When I began thinking about writing book three in my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series, I knew I wanted to write about World War II but wasn’t sure at first how I was going to handle it. Then one day, I came across a Facebook post from a group I was a member of. This group was dedicated to people from my hometown of Gueydan, Louisiana. This particular post was talking about the prisoner of war camp located on the outskirts of my hometown during the second world war.



My hometown had a prisoner of war camp?

I reached out to the local museum in Gueydan, only to find out they had an original German soldier’s uniform donated to their inventory. Seems that during WWII, when American soldiers captured German soldiers over in Europe, they would ship the prisoners back to the United States to concentration camps located all over the country…including right outside my hometown!

Armed with this information, I had the background for my story, but what about the mystery?

It came to me one day when I was thinking about growing up near the swamps and gators of southern Louisiana. I remembered an old Cajun legend mothers have told their children for centuries. It involved a chicken-snatching, toad-fearing, swamp creature call the Gris-Gris. Mamas used that legend to make their children behave and children looked under their beds before going to sleep to make sure the gris-gris wasn’t lurking in the dark.

On March 20, 2020, Story Catcher Publishing released HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Hunting Gris Gris.

Here is the book’s blurb: “Eleven-year-old Emma misses her father who’s serving in Europe during World War II. He leaves behind a treasure box with six compartments to be opened during her birthday week. He also tells her to watch for the gris-gris while he is gone. Looking out for swamp creatures and dealing with wartime rationing is hard enough, but now there’s a British refugee staying at the house! How will Emma enjoy her birthday and keep her decision to hunt the gris-gris a secret with a stranger following her around?”


It was fun researching events surrounding my hometown and sharing one of my Cajun legends with the world. I’m going to have return home, though, to check out that German soldier’s uniform since the museum was built after I left town…


“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (***

Hybrid published 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 flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

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P O Box 27788

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Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

2 thoughts on “THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: HISTORY’S MYSTERIES Hunting Gris Gris by Donna L Martin

  • March 2, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    Maybe the huge frog/toad Grandma had in her house was there just in case she came across a Gris Gris.

  • March 2, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    I think she’d be more likely to toss one of US at it than the frog/toad…lol

    Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


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