First chapter – A Dash of Belladonna

J (Jennifer) Rackham is a fantasy fiction writer and illustrator based in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, child and cat.

Starting drawing to prove her mother wrong, she has her work published in Japan, Korea and in New Zealand. She’s worked with multiple award winning authors to bring their stories to life.

When she’s not running after her wild child, she’s writing, drawing or playing video games.

We hope you enjoy reading this sample of Jenn’s exciting fantasy novel for 9-12 year old readers.

About A Dash of Belladonna

Lottie, a young potion master, comes to New Zealand to study under her new master Mikaere.

During her studies, she manages to gets into all sorts of trouble, trying to steal sheep’s blood, getting kidnapped, perverting course of the justice and getting involved in a super dangerous magic she can’t handle.

A Dash of Belladonna was short-listed for best Youth Novel for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards in 2018.


“A Dash of Belladonna is a quirky and original book with lots to recommend it. Lottie is a great character, who is constantly trying to be independent, and getting into trouble. And the book is very humorous, written mostly as a series of letters, which captures Lottie’s enthusiasm and various states of mind as things fall apart around her. I also enjoyed the New Zealand references, and thought it was a nice touch that Lottie comes to New Zealand Aotearoa to have her adventures.” ~ Karen McKenzie – NZ Booklovers

Available in paperback from The Kiwi Kids’ Bookstore.

First Chapter A Dash of Belladonna