The Art of Secrets

JUST RELEASED: From The PastFinders series --- Reclusive author Charlotte Day has much to hide and does not want anyone digging into her past. With secrets of her own, journalist Emma Wade worms her way into Charlotte’s life looking for a journalistic coup.

Read More

The Cornish Knot

First in the PastFinders Series, set in New Zealand, Cornwall and Italy. Megan’s world is destroyed when her husband of over thirty years dies unexpectedly. On the anniversary of his death, Megan receives a mysterious package from Cornwall. The parcel contains a journal written a century earlier, and with it comes a strange request.

Read More

DANIEL - A tale of courage and determination

The story of New Zealand pioneer and soldier. Daniel is about New Zealand history as it happens, about the birth of a nation politically and socially and a personal journey through tragedy and disaster.

Read More


A New Zealand adventure story for children 6-9 years set in Hawkes Bay. Now available as an e-book from Amazon

Read More

Buy NowI am happy to talk to your club, group or organisation. If you would like to hear a talk on writing and research, please email




If you are a first time reader of this website, welcome and thank you for looking in. I hope you find something of interest and enjoy looking around the pages.  If you are a return visitor, I am very excited to know you are back. Please join me to get regular updates and surprises (just sign into the box on the right).

I would also love you to leave comments or ask questions if you would like to know a little more about me and my books.


ANNOUNCING the release of the next novel in The PastFinders series
Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 10.43.14 AMThe PastFinders Books

The Art of Secrets

BUY your print copy directly from me Buy Now
E-book available from Amazon.
Emma Wade’s life has fallen apart and her career is rapidly going downhill. In a last-ditch effort to keep her job, she reluctantly agrees to write an exposé on the aged and reclusive author Charlotte Day.
Charlotte, who has lost the passion to write, is suspicious and distrustful of people and doesn’t want anyone digging into a past she considers shameful. However, she recognises her need to leave a legacy of some kind, and hesitantly accepts the project.
Wrestling with her own secrets, Emma worms her way into Charlotte’s past. But some memories are too precious or too painful to share – especially the causes of her descent into melancholy. As they struggle forward, the two women are surprised to find much to like about each other. Their unusual relationship deepens; will they learn to trust again… Or will reliving the past be too much for either of them to handle?

A compassionate look at love, loss and renewal

Quote from text:
“Because sometimes the best things come from the worst. You have to look in the darkest places to find the brightest light.”

The Cornish Knot, the first of The PastFinders books is available as an e-book from Amazon and Smashwords


Art, mystery and wealth: two centuries, two lives.

41cMaPOoWCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Megan’s world is destroyed when her husband dies suddenly. Still grieving, she receives a mysterious package from Cornwall that jolts her out of her cloistered world. It contains a century-old journal. From her home in New Zealand she embarks on a journey of personal renewal to find her past, exposing secrets that change her life. Along the way she finds Italian artists plays a large part in her discovery. Can she also find love again?

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 10.43.14 AMThe PastFinders Books, social history narratives about family, love and renewal.
Buy Now


   Daniel is a powerful and moving biographical narrative of a New Zealand pioneer. Based on a true account, the story follows a young Daniel from Liverpool and Derbyshire, by ship to New Zealand, to fight in the Waikato wars and live out his life in Foxton.

Buy Now and receive a personally inscribed copy.

DANIEL is available as an e-book from Amazon  and  Smashwords

Kazam-COVER-72dpi-opt-for-web-15-WMy children’s adventure story ‘Kazam!’ has been released as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords  – print copies of Kazam! are available exclusively from me.

Have you clicked on Kazam! ?  Find out more about this story of a New Zealand adventure for New Zealand children. It is based on a true event! Well, most of it is….


Publishing Now – a Michael King Writers’ Centre Live-in Workshop.

I have been invited to be part of a panel discussion and to make a presentation at the forthcoming Publishing Now residential workshop hosted by the Michael King Writers’ Centre at Vaughan Park in Long Bay, Auckland the first weekend of November. The programme is extensive and intensive with many well-known names from the traditional publishing world as well as …

Read More

Pictures speak a thousand words

A beautiful end to a beautiful day with lots of promises for the future.   Meet Charlotte in all her guises – and here is Emma hiding from herself.  

Read More

Discoverability and Visibility

The hardest part of being an indie-author is being found. How do readers discover new-to-them authors? How do indie-authors make themselves visible to the world of readers? If you search the net there are endless blogs with advice on the how to’s of using social media sites. You have to do what suits you best, but whatever else you do …

Read More

Would you believe it?

Lately, and increasingly articles and blogs are being written about the demise of bookstores – globally. Their loss is lamented yet no one seems to know what to do about it. When I read such commentary, the blame seems to be laid on the market. Would you believe it – it’s our fault! They say people don’t read any more, …

Read More

What a difference 20 odd years makes

 In 1863, when Daniel came to New Zealand to fight in the land wars, he came by ship – a sailing ship: the ‘Helvellyn’ a two masted barque that took over one hundred and twenty days from leaving Gravesend in London, until it arrived in Auckland. Much is written about shipping in those days and the PapersPast website through the …

Read More

Roses and the circle of life

  Earlier this month, I talked about themes, sub-plots and symbols used to create atmosphere, but often motifs are more than tools. They are the things that anchor us to our past and our future. Roses are like that. The Art of Secrets uses roses as the symbol for life. I love roses. I find them beautiful throughout all stages of …

Read More

Using themes in writing

Themes, sub-plots, symbols, call them what you may, they are an important tool in creating the atmosphere in a story. As shown by the cover, in The Art of Secrets roses play an important role. They are shown as symbols for the continuous circle of life, for life after death, and  a motif for personal growth from a tiny bud to a …

Read More

Could you do this?

In 1886, at the age of 17, Maria left her small farming village in the west of County Clare, Ireland,(now on the R460) to travel to London to board a ship taking her to Australia. It would take fifty-five days under steam and sail if all went well. She was from a large, close knit, Irish Catholic family with deep …

Read More

Are you the chosen?

I came across this amazing image and quote on Facebook, which I just have to share. It says exactly how I feel. I do much more than find facts. I like to breathe life into those who connect my past with my future, but I even take it a step further. I found this quote on a genealogy page, but …

Read More

Never judge a book by its cover – but do you?

It has oft been quoted that we should never judge a book by its cover, but I ran an experiment at a local writers’ group this week asking them to guess the genre, era and location of the book from the front cover only. And guess what? A book was well and truly judged by its cover. ‘Insipid’, ‘dull’, ‘boring’, …

Read More
Page 1 of 1112345»10...Last »

Daniel: Pioneer, decorated soldier, husband, father, working man, objector and pacifist.   Places: Stanfree, Bolsover, Derbyshire, Liverpool, Auckland, Waiuku, Orakau, Rangiaowhia, Waikato, Urewera Bay of Plenty, Foxton Manawatu, Somes Island, Wellington, Halcombe. History: Flax industry, river boat industry, militia, armed constabulary, floods, Foxton fires, quarantine, development of the railways, Pink & White Terraces, Minnie Dean, sheep stealing, horse racing, Labour Day, Votes for Women, WW1 pacifism, deportation, The Fourteen, conscientious objectors, HMS 'Waitemata' 1917. Historical figures: Captain George Taylor, General Cameron, Henry Holland, William Massey, John Ballance, Richard John Seddon, Captain Francis Robinson, Te Kooti, Charles Pownall, John Proctor, Archibald Baxter, Mark Briggs, Garth Ballantyne, Fred Adin.