Friday, 24 January 2020

Review of The Accidental Witch by Gemma Perfect

“I’m not a witch.”
“You are now.”


When Ellis chases her dog right through the middle of a magical ceremony, she gets invested as the head witch of all the supernatural creatures.

By accident.

The witches are shell shocked but determined to keep this catastrophe a secret. None of the magical creatures can know how wrong this has gone.

But Ellis has a vision, which shows all of them that she’s stumbled into something far more dangerous than any of them originally believed.

Can they undo the magic and put Fletcher in Ellis's place, before the other supernatural creatures find out and before they have a rebellion on their hands

My Review: 4.5 STARS
I picked this up because the cover and the blurb intrigued me, and I was not disappointed. Ellis has had a hard year, and Fletcher's year hasn't been much better. The story was fast paced, and went from the every day to the death defying in moments, I read it all in one night because I was desperate to know what happened next. Overall, I just felt like the ending was a little rushed, but otherwise I loved it completely, and can't wait for the next one in the series. Lovers of paranormal romance should definitely check it out!

You can follow Gemma on 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, 21 January 2020

#TeaserTuesday


Lock and Clara are determined to bring about justice, no matter the cost...


COMING MAY 2020


[ID: A grey foggy background with the header: Lights On and the small header below that: coming may 2020. The excerpt reads:

Whether that be justice for those who’d died, or a war to end the inequality that our country had become ingrained with again. I had to believe that this, this risk, this journey, was going to lead us to somewhere better. If I didn’t, I’d lose control before we even took another step.
Whatever the outcome, we were on our way.


END ID]

Monday, 20 January 2020

5 Facts About My Current WIP: This Is How It Ends



5 FACTS ABOUT MY CURRENT WIP: THIS IS HOW IT ENDS
 

As I'm sure you're all aware, I started writing two new projects back in November and I thought that I would continue my series of giving you five facts about them. Starting with the new standalone that I'm working on, which is called: This Is How It Ends.

The story is basically a young adult mystery/thriller, and follows Maggie, almost fifteen, and starting her GCSE year without one of her best friends, who sadly died in an accident the previous May. Delia had been friends with Maggie all throughout schooling, and while Paula and Juliet became part of Maggie's friend group when they all started at secondary school, she does admit that she misses Delia and the closeness they had.

Maggie wasn't on the hike where Delia died, she was supposed to be, but was home sick that day. Up until now, she's always believed what her friends said happened, but then a photo emerges that tells a different story and a caption that implies that Juliet and Paula had something to hide about what really happened that day!

I'm very much loving the story, but before I get into that, let me give you five facts about it!

#1 MAGGIE AND HER FRIENDS ARE ALL LGBTQ
Maggie herself is bi, Juliet is non-binary, using they/them pronouns, and Paula is a lesbian. Delia was the only straight one in the group, and had had a bad reaction to Juliet coming out, but the friends had since patched things up, when Maggie took Delia to one side to tell her how rude she was acting. Maggie has always felt more protective of Juliet because their parents aren't really okay with them being non-binary. It's something Juliet has to be careful talking about.

#2 THERE ARE SECRETS EVERYWHERE
One of the big themes in the book is that secrets have a way of being found out. Maggie doesn't really believe the caption, nor understand where the photo came from since Delia's death was investigated and all photos handed over to the police, and then the coroner when the inquest happened. Maggie wants to believe that her friends wouldn't lie to her, but she's also very aware that there are some things she doesn't know, and while she says she's okay with this, her behaviour kinda implies differently.

#3 IT ALL SEEMS TO GO BACK TO THAT FATEFUL HIKE

As some of the secrets start to be exposed, one thing Maggie is certain of is that the people on the hike, the five other students and the three adults, all had something to hide about how Delia came to fall. Maggie isn't sure if she believes it was anything but an accident, but yet as she unearths more about what actually happened, that belief is called into question a lot.

#4 MAGGIE LOVES A GOOD MYSTERY

A massive reader, Maggie loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book. She doesn't just stick to crime and mystery nor just to young adult. If she likes the sound of it, she'll happily pick it up and give it a read. It's because of this love of trying to guess the ending to a story that gets her caught up in this whole mystery of what really happened to Delia. She followed the police investigation and inquest results religiously, and yet now things are happening that seem to call them all into question.

And finally, #5 SOMEONE OUT THERE WANTS TO EXPOSE EVERYONE
While Maggie has, mostly, held onto the belief that her friends, and the other people on the hike, couldn't have pushed Delia off the ledge, she can't help but wonder what the point of sending her the photo with the caption. It starts out innocent, but quickly becomes something murkier, something scary and terrifying and Maggie isn't all that sure about what to do about it. Because she doesn't know the truth, and sometimes she wonders if she even wants to.

So there we have it, my five facts about This Is How It Ends. I'm loving writing this story and going back a bit into mystery writing. I love telling these kinds of stories and because of how much I read last year, I have a whole sea of ideas to play with!


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, 17 January 2020

Review of Hood by MC Frank

“We are probably going to die today,” said John.
“I’m aware,” Robin replied. “But then again, we’re constantly going to die.”
“So what you’re saying is,” Alis hissed behind them, “that you’re used to being about to die.”
“More or less,” Will Scarlet replied, rare laughter in his voice. “The excitement is gone.”


Meet Robin Hood's band of outlaws. Their story starts with Christmas, a lost love, a hungry town and a robbery.
In this Outlaws novella, Robin Loxley is a tortured young man mourning the loss of his title, his lands and his first love. Tonight, with the help of his close friends, he will get a new name that will live in history, a cat that could care less that Robin happens to be the most brilliant archer in medieval England, and a chance to prove himself by rescuing a lady from a fire.
But this is no ordinary lady...
And that is no ordinary fire...

HOOD is a prequel novella to the beloved bestselling Outlaws series by M.C. Frank. 

My Review: 5 STARS
I adore Frank's earlier works and I loved the first book in this series, so I had to pick this one up on pre-order and devoured it in one sitting. The memories that Robin has are so vividly painted in the words. The characters that you know and love are all there in their glory. Frank is an exceptional writer, and has a way of painting scenes and stories with a flourish of words. I very much enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more from this author. Highly recommended.


You can follow MC Frank on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, her website, and The Book Robin Hoods.

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, 14 January 2020

#TeaserTuesday


Lock knows that something dodgy is going on with the events, but could she have played a part in helping them kill a woman before her time?



[ID: A fading lightbulb background with the header of Lights Out and a smaller header that reads: out now in paperback & ebook. There is a award seal to the right from New Apple literary awards. 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. 


END ID]

Monday, 13 January 2020

Drafting Fun - The Creative Process


DRAFTING FUN

I have to say that drafting is my favourite part of the writing process. I know I've talked about why I hate editing, (piece found here) but I've never really gone into why I find drafting so much easier, and more fun. Right now I'm working on two semi-new projects in that I've only been writing them a couple of months, and it just awoke that part of me that loves doing this for a living.

Drafting is only the start of the process, you have to have a first draft to be able to move onto the next step, revisions and more drafts before editing starts. I do have to say that because I edit as I go, a lot of the time, my first draft is more like a second one, or somewhere between the two. And while I love that first foray into writing a new idea, I'm not too keen on revisions, which is another step that has to be done, and I usually grit my teeth and get on with it!

So why do I love drafting so much? I'm going to give you my reasons and break down why I've chosen them! So stick around and find out!

#1 I LOVE DISCOVERING THE STORY
I'm pretty much a pantser when it comes to the drafting stage. I do have a minimal outline, but it's two pieces of paper with all of my chapters, and about four words max next to each of them. When I outline, I think up plot points that need to happen and mix them in with other things that might happen, and then I give myself permission to go into the draft knowing that some of these things either won't come to fruition or they'll be moved earlier or later down the timeline.

Basically, I'm a discovery writer, in that I find out the story as I'm telling it. There are some moments when I'll go back to edit and find out I was already foreshadowing an event that I didn't think I'd thought of, so obviously somewhere my brain knows what should happen, even if it happens later than planned!

#2 I LOVE GETTING TO KNOW THE CHARACTERS

Usually, I will have some idea of who the main character is, and a few other people that surround them. Sometimes, depending on the genre, I'll know who the antagonist is, but other times I'll find myself working it out as I write. When it's a crime/mystery book, I generally have a good plan for the bad guy, but when drafting the Invisible series, I had an antagonist planned and he never ever ended up in the series. It just didn't make sense with how the story was going, so he was dropped entirely.

However, even if I don't know much about the characters, I do love getting to know them during the drafting phase. One of the reasons I wrote the Lights Out trilogy was because the inital idea was for a standalone and yet when I got to know Lock, I realised she'd never act the way I'd planned, and the trilogy was born!

#3 I LOVE THINKING ON MY FEET

It's something that when it comes to writing, I'm pretty good at, other ways I kinda suck at it, but writing a story? I'm blowing it outta the water with ideas and such that I can use to keep it moving forward and get from point A to point B and have it make the most sense. It gives me a chance to use my brain to think up a situation that will fit the narrative and while you could say the same happens in outlining, I'm just not a writer who can work with, and stick to, a massive outline. It's never been my style and I don't see that changing any time soon.

And finally, #4 I LOVE THE STORIES I CAN TELL
This might seem like an ego thing, same as the last point, but to be honest, it's not really. I read a whole ton, and I also write a lot, but when the two come together, when I'm drafting and reading this story that came from my own mind, I really find myself enjoying them. I adore what I've written and being able to see that while it's not perfect, it is something to be proud of. It's something that has always been enjoyable to me. I still have bouts of low self-esteem, but when I look at the books on my shelf, the ones I wrote, I couldn't be prouder for what I've managed.

So there we have it, the four things that make drafting fun for me. I'm really very much a writer who adores the initial exploring of the idea, of telling it and enjoying it, and not one that enjoys what comes afterwards. While all of those steps need to be done, it's usual for a writer to have a favourite part of the process, and for me that will always be those first words, chapters and pages of a fresh draft.


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, 10 January 2020

Interview with Savy Leiser & reveiw of Sculpt Yourself



I'm delighted to welcome Savy Leiser to the blog today for an interview and my review of her book - Sculpt Yourself - here's a little about Savy:

SAVY is a Chicago author, journalist, filmmaker, and small business owner. She's the founder of the Furever Home Friends, a series of children's books and stuffed animals based on real rescue dogs, which was named one of 2018's Top 4 Most Purposeful Startups in Chicago. She's also the author of Sculpt Yourself, a new-adult ownvoices LGBTQ+ speculative novel. SAVY first started making book trailers to advertise her own Furever Home Friends books and products, and then branched into becoming a full-on booktuber and authortuber over at the YouTube channel SAVY Writes Books. SAVY enjoys dressing like it's still the early 90s and talking to her dog like he's a human child. When she's not acting obnoxious on YouTube, she works as a music journalist and kids' creative writing teacher, and spends her spare time getting into petty arguments about Star Trek fan theories on Twitter.

And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
In Sculpt Yourself, I'd say I relate to each of the three main characters in a different way. I'm a lot like Amber because I'm loud, I love putting various sauces on my nachos, and I'm an obnoxious feminist who still loves listening to Eminem. I'm like Kelly because I love art and drawing, I do my work around my pets, and because people sometimes think I'm cooler than I actually am. Finally, I relate to Judie because I'm extroverted, I drink too much (coffee and alcohol), and I hate my body.

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

YES! I write in contemporary YA, some soft sci-fi, and children's picture books. And I love to read all of those as well!

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
That 90s Bitch.

What was the first story you ever told?

When I was four, my dog, Sam, ate a candy cane that was attached to someone's present under the Christmas tree. I thought it was so funny that I wrote a story about it and stuck it in a binder. I love having that memory because now the majority of my career is writing books about dogs-- and in one of my Furever Home Friends books, Sam makes an appearance!

Was writing always your dream choice of career?
Yes, from the very beginning. I bounced around a bit in terms of what kind of writing I'd do specifically. For most of my late teens and early 20s, I was working hard toward becoming a screenwriter. So far, though, I've found that independent films have a bigger financial barrier to entry than independent books. So I've put that goal on hold for a bit, but I'm hoping to come back to it once I'm more established.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!

I have a home office where I run all operations for the Furever Home Friends. It consists of two rooms: a spare bedroom that I turned into an office with my desktop computer setup (that's also where I film my authortube videos) and an adjacent dining room where I store all my book and stuffed animal stock and package up orders. In terms of where I do my writing itself, that's everywhere. I write in my office, but I also write on the couch, in my bed, on the toilet, on the bus/train, everywhere. In coffee shops, at McDonald's, on the floors of public bathrooms (well, I did that one more when I was a "quirky" teenager).

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

Yes! Especially in my upcoming YA novel, One Final Vinyl (which will be releasing May 15, 2020!), music is a major influence in my work. I think that's because I played music for so many years. I work as a music journalist on top of writing my books, so music has remained a huge part of my life. To me, it's natural to figure out characters' emotions and bring them to life through music.

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?

Twitter! I love Twitter, even though it's a dumpster fire. I'm not sure if YouTube is a must, but I've found an amazing community there.

Where do you hang out most online?

Definitely YouTube. I love AuthorTube and BookTube, and I love making videos. Find me on the channel SAVY Writes Books!

Do you have a favourite app for writing?

Google Docs. It's helpful because I can access my writing on my desktop computer or on my phone, which is useful when I'm on the move so much.

Organised or not?

I'd say my life is organized, but my physical space is not. I'm known for eating junk food and leaving trash all throughout my office and living room. I also used to have a major hoarding problem, which I've only begun to address in recent years. It's getting a lot better. But in terms of my goals, project timelines, and to-do lists, I'm VERY organized. I use a five-year planner to break down my goals year by year and month by month. Then I use Google Calendar to break down my weekly goals and obligations. Finally, I make daily to-do lists. I'm very productive, and my time management skills are a major point of pride for me. So I guess I'd say, YES, I'm organized, even though I don't look like it from the outside!

What's your favourite book you've read?

that's way too hard, haha, i'm skipping this one ;)

Morning or evening writer?
Both -- just NOT an afternoon writer!

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?
#FureverHomeFriends, #SculptYourself, #BeautyKing, #SavvyBusinessOwner


Lipamorph is a drug that lets you sculpt yourself. It's how so many female celebrities in the mid-2010s remained so thin while having such large butts. It loosens up the fat in your body, allowing you to choose your proportions. And it's just been legalized for sale in Chicago.

Amber is a 24-year-old tech support worker by day, gay feminist blogger (and bad-sitcom aficionado) by night. She's been vocal about her disapproval of Lipamorph from the beginning, seeing it as another tool to reinforce patriarchal beauty standards; but as Lipamorph becomes more common, Amber's dissenting voice starts to matter less and less.

Judie is Amber's younger sister, and seemingly her complete opposite; she loves pop music, pretty latte art, and dating men. After struggling with hating her body for most of her life, Judie has become borderline reliant on Lipamorph for self-confidence, much to Amber's dismay.

Kelly is an artist currently working for the marketing firm on the floor above Amber's office. She's whip-smart, proudly bisexual, and strikingly beautiful ... and she's the woman Amber's fallen in love with.

Told from these three women's points of view, Sculpt Yourself tackles body image, LGBT+ topics, and what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century.

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up having heard good things, and I was not disappointed. Told from three different points of view, the author has a way of making you feel like you're watching it play out in front of you while also keeping you invested in the story. I read it all n one sitting and adored the writing style. Amber was just how I imagined a lot of people her age are facing the situations she is, and having the additional POV of Judie and Kelly just added to the enjoyment. I adored the book,. the growth of the characters and everything else that went into it. Overall an amazing read and one that I highly recommend!

You can follow Savy on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube!

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.