Spooktacular Stories book launch tomorrow!

thrilling tales for brave kids Spooktacular Stories anthology coverTomorrow at The Mad Hatters Bookshop in Manly I’ll be joining a bunch of talented creatives who contributed to this great book. Thanks, Michelle Worthington for getting it all together. The books will be distributed to hospitals throughout Australia.

Michelle Worthington’s Facebook post – Congratulations to our Share Your StoryAnthology Angels, in this case witches for a Not-So-Scary Storytelling at the Queensland Childrens Hospital, donating copies of the book to our bravest little readers. Some of them flew on their brooms all the way from Adelaide and Canberra! Can’t wait to get for the official launch this Saturday at The Mad Hatters Bookshop. It’s going to be Spooktacular!

We’ve already won an Amazon award for the book and it’s available in libraries. So if you can go ask for a copy that would be great.

More tomorrow from the good witch. – Jill


NaNoWriMo prep October 2019

November is NaNoWriMo month and October is the preparation month. I have three manuscripts written during previous NaNoWriMo challenges and have decided to be a rebel this year and edit. I’ll try to whip my ‘Microworld’ and ‘Microworld Undersea’ into shape, the shape of one book.

img_0281We’ve moved and still unpacking boxes. We don’t have a dining table or curtains yet so it’s all a bit primitive. Our second bedroom once free of boxes will be the room with a sofa bed on one wall and a desk and bookcase on the other. That’s a little way away yet.

The best part about living where we do now is that we’re a six-minute walk to the beach. The family arrived during school holidays and we enjoyed a dip in the pool at the units and paddling in the ocean. It was lovely.

On Saturday at the Ten Penners meeting, we all chatted happily about our current projects. Marion is having her Steampunk manuscript assessed at the SCWBI conference in November. I’d love to go but doubt I will be able to. Kate has just returned from an overseas adventure. Louisa is going great guns with her editing and development of her Utopia series and working on an adults book as well. Michelle shared notes of the CYA conference. Julie wrote a lovely story she’s planning to put into a competition. Lindy and I keep plotting along with our little stories. I do have five books to review and must get into gear with them. We don’t even have a dining table yet, so it’s been a while between posts for that reason.

img_0612Today is a glorious Monday Public holiday and we’ll be visiting our friends in Pimpama and sharing our moving house news with them. Have a wonderful day everyone! – Jill


The final countdown has begun…

Yes, we are nearing the end of our temporary living arrangements. It’s been a busy month. We now have packed up and moved out of our old home in Robina. Lived with laughs and fun times with our friends in Pimpama for two weeks and two days, and enjoyed their hospitality, dogs and fun with friends. If you’ve never played ‘Chicken Foot’ you’ll have to try it! Buy a set of Double 12 Domino’s to begin the hilarity.

Our settlement is now going to be a little earlier so we’re planning our next stage. The count down to the move-in has begun.

I’ve read a couple of books but not written the reviews yet. Watch out for my reviews of ‘The Magical Secret of the Crystal Kingdom’ by P S Nicholls, and ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ by Karen Foxlee, who is rapidly becoming my favourite author of the moment.

Stay tuned to resume normal service (or as normal as can be expected when being surrounded by boxes).

  • Jill


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Goodbye Hindmarsh Court, hello new adventure

Leaving a home of twenty-four years is hard, but, we’re looking forward to a new adventure.

The bookshelves are being sold at auction this weekend. They and the corner unit are the last remaining vestiges of our former life, apart from the red lounge suite.


Everything else apart from the clothes we’ve bought with us in cases is in storage.

We are enjoying being spoilt at the ‘Parker Hilton’. Our wonderful friends are fun to be with and their little dogs ‘Bella’ and ‘Lucy’ are gorgeous.

Now for more adventures.

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Madly moving

One thing I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that packing is a big job, especially when you’ve been in one place for over twenty-four years. I’m on the downhill run but now at the point, I can’t put stuff in boxes that I need at the last minute.
I have books I’ve just read, they can go in. I have books I am about to read or just started. I should get a chance to finish these when we’re between homes (which I’m hoping won’t be for a whole month). I have those important writing notes that have stacked up that I’ve managed to squeeze into a filing cabinet. Now writing itself has been put on the back burner, but, I can’t wait to get back to it. I’m consoling myself after demolishing my organised writing home office that I’ll have more time at the next house. Less room, but more time. Everything is downsizing.
The books I have on the go are in Goodreads, (so I must read them) once there I check them off after reviewing. Sam’s Theory is on the laptop or iPad was a requested read and one I’ve been wanting to read as the first two pages are a hook. ‘Momo Freaks Out’ by Samone Bos, was given to me for my birthday. I’ve started it, so far the series of blog posts are a bit like my own ramblings, although a more raunchy. I just need to get into it. Then three books for my pure enjoyment that will be quick reads ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ by Karen Foxlee, ‘Jake in Space 6 -Saving Saturn’ and another by Candice Lemon-Scott, her new series beginning ‘Eco Rangers – Pelican in Peril’.
My greatest fear among the stack of boxes and disappearing furniture is that my books will disappear too! OMG – that would freak me out. That won’t happen, they will be with my laptop and it’s staying close. (As close as my husband who is freaking out.)
I hope everyone who reads my posts followed my #astoryadayjuly which I enjoyed doing. Thanks again to Michelle Worthington for the great motivational suggestions. As I learned to schedule posts in her January Facebook Challenge, I was able to do the whole month ahead of time as moving house and packing has made me time-poor.
I might suggest a story a day challenge for my fellow writing family ‘The Ten Penners’. The topics get you thinking.
Next post will be on the other side of the move, either in our temporary accommodation at the ‘Parker Hilton’ or in our new unit.
Wish us luck in the transition. It’s a big one!
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Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks reviewed by Jill Smith

two wolves coverBook Review by Jill Smith©Jul19

Title: Two Wolves

Author: Tristan Bancks

Publisher: Random House Australia

Ben Silver is a kid that likes making up video stories. He’s always wanted to be a Policeman but doesn’t know if they’ll take overweight people. His sister Olive is seven and annoying. They are home alone because their parents are at work at the wrecker’s yard. When the police come to the door, he doesn’t know what they mean when they say, ‘we’ll catch up with them.’ They want to talk to their parents. What’s going on?

They’ve never had a holiday and now in a rush, they are driven off in the bush to a cabin that was Ben’s grandfathers’ place. It’s in the middle of nowhere. Everything feels wrong. Ben’s dad always calls him Cop, because he asks so many questions. When they argue Ben’s dad wrestles him to the ground. He’s humiliated and defeated. tristan bancks bio pic in book

His parents are acting weirdly. The food is running low. They didn’t come prepared for a long stay in a cabin. They are city kids. Ben feels he had to be there to keep Olive’s spirits up. They are scared. Especially when the food ran out and their parents take off. Being on their own wasn’t unusual but being where they were was.

Left to their own devices Ben and Olive explore the surrounding area and fall in love with the wild and rugged river and bush. What had happened? Why were they on the run from the law? None of it makes sense, but Ben is determined to find out.

The twists and turns in this story are artfully woven into the story of a teenage kid finding out who he is and what place in the world he fits.

I read this book in two days. It gripped from the first page. I’ll be reading more of Tristan Bancks work.

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#astoryadayjuly Facebook challenge – more catch-ups

Here are a couple more of the smaller posts I’ve done for the Story a day in July Facebook challenge. For all of them go to Jill Smith Aussie Author.

Jill Smith Aussie Author

Day 19 of the #astoryadayjuly

Facebook challenge

Let’s Build
I have happy memories of our son Simon and his Lego, building boats and trucks, castles and towers. Now our granddaughters, his daughters do the same. It’s precious.



Day 20 of the #astoryadayjuly Facebook challenge

Children’s picture books

Over the years I’ve read many books to my Granddaughters. This one was popular when they were wanting to sit on Grandma’s knee before bed. Many I’ve given away and only kept this one because of the happy memories. The girls had others at their place that are likely given to younger family and friends now. As a book person instilling the love of words is imperative as young minds soak up so much. Words are a joy.

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