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Under the Flame Tree



When Kirra leaves school to begin her first job on the station where she grew up, she is unimpressed to find herself partnered with a new employee who will barely speak to her. Daniel is undeniably cute, but he has a serious attitude problem and a mysterious past - there are whispers that he's fresh out of juvenile detention, but no one will tell her why. Daniel gradually thaws and reveals his secrets and Kirra starts to see beyond the moodiness to a boy she can believe in. But others remain wary of him, and her best friend warns her to stay clear. Kirra has some tough decisions to make. Is Daniel worth fighting for? Or should she walk away?

Find "Under the Flametree" at Booktopia.com.au

Rain Dance


'You should come to the drought-relief fundraiser,' Kaydon said to Holly. 'It's a big fancy ball, heaps of fun.' Boy, could this girl use some fun. And some rump steak.

Holly shook her head.

Kaydon gave up. Trying to make her smile was like doing a rain dance. There were clouds and rumblings, and a sprinkle here and there. But no amount of fancy footwork was going to make it happen for real.

Holly Harvey doesn't want to move to Gunnedah, far from her friends and her home near the beach. And she's a vegetarian, so living on a beef property, with cattle yards, polo ponies and pig-shooting, makes it even worse. She and Kaydon are worlds apart - until a fight breaks out at the fundraising ball.

Another addictive romance from the author of Jumping Fences.



"I just fell in love with this book! I fell in love with the characters and at times wished I was actually there with them! I found that this book is written with the same love and passion as all of Karen's other books! I definitely recommend it!", C. Heppner.

Full reviews at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22887771-rain-dance



Jumping Fences


'I don't want you mustering any more,' Dad said. 'You're to knuckle down and do your schoolwork. If you stay here with me, you can keep things going in and around the house, while Mike and I run the farm. Those are my rules. Otherwise you can go and live at your mum's.'

Zoe reeled. There was clearly something she was missing. 'What do you mean?' she said.

Zoe wakes up in hospital after a mustering accident and can't remember a thing. When she gets home, everything has changed. Her dad is being really harsh and her boyfriend Scotty and bestie Caitlin aren't answering her messages. What's going on? Most importantly, what is her brother's mysterious friend Josh hiding, and can he help find her dad's stolen cattle and save him from having to sell the farm? Zoe needs answers and she needs them fast.

This is a book to read at a gallop, with a compulsively readable storyline and an irresistible romantic lead: 'You deserve someone who would jump fences to be with you, Zoe.'




Jumping Fences is a spirited novel aimed at 13-16 year olds. Many will be able to identify with Zoe as she struggles to make decisions about what – and who – is important to her. Loyalty and honesty play a large part in this story and the strength and wisdom that Zoe eventually finds will go a long way toward empowering the reader. Her realistic character growth drives the story toward a satisfying ending.

The writing in this book is clear and concise, flowing smoothly as it moves between the current situation and Zoe’s recovering memories. Mystery and romance is woven throughout the book as well as some surprising twists that will keep the reader riveted until the end.

Read the full review at Buzzwords. (http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/2014/01/jumping-fences.html)


Jumping Fences was another Australian novel with the authentic atmosphere of the bush. I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read which kept me anxiously waiting to see what else would be revealed or unfold next. I am certainly looking forward to reading more of Karen Wood's novels after this impressive experience.

Read the full review at: (http://chasmofbooks.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/arc-review-jumping-fences.html)


It’s a book of many things: saving the farm, betrayal, mystery, divorce, family, missing cattle and – my favourite – dog high jump, which I think there should be a cat version of (though my cats would probably be too lazy to do anything much).

Four stars out of five, and I’d recommend it for teen readers of romance and contemporary, or just after an escape from city settings. It’s definitely different from books I usually read, and I’d welcome the opportunity to read more from Karen Wood.

Read the full review at: (http://aussieownedandread.com/2014/01/21/interview-and-review-jumping-fences-by-karen-wood/)




The Diamond Spirit Series

A warm-hearted series about friendship, courage and finding the horse of your dreams.





Written by Australian author Karen Wood, the Diamond Spirit series is for readers aged 10 years through to young adult and beyond. The books have been published by Allen and Unwin and are available from all good book sellers. They also feature on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge booklist.

"...a complexity and richness that distinguishes the series from conventional 'horse stories' " Rosalind Price (click here for more reviews)



A man Jess had never seen before stood holding
the flyscreen door open.
‘Do you own an Appaloosa pony?’ he asked.
‘It’s stuck in the cattle grid down near the old drovers’ yards.’
Jess’s blood ran cold.

At the start of the summer holidays, the unthinkable happens
when Jess’s beloved pony Diamond has a terrible accident.
Why won’t Shara, Jess’s closest friend, tell her what happened
down on the river flats that day? Jess suspects the worst, and feels
as though she’s lost not just one best friend, but two.
But new friends and new horses come into Jess’s life,
along with the chance to compete in the Longwood campdraft.
And there’s one little filly who needs her help . . . Can Walkabout
heal Jess’s broken heart in return?



Jess untied something from around her neck and held it
out to Luke. ‘Take my moonstone. They’re supposed to give
you beautiful dreams.’
It was a pale oval-shaped stone, hung on a thin leather strap.
‘Promise me you’ll come back,’ she whispered.
‘I’ll see you again, Jess,’ Luke said. ‘Promise.’

After a harsh childhood spent in foster care, Luke finally feels
at home on Harry’s farm, working with horses. When Harry dies,
and Luke has a bitter falling-out with the people around him,
he does a runner, leaving everything behind. He takes off to the
gulf country in search of brumbies and finds himself camped
by a river with three Aboriginal elders.
Can a mob of wild brumbies and three wise men help
Luke discover who he is and where he belongs?

Pictures of the places that inspired book 2




‘What did you decide to call her?’ asked Lawson, looking over Jess’s shoulder.
‘Opal,’ said Jess, gazing lovingly at the little chestnut foal.
‘Bad-luck stones,’ grunted Lawson.

Finally the day has come when Jess can bring home her once-in-a-lifetime
horse. But Opal falls ill, the local vet just can't find a cure and Lawson
casts her out onto his cattle station to “do or die”.
Wild with anger and refusing to give up, Jess heads west on an outback
droving trip with her best friends – and Luke.
Will she be able to bring Opal home? And could Luke be her
once-in-a-lifetime boy?

Pictures of the places that inspired book 3




Shara heard her father's four-wheel drive and moments later the sounds of hooves
up a tailgate. She rushed to the window and saw Rocko's big brown rump disappear
into the float.

'Dad! Dad! No!' She threw herself down the back steps, sobbing. 'I'm sorry!'

When Shara decides to join her friends in protesting against a wild horse race
at the local show, it sounds fun, even heroic, but she isn't prepared for the
tangle of heartbreak that follows. Now the police are at the door, her friend
Corey has severe head injuries and her dream of rescuing a golden colt from its
cruel owners is fading fast. Can she clear her name ? Will she ever see Goldie
again ? And what will happen between her and Corey now ?




"I want to stop whoever's running those brumbies." Luke looked up at her suddenly.
"Come with me, Jessy. I don't want to leave you behind this time. I miss you too much."

When Luke brings home a truckload of traumatised brumbies, some with horrific injuries, Jess agrees that something
must be done. Can Jess, Luke and their friends foil the brumby-runners and save the wild mountain horses from their cruel fate ?
And in going back to Matty's Flat, will Luke discover where he really belongs ?



Meet the Trickstars !


Triplet sisters, Ruby, Kit and Lexie discover their trick riding ancestry in an old trunk in the loft and a dream ignites inside them. But will their overly cautious grandfather allow the them to follow in the stirrups of their ancestors? Will their beautiful gypsy horses ever be anything but plough horses? Will they get the chance to follow their dreams?



Review by Angela Crocombe:

Triplets Ruby, Kit and Lexie live with their mother and grandfather on the family farm and are kept busy with farm work. But their beautiful horses are bred for the circus, not for ploughing fields, and the twins soon discover the importance of their own circus heritage. As the first book in the series, this one has plenty of back story to get in, but Karen Wood seamlessly weaves the girls’ Romani past into the main narrative. There are themes of sisterly love, family secrets passed down through generations, and just a touch of magic. The series will appeal to girls who love stories about the circus, horses or siblings. Wood is an experienced writer of rural settings with her ‘Diamond Spirit’ series, and the world she has created is authentic and appealing. A number of new chapter book series are poised to burst onto the publishing scene in the next few months. Sadly, they can’t all survive, but ‘Trickstars’ has enough excitement and quality writing to last the distance.

Angela Crocombe is the children’s book buyer at Readings Carlton

The complete Trickstars book series is available now in book shops and major department stores including Big W and Target.



These books are the perfect birthday or christmas presents for horse loving girls!


Where to get the books

The Diamond Spirit books are available through Allen and Unwin's web site. E-books are available at most leading online bookstores. Printed books are at Dymocks, Equitainment, and many other book stores throughout Australia. If your local bookshop is out of stock, please ask them to order more in !!!


Keywords: Australian teen horse fiction teenage novels young adult novel children books primary school high school pony club girl outback Australia