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Author, Avid Tweeter & Blogger, Lover of books, Teacher of Maths & Swimming, Mother, Speaks Spanish, Friend to many...

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Anyone else loving the Olympics?

Next week I will be heading off for London to watch Hockey and Basketball at the Olympics - in London (for anyone who has not heard about them...lol) I am so excited. I already went to see the Aquatic centre in March for the British Gas Champs and so even though I did not get swimming tickets I can say I was there... It does get me thinking though. I know some athletes will be disappointed for not getting the Gold (for e.g. Mark Cavendish, Michael Phelps, Hannah Miley...) but is it all about the Gold? I guess when you train as hard as they do it kind of is, but what about the rest of us. We all want to strike Gold in whatever we do, but we have to be realistic we are only human. In the world of books, it's all about the next big read, the first to get there with that new idea... It's no different in sport. First there gets gold! But, hey, personally if I know I have done my best is that not enough. I think we all have to strive to be the best we can, and be happy with that. Medals are great but then so is competing... Do your best and don't begrudge it when someone else's best is better than yours! In life, fate always has a hand...thanks for reading and to anyone who has downloaded my book - Thank you. It's a dream to know people have my book... And I won't be unhappy if I'm not no. 1! Vanessa :) xx

Monday, 23 July 2012

Over the moon...

Check out my latest review... I mean, like WOW... Huge gigantic smaile on my face today... Thank you Mrs mud.  I also finally have a copy of my official paperback and am quite impressed by the cover...

Hope you all get a chance to check it out... I am in the mood for writing!
Vanessa :) xx

Captivation at Every Twist and Turn! Next Bestseller! July 23, 2012
By MrsMud

As an 8th grade English teacher, reading is my passion. In order to entice my middle school kids to read, I must make sure that what I present to them is something that will not only catch their attention, but keep it through to the end. Popular series such as Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, and the Divergent Trilogy are series that I've read and presented to my students, and received an overwhelming response with kids fighting for books to read them. In saying that, I am constantly looking for books that are up to my standards to "infect" my students with that bug to read. I can say, after reading Hybrid, that this is my next book craze that will be taking over my class.

Since I live in the USA, the terms and spellings of Great Britain threw me at first, but was great to be exposed to a different way of reading. Will be great discussions in class! Hybrid begins in the setting of England, with student Caitlin joining the University, and meeting new people. It threw me, at first, because the story does change to the different characters points of view, but you catch on quick after that.

At school, Caitlin meets Steven and all that comes with him; many things that even HE didn't realize came with him. You get caught up in young blossoming love, that soon become overshadowed by darknesses hidden by the past. When dark family secrets make themselves known, the story twists into one of survival and the costs of living. Will the overwhelming love endure all costs? Is survival worth losing yourself? Is there anyway out?

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.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

To review or not to review...

I have read a lot of blogs or comments recently from a range of people (writers and readers) who all seem to think that asking for reviews is "not the done thing."

So, I have thought about this and had to throw my own thoughts in the mix (for what it's worth).

 As a reader, I look at reviews. I read them and always look at the lowest rating. I am more amused than anything to read what someone says. Most of the time I disregard if I think the story is good, but a rating does make me more interested. Not just in books, in buying anything. It's good to know if something is a good buy, or just looks like a good buy.

I don't see the harm in asking for reviews if someone has read your book. Before I published I never even thought about ratings. But, I know a friends who sells on eBay and she said ratings were very important to her as a seller of second hand goods. So, why shouldn't ratings matter to writers? If a reader is not asked to rate, why should they? Some do - you are fantastic! But, most readers (I think) don't.

 So, if I read your book, I will rate it. So, I will ask the same of you. If you read my book, please rate it. I would love to know what you think. I know everyone has a different view and that's fine, but your ratings and reviews do matter.

Indie/ self published authors need them, otherwise how will readers ever know what we write is worth their while...

I am hoping mine is a book you consider worth your while. Thank you for reading... Vanessa :) xx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

My children make me proud...

Well, it's the end of another school year, so school reports were handed out. Boy, was I chuffed... All of my children have thrived this year and got excellent reports! I must have something to do with that... All my years of being a "dragon" have not been wasted. These are my highlights...

 For my son - "consciencous & hardworking"

My daughter - "a role model student"

My youngest daughter - "happy & content"

 Wow... I know, I sometimes think they morph when they enter school (just kidding...no, not really)

 Anyway, I finished writing the second book in the Evolution Series - it has no name at the moment (having a rethink) - which is lucky since during the school holidays my writing time will disappear. Hybrid is FREE at the moment on Amazon UK until KDP see reason...

So what are waiting for - download now! It would be such a dream to be in the top 100!

 I'm off to feed my visiting Spanish students...

Hasta luego (later...)
Vanessa :) xx

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hybrid is free?

I found out yesterday that Hybrid was free on Amazon US & UK. I have not authorised it and can only assume they have made it free by mistake. I have a free sample on smashwords (first five chapters). If Amazon think I have put it free elsewhere they have to honour the price... Anyway, until the issue is resolved Hybrid is FREE so you might as well take a copy and spread the word. Since you are getting it free please post a review... I would be grateful and would like to hear what you all think. For those who don't know, it has taken me over 2 years to get it to this stage... I have done all the formatting myself and have had a lot of readers input to help me find errors. If you find any please tell me, I am all ears! I also had the help of both of my sister in laws to produce this new cover... Again I hope you like! Thank you for supporting me... I'll let you know what happens with Amazon soon. You never know it might just end up free for longer... Maybe it'll wet your appetite for the second book which should be out by Christmas. Vanessa :) xx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Another five star review...

I can not believe that everyone seems to really like my book.  Every day I wait for that review to come in - you know, the one that makes me hide under the covers and try to forget the silly notion that I could be a writer!  And yet so far, it has not happened - as we speak someone is busy writing!  So, seriously I am coming to the conclusion that I might have actually come up with a good story - shocking! - which is lucky since I happen to love it and have so many ideas on where its going to go (top secret!)

So, thank you to Chalis, Gels and Jill for these reviews...

WOW 11 July 2012
By Chalis
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
 
It took me a couple of chapters to get into HYBRID but it was well worth the wait. After that i couldn't put it down. I amm now eagerly waiting book two, hurry up please.
Great debut. 30 Jun 2012
By Gels
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
 
Hybrid begins being mainly told through the eyes of the character Caitlin - a girl beginning her course at University after moving away from family life. The author does well to introduce all the characters here - there are a lot, she paints their pictures well as they meet, settling into their new surroundings and Halls of Residence.

It's not until her love interest, Stephen, is properly introduced that you realise there is more to this story than meets the eye, introducing a nice twist to keep the pages turning.

I thought this story really took off in the second half, the spin the author has taken on the `normal' vampire story is an interesting one and I really felt for this new main character and his situation. I look forward to finding out where this story is going to go.

A great debut.
 
Brilliant debut 18 Jun 2012
By Jill S
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
 
Hybrid is engaging from the start and is an exciting read. It was a new imaginative theme not like novels I had read before. Once I started reading I didn't want to put the book down as I wanted to know what would happen next. I can't wait for the sequel to be released!

You are all making me believe that I was right to work so hard to publish... thank you!

And today (as per the previous blog) I actually had a very nice person, Ritchie Carver, compliment me on both my book and blog journey... WOW! 

So, even though outside it is raining cats and dogs and I am wearing a sweater (at the end of July!) I have a lot to smile about.

Now, I'm going to go and finish the second book!  A lot of people (apparently) are keen to read it! Amazing...

Thanks a lot for reading,
Vanessa :) xx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Well done Andy Murray...second place is a good place to be...

Congratulations to Andy Murray... he did not win in the final but he got to it all the same.  We Brit's are extremely proud!  (some would say about time too...lol)

A tennis match is a real test of endurance. In swimming, most events don't last very long... not over three hours anyway! It made me think of life and how we all endure and surpass obstacles to get to the next round...

1st School
2nd Uni/ job
3rd Relationship/ marriage
4th Children
5th Family/ work life balance
etc...

Every stage of our lives has a different challenge.  Along the way other things happen.  Friends or family pass away, you have money or health issues, you lose sight of who you are and what you want from life.  It's all very deep and meaningful...

To take it back to tennis.  When you are given a chance to reach your lifetime ambition it's how you deal with it that makes you the better person.  Win or lose - it does not matter.  What counts is that you tried your best.  That you gave it your all.

So, to take that to my life... I can honestly say that I try my best.  To be a good person, to live life well, to care for my friends and family, to work hard to follow my dreams, to give to those in need... to not be selfish.  I am happy with who I am.  Are you?

Thank you Andy Murray for your courage and may you enjoy the repercussions... we all deserve a break!

Vanessa :) xx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

My KDP promo experience...

Wow... What an amazing experience!

 Friday was so much fun...

Watching how the sales changed my position in the ratings was incredible.

Overall, I got over 300 downloads... Thank you to anyone who got a copy. I hope you enjoy it.

This series will certainly keep me busy. I just need to get my head down to finish the second book. I have tried hard to promote Hybrid but at the end of the day I don't have many contacts in the 'know'... So it's the best I can do. 

The highest I got in the UK was #15 for romantic suspense and in the US it was #30.

Considering I only did the promo for a day I thought this was a great achievement.

 Maybe you can tell me otherwise? I have no idea how this helps promote the book for general sales. I can't see that my rating is affected. Again if anyone can shed some light I'd be grateful.

Anyway, I am in the middle of watching Wimbledon... I hope Murray wins!

 Vanessa :) xx

Thursday, 5 July 2012

HYBRID... FREE FRIDAY 6TH JULY ONLY

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. Having grown up at boarding school, he is used to living away from home. He’s smart, so studying comes naturally. When it comes to making new friends, he’s 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.  However, the romance is cut short when Caitlin leaves University after a suspicious suicide. 
Now Steven is alone, Ingrid gets her chance and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that Steven is a HYBRID.  The wheels are set in motion for his radical upheaval.
Now they know he exists, they will come to get him…

http://tinyurl.com/7jmgkw2

GIFTED...FREE FROM 6-8 JULY

Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power.
To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.

Liz Long has been writing fantasy stories since she could spell the word "unicorn" (second grade). She fears a zombie apocalypse, though admits it would give her a good reason to stay inside and write as long as she wanted. She is a proud graduate of Longwood University with a degree in English.

Liz lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Jason and their Jack Russell terror, Fisher. For more about Liz, please visit her website: lizclong.wordpress.com
Links:


Twitter: (Handle: @LizCLong) https://twitter.com/#!/LizCLong

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/lizclongauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13601567-gifted

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Life takes over sometimes...

I would love to tell you all that the reason I have gone quiet over the past few days is down to serious writing.  Unfortunately, it's not the case.  I have been working really hard on cracking the swim team accounts (I volunteer...why oh why?) and finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sometimes I seriously think I need to get my head examined.  I have not worked so hard on something in ages!  Bare in mind writing is not work, it's my passion.  Number cracking is in a league of its own...

Anyway, I have been amazed at the fact that my book sales have picked up, even though I have not been as active on social media sites.  Whoever you are, thank you so much for buying my book.  You are seriously giving me a reason to smile...

Tomorrow I have two spanish students coming to stay with us for 3 weeks so I might go quiet again, or I might blog about the experience... hee hee.  They will be seriously gloating after the Football European Cup win - fantastic result for Spain (4-2 against Italy for anyone not in the know).  Not that I am into football, but even I can't ignore the result.  World domination...

It's also nearly the end of the school year (where has this one gone?) so soon I will no longer have snippets of free time during the day... boo hoo.  So, I will only be able to write at night.  How does anyone that works full time do this?

I am looking forward to the Writers Weekend in York (England) in September.  A whole weekend (with no kids) devoted to learning about the world of writing, meeting agents and publishers...so cool!  I will blog about it later on...

In addition, I have a free day booked for Hybrid this Friday... so I will  remind you all on Thursday and will be very grateful for tweets, or anything else you fancy doing to help. Let's see how many downloads I can get in a day... I will also be promoting my twitter friend Liz Long - again watch this space. Although, I will add the link to her book already on my blog... so please have a look.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and let me know about your hectic lives!

Vanessa :) xx