Friday 29 January 2021

Review of Deadly Pretenses by Angelique Snowden


 Genesis Long and Sebastian Campbell are childhood sweethearts that meet their untimely end in a tragic car accident that occurs on the night of their Senior Prom. But one year later, their spirits continue to haunt their beloved town of Savannah, desperate to be reunited in the afterlife. But is a happy ending all they are after, or does their unfinished business have much deeper, darker roots?

Colette Vaughn is the new girl in town, a Chicago transfer who moves into Genesis’ old house and is thrust into this ghostly universe. Haunted by the undead lovers, she is desperate to unbury the secrets surrounding their deaths, all while trying to prevent herself from falling for Abel Campbell, Sebastian’s mysterious and handsome younger brother.

As the truths are revealed, Colette also discovers an unknown ability that threatens to disrupt both the living…and the dead.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb and cover called out to me. The start of the book intrigued me and kept me reading, even as I fell in love with the story. Colette is new to the town, and things all seem to point back to two teens who died the previous year, and strange things keep happening to Colette. The story was engaging, the characters full-developed and it had me guessing until the last page. Overall an amazing read, and one I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good paranormal/mystery/romance!

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 January 2021



Finding out about the empath ability is one thing, dealing with triggers is another...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: out now in ebook & paperback. The excerpt reads:
How did you find out? R x.
Gray, take it away! J x.
Jessie was seeing things in my life when I was going through some stuff. The first time it was my grandfather dying. She knew about it but she also saw scenes that I didn't know about. When it happened the second time, well I didn't tell her I just waited to see if she'd know. And she did. That's when we worked out it was people she cared about. G x.
So before now it's just been Gray? R x.
Yeah, and my parents. My mum gets migraines and those always lay me out. J x.
Then why Meera? R x.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.]


Monday 25 January 2021

Outlining While Revising - The After Process


I've not done many pieces on my revision process, and since I found a lot of the tips from other writers helpful when approaching my own revisions, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about that today. I generally revise two books a year, as well as go through the professional editing process for those two. I've been doing revisions for a number of years, and my process has switched and changed a lot since I first started, but today I wanted to talk about a trick I found useful when it comes to being a plantser drafting wise, and that is to outline as you revise.

Now the planners reading this will be like: duh, of course you do, but for me as a minimal planner and mostly discovery writer during drafting, it didn't seem obvious. I forget who I found this tip from, but it has helped me so much. I basically recommend it to anyone who is struggling to keep track of what needs to be changed and when and how. I don't re-write my whole book for a second draft, but will go through and leave notes both in the document and on an outline as I read through it for the first time since it was finished. This allows me to refresh the story in my head, but also see things that I'd like to change in the next draft.

From there I will construct my outline. I write down a summary of what happens in every chapter and add any tweaks and changes that I'd like to work into it. As I go through the revision process, I will tackle first the big picture stuff, like plot points that don't work, or things that need to be added into it, before I go onto a line by line or grammar and spelling process. For me it doesn't make sense to be worried about the sentence flow when you're not even sure that sentence will make the cut. Of course everyone approaches it differently, but that's the way I see it.

Within my outline I have a colour-coded system for each plot point, arc and other big picture things that need to be woven through the chapters. Red is usually something that needs to get cut or changed massively so will be a lot of rewriting, green is for smaller plot/arc changes that will have to be threaded through the book, yellow is something that I'm not completely sure if it works or not (and sometimes they will stay like that as I move though drafts), and purple are plot points that can't be changed without having a massive effect on the rest of the book, or series as a whole.

Now I've talked about before that I am lucky enough to both write fast and have a backlog of books to publish so that I can, usually, finish a series completely before I start publishing. And because of this, that means when book one is revised, I can tackle things that needed to be in the story from the start that I didn't really know about until I was deeper into the series as a whole. This is a huge plus for me because a lot of the series I'm writing, or have written, all fall into a pattern of there being a huge overarching plot and sometimes I don't know the ending until I get there.

This is relevant because when revising, I can include things on my outline, like where plot points have to be added because of changes in book one. For example, last year I released the first book in the Cramping Chronicles series. I'm now revising the second one, there were things that changed drastically in book one, that now need to lead into and be touched upon in book two, and on and on it goes. Because I have this outline that I'm following, it makes for a much smoother revision process. I can also start a document that will be for book three, and so on, if there are more changes that I know will need to carry over. It just makes my life, and my revision process all the more easier.

So basically, I feel like if you're a pantser or a plantser, then maybe think about doing an outline when it comes to revision. There are numerous ways to do it, and it might take a bit of back and forth to find the way that works for you, but it can be an amazing tool to use.

Any questions? 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 22 January 2021

Review of The Lost Coven by Bekah Harris


 Felicity Hawthorne has never been superstitious.

Coming from a long line of Appalachian healers, she’s helped Nan cast grounding spells and left gifts of candy and moonshine for the fair folk, but was any of it real? Not likely.

But when Felicity spots a mysterious boy at school that no one else can see, she begins to question the true origins of her family’s beliefs, as well as her place within it. Could magic really exist? Were all of Nan’s stories true? Were her parents really who they seemed to be? Desperate for answers, Felicity follows the boy deep into the forest to discover a secret world lost to time itself.

Too late, Felicity realizes the truth has consequences, that her search may come with a price she is unwilling to pay.

Lured into a deadly world where blood is more valuable than precious stones, Felicity must call upon the hidden magic inside her if she has any hope of surviving in this dangerous new realm where the supernatural reigns.


 My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover and blurb intrigued me. I’ve never been one for fae stories and yet as this one dragged me in, I couldn’t help but find myself enjoying and loving the world, the story and everything that went with it. I adored the build up, the pacing, the characters and the story itself engaged me from the first words. The intrigue of the coven, of what that means for all present, and the world building were stunning. I adored the book, and will be looking forward to more in this series. Overall, an amazing read and one I would 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 19 January 2021



Jessie sees things that maybe no one should see...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: out now in ebook & paperback. The excerpt reads:
“Sai, they're threatening our daughter! You’ve no choice. If you don't do this, then Meera will pay the price,” the woman pleaded. “You can't go to the police, but you can't risk our child, Sai! Listen to reason please!”
“And what happens to Meera when her father is arrested? What happens to you? What happens to us?” Sai said.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.]


Monday 18 January 2021

Pantsing A Series - The Creative Process



Last week I talked about planning a series (piece found here) and this week I decided to do the other side of the coin, talking about pantsing one. For those who don't know the terms, planners will plan an outline their stories before they start writing and pantsers (or discovery writers) will make it up as the go along with no outline. Those who fall in the middle are called plantsers, of which I am one.

I've written a number of series, and I've always been someone who falls, again, in the middle, in that sometimes I will plan and outline the series as a whole and other times I just write and see where the story takes me. Like right now I'm working on two series, one a trilogy, the other an unknown, and both were not planned. I kinda had the idea for a sequel of the trilogy one while writing the first book, and then it snowballed from there. With the other series, I've not planned that either, again I knew it had series potential, but only once I was writing did I start to put the pieces together.

So what are the pros and cons for pantsing a series? How does it help? Does it make it harder for the writer? Glad you asked, because I'm going to give you some answers to those questions with some pros and cons and see where we end up.

This might seem like an obvious one, and it also might seem a little obnoxious, but it's also true. A lot of the writing world kinda sends the message that outlining and planning is the only way to write a book, and that's just not true. While you can go into a story with just the bare bones, the same can be said for series as well. You don't have to sit down and work out each story beat for each book, you can literally have an idea and see where it takes you.

Again, I'm not just going to be talking about the drafting process. The truth is that it's hard to revise not just a book, but a whole series, when you didn't start out with some idea of where the series was going, what was going to happen, and how it would all work out to fit together. While writing one of my trilogies, I was sure that things would happen in a certain way, and yet now, writing the final book, I know there are gonna be a lot of revisions because I've discovered things about my characters and the world, that I didn't know at the start and so they need to be worked through the first and second book.

This might seem like a con for some people, but it's not for me. I've never been one that wants to sit down and write out massive character sheets, or work out the arcs ahead of time. I much prefer having a vague idea of where the ending is, without me needing to know everything about it. I know that my characters will go through arcs, they will change and grow, things will happen in-between that first story and throughout the whole series up to the very end, and I have the chance to learn new things, and find new ways to tell this story.


This is a problem for all writers, especially when it comes to that first or zero draft. No matter how much you plan, there are gonna be some parts of the story where you feel like this thing you just thought of was really important and so you spend a while weaving it in, but in actuality you're info dumping something that has no place in the book at all. Yes, as a writer you should know more than the reader will about the story, the background, the characters and all of that, but that doesn't mean you need to add it in thick chunks of text that add nothing to the story itself. I find this happens to me more when I haven't planned the series, because I end up thinking up cool things, writing them into the characters thoughts and then either never mentioning it again, or taking it out when it comes to revisions.


I found this while writing what I thought was a duo, became a trilogy and finally ended up a quartet. I know that it's going to need extensive revisions, but at the same time, if I'd planned out the story, and the series as a whole, I don't think I'd have discovered the parts of it that came to me while drafting. It's happened to me before as well, with the Lights Out trilogy, where I started writing what I thought was a standalone and ended up with my first trilogy. This can be a great thing to discover and it's one thing I love about pantsing a series!

This is linked to the above pro, in that while you can find more story, you can also end up taking your book and series down a road that leads to nowhere. Yes you can revise and such, but sometimes it can be that you don't realise that plot point doesn't work until books later, and then you're pretty much in a big mess. It's not happened to me, but I do know of other writers where they've pantsed a story and ended up having to cut out whole books.

So there we go, those are my three pros and cons when it comes to pantsing a series. At the end of the day, you have to find what works for you, and go from there. I do a mix of the two, with some series I will plan and outline the series as a whole, with others, I go in with no plans and just the idea that this story might turn into a series. A lot of writing advice is about finding things that add to your writing toolbox and not worrying too much about whether other people do things the same way as you do.

Every writer is different and it's okay if your way of doing things isn't the same as everyone else. It's part of being a writer and it's completely okay to experiment and find a way that works for you.

Any questions? 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

Sunday 17 January 2021

Author Tag: The WIP Tag [CC]

 Doing a tag today where I tell you all about my WIP! #Authortube

1. What is the working title?
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
3. What genre is your work-in-progress?
4. Choose the actors for your movie rendition.
5. One sentence synopsis of your book.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
8. What other books would you compare the story to?
9. Who or what inspired you to write the book?
10. What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?





Friday 15 January 2021

Review of Everhaven by Elizabeth J. Rekab


 Welcome to EVERHAVEN, with its cobblestone streets, white picket fences… and newly deceased citizens walking the earth. Seventeen-year-old Abigail Walters knows that after a resident dies, they will come to her, just as she knows she will always be an outcast due to her late father’s crimes and her close relationship with the Dead. What's more, she can't leave Everhaven no matter how badly she may want to. No resident can cross beyond the woods at its border or venture into the outside world. It's the way things have always been.

When a string of random deaths and missing corpses plagues the town, Abigail begins to wonder whether her own father’s death was truly accidental, or if he was punished for seeking something he was never meant to find. Unable to trust the authorities, Abigail embarks on a mission to finish what her father started; uncover the truth of a terrifying town conspiracy that threatens a fate far worse than becoming a restless corpse.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb drew me in, a unique story on its own, and I was hooked from the first page. I ended up trying to read it in one sitting and found that the need for sleep became too much and yet I was so desperate to read more. Abbie is the Rester, the dead come back in Everhaven and yet there’s something about the whole perfect thing, that seems off to her. The characters were well-rounded, the writing beautiful in places, tugging at the heartstrings and also painting a vivid picture of the world and town of Everhaven. It was a terrifying and chilling read in places, and at the same time, one you don’t want to put down. I adored it and will be looking for more from this author. 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 12 January 2021



Jessie is regretting trying to tell her friends about her empath abilities...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: out now in ebook & paperback. The excerpt reads:
This had to be my worst idea ever. Yes, I needed to keep working on a way to solve Meera's family problems, that wasn't the bad idea. The bad idea had been listening to Gray, and not thinking more about how to approach the subject. Now I stood the chance of losing the only two friends I had at this school, along with having to put up with Miss Trigger Point.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.]


Monday 11 January 2021

Planning A Series - The Creative Process



Over the years I've talked about planning a series (piece found here) but I thought I would touch on it again because my process has changed since then in some ways, in others it hasn't, but new year and all, maybe there are people out there wondering about this and while I'm not the best person to ask about planning overall, I do know something about the planning of a series.

Quick recap here, I'm an indie author with eighteen books published, eight of them a complete series, two of them part of a trilogy and one the start of another series. I have some experience when it comes to planning the series before you start writing, and I also have some pitfalls to avoid. I generally fall into the camp of a plantser which is the middle ground between a hardcore planner and a complete pantser. I've always written in this way and it's part of the process that works for me.

So what is there to know about planning a series? Is it worth the work? Especially, if like me, you're more plantser than planner. Glad you asked, I'm going to go through some of the pros, the cons and all the little bits in between, and keep an eye out next week as I'll be doing the same with pantsing a series.


If you're able to plan out, even just with the bare bones, you're able to see where an arc, be that plot or character, is going to come into play. You can use this plan to have some idea of what needs to happen in book one and onwards. You want your characters to grow and change and you want to be sure that you have enough plot to actually be writing a series, whether that's a duology, trilogy or beyond that into multiple books. Planning gives you a bit of an idea of where you need to be writing towards and how to make sure that every book you write in this series meets that end goal.


This is something that may not apply to you if you're someone who doesn't like to not have a solid plan, but if you're like me, it can be that with all the plans in the world, you need to be able to do some discovery writing along the way. On top of that, depending on how extensive your plan is, things can change once you're in the thick of things with your characters. They may have seemed to lean one way, but as you write them you realise that actually, they'd never do this thing, which according to your plan is a key plot point. You then have the choice to redo the plan or go off plan and see where it takes you.


This is something I would be remiss to not include. At the end of the day, planning out your series helps both the drafting process and the editing and revisions process. If you're done with one book and find yourself wondering what will come next, you have this plan already plotted out which will allow you to spot where the next book will take you and you can do from there. It means that your first draft is going to be easier to revise, which is never a bad thing.


I don't know about you, but when I'm writing, I sometimes see a scene as a massive thing, and then I sit down to write it and find actually it wasn't as big a deal as I thought it would be. Because of that, it can skew the planning I've done and make it harder for me to fill up the book. It might be that despite planning it out, I find writing the draft that a trilogy is a duology and a duology could be a standalone. Some things, for me, anyway, aren't all able to be planned and this can bite you in the backside if you've plotted and planned this whole series and find that actually, it's not working for you.

This is a big pro for me, because despite what I said above, there is still some leeway that will allow you to discovery write (or pants) parts of the book, the series and all of that. You don't have to make your plan extensive, just enough that you as the writer know what's expected in this book and what can be done to reach that end goal. I'm not someone who plans a lot, but I have planned series and find that I have enough wiggle room to be able to still pants my way through some of the drafting and still get the end result I wanted.


I've touched on this a little bit in the first con, but I thought it needed it's own point as well. At the end of the day, if you are someone who doesn't write to a plan, then you'll know that sometimes plans change. Sometimes this arc you thought would make the most sense doesn't when you sit down to write. Sometimes you're writing to a certain ending and you get there and realise that it doesn't make sense, or it doesn't jive with everything that happened in the whole series. And that sucks, because it means that you have to readjust your plan in revision which can make the whole process all the more hard.

So there we go, those are three pros and three cons for planning a series. I do some planning, as I've said, but I also find that a lot of the time, the advise is to plan and plan only, that you're not valid unless you have an outline, and it's just not true, it's also not the way a lot of writers work, and that's completely okay.

I have been lucky enough that bar the Dying Thoughts series, I write fast enough to finish a series long before it reaches the publishing stages so I can adjust and reassess as I go through revisions and such. This isn't the case for everyone, and because of that, maybe planning your series ahead of time might be a good idea. It really is up to you as the writer to find what works for you!

Any questions? 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 8 January 2021

Review of Curse Of The Fae Moon by JM Kearl


 When it’s nearly time for the Allied Kingdoms Academy to reopen after the vampire attack, and I can finally see Prince Zyacus again, I have an altercation with an overpowering silver-skinned Fae. This complete scoundrel surrounds himself in clouds of black mist, creatures of nightmares, and needs a lesson in manners.

Soon after, a red moon rises in the sky. A bad omen many at the academy say. Nobody knew just how bad things could get.

Somehow the fate of the human realm falls to me, a seventeen-year-old princess still learning to use her magic and hone her sword fighting skills.

To save us from the terrible events of the Fae moon, I’m forced into a choice: do I strike a bargain with the Fae that could take me away from everything I know and love forever?

Or do I refuse, risking suffering and death to my people but keep my freedom?


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because I’d read and loved the first book and this one did not disappoint. Picking up a few weeks after the events of the last one, you’re pulled right back into the world and the story, desperately wanting to know what awaits the Princess and her friends. The story was engaging and well told, and had you desperate to finish once you’d started. I read it all in one sitting and am now hungry for the third instalment. I need to know what happens next! Overall highly recommended, and a great book!

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 5 January 2021



Making new friends is always a plus point, especially in a new school...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: out now in ebook & paperback. The excerpt reads:
“Rowena,” she said, with a small smile. She spoke quietly still, and that made me think she wasn't usually someone who approached a stranger. “Where do you want the table?”
“Along the back row would be awesome, thanks,” I said.
She moved the table with ease, making sure to line it up with the others. “That okay?” she asked, stepping back.
“That's perfect, thanks.”
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.]


Monday 4 January 2021

Mental Health Revisited



It's a new year and we're leaving the nightmare year of 2020 behind us, and during that past year, I know that I'm not the only one who struggled mentally with the pandemic, and the other horrible things that were packing into twelve months. That said, it doesn't look like the pandemic is leaving any time soon and so we're faced with the possibility of more lockdowns and all the rest. But I thought that it would be a good idea to start the year talking about mental health. I've talked about it before here.

Personally, I have depression and an anxiety disorder. I have struggled throughout my whole life with both, and as someone with other chronic conditions, I've found that it's really hard to keep my head on straight when flares and other ill health is going on, especially when I'm trying to write as usual, and get books ready for release this year. I'm in the midst of edits for one and doing revisions on another, as well as my usual two drafting projects.

Mental health is a difficult subject to talk about from time to time, and there is a lot of push in the writing community to always be productive, and I'm seen, at least on some platforms as someone who's super organised and very productive, and while it's true that I get a lot done, I try not to put my mental health at risk by pushing myself way too much. A lot of the time, I'm only working for a short period of the day simply because I can't work any longer than that. My body, and my brain, just won't let me.

So what can I say that hasn't already been said? Taking breaks is a big thing, having down time, and having time when you can say: enough, I can't. I know that a lot of people work to deadlines, and I do the same, it's a way of making sure you reach a point when you need to. I have deadlines for editing and the like because otherwise it might not get done. But making sure that I  have days when I can say: No, I can't do this, I need to take some time, is imperative.

On top of that, you need to remember to practice self-care. It's different for everyone and I've talked about this before during the month of NaNoWriMo (piece here and here) but it's especially important when talking about mental health. Everyone processes things differently, everyone is a unique person and what for one person might be too much, for another might not even register as a problem. Self-care is imperative when it comes to continuing through your writing journey and your career.

That said, I do have some tips for you when it comes to being overwhelmed. I'm lucky that I, mostly, have supportive friends and family, and while I know that a lot of people don't have that, I can give you some tips for dealing with those that aren't that supportive.

When I'm talking to someone who doesn't really get the whole need for time off, especially when I'm on a deadline and it's mental health related, I will try and explain that it's not just me slacking off, but me needing a break for a day or two. It doesn't always work, but sometimes just explaining that it's more than the need for a break, and actually something that's having a knock on effect to my work will help matters.


This is a big one, sometimes people don't always understand self-care, or they don't understand why I'm suddenly asking to go out for a walk, or have a nap, or something like that, but for me it's a way to get away from the deadlines and get away from the stress, and be able to just breathe for a moment. Read a book, or nap so that I can recharge.

This might not work for everyone, but if you do have one person who you can go to, ask them to help with the people who aren't supportive. Having someone go to bat for you, advocate for you can be a big thing, and if they're willing, and able, to do that, it can be a great way to get yourself the time you need.

So no matter how much work you have to get done, or what deadlines are looming, remember that you, and your mental health come first. You are a human being and you need to be sure to take care of you. Stay safe and remember that it's okay to need time.

Any questions? 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 1 January 2021

Review of Vampires And Werewolves by RL Medina

A promise made in blood cannot be undone….

Those are the words that have royally effed up my entire life. The promise my mother made to the coven before she died and the one the witches are hell bent on me fulfilling. They think they own me.

Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY owns me.

Not the GRIMMS who want me to be their obedient little soldier. If they knew who I really was, I’d be next on their hunting list.

Certainly not the coven who has some crazy agenda to use me as a pawn against the GRIMMS. They already have the shifters on their side, and now vampires. These witches want a war. Supernaturals against humans, you know, the usual story.

I don’t want any part of it. I just want my freedom.

To get it, I’ll have to make a deal with the werewolf mafia so they can help me locate the only thing more powerful than both the witches and the GRIMMS—a wizard. When their help leads to a vampire attack, a dead witch, and a dead end, Javi and my friends (including the infuriatingly hot and cold Grayson) swoop in to save the day.

But can I risk their lives to save my own? When they find out my real identity, will they still be on my side?

I’ve already lost my parents, I can’t lose them too. 


My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first book and was desperate for the second so picked it up on release day. Rose has gone through hell, and yet it doesn’t seem to be over for her yet. Out from under the compulsion spell, she’s running away to try and subvert the curse that lay over her. The story pulls you in from the first page and you find yourself desperate to go along for the ride. The characters are well rounded, the twists ones you won’t see coming. The hint of romance leaves you wanting the ending to be one where everyone gets what they want, but alas, there is a third book, which I am just as desperate to read. Overall, an amazing sequel and a series that I will be following. Great read!

 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.