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

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

London Trip

For my next book, I am going to HAVE (I know... such a sacrifice) to do research in London.

I am going with my son tomorrow and my schedule is now sorted!

We are visiting the London Dungeon, Tate British, British Museum, Firepower, Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Science Museum, V & A, AND are going to watch The Mousetrap.

I'll let you know if I actually manage to fit it all in...

Really excited now since all the pieces are beginning to fit together nicely. Hopefully, I will be able to crack on with writing the book and finish it sometime in this century! HA!

Hope you are all keeping well,


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Wedding Anniversary

Today is my Wedding Anniversary - 14 years married and nearly 19 years together!

In those years, I have lived in Gibraltar, Southampton, Reading, Rotterdam, Twickenham, Kingston (U.K.) Watford, Hatfield, back to Rotterdam, and finally the Isle of Wight!

I also finished my degree, started work as a trainee accountant, then worked in HR, as a Procurement analyst, then re-trained as a maths teacher, became a mum to three wonderful children (hardest job ever), did bookkeeping for voluntary organisations, started teaching swimming, and then became an author...

All the places and jobs have molded me into the person I am today, but to be honest I still think I have so much to learn. I also look forward to watching my three lovely children become adults, and start another journey of their own.

Marriage or being in a relationship is not always easy, but when you overcome the hurdles you feel like you are on top of the world. Mutual respect, encouragement, patience, understanding, and ultimately love are the key ingredients. Nothing is ever sugar-coated all the time.

I look forward to continuing my journey with my family... and wonder what I will have to add in another ten years!

Have a fantastic day,
Vanessa :)

p.s. Look what I got...

Thursday, 3 July 2014

My first Kindle Countdown deal...

*** Promotion running from 4th July - 10th July via Amazon.com only***

It seemed apt to start my first ever KDP Countdown deal on the 4th July! 

Amazon gave indie authors like me the freedom to publish books to the masses, and earn much higher royalties (yes, I can now buy a sandwich AND a cookie! Ha ha).

There has been a lot of mixed press since I first published HYBRID in 2012 about the downfall of books! I have read both sides of the story from different perspectives, but the bottom line is if people buy more books and read more then going digital is a fantastic thing to do.

When music first went digital there were a lot of skeptics, but now sales are at an all-time high! It takes time for consumers (us) to adjust to the new way of things. Ultimately, there is room for everybody. I still buy CDs and DVDs, AND I download digital copies of music and film. I now also buy paperbacks AND download ebooks. I like both.

Some readers now only download to kindle... that is their choice & this promotion is aimed at the Kindle market! If I could offer paperback deals I would, but it's not possible - I'm sorry!

Ultimately, we readers have so much choice and freedom to choose now. I understand that even this promotion might be a hard sell. Why pay when there are so many other books to choose from for free? The bottom line is we will pay for what we want to read - and I hope you choose to read my Trilogy.

Let's be honest here... 3 full size novels at $6 is cheap! With this Kindle countdown deal you get them all on the first 27 hours for only $0.99! Awesome, right? 

So what else can I say to convince you to give my trilogy a chance? Not much, but I have been extremely chuffed today after receiving the most amazing feedback from THE BOOK FAIRY.

She certainly is my fairy... with perfect timing, since the promo starts tomorrow and I had no reviews when I went for it.

Enjoy, I certainly did!

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Vanessa :-) 


"I've left the reviews on each individual book, but I downloaded Hybrid for free and borrowed the books in the trilogy format from the Kindle library, which I would suggest for anyone wanting to read the entire trilogy. I've rated each individual book at five stars and although I am sad to be finished with the trilogy, I think it was absolutely amazing.

"This is a story that could be considered a paranormal romance, but it’s so much more than that... You spend the first half or so of the story learning about Caitlin and Steven and watching their relationship develop. Then there is an unexpected turn of events, which sets the baseline for the remainder of the story. You see Steven taken away from everyone he knows and everyone he loves, no one knows who he is, or that he exists. You come to learn about the next evolution in humankind and their trials and tribulations, their wants and needs and the story leaves you wanting for more. All of the main and supporting characters are well built with complex personalities which brings the story to life. You can feel the pain they feel and understand their feelings from excitement, fear, love and lust to sorrow and uncertainty about the future. I couldn't put this book down and read from the start to about 63% in before I stopped and by the time I was about 80% done I knew I’d be buying the remaining two in the trilogy."

"The characters and story had me enchanted from day one and the plot unfolded at just the right pace. This isn’t your typical paranormal or vampire story, but it will keep you on your toes and isn't full of “fluff”, but has a lot of deeper issues going on in the sidelines along with the main plot. When I found out this was the authors debut trilogy I couldn't believe it. I can’t wait to see what else Vanessa writes in the remainder of this trilogy and beyond."

"Once again Vanessa has created a flawless story, I didn't notice any grammar or spelling errors, which means there either were none or I was so absorbed into the story I didn't see them, which is a HUGE deal to me. I loved the entire trilogy and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story with a twist and some romance. I am impressed that the scenes that could have quickly turned these books into erotic were kept "clean" and "classy" while still bringing all of the emotion of the action between characters."

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

WOW... over 30,000 views!

Okay, so let me just say that this is amazing... (at least for me it anyway). As of this precise moment my blog has had 30,614 views!

(MASSIVE clunking sound as my jaw drops to the ground........)


So, firstly, thanks a lot for visiting my humble site.

When I started this blog back in 2012 I had no idea what I was doing, what I was doing it for, and frankly, doubted if anyone cared.

A blog was a way to vent about stuff, promote my books, post lovely pictures of things I did with the kids, my baking, cooking, etc. I'm amazed I actually got any book writing done when I look back and see what I did. You should read this post as a summary => HAPPY TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY, HYBRID. (My Evolution Trilogy blog has already amassed over 15,000 views, which is FABULOUS!)

Recently, I have been finding writing tough. Mainly because of my new work in progress...

When I finished the trilogy, I SAID I was going to work on something easy.

The trilogy had been incredibly tough as my first ever writing project. Without a publisher, I had to ask my super friends for help in reviewing the novels, but ultimately I made most of the big decisions. If you hate it, I'm sorry you feel that way. But, I did not write it to fit a niche market, or satisfy anyone in particular. I wrote it for myself. The ending is the ending I wanted, the one that left me smiling. It's not what everyone wants, but that's life - nothing is ever perfect!

So, moving on... my next project (and I have written over 20,000 words so far - early days...) is HUGE. I had no idea what I had let myself in for when I decided to write the story.

In a nutshell, I am writing a historical fiction novel based on the life of my great, great grandparents.

My father wrote several articles in the Gibraltar Heritage Magazine, one of which made me cry, and I knew this was what I wanted to write about. I was (AM) naive and foolish! I do not have a history degree, or even GCSE for that matter... so I am doing all the research myself and there is heaps of it to read. All fascinating of course, since it is the rich Victorian era, but writing about it is tough. Most of my time is spent researching, then writing.

I am keeping tabs on the various sites I come across so that readers can visit and discover this amazing world, outside of fiction. A lot of the information is shocking to say the least. The human story behind a lot of things we take for granted is something I want to flesh out. People have been the same for thousands of years. The only thing that changes is what we do with our time.

Fortunately, my great, great grandfather wrote many letters and luckily I have copies. These have helped me piece together their story. But, a lot will be fiction... my imagination is running wild again!

I hope to keep you posted on my book as I go, but I know it'll take a while to do the period and characters justice. Please bear with me.

Anyway, thank you for reading & I hope whatever projects you are involved in go to plan!

All the best,
Vanessa :) xx

HYBRID is permanently free - so tell your friends about it, download, & (whispers) please review?
Visit my blog for the links => THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Chocolate & Books - a match made in Heaven

I have been tagged by Susan Buchanan for the Chocolate Challenge - as she says in her post, who could resist talking about chocolates and books!

Instead of talking about my all time favourite ten books, I have decided to rate 10 books I've come across this year...

I have focused on the books, not the chocolate, otherwise you'll not be able to concentrate!

So, (drum-roll please) I give you my selection.

Apparently, "life is just like a box of chocolates..."

No. 1: Praline filled specialty chocolates

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny LessI loved this book, and can't believe it was first published in 1976 - a special year for me, hmm hmm...

Basically, this is a cleverly structured story about four gentleman who come together to seek revenge against a ruthless "clever" entrepreneur who steals 1million pounds from them. The way he does this is via an "insider trading" smoke screen - this practice is now illegal in the UK. Having studied business I understood all the tricks, and loved the way they were all conned. But, the twists kept coming & I did not foresee the ones Archer had up his sleeve towards the end...

I got this paperback for 30p via a charity shop so am chuffed to bits! Great story, clever characters, and value for money! The only gripe I have is that there are several moment of pure chauvinism - if you put that in a book nowadays they'd be a public outcry. Of course, I forget that "spanking" sells books... Luckily in this case it was written in a "joke" manner not for pleasure! (rolls eyes)

No. 2 Lindor

LongbournThis book got me at the right time... I have always loved the story of Pride & Prejudice, but have recently been interested in the life of the average person in that time. I am also fascinated by the effects of war on our society and think it is important that we realise that our way of life could never exist were it not for the sacrifices made by others in the past.

I found the original spin in the tale to be clever and interesting. Yes, it is based on the setting of P&P, but it is a distinct novel. To be enjoyed on its own merit.

I loved it & would recommend to readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially if you have read Victoria Hislop's "The Return". It works well alongside this other brilliant novel.

No. 3 Galaxy (preferably served with a Baileys on ice)

The Worst Girlfriend in the WorldThe sign of a good book is when I am hooked & HAVE to read it ASAP, which I did!

This is my 5th Sarra Manning book, and whilst not my favourite one, it had me hooked from the first page. There is something about the style of writing that makes it easy to read...

It also sent me on a flashback to my teenage years full of angst, family stress, and trauma!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to both teens & women.

No. 4 Cailler

Forbidden Mind (Forbidden Trilogy, #1)I read this book in a day and loved it. This is a YA book, written in an easy style, which is perfect for fans of SciFi and paranormal. The characters are well introduced and developed and the plot is laced with intrigue and suspense. If you have watched X-Men the plot might be familiar at first, but it holds its own. I thought the quotes from fantastic books and sources where an extra special touch.

I really liked the authors style and will look out for more books.

No. 5 70% Dark Chocolate

Shift (Silo, #2)This is going to be an interesting review...

I have not read Wool, but had heard of it & the success of the author. I read somewhere that he was approached by publishers and managed to keep the rights to the eBook, since he was so successful. This is fantastic for an indie author!

Anyway, I saw Shift in the library and borrowed it.

At first (the first 150-200 pages), I found the book too slow and was confused by the story. I suspected where it was heading, but I had too many questions - it seemed implausible - which of course it is, this is fiction! Saying this, I was browsing a kids information book at the library and they talked of nano technology... The freaked me out a bit. I hope no-one ever decides to make a pact and create this dystopian society!

Either way, the more I read, the more I was sucked in. Still confused, shocked even by the raw and crude actions taken by humanity in its various guises. But, I liked the analogies, the subtle observations relating real life to what could happen if power were ever given to the wrong hands.

I have not put the book down over the past 2 days and, having finished the book, I know I will now read Wool and continue the story.

The fact this could have been more concise and better written is irrelevant - the plot is engaging, the characters show the reality of human nature, the outcomes the inevitability of despair...

However, I have to rate this a 4 because I think it lacks compassion, love, determination, human drive, team work... From my limited knowledge of us simple humans, I am convinced that in the end good will overcome evil. As humans, we show that as a unit we work better than as individuals. Our cunning, intelligence, and foresight make anything possible. So, it makes the idea that an entire silo is wiped out that easily (like in 17) without cooperation impossible in my mind - especially since food production was still possible. But, when I see where this is heading I might change my opinion.

I recommend this if you enjoy SciFi and dystopian fiction - there is not even a hint of romance to be found here. So romance lovers, steer clear...

No. 6 Flake

Trouble in Teutonia“The start had me gripped instantly as I envisaged a werewolf racing after a girl.

At present day, we again meet Billy (introduced in Bother in Burmeon), a boy on route to becoming the next Dr Who (without a blue tardis or bow tie!)

When the time-slip event happens we are thrust into the Cold War! The descriptions are vivid, the action is full on and the characters are wonderfully developed. I loved Billy’s inquisitive nature and as the plot unfolds you find yourself more curious. The addition of a space rocket adds to the excitement! His side kick, the brainiac American girl Kathleen, is a wonderful addition.

This book is obviously written for a younger audience and there were some occasions which I found implausible, but overall it worked. The only thing I found distracting was the translations as footnotes (my son disagrees and thought this was great). Something that struck me as odd was the fact the ebook ended at around 90%, since there was a lot of material at the end (on the paperback there were a lot of blank extra pages).

In summary, a great read for 8-12 year old children with an interest in action, war, space rockets, great characters and time travel.”

Vanessa Wester 

“I found the story line much more interesting than the 1st one as it added more drama, mystery and suspense as with a werewolf, a kidnapped girl and a criminal! (Cue the beasts, criminals and jets!)

The objective of the villain good, as a German trying to breach the cold war as a rank outsider...

From the first chapter, I was hooked and I read it in a day! Brilliant!”

Michael Wester (age 11)

*I received a copy of this book as a gift for review, and was lucky enough to interview the author on my blog*

No. 7 Bounty

Planet Urth (Planet Urth, #1)I really enjoyed this quick read. It is aimed at YA readers who enjoy books like Hunger Games, and the premise is a dystopian society where humans are hunted by two new breeds... Urthmen (mutated humans) & Lurkers (night predators likened to wolves). There is also the hint of a romance lurking on the horizon!

I am amazed at the amount of books these authors have written since 2010 and wish them all the best. I know what this takes having gone through a similar journey.

Escapism is fantastic!

No. 8 Malteser

Blood TitheI recently purged my kindle and found this eBook that I downloaded ages ago for free.

It is not what I would call a quick read, since I needed a break from it at times just to digest what had happened.

Basically, a young boy (5) accidentally falls into a pit and is exposed to something which makes him "special". The author switches between present and past with ease, giving you the full picture gradually. At times, I found this too slow and wanted to know more about the present, but since this is a series I can see that he is merely setting the scene for later books. The plot is clever, the characters are well developed, and everything is in place for the continuation. I have many questions and would love to see this on TV! Dash is probably the character that most intrigues me...

I would liken this book to the first few episodes of a TV SciFi series. I liked the premise, and thought Jeremy was a great main character.

Overall, a great start to a SciFi series...

No. 9 Ferrerro Rocher

Watery WaysI rarely read a book like this, but I have to admit I really enjoyed it.

The best way to describe it is as a diary, albeit, a very well written one!

Having lived in Rotterdam for over three years over several years, and having had my first daughter there, I was intrigued by this story, which is on the whole based in Rotterdam. I lived close to the Oude Harbour when I first lived there and frequently went for walks alongside. But, I had no idea about what it was like to live on a barge (apart from the fact I suffer from sea-sickness, so prefer to be on dry land).

My husbands parents are Dutch too, so I found the descriptions of Dutch traditions and locations really interesting.

I have to admit that many a time I found myself laughing out loud due to some of Valerie's experiences... Especially the one where she falls in the water!

I would highly recommend this book if you have a interest in Dutch culture and would like to know what it is like to live on a barge, as well as the work involved to do so.

No. 10 Cadbury's Whole nut

Love, Lies and LizzieRead it in a few hours...

Since the original story was written by Jane Austen it can't get a five, but it is a great interpretation suitable for girls in the modern age (I actually bought it for my daughter for Xmas - knowing I could read it! Ha)

Really enjoyed it & would recommend this is bought in a set via The Book Club - where I got it for a great price!

To continue this post I would like to tag several author I have mentioned above, so that you can find out more about them... click on the link below to go to their twitter feed! If they do post I will update the links with their blog post.

Sarra Manning
Valerie Poore
Glenn Soucy

Hope you enjoyed,

Saturday, 31 May 2014


This is a post I wrote on a blog I am currently getting rid of... enjoy! :)


When I first came to visit England in 1988 I watched the musical 'Chess' at the West End.  I was blown away and fell in love with musicals...

The poster shows a young girl in the background of a dark night. Text above reveals the cast listing and text below reveals the film's title.I have watched many in my time, and one of my favourites is Les Miserables. I have not talked much about my love of music and singing, but I have to admit that one of my passions was song writing. I have not written songs for many years now, I might just get inspired again.

Anyway, I had heard that the movie Les Miserables was amazing and had been waiting to go to see it. Tonight, I finally got my chance.

Well, what can I say... SENSATIONAL! I am traumatised, in shock almost. I have not cried that much in years. It has inspired me to write something deep and meaningful, and believe me when I tell you I will.

So, let's talk about the cast...

Jackman at the Sydney premiere for Real Steel on September 2011Hugh Jackman is sensational as Jean Valjean, he plays the part to perfection. He gave Jean Valjean the right depth of character, compassion and determination.

Rusell Crowe excels in the role of Javert. The perfect counterpart. Stern, rigid and cold hearted. It is difficult to understand this character, but he represents the bloody mindedness of those in a position of power, who believe they are in the right, because they have the Law on their side.

Anne Hathaway blew me away, her performance of Fantine was immaculate, and I will never forget her interpretation of I dreamed a Dream, breathtaking and incredible. It was at this point that I knew I was done for, the tears started and they never ceased.

Amanda Seyfried was well cast as the adult Cosette, her voice sweet and innocent. Isabelle Allen was outstanding as the young Cosette, I will watch her acting career with interest. Personally, I believe Cosette represents everything that is good about the world, what we should fight for.

Samantha Barks role as Eponine was sensational, beautiful voice and fantastic portayal of a character heart broken, yet willing to give her life for the one she loves.

Eddie Redmayne, as Marius, matched Cosette's innocence, even though determined to make a difference. The rebellious, optimistic view of freedom.

As for the rest of the cast, each brought something to the story. The humour of the characters Madame & Monsier Thenardier (played by Helena Bonham Carter & Sacha Baron Cohen) brought some much needed laughter and smiles to the experience - I was grateful for this, and they were VERY funny.

Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche was extremely cute (a version of the Artful dodger). The rest of the cast was incredible... I can not fault any of them. The visual effects & interpretation of the "musical" was incredible. It was a long film, but I could watch it again and again. I am curious though of what anyone who has not seen the musical will make of it. Since I was at one point even singing along (so was someone sat behind me...) I experienced the musical through the eyes of a movie.

Personally, I could relate to the characters so much more since you could see there faces so clearly. It is very different to watching actors from a distance.

 Anyway, I obviously recommend that you go and see this movie. Any men out there, please take your girlfriend, partner or wife (and tissues) and be prepared to hold hands. In a way I was glad I went alone, I was a wreck, but a hand to hold would have been great for those special "moments."

I hope you enjoy my take, the only thing I would have liked would have been an interval of 15 minutes half way through (with a nice cup of tea).

I leave you with the plot breakdown (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Thanks for reading, Vanessa :) xx

And the plot (as per Wikipedia) - DON'T read if you would rather not know what happens!

In 1815, convict Jean Valjean is released on parole by prison guard Javert after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne, but steals his silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop informs them that the silver was given as a gift, giving him even more, securing Valjean's release. Moved by the Bishop's grace, Valjean breaks his parole vowing to start an honest life helping others under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped convict to justice.
Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-MerFantine, one of his workers, is discovered to be sending money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette, who lives with the unscrupulous Thénardiers and their daughter Éponine, and is dismissed by the foreman. In a desperate attempt to support her daughter, Fantine becomes a prostitute. She is arrested by Javert after she attacks an abusive man, but is saved by Valjean, who has her hospitalised. Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable to accept that an innocent man is condemned, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look after her daughter. After escaping from Javert, Valjean finds Cosette and pays the Thénardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her.

Nine years later, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic toward the poor, is nearing death. Students Marius Pontmercy and Enjolras, together with street urchin Gavroche, discuss revolution. Marius later catches a glimpse of Cosette, now a young woman, and instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, despite Cosette's questioning, Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or her mother.
At a café, Enjolras organises a group of idealistic students as Lamarque's death is announced. Meanwhile, Éponine, now Marius's friend, leads him to Cosette, where the two profess their love for one another. Lamenting that her secret love for Marius will never be reciprocated, Éponine fatalistically decides to join the revolution. Later, an attempted robbery of Valjean's house makes him mistakenly believe that Javert has discovered him, and he flees with Cosette. As they leave, Enjolras rallies the Parisians to revolt, and Marius sends a farewell letter to Cosette. The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque's funeral procession and begin their revolt. Javert poses as a rebel in order to spy on them, but is quickly exposed by Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing gunfight, Éponine saves Marius at the cost of her own life, professing her love to him before she dies. Valjean, intercepting the letter from Marius to Cosette, goes to the barricade to protect Marius. After saving Enjolras from snipers, he is allowed to execute Javert. However, when the two are alone, Valjean frees Javert, telling him to run.

With the Parisians not joining the revolution as the students expected, they resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed but Marius, who is saved when Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers. Thénardier, scavenging the dead bodies, steals Marius's ring. Valjean recovers and escapes the sewers carrying Marius, but is confronted at the exit by Javert. Javert threatens to shoot Valjean if he refuses to surrender, but Valjean ignores him. Unable to reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he always considered the same, Javert commits suicide.

Later, Marius mourns for his friends but Cosette comforts him. Revealing his past to Marius, Valjean tells him he must leave because his presence endangers Cosette, and makes Marius promise never to tell her. Marius and Cosette marry; the Thénardiers crash the reception and testify that they saw Valjean carrying a murdered corpse through the sewers. Thénardier unwittingly shows Marius the ring that he stole from him as "proof." Recognising the ring, Marius realises that it was Valjean who saved his life. Being told Valjean's location by Thénardier, Marius and Cosette depart to find him.

As Valjean sits dying in a local convent, he perceives the spirit of Fantine appearing to take him to Heaven. Cosette and Marius rush in to bid farewell. Valjean hands Cosette his confession of his past life, and joins the spirits of Fantine, the Bishop, Enjolras, Éponine, Gavroche, and the other rebels at the barricade.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

KDP Promo can work...

Selling books via Amazon has its highs and lows! The effectiveness of the KDP scheme has been questioned by many over the last year. To be honest, I have rarely had many sales as a result. I think the conversion of free downloads to sales is very low overall. This is the reason I have kept HYBRID free permanently - it is the only way to get noticed in this world of overflowing cheap eBook supply.

Saying this, after running a free promo of FIRST DATE for two days, I got over 700 downloads in the US and yesterday had 9 sales already! Trust me, this is short of amazing! Highest my little book has ever been in the US! 

Check it out here via Amazon... UK US 

Now compare to my promo with A TEST OF TIME. I have posted on the same sites, tweeted and mentioned it on Facebook and Goodreads, yet, I have barely had any downloads... I think for the first day I had 10!

I guess romance sells, maybe? 

It is a shame since it really is a fantastic collection. I think many readers (like me) don't tend to go for short stories... and yet FIRST DATE is a collection of only 3 shorts (one being over 9000 words)!

I have to admit that I have given up on publishing anthologies now. The time and work involved to produce them does not seem to be worth it. I think I would raise more money for the charities by running a cake sale! 

However, I did learn a lot by doing them so I have no regrets, and on this one I even published a piece written by my dad.. so win win!

Another theory is that children's ebooks are not as popular. From my existing promotion for READING IS MAGIC, it seems to be another flop! I think the KDP scheme has run its course for the anthologies.

Anyway, I'm extremely grateful to anyone who gives my writing a go. 

Thank you. You keep me smiling... I hope my stories give you some enjoyment too.

All the best,

For those interested, the final downloads were as follows:
FIRST DATE = over 750 :-) US ... 720 downloads!
A TEST OF TIME = under 50 :-( US ... 35 downloads!
Current promo for READING IS MAGIC = 39 :-( UK ... 22 downloads! (Beating the US downloads for once)

For comparison, this month HYBRID has had 2550 downloads in the US (helped by FREEBOOKSY) versus 191 in the UK... I guess people in the UK don't like FREE eBooks?