About Me

My Photo

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

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Isle of Wight Literary Festival 2015

Well, October is here and it's that time again in Cowes!


Last year I was fortunate enough to both volunteer and act as a speaker. To find out about my experience as a speaker click HERE, or to read about my thoughts as a reader click HERE.

It was fun, but I'm glad that this year I am only volunteering! (My nerves were in bits last year)

I am lucky enough to be responsible for authors in the Children/ Teen program - which is amazing this year! The enthusiasm and drive of the volunteers organising this event never ceases to amaze me.

In a bid to get acquainted with their work prior to the event, I thought I would post a bit about them on my blog. I hope some of you will be tempted to bring your children along or look them up online. I will post about these authors over the coming week! Read all about it...

If you are planning to visit, get your tickets now at the IOWL Festival Official Site - I know some tickets are already sold out!

Hope you enjoy finding out a bit about the Festival and look me up if you visit! I am always happy to day HELLO.

Vanessa :)

On Saturday 17th October I will be introducing the following children's authors...

Diana Kimpton
Bridget Marzo
Nicholas Allan

On Sunday 18th October I will be introducing the following authors...

Andrew McKay
Sara Grant
Nicholas Allan

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Well, 2015 is over half-way up and now that my children are all back at school I can reflect and decide what I want to achieve this year.

I have not published anything new in a while, mainly because I am working on a bigger project, and family life has taken over as you can see from the lack of blogs, etc. I also think that Social Media is not as exciting as it once was... (yep, the phrase "in the good old days" seems relevant).

I am guilty of the crime many others commit. I check what's going on and then leave. I barely have time for much conversation. It has become part of normal life to check on my emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc. When I started using them it was exciting. The possibilities seemed endless. Yet, as much as I love seeing the updates of my friends, family, and "connections" it seems empty if you don't actually talk to people.

Talking? What is that I hear you ask.

This is why I love books and reading. I can escape into a different world without any expectations other than those I seek. If I don't enjoy the story I leave it... especially when it's a freebie download via my kindle!

We all take what we want from this life. 

I have just bought two very interesting books...



I guess it is part of who I am that I want to know about my past and what makes me human. To try to understand why I am so irrational!

My interest in Science and Evolution should come as no surprise since I have written a paranormal novel based on the idea of a new evolutionary species. I am also working on a historical fiction novel, which has enabled me to analyse me ancestral past and how it potentially shaped me.

I wonder why we all strive to overachieve and, if we fail to do so, why we feel like a huge disappointment?

I feel like I am failing because I have not published a book since 2013, but I know that I have never been happier as a person. I love my family and feel truly blessed in many ways. This week I have also had some fantastic news which will put my fragmented jigsaw puzzle of a life back together again.

So, we should all try to maintain some patience. Life is not a race it is a journey. I love the expression "Every Cloud has a Silver Lining"... so, so true.

I hope things that happen to bring you down get offset by something to make you smile. Let's remember to pick up that phone, meet up, and talk to people. It's so easy to lead a hermit life. I know.

Anyway, to all my Gibraltarian friends & family - HAPPY NATIONAL DAY! Everyone will be in red & white today on the Rock! Have fun...

All the best,

Friday, 14 August 2015

Summertime is not writing time for me...

During the past few months, we have been having a lot of work done at our house and had to move out for 7 weeks. We are now back home, but there was a lot of cleaning up to do! Coupled with the kids being off holiday you can imagine I am getting no writing done at all!

Round the Island Race, Cowes, June 2015
As much as this is sad, there are many great book out there for you to read.

I hope some of you will be patient and wait for my next installment...

Either way, for anyone coming to my blog for the first time, thank you for taking the time. If you read any of my novels, I appreciate all the support you guys give me. My books have not died a death yet... PHEW!

Cake I won at a raffle in the "Race for Life" event
I attach several picture for you to enjoy.

All the best
Vanessa :)
London Holiday with my husband to celebrate 15th Wedding Anniversary

Art we saw in Harrods! Out of our price-range...

Thursday, 9 July 2015

FIRST DATE *~New Cover*~

I have made a new cover for FIRST DATE, which is currently *~FREE~* to download via Amazon!

What do you all think? Enjoy :)

Lose yourself in a collection reminiscing on first love, regret, and passion.

In FIRST DATE, when Alice gets invited to a ball, on Christmas Day, she is bowled over. No-one had ever asked her out on a date before, let alone invited her to a ball. However, the bubble bursts too soon. It turns out she is filling in for an ex-girlfriend. Even so, she puts on a brave face and heads for the ball. She can have a good time even if it does not lead to love. A ball is still a ball after...

In CARELESS CUPID, a mission becomes harder than expected... you are not supposed to fall in love with the person you are trying to help.

In THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY, Rachel might get a lot more than she expected on her big day. A stranger from the past flushes out feelings she had put aside. A lost love is hard to forget...


“...a lovely little bite size treat easily devoured in a single sitting.”

“It is young love so fresh & new with all the trappings of heartache & embarrassment that can go with it.”

“This is Chick-Lit with a twist, and a squeeze of class. The style is comfortable, fluid and at ease with itself.”

“…delightful shorts, each approaching love from a different angle. The first reminds us all of how tumultuous young love or “infatuation” can be, never knowing how your heart truly feels until it's forced to decide. The second was my favorite because it threw a bit of otherworldly interest into the mix. I loved the idea of a cupid sent from above to help us out. And the final short reminds us that what once was can never be again. This book was a great way to spend some down time without having to get embroiled in complicated subplots and character analysis. Easy beach or before bed read!”

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

When other books get you down...

I had an amazing discussion online with a group on Facebook about the latest installment by E.L. James, GREY. Well, it seems the books are like marmite - love them or hate them.

Either way, I came across this article today in the BBC and it made me a bit sad.

Fifty Shades rewrite Grey breaks record in first week

So, basically if we all cut & paste, we could make new versions of our books and sell millions, right? Wrong...

I don't understand why this book has created an obsessive following, and don't see why so many should be desperate to read it.

I downloaded a sample and there was nothing there that pulled me in. He sounds like an obsessive creep and she comes across as pretty pathetic.

So yeah, I wish I could have these sales, I wish readers would download my free book in the same way they are willing to pay for this, but alas it's not to be.

Apparently, I share the same reason for writing as E.L. James. We both wanted escapism and got it.

BUT, her twisted trilogy became a bestseller and mine did not. Depressing to think about... moving on!

I know many writers out there, agents, and publishers must be pulling their hair out over this one too. I hope I'm not alone!

Well done, Mr Grey, you have controlled the masses via a book!

Hope you're all keeping well otherwise.

All the best,

Vanessa :)

Friday, 12 June 2015

When life takes over

I have not been blogging much or spending much time online recently since life is taking over. Since my eye operation last year I also find that I can't spend hours watching the screen! There had to be a downside to having lazer surgery...

Anyway, I wanted to share my recent online experience. I took part in the recent #PitchWars (an opportunity on Twitter to pitch directly to agents/ publishers) and was asked for a sample by a publisher. After sending a chapter, with a brief intro (took me 5 mins to write!) I expected not to hear from them ever again. But, a few days later they asked for the full manuscript. Trust me, this was shocking BUT... it made me suspicious.

In my opinion, any publisher worth anything should take some time to reply. The fact it was that fast made me wary. When I checked them online, they have only been in business since 2013 and have a limited track record at the moment.

For a new author, with no idea how to arrange eBooks, paperback themselves, etc, this is great. No upfront costs, editing advice, and they'd publish your eBook and get ready a print to demand paperback.

BUT, I effectively am just like them. I can do all of this myself. I guess I'm a publisher!

So, I sent them an email thanking them for the interest and basically said, 'thanks, but no thanks.'

To which they replied the next day, 'we have decided not to proceed with your submission'... erm, I rejected them!

So, it was the right decision.

New authors have to be careful. I would always recommend that you try to get an agent first, unless your book is for a specialist market. Also, if your book fits a niche, but will not be the next big read then this type of publisher might be ideal.

But, I have a dream... my book deserved to be in hardback form.

If I can't get an agent and mainstream publisher, then I'll do it myself after all.

The good thing is that I have finished the first book in my new historical fiction saga. Now, the editing begins!

I have decided that it can't be one book after all. It's way too long.

I'll update as it goes, but watch this space... and be careful authors. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

All the best & have a great weekend,

Vanessa :)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

You have to love ANNIE!

I went to see the film Annie with my youngest daughter last week and loved it! We went back again a few days ago at her request.

You have to love the kids showings via CINEWORLD, great value for money at only £1.75 per person! The popcorn box, which includes a drink & snack is also only £2 for these showings! I think we're going to see the Shaun the Sheep movie on Friday!

Today, I saw the DVD for Annie and bought it. For £5 you can't go wrong!

So, what's great about ANNIE? Where do I start?

I watched the original when it came out on cinema and I remember crying. It was so sad. Yet, the songs were fantastic.

Here's the original 1982 version of "It's a hard knock life" via YouTube

And a link to the 1999 version via YouTube

The songs in the original are hard to beat... and yet, this new modern version does an incredible job! I am so going to buy the soundtrack. I loved them all and the new ones are now fixed on the brain! Yep, even more annoying than Frozen!

I loved the voice of Jamie Foxx in particular, and was amazed Cameron Diaz pulled this off. Both are incredibly talented.

However, the stand-out casting in this movie was the little girl... Quvenzhan√© Wallis

I find it hard to believe that this girl, who is younger than my 12 year-old-son, can pull off such a massive role. Truly incredible. And what a voice! I would not be surprised to see here turn into a singer later on in life. Perhaps, she can be the next J-Lo?

Check out Wikipedia for the overview of the cast. It worked! Interesting to see the review via Rotten Tomatoes. I guess not everyone liked it. But, I thought it was great and it made my daughter and I laugh and sing! You can't complain to that...

Today, I went to see Avengers Assemble, Age of Ultron with my older kids and I got bored! Same old, same old. This got much better reviews, but personally I don't get a kick out of fighting, destruction & death! Oh well... apparently humans are all evil, apart from those that are "super". I guess I had that coming, having written a trilogy which also explores the theme of evolution!

Anyway, both offer great escapism. Hope you enjoy finding out about them and get some time to check them out.

Enjoy the rest of your week,
Vanessa :)