Sunday, 20 March 2016

The end of #Amazon Price-Match?

I got this from Amazon today...

"We recently noticed the digital list price for the title(s) listed below is higher than the list price of the same book listed on or another website. 

Hybrid: The Evolution Trilogy (ID: B0081EV8Z8) is listed on at $3.45 and at $0.99 on BarnesAndNoble-US

According to our pricing policy, your book should be priced no higher than the list price on or any other sales channel for either the physical or digital edition of the book. Please adjust the list price for the above book(s) within the next 5 business days. If the price isn’t updated within 5 business days, we may remove the book(s) from the Kindle Store, at which point you will need to republish the book with an updated price.

To republish an item and update the price, locate it in your KDP account and open Step 2, ‘Rights and Pricing’. Enter an updated price, click the rights confirmation check box, then click ‘Save and Publish’.

For more information on our list price requirements, see section 4 on our Pricing Page below:
Thanks for your understanding."

Does this signal the end of price match? I have amended my price for Hybrid, but they have not said anything about my other book which is perma-free. There are many books out there which are free via other retailers and get price-matched by Amazon.

Does anyone know what is happening?

If they do, I have a feeling there will be a lot less books on the free charts from now on. Or, the FREE promo available via being exclusive to Amazon will finally work?

Just sharing my thoughts...

Vanessa :)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Films gallore! #Allegiant #KungFuPanda3

Last week, I went to see Kung Fu Panda 3 with my youngest daughter. Apparently, it was the preview and so the cinema was not that busy. We both thought it was fantastic and it really made me think a lot about perseverance. The Ying and Yang of life...

There were a lot of funny moments and I highly recommend it for family viewing.

I would even go as far as to say that these films just keep on getting better. Different twists and new scenes and characters.


Which leads me on to Allegiant, which I saw today... oh dear!

There are some cool effects and scenes that are interesting, but both my (older) daughter and I wondered what on earth was going on. The plot was SO different to the book it was unbelievable and yes, Kate Winslet is sorely missed. The fact they are dragging this out into another film beggars belief. Do they have no ideas for new fresh films? Just saying...

Here is the trailer. We had a good time and it was fun to watch, but it is missing something. The whole fight scene thing is getting old.

Anyway, I have been reading the Harry Potter books to my youngest daughter and we finished book three this week, which means we got to watch the film! It is fantastic to relive this amazing series with my daughter and both the books and films are amazing.

We did have an interesting discussion on the differences between the film and the book and I loved the fact she thought the book had got it wrong. I did explain which came first...

Either way, lets see what you all made of these! Enjoy :)


Friday, 4 March 2016

A Writer's Life...

I am currently in a state of confusion over what to do with my writing. For the past year I have struggled to focus on finding time or the inclination to write. I think I am lacking confidence, which has never been difficult for me. When faced with a challenge I am sometimes quick to doubt that I am capable.

I have always been driven and hard-working, but it does not take much for that cloud of doubt to descend and darken my mood.

Since September, I have been teaching Mathematics for a few hours in a primary school. I have been extremely lucky to get this job and love it! I also tutor at home and get a lot out of this. I have always been good at helping children and get a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I could make someone smile.

This brings me back to writing.

This little cutie inspired me to write...
When I started back in 2010 I needed to write. I had to release all those thoughts that desperately wanted to fly. I needed escapism and wanted to create something that was mine - that I could be proud of. The truth is that I am extremely proud of what I wrote. Three novels, one novelette, six short stories... all in the space of 2 years! How I did this, don't ask... I have no idea.

The feedback I have had since sharing HYBRID on the 27th March 2012 has brought me from tears (of anguish when bad... as I expected everyone to hate it) to smiles and friendships. I have met so many readers, authors & joined so many online groups. I can't imagine a world where I am ever lonely again! Before the internet became a social tool, I never had anywhere to escape. Writing enabled me to find a place of my own, but it also led the road to social media - a place that always has more article, books, conversations, interesting posts, etc... than I could ever get through in a lifetime!

This is why I struggle to write... to persevere. I no longer need that sanctuary writing gave me. But, teaching again has given me that sense of belonging. I enjoy helping others as a teacher.

I also decided to get actively involved with the PTA again and this has also opened the door to more friendships. Yesterday, I helped out at a cake sale that raised £351. Very rewarding.

Writing can be a lonely and soul seeking journey and it is always interesting to hear why people write. You only have to go on to Twitter to see that there are thousands and thousands of writers... all with a voice longing to be heard. Some do it for financial gain, but most seem to be driven by their NEED to tell there story. Let's face it humanity is obsessed with the past. We want to know what people have done, will do, and hope to do. Our inquisitive minds have made discoveries beyond the realms of possibilities.

So, in writing this blog, I am smiling again. I understand that I can not stop writing, in the same way that I need to breathe. I probably will not end up with a bestseller, my new book might be a disaster and fail to impress.

I have no-one to impress but myself. What I have achieved is already out there. What I have not released is on my computer. So long as my children are happy and I still love my husband, what any strangers think of me is by the by.

I don't know who will read this, or what you will think, but at least by voicing my "issues" I try to deal with them in some way.

Thank you for reading,

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

SUMMER'S DARK WATERS by Simon Williams @SWilliamsAuthor

Thank you, Simon, for agreeing to be ‘interviewed’ via my blog. First things first, time for us to find out about you, via one of your books. I read “Summer’s Dark Waters”. My 5 Star Review is featured on my Reader Blog. This is what I thought!

“I have to admit that I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Having read a lot of YA, childrens' books (especially with my children), I thought this was great! I recently read “Gone” and even though it reminded me of "Lord of the Flies" the gruesome elements of the story made it harder for me to enjoy. I wonder why some authors make their stories so dark.

In contrast, even though this book does have some "darker" moments, Summer's Dark Waters is very entertaining and the story-line had me hooked.

The main character, Joe, is someone you want to like. A bit quiet, shy, different. In contrast to his friend, Amber, who wants to look out for him and is inquisitive and no push-over. Together, they discover that something is not right and Joe is special. The creation of a secret society to save the world from chaos is not a new concept, but worked very well here. I am intrigued about this group, which seems twisted in its ideals.

To save themselves, Joe manages to bridge the gap between our world and a new world, which the author creates. It is slightly reminiscent of Narnia... no animals, but strange folk all the same. A collection of the "Lost", a strange melee of individuals. Some from different worlds.
As an added bonus, the author included illustrations within the book, which added an extra dimension.

This book leads nicely on to a follow up, which is fab for children. You want to get them hooked on reading and this works brilliantly for me. Highly recommend.”

What do you think of my review?

I like all good reviews! Seriously though, I think you’ve summarised it very well without giving any particular spoilers.

What or who inspired you to write this story?

I hadn’t actually planned on writing any books for kids or teens, but my niece (who was 9 at the time) convinced me that I should give it a go. We came up with a few ideas, although much of the original plot was shelved. The names of the two children, and the mysterious lake in the woods, are pretty much what survived of those notes, but the important thing was that it led me to the plot ideas for what became Summer’s Dark Waters. It would be a bit facetious to say “the rest is history” but that’s pretty much how it all came about. Cause and effect work in very odd ways.

As you can see from my review, I am a huge fan of the illustrations. Who did them? Tell us more…

They were created by Ankolie ( an artist friend of mine. Somehow she managed to visualise the characters in exactly the same way as I did without any real help, which was astonishing really. I’m hoping to commission her for the sequel (which should be out later this year) and a new project of mine for younger children, which I can’t say anything about at the moment. Well I say “can’t”… I’m probably just trying to be mysterious.
I think it’s important that books for younger readers are illustrated in order to fire their imagination, just as I believe that books for an adult audience (such as my Aona series) work better without imagery, with the author creating enough of an idea to sow the seeds of scenes or pictures in the mind of the reader.

How did you decide on your main characters?

I really just let the plot create them or at least give them added personality. As I reworked the drafts of the book they really came alive and when Ankolie’s drawings were complete that was it really- it was almost as if they’d created themselves. I knew from the start that there had to be the two kids in the book- there was just too much for one to realistically deal with, and the story is partly about how sometimes your friends can pull you through when you need them most. So it made sense to do it that way.

What about the Lost? I imagine you had fun making them up…

I did. I thought about their motivations and what had made them how they were, and tied all that in with some observations on humanity in general (not that they’re necessarily human…)

Who is your favourite author? Did any particular books inspire this story?

I wouldn’t say there were any that particularly inspired Summer’s Dark Waters (the whole thing came out of the blue really), but when I was around that sort of age my favourite author was Alan Garner- he actually made me decide to become an author in fact. Nowadays I wouldn’t say I have a single favourite- I still like his work, and also Clive Barker, George R R Martin, Joe Abercrombie, C J Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Ian Irvine, Tad Williams and many others.

Can you tell us any more about your story and whether you are planning any sequels?

I’m about halfway through writing the sequel, the working title of which is “The Light From Far Below”. It will be a bit longer, maybe a bit more involved- and is set a year and a half after the events in the first book, so writing it has been a slightly different challenge. It covers some quite “big” and serious subject matter although in a hopefully age-appropriate way.

Where we can find out more about you and buy your books?

My website is always a good place to start-

Summer’s Dark Waters:
All Amazon Sites

Oblivion’s Forge (Book I in the Aona series):
All Amazon Sites

Thank you for joining us on my blog!