An appeal for #reviewers & #bookbloggers to review my #fantasy books #indieauthor

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I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. But right now, book reviewers and book bloggers I need your help!

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I have 3 fantasy books published and I would love to get them reviewed on Amazon, Goodreads and your blogs. Over the last few months I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of pages read in Kindle Unlimited – hitting between 22K and 24K per month!

Those numbers are a dream come true for me, but unfortunately none of these pages read have converted into reviews.

I would love to get some reviews for my books and I’m offering reviewers ARC copies of their choice. We can even run book giveaways for your readers if that’s something that would interest you.

I’m going to the Winchester Writer’s festival in June and I would love to be able to put in my cover letter that I have 60+ reviews and 100+ ratings on Goodreads. Can it be done? With your help, anything is possible!

 

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Blurb for The Lost Sentinel…

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

The Lost Sentinel Amazon book link

 

The Sentinel's Reign book cover

Blurb for The Sentinel’s Reign…

The Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war. 

With magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

 

 

 

Visions of Zarua book cover
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 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 and save the Paltrian people before the dark menace of Zarua’s past is unleashed?

 

 

Please get in touch with your book choice. Here’s my contact form, or reply in the comments.

 

Please share this and help me spread the word, I appreciate your support.

 

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#Tuesdaybookblog City of Lies by Sam Hawke #bookreview #fantasy @samhawkewrites

I was so lucky to have won a signed hardback edition of City of Lies last year. It’s taken me too long to get around to reading it, but now I’m really happy to share my review of this debut book, which is bloody brilliant!

First here is the blurb…

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me… 

Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry.

city of lies

My mini review

From the very first line, I knew I would like this book, and I did. I really liked it! It had everything I could want in a book; mystery, intrigue, murder, assassins, love, relatable characters… I could go on.

I loved both the main characters, Jovan and Kalina, and enjoyed how the story was told from their POV in alternating chapters. I also loved the short notes on poisons, the affects and the proofing tells at the start of each chapter. That was a master touch.

The world Sam Hawke created was fascinating, especially the different rules that shaped every aspect of the characters lives and drove the plot of the story. I loved how the reader is often as in the dark as the characters about who to trust, constantly thinking you’ve solved who the big enemy is only to be led in another direction completely.

Towards the end the stakes were so high, the characters in such peril it felt like it couldn’t get any worse, but it did, again and again. This book felt like a masterclass on how to ramp up the tension and hook your reader, and I loved it.

I can’t believe this was a debut book; it was just so well told. This is definitely a book I wish I had written and I cannot wait for the next book to come out later in the year.

5 stars all the way for this book.

Check it out on Goodreads

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of heroically epic fantasy

You can follow me on

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Mini #Bookreviews Scythe by Neal Shusterman & The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan #fantasy

I’m happy to say both Scythe and The Gutter Prayer are great books. They are 5 star reads that I recommend to fantasy lovers. Scythe is dystopian, while The Gutter Prayer is more of a dark fantasy. See the blurbs and my mini reviews below…

scythe

Blurb

A dark, gripping and witty thriller in which the only thing humanity has control over is death.

In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.

 

My Review

I found the concept of this book quite uncomfortable at the start – ‘gleaning’ people as a job to control a population that can no longer die naturally.

I think it took me longer to get into the book as I was listening to the audiobook rather than reading it and I do not always like men doing female voices. I’m happy to say that I quickly lost myself in the story and listened to it obsessively over a few days. The story and the characters really grew on me and I found myself creating excuses just to listen to a bit more of the book. I really liked Rowan and Citra, and how they coped with the difficult situations they find themselves in as apprentice Scythes pitted against each other.

There are some wonderfully unexpected twists and I loved how the end played out. In fact, that was probably my favourite part and I wish I could discuss it right now!

I would love to see this made into a film or TV show and I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2 – Thunderhead.

Scythe was my book group choice and led to some very interesting discussions, particularly how it would be to live in such a society and if we would ever consider being a Scythe. I don’t mind killing people off in my own books, but real life… What do you think?

Check out Scythe on Goodreads here.

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The Gutter Prayer was my first ever request from Netgalley and I was so excited to receive a copy. I am a little late sharing the review as the book was published 17th January, but better late than never…

gutter prayer

Blurb

A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

The city has always been. The city must finally end.

When three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man – are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born. Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know.

Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city’s underworld.

Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh.

Chance has brought them together, but their friendship could be all that stands in the way of total armageddon.

My Review

I really like this cover and I feel like it’s a perfect representation of the book.

Right from the start I knew this was going to be something very different to my usual fantasy reads. I loved the story that slowly unfolded regarding the trapped gods and how certain factions planned to unleash them, while others worked to destroy them. Cari and her friends get caught up in the middle of it all, or so it seems!

I liked Cari and Spar the most, though there are plenty of characters to root for. I loved how different the story was having trapped gods, saints, ghouls, stone men, worm creatures, tallowmen and other weird and wonderful creations.

This is a brilliant debut novel and I had a great time reading it. It always surprised and shocked me, and often had me thinking what on earth is going on here!

The end was a thrilling page-turner, whilst still providing an emotional and satisfying conclusion. I want to continue with the next book now, so waiting until next year is a real bummer!

Take a look for yourself on Goodreads – The Gutter Prayer

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of heroically epic fantasy

You can follow me on

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January 2019 Reading Wrap Up #amreading #fantasy

I feel as though I had a great reading month and managed to read 5 books in January. I wanted to pick a favourite, but with each book being so different I found it very hard to make that decision. Here are my reads…

The Lost and the Chosen by Ivy Asher (see my review here) 5 STARS

the lost and the chosen

This book really surprised me as I haven’t read any paranormal romance before. It was an addictive read and I’m really excited that book 2 is already out. I will hopefully get to read this in February. Check it out of Goodreads here.

I’ve been listening to the Audiobook for Scythe by Neal Shusterman. 5 STARS

My review will follow this week, but for now I will say this book is still in my head and I can’t wait to read the next book. Goodreads link.

scythe

This next one is my first ever Netgalley book – The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan. 5 STARS

Again I will review this next week, but can tell you it was a great debut and I’m sad I have to wait months to get my hands on the next book. Goodreads link.

gutter prayer

Finally, and I have to admit this is a cheat, I read my own books! I wanted to get back into the Silent Sea Chronicles world before diving into the draft of book 3, so I read The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign back to back. I also read the draft so far of The Sentinel’s Alliance, but as it’s not finished I can’t count that one. Also as they are my books I can’t rate them, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed having the excuse to immerse myself in Tei’s world again. I’m so excited to get the next book finished.

Goodread links:   The Lost Sentinel    The Sentinel’s Reign

My Goodreads challenge is to read 30 books in 2019. With these 5 books I am well ahead of schedule and feeling very pleased with my progress.

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Here’s a quick peek at February’s TBR…

I promised myself I would be more of a mood reader from now on, but I do plan to read these books in Feb. Any more will be a bonus!

 

Don’t forget to look out for my reviews of The Gutter Prayer and Scythe this week.

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You can follow me on:

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My #SPFBO book buys during November 2018 promo #fantasy #tbr #amreading

I thought I would do a quick post on the books I bought during November’s SPFBO promo. I’m excited to add these to my Goodreads TBR, but I won’t state when I’ll read them as I still haven’t read the books I purchased during the previous sale. My TBR pile keeps growing and has reached 410. That is one of the reasons I only bought 8 books this time around, the other is I’ve spent all my money on ads. Anyway here they are…

Between the Shade and the Shadow – Coleman Alexander

Phoenix Descending – Dorothy Dreyer

The Dragon Song Saga – J C Lang

Sorcerous Rivalry – Kayleigh Nichol

A Keeper’s Tale – J A Andrews

Song – Jesse Teller

The Fire Eye Refugee – Samuel Gateley

Balam Springs – Travis M Riddle

I’m really excited by this collection. I tried to be guided by the blurbs and the covers rather than be influenced by reviews or what I’ve heard through the SPFBO pages. A couple of these I’ve had my eye on for a while so I was really pleased to find them in the sale and be able to support my fellow indie authors.

I can’t promise when I’ll read them, but I will review them on my blog, Amazon and Goodreads eventually.

I think I may have sold a couple of copies of my own 2016 SPFBO entry – Visions of Zarua but with the birthday blitz and a couple of ads running at the same time, its hard to know what sparked the purchases.

What did you pick up during the sale?

Did you pick up any of the books above? Or have you already read them?

Last reminder to pick up 99p bargain #fantasy books by #SPFBO #indieauthors #IARTG

Reminder

Today is the last day of the sale for 100 (ish) fantasy books from authors who have taken part in Mark Lawrence’s brilliant Self Published Fantasy Blog off competition.

spfbo sale banner nov 2018

Travis Riddle has kindly set up a page with book covers, blurbs and to buy links of all the books taking part. Please take a look here and see what you fancy. My book, Visions of Zarua is on the list too!

I’ve been picking up a few bargain books myself and will share those buys and why I chose them tomorrow. For now, take advantage of the sale and help support us indie authors. Thanks very much.

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Happy Birthday! Visions of Zarua is 3 today! #epicfantasy #fantasy

I can’t believe I’ve been a published author for 3 years!

Today is a big day for Visions of Zarua too and I’m celebrating in style with a massive book birthday blitz. I must say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it all.

VOZ blitz

Today there will be reviews, guest posts, Q&A’s, extracts, promos and a giveaway to win 3 signed paperback copies. There is a special page of links here for all the blogs taking part. I will be visiting these blogs and sharing their posts throughout the day, so keep a look out and share where ever you can.

Visions of Zarua is also on sale for 99p worldwide universal link.

And you can try you luck with the Rafflecopter Giveaway here.

I will run a follow up post with links to all the posts tomorrow, but for now I would like to thank everyone involved.

From 15th – 19th many #SPFBO fantasy authors are reducing their books to 99p

Who is up for some bargain books?

spfbo sale banner nov 2018

Check out the Promo page with links to all the books in the 99p sale. The fantasy books on offer span all areas of the genre including dark and urban. The authors taking part have been entrants in Mark Lawrence’s ‘Self Published Fantasy Blog Off’ competition which is now in its 4th year.

A big thank you to Travis M Riddle for organising the giveaway and hosting the promo page.

You will find my debut epic fantasy Visions of Zarua among the books on sale. It was a SPFBO entrant in 2016 and is celebrating its 3rd birthday tomorrow! I will be back then for a special birthday blitz. But while you’re waiting, why not check out all the brilliant books that are on sale today.

spfbo nov promo

Please share and spread the word about this epic sale!

 

My reading plan for 2018 #amreading #fantasy #ya #thriller

This year has been busy in various ways and I have not read as much as I would’ve liked. My Goodreads challenge was 35 books and so far I have only read 29. I thought making a list for the rest of the year would help me get back on track.

So here goes.

Currently reading – Magic Study by Maria V Snyder. As with the first book I find the writing totally addictive and if I read nothing else but these books this year I would be happy.

magic study

ARC – Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh. This is a YA thriller I’ve been interested in since following Jenn’s blog and I am going to read this before 2018 ends.

 

not like everyone else

Self Published Fantasy Blog Off books – I bought lots of SPFBO books in the last SPFBO sale which I have yet to read. Here’s my post about the bargains I picked up. Now there is another sale 15th to 19th November so I will be getting even more books to add to my TBR list which already has 400 books! I really hope to read at least another one off this list and perhaps I may even share a surprise review from my husband who is currently reading one of SPFBO books – surprise because he has no idea I’ve mentioned this!

My Xmas Read – For the last three years I have read the latest Great Library book by Rachel Caine. This year I will be reading Smoke and Iron – book 4. My son started the series a few weeks ago and has already started the 4th book. I had planned to give it to myself as a Christmas present, but he begged to read it first!

smoke and iron

Audio book – Still listening to Gilded Cage by Vic James which has been enjoyable so far. I like the voice of the narrator and she has brought the story to life for me. It does seem a bit slow, but I’m happy to stick at it.

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Book Group Read – Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan

This one sounds intriguing!

34523623 sweet dreams

Books I’ve Won – I have been lucky enough to win two books recently and I can’t wait to read them.  City of Lies by Sam Hawke and Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I would love to read and review these before the end of 2018.

So these books will take me to my Goodreads target of 35 books, but life and writing does have a habit of getting in the way. Fingers crossed I find some uninterrupted reading time!

 

Review of Gollancz Writers’ Day and tips to enjoy a writing conference #SFF #fantasy #writerstips

I had a wonderful time at the Gollancz Writers’ Day last week. There were 32 aspiring authors attending, all of us writers of fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I chatted to some lovely people and swapped details with a couple of them. I’d like to have done more mingling, but I’m still very shy and find it hard to put myself out there. Now that I’ve done this though, I’m hoping to go to more events tailored to my genre and will try harder to make connections with other writers.

A brief overview of the day

We met the editors and learnt about the life of a book, from the moment an editor loves your book (and they have to love it to take it on), through the acquisition meetings and all the editing stages involved. A few other areas they discussed were titles, book covers, royalties and rights, and audio books.

I was really surprised to learn Gollancz try to have a book ready a year before its publication date. I was also surprised how much time an editor will invest in the book before the copy editor and then the proofreader get their hands on it. It sounds like an exhausting process, but all with the aim of making the book come alive to the reader.

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We then met the sales, marketing and publicity team and learnt a great deal about their processes including how they reach readers and gain reviews. This was really interesting for me as a self-published author to compare with my own attempts at marketing.

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After lunch we met two lovely Gollancz authors, Pat Cadigan and Adam Roberts. Their talks from an author’s perspective were both informative and entertaining. I was also able to chat to them during the coffee break and at the pitching event at the end of the day. Both were friendly and had some great stories and knowledge to share.

Note – Right at the end of the day, our small group were with Pat Cadigan. She talked about making it as a writer and sticking at it. She said something that will stay with me, ‘…I don’t know of any author who hasn’t made it in the end…’ That gives me hope!

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Finally, top agent Juliet Mushens gave a presentation on submitting to agents and then held a Q&A session. I made plenty of notes to refer to later and it was very insightful to learn how she deals with submissions from that first contact to negotiating the deal with the publishing house. It was also daunting to hear she receives around 500 submissions per month.

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After a short break, we split into small groups. Each group had 15 minutes with either Juliet Mushens, one of the Gollancz team or the writers mentioned, to take turns practicing our pitches. There was also an unexpected appearance from Ben Aaronovitch – author of Rivers of London who gave our group some personal tips on the life of an author on tour.

After 15 minutes, each group moved along to the next professional to pitch to. Imagine speed dating and you’ll get how it went.

This pitch session was my most anticipated part of the whole day and I jumped at the opportunity to pitch to Juliet Mushens who has been an agent on my ‘wish’ list since 2013 when I first looked into the possibility of finding an agent. I also managed to pitch to Marcus Gipps the Editorial Director of Gollancz. Both seemed impressed by my pitch for Visions of Zarua and gave me some great pointers to improve it. That kind of experience is priceless and I hope to put what I’ve learnt into practice very soon.

 

Conclusion

The people at Gollancz were warm and friendly. The writers’ day has helped demystify the agent and publishing industry, and I can now appreciate how incredibly hard it is for a debut author to get published. I won’t give up on the dream though, because it’s got to happen to someone.

I highly recommend all writers take the opportunity to attend a day like this, especially if it’s specific to your genre. Although I was nervous leading up to it, I would jump at the chance to do it again!

One other thing I wanted to mention – I may have been the only one to have self-published in this group of aspiring authors, I don’t know as no one I talked to mentioned it, but I wasn’t made to feel inferior as I have done at other conferences. The people were all supportive of each other, no matter what stage anyone was at in their writing careers. I’m proud to have self-published and to have realised my dream on my own terms, and I would recommend it to other authors if you have the time and money to invest in your book, but there’s no denying it’s hard work. I can see the many benefits of having the backing of an agent and a publisher behind you, and how if you were an author for Gollancz you might feel like you were joining an extended family.

Having the Czech publishing deal for Visions of Zarua and attending the Gollancz Writers’ Day has inspired me to start subbing again.

It was also really interesting listening to the panel talk about the acquisition meetings and how many stages a book must go through before it’s accepted by a publisher. It gave me a warm glow to realise that Visions of Zarua has gone through that process at Fragment / Albatros Media. Just yesterday I saw the cover proof for the hardback edition and it is amazing – very close to the image I had in mind before I found my own cover back in 2015 – I still love my version too!

 

My tips for a successful day at a writing conference

Arrive early – It take away the stress of bursting in late when you’re hot and sweaty and panting like you’ve run a marathon. It gives you a chance to settle your nerves and meet the others who also managed to get there early. Plus it’s so much less daunting than being the last to arrive and everyone else already appears to have made friends.

Sit at the front – Don’t be shy. It’s good to make eye contact with the speakers and you can hear everything being said. Plus it feels easier to ask questions when you don’t have to shout to the other end of the room.

Come prepared with a list of questions – You may or may not ask them, but it’s better to be prepared with something. And though you may be filled with nerves, it gets easier each time you force your hand up and step outside your comfort zone.

Make notes – You’ll never remember everything that’s said, and it’s great to go back over the day and remember those little nuggets of info you’ve scribbled down.

Mingle and make connections with the attendees – Some great advice we received was to remember that the SFF crowd is a small community and that we may well keep bumping into the same people at these events. They suggested making friends now and growing together, supporting each other. That’s such an important part of developing as an author and I feel more confident about doing this now.

Speak to the speakers – From the audience you may see the speakers as confident professionals and feel awed by them, thinking you could never be in that position. But if you get the chance to speak with them during a break or at the end, it can really help you see them as normal people and help your own confidence levels. I loved the opportunity to speak with published authors, to know that maybe none of us are really that different.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a writing or publishing event and if you were at the Gollancz Writers’ day please contact me and say hello.

If you know of any SFF events in the UK please share them in the comments. I’d love to get a list together and try to attend some.

I’ll start with this;

The British Fantasy Society have just announced their BFS London Social on 7th December at Central Station Pub. Here’s a link to the BFS website.

And

Gollancz have promised to bring back Gollancz Fest in 2019 (something I’ve heard of but never attended). I am making a promise to myself and to you that I will attend in 2019. Who knows, maybe I will meet you there.

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