm going to break them down so that you can see what I mean by things having changed.

#1. WRITER/AUTHOR
This one is slightly obvious and I don't think it needs any explanation. I write the books, so I get to reap the rewards from them.

#2. PAYING FOR EDITING

This should also be obvious. I am an employer in that I employ a team of editors and proof readers to work on my manuscripts before they go for publication. I don't recommend skipping this step or even thinking that you can do it yourself - spoiler: you can't.

#3. PAYING FOR COVER DESIGN

Again, I'm an employer of the person who does my cover designs. I get a lot of say in how it looks, but at the end of the day, I don't have those skills. And unless you're a graphic designer, you don't either. So do not skimp in covers. Trust me, I know how that blows your career up in the wrong way!

#4. PROMOTER OF BOOKS
Unless I pay them, no one else is going to be picking up my books and promoting them. I have to do all of that myself. I have managed to make connections and through them have worked out a few ways to keep on top of this without it getting too overwhelming, but I do have to do this and it's hard work starting from nothing.

#5. FORMATTER OF BOOKS
I could pay someone to do this, but personally I feel like I have a good idea what to do and so far, it's all worked in my favour, but if you're not sure, there are people who will do it for you. So don't assume that you also have to do it.

#6. ORGANISER
This means everything from a cover reveal to a release date to a giveaway or anything else that works alongside being a promoter. I have to do all of that myself, and if I miss a step, then it's me who pays for it. This can eat away at your time and you find yourself stuck with no time to get it done. It's not something to take for granted.

#7. TAXES ETC
Because I'm pretty much self-employed, I'm the one that has to make sure that I both get paid, but also pay my taxes and all of that. I have someone I employ who keeps track of what I owe and when. You don't have to pay someone, but personally it took a lot off my own shoulders to have someone who knew what they were doing cover that.

#8 PERSONAL CHEERLEADER
This one may seem frivolous, but it's not. There are days when I really struggle and days when I exceed my expectations. On the days when it's hard, I need to be my own cheerleader, to remind myself why I do this. It helps to have me in my corner.

#9 SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
When I first started writing there wasn't really any social media. In the time since I've been published, it's started to creep up and now I find myself juggling several different platforms and trying to stay on top of the tweets and messages and all the rest. I may not be an expert, but I'm doing the best I can.

And finally, #10 GENERAL ADMIN
This is for things like emails and chasing up reviews and the like. I spend a lot of time writing blog posts and vlog scripts, recording videos, and editing and captioning them. It's all stuff that benefits me as a writer but it's still one of the jobs that needs to be mentioned.

So there we have it, the ten hats that an indie author (and a lot of other authors) wear. I find it hard some days, but others it seems to be a breeze. Today is a mix of the two. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Happy Monday everyone!


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