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.

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!!!

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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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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Kids Flix FREE Event Kids with illness or disability

Kid flixCome to Kids Flix FREE Brisbane Event for children and young people 16 years or under:

For Kids living with a chronic illness, disability or in a disadvantaged situation and their family

FREE hour of children’s entertainment …

9.00-10.00am including face painting, clowns, Star Wars characters, Mickey
and Minnie Mouse, followed by the Disney Movie Planes: Fire and Rescue

10:00 am The Movie starts… Everyone attending will receive a drink and popcorn …

The invited child’s immediate family (ie siblings, parents, carers) are also part of the experience at NO cost.
Please note all children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Kids Flix is a project of the Arthritis Foundation.

WHEN: 1st November 9am
WHERE: Stafford Shopping Centre, Brisbane
Entries close:  17th  October

Download this form & post to register for KIDS FLIX

Or download KIDS FLIX Via this Facebook link :

PS All Carers have to do is print out the form and post it in to be considered.
HURRY: Entries close soon !!

Are you or a family you know, coming along?

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Celebrate Good Times at Sanity Fair

Sanity Fair 2014Come to Sanity Fair Mental Health week community event.

A special day to celebrate the possibility of wellness, resilience and recovery.

Sanity Fair raises awareness and address stigma around mental health.

Nearly half Australians experience signs and symptoms of mental health distress so it’s important for people to feel OK even just to talk about it and to share their experience.”

Connect and link in with your local community with lots of fun activities.

 STOP the Bully and Bailey Beats the BLAH 

KIDS: I’m presenting FREE interactive stories STOP the Bully and Bailey Beats the Blah with costumes, chants and lots of fun.

STOP the Bully empowers children with bully prevention skills and boosts t self-confidence

STOP the bully

STOP the Bully interactive story by Karen Tyrrell

Bailey Beats the BLAH helps kids overcome sad days and worry thoughts

LOOK out for my marquee and banners: I will be handing out FREE STOP the Bully post cards and Bailey Beats the BLAH bookmarks, and FREE goodies from Kids Helpline counseling service.


Bailey Beats the Blah Interactive story by Karen Tyrrell

Plus there’s FREE Pony rides FREE Animal farm FREE Jumping castle FREE entertainment.

WHEN: Saturday October 11th 10am-3pm

STOP the Bully 11am
Bailey Beats the Blah 12.30pm

WHERE:  Musgrave Park, South Brisbane


Sanity fair 2014Please put Saturday 11th October in your diary and TELL everyone you know.

Will you be coming along to join the FUN?

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Create & Publish a Picture Book Workshop

Picture book workshop

EVER wanted to Create and Publish a KIDS Picture Book?
Join me, Karen Tyrrell award-winning Brisbane author-teacher as I share my pro-active steps in creating and publishing a successful children’s picture book …  FREE Event

I’ll share my step-by-step tips …

•   Features of a successful picture book
•    How to create unforgettable characters
•    How to hook in your reader
•    How to Get Published

REVIEWS of Bailey Beats the Blah received ★★★★★  from teachers, school counsellors and psychologists, supported by Education Queensland.  HERE

REVIEW of Bailey from the Teacher-Librarian network zoomed out to *thousands*of schools  HERE

I’ll share ALL my secrets into writing a Publishable picture book.

I’ve presented creative writing workshops and story-telling to Gold Coast Writers Festival, schools, libraries, and writing conferences.


“Excellent presentation! Very informative and highly credible – you were obviously speaking from experience. Thank you for not only encouraging your fellow writers but giving great practical and realistic advice as to what steps are required to get published.

If I were you, I’d now add ‘Writing Coach’ to your title”– Wendy Millgate: Editor South City Bulletin

“Karen is a vibrant presenter with an inspirational story to tell. She speaks with great authority, having learned through hard-won experience. Her topic is interesting and her enthusiasm is contagious.” – Ali Stegert: School Counsellor & Author

Come join my FREE Picture Book workshop

WHERE:  Logan West Library … 62 Grand Plaza Drive, Brown Plains

WHEN: Thursday 16th October 6pm … Tea & coffee provided
RSVP  Ring 3412 4160


PS I’ll be signing copies of Bailey Beats the Blah and STOP the Bully, my mid-grade novel.

Download FREE Teacher Notes FREE Kids Activities HERE

Can you please share this picture book workshop?
Are you coming along to this FREE event?
Please RSVP below
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Destiny Road by Melissa Wray WIN $20 Gift Cards

My friend, Melissa Wray celebrates the second anniversary of DESTINY ROAD her YA novel.
Win two $20 gift cards!!
What sparked the idea to write Destiny Road?
Recently Melissa Wray was asked this question by Uncommon YA.
Here is her very personal response.

We moved to North Queensland when I was 14. After a year or so Mum could see that something about Townsville and I did not mix. Strangely enough it was her suggestion to ring my dad and ask if I could move back south.


So I did. Then I packed my bags and moved 3,000km away to live with him. This decision is what sparked the idea for Destiny Road.


Now I never set out to write this story, let alone have it published. It just kind of happened. It came about because one night I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. There was an unspoken conversation going on in my mind. It was a conversation that I regret not having and has played on my mind over the years. This particular night it got the better of me so I got up and began to write. It wasn’t until after I read through those mad ramblings a couple of weeks later that I thought hmmm … I could create a story from this. So I began writing. I passed my 10,000 word milestone. Then 20 then 30 then before I knew it 50,000 words had been typed.


You see I think about that one phone call I made all those years ago sometimes. I have often thought about how that decision, that one pivotal moment that is talked about in Destiny Road, really did change the course of my life. I’m sure as you’re reading this you can look back over your life, and pinpoint one moment that has shaped it in a big way. I truly believe that Dad saying yes when I asked was a determining factor in how things have turned out for me.


One afternoon I was sitting with him. He got to talking about his philosophy on life and death. Dad had been fighting a battle against cancer for a while at this point and I was kneeling next to him as he sat on his reclining chair. He was holding my hand as he shared these ideas on life and death. He said to me “It’s cool. Whatever happens, it’s cool.” My dad used cool a lot when he spoke. He was pretty cool. He was also a big believer in God. So that afternoon he said “It’s cool if I die because I get to meet my maker.” ‘Then he said “But it’s cool if I live because I get to be with the ones I love.” This was his philosophy. Either way was cool with him.


I remember kneeling there, holding his hand and wishing I could say thankyou to him. Thanks for saying yes all those years ago. Thanks for that pivotal moment in my life. I wanted him to know how much that meant. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t get those words out.


That night he passed away.
I never did get to tell him and have regretted that for the past 10 years. So you see once the spark to write Destiny Road was lit, it had to finished. It was my tribute, my thankyou and I am beyond thrilled it was published.

Now I’m not going to bore you with my views on life and death but I can’t help but wonder something, because anyone who knew my dad, Rod Morris, and anyone who knew his sense of humour … well I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a helping hand when Morris Publishing (no relation) chose to publish Destiny Road. I like to think so.
It’s hard to believe two years has passed since the launch of Destiny Road.
To celebrate there is a chance to win 2 x $20 Gift Cards,

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To connect with Melissa;

Will you support Destiny Road?

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Logan Mayor buys Bully Prevention book for Schools

STOP the Bully at Logan City Council

STOP the Bully at Logan City Council

With much pride, I Karen Tyrrell author teacher handed over a bulk order of STOP the Bully children’s novel to Logan Mayor Pam Parker to send out to Logan Schools.

 STOP the Bully empowers kids 8 to 12 with bully prevention skills in a heart-warming story …

“Brian is HIDING something. His life is falling apart. Dad abandoned the family. Brain hates his new school. And now a bully attacks him every day. Can Brian STOP the Bully without revealing his secret?”

STOP the Bully‘s hand-over event was held at the Caring Women United meeting at Logan City Council.
My heart pattered as I revealed my personal recovery from parent-teacher bullying and harassment, PTSD and mental illness.

I shared how writing my memoir and resilience books aided my recovery and healing.

In 2012, Mayor Pam Parker launched my award winning memoir, Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness at Logan North Library HERE

In 2013, Pam purchased a bulk order of picture book Bailey Beats the Blah to deliver early intervention to Logan Kids empowering them with resilience skills to beat sad days and worry thoughts.

Copies of Bailey Beats the Blah were handed out to volunteers who go into schools to help children to READ. HERE


I handed over Bailey Beats the Blah to Mayor Pam Parker for Literacy in Schools project in 2013

Mayor Pam Parker pro-actively supports Early Literacy Projects in Logan Schools especially those which break the cycle of disadvantage.  STOP the Bully will go to out to volunteers who’ll take my mid-grade novel into schools to improve their literacy, pro-active bully prevention strategies, self-esteem and self-confidence.

perf5.000x8.000.inddSTOP the Bully available in print and eBook from Amazon.  HERE

Download FREE teacher resources and FREE children’s activities HERE

My books available from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast stores HERE

I’m so lucky to have Mayor Pam Parker as a mentor and supporter of my mental health books and positive messages.

Do you have someone who  mentors and supports your community outreach?

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World Suicide Prevention Day

10685360_10152724529279015_6799804382553076669_nLet’s unite to bring suicide out of the shadows into the LIGHT of awareness, hope, recovery and prevention. I’m so passionate about suicide prevention and saving people’s lives.

WHY am I so passionate?

I know what it’s like to feel alone, overwhelmed and without hope. Once I experienced dark days in the depths of mania and madness. Parents at my schools harassed and bullied me until I could take no more. Police incarcerated me into a frightening psychiatric hospital.

I wrote ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness my journey into and out of madness and despair. In ME & HER, I mention my special affinity with Robin Williams who’s recent untimely death devastated me.  Download 20 pages HERE

Over time, I learned how to recover by keeping myself well and resilient, creating a pro-active wellness plan with hundreds of coping skills. I wrote ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery sharing recovery steps I used to recover … and helped my husband recover from depression too. I’m so proud: I haven’t had a bipolar episode since 2006. Download 10 pages HERE

Suicide is mostly Preventable

Tragically, six Australians are lost to suicide every day, underlying the importance of getting help. Worldwide the stats are even higher … every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide … We CAN help prevent suicide.

HOW can We Prevent Suicide?

keep-calm-and-prevent-suicide1. Take care of your own mental health. Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Take time to connect with yourself and enjoy the activities you love doing. Take time to visit with friends and family. Keep track of your emotional behaviour will help detect signs of depression– a major risk factor for suicide.

2. Build and maintain social connections – vital to your overall health. Your personal network of friends, family or other trusted individuals can be a lifeline. Get involved in support groups, go to group therapy, or be active in social groups that promote healthy behaviours and well-being.

3.  Watch out for warning signs with your friends or colleagues especially changes in their behaviour. Learn the warning signs of suicide and what to do in a crisis. Don’t be afraid to talk about suicide with a friend or loved one. It will make all the difference.

4.  Find out what suicide prevention resources exist in your community. Most police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, mental health workers, and primary care doctors are equipped to help someone struggling with thoughts of suicide. Knowing who to turn to in a time of crisis can be lifesaving.

5. Help spread the word that suicide is mostly preventable. Help is only a phone call away. Ring Lifeline. If you or someone you know is experiencing a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or access our online crisis support chat service (8pm-midnight, 7 days)

6. WALK to raise awareness and prevent suicide. The Out of the Shadows walk provides an opportunity for people to openly discuss and reflect on suicide. 13th September 2014 8 -9am Kurrawa Park, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach. Lifeline will provide hats to commemorate the walk and flowers and balloons will be provided for those wishing to remember their loved ones. To register, please visit: KarenTyrrell-Me-And-Him-Cover-WebUse-Lge7. Support the research of Black Dog Institute into suicide prevention and mood disorders. Buy a copy of ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery  to create your own pro-active wellness plan to boost your mood and well-being. Learn how to overcome depression and beat anxiety. Prevention is BETTER than Cure. Percentage of proceeds go to Black Dog Institute. Read 10 pages HERE

PLEASE Remember to spread hope, recovery and suicide prevention.

Reach out to someone today … Save your life or someone you love.

What suicide prevention resources do you recommend?

How can we spread positive messages about suicide prevention?

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7 Ways to get Writing Feedback

writing-tips YEEHAA! I received results from the CYA Conference competition on my two picture books. With hands shaking, I clicked open the emails, praying CYA’s feedback would be constructive, uplifting, … a positive blueprint on AMPING my stories to the HIGHEST publishing standard.

It WAS … and more!

Four months ago, I submitted my two stories in the Published Authors competition. I continued to work on my manuscripts with CRIT buddies from my face-to-face writing group Write Links and my Beta Readers too, amping up the story arc and characterization.
Constructive assessment is crucial to my growth as a writer, preparing my manuscripts for publishing.

How to AMP up your Writing

1.    Keep believing you’ll get published … and you will. Search for writing competitions that offer feedback.

2.    Join a writing group who critiques with positive feedback on what works, what could work better and suggestions.

3.    Find a Beta Reader to swap same genre manuscripts with.  Send a brief of what you’d like your Beta reader to look for or check whilst reading and critiquing. SEE #2

4.    Submit your manuscript to CYA (Children’s and YA) Writers Conference who offer writing feedback on five levels: spelling and grammar, story, characterization, writing technique, reader enjoyability and The X Factor.

5.    Contact Queensland Writers Centre  for “The Writers Surgery”, a one-on-one 90 minute consultancy with a professional mentor. Send a 20 page sample of your work to receive guidance.

6.    Submit your manuscript to a Professional editor who offers in-depth assessments. I recommend Sally Odgers of Affordable Manuscript Assessments who will assess your manuscript’s structure and writing techniques.

7.     Take time to develop your manuscript to the highest standard possible using respected assessment and feedback techniques.

I NEED constructive feedback and assessment. It’s the ONLY way my stories will reach their full potential and be the very best they can be.
I’m constantly reaching for higher goals, for a wider outreach for my resilience books for children and adults.


CYA Conference LOGO

 CYA Judges feedback on my PICTURE books

Harry Helps Grandpa Remember  
“Lovely story with a nice message … Good concept … Made me cry… A need out there for this type of book – Good luck – Hope to see it on the shelf soon.”

Ella Outsmarts the Bully

“Nicely done … Consider looking at the ending. Needs a twist or a punch to it.”

I rewrote Ella Outsmarts the Bully, adding that twist and punch, and a NEW sub-theme. I changed the main character’s name to Zena and titled it, Zena Outsmarts the Bully.


YES! A mainstream publisher requested to read Zena Outsmarts the Bully! She’s presently considering it for publication. Please cross your fingers that she’ll publish Zena. Cross your eyes and your toes too!
Thanks to all my Beta Readers and Crit buddies for helping me get Zena this far. Hugs xx

What feedback and assessments have improved your Writing?

How did your CYA feedback go?

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