Join our cyber book launch party of A Christmas Tail



But just watch you don’t knock your head on the poster of the book’s front cover as you enter our cyber launch of  A Christmas Tail.  It is brilliant, isn’t it? And shiny!

A Christmas Tail no white spaceKeep coming in – there’s room for everyone. The more the merrier.


Spider Ink Press is very excited with its first children’s picture book,  A Christmas Tail co-written by award winning children’s authors Donna Smith and Helen Ross. The gorgeous illustrations are by Aaron Pocock. We just love the front cover.

So please, grab a glass of champagne or juice. Cheese cakes treats, cheese and crackers and other munchies are being served so make sure you don’t miss out.

animated waiter

Peter Mouse,  who is the ‘star’ of the picture book was going to be serving the food but we caught him snacking  in the kitchen.Italy (829)

Italy (833)

Naughty Peter and his bunny teddy with cream on their faces.

So  Peter is confined to mingling with guests only.  Naughty Peter. Though I really don’t blame him. The cheese cakes look very yummy.

There are also some gluten free and dairy free goodies and other snacks for those with food intolerances.  We didn’t forget you Helen and Donna. So more cheese for us! Yay!

Feel free to mingle for a while before we begin the formalities.  I am sure you will see some familiar faces.  Also don’t forget to sign the ‘invitation book’ by leaving a comment in the comment section so we know who has dropped by . And hopefully, after the short speeches (yes, we promise they’ll be short), we’ll have the chance to chat with everyone.

We probably shouldn’t mention that it was not only Peter helping himself to the goodies in the kitchen.

Rat with cheese

Yes, Peter invited one of his friends to ‘help’ out.  Hmmm.  Who said mice and rats don’t get along? Of course you’ll find out more when you read A Christmas Tail.

Anyway, luckily we ordered lots of nibblies.

So go enjoy, and we’ll  gather you all round very shortly.

We will just turn up the background music before we begin the formalities.  Celebration: Kool and the Gang

Don’t forget to grab a party hat. We have an assortment to choose from.

party-hat-hi 1

party-hat 3

party hat 2

party hat 4

The small sized one is for Peter.

Well,  think it is time we got the party started.  And because A Christmas Tail is a Christmas themed book, Santa was able to attend. Lucky for us. So, this is a call to come gather around.


It is now  time for very short speeches.  After the speeches we’ll let you know what is  happening during this week’s celebrations.

So, without further ado. Let’s give a hand to Donna, Helen and Aaron.

We are very excited that Donna Smith, Helen Ross and  illustrator, Aaron Pocock are able to join us in celebrating our lovely new book, A Christmas Tail.  We just love the front cover. Aaron’s illustrations are just magical.

So let’s find out about our authors and a little about how A Christmas Tail came about.

First, it’s over to Donna.  Please give a hand to Donna Smith as she takes centre stage.

Clap, Clap. The applause is deafening. How wonderful!

Donna Smith image

Hi everyone.  Thank you so much for celebrating A Christmas Tail with me,  Helen and Aaron today. I wish to thank Helen Ross for collaborating on this mousey story, an idea I had for some time.  Helen, you  have been a pleasure to work with.  I am very proud of our story.  Also thank you Aaron.  Your illustrations are stunning and your style suits the story perfectly.  Thanks to breathing ‘life’ to our story and its characters.  Also a big thank you to Sylvie Blair from BookPOD, our graphic artist and ‘co-publisher’. Thank you for your advice, and patience and professionalism in assisting us to create this beautiful book.  Thank you also to Sally Odgers, our manuscript assessor. We appreciate your  wonderful advice, and for helping shape our story. And thanks also to Dalida Boustead, as our pre-print copy-editor. And thank you to our publisher Spider Ink Press for hosting our Cyber book launch party today.

Well, just a little about me …

I am an award winning children’s author and I live in Victoria with my husband and our three children.  I have had several children’s stories and poems published in various anthologies, journals and as chapter books.  I have also written over forty academic titles for the Adult Education sector and completed an Arts degree in 2012.  When I am not writing I enjoy piano, art, skiing and triathlons.  You can find out more about me at:

And just in case you want to know more:

At school I was …… very quiet.  Spent most of my lunch breaks in the library.

When I was a child I wanted to be … happy.

I relax by  …  spending time with my family (I have three children), reading and outdoors.

Thank you Donna for your welcoming speechClap. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Now we’d like to introduce you to Helen Ross. Clap, Clap. Again, thunderous applause.

Helen Ross image sitting with books

Firstly, I wish to thank Donna for approaching me about writing a picture book series based on a mouse family. This was an idea that Donna had for some time so I really appreciated being given the wonderful opportunity to work with her on this idea, and making it a reality for her.  So thank you so much Donna.  It has been a pleasure.  Not only have we created a beautiful picture book, but I have also gained a  friend.  And thank  you Aaron for creating just what Donna and I had envisaged.  Your illustrations are just magical. It has also been a pleasure working with you.  Also a thank you to Sylvie, Sally and Dalida in helping us create A Christmas Tail to be the best it could be.

And just a little about me so you don’t nod off to sleep ….

I was born in Melbourne, nee McKenzie. As a former primary and kindergarten teacher, I have always loved the magic of books.  I have been writing for 30 years and my qualifications include a Masters in International Education, a Diploma in Writing, and have completed studies in Freelance Journalism and children’s picture book writing.  I  have won awards for my children’s poetry, including first place, and my quirky sense of humour is embedded in many of my children’s stories and giggle poetry.   My poetry has also been published in anthologies as well as for online educational resources.  To date,  A Christmas Tail is my fourth published book.  I have also written many articles for  publishing magazines,  online sources and a community magazine.   After 17 years of teaching at TAFE Queensland in the Business Directorate, and ESL/Language and Literacy programs, I now enjoy visiting schools conducting giggle poetry workshops around Australia; hence, I always have a bag packed ready to go.  Aside from writing, I love anything French, photography, travel and art.   I live in Brisbane with my humorous husband, a blue heeler, two spoilt cats and an adopted sparrow.  More information about me can be found at: My blog is

Anyway, I’d just like to finish up by saying a huge thank you to Donna and Aaron. It has been my pleasure and I am very proud how the book has turned out.  We have all worked very hard and I think it is a book to be proud of.

And just in case you want to know more:

My earliest memory is sitting on top of my dad’s shoulders and chatting to the people behind me as we strolled through an amusement park.

At school I was quiet in the classroom but bubbly with friends,  reasonably clever, quirky, and creative. A bit of a dag really.

When I was a child I wanted to be able to fly, be a spy, and an actress.  In high school I dreamt of being a surfer.

I relax by reading, lunching with friends and jogging (yes, exercise relaxes me).

It’s not fashionable but I love frilly shower caps, and fluffy bed socks. I wear bed socks during the day (at home), and generally all year round.

If only I could complete everything I want to do and learn at least one other language.

In the movie of my life I’d be played by Goldie Hawn, though she has a smaller nose.

I’m always being asked – How do you do it?

I’m always being told – You don’t have time for that, but I always beg to differ.

Also, nurses always tell me that I have fat juicy veins – all the better to stick needles in and suck blood.

Clap. Clap.

Thanks Donna and Helen for sharing your journey.  Now we are excited to hear from Aaron.  We are very glad he has been able to make it as he is very busy at present working on a very special project.

Let’s welcome Aaron Pocock. Everyone claps.   More deafening applause.

Aaron Pocock image

Hi everyone.  Thanks for celebrating our cyber launch with Donna, Helen and myself. Lovely that you could make it.

Just a little about me …

I was born into a large family in the South of England and have been living in Brisbane, Australia, since 2000.  I have been an illustrator for 20 years or so.

As well as drawing, painting and many other pursuits that keep my mind active and nimble, I am also a musician and play a mean Blues guitar.

I am married and have two children.  I work in a big studio where I scribble away at drawings and paintings for books and things.

And just in case you want to know more:

 My earliest memory is drawing on the walls of my bedroom.

At school I was a shy extrovert.

When I was a child I wanted to be an artist.

 I relax by drawing, reading, learning.

It’s not fashionable but somebody has to wear it.

If only I could complete  this sentence.

In the movie of my life I’d be played by me. Nobody else’d have a clue how to articulate all that stuff.

I’m always being asked ….What inspires me?

I’m always being told … You’re gifted. And it always irks me a bit.

More information about me at:;

Thank you Aaron.  And let’s give a hand to our talented trio.  And raise your glasses. 

animated clinking glasses sloshingClap. Clap. Foot stomping. Cheers reverberate around the room.

Donna, Helen and Aaron will also be chatting during the week so make sure you do drop in again. The festivities are flowing into the wee hours all week, finishing this Friday 6 December.

Before you get back to chatting and catching up with everyone, we’d like to share some fabulous reviews that A Christmas Tail has received so far. And it is also exciting that the authors are receiving wonderful media attention, especially with their community newspapers and radio stations.


A Christmas Tail no white space

The following is just an excerpt from a review by Nerida Wayland, a reviewer for Creative Kids Tales, an Australian website for Australian children’s authors.  Nerida says that “the story is easy to read and well-paced and that there is plenty of action, particularly in the second half, to keep young kids engaged”.

“Aaron Pocock’s illustrations are vibrant with festive greens and reds,” Nerida says. “There is an abundance of traditional Christmas iconography with some cute mousey touches like little cheese wedge beds. Pocock effectively contrasts this with the lives of those less fortunate, establishing the reality of life outside the walls of the cosy cottage.”

For the full review please click on: OR click on the above ‘Book Reviews‘ tab –

AND excerpt of a review by Gabrielle Bryden, an Australian poet, writer, blogger, psychologist, wife and mother of two children, and  autism and environmental advocate.

A Christmas Tail is a charming story written by Donna Smith and Helen Ross about a mouse family living in a doll’s house in an attic.

Melanie, Monty and baby mouse Peter are preparing for the Christmas festivities and a visit by Santa Paws, but when Santa loses his pants you know things aren’t going quite to plan.

This is a traditional Christmas story with a few twists involving unlikely friendships and bumps in the night. The characters are adorable, even the mischievous rat and the accomplice cat.

The illustrations by Aaron Pocock are divine and reveal a first-class talent. This book targets pre-school age children and I am sure they will love this tale of mice and mayhem. My kids loved the story and they are 10 and 13.


For full review:

OR click on the above ‘Book Reviews‘ tab –


And to celebrate this week’s cyber book launch, iTunes and Amazon Kindle have discounted A Christmas Tail from $9.99 to $4.99.  Wow! A great opportunity to snazzle up a delightful book as a Christmas gift. The book is also available in Hardback.  This discounted offer is definitely for this week only. If interested, here’s the link for Hardback and discounted eBook formats:

AMAZON buy3._V192207739_

And for further BOOK ORDER information, click on:

In Australia, the hardback is available here:

BookPOD online bookstore, Australia


Quote: ISBN: 9780987306715

Well, the celebrations are far from over.   Please drop by again during the day, and throughout this week. Because ….

Aside from our Christmas specials on our eBook, there will be recipe cards/printouts, mousey activities, chats with Donna and Helen, a sneak peek into Aaron’s illustrating world, and loads of activities for your children and classroom.  And we’ll be concluding the celebration with a big traditional turkey dinner!

Please don’t forget to sign the ‘invitation book’ by leaving a comment in the comment section so we know who has dropped by .

Well, that’s about it for now. Please stay around for as long as you like. And again, thank you all so much for coming and celebrating with Spider Ink Press, Donna, Helen and Aaron.  And of course, Peter Mouse.

And please leave a comment before you go. Love to know who has dropped by.

Everyone claps then rushes forward to get a signed copy. Luckily Donna, Helen and Aaron have a pen ready.  Ker-ching goes the cash register.  Ker-ching!  Ker-ching!  Ker-ching!

And we’ll now turn up the background music.  Enjoy!

Click on the following link for Aussie Jingle Bells.

And the party is now jumping.  Celebration: Kool and the Gang

slow motion popping champagne

Don’t forget to drop by again during the day, and throughout this week. We will put a reminder out on FaceBook, and other social media sites.

And don’t forget that the Special EBook Discount is just for this week only: iTunes and Amazon Kindle.

Proudly presented by Spider Ink Press 2 December 2013.

Spider Ink Press Logo


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Tyrrell
    Dec 01, 2013 @ 23:14:14

    Congratulations Helen, Donna and Aaron on the release of A Christmas Tail. Hope it does wonderfully well for you … Karen 🙂


    • spiderinkpress
      Dec 02, 2013 @ 01:07:26

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for popping by, I hope you have had some bubbly and cheesecake! Helen, Donna and Aaron will be thrilled you have visited today. During the week there will be lots of fun activities, I hope you can pop by again soon.



  2. Trackback: Cyber book launch of A Christmas Tail happening NOW | Helen Ross writes
  3. JRPoulter
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 04:10:25

    Well done, folks!:) Hearty congrats all round!


  4. debbiebehan
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 05:53:26

    Hi there, congrats on the release of A Christmas Tail. Enjoyed the party and even managed to grab a slice of that cheese cake from Peter. Cheers and wishing you ever success. Debbie 🍨🍰🍦🍮🍬😋😊


    • spiderinkpress
      Dec 02, 2013 @ 19:57:01

      HI Debbie,
      Thanks for visiting us today, I am glad you enjoyed the treats. We have plenty more on the way with loads of fun events and activities. We hope you can pop by again soon. Lots of tail preens Peter 🙂


  5. Trackback: A Christmas Tail eBook special Offer ends Fri 6 Dec. | Helen Ross writes
  6. writerwithdogs
    Dec 03, 2013 @ 04:07:13

    Love the party site! Have been locked in all day at my computer and this was a lovely place to visit. So fun. Congrats on this darling book. I will buy it for sure!


  7. Robert Vescio
    Dec 03, 2013 @ 10:13:08

    Congrats to everyone involved. I really like what you have done with the site – awesome! All the best with book.


  8. Trackback: Chatting with Aaron Pocock, illustrator of A Christmas Tail. | spiderinkpress
  9. Trackback: A little more about A Christmas Tail co-author, Donna Smith | spiderinkpress
  10. Trackback: Meet Donna Smith, co-author of A Christmas Tail | Helen Ross writes
  11. seo rankings
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 21:01:54

    Wow, marvelous blog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you made running a blog glance easy. The entire look of your web
    site is great, as smartly as the content material!


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