When an unexpected visit from the FBI persuades San Francisco environmental trouble-shooter Alex Zerakowski that it might be a good time to leave the country for a while, she flees to the ends of the earth: Nelson, New Zealand. Her skills, honed in the Napa Valley, are in demand to help out a Hope Valley winery caught up in a media outrage but, while there, she becomes caught up in an intricate web of deceit involving a local lawyer – tall, dark, handsome and intimidating, the typical bad-boy she always falls for – and the 19th century inhabitant of her vineyard cottage lodgings, whose diary she discovers.
The diary belongs to Carrie O’Neill, mother of the child of multiple-murderer Richard Burgess, whose trial and execution shook New Zealand in 1866. The yellowing pages of the diary have a haunting effect on Alex, especially when she realises that her penchant for living on the edge parallels Carrie’s situation in more ways than one. Alex is no angel, but the events that unfold shock even her.
Felicity Price’s second novel once again draws on real dramatic events from New Zealand’s Wild West, while the woman who discovers the 21st century link to the murders finds herself in peril amid the swirling turmoil of the wine industry, climaxing during the famous World of WearableArt awards.
“Price is a gifted writer who uses real events of the past to bring the present into sharper focus.” – NZ Herald
“Felicity has got this knack of drawing in true elements of NZ history and bringing them up to date and meshing them with a story of today. With this book, it’s really good fun… It’s the frontier life… it’s romantic… it’s beautifully written. It speeds through the story. It’s an intelligent girly book.” – Newstalk ZB
“Price is a stylish action writer who has turned in a polished and entertaining performance.” – NZ Listener
“No Angel is a rollicking read by a talented storyteller.” – The Christchurch Press
“Having read In Her Mothers Shoes, being totally captivated by her story, I was more than interested in reading No Angel, not to be disappointed, what a wonderful read,full of intrigue and I couldn’t put it down. Now I’m keen to read Head over heels, and any other of her books.“
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Hazard Press (December 2003)
Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
A lot of women fall for very dangerous men – men who are bad for them. These women seem to seek them out, or are attracted to them, probably because they find them exciting. It’s not all that surprising that most of these relationships end disastrously, with the woman moving on to yet another bad boy and yet another unhappy ending. Why? Women like to think they can change a man, that he won’t stay bad once they manage to reform him. But they can’t. Men don’t change that easily. Of course, it takes some sort of epiphany, some sort of cataclysmic experience before the woman realises that she’s on a hiding to nowhere and she’d be better off with a nice boy who isn’t dangerous. It might not be anywhere near as exciting, but it’s more rewarding in the long run.
The Maungatapu Murders, in which five men were killed by the Burgess gang as they crossed the Maungatapu Saddle on their way to Nelson in 1866, shocked the country at the time. The leader of the gang, Richard Burgess, who learned bushranging from the same teacher as Australia’s notorious Ned Kelly, spent as much of his life behind bars as at large until his execution at Nelson Gaol in October 1866. Burgess wrote his own autobiography, The Confessions of Richard Burgess, while awaiting trial for the murders. The author is indebted to the information about his life and times, and also to Ken Byron’s explanatory notes to the Confessions in his book Guilty Wretch that I Am – Echoes of Australian Bushrangers from the Death Row memoirs of Richard Burgess.
Blending fact with fiction, No Angel builds on the facts of Burgess’s life, including the whirlwind romance and impregnation of his live-in mistress Carrie, into a gripping tale of those times.
The contemporary characters of this book, however, with the exception of the political and other well-known personalities of today, are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. In the same way, the contemporary organisations depicted are also fictional and do not represent or resemble any actual company, voluntary organisation or activist group.
The Nelson Region of New Zealand
The extra sunshine hours that the Nelson province receives every year make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand. The beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Abel Tasman National Park are legendary among summer visitors.
( A good starting point is www.nelson.co.nz)
Press Release for No Angel
Successful Christchurch businesswoman Felicity Price has been burning the midnight oil writing novels in her spare time and is just about to launch her second novel in 12 months.
‘No Angel”, published by Hazard Press follows on from the sell-out success of her first novel, “Dancing in the Wilderness”, which was published just before Christmas last year.
How does she find the time, in between running her own public relations consultancy, coping with two teenagers, and being on several unpaid boards and committees?
“I tend to work late into the night and I don’t get to put my feet up or watch much TV,” Felicity says. “You get so carried away with the story and the characters that you end up wanting to get on with it whenever you have a spare moment.”
She was so driven to write it over the Christmas holidays, when she was in a camping ground without electricity, that she took an old laptop with her and plugged it into a solar-powered battery, typing away in a tent.
“My family is also very understanding and helpful,” she says. “It’s a bit easier now that the kids are older and not so dependent on me.”
Before setting pen to paper – or finger to laptop – Felicity carried out meticulous research on the subjects the books cover. Set in the wine-growing regions of Nelson and the Napa Valley (in the US), the novel (take from blurb).
“I like to adapt local folklore to make a good story,” Felicity says. “New Zealand is full of fascinating characters and stories, and they deserve to be told.”
She says she got to hear of the infamous Maungatapu Murders – where five men carrying gold and cash were murdered on the main track between Canvastown and Nelson in 1866 – from her father.
“He came from Nelson and used to talk about the Maungatapu Murders whenever we went back there. I think they haunted a lot of people from Nelson. It was certainly the talk of the country for a long time.
Wine plays a big part in the novel, which also required a lot of research.
“Of course, I’ve done a lifetime’s research into wine itself,” she says, “but I needed to find out a lot of detail about growing grapes and winemaking – both here and in the States.”
Felicity has run her own strategic communication consultancy business in Christchurch since 1987. In addition, she has served on a number of boards and committees, many of them voluntary. These include the board of the Christchurch Symphony, the Court Theatre, the Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, the local branch of the Institute of Directors, Christchurch Polytechnic Foundation, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, two local private companies and school committees.