New Zealand – A Personal Post

He Karakia Tīmatanga me te Whakakapi Kaupapa

Kia tau ngā manaakitanga a te mea ngaro
ki runga ki tēnā, ki tēnā o tātou
Kia mahea te hua mākihikihi
kia toi te kupu, toi te mana, toi te aroha, toi te Reo Māori
kia tūturu, ka whakamaua kia tīna! Tīna!
Hui e, Tāiki e!

Let the strength and life force of our ancestors
Be with each and every one of us
Freeing our path from obstruction
So that our words, spiritual power, love, and language are upheld;
Permanently fixed, established and understood!
Forward together!



Many of you already know I live in New Zealand. What some don’t know is that I returned to the Uk for family and it was a disaster. Now I’m back in New Zealand and I couldn’t be happier. It is like the dark cloak had fallen off and I’m happy once more.  The question is WHY am I she happier. Well in this post I’ll try and explain about everything that is New Zealand.


Aotearoa is a fresh young country, it is vibrant, beautiful with a mixture of cultures. Today we have (Prime Minister statement) 162 different languages within Aotearoa. Imagine the cultural hub, the heritage, and diversity this has given Aotearoa. It is an amazing country to live in.

Our official languages are English, Te Reo Maori, and Sign Language. All which are used on a daily basis somewhere in Aotearoa depending on the needs of the people where you live. The two places I’ve lived within Aotearoa are Palmerston North, which is a vibrant long city which started off as a SWAMP. It was drained and the city was born. It lies on a fault line giving the place some scary earthquakes and small tremors, once again depending on where the earthquake or tremor originated and how deep it was.
We also lived in Rotorua which is situated in a crater lake (crazy kiwi’s) which though silent they are still mildly active producing hot water, warm earth, and hot mud pools, many of which you can see and visit for free. I have many photos with steam rising from the earth. This town surrounds the lake which has Mokoia Island in the middle. This island has a rich history of romance between Hinemoa and Tutanekei. Here is a LINK  telling the story of their romance.


Palmy – as the locals call it now has a population of 87,300 (last census) It is a diverse, busy vibrant place, and has some wonderful parks. In the central city, we have ‘The Square’ which though it has had problems in the past with people being attacked, is now an attractive area with walks, trees, memorials along with a pond, bridge, and ducks. I love the ducks, my kids used to love chasing them. It is lovely with its clock tower in the centre and seating for those who wish to read or eat. Many concerts and activities are also held on ‘The Square’.

We also have the Victoria Esplanade which is another part and is huge. Rose Gardens where many marriages take place, an amazing Children’s Playground for different ages. Hockey Fields, and Miniature Train and plenty of walks along with a huge field where families can gather and play games like cricket and rugby. Just along the road is the Swimming Pool. This has indoor and outdoor pools, A diving pool, areas for children and families, facilities where you can cook and share a picnic. There are even areas for adults and a huge big waterslide.


A multi-cultural experience nobody should miss. It has a population of 72,200 with about 52% who are Maori. It is a huge tourist spot with many amazing places to visit and explore. Some for FREE. Kuirau Park is wonderful. It has hot mud and water pools. Everyone is advised to stay on the paths due to the unexpected and to stay safe. The smell is obnoxious at first due to the Sulphur which fills the are. (a bit like areas of Yellowstone Park) There are steam vents as well. One of the pools you can walk across on a bridge. Something I’ve yet to do.

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You can walk the lakefront, in some areas the sand is warm, dig your feet to deep and it is hot and can burn your skin. A nice place to cook and egg. The most popular parts of the Lake Front have pathways to keep you safe and they extend to Sulphur Point which is behind the old Bath House (now a Museum sadly shut due to the earthquake in Kaikoura 3 years ago) It is here the lake water is a milky colour and the place is also a bird sanctuary.  Once again there are gardens to roam with Bowling Greens and further walks.  Some of the places to visit if you come to Rotorua are:

Redwood Forest, Buried Village, Lake Tarawera, Blue Lake, Whakarewarewa Village, Te Puia, Government Gardens, Rainbow Springs, Paradise Valley Springs (Zoo) and the Agradome. There are many more

Here is a LINK for you all to see what else is on offer.

As for the rest of New Zealand. It is stunning in its beauty. The Malborough Sounds are majestic. This is why movies are made here. Do you know which ones?

Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Last Samurai, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to name a few. Can you name any others?

To me personally, New Zealand is a younger version of Wales which is a bit more rugged with age. It still has a beauty I love, especially when you go out to the mountains. Thankfully there are no volcanos and few quakes – if any.

New Zealand moves at a slower pace, even when it’s busy. It is an expensive place to live and has recently lost its innocence with a terror attack from an Australian extremist. This has sadly caused massive changes in our country with ANZAC celebrations cancelled or drawn together due to security. Gun law changes and a change in attitude. Some good and some bad. All of us hope the positive will outway the negative as everyone pulls together to help fellow humans because this is what we are…First and foremost. HUMAN.


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He hōnore, he korōria ki te Atua
He maungārongo ki te whenua
He whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa
Hangā e te Atua he ngākau hou
Ki roto, ki tēnā, ki tēnā o mātou
Whakatōngia to wairua tapu
Hei awhina, hei tohutohu i a mātou
Hei ako hoki i ngā mahi mō tēnei rā



My friend Draggy


A Rootschat get together…wish I’d been there.

When I first started to write I was part of a group called rootschat.  This website is where folks gather to research family history and make friends with each other and this is where I met Draggy. He was one of two people who influenced my writing when I first started in 2012.  He was adorable, intelligent, knew his stuff and had a book of his own which he’d been trying to write for ten years…He scrapped it in the end much to my dismay.  I probably only have one item he wrote…It is something I will go and look for. He helped me with fight scenes and grammar along with getting the right view point. 

In my first book he became a main character…well his name did. Even with this book he helped with the history from the Regency era…in face a lot of folks from rootschat did. It is an amazing place to get information for historical books.

So why am I talking about this wonderful young man (Greg)  Well today I learnt he had passed away.  He always knew he would die young though it is still a shock to my system and I had a bit of a cry right in the middle of the pub over my lunch.

I can’t tell you how much his friendship and advice meant to me.  His sense of fun and humour and how he enetertained my eldest daughter on FB messenger with his jokes and intelligence.  It was like having a younger brother.  I will miss him terribly. In fact I have done so for nearly 18 months.  I’m not sure why, though he must have known what was going on and perhaps not wanted to upset his friends with his illness.

I will always love you Greg. You will be missed by us all. Claudia will no tresure the joke books you sent her and plans to write a poem about you and how you helped her in life.

Thank you fro being our friend until next time REST IN PEACE.

What I need to Learn

Featured Image -- 1610Book Releases are hard to do. In fact the life of an Indie Author is difficult and time-consuming learning all the different things you need. As you may see many saying – It doesn’t stop at the writing.  In fact though the writing can be hard work…It can also be the easiest part.  AFter the first draft the real work begins.

Wait I have that wrong.  The work begins before you even start writing.  After all you need to find your niche readers, the genre you wish to write, connections, email lists, websites, blogs and don’t forget social media.

Then you need a business plan.  What do you want to achieve? Are you writing for readers? For money? For fun?  It is for you to decide what your journey is going to be. Your goal, your dreams, even when they change like mine did.

I am having an amazing journey.  With each learning curve, each change, experience and connection with other authors and business all over the world.  What is my story?  Strange you should ask that.

I never knew I could write stories, it happened by accident or perhaps by chance.  Since our family first bought a computer I have researched family history. Discovering my husbands line – OMG a right lot they were… Helping others with their research and formatting family history books for clients who wished to give gifts and sell books at reunions. I loved it.  Then writing took over.  Though I still do Family Research, I don’t do as much as I used to.  

I learnt a lot about English Language and how much it has changed since I attended school. I learnt how to create the correct type of document for editors and agents. I learnt when to laugh and when to rant.  My first novel (still not published) was Historical. Of course after a friend reminded me about 1st person and 3rd person along with present and past tense, I recalled how people spoke in Regency times (to a degree), what type of words were used (I generally kept with simple English needless to say) and what type of scene they were used in.  For example at a country house there would be a Cook not a Chef. In fact Chef’s weren’t much heard of even in London Town (Ton) unless you were incredibly rich – and they were generally French.

You can see straight away I went about things the wrong way. Not that I knew any better at the time. I was after all writing for fun rather than to sell anything.  I’d been bored waiting for information to arrive for a Family History book.  Anyway I continued to write, submitted a few manuscripts, got rejected and then found out about the world of Indie Authors.  YES.  And this is where I deviate yet again…

I still wasn’t doing things in the correct order. Actually I still don’t…oops.  What happened was my next learning curve.  Formatting! Learning to produce a book which was acceptable to use on Createspace and Kindle and pass their review. I LOVE FORMATTING. What did I do next?  I opened my own Publishing Company to help others. It is a continuing story of three years of growth and learning with over 25 clients.  It has been amazing.  Though not for my own novels.

I am a prolific author.  I have about twenty-six books published which few know anything about.  Why?  Because I don’t follow the rules for success. Many are at present being updated, new titles, covers and I still don’t do anything the correct way. 

What is the correct way?

Well though I am learning and reading, I now don’t have times to help myself get noticed. I’m more likely helping another author or growing my Publishing Company.  When I do have a moment in time I will read up on marketing and getting my name out there as an author. 

What I need!

A PA – which I can’t afford

A Street Team – which I don’t have time to run

An ARC Team – to assist with getting reviews

An Editor – yeah you got it, I can’t afford one…lol

A Marketing Guru – still learning.

So It seems I will be stuck for a few more years as an Author while I grow my Business as an Indie Publisher.

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