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Reporting back from Featherston Booktown Festival 2022

Ian and Caro at Featherston Booktown

Ian and Caro would like to thank the volunteers (especially Gary for the coffees) who make the Booktown festival weekend so special.

It is always wonderful to meet and catch up with other booksellers and chat with readers and authors, both regulars and newcomers alike. The events were outstanding, as usual.

Hope to see you in 2023 when Booktown will be back in May.

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2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards

After last year – it’s wonderful that the Mystery in the library events to showcase past and present entries in the Ngaio Marsh Awards are back on. If you enjoy reading mystery/thrillers and want to try something new – look at these New Zealand authors making a splash in the genre.

This year we have 10 of the 60 books entered for the 2021 Ngaio Marsh Best Novel Award – all can be found in our shop in Upper Hutt and our online shop.

Want to find out more about them? Then click on the Read more link at the end of each entry.

Caught Between by Jeannie McLean
The body of sixteen-year-old Jasmine Dunn is washed up on a rocky foreshore in Auckland. The next day, her mother’s body is found on a deserted beach. Read more…

Dark Empire: Wellington 1916 by John Horrocks
Also in the 2021 Ngaio Marsh Best First Novel catagory
Katherine Mansfield created some of literature’s most chilling characters, not least Harry Kember and his wife. They seemed out of place among the families enjoying summer holidays at Wellington’s Days Bay. Some of the women at the Bay thought that one day Harry would commit a murder. Read more …

Death Count by S.L. Beaumont (The Kat Munro Thrillers Book 1)
Can a conspiracy be uncovered before the Death Count rises?
Fast-paced and entertaining, Death Count takes a deadly dip into the world of financial crime. Read more …

Familiars and Foes by Helen Vivienne Fletcher
An old crush. A long-lost family member. A magical Labrador and a whole load of ghosts… At least Adeline can’t say life is boring! Read more…

Low Flying by John Reynolds
Matt Bullock, an Auckland university student clashes with his flying instructor Jason Collins who tries to hit on Matt’s racy girlfriend Fleur Lassiter, resulting in the two men brawling at their aeroclub. Read more…

The Murder Club by Nikki Crutchley
A dead body. An anonymous letter. This is only the beginning. ‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’ Read more …

The Mystery of the Missing Ministers by Gina Poekeleen
Me? An investigator? When two ministers vanish from the Beehive, Eryn finds herself hired as a junior investigator tasked with discovering why. Read more …

One Little Lie by Carne Maxwell
One thoughtless moment changes everything. Melissa’s deception turns her working holiday upside down, but one lie can unearth many secrets. Read more …

More by Andrew Harris (The Human spirit Series Book 3)
More food will be produced in the world in the next thirty years than has ever been consumed throughout our history. This reflects huge population growth and our constant desire for more.  A crime fiction thriller set in New York, London and Rio de Janeiro. Read more …

The Boys and Men of Auckland’s Mickey Rooney Gang by Robert Bolton
In a working-class suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1957, eight mildly rebellious schoolboys, inevitably obsessed with sex, were attracted to the arrogant and thoroughly delinquent little Mickey Rooney whose fantastic dreams of Hollywood fame were to be his downfall. Read more …

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Listen to short stories from A Writers Plot

Three books of short stories by A Writers Plot

Wellington Access Radio FM 106.1 have been playing short stories from The Writers Plot books on Hutt Zone with John MacDonald – and we have them here for you to listen to. The books can be purchased from our online shop.

“Seat next to you” by Cat Connor; marking the virtual launch of the last Byte-Series book (#12) on Thursday 10 September 2020

Patrick Allan’s short story “Forbidden Fruit” from ‘C’est La Vie’ along with poems from David Smith and Dennis Glover.

A short tender story from Cyndi Miller ‘Without Maree’ from the Love Wounds compilation of short stories. Read by John MacDonald.

A short fictional tale from Patrick Allan ‘One Slipped Through’ from the C’est la Vie collection, read by John MacDonald for Hutt Zone.

A couple of short quirky stories by Cyndi Miller, read by John MacDonald for Hutt Zone.

Cat Connor’s short story ‘Melt my heart to stone’ – a story from the Byte series read by John MacDonald

In need of a little romance? Here’s John MacDonald’s reading of Caro Lankow’s short story ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’.

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Remembering & commemorating ANZAC Day

This year is unusual and for those of us who like to go to the parades and events, this year we got to do it from the safety of our own property.
Throughout the country, people put poppies in windows, on letterboxes and keeping apart, we came together to maintain the tradition of remembering and commemorating our veterans and service personnel.

It is also a time to reflect on the emotional and physical costs of war, some of the books in our selection do that as they are written by those affected.
A poem by Dennis Hogan from ‘Billy-can Ballads’ (1962, Unity Writers) called ‘Driftwood’ also makes us stop and think again about the aftermath.

ANZAC themed reads can be purchased from our online shop.

A selection of Fiction and non-fiction stories around or about ANZAC.

Stories about or by soldiers, both fiction and non-fiction, with books about or prompted by personal experience.

A selection of books on our website that cover memoirs to fiction series.
Fiction & non-fiction World War 1.
Fiction & non-fiction World War 2.

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Earth Day – 50 years

Earth Day

Earth day celebrated it’s 50th anniversary on Wednesday 22 April, and we have several books that are about our environment.
With the global pandemic Earth Day was very much an online event but still managed to connect with people around the world digitally.

Read more about it on the Earth Day website.

We have many books that can assist children learn and appreciate the environment, and some great novels that have conservation or the environment as their main theme.

Links through to the books on our website:
Books about the environment and the natural world, include picture books, children’s fiction, creative non-fiction and adult fiction.
Also books with a conservation theme.

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Easter at Home

How is everyone in their bubble this Easter? We hope you are all staying safe, and staying at home at this time. With the fine weather, it’s wonderful to sit outside and read, or get some exercise but stay local. 
We are still taking online orders through our website, but will not be able to post them to you until we come out of Level-4 and the NZ Post shops open again.
As the daily numbers lower, it looks as if containment of Covid-19 is working and we anticipate some relaxation in the current restrictions as we move to Level-3, but we are still waiting to hear what that entails.
Meanwhile – Kia Kaha – stay home and let us know how your reading is going.
E-book Novels from NZ Authors and NZ Publishers
Rangitawa Publishing Facebook
Books on Amazon/Kindle 
Orphanage Boys
Between Two Worlds
Merely a Girl
A Distant Belonging
The Youngest Son

Cat Connor – Crime thriller author website
Where to buy the books and what not.Carne Maxwell Author Facebook

Carne Maxwell website for e-books

On Amazon/kindle – The ContestBAM Press Wellington Facebook
BAM Press website
Books on Amazon/kindle
Go Gayle Go
Clipped Heels
No Wind
Through facebook we have found NZ author/publisher shares for their e-books and video readings
Just because we can’t send out physical books of these books, that shouldn’t stop you from reading these wonderful stories.

Spies Publishing – Ben reads his story in Toitoi: A Journal for Young Writers and Artists 

Victoria University Press have a free ebook –  The VUP Home Reader download from FB or the webstore

Short Stories – on Amazon/kindle
Moonlotus Tea: A Science Fiction Short Story by Peril Lloyd 

Musings, Mournings, and Misadventures: A collection of short stories and poems by Stacey Broadbent

‘Morning Report: All Blacks Lose to Australia. Should We Panic?: A Zombie Story’ by Hamish Trolove.
Amazon/kindle or on Smashwords

Lost Angels (A Nettie’s Knit Shop Short Story) by CB Landy

Please note: The shop is currently closed due to Current COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
Books can be purchased online but will not be posted until the Alert Level lowers and NZ Post shops open again.
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Lock down Reading Challenge – 4+ weeks

Four weeks can feel like a long time if you don’t have anything planned. For those of you who enjoy a challenge or are just looking for a bit of structure we have a reading challenge for you – based on four books per week.

There are five challenges (one for each week) and three separate sheets for children, see how many you can get through before our lock down is finished. If people don’t stay at home and keep safe, we could be in lock down for much longer. If that happens (and we hope it won’t) then we will add more challenges for you.

Or you might decide to do your own reading challenges. We would love to hear how you went by commenting on the blog or our facebook page.

Week 2:

  1. A book in your ‘too read’ pile for over a year
  2. A book in a genre you wouldn’t normally read
  3. A book that’ll make you cry
  4. A book with a one word title
  5. For children – we have a Challenge sheet to print or download for fun reading challenges – see the another 2 at the bottom of this page.

Download all five weeks of our challenges here:
Reading Challenge week 1
Reading Challenge week 2
Reading Challenge week 3
Reading Challenge week 4
Reading Challenge week 5

Download the children’s reading challenges here:
Lock down reading challenge 1
Lock down reading challenge 2
Lock down reading challenge 3

Happy reading everyone.

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Poetry interlude with David Smith

David is a regular contributor to Wellington Access Radio 106.1 Hutt Zone reading poetry.

For our enforced confinement due to Covid-19 and New Zealand being on Alert level 4 lock down, David has kindly send some fun poems for everyone to read. These will be alternated during the weeks but all five are available to download below.

A smile has the power to by David Smith

If your smile is not a smirk,
It is something you can put to work,
Even on those who shirk.

If your smile is genuine,
In no way canine,
The result will be fine.

If your smile is not crooked,
Others will become hooked,
And a positive outcome booked.

If your smile comes from peace of mind,
It will be taken as kind,
And you won’t be fined.

If your smile is given freely,
It will not seem silly,
Even to the tipsy.

If your smile is given as a gift,
It is sure to give others a lift,
Though their mind may be adrift.

Download all the poems as Word documents here:
Lessons from the sandpit
My computer has the Hiccups
Six down six to go
The case of the second jacket
A smile has the power to

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Summer Reading Challenge

Summer holidays, it’s hectic one minute getting ready for Christmas, then it’s quiet with nothing much on the next, unless you are someone who is organised and has a lot of things planned. Let’s face it, we do plan to do it, and then , well, the days just run away and there you are – back at work.

For you – we want to give you and excuse to relax and take time out for yourself , to recharge those batteries ready for the rest of the year.

And for those parents at home with the ‘I’m bored’ crowd, we are referring to children and teens, we want to give you something to challenge them. You can turn it into a competition – who does this first, add your own rules or do reading challenge as a family.

A couple of reading challenges for you
Download and print

Summer Reading Challenge 1

We encourage reading and literacy of all types, and maybe you could have another challenge for the most books read that come from our shop.

Why reading?
The benefits of reading are well known – and include
Mental stimulation
Stress reduction
Vocabulary expansion
Memory improvement
Improved focus and concentration
Prevents depression

There are several blogs about the value – e.g.
The Writing Co-operative – The Benefits of Reading Everyday 
10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

There is also and interesting article on Motivating adolescent male readers a blog from Teachthought.

We would like to hear your summer reading challenge stories – let us know how you are getting on and what books you read that were from our bookshop.
Not sure of what books we have – check our online store.

Happy reading
The team at Writers Plot Bookshop