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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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 them...lol)

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!

Ingredients:

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 :)

HAVE AN EXCELLENT DAY...

Vanessa :) xx

Friday, 26 October 2012

HALF PRICE FOR HALLOWEEN

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

FESTIVE SHORTS

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 http://shortstoriesgroup.blogspot.co.uk/

"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...
http://shortstoriesgroup.blogspot.co.uk/

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...)



Ingredients

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.

Method:

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

Friday, 12 October 2012

Isle of Wight Literary Festival

This weekend is the Isle of Wight Literary Festival

http://isleofwightliteraryfestival.org/

I have agreed to volunteer since I recently went a festival... it'll be fun to be on the other side.  I am doing long shifts... I will give you the low down next week.

If you happen to live close by check it out and look out for me... it would be fun if someone actually recognised me! lol...

Have a great weekend everyone... Sun is shining here (great for being indoors... lol)

Vanessa :) xx

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Would you like to publish a Short Story?

I was talking to an author of short stories the other day and we discussed the idea of my publishing a book of short stories written by different authors for fun.  It would be offered FREE on Kobo & Smashwords.

Ideally, I would love to publish by Halloween... so it could be shorts on horror, suspense or mystery.  But, I think it is a good idea to keep the topics open... if there are many then I can publish a variety of themes.

If you are interested please drop me a message here, on Facebook, or DM me on twitter @vanessa_wester

All I would need would be a page with an author profile and the short story you would like to include.  Additional information like twitter info, facebook, goodreads, etc is up to you... then I will sort out the rest. 

I hope some of you come on board... it should be fun

Thanks a lot
Vanessa :) xx

p.s. This is open to all writers... so those of you hiding your stuff in the computer or notepad now is your chance...

Smugglers Walk, Bonchurch, Isle of Wight

Today is beautiful... I give you the Isle of Wight in pictures...

We went for a walk down Smuggler's walk, off Bonchurch Landslide, near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight...


Mini Waterfall
















My family...



Steps into the unknown...

The lovely beach at the end of the walk...

I think I might use this as a new profile picture...

Beautiful...
Now what shall I write next?

Hope you enjoyed - wish you were here...

Vanessa :) xx




Thursday, 4 October 2012

Complications... The Second book in The Evolution Trilogy

I am currently finalising the (long awaited...sorry) edit for COMPLICATIONS... the second book in The Evolution Trilogy.

What do you think of my book cover?



I am looking for readers to check and give opinions on the book, and possibly review, before release. 

If you are interested in being one of my "beta" readers please contact me through Facebook, email or comment via this via this site or through Twitter @vanessa_wester

Thank you so much

Vanessa :) xx

Monday, 1 October 2012

Reviews...positive :) & negative :(

Yesterday, I got my first negative review on the Amazon.com site - I know, I did keep saying I hadn't got one and the day finally came...lol!  I have to admit that it made me smile.  I took some of the comments on board but basically the person was obviously not the ideal reader for my book. 

I did know there was a chance of this happening since it was under Science Fiction/ Adventure (which I have now changed)... the thing is the adventure truly starts in the second half of the book, which the reviewer did not read.

Oh well...

See what you make of it and please comment and tell me what you think.  I am new to the whole review thing so I don't want to read more into it than I should...

Anyway, after writing this post I happened to see that I had also got another 5 star review on the Amazon UK site... well, I would rather dwell on the positive one first :)  So, here it is... I am chuffed to bits!


5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't think I would enjoy, 1 Oct 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hybrid (The Evolution Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
First let me make it clear. I am a 34 year old man who has a tendancy to shout a lot if someone mentions the words Twilight. Vampires are meant to rip the throats out of young girls not ....

Sorry - distracted.

Seriously - I did not think I would enjoy this story, but even after the first few pages I was hooked. Without including spoilers, the story is a twist on the now familiar girl meets vampire premise. The characters are engaging enough, but what really sets this book apart is Westers talent as a writer. She raises questions throughout the story - making you read - before revealing the answers in a satisfying way - but not without raising a few more questions to make you read on.

The plot has plenty of originality and does not feel forced at any point. The pace changes at appropriate points and ensures the story flows along without getting bogged down. There is also plenty of humour to lighten the sometimes dark world we are exploring.

Overall I have been thorougly satisfied by Vanessa Westers writing. I hope the trilogy is completed soon


Anyway, here is the negative review...I'll go hide now... :)

2.0 out of 5 stars A warning to all. September 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I hate to write a bad review. It is hard to write a book. I could not do it, even though I might have some good ideas about what makes a good story. As they said in a cartoon it is way easier to judge than to create. With that said, this book was bad. It was not horrible but it was just not good. First, it was way too long and it introduced way to many characters in the beginning. I mean you can introduce new characters well into the story but not at the expense to the pace to the story. This leads me to talk about the pace of the story. I have never read a story that was so slow. SPOILER ALERT I almost cheered when a likeable character met an unfortunate end because at least something was starting to happen. However, I kept reading because I thought that something was going to happen. Also, to be truly transparent I thought was reading another book. I got it mixed up with another book with hybrid in its title. Also I did not read to whole book. I read 50% of the book until I decided that I didn't care about what happened to any of the characters.

All in all, the book was not all bad. The writing is self was okay. The characters were believable and dialogue was okay as well. Also, the author has some original ideas that were okay. It was just that the pace of the book really killed it. Also, if going to have sex in the book go for the gold don't gloss over it like its not important. You can tone it down for a younger audience without striping the scene of all it passion. I am not saying that it is easy but, it can be done. Just look at the Dark God Bride Series, Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down, and the Blade and the Chalice series, they did it. The blade and the chalice I read in the school's library when I was in middle school. The other two I read as an adult and did not care. I am still awaiting the sequels, which the authors are not writing fast enough. Lol.

Like I said it breaks my heart to write this review but it had to be done.
Here is my reply...to Neotrance

Thank you so much for your review... At last a negative review! You may think I would be upset, but honest I'm not... I could not believe that everyone would like my story. You have restored my faith in readers...

I take on board all of your points, I am definitely working on focusing characters more and should really condense a lot of the initial scenes. The thing is it does work as a whole, and without it you don't really appreciate the point of the Trilogy (that's my excuse anyway - of course you can disagree...lol)

It is a shame you did not read to the end because it definitely does pick up - maybe one day when you have nothing better to do...

I am impressed that you thought the writing was sound, I have worked very hard to make it as polished as possible. For a debut novel, I am happy with what I have achieved.

Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to review and I thank you for your honesty. It's just a book in the end, there are plenty out there... I hope you find one that you enjoy in the future.

So what do you all think?  Should I go and hide now, or act tough? :)

Thanks for reading,
Vanessa :) xx