Belated mid-year review #amwriting #amreading

My big news is of course that The Sentinel’s Reign – Silent Sea Chronicles Book 2 is now published.

It’s available here in ebook (99p for a few more days only), paperback and free to read on kindle unlimited.

That’s the sales bit out the way.

In other news, The Lost Sentinel (Book 1) is entered into SPFBO 2018 competition and has been given to Lynn’s Books to judge, which is funny as I had planned to contact her to review the book this year. There is also a cover competition going on right now. Of course I love my cover, but there are lots of great covers in the running from my group of 30 so it will be interesting to see which ones get put through to the next stage.

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2018 has seen some major steps forward for me – landing a publishing contract with a Czech publisher for Visions of Zarua and having a full manuscript request from a UK agent for the same book. These are milestones I’ve been dreaming of, but we’ll have to see where they lead. I’m learning that everything takes time in the publishing world and you need to have a lot of patience!

 

My 2018 goals in review.

At the beginning of the year I set myself some goals (post here). Today I am revisiting them to see how I’ve done.

Writing

Publish book 2 The Sentinel’s Reign = Achieved.

Finish first draft of book 3 The Sentinel’s Alliance = Nope, but I have planned 2/3’s in a rough draft.

Look at WIP to see if I want to send to agents = Still to do. I have a draft almost finished that I would love to edit and polish and send to agents. I am also thinking on an idea I would like to try out on Wattpad. I have no idea how to go about this so I need to research it more.

Writing in general

Attend more writing events = I’ve attended 1 this year.

Contact book reviewers = I have done very well with this so far and have a new batch of reviewers to contact very soon. If you are a blogger interested in reviewing my books please use this contact form.

Learn more about marketing and get my books in front of more readers = I entered SPFBO (self published fantasy blog off) along with 299 other entrants, which will hopefully give The Lost Sentinel some much needed exposure. If you have read The Lost Sentinel, please consider leaving a review on Amazon / Goodreads, it helps with the ranking of the book though won’t have any affect on how far the book gets in the competition, that’s down to the judge of each group. I’ve run a mildly successful kindle countdown deal for The Lost Sentinel and it will go on Netgalley for a month starting 9th July.

Blogging

Tidy up blog, create banner and landing page = The blog is better but could still do with a tidy up, and I have a cool new banner. The landing page is something I still need to look into.

Blog more and focus on books about writing = I have reviewed a few writing books.

Feature more guest posts and get involved in more blog tours = I have featured Susan Leigh Noble and Ari Mehlen, but there is always room for more.

Lifestyle

Healthier diet and walk more = I lost almost 2 stone with Slimming World in 4 months, so that was a great success at the start of the year and I have been maintaining my target weight. I bought a treadmill and used that through winter but now it’s gathering dust.

Get more sleep = No chance! The hot weather and the book release don’t add up to a good night’s sleep. Maybe one day I’ll catch up on my beauty sleep.

Be more positive = I’m trying to be positive and take things as they come. For me being proactive helps, but when nothing comes of all the hard work I’ve invested it’s difficult to keep upbeat.

Reading

Read more fantasy = Yes.

Post more book reviews = Nope, I am way behind and have given up keeping my book review page up to date.

Read at least 35 books in 2018 = I’m trying but I’m behind schedule, total to date is 16.

My reading has been very slow. Editing and promotion has taken all my spare time and I’ve even struggled to find any audio books that hold my attention. My tbr pile grows almost daily and I am not making a dent in it.

I am still reading my book group choice Senlin Ascends (a previous SPFBO contestant, now traditionally published) even though I missed the group meeting last week due to a mix up with the day on my calendar! I believe it was enjoyed by all.

I did have a list of books I wanted to read and a couple of trilogies I wanted to finish, but for now I’m just going to wait and see what books take my fancy.

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What’s to come…

I hope to feature on a few blogs over the coming weeks and see some more reviews go up for The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign. Then I plan to throw myself into writing and make lots of progress. Fingers crossed anyway.

Because of this I will probably take the summer holidays off from blogging to focus on writing book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance. It worked well last year, though hopefully I can keep my hand in with a book review or two.

 

How’s your year shaping up?

 

Last plug for The Sentinel’s Reign – don’t forget to pick it up for 99p as I will be putting the price up at the end of the week. And add it to your Goodreads shelf.

publicity ebook and paperback

Rebecca Reads: Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

This morning I’m really pleased to share a 4 star review of Visions of Zarua. Rebecca is a YA Mystery author and she says she’s really liked how I merged the genres of fantasy and mystery.

via Rebecca Reads: Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Updates giveaways and pre-order info #amwriting #indieauthor #fantasy

The first of my updates is on the appearance of my blog. I’ve finally been able to update the header with all three of my books. It’s a great feeling to see them altogether. The Cover Collection have done a wonderful job on all three covers and the banner.

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It’s officially 1 month before The Sentinel’s Reign is published – 29th June 2018, which is so exciting. I’ve just finished reading it through and have a couple of small changes to make before the ARC is ready to send out to reviewers. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Don’t forget you can already pre-order you copy here The Sentinel’s Reign

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There are just a few hours left to enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback or ebook of The Lost Sentinel. Please follow the link and enter up to 7 times.

Rafflecopter giveaway

Yesterday The Lost Sentinel received a brilliant review from Sofia – A Book. A Thought blog. She said; The world building is incredible, it’s my favorite aspect of the book and I think it’s the best achieved. The descriptions are exceptional, without doubts.

Please click on the review link to see what else she had to say in her 4 star review. 

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Finally as this is an update post, the latest on the Czech translation of Visions of Zarua is that it will be published in the Fall 2019! This is such an exciting time for me, and perhaps it will lead on to bigger and better things. I certainly hope so!

Book News! Visions of Zarua is being published in Czech #fantasy #epicfantasy

Those who follow my blog may remember a while ago I mentioned I’d been contacted by a publisher about a Czech translation of my debut novel, Visions of Zarua.

Well last week I received the signed contract so I can finally announce the deal is official!

I do not have a publication date as yet but I’m so happy to share this news and to say I will soon be a traditionally published author! That is a dream come true, even if it has come about in a totally unexpected way.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

I am so proud of this book and can’t wait to see what it looks like in Czech!

For those of you unfamiliar with the book here’s the 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?
Goodreads book link

 

Why not see what others have been saying on Amazon via universal book link.

I am currently approaching agents with this book and would really love to get some more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, or to be featured on your book blogs. If you are willing to post an honest review in exchange for a free copy, please get in touch using my contact form. Alternatively, Visions of Zarua is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited where members can read it for free.

I hope to have more news to share soon, but for now thanks for reading.

#Indiemarch Day 2: My 1st published novel #indieauthor #fantasy

‘Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?’

After a lot of indecision, I finally published my first novel, Visions of Zarua, in Nov 2015. It’s a standalone, epic fantasy that has gained 30 ratings on Goodreads, 19 reviews on Amazon UK and 12 on Amazon US.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

Self publishing was the realisation of a dream for me. Holding my novel in paperback gave me such a sense of achievement. I’ve been overwhelmed with the wonderful reviews and the support of the blogging community over these last two and a bit years. So much so that I jumped in and did it all again in June 2017 and have plans to publish my third book in 2018.

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I have some amazing news that I’ve been desperate to share with everyone about Visions of Zarua. Nothing has been finalised yet, but I decided as it’s #indiemarch and the prompt is to talk about your first book, that it was the perfect time to reveal what’s been going on. A few months ago I was approached by a Czech publisher who wants to publish the Czech translation of Visions of Zarua.

Once some cover issues have been sorted out, I hope to sign the contract and then maybe work can start on the translation. When I know more, I will be sure to share it. For now I’ll leave you with the blurb and a brief excerpt.

Blurb

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 are interested in finding out more about Visions of Zarua, here’s the universal amazon link.

Thanks to Rebecca Howie for creating the #indiemarch tag. Check out her site here.

If you want to join in, here’s the list of daily prompts.

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(I hope to join in tomorrow, but I’ll be braving the snow and heading into London for a Getting Published Day. I will catch up on Sunday if I miss out.)

 

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.

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

Writing Update #amwriting #amediting

I haven’t done an update in a while so in order to clarify things in my own head, I thought I’d share my plans for the rest of 2017.

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Update 14/10/2017 – The giveaway is now over and in total 1831 people entered. The Lost Sentinel is now on over 1000 tbr bookshelves and I have gained close to 30 new followers on Goodreads. All these figures are fantastic, it’s just a shame the person who won is a serial competition entrant who has clocked up a massive 59k book on their to read list. They appear to give those they do win away, so I hope my book will find its way into the hands of someone who wants to read it.

(There are just a few hours left to enter the Goodreads giveaway for The Lost Sentinel – over 1500 people have entered so far. Don’t miss your chance to win a copy before 8am GMT 12/10/17.)

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I’m just a few scenes away from printing The Sentinel’s Reign (Silent Sea Chronicles #2) for what I hope will be a last proof read before I pass it to my beta readers. I love this stage where I find out what works and what doesn’t!

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I’m really excited to be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year where I hope to draft out the major part of The Sentinel’s Alliance (Silent Sea Chronicles #3).

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My hunt for book covers goes on, but I hope to have a cover reveals for book 2 and 3 soon.

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I hope to contact some book reviewers by the end of the year regarding The Lost Sentinel and Visions of Zarua.

However, if you are a book blogger reading this and would like to receive a review copy please get in touch via the comments or my Contact Me form.

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I have several other book ideas to work through including a time slip novel that appeared to me in the summer and is itching to be written.

It looks like I have a busy few months ahead of me.

How is the rest of the year looking for you and have you signed up for NaNoWriMo yet?

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If you want to find our more about my books, please click on the universal Amazon link below where you can read the blurb, check out reviews and download a free sample.

THE LOST SENTINEL COVER The Lost Sentinel

 Visions of Zarua

#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 – 1 month after publication & 1 day left Goodreads giveaway

Well it’s a month today since my second fantasy novel was published, so I thought why not have a recap.

Firstly, the Goodreads worldwide giveaway to win a paperback copy ends tomorrow, so check out the link if you want to be in with a chance of winning. Over 1,150 people have already entered so I’m really pleased with these numbers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Unfortunately, The Lost Sentinel seems to have become lost in the sea of books, and neither the blog tour nor the local book event has done much to improve its exposure. I’m trying not to lose hope, but I am beginning to regret the decision to self publish – why didn’t I at least try a few agents first! I made a list, had everything in place (letter / synopsis), why didn’t I go for it?

At least Visions of Zarua is still being read on Kindle Unlimited and there is a link to the new book at the end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed people will want to download The Lost Sentinel as well.

I would love to get more reviews on Amazon for both books, especially when Amazon takes down reviews for no apparent reason and then reinstates them a few weeks later. I’m talking about poor Susan on Booksfromdusktilldawn – she’s a dedicated and genuine book reviewer who had all her reviews removed – I hope they have resolved this for her now. I know the UK ones are back up at least.

I have a couple of promo ideas in the pipeline; kindle countdown deals, an Amazon US giveaway, and hopefully a feature in a local publication. After that I’m planning to take a step back and recharge my blogging battery whilst I focus on finishing book 2. There are only so many setbacks an author can take, and I don’t want to lose my love of writing.

If you are a reviewer who would like to review either The Lost Sentinel or Visions of Zarua, click on the covers to be taken to the Amazon page to find out more. Please get in touch via the comments or via my contact me form on the blog.

Thanks for your time, and have a great Sunday everyone!

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