My Year in books 2016 Goodreads

The following list does not include unpublished manuscripts I’ve read for writing friends.the-ten-penners-nov-16

I’m now reflecting on the year and how much I have accomplished and how much more I hope to have done. It’s been one of those learning curve years. Most of the books I’ve read have been for my own enjoyment, a couple because they were recommended to me and are in a genre to my usual choices. I’ve come a long way in 2016 and learned to protect my heart along the way. I’m enjoying re-editing Dual Visions to make it the book it always should have been. My mentor Robyn Burrows is a wonderful help.

The Ten Penners Aug16 Writing has always been my passion and I’m enjoying writing new stories for the next Ten Penners Anthology.

My New Years plan is:

1 To see the publication of The Ten Penners anthology

2 To re-release Dual Visions with it’s follow up book Vashla’s World

3 To work on Microworld the 2015 book I wrote during NaNoWriMo

4 To do NaNoWriMo in 2017

Now it’s in writing I have to fulfil these aims. (don’t I)

Whoops, almost forgot. My wonderful hubby and I are going overseas mid-year so there will be a travel journal too.

Goodreads 2016 –
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Dragon Tales by John Patience

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13 pages
Dragon Tales: A Book of Dragons
by John Patience
1,000 pages
The Stone Key
by Isobelle Carmody
The Stone Key by Isobelle Carmody
218 pages

One Christmas Eve by Corinne Fenton
One Christmas Eve
by Corinne Fenton

it was amazing

5.00 average

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The Stone Key by Isobelle Carmody
The Stone Key by Isobelle Carmody
it was amazing
A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey
The Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive
Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord
The Surfer and the Mermaid by Tim   Baker
Ice Breaker by Lian Tanner
Word Hunters by Nick Earls
The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts
really liked it
Alice-Miranda on Holiday by Jacqueline Harvey
Writers On Writing by Joe Mynhardt
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra by Karen Tyrrell
Check on Me by Andrew Daddo
Exploring Anzac by Southern Short Story Writer...
Bushland Lullaby by Sally Odgers
Kate's Choice by Laura O'Connell
A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Ballyhoo and Babble by MS Julie R Baythorpe
Meet The Megafauna by Elaine Ouston
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
Captured -The Mystery of Nida Valley by Elaine Ouston
Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
it was amazing
Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker
Dane Swan by Dane Swan
Unmentionable! by Paul Jennings
A DRAGON in the SNOW by Darryl Greer
One Christmas Eve by Corinne Fenton
it was amazing
Cooyar by Sandra L Rogers
Soft on the Devil by Robert Lampros
Ten Apples Up On Top! by Theo LeSieg
There's a Wocket in My Pocket! by Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Dragon Tales by John Patience
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Disney Fairies Storybook Collection by Parragon Publishing
The Pagemaster by David Kirschner
it was amazing
Pony to the Rescue by Jeanne Betancourt
You can easily add books to this list by setting the Date Read for each book to any time in 2016.

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You read 40 out of 40 books.

Congratulations! You’re really good at reading, and probably a lot of other things, too!

Soft on the Devil book review

Another review for The Book Review Directory tab…


AUTHOR: Robert Lampros

Review by Jill Smith©Dec16

soft-on-the-devil-coverIan Phillips is an ordinary kind of guy, at twenty-four he works in the local Earth Way grocery store. He is very keen on promoting the good quality merchandise. He works hard and gets a promotion. Things are looking up when he meets Amy and a relationship blooms.

All this is a backdrop to his deep faith, reading the bible daily, and trying to figure out what happened to Cindy Myran, a woman who lived in his apartment block who disappeared. Everyone thinks she’s was dead. Ian wasn’t so sure. She turns up at his place, afraid of being followed and asking for help to get to Bradson City. She was supposed to be dead already. Was this his robert-lamproshallucination? He had to find out more.

This is an unusual tale, all in the first person. I find it difficult to write in the first person. There is always something I want the reader to see that’s in the next person’s point of view. Robert Lampros has pulled this off admirably. I have to say I expected a different outcome but the ending was fitting.

Goodreads bio:

Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis. He earned a Bachelor’s in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. His books include Fits of Tranquility, Afternoon, Last Year’s Resolution, and Undivided Lines.

Joyful Christmas wishes

christmas-elf-2016-copyThis little Christmas Elf wants to wish all those who’ve helped me on my writing journey through 2016 to have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year Season.

I’ve read and reviewed lots of great books. Discovered that writing groups are fun to be part of but not necessarily if you are on the committee. The Ten Penners are a very big part of this journey. Writing stories for children has been a delight, and our new anthology is coming together nicely for 2017 publication.

I’ve gained a mentor in the wonderful Robyn Burrows and newrobyn_lee_burrows_bio pic insight into my writing perspective.

My husband has been my strength and a rock to cling to when I’ve learned people like me have marshmallow hearts and they are easily squashed. So I have to be stronger and more resilient.

christmas-decos-2016I love Christmas with the lights and goodwill messages and hope that the next year will bring joy and delight to all those I know and love.

The world has become a more frightening place in many ways, but, I truly believe the humanity of the world will overcome the evil and hostility that exists.

So to all my readers and followers I wish you heartfelt joy for Christmas and the New Year. May you enjoy your family and appreciate and love them always.



One Christmas Eve book review


Title: One Christmas Evone-christmas-eve-covere

Author: Corinne Fenton

Illustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

This is a truly delightful book and one I will be giving my granddaughters this Christmas.

Award winning Corinne Fenton has skillfully written a charming story about a girl going to Luna Park with her Grandfather. The illustrations are magnificent and the thought that Bella had been given one silver coin for the ride she chooses is a bit magical. I simply love the joyful feeling the book evokes.corinne-fenton-and-marjorie-cf-with-one-christmas-eve

Corinne has again been awarded the accolade of having Myers Melbourne and Brisbane put her book in their window as their Christmas window display.

Corinne describes the book on her blog:

The story is of a 7-year-old girl called Bella who visits Luna Park with her Grandpa on Christmas Eve 1968. Grandpa gives her a silver coin to spend on whatever ride she chooses – then Bella sees the beautiful carousel – ‘Would it be enough for just one ride?’

myer-windows-2016The back story is that Bella is of Italian descent and while her parents are in Italy visiting relatives, Bella is staying with her grandparents who live near Luna Park.

The book celebrates Christmas, family, caring for one another and people settling in Australia and of course, the magic of Christmas.

Kate is doing NaNoWriMo and it’s down to the wire

Yes, I’m still here!  I’ve lost about half the month (careless of me, I know) due to life stuff happening, but I’m back with a vengeance.  I can still do it – or at least have a red hot go!  10,771 words today – bringing my total to 27,417.  I basically scrapped my original idea and am going with a new one – another Kylie Cooper (teenage witch) mystery (this will be her third).  As soon as I slipped back into her skin, I knew the words would come.

So, I’m planning on putting in another marathon effort tomorrow (or rather today, after I’ve had some sleep), and hopefully I can still make it.

Because failure is not an option.

#amwriting #NaNoWriMo

Kids grow up and have adventures…

The Ten Penners Christmas meeting will be at Marion’s pool side common area on the 3rd December. We are looking forward to sharing our joy of creating stories then along with delicious treats.

marion-and-jason-with-starla-and-partner-formal-nightMarion has just seen her beautiful daughter Starla go to her school formal. She is now free to explore a graphic design course next year. And it seemed like yesterday she was in our little Fan-tas-tic-al Tales launch play at Gold Coast Writers meeting in 2009.

Reflecting that the children in our lives are growing up fast. My heather-in-the-tree-great-shot-oct16grand daughters are now six and seven and exploring the world in ways we could never have imagined in our childhood.

They have never known a world without colour tv’s, computers or iphones.

When Maria did a school assignment she asked me about my life growing up and one question was – did you have a horse and cart? I’m not quite that old, I replied. But my grandmother did.


So far our next anthology has a variety of stories from aliens visiting Earth and finding us too hostile. Some picture poetry, a follow up to a story in Fan-tas-tic-al Tales called Red Beard the Pirate, another about a shrinking boy, a novella about a flying boy, a little girl who has a best friend in her talking teddy bear who manages to get her into trouble and then saves her – twice. It’s all coming together and we hope to be on track to publish in the first half of next year.

Reading and reviewing Terry Spring

terry-spring-and-homeland-security-guysI love reading and reviewing books, sometimes friends of mine ask me to read their manuscripts and give reviews. The latest of these called ‘That September’ by Terry Spring, which is a murder mystery. I loved it and will gladly recommend the book once it is published.


My friend Terry Spring is a very talented writer of numerous books including; ‘Rainbows End At Double Bay’ her first novel, ‘Transported – A Pioneer’s Story’. ‘Transported’ is the type of story that makes the reader want to research their own family history and ‘Twenty Two Truly Twisted Tales’ a compilation of short stories. She is also a ghost writer and Lucy Me is a good example.

'Transported' - Terry Springtransported_book_cover Terry Spring22_twisted_cover_white_bg Terry Springrainbows_end_book_Terry Spring

To order any of Terry Spring’s books
by cheque or bank transfer email or
phone: 0412 618 088

Kate Russell is doing NaNoWriMo…

NaNoWriMo – Day 10

Well, I’m finally back after a few days of work and family dramas.  Hopefully I can get back on track now!  2,091 words tonight, bringing my total to 10,711.  If I average 1,800 to 2,000 words a night, I should still be okay.  Still very doable!

It is a bit of a struggle though.  I’m just not feeling the story as much as I’d like!  I think it’s a bit too serious or something – I don’t think I do serious as well as I do funny.  Maybe that’s why I’m struggling so much – trying to go against what my heart really wants to write.  Perhaps I’ll shake it up a bit tomorrow and throw in some clowns or something!

kate-bio-picWhich reminds me of that old joke:

Two cannibals were eating a clown, and one cannibal turns to the other and says:  “Does this taste funny to you?”

Sorry about that.  #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – Day 2

Kate you are amazing, so much in November, even your birthday on the 18th I think. See you Saturday!

Kate Russell - Writer

1,751 words tonight, which brings my total so far to 3,450.  Yay!  Just ahead of the average words needed per day.  Hopefully I can keep this up and not get behind like I have every other year…  But it’s November, and stuff happens (my birthday, wedding anniversary, Supanova etc!) so I’m bound to skip a few days.  But so far, so good!

I’m still not sure where this novel is going to go, but so far I’ve got a widowed clockmaker, his daughter, long lost relatives, and a romance that started across the sea.

I wonder what will happen next?  #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

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