Posted in Charity, Happiness, Health and fitness, Writers, Year of Gratitude

Goals, setbacks, new beginnings and looking forward not back


A bang of New Year’s Eve fireworks may be how most people will spend the end of 2019. Not me. I’ll be taking a more straightforward approach, ending the year with gratitude, pride and bittersweet memories. Maybe raising a glass of cold beer with my nearest and dearest.

As I age time moves faster, though for some reason this year seemed like a long one. It was packed full of the highs and lows of life, like an old rollercoaster slowly chugging uphill only to shoot down the dips, so my heart dropped to my stomach. I have ached but I have healed. I am optimistic about 2020. I hope you are too.

Words of 2019

I’ve laughed, cried, worried, grieved, shared, created, worked, pondered, let fitness slip, planned, been bullied, stayed resilient, supported, began a dream job, enjoyed wins, endured loses, regathered, communicated, got motivated, fought lethargy, got fitter, ate healthier, built a new life, found a new home, created family traditions, grew bonds, rediscovered design, networked, increased gratitude, wrote – and above all – loved.

What I learned most was:

  • We all have hidden internal struggles
  • Showing successes on social media doesn’t mean you are more successful than others
  • Our bodies need health more than visual appeal
  • Cancer is becoming a chronic, rather than a fatal disease (but the fact does not ease the emotional pain for those fighting the fight)
  • Bushfires have been part of Australia for thousands of years (we need to return to old ways)
  • Fires create new growth (ask the Aborigines or any indigenous people).
  • The world cares about our koalas
  • I don’t need to write multiple books per year – I must complete my WIP
  • There is more to the business of writing than words
  • My family are imperfectly perfect, and I love them with my heart and soul
  • Dogs know their way home
  • If you find the person who loves you warts and all love them warts and all back
  • No matter how far you travel, real friends remain
  • I write to be read
  • Words are, and always have been, my story
Firefighter Calendar 2020
I thought you’d like the Australian Firefighters Classic Calendar 2020. Hot fireies. There’s also some with sexy firefighters with cute animals. It doesn’t get much better than that. Buy a calendar to raise money for charity. Bonus – you have hot guys on your wall.

You’re probably wondering if I have a resolution. I have too many because I have a long list of goals I would like to achieve in 2020 and beyond. So, instead, I am setting myself a monthly challenge. I’ll let you know what my January goal is. Less alcohol and more exercise. I guess it’s a common one in January but for my health – an important goal.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I’d love to hear yours. Comment below. Thanks for reading my dear readers. You mean the world to me.

If you would like to read my first two books for only 99 cents (ebooks only) and have a sneak peek at Elephant Creek.

Go to:

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.