Brushstrokes of Memory by Karen McMillan
Brand: McKenzie Publishing
Product Code: 9780473374358
A novel of love, lost memories and rediscovering dreams.
On her thirty-second birthday, Rebecca is in high spirits. She adores her husband of seven years, Daniel, a successful musician. She is carving out a reputation as a talented painter. Life could not be better. But in 2013, she wakes in hospital after a head injury and finds out that nearly a decade of her life has been erased from her memory. Now almost forty-two, she can’t remember anything after her thirty-second birthday, a decade fraught with changes she would never have anticipated – illness, infidelity, betrayal, separation and death – and the disintegration of many of her dreams.
Feeling like she is still thirty-two, Rebecca has to grapple with suddenly being so much older and with a world that is more complicated than she remembers. As she learns about her life from the last decade, she comes to realise she has lost her way. But if she can’t remember anything of nearly ten years, then could this be the chance for her to wipe the slate clean and start again?
Praise for Brushstrokes of Memory:
‘A husband, a wife. Two dreadful secrets and a decade of lost memories… Brushstrokes of Memory is a beautifully crafted love story, written from the heart.’ Megan McChesney, books editor, NEXT Magazine
'In Brushstrokes of Memory Karen McMillan has written a very tender love story - not the typical tale of a young couple falling head over heels – but of a woman remembering herself – her mistakes, her grief and her courage. This is a story of a woman choosing the best version of herself and falling in love with her life. Which is ultimately what all of us are truly seeking.' Hannah Tunnicliffe, author of A French Wedding
'Narrated by Rebecca, Daniel and Julie, the story unfolds cleverly with a great blend of tension, love and laughter.' Linda Hall, Hawkes Bay Today
'The three main characters in this story, Rebecca, her best friend Julie and husband Daniel are well drawn...As the story progresses there are many twist and turns in the plot and the tension keeps building. It is certainly a love story with a difference!' Lyn Potter, www.grownups.co.nz
'It’s an enticing scenario, and one that had me more than willing to read on. The narration switches chapter by chapter, so the viewpoints of each of the three are revealed. Rebecca’s current thoughts are supported by entries from a diary she kept during a key time in her comparatively recent past. The characters are very real – each one having her or his own voice... This is a story that is bound to stay in a reader’s own memory as each one of us must wonder how we would cope under similar circumstances.' Norma D Plum, Flaxflower
'Readers and reviewers alike were in agreement with Karen McMillan's The Paris of the East and The Paris of the West. Both were winners. With Karen's new novel Brushstrokes of Memory we are again treated to a fine story with angst and heartache, love and dream fulfillment.' Terry Toner, Radio Southland
'Like McMillan’s previous works of fiction, notably The Paris of the East and its sequel, Brushstrokes of Memory has a specific thematic preoccupation: love, hope, redemption, relief from pain...'McMillan’s down-to-earth warmth makes following Rebecca’s story a safe experience for readers who prefer not to end in tears.' Stephanie Jones, Coast FM
From the Blitz to the Burmese Jungle and Beyond by Karen McMillan
Brand: McKenzie Publishing
Product Code: 9780473374310
One man’s memoir of World War II, which took him from the Blitz to the jungles of Burma, to the devastation of Hiroshima. New Zealander Brian Hennessy’s story is published for the first time.
‘I consider myself lucky to have survived the global carnage still myself – a reluctant soldier who had to go to war, who only ever wanted peace for everyone.’ Brian Hennessy
Born in Germany to English parents, Brian Hennessy came from a family who served in the army. He was seventeen years old and living in London when war broke out. He experienced the Blitz first-hand as his role as a volunteer ‘roof-spotter’, trying to establish if the planes flying over were German or English. Brian joined the British Army and upon graduating, he became the youngest armament artificer. What follows is a true adventure story as Brian journeys via South Africa to India and the remote jungles of Burma. Danger was always present, but this is a memoir that reveals Brian’s love of nature and his interactions with the local people – stories that are sometimes humorous, at other times poignant. At the end of the war, he took advantage of the chaos at the time, and he boarded a ship and went to Japan. There he saw first-hand the devastation at Hiroshima.
Brian immigrated to New Zealand after the war and lived there until his death aged ninety-two, but he never forgot his extraordinary war adventures. This is his story, published for the first time.
'I found New Zealander Brian Hennessy's World War Two memoir a fascinating read, humorous and poignant in parts...Choosing established author Karen McKenzie to ghost write his memoir considerably contributed to its quality. It is at treasure for his family and generations to come as well as a fascinating read for a wider audience.' Lyn Potter, Grownups.
The Paris of the East by Karen McMillan
Brand: McKenzie Publishing
Product Code: 9780473270070
A sweeping epic of love and war, courage and survival, sacrifice and loss.
Warsaw, 1939. Four friends picnic on a brilliant summer’s day and celebrate an engagement, aware of the rumbles of war, but hopeful that in any conflict Poland will have the upper hand...
A page-turning story that spans the period of the Second World War, this is a dramatic historical adventure that goes from Warsaw to Lublin, from Bucharest to Paris, from London to the Concentration Camp at Ravensbruck – but always at the heart of this novel is the mesmerising city of Warsaw – ‘The Paris of the East.’
"From the derring-do of Allied fighter pilots to the cunning of the Polish resistance and the everyday bravery of a professor and his daughter, there are heroes of all kinds in this sweeping tale of war-torn Warsaw. At its heart lies a tender love story which offers a glimpse of hope for a better future, and reminds us that humanity and kindness ultimately always prevail." - NEXT Magazine
"The weaving of truth and imagination blurs the lines of fiction into a compelling and enjoyable read." - Australian Women's Weekly
"Admirable characters and well-researched writing." - NZ Herald
"The Paris of the East is a generous and energetic account of an historical period of terrible darkness, and one that revives what is often overlooked." - Coast FM
"I found this book very hard to put down. A tender love story, a story of courage and survival set in extraordinary times." - Booksellers NZ Blog
"This is a compelling tale of love, heroes and the utter determination and will to live against all odds." - Hawkes Bay Today
The Paris of the West by Karen McMillan
Brand: McKenzie Publishing
Product Code: 9780473343910
Unbreakable Spirit by Karen McMillan
Brand: McKenzie Publishing
Product Code: 9780473317188
An invaluable collection of real life stories of cancer, representing a wide range of circumstances that will provide comfort and help for families facing cancer.
Unbreakable Spirit is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of cancer. It tells the true stories of people who have survived cancer and of those who are terminally ill. It also shares the experiences of people who have had a loved one die from cancer and includes information from hospice workers, oncologists, GPs, a counsellor, surgeon and breast physician.
When Karen McMillan’s parents, both of whom had lived with cancer, died in their prime, she started her own journey to find the answers to her questions from the stories of others. How do people cope with their own mortality? How frightening is the Big C? Are treatments improving? How does cancer impact on a family? What hope is there for the future?
Unbreakable Spirit was first published in 2003, and it has helped numerous families facing cancer. In this revised edition, Karen finds out what has happened to many of the people featured in the book and updates their stories. She discusses the advances of medical science in the past decade and other changes. She also tells her own story of being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 – a positive story of the importance of early detection through screening, and she includes insightful new chapters from her medical team.
Praise for Unbreakable Spirit:
'I know if you read Unbreakable Spirit, you will gain great strength from it.' Judy Bailey
'Told with empathy, clarity and insight, Unbreakable Spirit will provide valuable support for individuals with cancer and the families and friends walking beside them.' Australian Women's Weekly
'You'll find no victims in Karen McMillan's Unbreakable Spirit. You will discover stories of individuals who have confronted and survived cancer with fortitude, determination and humour. This reissue of a book first published in 2003, dispels cancer's dark reputation as a merchant of speedy suffering and death. Here are people of all ages and backgrounds who stare down the disease, defying the temptation to surrender, preferring instead to lead full and rich lives. The result is a genuinely inspirational testament to human strength and personal resolution. Remarkable stories and an equally remarkable book.' New Zealand Listener
'Unbreakable Spirit is a book that I believe everyone should read as it is such an honest, well-rounded account of cancer that I can't think of another book that even comes close to it... This book is a very well written, insightful colleciton of personal experiences giving the reader a very wide ranging view of the experiences of cancer sufferers, as well as the teams behind then. In reading the book it has given me a fresh perspective, a new urge to live more and a new sense of hope that if I did, or if someone I knew was diagnosed with cancer, this book has really helped to give me a lot of information on the sort of things that will happen and a refreshed trust in the medical professionals and those in hospice who can be such pillars of support at such a difficult time.
This is a real treasure trove of support and hope and I think that anyone who reads this will feel encouraged and bit more hopeful, that whilst cancer will undoubtedly be one of the hardest things someone goes through, the huge amount of love and support that is given can make it just that bit more bearable, and this book aids in that endeavour tremendously. Plus she manages to fit Doctor Who in which is just brilliant! A fantastic book, buy it and love it.' The Library NZ Blogspot
'This is not a cancer handbook. Rather it is a realistic, practical and remarkably upbeat book of more than 300 pages that could help to explain many aspects of a disease that is becoming much better understood these days. It will answer many questions, offer some hope, and most especially it should demystify cancer by bringing it out into the open and talked about, frankly and clearly.' Flaxroots Productions - FlaxFlower
‘Whilst health professionals have trained to face the challenge of cancer, people with cancer and their friends and family do not come so well equipped. The personal accounts in Unbreakable Spirit provide invaluable insight into what people, young and old, have found helpful as they come to grips with their diagnosis, prognosis and journey as it unfolds. The powerful accounts shared in Unbreakable Spirt combine to celebrate the humanity and care that embodies resilience in the face of cancer. As such Unbreakable Spirit is a tremendous resource when you want to learn about what works well in helping a person maintain their spirit as it faces one of the greatest challenges life can offer.’ chelsey.co.nz