#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!

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

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#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!

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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.

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

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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?

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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Books I read in 2020 #amreading #fantasy #romance

2020 was a good reading year for me. I set my goal on Goodreads as 15 but I managed to read 30. I haven’t reviewed many of these books, but I hope to do a better job this year.

I love reading people’s wrap up book posts, so I thought I would share my own. Hopefully this will make up for the fact I haven’t done many reviews through 2020.

Fantasy

Daevabad trilogy by S.A Chakraborty – 5 stars. I loved everything about this series. Imaginative, unusual, great setting, wonderful characters. I hope Chakraborty has a new book out soon, definitely up there with my favourite authors.

Firewalker Series by Emma Miles – 5 star series so far. I loved the first two books in the series and plan to make book 3 one of my first reads for 2021. Here’s my review of the series so far.

Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso. A cool start to a Urban Fantasy series that I hope to continue with this year. Here’s my review.

Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine. Last book in the Great Library books and I loved it. 5 stars across the whole series! Don’t know why I didn’t get around to reviewing it. My goodreads review;

The perfect end to the series. I loved reading these books over the last few years but feel it reached a natural and very satisfying conclusion. I imagine the characters having the happy ever after they deserve, at least for a little while!

Origins – Summoner series by Taran Matharu – Enjoyable and quick origin story for younger readers. It entertained me at the time though I’m ashamed to admit I don’t remember much of it. I know my son loved the series a few years ago, so it might be worth revisiting one day.

The Last Wish by Andrezej Sapkowski – I loved the Witcher series on Netflix and although this was a good introduction to the books, I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping too.

Romance

As I started writing a romance series myself in 2020, I challenged myself to read as many romances as I could. I’ve read some really great books but again haven’t reviewed as many as I would like.

Art and Soul by Claire Huston. Very enjoyable, feel good romance Here’s my review.

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. Another fantastic romance by Jo Thomas. My review.

The Chestnut Tree by Jo Thomas. A sweet novella with Jo Thomas’ usual magic.

Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley. Not a bad read, kept me entertained but I didn’t love it.

The Little Kiosk by the Sea by Jennifer Bohnet. Pretty good read.

Meet me at Beachcomer Bay by Jill Mansell. Very enjoyable story and I will be reading more of Jill Mansell’s books.

Katie’s Cornish Kitchen by Rosie Chambers – Another enjoyable romance that I highly recommend.

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas – A heart-warming Christmas story. Maybe not quite as great as Jo’s other books but still very, very good!

Other

Children of Sinai by Shelley Clarke – As I state in my review, this is a hard book to put into a category. It is well worth a read though. Check out my review here.

Operation Dawn Wolf by G.J. Stevens. This was a fast paced read, very gripping. Here’s my review.

White Knight, Black Swan – Ross Harding (David Gemmell fantasy legend!) A thriller by the great fantasy author David Gemmell. Despite it not being fantasy, it was still a great read.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. I was surprisingly hooked by this book. It is worth a read.

Non-fiction

I got really into my non-fiction books towards the end of 2020 and read quite a few on the craft of writing. They are all good and worth a read. I hope to share a bit more of a review on them in the future. For now, here are the covers to show what I’ve been reading…

Nigel by Monty Don – Lovely book about the dogs in Monty’s life. A tearjerker if you’re an animal person.

Astronomy by Patrick Moore – A research book for my Starlight Prophecy series though it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

And that’s it as far as I can tell. It has been great to look back over my reads and it has inspired me to keep going through 2021. I’ve set my reading goal to 20. Who knows how the year will pan out. I am hoping to do a lot more writing this year and that is more important than anything else right now.

Happy reading and I look forward to sharing more books with you very soon.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any favourites?

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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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!

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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#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?

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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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?

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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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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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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My reading plans for January 2019 and beyond #amreading #fantasy

Though I managed to reach my Goodreads target of 35 books in 2018, I decided to go for a more conservative figure in 2019. I want to focus on writing much more and don’t want to stress about reading. I’m aiming for 30 books.

I hate to be restricted in what I read so reading to a list doesn’t suit me. I found that the books I planned to read last year just didn’t happen. This year I want to go with the flow and read whatever takes my fancy.

That mindset will take over as of February, because I do have a couple of books that I need to read in January.

Currently reading my first ever ARC from Netgalley – The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan. The official release date is 17th January and I want to post a review then. The book is going well so far, and is a very different kind of fantasy for me.

gutter prayer

Scythe by Neal Shusterman is my January book group choice, and I’ve been wanting to read this one for ages so I’m looking forward to it.

scythe

I still have to read the book I won a few months ago – City of Lies by Sam Hawke. As a competition winner, I feel it’s only fair that I review this book once I’ve read it, but it is a big book and I keep unintentionally pushing it down my tbr list.

city of lies

And there is a non-fiction book I’ve been meaning to read for ages ‘Writing short stories to promote your novels’ Rayne Hall’s writer’s craft series.

writing short stories

Plus I cannot forget to mention that I’m planning to re-read my own books (The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign) to fully immerse myself in the Silent Sea Chronicles ahead of completing the draft of book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance. I’m really excited to get stuck in, and can’t wait to show off the cover of book 3!

two book covers

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My thoughts on reviewing…

I fell out of love with reviewing books in 2018. I felt I didn’t have enough to say and some of my reviews were just going through the motions. So this year I only want to review books that I really loved and just have to share with you. I also want to read more writer’s guides and plan to review them and how they’ve helped me. I read a couple late last year. Once I’ve used the techniques mentioned I will share my thoughts on how they worked for me.

Tomorrow I will be sharing my first review of the year so you know it’s got to be a good book! Please stop by then.