Tag Archives: books

ANNOUNCING A GIVEAWAY

Lorraine Reguly

Lorraine Reguly

I met Lorraine Reguly on LinkedIn and discovered her blog. I enjoyed her writing so much I decided to sign up to follow her. Lorraine writes about everything, from very serious and personal life subjects, to topics on writing, social media, blogging and the occasional review and interview.

On one of her posts, (You can find it here) she offered to let anyone include a link of their blog or website in the comments and to be sure to leave a little information about themselves. She encouraged other bloggers to visit these sites. So of course I added my blog and Facebook author page and I mentioned my debut novel, “Nightmares” was published May 8, 2013 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Soon after posting my information on her blog, she contacted me and offered to post a review of my new e-book Nightmares on Goodreads if I sent her a copy.

Of course, I agreed.

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

As promised she posted this review to Goodreads: “Nightmares” is a well-crafted suspenseful tale that encompasses psychic visions, murderous intent, love, betrayal and acceptance within a captivating storyline. By the third chapter, you’ll be hooked, drawn in by the author to the dilemmas faced by a teenage girl – a young woman – who has a special “gift” of both seeing and hearing things. You’ll join her on her journey of discovery and acceptance while she and her boyfriend match wits with a killer and frequently find themselves in precarious situations. The plot twist will both surprise and satisfy you and leave you wanting more. That is how it was for me – a very good read, indeed!

Hey! She gave it four stars! Not bad for a first book!

The review was great, but she wasn’t done yet, she asked if I would do an interview. Of course I said yes.

If you’re interested in learning more about “Nightmares” and The Nightmares Series, you won’t want to miss the interview on November 1, 2013 on Lorraine’s blog.

It could be your chance to WIN one of two FREE “Nightmares” (The book, not bad dreams) that will be given away to TWO lucky winners.

As I mentioned earlier, “Nightmares” is in e-book format and the two winners will have their choice of PRC=Kindle, e-pub=Nook, PDF=Adobe Reader or HTML=For Web Browser. If you don’t have a Kindle, go to Amazon and get free Apps for your computer, Smart Phone and several other devices. If you don’t have a Nook go here for your free Apps.

This is our way of saying thanks for reading our blogs. All you have to do is post a comment on my blog ON THIS POST and become one of my followers. (If you are already a follower, then you are eligible to win after posting the comment).

If you’d like to double your chances of winning, go to Lorraine’s blog on November 1, 2013 and post a comment after reading the interview and join her followers (If you are already her follower then you are eligible to win, if you’ve posted a comment).

Simple! Right!

The giveaway will run for the first three weeks of November, starting on Friday, November 1, 2013 and ending on Friday, November 29th, 2013. The two winners, one from my site and one from Lorraine’s site, will be chosen randomly using a random generator.

Lorraine and I are both looking forward to seeing you, so please don’t disappoint.

See you then!

Note: We get notifications from WordPress whenever someone follows our blogs via email-not when we gain followers via the WordPress “reader”, so make sure that you click on the button that says: Follow Bog Via and an email will be sent to you. It can be found in the sidebars of our blogs and we will be able to track our new followers and know who is eligible for the prizes!!! Thanks! 🙂

My short story “Trapped” is included in an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing on December 6, 2012 and can be found on Amazon. I have had short stories published online at knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

My blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

I can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you excited about winning a free book? Do you like mysteries? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

For additional chances to win, enter your name into the contest by sharing THIS POST on Twitter using the hashtag #NightmaresBookGiveaway. For even more chances, share Lorraine’s post: A Special Featured Friday, Featuring Author Donna Jean McDunn, and A BOOK GIVEAWAY! using the same hashtag! There is no limit on how many “shares” you can earn – so share, share, share! 🙂 (NOTE that the link to this post won’t work until November the 1st)

#NightmaresBookGiveaway

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The Many Blogs and Facebook Pages I’ve Visited

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It’s definitely not Iowa!

The Many Blogs and Facebook Pages I’ve Visited

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are places I used to be afraid to explore. I don’t know why or even what I thought could happen if I did. Steal my identity I suppose or make fun of what I had to say. But then someone encouraged me to try and I have met some very nice people.

The one thing I couldn’t quite understand about some of these sites is why so many don’t want to have their names on the site or if they do, I still had to spend a lot of time figuring out where it was. What are they hiding or trying to hide?

Many are promoting their books on their blogs, websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Well, okay, I don’t mind, I’ll be doing the same when I have a book to promote, but it’s still nice to know whom I’m talking too. Are you a real person or a clever machine? Without a name or a picture of a human face, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Of course, there are certain personal things I would never put on any of the sites. My home address is one and I would never give out any of my phone numbers. The closest I would come to saying where I live is in Iowa. I know that’s not exactly an exotic place to live, but I like it.

I am a writer. An author. I write short stories and books. Someday, I even hope to get paid for writing my stories. So that means I’ll need readers, people who know my name. If they like me as a person, they’ll be more willing to read what I write. If, as a writer, I stayed anonymous and no one had ever heard of me, how could I ever expect to have anyone searching for me or my stories? If I wanted to stay anonymous I’d use a pen name, but at least it would be a name people can relate too.

I started this blog to let people know what kind of person I am. I hope in doing so, they will like me (and I don’t mean only on my Facebook page “like”) and hopefully they’ll be willing to at least check out my books when (notice I said when, not if) they are published.

Something else I’ve noticed about many of the sites I’ve visited, is the branding of the book titles. Some of the stories haven’t even been published and that’s okay if I’m self-publishing. But what if I want to find a brick and mortar publisher? Many times a publisher will change the name from the original one the author gave it and then what?

I’d have to either refuse letting them change it and possibly lose a contract or I’d have to start all over with a new blog. If I had branded my name instead of the title and gave the domain my name or a variation of it, I wouldn’t have to worry. I could add as many books as I could write to that one blog and promote them right there.

I also started wondering if I did brand just my book and story titles, how would anyone searching on any of the search engines know they’ve found the author who wrote the book they wanted to read.

Titles are not protected. Domain names are. There could be a thousand books with the same title. My name could be the difference between the reader giving up and settling for someone else’s book or blog with the same name or finding me.

Another problem I could see with branding only the book title is; how many books am I going to write. What if I write 20 books or more, am I going to brand each book separate and have a blog or author page for each one. The truth is, I couldn’t keep up with that many promotions. I’d go crazy trying. I do have a life I want to keep along with my writing.

And what if I’m lucky enough to find a traditional publisher to do the marketing for me, all I’d have to do is sit back and rake in the money. Yeah! Right! The traditional publisher is no longer so traditional. Many of them expect the author to have a presence on the social media sites, just as the not so traditional publishers do and self-publishing is an option now too. It’s becoming more and more accepted, but who’s going to take a chance and buy my book if no one has ever heard of me and the only image of me is of an avatar? They probably won’t because they will go to the person they feel they know and have a connection with.

That’s why politicians spend so much time and money on letting the people meet and greet them. If the potential voters feel they know and like the candidate, they are more likely to vote for them.

Here’s someone else’s opinion on this subject. Explore Kristen Lamb’s blog and read what she says about branding. She’s a best selling author. She’s also very honest about how she first started out and what her expectations were. She’s funny, smart, a great teacher on writing and she says she learned the hard way and felt very alone and that’s why she wrote these two best selling books. Her website: http://www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com

Her books: We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media

Are You There Blog? It’s Me Writer

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return and do my best to get to know you.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at:

(13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between 4-10, it might be worth it.

The Truth About Imagination

Is Lady protecting their shoes or is she resting on them? What else could she be doing? Let your imagination go wild.

The Truth About Imagination
By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Through out history, people have pondered whether angels exist on earth. Many of us who believe they exist imagine angels to be good and kind. Others imagine “dark” angels? Ones who are full of hate and jealousy, ready to destroy all those who get in their way?

Who is correct? Can both be? We’ll let our imaginations help us decide.

In the mind, anything is possible. When an idea forms in the brain, the mind creates fiction or some other form of art. How does the mind do it and where does the source originate? The sources are virtually as endless as the imagination is deep. Imagination is a wonderful thing. We all have it and we all use it. So what is the truth about imagination?

In my copy of The World Book Dictionary 1987 edition, it describes imagination as:
1. “The action of imagining: power of forming pictures in the mind of things not present to the senses. Imagination leads people to think they see, hear, or feel things that are not there.”
2. The ability to create new things or ideas or to combine old ones into new forms.” It goes on to describe imagination as: “the ability to create believable or realistic pictures of things that never existed or happened.”

For inventers of new technologies, imagination boils down to inventing new things or creating something new from existing inventions. Modern day electronics grew from past technology, because someone had the imagination to create it in the first place.

For works of art, made with clay, paints, metal, or any other kinds of material, it’s someone’s imagination that puts life into an object, thing or idea, giving it existence. In the written word, truth becomes fiction and fiction imitates life, giving it a ring of truth and life.

If the inventor creates something new out of something that already exists—is it truth? When that same inventor creates something that never existed before that moment—is it truth? Is it possible they are both truth? Think of the inventions that have been created in the last twenty years. They wouldn’t exist today if someone with imagination hadn’t said, “I have an idea. I can create it. I can make it real.”

The artists among us, creates poetry, sculptures, paintings, drawings, photos, songs and music, or they put words on paper (or on the Internet for download) that becomes stories. All of these are creations—created with imagination, and it takes imagination to appreciate them.

The imagination is limitless and powerful and just like a character in a story, we can use that power in many ways. We can travel to far away lands and planets simply by picking up a book (or any e-reader). We can each look at a sculpture or painting and see either beauty where it hadn’t existed before or be repulsed. We can listen to a song and be transported back into our childhoods to a time and place that brings warm fuzzy feelings or sends us into shock with fear and terror. All of this is made possible because of our imaginations.

So, what is the truth? We know imagination exists in each of us; we each use our imagination; so in reality, only our individual imagination can give us an answer. What is your answer?

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you to use your imagination to create. It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you and learn what inspires you.

Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at http://www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories
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In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/

In June my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at http://www.thepinkchameleon.com.

A Little About Me

A Little About Me

By Donna Jean McDunn

This is my first entry in my new blog. My goal is to blog at least once a week. I’m going to choose Thursdays for now, until I figure out what day is best. So please check back on Thursday. As you can see from the name of my blog, I’m Donna Jean McDunn and I write fiction. I write short stories for children and adults and maybe the occasional essay. I’ve recently finished writing a paranormal novel for teens (no, it’s not about vampires, it’s about ghosts and psychics and a serial killer in training).

As a child, my older sister and my mom used to read to me, so I grew up loving books. I couldn’t wait to go to school and learn to read and write and before long, I began to dream of becoming a writer. I started out like so many others, writing stories for my friends to read. The stories were always about us, me and my four best friends. Of course they loved them. Who wouldn’t? They were the stars in the stories. But I knew, deep down, the stories really sucked.

Many years went by and during that time, every once in awhile, I’d pull out my paper and pen and write, but gradually that became less and less until one day I woke up, and I was a grandma. (It really did seem like it happened that fast.)

It was June 2008 and I heard my biological, writer’s clock ticking. I realized if I was ever going to be a writer, I needed to begin now. I thought I’d start with a story for my grandchildren (at that time there were six, now there are eight). My first idea was to use one of my old stories, so I pulled them out…and laughed. I couldn’t give such horrible stuff to my grandkids.

I needed to learn to write for real. I decided to take a writing course. That first writer’s course was the beginning of a long and wonderful journey. Since then I have completed two other courses and I’m in the process of completing number four. I now have several short stories I’m proud of, a teen novel, the beginnings of another novel for women’s fiction and I’ve started planning another teen novel. I’ve also learned a lot from reading books and exploring websites about the do’s and don’ts of writing life. On the Internet, one of my favorite places to hang out is with Kristen Lamb www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com where I found the books “We Are Not Alone The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer”. They helped me create this blog.

From that first writing course, I found I had a lot to learn about accepting criticism with a smile. I believe this is what really held me back all those years ago. The first few times my instructor told me to rewrite my story and “show, don’t tell” I cried and then I got angry. My stories are my babies. I care about the characters and listening to someone say I’ve done something to hurt my baby…well it’s very hard to accept, but accept it, I had to, if I ever expected to be published. And I wanted that more than anything, so I did as she asked.

It made my stories so much better and I couldn’t begin to thank her enough. Editors have no time to worry about a writer’s feelings or care about a writer who refuses to change what needs to be changed. There are plenty of writers out there who will do whatever the editor asks of them without question. So, if I was ever going to have a prayer of being published, I had to be professional and treat my writing as a business, not my child. It’s critical to continue reading, writing and learning, as much as possible about writing, and the life that goes with it. That’s why at least one critique partner is important and writing courses are a must. They both helped to toughen me up and get me ready to submit and deal with editors in the real writing world.

Rejections are another part of writing that’s hard to accept. I began sending children’s and adult short stories out to online sights and print magazines. I’ve gotten a ton of rejections and I’ve saved every single one. My head said it wasn’t personal. Nevertheless, my heart was still broken. But, I kept submitting and eventually I had a couple of short stories for children published.

Here’s a direct link to my story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. (Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories).

In June I’ll have my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

Short stories are fun to write and writing for children is even more fun, but I wanted more. That’s why two of the classes I took were designed to teach me how to shape, write and sell novels. I will be submitting my YA paranormal novel to publishers soon. I’ll be sure to keep everyone informed.

In the other novel class designed to teach writing for adults, I’m learning how to write women’s fiction with a little romance, mystery and stalkers added in for flavor. I’ll let you know what happens with it too.

You may be wondering if I ever wrote that book for my grandkids and the answer is a yes. The story is about a stray mama cat (Belle) and our big red dog (Little Red) and how the two of them became friends. Belle produced several kittens before I was able to capture her (feral cats are smart). I finally managed to trap her and the kittens to get them all spay and neutered. I even used real pictures of the animals and the grandkids in the story. They loved it (the kids, not the cats). But like I told my oldest granddaughter when she asked me if it was a true story, she was twelve at the time, I said, “I write fiction. The story was based on real animals and people, but Little Red never rescued Belle from the creek across the road.” How about you? Are you a writer or a reader or maybe both, like me? I will reply to anyone who comments. How else could I get to know you?