Blog Tour: A Woman Scorned Guest Post by Rebecca Howie @RebeccaH2016 #Mystery #YA

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and I’m really pleased to break back into blogging with a guest post from Rebecca Howie during her pre release blog tour. Her second novel, A Woman Scorned is book 2 in The Sam Beckett Mysteries and will be released on 10th December. It’s already available for pre-order, I’ve included a link further below in the post.

rebecca howie blog tour header

When I agreed to join Rebecca’s blog tour, the first thing that sprung to mind was why did she choose to write YA mystery. I love detectives and mystery thrillers, but it isn’t something I’m familiar with in the YA genre. I was fascinated by Rebecca’s response, so here is her guest post on the subject…

Why I chose YA

After a very long year of writer’s block, false-starts and dead-ends, I finally managed to finish my second novel in October, and with the last words written, I’ve been taking a well-earned break. But that didn’t last long, because when Suzanne generously offered to be a stop on my blog tour and I got started planning my guest post, it got me thinking about my decision to write The Game Begins, and the reasons I made it a YA mystery instead of just a regular mystery with a regular ex-alcoholic grump of a detective.

And the truth is, there wasn’t really a conscious decision to start writing a YA mystery novel. I’d been out of school for almost six months, and I was writing because I suddenly found myself with loads of free time on my hands and didn’t have anything else to do, and I was almost halfway through a first draft before I decided I wanted to keep going with it and see where it ended up.

It wasn’t a surprise that The Game Begins ended up as a YA Mystery, because I loved YA novels before I knew they were called YA novels and I have too many mysteries on my bookshelves to even attempt to count them, but I can remember why I started that first draft, the reason I logged out of my Archive of our Own account and opened a new Word document, and that was a question I started asking myself a few months after I’d left school and was spending most of my time writing fanfiction.

Writing was a coping mechanism for me I didn’t know I needed until I’d finished the first draft of The Game Begins and looked back over it and realised that if someone gave me a decade’s worth of therapy vouchers, they’d be well received, and with the emotional upheaval of ending what was basically a thirteen-year prison sentence (or, as some people know it, school), I was writing a lot.

But after a few months of this, I started to find myself getting annoyed, because I’d realised that regardless of who was writing their own version of their favourite detective, they never wrote about the ‘tragic backstory’ until the action was winding down and the main characters needed something to talk about.

And that was where I got the idea for The Game Begins: I couldn’t understand why detective stories always started in the middle, and never started from the beginning.

Was there some kind of rule which said that every fictional detective or PI needed to be middle-aged? And divorced with a daughter who used to worship the ground they walked on but now hated their guts?

Why couldn’t they be detectives in their teenage years? Why did we have to read about the traumatic childhood events when they were in their forties, instead of when those traumatic events were actually taking place?

It seemed like a simple question at the time, but after writing two books in an attempt to answer it, I think I understand why everyone prefers to use flashbacks or the occasional therapy session. Although that being said, I am only two books in, and Sam has plenty of stories left to tell.

***

Thanks very much Rebecca, I really enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the Sam Beckett Mysteries series.

Book 2 – A Woman Scorned is available now for preorder.

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Blurb

Returning home days after leaving town wasn’t a decision Sam Beckett made lightly, and the newspaper articles detailing her shooting aren’t making her choice any easier to accept.

When a therapist is found dead in her office, Sam decides to work with CID and Detective Marshall on the case, hoping that the dead woman’s troubles will be enough to help her forget her own. but with Dr Weiss’ perfect image slowly crumbling as the investigation progresses, Sam finds that she isn’t the only person hiding behind a lie, and that uncovering someone else’s could have been what led Dr Weiss to her death.

***

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of A Woman Scorned and look forward to sharing my review in the new year.

If you haven’t read book one – The Game Begins, I recently reviewed this on my blog (review). And here’s the Amazon link of you want to check it out.

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I wish Rebecca every success with her new novel and look forward to reading more of Sam’s adventures in the future. And I hope you will be inspired by this young author and pre-order her book now.

Would you like to win a copy of Visions of Zarua #fantasy #tuesdaybookblog

Last week, my debut fantasy Visions of Zarua turned 2 and I announced the Goodreads birthday giveaway, and also a giveaway on my blog.

All you have to do is comment on this post (or the birthday post here) and I’ll be in touch with the winner over the weekend. Or enter the Goodread Giveaway here.

Visions of Zarua is a dual timeline fantasy following the story of two wizards 350 years apart. Paddren is the reluctant hero of the present day in Paltria, while Jago is the hero 350 year ago when the problems first beset the magical city of Zarua. Steeped in mystery, with plenty of magic, murder and mayhem along the way, this is a fast-paced action adventure on an epic scale.

Visions of Zarua has an average rating of 4.34 on Goodreads and 4.5 on Amazon.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

A few readers have said;

‘Told through four unique perspectives, Visions of Zarua is an epic fantasy that follows three friends as they struggle to fight demons of the past threatening their homeland of Paltria. Moving between the past and present, the narrative unfolds at a brisk speed, never losing momentum, introducing an intricate world full of magic, intrigue and danger.’ Faith – 4 stars

‘This is a dark fantasy novel, that I loved from the very first page. It has to be said that fantasy novels are not my usual genre, but I was surprised by just how much this book spoke to me. Even though it is set in the mythical world of Paltria, and the ancient and abandoned city of Zarua, the book echoed the emotions of everyday, normal life. This is why I connected so much with this book and the characters within it.’ Jo – 5 stars

‘This may very well be the best fantasy genre book I have ever read. A brilliant debut novel!’ Jennifer – 5 stars

‘Brilliantly written fantasy, finished it and wanted more.’ Anita – 5 stars

*****

Blurb

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

Excerpt
As Paddren stepped through the unmanned gates of the Redstone Manor estate, a presence shrouded by darkness brushed against his mind. Sharp pain ripped through his skull and white light flashed across his vision. He staggered to a halt and dropped his pack of supplies on the cobbles as a thunderclap exploded in his head. He gripped his skull between his hands, the pain so excruciating he had to clench his teeth to stop from screaming. His mental shield began to buckle, but then the unfamiliar presence retreated as suddenly as it had arrived.
He sucked in a shaky breath and tasted the tang of blood in his mouth. A tremor quaked through his body and his hand shook as he stooped to snatch up his discarded bag.
‘Are you all right, Paddren?’ one of the baron’s stewards asked, detaching himself from the small crowd that had gathered to watch.
‘I’m fine,’ Paddren said, forcing a smile.
The onlookers began to shuffle away. Ignoring them, Paddren tried to envisage the dark presence – certain it had been searching for someone or something. Whatever its purpose, he knew he had to tell his master.

*****

If you want to check out some reviews or download a sample, please follow the universal amazon link here.

Thanks for you time.

#tuesdaybookblog The Game Begins by Rebecca Howie @RebeccaH2016 #ya #mystery #bookreview

Today I’m reviewing a mystery book with a difference, it’s a YA featuring a budding young P.I. Sam Beckett.

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Blurb

It’s been four years since the car crash took away her father and Sam Beckett’s nightmares are back with a vengeance.

When her friend suggests she take a PI course to distract herself, Sam agrees, but she soon realises it won’t be as simple as she expected when her first case leads to a woman being killed, her husband accused of her murder, and a series of threatening text messages sent to her phone which lead Sam to believe that her father’s crash might not be the accident everyone thought it was.

My Review

I’ve always loved mysteries, even going back to my childhood when I couldn’t get enough of Scooby Doo. I’ve read countless novels and watched all the shows with their alcoholic, divorced or generally messed up detectives and P.I’s. For a long time I’ve been wanting something different. The Game Begins delivers an altogether different protagonist.

Sam is young (17 and still in school), and haunted by the accident that killed her dad. She suffered memory loss after the accident but she believes there is more to it than anyone else will admit. So she takes a P.I course, deciding to find out the answers for herself.

Her first case is something so mundane that you wonder if its worth her time. Then things start to spiral out of control.

Detective Marshall turns up on the scene and I really want Sam to trust him, but she soon feels she doesn’t know who she can trust.

Shocking events lead up to even more shocking revelations and towards the end you are rooting for Sam to get to the truth and get her life back together.

I really like Sam and Marshall, and I will certainly be reading the next book, A Woman Scorned, which is due to be released in December 2017.

My rating – I have been wavering between a 4 and 4.5 stars as I really feel this is a promising start to a new P.I. series.

There were a few typos and a couple of points in the story that I thought could have been more developed, but otherwise it was an entertaining read from a young, up and coming author.

FYI – Next month Rebecca Howie joins me for a guest post during book 2’s release.

You can check out her website for details.

The Game Begins is on Amazon UK and Amazon US and Goodreads.

Book Review: The Lost Sentinel

Today I’m sharing a well thought review of my book The Lost Sentinel by Kim on her blog The Writing Process. I’m really chuffed that she loves my visual descriptions, all those hours of editing have paid off!
Please take a look and let her know what you think.

The Writing Process

The Lost Sentinel
Silent Sea Chronicles – Book 1
Suzanne Rogerson
High Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

I received this book for free to assist with either a beta read or ARC review of book 2.
It was also on my WordPress TBR list.

 

Synopsis
Set on Kalaya, an island fuelled by a dying magic, the mystics of the mountains struggle through hardships as they search for their saviour: the lost sentinel.  Outside the mountains, magic is feared and despised, forcing people into exile.  Magic is blamed for their troubles and the ruling council of Kalaya, the Assembly, are all too eager to pass laws against it.

Follow Tei and her companions as they face multiple challenges in an attempt to overcome a dark evil and save the island magic, all while being hunted by those who wish them harm.

 

Characters
I felt like I had a good connection with…

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Happy 2nd Birthday to Visions of Zarua my debut #standalone #epicfantasy – It’s #giveaway time!

It has been two years since I published my first book, Visions of Zarua. This time two years ago I was buzzing with fear and excitement, and still in shock that I had actually released my baby into the world.

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Now, with two books published and a third planned for next year, I feel more confidant as a self published author.

On the anniversary of Visions of Zarua’s Ebook publication, I’ve enjoyed reading through the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to appreciate how well received it has been by the public. I thought I’d share the latest stats with you, before announcing my two giveaways…

Goodreads: Visions of Zarua has an average rating of 4.32 stars with 28 ratings and 16 reviews. It’s currently on the bookshelves of over 1520 people.

Amazon UK has 19 reviews and an average of 4.5 star rating.

Amazon US is a bit behind with 12 reviews and a 4.3 star ratings.

And now here’s the link to enter my Goodreads giveaway. It’s open worldwide, so why not have a go.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Visions of Zarua

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends November 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

I’m also giving away an Ebook on my blog! All you have to do is comment on this post and I’ll pick a random winner on 24th November, the same day the paperback giveaway ends. If you’ve already read it, you can still comment and nominate a friend to receive an early Christmas present!

I’d love you to retweet and share this post with as many people as possible too, but it’s not a requirement for entry.

You can find out more about Visions of Zarua – A standalone epic fantasy, by following the links below (don’t forget it’s also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited);

Amazon UK  and  Amazon US.

And if you have read Visions and would like to leave a review, I would love to read your thoughts. I’m still hoping to break the 20 review barrier by Christmas, so it would be great if you could help me out.

I’ll end with my favourite photo quote from the blog tour last year…

cathy - pyre picture quote

#Bookreview Twitter for authors @SchmidtJesper #tuesdaybookblog

Today I am reviewing Twitter for Authors. It was released at the beginning of November, though I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy from the author.

I’ve been using social media for just over two years and twitter is something that I’ve struggled to master. My twitter presence is close to 4.5k mark so it has grown in the two years I’ve been active on it, but I know I’m not using it to its full potential. I wasn’t sure how to use it as a selling tool or how I could make it work better for me, so I was eager to review ‘Twitter for Authors’ when Jesper Schimdt put out the call in his newsletter.

I was hoping this book would give me pointers on using twitter, but not only did he do that, Jesper Schmidt has made me rethink how I see twitter. I love the quote ‘Your twitter profile is an online business card for your authorship.’ He talks about creating an author brand across all social media platforms and made me think about the content on my twitter feed and the message I want to convey.

The book introduced me to some new software that can help build followers etc. At first I was put off by the idea of paying for software / monthly charges, but as you read on the benefits become clear. Everything is well explained and I really like the handy checklists at the end of each section. I’ve found lots in this book to help me and when I get some time (in between editing and drafting my next book) I’m hoping to put the advice in this book into action.

This is a recommended read for authors and I rate it 4 stars.

 

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Do you feel as if you’re wasting your time on Twitter? Not a single book sold, despite all your efforts?

Then Twitter for Authors is precisely what you need.

It will do exactly what the title says: save you time, get you followers and grow your email list.

The techniques taught in Twitter for Authors can all be executed in under 30 minutes a day, and will drive massive amounts of traffic to your books, blog and everywhere else where you have an online presence.

Throughout the chapters you will find free tutorial videos that show you exactly, with easy, step-by-step guides, how to put a system in place that will deliver upon all the promises made.

Why not put in 20% of the effort and gain 80% of the results?

Check it out on Amazon US and Amazon UK

News and writing update #amwriting #nanowrimo

A short update to let you know I’m still around…

Things have been quiet on my blog recently as I try to edit book 2 (The Sentinel’s Reign) and draft book 3 (The Sentinel’s Alliance) during Nanowrimo 2017. It’s been difficult to spread my time between the two projects, along with having a new boiler fitted, a broken phone to sort and now a bout of RSI. Hopefully, that’s it for the bad luck and my wrist sorts itself out soon.

I’m on track to meet the 50k word count, though now I’m starting to panic about where to take the story. Writing without a plan is not easy and although I like the freedom of writing what comes into my head, it’s so hard to shut off my internal editor and just let it all flow without going back and tinkering with it. Much like that last sentence!

I’m very behind on sharing my book reviews, but I have a couple of reviews planned shortly.

The news I’m really excited to share is that I finally have a cover for The Sentinel’s Reign! I’ll do a cover reveal at a later date, but right now I need to focus on finishing the edit/read through so I can pass it to my beta readers. I really hope to publish book 2 early next year, but with Christmas creeping ever closer…

In other news, Visions of Zarua is 2 years old next week. I’ll be running a Goodreads paperback giveaway and an ebook giveaway on the blog, more news of those will follow.

How are you all coping with the demands of Nanowrimo? Have you any tricks to share? And does anyone have any advice for RSI?

Have a great weekend everyone.

NaNoPlanno: Tools for NaNoWriMo Prep

It’s a week before Nanowrimo starts and I haven’t prepared at all. This post has really inspired me to start planning, and I’m looking forward to checking out the links as well. Book 3 here I come!

Kobo Writing Life

By Chris Mandeville

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month: a frenzy of writing with the goal of producing a 50,000-word novel during the thirty days of November.

NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to push yourself as a writer. It’s all about quantity of words, not quality. It’s vomit writing, spilling your guts, taking an idea and running with it, sans editing, revision, and second-guessing. It goes to the core of the creative process of writing: putting words on the page.

The official NaNoWriMo was created by author Chris Baty in 1999 and is now run by the nonprofit National Novel Writing Month. Hundreds of thousands of writers have participated over the past eighteen years, writing billions of words.

Why do so many people set out to write 50,000 words in just thirty days? There’s a lot to be gained beyond wordcount: NaNo forces you to focus, put writing higher…

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