The Bookworm, Miss Madylyn and Clovis

January 30th, 2012 → 8:32 pm @

Miss Madylyn

Miss Madylyn

Thanks to everyone who made my debut book reading/signing at The Bookworm last Saturday a wonderful experience!

I feel extremely fortunate to have such incredibly supportive friends! So many of you gave up your spectacular Saturday afternoon to come down and help make my book event a success (I think I mentioned most of you by name on my events calendar – check it out).

I also met some awesome new folks and Miss Madylyn, who is a beautiful young Bernese Mountain dog with an adorable personality. Good thing I’m not too insecure because she was really the hit of the show!

The folks at The Bookworm provided a warm and cozy atmosphere – allowing dogs to participate really adds to the ambiance. So surrounded by friends – both long standing and new (including Miss Madylyn and her companion Ann) I attempted to give my audience a feel for the experience they can expect when reading my book.

Over time Clovis has become my favorite character, so I chose passages that featured her unique brand of charisma – or should I say anti-charisma?

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my “star” character and reading about her antics. My audience was attentive and engaged, reacting to Clovis’ drama and asking great questions to wrap things up.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you who purchased books to cap off this amazing experience – it’s one that I will never forget!

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A Huge Thank You to Grace Sears!

January 26th, 2012 → 7:55 pm @

Thanks Grace, for buying copies of my book for your book club. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to enhance your club’s experience.

And Happy Birthday!

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LaVista Library Helping Aspiring Authors

January 23rd, 2012 → 10:05 pm @

Book Signing

Signing Books for Aspiring Authors

I am so grateful for the invitation to speak at the LaVista Library this past weekend. The group was obviously very serious about understanding the process of writing a book. They listened intently and asked great questions. I wish I’d had a chance to attend a talk like that before I started writing!

My star pupil was Jerry, who took tons of notes, asked terrific questions, bought a book at the end (thanks to everyone who bought books) and told the library representative that he was thrilled he saw the announcement in the paper.  His enthusiasm so incredibly gratifying. The library itself is gorgeous and they welcomed me so graciously – I’d go back any time!

 

LaVista Author Talk

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Book Giveaway For Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? – Winners from Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin!

December 28th, 2011 → 5:06 pm @

Congratulations to contest winners from Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin!

Check out all the details of the Goodreads book giveaway:

Three lucky people will win a copy of Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was a Bitch?

Book Giveaway For Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch?

Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? by Robin Leemann Donovan
Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch?
by Robin Leemann Donovan(Goodreads Author)

Release date: Nov 09, 2011

Donna Leigh owns an Omaha ad agency. She is also an energetic and somewhat sardonic menopausal woman. When a former colleague is murdered, Donna becom…more

Giveaway dates: Dec 28-Jan 14, 2012
3 copies available, 50 people requesting
Countries available: US
Closed to entries in: 16 days and 15:24:33

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My Dog Family

December 22nd, 2011 → 7:38 pm @

Although we lost our Gracie, we are very fortunate to have Roxi, a little white English Bulldog with small reddish/brown spots on her body and more prominently on her ears. She is a spunky little sweetheart who knows what she wants and usually gets it.

Roxi came to us when she was a little over a year old.  She was the product of a divorce and apparently got very little attention, except from the 4-year old boy in the family. As a result she is both hungry for attention and hug-averse. We think because she may have been squeezed too tightly by the little boy.

It’s not uncommon to have her give you one of her soulful looks which spur you to want a big hug. When you move toward her with your arms outstretched you generally end up with an armful of air because Roxi has jumped to safety and has successfully avoided yet another hug. Here’s a hint, she’s not as fast when she’s really tired – so we enjoy a lot of “hug n’yawns.”

Then there’s big sis Jasmine (or Jazzy for short). She is the canine version of Mother Theresa. There was never a sweeter more gentle creature than Jazzy.

Jasmine

Jasmine

She’s beautiful with her shiny red coat and her sleek white head. Her one brown and one blue eye are a major source of curiosity to many who meet her.

Not only is Jazzy a wonderful and patient teacher to her younger sisters, she has a healing quality that draws her to anyone in need of healing. And let’s face it – who couldn’t use a little healing?

As a pup, Jazzy was sold to a hunter who threw her into a pen with grown hunting dogs. The poor thing was malnourished having to fight for every morsel of food. When the breeder realized her situation he took her back and we were lucky enough to get her. She was extremely shy of people and it took a long time for her to begin to trust, first us, and then friends and family. Jazzy loves being home with her family.

Our newest addition to the family joined us a little over a week ago. Sweet Pea was found wandering the streets of an Iowa town. Through Illinois rescue she was placed in a foster home and spent four months trying to overcome malnutrition and demodectic mange.

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

What an indomitable spirit she has. What this poor little thing has been through we will never truly know. We do know that it hasn’t left her wary and skittish around humans, nor has it made her timid or overly aggressive.

Her coat is far from full and luxurious – but she has some fur. Her skin is far from healed – she scratches and bleeds like she’s one big hot spot – but she is happy and sweet and anxious to complete her orientation into our family.

These are our furry babies and they give us great joy and they help us stay grounded. We are very fortunate to have them.

Sure, life will be different without our Gracie, but we were lucky to have had her for as long as we did, and she will always be with us. Now it’s time for a new chapter in our lives. Does anybody know how to stop chronic scratching?

 

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Dedication to Gracie

December 13th, 2011 → 6:04 pm @

Gracie was a wonderful Olde English Bulldogge. She came into our lives just after her 5th birthday, having spent her early years as a career breeder. After she became deathly ill and could no longer be used to breed, she came to live with us.

Gracie

Gracie

(more…)

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So How Do You Get A Book Published?

December 5th, 2011 → 11:20 pm @

That’s probably the most frequent single question that people ask.  So many of us are poised to write, but hesitate because of the uncertainty of being stuck with a manuscript that no one will publish. The true diehards just go ahead and write. If they get published – great – but what happens when/if they don’t?

I can’t pretend to be one of those brave souls. I talked about writing a book for years, and none of the options appealed to me at all. I could invest all of the time, energy and passion it would take to create my masterpiece, and then spend a lot more time, energy and passion – not to mention money – in shopping it around and trying to get it published. I would bravely struggle to keep my hopes up as rejection after rejection flooded my mailbox and broke my resolve.

From what I’m told, shopping your manuscript around for an agent isn’t really much better. And, if you do find an agent to represent you there’s still no guarantee that they’ll be able to interest a publisher. I have known authors who were elated at finally finding that elusive agent – only to realize a year or two later that they are not infallible – even if they’re sure your book will be easy to sell!

Then, if you do manage to get your book published, will your publisher realize all of the financial benefits of your endeavor? I have also seen authors who earned pennies per book and could barely feed themselves after publishing more than a dozen novels.

Then there’s always self-publishing. You spend your money to back yourself and then hope there’s some change left to get out there and promote yourself. Experienced authors have cautioned that the uninitiated end up with a raw unedited piece that does not present itself, or you, in the best light.

Personally, I feel very fortunate that I stumbled upon a publisher who was willing to spend the time evaluating an unknown such as myself. My publisher took the time to help me polish my creation until it was ready for prime time; and the final product was something that could make us both proud.

My publisher has been my partner and my cheerleader, not trying to greedily reap all of the profit if profit is to be made. Everybody should have the benefit of a publisher like mine.

Let me know if you’d like to meet my publisher. I am confident they will be willing to review your work and give you an honest assessment. If they decide to take your manuscript on you will learn an enormous amount and benefit from their knowledge and connections.

Why am I making this offer? I’m too new to worry about being completely inundated with everyone trying to get to me – maybe someday. I, myself, have wondered if I would ever get the chance to share my musings with the world – and now I know that it feels incredible. If it’s what you want, you should have a fair shot at it too. And no, I’m not getting any kickbacks.

 

 

 

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Thank you Renee Lincoln

November 21st, 2011 → 5:04 pm @

Renee Lincoln made the first official purchase of Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch? In fact she made the first three purchases!

Thank you, Renee, your support is appreciated more than you can know!

And thanks to the rest of you who jumped into and purchased as well! You’ve made this menopausal woman very happy!

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Why would anyone write about a menopausal woman?

November 16th, 2011 → 10:04 pm @

In May of 2009 my business partner approached me with an idea. “Women are always coming to you and asking for help in navigating information about menopause,” she said, “you need to start blogging about menopause because you can make it approachable and even funny.”

I was flattered; doubtful, but flattered, nonetheless. Together we created Menologues.com which started a journey of sharing my most private experiences relating to menopause, and that time of life, with women looking for answers, and hope.

Blogging on menopause forced me to think about it more deeply and more critically than I had before. When VibrantNation.com began to republish Menologues my audience increased substantially – and so did the interaction with menopausal women. Up until that point people would reach out to thank me, but it was mostly me talking about me.

With the increase in interaction, I began to learn, first hand, of the confusion and despair that went unchecked as women stumbled their way through menopause – it wasn’t just me. In one of my first posts I made the following statement:

From the time that we first begin to learn what being a woman is all about we also begin to learn that, whatever else it entails, menopause signals its death.

True or not, that seemed to be the prevailing belief, and that didn’t offer much hope.

As I continued on my own journey through menopause, and met many other exceptional women along the way, I realized that the world was sadly mistaken about us. They needed to be told. But how could I, a menopausal woman, tell them that I – that we – did not fit their stereotype?

I couldn’t just tell them, but maybe there was a way to show them. Maybe there was a way to make them laugh a little and get to know a menopausal woman who does not dress like Grandma Moses, sit in a rocker on her front porch, with her hair in a bun, knitting and crocheting the day away.

Donna Leigh is a menopausal woman, but you don’t have to be menopausal to relate to her and to laugh either at or with her. She could be your mother or your aunt, but she could just as easily be your co-worker and friend. She’s not every menopausal woman, but she is representative of the dynamic and vivacious qualities that exist in the majority of menopausal women today.

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