Deborah Challinor Books

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Deborah Challinor is a New Zealand bestseller that writes historical fiction. She learned everything she needed to know about writing from the Romance Writers of NZ and Australia, even though she doesn’t write romance.

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Order of Children Of War Trilogy/Tamar Deane Trilogy Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Tamar 1998 Description / Buy
2 White Feathers 2003 Description / Buy
3 Blue Smoke 2005 Description / Buy

Order of Kitty/Smuggler's Wife Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Kitty 2006 Description / Buy
2 Amber 2007 Description / Buy
3 Band of Gold 2010 Description / Buy
4 The Cloud Leopard's Daughter 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Convict Girls Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Behind the Sun 2012 Description / Buy
2 Girl of Shadows 2013 Description / Buy
3 The Silk Thief 2016 Description / Buy
4 A Tattooed Heart 2016 Description / Buy

Order of From the Ashes/The Restless Years Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 From the Ashes 2019 Description / Buy
2 The Jacaranda House 2020 Description / Buy
3 The Leonard Girls 2022 Description / Buy

Order of Tatty Crowe Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Black Silk and Sympathy 2024 Description / Buy

Order of Deborah Challinor Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Union Belle 2005 Description / Buy
2 Fire 2008 Description / Buy
3 Isle of Tears 2009 Description / Buy

Order of Deborah Challinor Non-Fiction

# Read Title Published Details
1 Grey Ghosts 1998 Description / Buy
2 Who'll Stop The Rain? 2000 Description / Buy
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Challinor believes that writing is a craft, not an art, and most people can learn it. Her time with the Romance Writers of NZ and Australia taught her how to tell an entertaining story filled with characters people can care about.

Her foray into publishing was entirely unplanned. Challinor was writing her Ph.D. thesis (on New Zealand Vietnam Veterans) when her supervisor encouraged the author to submit some chapters to publishers.

To her surprise, HodderMoaBeckett bought her manuscript, which became ‘Grey Ghosts’ and performed well enough to climb to fourth place on the bestseller list. Harper Collins NZ took note of Challinor’s talents and asked her to explore the consequences of Agent Orange on New Zealand Vietnam veterans and their children.

She co-wrote the book while working as a librarian for the Waikato Times. Initially, Challinor, who has no training as a librarian, spent her days filing newspapers and updating the publication’s database.

Eventually, she contributed feature articles and a regular opinion column to the Waikato Times, which further cemented her place in the literary sphere.

Challinor, who wrote and published her first novel (Tamar) through Harper Collins NZ, is often surprised when people ask her where her ideas come from. After all, her imagination is full of ideas, and she thought other people were the same.

The things she sees reads, and hears spark her imagination. When she delves into history, the author cannot help but contemplate the lives ordinary people must have lived during significant historical events.

In a way, real history provides the skeleton for her stories. This is why she can’t see herself writing science fiction. Sci-fi authors look to the future, while Challinor is always gazing at the past.

She can’t run out of ideas because history has a seemingly infinite collection of experiences and events for her to draw from. Naturally, she enjoys the research stage. It doesn’t feel like a chore to her.

She pours over maps, personal accounts, and photos. When the opportunity allows, she will also visit historical sites and ruins. Primary sources such as diaries and letters have lost their appeal over the years because Challinor understands how unreliable witnesses and their memories can be.

She also knows that humans use their agendas and biases to edit their experiences before putting them on paper. This makes interpreting the past a challenge, one that Challinor relishes.

The author is far from perfect. She tries to maintain the authenticity of the periods and eras she writes about. Nonetheless, she occasionally makes mistakes. Fortunately, she is typically afforded the opportunity to fix them in the next edition of a book.

Best Deborah Challinor Awards

When she isn’t writing historical fiction, you will find the author listening to Led Zeppelin and visiting empty beaches. Challinor’s best books include:

Behind the Sun: Friday Woolfe met three other girls in Newgate gaol, unaware of the dramatic ways their lives would change during a voyage to New South Wales. Woolfe, the irreverent prostitute, would make an enemy of a vicious woman in Bella Jackson.

Harriet, the reliable seamstress, would find a place under the wing of an idealistic doctor. Meanwhile, Rachel, a naive young woman, would suffer a brutal assault at the hands of a sinister passenger.

Tamar: ‘Tamar’ is the first volume in a family saga. It chronicles the adventures of Tamar Deane. Orphaned at 17, Tamar abandons her small Cornish village in the late 1800s to start a new life in New Zealand. No one knows the direction the frightened girl’s life would have taken if she hadn’t befriended an extraordinary woman.

Myrna had big plans for Auckland. She wanted to start the finest brothel in the land. She never expected to form an unconventional relationship with Tamar, one that greatly benefited the younger woman, who kept making disastrous choices in the new colony.

Myrna kept a close eye on Tamar. She knew life in the new colony would bring tragedy and scandal to the girl’s door. However, she also understood that good fortune was just as likely to follow if she persevered.

Now, Myrna and Tamar are about to weather a new storm, a war threatening to lure those they love to South Africa.

When Does The Next Deborah Challinor book come out?

Deborah Challinor doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Leonard Girls and was released on March, 30th 2022. It is the newest book in the From the Ashes/The Restless Years Series.

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