Tuesday 28 February 2023


Tara's world is falling apart and she has no idea what to do...

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

[ID: A bright blue background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

I watched as she nodded a few times and then hung up.
“Is everything okay? Is something wrong at home?” I asked, my brain still not clicking that it was *my* phone.
“Tara, it’s your dad,” she said and I felt my heart jump up and lodge in my throat. As impossible as that sounds, I swear I could feel it pumping away just below my vocal cords. “There’s been an accident.”

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


Monday 27 February 2023

Publishing Lows - The Creative Process


Last week I talked about five publishing highs (which you can find here) and so I thought to give a balanced view, I would also give you some of the five lows when it comes to publishing. Again, as an indie author, and only one person, these are all going to be personal to me, and they might not match another authors experience, and that's completely okay.

One thing that I always knew when I first got published in 2005 was that publishing was hard, there were gonna be highs, there were gonna be okays and then there were gonna be lows, the days and scenarios where you just wonder if what you're doing is the right thing, and whether you might be better off in another position. Now, for me personally, I don't see myself ever stopping writing. I might take a break here and there, maybe step away from publishing for a bit, but I don't see myself ever getting to that low point of deciding that writing is no longer something I want to do. But that's just me, and if you've reached that point, you have to do what's right for you, and no one else should or can tell you otherwise.

So moving onto the lows of publishing? What things do I remember over my (almost) eighteen years as an indie author? What stuck in my mind as a massive low point? And how did I move on from it? The last I might not answer for every single one, but the option is there if I have something to add.

I talked about, in the highs, that one of mine was the first glowing review, so it only makes sense that I talk about the other end of the spectrum. I've had bad reviews in my time, I don't actually know of any author who hasn't. I think it's a bit of a rite of passage, that you've reached enough readers that they have thoughts and opinions on your work that might not be what you were hoping for. I remember my first bad review crushed me. I never responded to the reviewer, I never spoke to anyone about it. I just absorbed the blow and moved on. Of course these days I would do everything exactly the same, but I would tell my friends about it. It wouldn't be public because that is not a good look, but it would be something we'd talk about.

It can be soul-crushing to have poured your heart and soul into something, and then get slapped in the face with the knowledge that not everyone likes what you've written. I mean, it can be a good thing too. What turns off one reader, will draw in another. So in a glass half full kinda way, this is not going to destroy your career.


Now, if you know me, you know that I don't do well with deadlines and like to avoid them if at all possible. Of course it's not always possible, and for me a massive low was knowing that no matter how hard I worked, there just weren't enough hours in the day for me to pull off a last minute miracle. I was going to miss the deadline, and it was going to push back the release, and it was going to make me look terrible to my readers.

Back in those days, I was Kindle exclusive and they didn't yet have pre-order, but I still felt terrible. I'd let down my readers, they would drop me and never look back. It was the end of the freaking world. Of course, it wasn't. I extended the deadline, I dealt with the anxiety, and I got the book out about a month later than planned, and all was fine. It sold, readers loved it, and the sky did not fall, but it can very much feel like it will!

This is one that I'm wary about including because of course it is an honour to even be within the awards themselves. I don't want to come across as having a massive ego, because I do not and have never, thought that I'm 'owed' something because I happened to write a book or two. I just mean those private moments when the results are announced and your book didn't make the cut. Of course you're delighted for those who did, and you mean every word of your congratulations, but you're also nursing your own hurt, and keeping it off social media, about the fact that you weren't one of them. This has happened to me twice now, and even with the awards I have won, it still stings.

I've said this before, but I'll said it again, I have never had a release that hasn't had something, from the small and mundane to the large and catastrophic, go wrong. Sometimes it's my fault, other times it's something else, but this is always a low point for me, because, as I said in the second point, I don't want to let down my readers, and don't want to risk upsetting them and having them drop me as an author. I have never, since pre-orders were a thing on Amazon, missed that deadline, but I do know people who have, or who've had the wrong version of their book released on release day and it's stressful as anything!

I'm not someone who checks my sales religiously. I usually remember to do it once a fortnight or once a month. It really depends on what else is going on, but sometimes you'll check and there'll be a huge drop in the numbers, and that's when the panic starts. Did something go wrong? Is there a glitch? Or have you really made such a small number of sales? It's one of those things where I think checking daily is a hard habit to break. I used to do that when I first started and I'd go through that same cycle of panicking about why people, more people, weren't buying my books. I don't really have any advice here, other than to keep breathing and remember that slumps happen. It's okay!

So there we go, those are my five lows when it comes to publishing, do you have any? 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 24 February 2023

Review of First Kiss by Mocha Von Bee

Love or Music…
Which should they choose and what price will they have to pay?
When new guy, Tully, falls for sixteen-year-old Kit, he needs to find a way to win her over. Because, right now, she only has eyes for scorching hot lead-singer, Mac Whitehead, who's turning every head in town.
Neither believe a half-forgotten legend is true, but once a sleeping Celtic god awakes, it's too late to turn back, too late to refuse his offer…
Love or Music… Which will it be?


My Review:  4.5 STARS

I picked this up thinking that it sounded like an interesting read, and it very much was. My only qualm was that it felt like there could’ve been more to the story, but that said, I enjoyed it and was cheering along for Kit and Tully, getting to see how their stories entwined and whether or not they’d end up together. It was a quick read, finishing it all in one sitting, and will have to read the next in the series because I need to know how their story continues! Recommended for all who love a romance. 

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


Tuesday 21 February 2023


Hetti knows something isn't right about this case, but she's not sure what it is...

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

[ID: A dirty green background with the title WALK A MILE at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“Your eyewitness is mistaken. I did not drive my car today. Check the history on those glasses, that’ll tell you I was wearing them during the time this ‘incident’ happened. The law is clear, you do not wear WAM and operate heavy machinery of which a car definitely counts!”
She had a point there, but it wasn’t going to clear her, if nothing else it would make the case against her all the more damning.

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



Monday 20 February 2023

Publishing Highs - The Creative Process


I have been published for eighteen years this August, and over that time I have released twenty books, with my twenty-first hopefully coming this year. I thought that it would be nice to look back over some of the highs from publishing, and next week I'll talk about some of the lows as well, just to balance things out. For those who don't know, I am a young adult indie author that writes across many genres, and I have no plans to change any of that.

I've been thinking about how to structure this piece, because while I want to talk about publishing highs, of course they're only going to be the ones I've experienced. While I would love to talk about other people's, I don't wanna jump into their space and ask about it. I will try and relate back those highs and what they mean for publishing as a while, but just bear with me!

When I was twenty-three, my début book, BLACKOUT, was published. I can still remember the day when those author copies arrived and I was looking at and holding my very first copy of my very first book. I will say that every book since, I've had that same rush and that same feeling of accomplishment, and when I look over at my shelf that has all of my books, I can't help but feel proud of myself, and just in awe that this is my life. I love my job, and while it doesn't pay me enough to live off of, I do know that I'm very lucky in being able to do this for a living.

I'm talking about the first five star, though it doesn't have to be a five star to be a glowing review. I went indie when I first published, so I didn't have the reach, and still don't, that trad pub authors have. That said, I do remember my first glowing review. It was from a young girl who'd written to me and told me how much my book made her want to keep reading, made her find a love of stories again. I still have the letter, still have the review she left, even though it's been many years since then. The letter itself is in my release party album, and I go back to it from time to time just to remind myself why I keep writing the stories I'm writing.

Now for me, I always had the idea that I'd like to sell over 10K books, and I'm happy to say that I reached it many years ago, and I can't begin the describe the feeling that went along with that. This was early in my career, I think I have four books out and I was just over the moon. Now I've not kept track of many sales milestones since but I always remembered how it felt to hit that mark and know that you've reached all these readers and the like.


I've been lucky enough to win three awards and been short-listed for another. I can't begin to tell you all the emotions that went through me when I first got that initial award. I'd actually won two, for two different books, and it was beyond my wildest dreams to be finally able to call myself an award-winning author. It's not just awards, but that recognition that goes with it, and other accolades you can get when your writing and work are recognised as something to be celebrated. I remember getting the first email, and knowing I couldn't tell anyone because everyone in my life was fast asleep, and it was hell trying to sit on that and not blurt it out to the world!


I've been lucky enough to do four signings in person, and have my fifth coming up in July. I adore signings because you get to meet readers in person, chat with them, sign your books, and mostly just get to know them and what they love about your work. It can be the same when a reader will reach out to you in DM or on Twitter and the like, and let you know just what they felt reading your work, and how they connected to the characters and the plot and the like. It's another amazing feeling, and just, again, makes me remember how lucky I am to call this my job.

So there we go, those are five of my personal favourite highs when it comes to publishing. Do you have any? 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 17 February 2023

Review of Good Girl, Dead Girl by Emily Kazmierski

Everybody in Hacienda has heard the rumors about that night.

Small town darling Gracia Cuoco was murdered. The last person to see her alive? Valencia Lamb’s father--the town’s respected sheriff. Who disappeared after visiting the crime scene.

Six months later, Valencia can’t let it go. There has to be something crucial she’s missing.

Tired of waiting for the interim sheriff to crack the case, Valencia starts her own investigation. But the deeper in she gets, the murkier the waters. Someone in Hacienda doesn’t want Valencia to know what really happened, and they won’t hesitate to make her disappear, too.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because it gave me Veronica Mars vibes and I was not disappointed! I ended up reading it all in one sitting, and adored Val and all the characters. The story was engaging from the first page, and as it dived deeper and deeper into the events of six months ago, I couldn’t help but keep guessing to try and work out who the killer was and how it was all going to end. Kazmierski has a way of pulling you into the story and making you forget everything else because you’re desperate to know how it all comes together and how it’ll end. 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

Thursday 16 February 2023

Tuesday 14 February 2023


Tara doesn't know what she feels, but she's looking to find out...

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

[ID: A golden blurred light background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SIXTH CHANGE at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

I nodded and managed to find the will to move. I don’t know why I was so flustered. Yes, Nate was the first boy to kiss me, but it wasn’t like he’d asked me to marry him. I gave myself a mental shake and headed after Kaolin. Maybe she’d be able to help me disentangle the feelings I had.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, 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 13 February 2023

What It Means To Be A Writer - The Creative Process


This is something I've seen talked about a whole ton within the writing community. You've got those who are aspiring to be published one day, and those who are already published, whether indie or trad pub, and then there are those who just aspire to be seen as a writer. I'm not here to throw shade on anyone, but I thought that I would delve into the topic because of often I see people gatekeeping the idea of what being a writer means, and I am not here for any of that.

So let me be clear from the start where I stand: you are valid as a writer so long as you're writing. Now I don't mean that if you take a break, or hit a roadblock or your circumstances change that you're suddenly kicked out of the writing club. I simply mean that for me writing, and being a writer is pretty simple. It doesn't need to be complex, it doesn't need to be a checklist of forty-nine things you have to do to be considered valid, it's simply, you're writing, or in the process of writing, then congrats, you are a writer, you are valid and you belong here!

I will admit to have those same anxieties and worries myself. Like I'm someone who came to writing at nineteen, and while I'd always loved reading and telling stories, I didn't see it as my dream job. I knew what I wanted to be from the age of five, and I set my goals accordingly. Now disability and chronic illness soon skewered those plans and then I was left with the idea of what I wanted to do with my life, and that's when my love of writing became a possible career path.

Since then I've not really looked back, I've taken days to finish a draft, months to finish a draft, years to finish a draft, and let's not even go into how long it took me to début, and publish my second book. There are always going to be roadblocks that pop up for everyone. Of course some will be more impacted than others, but no one's path is always easy all the time. I became a published author at the age of twenty-three, but it really wasn't until my thirties that I started to bloom and shine when it came to both writing and the author life, and mine isn't an uncommon story.

But let's not digress onto another topic, that's something I'll talk about another week, this week I really do want the focus to be on what it means to be a writer. I mentioned a checklist above, and I still do find it hard to fathom that there are people wanting to gatekeep the writing community. I've never really worked out why, and what the harm is to allow these suspect writers into the community, but I'm sure the people involved have their reasons.

For me, it feels like the more people we have, the more welcoming we are, the more open our space, the more people who might be struggling will find their people as it were. I spent the first eleven or so years of my writing journey without other people to talk to, without a community around me. I don't say that to garner sympathy, but to point out that back then, things like Twitter and the like were either in their infancy or they just didn't exist. I don't want to have some writer, of any age, facing that same lonely stretch when they don't know what to do, or even if they're doing this right, to be turned away because of some idea that to be valid as a writer, you must do it this way or that way and that's just the rules.

At the age of forty-one, I gotta admit that my tolerance level for that kind of thing is very low. I'd blame getting into middle-age, but to be honest, it's always been like that. For me, being a writer, being seen as valid as one, is simple. It doesn't need a lot of thought and rigmarole put into it, you just welcome anyone who writes. Whether that's short stories, or novels, poems, or screenplays, and everything in between. There are so many parts of the writing process that are universal. Everyone edits, everyone revises, everyone has to deal with some form of rejection. So why fuss about how people approach it, and not just throw open the door and let everyone in? I don't think that's something that will ever make sense to me, and maybe that's a good thing.

So yes, to be a writer, you write. It doesn't matter what you write. It doesn't matter what genre or age category, whether it's fiction or fact. You are a writer, and you are valid, and there will always be room in my writing community for you.

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 10 February 2023

Review of Dreaming About The Boy Next Door by Sarah Sutton

Is being voted Most Likely To: Never Have Their First Kiss by the popular crowd at school the end of the world? Probably not, but I’m still not convinced.

Does it mean that I have to find someone to kiss to ditch myself of the label? No, but I do it anyway.

Is choosing my best friend’s twin brother as my first kiss the best choice? Ha, not in the slightest. But when he walks into his kitchen after midnight shirtless, inspiration strikes.

Even though it’s a bad, bad idea.

Because what is supposed to be a quick, three-second peck of awkwardness in the middle of their dark kitchen turns into however many seconds of pure bliss. I’m talking the kind of kiss in a rom-com that totally would’ve made me blush. The kind that makes your toes curl.

For my first kiss ever, Reed Manning isn’t holding back.

But now he makes it crystal clear: the kiss that was life-changing to me means nothing to him. He’s already got his next girl lined up on his own list of Brentwood High’s most eligible, and it’s not his little sister’s best friend.

Except that kiss totally messed with my brain chemistry, and I find myself thinking about Reed in ways I never have before. In ways my best friend would hate me for.

Even when I shouldn’t, I find myself dreaming about the boy next door.


My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve read all of Sutton’s books and so when I saw that this one was out, I had to have it. Ava and Reed had my attention from the first page, the characters are engaging and so very real. The love story woven perfectly through the story. I loved the conflict, the way everything made the story feel like it was something that could have happened in real life. Ava was adorable and I felt so deeply for her struggle, and then as the story went on, I got caught up in Reed and everything to do with him. An amazingly sweet love story and one that I would very much recommend. These books are most likely to steal your heart!

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 7 February 2023


Cat needs to be safe, even if that means lying to her parents about where she's been...

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

[ID: A gradient from light blue to purple background with the title IT'S NOT ALWAYS RAINBOWS at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“Where on earth have you been?” she asked, when I walked into the hall.
“I went to get tea from Starbucks,” I said. It wasn’t a lie, I just hadn’t told her why I’d gone.
“With who?” she said, raising an eyebrow. I guess she thought that she could make me tell her something I didn’t want her to know, but as it turned out, she was going to be disappointed.
“I went with Jayden and the guys,” I replied, resisting the urge to give her a smug look.
“Catherine, you were not with Jayden. I called her parents and they said she was home,” Mum said, using my full name to let me know how much trouble I was in.

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


Monday 6 February 2023

How I Outline For Revisions - The After Process


I am very much someone who barely plans when it comes to drafting. It's something that people think is strange in that I plan pretty much every other aspect of my life, but drafting not so much. That said, I am someone who outlines when it comes to revisions, which I've talked about before, but thought I would go into more detail of how I do this today.

Right now I am into the revisions of Cramping Chronicles: The Third Ache, and have only really in the last month, been able to put my outline together and work out what needs to be changed, what needs to be worked out, what plot holes need to be closed, and what plot beats and points need to be expanded upon. I started doing the revisions back in November, and will be doing them for a while yet. The book was one that I felt, and remembered, needed a lot of work, and while I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of things I actually got right, and threaded through the story, there are some beats that don't work and will either need to be expanded upon in book four, or cut altogether.

So how do I go about doing it? I'm going to break it down into steps for you, and expand on them as we go through each one. If this is something that you don't do, but want to learn more about, then stick around!


Now personally, when I finish drafting, I file the book away and don't think about it much, or at all, until it comes to the time for revision. This can be months, or it can be years, depending on the book itself. If it's part of a series, then obviously I'll be thinking back while writing the next book so that I can be sure of keeping things somewhat consistent through the whole series. To be honest though, a lot of the bigger points stick in my head anyway no matter how much I might try to forget about them.

So my first step has to be dusting it off, and sitting down, and reading through it from start to finish. I allow myself to fix formatting issues, and any typos, but I do not let myself do any re-writes. If I think something needs to be cut, I'll mark it in my notes, and in the document, but I won't actually do any cutting until I've read through it completely and have pages of notes to write up and organise.

This usually happens when I read through it again, make more notes and highlight specific parts that need to stay, and ones that need to be changed or rewritten or even cut completely. From there I will get it all organised in a word doc or the like, and move things around. It allows me to see the story as a whole, and also pinpoint exactly where those changes need to occur. Like if I know that a scene coming up is pivotal to the overarching plot, but there's some problems with it, I'll mark that one for a bigger change than say, a scene that doesn't have as much of an impact.

There are, of course, always scenes that I feel like need to be removed, and changed around and the like, and it's usually at this stage that I'll make those decisions, like whether or not it is going to be cut, or changed, or moved. I do this because when I get into the next step, I want to be working with as much of the whole story as possible.


This is the part when all the hard work really begins. I don't mean that the rest isn't hard, it very much is, but it's at this point that I'll start taking those highlighted parts, and my notes, and systematically going through from page one to make those changes. I'll deal with the bigger ones first because there's little point worrying about line edits when I need to rewrite whole swaths of text, but I'll go through, rewrite, make more notes, and make sure that it flows from one plot point to the next and so on.

This is the one that takes the most amount of time, and it's something where, occasionally, I've had to go back to step two and start again, redo the outline and remark everything because I've spotted a new plot problem or one of them has been too difficult to make it work right. Either way I stay on the final step until I'm absolutely happy with things.

When I get to betas and the like, I pretty much start again, going through, making an outline and making sure everything works. It's a long arduous process, but it's the way it should be.

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 3 February 2023

Review of The Lie That Binds by Amy Argent

I am a liar.

I lie to protect myself.

I lie because I’m terrified.

I lie to keep a secret that would destroy everything in my life if everyone knew.

Holly is the new girl at school and my unwilling lab partner. She hates me because I’m one of the popular guys—one of the bullies who terrorize the unfortunate and the unpopular. For me, it’s who I’ve had to become to keep anyone from getting too close—close enough to see right through me.

When Holly finds out my secret, I have to do whatever it takes to keep her quiet—even if it means telling the most damaging lie of all—the one I tell myself.


My Review: 4.5 STARS

I picked this up having read the blurb and decided that it sounded like a pretty thrilling read, and I wasn’t disappointed. Bad guy and good girl tropes are strong in this one I adored the dynamic between Holly and Nathan. I loved watching them fall in love and everything that went with it. Argent has a way of making the characters feel real, pulling you along for the journey and loving every second of it. The book was amazing from start to finish and the only reason I took a break from reading was to get some sleep. Overall, an amazing story and one that I think will appeal to most readers.

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