My books in 2017…

I set myself 40 books to read and I made it! Fourteen days into 2018 and I’ve finally finished this post. So this is the year that was 2017 in books read and reviewed by Jill Smith.

ice-breaker-aust-cover  sunker-s-deep-cover  fetcher-s-song-coverStarting off with Lian Tanner’s The Hidden Series which carried on from 2016 with Ice Breaker but reviewed Sunkers Deep and Fetchers Song posted reviews in Goodreads Jan17

the-gift-knights-quest-cover Then the first book from The Book Review Directory authors Dylan Madeley The Gift-Knight’s Quest

the sending cover

Then onto one of my all-time favourite series by the inspirational Isobelle Carmody – The Sending (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #6) 

Then The Cat in the Hat learning Library box set I bought for my granddaughters. Brief reviews of four of these I put in Goodreads.

Starlight Stables Pony Detectives Soraya N Next was this delightful young adults book Starlight Stables also a horse loving granddaughters book, by Soraya Nicholas, who I met at Somerset Literary Festival.

The FIX IT Man coverThen the heart touching and wonderful book The Fix-It Man by my writing friend on Facebook and in life Dimity Powell with truly magical illustrations by Nicky Johnston.


Then Big Little LiesBig Little Lies cover because I’d watched the TV series and had to read Liane Moriarty’s original to see how different the book was from the series. As always the book has more detail and depth but I say both Liane being an Australian author and the TV  series with Nicole Kidman can stand proudly with their products.

Next, I read The Phoenix Rising by Helen Ross Lee, a memoir by a woman with great determination who rebuilt her life after a devasting hang gliding accident.

There's a Stinky Goblin cover Next, for a much lighter and very quick read, I accepted another review request from an author from The Book Review Directory and There’s a Stinky Goblin in the Shed by Andrea Kaczmarek, and illustrated by Eva Kunzel

As during 2017 my fellow writers in The Ten Penners adults writing for children’s group was compiling our latest anthology I thought it was time to read books that would be children’s and young adults. So it’s no surprise that the next few books were in that genre range. Mostly YA’s by marvellous Australian authors.

jack-of-spades-final-front-cover-pub  ophelia-and-the-marvellous-boy cover  Mr Romanov's Garden in the sky cover  when the lyrebird calls coverDragonkeeper cover  Sophie Masson, I requested her book through Facebook and got her to send me a personally signed copy of Jack of Spades.  Karen Foxlee, Robert Newton and Kim Kane were all books I bought from Somerset Celebration of Literature.

Quest Chasers -The Deadly Cavern coverCarole Wilkinson had Dragonkeeper there also and I just had to buy it. Continuing the YA’s books I accepted another author from The Book Review Directory and read Quest Chasers, The Deadly Cavern.

Our Zoo CoverThen I was lucky enough to enjoy a holiday in England and I picked up a copy of Our Zoo at Chester Zoo. And we went to The War Rooms so I picked up Churchill War Rooms Guidebook which was fascinating.

There's a Hippopotamus on the roof eating cake Then I picked up My Hippopotamus is on the Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt, and Guess What? There’s A Hippopotamus On The Hospital Roof Eating Cake! by Hazel Edwards for my granddaughters. And I re-read and reviewed the original book There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards (Goodreads Author), Deborah Niland (Illustrator)

wildflower hill coverThen back to adults reading, Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman. I love her darker books as Kim Wilkins, so I thought I’d try this. I’m glad I did. Many more of her books to be read.DV VW proofs May17

Then as I’d been reediting and working Dual Visions my own Science Fiction book, I threw in a review of that too. Now it’s follow up is out in the world too – Vashla’s World.

Horrible Harriet coverHorrible Harriet by Leigh Hobbs another children’s book.Ember Island cover

Then Ember Island by Kimberley Freeman again (surprise, surprise).

B is for Burglar cover


Followed by B is Burglar by Sue Grafton




Ruben coverThen I purchased Ruben by Bruce Whatley a children’s picture book (but so much more) I gave it 5 stars and will keep it as a treasure forever. This is a book with everything a true artist can create, the story is so touching and the images throughout with intricate details are so stunning.

Duet coverThen back to Kimberley Freeman with Duet.


Next, I read a book by fellow Ten Silo Deadfall coverPenner and friend Julie Baythorpe she has written a series Under the Fig Tree: … a Reid Devron Murder Mystery. It was a great read.  Shortly after I read Silo Deadfall in the same series.


the frozen circle coverAfter reading Peter Watts The Frozen Circle another greatly admired and much read author.

Gap Year in Ghost Town cover

And treating myself to fellow Australian author who I’d met at Somerset also Michael Pryor and his brilliant YA book Gap Year in Ghost Town.

I continued to read my friends books with It Begins but never Ends by Sandra Rogers, and her other great book Waves of Torment.

Then I treated myself again (I just love YA’s) nevermoor coverto Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. Which was truly unique and brilliant and deserving of the accolades it’s been receiving.

Then onto completely different genre in a darker mode, my fellow workmate wrote Something I Can Never Have, a reflection of a very difficult time in her life.Something I can Never Have


 Then I re-read my best friend and fellow Ten Penner Kate Russell’s
Shadow of a Soldier. It’s a great read too.
  Then I added my own review of the book The Ten Penners had finally produced after much diligent work by all eight ladies. Mystery, Mayhem & Magic made its way into the world. To round the year off I read The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1)  I read this because I’d been watching the series on TV and wanted to see where a story with humans, elves, magic and a Warlock Lord originated.

 The Sword of Shannara coverMMM coverShadow of a Soldier

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2018 update, Book Reviews

2018 update – for Book review submissions

I’ve cleaned out my emails! (yes amazing)

Now I can see what I’m working with – I have 70 emails in The Book Review Directory.

I’ll be going through these to check out the genre and book lengths so that I can start making inroads into the reading and reviewing. So if you’ve given up on me during my very hectic 2017, there is hope!

I enjoy reading children, young adults fantasy, science fiction books and will let you know if I have shortlisted your book or put it in the not to be read file.

I’m sorry for all those who’ve waited patiently only to be told that I can’t get to your book. Writing a book is an investment of time and energy. It’s your baby and you hope that someone will read it and treasure it as you do. For those who’ve sought another reviewer in the last six to eight months – good on you! I hope you were pleased with their comments.

Be patient for a little longer and I will get back to you! Then I will decide if I can continue to invest my time in doing these reviews and I read extensively and review my fellow Australian writing friends and need to prioritise.

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Books are Back!

Posters for my books…to put up at work –

MMM book launch ten penners includ plinko lindy

Books are Back!

For children –

The Ten Penners present (our third anthology)

Mystery, Mayhem & Magic Is an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers!

MMM cover

Take the path through a forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures!

fan-tas-tic-al-tales-coverShock, Horror, Gasp is out of print

Fan-tas-tic-al Tales is still available paperback or Amazon

kindle e-book


Books are Back!

For Adults –

‘Dual Visions’ Book 1 of the Ancient Alien Series

‘Vashla’s World’ Book 2 of the Ancient Alien Series

Dual Visions front 29.06.17 (2)Ancient Alien Theorists believe humans are descended from Vashla's World cover July17aliens that visited Earth centuries ago. They intervened to create an intelligent, adaptable and innovative race – people! What if it were true?

These books have a following here at Foxtel with Guy T saying he couldn’t put it down, Trish P can’t wait for me to finish the third in the series, Lisa S read Dual Visions and had to buy Vashla’s World immediately to continue the journey

Purchase through Amazon



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Happy Festive Season

Jill Christmas reindeer 2017Goodbye 2017 and hello to 2018

I want to wish everyone I know, family, friends at work and home, followers and readers of my blog.

Please have a wonderful after Christmas Happy Festive Season.

Travel safe and enjoy every moment you can with your family and loved ones.

Whatever you do to celebrate ringing in the New Year may it be a happy and joy-filled event. And may it be the start of a wonderful year to come.


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2018 writing plans…

De-clutter is the theme for 2018.

Starting off by cleaning out my emails!

laptop imageIn Gmail, I had over 6600 emails in Social, although some are very interesting posts from writers and great writing tips, the truth is I read the odd one and let them accumulate. I’m deleting 50 at a time and am back to February with most of the emails unread! So, taking a deep breath and trying very hard to say, that post from Joanna Penn looks good, or the Cath Crowley interview there is one to read and keep (which I still did), or that’s a release I remember seeing but nothing more – augh! They are all going into the cyber bin and I’ll start 2018 carefully scrutinizing if I need all these lovely titbits or whether I can simply unsubscribe – yes Top Gear must go! Then there’s the over 10,000 emails in Promotions with a minefield here with LOWES, Dan Murphy’s, Jeanswest and Chemist Wharehouse among so many more (do I really need these promotions?) and in between the authors giving practical tips and writing groups like ‘girl and duck’ (although they link to Facebook) Kate Forsyth (who I love) and Grammarly, that I do want to keep (augh again!) and Updates tabs. So it’s out with the old and cull the new arrivals making it more practical. Then I MUST empty the BIN!!

My computer guy ‘Guy’ gave me a present for Christmas when he cleaned out my jill bio pic cropped sep17computer ‘How to get organised’ PDF with helpful tips on how to stop the junk on my PC making it slow to the point of not working. Thanks, Guy, I will be putting those tips to good use.

The First Stage of my plan for 2018 is to finally figure out how to use technology better.

Simply looking up helps no end. Alright, I’ve always known from stuff I’ve done in the past that Control C is COPY, and Control V is PASTE, and recently I discovered Control A is Select all contents of the page, I didn’t know Control L Aligns the line or selected text to the left of the screen (some of you will be saying ‘That’s obvious Jill’)

I have my books on Create Space but I can’t get them into Kindle (or are they already just a step away?) So, right now my aim is to have the correct links added so that my readers, friends and family can share them around so that people can buy my books.

Dual Visions front 29.06.17 (2)This is part of it – my link to Dual Visions, Book 1 of the Ancient Alien Series in book form

I’ve also left some books with ‘Peter Pal’ Library Supplier and will follow up with them. I’ll complete my Neilsen BookData details also.

The Second stage of my 2018 writing plan is my NaNoWriMo manuscripts, to review, re-edit and rework into final products. My aim is to have both ‘Microworld’ and the third book in The Ancient Alien Series completed and published in 2018.

All this is while I’m reading and reviewing books, naturally! Another busy year ahead.

Sounds like a plan!

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Christmas is next week…

Christmas 2017 our new garage door shutAt this time of year, our house gets it’s Christmas makeover!

My car becomes Rudolph!

Our house is decorated and the lights go up.

We reflect on what has been accomplished during 2017 and pat ourselves on the back for getting so much done while life has thrown us into the whirlpool of life.

Christmas 2017 car decoratedApart from having travelled overseas and enjoyed a wonderful holiday seeing Cornwall/Devon, then meeting relatives in Birmingham, indulging in the Beatles experience in Liverpool then Christmas 2017 front fence decoratedgoing to Ireland to see that beautiful landscape and have a pint or two or three, I’ve had a huge year on the writing front.


Not only have I managed with the guidance of my wonderful writing mentor Robyn Lee Dual Visions front 29.06.17 (2)Burrows to rework both, Dual Visions and Vashla’s World, into Vashla's World cover July17products I’m truly proud of. With my techno-savvy friend Kate Russell, I’ve launched both onto Amazon and the wide world.



MMM coverAs those who’ve followed me during the year would be aware, the biggest accomplishment has been with my fellow writers in our group The Ten Penners putting together and publishing our new anthology for children titled ‘Mystery, Mayhem & Magic!’

This culminated in a blog tour-de-force which I ensured reached the world with interviews of all of our eight ladies in the group, showcasing our backgrounds and creative styles. Our book launch was a hoot and we’ve sold many copies of our books.

Kate has our books on Amazon too!

The e-book is also available on the Amazon Australia website (AU$):
 Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup
I wish you all my friends, followers, fellow writers, family far and wide, from Queensland to Victoria or UK, where ever you are in the world – Happy Christmas, travel safe, enjoy time with your family!
Keep smiling – life is short!

Success! I won NaNoWriMo!!

leviathan sky creatureYes, I succeeded in finishing my first draft manuscript.

Now for the editing!

With Christmas rapidly approaching it’s likely to be next year before I get to it.

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