New Books from NZSA Members - Available now
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NZSA New Books List - December 2015

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 List. 

New Books List takes a holiday in January. The next issue of the New Books List will be the first week of February 2016. 

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:  29 January.  Information about what you need to send in is explained on our website and at the bottom of this email.


Ocean Notorious

by Matt Vance

“I had a desperate urge. The urge ground away at me. For a while I tried to ignore it, then I resorted to every trick I knew to get to the deep south.” So writes sailor and polar guide Matt Vance in the introduction to his book Ocean Notorious. While most of humanity have zero desire to endure the bitter cold and barrenness of the Antarctic and subantarctic regions, let alone sail to them across the world’s roughest ocean, for some people these places exercise an irresistible allure.

Available: Awa Press, $40.

Author's Bio: Matt Vance is a Christchurch writer, artist and film-maker specialising in the South Pacific, Southern Ocean and Antarctica. His stories and photographs have appeared in many of the country’s leading magazines and newspapers. Matt has led many tours to the Deep South and has guided participants in the Artists to Antarctica programme. He is the author of How to Sail a Boat in the Awa Press Ginger Series.

A Whisper of Desire, book #4

Disgraced Lords Regency romance series

by Bronwen Evans

Sensual heat melts the ice in the new Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.
Lady Marisa Hawkstone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
Available: My eBook is published by Random House Loveswept USA and is available from all eBook retailers such as Amazon, iBooks, Kobo. Links are on my website 
Author’s Bio: USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.

A Wander in Vetland

by John Hicks

On one level A Wander in Vetland is an insider’s look at his changing profession. Hicks's entertaining anecdotes mark a fond farewell to “Herriotism”, the dated public image of life as a rural vet, so lovingly depicted in the novels of James Herriot.

But this memoir has a far broader scope. In a lively, literary style John Hicks links his tales with some of the more curious aspects of history - particularly veterinary and medical history. Hemlock poisoning leads to a discourse on Socrates’ death; brain surgery on a ram poses the question of how Neolithic man performed similar operations. There are insights into the nature of bladder stones in animals and how these relate to the suffering of Samuel Pepys in the seventeenth century; and if you ever wondered how Italian women seduced their lovers or about the use of goose quills by eunuchs in Eastern seraglios, the answers are here.

A Wander in Vetland also tackles serious issues such as a personal account of facing cancer. It is at turns fascinating, hilarious, and sobering or - as in an expose of how Noah collected animals for his ark - riotously satirical. An unusual and highly entertaining read.

Available: from Amazon and Feedaread

Author's Bio: John Hicks is a retired veterinarian. He and his wife emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970s. Apart from a brief stint in a dog and cat practice in Yorkshire, he has spent most of his working life in various parts of New Zealand enjoying the challenge of mixed practice with sheep, deer, dairy and beef cattle, horses, working dogs and pets. His two veterinary memoirs have also drawn on his formative years in England as well as his subsequent experiences in New Zealand. Hicks was the 'Vet Talk' columnist for The Southland Times for several years and he has contributed articles to scientific journals and various magazines. His first veterinary memoir was 'Pizzles in Paradise' published by Hazard Press in 2005.

Out of the Shadows – The Life of Millicent Baxter

by Penny Griffith

Millicent Baxter was the pivot and driving force of her husband and sons’ lives. In some ways they lived in her shadow. Throughout her 96 years, Millicent was surrounded by fame but untouched by it.

Son James K. Baxter, was arguably the country’s most celebrated poet. Husband Archie was New Zealand’s most renowned WW1 conscientious objector, subjected to shocking brutality. Mother was the first woman in the British Empire to earn a degree with honours. Father was a founding professor of the University of Canterbury and Chancellor of the University of New Zealand. Millicent’s surviving son Terence, also has a story to tell as a man transformed by his experiences of being imprisoned as a ‘conchie’ in World War 2. 

A forceful and sometimes daunting character with a crushing wit, lucid intellect and sharp political mind, Millicent declined an MA at the University of Cambridge and became a leading promoter of pacifism in New Zealand at a time when women just did not do such things. A strongly independent young woman, she defied her controlling father and turned her back on a life of privilege and prosperity to live with a poor rabbiter from a remote part of New Zealand’s South Island.

Available: from Pen Publishing

Author's Bio: Penny Griffith was born in England but emigrated to New Zealand in 1987. She graduated BA Hons at University of Canterbury University in 2005, and was undertaking her MA thesis ‘Pacifism and the Baxter Family’ when the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes struck Christchurch. With her home in Avonside condemned, she moved to Wellington and started this book in 2011.
Penny lives at the top of a very large hill overlooking Island Bay in Wellington and the beautiful South Island with her dog Bollie.  Her main passion is travelling the world, whenever her bank balance allows it. 


by Jane Woodham

Dunedin, in the grip of an unseasonal flu, is a city under siege. Then after five damaging days of rain, a twister rips through, exposing the body of a missing schoolgirl in Ross Creek.
Detective Senior Sergeant Leo Judd is the only one who can lead the investigation despite unresolved sorrow over the disappearance of his own daughter nine years earlier.
Sultry weather broods over the beleaguered city as suspects are sifted and pressure mounts for Judd to solve the  crime.  Meanwhile his wife, Kate, tries to  find  the  courage she needs to tell him the secrets she’s been nursing for too long – including one about the disappearance of their beloved Beth.

Available: from all good book shops. Ebook available from

Autor's Bio: Jane Woodham moved to Dunedin from London in 1998. Her work has twice been shortlisted for the BNZ Literary Awards, and published in both New Zealand and the UK. In 2014 the New Zealand Society of Authors granted Jane a mentorship with local crime writer Paddy Richardson, who worked with her on the final draft of Twister. Jane likes to swim, garden and cook, and is a fair-weather surfer. Twister is her first novel. 

The Seer's Wolf

by Barbara Petrie

It is 1952 and strange events are taking place in Loam, a small settlement in rural Canterbury. Ralph Randal, his wife Irena and their three daughters have immigrated to the area from England, but as they settle in, the curiosity of Clover, a neighbouring farm girl is aroused. An air of mystery surrounds the English family, and Ralph Randal appears to dote excessively on his lovely eighteen-year-old daughter, Satina. Meanwhile young drover Arlo Reed turns heads, and as a flooding river follows its old course, the tortured bond between Ralph and Satina frays. What is really happening to cause an unsettling shadow of gloom to enshroud the community? 
A mysterious and intriguing story about a werewolf in rural 1950s New Zealand, this book will appeal to readers of literary fiction with a special interest in Gothic literature and werewolf themes. Readers interested in immigration settlement post WW2, and life on farms, including the last of the drovers, should enjoy this book.  
Available: Scorpio Books, Christchurch; Take Note, Kaiapoi; Paper Plus, Rangiora and book shops throughout New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-473-318154. Available online through  
Author's Bio: Barbara Petrie has written plays, published poetry in Australia and New Zealand (two books) and edited a number of poetry anthologies. Kiwi & Emu, An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry was gifted by the Australian Government to New Zealand for its Sesquicentennial. The Seer's Wolf is the first published of three novels. She has a Bachelor of Music Degree (UWS) and lives in Christchurch.


by Natasha Dennerstein

Anatomize is a poetic journey around the human body. Natasha writes towards what it means to be an embodied human being. She examines through her work all aspects of the machinery of the human body, aiming for a universality that can be appreciated regardless of ethnicity, skin, culture, place or language.

Available: Anatomize can be purchased at Unity Books NZ or online at

Author's Bio: Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia, to a family originating in Belarus.  She worked as a psychiatric nurse for over 20 years, which gave her an interesting perspective on the human condition.  In 2011 she completed her Masters at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.  Natasha has had poetry published in Fourth Floor, Landfall, Snorkel, JAAM, Takahe, Shenandoah, Bloom, Transfer, Red Light Lit and several anthologies. She is currently living in San Francisco, where she is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the Creative Writing department at San Francisco State University. Her collection “Anatomize” is published by Norfolk Press in San Francisco.

Losing & Winning

by Thomas Devine

Thomas Devine's latest book is “Losing & Winning”, a thriller that weaves its way around the globe from its New Zealand setting.
Will New Zealand teacher, Ryan Gibson, get to claim his Lotto win? Or will Kristen Piper, his girlfriend, collect the prize for herself as a way out of the double-life she’s been living for five years? “With the best of intentions, Ryan follows her across the globe, and eventually to the island of Sicily, cradle of Mediterranean culture. But someone else is also out to find her, and they will stop at nothing.
Writer, Tina Shaw, calls it an excellent story with the intrigue of a slow reveal. Freelance editor, Andrew Killick, says it has a fast-paced storyline with a colourful array of rogues and ordinary people caught up in devious plots. Killick further describes it as an engrossing tale of betrayal, love, fear and obsession. Try it for yourself.

Available at
Author's Bio: Thomas W Devine
is a Wellington writer with 9 titles to his credit - see

More Than Just a Place of Work:

A History of Dunedin’s Hillside Railway Workshops

by Ian Dougherty

The Hillside Railway Workshops, which opened in 1875, was a prodigious manufacturer and repairer of locomotives, carriages and wagons until its recent closure. As well as detailing the engineering history of Hillside, this book covers the economic, political and social history of the Workshops. It details the economic importance of Hillside to rail transport in New Zealand, canvasses the changes in political attitudes towards local manufacturing, and captures what it was like to work there and be a member of the ‘Hillside family’.
The result of extensive research, including interviews with former workers, the 240 A4 pages contain 160 black and white and 80 colour illustrations, endnotes and a comprehensive bibliography.
Available: From all good bookshops and from the publisher, post-free to your door:
Author’s Bio: Ian Dougherty is a Dunedin based journalist and historian. He has a Master of Arts degree in history from Otago University and a Diploma in Journalism from Canterbury University. He has written extensively on New Zealand history, biography, culture and society. This is his 24th non-fiction book.

The Chain

by Antony Millen

Two brothers. One mission: Restore privacy to the world.
The year is 2043. Empowered by the anti-encryption program, ICALL, and the world-wide wireless Blanket, the Global Domain reigns over all colocation centres with its Connectivist ideology, enforcing mandatory online activity for every eartizen and disabling attempts to secure privacy. The Domain’s slogans are: "Secrecy Threatens Security" and "Privacy Prevents Prosperity and Peace."

From his death-bed in New Zealand, Fenton Ouvert commissions his sons, Topia and Lukan, to locate a flash drive containing the files of Jeremy Winterton, files stolen thirty years earlier from international surveillance agencies. A former investigative journalist, Ouvert hid the flash drive at the end of a chain of clue-bearers around the world. Contacted by the resistance movement known as Arachne, Ouvert believes the drive contains original plans for the ICALL program and thus, hope for a free world.

Travelling the globe, the Ouvert boys locate the links, but what will their journey reveal about their father and the effects of the Global Domain's dominance? And what will their quest mean for the world when they reach the end of the chain?

Available: I update links to online retailers on my website. It is available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle:

Author's Bio: Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. Originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada, he moved to New Zealand with his wife and two children in 1997. He has lived in Taumarunui since then, currently working as the head of the English department at Taumarunui High School.

In 2013, he launched his first novel, 'Redeeming Brother Murrihy'. He followed this in 2014 with 'Te Kauhanga: A Tale of Space(s)'. 'The Chain' is his first novel for young adults. Antony Millen won the 2014 Heartland short story competition with his story, "Fishing the Pungapunga".  He also won third prize in the 2015 NZSA Central Districts competition ("Aukati") a competition in which he was awarded "Highly Commended" in 2014 ("The Boy at Ohinetonga"). His short story, "The Homeless Men of Mahuika", was published in Issue #4 of Headland in 2015.

Old Rooster and Little Rooster

by Jan Trafford

Illustrated by Rosa Friend

Old Rooster is getting weary, so he has decided to head over the hill to live at the Retirement Home for Old Roosters.
Little Rooster is in line for perch promotion... and he is almost bursting with excitment.
But there is one small problem. ‘Cock-a-doodle-moo’ just doesn’t sounf quite right!

Join Little Rooster and his barn friends as they work together to overcone Little Rooster’s early morning crowing delemma.

Available: in 3 formats: A4 soft cover, A4 hard cover or as a  big ‘shared’ book (A3) Prices and details of how to buy are on the Silver Fern Press website. Orders:

Author's Bio: Jan Trafford started freelance writing in 1998. Since then, her numerous plays, articles and short stories have been published in the New Zealand School Journal and the New South Wales Department of Education and Training School Magazine’s Countdown series. 

Her plays have been widely performed by young children in schools throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.  

Old Rooster and Little Rooster is her latest book to be published, by Silver Fern Press. This story has been adapted from an original play she wrote which was published in the New Zealand School Journal in 2003.The wonderful illustrations are by Rosa Friend.
Jan has also had books published by Reed (now Raupo) Rainbow Reading, Learning Media and Penguin (Puffin).

Budapest Girl

by Panni Palásti

"A remarkable memoir from a remarkable life.  Powerful poetry and vivid prose unite in one woman’s undertaking to engage the past. The written word punches out at you from every page, taking the reader on a grand tour of events that shaped the last century." Dana Wensley

"A Hungarian exile of 1956 with a gift for poetry reflects on a Budapest childhood during World War Two. A complex family spanning the spectrum of Jews, peasants and urban middle class, plus the day-to-day struggle for survival in wartime, make for a memoir which takes us outside the present consumer culture into the heart of an authentic New Zealand artist". Paul Maunder

"I love the writing: the honesty of it, the search that is always there, the courage to face hard truths and at the same time imagine others' lives with compassion". Elizabeth Smither

"Reading this book has made me smile and weep. I love the way it draws us into the world of childhood with a child’s view of events. The writing is elegant and spirited, evoking strong images and emotion. It is the type of book a reader delights in reading and re-reading; dipping into passages for reflection, for the joy of wonderful writing and for the experiences it portrays". Paddy Richardson

Available: from Copy Press

Author's Bio: Panni Palásti was born in Budapest and educated there. She entered the United States as a refugee after the defeat of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and continued her studies in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. She worked as a teacher and journalist in California before sailing with her husband and son to New Zealand in 1973. She lived in Russell for 28 years where she started the Russell Writers’ Workshop and founded and edited Russell Review for two decades before moving to the South Island. She has been writing poems since first grade. Her work has been published in Europe, the United States and in New Zealand.

My Father’s Ears

by Karen Goa

When an Italian-Canadian immigrant's harsh but intriguing past catches up with him, his sceptical daughter Sophie rattles family skeletons in her quest to discover the truth about her father, his affair with a Romanian trapeze artist and a mysterious New Zealander claiming to be his son.

This twisting tale of secrets and social dilemmas is set against a remarkable and moving history of Italian immigration. Peopled with unforgettably quirky characters, Sophie’s family is beguiling yet yearningly familiar.

My Father’s Ears is the compelling debut novel by travel and fiction writer Karen Goa. Funny, compassionate and good-hearted, yet punctuated with heartbreak, this ironic, sharply entertaining story of love, lies, and very hairy ears captivates to its astonishing end
Available: Published by GoaNotesNZ. Library orders via Wheelers and All Books. Bookstore orders via Also available on and
Author’s Bio: Karen Goa
has penned numerous short stories for broadcast on Radio New Zealand National. She is also an award-winning travel writer, with travel articles and photographs published in many New Zealand print outlets. Her two travel books, Bitten by the Bullet: Motorcycle Adventures in India (co-authored with Steve Krzystyniak), and One Flat Coyote on the Centre Line: Cruising Canada in a classic Chevy, were both published by New Holland and adapted for broadcast on Radio New Zealand National.
My Father’s Ears is her first novel.

The Second Course:

Women returning to study tell their stories

by Judith Anne Crews

The Second Course is a collection of 11 stories about New Zealand women who have chosen to return to study as mature students.  The stories were created from interviews and each story is accompanied by photographs. 
I was interested to discover what motivates women to return to study when they often have heavy work or family commitments. Was it to give them more opportunities work wise, or for the personal achievement and growth that a course of study provides?  Maybe there was some other motive? Was the effort and time involved worthwhile?
Writing the collection gave me an insight into how curiosity, strength and determination will open up a wealth of energy to channel into learning and development.

Available:  through Wheelers and my website:, or directly from publisher, Issey Tate Publishing, 33 Oban Rd, Browns Bay, Auckland.  Price $25 plus p&p

Author’s Bio: Since my retirement, I have had time to dedicate to formalising my writing by pursuing my interest in documenting the real life stories of New Zealand women and their place in the history of this country.  There are many fascinating stories out there that will be lost unless they are committed to the written word.

Her Waiting List

by N J Mauchline

Sequel to Her Long Goodbye, released on Amazon as an e-book in 2013

Anna yearned to be married, but a failed relationship from her past threatened to derail her future. Her desire to believe in fairy-tales once more was delicately poised on how her friend’s romantic relationships were being played out. But as Anna neared her thirties the layers of unbelief were increasing, threatening to completely shatter her belief in fairy-tales. Like a first impression prince, a frog will often not be what he seems.

Ed longed to see Anna find her fairy-tale and that is where his online dating bet came in. Twelve months of saying yes to every guy who asked Anna out on a first date, provided he was a Christian and not obviously psychotic. And that was where the fun and trouble began for Anna…

Available: for purchase on paperback at and eBook versions available on

Author's Bio: By day a social worker, by night a writer. But always a hopeful romantic. Hopeful because I believe in happily ever after. I write because if I didn’t I think I’d go crazy. For writing gives me an outlet for my emotions and thoughts. My first novel was born out of trying to write love out of my heart. Aside from writing books, I blog and play around with my quotes on digital imagery.

I have self-published three books over the past three years. Two are romance novels, which form part of a romance trilogy. I’m currently editing Her Long Wait, which is the final book in the trilogy. The anticipated release for it is mid 2016. The other book is a non-fiction book about how to thrive as a Christian, without letting the sometimes burden of being single effect your race. 

For more check out

Called to Thrive

by N J Mauchline

This book tackles the subject of thriving as a single Christian instead of sleep walking through that season or making decisions of compromise to get out of it. Mauchline discusses real life issues that are facing Christians today and links it to the season of being single. She does this from a deeply personal level, reaching into and sharing from her experiences of being a single Christian in her thirties.

Among the topics Mauchline addresses are: The greatest love story; God’s best and what that looks like; How to have God as our focus and source of comfort, especially when we are wanting to move out of the season of singleness; Thriving in the wilderness; Establishing and maintaining boundaries in relationships; Removing thorns of past hurt; Living a life of no compromise; Truly trusting in God’s impeccable timing; The world needs you to thrive. But are you?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Although this book is targeted at single Christians it is written in a way that will allow all Christians, regardless of the relationship season they are in, to take something away from the issues that are discussed.

Available: for purchase on paperback at and eBook versions available on

Author's Bio: By day a social worker, by night a writer. But always a hopeful romantic. Hopeful because I believe in happily ever after. I write because if I didn’t I think I’d go crazy. For writing gives me an outlet for my emotions and thoughts. My first novel was born out of trying to write love out of my heart. Aside from writing books, I blog and play around with my quotes on digital imagery.

I have self-published three books over the past three years. Two are romance novels, which form part of a romance trilogy. I’m currently editing Her Long Wait, which is the final book in the trilogy. The anticipated release for it is mid 2016. The other book is a non-fiction book about how to thrive as a Christian, without letting the sometimes burden of being single effect your race. 

For more check out

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
  1. A JPG image: The book's front cover (we don't need back cover). And jpg only please - the software we use won't accept anything else.
  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.
  4. Author's Bio: A brief paragraph about the author (Max 100 words) A broad strokes description of who and what you are. A bio is usually written in third person and isn't a full CV - just the edited highlights. NB: A link to your website or CV isn't a bio! And please do a final read and spell check before you send!
New Books List takes a holiday in January. The deadline for the February 2016 issue is:  29 January 2016 
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