Monday 31 January 2022

Finding The Right Editor - The After Process


I've talked about the importance of finding the right editor before on my Authortube channel (found here) but today I wanted to go through it on the blog because it just feels like a good thing to discuss. I've given you, in the past, details about editors and the like and how I work with my own team, what jobs they do for me, and how to go about working with an editor (found here and here).

While editors run the range from developmental/content, to line, to copy, and to proofreaders, you'll be starting at the first and working your way through them. Some editing companies will have a way for you to work with the same team. Others will only do one type of editing, and other still will bundle it up for one editor. Personally, I prefer not doing the latter because I know that it's hard to spot mistakes when you've read through the manuscript more than once or twice, but that's just me.

When you're looking to start the professional edit, it can be quite daunting to find an editor that works with you. You don't want a clash of personalities, or someone who doesn't really get what you're trying to do with this work, and you don't want someone passive who won't even tell you any plot errors along the way. Like with most things in life, it's a balancing act, and since the professional edit isn't cheap, you generally don't want to have to go from company to company to find a good fit.

I've been with the editing team I use for a number of years now. I fit well with all of them working wise, and they fit with me. For me, finding editors has always been a modicum of luck. I met my first editor elsewhere and then when I needed help, she offered to give it a read through. From there my team has grown, and I have to say that I'm really happy with the people I use now.

So how do you know when you're on the right path? What should you look out for as red flags? What can you do to protect yourself, your book, and also your wallet? Glad you asked, because I'm gonna go through them all now.

This is something a lot of editors will offer to prospective clients. They'll do a sample edit of your work, and then you have the chance to see whether you want to engage with their services. This gives you a glimpse into what they're picking up on, and how they are to work with. It's pretty common practice and I've not yet used an editor who didn't offer sample edits. You don't have to pay for this, and it's usually a set amount of pages, so be sure to take that chance.

If the editor doesn't want you to sign a contract, that's a big red flag. If they don't list other clients and have been in the space for a while, that's another red flag. If the sample edit doesn't look like much, if anything, has been done, another red flag. If they push for a deposit at the sample edit, again red flag. If they don't communicate well whether that's through email or otherwise, that's something to be wary of. If they get aggressive in their posts, or edit, then again, that's another red flag.

There are others, but these are the ones I think are most common. Basically I'd say trust your gut. If you're talking to them and they promise to have it to you by a certain deadline and then drop off the face of the earth, that's a huge red flag. You want your editor to be talking to you about the editing process. I don't mean they have to be in constant contact, but you shouldn't have to send email after email to get an answer.


I personally have never done this. I've heard of other writers who have, and while there should always be a contract between you and your editors, an NDA to me just feels like too much. If you're that suspicious of your editor, why are you using them? All the editors I have worked with have only ever had the best interests of my work at heart. They've been good at getting the book into shipshape condition.

As far as copyright goes, I don't know how it works in other countries, but here it's not a necessary step. You can defend your work as your own because once you write it, it's copyrighted. If it ever got to the point of having to defend it in a court of law, your own records will show that you are the original creator and therefore own the copyright.

So there we go, those are three things to think about when looking for an editor and what to watch out for, since unfortunately there are those who would gladly take your money and run. One tip I will give you is to google the editor, speak to other clients of theirs to see what they're like to work with. It's a lot of work, but this is your book baby and you only want the best.

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 28 January 2022

Review of Insititue Of Magic by Tiffany Kahapea

Magic exists. Sounds unbelievable but it does.

I live in a world full of magic users. My mom and aunts are known to my kind as the Over Lords.

They’re most powerful magic users of our kind and they keep magic hidden from the humans.

Then there’s me, Danielle. Also known as a nopow which slang for no power because I’m powerless.

Going to school with powerful magic users makes me a target and my life a living hell.

I don’t even know why I still attend the Institute of Magical Arts. No matter how hard I try, I can’t produce an ounce of magic. It’s pitiful. Humiliating.

No one knows my relation to the Over Lords. I’m an embarrassment and a failure.

Or at least I thought I was.

I found out my birth brought on a vision from the ancestors, and they are scared. So, scared that they tried to kill me.

Luckily my mom and aunts kept me safe, but things are not what they seem.

I’ve been lied to my entire life. By everyone I know.

After one fateful event, the truth comes out and things become clearer.

They were right to fear me. Everyone should fear me, and they will pay for their lies.

I am Danielle Eshar and when I’m through fulfilling the ancestor’s vision, everyone will know my name.


My Review: 3.5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb and cover drew me in, and was happily jumping into a world where magic is hidden, but very much real. Dani seems to be a nopow, and she’s made up for this by training hard in every other way. While the world building and the plot was engaging, I found myself wishing there was more time dedicated to some aspects. I enjoyed the story, but found it hard to like the build up to the ending, and all that went with it. It stretched my disbelief just a little too much and I felt like Dani was very immature. That said, it was a good read.

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

Tuesday 25 January 2022


Lynne is sure that Hope must've damaged the sample, everything else wouldn't make sense...


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

Thinking about it, Hope couldn’t have done anything to contaminate the sample because she hadn’t been anywhere near my lab and it has a lock on it that only Adam and me know the code for. Anyway, if she had it would have come up as unknown or as someone closely related to me. It wouldn’t have been my photo in front of me, would it? Not with the words ‘MATCH FOUND’ flashing at me in green.
I ended up leaving Jack a note explaining that I’d been so tired I must have contaminate the sample and I’d swab for a new one in the morning and re-test it, along with the search form showing him that apparently I was a match for the blood on a knife used to kill two old ladies.
I locked up and headed home, trying to convince myself that that had to be the only explanation.
Didn’t it?

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 24 January 2022

Writing Your Story - The Creative Process


Last week I talked about writing for yourself (found here) but this week I wanted to expand on writing your story. I mentioned in last week's piece that I'd gotten a good piece of advice from another writer who said that only you can tell your story, and it's very true. There are so many different ideas out there, but also so many that follow along a similar basic plot. Even if you were given the same writing outline as five different people, all five would write very different ways of executing the idea.

So while there's always this fear that things have been done before, which I've talked about in the past (found here) it's simply not true. I know some writers are fearful of sharing their ideas because they worry that another writer will steal said idea, or that someone else will write it and then they're stuck. The problem with that is, there are pretty much, no original ideas when you break things down to a plot level. It's the execution of those ideas that make each and every story unique in its own way.

Why is it important to write your own story? Because only you can tell it, and that writer who gave me the advice, also added an extra point. The world needs your story, which is very much the truth. There are so many different types of story, whether that's genre or tropes or age category, and there will always, always, be readers out there who resonate with your words. There will always be some who need your story more than anything else. It's important to remember that, and important to keep it in mind when you're writing, whatever story that may be.

There have been times over the past twenty-odd years I've been writing, when I've started to doubt whether the world as a whole does need my work. I've published nineteen books, drafted nearly forty and I sometimes just feel like I'm shouting into the void, that my words, my stories, my books and the like aren't needed. When that happens, I go to my random praise folder and read letters from readers, read reviews and the like that remind me that yeah, my books resonated with people. They reached soon teens, some older, and they were the story they needed at that point in their lives.

I wrote those stories to be heard, to showcase the tales that had come to me. I wrote them because they needed to be told. Whether that's because I personally needed to tell them, or because I felt like readers needed to hear them, and the same is always going to be true of your own stories. There are readers out there for you, and some of them need that story more than you realise. It will resonate with them, lift them up, and bring them the joy that a lot of us feel for the written word.

So writing your story is very much important. It matters, it counts, and while I know it can be hard to sometimes keep going when it feels like everything is against you, you need to keep putting those words on the page however you can. It doesn't matter how long it takes, it doesn't matter if it's a year or ten, or even more than that. You need to tell your story just as much as other people need to read it.

Keep writing, that's all you can do.

Any questions? Lemme know 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 21 January 2022

Review of The Ghost Junkies by Elizabeth J. Rekab

An escape like no other. Can Mel discover the truth of her abilities before the ghosts claim her as their own?

Melissa Lowery is failing physics, shunned by the cheerleading squad, and crushing on her best friend, Aaron, who has an annoyingly beautiful girlfriend. Oh yeah, and she sees the ghost of her dead father. Talk about screwed up.

Soon, a fellow ghost seer named Seth convinces Mel to test her abilities in a haunted cabin where he introduces her to a whole new world. Literally. He teaches Mel how to slip into the realm the ghosts come from—a vivid, euphoric place called "The Veil" that sure as hell beats Jaxonville. But when the living in town start going crazy and the dead whisper about a mysterious Shadow Man, Mel realizes that the Veil may hide more secrets than she realizes... secrets that she must uncover before the whole town is consumed by darkness.


My Review: 5 STARS

Having read Rekab’s books before, when I saw this one then I had to pick it up and give it a read during the spooky season. I adore her way of setting the scene and making it all seem all the more real. Mel was a likeable character from the start and that opening line and chapter had me hooked on wanting to know more about the characters and the plot. I adored all the twists and turns the story took, and that ending almost killed me. I very much enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone who loves a good paranormal story. A great book!

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

Thursday 20 January 2022

Author Tag: If I Weren't An Author [CC]

 Doing a tag video today! Talking all about what I would do if I wasn't an author! #Authortube


Author Anne Sophie's video:

Celeste Joan's video:

1. What would be your new creative outlet?
2. Would you still do Youtube? If so, what content would you produce?
3. What would your new dream-job be (assuming it currently is to be a full-time author)?
4. Would you still consume author content?
5. How many friends would you not have made?
6. Would you still read as much as you do now?
7. Which part about being an author would you miss the most?
8. How different would your life look, in general?



Tuesday 18 January 2022


Tara didn't make a good first impression with Cassie, but she doesn't hold it against her...


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

“No, some of them are like Tara,” Cassie replied, dryly.
The comment should have hurt, that was the aim of it anyway, but it didn’t. Because Cassie was right, I’d not been particularly welcoming. In my defence though, the last time I got dumped with a new student…well, we all know what happened then.
“I have issues,” I muttered.
“Hey, at least you don’t hide behind them,” Cassie told me, giving me a small smile.

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


Monday 17 January 2022

Writing For Yourself - The Creative Process


A bit of advice that I've heard a lot over the years is: write the story you want to read. It's a good piece of advice, and it does help a lot of people starting out and make them realise that the pressure of the market is one thing, but that if you write what you've always wanted to read, there will be other readers out there who do too.

I've stuck to this piece of advice myself for a number of years. When I get a new idea for a book, I'll plan it out as if it was something that I was wanting to pick up in a bookshop myself. It doesn't always stay like that because I go where the plot and characters take me, but it is usually rooted in a trope I love, or an idea that I wish I could see in other books, and then I go from there.

Writing for yourself might seem a little off, but for me, I've always found it highly motivating. I love my readers, love that other people enjoy my books just as much as I do, but the fact that I am telling these particular stories for me, as well as my readership, really does keep my putting fingers to keyboard. Think about it, it's a way for me to get myself to write. I know that I set a chapter for any given day and that I personally want to know what happens next, which means putting butt in chair and fingers to keyboard and telling myself the story.

When it comes to revisions and editing, then I'm more refining the story for other people, but that initial first draft is me trying to get the idea out of my head and onto the page in a way that pleases me. I don't generally think about how other people might react to it. There's the occasion when I'll write a scene or chapter and feel like it's gonna need a lot of corrections when it comes to revision, but for the moment, it works well. It moves the story along in a way that keeps me interested in what I'm doing.

For the past four or five years, I've not really had writer's block. I think that's down to how I approach my writing sessions, and the fact that at the core of it all, these are stories I want to see through to the end. I'm not trying to say that those who do get writer's block are doing it wrong, no I just mean for me personally, putting all over expectations to the wayside, I find I get a lot more writing done, the ideas flow easier and I'm able to really get the story told.

Of course it's not always easy, there are times when you'll be writing the story as it appears in your head, and find yourself unable to really move forward. In times like these, I'll think of something that needs to happen later in the story and kinda skim over the details to get myself there. I do think that writing for yourself can be so very powerful as a tool for writers. It means that we're telling stories that we're passionate about, because they're the stories that we personally want to read!

Years ago, I was given a piece of advice about writing for myself, and also writing my story, which I'll cover next week, but the advice was so simple, and yet also true. They said that I was the only one who could tell my story. I am the only one who can tell my exact story, and you are the only one who can put fingers to keyboard and tell that exact story that you envision in your head. So go forth and do 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 14 January 2022

Review of Since We Were Friends by Zoe Haslie

Fiercely protective brothers
Iron-willed Dad
Disturbing romantic feelings for her best friend

Sixteen-year-old Regan Clark only longs for the summer camp trip her dad takes her and her three brothers in each year. But everything changes when the unimaginable happens—her best friend, and acquired fourth brother, Harper, turns into a big cheat and she gets cast aside.

So when school starts again, Regan finds herself friendless, struggling with soccer practice and on the verge of failing math. On top of that, Harper's own issues lead him to move in with the Clarks, which makes it next to impossible to hide all the bad blood between them.

But meeting Sophie turns into a mindblower, for Regan's introduced to the strange world of girls she's been missing out until now. And, much to her dismay, she soon finds out what hurts the most about losing her best friend—to be secretly in love with him.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover and blurb sounded intriguing, making me wonder if it would be as feel good romance as it sounded. I loved Regan, and Harper, loved getting to know them, watching them both grow and change as characters and all the pitfalls and happy moments along the way. Regan’s brothers were a much needed comic relief at times, and their dad being so over protective reminded me of my own teenage years. I adored this story and it’s one that I very recommend to those who adore 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 11 January 2022



Tara isn't all that sure she wants to get to know Kaolin better...


 [ID: A 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:

Maybe if I hadn’t have been so angry with Dad I wouldn’t have had to spend any more time with Kaolin. She called round after school to see how I was. I didn’t even stop and think about how she got hold of my address. I just flung the door open when she knocked and glared at her.
“Umm…hi…I…just umm…wondered umm…how you were,” she spluttered when she saw me. She was fiddling with her necklace again – that must be her nervous habit.
“I’m fine,” I snapped.
“Okay…umm…well,” she said. What did she want? My full medical history?

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

Monday 10 January 2022

Work/Life Balance - The Creative Process


Something you'll hear talked about a lot is finding that balance between working and having a life outside of the job you do. I think it's especially important for those of us who are indie, because so much of the work relies on us to do it ourselves, but it can apply to traditional authors as well. There's so much of an emphasis put on always being on the go, and always being productive that too often we get lost in it all.

I have been an indie author for over sixteen years now, and while I've had times when I've had the writing be put on the back burner for things like getting my degree or periods of ill health, striking that balance between work and life has taken me a lot of time to get right. The important thing to remember is that it can take a long time, you can finally find what works for you, and then everything changes and you have to start from scratch again.

Life is an ever-changing beast and sometimes it'll throw curveballs your way and you'll have no choice but to keep trying to catch them, keep trying to switch things around and find that new balance. Like, for example, when I started to really get organised and to write as much as I do every month, I would find a new balance and things would be ticking along fine, and then I'd get sick, and while I'd recover, it would take a while for me to be able to manage that same amount of work in a week or a month, if I ever did get back to that level.

One of the things that I've kept telling myself is that you gotta be prepared for the ups and downs of life, and of work. There are always going to be things popping up that change your priorities or have an ongoing effect on your time. That doesn't mean that you then take time away from the other side. The point isn't to keep working no matter what, it's to keep that balance going the way it should.

For example, in December 2020 I was in the midst of the professional edits for Lights Off, and then I got the call I'd been waiting for, that my tumour surgery had been scheduled. I wasn't sure exactly how much work I would manage since it would mean one hand being out of commission for a while, so I had to adjust, and part of that adjustment was putting the release back to June from May, so that I'd be able to take some time off to recover. It wasn't a loss to me, the tumour in question while benign had been plaguing me for years with pain and I needed to have to out to make sure that I would retain use of that hand.

Over the following months, as I got full use of my hand back, I was able to get through the edits and such and the release went off, but while doing that, I realised I needed a break from editing and releasing for a while and ended up pushing off the second release of the year until 2022. It's all about weighing up your choices, your stress levels, and all the rest and finding some way to make it all work for you.

Personally, making that decision to not publish a second book in 2021 was one of the better ones I made over the year. It allowed me to take a moment, to breathe, to take stock of what I wanted and how I wanted to do it, and to refocus my energy on what lay ahead. I feel like because of those kinds of decisions, I've managed to strike a pretty good work/life balance for a good few years now.

This isn't just about making time for self-care, though that should definitely be the case, but about making sure that whatever load you're carrying in your work life, that you have things to offset it when it comes to your personal life. I do my writing and admin work first thing in the morning, and from there, I'm able to have more time later in the day to take a load off and be able to take care of myself.

It is a very delicate balancing act because everyone's lives are different and while I would usually give tips on how to work this out, I don't think they apply here. You need to be the one weighing up what matters to you, whether that's on a daily, weekly, monthly and so on basis, or whether you do a lot of trial and error to see what works for you. The last thing you want to do is overload yourself in one area and struggle to keep things working in the other.

It may take time to get it right, but that's not a bad thing, it's better to take your time and really dig into what works for you, then to apply a fix that won't work in the long run. Only you can know yourself best and only you can decide what works for you. Good luck in getting there, you'll thank yourself for it!

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 7 January 2022

Review of Hades Sent by BY Simpson

Good vs Evil has never been this complicated.

Seventeen-year-old loner, Ireland Grace is a demon living in an angel's world. Born to a demon mother and angel father makes her a hybrid. She's the ultimate symbol of betrayal among her people. Rejected, Ireland yearns for the day she can prove herself. So, when Ireland is given an special assignment by the higher authority, she is eager to do whatever it takes to complete it. Even if that means becoming more like something she's always feared--her mother. 

Greve Kronos' specialty is making hybrids more like their demon counterparts. His next mission is to destroy Ireland's angelic side and mold her to become the tool her mother wants her to be. Greve is ruthless. He also has a past that is coming back to haunt him. And the more Greve unravels his past, the more he realizes his mission is the most dangerous one he's ever had to complete. If he fails, innocent lives will be lost and they both will die. But, if they can work together, they can save themselves and the ones they love. 

Both will have to learn what is important to succeed. And to do that, they just might have to forget who they are now to become who they are meant to be.  


My Review: 5 STARS

I adored this cover and the premise sounded intriguing, so I picked it up and devoured it in one sitting. Ireland was an amazing character, the world building and such that went into this making it a rich story to read. I loved reading about Greve and his journey through his mission. All the twists and turns left me guessing to the point where I was always hooked by the next bit. I adored this book and it’s a series I’ll be reading more of. Very much recommended to anyone who loves a good paranormal/urban fantasy 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.

Tuesday 4 January 2022



Tally knows she can't remember what happened to her, but she wasn't prepared for what the doctors would say...


 [ID: A purple blue background with the title BLACKOUT at the top and Out now in ebook and paperback just above it. The except reads:

“She could be suffering from amnesia,” one doctor said. Well done, mate, I’m no doctor and I could have told you that!
“Okay. Any ideas as to which type?” There are types of amnesia? I never knew that.
“Hysterical,” another doctor said. Did he think this was funny or something?
“And this means?”
“That the patient has suffered such a traumatic experience that brain has blocked the experience from her. It is viewed, by some, as a psychosomatic form of amnesia. She may or may not remember what happened to her after time.”
Huh? I’d prepared myself for rounds I’ve watched ER, but hysterical amnesia?! Psychosomatic? Are they saying I’m going mad?

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


Monday 3 January 2022

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Keep Your Lies


Last week I talked about five facts about The Lying Truth (found here) and this week we're gonna talk about my other current work in progress, Keep Your Lies, which is the second in the Sara Song trilogy. You can find five facts about the first book here. Keep Your Lies is young adult paranormal/mystery, though that may change as the series continues.

Sara is fifteen and newly developed her psychic abilities. She's a dual psychic in telekinesis and telepathy. After spending her teen years thinking she would be a gulfer, she's finally manage to get to Gatherweed, the prestigious school that allows psychics and non-psychics to learn together. While there, Sara has made few friends, and also realised there's something a little different about her abilities that the psychic service would love to exploit.

After what happened to her at the end of the first book, Sara is really struggling. She's got a problem that she's not sure anyone but the psychic service can fix. The last thing she wants to do is end up having to go to them for help, but she's also running out of time. Her severe asthma is playing up which means that if she doesn't find a way to solve her issues, and make it to the deadline, she might pay with her life.

Sara's extra ability is very attractive to the psychic service, but after hearing what they did to the other races, the way they shut them in camps and left them to rot, Sara doesn't want anything to do with them. She knows her options, but she's failing to get support from any of her teachers, or even her parents, who are pro the service. No one seems to care that it's not what she wants, she's seen what being a weapon can do, and she refuses to be that.

Sara joined the school late, and even though she's highly skilled in her abilities, there's still a lot she has to learn. When the truth was discovered, and the push to join the service began, Sara was thrust into training sessions that she's not sure she will ever be able to manage alongside school. While one of her teachers seems more understanding, the other is determined to help her manifest in that ability and get her up to speed, and it doesn't seem that they care about what it does to Sara physically and mentally.


While Avary has been her friend since they arrived at the school, Kyla is a new addition. Gone from being the stuck up girl who demanded everyone shun the pair of them, to an ally, someone who understands what Sara is up against and is willing to go the distance to help her achieve her goals, and stay safe doing so. Avary is quick to help wherever they can, and without the two of them, Sara doesn't think she'd survive.

There's a deadline approaching, a chance for Sara to make a decision and be safe from the service's grasp, only everything that could go wrong is going wrong, and now Sara has a choice to make. She can either give up and get the help she needs from the service, or she can fight through to the deadline, make her choice and hope that she survives to see it through to the end. Only time will tell.

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