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 Family life, Happiness, Year of Gratitude

147 to 165 Days of Gratitude – Black Hawk Anniversary


Day 147 to 165 of 365 Days of Gratitude – Black Hawk Anniversary

It’s been 18 days since I last gave gratitude on this blog. I’ve been grateful for many things in those 18 days and most of them deal with my health and being alive. We should have gratitude for every day we wake and live on our beautiful planet Earth. Lots of people have come and gone since I’ve lived, and I ponder why some left this journey early, while others (such as my nana who lived till 94) stay longer than, perhaps, they would have liked. And, mostly why do some die so young?

Sunrise at Currumbin Beach Qld.
Have gratitude when you can wake each morning and see a new sunrise.

I am melancholy about this, as during these days the anniversary of The Black Hawk Accident occurred. 18 of our finest men died in that tragic incident June 12th 1996. 15 were SAS soldiers and one of them was Corporal Brett Tombs, a dear school friend. Many Australians will remember when the two Black Hawks collided over Townsville and how we mourned as a nation when we heard of the tragedy.

I think of Brett and his family each year and wish he could still be here with Gaye (who I also went to school with) and their two children, watching them grow up. It’s one of those things that, even twenty years later, you still don’t quiet believe that it happened. It resonates with me further because two of my sons have been in the defence force (one did three tours of duty). The Black Hawk incident shows that even in peacetime, there is always danger of some kind protecting our country. RIP Brett Tombs and all the young men of The Black Hawk.

You can read this tear-jerking account from last year’s Courier Mail, featuring Brett’s daughter Giverny. Brett would have been so proud of her and his son, Josh. I am grateful for something through that, and that is that his children have wonderful uncles (Brett’s brothers) who love his children and do their utmost to fill some of Brett’s void for them. It’s poignant and bittersweet.

So, for these 18 days of gratitude, let’s just say I’m truly grateful that all my family are safe and that we are here.

Reflect on what you were doing on the day of The Black Hawk Accident 21 years ago.

Lest we forget.