Friday 30 April 2021

Review of Pursuit by Finley Knight

 Veronica “Ronnie" Moon’s father was known as one of the best Nightwatchers around. When he mysteriously disappears during a mission, Ronnie's sole purpose is to find out what happened to him.

Enter Moonshadow Academy: the school for young mages training to become licensed Nightwatchers

Here, Ronnie will put her skills to the test. But she’ll have to face more than just elemental magic lessons, self-defense training and weapons forging. Students are going missing, demons are invading, and a traitor might be hiding at the academy. Could everything be related to her father’s disappearance? Ronnie’s in pursuit to find out! 

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because I loved the idea of the premise. I was drawn in by the first chapter and finished it in almost one sitting. The story is fast-paced and allows you to pick up on the hints of world building woven through the plot. I adore Ronnie, adored the snippets of backstory fed to us at just the right points. It’s a series that I’ll want to follow and continue and an author that I’d love to read more of. An engaging read and one that will leave you desperate for 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 27 April 2021



Lock & Hanna are working to bring about a revolution with the people...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

She nodded as she kept working. “Reaching out to our contacts at the bases here and in Cardown, they’ve been suggesting an idea that we need to run past Jay. They want to try and openly revolt, which might work, but first we have to sway the public back to our side of thinking. If we try and pull this off without public support, then it’s not going to happen. The first step is getting this footage out there, and then maybe we can go to Jay, show that the public are behind us, we could start laying the groundwork.”
I took in what she said, but my focus was on the work in front of me. “It’s something to think about then.”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 26 April 2021

Reading Reviews Revisited - The After Process


This has been something talked about a lot in recent times on Authortube, at least I've heard a lot of the people I follow talking about it, and I thought that I would jump into the mix with a piece about what my thoughts are on it. To be clear, I have been reading my reviews for years, I've always followed the same piece of advice that most newbie authors get: don't engage or reply for any reason, and it's go advice. There's also the thing about how reviews aren't for the authors, but other readers, so you jumping in with your two cents isn't going to help matters, and will just make you look bad. Don't do it, if you ever have the urge, vent to a friend, but don't actually do it.

So why do I read the reviews? I like to hear what people are saying about my books, whether people are liking them, and if not, then why not. I know there's little to be done about changing something reviewers don't like, but at the same time, it helps me know what to avoid in future. I will also say that I am very much a small fish when it comes to the author world. I've been published for coming up to 16 years, but I have never broken out so to speak, and I'm okay with that, so my experiences might not match up to someone who's a hell of a lot more well read by readers and reviewers alike, and that's okay.

I know that some authors will feel like reading reviews will have a knock on effect to their self-esteem, and I'll say that for some people, it can be very difficult to have a bad review especially if it's something where the reviewer attacks the author. That shouldn't be the norm, it happens from time to time, and because of that you can't help but feel like it would weigh you down. I've had my share of bad reviews, and I'll admit that in the beginning I would read them with a friend on hand to talk it through with. I didn't dismiss everything they said, but I was also able to talk it through and see whether that criticism held any weight. If it did, then it was something to work on, if it didn't, I could brush it off and move on.

So what advice do I have for new authors who do want to have a look at their reviews? Who want to, as Alexa Donne put it, check the temperature of their book and how it's been received?

My biggest tip has to be that you make sure you have someone you can talk to while, or just after, reading said reviews. Some of them are just going to be about what the reader liked or didn't like about the book. Some are going to be the ones where the reviewer gets personal, it shouldn't be like that, but sadly it happens. So make sure you have someone on hand that can cheer with you, or cheer you up, should the worse happen.

This is actually two tips in one because if you don't want to risk getting worked up by a review, you can have a friend read them for you and forward on the ones that have merit. Either the ones that allow you to cheer yourself up on a low day. (I keep reviews like that in a folder on my computer and tablet) Or they can dig through the ones that might hold something you should keep in mind next time. Either way, the buddy system works really well.


If you're a small author, or even if you're just debuting and there's only ARC reviews, consider that there will come a time when reading every single review is an impossible task. I can manage to do it, but it's already getting to that point with almost 19 books out to be able to spot every single new review. Sometimes I'll come across them at a later date and it's a nice surprise for me. Other times they slip through the net because I don't have all the time in the world to dedicate to just reading my reviews, I need to be writing the next book and all of that.


This is linked to point two, and also something that stands on its own. If you know that reading reviews will have you going down a rabbit hole and losing hours, then set a limit, either a time limit, or a review limit and be strict with yourself. Don't just say oh one more won't be a bad thing, set a timer or have a friend remind you when it's time to stop. The last thing you want to do is lose hours going over things like that when again, there's little if anything, you can change about that particular book.

So those are my three tips when it comes to reading reviews. If it's something you want to do, go into it knowing the knock on effect it might have, and be sure to prepare yourself for the outcome. I highly recommend the buddy system!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments down 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 23 April 2021

Review of He Called Me Broken by Annabeth Chatwin


Late Fall, 1998

Sutton: When I walk into school, they turn their backs.

I used to have friends. I used to be popular. I was the safe kind of gay: the kind who wore the right clothes, who threw the right parties, who played the right Will to all the girls’ Grace. But when I started dating Tyler, I crossed the line between prep and skater, safe and dangerous, popular and loser.

Now I have no one but him. All my former friends make fun of me… and when I was one of them, I went along with their games. Now I'm the target.

I’m slipping away.

Tyler can’t save me.

I’m not sure I want to be saved anymore.

Tyler: I’m used to being a loser. Sutton’s not.

Sutton was cool once. When his friends turn their backs, refuse to work with him, and smack him around, he breaks a little bit. What happened to the kid who shouted down his best friend? Where’s the guy who squared off with the vice principal? Every day, he drifts farther. Every day, I lose a little more of him.

Sutton’s slipping away.

I can’t save him.

But I have to find a way.


My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first book in this mini series and fell in love with Tyler and Sutton and picking up the second book just made me love them even more. It was a quick read as both are just novellas, but at the same time powerful and amazing, hard-hitting and making you think, making you examine the characters, the history, the lives that are involved. I adored the characters and the plot of this one, and can’t wait to read more from Tyler and Sutton, to see if their story continues and where it goes from here. Overall a heartbreaking, but needed addition, and 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 20 April 2021



The King's men aren't going to play fair, they want to win no matter the cost




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

“I... not fire!” Decker shouted.
The other man in overwatch moved to give us a better angle without giving himself away, his comms were spottier than Decker’s, giving us less of an overview of what was happening at the exchange point.
“Article two-zero-point-four,” the army man closest to Decker shouted. “You are...arrested...a point.”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 19 April 2021

Plot Bunnies - The Creative Process


I've talked before about plot devices (found here) but I wanted to do another piece today more specifically on plot bunnies. I know we've all heard that phrase before, but just in case you haven't, it simply refers to the idea that ideas will pop up and reproduce like bunnies, ergo, plot bunnies. In all my years of writing, I have had ideas that go from one extreme to the next, ones that linger and languish as if starved to death, and ones that grow and grow until it's all I can think about!

I am now at the point in my writing that I'm close to the end of my two current projects, in fact I should be finishing them by the end of April, and as usual at this stage of things, I'm scrambling around trying to find out if I have any ideas for the next book in one series, and a brand new book to write alongside it. I have, for a very long time, always made a note of my plot bunnies as they pop up, some will get turned into a story, others are too thin to do that and will usually end up as a scene or chapter wherever I can.

Now I always worry about this, like what if after 30+ books, I can't think of anything?? What happens if I don't have any ideas after these two are done? And to top it off, I'm in the midst of releasing another book, not releasing a second (which I talked about in this video, and will do a piece about later) as I usually do, and my stress levels are through the roof. So how can I find the time to start brainstorming, and does it really matter if I don't immediately start writing two new books? I mean, are the writing police going to come after me? I don't think so, but it's still stressing me out.

And yet, as soon as I stop thinking about it, I realise I already do have two, or more, ideas written down. I have a tentative title for the third book in the series, and I kinda know what the main plot is going to be, but it's the rest of it that worries me. And I'm telling myself, even as I write this piece that it's okay if I don't know right now, I don't need to know right now, and if I take a break, it's okay to do that. I work hard, I write a whole ton, if I don't start on May 1st, the world is not going to end.

I think that a lot of the time, the root of the anxiety is that I don't know when the plot bunnies stopped multiplying, I don't know when I stopped having ideas every few months and getting excited about them. To be brutally honest, I don't know if they ever really did for me, and it starts off this whole burst of imposter syndrome where I can't help but feel like if I was a 'real' writer, I would have ideas coming out of my ears. And it's not true. It's simply not true.

Whether you're a writer like me who sometimes finds the plot bunny land a little barren, or you're someone who finds ideas are multiplying and you have way too many to keep up with, you're still valid. You're still a writer, no matter what anyone else might say or think on the matter. I don't know whether it's because I focus so much on the ideas I'm working on at the time, or if I truly just need to actually think to be able to come up with some kind of idea, either way, what works for me is okay, and it's still valid.

Now I know that me saying that with almost 19 books published, and another 16 or so in various stages of finished and revision, is a big difference to someone who's struggling to find the idea that will take them to the end of their first novel. There are so many different ways in telling a story, and even if, like me, you have to really dedicate time to think things through, that's okay, you will get there. Keep going, the world needs your story no matter how long it took you to come up with it.

Just something to think about.

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 16 April 2021

Review of The Lily Gate by Hanna Sandvig


One princess, twenty princes, and one…frog? The path to true love isn’t always what you might expect.

All my life I've been waiting for my prince charming, but you can't just leave these things up to chance. There are plenty of princes in the Seelie kingdom, but I'm the princess of the Lily Court and someday I will rule. Just because a prince is handsome, or an excellent swordsman, it doesn't mean he's going to be a good co-ruler.

Obviously my fairy godmother agrees, because she gave me the christening gift of true love. If I organize a set of challenges for the potential future husbands to tackle, she's promised that I'll find my perfect match. 

So that's just what I have planned, and when a talking frog offers to help me find out what the princes are really like, who am I to argue? Honestly, he's pretty good company, even if he keeps stealing pasteries from the castle kitchen.

Is there truly a prince out there that will meet all the criteas on my very comprehensive list? Or will I find that true love has been waiting for me all along? 


My Review: 5 STARS

I’d already ready one of the books in this series and was desperate to read this one, I adore the interconnecting worlds, and the way things all tie together. It had me hooked from the first page, I adored the idea of lists and challenges to find her true love, and a unique spin of the tale of the princess and the frog. An amazing delightful story that’s a quick read and an enjoyable one at the same time. Will have to 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.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Author Tag: Would You Rather...? [CC]

 Doing a tag today, asking myself a bunch of would you rather questions! #Authortube

Would you rather...
1)…have a Male main character or a Female main character?
2)…wake up before dawn every day to write or stay up into the early morning hours to write?
3)…write a book that is torturous to write but which is very popular or write a book that is fun to write but which is only known by a small audience?
4)…write a SciFi story or a Fantasy story?
5)…use first person or third person?
6)…meet any character of any book/short-story in real life for one day or personally know any author you wish?
7)…only be able to write your book in scenes from end to beginning or only be able to write it in scenes that jump around in the timeline randomly?
8)…only be able to write dialog if you act out the voices out loud or only be able to write action if you act it out in real life?
9)…publish with the most successful publishing house in your genre but have to wait 2 years to see your book in print or self publish with no expense or marketing assistance but see your book in print within 3 months?
10)…write a goofy story or write a serious story?
11)…have an authorial “voice” that always sounds like the narrator from Planet Earth or have an authorial “voice” that always sounds like Captain Kirk?
12)…write a story knowing that you will have to kill off the main character eventually or write a story knowing that everyone the main character is close to you will eventually have to kill off?
13)…leave your ending somewhat open and bittersweet or leave your ending on a cliffhanger?
14)…have your cover art designed by Tim Burton or have your cover designed by Stan Lee?
15)…write in many different genres or write only in one genre?
16)…write physical disability or mental illness? [CHANGED FROM ORIGINAL]
17)…have an orphaned main character with good friends or a main character with a good-sized family and family problems?
18)…write the sex scene or not write the sex scene?
19)…write about uncertain dangers and intrigue or write about direct confrontation and violence?
20)...have to answer any question put to you by your fans or have no fans asking you questions?





Tuesday 13 April 2021



Lana is not above petty revenge, even if she has to kill to get it...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

And the best thing was, it was her who'd be making that the case. She might not be there when the King made the announcement, but she would know. They might finally be starting to get ahead of the collective. This could be one of the moments where the tide turned, and they were able to stop the war before it started. And it would be Lana's name on it.
Suck on that, Lock.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 12 April 2021

Revisitng Lock & Clara: The End


It's been a long time since I first put pen to paper and started the first book in the Lights Out trilogy, a good six of seven years, maybe even longer than that and yet it feels like that time has sped forward and here we are, with only a month or so until the third and final book will be in readers hands. It's a strange feeling, but a good one, nice to be seeing the end of all that hard work come to fruition and also a chance to share with my readers where Lock, Clara and the others all end up.

So for those who want to pre-order, the link is here, and if you want some of the pre-order goodies, the form for that is here.

For those who don't know, the Lights Out world is one where ageing stops at twenty-five and all life ends at sixty. You get to live to see your sixtieth birthday and the day after you are called to an event where you are humanely euthanised. Lock has been there since the start, she was the one who noticed some discrepancies in the ages and then went on to start the revolution that was very much needed. I won't get into more detail here because spoilers.

Given that I have only ever finished a series to fully published once before, I kinda feel like some of the feelings that have come up, have been ones that I had when saying goodbye to Tara from the Dying Thoughts series, and I better get used to it because I have at least two other series completely written that will be slowly published over the next few years. I thought that I would go a little bit more into detail what it was like writing the end of this series, for these characters and all that goes with it.

I feel like I know Lock so very well that she might as well have been sitting next to me while I wrote her story. I'd written other disabled characters, like Hope, but there was something very special about Lock. She wasn't like me in any way, and while I do believe that writers do put some parts of themselves in their characters, the only thing we have in common is that we both use wheelchairs, and even then it's for completely different reasons.

Writing her story was a lot different for me than any other book I'd written up until that point, I'd never done dystopian before, though I have always enjoyed reading it, and it was a chance to jump into a genre that I loved and see if I could do it justice. I had some idea of what I wanted the world to be like, but as the story grew, so did the world, and while I went on to write another dystopian quartet, I couldn't have done that without cutting my teeth on Lock and her story.

I have worked with Lock for so long, and this last round of editing to get the book into shape was a hard, arduous path, but I have made it to the finish line and I couldn't be happier to end Lock's story on a high note. I won't spoil anything because I hate spoilers myself, but I am so very happy with how it ends, and I hope my readers will be too.

Clara was, for all intents and purposes, not created as Lock's love interest. When I first started the series, I was pretty sure it wouldn't be a series, and also that Clara would just be a friend supporting her through it all. How wrong was I?? Clara was quick to point out the way things worked, and she and Lock fell in love on the page and I was very much along for the ride.

Clara does share some traits with me in that she's quick to adapt to change and make a plan, and writing her part of the story was hard as hell, because I didn't want to be doing it wrong, to not do her actions justice. Overall, I feel like I pulled it off with thanks to my editors, who were quick to point out where there were parts that needed a little more work, and now I can look at the last book, close that final chapter and be happy with where I left my characters.

So there we go, that's the end, almost, to the Lights Out trilogy, like I said, if you want to pre-order, you can do so here, and if you want to sign up to read an ARC, the form is here. I hope you all enjoy the book!

Any questions? Lemme know the comments down 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 9 April 2021

Review of A Witchy Surprise by Rhonda Hopkins


A magical heritage. A threat in the forest. An explosion of powers.

Charley Cooper is tired of being the lone non-magical person in a family of witches. At the ripe-old age of sixteen, she believes the witchy gene has skipped her. But when something dark in the forest threatens her best friend and her little sister, Charley's powers appear out of nowhere.

Now Charley's best friend is angry about the secrecy. Her crush is dating someone else. And, her out of control powers threaten to expose her family's secret.

When a dangerous enemy tries to silence them forever, Charley knows she must fight back. But can she learn to control her magic before they're all taking a nap in the local graveyard?

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up before I saw the first book, and once I’d read that, I had to dive right into this one. The story pulls you in from the first page. Charley is likeable, relatable and pulls you along for the ride. I adored the world building, the cost mystery wrapped up in Charley discovering and trying to work out her abilities. I adore the family, the loves, the hates and everything in between. It was an amazing ride that I devoured in one sitting and was happy to have done so. Overall, an amazing sequel and a series I will be following. 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 6 April 2021



Mya is pretty sure she'll get through this so long as Garnet stays by her side...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

Swallowing down that tinge of fear, she was ready to move, falling into step behind Garnet. This would be the start of the rest of her life, this would be the moment she would look back on and see that the course of her whole life would be shaped by this decision.
She hoped it would be everything she wanted, and more. But for now she had to be careful, had to concentrate.
Her life depended on it.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 5 April 2021

Spoonie Writer: Missing Out Revisited


I've talked about missing out as a spoonie writer before (found here) but today I wanted to revisit the topic because of things going on with me as a writer, and as a spoonie. For those who don't know, I'm chronically ill and disabled, and so I juggle both my health and my writing and try and make the two work, when sometimes it's just not possible.

At the end of 2020, I was in a depressive low, and now in the start of 2021, I'm only just starting to see the end of that low. I'm finding it harder and harder to keep myself focused and on track with edits and writing, and revisions and releases, and so I've been weighing up the option of just doing one release this year and maybe one release next year and then re-visit the idea and see how things go. I'm still, as of now, undecided but it brought to mind the reasons for that.

See, one thing I learned early on when I got sick was I was going to miss out on things my abled, and well, friends weren't. I wasn't going to go out to the club, or pick up a partner, or get married and have babies, not just because of my disability but because of the effect it had on me. And I was mostly okay with all of that. I had my friends, I had my family, and I was okay with the adjustment that I'd made. When I was published, it felt like I was going to have this career that would adjust with me, and mostly it has.

For the past four years I have gone from publishing one book a year to at least two, though in 2019 I did three, and that about killed me! I love being able to bring out the two because then I'm always preparing for the next one, and with how fast I draft, I'm not going to run out of books to release. On top of that, my audience is excited and happy about the two books a year and I've been getting a lot of good feedback on the way I do things.

But it's 2021, and while Lights Off is coming out in June (you can pre-order here if you're interested) I should be, at this point, sending off Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang to the editor, and I don't know that I will have. I don't know if I have the mental energy to do a second release this year, it's a long process, it takes a lot of work, and with my mental health taking a sharp nose dive, I just don't know if Im able to go through that process without it having a negative effect on me long term.

And then the whispers of missing out come, because I look at other indies in my genre and they're releasing either rapid style (which I know I can't do) or they're doing their usual thing and taking things in their stride and me, I can't right now, and it's just hard to adjust and cope with. It's hard to mourn that. Someone pointed out that one of the highlights of being indie is that you get to decide when and what you do, and that's true, but I feel like there's this expectation, and that I would be letting down my readers to push things back, especially when the book itself is, mostly, ready to be edited.

The problem is, right now, I don't have any advice about what to do when that happens, other than to accept it, and move through it at your own pace. I've been struggling for months, and am only just coming out of my shell enough to tell myself that it's okay if I need to take that break, if I need to spend some time away from publishing to get my head on straight.

I will be the first to tell you that taking a break is not a bad thing, that everyone needs them and that there's no shame in doing so, but like a lot of people I'm great at seeing the issues other people are having and telling them to take care of themselves, and not all that good at recognising it in myself. I don't feel burnt out, it's not that kind of problem, it's the pressure and stress and the fact that my confidence has been slowly chipped away at to the point where, right now, I don't have any when it comes to writing and publishing.

Maybe it will help to talk to myself as if I were someone else, and maybe writing this piece has been what I've needed to know that it's okay to take that time, to heal, to breathe, to move past this blip and go forward onto something else. Whether that's this year or next, there's no rush to get published, I have the time I need, and if not, I can make that time. I need to heal, I need to grow, and I need to get back to the person I was before all of this.

I hope my readers will understand.

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 2 April 2021

Review of Life Bound by Aubery Winters

 When a vampire throws you out of a window, don’t make him your personal bodyguard.

But when my Nana disappears, he has no choice but to stick with me if he wants to stay alive.

My life turned upside down when I walked in on the world’s oldest vampire attacking my grandmother. Everything I knew about myself was a lie. My parents weren’t killed in a tragic car accident, my Nana wasn’t a normal little old lady, and a whole supernatural world exists parallel to ours.

I’m desperate to find Nana. Kol is desperate to break this spell that binds my life to his. Together, we have to make sure I stay alive long enough to find out who I really am before an underground war between the supernatural races tears the Shadow world apart.

My Review: 4 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb sounded intriguing. I enjoyed the story, but felt like it was rushed in some places, and it kinda threw me out of the book. It’s not my usual kind of series, but at the same time, it’s beautifully told. The whole idea of Elle being thrown into a life that she never knew about before intrigues me, and makes me want to know more. It was a short, quick read, but I did find there were parts when I wished things had been more expanded upon. Overall, a book I enjoyed, and I might pick up the next in the series.

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.