Friday, 5 June 2020

Review of The Cursed One by Sean Fletcher

The hunt for the Cursed One is on…

I thought I could catch a break. After my near-death encounter with the psychotic leader of the Society, Kasia Armani, and still dealing with the Dark Prince trying to possess my body, I should be on the first flight out to a resort island.
Too bad the universe has other plans.
Reports of an ancient, legendary being called the Cursed One are popping up all over the world. According to Fae myth, whoever manages to find and possess this being will gain unbelievable power. Nearly unstoppable power. Power to do incredible good…or evil. 
Naturally, Kasia wants it. And I can’t let that happen.
It’s up to me, Asher, and my friends from the Academy to find it first. But with those closest to me harboring dangerous secrets of their own—and my crazy heart telling me it wants Asher as more than a friend—this journey may be the hardest one I’ve ever taken.
It could also be the deadliest.

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this one up as I'd read the first and enjoyed it, so was delighted to pick back up with Skylar, Asher and the gang. The book pulls you into the action from the first word, and you can't help but want to go along for the ride. I adore the characters, adore the world-building, and the hints of more to be told even within the words. Fletcher knows how to tell a good, engaging story, and this one is definitely that! I will be following this series as it continues, because I need to know more! 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, 2 June 2020

#TeaserTuesday


Hayley is on a mission, and she will not be stopped...


OUT NOW!


[ID: A graphic with a smoky grey background and the header of: Lights On, with a small header underneath that reads: out now in ebook and paperback. The excerpt reads:

For the past seven days, since her escape from the base on Raildown, Hayley Lightson had been on a mission. She’d always had a plan to escape, ready for the day they came for her. Her contacts had gotten her as far as the border to Evendown, and it seemed that her ruse had worked.


At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.

END ID]

Monday, 1 June 2020

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Keeping Your Goals In Mind


THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: KEEPING YOUR GOALS IN MIND

As you'll all probably be aware, I do a lot of goal setting. I have the bi-monthly goals on my authortube channel, I have a list of monthly goals on a private blog, and I have a planner that sets my goals for the month and on a week by week basis. I also do yearly goals, which I'll be reviewing soonish since we're coming up to the half year mark.

I set all these goals because I know that without them, I sometimes lose my way. I don't always know what I'm supposed to be doing and find myself doing little jobs here and there, but never enough to actually move forward. So goals work to both motivate me, but also to keep myself on track. One thing I started recently with my planner was getting a little smiley face sticker when I've done everything I'm supposed to that day. I like ticking things off and while it may seem odd that at thirty-eight, I find joy in a sticker meant for children, I know I'm not the only one.

Writing a book, revising, editing, publishing a book, these are all long term goals, and long term actions. You don't get it all done in a week, and pretending that you do is only going to set yourself up for failure. I'm a planner in that respect, and getting to look back and see how far I've come is a great way for me to motivate myself to keep going. That's why you have to celebrate the small stuff, even if it is a smiley face sticker in a planner.

Everyone works differently, but I don't know many people who don't set some kind of long term goals, whether that's monthly, quarterly or yearly and beyond, you need to know what you're aiming for, but you also need to know the steps it'll take to get you there. Writing a goal that you want to publish a book in a year and sell 100 copies is one thing, it's possible sure, if you're talking the indie route, but it's also a huge goal and unless you break things down into when you'll write, revise, edit etc, then you'll find yourself lost before you've even started, and no one wants to set themselves up for failure, right?

So that's why I wanted to talk about a few things to remember when it comes to setting those goals for yourself, and how to keep them in mind as you go through the week/month/quarter/year etc.

#1. START WITH THE SMALL THINGS

As I said above, breaking things down into smaller chunks allows you to focus on the exact thing you need to do. So like if that's revising, start with a set amount of chapters/pages/scenes you wanna revise in any given time. You know yourself best and while it can be tempting to set the goal so high that when you achieve it it's great, it's about making sure you can actually achieve it. For me, it's taken me literal years to know exactly what I can and can't do in a month. I know where my stretch is, but I also know if I do stretch, I have to cut back the next month, so if you know this already, great, if you don't, then start small and push those boundaries gently until you hit that spot.

#2. LEARN YOUR BOUNDARIES, SET YOUR ROUTINE

The key to getting anything done, for me at least, is knowing when I need to do it by. I'm not someone who works well with deadlines, but I also know that if I don't set one, it never gets done. Part of knowing my boundaries, is also knowing what my routine will allow me to do, and allow me to manage. It's no good writing down that I'll do all twenty chapters for the month in the last week, because that's never going to fit in with everything and I'd just be pushing myself to breaking point. You need to know where your time is going and part of that is knowing your routine.

Like for me, I know that if I get up when I wake up (which has been a lot earlier these days than it used to be) I'll have some quiet time when I could write a chapter. I also have a chunk of time in the afternoon, which is when I used to write, to do the same should I wish. But I know that writing two chapters every day for every writing day is gonna burn me out, so I don't do it often, and I make sure there's lots of rest days on the times I choose to do it.

And finally, #3. PLAN TO REWARD YOURSELF
It doesn't have to be something huge, like me with the smiley stickers, you have to be able to look at yourself and know you've done something huge. If that means that you treat yourself to something you've wanted, or you binge watch a Netflix show, or you do this or that, then that can be your reward. It doesn't have to be something that costs a ton, it can just be enough that you've treated yourself to something special because you stuck to your goals.

For me this'll be a good book after work, or my sticker, or if I do exceptionally well, I'll take an extra day off (because you should be having days off period) and catch up with a TV show I've not seen before. All of these are rewards and they help so much! It motivates you, it keeps you on track, and it's nice to look back and think of both what you managed, and what you got from it.

So any tips on goals? Or questions for me? Lemme know in the comments below!


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, 29 May 2020

Review of Magical Miri by Debra Kristi

There are the witches of the Quarter, and then there is the unwanted magical bloodline. The family so secret, even its youngest members are unaware. That would be mine.

“Magick runs in your bloodstream.”

Grandma always told us we came from a powerful bloodline. A bloodline derived from one of the strongest witches in New Orleans past.

Mom disagrees. Had us believing it was nothing but lies.

Wanting to get us away from grandma and her fanciful ideas, Mom moves us in with her boyfriend. Sticks us in the French Quarter. A place where my family isn’t welcome.

My new status quo: life in shambles.

Everything is changing. Mom is always working to pay the new, higher bills, my sister is experimenting with magick, and my brother, I think, maybe drugs. Forced to start at a new school and attempt to make new friends, I’m now having nightmares, seeing ghosts, getting teased as a witch, and preyed on by vampires. Plus, there’s the creepy, stalker ancestor in my head.

But to all my crazy, there’s a silver lining. I’m seeing a new, amazing guy, named Phillip… if Mom’s overbearing boyfriend doesn’t chase him away. Phillip doesn’t know about the supernatural world crashing in around me and I’d like to keep it that way. He is the calm to my chaos.

And my mom’s boyfriend, just may be the triggering cause of my surrounding storm.

How do I straighten out my family and uncover my own personal truth, when the devil in the works might possibly be sleeping under the same roof?

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up because of the cover, and the blurb sold me. I was super excited to dive into it, I loved Miri from the first word, loved the world around her and the characters along the way. The story was powerful, Kristi has a way with words that makes them weave a picture in your head of a vibrant world of fiction. I adored this book, Miri coming to terms with her abilities and all the hiccups along the way. Overall, a great read and one that I recommend!

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, 26 May 2020

#TeaserTuesday


Lock knows something serious is going on, but she hasn't yet joined the dots...



[ID: A graphic with a blue background the header reads: LIGHTS OUT, with a small header underneath reading: out now in paperback & ebook. To the right of those is a New Apple award seal. The excerpt reads:

Connors didn't meet that criteria, at least she didn't from what I'd read. However, she had, supposedly, been working on exposing people who circumvented the sixty year law. Wouldn't that make her a threat? Someone who was working against the change these people were trying to exact?
Looking at it dispassionately, which I think was the only way I could look at it, you could see Connors as a threat that needed to be silenced. It wasn't right by any means it was, plain and simple, murder and to know I played a part in that almost made me lose my breakfast.

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

Monday, 25 May 2020

Breakling Down My Day: Release Day


BREAKING DOWN MY DAY: RELEASE DAY

I've talked before about my usual writing day (found here) and the days running up to release (found here) but I thought I would do the actual release day itself, and how my day usually goes. I've started this series simply because I feel like a lot of people don't realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes, and even though I won't be listing exact times nor exact things, I will give you some idea of how things go, for me, come release day.

06:00-09:00

I usually wake up around 6am, and will then do whatever work I need to that isn't linked to the release in this time, so either a chapter or some other piece of admin stuff that I've got in the planner to do. If I finish early, I'll watch some youtube videos and start checking things like ads and ARCs are all done. This is my pre-work stuff, even though I'm kinda working already at this point.

09:30-10:30
This hour is taken up by either scheduling or posting release day stuff on social media. I like to try and space it out so that it's seen by people at different times, and of course even though I'm in the UK, there's other parts of the world who I want to see my posts. This can take longer than an hour, I usually have the posts already done by that point, as in I've made the graphics and all of that so it's just the scheduling and cross-posting that take this time up.

11:00-12:30
I will chat with a friend, go over edits depending on whether I am in the process of preparing another book for release (in May release yes, in October release, no). I'll also try and take a bit of downtime here, and just monitor social media and emails and such with a bit of a hands off approach. Depending on how this time goes, I might even try and sneak a nap (yes releases take a lot of time, but I also have a chronic illness or two that doesn't like letting me actually sleep at night!) If I can nap, I'll only go for an hour or so, but if not, I'll push through.

13:00-15:00

This is the time I really struggle with. I'm checking posts, making more, and also checking ads in the US have gone through fine. I'm also usually already very very tired and it's hard to focus, but release day is all about pushing yourself a little further. I might try and set up in bed and do the work from there, but it really depends on how my body is acting. It can be a complete arse at times! If I am able to work, I'll be making sure reviews are posted, contacting other reviewers and setting up blog posts all over to make sure that the word is out. I'll also be following and reposting things from the hashtag for that book, either to my own feed, or just engaging with the posts themselves to make sure people know that I've seen it and appreciate it.

16:00 onwards

As early as this is for most people, by that point, I need my bed and nothing is going to keep me up. I'll unwind with a book, chat with a friend and crash out. Because I don't get a whole lot of time to do everything, I'll usually be carrying over stuff I didn't manage to the next day so that release week goes off without a hitch. It's a marathon not a sprint and sometimes you gotta let yourself rest.

So that's about it really for my release day. As I've said, a lot of this is estimates and will also take into account how I'm feeling that day. Sometimes I'm fine come release day, riding the adrenaline high and all okay, other times I'm in the midst of a flare and I can barely do anything. It's the joys of chronic illness!

Any questions or tips? Leave them 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, 22 May 2020

Review of Nervous Water by Tracy Korn

She’s not supposed to exist… They’re only stories.


But there’s something in the water.

In the time before man, there were others. Perfect beings of the earth, water, air, and fire. The world was theirs during the unrecorded time. And for a while, there was peace.

To Cora of The Shallows, Princess of the Undine Water Fae and Captain of The Queen’s Guard, humans have been the enemy ever since the Elementals were banished from The Garden of Eden. For centuries they’ve remained hidden, but now a war is brewing to reclaim what once was theirs, and staying hidden is no longer an option.

Without consent, the Lawless sirens and tritons of The Depths have struck a terrifying alliance with another former enemy, and like it or not, Cora's only choice is to navigate both politics and her pride to save two men from different worlds.

One, a loyal brother-in-arms, and the other, a human soldier destined to lead…if he survives following his heart.

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up because the cover and blurb sounded like an intriguing story. I was hooked from the first page and read it all in one sitting. The author has a way with words that allows you to feel like you're right there with Cora, fighting the battle that no one else seems to care about. I adored Cora, Nicholas and even Reed, loved the fairytales woven in the words. It was an amazing read, and an author for me to read more from. I love her way of telling stories. Overall, a solid five stars!

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.