September 02nd

Stray Book Launch, Christchurch

Category: Book launch, Stray

A half dozen of my wildly talented and generous friends descended on the Original Children’s Bookshop on Blenheim Rd, last night, and frightened the poor shop ladies half to death by transforming the bright and cheerful store into a shadowy, blood red denizen for Spark-enthusiasts to gather for the launch of book 2 in the trilogy, Stray.


Almost 100 friends, family and strangers arrived, and plenty of them early, to snap up a copy of Stray and with it a free poster and bookmark. There was wine to drink and, thanks to even more wonderful friends, trays of yummy finger food to devour.

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I was particularly thrilled to meet eager members of the Spark Army including Tessa and her friends from Selwyn House school, Hannah and Abbie from Hagley College, several others from local high schools, Sophie and her Uni friends and so many teens of my friends and family who I have had the pleasure of chatting with on social media throughout the year (Hamish, Holly, Jake).

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Hannah and Abbie, particularly enthusiastic Spark Army Generals, even made me gorgeous cards and gifts of raspberry liquorice (my favourite!) So much fun to finally meet them.


Once the shop was stuffed with guests I stood on a chair to greet everyone and handed over to Zac McCallum, the rather brilliant Children and Young Adults librarian, from the Christchurch public library. Zac gave a marvellous speech talking about both Spark and Stray during which avid fangirls squealed whenever Jamie’s named was mentioned:

launchL“Rachael had me hanging on for dear life on this roller-coaster ride.  The action is almost non-stop, with Rachael giving you the chance to catch your breath briefly (with a touch of comedic relief), before racing ahead again. Spark was full of plenty of heart-stopping moments but Stray takes it up a notch.  There were times when I couldn’t take the suspense.” 

He had everyone in stitches with his comments about Jamie and Evie:

“While a lot of Rachael’s readers are swooning over Jamie, I myself have a crush on Evie.  Evie is quite simply HOT!  I’m sure Rachael puts Evie in a Lara Croft costume just for her male readers.” 

You’ll have to read Stray to find out what he’s talking about. After Zac’s speech I read an excerpt from the new book and took the opportunity to thank those who had a hand in making the night happen, especially my dear friends Tracey George and Deb Platt for co-ordinating the pretty! I then took to the signing table and made my wrist and fingers earn their keep scrawling my name for a good hour or so with stops for hugs and photos. Needless to say, I had a great night and I’m so grateful for everyone who took the time to come and support me! Thank you, everybody!!!

Here are some more snaps from the evening:


launch cuzziesFriends and whanau


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launchSSpark Army sweetie, Leslie.


launchTMore friends!


launchRLittle helpers at the signing table.

Stray signing table1 Trying not to spell my own name wrong.


Stray signing table2 Using my fancy matching metallic pens


launchNShort friends.


launchOTall friends in stripes.


A very special thank you to the Original Children’s Bookshop for hosting us so graciously and for making the evening possible.

8 Responses to “Stray Book Launch, Christchurch”

  1. Ooooh eeeeeee!!!!! How I wish I had been there!!!! It looks so fun!!! I feel like I would have been flailing the whole night!!! I really hope you can make it to Australia one day!!! (Melbourne!!!) I’m glad you had a good time, it looked so exciting!!! xoxo Renee

  2. Shanti says:

    If I still lived in Christchurch I soooooooo would have come. But at least I requested an e-copy on the Auckland City Libraries digtal page :). It looks like such a great time. I’m really excited to read Stray! Hi from India 🙂

    • Rachael Craw says:

      Hi Shanti! Thanks for your lovely comment. It really was a great night! I hope you can get a copy. Unfortunately Stray is only out in NZ & AU at the moment but maybe the library will be able to help you out! <3

  3. Abbie Short says:

    I Spy a couple of my photos!! I’m so stoked you used them! I had such a wonderful night that evening can’t wait for the shield book launch <3

  4. Hannah Smit says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely mentions <3
    The photos are so cute, it was so nice of you to add some of Abbie's 🙂
    You are so amazing!!!!
    And thank you so much for the posters and signing them <3

    • Rachael Craw says:

      I was stoked with the pics, too! Abbie was very kind to let me use those pics from the signing table. Thanks for your support, Hannah. It was a blast meeting you and Abbie 😀

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Rachael is a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors and you can visit the NZSA at and the Top of the South branch Her publisher is Walker Books Australia