Three New Poetry Books from Jay Verney


Now available on Amazon are three, you heard me, three new poetry books from Jay Verney. Here are their delectable covers and a little something about them:

Book cover for Zenku 365 by Jay Verney

Zenku is the daughter of Haiku, the Japanese poetic form read and written around the world. Zenku 365 is chock full of tiny little poems, one for every day of the year, plus a Leap Zenku, plus spares. Furthermore, there’s a mini workshop on how to write your own Zenkus and love them forever. Zenkus are freestyle three-line micro poems. They’re of the moment, inviting mindfulness in both creator and reader. Get your copy now at Amazon by clicking on the book cover above.

Book cover image of The Mindful Art of Verandaku Volume 1 by Jay Verney

The Mindful Art Of Verandaku – Micro Poems in a Macro World – Volume One offers the first of two volumes of The Verandaku Project, 999 Verandakus, which began life as a humble blog, Veranda Life, consisting of haiku style poems with accompanying images, one per day for 999 days. This volume of 333 Verandakus, with selected images, is coupled with an essay about the creation of the project and a guide for anyone interested in creating their own mindful artwork.

Book cover image of The Mindful Art of Verandaku Volume 2 by Jay Verney

Volume Two of The Mindful Art Of Verandaku features double the number of poems of Volume One, together with a mini workshop on creating these small, energetic, and self-contained moments. Three lines of 17 syllables: 5-7-5 – Verandaku is waiting for you.

Creating A Custom Fit In An Off-The Rack Genre World – A new essay by Jay Verney


Yes, happy readers, Jay’s been at it again, this time with an essay which formed part of her PhD thesis – the other half is her novel, Summon Up The Blood

Creating A Custom Fit In An Off-The-Rack Genre World cover image

The sub-title of this essay, as you can see from the image above, is The Proximal Investigator, The Corpse of Convenience, and Their Family of Circumstance in Crime Fiction.  It’s kind of self-explanatory, but here’s the blurb for a more detailed look at this addition to academic analysis of arguably the most popular genre of our time:

Creating A Custom Fit In An Off-The-Rack Genre World is about the three main kinds of characters found in murder fiction: the investigators, the victims, and the suspects. It is possible to place these characters along a creative continuum. from the relatively formulaic to the relatively unique, from stock characters to more fully-realised human beings. Custom Fit takes a fresh perspective on these characters, suggesting new terms for each role. The detective or investigator becomes the Proximal Investigator, and the victim the Corpse of Convenience. The collective term for the suspects is the Family of Circumstance, remembering that, initially at least, everyone in a murder novel is suspect.
Using examples from novels by Peter Hoeg, Henning Mankell, Walter Mosley, and Sara Paretsky, this text asks questions such as: how do murder fiction’s characters achieve a sense of difference in their roles, even as they abide by established conventions, demonstrating traits and behaviours similar to other investigators, suspects and victims? How do they flout convention while following it? And how do they contribute to the genre’s evolution and development?

Creating A Custom Fit in an Off-the-Rack Genre World is a stand-alone text but also a companion essay to the novel, Summon Up The Blood, both of which formed the author’s doctorate in Creative Writing, which received a University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis.

Creating A Custom Fit in an Off-the-Rack Genre World is available as both a Kindle ebook and a paperback. Get your copy now at Amazon where you can check out Jay’s author page for other fabulous titles.

The Women Come & Go and The Women Came & Went – A Memoir and An Essay by Jay Verney


February and March have been busy months at Zen Kettle Books and we’re proud to have something to show for it. Jay Verney’s memoir together with an essay reflecting upon the writing of the memoir is now available in both Kindle and paperback formats. We know you’ll want to rush over to Amazon to buy your copies.

The Women Come & Go and The Women Came & Went cover image

The Women Come And Go is a memoir of several generations of working-class women from a Central Queensland family. Told through personal knowledge and memories, and recreations of events, along with family artefacts such as treasured love letters from the author’s father to her mother, Jay Verney offers a story both intimate and relatable. The Women Come And Goconsiders the interdependent historical, cultural and personal contexts of the women’s lives and how each generation has irrevocably influenced the next.

The second part of the book, The Women Came And Went, is an essay which critiques and reflects upon the memoir, establishing the background to its conception and creations and describing an Index of Artefacts both unique to the family and universally recognisable.

Summon Up The Blood by Jay Verney – Art Theft This Colourful is Definitely Criminal


Summon Up The Blood is award-winning author, Jay Verney’s fourth novel. It’s about family, and faith and finding a new way to live after the worst tragedy a parent can endure. It’s also about art theft and the shady and murderous world of mega-billionaires and their peccadilloes.

Summon Up The Blood cover image

Check out the back cover blurb below and then hustle over to Amazon to get your ebook or paperback. Also available in paperback through the Book Depository (free postage around the world – yippee):

A little boy murdered in the most tragic of circumstances, and avenging angels intent on revenge. Obsessed, unscrupulous art collectors and the international antiquities thieves who service their desires. The Olympic Games and an elite group of corrupt Chinese agents double-crossing each other. An organised crime family on the path to redemption.

What could they all possibly have in common? Livia Galvin – grieving mother, Olympic shooting champion, art gallery owner, and now, an unwitting participant in a conspiracy with a billionaire oligarch.

Attacked by would-be assassins on her way to Beijing airport, Livia finally arrives home to find her family in chaos after the unexplained death of her godmother.

It’s only the beginning of a quest in which Livia will need all of her considerable strength of purpose and character to accept her unexpected new role when the most startling and life-changing surprise of all is revealed.

With new revelations and threats at every turn, Livia Galvin and her most faithful supporters must truly ‘imitate the actions of the tiger, and summon up the blood’ in this novel of intrigue and passion that stretches from Bogota to Boston, and from Beijing to London, with its ultimate source in sub-tropical River City on the 27th parallel: the sunniest place in the world for some of the shadiest people you’ll ever meet.

You know you want to read it, and read it you can – get yourself at speed to Amazon or The Book Depository this very moment and buy buy buy – you won’t regret it, promise.

Percussion – a novel about family, earthquakes and love by Jay Verney


Jay Verney’s second published novel, Percussion, is now available as an ebook from AmazonPercussion is a contemporary story set on two continents and tells the story of several generations of the Maher family.

Percussion book cover

Percussion by Jay Verney

Here’s the back cover blurb to get you started:

When Anna Maher accompanies her mother, Maggie, and grandmother, Veronica, to the United States for a war veterans’ reunion, she is struck by the American way of denying death. The three women have a terrifying brush with their own mortality when a destructive earthquake hits Los Angeles.


On the other side of the Pacific, the remaining members of the Maher family face disturbances of a different kind. Brian’s liver is failing to cope with his publican’s lifestyle, his second daughter’s marriage has split dramatically, and his grandson has high-octane plans of his own.

You can’t resist, can you? Of course not. Get Percussion at Amazon now.

A Mortality Tale – a crime novel by Jay Verney – available on Amazon


Jay Verney’s first novel, A Mortality Tale, was shortlisted for both the Miles Franklin and Australian/Vogel Literary Awards, and is now available as an ebook on Amazon.

A Mortality Tale

A Mortality Tale

Jay Verney wrote A Mortality Tale after she was visited by police searching for a hit and run driver who had killed a woman and fled the accident scene. The only clue anyone had was that the car involved was a small white hatchback. Acting on that scant information, the woman’s brothers went to the scene and spent days painstakingly noting down the registration details of every car travelling that road that fit the description. Then they handed the list over to police, who began to work their way through it, searching for the proverbial needle in the vehicular haystack.

The only thing that Jay had in common with the hit and run driver was that she, too, owned a white hatchback. Some time before that tragic event, though, Jay had had a near miss herself, when a young man stepped into the path of her car on a dark street as she drove home from a party. Fortunately, she swerved in the right direction, and he stepped in the right direction, and everyone made it home safely.
Thinking about the two events, Jay began to wonder how it would feel to be that driver, the one who actually caused a death.  What if she had hit someone? And what if there were no apparent witnesses? What might a person do in such a terrible circumstance? The right thing? Or not? And can you ever really get away with it? Enter Carmen Molloy, protagonist and morally challenged driver of A Mortality Tale.

Kerry-Ann & the ’82 Share House Blues – a Short Story by Jay Verney – available now


The Press Gang is pleased to flagrantly flog a short story by Jay Verney. It’s called Kerry-Ann and the ’82 Share House Blues.


Way back then, in ’82, apart from grieving over ABBA’s demise, we weren’t bothered by Facebook, or Twitter, or mobile phones. We had no dial-up modems, let alone broadband. People talked with each other face to face.

Good Lord – you mean in the same room, Grasshopper, together?

And furthermore, households, if they were lucky, had one telephone plugged into the wall, and a long-distance call cost about the same as a first class trip to the Galapagos.

It’s all true – so why not check out a time when a web was where your pet spider, Alex, lived, and when twittering was the province of feathered creatures.

Here’s the Kerry-Ann blurb:

Kerry-Ann Brazil could be homeless if she doesn’t make a move, and soon. However, it isn’t as simple as posting a Facebook request, or Tweeting a plea.

It’s 1982, and the share house blues have hit hard. But is Kerry-Ann the instrument of her own demise? Has she happened upon the love lives of her house mates, Louise and Pete, at precisely the wrong moment? And how will she know what to do and who to choose in the brave new world of house-hunting among strangers?

Remember your twenties? Remember the friends and strangers who somehow became strangers and friends?

Join Kerry-Ann and remember her ’82 share house blues.

Here’s the download link:

Spawned Secrets – a thriller by Jay Verney available on Amazon


As Zen Kettle Books resident sage, Ket Zen, is wont to say: The journey of a thousand steps begins with the sound of ten digits tapping.

One outcome of those tapping digits is the mystery/thriller, Spawned Secrets by award-winning and award-shortlisted author, Jay Verney, and availabel in both ebook and paperback format.  

Spawned Secrets Front Cover

Spawned Secrets Back Cover









Here’s a taste of Spawned Secrets for your enjoyment:

 Chapter 1

 Operation Bluewater Polaris #001

It was Dave Brubeck.  Listen to the tempo, Dave on piano, the maestro leading them out, turning back, in and around, sliding between bass and drums   And the sax, by turns liquid and jaunty, joyful, feisty, the coolest of the cool.  ‘Take Five,’ blasting from somewhere behind him in the darkness.  One of his favourites.

He wasn’t sure which bed he’d stumbled into tonight, but it didn’t matter; his daughter, Miriam, was long gone, his wife had left him, again.  She’d be back.  The profit margins even now, for those with the right attitude and sleight of hand, were too good to abandon; he’d seen to that.  He rolled onto his side, pushed himself up to a sitting position, and instantly he felt nauseous and giddy.  His feet didn’t touch the ground.

‘Jesus,’ he said aloud.  What had they slipped him at the staff club?  He’d throw up if he didn’t put his head down right away.  It was so dark.  He eased himself down, realising that the bed was hard and cold against his bare skin; no sheets, no pillow.  A table?  He’d fallen asleep on the dining-room table?  Damn it.  He needed comfort, he needed his bed, and now he needed Dave to stop.  His head was throbbing itself into something nasty.

He couldn’t remember anything after he’d rolled out of the club, stumbled through the bamboo garden and down the hill towards the lake and the car park.  Somehow, he’d made it home.  In his car?  Good Lord.  Painkillers, water, buckets of it, bed, for Christ’s sake.

Dave and the gang grew quieter.  Maybe his wife had returned, after all, had snuck in under cover of his stupor.  Maybe she’d come over and help him to bed.  And in the morning, they’d make up, again.

‘Deirdre?  Is that you, sweetie?’  He tried to inject a tone of contrition into his voice.

‘Not Deirdre, sweetie.’

No.  ‘Is it you, Richard?  Did you drive me home?  Thank God.’  He certainly had no memory of the drive.  He pushed himself up onto his elbow, and then, very slowly, rose once more to a sitting position.  The giddiness wasn’t so bad this time.

‘Richard, turn the lights on, will you.  I need a pick-me-up.  It’s so bloody dark in here.  I thought I saw a moon earlier.’

‘The moon has retired for the night, sir.  It’s a brand new day and time’s a-wasting.’

It wasn’t Richard Scrimshaw, his golf partner.  Then who, in his own home?  One of Miriam’s old boyfriends straying off-course?

‘Who is it?’  He pushed himself off the table and took a step forward.  So far so good.  Dave and the quartet grew louder again.  ‘Miriam isn’t here, if that’s who you’re after.’  Something tingled in his extremities, and his mouth grew dry.  Where was the light switch?  Which room was he in?

Then, bright light filled in every space, and his eyes closed involuntarily at the intense glare from banks of fluorescent tubes overhead.  He covered his face with his hands and gradually opened his eyes, peering through his fingers.  He turned around.  He’d been lying on a table, all right, an old wooden one with turned legs, all chipped black paint and dented surfaces.  To the left of the table, in one corner, were half a dozen music stands, crammed up together, leaning into each other, looking strangely huddled.  Beyond the table, which had been placed in the centre of the small room, the top half of one wall was made of glass.  Behind the glass, in an even smaller room by the look of it, were black consoles.  A recording studio?  A radio station?  It had to be a student prank.  They’d find out all about pranks once he called the Dean, the little bastards.  He tried to blink some moisture into his burning eyes.

When he turned to face the door, a figure was standing directly in front of him.  A man in dark overalls, wearing orange safety goggles, and black gloves.  The man smiled at him; he smiled back.  Automatic.

‘Is there a problem?’


If you enjoyed this taste, find the whole tasty story at the following outlets:

For the Ebook and Paperback go to Amazon logo


Or, for the paperback and free delivery world wide try the Book Depository UKBook Depository logoCoUk

Or the Book Depository USABook Depository logoCo USA


And then there’s Barnes and NobleBarnesandNoble logo



Let us know what you think, and we hope you enjoy Spawned Secrets.   The ZKB Press Gang.