#Bookreview Under the Italian Sun by @SueMoorcroft #romance #Netgalley

I received this book prior to publication via Netgalley and am grateful to have been given the chance to read this immersive summer read. Publication date is set as 13th May 2021.

Blurb

A warm, sun-baked terrace.

The rustle of verdant green vines.

The sun slowly dipping behind the Umbrian mountains.

And the chink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…

Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.

When Zia discovers that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was, she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.

However, as she delves into the secrets of her past, she doesn’t bargain on having to think about her future too. But with local vineyard owner, Piero, living next door, Zia knows she has a serious distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…

This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?

My Review

As soon as I started reading about Zia, I got lost in her story and was desperate to unravel the mystery of her past. I gladly followed her journey from Brighton to Italy and rejoiced when she met the delectable Italian, Piero. They were made to be together but scheming ex’s and shady family dealings threaten any future happiness before it can begin.

I loved the setting, the Italian family Zia is desperate to connect with and the sense of place you get in this book. On a grim, grey days in the UK, there is no better place to be than the Umbrian Mountains ‘Under the Italian Sun’.

An immersive romance, with plenty of emotional impact and scorching moments that have little to do with the weather!

Highly recommended read.

Pre-order from amazon now so you don’t forget!

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook

Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

#Bookreview Beginning of the End and In The End by @stevens_gj #zompoc #thriller #tuesdaybookblog

This novella is a gripping introduction to the ‘In The End’ trilogy, a non-stop action zombie thriller.

Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Jordan dreams of excitement, hoping something would happen to make his tiny Cornish village more interesting. During his school holidays, left by himself with nothing but pixelated zombies on the Xbox for company, he wishes for a life where the adventures are real.

Then one morning, he gets more than he planned for when, unexpectedly, a mysterious affliction descends, sending his brother and the rest of the village into a murderous rage. Despite his panic, Jordan finds temporary sanctuary, shutting himself in a cupboard to await rescue. Soon the sirens come, but quickly fall silent and no one arrives, leaving him no option but to fight against his fear or face dying by the hands of the infected villagers.

Once out of hiding, the joy at seeing soldiers with guns soon falls away when he realizes they’re not there to save him but to eliminate the risk of the disease spreading. With a huge new wall erected around the village where he’d grown up, can Jordan conquer his fear that the soldiers are hunting down everyone, not just those that are infected? Can he summon the courage to fend off those who had been his family and friends, those who have lost all sense of being human? Can he get out to the safety of the big wide world before the same fate falls his way?

My Review

I really enjoyed this novella. Having read book 1 – In the End, I knew to expect a gripping, action-packed read and I wasn’t disappointed.

Jordan is a resourceful kid, he has to be if he wants to survive. Although he was a bit slow on what was going on, it is entirely realistic – a zombie outbreak would not be the first thought to cross my mind either. I found myself caring for Jordan and willing him to make it to safety along with his young neighbour, Tommy, that he has to help get out of the village before the soldiers catch up with them.

I was surprised by the ending and it made me want to read book 1 again. At least I have books 2 and 3 to carry on with.

The complete trilogy is available now.

I’ve read book one ‘In The End’ and somehow forgotten to review it on my blog. So, firstly here’s the blurb.

When humanity faces an undead nightmare, one man’s party turns into a race to survive.

Logan has always taken things a little too seriously. So when his New Year’s Eve attempt to unwind descends into chaos, he’s the first to realize it’s no joke. After Logan and his friends miss the evacuation transport, he’s given a choice: lead the group to safety or watch all of his friends come back from the dead…

When Logan discovers the military and government have no interest in saving them, making it to sanctuary alive may be their only hope. And after he learns his party of survivors might hold the key to a cure, the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders. But saving his species could mean sacrificing himself…

Can Logan stave off the end of the world or will one wrong decision doom humankind?

In The End is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic zombie thriller. If you like nightmarish settings, reluctant heroes, and action-packed adventures, then you’ll love GJ Stevens’ spine-chilling novel.

Here’s my review as posted on Amazon and goodreads

This is the first zombie book I’ve read and I’m so glad I took a chance on a different genre.
I loved the fast pace and short chapters which kept me turning the pages. For the poor characters thrust into this nightmarish situation there is no let up. Even when you think they’re safe to lie down and rest, just for a moment, another shocking twist is waiting around the corner.
Be warned, it ends with a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

***

I’m looking forward to continuing with the trilogy very soon.

You can follow GJ Stevens’ blog and get free books if you join his newsletter.

Check GJ Stevens Amazon author page.

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook

Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

#Bookreview Capital Action by @stevens_gj #spy #thriller

As a newsletter subscriber, I was excited to be able to download a free copy of GJ Stevens new novella Capital Action. More on how you can get your free copy later, first let’s focus on the book.

Blurb

After two years of clandestine operations, Agent Carrie Harris doesn’t know why she’s been attached to the Metropolitan Police. Could it be, as her superiors say, to hone her skills at breaking down doors and catching bad guys? Or is it to become accustomed to working as a team when she’s been so used to operating alone?

Putting her uncertainties behind her, Carrie leans into her new role, taking pleasure as part of a special task force targeting organised criminals, until during an early morning raid, her colleagues lay dead and dying around her.

After saving those still clinging to life, she can’t do as she’s told and sit around while others hunt down those who gave the order to murder her colleagues. Determined not to let their deaths be in vain, can she rally against those up high who want her to have nothing to do with the investigation? Can she make the right choices to bring justice for her friends when everything, even the people she should trust, seem to conspire against her?

My Review

This novella was entertaining from start to finish. It’s a complete story that can be read as a standalone, or at any stage you are reading the agent Carrie Harris series. I think it’s a great introduction to her story, although having read book one (Operation Dawn Wolf) I enjoyed seeing what Carrie is getting up to after finishing her training.

I love books (and films) where they show you a glimpse of the present day and set up the main character in an impossible situation. Then you’re taken back in time to see how it all transpired. Stevens make great use of this and had me turning the pages to find out the who, what and why.

Capital Action is fast-paced and intriguing, with a twist or two along the way that has you wondering who is to blame for the messed up operation that cost so many lives. You can always rely on agent Harris to sniff out the baddie though, and deal some well deserved justice.

A great quick read, perfect for those who love spy thrillers.

If you want to receive this book for free, all you need to do is sign up for GJ Steven’s newsletter. See more details on his website here.

I have previously read and reviewed book 1 in the series Operation Dawn Wolf.

Add Capital Action to your goodreads bookshelf.

Check out GJ Stevens Amazon author page

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Reading plans for 2021 #amreading #fantasy #romance

I plan to read at least 20 books in 2021. I’ve already finished off one book from last year, so that’s 19 to go. A review of Sue Moorcroft’s Christmas Wishes will follow soon. Here’s a spoiler though – it’s a 5 star read!

Here is my reading plan so far. There are 550 books on my TBR, so I still have plenty of others to choose from. I am a mood reader, so it will be interesting to see if I stick to this list.

Fantasy

Raven Storm – book 3. I’ve just started this and I’m really enjoying getting back into the Fire Walker series by Emma Miles.

Some of my next fantasy reads will hopefully be…

Romance

I like to read a paperback and kindle book at the same time, so the paperback I’m currently reading is another Jo Thomas – A Winter Beneath the Stars. 50 pages in, so far so good.

These are a few more that I want to read very soon.

Non-fiction

I still have some non-fiction books I want to read too.

That will do for now…

What are your reading plans for 2021?

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook    Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Happy New Year and a quick review of 2020 #amwriting #amreading

When I think back over 2020 I’m tempted to say it’s been a wasted year and I’ve achieved nothing, but when I look deeper I realise there are still things to celebrate and be thankful for.

Firstly (and most importantly)

I am lucky to have my health and my family and friends have thus far avoided catching Covid-19. Those few that have had the virus are still fighting fit. Hopefully this continues, and with two vaccines now approved in the UK, I hope we will all soon see the back of this virus and the disruption it has caused across the world.

Writing in 2020

Although I have no published books to boast about this year, I did manage to have two audiobooks produced in 2020 and that is all down to the hard work of my talented narrator George Ellington. The Lost Sentinel came out in September and The Sentinel’s Reign in December. Some very positive reviews have already come in and I have a blog blitz planned in January.

One thing I am hugely excited about is the 9 book romance novella series I began planning and writing in 2020. Yes, that’s right, 9 books!

I will share more about this in my plans for 2021 blog post, coming soon.

Another project I’m excited about working on in 2021 is The Starlight Prophecy. It’s a new fantasy series. Again I’ll share more about this soon, but I’m hoping to get two of the three books published in 2021! Set your sights high, right!

Reading in 2020

I doubled my goal of reading 15 books with a mix of fantasy, romance and non-fiction. I’ve read some cracking books and discovered new authors that I will be following closely and buying everything they write. I’m still hoping to blog about the books I read in 2020 and share my favourites so watch this space.

I did a lot of reading about the writing craft in 2020. I’ve found some great reference books as well as re-reading others. It’s been good to focus on the craft again, especially as I’ve decided to take my writing in a new direction with the romance series. Again, I hope to share more info about these books in another post.

For now I just want to wish you all a Happy New Year. No matter how quiet our celebrations must be this year, we can still see in 2021 with a smile.

Roll on the new year, I’m ready for you!

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook   Instagram You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

#Readers here’s a poll on novel length. Would you read a novella?

I’m doing some research on the subject of novel length. During lockdown I wrote a romance novella and I’m hoping to publish it this year. However, whilst searching for similar length books, I’ve found it very difficult to find any at all.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on novellas and if you would consider trying one.

Also writers, have you any experience publishing short fiction? Do you have any advice to offer on marketing these shorter works etc?

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   AmazonFacebook    Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Indie Fantasy Books I want to read in 2020 #selfpubfantasymonth #readindie #fantasy

Fantasy is a genre close to my heart. I love to read and write it. As mentioned in yesterday’s reading update post, I’ve decided to dedicate a whole post to the Indie Fantasy books I want to read in 2020. I’ve only picked a couple as I don’t have much time left in 2020 to read them, but it’s great to be able to give a shout out to some fellow indie authors.

This post is inspired by #selfpubfantasymonth taking place during the whole of September.

So here is my list of books to read this year.

Emma Miles – Raven Storm book 3 I’ve read the series so far this year and loved them. Here’s my joint review of Raven Tower and Raven Coven – duo review.

Check out the Fire-walker series on Amazon or Goodreads.

I would love to catch up with Ian Gregoire’s series. Book 2 Apprentice in the Master’s Shadow which came our earlier in 2020. Here’s my review of book 1.

Check out Ian’s series on Amazon or Goodreads.

I’ve been wanting to read Talis Jones’ Otherworld trilogy for ages. I bought Crooked Raven book 1 in 2018 and still haven’t managed to read it. I can’t believe the whole trilogy is already published but at least that means I won’t have to wait for the release of the following books!

Check the series out on Amazon or Goodreads.

***

Now I know I wont have time to read any more books this year, but these are books I’ve picked up in 2020 and hope to read at some point soon. Click the book titles for Amazon links.

The Wandering Isles Liars and Thieves Daughter of Time The Bow of Destiny

Have you read any of these books or got them on your TBR.

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter Goodreads BookBub Amazon Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Silent Sea Chronicles is only £3.99 worldwide for the next week only!

September Reading Update #amreading #fantasy #romance #writingguides

I’ve just reached my reading target for 2020, four months early! Ok, so I only set it at 15, but I have been really enjoying reading again and have to say the standard of the books has been so high. I’ve read a mix of fantasy, romance, spy-thrilllers and urban fantasy, plus a non-fiction book and a bio by Monty Don – Nigel.

What I’ve recently read

Book 1 and 2 S.A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy. I plan to do a trilogy review as soon as I’ve finished book 3, which I was kindly given a copy of via Netgalley.

Currently reading

During lockdown I’ve been taken with the idea of writing some Romance novellas so I’ve decided to always have a romance book on the go. I’m currently reading…

Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley.

and I’m almost finished reading Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. It is such a lovely read and I’ll be sad to finish it.

As mentioned above, I’m reading book 3 in Daevabad trilogy, Empire of Gold. I hope to finish this asap and get the reviews up for all 3 books. It’s a such a brilliant series that I can’t wait to tell you about it.

What I plan to read over the next few months

My book group have chosen Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I’ve been wanting to read this for the last few years so I’m looking forward to digging in before the end of September.

I would like to catch up with the next Carrie Harris book by GJ Stevens. I read the prequel a few months ago and couldn’t put it down. See my review here.

I also have plans to read some non-fiction books as research for my writing. Now the kids have returned to school I’m wondering if I’ll have more time on my hands to tackle these books;

I’d also like to revisit some non-fiction books I read last year and put into action their suggestions and hopefully review them this time!

By the end of the year I hope to support some of my fellow fantasy indie authors. I’ll share those books in another blog post in support of #Selfpubfantasymonth.

I think that is plenty of reading to be getting on with. Have you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR?

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter Goodreads BookBub Amazon Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Review: Art and Soul by Claire Huston @ClaraVal #romance #bookreview

Today I’d like to share my review of Art and Soul by Claire Huston. To briefly explain my feelings for this book – I had to ban myself from reading it at night because I just couldn’t stop reading to go to sleep!

Blurb

There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?

A heart-warming romance about second chances perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Phillipa Ashley and Cathy Kelly.

My Review

(I’m experimenting and going back to my old review style, so let me know what you think.)

Characters

I felt an immediate connection with the main characters Becky and Charlie. The story is told skilfully from both their viewpoints and has lots of side characters that bring colour and warmth to the story.

Plot

Becky is a life-fixer and is brought in to help reclusive artist Charlie rediscover his muse for painting and set his life back on track whilst trying to deal with her own single parent struggles. She can work miracles with other people, and is almost like a guardian angel working in the background, but has her own difficulties and hang ups from past events that get in the way of her finding her own happiness.

What I like

It was great to read a story about a life fixer. It’s something different and I think we can agree that we all need a bit of Becky’s magical touch in our lives!

I also loved how Becky is a single parent struggling to work and raise her young son. It’s not the usual set up for a romance story and it was refreshing.

What I didn’t like

It’s one of those books where there really isn’t anything that I had an issue with. The ending could have been a tiny bit more dramatic maybe but it was still satisfying, enjoyable and choked me up so you really can’t ask for much more from a story.

Conclusion

I cannot go into details and risk spoilers but I will say I was left with happy feeling at the end of this novel. There were ups and downs throughout that kept you guessing but in the end it was a great conclusion to the story. It left me wanting to keep reading and being in their lives!

This is Claire Huston’s debut novel, though it reads like a book from a well-established author who has honed her craft. She’s an author I look forward to reading more from.

Recommend

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a feel good romance. Star rating 4.5

Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon

June Book haul and books I’m currently reading #amreading

I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree so I wanted to share some of the books I’ve picked up recently.

Jo Thomas – Escape to the French Farmhouse

Jo Thomas writes great fiction for escaping. Here’s my reviews of her previous books The Olive Branch and Late Summer in the Vineyard.

Luanne G Smith – The Vine Witch.

This is an impulse buy as I love the cover and the title.

Emma Miles – Hall of Pillars and Hall of the Night.

I loved Emma’s Fire Walker books so thought I’d give this series a go. Review of Fire Walker Series.

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

My son is studying this in English so I thought I would have a go at reading it with him (already beginning to wish I didn’t bother!).

Neal Shusterman – Thunderhead (book 2).

I read Scythe book 1 last year and loved it so I’ve been looking forward to catching up with the rest of the trilogy. Here’s my mini review of Scythe.

Patrick Moore Astronomy for Beginners

This is research for my current WIP The Starlight Prophecy. Even though it’s a fantasy, I like to base my story on facts and real life where possible.

Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

I loved the films and have been trying to get the kids to agree to read the books. I finally bought a copy and would love to find the time to read it as well, especially with the prequel coming out this month.

GJ Stevens – Lessons Learned – (Carrie Harris Book 2)

This book has just been released this month so I snapped up a copy, especially as I’ve been reading book 1 this month. See below. You can get your copy of Lessons Learned here.

S.A Chakraborty – The Empire of Gold (book 3 Daevabad trilogy).

I was really excited to be given a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley. I can’t wait to read book 2 The Kingdom of Copper so I can get onto this one.

Ian Gregoire – The Apprentice in The Master’s Shadow (Book 2 Legends of the Order)

This came out in May but I’d thought I’d share it here as I’m looking forward to reading it. Another gorgeous cover too! Here’s my review of book 1.

Claire Huston – Art and Soul

I love all the cake recipes on Claire’s blog so I had to give her debut book a go.

Currently reading

Laura Laakso – Infallible Justice.

I’m enjoying this book very much. It’s a modern day London with magic. I hope to post a review very soon.

GJ Stevens – Operation Dawn Wolf Book 1 Agent Carrie Harris

I plan to review this book asap so don’t want to say too much right now apart from the fact that it’s very good! But if you’re interested in reading it you can get a free copy of the book by joining GJ Stevens newsletter. That’s how I got my copy.

That’s about it for my recent purchases. I’m hoping to get lots of reading done over the summer so look out for reviews of the above.

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter Goodreads BookBub Amazon Facebook Instagram