Changing Fortunes will probably not make a fortune for Greytown writer Enid Meyer but the gripping sequel to A Better Place is sure to strike a chord with readers.

Mrs Meyer is a realist when it comes to making money from writing novels in New Zealand - basically it is a borderline financial proposition - but she loves a good yarn and has now authored two books, not counting a small book of poetry she had published many years back.

Changing Fortunes, like its predecessor, is all about life in Greytown in the days of the early pioneers. It will be launched today in the Greytown Town Centre at 3pm and is stacked with intrigue and dramatic episodes in the life of fictitious families who emigrated from Britain.

The main characters are John Johnson, his wife Kate and children Jake, 17, and Cathie, 15.

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Whereas A Better Place centred around life in Greytown in 1865, the latest novel takes that forward a decade to concentrate on life in the town in 1875.

Woven into the mix is a robbery, carried out by two Australians, that wrecks plans by the Johnsons' close friends Jim and Mary to buy a cottage in town.

Without giving too much away, suffice it to say police track down the culprits and the luckless home buyers get a roof over their head. But there's a twist - the house is home to the spirit of an old lady who died there.

Mrs Meyer's first book was very well received, especially in Wairarapa itself.

Interviewed yesterday, she revealed she had in fact started that book many years before it was published, while she was laid up in hospital over three weeks.

The manuscript was filed away and only resurfaced years later when the now retired Greytown woman had time to devote to writing.

-Changing Fortunes is published by Frazer Books and has been edited by Di Grant. It retails for $35.