I’ve completed my Goodreads challenge! #amreading #booklist #bookreview

So I didn’t set myself a huge target this year, but I didn’t expect to have completed it by August either. That makes me very happy.

Some people might read 20 books in a few months but I’m still pleased with this figure and hope to read quite a few more books by the end of the year.

Netgalley has been responsible for quite a few of my recent reads and I have 4 more accepted requests lined up that I will post about later.

Here is my list and links to reviews or a brief summary of my feelings for the books.

Netgalley Reads

The Hotel at Honeymoon Station – Tilly Tennant. An enjoyable and gentle romance. My 4 star Review

Chasing the Italian Dream – Jo Thomas. Brilliant summer read, I still miss the characters. My 4.5 star review

The River Between Us – Liz Fenwick. Enjoyable dual timeline though maybe not Liz Fenwick’s best work. My 4 star Review

Waste Not. Want Not – Lilac Mills. A surprising and enjoyable romance. My 5 star Review

Under the Italian Sun – Sue Moorcroft. I loved this hot romance right from the first page (not just hot because of the weather!) My 5 star review.

Writing Resourses

200 boosts for Indie Authors – Rayne Hall. A great book of tips to work through to improve your books and author career. Better for those starting out I think. 4 star

Save the cat! Writes a Novel – Jessica Brody. Very interesting way of looking at writing which I hope to try out on a new WIP very soon. 4.5 star.

Romance your brand – Zoe York. Helpful guide that makes you rethink how you should be writing a series. 4 stars

Romance books

An Island Christmas – Jenny Colgan. Enjoyable and emotional read.

Summer Kisses at Mermaid Point – Sarah Bennett. Enjoyable and heartwarming. Looking forward to revisiting soon.

The Tanglewood Teashop – Lilac Mills. Loved it so much I bought the next books straight away. Can’t wait to dive in again.

Perfect Timing – Jill Mansell. Perfect feel-good read. 5 stars.

Unpredictable Consequences of Love – Jill Mansell. Loved this book and thought about the characters long after I finished it. My review

Winter Beneath The Stars – Jo Thomas. Despite a shaky start for me I ended up loving the characters and the location was wonderful. See my review.

Christmas Wishes – Sue Moorcroft. A heart-warming Christmas read I absolutely fell in love with. My big fat 5 star review.

(I started Christmas Wishes at the end of 2020 and finished it in early 2021. I considered it one of my fav reads of 2020 but it could also be a contender for the best of 2021 reads too!)

Fantasy

Raven Storm (book 3) – Emma Miles. My only fantasy read so far this year (shocking)!

I loved this third book just as much as the first 2. Emma Miles is such an accomplished fantasy writer and I love the world and characters she has created in this series. I must review this book and get on with reading book 4 which came out a few months ago. My Review of the series so far (books 1 and 2)

Other Reads

Beginning of The End – GJ Stevens. Gripping with non-stop action and a surprising twist end. My 5 star review.

Capital Action – GJ Stevens. Entertaining thriller of a read. My 5 star review.

Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk. Very emotional, evocative and immersive 5 star mid-grade read.

The Circling Sky – Neil Ansell. This cover is beautiful and I love the title which reminds me of the Pink Floyd song ‘Learning to Fly’. I love the New Forest and this book helped to transport me back there. I’m grateful a fellow reviewer sent me her ARC copy once she’d finished reading it – thanks Hannah at Echoes in an Empty Room. This is a relaxing 4 star read.

My only DNF

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte. I just couldn’t get on with this classic. I got half way through but I just didn’t care enough to keep reading. More of a frustrating read than entertaining for me.

The whole reason I decided to read this was because a character in my new romance series is an English Literature Professor and he said Wuthering Heights is one of his favourite reads. Having attempted to read in myself, I’m going to have to have a chat with him as to why he chose it!

What are your views on this classic or classics in general? I just can’t seem to get on with them.

***

It has been great to escape into books this year and I have enjoyed being forced to start reviewing again mainly due to my Netgalley reads. There are some books here I would still like to review, especially by indie authors as I know how important it is to get those precious reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’ll be back soon with a list of the books I want to read during the rest of the year including the books I still have outstanding on Netgalley.

What are your reading plans and how close are you to completing your 2021 Goodreads Challenge?

***

P.S.

Talking of reviewing books, my Goodreads, Amazon and Audible book pages seem to have hit a bit of a slump. If you have read any of my books would you consider helping me out by posting a quick review? I love to read your thoughts and even a short review will really make my day. Thanks very much.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon   Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

#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!

***

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.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook

Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

#Bookreview Capital Action by @stevens_gj #spy #thriller

As a newsletter subscriber, I was excited to be able to download a free copy of GJ Stevens new novella Capital Action. More on how you can get your free copy later, first let’s focus on the book.

Blurb

After two years of clandestine operations, Agent Carrie Harris doesn’t know why she’s been attached to the Metropolitan Police. Could it be, as her superiors say, to hone her skills at breaking down doors and catching bad guys? Or is it to become accustomed to working as a team when she’s been so used to operating alone?

Putting her uncertainties behind her, Carrie leans into her new role, taking pleasure as part of a special task force targeting organised criminals, until during an early morning raid, her colleagues lay dead and dying around her.

After saving those still clinging to life, she can’t do as she’s told and sit around while others hunt down those who gave the order to murder her colleagues. Determined not to let their deaths be in vain, can she rally against those up high who want her to have nothing to do with the investigation? Can she make the right choices to bring justice for her friends when everything, even the people she should trust, seem to conspire against her?

My Review

This novella was entertaining from start to finish. It’s a complete story that can be read as a standalone, or at any stage you are reading the agent Carrie Harris series. I think it’s a great introduction to her story, although having read book one (Operation Dawn Wolf) I enjoyed seeing what Carrie is getting up to after finishing her training.

I love books (and films) where they show you a glimpse of the present day and set up the main character in an impossible situation. Then you’re taken back in time to see how it all transpired. Stevens make great use of this and had me turning the pages to find out the who, what and why.

Capital Action is fast-paced and intriguing, with a twist or two along the way that has you wondering who is to blame for the messed up operation that cost so many lives. You can always rely on agent Harris to sniff out the baddie though, and deal some well deserved justice.

A great quick read, perfect for those who love spy thrillers.

If you want to receive this book for free, all you need to do is sign up for GJ Steven’s newsletter. See more details on his website here.

I have previously read and reviewed book 1 in the series Operation Dawn Wolf.

Add Capital Action to your goodreads bookshelf.

Check out GJ Stevens Amazon author page

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

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?

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter Goodreads BookBub Amazon Facebook Instagram

You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

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

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

The Blurb

Book 1 of the Agent Carrie Harris Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.5 stars

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

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

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

June Book haul and books I’m currently reading #amreading

I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree so I wanted to share some of the books I’ve picked up recently.

Jo Thomas – Escape to the French Farmhouse

Jo Thomas writes great fiction for escaping. Here’s my reviews of her previous books The Olive Branch and Late Summer in the Vineyard.

Luanne G Smith – The Vine Witch.

This is an impulse buy as I love the cover and the title.

Emma Miles – Hall of Pillars and Hall of the Night.

I loved Emma’s Fire Walker books so thought I’d give this series a go. Review of Fire Walker Series.

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

My son is studying this in English so I thought I would have a go at reading it with him (already beginning to wish I didn’t bother!).

Neal Shusterman – Thunderhead (book 2).

I read Scythe book 1 last year and loved it so I’ve been looking forward to catching up with the rest of the trilogy. Here’s my mini review of Scythe.

Patrick Moore Astronomy for Beginners

This is research for my current WIP The Starlight Prophecy. Even though it’s a fantasy, I like to base my story on facts and real life where possible.

Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

I loved the films and have been trying to get the kids to agree to read the books. I finally bought a copy and would love to find the time to read it as well, especially with the prequel coming out this month.

GJ Stevens – Lessons Learned – (Carrie Harris Book 2)

This book has just been released this month so I snapped up a copy, especially as I’ve been reading book 1 this month. See below. You can get your copy of Lessons Learned here.

S.A Chakraborty – The Empire of Gold (book 3 Daevabad trilogy).

I was really excited to be given a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley. I can’t wait to read book 2 The Kingdom of Copper so I can get onto this one.

Ian Gregoire – The Apprentice in The Master’s Shadow (Book 2 Legends of the Order)

This came out in May but I’d thought I’d share it here as I’m looking forward to reading it. Another gorgeous cover too! Here’s my review of book 1.

Claire Huston – Art and Soul

I love all the cake recipes on Claire’s blog so I had to give her debut book a go.

Currently reading

Laura Laakso – Infallible Justice.

I’m enjoying this book very much. It’s a modern day London with magic. I hope to post a review very soon.

GJ Stevens – Operation Dawn Wolf Book 1 Agent Carrie Harris

I plan to review this book asap so don’t want to say too much right now apart from the fact that it’s very good! But if you’re interested in reading it you can get a free copy of the book by joining GJ Stevens newsletter. That’s how I got my copy.

That’s about it for my recent purchases. I’m hoping to get lots of reading done over the summer so look out for reviews of the above.

***

Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

Twitter Goodreads BookBub Amazon Facebook Instagram