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Writers Plot Readers Read Inc Soc 2023 AGM

This is notification for the Annual General Meeting of Writers Plot Readers Read Inc Soc.
Date to be held: Saturday 9 September 2023.
Time: 2 pm to 3.30 pm
Venue: Upper Hutt Library, 844 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt Central.

All welcome.
Join us as we discuss the future of the Writers Plot Bookshop, and if you want to help us to keep the shop open, join the committee and share your ideas on how the organisation can move forward.
We need candidates for the position of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
To join the committee you need to be a member of the Writers Plot Readers Read Inc. Soc. – see the application form on the membership page under ‘Support Us’.

Further details are on the website about the our organisation are on the ‘About us page –
Contact email:

Annual General Meeting sign
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Reviews for The Hutt Weekender – 19 August 2023

From a Shadow Grave by Andi Buchanan

Winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novella/Novelette. This is no ordinary ghost story. Urban legend meets urban fantasy in this compelling alternate history.
Based on a Wellington teenager who was murdered during the Mt Victoria tunnel construction, in 1931, this story breathes life into the person behind the crime. It is a series of alternate histories following Phyllis Simons. Written with wit, insight and a deep sensitivity.
This novella is divided into four chapters, with the first imagining what Phyllis’s life might have been like in a sequence of events leading up to her murder, and her shadow existence afterwards as a ghost. Our sympathy is drawn for a poor, not well-educated, probably dyslexic girl struggling to find her way among the constrained economics of the Great Depression. The author evokes sympathy for the ghost, too, a lonely spirit stuck forever on Mount Victoria.
But this isn’t simply a ghost story. It’s more about what-ifs and possibilities. The first chapter is the starting point for the other three, each one a different direction the story could have gone after Symons’s burial.
A fascinating series of perspectives of what might have been, and how lives can be drawn together across time and (infinite) possibilities.
Highly recommended. Written in 2nd person.

Apple Pie and Arsenic by C.A. Phipps (Maple Lane Mysteries Bk 1)

Great read, especially if you love small towns and mysteries. Maddie has a great group of friends back home, and her grandma but she’s been trying to prove herself worthy in the big city. She has a few friends in the city but mostly she’s been working really hard to save money to open her own bakery. Getting a call that gran is not feeling well and needs some help, of course she runs home to see how she can help. But gran has a plan to keep her there.
When the body of her friend is found, Maddie is accused of the death. As the timer ticks down in the race to find the murderer before Maddie is put in jail, or the body count climbs, she enlists the help of her friends—one of the furry variety.
The sheriff is her ex-flame, and is just as confused as she is when the mystery heats up with another batch of clues.
The main character is a little annoying, as she would find then withhold information, which ends results in some unusual choices. I know this is typical for American reads and tv shows, and the author writes mainly for her US audience as a USA Today bestselling author. But that aside, it’s still and easy and quick fun read.

CA Phipps also writes other mystery series’. ‘Cozy Café Mysteries’ and ‘Beagle Diner Cozy Mysteries’ as well as a paranormal mystery series ‘Midlife Potions’. She also writes romance as Cheryl Phipps.

Out of the Ashes by Vanessa Evetts

A passionate marriage, two gorgeous children and a career she loved until they were ripped from her life in a hit and run. Thrust into a life she didn’t choose, she battles under the weight of her grief, and the conflicting desire to honour their memory. When she finds a handwritten bucket list in her son’s bedroom, she sells everything she owns and takes off on a quest that transforms her.
Conquering some of her greatest fears and insecurities, across three continents, Grace is faced with a decision. Does she keep living her life in survival mode, clinging to the memory of her husband and children, or does she release them from her tight grasp and build a new life without them?

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this before.
The utter grief and despair Grace suffered at the death of her family was so heartbreaking, but I loved following her journey to reclaim her life and overcome the pain she’d endured.
Right from the first lines, you can feel her agony. You’re pulled into her torment with her. It’s raw and savage, and oh so real. And then slowly, one step at a time, her healing begins and she embarks on an adventure following a bucket list of sorts; one created with her family.
 With every new place she visits and each new adventure, she begins to come to terms with her grief and is able to find peace. It’s a roller coaster journey of emotions, and one I would recommend. -Reviewed by Stacey Broadbent.

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Reviews for the Hutt Weekender 27 May 2023

The Book of George by Linda Deane

For those of us who love animals and in particular cats, and grew up with animal stories on The Wonderful World of Disney.
George was an independent, travelling cat who had lived life on his own terms. He had not seen eye to eye with his previous humans and, when they acquired a dog, he simply up and left.
It took him eight months to find us, but when he did, he made himself indispensable as my personal protector and gardening assistant. He was a great source of comfort for the short time he was with us, but then he too was recalled by Planet Cat.
Gina was sent to take up his mantle. (See The Journal of Agent Gina Ginger Knickers by Linda Deane)
This book is a tribute to our beloved George, as well as many other cats who have brought inspiration and joy to the humans they loved during their time on Planet Earth.

Our Gun by Geoff Lawson

Forget great victories like Waterloo and Balaclava, this is about mistakes and crushing defeats on both sides – unlike anything you have ever read before. It reads like a Hollywood movie script, except it is all true!! An emotional rollercoaster of a story it will rival any other great war drama you have ever read. For example, you have Cecil Rhodes, a British politician whose aim was to annex all of the South African continent by any means available, and Number Four was there – Number Four saw it all, a major participant in the battles of the Western Front.
Number Four is the only known survivor of Paardeberg. Paardeberg was the African equivalent of Guadacanal or the Kokoda Trail, the battle that turned the tide of war in Britain’s favour.

The Abandoned Wives Handbook by Pat Backley

The partner you loved and cherished for so many years has decided you are no longer required. Past your sell by date. Of no use to them anymore, so tossed out like a piece of garbage. Abandoned with barely a backward glance.
In an attempt to keep this a gentle, light-hearted read, each chapter is divided into letters of the alphabet, rather like a dictionary of distress, something you can dip into at any time.
I am not an expert, merely someone who has survived one of life’s great traumas and has come through it as a stronger, more resilient person.

Lou and Eustace by Pat Backley (Ancestors Book 2)

Although these books are fictional, many of the people and events mentioned in them are real. Without our ancestors, all the people who went before us, there would be no such stories to tell. This tale begins in the late 1800’s and continues through to 1984

Book 1 is Valentine George

Valentine George was an ordinary man, born in extraordinary times. He experienced love, loss and joy -just as we all do- but his life was still worth recording.

In this novel we follow his story where it began; in the slums of London during Victorian times. Then, he takes us through World Wars One and Two and leads us along the path to the Swinging Sixties.

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Postal costs and Payment methods

Postal Costs

These days it’s not so straight forward sending parcels nationwide, and every 1 July it seems NZ Post increase their costs. As a not-for-profit, and with the closed store, we are unable to carry those small extra costs.

Last year we chose only to increase the international postage costs, but this year we have also had to increased our nationwide and Australian costs at the absolute minimal level, effective from today.

Please note, if you live in a rural area and have rural delivery you need to select the rural delivery option, we are no longer covering the additional cost of this additional service.

We have not increased out costs based on the number or size of the books.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

We currently have the option of PayPal, this is quick and easy and you can use your credit card and don’t have to be an existing customer of PayPal.

Find out more about PayPal:

We have also been asked about using Stripe and Western Union, both are good options and we are asking our customers to let us know if you want these as a payment option at checkout.

Please note: With Western Union bank transfers from overseas to New Zealand. We will occur a $NZ 25 fee which will have to be passed on to the customer.

Find out more about Western Union:

Find out more about Stripe:

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ANZAC Day and War Fiction on The Hutt Weekender – 22 April

On Tuesday 25th April we remember those that served and what they gave for our tomorrow.
In our online shop we have a selection of creative non-fiction, fiction and non-fiction covering various conflicts from the past to the recent, around the world.
ANZAC books –
War fiction –

Featured author – Dave Hayward

Dave Hayward joined the army aged sixteen years and remained a soldier for thirty-three years, seeing active service in Borneo during Indonesia’s ‘Confrontation’ with Malaysia and in South Vietnam. When Dave retired as Sergeant Major of the Army, he took up writing and using his experiences and the wealth of history at his fingertips, he has produced eight novels.
His first-hand knowledge of the world of the twentieth century Infantry soldier is recognised as unique — he is regularly invited to address students at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University.

Other books features were:

Ironic Cross by Bruce Meder – one family caught up in 2 wars The Napoleonic Wars and World War 1.

The Battle of Messines Road by JK & WJ Moloney – a coming of age story, a World War 1 diary and a family saga.

The Booktown Festival in Featherston is on 12 – 14 May 2023 – all information and scheduling of events can be found on their website Featherston Booktown. Booksellers (new, second hand, antique and specialist) will be in the ANZAC Hall.

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St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day 17 March promotion image for story and links below

We wish you the luck of the Irish for March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland.

We’ve a list of books from our authors that are either set or partially set in Ireland or the characters are Irish. A mixture of memories in fiction and non-fictional; accounts of coming to New Zealand as an immigrant; travels that took the author to Ireland and fun, feel good stories set in the country. As well, there is series or two based on authentic aspects of Irish mythology by Brian O’Sullivan (now a New Zealander) from Irish Imbas Books (

Just a selection of what can be found on our online store –

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Books for International Women’s Day on The Hutt Weekender – 11 March

For International Women’s Day – March 8, and we’ve put together a list of books from our authors that give a unique perspective on the strength of women.
Just a selection of what can be found on our online store –

Because I Could by Alison Bradley book cover

Because I Could by Alison Bradley
‘My 2,800 mile run across America’

I’ve never been one to follow the path of the ‘norm’ and in 2013 I set myself a challenge, a challenge that everyone else deemed crazy, but, once I have decided on a goal I won’t feel complete until it has been accomplished. That is how on May 6th, 2013, I found myself on the steps of City Hall New York about to run two marathons a day for more than two months to see if I could make it to LA.

Review: I loved following the journey and Alison’s tenacity to keep on running, kept me engaged with funny, scary and emotional moments.
Alison’s adventure with all the description that made me feel like I went across the country as well.

Find on our website at

Which Way is Starboard Again? by Anna Kirtlan

When sailing novice Anna Kirtlan takes to the high seas, expect the unexpected. Not many people have the courage to sail the South Pacific with as little experience as Anna, who has to learn to sail, from scratch, and overcome the severe anxiety and panic attacks.

Anna relates the adventures she shares with her partner Paddy on board Wildflower and the characters they meet along the way.

Reviews: A truly enjoyable read from start to end. Anna has given a vivid and often humorous account of life at sea while laying bare her own personal struggles when placed on a small boat in the middle of a vast and endless ocean. What I took away from this book was that no matter the roadblocks life may put in front of you (or whatever fears you may have), if you persevere and truly commit yourself then nothing can be too great. Also don’t sweat about the small stuff people!
A captivating, hilarious and honest account of life at sea! This book has been a fantastic companion; an absolute joy to read!

Find this book on the website at

Which Way is Starboard Again? by Anna Kirtlan
Super Mum Complete Series by Stacey Broadbent book cover

Super Mum: the complete series by Stacey Broadbent
Super Mum, the complete series of 3 novellas which includes:
Frazzled and Frumpy
Frazzled, Frumpy and Fabulous!

It’s a crazy journey and one of life’s joys, even though, at times, it’s not quite what you imagined it would be.

Reviews: This complete series is full of laugh out loud moments about motherhood and marriage. Some scenes I swear I was reading about my own life. I love how she didn’t pull and punches and wrote it like it is, not sugar coated!!!
From unintentional co-sleeping, bed wetting, and pregnancy to raising multiple children and wondering if you’re enough.

Find this book on our website at

The Warrior Women Project by Uchenna L Umeh and Pat Backley
A Sisterhood of Immigrant Women.

The life of an immigrant; what is it like? Ever wanted to know what goes on in a woman’s mind? What if we combined both? What would happen? This book gives an exclusive insight into the exciting journeys of 22 amazing women from 13 countries of the world.
The book provides a safe space where successful immigrant women can tell their stories, in their own words. Their emigration stories are inspirational and empowering narratives of strength.

Review: A poignant coffee table anthology that will make you laugh or cry but keep you turning the page! The only thing I wish was for the stories to keep going on and on! It is a must-read for anyone looking for a snapshot of the immigrant experience through the lens of women who have gone through and risen above thick or thin! Each story is unique but the thread of hardship, perseverance, and survivorship is woven throughout the book.

Hardcover with coloured photographs. This book is on the website at

The Warrior Women Project book cover
Water – Wai by Marie Munro book cover

Water – Wai by Marie Munro

The first in our new bilingual picture book series, Nana’s Simple Science – Te Pūtaiao Ngāwari o Kui. NEW this week.

Children love water. They drink it, wash in it, swim in it and play in it. But do they know the water cycle story – where water comes from, where it goes, and all the things it does along the way?

Marie Munro also writes the Nana’s shed series –

This book and links to the Nana stories are in the website at –

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International Women’s Day – March 8

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and we’ve put together a list of books from our authors that give a unique perspective on the strength of women.

They range from a fun an light hearted look at motherhood, to solo travels; from memories of growing up last century to conversations with creatives; from mentoring women in business to understanding women of other cultures.

A selection of what can be found on our online store on the International Women’s Day link –

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Summer book reviews on The Hutt Weekender – 11 Feb

Ghost bus by Anna Kirtlan book cover

Ghost bus – tales from Wellington’s dark side by Anna Kirtlan

Paranormal humour that will make you smile while you nervously look over your shoulder. Spirits, sea monsters and a rest home for troublesome witches all feature in this short story collection/creepy love letter to Wellington New Zealand.

Review: Loved this book of dark, witchy and spooky tales written with warmth and humour around the C.B.D. and suburbs of Wellington, NZ.
If you know Wellington, you will recognise the places and the sentiment – the wind, the sorry state of buses, the art, the buildings, and the iconic waterfront. Each with its own unique paranormal story.
An easy and enjoyable read of short stories.

A Box of Words collected works from The Writers Plot Writing Group

Six authors. Thirty short stories and poems.

The stories cover speculative fiction, contemporary family fiction, observational essays on everyday life, memoirs and creative non-fiction. From historical to modern, lives that take a turn, unexpected discoveries and changes that challenge the status quo.
Stories of young investigators, families, loss and heartbreak, an unusual use of modern technology.
Of memories where fear is overcome and taking that first step can change a life.
We see that life goes on, but not always in the way you’d expect…

Review: A great read of a wide variety of stories and styles. Fun and thought provocking.

A Box of Words collected works book cover
Lost in Summer Storms by Mary-Catherine Downes book cover

Lost in Summer Storms by Mary-Catherine Downes

A novella about growing up and becoming an adult, set during the summer holidays at a small sea-side community – ‘The Bay’.

Jeremy and Elena with their friends, Margaret and Roland, as they transition from childhood to the teenage years and adulthood.
Life isn’t always happy and paths can take twists and turns but the friends get though it with faith and love. Then tragedy strikes.
Running away, Elena can’t trust anyone and is consumed by guilt and betrayal. That is until her friends find her. Returning to the bay, Elena finds courage to face the past … and then the truth comes out.

Review: An entertaining quick read. Reminiscent of simpler times, of childhood and summer holidays.
The characters feel like people I’ve known for years, as we are with them in their family life, through painful trials, teenage angst, fun times, love and loss. Recommended.

Point of No Return by Brian Hool

There is a time and place when your past catches up with you and confronts you. A decision needs to be made, do you carry on doing what you’ve always done or do you you put changes in place for the future?

The story of Chandra, who takes on this challenge to change her thoughts as well as her actions, it sounds easy, but there are pitfalls along the way.

Review: An enjoyable read that keeps you guessing. Chandra works with horses and the spiritual conection between horses and humans is part of the story.

Point of No Return by Brian Hool book cover

Broken by Stacey Broadbent

Unwanted and Alone…
The dull ache inside my heart grows stronger every day with each new taunt.
A novella written in the first person, a young woman crying out for help.

*Trigger Warnings for emotional abuse, self harm, violence, anxiety, and grief.

Review: A beautifully written story – beware you’ll need tissues

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Best selling Kids and Teen fiction of 2022

1 – The Death-Hunters by Denika Mead

Royal Orchid – Book 1
Link to our online shop for more information
Adventure/scifi/fantasy for the teen reader.

Fourteen-year-old Ivy falls through a portal into a new world – Ghost Orchid. Scared and alone, she come across a group of teen rebels fighting to save the icy wasteland.

In this strange world, she needs to decide if her friends are really the good-guys or just dangerous; while listening to a slithery voice in her head which promises a way-out -a way home. Will she stay and fight to stop Ghost Orchid and Earth fro descending into chaos?

2 – The Last Kingdom by Denika Mead

Link to our online shop for more information
Adventure/scifi/fantasy for the teen reader.

The Last Kingdom is a standalone book and introduces characters who will feature in The Crystal Continent, the last book in the Royal Orchid series.

Thrust into a world he’s been dreading his whole life, Prince Phoenix must take the throne. His only friend stands by him, but if she’s found, she will be executed.

3 – The Dragon Defenders by James Russell

Book One
Link to our online shop for more information
Action and Adventure

Two brothers on a wild and wonderful island home with an incredible secret: dragons live there!

When evil boss The Pitbull finds out, he sends men to kill a dragon, to bring back the body along with a dragon’s egg. 
The brothers need to defend the dragons and stop The Pitbull’s evil plan.

Recommended for  7 – 11 years

4 – The Super Weirdos and the Battle of Bash by Mr Mac

Link to our online shop for more information
Action and adventure/superheros/humorous.

 Engages all readers from reluctant readers through to book worms

In this hilariously weird adventure, Norm, a regular kid, finds out there are aliens living among us.
This book reveals secrets to the universe in ways that no one could have expected.

Recommended for  7 – 13 years

5 – There’s No Such Thing As Humans by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Link to our online shop for more information
Action and adventure/monsters/magic/humorous

A children’s novel about fears, acceptance and annoying older brothers. 

Grub is absolutely terrified of humans, especially the one his brother says lives under his bed.
Grub’s mum says there’s no such thing as humans, but even so, they must never go to the edge of the forest. That’s fine by Grub, until his brother dares him. He can’t refuse a double dare, can he?

Recommended for 6 – 11 years.

6 – Princess Peach and the Wild Weekend by Mary Em

Princess Peach Book 1
Link to our online shop for more information
Action and adventure/magic/

Worst weekend EVER. The kingdom of Verdonia is preparing for a visit from the most terrible of visitors: Prince Terrence of Tarragon.

Princess Peach can’t stand Terrence! But he’s going to marry her oldest sister Princess Posie, so she’ll have to get used to him sooner or later. Or will she?

Recommended for 7 – 11 years.