A blogging break #amwriting instead

Hi everyone. This is just a quick note to say that I am taking a short break from blogging and social media. I feel it’s time to focus all my attention on The Sentinel’s Alliance – book 3 in the Silent Sea Chronicles. I need space away from technology and want to fill my time instead with pen, paper and lots of inspiration. Soon I’m off to Shakespeare country and hope to pick up some of the bard’s vibes.

I will still be popping up on other people’s blogs from time to time and, though I am trying to ban myself from looking at the computer as much as possible I will still reply to all messages, review requests and comments so please keep in touch.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

See you some time in September!

WWW Wednesday 8 August 2018 #amreading #thriller #fantasy

This is a weekly meme now hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To take part simply answer the three W questions;

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Post a link to your answers on the above site, and don’t forget to visit other blogs taking part and share the book love!

www wednesdays

What are you currently reading?

Poison Study – Maria V Snyder

poison study

80 pages in and I’m loving this book. I don’t want it to end! Which reminds me, I must look up the rest of the series.

 

I’m currently listening to – My Husband’s Wife – Jane Corry

my husbands wife

I’m still plodding along with this one. I have found it to be a slow paced book, but it is still interesting and keeping my attention, I’m just not compelled to listen to it all the time as I have been with audiobooks in the past.

What have you recently finished reading?

Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

29636224

This was an unplanned read, one I’ve heard good things about and just picked up to pass a few minutes before bedtime. I won’t be reviewing this as a separate post on my blog, so here’s what I thought of it – A little slow to start with and I was a bit unsure if I would get into it. However the mystery and intrigue soon kicked in and I was literally taking the book everywhere with me because I couldn’t stop reading. Paul Morris is not the nicest of characters and he really acts in horrible ways at times, but by the end of the book you sort of feel for him… a little! Great book. 5 stars.

 

Anthony Ryan’s Collected Non-fiction

I follow Anthony Ryan’s newsletter and this was offered as a free download. I haven’t seen it on Goodreads or Amazon. It’s a collection of essays or blog posts to do with his writing and editing, his ‘overnight’ success, fantasy and David Gemmell amongst other things. Very interesting reading.

What do you think you’ll read next?

David Gemmell – Rhyming Rings.

51l1Op8hRFL._AC_US218_[1]

I have been saving this book for over a year – I hope I enjoy it!

Then perhaps I’ll pick an indie book from my TBR pile. See my post here on some of the great books I’ve picked up recently during the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off promo.

 

I look forward to sharing my reviews of the above over the next few months, especially David Gemmell’s book (please let me love it!).

My thoughts on #SPFBO promo sale and my purchases of #indieauthors #fantasy books #tbr

The 5 day book promo is over and I couldn’t resist picking up some books at the bargain price whilst also helping to support my fellow indie authors.

I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to read them as I’ve already set myself a reading challenge for the summer, see the post here, but I will read them all and review them when I can.

There will be lots of reviews going up for the 300 books in this year’s SPFBO. You can keep in touch with these by searching #SPFBO on twitter and facebook, and by checking Mark Lawrence’s dedicated SPFBO page where he shares links to the judges reviews, relevant blog posts and has a counter that shows how many books are left in the competition.

I thought it would be fun to share the books that caught my eye during the sale and to say why I bought them. And of course it doesn’t hurt to give these authors a little extra exposure. So here is my list.

Starting with those already purchased

Magic Price – C.L Schneider reviewed here. A 5 star read, I loved the cover the premise and when I read it, I loved the story too!

20319844

Melokai – Rosalyn Kelly

I was interested in this one having followed some of Rosalyn’s blog posts and then reading the prequel The Sand Scuttler which I reviewed here.

36103391

The Exercise of Vital Power – Ian Gregorie (last year’s entry in SPFBO)

I love the revised cover of Ian’s book and was quick to buy it when it went on pre-order.

cover-artwork

New purchases

The Game Bird – Aidan R Walsh

I loved the cover and just had to buy it! Plus it has ships and sea monsters. Who can resist?

39714545

A Wizard’s Forge – A.M Justice

The cover was a semi finalist in my group’s cover competition, and I can see why! From the blurb I think I’m going to enjoy this book. Plus it has some very positive reviews.

32077107

Symphony of the Wind – Steven McKinnon

The cover is a draw for me and I was also impressed by the blurb. I don’t come across many books set in the desert and I haven’t read much steampunk so I’ll look forward to trying this one out.

40661205

We Ride the Storm – Devin Madson

My son spotted this one on the list and said the cover looked really good. I had seen a few reviews on goodreads and thought why not try it out and see what I think.

40492118

Crossfire – Andrea Domanski

Andrea did a lot of hard work setting up the giveaway so of course I was going to support her by buying her book. But the book cover and the blurb also did a good job of selling the book to me. I haven’t read much in the way of Urban fantasy, so this sounds like a great place to see what I think of the genre.

20937532

The Blighted City – Scott Kaelen

I like covers with cities and the blurb sounds intriguing. I’ve also seen reviews for this book and knew I wanted to read it.

41013534

High Barrens – Alice Sabo

This one is in my group of 30. I like the cover and the blurb so I thought why not see what its about. I’m intrigued to find out about Flint and how she can see into souls. This sounds like just my sort of story.

39348423

Fire’s Song – J.E. Mueller

I loved the cover but wasn’t so taken with the blurb at first. But when I checked the book again another day, because I still just loved the cover, I thought actually this sounds pretty good.

35453363

The Shadows Are Stirring – Hannah Sullivan

A one for younger readers, this really caught my attention. I love the idea of talking horses. And the cover is brilliant.

25402738

Kingshold – D.P. Woolliscroft

I like the cover and the blurb, and have seen some good reviews knocking around. So this was an easy purchase.

39782941

Liath Luachra: The Swallowed – Brian O’Sullivan

It sounded like something a bit different and I like the idea of Druids and spectral forests, so I’m hoping to enjoy this one. It does say book 2, but also that it can standalone, so I’ll have to see how that goes.

40170181

Blade and Rose – Miranda Honfleur

I was drawn in by the premise of this book, and I was interested to read a fantasy with more romance at its heart.

36505619

There were so many books that I would like to have bought, but alas I don’t have the money to buy them all. I look forward to reading the above books and reviewing them in the future. I wish everyone in the competition luck and look forward to seeing the judges reviews as they come in.

My thoughts on the SPFBO sale…

The Lost Sentinel didn’t fair as well as I’d hoped throughout the sale, but looking at the competition I can understand why. When faced with so many books, a reader must really be dragged in by the cover, the tag line and the blurb – I know as I looked at most of the books on the list and I probably wouldn’t have bought The Lost Sentinel either. I had to be so selective as my budget is non-existent, and I’m sure this will have been the same for many of those checking through the books for new reads.

Although I still love my cover and won’t consider changing it yet, when I saw it against the others I knew it didn’t have the same instant appeal.

35113253

Book 2 would have stood out better and someone did purchase it during the sale, so that was an added bonus!

The Sentinel's Reign book cover

I’ve been trying to improve the blurb of The Lost Sentinel, and it’s something I want to keep working on. My experience of looking through the list of books showed how a long winded blurb can put off a potential reader rather than entice them to click Buy Now.

So in all I didn’t gain that many sales, but I did gain extra insight into the competition my book is up against for a reader’s attention, and I’ve realised my blurb is in need of work. This experience has also led me to make a decision that I will stop obsessing over the sales and reviews for now and instead focus on book 3. Once the series is complete I can work on my sales tactics, but if I carry on as I am book 3 will never be finished!

Another quick thank you to Andrea Domanski for hosting the sales page and for her tips regarding my blurb.

And thank you to those who purchased The Lost Sentinel, I appreciate every sale.

And finally this is a cheeky reminder that The Lost Sentinel is still only 99p / 99c until the 8th August. I have also reduced the price in Canada (if it has worked) as that is where my Ad with EbookSoda is posted today. Check out the EbookSoda website if you want to place an ad for your future book sales and kindle countdown deals.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone in the SPFBO 4 competition.

#SPFBO promo sale finishes today 120 #fantasy books for 99p / 99c

I’ve spent a lovely weekend away visiting Cheddar Gorge and then onto the seaside with my family, but have got back just in time to remind you that many of the SPFBO promo sales end tonight. If you click on this link, you’ll see a list of over 120 fantasy books for just 99p / 99c.

The Lost Sentinel is amongst the above mentioned books, though the kindle countdown deal ends 7th August.

I’ve enjoyed looking through the list and adding to my tbr pile. Why not take a look and stock up on some summer reading and help out a few indie authors at the same time?

SPFBO graphic1

 

#SPFBO 2018 Starts today and 120+ #fantasy authors have discounted their books to 99c / 99p! #indieauthor

This is the day 300 indie fantasy authors have been waiting for. The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off competition starts now 1st August 2018.

SPFBO graphic1

To celebrate SPFBO 4 over 120 fantasy authors have discounted their books to only 99c / 99p. This is the dedicated page listing all the books in the sale. Please head over to see their wonderful book covers, teasers and links to buy. We all appreciate your support.

With fantasy sub genres of epic, romance, urban and many more there will be something to suit every taste.

And of course The Lost Sentinel is on the list under epic/high fantasy.

SPFBO Graphic square

Good luck to all my fellow SPFBO contestants and happy reading to everyone!

And a big thank you to Andrea Domanski for organising everything!

Here’s the link again to the dedicated fantasy book sale page. Thanks for reading,

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas #romance

This is a quick review because I just have to share this book with you all. First as always here’s the blurb from goodreads…

Escape to Italy with THE OLIVE BRANCH. The irresistibly romantic new novel from Jo Thomas, award-winning author of ebook runaway bestseller THE OYSTER CATCHER.

It’s amazing what you can buy online these days:
Memorabilia
Fashion accessories
A crumbling Italian farmhouse…

After a Prosecco-fuelled girls’ night in gets out of hand, Ruthie Collins awakes to discover that she has bid for her dream Italian home online – and won. Recently out of a relationship, a new start is just what Ruthie needs. Anything is better than sleeping on her mum’s settee.

But arriving in Southern Italy, Ruthie doesn’t know the first thing about running an olive farm. And with new neighbours, the tempestuous Marco Bellanouvo and his fiery family to contend with, all Ruthie wants is to go back home.

Life can change with the click of a mouse. But all good things – friendship, romance, and even the olive harvest – take time to grow. Can Ruthie finally put the past to rest and find her own piece of the Dolce Vita along the way? Goodreads

the olive branch

My review

The Olive Branch drew me in from the first page and I couldn’t stop reading or thinking about it. It had me laughing and crying, and wishing for my own adventure in Italy.

This is the second book I’ve read my Jo Thomas and I’m now planning to stock up on the rest of her novels. She picks wonderful locations and transports you to them, immersing you in the place and the culture of its people. Not only that, but you learn something too. In The Olive Tree I learnt about the olive groves and the olive harvest. It really was fascinating to live in Ruthie’s shoes for a few days. I also got to experience a dream of moving and renovating a rundown home, but without any of the hard work!

I really do recommend Jo Thomas’ books and can’t wait to dive into the next adventure. Have to read any of her books? Can you recommend my next read?

Here’s my review of Late Summer in the Vineyard

Oh and in case you were wondering, this is a heart-warming 5 star read!

A quick round up for The Lost Sentinel #Netgalley #fantasy

The Lost Sentinel has a few things going on at the moment and I thought I’d do a quick round-up for you.

It’s available to request on Netgalley for the next few days only. Please check it out here and request an ARC if it sounds like your kind of fantasy.

Tomorrow begins a new 99p Kindle Countdown Deal. So if you aren’t on Netgalley, you can pick it up for the bargain price of 99p 1st – 8th August. This is to coincide with the start of ‘Self Published Fantasy Blog Off’ as detailed below…

On the 1 year anniversary of publication (16th June) I entered The Lost Sentinel into the very popular SPFBO competition, set up by the great Mark Lawrence. In it’s forth year, the competition for 300 authors was full within 48 hours, so I was lucky to grab the opportunity when I did. The judging rounds open tomorrow, meaning reviewers will start posting their reviews and a winner from each group (30 authors to 1 reviewer/review team) will eventually be chosen and put into the final 10. There have been some huge success stories because of this competition, so it’ll be exciting to find out who wins big this year.

Another really exciting thing for me is that a whole group of authors who are entered into SPFBO will be reducing their books to 99p for 5 days. At last count there were well over 100 authors taking part. I shall post more about this tomorrow along with the links on where to buy etc. If you are a fantasy reader, this could be your chance to pick up some great bargains. I can’t wait to get some discounted books myself and help my fellow indie authors get some sales!

The last piece of news I’ll share is that I’ve requested a Book Bub placement for The Lost Sentinel. It was a last minute decision and I don’t expect to get anywhere this time but the good thing is I know how easy it is to send a request now. Hopefully over the next few months I’ll get some more reviews and one day I might get lucky enough to be accepted on Book Bub. It is a huge cost I can’t really afford, but sometimes you have to invest in yourself if you want to succeed.

Don’t forget to check out the big sale tomorrow.

And here’s the link to my Goodreads book page if you wanted to find out more about The Lost Sentinel and see some reviews. As always a free sample is available on Amazon and it is free to read if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

 

Double Book Review: Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno🌊 & The Sentinel’s Reign by Suzanne Rogerson🔥 #fantasy

Quote

via Double Book Review: Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno🌊 & The Sentinel’s Reign by Suzanne Rogerson🔥

Today I’m really excited to share a brilliant 4 star review of The Sentinel’s Reign, book 2 in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy. Please take a few minutes to read the review, and the review of Summer of Salt, which also sounds like a great read.

Guest Post: Standalone VS. Trilogy, a Writer’s Viewpoint by Suzanne Rogerson

Please head over to read my guest post on Rebecca’s blog – For the love of fiction.

FOR THE LOVE OF FICTION

As a reader with a mild obsession with buying books, I love series, but as a writer, I can understand why stretching one idea across several books isn’t a particularly easy undertaking, so I found myself wondering why Suzanne Rogerson, the author behind the standalone fantasy novel, Visions of Zarua, had decided to write a sequel to her second novel, The Lost Sentinel.

So in celebration of the release of her latest book, The Sentinel’s Reign, Suzanne stopped by to share her list of the pros and cons for each.


Standalone vsTrilogy – A writer’s viewpoint

So far, I have written and published both a standalone novel andtwo instalmentsof the Silent Sea Chronicles.At this stage in my writing journey, I thought I’d look at the differences ofwriting the two types of books and share some pros and cons for both.

I…

View original post 1,023 more words

My summer reading plan #amreading #fantasy #thriller #romance

My reading has really been slow these last few months, what with publishing my own book and all that goes with it. I’m hoping to step up the reading through the rest of the summer and what better way to achieve this than to tell the world my plan!

I’m using the format of WWW Wednesday, as I didn’t get this post finished in time to share it yesterday.

What I’m currently reading.

Jo Thomas The Olive Branch.

the olive branch

I only picked this book up quickly last night to get a taste of the story. 50 pages later, I know I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve read one of Jo Thomas’s books before and loved it. Here’s the review of Late Summer in the Vineyard.

What I’m currently listening to

My Husband’s Wife

my husbands wife

It’s ok. Seems a bit slow, but there are intriguing titbits to keep me interested so far.

What I recently finished reading

Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

51T0mvRfz6L._SY346_

I’m not sure what to say about this book. I didn’t love it and felt it was slow in places. I found the tower concept very hard to picture and it was hard to really connect with Senlin. However, towards the end I did find myself not wanting to stop reading, so I’ll be interested to see what happens in book 2. I’ve heard the pace picks up, fingers crossed.

What I plan to read next

Anthony Ryan’s Collected Non-fiction

I think this is a newsletter subscriber offer and I can’t wait to read his non-fiction articles.

David Gemmell – Rhyming Rings

51l1Op8hRFL._AC_US218_[1]

I have been saving this book since my birthday last year as it’s one of the only books I haven’t read by my all time favourite author.

Poison Study

poison study

This is my book group choice for August and a book I have been interested in reading for a while.

 

Knowing from experience how hard it is to get reviews, I want to read a couple of Indie books and support my fellow authors. So I intend to read;

The Exercise of Vital Powers – Ian Gregoire

cover-artwork

Not Like Anyone Else – Jennifer Leigh

not like everyone else

I still have a couple of trilogies I want to finish by the end of this year

Queen of Fire – Anthony Ryan

51maxfmh73L._AC_US218_[1]

Magic Borne – Crown of Stones – C. L Schneider

51eMvOZ8IdL._AC_US218_[1]

There are 350+ on my goodreads TBR shelf so I have plenty of other great books to choose from. Plus my kids are always recommending books and I know I should get stuck into Robin Hobb’s latest trilogy. If I do, I won’t be doing anything else for a while!

I hope to do another post in Autumn, I wonder how many books I’ll have read by then and how many of the above will be finished!

Do you have any reading plans for the summer?