Friday 30 September 2022

Review of Onesies & Ouijaboards by Jamie Sands

Be careful what you wish for…

Arrow is fifteen, non-binary, and bored.

It’s one thing to read about magic, or watch ghost hunting shows. But Arrow yearns for something more. When they try out a prosperity spell from a magical library book, things start to go very very right.

Until they don’t.

Arrow’s good luck seems to be affecting a lot of the people around them. From A students suddenly failing quizzes to freak accidents, their good luck seems to be double-sided to say the least. Arrow’s best friend Ren knows not to mess with the unknown, but Arrow’s spell might just affect him all the same.

Arrow’s got to learn about how to wield their magic fast when the power they’ve drawn down proves to be beautiful, but dangerous as well.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because I loved the title and the sound of the blurb. I also loved the idea of a non-binary protagonist and was delighted to dive into it. I adored Arrow and their viewpoint on the world. I loved the little bits and pieces that came along as they found out more about their ability and the wins and losses of magic. The world building was great, the story was a quick read, but nevertheless an enjoyable one. Overall, a nice little introduction to Sands writing and they are an author to watch. 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 29 September 2022

Tuesday 27 September 2022


The last thing Jessie needs is a new trigger, but it seems she's got one already...



[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and coming November 15th 2022 just below the title. The except reads:

Craig registered my pain quickly. “You okay? You've gone really pale,” he whispered, not wanting to draw attention to either one of us.
“Just a headache,” I said with a thin smile.
I couldn't really think beyond the pain. While I’d gotten better at dealing with pain levels, this was all still pretty new to me. It was possibly just my own body being the useless thing that it was, and yet it felt similar to the way Mum's migraine had felt, as in not really mine at all.

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


Monday 26 September 2022

5 Facts About My Writing Routine


I liked giving you five facts about certain parts of my writing life, and thought that today I would give you five about my writing routine itself. I've been writing now for over twenty years, been publishing for over seventeen, and I've had so many different changes to my writing routine over the years that I couldn't tell you how many different variations there are. That said, I thought I would let you know the routine that's been working for me for the past few years or so.


I didn't always used to be a morning writer. I have, in the past, been a night owl, an afternoon writer, an evening writer and everything in between. It's something that I kinda fell into when it came to this part of my writing process. My sleep pattern was, and still is, all messed up, and I was waking without an alarm consistently before five in the morning. For a time, I would putter about and then go and work on my writing at the usual time, but after a while I realised that it would be worth trying to have a go at writing first thing in the morning, and lemme tell you, it worked and I haven't looked back since!

Again, I didn't always. Before I got my ipad about three years ago now, I only had a tablet that wouldn't really let me write consistently when it came to doing other things at the same time. When I splurged on the ipad, it opened up a whole load of possibilities. I've done laptops, and obviously written at my main computer, but after a time it became easier to just keep the work in one place and on one device, which happened to be the ipad. While I do, obviously, do some work on my main computer, like writing blog posts and the like, I just prefer to be able to pick up and write anywhere, and it's easier to take a tablet along to places than it is to bring a laptop and the like.

I've always been someone who needs a cup of tea while they write. I've never liked coffee and I'm also allergic to it in that it'll make me wheeze, so tea was the natural thing to gravitate towards. I will always always have at least one cup per writing session, and while I mostly stick to decaf these days, I make sure that I have one before I start to write otherwise I find it harder to concentrate on the words and the like. It's been something that has stayed the same throughout all my years of writing, and I don't see it changing any time soon.


I know a lot of writers who swear by playlists and all of that. They can't write in complete silence, and they need to be fully immersed with sound as well. I don't know if it's down to my auditory processing issues, or just that I've always found it hard to listen and type at the same time, but I've never been a writer who's been able to write while having anything, music or TV or anything, in the background. Even when I write with other people in the room, I can't carry on a conversation of any kind and still manage to get the words written, or at least words that make sense!

This might sound like a weird one, or maybe it's just something that every writer always has and kinda takes for granted. I have chronic pain issues, and I find that I have to be below a certain pain level to be able to effectively write. I also need to be somewhat comfortable, whether that's in bed, or in my wheelchair with the nice cushion, but if I'm hurting too much or struggling with comfort, then things just don't happen, and I find it harder and harder to get the words on the page.

So there we go, there are five facts about my writing routine, or at least how it looks right now. As I said, it changes, and fluctuates and all the rest, and I might do this again in a few years and see if any of these facts have switched around any, though I highly doubt the needing tea one ever will because I adore tea!

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 September 2022

Review of Beyond The Starlit Skies by Bethany Thompson

 Seventeen-year-old Zadie has lived on space stations her entire life, always fascinated by the stars outside her windows. When she graduates and lands her dream job – exploring the galaxy on a brand-new starship – she’s thrilled. Discovering never before seen planets? Awesome. What's the worst that could happen?

Oh, if she only knew.

For starters, she’s sent out to space with four hundred random strangers... plus the guy she's been crushing on for years. Talk about overwhelming. Now, lightyears away from everything she has ever known, Zadie must find the strength to navigate a new path and discover who she’s truly meant to be.

The farther Zadie travels from the world she once knew, though, the more perilous things become. Dangerous landscapes, unexpected alien creatures, and secret plots that threaten her very existence. What Zadie fails to realize when she signs up for her dream job? Space may be a perfect place for exploration, but it’s an even easier place for deception. This trek is going to be anything but simple, and if Zadie’s not careful? She might not make it home alive.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because it sounded like an amazing sci-fi and I was not disappointed in the slightest. I adored Zadie from the first meeting, and her way of telling her story had me pulled in and desperate to know more. The twists and turns along the way kept me turning the pages until finally I reached the end. I loved the romance, the intrigue and the thriller vibes from the plot itself. It was a dazzling read, and the imagery and world building were perfect. Overall, an amazing sci-fi and one that I would recommend to all!

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


Tuesday 20 September 2022


Jessie hasn't had the best luck with telling people about the twitch and what it means...



[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and coming November 15th 2022 just below the title. The except reads:

Craig and Roe knew I’d not managed to tell Meera, and both had kept silent on the subject while she was in earshot, but I knew where they both stood on it. Roe thought I should 'fess up before she found out some other way. Craig thought it was better to just start with the way I'd told him.
Of course when I'd told him, it had gone really badly. He'd said he believed me and then basically turned around and called me a liar.

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


Monday 19 September 2022

Learning How You Work - The Creative Process


I have been writing now for over twenty years, I have been publishing for over seventeen, and along the way I've found bits and pieces that have helped me get to the point where I'm at today. One thing that I wish I'd known all those years ago was how to find a way that worked for me faster. Don't get me wrong, it's not like there's an easy fix here, but I do wish that I'd had the resources that are now out there for newbie writers, back when I first started.

Of course, like I said, there's no easy fix, but learning how you, as a writer, personally work, can be a great tool in helping you stay on track and keep writing those words. It can be a game changer, as it was for me when I finally hit on the process I have now. For a quick recap, I write most days, and plan my time extensively. I track how many hours it takes me to do certain things, and I make sure that when I plan a new month, that's all taken into consideration.

Like right now, writing this piece, it's something that I do at the end of every month, the admin work of being an indie author, and plan accordingly. I write throughout the month, but the last few days are for me to record videos, to do vlog scripts for the upcoming month, as well as to write the blog scripts for that upcoming month as well. It's something that's really worked for me, and it allows me to then, somewhat, relax knowing that I have the content I need for that month, and can then put all my focus onto writing my chapters.

Now I know that not everyone is going to have that ability. I know how lucky I am to be able to call writing my full time job, even if it doesn't pay me full time. Other people have jobs, kids, other commitments that pull on their time, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people can't plan extensively because it's just not the way they work, and again, nothing wrong with that. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could plan and know how long things were going to take me. The tracking of my time has really only been the last two years or so, and even then, I haven't yet found a way to adequately track certain aspects of my work.

But if you are able to plan, it can be something that really helps you to learn how you personally, as a writer, work, and that can be a gold mine when it comes to finding out how to keep writing and keep moving forward towards your goals. So what are some of my tips for working all of that out? Glad you asked, because I'm gonna give you some here!

This is a question that I asked myself way back when I started to plan and started to really take the writing life seriously. I knew that for me, drafting was pretty much my favourite part of the process, but that drafting took me a long time to complete because I didn't really have much in the way of a writing routine. By breaking down what I could do to help that, I moved onto setting goals for my writing sessions. I wanted to write, at first, a page a day, and then slowly and surely, it moved up to a chapter which is where I've kept it for a number of years. I do that because I don't want to burn out, and I know that when I have pushed myself to write more than one chapter, I've ended up frayed at the edges when it came to creativity.

So if you know that you find a certain part of the process easier than others, hone in on what you can do, and why it works for you, or doesn't, as the case may be. Like I know that revision is something that takes a lot of energy and a lot of time, so I make sure to do it separately to drafting. I will set aside a day where that is the only writing work I plan to do, and it's made it easier for me to focus and hone in on how that works for me.

Now I know that not everyone can plan, and that's okay, if this isn't something you're able to do, then by all means skip it. However, if it's something you've not tried before, maybe give it a good try to find if that's the missing piece to help you work out your process for getting things done. Like I started with sticky notes on my computer, and then about three years ago, I moved into a paper planner and I've not looked back since. I make sure that I don't overload myself, and I know what needs to be done as well as when and how much and all the rest.

You don't have to go with a planner, you can just use the calendar app on your phone and the like. I do both in that I have a digital one on my ipad and my paper planner as well. There are a whole ton of different kinds of planners out there and I was lucky enough to land on the one I adored from the start, but that's where research comes into it. I knew I didn't want a dated planner because I liked being able to pick up and stop if need be without wasting it. That's just me, and for other writers they'll have a bullet journal or a completely different kind of planner. You gotta find what works for you and if, like me, you don't have a lot of spare funds, it might be that research is the best option here, or trying something digital before you move onto something physical.

If you do, then it might be that switching things around with what I've said above actually help you hone down on how you work and how to make that work for you. I didn't have a process really before I started doing the page a day, so for me it was a case of a lot of trial and error before I hit on the one thing that really helped me.

If you don't think you do, then my advice would be to try and see different ways of doing things. It can take a while, but really knowing how you personally work can be such a good thing when it comes to approaching this writing life. Take the time you need, do the research, and pick and choose things based on how they sound to you. It might be that it takes you a long time, but there is no time limit here, and you can takes as long as you need.

Overall, finding how your work can be a great tool in planning, and also working out how to juggling the writing and author life. I wish you all the best of luck with 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 16 September 2022

Review of Elemental Queen by Sean Fletcher

Her legacy will be forged in fire.

The trial through the Dying Lands is finished, but Riley’s real fight has just begun. Lukas, Onora, and the rest of the Conclave hunt her, barring her from the Dead City and her rightful throne.

The Outcasts are fractured.

A dangerous new rival threatens her friends.

And Jasper…if the blood oath doesn’t destroy him, he’ll be forced to kill Riley.

Most people would say everything is hopeless. She eats hopeless for breakfast.

With Onora summoning a deadly ancient being to wipe out anyone pitted against her, it’s up to Riley to stop it. For the Outcasts. For Jasper. For all paranormals.

Her ascent to the throne won’t be without terrible sacrifice.

But it’s time to claim her place as queen.

My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first two books in this series and was desperate to know what lay ahead next for Riley and the gang. I was hooked from the first page and was soon sweep along on the journey. I adored all the characters, they all seemed to be so well-written and fully formed, the twists and turns along the way made it hard to put the book down. That ending makes me think there might be more coming at some point, but otherwise an enjoyable, satisfying end to the trilogy. Fletcher has a way with words and characters that leave you desperate for more. Highly, highly recommended!

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

Tuesday 13 September 2022


Jessie knows she needs to tell Meera, but she's not sure how to start...



[ID: A dark blue background, with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE SECOND PANG at the top and coming November 15th 2022 just below the title. The except reads:

“What's on your mind?” she asked, turning to glance at me.
“Nothing,” I said, feeling my cheeks flush a little.
“You sure? I mean you looked like you have a big mental battle going on. You can talk to me, Jessie,” she said, putting her hand on my armrest and stopping my chair for a minute.
Great, now I was either going to have to actually, willingly, lie to her, or I was going to have to bite the bullet and open the dialogue.

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


Monday 12 September 2022

Writing Characters: Jessie & Marcus


As we approach the release of Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang, I thought that I would delve into writing some of the characters, as well as the dynamic between Jessie and her trigger, Marcus. Last week I talked about writing Jessie and Meera, which can be found here.

For those who don't know the story is a young adult urban fantasy series that deals with Jessie Oliver, who's fifteen, chronically ill, and a new empath. She has the ability to literally feel certain people's physical and mental pain. In the first book, she was getting used to having this ability and how it impacted her life, and in the second, Jessie is making roads into learning how to control it, or at least trying to.

So let's go into writing Marcus, who is the trigger in this book.


I always knew the arc of Marcus' character through this book. I knew things about him long before I sat down to write it, and I also knew that he would have ideas about what Jessie was before she even thought about disclosing things. Marcus is fifteen and in a whole world of hurt. An accident killed his family, and he's trying to work through that grief which has a bit of a personal impact on Jessie, but we'll get to that in a moment.

My editor said it best when she said that Marcus, as a character, does not like things. He's a delight to be around when he's doing okay, but he also has a hair trigger when it comes to certain things. He doesn't want to talk about the accident, understandably, and he doesn't want to even think about how to move past what happened to him, which is, again, understandable. He's in a world of hurt, and isolated and alone, he's really struggling to cope with everything, which is one of the reasons he reacts so badly when Jessie tries to help.

As a character, he was a lot of fun to write, a lot of fun to connect with, and a lot of fun to explore. His arc is so familiar to me, in some ways, and in others not so much, and while I will give trigger warnings for self harm and suicidal ideation, I also feel like his story needed to be told. As someone who had similar issues myself, it was a story that I wanted to do justice and also wanted to have out there for my readers.

One of the things that I didn't know going into the first draft was that there already was a connection between Jessie and Marcus that neither one of them was aware of. I won't go into detail here because I feel like it would spoil the book, but that connection really drives the dynamic between the two of them.

Jessie is getting to a point where she needs a tutor, she needs some kind of control over her ability and she doesn't have the first clue where to start. She is struggling with school, with her triggers and everything that goes with them, and while she wants, very much, to help Marcus, it's hard to balance all of that together. Marcus on the other hand doesn't want to be looked at or helped because of pity. He's clear in what he wants, he has his plan, and he'll stop at nothing to get it done, and that was something that I really wanted to make sure stayed obvious throughout their arc, and development.

Overall, I loved writing the two of them, and I adore the way this book has shaped up and has come together. Like I said, you can pre-order here, the book is coming November 15th 2022, and I hope you all enjoy it.

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 9 September 2022

Review of Removeable Life by Anne Sophie

How can she win, when she doesn't believe? 

Mara is back with the resistance, and she’s working through her returning memories, thanks to the reverse serum. After reliving her best and worst moments, she is put in a unique position to help others. As the only person who’s gotten the majority of her memories back, she can help guide others through the same process. Mara takes pride in creating a safe environment for those willing to suffer through the unpredictable procedure and relive their own memories.

Emily is conflicted about her position in the resistance. She has been the driving force behind both the reverse and anti-serums, but she knows her relationship with Mara is over, and she has to find a new reason to fight.

As the resistance prepares to launch their attack against the government, Mara splits her time between helping Sofia, Flynn, and the others with the battle plan and caring for her memory-recovery patients. Feeling like a fraud on both fronts, Mara questions her ability to help everyone. If she can’t focus on her tasks, the people depending on her will be let down in their most vulnerable moments, and forced to fend for themselves.

When the worst-case scenario happens and Emily’s loved ones are threatened, she wants nothing more than to get them to a safe place. She jumps head first into a mission to save them, but when unforeseen odds stack against her, Emily isn’t confident everyone will make it out alive.

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up after reading books one and two and desperate to know how the trilogy was going to end.  I adored the characters and the way they grew from start to finish. The dystopian world was fleshed out and made it clear that a lot of thought and work had gone into creating it. The book takes you through so many ups and downs and you can’t help but be hooked, turning to pages long after you should’ve gone to bed. A perfect ending to an amazing series and an author to keep an eye on. Anne Sophie is destined to big things. 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 8 September 2022

Tuesday 6 September 2022


Lock knows she's been luckier than most...


[ID: A dark forest background, with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and Out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“So you're an aunt?” Hanna asked as she put my tea on the small counter in front of me. “Why didn't you ever say?”
“It felt... it felt like I would be rubbing people's faces in it, y'know? I mean I'm disabled and had a job, I'm a second child. People here, they're barely surviving, and yet there was me in the next cityship with so much and yet I'm complaining? It just felt shitty to do.”

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


Monday 5 September 2022

Writing Characters: Jessie & Meera


I always try and do these pieces in the run up to release. I know that I did one on writing Jessie and Meera for the first book, Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge, which can be found here. However, since they both have a change in relationship when it comes to book two, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit them both. You can pre-order Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang here, it comes out on November 15th!

So, for those who don't know, the series revolves around Jessie, who's fifteen, chronically ill and disabled, and has also recently become an empath. She can literally feel certain people's physical and mental pain. She was thrown into the deep end in the first book, and the second is really no different. So what's it been like writing these characters with all the changes going on?

Let's start here because she's the main character, and one that I really do vibe with the most. Jessie is changing in this second book, she started off being newly disabled and struggling with everything going on with starting a new school, and having to make new friends. She has those friends now, and she even has a girlfriend, but she's still a little on edge with the empath ability. She knows some, thanks to a friend on the forum, but she doesn't really have a big grasp on what to do when she gets more triggers, and this book delivers a trigger in a massive way.

Writing Jessie has always been a delight. I feel like I empathise with her the most, because like me, she has M.E and Fibromylagia, though her symptoms differ from mine and are more severe in some ways. I love getting to bring her to life on the page and getting to see her shine through the words. She's struggling with a lot in the second book. She has to worry about telling Meera the truth about her empath ability, she has to deal with a complicated new trigger, and she still has to keep on top of the piles of homework that she can't focus on because of all the pain she's under. It a lot, and I just like the growth she goes through, and the way she comes out of the other side.


Meera is a complicated girl. She went through hell in the first book, and while she's very happily in love with Jessie, she knows there are secrets and she wants to know them all. Of course Jessie is holding back for all the, right in her mind, reasons, but it's hard for Meera to really understand that. I loved developing the relationship between these two and loved the way she's grown and changed over the course of both the first book, and the second.

Writing Meera was a tad harder than writing Jessie. I very much adore her as a character, but I always worry that I'm not quite getting her voice right. My editor tells me differently, but it's been nice to revise and bring the book to the point it is at now.

So there we go, that's what writing those characters has been like, if you have any questions, lemme know in the comments, and don't forget to pre-order Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang here!

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 September 2022

Review of Vampire Unleashed by Tamar Sloan & Ivy Lane

A vampire. A huntress. A cure that could change everything.
Vampires are real. If that’s not enough for Maddy to get her head around, then learning she’s a descendant of the famous Knights Templar, a secret order of vampire hunters, leaves her reeling. What’s more, they want her to join their ranks.

Caleb has a score to settle. Part of it’s personal, but the Order is also determined to kill every last one of his kind. When he learns of their new recruit, he knows he has to get close to Maddy, no matter what it takes.

Thrust together, the two discover deeply buried secrets and shocking truths. The Order isn’t everything it claims to be. The vampire Master has plans to cultivate humans as a food source. And everyone is searching for an ancient relic that could be the key to it all.

And yet Maddy has questions that desperately need answers. Whose side is Caleb really on? What does she do about the attraction that won’t go away? And why does she seem to have abilities no one else does…


My Review:  4.5 STARS

I picked this up having read Sloan before and knowing that I always adore her books. This was an enjoyable read, never really been into vampires in my teen years but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. I adored Maddy, and Caleb, loved seeing their stories entwined and evolve and adored the whole twists and turns as the story continued. I adore Sloan and Lane’s writing and the way they pull you into the story. My only qualm was that at times the plot felt like it could’ve done with a bit more exploration, but other than that, an amazing story and one I very much enjoyed. 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