Author Archives: Donna

About Donna

Donna Gielow McFarland holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Oregon. She has been on the faculty of New Hope Christian College (formerly Eugene Bible College) since 1997. She also teaches music theory at Northwest Christian University and previously taught class piano at the University of Oregon where she served as the class piano program coordinator. Donna Gielow McFarland has also published original piano compositions, arrangements and stories for children. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband and son.

And the winner is…

Hey, thanks for everyone who visited and those who played Pick Your Favorite Dragon in my Appreciate a Dragon Day contest & giveaway!  Diana was the obvious favorite, although the Medieval Mars dragon got a vote and my son wanted to vote for Duck’s friend Dragon if I had let him enter the drawing, which I didn’t.  He has all of my books already. 🙂  Anyway, I used a Random Number Generator from Google and it chose the number 2, which means that the second commenter (Lori) is the winner!  Congratulations and thanks again everyone who played!

Categories: Promotions | Leave a comment

Contest & Giveaway for Appreciate a Dragon Day!

January 16 is “Appreciate a Dragon Day!”  I didn’t realize until today, but I included dragon characters in every series of my children’s books.  How could I not have known that?  Dragons, I’m sorry!  I really appreciate you! In appreciation of my dragons, I am holding a contest to determine the favorite.  Vote for your favorite dragon in the comments below and your name will be entered in a drawing to receive a free book of your choice from my Duck and Friends series, Purple Elephant series or Sam and the Dragon. You don’t have to vote for the dragon in the book you’d like to win. So… drumroll, please… the contestants are… .

Duck’s Friend Dragon (Ahhhhchoo! Bless you!)Duck's Dragon

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Diana the Dragon (Prince Carmel’s colorful friend)Diana Dragon

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Medieval Mars Dragon (the newest addition — welcome to the family!)Mars Dragon

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The Friendly Enchanted Dragons EXtraordinaire (normally known by their initials) from The Purple Elephant: The Journey Home (no photo available)

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Which one is your favorite? You have until 5pm PST Sunday 1/18 to vote.  Winners will be announced Sunday night.

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Appreciate a Dragon Day was established in 2004 by author Donita K. Paul to celebrate the release of DragonSpell. On her blog, Ms. Paul lists lots more wonderful ideas on ways to celebrate her holiday.

Categories: Children's Books, Promotions | 7 Comments

Geronimo The Parachuting Beaver

This morning I read a true story of animals antics that is worthy of any of my Duck and Friends books.  It was about Geronimo, the parachuting beaver. No joke. In 1948, Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game moved some beavers into the backcountry by dropping them out of planes with parachutes, and a beaver named Geronimo was their test pilot… er… rodent. A story this silly deserves a silly retelling and Rob Thornberry of the Idaho Falls Post Register really does the story justice.  You can link to the story here.

Categories: Duck and Friends, Musings | Leave a comment

The Tale of Two Nativity Scenes

We visited two church parking lots last night to see their nativity scenes.  The first was very humble, with a makeshift stable, kids in costume and two sheep baaing so loud they occasionally drowned out the narrator. They did a 5-10 minute pageant, which they repeated every 15 minutes or so.  There was hot cocoa and cookies and several church members practically begged us to walk into the sanctuary because they had it decorated so pretty. We did, and it was beautiful. Besides the church members, there were a small handful of guests like us enjoying the event. Andrew spent his time with the sheep and three chickens.

The second nativity was a drive-through complete with search light and multiple attendants to direct traffic.  As we passed through the snack bar, church members came up to our window and offered us cocoa and popcorn. I overheard one server tell another that they had 900 people so far.  Then we drove into a line-up that reminded me of the car stack lanes for a ferry.  When it was our turn to move into position, we tuned our radio to hear the show and watched a nativity light show worthy of that Christmas light fight show on TV (I think — I’ve never actually watched it).  It was about 10 minutes long and flawless — which was nice since it took us probably 45 minutes to get through the line to see it.

Two nativity scenes telling the same story, but polar opposite in style.  The light show was incredible, but if I had to pick just one, I’d visit the little stable with the noisy sheep.

Categories: Musings | Leave a comment

Authors & Artists Fair

Authors FairI’ll be signing copies of Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story and other books next Saturday at the 15th Annual Authors & Artists Fair!  Drop by the Lane County Fairgrounds Atrium Saturday, Dec. 6 anytime from 10-6.  It’s a great place to do some Christmas shopping and meet your favorite authors like Jan Eliot, Bill Sullivan, Bob Welch, Dorcas Smucker and me!

Categories: Book Signing Events, Mars, Shop Local | Leave a comment

The winner of the Sam and the Dragon giveaway is…

There were four entries to the drawing, so I had an online Random Number Generator pick a number between 1 and 4 and it picked… 1!  Tabitha was the first to comment so she wins the drawing!  Thank you, friends and readers, for playing.  If you want to pick up a copy and you didn’t win, everything is now live on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions.  Click here to order the book.

Thanks for playing!

Categories: Promotions | Leave a comment

Release Day & Giveaway for Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story!

Final Cover 1Just in time for Christmas, it’s Release Day for Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story! The ebook is available on Amazon for 99 cents for a limited time only, also available in paperback. Kindleunlimited members can read the ebook for free.  (Did you know — every time you read a book for free on kindleunlimited, the author gets paid?!!)

Sam and the Dragon is a fun story for ages 9-12, or their parents. 🙂 The “look inside” feature on the ebook gives a nice preview of the story. Check it out!

I just completed a free giveaway for another author’s new book and it was so much fun that I’ve decided to give away one copy of Sam and the Dragon!  Paperback or ebook, whichever you choose. Please leave your name in the comments below if you’d like to enter the drawing.  I will pick the winner this Sunday night.

Categories: Mars, New Book Release | 9 Comments

And the winner is…

So, in 2014, how do you choose a random winner to receive a free copy of Footprints on the Ceiling, when the fourth grader who could have picked a number out of a hat just left for school?  I used Random.org’s True Random Number Generator to pick a number for me, and in no time at all, it chose number 3!  Sometimes I hate technology, but there are other times it’s fun!

So the winner of the book giveaway is the third person to leave a comment, princessmom08!  Congratulations! I don’t have a way to contact you, so please let me know who you are so I can send you a book.

Thank you so much, everybody, for visiting my blog, reading about Dorcas’s book and commenting.  It has been fun to “meet” all of you, and my blog stats have been lighting up the Midwest and new England states the last couple days!  If you didn’t win and you would like a copy of the book, you can order through Amazon, order directly from Dorcas or try your luck on another blog tour giveaway.  Check out the list of upcoming reviews on Dorcas’s blog here.

Thanks again for visiting!

Categories: Mars | 1 Comment

Book Review: Footprints on the Ceiling

ds.fotc.cover (2)Footprints on the Ceiling, the latest book from author Dorcas Smucker, is a delight to read, especially on a rainy day, curled up underneath a cozy blanket with something hot to drink. Or a chapter at a time, while waiting for a late school bus. Or when you have an unexpected break in a busy schedule. I read it all these ways, and finished the last bit while sitting in a barn during my son’s horseback riding lesson. It was the perfect read.

In the days of ever abundant “bonnet fiction” (you know, those books with with young and pretty windswept pioneer girls on the covers), this is the real deal. Dorcas Smucker grew up Amish and married into a Mennonite family. She writes about faith and life with her husband and six children in rural Harrisburg, Oregon, but more than anything else, Dorcas is a storyteller. She finds herself in all sorts of humorous situations (orange dots on the ceiling? a Canadian goose escorting a forklift crossing a bridge backwards? cookie dough that just keeps oozing?) and knows just what to do with them. The stories are all true – you can’t make this stuff up!

Interwoven with the humor are tales of life lessons learned, sometimes reluctantly. Dorcas is refreshingly frank and honest about her own struggles as she raises her children to become self-sufficient adults and she draws the reader in with her candor.

Footprints on the Ceiling is the latest in a series of books Dorcas has written about family life, and in this volume, the kids are almost all grown. If you’ve never read any of her other books, you can jump in and start with this one. The book is suitable for anyone, but will especially appeal to moms, aunts, grandmas, sisters or cousins. I’d let my fourth grader read it, but I’m worried that the incident that led to orange dots on the ceiling might give him too many ideas…

As a participant in the blog tour for Footprints, I am giving away one free copy. Add your name to the comments if you’d like to be included. I’ll announce the winner this Friday, so please check back or leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Footprints on the Ceiling is available on Amazon or directly from Dorcas for $15 per book, postage included.  You can mail a check to Dorcas Smucker, 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446.  US addresses only.  To send a copy to Canada or overseas, email Dorcas at dorcassmucker@gmail.com.  You can also visit her website: http://dorcassmucker.blogspot.com/

And who put the footprints on the ceiling? You’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Categories: Book Reviews | 41 Comments

New release! Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story

Final Cover 1I am excited to announce my newest release: Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story will be available on Amazon on November 14, 2014! Available for pre-order here.

At the age when other boys are beginning apprenticeships like blacksmithing or masonry, Sam dreams of bygone days when his ancestors could fly. It has been one thousand years since Mars was colonized and terraformed by people from Earth. When the civilization collapsed centuries later, most technology was lost. Now flying machines are considered fairy tales born in the Time of Magic. Still, Sam yearns for a life where anything is possible.

Things aren’t going too well at the home Sam shares with his aunt and uncle and his cousin Ahni. His aunt is growing mysteriously sicker by the day and his frail uncle is unable to deter a dragon who is stealing their goats. Without the herd, they won’t have money to pay the rent and will end up living in the wild.

Sam and Ahni embark on a perilous journey where they encounter a cave full of strange treasures, come face to face with a dragon and form unlikely alliances that just might prove to save the day. For ages 9-12.

Categories: Mars, New Book Release | Leave a comment

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