Friday 7 July 2023

Time for a swim?

Well I have not written a post in so long, I almost wonder if I am capable of anything resembling articulate thoughts! It’s strange to loose a part of myself since I don’t feel I can call myself a writer anymore. Do I have to just dig deep or have I lost the ability altogether? Honestly, I have no idea.

I can’t believe I have been back in teaching now for seven years! It’s been a rollercoaster ride and I definitely have taught maths at a level I never could have imagined when I was writing. The truth is that I love to teach adolescents! Weird, huh? I think my time in secondary school was full of so much - sport, socialising, friendships, acting & singing, studying & panicking… and yet, through it all, it’s hard to change from a child that lives at home to an adult that has to face the world in whatever shape that comes along. University, job, relationships & a new family? 

So, I guess I like being a part of the journey for our lovely young people. And even if some have a harder road to travel than others, it’s always good to, maybe, guide them towards the right path.

My first dip!

This year I was fortunate enough to be able to teach some Spanish and it was great fun. I might even have learnt some new words… “senderismo” anyone (hiking to you and me)? It’s good to use my skill set in a different way. 

With the lovely weather,  I have also managed to do some sea swimming - since I am lucky enough to live by the sea on the Isle of Wight. It’s truly refreshing, even though today I kept imagining what lurked below me as the seaweed seemed to be reaching out to get me. I have to stop thinking there is something sinister waiting for me. I did however miss the friendly seal that was at the spot I swam in a few hours earlier! Next time…

Anyway, to anyone who reads this, thanks. I hope I entertained if for a brief minute. 

What have you been getting up to recently? Are you a budding writer or teacher in the making? Always happy to answer questions or to help if I can.

Vanessa :-) 

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Time for a relaxing break?

I saw this luxury yacht go by on my walk yesterday and could not help taking the photo.
Clouds also look rather ominous! Just like my writing.
Drifting away without a care in the world.

Hope you are all doing well and to those who still continue to read my Trilogy - thank you. I still find it hard to believe I wrote so much in such a small space of time. Time to start again, maybe?

I am still teaching and keeping very busy educating the future leaders of tomorrow - at least, that's what I tell myself.

What keeps you going?

Thinking of good days & wonderful memories.


Monday 30 January 2017

Writer's Block? Or am I just too busy?

I realised today that my last post was about a new book I planned to write back in April 2016!

This is pretty shocking to me now, since my life has changed significantly from then until now and, due to my return to teaching, my writing has sadly become a distant memory.

I am sure that I will write again, but for now I am taking a time out.

So, if you want to talk to me about writing or want to tell me what you think of my books please contact me via Twitter or Facebook.

I am still reading & will consider reviewing, and I still care very much about what you all think of what I wrote.

All the best, Vanessa

Friday 22 April 2016


Today, I have managed to write a whole chapter about


Steven's 15 year old daughter!

The story is finally going to be written, but be patient with me. I always knew when I finished the trilogy that another story was waiting to be written, but the right time had to come along. After spending the last year working on my historical ficiton novel, I realise this is going to take sometime.

Yet, writing about Cara was effortless... what can I say. I am a paranormal chick at heart!

Here is an excerpt... enjoy.
Vanessa :)

In a smooth freestyle, she reached the shoreline, and shook out the water in her dark black hair. Then she took off her wet clothes and changed to the dry ones waiting neatly on the branch.

‘You really are a show off, you know,’ a male voice teased, feigning boredom.

‘And you really are a peeping Tom!’ Cara snapped back.

‘You’re not going to be all shy on me now, are you?’ He jumped down from the tree he was perched on and swaggered over. ‘Hey, Babe. Did you miss me?’

‘You are such a jerk sometimes,’ she shook her head, focusing on her clothes, not him.

He stopped a metre away and folded his arms in front of his chest. ‘Don’t tell me you’re pissed again?’

This made her stop. Standing straight, she met his gaze and frowned. ‘Sven. You know it’s over. We just kissed a few times. That’s it. You have a thing for me. I get it. And I do like you too, but,’ she fought for words, as she took in his muscular arms, tanned complexion and dirty blond hair, ‘I’m just not ready for commitment. I’m a free bird. Okay? Why’d you have to get so serious all of a sudden?’

Friday 18 March 2016

NEW COVERS for #TETrilogy

Last year I paid for five images via Shutterstock inadvertently since I was subscribed. The plan was to use them for my new book, but seeing as it is not ready I decided that I would get new covers for my Trilogy... and here they are!

Amazingly, it was four years ago, on the 27th March 2012, that I first published HYBRID via Smashwords!

Through Smashwords I found out a lot about formatting and design. If it was not right I would not get the exclusive Premium Status that enables it to sell elsewhere.

It was not until May, 2012, that I ventured onto the Amazon platform via KDP. Then going on to create my own paperback via Createspace.

Shortly after I joined this mysterious world I joined Twitter, etc... you can read my story here!

I was already working on the next book, Complications, so it did not take long to complete.

RETURN and EMILY followed in 2013 & 2014.

So, what have I been doing since then?

Truthfully, I have been working a lot more at my daughter's Primary school. First, as an MSA and now as a Maths Teacher! I also got some work as a Swimming teacher again.

I have really enjoyed getting back to this and using my qualifications.

I have not forgotten about writing though. I am working on another novel based on the life of my ancestors... Read more here!

And, of course, I still love to read & review other books... find out more here.

This book is taking a lot longer than I expected and I have decided to put more work into it to make it a one off complete novel, rather than a series.

I still have ideas for Steven, Caitlin, and the rest of The Evolution Trilogy characters... they are brewing in my mind and will explode on to the pages in due course!

This writing & publishing journey has been amazing and sometimes I struggle to understand how it all came about!

Thank you to anyone reading and for your support.

The question is, what do you think of my new covers?

My favourite has to be EMILY, although I think the HYBRID one is brilliant since it has morphed into Steven... the focus is in the right place!

I would love to hear your views and, as always, appreciate any feedback from you via comments or reviews.

Thanks so much for making these four years incredible.

From a stay-at-home mum to someone you can actually google! Ha ha

All the best,
Vanessa :)

Monday 7 March 2016

Smashwords, #ReadAneBookWeek, 2016

Well, here we are again! Smashwords are again running there discounted promotion weeks & I have jumped on board to give you lots of discounts & freebies!

*~ These are my Offers & Promotions ~*


FREE to download! Use RW100


50% off! Use RAE50


50% off! Use RAE50


FREE to download! Use RW100

First Date (Love & Regrets)

FREE to download!

Thursday 11 February 2016

#KindleCountdownDeal - At only $0.99, it should work. Right?

I have to be honest, I must be terrible at this promotion stuff! I booked in a Kindle Countdown Deal and then forgot I had done it.

The crazy thing is it is only $0.99 until the 16th February via Amazon US. I think I meant to buy a promo for this & forgot! Oops...

In fairness, last time, the paid promotion did not go ahead so I was a bit disheartened. I seem to see lots of other authors getting a lot of reviews & downloads and I constantly wonder where I am going wrong.

I am not convinced that the Amazon deals (free or countdown) work at all anymore, unless you pay for advertising. I came across this blog, which shows just how successful a BOOKBUB advert can be. I am yet to get accepted by them unfortunately. Pretty incredible results though...

In 2012, when I first tried a free promo, I was able to get hundreds of downloads without doing anything extra. Now, if I get more than 10 downloads for the free promotions of the anthologies I'm amazed. If anyone has managed to successfully sale sell hundreds of books without promoting please share your success.

Since I decided to price HYBRID again (and we are talking about $0.99/ 99p) I have had some sales - thank you, whoever you are - but have found most of them to happen via Smashwords. So, I wonder what is going on with Amazon? The price of eBooks seems to be rocketing all the time and most traditionally published books now seem to be £8-10. Publishers do have to cover their costs, but this seems extreme. I think the paperback is usually cheaper! And you can share those.

Needless to say, I have actually paid for some promotion slots next week for HYBRID to try to keep my sales alive, purely because I can't resist. Mentally, I always say... "one last attempt!" But, its obvious that something is going wrong. Maybe, vampires are dead... literally! Ha ha

I should just "keep on writing" (thinking of NEMO here)

So, if you have any suggestions on how to keep this series alive please let me know. I know some readers have requested more books, and I do keep wondering whether to focus on that.

The entire Trilogy is on offer until the 16th Feb so if you're interested please download. 
AMAZON link.

You can download all the books via other retailers... click on the links provided.

Thank you again if you read my blog and thoughts.

All the best,

p.s. I have to actually look back at the reviews to remind myself that it has been popular with some readers...

"Vampire stories have been banned from my life due to my overactive imagination. Those creatures have frightened the life out of me countless times so I began this book with a sense of nervousness. Now, I'm hooked. There's nothing too intimidating about the vampires in Vanessa Wester's book and now I want to know what happens next. Good story telling and beautifully written."
Amazon Reviewer

"Steven Thorn has just started at Southampton University. He is confident, honest, hard-working and intelligent. When he bumps into Caitlin Chance, he notices an instant connection. Something he has never experienced before. Steven has spent pretty much most of his life keeping himself to himself.

Yet, a few months into his first year and unbeknown to Steven, his entire life is about to change. His family have a past, that even he wasn't aware of. Until now. Will Steven cope with the change in his life, or will his entire world come crashing down?

Hybrid is book one in The Evolution Trilogy written by Vanessa. Complications and Return are the following two books, with a prequel Emily available to also download (see bottom of page for download links).

The story is told from the viewpoint of Steven Thorn, in third person narrative. I felt like I am on the outside of his life, watching it. I could see and feel what he was going through, whilst being safely out of the way.
Vanessa has used two main settings for the story, Southampton UK and the Amazon Rainforest. The way that story transitions between the two countries is really well written. The journey, for the reader, was smooth. Vanessa took us on a journey across the world in order to travel between the two places.
Hybrid definitely falls into the 'world of books' as a paranormal romance. Anyone that knows me, knows that I tend to avoid romance stories. This book works out perfectly for me - if you chuck a bit of supernatural (or paranormal, whichever you prefer) or a murder into it and I'm all in.

I'm trying something new with this review, in that I am going to try and evaluate the book in just three words. So, here goes... Hybrid is Interesting, Beautiful and Conserving. The story is extremely interesting, the take on a story that has been written over and over by many an author is completely different to any other that I have read (and I have read a lot of books in this genre). The way that Vanessa describes the surroundings and the settings, including the characters, makes me feel as though everyone and everything is beautiful to look at (even though they may not be). The final word I have chosen is Conserving. The reason for this word is that I feel that Vanessa has managed to keep a conserved approach throughout the whole story. I am hoping this will expand more in the following books. I love the fact that the information has been reserved, and we (as a reader) have only been fed the basic information that we need to know. Very much like the main character, Steven, to give something away to us would indeed give something away to him."
Amazon Reviewer