Posted in Kendwa's Secret, Marketing books, Publishing, Writers, Writing tips

Kendwa’s Secret Book Launch Oct 27 2018


A quick stroll with my dog, Mahli, showered in sunshine, smelling the star jasmine vine curling around my fence and the white blossoms of the budding gardenia, is a nice enough way to start any day. My Kendwa’s Secret book launch day began that way. Summer in the air, a breeze in my hair and an excited skip to my steps.

Kendwa's Secret Book Launch
Cheetah guarding the books at Donna Munro’s book launch.

You know what it’s like when you’re excited about an event but anxious at the same time, like bees are chasing the butterflies in your stomach? I didn’t want to get as nervous as I had been about my first book launch (The Zanzibar Moon), so my little break with nature helped calm and ground me. Last time I stressed over little details (particularly the speech). This launch I decided to enjoy my achievement with no expectations of the outcome. It didn’t matter how many books were sold or the amount of people who turned up. What did matter was sharing the arrival of Kendwa’s Secret with my loved ones. Together we celebrated another hurdle I’ve leaped over in my attempts to keep running the writing race.

Kendwa's Secret Book Launch
Ella, Donna, Mia and Colleen getting a book signed.
Kendwa's Secret
Ella, Donna, Helen Doyle.
Kendwa's Secret Book Launch
Ella, Donna, Leanne Scaysbrook and Kevin McManus.

Perfect weather was the first blessing. Books arrived in time (through the week). Bookmarks were beautifully printed by Inky Graphix (Brad and Vikki). The event coincided with my mum being available (sadly she missed my first book launch), the absolute reason for the chosen date. My vision of a stunningly laid out book-signing desk became a reality (see the pictures), thanks mostly to my suddenly blooming garden (jasmine draped my book stand, and gardenias dressed the table) and my array of bookish knickknacks. Later joined by a stuffed Cheetah (of The Zanzibar Moon fame). Thanks, my dear writing friend Katrina for that (see hillarious photos to follow).

Kendwa's Secret
Donna and Debbie Daley.
Kendwa's Secret
Donna and Donna Nicholls at signing table.
Kendwa's Secret.
Sue Ashby and Donna Munro signing a book behind the launch table.

My family and friends pitched in for (more than enough) delicious nibbles for the guests. Particular favourites were my mum, Valerie’s caramel slice, along with tuna bake by Karen and the jelly babies from Leanne. With two huge jars of Book Worms (sour jelly worms), it’s a wonder Bevil didn’t arrive with a belly ache as I had to top up the jars three times before we even got to the book launch.

Kendwa's Secret Book Launch
Bevil Munro, Donna and Angela Szpojda. Kendwa’s Secret book launch.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Donna with the book stand made with her mother’s art easel and blooming plants from Donna’s garden.
Kendwa's Secret book launch.
Donna and Bevil Munro at the book stand at Kendwa’s Secret book launch.

The Currumbin Eagles crew, Pat, Sharon, and Darren manned the bar ensuring guest had refreshments. Clicking away for the first time as a designated photographer, my friend Sue took the photos so we wouldn’t miss a moment of the memories. Bevil and Blake were quite happy to entertain the guests while I signed books and greeted people. Ella, once again, helped collect book money and drew the lucky door prize won by Maryanne. For some funny reason, Bevil (the non-book reader) has declared, “I love book launches.” Perhaps it was the beers, or maybe he loves seeing me happy. You couldn’t wipe the grin off my face with Photoshop!

Kendwa's Secret book launch
Proud speach. Daughter and mother; Donna Munro and Valerie Koenecke.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Darci, Colleen, Ella, Bevil, Blake, Donna, Valerie, Wilson, Karen, Ella and Brad – family. Unfortunately, the time of year the launch was held meant many family members are missing.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Proud husband Bevil and Donna with a copy of Kendwa’s Secret.

Microphone in hand, I made a quick, heartfelt speech explaining a little of my improvement as a writer throughout two books I hold dear to my heart; The Zanzibar Moon and Kendwa’s Secret. After thanking everyone I could think of, the speech was over before I even realised I had not planned a single word. It went better than my well-planned (stressed over) previous one. Phew!
Everyone mingled and talked, not just about books but all sorts of things. It was an eclectic crowd, old friends, newer friends, family, business people, readers and writers alike. Book launches are unlike other parties. People talk with openness brought about by the book themes and the idea of a creative life. Towards the end of the party guests took turns reading from Kendwa’s Secret (the steamy parts). Giggles all around. It was fun though I admitted, “It sounds corny when it’s read out aloud.” This was contradicted by, “Rubbish. I can’t wait to read it all now.”

Kendwa's Secret
Fellow writer Katrina MacDonald and Donna patting Cheetah.
Kendwa's Secret
Donna Nicholls and Conner Ashby.
Kendwa's Secret
Donna, Bevil and Leanne Scaysbrook.

Thank you, everyone, who attended and for the many books bought not just one for themselves but also for family and friends for Christmas and other gift occasions (you know who you are Paige, Katrina, Donna, Julie and Bec). To those who helped with any aspect of it or just turned up for moral support, thank you. To the people who bought books early helping me to fund the book launch, thank you too. Now the bookmarks are printed I’ll make sure you receive one.

Kendwa's Secret
Best book buyer Paige Burrage.
Kendwa's Secret
Bevil and Donna with Currumbin Eagles stalwarts Sharon and Darren Howe.
Kendwa's Secret
Leanne Scaysbrook, Kevin McManus and Bevil Munro.

When you have finished reading, please post a review to the review tab on my Facebook page and recommend the books to your avid reading friends. Spread the word and enjoy the magic and the secret.

Kendwa's Secret book launch
Bar staff volunteers Darren and Sharon Howe enjoying food from one of the platters.
Kendwa' Secret
Craig McGauley showing his Currumbin Eagles RLFC cooler.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Angie Szpjoda and Donna Munro with a copy of Kendwa’s Secret.

As for future readings! I think I’ll reconsider my thoughts on readings and possibly include them in the next book launch. I case you’re wondering, the next book in production is Elephant Creek, the sequel to The Zanzibar Moon. If you haven’t got a copy of the first two yet go to my BOOKSTORE and do yourself (or a loved one for Christmas) a favour.

The Zanzibar Moon
Donna and Donna Nicholls near the original poster from The Zanzibar Moon book launch.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Jerry and Jo Dokter enjoying Kendwa’s Secret book launch.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Paige Burrage and Donna later on the night of the book launch.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Bevil giving his wife a hug.
Katrina MacDonald and Donna Munro will be holding an Author Encounter together at Elanora Library in January.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Darren Howe giving Cheetah a lift.
Kendwa's Secret
Shannagains with the well-loved Cheetah.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Debbie Asselman, Donna, Val, Janet McMillan and Debbie Daley.
Kendwa's Secret book launch
Karen, Darci and Wilson Lane, Blake Munro (centre) and Leanne Scaysbrook.

Kendwa's Secret book launch

I hope you enjoyed the photos by amateur photographer Sue Ashby.

The book launch was held at Currumbin Eagles Rugby League Football Club in Currumbin Waters, Saturday October 27, 2018.

Posted in Happiness, Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, 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?