Book Review: The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson #tuesdaybookblog #fantasy #bookreview

I’m excited to share this wonderful review of The Sentinel’s Alliance, the final book in Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy. Please take a look.

The Strawberry Post

Title: The Sentinel’s Alliance (Silent Sea Chronicles #3)
Author: Suzanne Rogerson
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Fantasy
Book format: Paperback

Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberryDescription:  Can new alliances save the islands of the Silent Sea from the murderers stalking their shores?
As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.
Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose…

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#Bookreview Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas #romance #tuesdaybookblog

This is another great read from Jo Thomas. She is one of my favourite romance writers and her books never fails to make me feel emotional!

Blurb

Can Del find her recipe for happiness?

Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier…a new life in France – without Ollie.

Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? After discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

A heart-warming tale about reclaiming your life, set amongst the lavender fields of Provence. Perfect escapism from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and The Honey Farm on the Hill.

My review

The story starts as Del prepares to leave France with her husband but she realises their relationship is broken and she decides to stay on alone. It’s a very brave thing to do, especially where all her stuff is already on its way back to England!

Del is a strong character even if she doesn’t always see that about herself. I love being in her world, watching as she learns to trust herself and be self reliant.

The people in the nearby town make her feel welcome and she settles into her new life, finding friendship and possibly more in the process. She helps others, in particular a young mum along the way. These growing friendships really make the story something special.

The details of the farmhouse and the lavender are so immersive. I also love the details of the cooking. Del uses her love of baking to start providing for herself, incorporating the lavender from her farm into everything she cooks. Be warned, this book can make you hungry. Helpfully there are a few recipes at the back of the book, which is a nice little touch.

The chapters are very short and always draw you into the next. Many times I said to myself I’ll just read one more chapter only to find another half and hour had passed without me even realising.

If you like to be transported to beautiful places and enjoy heart-warming and feel good stories, then give Escape to the French Farmhouse a try.

My rating – 5 lavender scented stars!

Also see my reviews of Late Summer in the Vineyards and The Olive Grove.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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New Review of Silent Sea Chronicles and free book offer #fantasy #epicfantasy

I’d like to share the newest review that’s gone up for my Silent Sea Chronicles series – it’s actually the first for the box set on Amazon so I’m extra happy!

(Christopher) 5 STARS – Inspiring. A lovely story that warms the soul. Some action and battle scenes but not overly graphic so will appeal to most. There’s also a good deal of romance which, although not my thing, makes this saga a good read for all. I will deffo keep an eye out for more books to follow this and catch up on the characters and how their journey progresses.

Here’s some others…

(Norris) 5 STARS Loved it. A thoroughly enjoyable fantasy story with characters you can’t help rooting for and intriguing villains. The world building was fantastic and it was easy to lose yourself in. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. – The Lost Sentinel – Book 1.

(Teri) 4 STARS – Action and Chaos. I don’t know how I came about this story but I am glad I did. Prepare yourself for a rip roaring adventure over the seas and by ways as these stories intermix to bring you a rip roaring clean adventure. There is plenty of action and chaos as the standing Sentinel comes to the end of his reign. Finding the new sentinel will come to be emotional as the loss of life touches close to home. Taking daring actions against those that mean to do harm will keep you turning the pages for more. No the story doesn’t end here and that will give you reason to prepare for a long adventure with this new to me author. Her characters have much to lose and the battle wont be easy. New friends and old foes all come together in this wonderful fantasy story. I have not read this author before but I can’t wait to continue the adventure. – The Lost Sentinel Book 1

You can try out the series for yourself as Book 1 The Lost Sentinel is free for the next 4 days, while books 2 and 3 are on sale for only 99p each. The whole series will only set you back £1.98 if you act fast.

The sale is going well and I loved seeing The Lost Sentinel hit no 6 in the top 100 free chart for fantasy adventure. With your help I could hit no 1!

I’m having technical issues trying to share a screenshot of the top 100 list, hopefully that will resolve itself soon.

In the meantime, please share this and help The Lost Sentinel reach the top ranking in as many top 100 free charts as possible.

Thanks for your help. Until next time…

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

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso #urbanfantasy #paranormalcrime @LLaaksoWriter

I really enjoyed my first visit to Old London and meeting with so many interesting characters.

Blurb

In Old London, where paranormal races co-exist with ordinary humans, criminal verdicts delivered by the all-seeing Heralds of Justice are infallible. After a man is declared guilty of murder and sentenced to death, his daughter turns to private investigator Yannia Wilde to do the impossible and prove the Heralds wrong.
Yannia has escaped a restrictive life in the Wild Folk conclave where she was raised, but her origins mark her as an outsider in the city. Those origins lend her the sensory abilities of all of nature. Yet Yannia is lonely and struggling to adapt to life in the city. The case could be the break she needs. She enlists the help of her only friend, a Bird Shaman named Karrion, and together they accept the challenge of proving a guilty man innocent.
So begins a breathless race against time and against all conceivable odds. Can Yannia and Karrion save a man who has been judged infallibly guilty?

Firstly I’d just like to admire the cover, it’s so well designed and even though its dark it really stands out and draws the eye.

This book has some of my favourite elements, magic and mystery, in a modern day setting with a difference. There is so much depth to the character, her past, and the magic system in this world that it draws you in. I love the peppering of details that help you understand Yannia and her past, and I can’t wait to discover more about in the books to come.

I loved the magic in this book, in particular how Yannia can call up the senses of other animals and use them to see the world around her. There is also her daily struggle to live away from the natural magic, her pain is very well portrayed and makes you care for the character even more. There are lots of colourful yet mysterious characters that help Yannia along the way and I hope they will feature more in future books.

The crime itself is an interesting one. P.I’s are a personal favourite of mine and I just loved investigating this impossible crime with Yannia. The whodunit moment was great and the realisation of how the crime was committed completely surprised me.

It’s a great first book of what I’m sure will be an entertaining series with characters and a magic system I can’t wait to discover more about. So far there are 3 books in the series but I believe there are more to come.

I noticed it’s currently only 99p on Amazon. I recommend picking up a copy now. Let me know what you think.

Check out Fallible Justice on ; Amazon and Goodreads.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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#Bookreview Children of Sinai by Shelley Clarke @Shelley62628484

A compelling mystery I highly recommend.

Blurb

How would you feel if you got caught up in a secret so vast it threatened everything the world had come to believe?

That’s what happened to John Milburn, computer science lecturer, orphan, husband and father, who lived an ordinary life in Haverhill, Suffolk, England.

That is, until the dreams started…

From the idyllic calm of Cambridge, John Milburn is drawn to the dust and the heat of Jericho. Thrown into danger and intrigue, he discovers more than he’d bargained for.

‘A wowser of a tale that is exciting and thought-provoking with a cast of characters you’ll fall in love with. Inspired by Biblical events, historical finds, theories and the author’s own strange imagination.’

My Review

This was a really gripping and interesting book that challenges beliefs. It’s also one that I’ve found hard to categorise. Mystery, thriller, action adventure, apocalyptic…

The first half of the book is filled with questions as the mystery drags you in and then the action steps up as the pieces start to fall into place. I really liked the characters and quickly became invested in their story. I was fascinated by the idea of twins being at the heart of something so big.

The story takes an unexpected turn that I hadn’t seen coming. I was especially surprised when the novel came scarily close to the current worldwide crisis going on in 2020.

I loved how the past was interwoven with the present and how dreams play such a big part in the story. There was only one part when the characters are forced to set up a new community with others that have been singled out that I felt might have been a little rushed. It didn’t spoil my pleasure of the story nor my need to keep reading to find out the fate of humankind. And plenty happens as others seek to thwart their attempts to follow their destiny.

I can’t wait to read about what happens to civilisation after the shocking events at the end of book 1. I highly recommend this book.

You can buy Children of Sinai from Amazon.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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#Bookreview Operation Dawn Wolf by GJ Stevens #thriller @stevens_gj

A very unique and clever thriller introducing you to agent Carrie Harris.

The Blurb

Book 1 of the Agent Carrie Harris Series

Formed of audio transcripts of covert recordings and team member journal entries, this file documents OPERATION DAWN WOLF, an EYES-ONLY covert operation to identify and terminate the perpetrators of ongoing [redacted] of the highly secret Special Operations candidate selection process.

The transcripts document the progression of covertly recruited 2Lt [redacted] (now known as Carrie Harris, aka Candidate Corra Hughes) through the agency’s Special Operations selection process, [redacted].

The files contain numerous redactions to protect the identities of current and past operations and operational agents, lowering the security status of the information from EYES ONLY to SECRET.

No details have been changed or edited, however the final report by [redacted] cannot be downgraded to SECRET and is therefore omitted.

This book is written in a very different way to anything I’ve read before. I wasn’t sure how it would work using transcripts to tell the story. Any fears I had that it might be boring or I’d fail to relate to the character were blown away within the first few pages. I was hooked on finding out the story of agent Harris’s past and the harrowing events of the recruitment she is going through. It’s not a job for the faint hearted that’s for sure and Carrie Harris is a badass.

With 40% left to read I thought I’d pick it up and read a few pages while I ate lunch. The next thing I knew an hour had past and I’d finished the book.

The end was satisfying and I hadn’t seen it coming at all. This is an intriguing story and I’m really looking forward to book 2 to see how Carrie takes on her new role.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys spy thrillers, or who would like to try something a little bit different. This is definitely worth a read.

4.5 stars

Check out Gareth’s site for links to all his books here.

At the moment you can get this book for free by signing up to GJ Stevens’ newsletter. That’s how I got my copy. Operation Dawn Wolf- Book 1

Lesson Learned – Book 2 has just come out on 5th June 2020.

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.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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#Bookreview Fire-walker Series by Emma Miles #fantasy #epicfantasy @EmmaMilesShadow

I have had the great pleasure of reading the Fire-Walker series by Emma Miles and I wanted to share it with you.

I haven’t written a proper review in a long time, but this series has inspired me to share some book love. Keep reading to see why I loved it so much.

Book One The Raven Tower

The Blurb

How much would you sacrifice to save your people? Your freedom, your home … power … love … your life?


Four lands beneath the sky. A haven of peace, a kingdom of plenty, ravaged islands, and a nation of cruel, dark magic. One will try to devour them all.

Spring brings the ruthless Borrow raiders much earlier in the year, their attacks more ferocious, more desperate. When Kesta uses her magic to see in the flames who is really behind the raids the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his dangerous sorcerer, the Dark Man; but what price will the king demand for his aid?


Wild Kesta has been raised to be a leader, trusted, loved, with the freedom of her cherished Islands. Can Kesta subdue her fiery nature and work with a man she hates, a man she fears, to stop the evil that will consume their lands and enslave them all?

My Review

Sometimes you pick up and book and know from the very first few lines that you are going to love it. That’s what happened to me and I was so glad I found Emma Miles’ books through the blog tour she ran with Rachel’s Random Resources.

I love a book where you’re not sure which characters you can trust and no one is quite what they seem. The Raven Tower has plenty of mystery surrounding certain characters like Jorrun and I loved how Kesta is thrust into this very different life to save her people. Your understanding grows with Kesta’s and your are drawn in deeper with her.

I applaud the world building in the Fire-Walker series and the magic of the different cultures is very cool. Kesta’s home the Fulmer’s is probably my favourite place and you can understand her desire to save it and her longing to return there when she is locked away with the Dark Man!

I don’t want to reveal too much but just to say The Raven Tower is a magical, fantasy adventure with just the right amount of romance, mystery and intrigue to satisfy any reader.

Book Two The Raven Coven

I won a paperback in a blogging competition last year via twitter. It was only as I received the book that I realised it was book 2 in a series and I didn’t have book 1! Stupid me for not paying attention, but then who cares I just bought book 1 and started reading it when my book club decided to read The Raven Tower by another ‘famous’ author. I couldn’t get on with the other book but Emma Miles wowed me from the start and I wish the book club had chosen her book instead.

Without giving too much away from the plot, book two continues with the same characters you fell for in the first book, but there are even more twists and turns and heartbreak ahead. I had my heart broken a few times and I’m sure when you read it you’ll find out why!

This book had a satisfying conclusion to the series and I expected it to end there with the usual emotions inspired by a great book, happiness at the awesome ending and tears that it’s really over. BUT the author noted she plans to write at least two more in the series. I’m excited for this, though I hope the characters will get a breather for a while.

The Fire-Walker series has that page-turning quality which can lead to some very late nights if you haven’t got a moaning grump next to you asking you to turn out the light!

I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys magic and adventure, characters you’ll want to spend hours reading about and a world you never want to leave!

Links to Book 1 The Raven Tower on Amazon Book 2 The Raven Coven on Amazon

Check out Emma Miles on Goodreads

Show some indie love today!

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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Visions of Zarua #Audiobook blog tour wrap up #epicfantasy #fantasy

Over the last five days lots of lovely bloggers have been reviewing the audiobook of Visions of Zarua and I’m excited to share a few snippets from their posts, plus links to the in depth reviews. Here’s a reminder of those involved.

Visions of Zarua Full Tour Banner

Mai’s Musings  ‘Having discovered Suzanne’s Silent Sea Chronicles earlier this year and fallen totally in love with them, I was excited to see what Visions of Zarua had to offer. I approached this book with extremely high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed. Although narrated by a male narrator, I found that Suzanne’s signature style and writing voice resonated throughout, giving me, as a fan of her work, a familiar, welcoming feel that absorbed me instantly. Once again her exquisite attention to detail shines through…’

Rev. Rebecca Writers: Read, Write, Pray  ‘I found this book to be fresh and unique because the author combines my favorite elements of fantasy with an engaging and suspenseful mystery. I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t stop listening…’

In De Boekenkast  ‘I loved this book set in a world full of imagination and amazing characters. The audiobook with the wonderful storyteller is amazing and gives the mystery set a special touch…’

Writing with Wolves  ‘If you like original & deeply detailed fantasies with magic & assassins then you seriously need to give this book a read… or a listen!’

Jess Bookish Life  ‘The narrator had a type of voice that grabbed my attention, and following all the POVs and all the characters was even more fun, especially when I would close my eyes and imagine what was being narrated. It allowed my imagination to run wild by just listening…’

Splashes into Books  ‘The narrator for the audiobook version has a fantastic, clear and expressive voice for bringing the story to life in the imagination of the reader, making it clear just who is talking and using a variety of cadence to keep the listener engaged and enthralled. Even though I’d read the story and remembered much of what happened (which shows how well written it is) I still listened with eager anticipation to the audiobook version.’

Reviewsfeed ‘Guy Barnes’ narration of the storyline. Can I say, he does a fantastic job of bringing each of the characters, major or minor, to life. Each is distinctively unique in the persona he has given them. The variety of accents he pulls off consistently is amazing too.’

Donnasbookblog  ‘I thought that this was a well written and well developed fantasy story with an added element of mystery and it really had me hooked right from the start.’

Alistenersslant ‘I loved everything about this from the first word to the last, I was drawn in and hooked and didn’t want to leave. The characters, the setting, the sights, sounds and descriptions well all right on the money.’

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It’s wonderful to see that the audiobook has been so well received, but I shouldn’t be surprised as Guy Barnes made such a brilliant job of the narration. If you missed it, here’s a sample.

Visions of Zarua - smaller adjusted audiobook cover

Thanks as always to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources who arranged the blog tour for me and thank you again to all the reviewers involved.

Audible links for new customers – UK   US   FR   DE

Audible UK    Audible US

iTunes

Amazon book link. (If you’ve previously bought the ebook, you can pick up the audiobook for a fraction of the price on Amazon.)

 

I hope to be back tomorrow with a writing and reading update.

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