Friday, 28 September 2012

Let's talk about FOOD

Today I am blogging about food!

The other day I decided to let my kids cook (aged 8 & 10) since I was tired of always making their food and then having to listen to the "issues" - mainly from my 10 year old son!

So, I asked them what they would like to make...

My son (he is soooo healthy) opted for homemade burgers.  My daughter cottage pie.  Little one helped  - she cracked the egg & mixed...she is only 3)

I helped by cutting the onion, carrots and potatoes for my daughter (she is only 8...)

And here are the results...



I had mine with a salad...yum yum (lotsa mayonnaise)

I also cooked myself a treat yesterday... set your eyes on this! again, yum yum... :)

Have fun and let me know if you try these out...

Vanessa :) xx


Homemade Burgers

250g of mince (any you like - we used beef)
Splash of ketchup
About 30g breadcrumbs & 30g of cheese
1 egg

Mix together, then mold into 4 separate burgers.  Cook in oven (180 degrees) for approx. 25 min.'s - EASY!

Cottage Pie

1 onion
1 carrot
250g mince
1 beef stock cube (use a different for the type of mince)
4/5 medium sized potatoes
Splash of milk (depends how you like your mash)
Large spoonful of butter or soft spread
1 egg
Grated cheese for topping - your choice on amount

Fry the onion & carrot for about 5 min.'s, add mince.  Make sure it is all cooked.  Add some water to cover and crumble in the stock cube.  Leave to simmer on low heat (you don't want a lot of liquid)
Meanwhile, remove skin and cube the potatoes. Boil until soft. Remove and strain.  Mash and add the butter and milk (you want a smooth mash NOT runny)

Place the mince in a dish.  Layer with the potato (tip - put dollops of mash in the corners, then spread). Cover with the beaten egg and grated cheese.

Bake in oven until topping is golden. Approx 180 degrees.

Seafood Surprise

Place raw crevettes in a pan with some olive oil.  Sprinkle parsley and mild chilli to taste.  Add a red onion, green peppers and some chopped chorizo sausage.
Eat when cooked.  You can serve with a salad! EASY!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Does every writer find editing hard?  Or is it just me?

I am slowly working my way through my second book and it seems to take ages... I like to see it now as fleshing out the bones of the story! My very wise sister pointed out recently that some of my writing reads like a script - its all dialogue!  Well, I think I see where she is coming from now... I have been focusing on fleshing these areas out.  The thing is too much description and it breaks the flow, too little and you can't visualise what they are doing whilst they are having this in depth!

Its all about balance...

Anyway, it has been a very interesting week.  Hybrid seems to be selling and a few times it got into the charts...teasing me! I have not had many reviews, but I guess no news is good news sometimes.  Better people sit on the fence than to throw stones :)

My children are now back at school so I have gained some extra time which is why I am blogging at this time of the day.  I know lucky me, some of you will say.  Just remember that I have been at home looking after my children for 10 years...this is the perk!  I also tutor in the evenings so when you all sit down to write/ relax I work... do I sound defensive?  Maybe a little... hee hee

I have not had much time to read recently, but I will get through my catalogue of stories some day - maybe in twenty years!  I mean seriously, are you all as inundated as I am by all these FREE books.  I am amazed anyone actually buys books anymore!  But, I do have my favourite authors and I don't see their books for free... boo hoo!  They already have the marketing machine to help them.

I am off the KDP scheme now so no more free promo - sorry...but hey, it is only £2/ $3 so still a bargain! At least I think so anyway.

Right, well, I have another blog to update so I'll be off for now.  Please feel free to blog or comment or ask me for RT's - I believe in helping other authors... even the ones with the marketing machine behind them :)

Vanessa :) xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Have you downloaded Hybrid by Vanessa Wester?

If you were one of the lucky people to have downloaded Hybrid this weekend or if you happen to have bought it then THANK YOU :)

As a debut novelist I am bemused by the whole process and have no idea what all you readers out there will make of my baby.  Let's face it, we all love our babies but everyone else might not...

Anyway, I am going to focus of Book Two... it will hopefully be edited in the next month.  It's a slow process.  I apologise to all of you waiting.  Then I will send out to beta readers and bite my nails, which will be a darn shame since they are looking good at the moment!

I get the feeling at the moment that things are getting harder and harder for us "indie" authors... I dread to think what its like for traditionally published authors!  The market is saturated with new books!  Now, I think this is a great thing for books in general, they are cool again!  Walk with a book and hold your head high (or an ipad, kindle, Kobo, etc...)  Like it says in my local library - the Geeks rule the world! 

It has been an amazing experience to publish my eBook and paperback - I am in awe of the possibilities!  But, now I am going to try to focus on how this all started in the first place... to escape!  I have to get my head back in the game and stop thinking about strategy.  I am off the KDP scheme and my book is now going everywhere... lets just wait and see what happens!

Thanks again for reading
Vanessa :) xx

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Diary of the Festival of Writing

I have started a diary on my Festival of Writing experience.  It'll take me a while to write it all but if you are interested please follow the link for the Festival or go to...

Thanks for the interest :)

Vanessa :) xx

p.s. it is kind of therapeutic...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

FREE eBOOK, HYBRID (The Evolution Trilogy)

FREE from the 13-16th September on all Amazon sites... Please download and tell your friends.  It is the latest version so even if you have a copy you might want to take another! :)

Thanks for having a look,
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. He is used to living away from home; he went to boarding school from the age of eight. He is intelligent; academia has never fazed him. When it comes to making new friends he is cautious. Usually, he receives too much unwanted attention. 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.’

Monday, 10 September 2012

Festival of Writing, York 2012

Well, I'm back!  And guess what?  I HAVE POTENTIAL... the agents and book doctors did not slate me! WOW!

There are a few things I can work on but overall the premise for the story is sound (i.e. they like it!) and they believe it should work very well in the Young Adult market... super cool!

Anyway, I have loads of notes, etc. to type up and I have decided to make a separate blog for everything I learnt so that I can share with all of you... at the moment I don't have time so a few pictures instead...

Keep on reading and writing :)
Vanessa :) xx

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Writers Workshop Writers Conference!

My bags are packed and I'm all set to go to York, England.  It feels like I'm going to the moon, it'll take me ages to get there!

I have taken copies of book to show potential agents and publishers and feel reasonably confident after the positive reviews and increase in sales over the past month...

Too all you readers, thank you for your support...

I hope they have positive things to say too (I am trying to keep an optimistic outlook...)

Have a great weekend
Vanessa :) xx