New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - February 2016

Congratulations to all those who have launched a book this month. Here's a selection that our members have sent in for the New Books Lists. 

Claire Hill  New Books List Editor

Keen to submit your book for the next edition of the New Books List?  Please send to: Claire Hill
Deadline:  25 February.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Taking My Mother to the Opera

by Diane Brown

Otago University Press

Taking My Mother to the Opera is a poetic memoir, about growing up in Auckland in the fifties then dealing with ageing parents.

Too late to ask permission, it’s up to me to tease out some sort of narrative from the missing story, to add the words I never thought to ask.  I pick them from the box, one by one like chocolates: black and white snaps, salty or sweet, and peer into their tiny faces as if we’ve never met or just been introduced.
"Gosh I was hugely impressed and moved by this astonishing poetic achievement by Diane Brown. Essentially a 116 page memoir written entirely in verse Brown tells us of her family life and at the same time paints a thoughtful picture of domestic life in New Zealand post World War Two. I was so captivated that I read it in one long sitting lasting several hours.And how wonderful that Otago University Press published it in hardcover  - a bargain at $29.95." Graeme Beattie

Available: in all good bookstores ISBN 978-1-927322-15-4

Author's Bio: to read about Diane Brown.

A Long, Long Trail

by Neil Frances

The story of the famous Rimutaka Hill marches in 1915-1918, and the centennial Re-enactment march of September 2015.

The New Zealand Army used the Rimutaka Hill road, between Wairarapa and Hutt Valley, as the ultimate fitness test for infantry about to embark for service on the Western Front in World War One. Over 30,000 soldiers climbed to the 555 metre summit on their three-day trek, usually fed and cheered by patriotic civilians.

Widely photographed and reported, the Rimutaka treks were public affairs.
Many participants in the emotional 27 September 2015 re-enactment were descendants of the original marchers.

Available: from Wairarapa Archive, P.O.Box 444 Masterton. Or
ISBN 9780992247539.  Limpback, 96 pages with over 90 photographs. $30
Author's Bio: Neil Frances has written five military histories (four published by Wairarapa Archive/Fraser Books) all concerning Wairarapa people and events. He currently works as an archivist and has been a librarian and newspaper proof-reader (when they still employed them).

Virtually a pacifist, he finds it hard to understand his lifelong interest in military history and the hardware of war. He is a third-generation Wairarapa resident and expects to retire and die there.

A Quiet Revolution: 

Growing Creative Commons in Aotearoa New Zealand

by Elizabeth Heritage

The past few years have seen a quiet, relatively well behaved, and entirely legal revolution in Aotearoa: the growth of a thriving Commons of works made available under Creative Commons open copyright licences.

A Quiet Revolution tells Kiwi stories as diverse as open source houses, teachers banding together to share resources, government departments making their data available for anyone to use, and artists sharing their work in a spirit of collaboration and community — and shows how something as seemingly dry as copyright licensing can have profound impacts on our society, culture and economy.


Author's Bio: Elizabeth Heritage is a non-fiction writer and the Communications Lead at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand. She is also a freelancer in the publishing industry, with a particular interest in the ways in which the Kiwi arts and cultural sectors are changing in the face of the internet.

Time and Time Again

by Kayla Mackenzie-Kopp

This intriguing book is a must-read not only for those wanting gripping stories but also for therapists, theologists, and anyone interested in a wider view of human existence. Kayla Mackenzie-Kopp gives us remarkable insights into the fascinating world of past lives.
While teaching at university and bringing up three children, she explored many of her own past lives and worked as a reincarnation therapist for hundreds of people. Here we see how this work impacted on her life and the lives of her clients. With engaging candour Kayla explores diverse societies and fates.
We also find a clear description of her methods, and her thoughts about the philosophy behind past life work. The book is non dogmatic and convincing – a feast of human experience in numerous countries and cultures.

Available: It is an Amazon best seller in the 'spiritual self-help' category, and will also be available as from March on Smashwords and from Korora Press in a print version.

Author's Bio: Kayla Mackenzie-Kopp grew up in New Zealand and Samoa. After completing a B.A. at Auckland University, she left for Europe, and “accidentally” stayed there for thirty three years. Along with bringing up three children, she taught English at Heidelberg University, had her own practice for spiritual psychotherapy, worked as a channel and reincarnation therapist, and gave seminars on a wide range of subjects, from angels, to fire walking, to Family Constellation Work. She learned by doing and giving, and has worked with hundreds of people.

In 2002 she returned to New Zealand, and now lives and writes on Waiheke Island. Her work is in three collections, and also in JAAM magazine. 

Bernard Winton Johns

Five Decades of His Architecture

by Ann, Mark & Virginia Innes-Jones

This limited collector’s edition celebrates the architectural achievement of Bernard W Johns, an architect who influenced and changed the architectural landscape of Wellington and its region, for over half a century. It contains biographical information, photographs, plans and the stories of those who commissioned works by this well known Wellington personality. For over five decades, he was an active commentator on the developments of the region and along with his peers he helped revolutionize the manner in which we all live. In this publication we explore the houses, apartments and commercial structures that this architect designed during his long career.
Available: through The Bach Doctor Press on email:  at the RRP of $65 and can be packaged and posted anywhere in NZ for an additional $7.50. Postal orders can be sent to: The Bach Doctor Press, P.O. Box 79, Waikanae 5250

Author's Bio: Virginia is a born and bred New Zealander of Scottish and Maori (Ngai Tahu) descent who has loved writing since she could pick up a pen. From the age of five, she kept a journal and today she continues this ritual religiously. She uses her inquisitive mind, ever packed with constant curiosity and imagination, complimented with ideas, to create and write.  Her most recent book she co-wrote on architecture, ‘Bernard Winton – Five Decades of his Architecture’, and prior to this ‘Fabulous Faerie Folk’ a picture book full of stories written in rhyming verse for both adults and children.

Margaret Thatcher Changes the World

by Rex McGregor

One-act comedy. The 13th Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh four years ago were a disaster. 32 countries stayed away. Now in 1990 the 14th Games in Auckland look set to be a success. Nearly every eligible country is taking part. But that’s not enough for Margaret Thatcher. She wants more.
Available: online from Lazy Bee Scripts (UK)
Author's Bio: Rex McGregor is and Auckland writer specialising in comedy theatre and satirical humour. His short plays have been performed on four continents, from London and New York to Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.

Girls on the Brink:

Seven female-forward plays for young adults

by Rex McGregor

A collection of short plays about coming of age and the dramatic impact of sudden change on young lives. From a new take on Romeo and Juliet to an Afghan girl whose days as a boy are at an end to a futuristic tale of living forever, these seven diverse plays all explore that precarious moment when young people find themselves on the brink of life. Includes The Girl Who Would Rather Not Grow Up Just YetRefloat Our WhaleGrow Up, JulietTwilight of the GrizzlyAleema the Boy Girl, Sugar Horror and Almost Immortal​.
Available: from YouthPLAYS and Amazon. ISBN: 978-1620885840
Author's Bio: Rex McGregor is an Auckland writer specialising in comedy theatre and satirical humour. His short plays have been performed on four continents, from London and New York to Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.

365 Games & Puzzles to Keep Your Mind Sharp

by Kim Chamberlain

The second in a series of 5 Minute Brain Workout books for adults, it offers short and fun activities designed to train and maintain your brain.

Taking care of your brain is just as beneficial as taking care of the rest of your body--research has shown that training games help improve memory, concentration, problem-solving skills, processing speed, creativity, and reasoning. 365 Games & Puzzles to Keep Your Mind Sharp provides a year's worth of challenging mental activities to keep your brain sharp and flexible. This fresh new instalment uses the same format as The Five-Minute Brain Workout: a variety of games and puzzles, each with ten examples that increase in difficulty as you work through the book. This collection includes some fan favourites along with many new and exciting puzzles that will further develop your skills. A great book for lovers of word and language games and puzzles.

Available: Amazon, Book Depository

Author's Bio: Kim Chamberlain is an award-winning writer and international speaker in the field of personal and professional development. She produces material based on the concept that taking small steps and undertaking activities that take a short amount of time can lead to significant improvement.

With an MA Hons in Linguistics she has a love of words, language and communication. Originally from the UK, and having lived in a small town in East Africa, she now resides in Wellington with her husband Jon, two teenage children and pet blue tongued lizard, Ra. Jon is the illustrator for the book, and used an unsuspecting Ra as the model for some of the illustrations.

The Gentlemen's Club

by Jen Shieff

Auckland, 1957. Headstrong and independent, Rita Saunders is a successful hairdresser by day and a busy brothel madam by night. The only thing missing from her life is the love of a good woman. Istvan Ziegler is a Hungarian immigrant who has come, full of hope, to work on the brand new harbour bridge. Sixteen-year-old Judith Curran has been sent up north for an abortion. With no money or family support, she finds herself at the mercy of strangers. 
Becoming bound into a desperate situation involving a group of orphan girls ,  Rita, Judith and Istvan find fortitude they never knew they possessed.  But do they have enough of it to expose the menacing orphanage director and the slice of the heartless and seedy 1950s underworld he inhabits?

Available: Published by Mary Egan Publishing. Available in bookshops nationwide. And as an eBook from Amazon

Author's Bio: An Auckland University graduate, Jen Shieff was a school and university teacher in Auckland until 1994 when she moved to Wellington as an analyst for government departments. In 2001, she moved north with her partner to establish and run a fly fishing lodge on the Tongariro River in Turangi. With that dream realised, Jen resumed her work for the government, commuting on a Beech 1900D flight to Wellington every Monday morning for six years until 2014. Since then, still based in Turangi, she’s been realising another dream: to write crime fiction. Her first novel, “The Gentlemen’s Club”, was published in 2015.


The Pine, the Lady Bushranger, and the Bioprospector

by Carol Thomas

A YA e-book, the novel is a survival adventure of connected stories across millennia, set in wilderness just outside Sydney. One story follows a family as they explore the wilderness and learn what survival really means. Another is the story of the lady bushranger - who hid out in a cave and stole cattle after killing her 'husband' in the 1920s. Interspersed with these is a wilderness story of drama and humour; the discovery of the Wollemi pine, the botanical equivalent of finding a live dinosaur, and the bioprospector's question: what else is in there?

Available: at Smashwords  ISBN 9780473342975
Author's Bio: Carol Thomas is an ex English teacher who came home to Wellington five years ago. She runs a writing and editing business (Edit Lookout) and works as an editor with The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Merely a Girl

by Tony Chapelle

Set mainly in mid-Victorian Gloucestershire, Merely a Girl follows the life of Adelaide Gilbard, a young middle-class woman, over a period of some four years. Her father was a well-known engineer from a respected Anglo-Norman family, but her mother’s ancestry is of mixed race, her family socially inferior. Adelaide is an intelligent and passionate eighteen-year-old who resents being viewed by society as little more than a dubious marriage prize waiting to be won. Coveted by two clergymen, then rejected by one whose proposal she finally decides she will accept, there enters into her life a well-born but dangerous Welshman. Almost against her will, she finds herself attracted to him. Her purpose now personally determined, she is taken first to Australia and then to New Zealand, where she faces an uncertain future.

Available: on Amazon and from the publisher (Rangitawa Publishing) as well as from Bruce McKenzie Booksellers.  ISBN 978-0-9941268-0-1

Author's Bio: Tony Chapelle is an award-winning writer whose recently published collection of short stories, titled Original Sin, has received reviews, on-line and in newspapers and journals, that range from very good to enthusiastic. This is the first of two companion novels, the second of which will be published shortly. He lives and writes in Palmerston North.

The Hour of the Grey Wolf

by Christodoulos Moisa

The Hour of the Grey Wolf, is set in Cyprus during 1973. The CIA and its Greek Junta proxy are gunning for Archbishop Makarios the, democratically elected, first president of the Republic, and because of this a civil war, where Greek would be fighting Greek, is looming. The narrator is Steve Carpenter, a New Zealand journalist of Cypriot descent. Wounded in Vietnam where he has worked for REUTERS, he chooses to go to Cyprus to recuperate. However, as a new chapter in Cypriot history unfolds, he becomes drawn into solving a murder that occurs in Mpalloura, the village where he is living. Knowing that he may be putting his own life at risk, Carpenter gingerly delves into the deadly politics of the time and the labyrinth-like complexity of a peasant village whose inner darkness one is rarely exposed to.

The Hour of the Grey Wolf is for those who like comedy, tragedy, a murder mystery and romance along with a wide range of cultural and historical references, conservation ethics and political insight. The New Zealand/Cypriot narrator can offer both an insider and an outsider view of the situation in Cyprus when tensions between Greeks and Turks, as well as factions within the Greek community, were at their height. Surely, something for everyone. Nelson Wattie.

Available: Retails for $36 NZ and is available from 8 Tower Crescent, Durie Hill, Whanganui,  the publisher, all good bookshops, Amazon on demand and Kendal.

Author's Bio: Christodoulos Moisa is an award winning poet and artist. He was born in 1948 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand to immigrant Cypriot parents. He spent five years of his childhood and eighteen months in 1972/73 in Cyprus. Moisa has published six slim volumes of poetry and the critically acclaimed long poem The Desert. In 2010 his first book of short stories Blood and Koka Kola was published. Moisa works and lives in Whanganui with ginger cat, Leonidas, and tabby cat, Cleopatra, both of whom are trying to remind their Kelpie/Dingo cross companion, Zeus, that two appearances on a book cover does not constitute a modelling career.

Backwards Into the Future

by Bronwyn Elsmore

Everyone knows you can’t go back. Everyone except Mary apparently, because here she is – back in her old hometown. That’s because of two women – Kui, and Ana.      
One of them is pushing her, the other is holding back, and between the two there’s much to be resolved.
The plum tree and the manuka have gone, but a lemon tree thrives. The mystery of the Marakihau may never be solved; but if Ana returns, their friendship and some things from the past can be recovered. Can’t they?    

Available:  Paperback: some bookshops, Wheelers, AllBooks, Academy Books, Total Library Solutions. Or send an enquiry to   Ebook (kindle)
Author’s Bio: Though she has written with success over many genres – non-fiction books, short stories, and plays particularly – Bronwyn Elsmore is currently concentrating on novels. However, she doesn’t rule out the possibility that something completely different will spring from her keyboard in the future.
Bronwyn currently calls Auckland, home. Backwards Into the Future is her tenth book.

New Books List Submission Requirements:

Are you an NZSA member? Like to feature your new book in the New Books List? Please email the following to Claire Hill at
  1. A JPG, or PNG image: The book's front cover (we don't need back cover).
  2. A Blurb: 1-2 brief paragraphs about the book. (Max 150 words)
  3. Available: Don't forget to include relevant information about where your book can be purchased. If your book is available to purchase online, include the html links. Include publisher name and ISBN number if applicable.
  4. Author's Bio: 1-3 sentences about you. We don’t need a full CV – just the edited highlights. NB: A link to a website is not a bio. (Max 100 words)
And please do a final read and spell check before you send!
The deadline for the March 2016 issue is:  25 February 
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