Young Adult

URSA cover small 


Walker Books, 2019

Books are burning. People disappear in the night. Cerel men are kept in ‘wild camps’. Cerel women are no longer allowed to have babies. There are two peoples living in the city of Ursa: the Cerels and the Travesters. The Director presides over the city and governs with an iron fist. Travesters rule. They eat well, travel freely in airships, and enjoy a fine quality of life.

Fifteen-year-old Leho can't remember a time when Cerels lived without fear in Ursa. His parents once tried to organise an uprising. His mother was blinded. His father was sent to one of the wild camps. Leho lives in the Cerel district with his family. His world is changing. Older sister Marina is illegally pregnant, and hopes to escape the city. His beloved brother Jorzy is planning to overthrow the Director. When the Director issues a bulletin offering Cerels the 'opportunity' of going to live in the Caucasas region, it sounds too good to be true.

The House of Law will burn. People will die. Will Leho be man enough to save his family?

Ursa is a finalist in the 2020 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. You can read an interview here.

MAHF cover 

Make a Hard Fist

OneTree House, 2017

Lizzie Quinn thinks she's so tough. But when she's attacked in her local park one afternoon, she realises just how vulnerable she is. She goes back to school with a battered face, having to put up with the stares and gossip. It doesn't help that somebody is sending her anonymous letters. Maybe it's Josh, who she broke up with a few weeks back. Or maybe it's somebody she doesn't even know.

Set in multicultural Auckland. Available for sale here.



About Griffen's Heart

Longacre Press, 2009

James Griffen is not the bravest guy around. That's not surprising – he's on the waiting list for open heart surgery, and scared witless. Mostly he putters about on his Vespa and hangs out at the local video shop. His rebel brother Ryan, whose motto is never going to be 'safety first', needs some sorting out, but James can't get that right either. Then James meets the gorgeous Roxy and all caution goes to the wind – in spite of the thrashing of his heart.

A 2010 Storylines Notable Book, and a finalist for the LIANZA 2010 Children's Book Awards.

Teachers' notes available in pdf form here.

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Literary Novels

Eph cover 


Cloud Ink Press, 2020

Several years after a global meltdown, New Zealand, along with the rest of the world, is still in chaos. No electricity, no broadband, and people are in survival mode – at least until somebody turns the lights on again.

Ruth has always led a sheltered life. Pre-Crash, she worked as an Ephemera Librarian, now she is managing a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle. But her sister is dying from tuberculosis and her love for Juliana propels Ruth to undertake a perilous journey.

She intrepidly sets off from Auckland to find the man known as Nelson and his rumoured stockpile of pharmaceutical drugs. Word has it he is based at the old Huka Lodge. Along with the handsome Lance Hinckley and enigmatic Adebowale Ackers, Ruth travels by steamboat up the Waikato River – the only practical way. The group journeys through settlements that have sprung up along the river as people try to re-establish their lives in this precarious time. With society itself broken, will Ruth manage to keep her commitment to her sister without compromising her own values?

Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, this post-apocalyptic, partly comedic novel reveals that things are not always what they seem.

You can view an extract here which has been published on Newsroom. The ebook version is available from Amazon.

childrens pond small shadow

The Children's Pond

Pointer Press Ltd, 2014

Jessica Pollard has moved to Turangi to be near her son Reuben who is in prison there. While working at a trout-fishing lodge on the Tongariro River, Jessica slips into a relationship with a handsome, charming Maori lawyer. When the body of his troubled niece Chantelle is found in the Children's Pond, Jessica's own past as a teenager in prison comes back to haunt her. What really happened to her all those years ago? And what is the connection with Chantelle's death?

Tina Shaw's sixth novel is a compelling collision between the past and the present. Available in print from New Zealand bookshops, and as an ebook from and Amazon. For the RNZ interview, visit this link. RNZ book review, 4 August 2014 here

black madonna

The Black Madonna

Penguin Books, 2005

It is 1935, and Hitler is planning his Olympics when Luise Joeck moves to Berlin. Recently divorced and grieving her lost dream of being the perfect wife and mother, Luise leads a quiet and lonely life. A decision to carve a Madonna in her apartment soon attracts the suspicions of the sinister landlord.

A chance meeting with Jimmy Wango, a black American wrestler, brings unexpected happiness and love into Luise's life and they plan a future together. But Hitler's Germany is not hospitable to inter-racial couples and Luise suddenly understands the dark forces that are working against her; she knows she must leave Germany.

But the Madonna remains behind and begins a journey of its own, destined to heal and unite.

The Black Madonna is now available in ebook format from

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Penguin Books, 2002

Claudia Vogel lives and works in a perfect world. Paradise, the tropical resort she manages, is a high-tech heaven where everything, even the sunshine, is regulated. Owned by mysterious billionaire, Pasqua, the resort is a holidaymaker's dream.

There is, however, a large snake loose on the premises. Claudia's estranged and quixotic husband, Tony, has seen it. Or perhaps he is just being malicious. It is Claudia, after all, who has insisted on a separation, for reasons that are unclear even to herself. She is still haunted by her experiences as a hostage; the troubling, jungle-clad island of Jolo occupies most of her waking hours and all of her dreams.

Paradise is the story of what happened on Jolo, the ripple effects of terrorism on Claudia and the people who love her, and the elusive search for utopia.

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city of reeds

City of Reeds

Penguin Books, 2000

They are the Purefoy girls, three sisters who grew up safely in small-town New Zealand and then leave. Beth travels impulsively to Afghanistan; Clare becomes a doctor and goes to San Francisco; only Louise stays home – and makes money.

Living safely can have hidden hazards. Clare comes home, running away from the dangers of a disastrous affair and immediately falls in love again. Louise walks a fragile line between conventional life and the need to take risks, often of a sexual nature. Memories of violence stalk Bethie.

As they sift through childhood memories each sister realised that certain events have damaged them all. Will the Purefoy girls survive? A story about love, loss and reconciliation.

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dreams of america

Dreams of America

David Ling Publishing, 1997

Girly Moran dreams of riding in the great circuses of the world. Angelo Delgardo dreams of crossing the Niagara Falls by tightrope, just as his hero Blondin once did. Sly McGee wants to be Gene Autry.

It is New Zealand, 1953. Hanging is still in force and it is illegal to wear a mask in public. In Auckland, the first Easter Show is held, mostly in the rain. Angelo and Sly are the Fabulous Funambulists, and Girly, disguised as a boy, rides the motorcycle Wall of Death.

It is Girly who provides the catalyst for Angelo and Sly to perhaps realise their dreams, but casting a shadow over them all is Madame Soukowsky, a mafia-like show figure whose reputation goes back to Blackpool of the 1930s.

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David Ling Publishing, 1996

Monagh, at sixteen, ran away from the family orchard with barely a word to Barry, her uncle and guardian. Seven years later she returns, but slips away agsin the next morning, leaving her baby when she goes. Barry, wrapped up in his trees and dreams for a greener future, struggles up to the city with baby in tow to find her.

There are too many unresolved questions: what has Monagh been doing for the last seven years? Why did she leave so suddenly the first time? And, what Barry he supposed to do with the baby? He needs some answers, but the main question soon becomes: Where is Monagh?

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myth of 21st century

Myth of the 21st Century – an anthology of new fiction

Edited by Tina Shaw and Jack Ross
Reed Books, 2006

What kinds of stories will we be telling in the 21st century? In this book, fourteen New Zealand writers explore what myth mean to them. The diverse stories they have contributed range from post-apocalyptic visions to teasing versions of familiar fables, from loose retellings of known myths to completely invented narratives.

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passion for travel

A Passion for Travel – New Zealand writers and their adventures overseas

Tandem Press, 1998

“Somehow, and in spite of ourselves, we fall across seas, continents, into each other's arms, surprised at first, then kind of liking the way the foreign bits come round to our touch.”
- Lloyd Jones.

This anthology of travel essays from twelve of New Zealand's best-known writers documents a wide range of personal experiences.

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Bateman New Zealand Writer's Handbook 7th Edition

Bateman Books, 2023

Ten years on, the Handbook has been revised and updated for New Zealand writers. A recommended text for writing courses around the country, the Handbook features advice on a myriad of useful subjects to do with writing and listings of magazines, newspapers and publishers. Also available as an ebook.


Writers Handbook

Bateman New Zealand Writer's Handbook 6th Edition

David Bateman, 2013

This classic guide for writers has been revised and updated to bring it right up to the present day. A recommended text for writing courses around the country, the Handbook offers advice on a myriad of useful subjects to do with writing. Also available as an ebook.


Winning Spirit - Sheila Laxon

Penguin Books, 2002

The day New Zealand mare Ethereal rounded the home turn and accelerated away from the field to win the 3.6 million dollar Melbourne Cup, Sheila Laxon became part of horse-racing history. The first female trainer ever to win the prestigious cup, Laxon was thrust into the spotlight. Sheila Laxon has always been passionate about horses. By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of being able to earn a living from horses. A series of adventures led her to New Zealand, right into the heart of the racing and breeding industry in Cambridge. In Winning Spirit Laxon talks about the important influences that have shaped her life and career, and given her the determination to succeed against difficult odds.

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