Posted in Authors Book Releases, Free Reads, Publishing

How my new book cover is progressing

After sending my manuscript to agents and editors with varying responses (and some encouragement), I’m moving forward with self-publishing again. This publishing game is a long one (sigh!). My manuscript is complete and has been sent to the first beta readers. I’ve been working on the cover during this overcast public holiday. I thought you’d like to see it in Photoshop view.

Especially for aspiring self-publishers

I’ve been playing around with Awesome Screenshots while setting up my tutorial for the RWA Academy. It means I can show the cover I’m working and talk through part of the process by recording it on Awesome Screenshots (an app you can add to Chrome).

It’s another learning curve of self-publishing – hearing my own voice is weird. Hopefully, I get better at it. Play the video to hear my tsks and ums (ha, ha!).

What do you think of the cover? It will require further tweaks, but I’m pretty happy with it.

If you’d like to join the RWA Academy Course – The Dozen Steps of Self-Publishing, go to: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNM The course is from my book How to Self-Publish in Oz.

Beta Readers

If you’d like to be a beta reader of Hidden Book of Scars please email me at donnamunroauthor@gmail.com. You receive the free ebook and commit to answering a few questions about the book and letting me know what you recommend I fix. I’d dearly love you to give a short review (one to two sentences or more if you wish). Your review may even feature on the back of the book cover.

Hidden Book of Scars – blurb

A crime reporter and an ex-Rugby star amputee must overcome lies, deception and a possible murder before they can requite their love. Both are scarred and haunted by bushfires twenty years ago.

Sometimes the past can only remain hidden until the next heatwave.

MAKENA KING is engaged and her career is on track. Except for her father’s ill health and a fire phobia, life is perfect in Whalebone Beach. Then FINLAY TAHETA comes back to town as the new Park Range.

Twenty years ago, a bushfire hid their secrets and scarred Makena. But it was what happened to a homeless man that haunts them most. When a new fire reveals his remains, Makena and Finlay work together to find the man’s family to alleviate the Black Beach Fire guilt and perhaps save themselves.

But Finlay confounds Makena’s idea of safety and love. He’s too damn perfect and kind-hearted compared to her fiancé. Her ridiculous attraction to Finlay is an unnecessary distraction. Plus, how can she crush on him when she’s committed to marrying someone else?

Makena’s sister holds dark secrets that could shatter the family.

But she’s not the only one keeping secrets.

Who will pay for the scars of the past?

Posted in Writing tips

Beach Cottage Haven has been released

Some of you have read Beach Cottage Haven already. I’m humbled by that and the beautiful feedback from my early readers. I’ve had five and four-star reviews which is every author’s ideal. This story was emotional for me to write and I hope that is conveyed in the pages.

As you know my stories are multilayered, including family, pets, unsavoury characters, quirky Aussie characters, capable, kind women and protective but vulnerable men. They are set on beaches around the world but this story is closer to home.

Blueshell Beach is a fictional town on the Sunshine Coast but it’s a little bit Port Macquarie (my upbringing), and my new home of three years.

There are strong female friendships.

  • Family isn’t always how we plan it and you don’t have to be related to be family.
  • Men who love pets melt my heart.
  • Keegan already has Gus, the dog, by his side but soon has to cope with a litter of abandoned kittens. Smoosh!
  • Pepper can build a house on her own, but it endearingly clumsy.
  • Forewarning, she also swears, but it’s integral to the story.
  • Funnily enough, I had a beta reader refuse to read because of that and it’s not like it’s in the story all that often. I can’t please everyone it seems. Ha, ha!
  • Keegan is hot, particularly when practising yoga headstands or while surfing (both he needs to cope with PTSD).
  • He’s even hotter when in the company of his son, Joe, who he’s trying to gain shared custody of.
  • The fact that he is kind to his unreasonable ex-wife also gets a tick.
  • Themes of grief, muteness, PTSD and suicide are included but handled with care.
  • Though there’s suspense and a not-so-friendly character, there are also plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to break the tension.
  • Better keep your tissues handy when Pepper ventures into the garage where her father suicided.
  • Love – pet love, father love, mother love, teen love, family love, romantic love, friendship love, sibling love – it’s all there!

So, will you give it a go? I know there are plenty of beautiful books to choose from but please put it in your to be-read-pile (even if it’s as high as Leanne Wright’s pile). She’s a librarian, what can I say?If you like reading from a Kindle, iPad or paperback, you can buy either on Amazon. My website sells the paperbacks direct to you and I’ll sign if you wish.Oh, and a big thank you to Esther and Martin for being the first to purchase copies of Beach Cottage Haven. I am eternally grateful for your support. If anyone purchased through the Amazon pre-order period, thank you to you too.

Yours truly in love-stories, happiness, writing and reading,


P.S. Stay safe, healthy and happy.

Posted in Writing tips

It’s been a while in ISO – not ISO!

While the world has certainly changed since I last posted (yep, COVID-19 sux) but my world – not so much. I’ve worked from home for a couple of years, and I enjoy my own company (shutting my office door, working, writing or designing – is my kinda bliss). Plus, both my husband and I are still employed, and we live in a beautiful place. I have nothing to complain about. But, it makes me feel guilty when so many are suffering – sort of like survivor remorse. They’ll probably coin a term to define it, something like pando-remorse or covid-guilt.

I won’t make light of the hardship many are facing (for so many these are difficult times) but I want to spread positivism and happiness. As a person who has no problem keeping busy, it seems many don’t know what to do with their time. To keep boredom at bay people are renewing their passion for (among other things) puzzles.

As a member of ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association), I’m privy to their members newletters and regular puzzles (mostly of book covers). It’s a fun idea.

Here’s something to enjoy if you’re in ISO (or if you’re just into puzzles). It’s a jigsaw of Elephant Creek. Have fun :  


#RWAus20 RWA Virtual Conference is only weeks away. Find out more https://rwaustraliavcon.com.au/

Not only have I been working on all things conference, I’ve also completed my third edition of Hearts Talk magazine as the Design Editor. This flagship publication of RWA is informative, inspirational, encouraging and jam-packed with everything romance writing. If you’re a romance writer and not a member yet, you’re missing out on this terrific mag and so much more. Join and you’ll find your tribe – I promise.

Elephant Creek is available on Amazon but now also at Currumbin Creek Newsagency. Especially for Currumbin locals wanting to pick up their copy.

Drum roll!!! I’ve been accepted into Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance’s Manuscript Development Project. This means my new manuscript Heartbreak House on Blueshell Beach will have twelve intensive weeks of critique, development and polish from professionals and peers. This is an awesome opportunity to refine my craft and submit to agents and publishers.

I’m working on a new project with my critique buddies. The anthology Aluura Valley will be released in February 2021. More exciting developments coming soon.

Keep busy, happy, entertained and most of all look after each other, especially my dear friends in Victoria.

With love, books and writing, Donna xo