New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - December 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. 

New Books List takes a break in January but will be back to promote new books by NZSA members in February of 2017. All the best!

Keen to submit your book for the next edition of the New Books List?  Please send to: Claire Hill
Deadline for next issue: 3 February 2017.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Behind the Silver Fern

Lynn McConnell and Tony Johnson

The All Blacks' story is an important part of New Zealand's sporting and cultural history and in this new book the story is told through the players' words. Archival research and interviews with players from the 1950s and beyond provide the story on personalities, games and incidents in the rich history of rugby at international level. Written by NZSA member Lynn McConnell and SKY Sport rugby commentator Tony Johnson Behind the Silver Fern is a significant record of the rugby world's greatest team, and one of the great sports teams in the world.
Available: at all booksellers in New Zealand. Published by Polaris Publishing, Edinburgh, under licence in NZ by Upstart Press. Price $40. It can be purchased online at Whitcoulls.

Author's bio: Lynn McConnell is an Auckland-based writer/editor/historian with an extensive background in newspaper and internet sports journalism. This is his 21st book. He has earlier written: The Shell Encyclopedia of NZ Cricket, the best-selling autobiographies of cricketer Ewen Chatfield and All Black Mils Muliaina and the acclaimed war story, Galatas 1941: Courage in Vain. His book on Jack Lovelock's 1936 Olympic Games 1500m gold medal run, Conquerors of Time, won international acclaim.

The Everyday English Dictionary

Ivy Alvarez

A letterpress-printed booklet of poems, featuring original art, and limited to 250 copies.

Poems feature in Landfall, Poetry Review (UK), Jacket2, Chévere, Island Magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, Etchings and fourW, which shortlisted X for its Best Poem Prize.

Available from Paekakariki Press (London). £12.50 plus shipping and from Ivy Alvarez via contact form: ISBN 9781908133229

Author's bio: Ivy Alvarez is the author of The Everyday English Dictionary (London: Paekakariki Press, 2016), Hollywood Starlet (Chicago: dancing girl press), Disturbance (Wales: Seren, 2013) and Mortal. Her poems are widely-published and anthologised (including Best Australian Poems 2009 and 2013), with several translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Currently editor for New Zealand Poetry Society’s a fine line, she has served on the editorial boards of Mascara Literary Review, Cordite Poetry Review, qarrtsiluni and Cha.

We the Ones

Julie Helean

We the Ones follows a young woman's chaotic journey as a member of a quintessentially '80s activist group. Struggling with their own disparate agendas, members of this dysfunctional yet fervent anti-racism cell embark on an earnest quest to disrupt the celebrations planned for the 150-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi. As Waitangi Day draws near, Charlie – disgruntled with her Pākehā anti-racism group’s endless meetings, leadership squabbles and debates over rhetoric – joins her Māori flatmate Kat on a reckless journey to sabotage the 1990 celebrations and stop the Queen from attending. With growing disregard to consequences, the pair commits to do whatever it takes to have the Treaty honoured and the Māori flag flying at Waitangi. This book takes us into several politically charged landscapes of the 1980s – the LGBTI movement, feminism, Māori rights activism – as Charlie searches for her identity, a place to stand and for love.

Available: The Women's Bookshop, Auckland. ISBN:  978-0-473-36663-6. RRP: $30. Published by: Julie Helean 

Author bio: Julie Helean completed her Masters in Creative Writing in 2008 at the University of Auckland. Her first novel The Open Accounts of an Honesty Box (Earl of Seacliff) was published in 2011 and later produced and played on radio (Radio NZ, 2013). In 2012 Julie won the Katherine Mansfield Award in the BNZ Literary Awards. She has previously published in Landfall magazine and in the journal Brief.  Julie trained as a community psychologist and now works as a planner in Auckland. Her writing draws on her experiences working as a truck driver, a builder’s labourer and a social justice advocate.

Upon a Time

R L Stedman

Escape into enchantment!
“In the middle of a shattered city grows a wild wood. Enter two children, following the scent of gingerbread. And a hunter, determined to stop them…”

In this collection of retold fairytales you’ll find an assassin with a deadline, a Charming Ball, a fairy godfather, a sleeping beast and more! All stories of fantasy and romance, mixed with just a hint of magic. Welcome to Upon a Time, a spellbinding story collection. Suitable for ages 13+.
Available: All on-line retailers: Amazon, ibooks, Google, KoboBarnes & Noble. Hardcopy available soon through Fishpond and Book Depository. Publisher: Waverley Productions. ISBN (hardcopy): 978-0473-37467-9 and 978-1539-55759-3
Author's Bio: I’m Rachel Stedman, and I live in the wild and windy town of Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2012 I was awarded The Tessa Duder Award from Storylines and in 2014 I won Best First Book at the New Zealand Book Awards. You can find out more about me, and my other books, at my website,  

Talk of Treasure

Jane Carswell

Jane Carswell began working at Pegasus Press shortly after their publication  of Janet Frame’s seminal novel Owls Do Cry, and years later published her own book, an award-winning memoir Under the Huang Jiao Tree. The road between one book and the other was rocky, paved with self-doubt and publishers’ rejections, provoking Jane to write again, this time about the troubled transformation between the private interior world of reading and the noisy exterior world of publication, between the books we read and treasure and the ones we write, which can feel like tarnished goods. She balanced this interior struggle with the practicalities of teaching music and sharing her home with  a succession of ten young Chinese guests, while exploring meditation and monasteries in a search for integrity. Lyrical and literary, this  is a compelling memoir about how to be a writer, and more simply, just how to be.  
Available: in book stores and also direct from the publisher at Price $35.00.   ISBN 978-0-9941379-1-3. Published October 2016 by Makaro Press, Wellington, under their Submarine imprint.
Author's bio: this is Jane Carswell's second non-fiction book. She was born in England, studied Italian in Perugia and taught English in Chongqing in China, which led to her first book Under the Huang Jiao Tree, winner of the Whitcoulls/Travcom Travel  book of the year 2010. Jane writes and works as a piano teacher in Christchurch and is a Benedictine oblate. She has a 1912 straight-strung Bechstein piano, a split-cane fly rod and grandchildren who remind her what really matters.


Michael Botur

Spitshine is the third fiction collection from NZ writer Michael Botur.
Spitshine is 16 gritty short stories about people who will do anything to get on top. The genre is literary fiction and the stories are in the tradition of NZ writers Alan Duff, Chad Taylor and Bill Payne.

Reviews have been very few but very positive, with Takahē's reviewer describing Mike as "one of the most original story writers of his generation in NZ." The stories in the collection have been published in literary journals including The Red Line (UK), Newfound (US), Takahē (NZ) and Swamp (University of Newcastle, Australia). 

Michael Botur has published fiction and poetry in Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, Takahē, Bravado, Catalyst, Deep South, 4th Floor and JAAM and works in corporate communications in Northland.

Author's Bio: this is Mike Botur's third collection of short stories.  

Available: previous fiction collections MEAN and Hot Bible! are available at Buy it at, or print on demand at

Web of Gold

Dot Scott

In 1867 Charleston, on New Zealand’s West Coast, is a primitive place. Gold has just been found and hastily erected tents and tiny cottages are scattered throughout the roughly felled bush as hopeful miners swarm there in search of a quick fortune. Wooden shop facades line the muddy streets as Doctor Arthur Jones, his wife Felicity and their two daughters arrive from England to find only a tent to live in; an open fire their only source of heat.

Patrick Kavanagh travels the treacherous beach route from Hokitika to Charleston, lured by the promise of gold.  An Orangeman, he runs up against fiery and resentful Fenians and is injured, resulting in a trip to the new doctor and a meeting with the doctor’s daughter, Amy. 

There is drama in plenty as love, stolen gold, and fire, not to mention a full scale riot, rock the lives of the men and women of Charleston as they go about their daily business, in a life very different from any they’ve known before.

Available:  from Paper Plus, Blenheim, my Facebook page and through the Writers of Marlborough website, at a cost of $35 plus P/P

Author's Bio: Raised an only child on a remote farm in North Wairarapa, my early education was through the Correspondence School in Wellington and communication was always through the written word. I learned to read and write very early and even better, my mother loved words – a dictionary by my side is still a fact of life. At Iona College in Havelock North, I was lucky enough to have an English teacher (who also taught History) with the same love of words, and this, plus the vivid sort of imagination a child on her own develops, gave me a driving passion to write.

I have a Certificate in Historical Writing and a Certificate in Proofreading and Copy Editing, gained through The Writing School, Australia. These were both two and a half year courses, gained through Correspondence. Also a Diploma in Creative Writing through the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology, and have attended many Creative Writing, Structural Editing and Planning courses given by leading New Zealand Authors.
Through this I have been successful in having work published in various magazines and have now completed my first book, an Illustrated Historical Novel, set in Charleston on New Zealand’s West Coast in the late 1860s during the height of the gold rush. The sequel is running around in my head.

From May 2011 to May 2013, I was Chair of the Top of the South Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, which was interesting and gave me a great insight into the sterling work this society does to support and help emerging and known writers in this country.

Keep your head up, my girl

Suzanne Clark

(Nelson, 1910) Peggy’s brother is born of prostitution. To evade heartless local authorities, thirteen-year-old Peggy seizes the newborn baby and flees on horseback into the night. Aided at critical times by a mysterious ancestral presence, she finds sanctuary In the Marlborough Sounds with her mother’s childhood friend and people from a Maori village. In 1917, a disastrous house fire and a broken heart drive Peggy across Cook Strait to Wellington. There she finds her father’s family at last, but is met with cynicism and distrust.

Sadness of the war years, an influenza epidemic, the Great Depression and the love of a soldier all come into play as Peggy strives to succeed in the fashion industry of the ‘flapper’ era. Keep your head up, my girl is a gripping story of a strong willed young woman carving a path for herself during a turbulent time in New Zealand’s history.

Available: Page and Blackmore, Paper Plus Nelson, Copy Press, Take Note Takaka, Collingwood General Store and the author Websites: All Books, Wheelers, Copy Press  ISBN 978 0 473 37362 7

Author's bio: Suzanne Clark lives in beautiful Golden Bay. She enjoys researching and writing historical New Zealand novels and now has four published books: Āwhina's People, Mrs Lacy, His Father's Will, Keep your head up, my girl. Her interests include writing, aquaculture, travel, landscaping and fibre art. 

Reading the water

Paul Schimmel

These are poems of water and light, of place and being; poems from the homeland and the heartland; of leaving and returning, and the passage of time.
'Paul Schimmel's debut collection is a quietly stunning achievement.' Michael Harlow.   'He takes us to magical places' Brian Turner.

Available: from publisher: Steele-Roberts, Wellington, New Zealand. ISBN: 9 780947 493295, Price: $19.99
Author's Bio: Paul Schimmel is a psychoanalyst and writer. He trained in medicine and psychiatry, before traveling to Sydney in 1996 to pursue a psychoanalytic training. At present he lives and works in Sydney, but Aotearoa remains home as the poems in this volume testify. His psychobiographical study Sigmund Freud's discovery of psychoanalysis: conquistador and thinker, was published by Routledge UK, in 2014.

Howling at the Moon

Byrony Jagger

Howling at the Moon's introductory haiku is: 
A spooky blue moon,
raped by cruel cloud louts, rains tears.
A lone wolf howls.

Available: The books are spiral bound, 112 pages, mylar covers. ISBN: 978-0-908991-25-9. $15. Available from Byrony Jagger at 14 Carmen Avenue, Balmoral, Auckland 1041. Ph: (09) 6307183. Email: 

Author's Bio: Bryony Jagger studied Music and moral Sciences at Cambridge University. She writes poetry, novels, plays, operas, choral music, songs, chamber music and symphonic music. She performs poetry and songs and plays the treble recorder.

The Walking Stick Tree

Trish Harris

In this remarkable memoir, Trish Harris writes about growing up with acute arthritis – about pain and loss, identity, and living creatively. With quirky illustrations from Sarah Laing, and challenging essays, this book captures a deeply moving experience of knitting a body and soul together.

Available: from all good bookshops and the Escalator Press website. Also available from Amazon and Kobo.
ISBN: 978-0-9941186-4-6

Author's Bio: Trish Harris has worked with words over the last thirty years – writing, editing, creating and tutoring. Amongst other places, her writing has been published in SPORT, New Zealand Listener, the School Journals and broadcast on Radio New Zealand. She has a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Creative Writing) from Whitireia New Zealand. 

The Grand Wolf

Avril McDonald 

Illustrated by Tatiana Minina

Wolfgang and his friends love to visit The Grand Wolf but one day they arrive to find that he has gone and this makes them all feel very sad. Spider shows Wolfgang that by just seeing things a little differently he can feel happy again, knowing that true love never ends. Our lives are in a constant state of change and only we can ever know how big each change feels to us. The more we can talk about and embrace change, the better we get at it (whatever shape or size it comes in).
Available: from online bookseller sites and New Zealand Bookstores. Publisher: Crown House Publishing. PPR $23  ISBN:  978-178583019-8

Author's bio: Avril McDonald is the author of the Feel Brave Series of books (little stories about big feelings for 4-7 year olds) and founder of Feel Brave. Avril grew up on the Kapiti Coast but currently resides in Kent England. She is an ex-primary school teacher, business woman and a mum. She is also a fellow of the RSA, which has a mission to enrich society through ideas and action.

Spin Into Drama

Hazel Menehira

Teachers, aspiring actors (teens and adults) and all theatre practitioners will benefit from these strategies to enhance drama skills.

Activity and study sessions cover vital performance strands for stage and screen aspirants. A guide for teachers and directors is included. Best of all – this material designed to encourage and strengthen actors is drawn from a life of teaching, examining and directing. IT WORKS!

Available: from Jabiru Publishing. Order from website, or email for online payable in N.Z. Price Hard copy $39.99; pdf $19.99   ISBN 9780994493248

Spin into Speech & Drama – Early Years

Hazel Menehira

Acquiring speech sounds, language, and oral and communication skills in early years can be a fun and satisfying experience for young people.
These pages are designed to encourage and assist parents, pre-school educators and teachers to use and enhance the oral language skills of young students. In bi and  multicultural countries, it is vital to introduce oral English skills for students in fun-filled, stress-free sessions. This book is designed to ignite a passion that can lead the young to a rich and fulfilling adult life. ISBN 978099493262 
Available: from Jabiru Publishing. Order from website, or email for online payable inN.Z. Price Hard copy $39.99; pdf $19.99   ISBN 978099493262

Author’s Bio: a Fellow and Licentiate of Trinity College London in speech and drama Hazel Menehira was born in England 1933 and  moved to New Zealand in 1956. She  became an active journalist, theatre practitioner, writing, acting and directing more than 150 shows for professional and amateur groups. This included thirty years with Wanganui’s Four Seasons Professional Theatre. In 1989 Hazel founded and directed the Rainbow Theatre Centre for Youth.   A tutor, lecturer and adjudicator, she was also an examiner for the New Zealand Speech Board before retiring to live in FNQ.

Freedom Knows no Boundaries

Margaret Nyhon

This is a story of self discovery with a little added humour. Retirement, how would I cope with this, I fought to retain my self worth and learnt that life didn’t stop at retirement, this was when we could turn our dreams into reality. When we find our freedom, boundaries vanished, because freedom knows no boundaries.

Available: through Amazon, as an e-book and a print book, alternately it can be purchased through Publisher: Willow Press. ISBN: 9780473366018

Author's bio: Margaret Nyhon lives in the Central Otago province of New Zealand. This is her second non fiction book, which she hope will inspire people to achieve their dreams. Her first book was ‘de Marisco’ a family’s journey through time.

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 New Books List takes a summer break in January.
The deadline for the first issue of the year - February 2017 issue is:  3 February
Image: Agatha Christie
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