Author Guest Post
Dear New Zealand: Here’s What I Love About You
By Rosalind James
I originally wrote this post for the Romance Writers of New Zealand’s March 2013 newsletter.
1. The Tall Poppy thing. Where I grew up (hint: rural!), bragging about yourself was considered obnoxious. But U.S. popular culture is increasingly full of that. Randy Moss announced before a recent Super Bowl that he was the greatest wide receiver ever to play the game. Yes, that remark was met with derision (he isn’t), but the fact that he’d even say it is illustrative. An All Black would NEVER call himself the “greatest ever.” They go out of their way NOT to say that.
2. Behaving well. Especially amazing to us: the high standard of behavior to which NZ sportsmen and sportswomen are held, and the outrage when they behave badly. U.S. athletes will tell you that they aren’t role models—and with some exceptions, they aren’t! I’ve found the least attractive quality I can show in New Zealand is arrogance, the attitude that “I’ve got a problem, and it’s your job to fix it RIGHT NOW.” You’re polite! We love that!
3. Safety and quality of life. Yes, I know that there’s more crime and social unrest in New Zealand than is evident in my books. Still, it always makes me chuckle to hear Kiwis (or Aussies) complain about things like public transit, crime, litter, etc. It is just so much NICER where you live. In the U.S., public toilets are virtually nonexistent. That might seem like a frivolous issue--until you need one.
4. Being responsible for yourself. The simple fact that you can’t sue for personal injury changes everything. The first time I swam at Mission Bay, I kept looking around for the markers that would show me where I could go. It took me the whole swim to realize that there weren’t any! It was up to me to keep myself safe.
5. The “she’ll be right” thing. A B&B operator was talking to me about Americans. She described them coming into the main house all worried, saying, “There are no forks! What should I do?” And her bemused response, “Well, you can ask me, and I’ll give you one.”
6. Work/Life balance. We don’t have it and you do. When I was working at a, you know, JOB, I expected to put in a good 60 hours a week. My husband still does. Everyone has such a good time when they come to Australia or New Zealand to work! The idea that you can take the weekend off—believe me, that’s novel.
7. Maori culture is cool.
8. It’s pretty. And the All Blacks are good-looking, and wear tight jerseys and short shorts. What can I say. It’s true.
About The Author
Just For You by Rosalind James
Book .5 (Prequel Novella): Escape to New Zealand Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 31, 2014
Format: Paperback - 120 pages
Kindle - 2521 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Sports Themed: Rugby
BUY THE BOOK: Just For You
BUY THE SERIES: Escape to New Zealand Series
Book .5: Just For You
Book 1: Just This Once
Book 2: Just Good Friends
Book 3: Just For Now
Book 4: Just For Fun
Book 5: Just My Luck
Book 6: Just Not Mine
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.
Hemi Ranapia isn’t looking for love. Fun, yes. Love, not so much. But a summer fishing holiday to laid-back Russell could turn out to be more adventure than this good-time boy ever bargained for.
Reka Harata hasn't forgotten the disastrously sexy rugby star she met a year ago, no matter how much she wishes she could. Too bad Hemi keeps refusing to be left in her past.
Sometimes, especially in New Zealand’s Maori Northland, it really does take a village. And sometimes it just takes a little faith.
NOTE: This 36,000-word (120-page) novella begins about six years before the events of Just This Once, and yes, it gets a little steamy at times, because Reka and Hemi are just that way. It can be read as a stand-alone book, even if this is your first escape to New Zealand.
My Book Review:
Welcome to New Zealand ... land of Kiwis and everything rugby! In Just For You, the prequel novella to the Escape to New Zealand series, author Rosalind James provides the reader with a wonderful tale of romance that starts the whole series with the story of Hemi Ranapia and Reka Harata.
Just For You provides the reader with a romantic relationship and rugby theme set in New Zealand that continues in each book of the series, it is a happy feel good kind of romance story that simply makes you smile. Written in the third person narrative, the reader follows Hemi and Reka's journey from each of their perspectives as their love story unfolds. The story flows smoothly as Hemi and Reka relationship develops with issues and basic relationship yearnings, steamy interactions, and some dramatic twists and turns that keeps the reader turning the pages.
True to the other books in the series, the author provides the reader with stories that are set in New Zealand and revolve around the popular sport of rugby. The attention to detail and description of New Zealand's history and dialect, and the nuance of the professional game of rugby will peak the reader's interest and imagination.
I enjoyed the author's character development of Hemi and Reka throughout the story. After reading all of the other books in the series, I was so excited and happy to finally get to read this amazing couple's love story. With an interesting cast of characters; engaging dialogue and interactions; and a storyline that mixes humor, drama and romance; Just For You is a heartwarming and enjoyable read!
RATING: 5 STARS
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