Saturday, 29 December 2012


HAPPY NEW YEAR... I hope 2013 proves to be an amazing and inspirational year!

Personally,. I find it hard to imagine it could in any way compete with 2012... Let's face the facts...

2012 Olympics - AWESOME

I published 2 books, a short story & two short story collections under a newly formed collective group.

I have had fantastic support from many friends & family, who I have mentioned in my books and online already... Kay, Kathyrn, Katie, Adam, Lynn, Sarah, my in-laws (all of them), my sisters & parents, children & husband.  They have all helped in their own way...

I also joined Twitter, created blogs, and made lots of online friends... some of which I must mention now! 

@James_Sm1th James Smith: What a great person to meet!  A like minded teacher, father of 3, avid reader, and health conscience guy! Thank you for inspiring me take the plunge and investigate the world of "short stories" ... it has made me enjoy writing in a totally different way.

This friendship led to the creation of the Short Stories Group

@Gelakel Angela Kelman: A lovely lady that is down to earth and a fab editor!

 @neckache Sonia Wright: A great down to earth person that I will someday meet up with for a natter seeing as we only like a few miles aways from each other,...

@Ir0bark Steve Venables: You make me laugh a LOT

@GaryAlanHenson Gary Henson: An American with a sense of humour... great guy!

@MackBrownBooks Mackenzie Brown: A fantastic guy, who loves to RT and support fellow authors

@sammylou37 Sam Bachus: Sam is great to talk to online... really nice, friendly person

@samcroftauthor Sam Croft, @MJHolleywriter Michael Holley, @K_Einsel Karen Einsel, @DonaWatson Dona Watson, @JoanneGPhillips Joanne Phillips - All fantastic authors you should check out...

Other Twitter friends I must mention:

@strawberriesncr & @great_one04 Two fantastic ladies to chat to - I consider you my friends!

@Gallecian Another American with a great sense of humour and clever and quirky insights into life!

@CarolJHedges Carol is a funny, friendly and lovely person to chat to... we talk about cake a lot! And she featured me on her blog Carol Hedges: The Pink Sofa today!

@shellmeister84 Fantastic health & life blog posts! And a lovely person to boot...

@Strangewolf64 Recently got chatting to Joe... great person!

@KingTaffWrites Another fellow author, great guy to talk to and friend on The Word Cloud as is @Flickimp (the best of luck to him when he publishes his book in February this year) & @LeannexBray Another great person to talk to!

@RayChatie Thanks for the encouragement and kind words... it is nice chatting to you!

@LiteraryGary Gary is extremely supportive towards Indie Authors... thank you

@Susan_Buchanan A great friend, with a great year ahead of her - 2013 will be interesting... keep us posted!

@TerryTyler4 Terry is an active Tweeter and has a lot of interesting and and insightful comments into the world of self publishing

@OlgaNM & @MikeLamson Both featured me on their sites but also happen to be fantastic people to talk to... it is great knowing you. Mucho gusto de concerte, Olga...

@davepperlmutter We have a running joke - I describe beakfast for him! ha ha... Great guy to talk to!

@BalletMuzik Fantastic piano music... and I love his Tweets - they are pretty!

@MasqCrew @Kindle_Promo @Booksforpromoted @TweetTheBooks Fantastic support for Indie Authors

Now, I know there are many, many more of you out there to mention but then I do follow 2560 of you... so it is impossible to mention you all!

I hope you all have an amazing 2013... personally, if it is anything like 2012 I will be a happy lady.

Best wishes & huge gigantic hugs,
Vanessa :) xx

Monday, 24 December 2012


It's Christmas Eve and for once I have not had the family around... it is strange!

Usually, we open presents with my in laws today, but this year it is happening tomorrow. 

So, I have made minced pies with my daughter, we had leftovers (roast chicken dinner from yesterday), and I played board games with them.  My husband is at work...

But, then I have things to do (like so I have left the kids to their own devices... They are now arguing (I just had to go to lay down the law...or try to!) and I hope I survive the next few hours... I sympathise with any single parents out there - I feel like one!

Anyway, I don't know how peaceful your households are, but I find the day before slightly painful with kids... they are way too hyper!

We did go to a lovely Carol Service yesterday to remind them that Christmas is actually not just about eating and presents... I hope we all try to remember the real meaning of Christmas.  Religious or not, it is a great time to reflect...

Anyway, if you do have the time tomorrow and on Boxing Day to get your Kindles out I have a few freebies & promotions...

Please download and spread the word!


Amazon UK

Amazon US


Amazon UK

Amazon US


Amazon UK

Amazon US

HYBRID is also reduced for Christmas...

Amazon UK Only 95p

Amazon US Only $1.54

And Complications is now available...

Amazon UK

Amazon US



Lots of Love & best wishes
Vanessa :) xx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gurnard Pre-School Christmas Market

Last week Gurnard Pre-school held its second Christmas Market.  I organised it, with some amazing help... What an incredible team!

From the parents - Nicki, Jenny, Claire, Kirsty, Suzanne, Jane. From Cowes Baptist Church - a particualr mention to John , Graham & Sarah. From the Gurnard Pre-School Staff - Val, Christy, Bev, Jane, Clare, Pat, Kelly.  And to anyone else who helped - THANK YOU...

We raised just over £800 on the day, and then we managed to flog (thanks Clare & Pat) the rest at the main school Fair... so raised over £850! RESULT!

Anyway, all money raised will help the Pre-school complete the building program imposed by the change of location. It's all coming together...

Enjoy the photos of the event
Vanessa :) xx

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Books for sale! Exciting!

Yesterday I decided to put myself out there and took my paperback to the School Fair to sell... I made up flyers and attempted to spread the word... I did manage a few sales! Exciting...

It felt brave to do this, especially amongst many friends, and I tried not to be pushy.  I did love when people admired the covers... I will do it again!

Pictures for you to enjoy
Vanessa :) xx

Vanessa :) xx

My Journey into Self Publishing

I was lucky enough to be featured in Olga’s Blog yesterday  I have done a few interviews already over the months on different author’s pages and enjoy doing them.  In Olga’s case she gave me free reign.  No questions, just talk… well, talk I did.

I decided to explain how I came to become a writer and to give a bit of insight into my love of books.  My Dad has to be the reason for the fascination.  His nose is permanently in a book, although, my sister, Catherine, always had her nose in a book too.  In fact, she used to be great fun to play tricks on.  Sorry, Catherine.  And it was like talking to a wall 9 out of 10 times, since she would nod and grunt when I talked to her and then lift her head and ask, “whhhhaaaat?” in a sleepy voice.  Yeah, you guessed it – she hadn’t heard a word I said.  Please bear in mind that I am 5 years younger than her so I can blame my “youngest child” issues on the fact that (if I’m honest) I was a bit of a pest!  

Oh well…I have grown up now (I think).

Anyway, I digress (again) I hope you enjoy my latest “feature.”  I would like to thank Olga for being so nice to me.  I think she has done a great job, and I love the fact it is also in Spanish.  I did translate most of it, but luckily Olga fixed my grammar and corrected some of my failings! Lol…it’s been a while since I wrote Spanish (don’t speak enough of it either!).



Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy
Vanessa J xx

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by Susan Buchanan. Thankyou!

  • When one receives the award, one posts 11 random facts about oneself and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure one notifies the blogger that one nominated them!)
  • One writes up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
  • One is not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated one’s own blog!
  • One pastes the award picture into ones blog.

  • Okay, so 11 random facts first... this is going to be sooo much fun!

    I like to drink Martini & lemonade (with a slice of lemon)
    I don't like wine or beer
    I love chocolate
    I don't like orange chocolate (sorry Terry's)
    I like dancing (disco diva...)
    I can't ballroom dance
    I love going for long walks with my iPod
    I don't like rain & mud
    I love the sight & sound of the sea
    I don't like hot sun (I get burnt!)
    I love talking...

    Now for Susan's questions...

    If you could turn back time, what, if anything would you change?

    I would not stress about meeting the right guy as much as I did... lol.  In the end I met my husband when I was only 19.  Sometimes, I wish I had enjoyed the freedom of a single life a little bit longer.  But, at the time it was the right thing to do and I did fall head over heals in love with my husband. Only thing is once you have children you can't go back to being alone and single that easily... ha ha ha...

    What 3 things did/do you definitely want to do before you turned 30/turn 30?

    This is very sad... when I was that age all I could think of was career, marriage and children.

    Favourite takeway food

    Chinese... Crab & sweetcorn soup,  Sesame prawn toast, Peking Duck... yum, yum

    If you could date a famous actor/actress for one night only (don't read anything into this!) who would it be?

    Definitely has to be Brad Pitt, no actually David Boreanaz, no actually Rob Lowe, or.... ahhhhhh... HARD QUESTION! 

    Okay... David Boreanaz (I loved Angel)

    Wildlife programmes or home makeover shows?

    Wildlife programs...

    Favourite city in the whole world


    City, countryside or by the sea?

    By the sea... always

    Do you have any particular talents (keep it at a PG level pls!)

    Swimming, singing, acting, painting, cooking & baking, that enough? Lol...

    Which sport do you wish (if any) that you were really good at (or are you already really good at?)


    If today was the last day of Mankind (cheery thought...) what would you like to be doing?

    It's not a PG answer... ha ha ha ha... I'll let you use your imagination!

    My nominations:

    Carmen DeSousa
    Michelle Wilkinson
    Miranda Stork
    Terry Tyler
    Mackenzie Brown
    Karen Einsel
    Joanne Phillips
    Carolyn Arnold
    Carl Purdon
    David P Permutter
    WH Cann


    At what age did you have your first kiss?
    Do you remember who it was with ?
    When did you first get hurt by love and how?
    What is your favourite book?
    What is the best film you have ever seen, and why?
    What is your favourite treat?
    What languages can you speak?
    When on holiday, what do you love to do?
    How many shoes do you own?
    What makes you smile the most?
    Name your favourite animal.

    Thanks for reading,
    Vanessa :) xx


    I have been so incredibly busy this past week. On Saturday, I performed in a Panto with my gorgeous and lovely daughter... amazingly it went very well and we had lots of fun.  We even treated ourselves to a takeaway on the way home...rarely ever do that these days! Lol 

    Then I attended a Swimming Teachers Meeting (which I organised & run) and agin it was excellent.  I found out things about the other teachers I did not know and I believe it was a very helpfull, informative and well run evening - it was also held at the back room of a pub! It helps...

    We had another panto show on Sunday... attended by a room full of Beaver Scouts! Cracking audience! They laughed at every joke and joined in for everything, we even threw in an extra Mexican wave.  It was brilliant.

    Today I have spent the day organising a Christmas Market in aid of Gurnard Pre-School, which my 3 year old attends.  I have been preparing for this for a while (since I am the organiser), although I have an amazing team of helpers. It has been great fun and the event was fantastic (pictures to come soon...).  All of my meatballs were devoured - they SOLD OUT! Result :) - cheesy grin alert!  I am in the process of counting up the money, it's looking good!

    AND tomorrow - WEDNESDAY 5TH DECEMBER - we are running ONE FREE DAY ONLY to promote A FESTIVE FEAST, and I am also promoting FIRST DATE (based on my true story). 

    So, please...spread the word and download both... THANK YOU

    From Thurs - Sun I have 4 more panto shows! No rest for

    Thanks for reading, let me know what you are all up to in the run up to the Festive Season...

    All the best
    Vanessa :) xx

    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Back to school with ALAN DURANT

    My son was lucky enough to be selected for a Literary Day at another primary school hosted by alan Durant.  Other local schools were represented by a range of pupils (there were 30 children in total).  I was asked to go along as a responsible adult since I am an author... love it!  I took lots of notes...

    Alan asked the following questions, and got an impressive show of hands in response:
    • What inspires you?
    • Where do you write?
    • Do you read?
    • Do you want to be a writer?
    • Is there a special place that motivates you to write?  Find your space...don't stifle your creativity.
    Books kids had read included Famous Five, Narnia Series, Poetry - impressive!

    Alan wrote a lot of his work in his Shed... he read out his poem.  He has a captivating voice.  The poem, read from memory, was excellent.

    Alan recommends that you imagine you are in your favourite place when you are writing.

    TO BE A WRITER... YOU HAVE TO LOVE WORDS...YOU SHOULD WANT TO MARRY WORDS (a bit - all the children giggled at this)

    Kids favourite words:  cheek, ink, articulate, ginornous, write, discombubulated, Chimbercoli (place in India)

    A word can have many meanings... it's the fantastic thing about language.

    For example, if you think of exciting things like exotic fruit...

    Using the expression "you are what you eat."

    FRUIT FANTASY - alan used fruit to create a poem...

    Alan then explained that his books included picture books.  At this point I felt compelled to ask a question, I was just as keen as the children.  I wondered how the illustrations came about.  The answer surprised me to an extent.  Apparently, this is where the publisher comes in, and in Alan's case he does not tend to interfere.  He is shown the illustrations and can have a say but he tends to let them use their expertise.


    Self expression - How do you tell a story?

    You have to be interested in the theme.  If you can also draw from a real experience, it keeps the writer engaged.  It as a writer you do not find it interesting, then frankly no-one else will (a very valid point).

    "If you have not smelt it, you can't know about it."

    In order to write about Gameboys, Alan bought one and played with it.  He then wrote three books based on the experience... they looked like a fun read for children aged betweem 6-8 years old.

    I agree that in Alan's case this statement makes sense, however for fantasy and paranormal books the writer can not have smelt or known with certainty about characters that don't really exist.  So, personally this statement only stands true for stories based on 'real' things.

    "Sometimes you like to use the same character.  eventually, the story runs its course and a new character emerges."

    How do you name a book?

    "Wait until the end...sometimes it changes."

    I agree with this statement, all of my books have changed names as they got written.

    Name for a Character?

    Very important, it gives the voice of the story...(I agree)

    Use a notebook

    If you carry a notebook around, you can jot an idea when it comes to you... (I have to admit I scribbled an amazing story idea on the back of the notepad whilst I was listening on the day!)

    Range of Authors read by the children attending:

    Michael Morpurgo, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl, JK Rowling (not the latest one, of course...), Enid Blyton, Jacqueline Wilson, Suzanne Collins, Holly Webb...

    The children were then split into groups of 6... and then had to come up with a story using the Fortunately, Unfortunately concept...

    For example:

    Fortunately, the day was very informative.
    Unfortunately, it was very stuffy in the room and I ended up getting a migraine...

    Overall, the kids did a great job...

    Key points noted:
    There was some repetition of themes, a lot of death & coming back to life, breaking and fixing, falling...

    Then Alan gave then a set of questions to answer... the kids were busy scribbling!
    1. What's your favourite colour? Why?
    2. What's your favourite place? Describe
    3. What's your favourite season? Why?
    4. What's your favourite possession? Why?
    5. What's your favourite food? Describe (as though you can see it in front of you0
    6. What's your favourite hobby? Why?
    7. What would be your dream job? Why?
    8. Describe a memorable event.
    9. Describe a dream or nightmare.
    10. What fruit or vegetable would you be?  Why?
    11. What creature eould you be?  Why?
    Animals leave memories

    Cats having kittens (find a place - bed, shoes, sock drawer)  A strong bond forms with an animal.  Use real experiences to create a story...

    The children then had a break, and when they came back composed there own stories using three answers they had given to the questions.

    I had a wonderful day, as did all the dhildren and I would like to thank Alan Durant for an excellent workshop.

    I did actually buy three books for my kids that day, which Alan signed! Fantastic!

    And I have to say that my youngest loves hers...

    thanks for reading and please check out Alan Durants books,

    All the best
    Vanessa :) xx

    Alan has published 80 books to date...



    Vanessa :) xx


    I have to be honest, I found being a teenager hard work.  Growing up in a place like Gibraltar, I always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb.  A redhead in a hot climate surrounded by tanned brunettes...hmmm.  I found it particularly amusing when I got burnt and resembled a lobster - not my best look!

    However, if there are a few thing us Gibraltarians do well they (we mix the best of Spanish, Morrocan & Englaish cuisine together) & dancing!  Gibraltar has won many dance competitions in the past and I have to say that the love of music and dance remains with me for life.

    So, it is on the topic of dance that we get to my story.  Gibraltar always used to organise the best Christmas and New Years Balls.  It was fantastic to get dolled up and to feel like an adult.  I had been to a Ball/ Dance before the one in this story, but always with friends.  This was the first time I was asked on a date.

    I did have a fantastic time, and am very grateful for having been invited.  I was a very innocent teenager.

    So, I hope you get the chance to check out my short story...FIRST DATE.  I have used my creative licence to amend the story to what I would have liked to have happened - hey, I am a writer after

    Vanessa :) xx

    Tuesday, 13 November 2012

    "Don’t let your circumstances define who you are." Interview with Mike Lambson

    I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Mike over the course of a few weeks... The results are in the link attached! It was great fun and I have to say that I enjoyed the process (Mike is also a very nice it made it easy!)

    Please take a look and enjoy... & Follow @mikelambson on Twitter

    "Don’t let your circumstances define who you are."

    Happy reading...

    Vanessa :) xx

    My personal highlights from the interview...

    "my heart belongs to novels with some romantic aspect. I have a feeling I will write the genre that suits me… I am still dabbling; I only started writing under three years ago! I would love to be the next Agatha Christie, but I have a feeling I like romance too much…"

    "I think I have a lot to be proud of. A writer is not just defined by their success, but by what they get out of their “art.” It’s the same for every other profession where people judge your work."

    "When I start to write I go into a zone… The story tells itself, I’m just the writer… My head is a mysterious place!"

    "I put the bare bones down first, then develop to add muscle, skin and extra details!"

    "I have used some real experiences for inspiration. For example, in Hybrid, when Steven thrashed Caitlin at pool, that was me, beaten to humiliation by my husband on one of our first dates. I resented him for weeks. I thought I was a good player until then."

    "I have had many compliments that have made me smile from ear to ear…the main one that always amuses me if when I get the… ‘I didn’t think I would enjoy this, it’s not my usual read…but I couldn’t put it down.’ My ultimate ambition is to entertain, to make the reader lose themselves in the story. Without a good story, you have nothing – that’s my opinion. You can be the best writer in the world, but without a good story…well, need I say more."

    "Don’t let your circumstances define who you are. It’s easy to complain, to say you can’t. It’s harder to fight for what you believe in, to put in the extra effort."

    "Don’t write for financial reward!"

    "Anyone who knows me at all knows there is a lot of me in Caitlin. I am a swimmer, attended the University of Southampton, come from Gibraltar, LOVE sharks…etc. BUT…Caitlin is more…she can do all the other stuff I did not do! Steven embodies the man I would fall love with, but not necessarily end up with. He has so much of lots of men I have known or know. He probably does have traits of the first man I ever fell in love with (not my husband…ha ha). The other characters are inspired by different people or traits I know well, but I’m not saying who…"

    "I have bawled my eyes out several times over scenes I have written. Actually, the Christmas Short I will be releasing soon, made me cry like a baby."

    Sunday, 11 November 2012


    I admit it... I am a sadist!

    I have self imposed a deadline of the 16.11.12 to have finalised COMPLICATIONS... I am an idiot!  Absolutely.  But then, don’t you work better to a deadline?  Isn’t it better to have something to aim for, than to follow the usual ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ kind of attitude?

    Also, I want to get cracking on book 3, and until book 2 is wrapped up I don’t stand a chance.

    So, I WILL have it ready on time.  As you might have read it is already available from Smashwords, but at least there anyone who has purchased an older version can update the latest one at any time.  Not like Amazon.  Even I have to pay to get a copy off Amazon!  On Smashwords, if you own it you can download copies to your hearts content…nice.

    HYBRID  is now only 94p or $1.50...a bargain!

    It is interesting to think that writers like Jojo Moyes wrote 4 books that have never seen the day of light.  Without self-publishing, Hybrid would never have seen the light of day either…lol. So, have it for under a £1...

    So, please tell your friends about me, download HYBRID.  And if you like it, buy the second book in the Trilogy, COMPLICATIONS.  All the support I get will make me smile…and I LOVE to smile.

    I have to admit that after being blown away by SKYFALL (read my review on ) BREAKING DAWN, PART 2, is going to struggle to compete.  I will go to see it on Friday… I see every journey through to the end.  Let’s hope it’s a good one…the trailer looked amazing!

    Thanks for reading…and have a great week!

    Vanessa :) xx

    Tuesday, 6 November 2012


    On Saturday I attended a "Family Fireworks Night" ... I have to say it was brilliant!

    Yes, there was a bit of rain, but it was not torrential... it did get that way whilst we were driving

    There was some excellent live music too and it was hosted by the excellent Isle of Wight Radio! Love it!

    Anyway, I was quite impressed with my pictures so here you go!  Enjoy...

    The Bonfire is lit...


    A blazing inferno...

    The Fireworks begin... shot I have EVER taken of a firework!
     Hope you all had a great time during Halloween, etc... lol

    Vanessa :) xx

    Thursday, 1 November 2012

    November is a BIG month!

    Today I have been very busy in the kitchen... I love to cook.  I find it de-stressing - I know, I’m a bit weird like  I made spinach & ricotta cannelloni for later and helped my kids cook… son made hamburgers, daughter cod fishcakes.  Why am I telling you this?  I don’t really know…I'll get to the point.

    On the 16th November the last instalment of the Twilight saga will be released, Breaking Dawn, Part Two.

    Now, I have to admit that even though I was (my obsession has lulled now…phew) a massive fan of the Twilight books, I have not been that impressed with the films.  I love all the soundtracks – they are amazing!  Nevertheless, I will be going to watch it to complete the journey, I do actually think that based on the plot and the special effects they might be able to pull off it could be the best one yet.  You never know…

    As I have mentioned in the past, the reason I started to write a novel was because I was inspired by an interview of Stephanie Meyer (on the first Twilight movie).  She explained how she got the “Twilight” idea via a dream and because she was at home looking after her boys decided to put thought to paper.

    Over the years I also came up with many ideas which I jotted down on the computer.  However, most of them evaporated because I never saw them as anything other than dreams or silly notions.  When I saw that interview a switch flicked in my brain.  I had permission to write – I was not being silly if I wrote.  Lots of people write, why not me?  Might I add at this point that I used to write all the time as a child and then teenager, but as with many other things, I lost confidence and became convinced I was no good.  I still think this but I’m glad a lot of people seem to disagree…lol.

    My youngest daughter was a year old when I devoured the Twilight Saga.  I had time on my hands so I wrote my first novel, a chick flick type thing.  I bravely posted excerpts on Bookise and gave samples to a friend (Kay you are the best!).  And to my shock and surprise she actually liked it!  So, I shared with another friend (Kathyrn – another star) and she also liked it.  I had a lot to learn though… it took another year before I joined The Word Cloud and learnt about critique, prose, and the right things to do!

    After another year of polishing I had finished HYBRID (although it morphed a lot over time…) and decided to publish.  I did try a few agents, and after getting what I call some “positive rejections,” I decided it was ready.  Then as you can read on this blog the journey began in earnest.

    So, here we are…after two and a half years, the second book in the Trilogy is ready!  I don’t know what the right way to publish is yet, I am still learning.  All I can do is tell you all about it and hope you want to

    “COMPLICATIONS” will be published on the 16TH NOVEMBER on AMAZON…as a tribute to Twilight (the reason my writing journey started…) 


    I hope you will take a look...

    I have created a blog solely for The Evolution Trilogy...

    ...where I have posted the "teaser" for Complications

    Thanks for reading
    Vanessa :) xx

    Wednesday, 31 October 2012


    HALLOWEEN like many other traditions is received with mixed views by many... some throw themselves in and go all out.   They buy costumes, go to parties, make creepy goodies, read scary stories or watch scary films... it's all good fun! 

    Others ignore the whole thing and treat it as another notch of consumerism gone crazy... promoted actively by shops to make money (and who could blame

    Personally, I think it's good to have fun every now and again... I will not eat (or give my kids) millions of sweets but in moderation all is good.

    And if I'm honest, I love vampires, ghosts, paranormal, and deadly tales... again, everything in moderation.  Not all the time but now and again... it's great!  Although, I have to be honest I am a bigger fan of suspence than I am of horror - zombies in particular have never been my "thing."

    Anyway, in light of the tradition a few pictures to share of my horrors! lol...

    Vampire Mike

    Elegant Elsa
    Scary Jo

    We had a lovely chicken roast dinner and are all completely stuffed now...

    But for desert I recommend PUMPKIN CUPCAKES, using a carrot cake recipe... they were delicious!


    100g soft margarine or butter
    100g caster sugar
    2 eggs
    125g Self-raising flour
    Approx. 100g pumpkin
    25g raisins
    Teaspoon of vanilla essence

    Whisk eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla & flour together.  Then mix in pumpkin & raisins.  Heap in cupcake cases & bake at 180 degrees...

    Decorate with...

    Buttercream... half & half of icing sugar to butter - your choice on food colouring...

    & anything else you like...we got chocolate spiders!

    Then EAT... and get a coloured tongue... lol :)


    Vanessa :) xx

    Friday, 26 October 2012


    HYBRID is half price for Halloween starting tomorrow...ending on the 31st.

    At only £1 or $1.50 its a bargain... grab your copy

    Thank you,
    Vanessa :) xx

    University.  Land of opportunity?  For Steven Thorn, it’s the start of a new life. Just not the one he anticipated.  As his resolve is put to the test, he ends up losing everything.  For who could live a normal life as a HYBRID?

    Steven Thorn has no trouble settling in at university.  Caitlin Chance catches him off guard.  She’s the first girl he has ever felt an instant attraction towards and the more he gets to know, the more he likes.

    When Caitlin leaves university after a suspicious suicide the romance grinds to a halt.  Now Steven is alone, Ingrid gets her chance and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that Steven is a HYBRID.  However, when his estranged mother, Emily, convinces Ingrid to lie about Steven he obtains a short reprieve.  Unfortunately, Ingrid does not intend to let Steven remain away from her for long.  She has other plans.

    The wheels are set in motion for his radical upheaval.  Steven will become a stranger to everyone.  He will be forced to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  He will come face to face with his past and future.

    Now they know he exists, they will come to get him.
    Everything will change…

    ‘The Hybrid series is sure to keep the reader on edge throughout the chapters, and leaves you wanting more at the end.  This, to me, is the mark of a true bestseller.  It leaves me wanting more, and will leave any reader wanting her to hurry up and release the other books!  Any fans of The Hunger Games and/or Twilight will instantly be captivated.  I will state, I am NOT a Twilight/vampire fan AT ALL, but I was captivated by this book.  You must read to know more!  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to ‘get lost’ in a new book, and for any English teacher looking to get their kids hooked on reading.  I’m confident in recommending this, and look forward to many more works in this series and by this author.’

    ‘Hybrid is engaging from the start and is an exciting read…Once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down as I wanted to know what would happen next.’

    ‘A great twist on the usual vampire tale.’

    ‘This is a very exciting read.  Would appeal to the Twilight fan-base, but has definitely put its own twist on the genre.  A very well constructed piece, all the more impressive for being a debut novel.’

    ‘I loved this story!  It was a fantastic start to a series which I hope to see more from soon, and I loved the characters!  There was also a great twist in the tale, and it was original and well-thought out.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something new in their paranormal romance/fantasy section, and I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with in her next books!’

    ‘I really enjoyed the characters, settings and narrative and couldn’t put it down. So many little twists and details all the way through, super.  I can’t wait to read the next in the series and would love to see it as a film.’

    Tuesday, 23 October 2012


    I had so much fun putting together "Out of Darkness" that we are going to (hopefully) make a regular thing of it. 

    So far we are a group of 8 authors (please follow the link on this blog) or click on

    "Out of Darkness" is now exclusively on Amazon, and we will hopefully be releasing a paperback shortly.

    For some of the authors involved this has been their first ever published piece of work - I know, exciting right!  So, I figured a paperback would be even more fun.  It should be priced at £2.99 or $3.99 which I think is pretty decent. 

    Any funds raised will go to the British Heart Foundation.

    So, we are looking for more authors to come on board and share your Festive Shorts (of approximately 4000 words in length).  If you come on board you will be featured on the blog site and promoted by all of us as we promote the books.  We will expect you to do the same and promote via social networking sites or to family & friends.

    The deadlind for submission is mid Nov (lets say Friday 16th) to give us time to make any necessary changes.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    All the best

    Vanessa :) xx

    Saturday, 20 October 2012

    Another roller coaster ride... Indie writers rock!

    This week has been a lot of fun!

    I published a book of short stories by authors I met on twitter (only one was added later who I knew locally).

    OUT OF DARKNESS curently has eight short stories (one is mine!) and is FREE on smashwords.  Please follow the link for the blog about the book and the authors...

    And get involved...

    Thanks a lot
    Vanessa :) xx

    Monday, 15 October 2012

    Chocolate Butterfly Muffins

    I do love to bake ... not all the time, otherwise my waistband will expand again... but I had to share these with you.

    They are delicious, easy to make and look impressive (but I'm sure you can make them even better...)


    3 eggs
    125g soft margarine (I use dairy free butter)
    125g caster sugar
    175g self raising flour
    25g cocoa powder
    Drizzle of milk
    Around 50g of chocolate to melt and chocolate sprinkles for decoration.


    Whisk up the eggs, sugar and butter
    Add the SR flour, cocoa powder and milk.
    Whisk again...

    Prepare a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.  Spread the mix evenly throughout the cases.
    Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.
    Cool, then carefully cut round circles in the middle and split them in half.
    Melt chocolate, drizzle in each well, add the wings and sprinkles...JOB DONE...

    EAT... and look like this...

    Give it a go... hope you enjoyed!

    Lotsa love
    Vanessa :) xx