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The sharpened blade of the chisel glistened in the early morning sun. Beside it, the ceremonial mallet and the decorative glass jars filled with ink. Aroha watched the women lay the brutal weapons out on the flax-covered table. She heard them joke about ‘instruments of torture.’ How could they laugh about something so horrid?
The boys stood in line on the dais in front of the marae, their bodies shaking. Aroha shielded her eyes. She’d witnessed the savage ritual many times before. It hurt as much today as it had the first time her father, Tautaru, made her sit through the ordeal.
‘Take your hands away from your eyes,’ Tautaru said. ‘You’re the Gang President’s daughter. You’re ten years old. Act your age. Blood and Ink. They are sacred to this Gang.’

Gang Girl Chapter One





GANG GIRL

Gisborne, New Zealand, 1970. Born into the Gang, Aroha longs to escape the misery of her childhood. The only child of a notorious mob leader, her upbringing is harsh. Her father’s protection rackets have decimated the impoverished communities throughout the East Cape.

Aroha seeks refuge at the nearby Rere waterfalls, where she plays with her cousin Hunapo, whose rascally nature conceals his equally brutal childhood. A bitter feud between their parents drives their friendship underground, and they bond as ‘blood cousins’ in a secret ceremony.

The women see the clandestine relationship as a means to unite the divided Gang and contrive an arranged marriage between the cousins.

Later, in her early 20s, a chance meeting with a hotshot business executive promises Aroha a new life away from the mob. But can her dream survive Gang retaliation? Now a hardened gangster, Hunapo threatens to kill her if she marries someone else.


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The Gang stole her childhood. She won’t let them claim the rest of her life.

















THE ROAD TO MADHAPUR

Yawn, bloody yawn. Not another endless lecture on pulmonary tuberculosis. I wanted to scream as slide after slide of diseased lungs flashed up on the screen. Thanks to modern antibiotics, tuberculosis was virtually eradicated. What the hell had this to do with the challenges we would face in the outside world?

The Road to Madhapur Chapter One


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Idealistic New Zealand medical student Theodore Malone wants to change the world, not listen to aged professors talking about extinct diseases.

Shortly after qualifying, Theo is in trouble for exporting medicines to the community in Uganda where he did a student elective. Disillusioned after a brush with the medical council, he signs up for voluntary work overseas and heads off to Madhapur.

In Queensland Australia, teenager Elisha is shattered when her missionary father decides to take the whole family on his next campaign in India. Even worse, he expects her to teach at the Sunday school at the mission church.

When Elisha’s mother, a nurse at the mission hospital, becomes sick after a needle stick injury, Theo arrives with a suitcase full of life-saving drugs. Elisha and Theo work together, improving sanitation and eradicating many of the infectious diseases that ravage the community.

Tension grows as Hindu militants resent the intrusion of white Christians in their territory, resulting in a tragedy that threatens to tear Theo and Elisha’s lives apart.


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THREEPENCE ON THE CARPET

























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Thomas’s Te Whari is 20. He’s a New Zealander on his overseas experience in the United Kingdom. Tom’s passion is music, but he’s working as a banker in the City of London in the early 1960s.

While performing at a gig, he meets Zoe, who’s into flower power and ban the bomb. Tom embraces the hippy movement and writes protest songs for their marches on the Aldermaston atomic weapons base.

When Zoe falls pregnant with Theo’s child, she’s determined to have an abortion. They argue and eventually split up. After losing his job at the bank, he returns to New Zealand penniless.

Tom’s life is in terminal decline. Kiwis are more interested in rugby than folk music and his attempts to reinvent himself as a singer are disastrous. He doesn’t think much of it when a distant uncle leaves him some old puppets in a battered box. What use are they?

An old mate persuades Tom they can do a double act and the two of them set off for England, where they embark on a new venture, entertaining children at the seaside.


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Somewhere on the English coast, you’ll find two wandering souls
Carrying an old accordion and a carpet in a roll
Some puppets in a battered box and the clothes upon their backs
The music man and his only friend tread the costal tracks

His eyes have seen the good times, now they gaze upon the bad
Once top hotels now damp and dismal rooms
He stares across the empty beach and the rolling waves below
But all he sees is an old brown rug
An accordion case and an old tin mug
And a fading picture of a girl he used to know


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Now and then, long their way, a seaside town they reach
And spread the well worn carpet out upon the beach
The music man on his accordion makes his fingers prance
While his companion leads the puppets in a merry little dance
As the children gather round him and he hears them clap and cheer
Sorrow fills the music man as he sheds a little tear
He remembers sold out concert tours, the money he had made
He remembers when she left him, how it all began to fade


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Too soon the dance is over and the children drift away
They each leave threepence on the rug, the entertainer’s pay


















GANG BLOOD

YOUNG BLOOD

Will Aroha ever be free? Or will her son Arapeta be yet another victim of the Gang? Will Hunapo ever make good? And will the tyranny of the Gang ever end?

Aroha’s journey continues in these two companion novels,
Gang Blood and Young Blood. Torn by a vendetta between Arapeta and Hunapo’s son Koriata and a dark secret from her past, the next chapter in her life promises to be as turbulent as the last.

The story reaches its conclusion when the young generation inspire the community to rebel against the Gang. Will Aroha’s dream of an end to Gang oppression finally be realised?


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