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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.

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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