New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - March 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: 29 March.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Behind the Twisted Wire:

New Zealand Artists in World War I

by Jenny Haworth

This book reveals the way New Zealand artists portrayed the horrors of World War I.  Some of the artists were commissioned by the New Zealand government and others were soldiers who enlisted. But even those who were commissioned often spent time in the trenches. For many painting was a way to come to terms with what they were experiencing.

Behind the Twisted Wire studies their lives before the war in an effort to show the impact war had on their art. It covers artists who painted Gallipoli and the Western Front.  The artists included are Horace Moore-Jones, famous for his painting of Simpson and his donkey, Nugent Welch, G.E. Butler, Arthur Pearse, George Woolley, Frederick  Cumberworth, William Wollen, Walter Bowring, Arthur Lloyd, John Weeks, Francis McCracken, Robert Johnson. Archibald Nicoll, James Turkington and William Penlington.  The book is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of their art.

Available: from all good book shops NOW. Also available on line from  ISBN  978-1-927167-21-2
Author's Bio: Jenny Haworth was assisted in writing this book by an NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grant in 2014. This is a sequel to her very popular The Art of War on New Zealand’s World War II commissioned artists. She is the author of several other works of non-fiction particularly on the fishing industry and the road transport industry.  She also completed three novels and is hoping to finish a 4th on New Zealanders in Italy during World War II, telling the story of the war the soldiers never spoke about.

Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels

by Jocelyn Robson

The fin de siècle was a time of social and cultural upheaval, with many women living more adventurous and defiant lives than their mothers would ever have dreamed possible. This is the true story of an Englishwoman who staged her own death and re-invented herself in the far colony of New Zealand, in the early 1900s. Grace Oakeshott’s life is revealed through the reform movements of the period, including education for girls, ethical socialism, Victorian evangelicalism, and the changing nature of marriage.

As a social activist, Grace rubbed shoulders with many notable figures, including William Morris, H. G. Wells, and Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Jocelyn Robson uses a rich collection of historical sources, including contemporary fiction and social commentary, archive documents and interviews with surviving family members. Through the lives of Grace and those close to her we discover what drove people to
act in extraordinary (as well as ordinary) ways.

Available: In all good bookshops, on Amazon and from the publisher at ISBN 978-1-137-31183-2

Author's Bio: Jocelyn Robson has worked as a researcher and teacher in further and higher education and has special interests in women's history and vocational training. Raised in New Zealand and living in London, she is now a fulltime writer.

Armistice Day: the New Zealand story

by Philippa Werry

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month each year, we remember that fighting ceased in Europe on 11 November 1918, marking the unofficial end of the first World War. This new non-fiction book for children and young adults (but of interest to all readers) describes the events leading up to this point, and what happened once peace was finally declared.  Well researched and drawing on illustrations, photographs and text from various sources, this book helps children to understand that the effects of war don’t magically disappear once war is over, and encourages them to look for ways of celebrating and working towards peace.  

Available: Published by New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd. Available in bookshops nationwide. Also at The Children's Bookshop  ISBN 9781869664411

Author's Bio: Philippa Werry writes fiction, non-fiction and plays for children and young adults. Her interest in history has produced titles such as Enemy at the gate, Anzac Day, Best mates (illustrated by Bob Kerr), Waitangi Day and her latest book, Armistice Day. She also maintains several blogs, including one on Children’s war books. 

The Jaded Kiwi

by Nick Spill

Two couples, a kung fu gynecologist and a theoretical physicist meet a classical violinist and an actress in a pub in Ponsonby, one Friday night. They stumble upon a Maori activist and help him escape a Police dragnet only to become engulfed in a series of events beyond their control. There is a false flag kidnapping, the sickest torture scene with a lawnmower ever written and a disturbing rape scene. A cockney criminal mastermind and a creative Police inspector stalk each other and in the pursuit of truckloads of marijuana, start what becomes the war against drugs in New Zealand.
Set in 1976 Auckland, New Zealand, over 10 days, this is a love story and a twisted crime mystery with intense action sequences.
Available: The Jaded Kiwi is available on Amazon as an e-book and a paperback. ISBN e-book: 978-0-9839080-8-1   ISBN paperback: 978-0-9839080-9-8
Author’s Bio: Nick Spill lived in New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked for the Ministry of Internal Affairs as an exhibitions curator at the National Art Gallery and as a contractor. He organized a number of exhibitions including the the first traveling exhibition of Contemporary Maori Artists.
Nick Spill now lives in South Florida where he is Chief Investigator of a State Agency. He has published "The Way of the Bodyguard - knowledge not gossip" about his experiences as a bodyguard and edited and released "Reluctant Q", the story of his father, George Spill, who survived the jungles of World War II. He also contributed to Paul Little's NZ compilation, "Grumpy Old Men 2". His new novel is "The Jaded Kiwi." 

The 5 Minute Brain Workout for Kids

by Kim Chamberlain

Our brains are an amazing organ! And just like our bodies, our brain functions best when it’s put to work. So get ready to give your brain a full workout each day with The Five-Minute Brain Workout for Kids. Inside, you’ll find 365 word puzzles and games to keep your mind active and in great shape.

Have fun with your family and friends as you learn about acronyms, anagrams, definitions, parts of speech, rhyming words, syllables, word structure, and more with these fun puzzles. From Alphabet Teasers and Mini Word Sudoku puzzles, to Speed Words and Word Store games, even doing one puzzle a day will help you to learn new words, spell better, problem solve and have better concentration.

With ten levels of puzzles—ranging from easiest to most challenging—and an answer key at the end to check your work, this book is sure to help keep your brain active and will help increase your understanding of and love for all kinds of words.
Parents and teachers will like this as an educational way to keep kids occupied and learn important words and phrases. Illustrated with colourful kid-friendly graphics.
Available: at the The Children’s Bookshop, Wellington, on Amazon and 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.

Hollywood Starlet

by Ivy Alvarez

In this book Ivy shed her own skin and pulled on the skin of these women who made our idea of Hollywood. In this book Ivy cuts to the bone and spares no emotion. In this book Ivy remembers the truth of a time so wrapped in mythos that very few can say now what happened. She has jumped into the portal and the small becomes huge becomes larger than all of us." —Rebecca Loudon

Available: From the author, via this contact form. Online from US publisher dancing girl press.
Author's Bio: Ivy Alvarez's second poetry collection is Disturbance (Seren, 2013). Her work appears in journals and anthologies in many countries and online, with selected poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Gone, Brother, Gone

by June Bowen

Sibling rivalry is not a problem for Ellen and Alistair.  In a family where money is god and time is profit, they have always been there for each other. When Ellen faces an unplanned pregnancy and Alistair flees to Melbourne to avoid arrest on false drug charges, they lose contact with each other for many years. Each follows their own separate path of self-discovery in their chosen careers until a bizarre co-incidence finally brings them together again. Their joyous reunion is quickly replaced with the disturbing discovery they must once again support each other unconditionally, this time in a fight for justice against rape and murder.
Gone, Brother, Gone is a poignant and heart-stopping novel, an irresistible blend of passion and revenge that restores the belief in the bonds of family love.
Available: Retails for $32.99 NZ and is available from CopyPress, Paper Plus in Blenheim and Nelson, Page and Blackmore, Nelson, Wheelers and Fishpond.
Author's Bio: June Bowen is a retired librarian living in the famous wine producing province of Marlborough, New Zealand. Her short stories and poetry have won many awards and are published in several anthologies. The New Zealand Writers in the Top of the South website features her profile.

Not Our Problem

by Ian Cowan

1991: The government decides to convert New Zealand’s public health system to a free market, with hospitals competing against each other to create profits for shareholders. They ignore a barrage of public and professional criticism. Boards and managers, preferably with no healthcare knowledge, are appointed. And then the problems begin.
1992: Stephen Cassidy, a surgical trainee at Paxton Hospital, is burning out from the stresses of his job and now the departure of his beloved Zoe. He needs time off to reorganise his life and win her back. And while he’s doing that, he could get a nice 9 to 5 job in hospital management...
Available: leading independent books shops either directly or online (for example Scorpio BooksUnity BooksUniversity Bookshop at Canterbury ) Also through Amazon for Kindle. 
Author's Bio: Ian Cowan is a radiologist who lives in Christchurch. He wrote Not Our Problem to highlight the effects of uncontrolled political theory on the people giving and receiving health care during the 1990's 'reforms'. The people are fictional but the things said and done are real; references are supplied. This is his first novel. 

The Body Snatcher

by Kaye Kelly

Brian Lowe and Spotty Johnson, two cocky puberty-struck fourteen year-olds lusting after their dream women, and testing their entrepreneurial wings, discover that for every step forward, life far too often throws in several rat-arsed steps backwards. Brian’s been know to stretch the truth. When he stumbles across a body under the wharf nobody believes him because it’s disappeared by the time the local copper arrives on the scene. Determined to find out what’s happened to the body, Brian’s efforts land him in situations that everyone, bar him, find hilariously funny. Liberally salted with humour and resonating with older readers as well as younger ones, The Body Snatcher takes place in 1947-48 and is set in the Marlborough Sounds.

Available: as an e-book and paperback
Author's Bio: Retired and living in Blenheim, Kaye Kelly has had two historical novels published with Random House, New Zealand, and in Germany. Her short stories have been published in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and New Idea magazines.

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 April 2016 issue is:  29 March. 
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