Category Archives: Year of Gratitude

Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – Days 166-190

Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – June 15th – July 9th

Keeping this blog up-to-date when so many things are going on in my life (particularly writing) has put me behind 25 days. In those 25 days I’ve had loads more than 25 things to be grateful for. I’m more than grateful for the 24th June (my book launch) and birthday. Of course it’s a day I will never forget and one I am humbly appreciative of. You can read about it at an earlier post Top 10 Book Launch Moments.

The Zanzibar Moon author book launch poster.

The framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster given to me by my family to remember my first published book and the book launch.

Rather than going through every one of the 25 days I’ll just list the wonderful things I am grateful for during that time (and there’s probably plenty more). They are:

  • The Zanzibar Moon reviews so far (all positive and definitely a boost to my writer’s self-worth)
  • The Book Launch being a huge success and selling out of books
  • My family for gifting me the framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster (unexpected and perfect). My brother organised that and Mum picked the ideal beachy frame. Plus, my brother (and his business partner Viki) also printed my bookmarks so I could give them out as gifts to readers.
  • My health – with viruses and flues going around I’ve kept my health. We should never take our health for granted.
  • Awesome friends who’ve been so supportive of The Zanzibar Moon, particularly those reposting on social media, selling at their businesses and spreading the word.
  • Darci’s book-themed The Zanzibar Moon cup cakes for my book launch.
  • Beautiful friends who went over the top at the book launch by bringing me gifts, bottles of champagne, words of congratulations and flowers. You made my day that much more special. Thank you.
  • My best friends for organising the venue and bringing so much food (there were enough leftovers to feed a footy club).
  • Meeting the Palm Beach Erotic Book Club women, by chance, at Currumbin RSL. I did my first public reading from The Zanzibar Moon. Serendipity at its best made me feel very blessed.
  • My husband and son, though stunned by my success, not really surprised. The love they give me makes me grateful and happy. I feel cherished.
  • A near full moon last night. It will be a full moon tonight (yes I will be looking up).
  • Starting the prequel ‘Kendwa’s Secret’ and the muse is with me.
  • Having author connections that fulfill my needs as a writer, with collaboration, networking, advice, inspiration, encouragement – my tribe!
  • Starting another exciting writing project.
  • My dog snuggling on my lap now that the winter chill has set in (okay she even does that in summer, but it’s nice).
  • Gloriously sunny winter days.
  • Readers. Thank you all for giving The Zanzibar Moon and this début author a go.
Flowers, gifts, The Zanzibar Moon, champagne, Amarula.

The unusual and beautiful flowers from my friends during my book launch. They still look like this two weeks later. Plus one of the bottles of champagne and the Amarula my mum gave me (yum yum).

Enough of me. What are you grateful for today?

Top 10 Best Book Launch Moments of The Zanzibar Moon

Top 10 Best Book Launch Moments of The Zanzibar Moon

Saturday 24th June 2017 the date of my very first personal book launch for The Zanzibar Moon. It couldn’t have gone any better. My wildest dream of selling out of books happened and I have orders for more. My first fortnight’s sales have exceeded my own expectations by at least double.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

Beautiful bunch of flowers from my lovely friends, at the launch of The Zanzibar Moon, 24th June 2017.

It was a modest, but lovely affair at my friends The Ashby’s home in Currumbin Waters. The outdoor room was decorated in Zanzibar theme, with flowing Arabian material on the ceiling, poster of The Zanzibar Moon on a wall, ancient lamps (at least they looked it), palm trees, tea lights, butterflies, bright kangas (African sarongs) and leopard print table runners. It was magical.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

Colleen, my little helper Ella and Me with copies of The Zanzibar Moon.

Inside we had a round table filled with my books, bookmarks and a stand with a poster inserted of me and the book. This table very quickly had fewer books, but filled with congratulatory bottles of champagne, flowers and gifts (truly overwhelming). Some people knew it was my birthday (53rd) but most were just celebrating my book. Over the afternoon I was told; “What a fabulous achievement!”, “Now I can say I know an author,”, “How did you do it all?” (as a self-publisher), “You must be very proud,”, “Congratulations you are an inspiration.”.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

My cousin Mandy, Ella and Me with Sue, Katrina and Karen in the background.

I was prepared for a day of celebrations for producing a book, but the support and well wishes were stunning, enthusiastic and heartfelt. I am forever grateful for the support I received. Thank you everyone who came, particularly those who bought food as well (we ended up with plenty).

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

My dear friend Sam getting a book signed at The Zanzibar Moon book launch.

After spending almost two hours signing books (no I am not complaining about writer’s cramp), putting books in bright pink bags with names on (so party goers would not mix up books or spill champagne on them), having my little niece Ella as my helper and wondering what was going on with everyone outside, I finally took a break then quickly went into book launch speech mode.

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

Helen gave me a lovely bunch of flowers and bought a signed copy of The Zanzibar Moon. The gold bottle of wine was from Debbie and I also received one from Karen. Thank you ladies.

My husband Bevil was MC. As always he got a few laughs before leaving it to me. I know I was mainly in front of family and friends, still I was nervous. I had cue cards though barely looked at them. I wanted it off the cuff as much as possible. Of course then I forgot some major points. No one seemed to mind. I didn’t want to talk for long, so didn’t read a passage of the book (besides having contact lenses on which would have made that difficult). Then The Zanzibar Moon was launched. My son Blake recorded the event. I’ll be cringing when I see it. You should record these things shouldn’t you?

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

One of my most supportive friends Chrissy, who couldn’t wait for book launch day. Here we are wine and books in hand.

My brother Brad and sister Karen then gave me a gift, which Mum (away in Bali) had picked. It’s a framed version of my book poster with the date and a little plaque at the bottom which reads, “Congratulations Donna on your first published book. Love from your Family.”

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

Me holding the beautiful framed poster of The Zanzibar Moon with my gorgeous hubby Bevil.

That leads me to the top 10 moments of my book launch:

  1. Most people arrived on time (eager) and went straight to the book signing table (wow!)
  2. Those who’ve finished reading are telling everyone else how much they enjoyed The Zanzibar Moon and how good it is (please post these on-line readers, thanks)
  3. Receiving my first unexpected bottle of champagne
  4. Being handed a bunch of flowers (then more and more)
  5. My dearest friends being more excited about the day than me. They showed much they care by setting up, cooking food, providing the venue, telling others, making things perfect and being the wonderful people they are.
  6. My family coming; which included husband, son, siblings, nieces, cousins and uncles and aunties (unfortunately Mum was overseas). My other kids and grandchildren couldn’t make it either. They were in touch with lovely wishes through the day, as was Mum.
  7. Selling out of all but two books (which I wanted to keep on me, as an author cannot go without her book) and having over a dozen more ordered.
  8. My husband’s heartfelt speech. For a non-book reader, he is extremely supportive of what I love doing – writing.
  9. Receiving the gift of the framed book launch poster. It means a lot to me that the family thought of the perfect gift, particularly Mum who desperately wanted to be here.
  10. The overwhelming support. I had no idea that people would be so excited about my book launch (I’d worked in the publishing industry before and never seen a response like it). The offers of re-posting to social media, using word-of-mouth publicity, offering to sell books and every other supportive comments. Just – wow!


The Zanzibar Moon book launch

I may look a tad happy here. Signing books, selling books, having fun, loving life, loving family and friends and of course new readers too.

Thank you to everyone who came to the book launch of The Zanzibar Moon. The video is coming soon.

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