"Novel" is the second fiction work by award winning poet Vaughan Rapatahana. The title indicates that this is a "new" novel, although all novels can be seen as  "new", since the word comes from the Latin novum (new thing). The cover illustration shows a young child observing a "new" emerging plant.

"Novel" can clearly be classified as a multiple narrative, a novel where the events experienced by diverse characters are described by a reliable narrator. This results in a challenging but captivating read. There is often a multiplicity of perspectives and the reader has to figure out connections between the various narrative threads.

The developing action in "Novel" takes us to a variety of settings, from Aotearoa New Zealand to Hong Kong SAR, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Saipan and Laos. The tone of "Novel" is sardonic, dark and the action is often violent. The diverse characters struggle to survive, either because of poverty, acusations of murder, or oppression from local or foreign powers.

"Novel" is an innovative and complex creation, both a thriller with fast-moving pace and a meditation on today's and tomorrow's world. It is an absorbing read, a journey to diverse cultures where the reader encounters a disparate group of characters from the desperate struggling to survive, the militants striving to overthrow injustice, the agents of evil trying to destroy them and the many ordinary people caught in the maelstrom. The story weaves back and forth through a multiplicity of unfolding situations both gripping and thought provoking.

Be afraid. or not.

Dr Alan Chamberlain (Australian academic - retired)

Henley Lake - From Wasteland to Wetland. 

An anthology about the man-made lake and park created by the community of Masterton from derelict land. A network of walking trails and flourishing biodiversity are to found at Henley Lake. This book celebrates all those who worked and planned to achieve this wonderful asset to the Wairarapa.  

$39.99 from  gpbauer@xtra.co.nz      A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to the Henley Trust to continue the work.

 

Orphanage Boys - A.N.Arthur

Reviewed by Chris Bassett 3.6.2018

A heart-breaking story of a family torn apart by tragedy, how they survive a horrid orphanage and where life takes them. An insight into the New Zealand Great Strike and how workers were so badly treated at the hands or our Government. A touch of New Zealand history and once you start reading you won't want to put the book down **** 

 

 

Sweet Bitter Waters - Carole St Aubyns

 Jane Southerington has established a new life in New Zealand in the 1880's hiding the brutal events of her past. When she employs Gareth Wyndham as her new farm foreman, she is confronted by an aristocratic man she recognises from her former life in England. Unaware that Jane knows of his forced exile. Wyndham finds himself attracted to this beautiful enigmatic woman who repels his advances. Jane longs to reveal her secrets to him but fears rejection until she faces a terrible disaster that changes her mind. A passionate compelling historical romance that will intrigue.

***** Amazon reviews

'...a wonderful historical novel about life in 19th century New Zealand. It is set in the small provincial town of Feilding, which attracted me immediately because I have lived here for nearly 25 years. The author keeps the story moving by allowing each chapter to focus on the life story and emotional complexity of the main characters...I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in a beautiful love story...with all its challenges and sense of community solidarity. On these chilly winter days in Feilding Sweet Bitter Waters is a great book to curl up with in front of the fire, sipping a cup of tea.' .

Dr. Mary Eastham. Feilding, New Zealand 8th June 2018

"A light endearing read - I enjoy historically set books, especially about a region I am familiar with and can visualise where it has taken place" Gina Frederick

The Room  - Anne Darcy

A science fiction adventure set in New Zealand in 2317. Three  teenagers discover an ancient computer in a hidden cave and are amazed at the secret it holds. Will it enable them to turn back time? Will they be able to prevent the death and devastation caused to planet Earth by The Event three hundred years ago?  Seth, Jesse and Matoura are challenged to solve an enigma almost impossible to understand.

 ***** Amazon review

 

Everyone has a Story

www.thestorymint.com

A unique book of short stories by the writers at The Story Mint.

 

Reviewed by Bruce Erasmus, writer, author of Sniper Missions – the Business of War and the War of Business

One of the most difficult genres to master is that of the short-story.  One of the challenges is to find your voice.  A group of writers has addressed this challenge by collaborating to create a collection called ‘Everyone has a Story’.   The premise is deceptively simple as it may be described as a relay race. One writer sets the scene and the baton is passed in turn to each of the other writers until the final writer brings the story to its close.  Each of these stories has a different team and so the analogy to a relay race is even more apt as each combination of writers seeks to outdo the others.  No two stories or settings are the same.  Every voice and every combination of voices is different.   The stories range across a wide spectrum of genres, from historical to science fiction.  The strength in this anthology of short stories is that there is literally something for everyone, because, for example, just as you are becoming comfortable with an historical tale, you get catapulted into the occult.  This is a very strong offering that showcases a wide range of skills. I look forward to future anthologies.
     

Background

The Story Mint is a community of writers who work together to encourage and give each other constructive feedback. Its goal is to create excellent writers using a combination of automated and personalised tools. The unique stylecheck™ guides writers to find the perfect pitched voice for the audience. Writers can experiment writing different genres with the serials. Writers also learn other key writing skills such as maintaining tense, writing believable dialogue and much more.

 

To buy

Rangitawa Publishing http://www.rangitawapublishing.com/

The Story Mint http://www.thestorymint.com/book-store

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-has-Story-Flo-Ginsburg/dp/0994138253

 

 **** Amazon review

 

 

 

Granny Dalton and the Firebug

Pictured is author Murray Crawford at his book launch for Granny Dalton and the Firebug. This took place at the Rutland Hotel in Wanganui which is one of the locations in the story. Murray had a remarkable knack of combining historical figures, places and events into fictional adventure stories. 

 

 

 

Personality Disorder by Megan Florence

 If you enjoyed the Hunger Games, Mad Max, Twilight this novella is for you. Short enough to read in one sitting, deep enough to immerse all the senses...The writing is bold, defiant, and the plot kicks down doors and takes no prisoners. Teens who  think 'reading is boring' will love this book. DJ

For the full five star review go to Amazon UK books.

"A Silent Sin" by Felicity Logan.

Rosetta has lied about her age in order to marry, only to find her husband is a bigamist. Pregnant, with nowhere to turn to in the London of 1861, she takes a ship to the other side of the world. There she encounters a former suitor and marries again. The new and growing family build up a business in New Zealand, but further news about her first marriage makes Rosetta fear her past will catch up with her (just WHO is the bigamist?)

Felicity Logan has taken the known facts about her grandfather's grandmother and her first child and woven a story rich in historical detail.

Thornicroft House Publishing paperback $25

felicity.logan@compassnet.co.nz

 

 

 "Rooster McGurk - Unsung Colonial Hero (& reluctant virgin) by Murray Crawford.

Reviewed by Robert Taylor in The Bugle (International newsletter of the Australian American Civil War Round Table Queensland Inc. Jan/Feb. 2016)

"I highly reccomend this book to anyone with an interest in history and the military battles (in New Zealand) that coincide with the American Civil War...that saw equally brutal and barbaric treatment of prisoners. Historical notes provided by Murray are extensive and enlightening. A new milestone in novel history."

 

'A Blimmin' Disaster" by Mike Aldridge is a collection of 'good Kiwi bloke' stories based on his experiences as a truck driver.

 

"Merely a Girl" is the new novel from Tony Chapelle.  Acclaimed New Zealand author Maurice Gee says of this book, ' It's a marvellous feat of literary ventriloquism...solid and strong. It's perfectly balanced, moving the characters round the strong centre that Addie provides. She's tough, energetic, frustrated, vulnerable and not always admirable. A thoroughly believable young woman. I loved her and I loved the book.' 23.1.2016

 

 

 

 "Bend with the Wind" by Suraya Dewing is a powerful novel about two young people caught in the crossfire of political unrest. It takes place during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour which ruptured New Zealand society. Renowned author and artist Haare Williams  says," This novel by Suraya Dewing is like the migrating flock returning to drink from the spring on the summit. E kore ona wai umu e mimiti noa."

"...it is exceptional. The stories weave together like a well-constructed patchwork quilt. As a 4th generation kiwi, I find the stories to be familiar and enlightening - bravo!

Linda Weterman - GM Change advocacy.

 

 

Original Sin by Tony Chapelle.

New Zealand author Maurice Gee comments on this book

" I've just finished reading "Original Sin" ...I read (the stories) with enjoyment and admiration, enjoyment first, admiration after. I really liked the mother, son, father, son ones, very moving and beautifully handled, perfectly shaped, just the right weight. If I can add to Sue Mccauley's comment about perfect endings, I'd say you know exactly the right time to leave a story. My congratulations... and thanks for a memorable reading experience. Clouds of Glory is a great story too, perfect in every way. Maurice Gee August 2015.

"What a treat! Here is a book of twenty five short stories to satisfy the appetites of a wide range of readers... This is a fine collection...that can hardly fail to entertain, by a man who has a deft way with words." Joan Currry on Flaxroots.com and Beattie's Book Blog.

"These are seriously high quality stories...always there is psychological insight, some degree of compassion, and a grasp of the complexities of human nature, relationships and motives..." John C. Ross in The Tribune.

"Chapelle evokes place very well...the characters and their voices are convincing, and a prickly present tension keeps the reader on alert." Catherine Robertson in The New Zealand Listener.

"This book deserves to be on the reading list for all lovers of the short story genre." "Vivienne" on Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

From the Fifties to New Zealand by JennySmith

 

reviewed by RobertStevens (nom de plume)

 

In a disarmingly witty style that is more like a one sided conversation, this book is a collection of autobiographical short stories covering the first twenty-five or so years of the author's life. JaneAusten they're not but I think most people would enjoy these stories. However, I also found that her description of life in 1950's and 60's England much more acute as aspects of what she describes reflected my own childhood experience of the period. I was at school in London at about the same time and can clearly remember the Victorian brick buildings surrounded by tarmac playgrounds, their pale green interiors valiantly kept clean by an army of unseen housewives. I remember the baggy roughness of available school clothing, the enormous class sizes (fifty was not unusual) and the sudden panicked schools wbuilding program launched when the first post-war census revealed the likely magnitude of the coming bulge in population. I also sat and passed the 11+ examination and similarly experienced the new world of a grammar school although mine was an all boys school and I don't think any of my fellow pupils were ever as snobbish and unjustly superior as the girls Jenny met at Guildford High School. The stories that describe her training as a Nursery Nurse are perhaps the most powerful in the book and the story Lost in Lewisham left one wondering how long it took even the most dedicated of these nurses to become inured to what was often the societal indifference inflicted on these innocents. It was not a new problem, Dickens wrote about it but it was 60's television and plays like Cathy Come Home that finally roused the ire of the public to demand answers to the questions of homelessness and poverty that had for years made it necessary for organisations like the LCC to grudgingly deal with the problem as best it could. They weren't heartless or indifferent, just overwhelmed. Touching and thought provoking as the story was I found the speech of the little girl left on a bus rather adult for a four year old… still it made its point. I described JennySmith as an ordinary woman; all things considered this book gives an insight into the life of an ordinary woman who actually did extraordinary things quietly. Recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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