Friday 29 October 2021

Review of Hate Notes by Gracie Graham

Topher Elliot is high school royalty.

The king of Lakeview prep.

You know the type. Disgustingly rich. Blond-haired. Eyes the color of a clear, blue sky. And muscles for days.

He also happens to be enemy #1, the bane of my existence.

Only, now my scholarship is in jeopardy and, like the peasant I am, I must tutor the king himself if I want to graduate.

Still, if I have to be around him, I might as well make it worth my while. So I send him a scathing text, telling him exactly what I think about him. But he mistakes me for someone else. That’s when I hatch a plan: get dirt on the king, and watch his reign crumble.

It’s about time someone made the king come tumbling down.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up in the mood for an amazingly good hate to love romance, and I was not disappointed. From the very start it was perfect, the characters were relatable and easy to like, and you couldn’t help but start rooting for them. The story was engaging and beautifully woven so that as it continued you were on the edge of your seat waiting for them to finally say the right words to each other. I adore P and Toph and this is a series that I will have to continue. Overall, highly recommended for those who love a good 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 October 2021



Tara is in danger but she has no idea about it...


 [ID: A dark room background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FIFTH SECRET at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

While my computer was loading up, I dug in my bag for my phone and found something that hadn’t been there when I’d last looked. Another note, this would be number four and although I hadn’t told anyone because I told myself they didn’t bother me, I was starting to get pissed off at whoever it was because I didn’t like the idea that they were putting them in my bag or whatever. It said: Tara, why don’t you notice me?

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website, in the top right corner is the Readers ' Favorite 5 Star Review seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 25 October 2021

Spoonie Writer: Spoonie Characters


For a long time when I first started writing, I didn't want to write too many spoonie characters. The last thing I wanted to do was pigeon hole myself into this idea that because I was disabled and chronically ill, I should only write about those kinds of characters. I went through a stage of being so sure about it, that I went to great lengths to avoid writing those stories. It was really only in the last ten years of so that I've been comfortable writing about characters like me.

That said, my debut Blackout, did have a spoonie. She wasn't the main character, but she shared my lung condition and it was one of my ways of highlighting that there were people like me out there. I did my first wheelchair user in Lynne & Hope, and there are some disabled characters in the Dying Thoughts series. All of this was me breaking through my own constraints and getting more comfortable writing about people like me, without their conditions and such being the only thing about them.

I'm a firm believer in telling the stories that you want to tell. You don't have to write any kind of way, or any kind of characters, or any kind of story. There are no rules as such. However, I do know that reading non-spoonie authors writing about disability in some way, there have been a lot of cringe moments, and the last thing I want to do is say that only disabled and chronically ill writers should write those kinds of characters, but there does need to be some level of research and sensitivity readers involved.

At the moment I am revising a book that is all about disability and chronic illness, I've used conditions that I myself have experience with, and I've also branched out into things I don't know the first thing about. I did a ton of research, and I also employed sensitivity readers, the book is currently with them now. A big part of writing this story, which is the first in a four book series, was wanting to shine a light on a trope that I felt was never really adequately portrayed before. I won't tell you what it is, because it kinda spoils it otherwise, but it was a lot of fun to play with it, and see how it all turned out.

As a spoonie, when you're starting to play around and write different conditions than the ones you know, you'll find that a lot of it is research, and asking people who do have that condition about the limits they have. A lot of the time it can be as simple as finding symptoms, picking several and playing off those because not every condition works the same way in everyone. You'll still need to do some more research and work out what an actual sufferer feels about the character you've written, and you may find that they spot points where things can be added, or where symptoms can be made clearer and all that goes with it.

I've been editing a book for a while that is about a teenager newly diagnosed with two of my conditions, and while I've been able to use some of my own experience, I've also thrown in some symptoms that I personally don't have much, or any, experience with. It's made for a good series, a good character and with the other things going on in the story, has allowed me to showcase a way of life for people with that condition. I'm also drafting a series that has the main plot point as a teenager with worrying symptoms looking for a name for their condition, and again, it's been interesting to find out along the way how these symptoms will come to light, and what they mean for this character and their story.

You can have a lot of fun with writing spoonie characters, and it doesn't, by no means, have to be the only type of character you write. It's something that I've worried about before, and I'll say it again, you don't have to write disabled/chronically ill characters exclusively because of your own disability. You can if you want to, there's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't have to be all you write.

Any questions? 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 22 October 2021

Review of Pretty Savage by TA Kunz

Bad things never happen in the picturesque town of Haddon Falls … until now.

It all starts with a killer party. It will end with a savage crime spree.

Seniors Donovan Walsh and Drea Sullivan attend a high school party for very different reasons. But after discovering the body of one of their classmates, they find themselves thrust into the same waking nightmare. From that moment, their lives become intertwined in a search for answers to questions they never should have asked.

As bodies pile high, the unlikely pair dig into Haddon Falls’ past and uncover secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. In a small town where every face is friendly and every door unlocked, Donovan and Drea must unravel who is an ally … and who is willing to bury them—and the truth—six feet under.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because of the cover and blurb and was desperate to get started. The story had me hooked from the first page, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I adored Donovan and Drea, loving the alternating points of view and the mystery woven into the words. I kept trying to guess what the ending was going to be and was very much along for the ride. Highly entertaining, and well crafted, the characters were all relatable and easy to get to know. One that I very much enjoyed and highly recommend to all those who love a good thriller.

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 October 2021



Harriet just wants to help right the wrong of the past...


 [ID: A light beige background with the title DESTINATION: UNKNOWN at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

I slowly walked towards her and as I got closer, she moved back against the wall. She didn’t go straight through it which gave me the impression that whatever she was, she wasn’t a typical walk-through-walls ghost. Her facial expression changed to one of fear and that’s when I realised that she could see me and she was afraid of me. Just as I was about to say something to her she spoke, softly.
“You have to help us,” was all she said.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website, 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 18 October 2021

Planning For NaNoWriMo - The Creative Process


It is that time of year again, when lots of writers decide to embark on the NaNoWriMo challenge of trying to write 50K words in November. This has been going on for years now, and it's something that I heard about a lot when I was younger, but never really participated in it, nor really had the ability to complete the challenge. Since around 2016 I have been doing NaNo in some capacity or anything, either going for the full challenge or being a bit of a rebel and doing my own thing. This year is no different in that I plan to write 50K words, but over two projects rather than just one, and that's just my rebel side shining through.

However, the month of October is seen as prep month, or Preptober for a lot of people. It's a whole part of the writing community, and while as a planster I don't need much prep, I thought that I would give you some tips I've picked up along the way to aid your own prepping.

NaNo is a massive undertaking, and it's a lot to get done. There will be times when you'll be pulling your hair out and worried about word counts, and doing some of the prep now will allow you some space to breathe, or at least that's the idea behind it. Like I said, I've always been a bit of a rebel, either not sticking to just one project or doing a lowered word count, so that will be reflected in my tips.

This is a big one for me, not only do you need to be doing the requisite 1,667 words a day to hit the target, but there are going to be some days when you just can't manage that. You'll have life get in the way, or you'll have moments when the words just aren't coming for you, and that's to be expected. On the other side, if you're approaching this challenge and you know that it's within your capabilities to write more on some days, then split everything over and make sure you're planning for downtime, as well as days for catching up as needed.

Personally, I know that I can, usually, knock out about 2K words in a short space of time, so I set that as my target for each day that I write and then have time off on the other days so that I'm not pushing myself to breaking point. It also means that I can have some days to catch up if I'm just falling short of my goal.

This one feels like it needs to be said, while some people go into NaNo not knowing if they can manage it, others will already know that they struggle to find time, and words, to manage more than 1K words a day. Now there's nothing wrong with challenging yourself, but too much pressure can lead to a difficult time being creative, or burning yourself out, and no one wants that.

So if you already know that you're gonna find it hard to find the time needed, because of life and all that goes with that, maybe think about being a rebel and setting a lower goal. Of course you're free to attempt the 50K words anyway, and you can always change your goal later on, though I know it's not something you can do on the NaNo website for November, so that can be a little disheartening.


If you're someone who has family, or other life commitments that will have an impact on your time, make sure that ahead of the 1st, you let people know that you have set aside x time for writing, and bar any major emergencies they should respect that. This works for the adults in your life (hopefully) less so for the little ones. I remember during NaNo back when Mx. D was little, I would have to leave the house five days in the month and bang out my 10K so that I could call it a win. The times I tried writing when they were around were not conducive to a good time.

This final one is more for those who do plan, to some degree, in their writing. I lean more to pantsing than I do to planning, and will usually spend the end of October knocking up my chapter plans and character notes and then go from there. If you're someone who really does need to spend the whole month planning your project, then this one is for you. After all, you're not going to be able to write much without the plan you need, in whatever shape that comes in.

So there you go, my four tips about planning for NaNoWriMo, and all that goes with it. I wish you all the luck this coming November and hope that you get everything done that you wish to!

Any questions? 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 15 October 2021

Review of Deadly Goddess Club by Jennifer Ann Reed

Cupid is the monster your mother warned you about.

Kotullah Island, a large water-locked community off the coast of Georgia, is postcard perfect. An idyllic dream where the rich build their castles and the locals never leave. Nothing could taint its picturesque setting... not even the national manhunt for the murderer of 13 women leading to its shores.

Even I accepted this false sense of security until dark gifts from a secret admirer showed up. The more I ignore them, the more threatening they become, and Cupid leaves me with his calling card.

I’ve been chosen, and time is running out. Will I survive the devil or end up in his deadly Goddess Club?

My name is Teagan O’Malley and a serial killer believes I’m his soulmate.

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover and blurb intrigued me and I was happy to dive right in. The story was engaging from the first page, and pulls you into this world. With a serial killer looking for his perfect Psyche, Teagan is just trying to find some luck in love, and start college well. I adored the characters, adored the twists and turns along the way. I loved all of the backstory and the way it seemed to drip-feed you information without it ever feeling like too much. That ending had me desperate for more, and I really did love this book. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good thriller.

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 October 2021



Tara only wants to find Kaolin before it's too late..


 [ID: A dark room background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FOURTH WEEK at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

“However, in light of what you’ve told us, it seems that Kaolin never made it to school this morning. Are you sure she wasn’t in any of your classes?”
“Unless I’ve gone blind in the last three hours or forgotten overnight what my best friend looks like, she wasn’t in French, Maths OR Science,” I told them, indignant that they thought I would lie about something so important.
“Oh, God,” Mrs. Lenor said, tears starting to fall down her face. “Someone’s kidnapped my baby!”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website, in the top right corner is the Readers ' Favorite 5 Star Review seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 11 October 2021

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Adding The Paranormal


Since I started writing crime fiction, it's been a rare occurrence that it not also include some elements of the paranormal. I don't really know why it started out like this, just that was where the ideas took me. The Dying Thoughts series was my first really big foray into the crime genre, and with it came the fact that the protagonist, Tara, was very much psychic and therefore more paranormal/crime (or mystery depending on who you ask) than straight up crime. I have done some without the paranormal elements, but they're more the exception rather than the norm.

So what do you do when you're wanting to add those paranormal elements to a crime/mystery story? I have a few tips, and I thought I would share them with you today. Bearing in mind that, a lot of mine are going to be related to young adult since that's the category that I write in, but that doesn't mean they can't be tweaked and made into something that works for adult novels as well.

One thing that's stayed true for all the different paranormal entities I've included in my works, is that you have to know the rules of that world, of that ability, and what it means for the world you're writing in as a whole. Take Tara, she is basically living in our world, only she has a touch that allows her to see the last moments of someone's life when she touches something that used to belong to them. She's the only one that she's aware of and while there is some family history, it's not a widespread thing.

Because this was a rule from the start of the series, I had to make sure that it held throughout the rest of the books. I couldn't have psychics becoming commonplace, and I needed to sell the idea that because of what Tara is able to do, she's an asset to people like, Mike, who believed in her ability. There were some instances of her ability evolving, but again, I stuck to those same rules and made sure that they didn't change drastically from one book to the next.

This is something that you need to keep in mine, after all, why have a paranormal element if it has no impact on the plot, or in this case, the crime itself. It doesn't have to be the driving force of solving the crime, it can be the reason it happened in the first place, but you do need to know the impact, and why it's happening in this world.

For example, in one of the books I'm drafting right now, there's a lot of paranormal elements, and it's outside of our world, or at least the way it is right now. I've made sure that the paranormal elements are tied into both the reasoning for the crime, and how it gets solved in the end. You need to have some reason for it, otherwise it's kinda pointless. If you could remove the paranormal elements and it still tell the same story, then you've gone wrong somewhere.

This is something that my editor is always telling me to do when it comes to some central theme to the book, lean into it, explore it, and allow it to grow and bloom and all of that. The same applies when it comes to the paranormal elements, if it's something that's a central theme, make sure that you're exploring it as much as necessary for that story.

I don't mean that you should info-dump all this backstory, but that while writing, you'll find that there are certain parts and themes that will stick out to you. One of the books I'm currently revising could've been paranormal/mystery and I found that it went in a different direction and leaned more into urban fantasy, but while writing and while revising, I've made sure to keep that mystery element, and lean into the themes surrounding it.

So there you go, those are my three tips when it comes to adding paranormal to your crime. Like I said above, it's something that I've been doing for a number of years, and I've found that these really help me craft stories that hold true to the genre and also allow me to get across the plot that I want. I hope it helps 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 October 2021

Review of XOXO Violet by Ginger Li

 I’ve admired my crush from afar for years, and now I’m finally going to grab his attention.

Online, I’m a popular plant YouTuber who keeps her identity hidden. In real life, I’m a nerdy senior who’s known as the most awkward girl at East Beach High.

My secret weapon? Wesley Stirling. East Beach High’s resident charmer and playboy. He’s going to be my dating coach. Turns out he needs tutoring in math and suggests a simple arrangement. I’ll teach him pre-calc and he’ll teach me how to flirt… and kiss.

But when our dating lessons begin feeling like the real thing, I start wondering what Wesley’s true intentions are.

Solving simultaneous equations is easy.

Solving matters of the heart? Not so much.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up after reading the first book and loving it, and I dived in as soon as it landed on my kindle. I adored the setup for this book, Violet and Wes were adorable, and the way the love story was woven through the pages, with twists and turns that sometimes made me wonder if it would all work out. The story was excellently crafted and the characters well rounded and relatable. This is a series I will be following and an author to watch. Very much recommended for those who love a quick, sweet, high school 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 5 October 2021



Angelina just wants to escape from the life she's living...


 [ID: A light blue background with the title WAITING ON YOU at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just below the excerpt. The except reads:

I switched it on and started to play on the animation programme. I was pretty good at computer graphics and taking in what I’d learnt at school, and in the art lessons we had in the computer lab. I set about drawing my prince charming. He may only be a day dream, a figment of my imagination, but when you had my life, all you could do was dream.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website, 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 4 October 2021

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Planning Releases


I've talked before about planning a release (piece found here) but I thought that since I've now finished all my releases until October 2022, I would give you an inside look at how I, as an indie author, plan my releases way in advance. It's something I've been doing for a while, and something I'm happy to talk about because I feel like a lot of the information is spread over the internet in different places, so why not add my two cents and keep it all here on my blog.

As some of you will know, I have written almost 40 books, but I only have 19 published, and while I usually publish two a year I did one this year and will do one next year too. I have got a sticky note on my computer desktop that has all the deadlines for every book I've written and not yet published. I update it when I finish a book, and I'm pretty sure that at this point I've got releases planned until 2028, though I could be wrong there.

Part of this is just my organisation and planning side popping up to the surface and another part of it is about forward planning. If I know that I have a deadline coming up, and it's right there staring me in the face, then I know I need to get my butt in gear and start getting things ready to move onto the next step. I'm someone who loves to know what's on my plate for the coming month/year/decade and planning my releases that ahead of time allows me to adjust my workload for when things need to be done.

This is also good when it comes to booking things, like an editor, or a cover designer. I know when I need to have my book finished revisions wise, I know when I plan to do my cover reveal and with that I know when I need to meet certain deadlines to be able to pull those things off. It helps me keep my stress levels down, and then I know that I'm not going to be running around last minute and find myself with problems that I could have avoided.

So what deadlines do I set myself? Glad you asked because I'm gonna go through them with you now!

#1 REVISION START DATE: This is so that I know when my plate is gonna be clear enough for me to start that cycle of revisions. My finished books usually take a good couple of years or so to come up on the cycle for revisions. So far the time from book idea to published is about seven years, so that just gives you some idea of when and where.

#2 EDITING DEADLINES: This is the date that I have to have the book off to that first round of edits. It also includes things like when line edits have to be done, when proof reading will be done, and again this seems like an obvious one because without those deadlines, I might end up letting things slide.

#3 COVER REVEAL DEADLINES: I do all my cover reveals on my Authortube channel, and so I need to know when that video will both be recorded and go live. I need to order bits and pieces, and I, of course, need the final cover. So it's another way to chase people up when it comes to the work they do for me.

#4 UPLOAD LIMIT DEADLINE: If you don't know, when you self-publish and put a book on pre-order, you have a deadline usually about three days before the release date to have uploaded your final manuscript. You can't do it after that point, so it's good to keep a track of things.

#5 COUNTDOWN START: If you're been following me for a while, you know that I generally count down the last seven days before release day, and so I need to know when that first post is needed so that I can make all the graphics and the like. Leaving this to the last minute is never a good idea in my opinion.

#6 RELEASE DATE: I like to have an idea of when the book is coming out, even if I don't have an actual date in mine, but by the time the list gets crossed down to this level, I usually know when it's coming out, so this is just a reminder to me, and it keeps it in an easy to see place.

#7 ARC RELEASE DATE: I generally do ARC copies and this is always a good thing to keep track of. I know when to start promoting for ARCs and when to plan to send them out, knowing that I want the book to be proof read and formatted before I do so.

And I think that's about it, those are my ways of keeping on top of all the upcoming releases I have and what I do with them. Releasing a book is hard work, and I'm just trying to make it as easy on myself a physically possible.

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 October 2021

Review of Two Kinds Of Us by Sarah Sutton


In a life of diamond bracelets and country clubs, I’m the perfect daughter. I get all the right grades, volunteer at all the right organizations, apply to all the right colleges.

And I hate every second of it. At the rate my life is playing out, under the strict rule of my parents, politicians and housewives will be my future.

Until I meet Harry.

Harry’s a singer in a rock band with a voice so beautiful that I actually feel hypnotized. Doesn’t hurt that he’s hot either, and with the kind, flirty personality to match, it’s the perfect trifecta. And even better, he sees the me I want to be. He sees me as the girl who can break free of the life she’s trapped in, who can control her own future.

The only problem? He knows me as Stella, my fun, carefree alter ego—so drastically different from Destelle, the girl who is trapped in the life her parents rule.

But as we get closer, I realize Harry’s keeping a secret of his own, something related to the dark past that he’s trying to move on from, and when I find out, everything we’ve built could come crashing down.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because I adored the series so far, even though all the books are standalone, they are all part of the same universe. I adored Stella, and Harry, I was rooting for them both and hoping that they would get their happy every after. I have been loving Sutton's way of writing engaging and relatable characters getting their own love stories. This had to be my favourite for the series and I very much recommend it to anyone who loves hidden identities and a good 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.