TRAGEDY AND JOY IN SECRET DOUBLE LIFE

No Ordinary Man, by Nicky Webber; Reviewed by Kingsley Field.

Author Nicky Webber has woven an intricate and detailed picture of this extraordinary, multi-faceted man – bullied child, brave and resourceful soldier, skilled cabinet-maker, illicit lover, estranged father, secret cross-dresser. It is a novel which evokes considerable pathos and it is a story that is gently yet undeniably touching. And astoundingly, it is based on a true story, of a real, World War II New Zealand soldier who was involved in all the events Nicky Webber has meticulously accumulated from “Nina”, the niece who befriended Mick in his later years and to whom he eventually poured out his life-long secret. It’s a quite remarkable story.

Email nicky@how.co.nz if you wish to buy direct from the Author or go to Amazon.com

No Ordinary Man, by Nicky Webber; published by Media Publishers (2001) Ltd, New Zealand. Reviewed by Kingsley Field, senior journalist for Seasons Magazine. Excerpt from full book review on page 41 of July’s edition.

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Book Two In Series

I’ve been told several times that books sell better if they’re in a series. Positive reviews of the first book make it ideal for a followup in this contemporary family/romance saga. Their are a few adjustments that have to be made of course.

(1) An amended cover for, In the Deep End, which will now have Book One, added to its cover and will need to be re-uploaded.

(2) The content in the front of the book will need “Book One” included on the header pages or front matter. Similarly the blurb will need to reference that it is the first in series with Book Two (above), soon to follow.

(3) Amending the information and notifying Amazon that both these books are linked as a series. Uploading the new covers (for both books) and the new inside title page content for the first one will need to be confirmed.

(4) None of this can happen yet, of course, you’re merely getting a heads-up that a second book in this series is in the works. It’s about half finished and the feedback on the back cover blurb was gratefully received and appreciated.AND included in the draft cover design. THANKS

I’ve amended this new cover and hope it evokes the same keen interest as the first book. Please let me know what you think? The trick is in the marketing. No Kidding!! So once Book Two is completed I will be marketing Book One and referencing Book Two in ad campaigns towards the end of the year.

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TWO GREAT Book Reviews

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback I’ve been getting for my two new books – both published this year. Yesterday I received two GREAT book reviews from delighted readers.

“This book is a superb piece of work: an incredibly sensitive and perceptive insight into both the female and male emotional psyche. I read, In the Deep End, straight through – between laughter and tears. You are truly exceptional. Can’t wait for masterpiece Number Three.” Sean Lowe

“Long after you have put the book down, haunting images remain – such is the power and pull of Nicky’s words in ‘No Ordinary Man’. She has a sound grasp of her characters and the storyline of a war that impacted the entire world. What surprised me was the level of compassion and the resolution of this compelling story.”  Karen Bowller

Buy direct from the Author ($25 incl postage within NZ ) or Amazon ($39 incl postage) link below:

Click for paperback and kindle versions of Nicky Webber’s new books

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The Chemistry of Stories That Bind Us

The power of story-telling and the impact it has on our lives is undeniable. From ancient cavemen history where blood, charcoal, and ochre communicated before language was born, humans expressed their experiences in stories. Our history abounds with legends and myths, and it seems that nothing much has changed today. Instead of sitting around a campfire, we bask in the electronic glow of the internet where social media, news links, and gossip is conveyed moment by fractured moment. There is an addictive quality amongst our tribes where we hanker after news, views and more information. We only have to observe the modern obsession with Facebook, and the like, to realise the growing drug-like dependency, in online offerings to realise there’s something else at play. So, what’s going on?

What is it that holds us and keeps us glued to our devices and pulls us together and apart from others? The polarising of information is addictive, them and us, divided along political and religious lines which has become more pronounced over recent years. Rest assured, it’s not merely the stories exchanged amongst members of specific ethnic, political or religious groups. It goes a whole lot deeper.

Recent research shows that when we watch a movie, read a book or engage online with podcasts, social media or listening, our human brain lights up in the feel-good and primal areas. This response surprised and encouraged researchers to take blood tests from participants and see what chemicals the brain was unleashing on unsuspecting humans. The results were intriguing.

When people listen or read stories of any kind, including, sometimes, destructive gossip on social media, their brains release a series of feel-good hormones. Three hormones were identified; Dopamine, the hormone that gives people a sense of well-being, contentment and promotes calm acceptance, Serotonin, the anti-depressant uptake hormone often experienced after exercise, and Oxytocin, the bonding hormone that floods the bodies of mothers and babies during childbirth. This hormone is active in bonding lovers and parents to their children, and it appears, human tribes, that share the same stories too. We are, in fact, connected by our chemistry.

 It’s more than our culture and language that binds us. It is the hormones flooding our bloodstreams when we participate in collective story-telling. Let’s go back to the primitive Neanderthal times of our pre-existence. We need to be bonded, in any way possible, to ensure our tribe’s survival. Stories, legends, myths, gossip, and in more contemporary times, social media and cyberspace allow us to connect and remain addicted to the positive, feel-good hormones and stay closely connected to our cohort.

It will come as no surprise then, that humans are suffering from sleep deprivation at an alarming rate. Scientific research has confirmed that the glowing blue light from smartphones and computer devices breaks down the sleep hormone, melatonin in our brains, affecting our essential biological ability to function. After all, sleep deprivation has been a form of torture throughout centuries of historical conflict. So, the message is, break from your addiction and turn those devices off at least two hours before bedtime, to let your primitive biological human brain do what it’s supposed to, and support your ability to sleep.

Written by New Zealand author, Nicky Webber. For more information see Nicky Webber’s author page on www.nickywebber.com and https://www.facebook.com/nickywebbernz

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Just Friends or Lovers?

In the Deep End is the latest book from New Zealand Author, Nicky Webber. It’s a love story between two couples who are life-long friends and is set in both California and New Zealand. Below are a few comments from readers who took on the onerous task of assessing the book during the weeks leading up to its publication on Amazon.com

“I loved reading it! The characters are so real, I felt like I was part of their lives.” – Sue

“Addictive!” – Tina

“Intrigued me from the start and the relationship between the two couples and the close-up involvement in their emotional lives was incredible. I didn’t want it to end. – Jayne

Brand NEW contemporary family saga – the love, lives and a life-long affair between friends.

You’ll love this romance and its complicated premise with characters firmly rooted in reality. Leave fantasy fiction to the fantasists. This authentic love story exposes the sharp edge of passion and pain. Set in California, two couples travel to New Zealand and live and work between both countries adding a richness and contrast in cultures. This family saga provides the perfect backdrop for confronting ordinary life while experiencing an extraordinary relationship. The narrative delves into the main protagonist’s life and how she loves both men, two best friends. This novel takes you into the hearts and minds of these two married couples who navigate through the 21st-century convention.  Based on a true story, In the Deep End, explores the commitment of polyandry, a rare loving relationship between a woman with two or more husbands. The book uncovers what’s taken place for centuries, but has operated underground, within a secretive social layer in society. In the Deep End has a glossary at the back which references past polyandrous relationships which developed into the kernel of an idea informing the basis for this intriguing new book.

In the Deep End, explores the commitment of polyandry, a rare loving relationship between a woman with two or more husbands. The book uncovers what’s taken place for centuries, but has operated underground, within a secretive social layer in society. In the Deep End has a glossary at the back which references past polyandrous relationships which developed into the kernel of an idea informing the basis for this intriguing new book.

More information about the back-story is available on this website a or see live updates on https://www.facebook.com/nickywebbernz


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Reader’s Five-Star Reviews

I throughly enjoyed reading this amazing story. It is incredibly well researched and beautifully written.  The characterization is brilliant. No Ordinary Man describes the life and innermost thoughts and emotions of a war hero during his years of military service. I highly recommend this book. Sonja

I started this book with doubts, as it dealt with war. Then I totally got absorbed with the main character Mick and waited eagerly every day for time to read. Now that I’ve finished the book I feel so lonely, I miss them. I hope the author writes more, what a reading a pleasure. Dr A Risenberger

A powerful book.Some do it hard. This book is my first Kiwi perspective on the war, a refreshingly different view, very powerfully portrayed. Excellent. Stephen Goodreads.com

A truly remarkable story. As I read the book I was unable to put it down. Such an intriguing  story with many twists and turns. Well done. Sharron

I really enjoyed betting to know Mick. The detail in the book has been so well researched and Mick a s a person came to life for me. Bernie

It only took a few chapters for me to connect with this book. I had to keep on reading – from the brutalities of war, to the tenderness of enduring friendships and unusual alliances, this book gripped me on a number of levels.  Carmen

No Ordinary Man had me riveted from cover to cover. An amazing insight into this fascination man’s life, loves and tragedies. I was  disappointed when it finished. Marilyn

For these and other reviews see Amazon.com, Amazon.uk and Goodreads.com

See readers comments and feedback on Facebook author page: nickywebbernz

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Book Makes Case for Tolerance

Yesterday’s review of No Ordinary Man in the Tamahere Forum: http://www.tamahereforum.co.nz

Tamahere author Nicky Webber has made a strong plea for tolerance in her first book No Ordinary Man. Webber, a former journalist, tells the story of Mick Thompson, a young, World War II soldier who is forced by the times and intolerance to hide his true nature. A brave soldier who fought in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Italy and gained the rank of Sargent, Thompson was also a cross dresser.

A chance conversation led Webber to the story and a meeting with Thompson’s niece. In a few weeks she had old documents, photos, news clippings and his tattered diary.

“It took two years of historical research and many discussions with his niece to pull the story together,” says Webber.

“Apart from getting the facts straight there was the dramatisation of Mick’s life as seen through his eyes, building the character and his relationships. It was tough going living in the head of a 20 year old ANZAC soldier in the Western Desert war!”

Read More in the popular Tamahere Forum online: https://www.tamahereforum.co.nz/2019/04/22/book-makes-case-for-tolerance/

Egyptian Desert where No Ordinary Man is set for part of the story
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NEW eBook Release! In the Deep End

Pre-order your new kindle eBook before it’s release on Amazon on April 30th. The contemporary fiction paperback will arrive soon.

This bold new novel examines the complexities of marriage and the love bonds that hold us and sometimes kill us. It explores the irrationalities of human nature with a riveting narrative that challenges social convention. This moving family saga contradicts moral stereotypes, defying love-bonds that should last a lifetime.

Set in California, two couples are lifelong friends struggling with the sudden death of Mila Jones, leaving her husband, Alex, alone with his best friends, Fred, and Amira Davis. This contemporary romance uses humor and poignancy to investigate their forbidden love. They travel between New Zealand and America delivering a vibrant backdrop for what seems like ordinary domestic life, while experiencing an extraordinary love affair, often captured in private emails exchanged between the main protagonists.
 
These well-crafted personalities buck social norms as they navigate their way through an emotional tempest that threatens to rupture them apart.

Only $3.99 for the eBook which downloads to various electronic devices including your mob phone. Get the FREE Amazon kindle App from your app store so you can read it on your laptop, tablet or phone anywhere, anytime.

Those who prefer paper will enjoy the new paperback due to be released by April 30th. Will keep you posted. Please share. THANKS

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ANZAC With A Difference

Celebrating our our hard won democratic freedoms

Somehow, with recent acts of violence, our thoughts go to the soldiers who lost their lives during world wars fought for our freedom and democratic rights.

There are only two weeks until our Annual national ANZAC DAY commemoration on April 25th. It is an event that unifies us all. Will it be different this year, our hearts and minds seared by new fear and anguish at the new way wars are fought? With the country on high alert, all public gatherings, some now consolidated, require heightened police presence.

Somehow, with recent acts of violence, our thoughts go to the soldiers who lost their lives during world wars fought for our freedom and democratic rights. Our recent terrorist experience has raised awareness about violence and how prepared are we for a modern ‘war on terrorism?’

Initially, it was heartening to read the outpouring of compassion and respect for everyone from all New Zealander’s in a catchall phrase, “we are one.” But over recent weeks trawling through social media, I have been astounded at the deep-seated racism very close to the surface of our social fabric. I hope these so-called ‘concerned citizens’ will pause to consider the massive sacrifice New Zealand has undertaken to secure our freedoms and rights to live and practice our beliefs, opinions and religious associations.

WWII was the most prolonged and most critical land campaign ever fought by New Zealand forces. During 1941 to 1943 about 14,000 kiwis were killed, wounded or became prisoners of war. The war continued for a further two years until liberation staggered across a broken Europe towards the end of 1945.

Back in 1939, New Zealand’s population was a mere 1.7 million people. As we tend to do, Kiwi’s punch above their reputation for courage, bolstered by the heroic efforts of the Maori Battalion and all the ANZAC soldiers who put in a massive effort to win what was to become a World War. About 140,000 Kiwi’s served overseas in WWII. Those who gave their lives in the long five-year battle throughout Europe, the Pacific and North Africa amounted to 12,000 deaths. On a per capita basis, this was the highest loss of life by any single country in the commonwealth.

Apart from the heavy personal losses to friends and families back home in New Zealand, there was also the financial burden. New Zealand spent £574 million on the war, money our small country could ill afford. Taxes contributed 43% while 41% came from loans and 16% from America.

As a unified country, our sacrifice for a war in the northern hemisphere was significant. A sacrifice for democratic rights and freedom of RESPONSIBLE speech give us pause to consider what this means. This is especially so when thinking about the ANZAC price our country paid to encourage positive, unified appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy today. New Zealand is a relative paradise where expression of opinion is everyone’s right. But remembering the other ‘Right’ about treating fellow Kiwi’s of all persuasions in a Right way, with respect and consideration is another way to reduce hate speech and dissent. Considerable verbiage is communicated in cyberspace that could easily explode in our backyard, fermenting extremist responses. Be compassionate, thinking Kiwis. Love one another and work towards unity, not racist segregation. Having lived in South Africa for 20 years, I know that never works! My hope on this national unifying ANZAC Day is that we all consider the way we express ourselves in the big wide, world. Make it positive.

Nicky Webber is the author of No Ordinary Man, a unique true story about an ANZAC soldier’s secret double-life.

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Wrestling with Words

  • Most of the comments, edits and changes have been handed back to me for my new contemporary romance, In the Deep End. I’m now in the highly technical phase of ‘turd polishing‘ as it’s officially known in the publishing industry. The BIG question is; How perfect and shiny can I get my second book before it hits the shelves?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s Autumn and I set myself an April deadline to get ‘In the Deep End‘ published. I can still get there but now in the cold light of early April, I can see there’s going to be a lot more spit ‘n polish required than first anticipated. Ahhhh yes those heady salad days of summer when it all looked perfect. UNTIL, on closer inspection, several chapters needed rewriting, some of the story line had veered off the tracks, taking the plot into hell and back. I’ve also had to cull segments of useless prose and rebuild that abomination into something magical. Sweat mixed with sleepless nights and aching finger tips connected to hunched shoulders. I mean, what am I doing writing this? There’s much more work to do!

Of course, reality dictates that a turd can only be polished so much and I need to release my imaginary written world to the cut and thrust of public opinion. I still face the purgatory influences of wayward typesetting and formatting. A simple example, look back at the top of this article. See that indented dot outside the margin to the left of the first word? Standing their bold and defiant. What the hell? Even here the vagaries of body text and spell checking haunt me.

Anyway, deep slow breathing and grim determination will lead me away from temptation to check social media, go for a walk, pat the dogs or silently dream as the receding summer sun disappears for the new season to take a grip on my April deadline!!! No Pressure … NOT Much!!!

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Extraordinary Secret Double-Life

Published in New Zealand Today:

New Zealand Today Blogs & Articles from around Aotearoa

If you think everything’s already been written about WWII, think again. Nicky Webber’s new book, No Ordinary Man, has a whole new take on this Kiwi soldier’s life. This former journalist has developed a unique narrative about this ANZAC soldier fighting in the trenches during the Western Desert War. This true- story skillfully combines her creative talents with historical facts and sheds an intriguing light on this unusual character.

To the outside world, Mick Thompson seems like any other young soldier heading off to WWII in 1941. As the war is nearing its zenith, Europe and America throw all their resources at the expanding Nazi terror. But Mick hides a profound secret which he tries to repress as the war expands across Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and into Italy.

Most would say he’s just an ordinary trooper surviving in cramped trenches, where Nazi enemy forces relentlessly pound him day and night. In these circumstances, most of us would revert to jibbering, depressives. Instead, Mick creates an alter-ego that goes well beyond his wildest imaginings. This fabrication is so addictive, Mick continues to maintain the identity swap after his return to New Zealand in 1945. He soon develops a love for his neighbour’s wife, forming the emotional crucible of his real-life story.

Can this war hero maintain the fiction of his restricted reality? Will his affair blow his cover and confidence? Mick’s secret obsession is just one of his many aspects explored in this complex character. This clever narrative examines the emotional and psychological roller coaster of war, love, and sex with humor and insight across the backdrop of the world at war.

“I’m no historian, so the book is written as seen through the eyes of Mick’s real-life personality, with hours of collaboration with his niece, diary notes, a few photographs and lots of historical research to match his movements to facts,” explains Nicky. “This is why it took more than two years to write this intriguing story.”

Find out more and see 5-Star reviews on Goodreads.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43679767-no-ordinary-man

The Kindle/eBook and paperback versions of, No Ordinary Man, are available on Amazon-worldwide.

Follow the author, Nicky Webber on:

https://www.facebook.com/nickywebbernz or WordPress – nickywebber.com

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WIN a FREE copy of No Ordinary Man

BE IN TO WIN A FREE COPY of No Ordinary Man delivered to you anywhere in NZ. See video for details. Be quick! It closes on April 1st and winners will be notified later that day. PLEASE Share. THANKS

Just send an email to me nicky@how.co.nz with the word YES to be in the draw to win one of these three free copies of my new book. The draw will take place on 1st April, 2019, so make sure you contact me to be in with a chance. The winners will get their book delivered to them free anywhere in New Zealand.

Please be assured that my email is secure and your emails address will not be used by another other parties, businesses or individuals. I keep all my readers emails strictly private and secure with Bitdefender security software.

So you have less than a week to email me the word “yes” to be placed in the draw for your FREE book! Best of Luck! See my video about this on Fbk nickywebbernz or watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/17VnZEeqQPU

If you want to participate in the DRAW and live overseas please include which city and country you live in, so I can contact you with freight charges. The book and packaging will be FREE, of course, but you will need to pay for postage (estimated $USA10.00) Thanks.

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Check Out What Readers are Saying?

Five Star Reviews on all the key platforms for this New Book – No Ordinary Man

Befriending a literary character

February 23, 2019

Dr A Risenberger  Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

I started this book with doubts, as it dealt with war. Then I totally got absorbed with the main character Mick, and waited eagerly every day for the time to read. During the days I hurried things through as I wanted to get back to Mick-and-Moira.
Now that I finished the book, I feel so lonely, I miss them. I hope that the author writes more, what a reading pleasure.

FROM AMAZON. UK

February 18, 2019

Sonja Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase Fascinating true story 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this amazing story. It is incredibly well researched and beautifully written. The characterisation is brilliant. No Ordinary Man describes the life and innermost thoughts and emotions of a war hero during his years in military service and how it affected his life after the war. It captures the atmosphere and situations he was in so that I had a picture in my mind throughout and felt I knew the characters. It describes the life of a cross dresser with great sensitivity without sensationalism. I highly recommend this book; it has a fascinating story and makes you appreciate what the young men went through to keep our country safe.

February 26, 2019

Berni reviewed No Ordinary Man and Rated

A great read and a hugely successful first novel. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Mick. His struggle with cross dressing probably had a greater negative impact on his life than the war did. The detail in the book has been so well researched and Mick as a person came to life for me. What a great first book.

From Goodreads.com

18 February,2019

Carmen Sharrock rated

No Ordinary Man was a book outside my usual reading genre. Despite this, it only took a few chapters for me to drop into the zone of investiture. And I had to keep on reading … from the brutalities of war, to the tenderness of enduring friendships and unusual alliances, this book gripped me on a number of levels. It ushered me alongside the life of this ordinary, yet (yes) extraordinary man who exited the last page with that ‘twist’ that all good ending novels should provide. Thank you Nicky Webber!

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Where did the idea come from?

Many readers have asked me where did the story originate? By chance, I had moved house and was invited by a group of neighbours, none of them I knew, to have lunch. During the lunch I overheard one of them talking to another about her Uncle Mick and his unusual secretive double-life. Also about him being a WWII ANZAC soldier in Egypt, during the Western Desert War. I arranged to have coffee with her and within a few weeks had a bag of old documents, photos, news clippings and one tattered diary.

After interviewing Mick’s niece and reading through the info, my journalistic instincts told me this was a true-story worth telling. She had approached two other journalists over the years since Mick’s death but neither proved interested. But I saw, as a fictionalised narrative based on historical facts, this story was intriguing and would have broad appeal to readers everywhere.

It took two years of historical research and many discussions with his niece to pull the story together. Apart from getting the facts straight there was the dramatisation of the Mick’s life as seen through his eyes, building the character and his relationships. It was tough going living in the head of a 20 year old ANZAC soldier in the Western Desert War!! But I was able to create an intriguing story that would fascinate readers. And so on 26th January, 2019 No Ordinary Man was born on Amazon.

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READ 5 Chapters for FREE

Check out the 5-Star reviews for No Ordinary Man, on Good reads and Amazon. You can read up to five chapters for FREE.😍

This is an intriguing WWII true story about an ANZAC soldier’s secret double-life, which he maintained while fighting in the trenches during the Western Desert War, and after he returned home to his girlfriend. This historical romance will have you hooked from the start with this original love story and insight into Mick Thompson’s secret obsession.

Look inside this new release – try before you buy!

Follow the Author Nicky Webber on her WordPress Blog http://www.nickywebber.com and on her author page on Facebook, search nickywebbernz to read more information and the back story to this fascinating book. Be the first to hear about promos and freebies by following.

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TRAGEDY AND JOY IN SECRET DOUBLE LIFE

“Author Nicky Webber has woven an intricate and detailed picture of this extraordinary, multi-faceted man – bullied child, brave and resourceful soldier, skilled cabinet-maker, illicit lover, estranged father, secret cross-dresser. It is a novel which evokes considerable pathos and it is a story that is gently yet undeniably touching. And astoundingly, it is based on a true story, of a real, World War II New Zealand soldier who was involved in all the events Nicky Webber has meticulously accumulated from “Nina”, the niece who befriended Mick in his later years and to whom he eventually poured out his life-long secret. It’s a quite remarkable story.”

No Ordinary Man, by Nicky Webber; Reviewed by Kingsley Field, journalist for Seasons Magazine. Excerpt from full book review on page 41 of July’s edition.

Nicky Webber at Inspirit Art Gallery in Tamahere, Cambridge

The books are available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats and also direct from the Author. Contact nicky@how.co.nz

I’m about half way through drafting my third book. It’s called;

Ripple Effect

Cleverly deceptive like the truth it protects

It continues with the recently published, contemporary fiction book, In the Deep End, which will become Book One (slight cover change!)

I have drafted up the blurb for the back of this new book and want to make sure it resonates with you. It’s only a few short paragraphs. Are you able to read it and suggest any amendments or edits please? I already have a good proof reader lined up to check ALL the Content! But I’d like your opinion and suggestions first.

This is a mock up of the Ripple Effect Cover as part In the Deep End series.

The Ripple Effect is the second book in the Deep End series. This captivating family saga continues with Hawke, exploring his love relationships with family and friends.

This romantic suspense deepens when he and Sacha decide to return to Los Angeles after a year in New Zealand. Their affair sets up a chain reaction that threatens their bond and exposes the family’s darkest secrets. Was it a mistake to include Fred in Hawke’s fraudulent plan and will Amira tolerate the level of deceit they all share in maintaining appearances?

The fine line between them defines the emergence and reversals of this delicate tale with unexpected love and loss exposed in this intriguing narrative. The cleverly drawn characters could comfortably live next door, as they bring you into their private real-life struggle to resolve the emotional web they have woven. This fast-paced story is unstoppable as the plot twists and turns, making for an unforgettable study in the complexities of modern relationships.

Read, In The Deep End, Book One, in this series to maximise your enjoyment of this fascinating contemporary novel.

No Ordinary Book Give Away

Article from Cambridge News: Local author Nicky Webber was amongst the many Cambridge residents paying their respects during the Anzac remembrance service at the Cambridge Town Hall last week.

The Tamahere resident is now a published author, with her latest book No Ordinary Man out in January. Cambridge News has two signed copies of the book to give away.

It details the life of no ordinary man in the Anzac core, one which lived a secret double life both during World War 2 and afterwards.

“It’s an intriguing, fascinating, interesting story,” said Nicky, who spent two years writing the book. “The story is really about acceptance of people that are different.

“I want the reader when they start reading it to see that he’s a great guy, he’s a hero, and then very slowly, you see hints as the story develops, that he’s living this secret life.

“Some people think its just another Anzac story, but then when they read it they can’t put it down.”

Having grown up with parents who survived World War 2 as children in Europe, as well as having veterans in the family, Nicky grew up hearing quite a few war stories.

But in this war story, she had to change the main character’s name, and a few crucial details to keep his identity a secret. His own daughter doesn’t know his true “self”, Nicky learned the story from his niece, as well as his own scribbled notes, to piece together what she calls a well-researched “creative non-fiction” piece.

“It’s a fascinating story,” said Nicky, adding that she felt the pressure to get it right.

“I think now is the best time to share his story, no publisher would have touched it decades ago,” she said. “It probably would have been banned!”

To win a signed copy of No Ordinary Man, send your full name and contact number to: sophie@cambridgenews.nz no later than 9am, Tuesday May 7.

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