New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - May 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: 25 May.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Milk Bar Warriors

Brent Leslie

It is 1942 and World War Two is raging. After Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbour, New Zealand is in serious danger of enemy invasion, but its forces are fighting the Nazis on the other side of the world.
Then a friendly invasion happens – thousands of young American soldiers and sailors, training for or recovering from fierce battles in the Pacific. They bring with them the entrenched racial attitudes of their homeland which had led to a bloody civil war over slavery less than 80 years before. Many are in their teens.
A Kiwi teenager, Bruce Bickerton, becomes friends with four of them and embroiled in their world of good times, espionage, racism and danger. When one of those friends goes missing in Auckland, Bruce has to take the lead in bringing the American perpetrator to justice. But to do that he must penetrate the mighty United States military machine.

Available: as a paperback from some book shops and  ISBN 978-0-473-34861-8
Author's Bio: Brent Leslie is an Auckland journalist and author, and former TV writer and director. He has had four books published for young children and Milk Bar Warriors is his third indie-published YA historical novel. He has long been fascinated by this period of New Zealand history about which very little non-fiction exists. 

Worldly Goods

Alice Petersen

An old record player; an unposted letter; a pair of pearl earrings never purchased; a badly written poem from the woman you love: tokens, gifts, and objects lost or left behind, desired or not wanted at all are the starting points for the stories in Worldly Goods, a new collection by Alice Petersen. The stories reveal that ownership is more than possession, for Petersen shows how small objects stand as markers of our attempts to communicate with each other.

Available: from Biblioasis  Amazon

Author's Bio: Alice Petersen’s first short story collection, All the Voices Cry (Biblioasis, 2012) was awarded the Quebec Writers’ Federation Concordia University First Book Prize. Petersen’s stories have variously been shortlisted for the CBC Literary awards, The Journey Prize and the Metcalf Rooke Award for fiction. Her work has appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Stories. Originally from New Zealand, Alice Petersen has spent the last two decades living in Canada.

For an interview with Alice Petersen, contact Grant Munroe at

The Grass Was Always Browner

Sacha Jones

Growing up the middle of three close-together children born to two old, impractically posh parents in the rugged bush-clad suburbs of Sydney was touch-and-go for Sacha. By five she had contracted every disease known to man and some new ones. Doctors fumbled for a solution, tried suppositories, then settled on ballet.

Ballet saved Sacha and she did very well at it, despite a build all wrong for ballet, according to her Russian dance teacher. But success came at a price. Her relationship with her father – who described ballet as a ‘selfish, frivolous pursuit, too focused on appearances’– was substantially sacrificed, as was a proper childhood and healthy attitude to food. When she flew to London at seventeen to compete in the top ballet competitions, a box of Colon Care was tucked discretely into a dark corner of her suitcase in the hold.

Available: published by Finch, Sydney and distributed by Harper Collins Australia and New Zealand. ISBN: 978-1925048643. Available from May 2 in paperback at all good book stores, and in e-book version online. Paper Plus  The Nile  Amazon Kindle  iTunes/ iBookstore  Kobo Books
Author's Bio: I have a PhD in political theory from the University of Auckland and was a tutor and lecturer in politics before turning to creative writing in 2009. I have wanted to write all my life but politics, like dance in my childhood, distracted me from pursuing this goal seriously. For twenty years I filled exercise books with my writing but never tried to finish any of it nor try for publication. The Grass Was Always Browner is my first serious attempt to get a non-academic book published and the first of my proposed three-volume memoir of childhood. 

A Drop In The Ocean

Jenni Ogden


Gold Winner of The 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYS) for Best Regional Fiction—Australia and NZ

On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her Huntington’s disease research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. But Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love—for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love.
Available: Published by She Writes Press, NZ RRP $37. ISBN:978-1-63152-026-6. Available at all good book stores, from Amazon as print and e-book  and from all online retailers.
Author's Bio: Jenni Ogden holds a PhD in Psychology and is the author of Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology and Trouble In Mind: Stories from a Neuropsychologist’s Casebook. She now writes novels from the off-grid home she shares with her husband on Great Barrier Island, with winters spent travelling and at their second home in Tropical Far North Queensland. Visit her at, and read her PsychologyToday blog at

Spiny Sebastian Starfish

Marion Day

As Sebastian searches for his breakfast, he’s hooked, hauled up onto a boat and whisked away. How does he survive the accident after the freckle-faced fisherman throws him overboard? What happens when he meets the alluring seahorse? Will he ever see his friends Bluey Cod, Lumpy Sea Cucumber and Kahi Kina again? Set in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds of NZ, Spiny Sebastian Starfish is the first of a set of picture books by award-winning author Marion Day.

Available: in all good bookstores, and major online bookstores. Author contact:

Author's Bio: Marion Day has four published books – a children’s chapter book, two pre-teen action and adventure, and Injun Joe, a biography which made the Nielsen’s New Zealand bestseller and Whitcoulls top five sports books bimonthly list. She has children’s stories included in anthologies and a line-up of eBooks. Marion has also won adult and children’s short story competitions, which include being shortlisted in the annual Joy Cowley Awards. One of her pre-teen stories has been included in the ESA’s New Zealand textbook for secondary school students – Level 1 Literacy Learning Workbook. Her latest success was as winner of the New Zealand Rural Women’s/MPI short story and photographic competition, which saw her in Parliament to accept her award. At present she’s writing a second biography at the request of The Halcyon Press. 

Muddle & Mo’s Worm Surprise

Nikki Slade Robinson

‘Muddle & Mo’s Worm Surprise’ is the irresistible sequel to the Storylines Notable Book ‘Muddle & Mo’. This new story sees the return of the lovable duck and goat characters, with Muddle preparing a surprise picnic for his best friend Mo. But will Mo like what Muddle has prepared?  A story of loyal friendship and trust - told with plenty of humour. And the odd worm...
Available: ‘Muddle & Mo’s Worm Surprise' by Nikki Slade Robinson is published by Duck Creek Press, an imprint of David Ling Publishing It is available in hardcover and paperback through all good bookshops and online stockists. Distributed by David Bateman. ISBN 978-1-927305-18-8. Suits ages 3 - 7
Author's Bio: Nikki Slade Robinson is a long time children's author and illustrator, having worked with many publishers in New Zealand. Her previous title was ‘The little Kiwi’s Matariki’ which went straight onto the bestseller list and to reprint within a week of releasing. Other recent titles were 'The Roadman Boogie' and ''Muddle & Mo' (pub Duck Creek Press - David Ling) both have also been picked up by both Australian and American publishers.  She has created 12 titles to date as an author/illustrator, and illustrated over 70 titles.  More titles are scheduled to release over the next 12 months.

The Doll's House

Katherine Mansfield

Adapted by Kevin Boon

with illustrations by Trish Bowles

The children could not wait to see the doll’s house.  It was just too marvellous. What Kezia liked best of all was the little lamp. It seemed to smile at her and to say. “I live here.”
At last everybody had seen it except the Kelveys. The Kelveys were the daughters of a spry, hard-working little washer-woman who went about from house to house by day. Her children, Lil and Our Else were dressed in ‘bits’ given to her by people for whom she worked.

After school one day Kezia saw the Kelveys approaching along the dusty road. She decided to invite them in to see the doll’s house. They admired it in wonder until Aunt Beryl shooed them out gate like chickens...

Available: can be purchased directly from Kevin Boon by emailing $20 (No charge for P&P). ISBN:  978-0-908947-08-9

Adaptation by: Kevin Boon is a prolific author of books for young people both fiction and non-fiction. He has also written stage plays, radio stories and television comedy and drama. He was a school teacher and principal for many years and has a strong interest in children’s literature. In 2006 he won the Elsie Locke award for Children’s Non-fiction with four books about New Zealand history.  His most recent publication was Kezia, a biographical novel about Katherine Mansfield’s childhood and family life in New Zealand.
About the illustrator: Trish Bowles is a Christchurch based artist who has illustrated many children’s books. Kevin is greatly indebted to her for the research and care she put into providing the illustrations for Katherine Mansfield’s iconic story. 

Harnessing Hope

take control of your life and master depression

Jan Marsh M.A.(Hons) Dip.Clin.Psych

Harnessing Hope offers hope to those suffering from depression and those close to them. Jan  provides a non-judgemental understanding of depression in language that is easy to understand. A range of strategies which have been proved to be effective are outlined. There are the physiological fundamentals of sleep, healthy diet and exercise as well as ideas from positive psychology which help us to take care of ourselves. Learning to regulate emotions and show compassion to ourselves and others can not only reduce the impact of depression but will improve life and relationships, building resilience and decreasing the likelihood of recurring depressive episodes.
Part One gives some background to understanding depression for the reader to know what they are dealing with. This section demystifies depression and aims to remove any sense of shame about it, seeing depression as a process that follows the laws of nature and is no more shameful than catching the flu.
Part Two gives specific tips to improve well-being in body, mind and spirit. This prescription for physical, mental and spiritual fitness can go a long way towards both curing and preventing depression. Good self-care  can improve connections to the world and to other people, creating resilience for facing the ups and downs of life.
Throughout the book case there are studies of six people who suffered from depression for a variety of reasons and used the strategies to effect.

Available: from all good bookstores for $14.99 and from Exisle Publishing where it is also available as an ebook.
Author's Bio: Jan Marsh is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years' experience.  She has worked in a variety of settings, including mental health services, child protection, tutoring and court work. Now in private practice, Jan works with adults who present with anxiety, depression and challenging life issues.
Jan has two adult children and one grandson. She lives in Nelson where she can walk in the hills, swim in the sea and enjoy the company of  friends.

The Carlswick Conspiracy

S L Beaumont

The third book in The Carlswick Mysteries series

Stephanie Cooper joins her rock guitarist boyfriend James Knox in New York for the final week of his band’s tour. But The Fury's success has attracted unwanted attention and Stephanie’s research project at a New York museum puts her on a collision course with an old adversary.

From the glitzy modern day bars and clubs of Manhattan to the gritty Lower East Side tenements of the 1940s, Stephanie tries to keep one step ahead of an increasingly desperate faceless blackmailer as she traces the final legacy of war time Nazi art liberator Karl Hoffman.

As events spiral out of control Stephanie becomes the unwitting accomplice in a major deception and she and James are forced into a fight for their lives.

Available: from selected bookstores nationwide, most leading online bookstores and as an eBook from Amazon.

Author's Bio: SL Beaumont was born and raised in beautiful New Zealand. The first two books in her young adult series, The Carlswick Mysteries, were awarded Honorable Mentions at the San Francisco Book Festival. She graduated from the University of Otago and has since worked as a chartered accountant in Auckland, London and New York.

She loves to travel and is a self-confessed foodie. One of her goals is to one day cook alongside UK chef Jamie Oliver. She is currently working on the next book in the series.

de Marisco

Margaret Nyhon

The de Marisco family came from Anglo-Norman aristocracy. They benefitted handsomely from Britain's conquest by the Norman king, William the Conqueror, but they maintained a tempestuous relationship with the English monarchy.

Eventually the de Marisco name became Marris, the family castles went - as did Lundy Island and the family’s piratic adventures - and their great fortunes were lost forever.
Many left their homeland and sought their fortunes in lands as far off as Australia and New Zealand, and it is here that the de Marisco story comes full circle as a long- lost family name gains prominence again.
Available: in e-book and print versions from Amazon, and through Willow Press at: ISBN: 978-0-473-35231-8
Author's Bio: Margaret Nyhon resides in Central Otago. Having spent 26 years in Resort Management in Australia and New Zealand, she now dedicates her life to her love of writing and verse. This is her first non-fiction book, and she is schedule to release another book soon.

From Monkey to Moth

an imaginal evolution

Hugh Major

Materialism has become the ersatz religion of the Western world, one of its main tenets being survival of the richest, while the supporting doctrine of materialist science is based on a grand mistake which we nevertheless share due to the pervasive influence of the mass mind.

The thesis of this book is that the long-standing patriarchal regime of secular rationalism is unbalanced, and that this is the cause of many of our most pressing problems.  Perspectives on philosophy, art and speculative science indicate the way back to the inner self and a more balanced state, from density to lightness, materialism to spirituality, from the world as adversary to a gift to be revered and from a male culture of individuality and competition to a female one of cooperation and love.  
Available: at Unity Books in Auckland, or through the Papawai website.  ISBN  9 780992 261030. 
Author's Bio: Hugh Major's unpublished manuscript, From Monkey to Moth was a prizewinner in the 2015 Ashton Wylie literary awards.
Hugh became interested in the way in which artistic creation is a statement about the metaphysical ⎯ that we rise above ourselves in the practice of music, theatre, literature and fine art, just as we do in metaphysical speculation.  This idea  was explored in two books which were shortlisted for the Ashton Wylie awards (concerning the Mind, Body and Spirit genre) ⎯ Light Station in 2007 and Notes on the Mysterium Tremendum in 2013 which combined text and illustration.
Hugh’s tertiary education was in English and Philosophy at the University of Auckland.  He taught English and Drama in New Zealand and Scotland, and in Japan where he also wrote arts reviews for the Tokyo Journal.  He left teaching in December 1999, moving to a studio north of Auckland in order to concentrate on writing and art practice. He has published two volumes of poetry, Minister of Yesterday and Idioglossia.

The Twins Begin

Fiona Tate

The Twins Begin by Fiona Tate is a short story from the 'Behind the World' series. The first full length novel will be released in December 2016. The twins are minor characters in the first novel, 'The Childless Mother' and this is the story of how they became Vampires. 
The twins, Nyree and Nathaniel, grew up in orphanages and foster families in Christchurch, New Zealand, but they always knew that when they were finally old enough, they were going to make something of themselves. And they did. It wasn't quite what they expected though. The Vampire saw to that.
Available: in ebook or print form from
Author's Bio: Fiona Tate is a proofreader, editor, blogger and author. She has a BA in Psychology and has spent many years working in the mental health arena.  She lives in a small township, not far from Christchurch with her husband and pets.

The C Clef

Andrew Harris

Faced with an epidemic of 13 million new  cases of cancer, the World Health Organisation has offered a reward of US$7.5bn for irrefutable proof of a scientific cure.

Leading American oncologist Dr Hannah Siekierkowski discovers a secret buried in a London research laboratory that will change medical science and raise new questions  about the cause of the disease.

It could save the lives of millions of  innocent people. But she is not the first to make the discovery. Now Hannah’s own life could be at stake as  she uncovers acts of cruelty perpetrated in the name of medical science and faces a life threatening dilemma within her own family.

Read The C Clef, first in The Human Spirit Trilogy of crime fiction thrillers that have been designed to be Provocative – Informative – Entertaining. Book 2 in the series – A Litany of Good Intentions – will be published in October 2016. More information on

Available: on ISBN 9780473354411 Published by Faithful Hound Media Ltd

Author's Bio: Andrew Harris has created a series of crime fiction thrillers designed to be Provocative – Informative – Entertaining. Why isn’t there a cure for cancer? How do we end world poverty? How are we going to feed 9 billion people without destroying our precious planet? If you feel these are some of the big issues facing humanity, read and enjoy The Human Spirit Trilogy. 

U-Boat In New Zealand Waters

Gerald Shone

U-boat In New Zealand Waters describes the farthest U-boat patrol of World War Two, a journey which brought the ultra-long-range submarine U 862 to New Zealand in 1945 after she departed Jakarta during 1944 to attack shipping off the coast of Australia.  After sinking the Liberty ship Robert J. Walker south of Sydney on Christmas Day 1944, U 862’s Commander Timm headed for the East Coast of New Zealand where on 15 January 1945, he entered Gisborne harbour at midnight. Finding no ships of a size worth sinking, Timm departed for Hawkes Bay where he fired a torpedo at a ship but missed his target. The following day U 862 was recalled to Jakarta. The book is based on the personal diary of First Watch Officer Günther Reiffenstuhl and details U 862’s journey from Europe to the Far East and then to Australia and New Zealand.

Available: All good bookshops. Wheelers. ISBN:  978-0-473-35128-1. Publisher: Pahiatua Publications, PO Box 125 086, St Heliers, Auckland 1071
Author’s Bio: Gerald Shone was born in Gisborne in 1947 and trained there in medical laboratory technology at Cook Hospital from 1965. Now retired, he worked as a medical technologist in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. While working in Nauru and Tarawa he spoke to many people who witnessed first-hand the Japanese invasion of their lands and became interested in studying the Pacific War in greater detail.

New Books List Submission Requirements:Francoise Sagan

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 June 2016 issue is: 25 May.
Image: Francoise Sagan 
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