How to Get to Rio, by Julie Fison

Every day when the bus reached his stop, I’d hold my breath, willing him to appear through the front doors. On the days he did, I watched him. He hung out with the sporty guys…Rio and his friends were always laughing. His brown eyes creased up when he smiled, and he looked so unbelievably cute.

Kitty has a big crush on a boy who travels on her bus. She’s never spoken to him, but he is surely the cutest guy in the world and she would do almost anything to get to know him. But would that ‘anything’ include turning away from her two best friends?

How to Get to Rio , the first a new series, is a tween novel with a difference. Whilst readers follow Kitty’s adventures, they also play an active role in deciding what she should do at key points of the narrative. In a form reminiscent of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ stories, readers are asked every few chapters to decide what Mia should do, being directed to a page to continue reading dependent on that choice. The decisions ask readers to consider dilemmas of friendship, loyalty and courage as they put themselves in Kitty’s shoes.

Readers in upper primary and lower secondary will enjoy the novelty of the format, the gentle romance and the sense of being involved.

How to Get to Rio (Choose Your Own Ever After)

How to Get to Rio , by Julie Fison
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2014
ISBN 9781742977744

Available from good bookstores or online.

The Love Oracles: Nymph, by Tonya Alexandra

Prometheus’s mouth stretch into a long frown. “I do not seek your permission, niece. I promised your father I would watch over you in his absence and I’m afraid I haven’t done a good job of it so far. It is both my formal duty and my personal desire to see to this matter.” His eyes were soft. “If, that is, you trust me enough to represent you…”
“Uncle, of course!” Merope cried. “I only worry Zeus will punish you as a result.”
“Zeus we can manage, love,” Prometheus replied. “I can’t promise the same with Orion though. That half-god is unpredictable.” He took her by the shoulders. “I’m afraid, Merope, you’ve made yourself a very dangerous foe.”

As a nymph, it is unthought of that Merope would reject an approach from Orion, but that is exactly what she has done, though she knows there will be consequences. Banished to earth under the guardianship of her uncle, Prometheus, Merope must learn to live amongst humans. This is hard – humans have funny ways – but she must try to fit in. When she meets Lukas, a human teen, she starts to feel like she’s never felt before. But love between a goddess and a mortal is forbidden, and Merope soon realises she has attracted the wrath of the gods.

Nymph is an intriguing young adult read, set chiefly on an idyllic Greek island, as well as within the heavens. Drawing on Greek mythology, blended with contemporary romance, the story will intrigue those with an interest in mythology, or serve to entice the reader to learn more.

The first in The Love Oracles series, Nymph is suitable for teen readers as well as adults.


Nymph (Love Oracles)

Nymph, by Tonya Alexandra
Walker Books, 2014
ISBN 9781922077240

Available from good bookstores and online.

Little Chef, Big Curse, by Tilney Cotton

It all began one winter’s night, five hundred years ago, in a sleepy little village. Snow sprinkled the rooftops and pale wisps of smoke rose from a chimney or two.
The moon had just risen when a shooting star whipped across the sky, trailing a dazzling thread of green and red cinders.

500 years after a curse has been placed on the kingdom of Yurp, Matty Swink finds himself in a spot of bother. He’s a virtual prisoner as general dogsbody in a dodgy restaurant, but dreams of cooking glory. So when the King of Yurp announces a cooking contest, Matty is determined to win it. All he has to do is get Princess Meg to like his dish. But he soon discovers that winning the contest might not be the answer to his prayers.

Little Chef, Big Curse is a funny, action filled tale about cooking, curses and weird moon-rats with big appetites. Matty is a likeable, well-intentioned main character who is the victim of an equally unlikeable villain in the form of Fenella, a restaurateur with a penchant for unsavoury dishes made from whatever she can catch or scrape up. Matty’s story blends humour, adventure and fantasy. The occasional intrusions of the narrator take the reader into the story and add to the fun.

Suitable for middle and upper primary aged readers.


Little Chef, Big Curse

Little Chef, Big Curse, by Tilney Cotton
Scholastic, 2014
ISBN 9781742832692

Available from good bookstores and online.

Meet My Book: Stop the Bully, by Karen Tyrrell

Today we welcome to the Aussiereviews blog, Karen Tyrell, a Queensland author who is here as part of her blog tour, to introduce us to her new book Stop the Bully. Welcome Karen.

  1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

 STOP the Bully by Karen Tyrrell Publisher: Digital Future Press             perf5.000x8.000.indd

Release Date May 31st 2014

2.       Why did you write the book?

I’m a survivor of childhood bullying and parent-teacher bullying. Bullying led to my “breakdown” but I returned as an author-teacher stronger than ever. I was compelled to write a book empowering children with anti-bullying strategies.

3.       How long from idea to publication?

14 months

4.       What was the hardest thing about writing it?

I wanted to deliver positive messages on bully prevention and solutions, at the same time write a fast paced mystery that would hook kids in.

  5.       Coolest thing about your book?

Kids Helpline endorsed STOP the Bully with their Logo, which sits proudly on the back cover with their phone number for kids in crisis. They offered a special quote for my review #1 page. Kids Helpline are guest speaking at my Brisbane and Logan book launches, providing FREE goodies for the children.

6.       Something you learnt through writing the book?

I widened my range of anti-bullying strategies to use in different situations. I discovered bully prevention websites, agencies, and radio stations which specialize in anti-bullying. I learned how taekwondo assists teaching assertive anti-bullying strategies. (My son and his girlfriend practice taekwondo.)

7.       What did you do celebrate the release?

I celebrated privately with my family, a weekend away at Noosa Heads Queensland. Plus I celebrated publicly at a launch party at BlackCat Books in Brisbane.

8.       And how will you promote the book?

During June 2-13 I’m promoting STOP the Bully via my Blog Tour with online interviews and reviews. I’ve giving away copies there and on Goodreads. Media will interview me on radio and in the press. On June 21st, I will launch STOP the Bully locally at Logan North Library. I’m presenting Author in School sessions for Gold Coast Writers Festival June 13, an author banding seminar for Queensland Writers Centre June 14, and on the Success Story panel at the CYA Conference July 5.

Download FREE teacher notes and FREE kids activities

9.       What are you working on next?

I’ve entered two picture books in writing competitions.

I plan to rewrite Josh and the It, Book 1 of my junior sci-fi series.

10.   Where we can find out more about you and your book?

STOP the Bully is available on Amazon

at good bookshops and via my website 


Thanks for dropping by, Karen.


You can learn more about the book by following Karen’s blog tour. You also have a chance to win a copy of the book at each stop (including this one) by leaving a comment. One comment on today’s post will be chosen at random to win a copy of the book.

STOP the Bully Blog Tour & BookGiveAway

Empower KIDs with assertive anti-bullying strategies!

WIN: Signed copies and eCopies of STOP the Bully.

Leave a comment on any of the 15 hops June 2- 11

The MORE comments you leave the MORE chances you WIN.

WINNERS announced on June 16 http://


Blog Tour June 2-11

2 June STOP the Bully Release Party & Reviews http://

Sally Odgers Interview

3 June Jill Smith Review

Charmaine Clancy Interview

4 June Sally Murphy QUICK Questions

5 June Melissa Wray Interview

Yvonne Mes Interview

6 June Ali Stegert Interview

7 June Kids Book Review CURLY Questions

9 June Bug in a Book Review

Jackie Hosking Interview

10 June June Perkins Interview

Robyn Parnell Interview

11 June Nicky Johnson Review

Literati Radio Interview 9am AEST


Cicada, by Moira McKinnon

She brushed her lips against the baby’s forehead and she saw his eyes fix on hers.
‘I am here.’ She touched his shoulders, his chest and felt his heartbeat against the tips of her fingers.
It was then that her husband’s hand smashed hard and cold against her face. The child fell from her arms. She reached for him, but the room went dark and she was falling, and all she could see were William’s eyes burning and yellow.

On a remote Kimberley station, Lady Emily Lidscombe gives birth to her first child, a child she hopes will provide an heir and perhaps breathe life into her ailing marriage. But the baby, when it is born, is not her husband’s: he has ‘skin the colour of dark mallee honey’, the result of a brief liaison with an Aboriginal stockman. The birth sets of a violent and disturbing chain of events and soon Emily is on the run with her maid, Wirritjil, across the stark but beautiful landscape as they avoid capture and retribution for crimes real and imagined.

Cicada is a breathtaking tale of two disparate women who form a deep connection amidst horrible circumstances in a landscape which is as foreign to one as it is will be to most readers. This landscape is key to the story – it is a much a story of place as it is of violence, displacement and friendship. It is isn’t an easy read but it is compelling and utterly beautiful.


Cicada, by Moira McKinnon
Allen & Unwin, 2014
ISBN 9781743315293

Available from good bookstores or online.

The Simple Things, by Bill Condon

The door opens and Dad and Mum sneak out.
Somewhere in the darkness a clock ticks off the seconds. I silently count each one – five…fifteen…twenty five.
Maybe Aunty Lola will go to sleep. Then I can sneak out, too. Thirty five…forty fi-
‘So you’re Stephen.’

Stephen is shy, but never so shy as when he meets his great aunt Lola for the first time. She’s really really old and she’s very grumpy too. Stephen is scared, but Mum and Dad say they have to stay with Aunt Lola because she’s lonely and they’re the only family she has. It’s only three weeks, after all.  Stephen gets to meet the neighbours, learn how to fish, play cricket and climbs – simple things. He also starts to learn about his family, and especially about Aunt Lola. And when there’s an emergency Stephen realises maybe Lola isn’t so scary – maybe she’s his friend.

The Simple Things is a beautiful tale of family, friendship and generations. Stephen is a quirky, loving boy and Lola is an intriguing character who readers will be keen to get to know. Their developing relationship is a pleasure to witness.

Condon has a gently humorous touch as an author, and the focus on a child who is gentle-natured but brave in his own way, makes for a heart warming read.


The Simple Things

The Simple Things, by Bill Condon
Allen & Unwin, 2014
ISBN 9781743317242

Available from good bookstores and online.