Coming Soon – Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra Blog Tour and Book Giveaway


Karen Tyrrell, award winning author launches Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra on Amazon in print and ebook.

Blast off with gadgets, robots and funky food in a hilarious outer space adventure that enlightens you with STEM science, the power of teamwork, problem solving, and resilience.

“Reluctant hero, Jo-Kin never wanted to be a Super Space Kid. Not until Lord Terra kidnaps his Commander’s little sister and starts destroying the galaxy. Jo-Kin reunites the mighty Super Space Kids for an inter-planetary hunt for Lord Terra, finally meeting in a legendary winner takes all battle on Planet Deelish-us.

Can Jo-Kin defeat the all-powerful Lord Terra face to face?”

To celebrate Karen will give away copies of her Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra via the websites below.

Leave a comment on Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra reviews, blog posts and interviews below to WIN.


Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra Blog Tour

23 May Amazon Launch & Book Reviews

24 May Writing Kids Humour, Melissa Wray

25 May Creating a Hero Character, Alison Stegert

26 May Creating Teacher Resources, Romi Sharp

27 May Book Review, Robyn Opie Parnell

30 May Book Review, Jill Smith

31 May Creating Themes in Kids Books, Kate Foster

1 June Illustrate a Children’s Novel, June Perkins


Book Giveaway

WIN one of two signed copies of Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra  OR 3 eBooks OR signed artwork from illustrator Trevor Salter.

For a chance to WIN prizes … Just leave a comment on any of the above websites.

Winners announced on 6 June. 


How to Write a Space Adventure with Karen Tyrrell

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Regulars to my blog may well remember previous visits from Karen.  What you might not know is that recently Karen Tyrrell recently won a major mental health achievement award.  However, this space Adventure, Jo Kin Battles the It, is a slight departure from Karen’s previous books. For those who haven’t come across her books before though, Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning Brisbane based, ‘resilience ‘author, who publishes on this theme for both children and adults.   Her earlier books, like Stop the Bully,  have dealt with themes like bullying and mental health.

I took the chance to find out what motivated Karen to write a space adventure.

1. JUNE: This is a departure from your usual ‘present day and time’ themes, what attracted you to write a space adventure?

KAREN: I’m an avid sci-fi fan and created a hilarious space adventure as a comedic escape when writing my recovery memoir, Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness. When Jo-Kin zoomed across the galaxy battling gruesome monsters and killer robots, he could save the Super Space Kids and be the hero in his own life.

2. JUNE: What do you think setting a story in space rather than in every day circumstances has done to the way you treat the resilience theme?

KAREN: Powerful resilience messages transcend time, space and genre. Children learn to live strong and be the heroes in their own lives. Humour is a powerful coping  tool which kids can use to empower themselves. The FUN fast paced story will enthrall children and the positive messages will open discussion in the classroom and within the family.

3. JUNE: How long have you been working on this story and why couldn’t you stop writing it?

KAREN: This is the story that wouldn’t give up. Over five years ago, I started writing Josh and the It, (original title) receiving high scores at the CYA Conference competition. A major international publisher considered Josh for publication for 14 months. When that didn’t happen, I pursued publishing my recovery memoir from mental illness under my own imprint, Digital Future Press … and the next five resilience books.
Last year I joined Write Links children’s critique group. I submitted Josh and the It with the aim to make it funnier, more intriguing and a real page turner. The new version Jo-kin Battles the It (Super Space Kids #1) was born.

4. JUNE: What was the most challenging thing about completing this book?

KAREN:To create a hilarious space adventure that would have mass appeal to children, parents and teachers. To do this I needed a fast paced story with everything kids would love– incredible gadgets, killer robots, delicious food scenes, quirky humour … and of course super space heroes.

5. JUNE How is Jo-Kin Battles the It different to other kid’s sci-fi?

KAREN: Not only does JO-KIN delivers a fun fast paced hilarious space adventure that’s science curriculum based but it empowers kids to live strong. How?
A. JO-KIN is jam-packed with humour, resilience skills, team work and brainpower skills.
B. Jo-Kin Battles the It invites the reader to problem solve the challenges using science and curiosity.
C. Positive messages show kids how to preserver and NEVER give up.

Jo-Kin Battles the It Book Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR one of four eBooks of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR signed artwork from the illustrator, Trevor Salter.

For a chance to WIN like Karen’s Super Space Kids book series page on Facebook and leave a comment on any  Blog stops 19-30 Oct.  See this earlier post for full list of locations  BLOG STOPS

The next two stops coming up are

29 Oct Sally Odgers Interview

30 Oct Kate Foster Interview

Winners announced in November.

You can purchase the book HERE

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The Drago Tree


Isobel Blackthorn was born in London and has lived in Spain, Lanzarote, (Canary Islands), and Australia. She’s been a teacher, market trader, project manager and PA to a literary agent. Isobel received her PhD in Social Ecology in 2006. She now lives in rural New South Wales where she follows her passions for social justice, philosophy, current affairs, books and art.

Isobel is the author of a collection of short stories, All Because of You (Ginninderra Press), and the novel, Asylum (Odyssey Books). Her writing has appeared in e-journals in Australia and the US. Her second novel, The Drago Tree, was released by Odyssey books on 1 October 2015.


1.June: Can you tell us a little bit about where your book is set and what inspired you to write it?

Isobel:  The Drago Tree is set on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, a Canary Island about 100 kilometres off the coast of southern Morocco. I was a resident of Lanzarote in the eighties and have carried in my heart a great affection for the island ever since, which is what motivated me to write a novel set there.

2.June: Can you tell us a little more about the Indigenous history of Lanzarote?

Isobel: Unlike Australia, Lanzarote was, as far as anyone knows, uninhabited until about two and a half thousand years ago, when a group of Berbers fled the Phoenicians, who were expanding their empire along the North African coast. The Berbers followed the ocean currents and ended up on Lanzarote’s shores.  These Berbers became the island’s First People, a single tribe ruled by a King. They grazed the goats they had brought along with them, fished and farmed.

They were known to be a peaceful friendly tribe, living a quiet life until the Portuguese and the Spanish, keen to expand their empires, arrived on the island.

First contact was much the same as it is the world over. An initial friendly gesture, belying a malevolent intent.

The First People became known as los Conejeros, or ‘the rabbit breeders.’ The term refers to the fact that Lanzarote used to be overrun by rabbits.  There’s another interpretation, which can be found in The Drago Tree.

3. June: So what is the story about?

Geologist Ann Salter seeks sanctuary on the exotic island of Lanzarote. There she meets charismatic author Richard Parry and an indigenous potter Domingo; together they explore the island.

Ann’s encounters with the island’s hidden treasures becomes a journey deep inside herself as she struggles to understand who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be.

[ An extract from the book is up on Isobel’s website]

4.  June: How long did this book take to write?

The Drago Tree is my second novel. I’d long wanted to write a story set on Lanzarote, after having lived there back in the 80s. I adored the island and was sad to leave.  With my life now firmly in Australia, writing a story was the closest I could get, to going back.

In 2009 I thought I’d try writing crime fiction. Back then I was a novice. I crafted a character that would later become the protagonist of The Drago Tree.  I quickly gave up on crime after realising thousands of authors were doing a far better job than I could ever do.

Then I thought I’d write something literary and came up with one sentence. Whatever I wrote after that initial sentence, I scrapped.

It wasn’t until late in 2012 that I set to work on The Drago Tree, and then only by chance. I’d written a short story about a woman alone in a haunted house, lost in the aftermath of a disastrous marriage. After I created the character of this woman, I recalled my earlier character in my never-to-be crime thriller. Amazingly, they were the same woman.  It was then, as I trawled through an old notebook, that I found the initial sentence of my defunct literary effort.

Within minutes I’d conceived the story for The Drago Tree. Throughout the writing and the crafting and the polishing, the story contained a meant-to-be quality.

For more information visit

For the Canberra Book Launch 14th November


To catch the rest of the blog tour visit these blogs on the following dates (Patricia’s blog is already up:)

Blog tour from Friday 23rd October:

Blog Tour

You can find them here:

Patricia Leslie

Tracy Joyce

Rachel Drummond

CA Milson

Tasman Anderson

For more about the setting of this story view this video 


[Please note the times on the blog tour are Australian Times.]

Harry Helps Grandpa – Approaching Alzheimer’s in a Picture Book

Karen pictured with the book

Karen Tyrrell is an award winning Brisbane based, ‘resilience ‘author, who publishes on this theme for both children and adults.   Her earlier books, like Stop the Bully,  have dealt with themes like bullying and mental health.  Harry Helps Grandpa Remember marks a slight change in direction,  in tackling the realities of dementia and their impact on family, although it still has at its heart the theme of empowerment and emotional resilience.  

Harry is about the special love between a little boy and his grandpa who has Alzheimer’s. Harry will do ANYTHING to help his grandpa remember . . .

1. June: Why do you think picture books on this topic are important?

Karen: One in six people are affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory loss. These stats are on the sharp incline. Children are affected by their grandparents and loved-ones affliction and need to understand the disease and how their grandparents still love them. Picture books are the perfect way to teach children coping skills for memory loss.

2. June: What does your book offer that isn’t in other books already out there?

Karen: Harry Helps Grandpa Remember is written from the children’s point of view, as a problem solving, problem verses solution challenge. Harry gently shows the realities of dementia at the same time encourages children to take an active role in their grandparent’s lives. Harry Helps Grandpa Remember teaches memory boosting skills and coping skills for the child and for the one affected.

3. June: I’ve heard about your pantomime of the book. Why did you launch it with a bit of play acting?

Dementia is a difficult subject to present to children. An interactive, multi-media pantomime displaying humour, strong emotions and a sense of fun communicates the deep messages of dementia awareness, coping skills and most of all, love. The pantomime and the actual story Harry Helps Grandpa Remember spring-boards in-depth discussion.

Scene from the Pantomime  at one of the local launches.

4.  June: Who was involved?

Karen: Actually our writer’s group, Write Links played most of the key parts. The lead role of Harry was played by Anthony Puttee, who played Bailey in Bailey Beats the Blah, a book about lifting a child’s mood.

5.  June: As a hybrid publisher (seeking traditional publishing options but also self publishing) myself I am interested in how you found your designer and editor.

Karen: My designer, Anthony Puttee designed the cover for Harry Helps Grandpa Remember and formatted the pages too. My editor, Penny Springthorpe is an ex-Penguin editor. I worked collaboratively with her, developing the characters and the story line to the highest possible standard. Both Penny and Anthony work for Book Cover Café, who act as my publishing advisers for my imprint Digital Future Press. I’ve worked with Book Cover Café since my very first resilience book, Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness.

6.  June: What did you most like about working with them?

Karen: I loved working with all the staff of Book Cover Café in a collaborative way, bouncing ideas off each other. I independently sub-contacted illustrator Aaron Pocock to create full colour illustrations. Penny, Anthony and Aaron are all incredibly talented and creative. They’re all perfectionists too, demanding their own work is completed to the highest publishing standard.

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Harry Helps Grandpa Remember  is now on Amazon world-wide as a print Book and as an eBook.  You can also find it in many local Brisbane book stores.

ISBN: 9780987274083

Blog Tour Book Giveaway

Please leave a comment on any of the visiting sites or a chance to win a signed print copy or 5 eCopies of Harry Helps Grandpa Remember. 6 Copies to be won. 6 Winners announced 3 July.

Next Stop

The next and final stop in the blog tour is  1 July Dimity Review

You can still also retrace the tour and make comments on earlier visiting sites.