Friday 31 May 2024

Review of Drawing Red by Adara Spence

Progress doesn't sleep and neither does a vampire!

Facing homelessness, artist Lucy takes a job with global household brand Cross-Key & Co, entering a world where art meets the supernatural. One week in, her charge Oda (a naïve tree spirit inhabiting a notebook), goes missing, along with company supplies. If not recovered she could lose her job, home, and wolfishly handsome wheelchair using flat mate.

Lucy races to recover them, in a journey leading her through mirror-portals and uncovering secrets of cosmic proportions. Paranormal and intergalactic peace is on the line.

Amidst tangled relationships, chasing down an escaped vampire convict, and a web of family and inter-species politics, Lucy discovers her own her voice. But when the time comes to speak, will she be Little Red Riding Hood or the Red Queen?


My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve followed Spence for a while and so when I got the chance to read her debut novel, I had to take it. A delightful mix of the paranormal and sci-fi I was hooked from the first page. I ended up having to stop reading only because sleep isn’t optional, but I was drawn into the world. I loved Lucy and Will and all the many twists and turns throughout the story. The world was expertly crafted and leaves you desperate for more. I’m hoping this isn’t the only book to come out in this series because that ending left me desperate to know what happens next! I adored it, and as someone who’s not usually drawn to vampires, that means a lot. 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

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Joey Paul in Books

J - Blackout (YA, thriller)

O - Dying Thoughts - First Touch (YA, paranormal/mystery) [8 book series, complete]

E - Destination: Unknown (YA, paranormal/mystery)

Y - Lynne & Hope (YA, crime/mystery)

P - Walk A Mile (YA, sci-fi/crime)

A - Lights Out (YA, dystopian) [Trilogy, complete]

U - Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge (YA, urban fantasy) [5 book series, ongoing]

L - Invisible (YA, dystopian) [4 book series, ongoing]

Joey has 21 books released, so not all are pictured. Check out her books page for more info!

Tuesday 28 May 2024


Harriet is working against a clock...


[ID: A light brown background with the title DESTINATION: UNKNOWN at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just above the title The except reads:

“How long has it been?” I asked, remembering that the time between her visit to me and my first visit had been a week for her and only a day for me. I was wondering if it had been another week since I’d been here.
“Four days,” Dorothy said, understanding what I meant immediately. “Time is getting short and I prayed that the Lord would return you to me to save my father.”

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


Monday 27 May 2024

Writing Around Your Life - The Creative Process


Last week I talked about plans changing (found here) and this week I thought that I would touch a little on how you go about writing around your life. Full disclaimer here, I write full time. It is my one and only job. It doesn't pay full time, but it's the only thing I do for a living. I realise that puts me in a very privileged position and so when it comes to things said here, or anywhere by me, take that knowing that I know that my life is very much different to people raising kids with jobs and other commitments that they have to meet.

With that out of the way, let's get into the piece itself. I started writing properly when I was 19 and had been retired from working life because of my chronic conditions and disabilities. It was daunting to be faced with the prospect of never being able to work a conventional job. I did not like that. I did not like the idea of having nothing ahead of me but time to do, what I felt, was very much nothing. I'm 42 now, and while I now know that my job before being published and writing was keeping on top of my health conditions and the numerous hospital stays and such they bring, I didn't back then.

At 42, I have almost 22 books published, about 48 finished drafts, 26 of them waiting to be published, and I pretty much only write as my job. That said, I did have to juggle writing while doing my degree, while co-parenting a child, and trying to find the time, the energy, and the ability to write while being chronically ill and disabled. So I don't come from a place of having never had to juggle things.

When Mx. K was a baby, they would go off to a friend's place for the night and I would only have that day in the week to write. So I was writing as much as I could, but of course my physical conditions, and the mental health issues, made that not sustainable or healthy. When Mx. K got older, I would go to the same friend's house once a week and do the same there that I did at home. Write as much as I could, and then plan to do it again next week. That was the way I got books written, and obviously, they're now an adult, but we still have parent things to do, and so they do have an impact on my time spent working.

So how do you juggle writing around an exceptionally busy life? If you've got a day job, and kids, or family, or anything else like that, then how do you find that time to write? If you, like me, are chronically ill and/or disabled, then how do you find the spoons and time to get your writing done for the day when you also have a lot of medical appointments to get to, and time to spend doing other needful things in your life. I'm not going to be able to wave a magic wand and give you all the answers you're looking for, but I can give you some tips of how I made it, somewhat, work for me, and still do make it, somewhat, work for me. Just remember that everyone is different and if these don't work for you, that's not you doing it wrong. It's just not the right way for you, and that's valid.


You don't have to write massive amounts for you to be valid as a writer. You don't have to write out huge chunks at a time for it to be worth it. Every book will take you as long as it takes, and that's okay. So even if you can only commit to fifteen minutes once a day or week, that's still something. It still counts, and it's still something that you can do to move that writing forward.

I see a lot of people talking about getting up an hour earlier, or going to be an hour later, whatever works for them, and it's true that you can do that if you're able, but it's also true that not everyone is capable of doing that and all they can find is five minutes, fifteen minutes in any given day to put to writing. And that is still valid. Carving out that time matters.

I know what it's like to have only a small amount of time to write, and then something happens and you feel like you need to give up that writing time to deal with the thing. Okay, that happens from time to time, but if it keeps happening you have a few options. One, if it's the same issue every time, then think about carving out a different time for your writing. Two, if it's people interrupting you for things that can wait, make it clear that this block of time is your writing time, and it is sacred. Emergencies are one thing, anything else is not.

It might seem rude to deny people access to you during that time, but it's really not. It's about you needing that time to work on something, and if they can't respect that, bar those emergencies, then you do have to get tough about it, as much as possible anyway.


I know that sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the idea that everyone has to write super fast and produce book after book in a very short space of time or else they're not valid or their work will never succeed. That's not true. I didn't start out as a fast writer. It used to take me literal years to finish a project, and even from there, even when I started writing two books at once, it was two years, at least, before I reached the end.

There is no race. There is no sprint going on where if you don't reach the finish line by a certain date you will not ever be published or publish. It really does take as long as it takes, and that's okay. Everyone writes at their own pace, and no one can or should be telling you otherwise.

So those are my three things to think about when writing around your life. Everyone has a different experience when it comes to life commitments and the like, and how you choose to do your writing is up to you. Take your time, and take care of yourself. The world needs your story.

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 May 2024

Review of Howl by HG Lynch

Having left the pack behind, Tilly and Spencer, along with Desmond and his boyfriend, must seek new territory and a new home. 
With Halloween fast approaching, the certainty that Arakael would return on the night that the veil between worlds is thinnest looms in all of their minds.
 Tilly struggles with her new lycanthropy, and discovers more about herself and her family than she ever wanted to know.
 With secrets being revealed and relationships tested, they're going to have to come together to survive their biggest battle yet.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up and dove into it the moment I finished book two. Werewolf books are not usually my thing, but this series had me hooked from the first book and first word to the very last. I adored Tilly, Spencer and the others and I loved the way the story twisted and turned throughout all the adventures, danger and intrigue facing the characters. Lynch’s world is vibrant and real and you can’t help but sit on the edge of your seat and hope for a happy ending. Those final scenes almost killed me, but I adored the ending and it’s a series that I very much recommend!

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 May 2024


Tara's mistake might have cost Kaolin her life


[ID: A dark brown background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FOURTH WEEK at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just above the title The except reads:

I couldn’t believe how stupid I had been. I’d thought only of the small picture – checking she was alive – and not the larger one of getting her home that way. If it turned out that I’d damaged the case and Kaolin was hurt or worse, then I was never going to forgive myself.

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


Monday 20 May 2024

When Plans Change - The Creative Process


It always seems to amuse people that when it comes to actually writing projects I'm not much of a planner, and yet when it comes to my life? Oh I plan all that I can. I've always been someone who was organised. I might not have had the spoons or the tools to make my plans the way I wanted, but for many many years I've had a to-do list, and I live for ticking things off and knowing that they're done.

This doesn't apply to drafting, it does to revision and editing, but that's a piece for another day. My point today is that sometimes, no matter how carefully we have planned either writing, or editing, or life itself, things happen and those plans have to change and it sucks, because if you're someone like me, the thought of all those carefully laid plans falling apart, it causes massive anxiety.

But part of being human is that we have to adapt to change. We have to make sure that when said plans fall apart, we're able to pick ourselves up, dust off, and get back on the horse. There is nothing in this world that you can plan one hundred percent and have it all go to the script. It just doesn't work like that.

When editing a book, you may find that actually there's a huge rewrite that you didn't foresee coming. When taking on some kind of writing challenge, you may discover that the time you allotted yourself isn't enough. When making plans to release a book, you may find that something goes wrong, and you have to scramble to keep on track. Plans change. It's normal. It happens to us all, but that doesn't make it easy to cope with, like the aforementioned anxiety.

Everyone reacts to change differently and it's all valid. I have friends who can adapt and roll without any issues because they're used to doing that. I know people who find it paralysing to have to think of how to work things now that it's not possible to do it the way they originally thought. That's the point, everyone is different and everyone has their own way of coping with things.

But what does that mean for writers? I'm not necessarily talking about just outlining or the like. I mean things like the book releases that don't go to plan, or the revisions that are taking longer than thought and mean that deadlines aren't going to be met. I thought that today I would give you some of the things I do when plans change unexpectedly and if they work for you, great, if they don't, then I hope you're able to find a way that does.

I think a lot of the time, these changes happen so suddenly, and sometimes in a cascade that the initial reaction is to panic. I've been pretty lucky in not having a massive change like that happen too often, but even when it does, while panic and anxiety is generally my first response, I also remind myself to have a moment to breathe. To pause. To allow myself to just step back and really think about what this change is going to mean to my ongoing plans. You'd be surprised at how much that can help sometimes.


I'm very lucky to have a good group of close friends. Some of who are also authors, some of which are not. I know that I can rock up to their DMs and just let it all out and then they'll listen to me and we'll discuss ways to either adapt, or to fix things until we have a clearer path moving forward. Sometimes all you need is just to vent, let it all come out, and then you will see the answer, but it's good to have that support while doing so.

We all know that we have to adapt. We know that we have to move things around and find a way that will work, and all of that takes time to do. We also know that part of the human condition is being able to adapt quickly. For some it's quicker than others, but the option is there. If after taking that moment to breathe, and talking it through with your friends, you find a way to save the situation, by pivoting, or changing this or that, then keep moving forward. Sometimes it's not possible though.

I know that for some situations, it's just not possible to immediately pivot and find a solution. Sometimes there aren't solutions that you can easily use and that sucks yes, but it also doesn't give you a way forward. In those cases then I think taking that step back and taking another look at this new situation can really help you come up with a better plan. It might mean changing deadlines. It might mean doing things like pulling a release, which I did a few years ago, but whatever the outcome, you can make it work for you. It just takes time.

So with those, I give you my tips, and hope that all your plans go as smoothly as they can, and if they don't, that you're able to find the new way forward.

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 May 2024

Review of Prophecy Untold by Kelly Carrero

Finding out my mother was taken by the demons was both devastating and the best news I’d ever gotten. She’s still alive—and I’m going to get her back.

The only problem is I need someone on the inside, someone I can trust. Someone who just might get us all killed. Then there’s the fact that I’ll need the other descendants to gain the upper hand that will enable us to destroy the demons once and for all, casting them back into the Shadow Realms.

Help will come from the most unlikely of places, and as hard as it is for me to trust, that is exactly what I must do.

Because it's not just our lives at stake. It's also my mother’s and every other human’s on the planet. If we screw up, the demons will take over our world, and I’m not sure we’ll get another chance to stop them.

Luckily, I'm not easily rattled. I’m a descendant of the original Huntress, born to defy, destroy, and protect, and I will do whatever it takes to see this through to the end.

I just pray everyone will survive to see us succeed.
My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first two books in this series and was dying to read the thrilling conclusion. I should start this review by saying that I’m, usually, not someone who enjoys vampire stories, but after the first book hooked me in, I had to know what happened next. I adored Kali and everyone else. The romance element just made it all the more sweet and perfect. The many twists and turns this series takes you down are amazingly crafted and allow you to get lost in Carrero’s world. This was a series that had me hooked on turning the pages and getting to the 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 14 May 2024


Zack can understand why Angelina told the lies she did...


[ID: A teal background with the title WAITING ON YOU at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just below the excerpt The except reads:

Artist44: I can’t speak for the rest of the group because although they’re my friends, I don’t know them in real life so don’t know how they’d react to finding out you lied, but as for me? I don’t care.
AngelAnge: You don’t care?
Artist44: Nope, when I found that journal entry all I cared about was making sure you were okay and that was it. I figured that you had a reason for lying to us all and I wanted to know what it was so that I could help – in anyway I could – make your life better. If that just means giving you a place where you can come to talk to someone who *doesn’t* think you’re a loser, then so be it. I like you Ange, whether you’re the most popular girl in school or not. So yeah, we can still be friends, in fact I’d be pretty disappointed to come in here and not see your nick in the chat list. I enjoy talking with you, so as long as you’re able to still come in, then I don’t have a problem with it.

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


Monday 13 May 2024

Knowing How To Approach Editing - The After Process


As someone who has edited a number of books, and has worked with a handful of editors, I thought that I would talk to day about how to approach editing. Of course this will all depend on your editor, their style of doing things, and you as a writer, but there are some common themes when it comes to editing that translate from editor to editor.

Personally I've worked with both editors who go through the manuscript with me, leave comments, and then I make changes along with them so that we're both sure that I'm on the right path. I've also worked with editors who give edit letters, some for the whole document at once, others, like my current editor Robert, one every quarter, and I've known of editors who do it for every act of the novel. All of these ways of doing things are valid and it's just about finding that fit, that editor, and that style that work for your own process.

I prefer the edit letters and then getting to go through the document at my own pace and work out what needs to be changed and moved around and what can be tweaked in place. I've worked with editors who do it all chapter by chapter, and I found that a lot more stressful and a lot harder to see the whole book as a whole. Of course the former means there are many read throughs to make sure I catch everything before it moves onto the line editor, and the latter means a lot of rewrites through the editing process and it all takes a lot longer to get through. Both work, and both are a great way to do things, it just comes down to personal preference.

So how do you work out which way works for you? How do you know which one is going to help you best craft the book into shape? And how do you then know how to approach rewrites and editing once you've landed on a style that works for you? Glad to asked because I'm gonna give you some of my tips on doing all of that and more.


I started off with an editor who would do corrections as she went, and I would follow along and make my tweaks here and there. It worked for me, at the time, and it wasn't until later on that I started to realise that the whole part of that process meant that by the time the book had gone to line edits, I was burned out on the story. That's one of the reasons I was happy to switch to a different editor and a different style of editing.

But you may not know that, and it might take you a while to get to a point where you do know how you work. While I've always been lucky with editors, finding people who meet my needs and also work well with me and my stories, I know that for a lot of writers, indie I mean because trad generally don't get an option in which editor they work with, it's not a case of one editor/editing team and done. Some will change from book to book, others will be with one editor for one genre and another for a different genre, and that's valid.

So if you find yourself moving through the process and realising that the way your current editor does things doesn't work for you, then it's perfectly fine for you to have a discussion, see about whether there can be any changes made to the situation, or if you need to amicably part ways and find another editor.

A lot of the time when you're first looking for an editor, you don't really know how they personally work. You might be able to approach clients they've had, and talk it through with them. Or you might be able to ask for a sample edit. It's literally as the name implies, a chance to have a look at how they make their comments - either as comments on the document or in edit letters etc - and how they work their way through the document.

There is usually no cost for this, and no obligation to book with them should you find that your style and theirs just doesn't match. It's okay to get sample edits and see which one might be the better fit for you. These are industry standard things, most editors will offer some kind of sample, and it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to go further along with it.

If you know ahead of time how you personally work, like you're looking for a new editor having going through the process before, then this makes things easier because you're able to basically upfront ask how they form their edits. But if you don't, then sample edits can be a big help.

I don't want to imply that every book you write will need extensive rewrites, but I will just say that the majority of them will need a lot of work done. It's up to you to define how much a lot of work is. I've never written a book, and it be perfect. I don't think anyone ever has. There's the want to believe that because this book is your baby, that there are no flaws, but the point of the professional edit is that you can't see those flaws.

Right now, I'm in the middle of edits and rewrites for a book coming out later this year. I went into extensive revisions and while I like to think the story was as solid as it could be going into edits, there were, there always are, things that I'd not caught. The point is that you are too close to the story to pick up on those little bits. Like one thing my dev editor dinged me on was a turn of phrase I've used a little too much.

But approaching rewrites and edits is a very personal thing, it's about how you work as a writer. I usually tackle the first round of edits on a two chapters as a time basis. I have my edit letter up on one side of the screen and my document on the other, and I spend as long as I need to getting those chapters to where they need to be, and then I move onto the next two.

After I've done a full edit pass, I will then go through and reread five chapters at a time. That way I know that anything I might have missed on that first pass will be caught, and when that's done? I do it again. Just to be doubly sure. Now that might not work for you, but I always found that tackling it in small bites made things a whole lot easier for me.

You gotta do what works for you, and that's valid.

So yeah, editing is a beast and it goes from finding someone who works for you, and then tackling the rewrites as well. It's a long drawn out process and it's something that I always find draining, but when you do find an editor who is good with your personal style, they are gold dust and you should hang onto them for as long as you can.

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 May 2024

Review of Fight by HG Lynch

Tilly and Dominic are prisoners of the witches, and Spencer will do anything to rescue them, even as his dreaded wedding day gets nearer.
 What he doesn't know, is there's a traitor in their midst, and she's determined to make him hers.
 With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Tilly is in serious danger of becoming host to a demon, while Dominic suffers every time she leaves his side.
 Time is running out for all of them, and the only way any of them will make it is if they fight.


My Review: 5 STARS

I couldn’t help myself and dived into this book the moment I finished the first. With everything left the way it was at the end of book one, I needed to know what happened next. With Tilly and Spencer and everyone else, the story pulls you in from the first page and has you hooked until the very end, and even then you’re left desperate to know what happens in the finale. I adored the characters and while werewolves are not my usual jam, this was a book, and series, that had me convinced that could change. Very much recommended and very much enjoyed!

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 May 2024


Tara's never had much time for bullies...


[ID: A green background with yellow flowers laid against it, with the title DYING THOUGHTS - THIRD WISH at the top and out now in ebook & paperback just above the title. The except reads:

“Piss off, Jody, don’t you have somewhere else to be?” I asked, hoping she’d take the hint and bugger off. She didn’t though, because Jody is none too quick.
“Or you’ll what? Kill me and hide the body like you did with Cassie and your mum?” she sneered.
That did it. I’d had enough of her already so I did what anyone else would have done in my situation: I stood up and grabbed her hair and slammed her face on the wood between the booths. There was a sickening crack and I knew I’d broken her nose...again.

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 6 May 2024

Keeping The Fun In Writing - The Creative Process


One thing that has always mattered to me is that the majority of writing should be fun. Now I know that as an author, writing is also my job, and not everyone sees every part of their job as fun. I personally am not fond of the professional edit. I'm lukewarm when it comes to revisions, but I do both of those things anyway because they are part of my job, and I have to do them.

But the part of the job that I do, mostly, see as fun, is the drafting. Now I know there are writers who hate drafting and much prefer revision or editing, and that's okay, that's valid, and you gotta do what works for you, but since I'm talking about keeping the fun in writing and, for me, that's in drafting, I'm gonna focus on that, but feel free to substitute that with whatever phase of the process you love most!

As I said, this is my day job, it's my full-time gig. I am a full-time author, though full disclosure, it does not, as of yet, pay me full-time. I don't want to give the impression that I'm rolling in it and that's why it's full-time. I have been very lucky to be in a position where I can call this my job, and I do work hard at making sure everything is done right, and in a timely manner.

For example, when it comes to drafting, and because I'm an indie author, I know that the only deadlines I really have to meet are the ones I've set myself. Editing and revision are a different beast in that I have people relying on my to do the work, so that needs to be a bit more strict. This means that I can, should I wish to, write once a week, do nothing more, and spend the rest of the time doing other things. I know that doesn't sound like something I would do, but my point is, that because of knowing that I'm able to plan my time, choose where my energy goes, and enjoy myself along the way.

I'm not going to sit here and say that every single day is full of fun filled times and that I enjoy writing every single chapter. I don't. There are sometimes many days in a row when every sentence feels like pulling teeth, and every chapter takes forever, and the anxiety is there in the pit of my stomach reminding me that I have to do this and I have to keep moving forward otherwise terrible things await. (They usually don't, but anxiety is like that, an overdramatic person.)

But, for the most part, I enjoy my work. I love getting to sit there for an hour or so and just lose myself in fiction. If I feel like something needs changing, it gets changed. If I feel like the story needs to go another way, same, it can do that. I have been writing for a very long time. I started seriously when I was 19 and I'm now 42, so over half my life has been spent living in other worlds and I love my job. (I did a piece about that here

I love getting to be creative and have it be a massive part of my life, but there are some times when I have to remind myself of all of that, to keep that fun in the writing. After all, if I let myself trickle down that dark path of not enjoying my work, or my currents WIP, then I find myself in a funk that is hard to shake. It's one of the reasons I find the professional edit so difficult because I end up n that dark path a whole lot. I get over it though, and I am, usually, drafting along side which helps me find that balance.

So whatever makes the work fun, try and keep doing that as much as you're able, and keep writing your stories!

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 May 2024

Review of Circle Of Embers by Kelly Carrero

They said the demons would go after everyone we loved and cared about. They said I was theirs to command. They said I was one of them.
 What they didn’t say was what would happen to me during my awakening. Nor did they tell me the whole truth about what I am.
 Someone is keeping a secret, one that will change the world. And while I’m off trying to save my family, others are slithering behind the shadows, waiting until the time when they can unleash their attack on me and damn our world forever.
 But if they think they’re going to win, they don’t know me very well. There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do to protect those I love—even if I may die trying.


My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first book in this series in one sitting and had to devour this one too. I had to know what was going to happen to Kali and the world she lived in. The opening was explosive and despite not being someone who enjoys many vampire books, this one had me hooked from the first page. I adored the many twists and turns the narrative took and the build up to that ending and big reveal blew me away. I have the third book in the series and am desperate to read it and find out what happens next. A very good series and one that I recommend!

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