Friday 30 December 2022

Review of Dragon Born by Sean Fletcher

Dragon shifters live hidden amongst us.
And where there are dragons, there will always be Slayers.
When Astrid is attacked by a creep calling himself a Slayer, it seems like a cruel prank the universe is pulling on her already crappy life.

Then Kaden arrives and tells her she’s a dragon-kin like him—part dragon, part human.

Then Astrid actually shifts into a dragon. A creature from fairy tales and legends. A monster in modern times.


Now she’s being inducted into an entirely new magical world—full of dragon-kin, Tamers, Merlins, and more—whether she wants to be or not. The local guilds have promised to help protect her from the Slayers hunting her…if she plays by their rules.

Kaden’s hunting, too, for the group as vicious as his methods and as dark as his past. He doesn’t have time to chaperone a girl with awakened dragon powers who is too stubborn to stay safe.

But when the local guilds ask him to watch over Astrid in exchange for not throwing him in jail, he reluctantly agrees. He knows better than to get involved with anyone or anything. He knows he should stay away from Astrid.

Yet it soon becomes clear the Slayers have hatched a new plan to destroy the dragon-kin, headed by a deadly new leader. And with Astrid as one of their prime targets, Kaden might be the only one who can stop them.

My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve read a lot of Fletcher’s books and I was itching to jump into this one. A brand new series and brand new characters with a plot that is engaging from the first chapter and just gets more so as you read on. I adored the world building and the characters, the dynamic between Kaden and Astrid as well as Astrid and Holly fuelled the plot in a delightful way. I was hooked from page one and didn’t want to put the book down until I could finally discover what happened. That ending left me itching for more and this is gonna be a series that I watch. Recommended for all those who love urban fantasy!

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 29 December 2022

Tuesday 27 December 2022


Lynne doesn't trust that Hope hasn't messed with the evidence...


[ID: A pastel pink background, with the title LYNNE & HOPE at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“Can you blame me? It’s not like you usually talk to me unless you’re forced to,” I spat. She looked hurt and I actually felt good, now she knows how I felt all those times.
“Whatever. Look, last night, did you go into my lab?”
“Are you sure?”
“You mean, when you stormed off you didn’t go down to my lab and fiddle with some of the evidence, contaminate it on purpose ‘cause I upset you?”
“Yeah, I did that, Lynne. I pushed myself down to your lab, I opened the door, which you know, was locked, I went into your lab and I got all the boxes marked ‘EVIDENCE’ and spat on them all, just to really piss you off,” I said, sarcastically.

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


Monday 26 December 2022

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Finding The Right Crime


I've been reading crime novels since I was a little kid. I don't mean adult crime, but what passed for children's and young adult before they were really a proper category. I grew up with a mum who liked listening to audiobooks and loved reading crime novels. She was the reason I got into some of the authors that I did, and I'll be honest, she ignited this love of crime in me, and no I don't mean that I was a little tearaway that wanted to commit crimes of any kind!

When I sat down to pen the words of my début, Blackout, I had some idea of what genre it would be, but also at nineteen, I didn't really know enough about genres to be sure of where it would fall. I knew it was crime somewhat, but not in the true genre specific tropes. It was actually more a thriller, and I loved writing it. I loved finding the twists I could use and the way it all came together was perfect for me. It had all the hallmarks of stories I love, teens, medical issues, betrayal, weirdness, and finally a nice twist and showdown with a killer. I won't give spoilers, even though the book has been out for over a decade now (almost two in fact) but I will say that it always has a special place in my heart because it opened up the door for me to branch out into proper crime stories as well as other genres and the like.

Now, over twenty years later, I sit down and plan out books and always try and have the crime match the story. A book I'm working on right now is pure crime and mystery, and I'm loving getting to tell the story and weave things into the plot that make it all the more hard for the characters, and the reader, to guess where things are going to go. This book will be the first in a new series for me, and I've already worked out what the second book's crime will be, and I'm excited to be back in the saddle and dealing with these kinds of sceneries.

That said, there is something about trying to find the right crime for that story. If you're trying to go for light hearted, there's really no point in throwing in a dead body here and there. If you want something dark and dismal, then talking about someone stealing a backpack isn't going to work, unless said backpack holds something very very important. You have to match the crime to the story and the plot, and the feel of what you want to have at the end of it all.

Crime novels are generally classed as dark fiction, but they don't have to be. You can always slip in a crime/mystery sub-plot into a light hearted genre and you don't have to go with nitty, gritty crime to be able to do so. I love thinking up crimes when it comes to the books I write. You know that I love the job I do, and working with the stories I do, and you also know that I have penned a lot of drafts, and now have twenty books out, all of which have some semblance of a mystery sub-plot, even if it might not be obvious from the chosen genre. It's in my blood to write crime and mystery and when I got the ideas for my two newest projects, I loved that I was going to back to where I started with one, and focusing solely on the crime plot rather than anything else.

Part of being a crime writer is knowing what to put where and when. You need to know your characters, your setting, you need to know whether things are going and where they will make sense to happen. I say that as if I'm no ardent planner and I'm really not, but you need to be aware, even if it's only in your head, of where you're heading so that you hit the right beats on the way through your draft. Yes, everything can be fixed in revisions, but sometimes it becomes such a headache that you lose interest, and this can be avoided by having some clues as to where you need to go and end up.

Overall, choosing the right crime is half the fun, and I wish you the best of luck in doing so!

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 23 December 2022

Review of Shards Of Venus by Tjalara Draper

Shifting by the light of Venus... 

Still reeling from the vicious murder of her best friend, Violet Chambers is haunted by the "faceless" man with the neck tattoo who kidnapped her. Trying to move on is a daily struggle for the girl who spent most of her life in foster care. But when she meets Nathan, the detective who found her at her best friend's crime scene, things begin to look more promising. Violet finally finds sanctuary for the first time in her life.

Hellbent on protecting her, Nathan Delano, a mysterious shape-shifting Veniri, will do anything he can for Violet. All he has to do is ensure Violet's world never collides with the shifter world. But even he can't stop the enemy determined to destroy her and anyone she gets close to.

Suddenly, Violet doesn't know who she can trust. With a pact broken and her safety on the line, will Violet save herself before it's too late?


My Review:  5 STARS

I picked this up because of the cover and the blurb and settled in to read, and I was blown away by how amazing this was. The writing was superb and transported you along with Nathan, Violet and the others. I was so pulled into the story that I picked up the second in the series and plan to devour it ASAP. I loved the worldbuilding, the descriptions, the way that there was a different kind of shifter story. I loved the characters and their dynamics and the plot was perfectly woven through the words. Overall an amazing read, and an author that I will have to watch, I need to know what happens next!

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 22 December 2022

Tuesday 20 December 2022


Tara's unaware of what this job with Mike will entail...


[ID: A blurred sky with foliage at the top background, with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SECOND SIGHT at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

When I opened my eyes, Inspector Clifford was stood over me, he’d slipped something under my head so that I didn’t do myself any damage. It was a refreshing change to not have someone standing over me and telling me that the ambulance was on its way.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I said. I took a deep breath. “Suicide.”
“It was…er….the lady…she committed suicide. Her husband took her kids to the United States.”
“I know. But that shows me that you know what to look for.” He gave me a small smile and I wondered for the first time, but certainly not the last, if I’d made the right decision. Why was he putting me through cases that he knew the outcome of if he knew the outcome? Did he think it was fun seeing what I saw?

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


Monday 19 December 2022

Spoonie Writer: New Year & You


I've been a spoonie for more than half my life now, and I've been a writer for about the same. I was always going to write, I think, but I never planned for it to be my one and only job. I had dreams as a kid of being a doctor, I wanted that from a young age, and it just never happened because my health got in the way. But I wrote on the side and I was okay with that, until I had no other way to work and earn a living, and that's when writing, and eventually being published, came to the forefront of my mind.

I say this only because at almost forty-one, I have seen a lot of new years come, I have worked through them, I have done the fun thing of staying up until midnight (which is now next to impossible for me, because of my health conditions) and the swearing that this year is going to be my year, that it's a sure thing, that I'm going to hit those best-seller lists and I'm going to win all the awards and my income is going to go through the roof and all of this. It doesn't ever happen, obviously, not because I don't give my all to my writing and books and the like. It's just not happened, whether that's because of other reasons, or not, my writing career just hasn't hit that peak, and maybe it never will, but my point is that it's okay to dream big, but it's also okay to be realistic about it.

Telling myself that I will release lots and lots of books this year, I know it won't happen. I know that while I can write about four novels a year, I can't go through the editing process for more than one or two. Right now I'm getting ready to start the editing train in the new year for a project that, in my initial plans, was supposed to come out this year. It didn't happen, and that's okay, life throws you curveballs from time to time and you have to roll with it and hope for the best. Anyone reading who's also a spoonie knows that one on a deep level.

For a lot of us spoonies, it's all about having realistic expectations. I always set yearly goals on my authortube channel (found here) and then I also set bi-monthly ones that reflect those yearly ones. I do monthly goals on a private blog, and it all comes together to, hopefully, starting to get to the point where at the end of the year, I can cross off a bunch of things and call the year a win. It's been something I've done since I started the blog all those years ago, and something that very much works for me, but I know that it doesn't, and wouldn't work for everyone.

You have to face the new year with your own idea of what it'll be like for you. I'm not going to tell you not to dream big, but just to be wary about what it means if you can't reach every goal on your list. I know for me that setting a goal I'm pretty sure I won't manage, drains me, it annoys me, it makes me angry at myself, and it makes it hard for me to focus on those that I can reach. All I can think about it how I should be doing better, and I keep beating myself up to the point where I end up burning out, or dropping the ball when it comes to other, smaller goals. I don't want that for you, though it could very much be a me thing, but if it's not, I don't want anyone else to feel like that about things that they can't manage.

Far too often, the focus is put on beating your goals, on attaining more than you did last year or the month before, or whatever. That's fine, I think it's good to have some level of competition with yourself. I just don't think it should be the focus of every single thing on your goals list, of every thing you plan to do in the new year. Be kind to yourself, and recognise that you're working and living life on hard mode. Have some grace and all of that.

The new year is a fresh start, it's a chance to open up a new calendar and start on a fresh page and have the world at your feet. Dream big yes, but also be aware of the consequences of that if you can't reach that just yet. I don't think it means that you will never make it, just that these things take time. It takes as long as it takes, and that's okay. Good luck, and go forth and do amazing things.

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 16 December 2022

Review of The Vault by L Wood

Entrapment can cause insanity, but it can also forge something else entirely.

Nineteen-year-old Harper has been trapped in a secret underground facility—a combination of a military school, a ward, and a laboratory—for the last five years. Memories of her prior life are gone, she’s forced to train for combat, and after being condemned as an experimental test subject, an electrifying power begins to rise within her.

Harper finally escapes, but not all of her friends get out. Unsure if she’ll be able to remember who she is or control her new power, she must find and save her friends from the clutches of the man who incarcerated her before they fall too far into his operations—and before she’s captured again.

With the help of a mysterious, fiercely protective—and handsome—police officer and a crew of determined allies, Harper fights to figure out who’s behind the Vault and to get justice. But the more she learns, the more she begins to realize there’s more to the story, and her background, than she had ever dreamed possible…

My Review: 5 STARS

I read the blurb for this after my eye caught the cover and I was desperate to know more. Harper is so relatable and so easy to get to know and adore. I loved the way the plot twisted and turned, leading you places that you’d never have thought it would go. The world building, the dynamic within the group and outside of it were on point and perfect. It’s a series that I will have to read more of, and overall, I loved it. Only sleep stopped me from reading and even then it wasn’t for long! 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

Thursday 15 December 2022

Tuesday 13 December 2022


Tara knows it's hard for her dad, but she wants to know more about her mum...


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

“I need to know more about Mum, really,” I replied. I mean, Dad’s easy – I can just type his name into any search engine and find a whole bunch of websites about him. Plus, he’s my dad, so I already know quite a lot about him – his parents and his grandparents would be different – but that wasn’t important right now.
Dad’s face tightened the way it always did when we talked about Mum or anyone else did, for that matter. It may have been nine years since she died, but to Dad, it was only nine days. Or at least that was how he acted.
“What do you need to know?” he asked again.

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


Monday 12 December 2022

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Time & Money Matters


One thing that always sticks in my mind around this time of year is getting everything together for taxes, and making sure you have all your royalty reports and the like. I know that with the way KDP and other sites work, you can't actually get those final figures until past January, but it's still something that sits in the back of my mind and I worry about getting everything together. A lot of the time, it can feel like you're rushing around last minute and then you finally check everything and download it all, and send it off in the new year and it's like a massive relief to have it done.

The other thing that always sticks in my mind around this time of year is the lack of time when it comes to everything that needs to be done. Not just those royalty reports I mentioned, but tying up the loose ends, getting ready for any sales you might run through the holidays and afterwards and making sure that all your graphics and posts and the like are ready to go on the day. Part of being an indie author is wearing a lot of different hats, which I've talked about before (found here) and it doesn't ever really get easier, you just get more used to doing it.

Like at the time of writing, I am finishing off my November by getting everything in place ready for December and beyond. I've worked out a system that works for me, where I do my writing for the month, and then settle down in those last few days and do vlog scripts and blog posts and all the graphics and such needed for the upcoming month. It's worked for me for a long while, but yet as I approach the holidays and the end of the year, I do find myself getting increasingly anxious that I've missed something. I worry that something has slipped my notice and won't be picked up until the day of, or after, that it's due. It might seem silly to anyone else, but to be it's very real.

So I've devised a system of checks, a way to make sure that when I'm sitting down to end the month off, since I usually take a couple of days off between the end of one month and the start of another, I'll go through it all and make sure I can put a solid check mark by it. If I'm not sure, then I won't mark it off and will go back through to make sure I have everything.

This can be anything from making sure the newsletter is done and ready to go out on the first, to making sure my ads are all queued up and have been approved, to making sure that my vlog scripts are ready, that the blog is filled with posts that will carry me through the next month and into the one following since I always write all for the upcoming month, and one for the month following that, just in case chaos happens and I need to save time somewhere. I make sure that my planner is penned in, that the ipad calendar is also reading the same. I double check that I have all the graphics needed for Instagram for the upcoming month, that the past months have been done completely and that I'm ready for when the calendar turns over to the first. I make sure that I know what's going to happen in my chapters for the month, if not all of them, then at least the first few. I make sure that my alarms are all set and that I've given myself enough time to get everything done. I also make sure that, going back to the start of this piece, I've downloaded the latest month's royalty reports, because I know that come January 1st, I'm going to need to be able to switch over to the new year and I need as many of them as I can get.

It sounds like a lot, and it is, and sometimes I'll do these things over the month as a whole so that it's not all a massive rush to get it done at the end of the month, and I'm not having to rush through things and possibly make mistakes. I track my time, have done for a couple of years now, so I know how long things will take. I know how long it'll take me to write those blog posts and vlog scripts. I know how long to leave for things like making graphics. I know all of this and I still worry, because the indie author life is all about wearing those different hats and making sure that you have what you need when it comes to the tax man, or even just trying to justify the cost of what you're doing to yourself and possibly your family.

So my advice? If you're someone who can plan things out, do it in stages, don't leave it to the last day of the month before you do it all. If you're someone who doesn't have that skill, or it doesn't work for you, then at the least, make a list, check it twice, and make sure you have everything in place because you will save yourself a whole lot of headache and stress if you do that. When it comes to the indie author life, time and money are a massive factor in how things get done. If you have the funds to pay for an assistant, go for it, I wish I could, but it's not in the cards for me. And overall, remember to breathe, remember to take time off, remember to have moments to yourself, and if you are in the run up to a celebratory time, remember to take that time to enjoy it. Good luck!

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 9 December 2022

Review of Christmas As We Know It by Sarah Sutton


Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Christmas as I know it is blown away with the winter wind when my mom drops a bomb the size of the Rockefeller Tree—we’re going to Florida for winter break, AKA the land of no snow. And since this is the last Christmas season of my high school career, my last chance to spend the holidays with my friends before we all go off to college, the news is anything but merry and bright.

There is one silver lining, though. Bentley, the sweet and kind guy I’ve been crushing on for years, is in my volunteer group for the annual Winter Festival. And did I mention his love for Christmas just might rival my own? Even though I’ll be missing out on the Winter Festival, being paired with Bentley almost makes it worth it.

Until something happens with Jason, my best friend since elementary school. Something that may or may not involve an almost kiss. Jason’s the opposite of jolly, the Grinch to my Mrs. Claus, and though every year I have to drag him along for the Yuletide ride, this December, he’s grumpier than ever about the holidays.

But the closer I get to Bentley, and the more it looks like Jason and his ex are getting back together, the more unsure I am about who I want to ring in the new year with.

Maybe all I need is the magic of a mistletoe kiss to make up my mind. Or better yet, a Christmas miracle…
My Review:  5 STARS
I have read all of Sutton’s other books and so when I had space to pick this one up, it was an auto-buy! I adored the dynamic between Mimi and Jason, and loved the twists and turns along the story. The plot was engaging and delightfully festive even though I read it out of season. I loved the romance, the setting, the character arcs and the way it all came together in swoon-worthy romance. Overall, another hit from Sutton and one that I recommend to all who love romance with a Christmas twist to it!
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 December 2022


Tally's memory is not one to rely on right now...


[ID: A midnight blue background, with the title BLACKOUT at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

FROM: Sophie Carter <>
TO: Tally Jenkins
SUBJECT: You Freak!
I would start by asking how on earth you knew my e-mail address to memorise it, and then yell at you for even thinking about ever e-mailing me, but what you said was just priceless!

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


Monday 5 December 2022

Approaching The Holidays - The Creative Process


I have had a very long year. I know we all have with the stresses and such of the pandemic, and then other factors making life just hard for a lot of people. I always do love this time of year, the weather not so much, but the atmosphere of it is something I adore. I like getting to wrap presents and surprise people with gifts. It helps that when the holidays are over, I get to celebrate my birthday not too long afterwards, so it's another boost to my system when things might have seemed bleak.

That said, I also don't really stop working over the holiday period. I don't know if it's because I'm always up so early any way and don't have much else to do, or if it's just that I love writing while in the midst of so much fun stuff. The mood is often catching and it allows you to lose yourself in some of the brightness. I know there can be darkness too. The fact that it's dark so early in the afternoon doesn't really help with things like depression, but it's possible that I've adjusted to that because I'm usually awake when it's dark out with my early mornings and the like. Who knows?

Of course, there are those among us who will also be working over the holidays on their writing. Either because they have a deadline, or because it's just part of what makes things fun, so I thought I would give you some of my holiday tips when it comes to trying to juggle writing and absolutely everything else going on. I know that had I been born in the US, I would probably be writing a post like this in November because their holiday season starts super early, whereas here in the UK, there's a little bit of leeway between Halloween and beyond.

By this I mean, if you know that you need to write for x amount of time on any given day, make sure your loved ones, your friend, your colleagues, all know that that time is for writing only, and you need to dedicate all your brain power to it. I have an easier time of this because I work when no one else in the house is awake, but there have been times when that hasn't been the case. When that happens, then I find I have to warn everyone that I plan to spend a certain time period in my office working.

I use a planner as well as my ipad calendar, and I find that it really helps me to know when I'm going to be needing to do things. If you're not someone who usually plans your time, then try it out and see. It might take a few false starts to get into it, but it really can be something that helps you in the long run. Make sure you have some idea of what the day, the week, the month, ahead hold for you and when you're going to be wanting to do what.


This kinda feeds into the last point, but along with planning your writing/working time, then be sure to plan some time when you are free as well. There can be so much to squeeze into the holidays and it's so much better to know what you're going to need to do when. Like this year we're going to see my dad and step-mum on Christmas Day, but I know that it'll be a late night, and then a long journey home, and I will not be up to doing any work on Boxing Day, I also know I won't be up to seeing anyone else either, so that time is not for writing, it's not for other visits, it's solely for me to rest and recover from the day out.


While I do advocate planning, I also wanna be sure that you know that it's okay to not plan every hour of your day. I don't do this, I never have because it's something that would stress me out beyond belief. This way, if I'm late starting or something takes longer than I thought it would, I have space, I have room so that I'm not going to be making myself behind with everything else. The goal here is to keep your stress levels down, letting yourself have room to breathe does that.

So there we go, those are my ways to help with the holidays approaching. I know we still have a way to go before it's all over and done with, but I do wish you all a happy holiday season!

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 2 December 2022

Review of I Don't Like Blue by Lyric C Faulder


Nothing could ever replace Azure. So why do they feel like he's still alive when they're together?

Riley was in love with Azure. They were outed as non-binary at school, and they transferred into what had been Azure’s school—but he died by suicide at the end of the previous school year. Now, Riley is alone, and they can’t stop wondering why their best friend would choose to leave them. The only thing holding them together is their role as vice president of the newly-formed Gay-Straight Alliance.

Then Riley meets Zane, the boy Azure couldn’t stop talking about. They’re drawn to him, but Zane can’t seem to get over Azure any more than Riley can.

Azure was in love with Zane. But Zane’s straight, so there’s nothing he could have done differently. When he meets Riley, he wonders whether he’s really seeing them for who they are, or who he wants them to be. Riley is determined to find out the truth behind Azure’s death, and at first, Zane encourages it. But as Riley grows closer to Zane’s ex-friend, the president of the GSA, Zane struggles with his feelings for Riley and the knowledge of what really happened the night Azure died.

My Review:  5 STARS

I picked this up because of the blurb and the cover, and I adored it from the first page. I loved Riley, loved Zane and loved reading their story, loved the dynamic between the two of them, the loss they both endured and loved getting to see them slowly come together and grow. Faulder has a way with words, and I adored their way of telling the story. As a parent of an enby writer, it was nice to see some enby characters told by an enby themselves. Overall, I only paused reading because I had to sleep, and loved this book very much. 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

Thursday 1 December 2022

Tuesday 29 November 2022


The last time Jessie got involved with a mystery, things did not go well...


[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“You think we should try and catch their killer?” I asked, taken aback. “What happened with Meera got out of control fast, and Meera almost died! I'm not some crime fighting superhero. The police can find the driver and that's just the way it goes.”
“I... I didn't mean you go into crime fighting,” Roe said, holding up her hands. “I just meant that in the grand scheme of the twitch, being able to shut down the pain once the threat, in this case the accident, passed. That's all.”
I thought about it for a moment. “Okay, I get what you meant. You wanna hang out, or do you need to head home?” I asked, dumping my school bag on my bed.

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


Monday 28 November 2022

Knowing When To Stop Revising - The After Process


A couple of weeks ago I talked about knowing when to start revising (found here) and although I have talked about that time when you gotta stop revising (found here), I thought that I would touch on it again. I have written now 40 complete first drafts and I've revised over 20, or at least I'm in the midst of revising books 21 and 22. I have spent months going over the drafts and making big changes, little ones, implementing beta feedback, sensitivity reader feedback and so on. I know that sometimes you need a break from your project to be able to fully see the forest of errors that remain, but I also know that there is such a thing as too much revision, just like there's such a thing as too much self-editing and beyond.

One of the hardest things for me is knowing when to say enough is enough. I usually have a rule that if I can do two full passes without having to change more than spelling errors and the like, that I know I'm done and it's ready for the editor. The problem is that sometimes, I feel like I get stuck in this cycle of never knowing when that happens, and it's what I want to talk about today.

I have, not once, in all my time of writing, been able to do the exact same steps when it comes to revising a new project. I have my basics, my outline, my read throughs and the like, but I always find there's some new thing to each project that turns even that on its head. I don't know if it's the same for anyone else, but for me there are no hard and fast rules and routine when it comes to approaching revision. It could be, as people have told me, because I don't stick too much to an outline when I draft. I don't think that's the only reason, but I'll admit that it could play a part.

That said, I do have a big toolbox when it comes to revision. I have my outline, and my notes, and the various different things I've tried to make sure that I have everything I need to get started. But like I said above, there are times when I feel like I'm going to be caught in this neverending loop where I revise, and make changes and just never get to the point where I feel like it's actually done.

In the piece I linked above where I talked about knowing when revision is done, I listed questions to ask yourself, and I stand by those. My problem, I think, is that I just don't have as much confidence in what I'm doing anymore. I don't know if it's down to things going on behind the scenes, or whether it's just a quirk of mine, but even though I can get some distance from the first draft before going in to the second, I don't always know if answering those questions is enough.

The last thing I want to do is make out like I don't know what I'm doing, because I very much do, but I'll admit to having those crises same as any other writer. I'm not perfect, my first drafts can be readable to needing a complete rewrite. It's something that's always in the back of my mind, the ending of one story and the knowledge that when it comes to revision I am going to have a hard time knowing what to start with, and how long it'll take.

If I were to list the writing process in order of dread, it would be editing, revision and then drafting. I love drafting, I love that I know what I'm doing and where I'm going. I do not like the stress that comes with the professional edit, and before that with the revision process. I guess this means I'm human, and means that I need to be kind to myself and accept that sometimes, you just don't know when to stop, and that's when you need betas, CPs and the like to pull you out of that funk and give you a different view on how things are reading, on how they're going.

So be kind to yourself, and be aware that not all of this process is simple, not all of it is easy, there will be hard days ahead, and you can do this.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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Friday 25 November 2022

Review of Girl In The Snow by Nicole Adrianne

No electricity, no phones, and a broken princess to blame. Winter in the Seven Kingdoms just got colder...

After being promised in marriage to a smug, stuck-up stranger, Eira thought she couldn't get any angrier. Now, she's on the run, and the entire kingdom is convinced that she built an EMP device and destroyed their power grid.

With Eira's best friend, infuriating fiancé, and the entire Royal Guard on her tail, staying hidden in a tiny village seems like her best—and only—option. But, as Eira uncovers a series of long-hidden truths about the Queen and late King, hiding from her destiny becomes nearly impossible.

Will Eira's evidence be enough to convince the kingdom of her innocence, or will it be just enough to get her executed?


My Review:  5 STARS

I picked this up because of both the cover and the blurb and was hooked from the first page. I’d been a little concerned about the tropes that seemed to pop up, but they ended up being subverted and made for an enjoyable read. I loved Eria and Slater, and all the other characters, adored the way the story wove its way through many twists and turns and came about to an ending that I completely wasn’t expecting, and yet adored! It was the perfect dystopian read and I ended up finishing it all in one sitting. Will have to keep an eye out for the next in the series. Overall, very much recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday 24 November 2022

Year Of Writing Count: 2022 [CC]

And it's that time of year where I tell you about how many chapters, pages and words I wrote over my writing year! #Authortube



Tuesday 22 November 2022


Jessie misses Meera, but she doesn't want to sacrifice herself to be with her...


[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“I don’t really know. I don’t want to think that we’re done for good, but I also know that it’s a sticking point for me. She might not want to believe in the twitch, but it’s real. It’s part of my life, and if she can’t accept that, maybe those feelings we both have aren’t as deep as they should be, on her part at least. I had pain in my chest when I was near her, she’s hurting about it, I just don’t know if I can go back to trying to keep that side of myself hidden from her.”
“There’s always the chance that she puts it together and realises you’re telling the truth,” Roe said, softly.
“I guess I’ll have to wait and see, but talking of the twitch, I was thinking about doing some more research on it,” I said, changing the subject, the breakup with Meera was still too raw. “I can't keep having this happen. I know so little about it, have barely any experience of it, have had no tutoring or discussions about it beyond Mia, I just can’t be sure of anything.”

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



Monday 21 November 2022

Creating A Writing Routine - The Creative Process


It's that time of year again when everyone in the writing community are in the midst of NaNoWriMo. I know that I plan to take part this year, and I will have been doing what I usually do, starting two new projects and spreading the 50K over the two of them. Saying that, one thing that I remember from my first proper NaNo was the want to keep the momentum going, to find some kind of writing routine from it, to learn how to translate the work I'd done in November into doing the same over the coming months and years.

I did manage it, I created my own hashtag and carried it through into December and beyond, and it's very much the reason that I get as much done these days as I do, because I managed to slip into a writing routine without really thinking about it. It's one of the good parts of NaNo, and something that I know a lot of writers will be thinking about as they get their words this month.

My only qualm with it is that the focus is so much on writing every single day that it's not a sustainable thing that translates into a writing routine for the majority of writers. Yes, there are some people who do write every day and it works for them, and that is great, but for the rest of us, sitting down and pouring our words every single day of the year is going to lead to one place only: burnout.

While NaNo is about coming together as a community, and building that habit of sitting down to write, the reason it usually ends with people not writing for a long time afterwards is because for most of us, it's not something we can do month in and month out. I know that I write a lot every single month, but that's because part of my routine started by building things up slowly. I didn't start with a set word count. I didn't start planning to write every single day. I started with writing a page for every day of the month, and that's where my writing routine came from.

So if you're here at the blog today wanting to get advice on how to turn out mammoth word counts every month, or how to keep the momentum from NaNo going, I will give you some tips. They're ones that I've talked about before, but everyone can do with a refresher.

Like I said above, the reason my first NaNo led me to where I am today is because I was sure that 50K in a month just wasn't possible for me given my health, given my slow writing, and also given that I had never even managed more than 10K in a month before. To have jumped into NaNo for a short term goal would've been fine, but since I wanted it to light that fire in me about writing again, I went with a goal I was pretty sure would stretch me, but also be attainable. It was, and from there I switched from pages to chapters. It took me years to get to the point where I'm at now, and things changed a lot in my life, both personal and professional, for me to manage what I do now.


This is something that I can't stress enough. Even if you are choosing to, and are able to, write every single day, which I honestly don't think is a great idea, then you need to have some kind of break. It can't be the only thing you do. Like get up, write for hours upon hours, and then go to bed. That is just going to leave you burnt out and no one wants that. If you don't want to take a whole day, then go for a morning, or an afternoon, or a block of time at the weekends. Whatever works for you, but this is a step you cannot skip!

I think with any kind of routine, you need to be comfortable. Whether that's comfortable in the physical sense or the mental or emotional sense. I personally like to write at my desk, but I have been known to write in bed, or at coffee shops, or around the house. If you're trying to make this into a routine, you don't want to be forcing yourself to do so in a place that makes you anxious, or hurts your back, or what not, that will lead to you associating your writing time with something bad, which just makes you want to avoid it.

By this I simply mean that if you know it will take you a couple of hours to get to where you want to be, then plan for that. Don't tell yourself you have fifteen minutes to do something that you know will take you an hour. That will stress you out, it'll make you feel like you're already failing before you started, and it also sets you up to fail, and that's never a good idea. Take your time, be kind to yourself, and if you find that your goal is too much for you, there's nothing wrong with breaking it down further.

So there we go, those are my tips when it comes to creating a writing routine. I've always found that too much of the time the focus is on output rather than what you as a writer can do. I know my output, I've experimented with what's too much and what's too little, and I've had all this time to do that. You can do the same should you wish to, but try to go easy on yourself.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments! 

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