Amanda Giorgis

Guy Pender


In between all that baking, tackling the joys of sourdough, knitting socks, spending hours socialising with friends online and watching the daily bulletins on TV, I have been busy in my socially-distanced bubble writing the third book in The Applecross Saga. It is not quite ready for release yet, but I thought I would share a cover picture to get your taste buds tickled.

If you have read Book 2, Shepherd’s Delight, then you will have met the lovely Guy Pender, who took that photograph of Friday. Now, Guy Pender has his own story to tell in the third book. We are transported to Switzerland in 1867, where Guy finds love at last. But don’t panic, we get back to our friends in the Mackenzie Basin at the end of this book, and there will be more tales of James and Sophia and their family and friends coming soon to Book 4.

Escape from your bubble with an e-book!

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Escape from your lockdown bubble with an e-book!

Without the usual outlets for our books and with limited opportunities for marketing, the New Zealand Society of Authors has provided members with a platform to hold a virtual book reading called ‘NZ Writers Read’.

Here’s my entry, filmed on a sunny afternoon on the Canterbury Plains – you may even hear birds tweeting and the brook burbling in the background!

NZ Writers Read – Amanda Giorgis reads from ‘The Wideawake Hat’

I opened a book…..

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Nothing to do with anything but……

Adverts on New Zealand TV are sometimes better than the programmes they interrupt.  And there have been some real crackers over the years, like the ‘bugger dog’ ad and the Mitre10 boys in the playground.

So, for no good reason, other than the teddy being exactly like my husband’s childhood teddy, I give you the latest ad from InterCity Coaches


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Marytown Messenger, the first edition

Newspapers were very popular in New Zealand in the late 1800s.  It was a way to keep up to date with news from the homelands (albeit 3 months old by the time it reached our shores), and for more local information and advertising to be distributed to remote parts of the country. To start with, articles were just set into type in the order they were received, so you may find adverts next to death notices next to news from Britain!

Printing was a fairly easy, if laborious task, and if no printing press was available, a laundry mangle did the trick! Most communities had their own local ‘rag’, and some towns, like Nelson, had several competing with each other. The new daily papers like the Otago Daily Times which were printed in the main cities also produced a weekly summary that could be transported into the ‘back blocks’.

Marytown would likely have had some kind of broadsheet almost as soon as it became a community, and you would expect it to be Betsy Franks who produced it. After all, she had her finger on the pulse of the community as people called into her little village store each day.

So here is the first edition of the Marytown Messenger. I hope it gives you a taste of life in our small fictional community in the early 1850s, but if you would like to find out more, you can buy my books here