Tuesday 28 September 2021



Tara can't believe the plans her dad has made for her summer...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTTW

 [ID: A green background with three sunflower heads visible with the title DYING THOUGHTS - THIRD WISH at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

“Dad, where is this leading?” I asked, suddenly suspicious.
“I got you a summer job,” he said, sounding rather pleased with himself.
“You did WHAT?!?” I shrieked. He *had* to be joking around with me, didn’t he? I mean, he wouldn’t really make me go to work during my summer holidays. He wasn’t *that* deluded, was he?

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

Monday 27 September 2021

Handling Criticism - The After Process


One thing you learn early on in writing is that people will be critiquing your work. Whether that's reviews, or your critique partner or beta readers, they will always be people who don't like the direction you've gone and the way you've told that particular story. The thing about this is that a lot of the time, you will be asking them to give you criticism, and you need to know how to take it without blowing up and destroying all your relationships and your career full stop.

I'll be the first to admit that there have been times in my career when I've really found it hard to hear that critique. My first instinct is to sit there, shake my head and go: nope they don't understand what I'm trying to do. And then I stop myself and look at it objectively. Am I feeling that way because I know it's a fault on their part? Or am I just struggling to see their point of view, and find that it's actually a pretty spot-on critique? Spoiler, it's usually the latter.

While you may find the urge to rant and rave, try to hold back on that. And if you must let it out, do so privately even if that means writing it all down somewhere no one is ever going to see it. At the end of the day, our job is to tell stories, and if someone reading yours is missing a huge plot point, or theme, it's probably because you, as the author, haven't made it clear enough. And that's on you, not them.

I have written many genres, and a whole ton of books, but not one of them has been above reproach when it comes to critical reviews or feedback from other people. I'm talking here more about first draft and revisions before it gets to the professional edit (though that has happened to me more than once) and less so about people who are reading the final, polished piece. Most of the time, unless there's some massive glaring error, you can't do much about the latter, but the former? You can work with these things in mind and end up making things a hell of a lot better when it comes to your work.

I talked a few weeks back about growing as a writer (found here). Some of that growth comes from handling criticism, what you do when you hear it, and how you respond to it. Yes there have been times when I've read feedback and not had the first clue how to fix it, or even if it's valid, but that's why it's important to get some distance from it all, have a good long think before jumping right back in to fix everything.

That said, there will be times when the feedback suggests you do something that you personally don't feel is right for your story, and in that case, it's about remembering that not everyone will like your work, and that's normal and okay and all of that. I generally apply a rule of three, if three betas mention the same plot issue, then I'll decide about trying to fix it. If it's one beta and all of the others loved it, then I'll consider it a personal taste thing and leave it be.

There is always something to be learned from feedback, whether it's about realising that certain people aren't your target audience or that you've not been as clear with your plot or descriptions or whatever, as you thought you had been. There's nothing wrong with needing to tweak and change things, and there's nothing wrong with needing a little time to think about how to do so. This is why the beta and critique partner steps are so very important. You need to know what readers are going to think before you go into edits, or even publication.

Everyone deals with things differently, and part of being a writer is being able to work out how you personal will deal with critique and what comes from that. Just keep your cool, weigh up your choices, and see whether it's valid or not. If it is, take some time to think through what can be done to change things. You'll thank yourself later.

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 24 September 2021

Review Of XOXO Piper by Ginger Li

I knew Asher Thompson was trouble the moment he stepped into my grandmother’s cafe.

1. He hates donuts.

2. He hates chocolate.

3. He hates me.

Ash may be East Beach High’s valedictorian and captain of the water polo team, but to me, he’s always been a grade-A jerk.

Now, I'm taking on a project to help a local preschool, and guess who shows up to plan the fundraiser?

Yup. Him.

It doesn't make any sense. Why would Ash help someone he hates so much? And why does my heart race every time he’s near?


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up in the mood for a nice feel-good romance and it was not a disappointment. Piper is sure of many things about her new start, and Asher is desperate not to let anything distract him from his own goals. The story was engaging from the first page, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I adored the dynamic between the characters and have pre-ordered the second in the series and can’t wait to dive into that. The twists along the way just made the book even better and so very relatable. I adored the book, and this is a series that I will be following for a while. Highly recommended for all those who love a good young adult contemporary 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 21 September 2021



Tara has to be careful who she gets close to, and Cassie is no different...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTSS

 [ID: A blurred blue background with yellow leaves just visible with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SECOND SIGHT at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

I knew there was no point in arguing it with him. Cassie seemed like a nice girl, she had no necklace for me to get a vision from and as long as her clothes hadn’t been worn by somebody who’d died recently I should be okay.
I mean, lightning never strikes in the same place twice, right?

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite 5 star review seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 20 September 2021

When You Feel Like Giving Up - The Creative Process



As someone who has been writing for over twenty years, and has been published for over sixteen now, I just want to preface this by saying that this happens to us all. There is no writer, or creative, but let's stick to writer, out there who hasn't had moments when it just feels like it's all falling apart or going wrong and they just want to throw in the towel and call it a day. It's normal, it happens, and whether you do give up or not is a personal choice, and I'm not here to judge anyone for those.

However, before you put down your pen, and decide that this writing life is just not for you, I would implore you to just read what I have to say, and see how it feels to you. Writing is isolating and hard, and I'm never going to be someone who says differently, but there can be explanations for that giving up feeling, that aren't anything to do with a need to end the whole thing forever.

For example, if you're burned out, then taking a break, getting away from the writing for a while is always a good option. It might be that as things progress, you find yourself relighting that spark that drew you to your current project and be ready to jump back in. Sometimes, it's simply that outside stressors are causing you to feel like you can't go on with writing this project for whatever reason. I'd advice again to take that break, deal with the stress as you can, and re-evaluate later.

But then there are times, when that stressor, or that burnout, or that imposter syndrome is a loud voice in your ear and you can't ignore it any longer and sometimes, it's just not going to go away. It doesn't matter how much of a break you take, this stress is the new normal and you can't see a chance of ever going back to writing any kind of project, let alone the one you've been working on for a while. Sometimes the burnout drains you to the point where it doesn't matter how long you stay away, that project is forever tainted and you will never again find your spark for it. So what happens then?

You take a breath, and you really ask yourself some hard questions. Do you want to keep writing? Do you feel like changing to a different project will help? If you have a deadline, can it be moved? If you don't have a deadline that's set in stone, do you think that maybe changing it massively would help? Like for example if you'd need to write for an hour or two every day to meet that original deadline, could you cut it down to thirty minutes and adjust the deadline as appropriate? It's about finding what works for you, about finding a way to move forward without making yourself feel worse.

I know a lot of that above paragraph is questions with no answers, and that's simply because I can't answer them for you. I'm not you, I don't know your life, and your obligations, but I can say that asking yourself those questions and more may help you get to the point where you know what your next step is. It may not, it might be that you realise that no matter how much you want to keep writing, whether an individual project, or at all, it's just not possible right now.

I hear you, and I feel that pain. When I was doing my degree, I couldn't fit writing into the schedule. I had too many other commitments and it just wasn't going to happen. I went literal years without writing anything on my current projects, but I did come back to them, and those projects are now books that have been published for a while. My point is simply that just because you have to stop for a period doesn't mean you have to stop forever. Even if it takes you years to come back, that's okay.

Just remember to look after yourself, be kind to yourself, and do what is best for you. It takes as long as it takes, and that's okay.

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 17 September 2021

Review of Can't Catch My Breath by Sarah Sutton



After losing my dad in a car accident, I’d rather pretend things are okay than be crushed by the grief and the guilt. Some might say that’s “living in denial,” but my friends buy the fake smiles, and my mom doesn’t seem to notice…or care.

And I’m doing great until I’m randomly paired with Vincent Castello, the most intimidating senior at Greenville High, for a class project. He’s my complete opposite—broody, moody, and he even has a lip ring. Interviewing any other classmate for this assignment would’ve been easy, but interviewing Vincent? Nearly impossible.

Because the car accident that killed my dad? It left Vincent’s father paralyzed.

Despite the awkward ice-breaker, I find myself drawn to Vincent. He sees past the mask I put up and he makes me laugh, something that I haven’t done in a long time. As we get closer, I realize that our worlds might not be that different.

Until something happens that changes it all.

I have to make a choice: can I put the past behind me, or will I let the grief and guilt of the accident consume me, and lose the guy who truly takes my breath away?


My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve been rapidly making my way through Sutton’s books and this one is my favourite so far. The raw grief and emotions in the story had me in tears at some points. Addy and Vincent were just so perfectly created and with every hurdle in their way. The way the author penned Addy’s journey through loss just felt so very real, and hit the mark every single time. I have fallen in love with Sutton’s writing style and will be looking for all the new books she may have coming in the future. This one is a tear-jerker, but that ending? Oh god, it was perfect! Highly, 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 14 September 2021



Hope is pretty sure her sister will never be her friend, even when she's trying to help...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/LANH

 [ID: A cracked yellow background with the title LYNNE & HOPE at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just below it. The except reads:

“Yeah, well I can’t let you into my lab because the last thing I need is you touching something and contaminating the evidence.”
“I wouldn’t.”
“Yeah, right.”
“Lynne, I’m fifteen, I’m not stupid, if you told me not to touch anything I wouldn’t.”
“Whatever,” Lynne said, in her usual exasperated tone. Now, I know I’m supposed to be working on my relationship with her but she pissed me off. She just couldn’t see me for who I was, when she looked at me she saw this immature child who took the attention away from her. She’s just a bitter spoilt brat and I told her so as I swivelled my chair around and headed out to reception.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite 5 star review seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 13 September 2021

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Keep Your Secrets



Last week I gave you five facts about my other current WIP called Project: Diagnosis (found here) and this week I thought I would do the same for my other one, which is Keep Your Secrets. I do love sharing these facts with you all and filling you in on what's going on with my characters and writing journey.

So Keep Your Secrets is a YA paranormal/mystery, Sara is fifteen and was considered a gulfer until recently because she hadn't developed her psychic ability until then. In this world, you normally develop at eleven and then go off to do your specialised schooling depending on your ability. While starting at a new boarding school, she struggles to make friends, and ends up finding herself able to do things other psychics can't do. She gets pulled into the mystery of who's stalking one of the more popular girls and all that goes along with it.

I have been writing more disabled characters lately and Sara is no different. As well as being psychic, she also has the kind of lung condition that I myself have. She's prone to wheezing, struggles with stairs, and finds herself struggling to keep up when it comes to the physical parts of her schooling. I wanted to write another character like this because too often my condition is unknown and I know that at fifteen I'd have loved to have seen a character like myself on the page.


There are four known psychic abilities: telepathy, telekinesis, influencer, and pryokinesis. Usually it's genetic and so you'll pick up one, or sometimes both, of your parents ability. Sara is a gulfer, i.e someone who didn't present with any abilities, until the day she ended up with two, both telepathy and telekinesis. She really struggles with the idea of finally making her parents proud after so long as being seen as someone who wouldn't amount to anything in the psychic world.


Gatherweed is mostly a psychic school, but it also allows for some regular students to board and attend alongside the psychics. Because being a psychic is such a high-class ability, these regular students are usually from well-off families and are looking to cement themselves with connections for their future. Sara was always due to go to Gatherweed at eleven but when she didn't present, she went to a normal school until the day she did. She's starting off in the tail end of the school year and she has a ton to catch up on in regards to psychic ability.


Sara has picked up how to control her telekinesis and telepathy really really fast, to the point where she realises that she's more adept at what she can do than some of the people in her year who have been getting their lessons from age eleven. She can use her telekinesis to move massive objects, easily pick up on thoughts and also do something she's not really sure anyone else can do. It's not all good though, because it seems to bring about the wrong kind of attention.


This story is paranormal/mystery so I would be remiss if I didn't hint at the mystery element. Sara doesn't make friends quickly, and when it becomes apparent that the one girl she kinda liked is in danger, Sara is quick to jump to her rescue, only there's more secrets to uncover, and there's a lot of things that the psychic youth haven't been told about the other races that live alongside them. Sara finds herself in the middle of all of it, and she might not be able to extract herself without massive harm coming to her.

So there we go, those are my five facts about my current WIP. I am just over the sixty percent mark with this book and I am loving where it's going, loving revealing piece by piece of the mystery element and also some of the world building that goes with it. Sara has been a fun character to write and to get to know, and I'm looking forward to writing the next two books in what might be a trilogy.

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 10 September 2021

Review of A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy

 The secretive Forever Institute towers over London. Some say it’s a cult. Others call it mafia. To seventeen-year-old Fern, Forever is simply home, run by the scientists who created her. A home she’s never been allowed to leave.

Forever gave Fern everything. A body that will never age. Psychic abilities, if she can work out how to access them. A purpose: Fern will be part of a new dawn for humanity, although she’s never been told exactly how.

Then Fern is contacted by a cryptic telepath from outside the Institute, and learns some dark truths that make her question everything she’s been taught. Fern must sort truth from lies, and new loves from old loyalties, if she’s to survive the conspiracy surrounding her. But her new friend has secrets of his own…


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb and cover called to me. The idea that there could be psychic abilities and a serum that allowed people to live forever. Fern was an amazing character, the narrative engaging from the first page and drawing you into the story as it twisted and turned along the way. I ended up having to finish the book in one sitting, desperate to know what happened, what would become of Fern and Rehan, and this is a series that I will be watching. Highly recommended to all who love a good paranormal/supernatural story.

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 9 September 2021

Life Of Joey & Bi-Monthly Goals - September 2021 [CC]

 Telling you what I've been up to over the last month, and checking in on my goals, and setting new ones! #Authortube

 READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF DESTINATION: UNKNOWN: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/destination-unknown
READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dying-thoughts/1
READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF DYING THOUGHTS - EIGHTH ENDING: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dying-thoughts/2
READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE FIRST TWINGE: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-first-twinge
READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF LIGHTS OUT: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/lights-out/1
READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW OF LIGHTS ON: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/lights-on
BUY EBOOK OF LIGHTS OFF: http://www.books2read.com/LOFF


Tuesday 7 September 2021



Tara can't help what she sees, but she's sure Kaolin's dad didn't die naturally...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTFT

 [ID: A cracked yellow background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FIRST TOUCH at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Matthew replied. “I was trying to get your money for you.”
“I wish I could believe that.” The shorter man turned to his companion and nodded. The second guy – who was heavily built and looked like the scariest of bouncers – removed a gun from the inside of his pocket, aimed at Matthew and fired. Matthew stayed in the corner, but his legs crumpled beneath him and he slid to the floor. Dead.

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


Monday 6 September 2021

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Project: Diagnosis


It's that time again when I give you five facts about my current WIP, and this week I'm focusing on Project: Diagnosis. I've done this for the first two books in the series (Project: Witch Hunt & Project: Isolation) and am now in what I think will be the last book.

For those who don't know, the Abby Delany series is young adult, urban fantasy. Abby is 15, has undiagnosed conditions, and is also a witch. The world is set up such that witches are a dying breed but are slightly set apart from humans. The first book dealt with a witch hunt, and the second, and third, are the follow on from that. The story is set in 2020 and so there is a pandemic going on, but while I thought it would be a big part of the initial story, it's more there in the background, while Abby is trying to find some clue as to what's wrong with her.

By the end of the second book, Abby was already starting to display some new worrying symptoms that obviously have an impact on her day to day life. Now in book three, she's picking on more. With everything to do with the witch hunt still playing in the background of her life, Abby is starting to wonder if she'll ever get any answers, and if she does, will it be before or after her life is irrevocably changed?

With the whole trilogy, it has been clear that Abby is isolated from her peers, and beyond her three friends, she doesn't really have much support. Her parents are off and distant, more focused on other matters, and Abby is slowly becoming the one thing she is scared of most, a blank, losing her magic and her ability to keep up with her friends. At the same time, her coven is the rock holding her up. The four of them have been to hell and back, and they are not going to let Abby face any of this alone.

Abby was, before all of this, deemed a strong witch who would carry her family's magic into the next generation. Of course once she got sick, her magic well just got emptier and emptier, and it feels like no one, bar her coven, really cares about that. She's struggling to keep her head above water with her regular school work, and then there's the magic lessons that she can rarely take part in. With her parents so fixated on Abby doing well, she's not really sure that they'll even notice that she can't do the smallest spell. Boosters are a thing, but after the events of the second book, she's struggling to find a combination that doesn't make her feel worse.

With the events of the trilogy making it hard for Abby to know who's on her side, it's becoming clearer that she can't really trust anyone with even the simplest thing. People are lying to her, hiding things, and they're seemingly not caring just how much danger she's in. With her health faling even more, and answers becoming a thing of the past, Abby has to take a few leaps of faith in this book, and she doesn't know what will happen if she chooses the wrong person to trust.

I can't go into too many details here because of spoilers, but there has been an ongoing thread throughout the trilogy and of course, it will be wrapped up in this book. Since the witch hunt started, Abby has been sure that the answers, the truth coming out, will be her salvation, and I can promise you this. It's going to rock Abby to her core and I don't know if she'll be able to come back from it.

So there we go, five facts about Project: Diagnosis, I am loving getting to write the last book in Abby's story and I can't wait to share some facts with you about the other book I'm writing, check in next week to find out more about that!

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 3 September 2021

Review of If The Broom Fits by Sarah Sutton



I swear, I've got to be the only person on the planet that hates Halloween. At least the only person in my small town of Hallow, and they practically worship the holiday. Ugh.

And my ex-boyfriend, Lucas, thinks he can change my mind by making me take part in “festive activities.” Apparently carving pumpkins and watching scary movies is going to magically change my mind about the holiday? Yeah, right.

But I've never told anyone the truth of why I hate Halloween or the truth about why I broke up with Lucas. Definitely haven't told anyone how much I'm second-guessing that decision. Being around him is so much harder than I thought, especially when it looks like he's starting to move on...

And to top the crappiness of it all off, I got a letter in the mail from someone who broke my heart two years ago--my father.

My Review: 5 STARS

I remember when this first came out and I wasn’t sure if it would be my kinda book, and boy was I wrong. I was hooked from the first line, and ended up speed reading through it until into the wee hours, I had to know what happened to Blaire, had to know if things would work out. The story is pretty much a quick read, but I adored it. The characters are all so real, so well crafted that you can’t help but root for them, even when they’re doing something wrong. I adore the background characters too because they are all also so well rounded that you feel like you’re watching a movie play out. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a spooky Halloween romance, and enjoys good dynamics between the characters. 

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.