#Bookreview The Tanglewood Tea Shop by Lilac Mills #romance #chicklit

A fun and heartwarming read.

Blurb

What happens after your dreams come true?

Patisserie-Chef Stevie is stuck in a rut. Her beloved Great Aunt Peggy has passed away and she’s lost both her job and the love of her life. Then she gets the call from the solicitor’s office about Peggy’s will, and everything changes.

When Stevie sees a quirky tea shop up for sale in the beautiful village of Tanglewood, she decides to take Peggy’s advice and turn her life around.

But the village isn’t as idyllic as it may at first have seemed, and when the gorgeous but grouchy local stable-owner, Nick, shows up he seems like just another fly in the pastry batter…

This laugh-out-loud romantic comedy is perfect for fans of Daisy James and Holly Martin.

My Mini Review

This is the first book by Lilac Mills that I’ve read and I was so glad I did. She weaves a heart-warming and fun story with plenty of characters I found myself caring deeply for, especially the hero and heroine – Nick and Stevie.

I loved the descriptions of the location and of course the food in the tea shop. I also want to give special mentions to the cat, Peggy, who decided to move in with Stevie and the old lady Betty who took Stevie under her wing and had an interesting storyline all of her own.

After reading this I was excited to see more books set in Tanglewood. Naturally, I snapped them up and can’t wait to read them too. Hopefully Stevie and Nick will make the odd appearance in these books as I’d love to catch up with their story.

Last time I checked all three books were only 99p. So now would be a great time to pick them up on Amazon.

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

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#Bookreview Raven Storm by @EmmaMilesShadow #fantasy #indieaugust #tuesdaybookblog

Raven Storm is book 3 in the Fire Walker series, a series I have loved since the first book Raven Tower.

Blurb

Fear walks with those in power.

Divided, the land of Chem hangs in the balance. In the west the Ravens seek to bring safety to women, and an end to slavery. In the east the remaining covens cling to their power, refusing to give up their way of life to foreign invaders. Across both lands the priests whisper and plot, their gods a shadowy threat hanging over them all.
To protect their young family, Kesta and Jorrun have made their home in the Raven Tower of Elden. Unable to abandon their responsibility or friends, they remain embroiled in the fight to the north. Whilst peace and friendship blossom between the Fulmers, Borrows and Elden, the arrival of strangers turns the court of Taurmaline upside down.

The history of the Fire-walkers is about to catch up with them, and the Fire-spirit’s truth will be revealed.

Check it on Goodreads.

My Mini Review (as previously shared on Goodreads)

I’m so happy I discovered this wonderful fantasy series. The cast of characters continues to grow and I find myself caring about them all. The world building is executed with great skill and I loved the magical battles. The enemies Kesta and Jorrun face are even more deadly than in the previous books and kept me turning the pages desperate to find out what happened next. As always it was full of surprises, I cannot wait to see what happens in book Four!

My Review of Book One – The Raven Tower and Book Two The Raven Coven

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

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#Bookreview The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant #romance #netgalley

Here’s my latest review of an enjoyable, light-hearted romance by Tilly Tennant. This author is new to me and I look forward to reading more of her books.

Blurb

Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love…

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel.

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned.

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon?

My Review

This was a gentle and enjoyable romance, perfect to relax and unwind to.

The main character Emma has her personal issues and hang-ups, not to mention the useless boyfriend who I couldn’t wait for her to get rid of. When she finally comes to her senses, she makes the rash decision to sell up and buy a run down train station with an old school friend. With hopes to renovate and turn it into a hotel, things don’t go as planned, especially when the builders turn out to be two hunky brothers who are single.
Emma tries to stay level headed, but her sensible nature stands in the way of happiness.

There are plenty of trials in the renovation too, including opposition from locals and the weather stands in the way of finishing the project before the money runs out.
I enjoyed being along for the renovation ride and willed Emma to allow herself the chance to be happy.

It was a satisfying story and I wish I could go and spend a romantic weekend at The Hotel at Honeymoon Station!

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC.

***

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

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#Bookreview The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick #romance #netgalley

I received an ARC of The River Between Us via Netgalley. It is due for publication next month – 10th June 2021.

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the river Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo discovers a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river, while finding her own new path to happiness.

The River Between Us beautifully explores the mystery and secrets of a long-forgotten love affair, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton.

My Review

I’ve read a few of Liz Fenwick’s books and enjoy her style of storytelling. I really liked how The River Between Us is split between modern day and goes back to a historical love affair set around the time of WW1. Reading the book it often felt as much a mystery as a romance. Both timelines are captured beautifully on the page. I found myself drawn to the modern day heroine, Theo, and the characters from the past. It was so interesting to unravel the story and see how people and events have some bearing on Theo’s life.

At times it did feel strange that the love element was firmly in the past. However, Theo has plenty going on in her life including a horrible ex and a mystery love affair in her own distant past.

This was a very enjoyable read. I recommend this book to those who’ve enjoyed Liz Fenwick’s unique storytelling style of mixing past and present, and those who love to unravel a mystery or two alongside their romance.

Add to your goodreads shelf

Pre-order on Amazon

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

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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

#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.

Silent Sea Chronicles 10 day Blog Tour begins today #fantasy #heroicfantasy #bookreview

I’m so excited to share the news that the 10 day blog review tour for books 1 and 2 in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy starts today.

Lots of wonderful bloggers have signed up to read and review The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign and will post reviews between 21st and 30th June 2019.

Here’s the schedule of blogs.

Silent Sea Chronicles Full Tour Banner

I hope to share a summary blog post each day with links to the reviews.

This has all been organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. If you’re an indieauthor looking for help organising blog tours, cover reveals etc, I highly recommend her services.

During the blog tour all books in the series are just 99p each, and that’s worldwide. Pick up my entire trilogy for just £2.97 or your country’s equivalent.

Book 3 The Sentinel’s Reign is due out on 6th July and is available now for pre-order. I’ll leave the links below so you can see the blurb and reviews for yourselves. Here is a quick recap…

Silent Sea Chronicles

Book 1 – The Lost Sentinel

Can Tei help the exiles find the lost Sentinel and restore the dying magic of their island before it’s too late.

Book 2 – The Sentinel’s Reign

Civil war and foreign invaders threaten to destroy the Sentinel’s reign.

Book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance

Alliances must be made across the Silent Sea to stop the Elkenan invaders in their murderous quest to destroy magic forever.

Universal Amazon links; Book 1    Book 2    Book 3

Goodreads links;               Book 1    Book 2    Book 3

I’ll be back later with links to the reviews.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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Writer Get Noticed! by Colleen. M. Story #tuesdaybookblog #bookreview #howtoguide #writers

Do you sometimes feel that you are getting lost in the sea of books and authors out there? Then Writer Get Noticed! is the book for you! Before I share my review, here’s the blurb…

Blurb

Stop feeling invisible and start attracting the attention you deserve.

Have you been writing for years, but feel like no one notices? Have you published your stories, only to gain a handful of readers? Do your marketing efforts feel like shouting into a void?

Veteran writer and motivational coach Colleen M. Story helps you break the spell of invisibility to reveal the author platform that will finally draw readers your way.

There are more books out there than ever before, and readers have many other things vying for their attention. A writer can feel like a needle in a haystack, and throwing money at the problem rarely helps. What does work is creating a platform that stands out, but in a sea of a million platforms, how is one to do that?

Writer Get Noticed! takes a new approach, dispelling the notion that fixing your writing flaws and expanding your social media reach will get you the readers you deserve. Instead, discover a myriad of strengths you didn’t know you had, then use them to find your author theme, power up your platform, and create a new author business blueprint, all while gaining insight into what sets you apart as a writer and creative artist.

Writers need readers to achieve their highest potential. Find your way to stand out, and let it lead you to the writing career that fulfills all your expectations and more. 

In this motivational and inspiring book, you’ll learn:

•Why improving your writing skills isn’t enough.
•Why it’s critical you discover your strengths…and how to do so.
•What’s stopping you from finding the readers who love your work.
•What you really want from writing and why that matters.
•Easy methods to help you build a more successful author platform.
•What truly motivates you and how to use that to succeed.
•The author theme that unites your creative work and fits your style.
•How imposter syndrome can stall your progress, and how to overcome it.
•How to make better decisions about your writing career as a whole.

When you find the treasure that’s been inside you all along, don’t be surprised if it opens new doors you never thought possible.

colleen story

My Review

This is an intense book that helps you discover a lot about yourself as a writer and makes you think about your goals. Armed with this knowledge you can focus on your author platform and work towards your strengths. The book helps you discover those strengths and use them to come up with your author theme and mission statement. It uses questionnaires and journalling to help you reach deep and discover not just what motivates you, but also your decision making processes and how you can use them to your advantage.

It’s a book to take time over. You need to sit quietly and answer the questions honestly to get the most out of the tasks the book sets you. I really enjoyed the opportunity to focus on my goals, something that often gets lost with so many looming deadlines. Another highlight of the book was making me focus on my strengths and achievements so far.

The questions are backed up by research and well presented facts. As well as the soul searching questionnaires, and multiple choice questions in this book, there are also many examples of other writers’ stories, which are often touching and always inspirational.

Writer Get Noticed! is an in-depth book I think many writers can learn from.

Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon

I also highly recommend Colleen’s book Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, here’s my review.

Note – I received an arc copy of Writer Get Noticed. A big apology to Colleen Story as I have been meaning to review this great book much sooner, but writing and editing deadlines got in the way. I hope to put all I have learnt about myself and the direction I want to take my career into action very soon.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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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

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