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Sandi Hall
Sandi Hall
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  Being a writer is a truly fulfilling thing for me because it gives me the opportunity to create cracking-pace stories which explore provocative ideas. Our planet Earth is, to my way of thinking, absolutely perfect. Unfortunately not everyone shares this point of view, especially Big Business, which puts profit above caring for the planet, honour, loyalty, and far above love. It could so easily be otherwise. So, beginning with the first book The Godmothers, the iniquities of Big Business is a constant theme in all my work.

Another constant theme is the wonder of our blue planet in its infinitesimally small corner of the cosmos. I take particular delight in using my best word power to show that. My second book, Wingwomen of Hera, is a ‘what if’ story: what if industry had taken the environment into account from its inception? Hera is a planet where that was done.

And because I am a woman, and a feminist, I also explore aspects of this Western culture that I am part of which are detrimental to women. My fifth novel, Rumours of Dreams, shows how, more than 2,000 years ago misogyny was cemented into western cultural practice.

Cosmic Botanists was my original title for my sci-fantasy trilogy, with Wingwomen of Hera its opening book. Physically, it is a beautiful book to look at, both in its cover design and the arrangement of the text on the pages. All thanks to the unsparing commitment to excellence of Sherry Thomas, then at Spinsters Ink, an American feminist press, which published it. In the closing volume of the trilogy, Globes of Ulso, I trundle through space myself via my wingwomen who have gained agreement from the Elders of Hera to trace the steps of a previous flight. Did this flight, documented in The Lost Flight concertos, take the lives of its Pilots? Aura and her companions, previously seen in Wingwomen of Hera, meet the people of several planets on their way to answer that question. Globes of Ulso is aimed for publication late in 2011, either as part of a three-book volume, or by itself.

Public Sex In Paekakariki Sandi Hall header

Sandi HallWhen nurse Margaret Spindle discovers a lovely but travel-worn pregnant stranger asleep in St Peter’s – one with no handbag or luggage except a bulging black rubbish bag – she turns for help to her closest friends, life partners Fay Dalgety and Ruth Bone.

On the same day, Fay meets another stranger in Paekakariki. This is designer-chic Freddie Tasco, as out of place in the village as a riding boot in an aquarium. Fay thinks Freddie is just passing through but Freddie has much sexier plans.

In the meantime, Ruth, who runs a hydrotherapy clinic in nearby Paraparaumu, becomes concerned for the welfare of her client Mrs Deepthi, when she sees a deep cut on Mrs Deepthi’s cheek and bruises on her wrists.

Finding answers to the puzzles presented by these two strangers, as well as why Mrs Deepthi is hurt, leads all three women on a sometimes dangerous magical realism dance, with the truth finally found in Freddie Tasco’s sumptuous bed.

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Sandi HallPaekakariki (pie kaka reekee – no syllable accented) is a real seaside village on the sunny Kapiti Coast at the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. It is a village known all over the country for its eclectic artistic community and its passionate citizenry. It achieved musical immortality through the song Paekakariki On the Main Trunk Line, written in the 1920’s,when the railway first reached the village.

Oval-shaped, Paekakariki is bordered on the west by the sea, and on the east by the railway line, and State Highway One, itself bordered by a range of steep hills. This has meant that, as road traffic increased, entering and leaving the village by road has become more and more dangerous.

As the story opens, Lucy Coalport, cyclist, mother, and bread-deliverer for Heaven’s Bakery, sees a notice saying the village is holding a meeting to, among other things, find ways to get the Road Transport Authority to install traffic lights at the intersection. She decides to go.

Charles Harrier, 40-something supposed technology consultant is in reality a successful art forger, and is on his way to sell a sketch he’s done imitating the style of the renowned (and dead) artist Colin McCahon.
In Heaven’s Bakery, owner Angelica Kitts, widowed four years before, is wishing she had a lover. A few days later, Harrier introduces Angelica to Jacob Maru, a partner in an art valuer’s firm, and her wish is granted.

Lucy is injured while trying to cross the dangerous intersection, and Jacob Maru’s firm begins to be suspicious about the sketch they’ve bought from Harrier, stirring a yeasty brew of action and affection in a tale in which one of the main characters is Paekakariki itself.

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Sandi HallSuccessful businesswoman Daisy Cairns has been married twice and had one daughter before she realises she is lesbian. The recognition costs her dear – her daughter, Harriet, by then 16, is enraged by this further fluctuation in her mother’s emotional life and disappears.

Reconciliation comes ten years later but it is almost too late, as Harriet has been diagnosed with a brain tumour which, a few months later, takes her life. Daisy is thrown into a melancholic depression, becoming a virtual recluse.

Her habit of shopping in the last hour before the supermarket closes means she is there when Velma Hirangi has a diabetic lapse, collapsing in the store’s basement parking lot.

To Velma, Daisy has saved her life, meaning that Daisy is now a part of Velma’s family. In spite of Daisy’s evident reluctance, Velma keeps in touch. Some weeks later, Velma urgently asks Daisy for help with her daughter Ngaio, who has just given birth to a boy, and subsequently been shot by her husband, Matt.

When Daisy discovers the intended victim was the baby, she agrees to keep the child in her home, where Matt will not find him. But Matt does find Daisy, tipping her into a life-and-death struggle with him deep in the heart of New Zealand’s dense bush.

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In the days before money on Mediterranean Crete, girls and boys are training to master the dangerous skill of leaping the long-horned bull Zeiaphus for the Spring Games, but cannot manage to put their personal desires aside.

Leaper Ecrytus, handsome as Apollo, struggles with his lust for shy Timas while tall Atthis dreams of being chosen for the central role in the sacred Spiral Leap.

And Leaper Scamandronymus - Scam - is determined to discover the secrets of the Grove, where none are allowed to go.

Meanwhile, Trader Praxinoa, famous for sailing to the land of the monkeys, is drawn into the mystery
of the black-skinned stranger, and the pale-eyed man with a knife under his arm. Before the Spring Games end, one Leaper will be dead, and Praxinoa seeking permission to cross the Libyan Sea.

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Beginning in our South Pacific future and stretching back to a mediterranean past, Sandi Hall’s new and startling novel explores a friendship that could affect the history of the world.

Living in 2002, Stella Mante can remember back two thousand years, when she was a ten-year-old girl named Mary whose best friend is a boy she nicknames Santer.

An orphan herself, the young Mary is intrigued by Santer’s mother, whose name is also Mary. Her interest deepens when, as teenagers, Santer’s mother helps them both secretly flee, to Alexandria, the dazzling city of Cleopatra’s snowy palace, and the greatest university in the known world.

As Santer fights against his destiny, Mary is drawn more and more into mysterious events that threaten both their lives, and trigger her own life quest.

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Shirley and Darlene, family twins and soul twins, Lillian, an actress, and Minnie, a painter, are at the centre of a feminist network engaged in local community campaigning and in reshaping their own lives. Inevitably, they find themselves drawn into challenging the power of big business interests far beyond their Toronto home.

In another time, Lydia and Michou are creating holovids to be beamed around the earth, reflecting the cultural and social mix that is the basis of a life of harmony, colour and love. Can women’s comand of the communication network really ensure the peace of the post-nuclear world?

The lives of these women are linked across time and space, and their fates are bound up, too, with those of their sisters in the witchburning past, in the time when women could do no more than comfort each other.

They meet in Aftertime, the time of the Godmothers, when bonds between women shall be finally affirmed, suffering become strength and death become life.
  Embracing the imaginitive release of science fiction and the tension and excitement of the thriller, The Godmothers, Sandi Hall’s extraordinary first novel, embodies a brave new vision of a world rooted in the power of love between women.

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On Hera, war is unknown, and conflicts resolved perhaps vehemently, but always peacefully. Hera’s Wingwomen are known throughout their cosmos for their comprehensive knowledge of plants and plant productivity.

The young of Hera know they will become Pilots when they receive a living Globe as their education begins.

Star-going Pilots travel the universe to increase their botanical knowledge, and come to know well how other societies develop. But when an alien disease strikes at the heart of Hera, the first murders begin.

Also featuring Hera’s Wingwomen, Globes of Ulso, is due for publication in the late spring of 2011. In this novel, Sandi explores the theme of destiny, revealing the life cycle of winged women and their full function on Hera.

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