Tuesday 31 December 2019


As with anything, there are those who don't believe in the system, and are willing to hurt to make their point...

[ID: A graphic with a burnt out lightbulb in the background. The header is: Lights Out, and underneath smaller text reads: Out Now in paperback and ebook. To the right of that is an award seal for New Apple. The excerpt reads:

"You don't?" she asked, raising an eyebrow as if she was amused. "You honestly don't see what they do... what you do as violence? You take the citizens of this cityship and you inject poison into their veins and stand idly by waiting for them to die. That, in our book, is murder plain and simple."
"I don't make the laws," I said, my arms sore from the iron grip of the people holding me.
"No, but you do carry them out and I bet you're one of those who fully believes in the system. For the good of the country and all that," she said, in a mocking tone.


Monday 30 December 2019

Setting Goals For The Coming Year - The Creative Process


It's that time of year again folks! We are officially two days for 2020 and it's time for me to make my yearly goals. Now I have talked about these goals on my Authortube channel (found here) but since I will, hopefully, be reviewing these goals again in July on the blog, it made sense to mention them here as well, and to go into a little bit of detail about why I chose these goals!

As you're probably aware, I do Bi-Monthly goals on my Authortube channel, and so you may be wondering why I still do a yearly goals list as well. The simply answer is that I know that while the majority of my goals will be on a smaller scale, I won't be able to complete some of the long-term ones in two months. I don't want to focus on them on that scale, but over the year as a whole, hence the yearly goals.

1. RELEASE LIGHTS ON IN MAY 2020 - This should all go to plan, we're knee deep in the developmental edits for this book and everything should continue along smoothly. I have the front cover, and am super happy with it and planning the cover reveal!

2. RELEASE CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE FIRST TWINGE IN OCTOBER 2020 - Normally I would do one book in May and the other in July, but this year, having done three releases, I wanted to spread my two out a little more. So I'm aiming for an October release for this book, and hoping it all goes to plan.

3. READ 200 BOOKS - Last year I set the goal of 120 books because I'd really been struggling towards the end of the year to even reach my previous goal of 150. I didn't want to add that extra pressure to myself, so I lowered the amount. Of course by February I was over 20 books ahead of myself, so I bumped it up to the usual 150, and then I was done with that in June. So I went for 200. I finished that in around October time, and am now at a point where I've read more books this year than ever before, since I started tracking. I don't know if I can do it again, but I'm gonna try!

- Both of these are pretty new to me. I started them during NaNoWriMo and have made a good headway into them. I believe they should be done around May/June time.

5. START BOOKS 31 & 32 - And therefore, since the last point says I'll be done before the end of the year, I obviously want to write and plan two new books, that as of yet, have no titles, or plots, or characters. But I'm sure they'll come to me!

6. DO A LIVESTREAM ON AUTHORTUBE CHANNEL AT LEAST ONCE - I really missed out during NaNo with all the livestreams. I'm in the UK, most of Authortube is in a completely different time zone to me, and with my conditions really putting me to bed around 5pm my time, it just wasn't possible to make it to any, despite wanting to. So this coming year I want to try and do one of my own. I just don't know when or whether I'll do it alone!

- I did some collabs with Authortubers this past year, but I really wanted to work harder at cementing those friendships with all the people I've met through that platform. So this is a big goal for me!

- This is something that appears every year because it matters to me greatly, and is pretty self-explanatory.

- Same as above, pretty easy to work out why!

10. KEEP UP WITH MONDAY AND FRIDAY POSTS ON BLOG - And again, easy to work out why!

11. DO 50 REVIEWS IN 2020 - I managed to do more reviews in 2019 than any other year, and this coming year I want to beat that and do at least 50 reviews. This counts for both my Friday posts and any reviews I do outside of that.

12. START EDITS ON LIGHTS OFF AND CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG READY FOR RELEASE IN 2021 - This one is something that I usually have on there, because the work starts for this about the middle of the year, so I want to be sure that I have everything in place and ready to get those two done.

- There is no Darker in 2020 and I'm not actually signed up for any signings, but I would really love to do one, even if that means it's only me there. So this is one I want to branch out to the local area and see if I can pull it off.

- Another one that is pretty easy to understand why it's there. I started this hashtag about four or five years ago and I haven't looked back since. It's the one thing I always do every month, which is write, at least, one page for every day of the month.

- And although I'm pretty good at doing this now, I still wanted to have this one on here. It's so easy to get caught up in working all the time, that I need to hold myself to this. I need time off, everyone does, and having this goal there makes sure that I get at least one day of the month to do nothing. I've started having more than one, which is an amazing thing!

So there we have it, my goals for 2020! Lemme know if you have any down in the comments! And enjoy the last days of 2019!

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

Sunday 29 December 2019

Author Tag: Authortube Pick Me Up Tag [CC]

And my final video of the year and decade, a tag, the #Authortube pick me up tag!


1. Talk about friends you've made through writing
2. What's the nicest compliment you've ever received about your writing?
3. What is your favorite Authortube video you've made?
4. When or why did you fall in love with writing?
5. What is your favorite part of writing?
7. What is your strongest skill as a writer?
8. Tell us something you're proud of
9. Give yourself a pep talk!
10. Tag people

CREATED BY TEHBUGGY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrrGc

TAGGED BY NALEY GONZALEZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNySPxo8nxU&feature=youtu.be

DAL CECIL RUNO: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFR5phjFlbMiTpoRiNBMJ2Q

CAT BOWSER: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxTMg_dotzA3u4Ml_JI2tcg

Friday 27 December 2019

Review of Highway Twenty by Michael J Moore

An engineer from out of town disappears.Then Conor Mitchell’s girlfriend. Then his parents. The townspeople of Sedrow Woolley, Washington are vanishing at a horrifying rate. But they come back. They all come back days later, and they’re different: Hungry. Insectile. Creatures posing as humans. Because Conor knows the truth, and because the entire police force has already been changed, and because there’s nowhere to run from an evil that only wants to spread, his sole option is to fight. But they have no intention of letting him leave town.

My Review: 5 stars
I picked this up as I'd read other books by this author, and enjoyed them. I loved the blurb, the idea of a creepy invasion to a sleepy town, and only one man knows the truth. It started off a little slow, but picked up the pace pretty quick and then I just couldn't put it down. The story was engaging, but terrifying, the plot moving through with twists and turns and the ending was amazing. I loved it completely, and the perfect read on these dark spooky nights. Recommended!

You can follow Michael on Facebook and his 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 24 December 2019


Lock can't help but worry that she's sent a woman to her death before her time...

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A graphic with a fading lightbulb, with the header of "Lights Out" and just below that: out now in paperback and ebook. Next to that is an award seal from New Apple. And the excerpt reads: 

“But if…,” I started to say.
“Yeah, if, if she wasn’t lying, if she really was thirty-five, if her chip was faulty, if her ID wasn’t a fake, all these ifs and we’re talking about your life here, Lock. She’s gone, nothing is going to bring her back and as far as we know, no error was made. If it turns out that there was, then just chalk it up to experience. Don’t make the same mistake again, but also, don’t throw your life away just in case.”


Monday 23 December 2019

Writing Hacks - The Creative Process


This is a topic that has been on my list for a while, and I've just never really gotten around to doing it. I usually see writing hacks covered on Authotube, from channels like Alexa Donne and others. For those who don't know, and I don't think there are many, a writing hack is something that makes the whole process easier, usually coming from someone who has done this before and found that it works for them. I thought that since I have a few of my own, I would share them with you all, as well as open the comments up for anyone wanting to offer their own writing hacks.

As I've said, writing hacks come in all shapes and sizes, like the whole idea that writing in Comic Sans can help you beat writer's block and edit easier. I've not tried that one, but I've heard that it can be really successful. There are an abundance of them online, and I've got a few of my own that I've found over the years really helps me both write my drafts, but also edit and such later.

This might sound like a silly idea, but hear me out. I've been keeping a writing log for a good number of years now. I've gone through one a half so far, and in it I record which book I'm writing, how much I wrote, the date I started the book, the date I finish and such. It really does help me looking back over during edits at just what I managed, and how I managed it. It can tell me why a chapter seems choppy, if it was written over two or three days instead of one. It can tell me why the words sound tired when I've squeezed in two chapters that day instead of the usual one. All of this helps me massively at both tracking my output, but also what kind of day it was. It helps me see at a glance how productive I've been too, which can be a huge boost on days when I feel like I'm doing nothing.

I know that a lot of people are aware of these programs. For a while I used Naturally Dragon Speaking and it worked wonderfully for me. Now I generally avoid it during drafting, but I do use it to help with editing. It allows me to hear the flow of sentences, and also pick up on any errors, whether that's typos or just clunky words. It's been an amazing tool for me, even though it's a robotic voice, it allows me to hear my words and reading them aloud to myself might work, but I just can't seem to manage it, though I know a lot of writers who do this instead.

This isn't so much a hack, as something that I've found works well for me, and that's making sure that the tools you use for writing - whether that be a pen and paper, or a keyboard, tablet, computer, whatever - but to have those tools be the kind that you enjoy using. Recently I found the most perfect keyboard for me, and I was super excited to finally be able to use it. It came just at the start of NaNo and I will say it's a dream to type on. Now for some people this is going to be a certain kind of pen, or notepad, or an app on their tablet or phone or whatnot, but find tools that you enjoy using and that do what you need them to and you'll find it easier to write.

One big things writers suffer from is the fact that the majority of our work is done sitting. I mean all of my life is done sitting, but let's not digress! This point simply means making sure that your chair is comfortable, the lighting is good, the room is worn, you have what you need within reach. Some people have a specific routine they go through before writing. I don't, but that's just me. So if you find that sitting by the fire in winter keeps you warm and typing, find a way to incorporate that into your routine.

I had the caveat of not too much comfort, just because I feel like if you're able, you need to be up and stretching every so often. That way your muscles don't get too tight and cramped, and it gives your hands and wrists a break. So go for comfort, but not the kind where you're going to want to never move again.

Now this is one I've not used too much yet, but there are apps that will help minimise the level of distraction your phone and such will be. There's a forest app where so long as you leave your phone alone while you work,  you grow a tree. Collect enough points and then you get a tree planted for real. These are all amazing and will make sure that your focus stays on the words and not on social media.

So there we have it, my five writing hacks and how they've worked for me. If you have any, leave them in the comments below and together we can get writing all the more easier for 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

Friday 20 December 2019

Review of Say Her Name by Stefani Deoul

High-flying lesbionic brainiac Sid Rubin is caught up in the glow of new love—and the snowball fight of the century. Distraction in action, Sid forgets to duck and takes a full facial hit, launching her backward into Imani, who in turn slides down a hill, through a thicket, and amazingly, lands safely. Or so she thinks. Until she hears an ice crack and sees a fingertip rise through the small fissure.

Cue the scream.

Jimmy, Sid, Ari, and Vikram slip and slide their way to the rescue, somehow knowing that a chain of events has just been set in motion.

The finger becomes a hand, and then a body. It’s a young girl. And she’s not alone. There are seven more skeletons―unidentified and unclaimed. When Imani utters the words, “I want someone to say her name,” it’s time for the posse to round up and ride again―chasing a mystery across time, and states, and even continents. A genetic genealogy hunt that's right up Sid’s Silicon Alley.

But there’s a glitch in the system, because Sid's new girlfriend, Ava, has other plans. And Sid learns the hard way that before she can untangle someone else's family tree, she will have to find her own roots.

My Review: 5 STARS
I have adored Deoul's writing since I came across On A LARP, and so when I saw this was up for pre-order, I had to have a copy! Falling into the novel like an old friend, I was along for the ride while Sid found love, and Imani found a body. It was impactful and beautifully written, the prose flowing and the story keeping me hooked from page one to the end. I read it all in one sitting and I don't think I could've stopped if I wanted to. A beautifully written story with an important message, and I adored it. Highly, highly recommended!

You can follow Stefani on her website, Twitter or Facebook.

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 17 December 2019


Tara is struggling to manage her dad's symptoms and everything else going on in her life...

[ID: A waterfall background with the header of Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending, a smaller header of Out now in paperback and ebook. The excerpt reads:

“You’re back,” he said. “I thought you were spending the night at Kaolin’s before I go on tour? I thought I had the house to myself.”
I sighed quietly, telling myself that he’d already made progress and that nothing was guaranteed. I knew getting frustrated and angry with him would not help matters.
“Dad, we talked about this remember?” I said, trying to sound more patient than I felt. “You were in an accident, then a coma and now it’s June, you’ve got some problems with short term memory but you’re making big steps. You remember?”


Monday 16 December 2019

Balancing Editing & Writing - The After Process


As I'm reaching the end of my editing year of hell, I thought I would do a post about how to balance both editing a project, and writing a different one. As I'm into the beginning of edits for 2020, I'm also writing two new projects as I usually do. This time last year I was working with a completely different editing team, but that's a topic for another day. My point here is that when editing, if you want to continue drafting, you need to find a balance between the two since they can both be a heavy work load and also kinda draining on that creative well.

So how do I do it? Simple really, I plan! You know this by now, I've talked about it a lot in my advice pieces, and my videos on Authortube (channel here). I won't go into details of the software and such that I used, but I will give you some tips on how to go about finding that balance!

I say this simply because trying to do both tasks at once is only going to frustrate you. I generally will have completely different days for each task. If I'm drafting, I am not going to be delving into edits. If I'm editing, I won't be picking up my projects either. It's to make sure of two things. One, that my concentration isn't pulled in two different directions. And two, so that I'm not draining my creative well. The last thing I want to do is burn out and end up missing deadlines because of that.


I know how long it takes me to write a chapter, and I know, generally, how much editing I can get done in any one day. I don't, therefore, tell myself to do more than I'm capable of. Otherwise it's going to stress me out. I make sure that I have adequate time, but also have breathing room should something change, or a chapter need more extensive edits and such. Breaking it into chunks makes the whole thing seem less overwhelming and allows me to breathe a little easier.

This allows for things like talking to friends, or reading a book, whatever works for you as either self-care, or giving you breathing room. It means that my daily life isn't always work, and that's a good thing. It's healthy to have time off, and to take breaks even when you're in the midst of writing and editing. Even when you have a deadline, whether that's self-imposed or otherwise, you need to make sure you have the time you need, and also the time to ease off the work load.

This applies more to editing than balancing, but it bears mention in this piece. When you're approaching a mammoth task of editing your book ready for an editor, or going through the edits from the editor, you need to be starting with the big pieces that will effect the project overall. This can mean breaking those into manageable chunks, but the overall process should mean that you don't end up focusing on small changes that might have to be changed again when you're corrected some of the bigger projects. It pays to not get too overwhelmed and burnt out because you've made more work for yourself than necessary.

I go through three rounds of professional edit after my own self-edit. I make sure that the deadlines I have in place are a little bit more flexible than what they first appear to be. This means that if me, or my editor, has an issue and needs to take time off, or take longer on a portion of the book, we don't end up burning the candle at both ends to meet the deadline.

This applies to that balance too. If you have told yourself that you want to finish a draft by a certain date, make sure it's not written in stone so that it allows you some breathing room. This can apply to anything from NaNo to the camps, to just wanting to finish that draft before the end of the year. Goals and deadlines can help spur you on, but if they're too strict, you might end up in a puddle on the floor having pushed yourself to breaking point, and no one wants that.

So there we have it, it's how I've balanced writing and editing this past year, and it's how I'd advise you to do the same. If you have any tips, leave them 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 13 December 2019

Review of The Barghest by C L Monaghan

Scotland 1862

A murder, a terrifying creature, and a battle for his affections were not what Midnight Gunn expected when he journeyed to Scotland for the summer. Bodies are mysteriously disappearing from the city morgue, Midnight’s growing household is in turmoil and someone or something lurks in the shadows, watching. When the net closes in around his heart and his daughter disappears, Midnight calls on Scotland Yard’s finest, Inspector Arthur Gredge, to aid in the hunt for the Barghest

My Review:5 stars
I pre-ordered this, having read the first Midnight Gunn book and loved it. I was super excited to dive back into Midnight's world and see what was going on with him, and little Polly. The story was beautifully crafted, as I have come to expect from this author, and the plot kept me guessing through the twists and turns as more supernatural creatures popped up on the pages. I adored the characters, and loved the direction the story went. Overall, an amazing read and one that I highly recommend!

You can follow C. L. Monaghan on Facebook.

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 10 December 2019


With everything going on around her, this news feels like it'll break her...

[ID: A blueish background with the header of: Dying Thoughts - Seventh Death, and a smaller heading of: Out now in ebook & paperback. The excerpt reads:

I watched as she nodded a few times and then hung up.
“Is everything okay? Is something wrong at home?” I asked, my brain still not clicking that it was *my* phone.
“Tara, it’s your dad,” she said and I felt my heart jump up and lodge in my throat. As impossible as that sounds, I swear I could feel it pumping away just below my vocal cords. “There’s been an accident.” 


Monday 9 December 2019

Spoonie Writer: Dealing With Holidays


It's that time of year again, when everything seems to pile up at once and all the spoonies in the world are struggling to get through a stressful, flare-filled time of year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, or any other holiday towards the end of the year, you're having to deal with pain, writing, and relatives all in one foul swoop. We're not there yet, but I thought that I would start us off right and give you some of my tips for both keeping on schedule and also not working yourself into a flare.

I celebrate Christmas and usually spend this time of year going between parents, and getting all the bits and pieces together for both the holiday and the stuff that happens afterwards. I'm pretty lucky to have parents who get that I need to do things on a schedule and that things can change at any time. The new oxygen concentrator I have now is a smaller one, but it has a limited battery so that means making sure I can charge it up when needed. But that's just me, how are you going to balance both writing and getting through the holiday season? Glad you asked, because I have some tips for you!


As you all know by now, I am a super planner when it comes to my time. I've talked about how I use Sticky Notes to plan my month and slot things in when needed. (Piece found here) You don't have to go to that level, or even use the same idea, but planning your time, and when you're seeing who and all of that will help you schedule things like rest days and days for writing. It doesn't work for everyone, but it's been a massive help for me.

It means that I can make sure my writing days are blocked off, but that the days when I'm seeing family or doing something strenuous can be surrounded with low impact days, or days off completely so that I can recharge and make sure that I'm not going to be pushing myself into a flare.

Along with point one, there should, always, but especially around the holidays, be days when you do nothing. As a spoonie, you know that your energy levels can change and can have an impact on what you're doing. So filling your time with high-impact stuff is just going to make you miserable, and possibly sick. I try to make sure that I have at least two days a month where I'm doing nothing, but I also have a lot of low-impact days to counter the days when I'm working long hours. It's important to rest!


There are gonna be some instances where you have to cancel, or you need to alter how things are done. I know it sucks, I know it's hard to advocate for yourself and that for some people, their families aren't supportive. But if you can, let people know what you're able to do, and how long you can stay. Allow them to plan for times when you might not make it. This goes into planning your time, but make sure those important to you know what you're planning to do any one day. Have some flexibility in your schedule so that you're not having to squeeze things in when you really don't have time.

I really wish this wasn't something I had to say, but it is. There are always going to be some people who demand your time, or just don't get that you can't do everything, and they won't listen to you when you try to explain. I've been there, I've done that, and it's hard as hell. My only advice is to try and not take it personally, which is a big ask when this is something that you have no control over. I get it, I do. My parents are divorced, Dad lives an hours drive from me, and sometimes he and my step-mum don't get that I can't stay for hours and hours and still be okay to get home. I've tried explaining it, but it seems to go over their heads. So I just accept that they're not going to get it, and move on.

I say try, because some times there's nothing to do but call the day a loss and move past it. You might have all the plans in the world and half of them have to be cancelled or fall through because of health stuff. You might have plans to write all through the holidays and find that actually, you can't, but try not to let this have an impact on your enjoyment. It's supposed to be a good time, and I say that knowing that things get really stressful over the holidays. The money aspect, the time suck, and the fact that for some of us, we just want to write and get through the month in one piece. But try to make sure that you schedule something in there that you know you will enjoy, something that maybe relaxes you and doesn't take as many spoons, but just take care of yourself.

The holidays are a stressful time for most people, but for spoonies, there's the added risk of falling ill, or having a flare in the middle of them. It's a game I play with my body every year since my birthday falls at the end of the holiday season. If I can make it through Christmas, New Year and then my birthday, I'm pretty happy, and then it's all over and done for a year, and I breathe a big sigh of relief.

Happy writing, and I hope you're able to enjoy this holiday season! Lemme know your tips and tricks for fellow spoonie writers 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