Read an extract from MINE, by James Russell

A quick note before you dive into it. This is my first novel for adults. When I say 'novel for adults', I don't mean 'adult novel', if you know what I mean. But Mine is definitely not for children! 

With that out of the way, read on!




An extract:

The morning passes in a kind of dream. I’m so dialled in to the wave that I feel like I’ve been surfing here all my life. I can barely paddle, my arms are that sore, but I can’t bring myself not to get one more, and one more after that.

Firoz and I are so busy scanning the shore or looking for the next wave that neither of us notices the outrigger canoe that comes around the coast from the east. I paddle over a perfect set, too exhausted to turn and catch one, and there it is, coming straight for me. There are three people aboard.

The sight puts the heart across me, adrenaline lights up my body. I strike out for the boat in a thrashing frenzy and I’m screaming out to Firoz but he can’t hear me over the surf. I see him peering at the shore through his binoculars. I know they’ll catch me easily and I glance back, and I almost cry with relief when I see that it’s only kids. I stop paddling and turn around to have a good look. They do the same to me.

They’re the darkest-skinned people I’ve ever seen, and all three are completely naked. The girl stands up in the boat holding her paddle, and I can see she’s about twelve. There’s a younger boy of about eight or nine, and a younger one again – another little boy about five. I wave to them, but they simply stare at me in silence. I realise that I’m probably the first white man they’ve ever seen.

When I catch sight of the dark swells rising beyond them, I know already that it’s too late. I shout at the kids and point and wave my arms. They just stare back at me. It’s only when the first wave starts to break that the girl looks seaward. A look of panic crosses her face and she sits down immediately, thrusting her paddle into the water and shouting a command to her brother. They paddle as fast as they can, but they’re well inside and the wave catches them in the worst possible place, mowing them down in an explosion of whitewater.

I see the canoe shoot out before the wave, upside down, its occupants gone.


I hope that whet the appetite!

Mine officially publishes on June 1, 2021 on Amazon. However, since you’re on my mailing list, you get early access!

However, at the moment they are only available here in ebook or audiobook form. Right now you can only get a paperback copy from Amazon, but soon you'll be able to get one from this website, and I can sign a copy for you. 

Both the ebook and the audiobook use a nifty bit of software called Bookfunnel to deliver the books to you, and the ebook can be read on any device - phone, tablet, Kindle, Nook - anything. The audiobook can be listened to through the Bookfunnel app, which you’ll be asked to download when you purchase. It is super-simple, and has almost made a convert out of me!

I’ve also written a second book in this series (called The Saltwater Series) called Lines. The two books - Mine and Lines - are unrelated in terms of story, but since they’re thrillers based in the world of surfing, I’ve included them in a series. Lines launches officially on August 1, 2021 (of course, once again, you'll get it a little earlier).


All the best,



Louise Ward

Wardini Books and RNZ critic

"The plot is thrilling, the setting at once idyllic and dangerous. Readers will be inspired to leave their devices and see what they can see from the top of a tree, to go outside, look for dragons, and have adventures as breathtaking as Paddy, Flynn and Briar."

Adele Broadbent

"Part 3 in this heart-pounding adventure is sure to please Dragon Defenders fans. An Unfamiliar Place pounds the young brothers with new challenges, but with their feathered accomplice (Lightning the falcon) along for the ride, they battle through and never give up! The story stands on its own but the digital side of this great Kiwi series is a wonderful bonus. Loved it!"

Charlotte McKay

Judge, NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

"Told at a rip-roaring pace with feats of incredible daring, masterful guile, and heart-stopping action. This is the book the fans have been waiting for!"

Eileen Merriman

award-winning author of A Trio of Sophies and Pieces of You

"A fast-paced action adventure that will have readers hanging on until the last page."

Tom E. Moffatt

award-winning author of Barking Mad and Mind-Swapping Madness

"An earth-shattering adventure of seismic proportions. You might need to feign sickness so you can finish it in one sitting."

Jenna Todd

NZ Book Awards Judge, Time Out Books manager

"I had so much fun reading this. It’s a rollicking adventure with a loveable cast of brave heroes."
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