Writing update 2018 & New Year Plans #amwriting #amediting

Last year (that sounds so weird) ended on a high for me. The Lost Sentinel was on Brizzlelass’ 10 top reads of 2017 and I also received a lovely email from a reader who said she really enjoyed the book.

That sent me smiling into 2018…

But 2017 has been a year of ups and downs on the writing and blogging front. I published my second book, The Lost Sentinel – Silent Sea Chronicles bk 1, I finished the draft of book 2, which I’m editing and preparing to send to beta readers asap, and I started the draft of book 3 during Nanowrimo. But I’m far behind on the publishing schedule I set myself and I’ve let my blogging slip to near non-existent.

So with this in mind I’ve done some thinking about what I want to achieve in 2018.

Writing

  1. Publish book 2 – The Sentinel’s Reign
  2. Finish the first draft of book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance
  3. Look at another WIP that has been waiting for an end for several years and decide if this is the book that I want to submit to agents.

Writing in general

  1. Attend some writing events / workshops
  2. Contact book reviewers
  3. Learn more about marketing and get my books in front of more readers

Blogging

  1. Tidy up the blog and create a new banner and a landing page.
  2. Blog more often with more focus on books and writing.
  3. Have more guest posts and get involved in more blog tours.

Lifestyle

  1. I plan to have a healthier diet and start walking more.
  2. Get more sleep
  3. Be more positive.

Reading

  1. I want to read more fantasy. See the list of books on my 2018 TBR list
  2. I want to post more book reviews
  3. I want to read at least 35 books in 2018

So I know I’m still asking a lot of myself in 2018, but with a more positive attitude and focus on what I want to achieve, I’m hopeful that I can do this.

Wish me luck…

Books on my TBR shelf for 2018 #amreading #readingchallenge

At the start of 2017 I wrote a list of the books I planned to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to reach my goal because I spent most of my time editing rather than reading. Looking back at the books I did read in 2017 I noticed I haven’t read as much fantasy as I would like. So in 2018 I hope to immerse myself in the genre.

I decided to record a few of the books I plan to read and hopefully by telling you all, it will inspire me to keep on track. Here goes…

Ash and Quill (The Great Library book 3) – Rachel Caine

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(Book 1 and 2 were my Christmas reads over the last few years and I loved them. I’m 100 pages into book 3 and loving it just as much.)

A Gathering of Shadows (Book 2) A Conjuring of Light (Book 3) – V E Schwab

(I loved book one and chose it as a standout fantasy read for me in 2017. Here’s the post.)

Queen of Fire – Book 3 – Anthony Ryan

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(When I read book 1 – Bloodsong a few years ago I knew I had discovered my new David Gemmell in this author. I enjoyed book 2 almost as much, but for some reason haven’t got around to reading the last book.)

Magic-Born – Crown of Stones book 3 – C L Schneider

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(Crown of Stones is another great series that I can’t wait to finish reading.)

Magisterium books 2, 3 and 4. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

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(A brilliant children’s series that my son and I adore. Hopefully the last book will be published in 2018?)

Rhyming Rings – David Gemmell

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(David Gemmell is my all time favourite fantasy author! When I heard this unpublished book was being released in 2017, I snapped up a copy. I’m waiting for the right moment to sit and read this book without any distractions.)

Keepers – Sacha Black

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(I’ve followed Sacha’s blog for quite a while now and have been eager to read her new book, which I won in a blog competition. I’m hoping it’s one I can recommend to my son as well.)

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

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(Some of the reviewers I follow have loved this book and it’s on the strength of their reviews that I bought this. I’m looking forward to checking it out.)

I also have trilogies by Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson to complete, and it’s about time I started Throne of Glass by Sarah J Mass to see what all the fuss is about. I also hope to read some writing guides early in 2018 including;

111 tips to create your book trailer

111 tips to get book reviews

111 tips to market your book for free (all by Doris-Maria Heilmann)

13 steps to evil by Sacha Black

Fantasy Writing Prompts by Rayne Hall.

***

Currently I have 283 book on my To Read shelf on Goodreads, bookshelves full of unread paperbacks, plus the kids have lots of books they’ve been recommending, and I have more books on my kindle and audiobooks to listen to. So once I’ve tackled the above list, I have plenty more books to choose from. Have you got any books that you think I should read in 2018?

What are your reading goals and what’s on your must read list?

Here’s to another year of great books. Happy reading!

My Top 10 reads of 2017 #greatreads #booklove #amreading

I’m surprised to say I beat my reading challenge target on Goodreads. I read 34 books throughout 2017, my target was 30. I read 33 in 2016, so I think I’ve found a good reading level for me, but I might aim a little higher in 2018. I plan to be more organised in my reading next year, finishing a few trilogies I’ve started etc. But I’ll post about that later. Right now, I’d like to share my Top 10 Reads of 2017…

My kids have recommended a few books this year, which have been really addictive. It’s hard to choose between them, so I’ve selected two…

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver.

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I love wolves, have done since I read Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. This book has emotion, excitement, adventure and friendship. It has been enjoyed by three generations of my family, so don’t let the fact its a children’s book put you off. I haven’t reviewed this book on my blog yet, but it is a 5 star read.

The Iron Trial By Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

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Again I haven’t reviewed this book yet, but it’s an amazing read and my first try of both these authors. I highly recommend this unputdownable 5 star book.

I tried a couple of historical fiction novels this year and I was so impressed with IREX by Carl Rackman, which I read when I was a reviewer on Rosie Amber’s book review team.

IREX by Carl Rackman

This book really draws you into the Victorian era and the mystery elements keeps you intrigued right to the end. I was sad this book had to end at all. Here’s my review.

I also tried Urban Fantasy for the first time and loved…

Eleonore by Faith Rivens

This was another 5 star read, here’s my review. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed changing my usual fantasy genre. I highly recommend this demon hunting, kick-ass heroine’s story.

Two of my stand out fantasy reads in 2017 were…

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

This was my book club choice and I loved it. Here’s the link to my original review. I loved this magical book and I’m jealous of Naomi Novik’s story telling skills.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

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I was taken by surprise by this novel. I loved the characters and can’t wait to read the rest of this series in 2018. I plan to share my review of the series then. It was another 5 star read.

I have listened to a few audiobooks in 2017 and two that really stand out are;

Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek

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The premise of this book really drew me in and I couldn’t stop listening. I may not have been over the moon with the ending, but it was still a great book and a 5 star read. Here’s my review.

The Breakdown by B A Paris

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This book was another addictive listen, with plenty of twists and shocks. You feel as unsure of whom to trust as the main character, Cass, and I loved the ending. A must read, and I hope to share my review of it early in 2018.

I have read a few writing guides this year. Again it was hard to choose between them, but I’ve selected two favourites…

The Writer’s Lexicon by Kathy Steinemann

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This book is a great editing companion. I found it really helpful in helping me focus on over used and redundant words, with plenty of helpful word alternatives. Here’s my review.

Overwhelmed Writer’s Rescue by Colleen M Story

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A great book to help you re-evaluate your life and focus on what matters. There is so much in this book to help you find more time to write. Here’s my review.

***

So looking back at my reading in 2017 I’m impressed that I managed to read so many books considering I’ve published my second novel, The Lost Sentinel, edited a third and wrote 40k of another during NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know what 2018 will hold, but I’m looking forward to immersing myself in more fantasy books and following more review blogs to build up my TBR shelf even more.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Would you like to win a copy of Visions of Zarua #fantasy #tuesdaybookblog

Last week, my debut fantasy Visions of Zarua turned 2 and I announced the Goodreads birthday giveaway, and also a giveaway on my blog.

All you have to do is comment on this post (or the birthday post here) and I’ll be in touch with the winner over the weekend. Or enter the Goodread Giveaway here.

Visions of Zarua is a dual timeline fantasy following the story of two wizards 350 years apart. Paddren is the reluctant hero of the present day in Paltria, while Jago is the hero 350 year ago when the problems first beset the magical city of Zarua. Steeped in mystery, with plenty of magic, murder and mayhem along the way, this is a fast-paced action adventure on an epic scale.

Visions of Zarua has an average rating of 4.34 on Goodreads and 4.5 on Amazon.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

A few readers have said;

‘Told through four unique perspectives, Visions of Zarua is an epic fantasy that follows three friends as they struggle to fight demons of the past threatening their homeland of Paltria. Moving between the past and present, the narrative unfolds at a brisk speed, never losing momentum, introducing an intricate world full of magic, intrigue and danger.’ Faith – 4 stars

‘This is a dark fantasy novel, that I loved from the very first page. It has to be said that fantasy novels are not my usual genre, but I was surprised by just how much this book spoke to me. Even though it is set in the mythical world of Paltria, and the ancient and abandoned city of Zarua, the book echoed the emotions of everyday, normal life. This is why I connected so much with this book and the characters within it.’ Jo – 5 stars

‘This may very well be the best fantasy genre book I have ever read. A brilliant debut novel!’ Jennifer – 5 stars

‘Brilliantly written fantasy, finished it and wanted more.’ Anita – 5 stars

*****

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 Kalesh 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 in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

Excerpt
As Paddren stepped through the unmanned gates of the Redstone Manor estate, a presence shrouded by darkness brushed against his mind. Sharp pain ripped through his skull and white light flashed across his vision. He staggered to a halt and dropped his pack of supplies on the cobbles as a thunderclap exploded in his head. He gripped his skull between his hands, the pain so excruciating he had to clench his teeth to stop from screaming. His mental shield began to buckle, but then the unfamiliar presence retreated as suddenly as it had arrived.
He sucked in a shaky breath and tasted the tang of blood in his mouth. A tremor quaked through his body and his hand shook as he stooped to snatch up his discarded bag.
‘Are you all right, Paddren?’ one of the baron’s stewards asked, detaching himself from the small crowd that had gathered to watch.
‘I’m fine,’ Paddren said, forcing a smile.
The onlookers began to shuffle away. Ignoring them, Paddren tried to envisage the dark presence – certain it had been searching for someone or something. Whatever its purpose, he knew he had to tell his master.

*****

If you want to check out some reviews or download a sample, please follow the universal amazon link here.

Thanks for you time.

Book Review: The Lost Sentinel

Today I’m sharing a well thought review of my book The Lost Sentinel by Kim on her blog The Writing Process. I’m really chuffed that she loves my visual descriptions, all those hours of editing have paid off!
Please take a look and let her know what you think.

The Writing Process

The Lost Sentinel
Silent Sea Chronicles – Book 1
Suzanne Rogerson
High Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

I received this book for free to assist with either a beta read or ARC review of book 2.
It was also on my WordPress TBR list.

 

Synopsis
Set on Kalaya, an island fuelled by a dying magic, the mystics of the mountains struggle through hardships as they search for their saviour: the lost sentinel.  Outside the mountains, magic is feared and despised, forcing people into exile.  Magic is blamed for their troubles and the ruling council of Kalaya, the Assembly, are all too eager to pass laws against it.

Follow Tei and her companions as they face multiple challenges in an attempt to overcome a dark evil and save the island magic, all while being hunted by those who wish them harm.

 

Characters
I felt like I had a good connection with…

View original post 531 more words

Happy 2nd Birthday to Visions of Zarua my debut #standalone #epicfantasy – It’s #giveaway time!

It has been two years since I published my first book, Visions of Zarua. This time two years ago I was buzzing with fear and excitement, and still in shock that I had actually released my baby into the world.

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Now, with two books published and a third planned for next year, I feel more confidant as a self published author.

On the anniversary of Visions of Zarua’s Ebook publication, I’ve enjoyed reading through the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to appreciate how well received it has been by the public. I thought I’d share the latest stats with you, before announcing my two giveaways…

Goodreads: Visions of Zarua has an average rating of 4.32 stars with 28 ratings and 16 reviews. It’s currently on the bookshelves of over 1520 people.

Amazon UK has 19 reviews and an average of 4.5 star rating.

Amazon US is a bit behind with 12 reviews and a 4.3 star ratings.

And now here’s the link to enter my Goodreads giveaway. It’s open worldwide, so why not have a go.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Visions of Zarua

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends November 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

I’m also giving away an Ebook on my blog! All you have to do is comment on this post and I’ll pick a random winner on 24th November, the same day the paperback giveaway ends. If you’ve already read it, you can still comment and nominate a friend to receive an early Christmas present!

I’d love you to retweet and share this post with as many people as possible too, but it’s not a requirement for entry.

You can find out more about Visions of Zarua – A standalone epic fantasy, by following the links below (don’t forget it’s also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited);

Amazon UK  and  Amazon US.

And if you have read Visions and would like to leave a review, I would love to read your thoughts. I’m still hoping to break the 20 review barrier by Christmas, so it would be great if you could help me out.

I’ll end with my favourite photo quote from the blog tour last year…

cathy - pyre picture quote

The Lost Sentinel #fantasybook giveaway on Goodreads

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m really pleased to let you all know that I’m running a new giveaway on Goodreads for my latest book – The Lost Sentinel.

Please click the link below to enter.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends October 12, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway
I’m working hard to get the second instalment finished for publication in 2018, so watch this space for further news.

 

#KDP Countdown deal Visions of Zarua is 99p http://mybook.to/VOZ #fantasy #epicfantasy

Good morning everyone!

Today I wanted to let you know that Visions of Zarua is just 99p during its Kindle Countdown Deal 20th – 27th July. Here’s the link if you’re interested in learning more – Amazon UK / US.

Visions of Zarua is a dual timeline fantasy following the story of two wizards who live 350 years apart.

Paddren is the reluctant hero of present day Paltria, while Jago is a junior wizard who lived 350 years ago when the problems first beset the magical city of Zarua.

Steeped in mystery, with plenty of magic and murder along the way, this is a fast-paced action adventure on an epic scale.

Visions of Zarua is a standalone fantasy with 18 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 on Amazon UK. On Goodreads it has 26 ratings with an average of 4.27.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover.jpg

I’m excited about the countdown deal this time around as this will be the first time I’ve used any paid Ad services apart from AMS to promote it.

For those Indie authors out there interested in using Ad sites, I’ll blog about the results in the near future. I don’t have high expectations of  making my money back, I’m just hoping for a few downloads and some more exposure of both Visions and The Lost Sentinel.

LEARNT SO FAR: You can’t just set up this kind of advertising on a whim, which of course is exactly what I tried to do. Some sites need you to book a date weeks or even months in advance, and many require a certain number of reviews as well. That’s a great form of quality control, but doesn’t help when you want to promote a newly published book. My advice – get organised in advance!

I have my fingers crossed this next week of promos sees a few sales. I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes about Visions of Zarua from Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and dark fantasy novel that really keeps you gripped from beginning to end!, 27 Jan. 2016       MPB

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend for fantasy, magic and mystery fans!, 27 May 2016       Sarah

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 3-dimensional characters in an epic fantasy, 12 July 2016       Barb Taub

4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Enjoyable Sword and Sorcery Based Epic Fantasy, 28 Dec. 2016       BrizzleLass

Thanks for reading.

The Lost Sentinel #Goodreads Giveaway 1 week to go #fantasy #epicfantasy

It’s better to preserve life than to destroy it… but can Tei help the exiles save the island magic before its too late?

I’m running a worldwide giveaway until 17th July. Please check out the reviews on goodreads and enter now.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2017.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Fantasy at it’s best, 17 Jun. 2017 (BrizzleLass)

Blurb

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?

Kalaya is controlled by the Assembly – set up to govern but now under the control of Rathnor, who is intent on persecuting those who have magic, many of whom have taken refuge in the Turrak Mountains.
Tei has been raised to hide her magic, until her father, Migil, is visited by an old friend who warns them that they must seek refuge in the mountains.
On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.
Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious Masked Riders seem determined to stop her reaching Turrak.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles in their search for their lost Sentinel. But the Masked Riders want the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Can Tei help the exiles save the island magic and reunite the Kalayan people before their ignorance destroys them all?

Excerpt

‘Wait!’ Her voice vanished in the murky expanse between them.
Finally, the man turned and she saw the stranger’s face – a translucent reflection of how he must once have appeared in life.
‘Why are you here?’ He glanced warily over his shoulder. ‘You should go.’
Tei looked around but everything seemed unfamiliar. ‘I don’t know if I can.’
The spirit shook his head. ‘This is no place for a child, it’s not safe.’
As he spoke, black shapes began to materialise in the mists behind him. The swirling shadows snaked together, merging into one. Like the blackest rain cloud, it shifted and contorted. Tei saw a flash of talons, a brief glimpse of a monstrous face, but the boiling mass of shadows never stayed still long enough to form a solid whole.
She opened her mouth to scream a warning, but the darkness pounced and ensnared the dead man’s spirit.
He gave a strangled cry. She saw the outline of his face stretching out from the writhing black mass, before the shadows swelled and absorbed him.
The ground shuddered, and for a heartbeat the magic around her dulled.

And finally, here’s the universal link if you want to check out The Lost Sentinel on Amazon.

Please share and tweet about the giveaway to help me spread the word. Thanks very much.

THE LOST SENTINEL Silent Sea Chronicles Book 1 by @rogersonsm #bookreview #fantasy

I’m really happy to share this wonderful review of The Lost Sentinel. Please head over to Booksfromdusktilldawn for the full review.

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?

Kalaya is controlled by the Assembly – set up to govern but now under the control of Rathnor, who is intent on persecuting those who have magic, many of whom have taken refuge in the Turrak Mountains.
Tei has been raised to hide her magic, until her father, Migil, is visited by an old friend who warns them that they must seek refuge in the mountains.
On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.
Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious Masked Riders seem…

View original post 749 more words