THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: You Can Be THAT Kind of Writer

 
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There are many movies made from books coming out these days. Movies portraying characters first born in the mind of a writer. A few years ago I went to see TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE. This book turned movie was based on a true story about the life of Solomon Northup. In 1841 he was a free black man living in the northern United States. Through certain circumstances, he ended up spending the next twelve years of his life as a slave in the deep south. I got wrapped up in the portrayal of this one man and even had tears well up during certain scenes. But as I walked out of the theater and stepped back into reality I began to wonder what was it exactly about the movie that moved me so?

Was it the fact one of my favorite actors, Brad Pitt was in it? Although he played a lovely Canadian, I don’t think so. Was it because the movie covered a dark part of US history I will NEVER understand? Even the time frame wasn’t responsible for my being drawn into what was happening on the screen in front of me.

Then it hit me.

It was the words. I should have known. Those beautiful, mesmerizing, gut-wrenching words created by someone reaching out to the universe through the power of the written word. Blood, sweat, and tears dripping across the page to leave their mark on someone 160 years into their future. How did the author telling Soloman’s story know exactly which words to write?

Honestly? I don’t think they did. I think they must have tried and failed and tried and failed until the combination of thoughts were perfect. I think Solomon’s writer had a wish to share his story with others and a hope it would leave it’s mark on the heart of history. I think they would have been astounded to discover the changes in the world today and the lives they have touched with their words.

I want to be that kind of writer. YOU can be that kind of writer! The kind of writer who motivates through their words. The kind who inspires with their stories. Someone who weaves their magic to skip across the page and entice readers to join the dance. No matter the genre, no matter the day and age, there will always be writers to take us on that journey of discovering the deeper side of ourselves.

So I wonder…what kind of writer are you?

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

 

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: What Color Are Your Writing Leaves?

 

 

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Every Autumn my sister and I eagerly await the changing of the leaves. The summer is always hard on both of us and the cooler temperatures does much to improve our temperament. We will drive around, doing our errands, and search for Mother Nature’s artistic hand in the surrounding trees. My sister and I, however, argue on which color is the prettiest. She likes the bright yellow leaves of the black maple tree while I favor the deeper oranges and reds of its cousin the sugar maple. But no matter which color we choose, they all serve a purpose in bringing beauty to the landscape on a crisp fall day.

It’s kinda like the different writing styles a writer can choose on their journey to publication.

 

Yellow…

 

A bright, cheery type of writing but sometimes without the staying power of the other colors. Yellow is the color of the sun but like a dreary November morning, it lacks the warmth to entice a reader to stay and discover more.

 

Orange…

 

A nice, sweet type of writing but generally needing a little bit of something added to spice things up. Orange is the color of pumpkins harvested from the fields, just waiting for someone to turn it into something special and tasty.

 

Red…

 

A deep, rich type of writing but occasionally overshadowing all those around it. Red is the color of a woodland campfire, shining brightly with its intensity, but sometimes burning the fingers of anyone coming too close.

 

Evergreen…

 

A vibrant, alive type of writing well suited to the world in general. Evergreen is the color of life, the color Mother Nature choses when providing shelter during a frosty Autumn wind and warmth during a cold winter’s night.

Driving through the beautiful Tennessee hills I can look at the lovely Autumn foliage and ask myself what color are MY writing leaves? Will my leaves simply tease and frustrate readers while lacking the boldness to touch their spirits? Or will my leaves paint a picture in their hearts forever and become an evergreen, casting its warmth for years to come?

What color is YOUR writing?

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

 

**************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

 

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: The Ripple Effect

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If you have been writing for long, I think you may certainly agree with what I am about to say. If you are new to writing, you may come to realize my words are true.

 

WRITING IS A LONG, FOREVER JOURNEY.

 

There, I’ve said it.

To the ill informed who think writing a book is as simple as throwing some words down on paper, I say writing is like planting an acorn and having the patience to wait for the mighty oak to mature into something beautiful.

To the ill equipped who think writing a book doesn’t mean they need to know the basics of plot, sentence structure, characterization or the dozen other parts which make up a good story, I say take away those things from classical writers like Shakespeare or Chaucer and all you will have are kindergarten tales best told around a cozy campfire.

Great writing takes time…lots of it…and a big ol’ heaping of patience to carry you through during those dark moments when you doubt your ability to create. And those moments will surely come if you are truly a writer at heart. Perfectionism will sometimes override common sense and you might begin to wonder why you are on this journey in the first place.

But then you will start to remember all those who came before you…other travelers on the path to publication who, while in the dark uncertain moments of their own beginnings, also took a moment to wonder about their own journey. And the one thing which made them stand out amongst the crowd of hopeful want to be authors? They managed to take that leap of faith, to cast one small pebble of belief into the water and watch the ripple eventually turn into something bigger than themselves. They nurtured a core belief in themselves they are good enough, strong enough to be on that path. And in this one defining moment they lit the way for the rest of us.

All we need to do now is toss our pebble in as well and have the patience to let the ripple effect takes us wherever our writing journey may lead us…

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

****************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Worthless Writing

 

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I’ve been writing for over 50 years. From poetry and flash fiction to young adult and picture books. Words pilled upon more words to express the rambling thoughts of an inquisitive mind. I knew from early on writing would be with me forever. I just never anticipated others would find it a worthless endeavor.

When I was much younger I began a journey into the world of non fiction research. I was intrigued by the similarities between Greek and Roman mythology. I spent every day for an entire summer researching and taking detailed notes. Page after page in a spiral notebook filled with what to a 10 year old child seemed like the beginnings of a life’s work. By the end of the summer I began to see patterns and eagerly showed my endless hours of research to someone whose opinion mattered to me at the time. Imagine my shock and dismay to be told my writing was worthless…and even worse, I was forced to shred every bit of research I had meticulously recorded because I had “wasted” paper writing down my notes.

That one act of cruelty helped shape my writing destiny for the next 40 years. From then on I wrote in silence, sneaking behind closed doors to record my thoughts. No longer writing for the world, I wrote for myself. But still I wrote. Words piled upon more words to express what I no longer felt safe saying out loud.

Then came the day ten years ago when I had an epiphany. What I was told was worthless writing was suddenly welcomed by like minds. I was encouraged to continue my writing and to share it with the world around me. I created a blog, joined the writing community, took a leap of faith and showed my stories to others. My feelings of worthless writing began to change and with it, my writing itself began to change. Became stronger. It began to reflect a firmer belief in myself as a writer and today I do everything I can to empower other writers to look beyond their own “worthless writing”. To think beyond whatever negative forces try to belittle their words and focus instead on the uplifting feeling of positive feedback.

Your writing in never worthless. YOU are never worthless. You have the ability to soar, to envision your own future and to take others on the journey with you. To lift spirits, open minds to endless possibilities, and to help empower others with your wonderfully writerly words…

 

************

 

 

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

***************

 
donna

 

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

THOUGTHFUL THURSDAY: Upsetting The Apple Cart…

 

 

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There are some times when I feel overwhelmed with all the things going on in my life. Just handling the run of the mill everyday things I have to juggle in a 24 hour period…job, kiddies, phone calls, blog, manuscripts, emails, family, friends…you get the idea…

Then there are the unexpected events tossed into the mix because somewhere someone took a look at my busy life and decided I wasn’t busy enough. They decide to upset the apple cart and add into the mix end of year tax statements at the school, insomnia, winter storms , writing contests deadlines, , and oh yeah…criminal mischief from scatter brained neighbors….

One evening a couple years ago my neighbors were having a party. A loud one. One with lots of flowing alcohol and about 20 screeching kids of various ages who decided to take the party to the street in front of my house at 4 in the morning where they commenced to use my NEW mailbox for target practice. I had wondered if they might have been the reason my last mailbox went on a permanent vacation. Now I think they simply didn’t want me to suffer from all those rejection letters I had been receivinb and tried to prevent me from getting any more.

How thoughtful of them.

I’m pretty sure their generous spirit was also in overdrive when they decided I needed to exercise more. They provided me that particular opportunity later that morning when I had to pick up all the firework rockets, beer bottles, wine bottles, empty cigarette packets, cigarette butts, used baby diapers, and various other objects filling three plastic bags full from my front yard.

But it was when I discovered they decided sometime while I slept to check and make sure the inside of my car still had everything it needed…and in their haste to return to the party, dropped one of their cigarette lighters by my passenger door (did I mention I don’t smoke so I knew it wasn’t mine?)…that I was convinced anything in my best interest was probably NOT topping their list of Good Samaritan deeds yet to be performed.

Funny thing about all of this? Nothing could have been done until either my car decided to take an unexpected vacation without me, or I became the casualty of some war I didn’t even realize I was involved in.

Bet you’re wondering how I’m going to connect THIS to writing? Well, here it is…

Sometimes you can be walking along, pushing that apple cart, minding your own business and then someone decides to come along and upset the natural order of things. Your doctor gives you some unwelcoming news, your least favorite relative comes for an extended visit, your “dream agent” sends you a rejection letter powerful enough to potentially crush your dream of becoming an author. Your apple cart is upset and all those lovely apples are rolling beyond your reach.

What do you do?

Give up?

Let them lie around until they rot?

NO!

Take a moment to catch your breath if you need to and right your cart. Then go after those apples. Run after them if you have to! Scoop them up and hold them close to you for they are YOUR dreams and only YOU know the outcome of YOUR life’s story. Channel all that fear and frustration into your next bit of writing where you pour your soul into your words. Ignore the fools surrounding you. Spill those words onto paper or screen for them to connect with others until you can get your equilibrium back and then keep on trucking down that path to publication.

That’s what I did…

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

******************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: How Many Gatekeepers Between You And Publication?

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Before book apps were invented, there were agents. Before e-books and print on demand books and even some of today’s publishing companies were established, there were agents. In fact the first known literary agent opened for business way back in 1875. He was the original gatekeeper between a writer and a publisher. He took his job seriously and demanded the best from each and every writer who sought his representation.

In over 135 years THAT hasn’t changed. Literary agents today still demand the best from the writers who seek them out. Writers like me who know without their support and guidance my path to publication may be a nearly impossible journey to make. So I polish my stories and send them out with a wish and a prayer…into the hands of the agents. People who test the publishing waters before my stories ever get to them. They have a strong intuition of what sells and what won’t. They take calculated risks as they sift through the slush pile and mounds of queries loading down their inboxes each day and reject the stories they know they can’t be passionate about.

And the rejection letters return home to the writers…words of regret that their story wasn’t chosen and a wish for better luck next time. Sometimes just empty silence screaming louder than any words actually could. What’s a writer to do?

Cry?

Give up?

When I decided it was time to start submitting my stories this year, I also decided I would take the bad with the good. That I would accept the rejections from agents as simply part of being fully vested in this writer’s life. And you know what? Today I decided to set a goal of just how many agents I’m willing to let reject my story in the hopes it will find a home of it’s own one day.

My number is 100. I won’t start considering Plan B until I have received 100 rejections for each manuscript I send out. Standing alone, 100 seems like a pretty big number to me. But when you consider there are thousands of literary agents in the world…heck, maybe tens of thousands…then a measly 100 isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

So think about it the next time you open an email or a letter from an agent…only to read “I’m so sorry but your story isn’t the right fit for our company”. That might make THEM feel better for having sent it but really doesn’t make YOUR day. THAT’s when you need to decide…

What’s YOUR number?

I’ve only got 97 more to go on my latest story…

 

************

 

 

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

 

 

 

*************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: This Little Light Of Mine…

light

A 40-year old note made me cry today.
 
I live a hectic life Monday through Saturday.  It’s one of my own choosing so I try not to complain when I’m feeling stressed out with too much to do and too little time.  
But Sundays are my ME day. 
I try not to leave the house.  It’s just me, alone in a quiet house where the TV is turned off and the only other sounds besides my breathing is the soft calls of the birds outside.
 
Saturdays are usually reserved for all the household chores needing to be done so all I have to worry about on Sunday is cooking my meals and trying to catch up on some writing.  Don’t ask me why today was different. It started out like any other Sunday.  I was sitting in my magical story-producing chair, checking my emails, when I happened to glance over at my bookcase.  It was beginning to look a bit disorganized so I decided to do a quick straightening up before starting this post.
 
As I was rearranging things, I noticed my high school yearbook tucked neatly in one corner of the shelves.  It had been years since I had given it any thought and I took a quick moment to thumb through the pages of my past.  I was an extremely shy person back then. I glided through the hallways like a ghost, only speaking when spoken to.  I didn’t feel like I had much in common with my classmates and my social awkwardness made me somewhat of a loner.
 
But there was one person who paid attention to me.  My homeroom teacher, Mrs. Serena Williams, took an interest in a certain quiet student and I developed a special friendship with her where we discussed every topic under the sun except my interest in becoming a writer one day.  I don’t know why I didn’t since I thought about it so much.  Maybe I was afraid she would laugh at my dream?  I kept that one topic to myself and focused instead on my studies.
 
Glancing at the pictures today reminded me how very different I felt from the rest of them back then so I was surprised to reread those youthful messages tucked in the back pages of the yearbook.  My classmates kept saying how nice and sweet and smart they thought I was…something I never realized they felt before  It was as if I was actually seeing those words for the first time.  But it was a comment written by Mrs. Williams for the whole world to see that shocked me enough to make me cry.
 
Amongst the typical well wishes and words of encouragement for a young lady staring out into the uncertainty of her future, my teacher wrote these words, “I can’t wait until the day I read about you becoming an author”.  The fact that SHE could see the writer in me back then, even when I spoke of my most secret desire to no one, touched me deeply and I cried.
 
I fear Mrs. Williams is gone now, but if I could say one last thing to her it would be this:
 
“Thank you for believing in me when no one else would.  Thank you for seeing something in me I was afraid to even name.  And thank you for knowing, even when I didn’t, that one day I would work hard to make my dream a reality.  For all the encouragement and support you gave me, please know that like the old song goes…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…shine for the whole world to see.
 
Just look at me now, Mrs. Williams.  Thanks in part to you, I’m a writer.”
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lunadar-cover-jpg
Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.
But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.
With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?
donna
International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers