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

Congratulations to all those who have launched a book this month. Here's a selection of books 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 for next issue: 30 June.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Coming Home to Roost

Mary-anne Scott

We all know boys don’t say much — their grunts and head nods remind us they’re alive, but mostly they keep a lid on their thoughts and problems.
In Coming Home to Roost, Elliot Barnard is being pursued by his ex-girlfriend, Lena. He’s already botched up everything and he can’t bear to disappoint his parents again so he dodges and denies the truth, whilst juggling the many threads of his life.
It’s only after a catastrophic work accident that Elliot’s life unravels and family loyalty and honesty are tested. The trouble is, Elliot may have left it too late….
“In a world where so many books have frilly dresses on the covers or kick-arse heroines wielding huge swords, this book is a refreshing change.  Halleluiah!” (Bridget Schaumann, SLANZA )
Available: Published by Penguin Random House and available at all good bookstores and online stockists such as Mighty Ape. Also available as e-book. IBSN 978-1-77553-859-2
Author's Bio: Mary-anne Scott lives in Havelock North. She’s the mother of four boys and the grandmother of two. All these young men, their friends and their lives, have provided her with a wealth of stories. Her character, Elliot Barnard, feels like an extension of the family.

Mary-anne is an avid reader, a writer of short stories and a musician. Her first novel, Snakes and Ladders won the teenage category of the Children’s Choice award in the 2012 NZ Post book awards. 

Murder on the Maungatapu

A narrative history of the Burgess Gang and their greatest crime

Wayne Martin

In the winter of 1866 New Zealand’s most notorious bushranger, Richard Burgess, knelt at a small desk in his Nelson prison cell, took up his quill pen and began to write. His life, he knew, was beyond salvation but words were the last weapon at his disposal to consign his mortal enemy, gang turncoat Joseph Sullivan, to the gallows. The blood-soaked confession that followed was described by Mark Twain as ‘without its peer in the literature of murder’.

Five bodies had been recovered from Maungatapu Mountain in the upper South Island, and another from the West Coast. But who had done the killing, and how many other victims were there? What had brought the ruthless Burgess Gang to this point? Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, including little-known original accounts by Sullivan, Murder on the Maungatapu tells the fascinating full story of New Zealand’s crime of the nineteenth century.

Available:  From June 2016 in bookstores, online booksellers such as Mighty Ape, Fishpond and, and through the publisher, Canterbury University Press. ISBN: 978-1-927145-74-6

Author’s Bio: Wayne Martin is a Christchurch-based writer, history enthusiast and mechanical engineer. His articles, usually destination pieces with a strong historical backdrop, have appeared in Avenues, the Dominion Post, NZ Today, AA Destinations, Australian Traveller and Latitude magazine, among others.

In 2013 he wrote the privately commissioned corporate history, Strength to Strength: A 75-year history of Powell Fenwick Consultants. Murder on the Maungatapu is Wayne’s first book written for general distribution.

Into the World

Ted Dawe

Into the world is a new novel which continues from where Into the river left off. Devon, having been expelled from school, tries to find a place for himself in the world. His friend Mitch gives him shelter but he is plunged into the shadowy underworld  of car thieves and drug dealers. Away from the protection of school and family he soon finds that with these people,  wrong decisions have permanent  consequences. So begins his fall into an abyss so deep it will take every bit of his intelligence and cunning to find his way out.

This novel charts Devon’s emerging adulthood, in particular his attempts to find love and security, while staying true to his fundamental quest which the pursuit of freedom. It is a gritty look at the sort lived by those who find themselves on the margins of society.

AvailableInto the world is published by Mangakino University Press. ISBN  978-0-473-34880-9. Available at most independent bookshops or directly through the author’s website;  
Author's BioTed Dawe’s first novel Thunder Road won both the YA and the Best First Book section of the NZ Post Children’s and Young Adults book awards. Into the river won the inaugural Margaret Mahy Award. In 2014 he was named Honorary Literary fellow by the New Zealand Society of Authors. He has published five novels and a collection of short stories.

The Ocean is Alive:

Re-visioning our Relationship with the Living Ocean

Glenn Edney

The Ocean Is Alive celebrates the Ocean in all her living splendour. It takes the reader on a fascinating and informative voyage of discovery into the blue heart our planet, from the Ocean’s formation more than four billion years ago, to the incredible diversity and exuberance we know today. But more than this, it is a journey of discovery into Ocean consciousness: through the evolution of the senses, the emergence of sentient behaviour, and finally an intriguing exploration of what the author calls ‘Ocean Mind’.
In telling the Ocean’s story Glenn Edney draws on his thirty years experience as an Ocean ecologist and underwater naturalist to take us beyond the science and into the depths of what it is like to be an Ocean being, weaving a highly readable and thought provoking tale of an Ocean alive to itself, and alive to anyone willing to ‘take the plunge’.

Available: at selected outlets or direct from the publisher, Ocean Spirit Ltd. Email: Also available in print a kindle versions from all Amazon sites.
Author’s Bio: Glenn Edney is an Ocean ecologist, writer and underwater photographer. He has written two previous books: Poor Knights Wonderland: a field-guide to the islands and marine reserve and Humpback Whales of the South West Pacific. His scientific research is focused on understanding the Ocean as a living system and the role she plays as the primary life support system for our planet. He has a strong interest in bringing together traditional indigenous Ocean knowledge and modern scientific ecological understanding. With his wife Janey he has founded Ocean Spirit, to foster a deeper and more harmonious relationship with the living Ocean. 


Featuring Novella Babylon's Song

Woelf Dietrich

“These are generally hard-hitting stories about a grim future world. . . . I found the exploration mind-stretching . . .” - Piers Anthony, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Xanth Series

Includes a Foreword by Samuel Peralta, Amazon bestselling author, and creator/driving force behind the Future Chronicles series, with 14 consecutive titles ranking at the top of the Amazon Bestselling Anthology lists. His own work has been recognized in Best American Science Fiction.

Fifty years after first contact with the inlari, war ravaged the Earth, leaving New Zealand and Australia the victors and survivors, but at a devastating cost. As human and inlari factions compete against each other in the struggle for power and resources, some seek zealotry and dominance. Others strive for peace and unity—and with them, hope still lives.

Four stories of transformation, survival, and the eternal search for meaning and purpose in a chaotic and turbulent world. Can inlari and humans alike bridge the gap created by their prejudices? Or will one species forever rule the other?
Available: The electronic version will initially be available via Amazon on the day of release. The print version comes out during June. Readers can visit Kosa Press for further information on availability. ISBN: 978-0-9941240-0-5

Author Bio: Woelf Dietrich mostly writes tales of dark fantasy and the supernatural which is maybe not such a far cry from his lawyering days. Sometimes he writes other things. He resides in New Zealand with his wife and kids and a dog.

Blazing Blunderbuss

Nix Whittaker

Hara hasn’t had an easy life. Her father is a con man and she has been forced to dress as a boy most of her life. when she finally gets away from her father she finds that trouble is still with her.
Gideon is a dragon living as a mathematician in the heart of the Wyvern Empire. But even there he isn’t safe. Revolutionaries have kidnapped him. They might have his body but his heart is already Hara’s captive. Now he just has to convince her that he isn’t too much trouble.
Things become complicated when they accidently steal a pirate ship. Throw in a plot to kill dragons and a politician willing to risk the wrath of the empire.
Together they can help each other out of trouble or find it.

Available: Amazon in print and kindle.

Author's Bio: Nix Whittaker is a lover of books and reads voraciously and when she ran out of books she decided to write her own. She lives in small Taumarunui in the heart of New Zealand where she is inspired by foggy mornings and stunning mountain scenes.


Phillip W Simpson

Loyalty has no limits

Raised from a pup by Greek hero, Odysseus, Argos has come to learn the true meaning of love and loyalty. But when Odysseus leaves for the Trojan War, little does Argos know it will be 20 years before he sees his master again. With Odysseus gone his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, are easy prey for neighboring kings and the Gods themselves. But Argos was tasked to keep them safe until Odysseus returns and that is a promise he is determined to keep – whatever the cost.
Told through his eyes, Argos recounts the story of his life – his pain, his joy, his triumphs and failures; his endurance in the face of hardships almost too great to believe. Above all else, Argos strives to do what is right – and to remain loyal to his King when all others have given up hope. To live long enough to see his beloved master one more time. This epic myth of love and loyalty proves that a dog really is man's best friend.
AvailableAmazon    Book depository Publisher: Month9books (U.S) ISBN-10: 0996890432 ISBN-13: 978-0996890434
Author's Bio: Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press.
He received his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Creative Writing from the University of Auckland.
Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.
His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012. When not writing, he works as a school teacher.

China and the Pacific: The View from Oceania

Edited by Michael Powles

Victoria University Press, 2016

The book is a report on a conference that was held in 2015 at National University of Samoa in Apia. The conference title was China and the Pacific: The View from Oceania. I was asked to organise the conference for the sponsors: Victoria University of Wellington, National University of Samoa and Sun Yat-sen University of Guangzhou. Funding from both China and New Zealand brought together academics and others from the Pacific, from China and from New Zealand, Australia and Hawai'i. Similar conferences in the past have provided little time for Pacific Island participants to express their views. This conference deliberately gave priority to "The View from Oceania".
I was partucularly pleased, as a Kiwi who was partly brought up in Samoa and later had the opportunity of representing New Zealand in the both the Pacific (Fiji and, simultaneously, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu) and in China, to have the opportunity of facilitating this discussion of a subject increasingly important to all of us in the South Pacific. The outcomes, as the book reports, were both surprising and, on the whole, encouraging.
Available: from Unity Books, from VicBooks and online from Victoria University Press

Author's Bio: After a childhood in both Samoa and New Zealand, I joined the NZ foreign service. Assignments included high commissioner to Fiji and, later, ambassador to China. After retirement, I helped create the Pacific Cooperation Foundation which aimed to promote better understanding between New Zealanders and Pacific Island peoples. I have since followed New Zealand/Pacific developments and also China's increasing presence and involvement in the South Pacific region. I've published numbers of articles on these and related subjects, including New Zealand's involvement in the United Nations over the years.  Books published include: Pacific Futures, Ed Michael Powles, Pandanus Books, Canberra, 2006, New Flags Flying: Pacific Leadership. Eds Ian Johnstone and Michael Powles, Huia Books, Wellington, 2010

Working for the Department

Murray Clapshaw

In 1987 a putsch split this country. In an alternate reality the wound remains open. It is now 2013. The Department governs the city. Angelcorp rebuilds it.
In the interface the politicians do the dirty work.

Working for the Department, young social worker Leonie Godsalve and her boss Balsam seek lost souls to bring back into the fold. Track them through a surreal landscape as they discover things our masters would prefer they didn’t.
Meet those who don’t want to be found.

Follow Leonie as she learns about life on the dark side. Meet Queen Bee who is out to beat the Department and subvert Balsam in the process. Meet Freddie Angel’s enforcers, Bob Scratcher and Mr Krebs. Meet the Fat Old Man who, unknowingly, becomes a figurehead of the resistance. Balsam’s world is seductive. Its exotic characters draw her in.
If this is life in a fractured world she loves it.
Available: Working for the Department is available as an e book from Amazon Kindle.
Author's Bio: What is really going on? The conspiracy theorist digs out the past. Or more to the point presents it as a fun-ground of distorting mirrors. Who is to say where the truth lies? This writer enjoys exploring the what-ifs and the might-have-beens in our history. He has had some conventional success (several stories in Landfall) and is now indulging himself in experimental writing.

The Residium - Road to Rome

John E. Dennett

The year is 2068. A mysterious leader, Arif arises amongst the stateless peoples of the Mediterranean and leads a stealth invasion of Southern Italy. U.S. Ranger Staff Sgt. Jeb Montalto and his unit are sent to Calabria, Italy to assist WorldAlliance247 forces in turning back the powerful group of invaders who number in the millions. What starts out as a routine mission for Jeb and his Rangers turns to frustration and ultimately a world of unimaginable nightmare, as Arif’s army - seemingly under supernatural influence- advances north as an unstoppable force.
The Residium - Road to Rome is a dystopian action adventure remarkably close to the bone as the world faces the massive dual challenge of retaining our distinctive cultures and humanity in the face of unprecedented economic, political and religious upheaval.

Available: in Kindle and print on demand formats on Amazon. ISBN 978-0-9934983-0-5  Digital Edition (Kindle), 
ISBN 978-0-9934983-3-6  The Residium - Road to Rome (Print Edition). Publisher: Desert Blues Press Contact:

Author Bio: John E. Dennett was born in New Zealand. He has practiced law in Wellington, Edinburgh and Abu Dhabi where he currently lives. He is happiest listening to blues & rock, delving in ancient ruins, wandering off the beaten track or keeping the company of his cat, Hokio in his garden.

Writing the Stars

Shauna Bickley

Anna King is an astrologer with a lot of problems in her life.

When she discovers her boyfriend has been cheating on her and she is about to lose her part-time job as a cook, Anna’s belief in love and in her talent is shattered.

If she couldn’t figure out Oliver was sleeping with someone else and that the café owner was about to sell up, how can she call herself an astrologer?

Anna and her best friend Corinne need work, but when they don’t have any luck finding jobs they start a Girl Friday business together. As if they don’t have enough trouble with a new business and a lack of customers, Corinne decides the best way for Anna to rebuild her confidence is to get back into the dating scene.

Anna’s personal and work life is about to get a lot more complicated. Even if we can find the answers in the stars, do we always understand the consequences?

Available: in eBook or print from Amazon
Author's Bio: Shauna Bickley is an instructional designer and technical writer. She has published four novels ranging from contemporary drama to murder and mayhem with the occasional touch of romance thrown in for good measure.

Her short story ‘Recipe for a Dinner Party’ was included in the Awesome Indies anthology ‘Awesome Allshorts: Last Days, Lost Ways’  and she has had short stories published in magazines in New Zealand and England.

Te Tini o Toi, The Children of Toi

(book two) Kindle Edition

Narena Olliver

Some twenty years, a generation, later from Book One. The survivors of Ranganui's massacre, Toi and the three women have had many children but they are aimless, drifting. A fleet of wakas arrives, led by Ohepe. The bird people, the Kaiwaiata, are forced to flee from the new arrivals. Ohepe becomes infatuated with one of the Kaiwaiata women. Trouble ensues with the great eagles attacking the newcomers.

Available: Amazon
Author's Bio: Narena Olliver has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Classical Greek and a Masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois in the United States where she lived for ten years. She also lived in the United Kingdom for five years. She is a New Zealander by birth.

She has written a natural history/environment column for two Bay of Plenty newspapers, the Bay of Plenty Times and the Opotiki News and has also written the occasional article for the New Zealand Herald. With Kath Connor and Annabel Allen, she wrote Opotiki The Women's Stories, ODC, 1994. In the 1960s, she published short stories in the NZ literary journals Landfall and Mate under the name Narena Randal. Narina Oliver

Napoleon’s Willow

Joan Norlev Taylor

In 1837, on remote St Helena’s Island, Frenchman François Lelièvre searches for a willow beside Napoleon’s grave, a tree in which he believes Napoleon’s spirit is alive, inspiring ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood. This will grow in Akaroa, New Zealand, in a time of conflict, as the French and British compete to colonise the land.

From England a young schoolteacher, Marianne, sets out on a troubled path that will lead her to the same place, looking for her own sense of liberty. Meanwhile, a Maori of the region – Manako-uri – must face his own challenges as the newcomers plant their hopes and dreams in his land.

Based on real events, lives are twined together in an intense story of adventure, love and loss. This novel explores not only a dramatic chapter of New Zealand’s foundation, but also the deep forces that drive us.
Available: in print in/via bookshops, print and e-book from Amazon, and directly from the publisher RSVP Publishing (Auckland). ISBN 978-0-9876587-8-4

Author's Bio: Joan Norlev Taylor has written two previous novels: Conversations with Mr. Prain (New York/Melbourne: Melville House Publishing/Hardie Grant, 2006; reissued with a new cover and reading group questions, 2011) and kissing Bowie (London: Seventh Rainbow, 2013). She also writes general and academic non-fiction. 

Tribalism of Modernity

Terry and Maggie Sharpe

Tribalism of Modernity explains how our tribal roles evolved over thousands of years.  We may believe we have evolved beyond our tribal past, in reality we have merely adapted them to new circumstances.  These roles influence social and cultural values: they are statements about our place in the social group. There are character roles we express that will reveal where we see ourselves relating to others and how we think they relate to us. We may behave as a Chief organising and controlling others, a Warrior fighting to acquire assets and gain status,  a Servant serving others to gain and maintain emotional connection and acceptance or a Mentor giving valued counsel. We may even have experienced the feeling of a Slave, powerless. If you think of people you know relative to these Characters, you will automatically be able to put their behaviours into context, which may help build better relationships. 

Available: Amazon

Author's Bio: Terry Sharpe was a teacher at the Northland Polytechnic in Whangarei, New Zealand. He gained a Diploma in Adult Tertiary Education from Auckland Institute of Technology. Maggie was a relationship group facilitator and Counsellor, she completed her training with the Central Institute of Technology - Certificate in Counselling; University of Waikato-Unitech - was Certificate in Interpersonal Change & Cultural Awareness in counselling & mediation, family violence, group dynamics and cultural Awareness. This book was a journey of discovery for both of them. It was the search for a common thread as to why we behave the way we do, which they found in the historical class structures that define division of behaviour in social groups. This caused them to feel they had formulated ideas that gave a clearer picture of the way behaviour evolved and how it contributes to personal and social changes, beneficially and destructively.

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 July 2016 issue is:  30 June. 
Image: Kurt Vonnegut
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