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

Posted in Writing tips

What does an author get up to?

I was asked this question and it’s not easy to explain, because not every day is the same. However, I’ll do my best to answer it. Here goes. Firstly, I do my employed work. As with many writers, I have a day job. Luckily for me it’s a fantastic job because I work for Romance Writers of Australia as the Administrative Officer. Working with RWA is the best way to mix with other writers. It keeps my finger on the pulse of publishing.

Oh, while we are speaking about pulse. Mine’s been racing a little lately. No not from any romantic fiction I’m reading, more because I’m on a health kick and trying to run at least 5km a day. And if it’s raining I have no excuse because I bought a treadmill. Wish me luck with that. Fitness helps clear my head, so it does aid in better writing.

Today my list of authorly things on the boil:

  • One full women’s fiction manuscript submitted with an agent in the USA (fingers are tightly crossed)
  • One women’s suspense fiction manuscript complete and undergoing final edits
  • One non-fiction book in final stages to pre-sale (more about that shortly)
  • Ongoing marketing
  • Ongoing website updating and blog (this)
  • Ongoing bookkeeping and office administration
  • Helping another author with book cover, layout, design and submission
  • Final layouts on a commemorative magazine for RWA (volunteer)
  • Creating metadata and other book details for non-fiction book
  • Checking emails in case the agent has contacted me
  • Ignoring my phone beeping when someone posts to social media
  • All while listening (part watching) You-Tube writing videos.

Phew! I wonder if there’ll be less to do tomorrow. And, did you notice, not one bit of that was writing a new story. Sometimes writers do other things than write. Don’t worry, the next one is in my mind ready to hit the pages soon. I promise.

So, about the non-fiction book will help writers who are looking to self-publish. Here’s the blurb:

How to Self-Publish in Oz

A step-by-step guide for Australians planning to self-publish a book.

There’s no better joy to an aspiring author than the arrival of the first book baby. Holding a debut book in your hands, flipping the pages, rubbing the cover and staring at your author picture may seem surreal. Advancements in technology make it possible for you to simply self-publish – if you know how.
This book eliminates the worries from your Australian self-publishing journey by teaching you tips and tricks; what worked for the author and what didn’t.

  • The dozen of self-publishing (1. Write, 2. Drafts/Edits, 3. Register, 4. Market, 5. Layout, 6. Book Cover, 7. Proof, 8. Last Edit, 9. Print, 10. Distribute, 11. Social Media, 12. Website and other marketing).
  • Avoid common pitfalls.
  • Celebrate your ability.
  • The A, B, Cs of self-publishing (Aptitude, Belief, Creativity).
  • Drafts, edits, re-drafts and re-edits and the tricks to help.
  • Network with your tribe for the processes you can’t do yourself.
  • Enjoy the creative freedom of self-publishing.
  • Checklists to make the best decisions to produce a book as professionally as a traditionally published one.
  • Keeping records that won’t dampen your enthusiasm.
  • Free templates – for self-publishing in Australia.

As an indie author of three women’s fiction novels, The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa’s Secret and Elephant Creek, and freelance writer, Donna Munro can show you how to take the steps. After working in publishing as a book marketing publicist and learning the ropes, she transitioned to self-publishing. She helps other writers achieve their goals by providing newsletters, websites, book design, book covers and other guidance. Skills include excellence in multiple computer platforms and apps, 18 years in the printing industry, writing diploma, graphic design, publishing, administration, marketing and event management.