How to Write a KILLER Synopsis


How to Write a Killer synopsis

I set myself a gargantuan task of creating a KILLER synopsis for my humorous techno-fantasy novel for children: JOSH SUPER SPACE KID. I needed a kick-ass one pager to create buzz in the publishing world. I researched synopsis experts, scrambling through writing text books, to create that elusive KILLER synopsis.

Facebook writing buddies on Australia Writers Rock, Just Write for Kids and on my own Karen Tyrrell page offered support.
Finally these kick-ass tips rocketed back to me in the process …

How to Write a Killer Synopsis

1. Ask yourself: what is your hero’s struggles, challenges and final victory? Flaunt your hero’s dreams, fears and most importantly his voice.

2. What makes your story unique and attention grabbing? Focus on your story arc, especially major scenes and climaxes.

3. Limit your characters to 4 or 5: the hero, the sidekick or ally, the antagonist and two other characters.

4. Write in the present tense. Amp every word to the max creating an enthusiastic and enticing synopsis. Vary the construction of each sentence until the words blast off the page.

5. Start the synopsis with the inciting incident: the crisis … finish with the ending and resolution.

6. Who is the synopsis for: an agent or publisher? Ensure it’s written in the exact format described on the submission guidelines.

For the last six months, I sweated over and polished JOSH SUPER SPACE KID with the help of Beta writers from my critique group: Write Links, ready for lift-off.

**Special thanks to Alison, Ayesha, Samantha, Jacqui, June, & Jocelyn.

JOSH’s theme is aligned with my ‘resilience and hope’ author platform.

YAY! I’m presenting Write & Publish a Children’s novel Master Class with Charmaine Clancy on Jan 10 at Black Cat Books & Cafe


Killer Synopsis

KarBOOM! This week, I launched JOSH SUPER SPACE KID into the publishing world with my KILLER synopsis and cover letter. My stomach clenched, in terror and  ecstasy, as JOSH zoomed out into the unknown.

‘Your plot is strong and moves along at a good pace. You have successfully created a strong first novel in an action packed adventure series …It has commercial potential.” Leonie Tyle Publisher

The Countdown is on …

I’m transmitting a special intergalactic message across the cosmos … JOSH SUPER SPACE KID must be saved forever in print for human kind to read and enjoy.

Only YOU can save JOSH from oblivion.
Please help me amp this transmission to the max.

Transmitting now ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Please transmit your comment here … or via Facebook, twitter or google+  … Hugs: Karen  x
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Published How to STOP School Bullying

stop_bullyingSchool bullying is a HUGE problem for our kids. 20% of children will experience school bullying some time.

South City Bulletin magazine interviewed me on how to STOP school bullying.
I shared my passion and expertise as an anti-bullying campaigner, author of STOP the Bully empowering novel for children, to help Kids live STRONG.

I too was a victim of school bullying. When I was a teacher I was bullied my parents at my school. I wrote Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness to raise awareness of how bullying can trigger mental illness.


South City Bulletin education journalist, Amanda Sheehan and editor Wendy Millgate asked me what strategies I recommend to STOP School Bullying. I shared how to change the behaviour of victims and bullies in schools, and break the bullying cycle.

How to STOP School Bullying

1. Know what bullying is so you can identify it.

2. Build your self-confidence by pursuing a hobby you are good at i.e. sport.

3. Help kids who are the victims AND help the bullies too. Give bullies consequences, counselling and positive role models.

MORE strategies are revealed in the magazine article …

Amana Sheehan’s article highlighted one particular school who’s breaking the cycle of bullying in a pro-active way, changing children’s behaviour …

Read Story Buddies in; Bullying out with MORE Anti-bullying strategies HERE

**Buy STOP the Bully for only 99c for a *Limited Time HERE

STOP the Bully + author poster

Download FREE anti-bullying Teacher resources and Kid’s activities HERE

FREE STOP the Bully interactive Story session

I present STOP the Bully interactive story at Beenleigh Library on November 22 10am to help kids live STRONG. I’m giving out FREE Goodies from Kids Helpline and FREE craft activities too. Ring 3412 4130 to reserve a seat HERE

perf5.000x8.000.inddIf you’d like me to perform STOP the Bully at your school, please leave a message on my Contact page HERE

HOW can we help  children LIVE strong?

How can we break the bully cycle?

Should we show empathy to the school bully?

And help them change their behaviour?

Please share your opinions here…

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Write & Publish a Children’s Novel

Write & Publish a children's Novel

Write & Publish a Children’s Novel

EVER wanted to Write & Publish your own Children’s novel?

Find out how at the Write & Publish a Children’s Novel Master Class

Join author teachers Charmaine Clancy and myself, Karen Tyrrell as we share our secrets and guide you every step of the way.

We’ll teach you how to plan, write and research your children’s novel. Then we’ll show you how to pitch, publish and market your book to the widest possible audience.

Who’s presenting  Write & Publish a Children’s Novel ?

Charmaine Clancy

Charmaine Clancy

Charmaine Clancy is a Brisbane author teacher of three entertaining children’s novels: My Zombie Dog, Undead Kev and Dognapped?.

Charmaine loves to create characters for mystery, fantasy and adventure.

She presents writing workshops at Blackcat book shop, Gold Coast Writers Festival and Rainforest Writers Retreat, which she co-ordinates.


Her upcoming releases include The Invisible Kid and An Accidental Mystery.


Karen Tyrrell

Karen Tyrrell

Karen Tyrrell is a Brisbane triple award winning author teacher of children’s books: STOP the Bully and Bailey Beats the Blah.

In 2014, she presented writing talks at Gold Coast Writers Festival, CYA Children’s Writer Conference, Queensland Writers Centre, River City Writers Conference, schools, libraries and festivals. She speaks on TV and radio and writes for South City Bulletin magazine.

Karen has MORE children’s books coming 2015-16. TBA

 Our novels: My Zombie Dog, Undead Kev, Dognapped?, Bailey Beats the Blah, STOP the Bully.

My Zombie Dog, Undead Kev, Dognapped?, Bailey Beats the Blah, STOP the Bully.

Write & Publish a Children’s Novel Master Class

WHERE: Black Cat Books: 179 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

WHEN: Saturday 10th January 10-3 pm

Includes the whole day with a YUMMY lunch, nibbles, Coffee & tea provided

FULL day Master Class ONLY $60

BOOKINGS Essential!

Ring Black Cat books on 3367 8777
Or email

CHILDRENS NOVELS 2Let 2015 be the year you  Write & Publish your children’s novel…

Are you joining the FUN?

Can you please share on Facebook? .. Twitter? .. Linked in? .. And Google plus?

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Flat Buddy connects with KIDS

Flat Buddy meets Karen Tyrrell author

Flat Buddy meets Karen Tyrrell author

YAY! Flat Buddy toured Brisbane Australia connecting with classrooms and children with disabilities.

How did Flat Buddy’s Tour come about?

Lesa Grant Feazel, significant Disabilities Teacher requested I escort Flat Buddy round Brisbane taking photos. The aim was to enrich the lives of disabled children at Lafourche Parish School Louisiana USA.

Flat Buddy is inspired by The Flat Stanley literacy Project which celebrates its 50th birthday. Read more

Kids talk about, track, and write about Flat Buddy’s character’s journey and adventures. Writing and learning  is easier, flows naturally, and becomes more creative.

I was excited when Flat Buddy arrived direct from the USA via my letterbox.  I read instructions to promote children’s literacy and education in a FUN engaging way.

For a week, Flat Buddy and I were inseparable as he posed with Australian people. Together we discovered  our heroes,  food, native animals and environment.

Check out my photo journey as Flat Buddy visits Brisbane Australia …

Our Australian heroes…

Flat Buddy meets Aussie Life Saver at South Bank Beach

Say hi to Aussie Life Saver at South Bank Beach

Meet Matt the Ranger at Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Meet Matt the Ranger at Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Flat Buddy Meets Brisbane Police Officer, who keeps everyone safe.

Meet Brisbane Police Officer, who keeps everyone safe.

Australian wildlife …


Harry Koala, but where is you know who?

 Warren Wombat takes Flat Buddy for a ride

Warren Wombat takes his friend for a ride

Rainbow Lorikeet is having a swinging good time with Flat Buddy.

Rainbow Lorikeet is having a swinging good time.

Water Courses: rivers, lakes and beaches

Flat Buddy on Lake Dennis

Relaxing  on Lake Dennis… quack quack

 Flat Buddy about to catch City Cat on Brisbane River.

Let’s  catch City Cat ferry on Brisbane River.

Brisbane City …

Brisbane City hosts G20 Conference starting 10.11.2014

Brisbane City hosts G20 Conference starting 10.11.2014

Yummy food or NOT…

Flat Buddy would you like a vegemite sandwich?

Would you like a vegemite sandwich?

Just for FUN…

Would you like a Ride on the Big Wheel Brisbane?

Would you like a ride on the Big Wheel Brisbane?

 Were you inspired by the Flat Buddy project?

Would you like to help Lesa’s Project and her class in Louisiana?

Can you please share this page with children, teachers, schools and families?

Please LIKE, tweet, Google plus :)

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STOP the Bully interactive Story

STOP the Bully + author poster

STOP the Bully by Karen Tyrrell Digital Future Press 2014

I’m performing STOP the Bully interactive Story with FUN, drama and SURPRISE!

STOP the Bully interactive Story teaches children Bully prevention skills … in a heart-warming story full of humour and empathy …

“Eleven year old Brian’s life is falling apart.  Dad abandoned the family. Brian hates his new school. And now an aggressive bully attacks him every day.

Can Brian STOP the Bully without revealing his secret?”

STOP the Bully is supported by teachers and school counsellors.

STB displays Kids Helpline logo and is aligned with Kids Matter: Australian Curriculum. STB is reviewed by Kids Book Review, Creative Kids Tales, and MORE.

MEET me author Karen Tyrrell. I will present a dramatic reading from STOP the Bully interactive Story.

Children can talk about anti-bullying strategies with Karen and live STRONG!
All children will receive FREE goodies from Kids Helpline including stickers and wallet cards  … FREE crafty kid’s activities

Come join the FUN at STOP the Bully interactive Story

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhere:  Beenleigh Library, Crete St Beenleigh

When: Saturday 22 November 10 am

RSVP: 3412 4130 to reserve a seat.

Download FREE Teacher Resources and Kids Activities HERE

Please tell every child, school, and family you know!

Are you joining the FUN?

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Reviews STOP the Bully Round 2

STOP the bully

STOP the Bully by Karen Tyrrell

YAY! NEW exciting reviews have arrived for STOP the Bully, my empowering novel to help prevent bullying in Schools.

BLURB: 11-year-old Brian’s life is falling apart. His Mum and dad split up. Now a bully is tormenting him and his little sister at school.

HOW can Brian STOP the Bully?

THEMES: bullying, self-esteem, friendship, family relationships, poverty, coping skills, consequences and humour.

STOP the Bully received a mental health achievement award together with books: Bailey Beats the Blah and Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery. STOP the Bully supported by mental health CEOS, teachers and school counselors, aligned with Kids Matter national curriculum.

A book for every child.

Reviews STOP the Bully: Round 2

‘If you’re being bullied, it’s important to talk to someone you trust about what’s going on. Talk to an adult and/or a friend with whom you feel safe, or contact Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800’ — Louise Davis: Kids Helpline

‘This junior novel empowers girls and boys with strategies to use when they are being bullied. The story explores the bullying dilemma from all perspectives providing opportunities for conversation and reflection with children.’– Queensland Children’s Activity Network (QCAN)  

‘Teaches strategies for those being bullied … Raises awareness for those to support those being bullied.  All round helpful resource.’ — Karen Neaton: Nurse

‘Ms Tyrrell drew me into Brian’s plight from the get go. The emotions Brian goes through were right on par with what kids feel when they are bullied. Helpless, hopeless, with no end in sight … Kids will really identify with Brian and his friends plight and the ways that they overcome the bullying, strategies that every classroom should adopt. An engaging and informative read’ — Creative Kids Tales: Julie Grasso

‘STOP the Bully teaches kids how to overcome bullying. Chock filled with assertive solutions in an action-packed adventure kids will love. The thought provoking twist at the end was completely unexpected. 5 stars!’ — Nolan Reed: University student

‘Stop the Bully’s characters are engaging … The Bully’s not painted as a ‘bad to the core’ person, but rather as someone who may have issues of their own that need to be dealt with… The strength of friendship, school and family support, also play an important role in Stop the Bully. –Melanie Hill: Author

‘There should be more books like this! Books on bullying only deal with one side of the story, but Karen’s book deals with both. I believe it is a very useful resource for primary school children and what the heck; it is a fun book to read.’– Denise Covey: Author

‘Fun & heart-warming: Shows boys and girls awareness of both sides of bullying. This book is an important tool for any child, teacher & parent.’ –Michelle Dennis: Author

Stop the bully karen tyrrellTo read FULL Reviews please go  HERE 

Read Reviews Round 1 HERE

To buy STOP the Bully in print or eBook  go to Amazon HERE

FREE Teacher notes and FREE Kids Activities HERE

5% proceeds go to Kids Helpline to help kids in Crisis Read MORE HERE


What did you think of the Reviews ? … Do you agree with them?
Would you read STOP the Bully with your child?

Please share … or like on Facebook, Twitter and Google +

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How I Manage Mental Illness

photo 1

Karen Tyrrell: Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery

I proudly shared my victory over parent-teacher bullying, bipolar disorder and PTSD with a mental health forum, to help those struggling with mental illness.

Kasia O’Shea, a manager at Richmond Fellowship  Queensland had requested I reveal my personal story behind Me & Her: A  Memoir of Madness and the sequel Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery, focusing on recovery and wellness.


Karen Tyrrell & Richmond Fellowship member Anna

WHO is the Richmond Fellowship?

Richmond Fellowship is a passionate community-owned organization mentoring people facing mental health challenges and social disadvantage. Richmond Fellowship supports people to recover their future by inspiring hope and empowerment.

logo1I shared my  “lived experience” with the audience …
“Parents at my school bullied and tormented me wielding psychological, verbal and written abuse.  I became severely anxious and sleep deprived which then triggered post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.”

Tears trickled down my face turning into murky rivulets of black mascara as I relived the trauma of my decline and disintegration into mental illness.

Then something unbelievable happened …
A chorus of support rang out from the audience. ‘Don’t worry … You’ll be OK… It’s alright.’

Their compassionate words touched my heart.
I patted my cheeks, soldiering on, sharing coping skills and how I stay well.
Here’s a glimpse of my coping skills…

TOP #5 Tips to Manage Bipolar and PTSD

1.    ACCEPT your diagnosis, learning everything about recovery, resilience and how to keep well. Read inspiring books on how to triumph over your illness.

2.    CREATE your own personal wellness plan, incorporating pro-active coping skills

3.    UPLIFT your day with a morning brisk walk filled with gratitude, mindfulness and positive self-talk.

4.    SLEEP better with a calming pre-sleep routine including meditation and slow deep breathing.

5.    ENLIST a support team of friends, family, doctors and counselors, who’ll ensure you keep on track.


Kasia, Melissa, Anna, myself & CEO Kingsley Bedwell

I’m so proud when  the staff and “those struggling” came over to shake my hand, thanking me for sharing my coping skills,  giving them hope.

READ my Award winning Mental Health books …

9780987274007           KarenTyrrell-Me-And-Him-Cover-WebUse-LgeMe & Her: A  Memoir of Madness by Karen Tyrrell. My victory over parent-teacher bullying, bipolar and PTSD with *5 star reviews from CEOS and psychologists.

Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery by Karen Tyrrell. Self-help manual with practical wellness advice to how to beat depression, anxiety and insomnia … to find your happiness.

NEWS: I received Finalist in the mental health achievement awards HERE

You CAN manage your mental illness with coping skills! I did!

Can you please SHARE my positive messages of HOPE and wellness?

Please LIKE, tweet, Google plus

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Snap Magic Review Book Giveaway

A.Sunde.Snap.Magic.DuoMeet Angela Sunde, Gold Coast author and illustrator … and her new children’s fantasy novel Snap Magic.

PS Announcing the winner of SNAP MAGIC book giveaway … Scroll down

Q. What does embarrassing tween secrets, Halloween magic and pumpkin soup have in common?
A. Angela Sunde’s bewitchingly funny children’s novel Snap Magic for mid-graders 9-12, sequel to Pond Magic.

SNAP Magic: Magically Mysterious and enchantingly funny…

Twelve -year-old Lily Padd’s life has turned ALL weird. Long black hairs germinated from her chin. Her best friend Maureen is turning into a hairy Marmalade Cat. And Rick Bastek, the school bully is making her life sheer hell.

Can life get any worse for Lily Padd?
Well it can!

Lily Padd is infatuated with a cute new boy named Storm. She dreams of hanging out with him at the school Halloween Dance.
But how’s that ever going to happen?

Not when the prettiest and meanest girl in class, Ellen Middleton is threatening to tell the whole school Lily’s embarrassing secrets!
And her next door neighbour, Mrs Swan is a witch on a mission.

Find out if Lily Padd survives this magical pandemonium and goes to the Halloween Dance!
THEMES: Trust, fears,  bullying, onset of puberty, embarrassing parents, humour,  consequences.

Snap Magic Blog Tour Dates

Monday 13. Kids Book Review

Tuesday 14. Sheryl Gwyther

Wednesday 15. Robyn Opie
                        Karen Tyrrell

Thursday 16. Alison Reynolds

Friday 17. Chris Bell – From Hook to Book

Saturday 18. Boomerang Books Blog

Dimity Powell

Sunday 18. Sandy Fussell / The Reading Stack     

Monday 20. Aussie Reviews

Tuesday 21. Dee White

Wednesday 22. Angela Sunde’s Blog Tour Wrap Up

 WIN a copy of Snap Magic: Book Giveaway


Would you like to win a FREE print copy?

Please leave a comment below…

What did you think of SNAP MAGIC?

Winner announced on October 31st Halloween

Good luck!!!

 **Announcing the winner of SNAP MAGIC book giveaway…

Drum Roll … The winner is Michelle Dennis

Congratulations… I’ll be in contact soon

Please SHARE, Like, Tweet, Google plus :)

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Mental Health Achievement Award

photo 7

Kerry Armstrong Actress and Me: Karen Tyrrell

YIPPEE! I’m celebrating! … I’m finalist in the 2014 Mental Health Week achievement awards.

I’m so proud I triumphed over mental illness, writing my recovery and resilience books… Me & HIM: A Guide to Recovery (wellness tips for adults) Bailey Beats the Blah and  STOP the Bully (prevention for children).

I’m honoured Open Minds and Queensland Alliance of Mental health recognized my devotion to improving the understanding and awareness of mental health in Queensland.

Two weeks ago Open Minds rang me with exciting news that judges chose me as one of three finalists in the Consumer and Carer category. I’ve been bursting to tell you ever since!

photo 2

QLD Mental Health Week achievement awards

I attended the Achievement Awards luncheon at Brisbane City Hall Oct 10 with my dearest husband Steve. I’d like to thank my two referees Mayor Pam Parker of Logan City Council and Wendy Millgate editor of South City Bulletin magazine.

Mayor Pam Parker launched my recovery memoir ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness in 2012, finalist in 2012 Awards.

Pam Parker supports my mental health work in the Logan community as I speak at schools, libraries and community events.

I write mental health articles for South City Bulletin.

Madonna King media guru and  Kerry Armstrong actress and mental health advocate announced the winners.

photo 5

Kerry Armstrong: Judge, Me & Madonna King MC

DRUM ROLL …And the winners are…

Individual … Helen Glover

Consumer or Carer … The Carer & Family Working Group

Workforce … Microsoft & Corinda State High School

Organization …   MIFQ Art Exhibition

Overall Winner …Helen Glover

I’ve won the trifecta! A mental health Finalist award in the Consumer or Carer category for my THREE books for adults and kids…

Me & HIM: A Guide to Recovery – wellness & resilience tips for everyone to attain their happiness

Bailey Beats the Blah -How to change BLAH into Ha-ha-Ha Child mental health picture book to prevent anxiety and depression in KIDS

STOP the Bully -Heart felt story with Bully prevention skills and FREE teacher Resources HERE

I’m ecstatic I was a finalist and the ONLY children’s author who reached final position.

photo 9

Libby Trickett: Olympic swimmer & I

photo 6

Richard Nelson: CEO QLD Alliance of Mental Health & I

These awards bring mental health to the forefront, helping to break the stigma of mental illness. I’m blessed to be able to support others on their recovery journey as a mental health advocate, author and speaker, spreading the news of HOPE to Queensland and global communities.

Oct 7: I shared my recovery and coping skills with PA hospital Acute Psychiatric ward … HERE

Oct 11: I presented my interactive story telling sessions Bailey Beats the Blah & STOP the Bully at Sanity Fair  … HERE

photo 3

Winners & Finalist Mental Health Achievement Awards

What do you think of Mental Health Week and the Achievement awards?

How did YOU celebrate Mental Health week?

Can you please SHARE this exciting news with your friends?

LIKE, Tweet, Google Plus

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From Psychotic Patient to Mental Health Advocate

4As an initiative of Mental Health week, I was an invited guest of PA Hospital Brisbane, and had the opportunity to share my personal experiences with the patients and staff of the mental health wing, of how I manage my Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I arrived early, my heart pattering as I located the sign ‘Acute Psychiatric Facility’, and entered the door with a mix of excitement and anxiety.298329-princess-alexandra-hospitalAfter Hospital executives greeted me and shook my hand, I was ushered into a large shady courtyard where patients from three mental health wards were standing, sitting and wandering about. Patients introduced themselves to me, most were friendly, some were quiet and reserved, some agitated,  some had the glazed eyes of heavy medication.

I flash-backed to 2005 and 2006 when I was an inmate of a Brisbane mental health hospital where I was diagnosed with mania and psychosis , the result of  a year of harassment and bullying by parents at the school where I was teaching. I recalled with trepidation, my screaming night terrors and sleepless nights.

I had written the genesis of Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness during my hospital incarceration after weeks of interviewing doctors and patients, trying to make sense of what was happening to me.

ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness won Finalist in the Mental Health achievement awards in 2012 HERE

perf6.000x9.000.inddIt was time. I spoke from my heart to the patients and staff, sharing my mental health history. My hands trembled, my knees quivered …  my voice picked up speed. The recollections were so strong, I started to stammer.

“Slow down, take a deep breath,” Steve Tyrrell my carer and #1 supporter whispered from the sidelines.

I reminded myself- ‘I was once like these patients but … I have been well since 2006. I know I can help them break their own stress cycle, so they can begin their journey to recovery.’

I relaxed, and shared my story, how I recovered, how I developed daily coping skills, and referenced my self-help manual ME and Him: A Guide to Recovery...

KarenTyrrell-Me-And-Him-Cover-WebUse-Lge I touched on my recovery, wellness and resilience tips. I left them my wellness philosophy: a pro-active morning regime, understanding your triggers, having a support team, practicing mindfulness and mediation and a calming pre-sleep routine.

What was the BEST part?

Seeing some positive responses from the patients and meeting Stephanie Azri, social worker and counsellor who congratulated me on giving consumers hope.

photo 2

Karen Tyrrell & Stephanie Azri: social worker

How I’m celebrating Mental Health Week…

This Saturday I’m presenting my KIDS resilience books as FREE story telling sessions at the Brisbane City Council sponsored Sanity Fair at Musgrave Park, Brisbane. Read HERE

PLEASE come over and say hi… 

RH3STOP the Bully at 11:00 am Sharing bully prevention skills

Bailey Beats the Blah 12.30 pm Sharing Coping skills to prevent childhood anxiety and depression

Both Books come with FREE Teacher notes and Kids activities HERE

My Books are available on Amazon in print and eBook

Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness  

ME and Him: A Guide to Recovery 

Bailey Beats the Blah   Prevent childhood anxiety and depression

STOP the Bully   KIDS Bully prevention skills

Are you looking after your mental health?
How are you celebrating Mental Health week?

PLEASE Share, LIKE, tweet, Google plus,

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