Tuesday 29 August 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Their worlds are about to change forever...

PRE-ORDER NOW: http://www.books2read.com/INVISIBLE01

PRE-ORDER SWAG:  https://forms.gle/Dna7gZbj8v7576TW8

[ID: A blue double helix background with the title INVISIBLE at the top and Coming November 14th 2023 just below the title. The except reads:

The day the world ended, no one saw it coming.
I say the world, but it was more our world. There’d been no whispers from the security force, no hints on the black net. They’re been no signs of what lay ahead, it was just a completely normal Monday. I was at school, just like any other week day.

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

 

 

Monday 28 August 2023

Publishing Checklist - The After Process

PUBLISHING CHECKLIST

As we approach the release of Invisible (pre-order here) I thought that it would be a good idea for me to run through what I use as a publishing checklist. There are so many different tasks that need to get done when it comes to publishing, and sometimes it's extremely easy to forget something and only remember it at the last moment which then leads to more stress and anxiety during a time when both are in abundance.

For those wondering, Invisible will be my 21st release, so I've done this a few times before! I also only write young adult, though I do so over a variety of genres, and while there will be some things here that might only matter with YA books, there are others that won't be on it for certain genres and the like because I just don't have the experience with them.

STEP ONE: PROFESSIONAL EDIT DONE

This seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be amazed by the amount of people who think that you can lightly, or heavily, edit your own work yourself and then it's all done. That's not how it works. You need a professional edit. It's costly yes, it takes time, yes, but you will thank yourself later down the line for doing it right.

STEP TWO: COVER DESIGNED (& REVEALED)

Now if you're just starting out and don't have much of a following, you might choose to not do a cover reveal, which is perfectly fine. But I do do them, so that's why it's included here. You also want to make sure that you have a professional cover. If you can do that yourself because you have the skills to pull it off, so be it. But if you can't, then hire someone. Again, it can be costly, but it is very much worth it.

STEP THREE: PROMOTION STARTED [COVER REVEAL, PRE-ORDER ANNOUNCED, SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, ETC]
I'm of the belief that you can never start doing this too early. I've been talking about Invisible for a very long time, months before I started the lead up to release. Now obviously, at some point, it kicks into high gear like it has for me now because the cover reveal and pre-order have been announced. I'm making sure to not overwhelm my audience but also let them know it's around and it's coming and all of that. How you go about doing this, is completely up to you and depends on your genre, your target audience and a whole bunch of other things.

STEP FOUR: FILES UPLOADED
Now I can only talk about indie because I've never done the trad pub route. If you are indie, you'll know that you can do an assest-less pre-order on most of the sites. Amazon and others will allow you to add your manuscript at a later date, and that is great because it means you can have your pre-order up before you finish the professional edit. The problem comes when you don't remember to actually upload it, or upload the wrong one. Amazon has a three day window before release when you can't make any changes, and if you've not uploaded something, they'll cancel it and ding you, and if you've uploaded the wrong one, your readers are in for a not nice surprise and you have a mess on your hands.

STEP FIVE: ARCS & OTHER LAST MINUTE THINGS
I always try to give my ARC readers at least a month to read through the book. Some authors do it differently, but for me that's always worked. It also allows for a longer ARC period and that can give you more of a chance to get readers interested. Obviously there are always going to be some who just don't follow through, and that's normal, but if you're happy to, nudge them around release day.

And that's it, that's my publishing checklist with a few bits and pieces that go along the way. I'll also make sure the paperback is up before release for two reasons. One I don't use Ingram and therefore can't do a paperback pre-order, and two, it allows ARC readers to leave their reviews before release day. Another reason is just that I can't make the paperback cover and interior until after I'm completely done with edits, and those usually occur closer to release day. It's just my way of doing things, and it might, and probably is, different for others!

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 25 August 2023

Review of The Perilous In-Between by Cortney Pearson

A dark secret. A town in peril. A handsome stranger. 

Between protecting her town from a vicious sea monster and keeping her overbearing mother off her back, Victoria has enough to deal with. She doesn't need the bewitching charm of dapper lords wooing and tricking her into marriage.

When a mysterious man shows up in Chuzzlewit, he throws her completely off course. Victoria experiences things with Graham she didn't know she could feel. His mesmerizing candor and brazen abandon make her crave him in ways she never anticipated.

But Graham isn't all he appears to be. He knows secrets about people, things he couldn't possibly know, including a secret about Victoria herself that she has yet to uncover.

And when he tells her what that is, being forced into wedlock is no longer her biggest problem.

Getting out of her town is.

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover and blurb sounded intriguing. I’m not usually one for fantasy or steampunk, but this book had me gripped from the first page and I was lost in the world that Pearson had created. I adored all of the characters, trying to second guess how things worked and where it was going kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. There were lots of twists I didn’t see coming, and I was delighted to find out that it’s the first in a series! This is one that I will come back to and enjoy very much. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. 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 22 August 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Jessie is finding it hard to concentrate, and her teacher's aren't the most understanding...

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

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

I tried again to focus on whatever Mr. Beacher was talking about. My head was thumping and my vision was hazy. If I had to guess, trigger guy had a migraine. I glanced over at the back of the class to watch him, but he didn't outwardly show any signs of pain.
“Are you okay, Ms. Oliver?” Mr. Beacher asked.
I turned back and saw that he'd approached my table. A quick look around told me he'd given a task to the other students and there was me sat there just staring at people.
“Just a headache, sir,” I croaked.
“Do you need to go to the nurse?” he asked.
“No, sir,” I said, shaking my head and wincing as it felt like my brain rattled around inside my skull.
“Then I'd appreciate you concentrating on your work,” he said, his tone a little gruff.

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, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday 21 August 2023

Summer Writing Fun - The Creative Process

SUMMER WRITING FUN

It's that time of year again when school's out, and the sun is, hopefully, shining. I used to love summers when Mx. K was at school, simply because they'd be the chance to do family things, but also hole up in a coffee shop while they were at a park or the like, and just bang out the words. Now that they're older, I kinda lose track of the school breaks, but I still embrace summer itself. It's a time when I like it to be warm, but not too warm because my lungs do not appreciate the heat.

I have found that summer can be a nice time to just curl up with the fan on, the windows open, and just immerse yourself in the season. To be fair, I feel the same about winter too, even though both of them can give me health issues with their extremes. When it comes to summer though, it's a time to just water those idea seeds and let the summer bring them into fruition.

The other thing I love about the warmer months is that since I'm usually awake early, I get to enjoy the sun more, and the light more. Usually I wake up between 2 and 5 am, and from there I'll get my work done. During the winter, the sun doesn't come up until way after I've gotten my work finished, while in the summer, it's a nice chance to work with light.

There's just something about getting to watch the sun rise while also plotting murder, writing about fights and regimes and getting those words out. It's a delightful experience for me because I have zero problems being an early morning writer. It's hard sometimes during the window months for me to find energy because I'm missing out on so much of the sunlight in my office.

So what are some things that I find fun writing wise through the summer? Glad you asked, because I'm going to break it down for you!

#1 WRITING OUTSIDE OF THE NORM

Now I know that this is something anyone can do during any month of the year, but I do like to, occasionally, set up while we're out doing something as a family. I don't just mean inside either. I mean taking a trip out and writing while watching Mx. K do this or that, or with B also working on something as well. Nowadays with Mx. K so grown up, they're likely to also be writing, so it's like a little family writing retreat which is always fun!

It's also a way to spark the creativity. If you're always looking at your writing in the same setting, sometimes it can be a tad monotonous, and getting out there, enjoying the sun, or even just the setting, can be a great way to boost your mood, and your productivity.

#2 DIFFERENT SOUNDS/SMELLS CAN STIMULATE THINGS
I like to write with the windows open. I can only have them open so much because we have cats that shouldn't be outside, and so it has to be escape proof! That said, I can still hear the sounds on the street, cars, people, sometimes music playing, and it can work as a great way to stimulate a different kind of scene or setting in your writing.

It can be a fun way to really experience things and feed them into your writing brain and see what comes from it. I've picked up dialogue, settings, and a whole number of other things from doing this!

Overall, I think if you can get out and about, then it's a really good idea to do so! Writing outside, writing in cafes, and the like, can be a great way to help your brain work through a plot issue, or just give you ideas about things that can happen in this world, or in your world.

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 18 August 2023

Review of Sideliners by Dana Claire

Two types of folks live in Pottsville, Texas. Those who have two jobs and those who have two houses. But no matter their address, Friday night football brings every soul in town together under the same stadium lights. Problem is, the have-nots always watch from the sidelines. Until now …

Four years ago, Reed Maddox made a deathbed promise to his mother before the cancer claimed her life: Take care of their family. To make good on his vow, Reed has agreed to a pact forcing him to abandon his dream of playing football—his one guaranteed ticket out of the trailer park. But when he throws a reckless pass from the sidelines, everything he’s tried to protect is threatened including his guarded heart.

To regain her title as cheer captain and unofficial crown as princess of Pottsville, knock-out Savannah Kensington is about to brush elbows with Reed Maddox and his hooligan friends. But Little Miss Perfect’s world has been upside down longer than anyone who’s seen her winning smile would realize. Still scarred by the death of her baby sister, she hides her feelings under the pretense of popularity. When the opportunity to reclaim her senior year involves a secret deal to help Reed, Savannah accepts.

When their two pacts collide, revealing Reed’s football talent and upending everything Savannah knows about her personal kingdom, Pottsville High implodes. The have-nots are invading, the painted white lines are blurring, and Savannah and Reed are locked together in the middle of a battle between circumstance and privilege. Can their new alliance unite the stands or will the ingrained hatred of a town divided tear apart their chance at happily ever after?
My Review:  5 STARS
Having read other Claire books, I was desperate to pick this one up and dive right in. I adored Reed, loved Savannah and loved watching the two of them fall for each other. The story was engaging from the first word to the last, with all the twists and turns and secrets that have to come out. The characters were so distinctive and real, and you just couldn’t help but cheer them on, hoping that happy ending would come around and make you cry happy tears. This was an amazing start to a series and I can’t wait to read the next one! 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 17 August 2023

Author Tag: 10 Writerly Questions About Me [CC]


Doing an author tag and answering ten writerly questions about me! #Authortube
 
 AUTHOR TAG QUESTIONS:

1. Where's your favorite place to write?
2. Coffee or tea?
3. Favorite book of all time?
4. NaNoWriMo: Yes or No?
5. Genre you would write if you had no restrictions?
6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
7. Favorite author?
8. What kind of music do you listen to when you write?
9. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
10. What do you do when you get writer's block?

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Tuesday 15 August 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Lana's gone up in the world since Lock left...

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

[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:

And the best thing was, it was her who'd be making that the case. She might not be there when the King made the announcement, but she would know. They might finally be starting to get ahead of the collective. This could be one of the moments where the tide turned, and they were able to stop the war before it started. And it would be Lana's name on it.
Suck on that, Lock.

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, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday 14 August 2023

18 Years As An Author

18 YEARS AS AN AUTHOR

By the time this gets published, I will have celebrated eighteen years since my debut, BLACKOUT, hit shelves. So much has changed in that time, and now I'm working my way towards my twenty-first book being published! (You can pre-order it here!) I didn't really ever think that I'd make it that far for many many reasons, more that it took me so long to write a book that I didn't think it would be possible for me to write ten, let alone twenty or more. As it stands right now I'll be finishing two projects this month which brings my total up past forty and closer to fifty. Mind blowing, right?

I didn't used to make a big deal out of my authorversary. I always thought that it was a small thing, and that I could acknowledge it privately, but nothing public, no big splash or the like. Now though, seeing how other authors, both indie and trad, celebrate, it made sense for me to not be ashamed to do the same. The way I see it this industry is hard and rough, and takes a whole lot out of you. Whether you're a indie author like me, or whether you're trad pub, or whether you're a hybrid over the two, you should be celebrating every win. The small, the medium, and the huge, and eighteen years, and twenty-odd books later? That, my friends, is a huge win!

One thing that has stuck with me through all of those years is just how much my writing has grown. I look back at that debut and wonder how it would sound and read if I were to write it now. I'm not going to. I'm a big believer in keeping what's out there the same as when I first published it. I don't mean correcting typos and the like, but changing the core of the story just feels like it's kinda cheating to me. I also don't want to change the essence of the story that I wrote as a nineteen year old, scared of all the changes in my life, and having had that story in the back of my mind for years.

Embracing my writing changed the course of my life. I know you've probably all heard this story before, so I'll try to keep it brief for those who haven't. I grew up knowing what I wanted to be, and it wasn't an author or a writer. I wanted to be a doctor. I honed all my choices so that they would lead in that direction, and I got the grades at GCSE level, and was into the A-levels when it soon became clear that I was not going to make it.

My health had always been fragile, but it took a big hit during college, and I ended up leaving before finishing my first year and going into the working world. Okay, course correction, I can still find a job I'm passionate about, right? Only my body had another plan in mind. Not a year into what was a job I adored and excelled at, I got sicker, and took an extended period of months off. That lead to my diagnosis of M.E and Fibromyalgia and I was then retired on medical grounds at the age of nineteen.

I won't go into the mental health side of things, but truth is, picking up the pen and writing those stories, they very much saved me. I didn't have a routine. I didn't have plans beyond maybe getting traditionally published, (which was pretty much the only option back then as I am old and this was 2001) it didn't work out that way, as you've probably gathered.

My point is that writing became this escape for me when everything else was going wrong in my life. When I was struggling with frequent hospital admissions and then stabilising for a bit and then back to the hospital. Writing was very much something I could do, and those talks of being published that I'd had back when I was thirteen suddenly felt like they needed to happen. Writing was a way of pouring my soul into my characters and my worlds, and it's not something I have ever regretted doing.

By the time 2005 came, and I was actually published, it seemed to be a given that I would keep writing, and I have. Since then I've gotten the writing routine, I've gotten the backlist. I know what I'm doing over the next five or so years writing wise, and I have never been happier with my career. Could there be some things changing that would help? Yes, very much so, but truth is, I write and I publish because it's part of who I am, and that's never going to stop being true.

So happy 18 years to me! Blackout can now legally vote!

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 11 August 2023

Review of Sinking Sands by Monica Boothe

This treasure will be her undoing. So be it. She’s willing to give up everything to find it.

The infamous pirate Captain Will Sands is dead, leaving his 17-year-old daughter Charlie the only person alive who knows about the secret treasure he spent his life hunting. Charlie must not only retake her father’s ship but complete his quest to find the mysterious treasure. But with Will Sands’ death, the trail to the treasure has gone cold. The defiant but roguishly handsome young sailor Charlie holds captive just might have the answers she needs…if only she can get him to talk.

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover and blurb called to me. I adored Charlie and the setting from the first page and was then hooked and desperate to know more. Boothe has a way of drawing you into the story and making it so that you never want to leave. The many twists and turns along the way kept me guessing, and the hints of something more when it came to the treasure just left you dying to know more. I loved this, and will be reading the rest of the series ASAP. Very much recommended for all who love pirates, treasure and finding your own way.

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 8 August 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Jessie may be new, but she's still making friends...

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

[ID: A checked 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:

“Rowena,” she said, with a small smile. She spoke quietly still, and that made me think she wasn't usually someone who approached a stranger. “Where do you want the table?”
“Along the back row would be awesome, thanks,” I said.
She moved the table with ease, making sure to line it up with the others. “That okay?” she asked, stepping back.
“That's perfect, thanks.”

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, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday 7 August 2023

Publishing Regrets - The Creative Process

PUBLISHING REGRETS

I will have been published for 18 years on the 10th August. I'll talk about that more next week, but this week I wanted to talk about something that I feel not a lot of people do, and that's the regrets that come with publishing. I feel like a lot of the time, there's all the positivity and none of the lows that come with it. There can be negatives to publishing, and while I've talked about them before (found here) I really wanted to focus solely on those things that I regret about publishing the books I have.

It's one thing to make mistakes, of which I have made several, but another thing to look at the publishing path you took and think that if you could go back and do things differently, you would, in any number of ways. For me personally, I adore my d├ębut, but I wish that I'd waited to first publish until places like KDP were a thing. When I first looked into publishing, having queried as best I could in the days before places like Twitter and the like, I was in a very dark place. I was very sick, and the one thing I could think about was that I didn't want to die and leave all my stories behind. I wanted to be published even if it was just the one book, and even if I would have to go through a vanity press to do it.

Oh I told you I made mistakes, and that was a huge one. It's one that I made with the best of intentions, but do I wish I could take it back? Oh yes. It wasn't even that I, necessarily, had a bad experience with that publisher, it was just that I feel like a lot of the time, because I published through them, it kinda tainted how I saw myself as an author. It tainted how much I talked about my book, how much I promoted myself, because while it was the only way someone like me was going to get published while as sick as I was, it was a mistake to do it through them.

I know that I'm looking back with hindsight and obviously, I am still alive, but for a long time then I didn't think I'd see thirty, let along forty! I had people who tried to talk to me about my choice, and I had people who tried to steer me away from it, but in all honesty, I don't think it would've made a difference. I was set on my path and nothing was going to stop me, but I feel like it was something that has continued to alter my view of my start as an author, even after all this time.

While we're looking back to that time, I'll be honest and say that another thing I really regret is not pushing more when KDP and the like came out. I saw some success in the start, but because I made some newbie mistakes (bad covers, and formatting) I didn't really think about pushing those books, or getting the new covers sooner. If I'd done that I might no longer be the small fish that I am. I also wish I'd been more careful about promotion, and the choices I made. I wish I'd done more research into publishing itself, and what I could do to make the path all the more smoother for myself.

I could have done a lot differently, and while it's not something I can change now, it is something I think about when I see new writers and authors starting down their paths. Sometimes I see them make choices, and I want to be there to offer them some guidance, and I try to do so, but other times there's nothing to be done but to learn from our own mistakes, and think about our own regrets and keep moving forward, knowing that we can't change the past, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from it. I do these pieces in the hope that others can learn from mine.

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 4 August 2023

Review of Race To The Finish Line by Aisha Yusuf

Aaleyah Ahmed had her senior year planned out. She would focus on diplomas, apply to universities, graduate, and take a road trip around Canada with her best friends. What was not a part of her plan was moving to a small town in America she’s never heard of because of her dad’s job. What she wasn’t prepared for was discovering the town’s dark history that threatens the safety of her and her family. Aaleyah and her friends vow to uncover the truth. However, they discover more than they bargained for. They realize they might be in over their heads, but they’re in too deep to stop. One thing is for sure; everyone is hiding something.

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because of the cover and the blurb. The story had me hooked from the first page and I ended up finishing it in one sitting just desperate to know how it was all going to end and come together. Yusuf is an amazing storyteller, and even though the subject matter was dark, I couldn’t help but love Aaleyah, and her friends, going through the mystery with them and trying to work out all the twists and turns as they happened. I adored this book and it opened my eyes to things I’d not realised before. 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 1 August 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Lock is in more danger than she realises...

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

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

Standing in the thick of overgrown plants and bushes, I felt the bite before I joined the dots, and saw the movement at my feet.
“Shit!” I cried as the snake brushed past my ankle..
Clara must've felt it too, because she jumped back and away from me, turning around just as I fell forward. I saw her reach out to catch me, but I don't know if she did.
Everything just went black.

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