Members’ Books

CUZ by Liz van der Laarse (OneTree-House) 2018

CUZ front coverCUZ is a fast-paced adventure story written for 10-14-year-olds. It tells the story of two cousins, Huia and River, who are shipwrecked on Fiordland’s coastline.
Huia has been brought up among whanau. Tikanga Maori is central to who she is. River not so. He’s embarrassed about his lack of understanding – and he’s defensive.
But to survive they must work together, using Huia’s traditional knowledge of trapping, hunting and gathering kai. As they struggle to find a way back, River becomes increasingly drawn to tikanga Maori and its place in his life.
CUZ has been warmly reviewed in Magpies, the NZ Book Council School Journal, the Sapling, Backcountry, kidsbooksnz and Goodreads. CUZ is a Storylines Notable NZ Children’s Book (Junior Fiction) 2019 and is available through independent booksellers.
Teachers’ notes for CUZ can be downloaded for no charge from the publisher’s website.
Also check out the author’s Facebook page.

Beyond the Rimu Grove by Patricia Fenton

Front cover (2)In the summer of 1966, a young teacher is dispatched to Ngarimu Valley School as a Probationary Assistant. As her coming-of-age narrative evolves, the reader is immersed in a remote community where nothing is quite the way it seems and lives are poignantly and inextricably interwoven.
Available from bookshops and creative outlets throughout Northland, from the publisher (info[at], or by request from your local library (ISBN 978-0-473-46896-5). See more from Patricia at her website:

The Voyage of the Ika Roa By Heather Whelan

In Voyage of the Ika Roa author Heather Whelan relates the story of how she and then husband, Tim, built a boat and sailed it from England to New Zealand. The couple had no boatbuilding or sailing experience, but they set to and built Ika Roa, a Wharram-designed catamaran.

The voyage began with a trip across the Bay of Biscay, to Spain and Portugal. The Atlantic crossing took the Ika Roa and her crew far from land for the first time. Heather relates her adventures in the Caribbean Islands, Venezuela and the Dutch Antilles before they reached the Panama Canal.

While cruising the Pacific, Heather became fascinated by Polynesian history and the islanders’ way of life. Friendships among the cruising community and with locals enriched the journey. Two years after leaving Falmouth in England, Ika Roa arrived in New Zealand after sailing more than 10,000 nautical miles.

The book is available from BigWords-Books website or from Heather at heatherwhelan2[at]

Fire by Anne McDonell

Fire-Front-CoverFlip has THREE major problems:

ONE – Jackson, a know-it-all who looks and dresses like a film star and bullies Flip.

TWO – You wouldn’t believe it but Flip’s mother invites Jackson to stay for the whole holidays.

THREE – Soon after Jackson moves in, a dangerous arsonist attacks a shop and homes in their street.

Can Flip and Jackson reach a compromise and work together to catch the culprit before someone is seriously hurt? A novel for 8 to 13-year-old children. Available from

Crossing the Divide by Jody Reynolds

Books 1-3The Golden Cockroach, Riding Shotgun, and Square Pegs are the first three books in the Crossing the Divide short story series, written by J.B. Reynolds. Melding tragedy with comedy and switching between settings in Central Otago and Brisbane, each story focuses on a different character and explores that character’s struggle to connect with the people in their lives.
Book 1 – The Golden Cockroach
Nina’s dinner date is an insufferable jerk who only wants to talk about himself, but an unexpected guest makes her evening out a memorable one.
Book 2 – Riding Shotgun
It’s Evelyn’s turn to drive her friends to work. But are they even her friends? The road to Queenstown is a treacherous one, and as the fog gets thicker, her thoughts get darker.
Book 3 – Square Pegs
Tired, thirsty, and frustrated, Darryl wants only two things – a beer, and to be left alone by his troublesome neighbours. Fate, however, has other ideas.

Books 1 – 3 are available as ebooks from major ebook stores, with Book 4 due out later this year. Head to to find out more.

The Tale of Prince by Bianca Staines

The Tale of Prince JPG Kindle (2)It’s a dog’s life but Prince couldn’t have asked for a better one. An unblemished pedigree, a loving family, weekly grooming and a bowl always full of delicious Auntie Cher’s Amazing Biscuits. What more could a handsome, aristocratic pooch want? But when a stray, flat-faced she-dog, Bennie, comes trudging through his territory, chewing his toys and stealing his beloved Humans’ hearts, his perfect life turns to mush. Prince wants it all back, just the way it was! Yet getting rid of the despicable Bennie seems harder than getting cat pee out of the carpet… Then, one night, Bennie disappears without a trace. Accused of murder by the Council of Pets, Prince will have to face the world outside his beautiful, white mansion. A world of usurped kingdoms, laughing demons, peculiar vets and fighting dogs until his journey to find Bennie will lead him to confront his most terrible foe yet and, on the way, find the wolf that lives inside every dog.

Spitshine by Michael Botur

michael-boturSpitshine 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. 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). Some have won or been shortlisted for prizes. Michael Botur has published fiction and poetry in Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, Takahē, Bravado, Catalyst, Deep South, 4th Floor and JAAM. He works in corporate communications in Northland. Previous fiction collections MEAN and Hot Bible! are available at

The Crazy Idea by Heather Whelan

Crazy Idea (2)Dylan would like to be a cat. One day,  he wakes from his nap to find that he has grown fur! He finds a mouse to chase, a bird to follow and a tree to climb. But he also finds that the baby pulls his tail and the dog chases him around the house. Being a cat isn’t so much fun after all…

Heather was inspired to write this story after listening to a five-year-old recount eating cat food at news time in class one morning.
The Crazy Idea has gorgeous illustrations by Denise Whitmore.
Copies  are available for $15 from Heather at heatherwhelan2[at]

Love at the End of the Road by Rae Roadley

Cover-LEOR-Rae RoadleySoon after returning to her hometown in Northland, New Zealand to work as a journalist, Rae meets farmer Rex Roadley through a rural dating service.
Rex’s beef and sheep farm at Batley, on the Kaipara Harbour, has been in his family for almost a century, however now the only evidence of the spot’s fascinating historic past is a magnificent two-storeyed villa standing alone on the point.
Neither Rae nor Rex are youngsters and their love affair, relationship and lives together go through many twists and turns.
Meanwhile Rae, a lifelong city dweller, learns to cope with mud, managing a large house and garden, the intricacies of farming, and the frustrations of life in the backblocks, while getting to know the locals and assorted animals – from wild kittens to wild bulls.
Rae’s charming story is beautifully written from the heart. Not only does she find love with Rex, but she finds out more about herself than she knew. Woven through her account are stories about the great house itself at Batley and the surrounding countryside. (First published by Penguin).

To get a hard copy, email:  rae at
To get the ebook on Amazon: Click here.


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