Friday 31 March 2023

Review of A Court of Broken Dreams & Curses by Michelle Helen Fritz

Once upon a time lived a mistreated girl who had forgotten how to dream and wish upon the stars.

When her stepfather demanded that she marry, life seemed at its bleakest. That is until a Fairy Godmother appeared wielding her silver wand and whisking Briella away to embrace her destiny.

The Faerie King Ezekiel of the Spring Court and his kingdom are under a curse. The land is dying and madness overtakes the dark halls of his castle. Living in a nightmare, King Ezekiel must atone for his past misdeeds.

With the help of friends, Briella must discover the pieces needed to break the curse or be left with a monstrous king who will hold her heart captive forever.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb and cover intrigued me, and I settled into a world with magic, and love, and brightness and dark. I adored Briella, adored the King, and every new thing she learned about the Faerie world. The twists and turns through the plot kept me turning the pages and I ended up finishing the book in one sitting, and it still left me wanting more. This is an amazing series, and a beautiful twist at the end that just made it all the more delightful. Recommended to anyone who loves fantasy, magic, fairytales and true love!

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 28 March 2023


Jessie wants to make sure that Meera is okay, even if Meera isn't fond of Jessie...


[ID: A warm red  background with the title CRAMPING CHRONICLES: THE FIRST TWINGE at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“What?” Gray said, sounding confused. “What are you talking about?”
I opened my eyes. “I'm talking about fixing the pain. If I solve the root of it, the cause, then Meera never has to know, right? That way she won't be hurting and neither will I. It's a genius idea, Gray, trust you to come up with it.”
“I didn't come up with that!” he protested.
“Well, it's a genius idea anyway.”

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


Monday 27 March 2023

Getting Ready For Editing - The After Process


It's that time of year again where one of my projects heads off to the developmental editor and I start the editing train for the year. This year the project has been a while coming, and has been worked over and over for the past couple of years, so while I'm confident that it's as good as it can be, I'm also nervous that I've missed something huge and my editor will find it within the first few pages. I'm not a writer who does well in the professional edit. It's not something I've ever enjoyed, but nowadays I do find it all the more stressful. That said, there are some things I like to do to get myself into the right mindset for when it comes to starting editing, and I thought that I would share them with you in case they help!

I have, at this point, done so many drafts of my current project that I can't actually remember how many it's been. I know we're into double digits, especially when it comes to after betas and sensitivity readers and the like. That said, I always always like to have at least two final read throughs before the editing process begins. This is for a number of reasons, one being that you never know what you might catch after a break from the project. Another is that sometimes you spot things that have been pinging the back of your brain, but didn't realise until you read it through again, and a final one is it's a good way to put your mind at ease when it comes to whether or not the project is ready to be edited by a professional.

I will spend March and April going through my current project before it's due at the editors on May 1st. My plan is to tighten up the prose, make any notes that might be useful during the editing stages, and also just be sure that this is the right draft that I want to send off. I see nothing as being set in stone deadline wise until I actually send it off, and that helps with the anxiety levels for me at least.

I generally have an idea about what kind of shape I want the book to be in once it's gone through the editing process. Developmental edits are only the first step on that path, but I like to have some idea of what I'm expecting from my editor. Whether that's to just point out plot holes, or whether it's to help me work out what needs to be changed and such, it's really important to me to know this in advance so that I can prepare my editor for it. I'm lucky in that I work with a great team, and we all get along wonderfully, but I'll admit to having nerves at their reaction to the manuscript when they first dive into it.

Usually we have three months to work through the developmental edit so that we have time to make corrections, make changes and not have to work every hour possible. One of the reasons this book has been put off is because my dev editor is in school, and has had other, more important, deadlines to work towards. The last thing I want to be doing is adding to their already full plate, so when I'm sitting there working out what I want this project to be, I make sure that it's in as good a shape as I can make it so that should, hopefully, ease their burden as well.


This is usually the final step, because after all the read throughs and the planning and all of that, there is always going to be a lot of work put into the editing process. It will mean long days, lots of rewrites and working in stressful conditions. I, personally, have to go into it knowing that it will be a lot of hard work, and prepare myself for that. I don't think I've had an editing cycle with any editor in my time that hasn't been filled with said hard work and lots of ups and downs. It's just part of the process for me, and I need to be mentally ready for that.

So those are the ways in which I get ready for editing, and hopefully in a few months, I'll emerge with a better crafted book than I have now. Whatever stage you're at, I hope it's going well for you, and I hope you emerge victorious.

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 24 March 2023

Review of Other Doors Unclosed by Lindie Dagenhart

He thought he knew what rock bottom felt like...

With the closest thing he had to friend gone, and possible murder charges staring him in the face, Baen is royally screwed. Now the secret society that owns his family has come sniffing around offering him a possible out, but giving in to them could cost him more than just his freedom.

He has an actual murderer to track down and ensure justice is served, a difficult task when all eyes seem to be on him, with varying degrees of suspicion.

Complications arrive in the form of a stranger who seems to know far more than he's saying, and an undead creature leaving a swathe of destruction in it's wake.

Soon it seems Baen's will have to choice but to pick a side to put his trust in, a decision that could have grave consequences.


My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first book and when I saw that this one was out, I snapped it up. Dagenhart has created a unique world, with the end of the first book leading directly into the second, I was desperate to know what happened to Baen, to Eli, and to everyone else. The story pulls you in and keeps you there until the very last word. You are enthralled with how it all works, what it all means, and how it’s going to end. I adored the world, the characters and everything about this series. It’s one that I plan to finish to the very end. 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

Tuesday 21 March 2023


Lock knows she just has to keep moving forward...


[ID: A smokey grey background with the title LIGHTS ON at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

It wasn't the end, it wasn't even the middle. Our journey was stretched out ahead of us, and we had a long way to go, but we'd manage it together. Today we would rest, tomorrow we would move forward, and we'd keep moving forward no matter what.

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



Monday 20 March 2023

Spoonie Writer: Just Keep Writing


I've had this piece on my to-do list for a long while, and it seems apt that I come to write it on the weekend after I got over COVID. It's one of those things that, as a spoonie, has been there in the back of your mind for the past three years because you know, if you're vulnerable, that it could be a very bad thing for you. I was lucky in that I avoided it for so long, by the time I did catch it, there were treatments available and I managed to skate through the worst at home, though it was touch and go for a time. I don't tell you that for sympathy or for pity, but because it screwed up my delicate balance between writing, rest, and doing all the other things I like to get down in a monthly period.

Last month, I didn't hit my goal for chapters, and now I'm in that place where I want to try and push forward and finish the two current projects I'm working on this month, but I know that to do that, I would have to really push myself. It's then that I realise that even though I talk about rest and how it's important to do that, I'm not all that good at following my own advice. The idea that because I'm sick and disabled, and also work as an indie author, that I must therefore be as productive as possible, more so than my abled and healthy counterparts, doesn't sit well with me. It never has, but it's also not been something that I've needed to really examine all that closely before now.

I ended up needing a whole week off because of the plague, and with that went my chances of getting everything ticked off in my planner. I don't mind it as such, I did need the rest and downtime, and had I tried to write, it either would've been terrible, or it wouldn't have made any sense, or both to be honest. I think too often we, and I include myself in that, forget that as a spoonie, we're fighting several different fires on several different fronts while also trying to be the author or writer that we think we should be. And to be that author or writer, we need to achieve more and do more and become more than we're really able to do.

It's that catch-22, if we take longer to get things done, then will our readers/publishers stay loyal? If we have to cancel this release and then do it again later on down the line, will people think we're incapable of doing this? If we take less time, and do more, and overload ourselves, will people think we're not as sick as we say we are? Or will they write it off as how inspiring we are for managing that work load? It's hard to balance the author life and the spoonie life. It's hard to juggle the two and work out which works best for when and how and all of that. I can't promise that I have all the answers because I honestly don't, but I can tell you that getting so sick with plague did make me think, and have, a good look at how I managed my own time, and my own expectations.

I know that as a small fish indie author, I need to be publishing at least once a year (more if possible) to stay relevant to my readers. Now I don't have a huge following, I never really have, but I do have a core group that have happily shown up to signings, and cover reveals, and releases and the like, and have dutifully read and bought my books, and kept happily following them as they continue to come out. I also know that me personally can't always keep up with the more than once a year. I've had some problems with my editing team, I've had some issues with revising drafts and getting them ready in time. I know that I can choose to pull back and release later and later, but part of me doesn't want to do that, doesn't want to admit that I am not able to manage because that feels like admitting defeat, like letting my conditions 'win' or something like that that doesn't really make sense.

So here's what I've decided to do. I will write like usual, I won't overload myself. I won't push my body, which is already struggling, to do more than it is capable of, and I will keep writing. If these projects get done this month, great, if not, oh well, it's just one of those things. At the end of the day, the only person who truly knows what I am feeling, what I am capable of, is me, and the decision has to be mine as to how I go about doing things, as to how I continue on this path.

My advice to any spoonies having the same kind of crisis? Just keep writing, and let the chips fall where they may.

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 17 March 2023

Review of Harvest Day by Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine

Humans saved bees from extinction…
and created the deadliest threat we’ve seen yet
The loss of bees was heralded as the sixth wave of extinction. Economies crashed. Ecosystems collapsed. Wars were waged as countless starved. Luckily, humans were able to alter bees’ genetic code to deal with the hazards of pesticides and disease.

Inadvertently making their venom fatal to humans.

River grew up in the Green Zone, a haven for those who are Immune. Bees are free to fly, pollinating their prolific crops. Echo was raised in the Dead Zone where bees are exterminated so vulnerable humans like her can live. Stealing from the heavily guarded Green Zone is a necessary part of survival.

River and Echo are both in their seventeenth year. They’re both about to have their immunity tested. And they’re both about to have their futures forever altered.

Ultimately, they’re about to become part of the final fight for human survival. Are bees really the enemy they need to defeat? Or is mankind a far greater threat…
My Review:  5 STARS
I picked this up because I usually adore Sloan’s work, and was in the mood for a nice dystopian and boy was I right! From the first page, you’re thrown into a world where immunity means you either live like a king, or die in squalor. I adored Echo, and loved River too, the love story was perfectly pitched and as you went through all the hurdles with them, you’re hooked and desperate to know more. And that ending had me wanting to read book two, and I read this one on release day in one sitting. 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 March 2023

Tuesday 14 March 2023


Tara knows she needs to confide in Nate, but the implications are enormous...


[ID: A rocky waterfall background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - EIGHTH ENDING at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

I knew that telling Nate, while possible, would be too much of a risk.
If he even believed me, what happened when, not if, because I was pretty sure we weren’t going to stay together for ever, we broke up? What if he told someone, like Gareth? I had to protect myself and I wished I could tell him that my secrecy was me doing just as he wanted: keeping myself safe.
Did I want to tell him? Sure, there were times it would be nice to share that side of myself. I couldn’t risk it though, it wouldn’t end well and at best, he’d think I was lying or joking.
At worst? It didn’t bear thinking about.

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


Monday 13 March 2023

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Hard Work Pays


One thing you get told a lot when you're starting to publish, whether that's through the indie route or traditional, is that it will be hard work. I don't think anyone who goes through the query trenches, or through the editing process will ever doubt that because it's very much true. Whether you've had to query to get an agent, or if you're deciding to go it on your own and go indie, you're going to have to work hard to make it as an author, no matter what 'making it' mean to you.

It's not just a case of time and energy poured into writing that first draft, and then editing, and revising, and all that goes with it, but the cost to you personally. It can be monetary for those of us on the indie path, and it can be other things when it comes to the traditional path. You'll lose sleep, you'll spend hours upon hours going through things, and you may find that at the end of it, you're drained and unsure whether you want to continue on this author life.

I don't say this to depress you, or to discourage you, and of course, I can only talk about the indie path because that's the only one I've walked to completion. I say this because you should be aware that feeling like that? Feeling like it's all for nothing, or that you've given everything you have and don't know if you have any more? That is completely normal, and I guarantee that pretty much every author you've read, or known, or met, or whatever, has, at some point, felt that way too.

I have been publishing for a long while, over fifteen years, and I have to say that even though I'm very much a small fish, I do still feel that burn, that struggle, when it comes to bringing a book into the world. It's not an easy path to walk down, and I'd say that writing the book is in fact the easiest part. Telling yourself that story and getting it onto the page pales in comparison to revising, and editing, and going through the whole publication process. The anxiety you feel, the stress, the angst, the anguish when things go wrong (as they generally do) is completely normal. That doesn't make it easy to deal with though, and I get that on a deep level.

One thing that I have learned over the years, and that has stuck with me, is that it's all worth it in the end. Like I said, I'm very much a small fish when it comes to the world of publishing. I sell books, I get reviews, but I'm nowhere near a big name, and I'm pretty much okay with that. I can only imagine the amount of stress and pressure that must come from being a big name, and while the sales and such would be nice, I'm also happy to write my books for the readers that need them.

But my point is simply that, while on this hard road, you will learn to work out what works for you, how to reach those readers and how to make it so that your hard work pays off. While it can take a while for you to get into your groove, it's very much worth it. I've been writing my stories and publishing for a while, as I said, and I have never found it easy to publish. I have never found it a quick path that brings no stress, but that hard work pays off. That hard work is what brings the right readers to my work, and gives them the stories that they need to read.

So even when it feels like so much is going wrong, or feels like you're never going to get to the point where it's something you can brush off, remember that this path is a hard one, and it's completely normal to find it that way. Writing stories, writing books, publishing them, it's not a quick ride to riches and it's not a path that everyone can walk. Someone, years ago, once said to me that the world needs your stories, stories that only you can tell, and I have to agree that's the case. It's hard work yes, but it's rewarding work that is worth the hardship.

Keep writing, keep telling your stories, and know that there are readers out there who need them.

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 March 2023

Review of Things Not Seen by Monica Boothe

How do you protect someone you can't even see?

17-year-old Kristin has selective blindness. She can't see, hear, feel, or smell her brother. This doesn't stop them from becoming best friends, turning his unique invisibility into a game, but when the two of them are stranded alone during a blizzard, it doesn't feel like a game anymore. Kristin will do everything she can to keep her little brother alive, but she's the least qualified person in the world to do so.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the blurb sounded like something that I would enjoy. I ended up reading it in one sitting, finding myself tied to the pages and desperate to know what happened next. Kristen and Josh, their unique circumstances, their relationship and the way they adapted to interact was just delightful, keeping me hooked on the page as the tension grew. It was a quick read for me, but a delightful one. I adored seeing the brother and sister turn into a team despite the circumstances and it was a book 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

Thursday 9 March 2023

Life Of Joey & Bi-Monthly Goals - March 2023 [CC]

Letting you know what I got up to last month, as well as reviewing goals from January & February and setting new ones for March & April! #Authortube




Tuesday 7 March 2023


Lock has never had someone claim to be too young for the events...


[ID: A sea green background with the title LIGHTS OUT at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“Martha Connors?”
“Yes, that’s me, but you see there must be some mistake,” she said. “I mean, I’m only thirty-five, but I got the email and I didn’t want to ignore it in case I got in trouble.”
I paused for a moment. “Thirty-five?” I asked, grabbing her ID off the scanner before it could finish. I checked it over and sure enough, her date of birth matched with what she was saying. “When did you get the email?”

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


Monday 6 March 2023

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Petty Crime & Research


One thing that is always in the back of my mind when writing crime is how it's gonna look if I'm ever actually suspected of a crime. We've talked about search history, and that's well known, I think I could easily talk my way out of that. I have those contacts in the police that would, hopefully, vouch for my interest in crimes, especially grisly ones, but there's always the chance that I'd be suspected of something small, and the fact that I know so much about procedure and how it all works, the cops would dig deeper and think I was some criminal mastermind!

Of course I don't intend to commit any crimes any time soon, and I could just show them my books, and hope that they were happy with the depiction of their chosen career, but these are the things that your brain comes up with at 3am after six hours or sleep. You start to wonder, and worry, and then it all spirals down, if you're anything like me, to actual borderline panic. Ah, anxiety, how nice to have you join the party!

I have always been someone who was fascinated by crime. I don't know if that was the crime novels on tape that my mum would listen to on car journeys, or if it's just some part of me that likes the idea of knowing why people do certain things and watching the whole thing play out. Right now I'm in the midst of writing my first straight up crime/mystery for a long while. There are no paranormal elements, it's just a little touch of murder, and four teenagers trying to save one of their own after he's been wrongly accused. I'm loving every second of it, because it allows me to really dig deep into that part of myself that enjoys this kind of thing.

I know that might seem warped, but I promise you I am not the only one. After all, crime writers the world over feel the same way, and then there's all the true crime podcasts and shows, and all the many millions of people who enjoy watching them.

It seems that when things go wrong in our world, everyone, or almost everyone, wants to know the motive, the why behind it all. So it got me thinking about smaller crimes, like I've read a lot of things that talk about career criminals who start small, shoplifting or the like, and work their way up, and I just find that fascinating. I don't condone any kind of criminal act, and while it might seem like I romanticise them, I promise you that I'm pretty straight-laced about this kind of thing. It's not an urge to want to watch these things go wrong, but a keen sense of justice and escaping into a world where, usually, the bad guy is caught and everyone else can somewhat live happily ever after.

That's one of the reasons that I write the genres I do. I know that a lot of them are considered to be dark genres, and as a two-time attending author to the Darker Side Of Fiction, I'd agree that I'm very much a dark fiction writer. I've written lighter pieces, but I do find that I lean more that way. I don't know what that says about me, if anything, but I like to make sure that whatever I put my readers and characters through, there's some light at the end, some nod to the fact that the characters endured and are now out of the woods. Of course it's not always possible, but the intent is the same.

Crime is such a fascinating subject to me, but then again I would say that because I write crime novels, and I'm sure those who write historical feel the same about their chosen subject, and on with others as well. That's the point of choosing a genre and setting your story within it, that you will be delving deeper into the facets of that genre. I'll admit that a lot of my research over the years has made me even more curious about the inner workings of some of the people who commit both minor and major crimes, and I don't see that changing any time soon. It's just how I roll and I gotta be okay with that!

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 March 2023

Review of Over The Moon by SE Anderson

Ding Dong, the Technowitch is dead.

As an illegal clone of the murdered galactic princess, Dora's face would get her killed the minute she steps off her dull farming moon. She spends her days tinkering with gadgets and gears, with Tau, her kitchen-timer-bot, for company. But when forces close in and threaten her family, her escape attempt lands her deep in the Outer Zone — and on top of the Technowitch of Night, crushing her in the process.

Now a fugitive in two solar systems, Dora's only chance of survival is to find her way to the mysterious Technomage on his Emerald moon. In a place where science has advanced to be indistinguishable from magic, she must accept the help of an unlikely trio: a cryogenically-preserved girl with no memory, an obsolete theme park droid, and a bioengineered beast with a penchant for the dramatic.

As Dora realizes there's more to the princess's death than what the universe has been told, she must choose — save her family, or risk everything to right a centuries-old wrong.


My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve always loved Anderson’s work and when I saw this one up for pre-order, I knew I had to pick it up. I adored Dora, the world building, the characters that all came together and were so real they jumped off the page. The twists and turns through the story will keep you guessing and make you wonder what comes next, and every single time it’ll blow your mind. An amazing retelling of Wizard of Oz, and done in a way that is delightfully enjoyable. Very much recommended to all who love sci-fi and magic!

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