Tuesday 30 June 2020


Lana has her own mission and she'll do whatever it takes to win


[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:

Lana rolled over and switched off her alarm, glancing at the space next to her. Empty. It was still strange to wake up and Lock not be there. Of course, that would change. Lock would realise what she’d given up, and she would come back. She had to.

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.


Monday 29 June 2020

Spoonie Writer: Goals That Work For You


I decided that since I was reviewing the yearly goals I set myself last week (found here) then I should also talk about how, as a spoonie, I try to set goals that work for me. It can be daunting to look at everyone else making lots and lots of lofty goals and then looking at what you've achieved and feeling like you don't belong. Or even just not knowing how much you can get done in any one period because of your conditions. They can be tricky, they can make it seem like you're not doing enough, but actually you're in the midst of a flare and there's nothing you can do about it but keep going.

I know that to most people looking at my social media, my "highlight reel" they might think that I don't find it hard to meet my goals, or that I don't struggle some days to get the work done, and that's simply not true. Like right now, I'm writing the coming months blog posts, while having a flare, and have been putting stuff off until the final day of the month thinking I would be able to manage it, and to be honest, I'm not. I've been struggling to stay sitting at my desk, and so have been doing a lot of my days work in bed, on my iPad. It works for me, I get what I can done, and then I move onto things that will help relax me, and deal with the flare.

So how do I know what goals work for me? I have the experience of having been doing this for a long time, but also because I already know my limits, and that's what I'm gonna focus on today because I know how lucky I am to be in a position where I do know my limits and also have the time to take extra breaks if I need to because writing is basically my job. Today I'm gonna talk about finding those limits, and making sure your goals aren't gonna push you to breaking point.

A lot of the time people assume that because you have x condition and they have a friend with the same thing, then you'll both experience the condition the same way, and it's just not true. Part of getting to know your limits, if a lot of trying things, and seeing what's too much and what's okay. There's no such thing as too little, you know I fully believe that it takes as long as it takes and that's okay.#

So take this first step and remember that this isn't about pushing yourself into payback and a flare, this is about working out what you can safely do on a good day, a bad one, and all the others in the middle when it's just kinda okay but not.

When I first started using sticky notes to plan my time, I already knew that at a push I could do two things on a bad day, so I only ever set myself one thing a day. This was so that even if it was a bad day, I could at least manage one small thing. I also made sure that I had lots of days off so that if I did too much, or my conditions flared, I didn't lose the progress I'd made. Once you know where your limits are, then you can work out just how much is doable on the worst day, so long as you're able to actually work on those days. I'm not gonna shame anyone who doesn't, just because I can, doesn't mean everyone else can.

But starting small with your goals allows you to get a little done, and know that you're on the right path, so that when you choose to set goals long term, you have some idea of what's manageable and what isn't. And again, I can't be more clear that you will need days off. Even if the little thing isn't taxing, you still need time to recharge and relax. That is not optional!

I say it like this because people are different. I personally know that if I set goals so high that I'd have to push myself into a flare to achieve them, I would do it, because if I set a goal, I want to reach it. So I don't aim too high, but rather stick to just above what I could normally manage and then some months, weeks, etc I don't hit them, and that's okay.

Other people like to push themselves, feeling that if they aim too low that it's not really a goal. I don't agree that it's not a goal, but if you're that kind of person, go and aim for whatever your comfort level is. At the end of the day, you know yourself, and your conditions best and I'm not you.

So those are my three steps for goals that work for me, I wish you all the best of luck with your goal setting, and if you have any questions or want to add to the piece, then please do comment! 

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 26 June 2020

Review of A Witch Called Red by Sami Valentine


In the dark underworld, she is known as Red, a witch trained as a supernatural bounty hunter, where she came from is a mystery.

When a murdered model washes up on a beach, Red knows the bite marks on the victim can mean only one thing. Teaming up with Lucas, a punk rock vampire with a soul, Red goes to Los Angeles to investigate.

Instead of angels in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign, she only finds more bodies. And a city run by a vampire queen in Lululemon teetering on the brink of supernatural civil war.

Red needs to keep her wits sharp. And her stake sharper. Or she'll die before she even learns her real name…

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up because the cover and blurb were amazing. I was super excited to get into the story, even though I'm not usually one for vampires. I was hooked from the first page, and couldn't help but carry on through the story. Valentine has a way with words, a way to frame the story with just enough intrigue to keep you turning the page without giving away too much too soon. I adored the mystery and kept picking at the clues to try and solve it before the end. It was an amazing read and a series that I plan to follow to the end. Overall, 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.

Tuesday 23 June 2020


It all seems to be fixed, and yet Lock can't deny something isn't right...

[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:

“Hey, Lana, did you find that fifteenth name?” I asked.
I could hear a loud squeak on her end and wondered what she was doing.
“Name? I told you, I didn’t…,” she said, sounding far away.
“Is it possible the mainframe found her when it went back online?” I asked.
“What’s the name and I can check?”
“Martha Connors, her file says she’s received all three prompts and due process has gone through.”
“Well, the server must have found her then, because I didn’t,” Lana said. “I suppose that’s one crisis averted. You should let Chris know we found her.”

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

Monday 22 June 2020

Six Month Check In With Goals - The Creative Process


I do this every year because I make yearly goals and want to check on my progress through the year. I will usually make the goals themselves on my Authortube channel, but then I review them here on the blog about six months into the year.

This year I made fifteen goals, and I'm just gonna go through each of them and let you know how I'm doing on them!

1. RELEASE LIGHTS ON IN MAY 2020 - DONE! I released Lights On on May 12th, and it went swimmingly well. I'm adoring reading reviews and seeing other people with it on their Kindle and bookshelves, and just basically enjoying the response to this release.

2. RELEASE CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE FIRST TWINGE IN OCTOBER 2020 - STARTED! This is obviously not done because it's not yet October, but I do have the book with the developmental editor, and it should go to the line editor on July 1st and from there continue on to the release in October. I have the cover reveal next month and if you're interested, the link is here.

3. READ 200 BOOKS - OVER HALF-WAY. I ended upping my goal to 250 books as I was so many books ahead. I think the pandemic and lockdown has just fuelled my reading. I'm over 110 books read and still about 12 ahead of schedule for 250 so this is definitely gonna be done!

I finished both of these at the end of April and am very happy with how that went! I'm hoping to finish two more books this year, but we'll see!

I started these at the beginning of May and am writing my way through them both, but this can be checked off the list.

I still have plans to try and squeeze in a livestream, but with my health still being difficult, it's not yet been something I've managed!

7. COLLAB WITH AT LEAST 5 OTHER AUTHORTUBERS OVER THE YEAR - 2 DONE. I did both the No More Ableist Books Collab & Workstock 3 on the channel, so I'm doing good on this one. I think I plan to try and do some more in the coming months.

8. KEEP UP WITH WRITING LOG - DONE SO FAR. I've been keeping up with this every time I write!

9. KEEP UP WITH AUTHORTUBE CHANNEL - DONE SO FAR. Again, been doing my Thursday posts every week and haven't missed any days, or struggled to keep up with it all.

10. KEEP UP WITH MONDAY AND FRIDAY POSTS ON BLOG - DONE SO FAR. And this one is another that I've been doing really good at keeping up with. I adore my Monday posts, and I'm finding it easier to find Friday authors as well!

11. DO 50 REVIEWS IN 2020 - IN PROGRESS. I've managed to get about 20/25 reviews done this year so far. I'm hoping that I'll manage this one!

12. START EDITS ON LIGHTS OFF AND CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG READY FOR RELEASE IN 2021 - HALF DONE. I've started the revision process for Lights Off, and am on the fourth draft after which I think it'll be ready to go to betas, and then start the editing process. I won't start on Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang until November time.

I don't think this is gonna be possible to do, not with the lockdown, my health and all of that, but I'll keep trying.

. I've managed to do this one every month so far, so that's another good one!

. I've been going easier on myself and trying to squeeze in at least a day off, two if I can manage it, it's good for my mental health and just makes me refill the well.

So from looking at that, I've done a lot of them, and am progressing on track to finish the end of the year with more than half achieved which is a bonus! How are you doing on your yearly goals? 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 19 June 2020

Review of A Rebel Witch by Ashley McLeo

The evil queen of demons is after me.

But as long as she remains in Hell, I’m safe.

I hope . . .

Now that I’m participating in the Spy Games—a dangerous competition between magical spy academies—I’ve increased the risk of the queen’s minions finding and dragging me to the depths of the underworld.
In fact, with each passing Spy Game event, it becomes more obvious exactly why the queen wants me.
Most of the time my studies, relationships, and the tournament keep the looming threat of abduction out my mind.
But when someone I love is taken by the demons, I must act.

And face the powerful queen of Hell head-on.

My Review: 5 STARS
I read the first book in this series and was delighted to see the second one out! I picked it up and dived right in. I loved slipping back into the Spellcasters world. Odie is an amazing character, one that you can relate to, and cheer for as she faces all the trouble thrown in her path. McLeo has a way with words, and weaves the world into them. I adored the book, found myself unable to put the book down and wanting to read all the way to the end so that I knew what was going to happen to Odie and the others. The ending almost killed me, and I'm desperate for book three! 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 16 June 2020


Lock & Clara won't stop however long it takes...


[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:

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.

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.


Monday 15 June 2020

5 Facts About I Wish I Could Find You


Last week I gave you five facts about my other work in progress which you can find here. This week I wanted to talk more about the second Penney Note story, the five facts about the first one can be found here! As you may know, this is a paranormal/mystery/romance story that I planned with series potential, but it was really only as I kept writing that I realised it was more than likely a trilogy, so I'm really happy to have jumped right back in with Penney and her friends, trying to bring about the end of the big bad going on.

As a refresh before I jump into facts, Penney is seventeen, a psychic in a world of psychics, and desperately in love with her best friend, who she assumed didn't return the feelings. I have to be really careful with these facts so that I don't give away spoilers but I'll do my best!

Penney had dated before, but she'd always held a torch for Dane, and even with the events of the last book, she's still trying to find her feet as it were. She's looking for some way to do everything that's needed of her, but also get to be the best person she can be when it comes to matters of the heart. She didn't expect everything to fall into place quickly, but she's finding it a little harder than she thought it would be.

The big difference between the first book and the second is that the scope is broader. While before Penney had been focused on one, what she thought, small detail, now she finds herself have to look at the bigger picture and weigh up what matters, what doesn't, and what can be changed. The whole psychic world is teetering on the edge of something massive and Penney seems to play a big part.

Penney was sure of one thing, she could always trust her parents, they would always have her back, and now it seems that even they had secrets they kept from her. While she could understand some of the secrecy, the way it's presented to her has made it seemed more like a betrayal and a lie than anything she can simply move past. She's always known she was adopted, but the history behind that was never spoken of, and now she wants to know more.

Penney has EDS, she's chronically ill and she's already exhausted from everything that went into saving Dane, but now people need her to keep going, and she's not going to let them down. Except her body is saying enough, and she doesn't know how to both save her friends and family, and also get some decent rest. There will come a point when she has to crash, but she'll keep pushing until she has nothing left in her to give. The issue is, whether that happens before or after she manages to complete her task.

While she might think that she has to do this all on her own, there are others around her who will do whatever they can to help her. Penney thinks the burden rests on her shoulders, but she's wrong. She has friends, family, other people who know what she's trying to do, and will aid her in anyway they can. The question is, will she ask for help, or will she just push them away trying to save everyone herself?

So there we have it, five facts about I Wish I Could Find You, which is a joy to write. I'll admit that those first few chapters I struggled to find my feet, but now that I'm into the thick of the story, I'm actually getting somewhere with it all! Do you have any questions? Lemme know down 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 12 June 2020

Review of Aqua by Tracy Korn

Hold your breath…

The future is three miles underwater. And Jazwyn Ripley's time has come.

Earth’s atmosphere will only support a few more generations, and most of advanced society has already relocated to the sea. To survive, only one option remains for the Topsiders—get into Gaia Sur, the elite academy on the ocean floor.

But after Jazwyn Ripley trains a lifetime for the chance, something is wrong in the interviews. Her evaluation isn’t like those of her soul-rattled classmates, and now, Arco Hart is desperate to protect her from something he won't talk about.

Cryptic messages coming from the earth's core. A charming, but infamous rival who knows why.

Everything is telling her to walk away, but for the struggling class at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but down.

The road to everything the cadets ever wanted turns out to lead somewhere they never intended to go, and one decision will change the course of their lives for good:

Continue on the scripted path, or chase something deeper?

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up having read another book by Korn, and was delighted to fall into a new world with her at the helm. Jazz has always believed she knows what she wants, but then she gets it and is thrown into a world more dark than she thought. I was hooked from the first word, and right there with Jazz as she learns the new world for herself. Korn's writing is engaging, beautifully crafted and makes you want to keep reading. The only reason I didn't finish this in one sitting is my need for sleep, but at the first chance, I was back into the Aqua world. Overall an amazing book and one 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 9 June 2020


There's someone missing from the list, and Lock knows that's not normal...

[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:

I knew that he wouldn’t be able to just tell me to me to let it go. If it wasn’t down at the wire, we might have been able to leave it for the day, but with the notices due to go out in four hours, we couldn’t risk someone not getting their due process.
“Are you sure it wasn’t a mistake?” he asked, checking each file as he went down the list.
“You tell me, you said fifteen, which is why you wanted Lana to double up with me,” I said. “I could’ve sworn there were fifteen names yesterday when I left for work and now after the server crash…”

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

Monday 8 June 2020

5 Facts About Project: Witch Hunt


As I'm sure you're all aware, I recently finished two projects and started two new ones, and I wanted to continue on with my mini series where I give you five facts about them to tease you, and also because I'm desperate to talk about them! So watch out for the one coming next week as well, but for today I'm gonna give you five facts about Project: Witch Hunt.

Before I get started lemme just say that this is a story that has been brewing in my head for a long time now. I had the characters and the overarching plot, because I'm pretty sure this will be a series, but I didn't have all of it until things started to slip into place a few months back when I was close to finishing my last two projects. I'm super excited about following Abby and the journey she's on, as well as telling her story, so here we go with the facts.

I didn't know this part of the story until I started to plan it out, but the world she lives in is split into witches and normal humans. They don't live in secret, they're out there and part of society, and Abby has grown up with normal human kids. She does her usual schooling, at fifteen, and then also has the added perk, because her parents work for the local witches council, of getting to sneak into council classes earlier than she would normally have been allowed. Her best friends are also council kids, and they met through the classes.

I'm adoring getting to explore this world that is similar to ours, but also isn't at the same time, stretching those world building muscles and getting to see it all laid out for me not just for this book, but beyond it into the series as a whole.

I know that some people will feel like it's too soon, or wrong to be writing about teenagers in a pandemic when the world is going through the same, but I don't plan to release this book for many years, and I also wanted to stay true to the world we live in, even with the differences I mentioned above. Because of the story I'm telling, it helps to draw a little from real life, and also add in some fiction there as well. I'm trying to delicately balance both what's happening now, to also what teens will read about in years to come.

The difference to other characters of mine here is that, Abby doesn't have a diagnosis. Neither human doctors nor the witch healers have been able to pin down exactly what's wrong with her, and because of that, she's facing a pandemic will little help and lots of pain that has no name. The diagnosis is one that may come in future books, but I don't see it happening in this book because the journey to diagnosis can take literal years, and when the world is shut down anyway, it makes it even harder to find answers.

It's not something that Abby was really aware as still happening, but with the pandemic and school being closed, Abby's a lot more aware of life outside her four walls than she was before. Witches are being taken, and the whispers are that it's a witch hunter, something she never thought she'd see. Abby and her friends are desperate to help either find those taken, or prevent others from meeting the same fate.

As with a lot of my characters, Abby is bi, and she's very aware that she has feelings for one of her friends. But she doesn't know how to ask them if they feel the same way, they've had a hard life, and she doesn't want to add to their burden. One thing is clear though, as things get more serious and life throws its own curve balls, Abby is desperate to protect them, and everyone else she loves from harm.

So there we go, five facts about Project: Witch Hunt! I'm super excited writing this and getting to explore both Abby and the world I'm creating around her. I'm loving the characters and the bits and pieces slotting into place and it's a nice break from edits and revisions to lose myself in a different world. What do you think of these five facts? 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 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


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


[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.


Monday 1 June 2020

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.


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.


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.

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