New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - March 2017

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. 

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


The Axeman's Accomplice

The true story of Margaret Reardon and the Snow family murders

Terry Carson

In 1847 the murders of naval Lieutenant Robert Snow, his wife and young daughter on Auckland's North Shore were a sensation throughout the young colony of New Zealand. The crime contained all the elements of a modern day movie script, including: multiple murder, mutilation and suggestion of cannibalism, arson, and later the making of false accusations against innocent persons, a violent attack on a witness and perjury in court.

It resulted in the first judicial execution in New Zealand of a European and the only sentence of transportation ever handed down to a female in New Zealand. The Axeman's Accomplice - The true story of Margaret Reardon and the Snow family murders, places the events in their social and historical context, and re-examines all the circumstances of the crimes. In particular, the role of the murderer's mistress is looked at in detail. Was she a wicked and willing accomplice, or a battered 'wife' and ultimately the victim of a male dominated Victorian legal system? This well researched and fascinating true crime book separates out the facts from the myths  that have arisen and often been misreported over the last 170 years.

Available: can be purchased through Alibi Press, P O Box 72-832, Papakura, Auckland 2244, or on-line at, or by contacting the author at ( ISBN 978-0-473-29483-0) RRP $25

Author's Bio: Terry Carson is a retired lawyer and writer with a particular interest in early New Zealand history and legal topics. He has written articles and columns for a number of publications. His last book was Built for Justice - Visits to North Island Courthouses (Alibi Press 2013)

The Glassblower’s Daughter And Other Tales from Southwest Germany

Andrew Stiggers

From the deepest, darkest Black Forest to the opulent spa town of Baden-Baden, from the remote Swabian Mountains to the ruins at the university city of Heidelberg - these historical fiction stories set in Southwest Germany span over the last five centuries and touch on a diversity of lives including a runaway peasant boy, a delusional young lady, a depressed aristocrat, and a determined Nazi hunter.
This debut short story collection - developed as part of a New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) mentorship in 2015 - includes Island of Flowers (Finalist for the Tasmanian Writers' Prize 2015) and Flower Behind her Ear (Honourable Mention for the Aestas Short Story Competition 2015).
Available: Amazon in print and ebook. ISBN: 978-1520529981
Author Bio: Andrew Stiggers’ work has been published in several anthologies. His achievements include being a Finalist for the Tasmanian Writers' Prize 2015 and an Honourable Mention for the Writer's Digest Writing Competition 2016. He was also shortlisted for the 2017 Hachette NZSA Mentor Program.

From the Blitz to the Burmese Jungle and Beyond

A Memoir by Brian Hennessy

With Karen McMillan

One man’s memoir of World War II, which took him from the Blitz to the jungles of Burma, to the devastation of Hiroshima. New Zealander Brian Hennessy’s story is published for the first time.
Brian Hennessy was seventeen years old and living in London when war broke out. He experienced the Blitz first-hand. Brian joined the British Army and what follows is a true adventure story as Brian journeys via South Africa to India and the remote jungles of Burma. Danger was always present, but this is a memoir that reveals Brian’s love of nature and his interactions with the local people – stories that are sometimes humorous, at other times poignant. At the end of the war he went to Japan and saw first-hand the devastation at Hiroshima. Brian immigrated to New Zealand after the war and lived there until his death aged ninety-two, but he never forgot his extraordinary war adventures.
Available: published by McKenzie Publishing and available nationwide from all good bookstores, including Whitcoulls, Paper Plus and independent bookstores. RRP $34.99. Also available as an e-book on Amazon and Kobo.
Author's bio: Karen McMillan is the author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her non-fiction titles include – Unbreakable Spirit: Facing the Challenge of Cancer, Love Bytes, Feast or Famine, and Unleash Your Inner Seductress.

Her fiction titles include Watching Over Me, and the bestselling historical novels The Paris of the East and The Paris of the West. More information at

A Biography of Story, A Brief History of Humanity


An entertaining cultural history of the power of stories in the tragedy and comedy of human affairs

Trish Nicholson 

A unique interweaving of literature and history seen through the eyes of storytellers, from tales of the Bedouin, to Homer, Aesop and Valmiki, and from Celtic bards and Icelandic skalds to Chaucer, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Scott and Chekhov. Many storytellers featured will be familiar to you; others from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific may be fresh discoveries.
This is our own human epic. Beginning with oral tales of our foraging ancestors, the emergence of writing, the great migrations, the age of exploration and the invention of printing through to the industrial revolution and the digital age, we hear voices from all corners of the world not only giving meaning to love and life but also taking on oppression, censorship and ‘alternative facts’. And what of Story’s future?
Available worldwide (free freight) from The Book Depository. Or order from your favourite bookshop: published in the UK by Troubador Publishing March 2017 – 480 pages, copiously illustrated and handsomely presented in special hardback limited edition: ISBN 978-1-78589-950-8. Paperback: ISBN 978-1-78589-949-2
Author's bio: Trish Nicholson is a social anthropologist and author of narrative non-fiction and short stories. She lives in the Far North and blogs at:

Tasting the Strange

Robin Fleming

Vita (Victoria) has ‘goldfish’ red hair and is bedridden. The child of a career scientist and an English pianist, she has a damaged heart. Unable to go outside, let alone go to school, she develops her own fantasy world of pirates and brigands. After a life-saving operation, Vita slowly and painfully tries to be ‘normal’ and later finds acceptance with school friend, Louise.
This coming-of-age story takes Vita on a drug-fuelled trip to Afghanistan to find her ‘father’ and enlightenment. Through her childhood ‘boy-next-door’ friend Bob, and her relationship with Louise she comes to understand love.
Available: at and  ISBN: 9780992260361  (EPUB) ISBN: 9780992260392 (Kindle) Price: $14.95 (epub and Kindle) at mebooks, $17.26 (Kindle) at Amazon.

AuthorRobin Fleming was born in 1942, attended Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, and later studied at Victoria University, completing her MA in 1964. During the 1970s, Robin worked as a photographer, and later returned to university to complete a PhD in anthropology. During the 1980s Robin worked as a researcher and policy analyst in the Departments of Health, Internal Affairs, and Women’s Affairs. After 1993 she focused on writing, gaining an MA in creative writing at the IIML, Victoria University, Wellington.
Her first book was ‘You’re Telling Me’: a memoir of her mother Peg Fleming.  Robin lives with her partner on the Kapiti Coast.

jesus of the credit cards

Alex Stone

jesus of the credit cards is a collection of 24 short stories by Alex Stone. The stories are set in New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and ‘somewhere.’

In a review, Bruce Ansley wrote: "Alex's perspective is unusual. This gives his stories their outstanding quality: they are original..."I have not read stories like this before. If one of the objects of good writing is to move the reader to a different place, then he succeeds very well."
Some stories have been previously recognised: They Are – Winner, MIT Short Story competition, 2016; Zoë and Zebedee's Zoo Safari – Runner-up Rangitawa children's story competition, 2014; Sitting Ralph – Winner, Rangitawa short story competition, 2013; Taken – Runner-up in AUT Creative Writing Competition, 2012; River  – Short-listed for the Takahe NZ short story award, 2011Credit – Short-listed for Manhire Prize, creative science writing, 2007; Sleepwalking – Short listed for BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards, 2003.
AvailableAlex Stone’s collection of stories, jesus of the credit cards is available from Lulu online, for $20.

Author's bio: Alex Stone is an artist, poet and writer based on Waiheke Island. For 20 years he has written a column in Gulf News, the island’s feisty newspaper. 
In a review of Stopped & Expounding​, a previous book of poems and stories, the NZ Listener called him “a robust and multi-faceted talent.”
Elizabeth Smither said of Alex: "A writer of striking originality with qualities of daring and humour that are rare. Like Lloyd Jones, Alex has the ability to create a landscape so vivid the reader feels he is walking down a busy road or in the hold of a ship."

Beating Blind Spots - SEEING HOW

Jewel Dell

Just about the worst imaginable that can happen to a writer, happened. Awakening to find I could see very little was a real downsizer. Finding a way back to the semblance of some sight took time, determination, some great friends and a hazardous operation with too short a lifespan. This book tells of the daily triumphs and pitfalls of an adventure into a vast unknown, of learning to write in the dark, of screaming on paper, of not taking a tumble when coping every-which-way. In some of this the chief of staff has been a cat known as Rat bag, Ooops but generally Muffy.

A recent review described this story as ‘giving away secrets with love’ for the plan is, having established the necessary print sales history, to hand it over  to the N.Z. Blind Foundation for an audio production.

Available: from Enhanced Education Fund, Ph: 09 2320225.
Please speak clearly. Cat has trouble with writing. Softcover ISBN 978-0-473-37697-0 $25.00, e-book tba, Kindle tba. Unfortunately none available in Unprintable format.
Author’s Bio: I have several academic qualifications but no history degree. It was on a publication record that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage designated me a Professional Historian. Agricultural topics were also grist to the writer’s mill. Married into a farming family I assisted Ag Research in various programmes. Practical prizes then earned more in brownie points than wads of money. I have appeared online, in print and on air.

Reluctant to dismiss all this work unique books were constructed (contents include 3D models) under the personal attribute of Unprintable Books. These proved to be great cash converters.


Ben Spies

Published by Spies Publishing

Meet Ugine. He’s got many reasons to be unhappy…Ugine is a 10 year old boy who recently lost both of his parents. He now lives by himself. He has no friends at school and everyone thinks he is weird. Well, there are some pretty weird things he does sometimes…But can Ugine be happy again? Join him in this little sweet story about friendship, courage, determination and lots of adventure!   

Available: Published by Spies Publishing. The book is available from, Amazon and Paper Plus Coastlands, Kapiti Coast. ISBN: 978-0-473-37778-6 Price: $13

Author's bio: Ben Spies wrote his first book, Weirdo, when he was 9 years old. Ben was born in Brazil and lived briefly in England before he moved to beautiful New Zealand with his family and is now based in the Kapiti Coast. Most books written for children are authored by adults, the true point of difference in Ben’s books is that they are written by a child, for children. Through a child’s eyes, and with a child’s voice. The irreverent humor and story telling from a young person’s perspective mean that this book really speaks to their audience in an authentic tone that they understand and enjoy. 

Throwing Light

K A Servian

Throwing Light is a novel about identity.  Grace, the protagonist, is at a crossroads in her life. She’s trying to come to terms with her mother's death and handle the unexpected arrival of her ex-boyfriend when a mystery birth certificate she finds in a box in the attic turns her life on its head. She discovers that she’s adopted and this revelation raises questions Grace is compelled to answer.
In the search for her birth mother, she stumbles into the middle of a missing person cold-case in a small town where the inhabitants have kept a secret to protect one of their own for twenty-five years. Grace's investigation unearths long-held rivalries and opens old wounds, causing the past to collide with the present with terrifying results.

Here are excerpts from some of the reviews on Amazon: “Throwing Light" is well worth the read. SO much going on in this story. I couldn't put the book down.”
“Wow, this book is full of suspense, a real emotional rollercoaster! Throwing Light by K A Servian, kept me on edge until the last page was turned.”
“This story grabs your interest right from the start and keeps you engrossed till the very last page.”
AvailableThrowing Light is a mystery/thriller with romantic elements. It’s available from Amazon as an e-book and a paperback and is the second novel by K A Servian.

Author's bio: I’ve just begun the final year of an advanced diploma in applied writing with Northtec during which I will write my third novel. I've been writing for nearly three years and self-published my first novel, Peak Hill in September 2016 and my second novel Throwing Light in February 2017. Previously, I enjoyed a twenty-year career in the fashion and applied arts industry as a designer and tutor. 

Fun & Games in the House of Death

Murray Clapshaw

In these stories the writer draws upon his letters home and his imagination to create a sort of fictionalised autobiography. Central to it are the dosshouse that provided his refuge and the man Smithy who inspired him. Woven around these are stories of adventure and privation. 

The period was one of great events. England bombed Suez, Russian tanks rolled into Budapest. Against this turbulent backdrop meet Smithy who held court at the dining table preaching his vision of brotherly love as the bombs fell. Wisdom - or madness?  The writer doesn’t say. He has too much else to cope with.

The dosshouse with its many eyes shining through the fog draws him home to another sort of  adventure where, huddled under the pallet blanket knees drawn up to his chin to keep out the cold, he listens to the noises of the night. Here, old Harry Martin stares with his sightless eyes at the ceiling, 225 in the next cubicle cries out: ‘God in heaven I’ve got no show!’ and Joseph Anonymous is wheeled out on a handcart next morning. After such a night how can anything go wrong?

Stories of love, violence and betrayal. London in the nineteen-fifties. A magic place.
Available: as an ebook on Amazon Kindle. Fun & Games in the House of Death

Author's bio: Murray Clapshaw is a New Zealand writer.

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 next issue is: 3 April
Image: Robin Hyde in 1932 at the time of her lady editorship of the New Zealand Observer.
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