Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Book Review From Scotland for Murder on Muritai by Genesis Cotterell

By Miss H. on 4 Nov. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is set in a world that has been settled by alien refugees from the dying planet of Ryxin. The Ryxins have special sensory powers but these are being diluted by inter breeding with humans, much to the concern of senior Ryxins who are determined to ensure their people remain pure blooded. The main character in the novel is a PI named Curtis who is investigating a murder but his efforts are complicated by the fact that Ryxins and humans have separate laws and punishment for crimes. What I enjoyed about the book was the analogy of how people perceive and treat each other according to their ethnicity and/or their perceived worth. Also, the lack of empathy for anyone who dares stand in the way of a determined idealist, whilst being attributed to the Ryxins, is a trait often seen in our own species.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Part Three of a Trip on the Ghan


Flying to Melbourne

9.45 a.m. We are getting nearer and nearer to Melbourne now. We've been flying for three hours. It must take longer than the flight to Sydney. I can feel the plane rocking and swaying. So far nothing to break out in a sweat about. Geraldine is jiggling her legs up and down, no doubt to ward off DVT's.

Waiting to Board the Ghan

5.15 p.m. In Melbourne, wishing the time would hurry up and come for us to board the Ghan and be on our way. We are sitting in the Travelers' Aid Center at Spencer Street Station where I am waiting to have a shower for $4.95 (plus towel). Whoever is in there has already taken half and hour so far with no sign of coming out. After that we're going to have some tea and then more waiting for the start of our journey at 10 p.m.
   Today we looked around the city streets. We got tired of walking. Went to a Catholic church called St. Augustine's. Mass had just started. It was very nice there and we stayed. It was a charismatic group who burst into speaking in tongues at one stage. They were having a special Mass for the healing of family hurts or whatever. People were filling out family-tree forms and writing down what they wanted prayed for and then we all took our pieces of paper up to the front and put them in a basket. It was a very old, beautiful church.

(End of Part Three)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Tale of a Two-Person Trip on The Ghan (Part Two)

Flying to Melbourne.

7.20 a.m. We are now in the air. I'm nervous. We're having breakfast soon. Geraldine has moved along one seat as the man in front of her pushed his seat right back and she felt crowded.

7.55 a.m. We have just eaten breakfast of an omelette with potato in it, baked beans and bacon, coffee, croissant and strawberry jam and orange juice. I can feel the plane rocking and swaying with the occasional bump. Nothing severe. I've been listening to an Australian radio station and an interview with a soccer player (I think) who's written a book with another guy called "Sheila's, Wogs and Poofters." It sounds interesting. I think he's a 'new' Australian.

8.30 a.m. We've been in the air now for 1 hour and 45 minutes. It is going okay. Geraldine is asleep with her headphones on. I have been to the 'ladies' twice, both to different ones. The second one was nicer than the first. I am listening to book reviews on an Aussie station. 'Gallipoli', 'Etiquette', 'Beer', (Best Beer), a magazine. 'Rewrite Your Life' - How to change negative scripts into positive ones.

(End of Part Two)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 Two New Reviews

by Laura Nicholas-Grieve

This novel has as its settings a Maori seaside village in Taranaki, and a nearby settlement of Europeans. The time is the historically crucial period between the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the beginning of the Land Wars. It is a time of uncertainty, yet one of numberless possibilities for the future. By the story’s end, many of these possibilities have been closed off.
     At the heart of the novel is a love affair between Wikitoria, beautiful but willful daughter of the local chieftain Rawhiti, and Thomas, worthy son of the local European Methodist minister. Wikitoria is also the grand-daughter of the eponymous Rena, Rawhiti’s mother and a much respected tribal tohunga.
See this website for the rest of the review and where to buy the book:

What Does the Sea Sound Like? 
by Evie Mahoney

This autobiography is written by a “child of deaf adults” (CODA) and describes the recollections of the author growing up in Auckland as part of a large New Zealand family, with loving parents who communicated to the society around them in a slightly different way.
     Both the author’s parents were deaf and, as the eldest of their six children, Evie Mahoney learnt at a very early age to act as interpreter between her parents and the hearing world. This gave her a multi-dimensional approach to communicating in both the world of the hearing and the world of the deaf.
See this website for the rest of the reveiw and where to buy the book:

A Tale of a Two-Person Trip on The Ghan (Part One)


First we fly to Melbourne. Flight QF94. It is now 6-45 a.m. and we are seated on the plane waiting for takeoff. We are in seats 75D and 75E right at the back. It is very warm. The plane is still filling up with people. We have two empty seats next to us, so we can spread out if needed. Ian, our neighbour, kindly drove us to the Airport and said he would come to meet us when we return.  I told him he has a kind heart. He's very kind to others as well I've noticed. He lets people stay at his house and helps them in other ways.
(End of Part One)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Three FlaxFlower Reviews via

Title: Squeakopotamus
Author: Dawn McMillan
Illustrations: Ross Kinnaird
Publisher: Oratia Books
ISBN: 978-0-947506-11-7
RRP: $19.99

Available: bookshops


Available: In Taupo at Paper Plus, the iSite and Taupo Museum;
 or via Author’s Facebook page, or as an e-book on Amazon

 The Assyrian Girl
Author: Thomas W Devine
Publisher: Thomas W Devine
ISBN: 978-1535127820
Available: Paperback & Kindle available via Amazon; paperback: Writers Plot Readers Read, Upper Hutt bookstore