WHERE DID AMELIA GO? BIRTHDAY TREASURES

steampunk

 

All this rain I’ve had to deal with over the past two weeks makes me think of spring. You’ve heard the saying spring showers bring May flowers”? At the rate things are going around here, there will be no shortage of blossoms in a couple of months!

Spring also reminds me of two holidays…Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter. Whether it’s searching for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or collecting colorful eggs, treasure hunting can come in many forms. 

I choose to hunt for treasure which might be hiding in the corner of thrift stores and second hand bookstores. Amelia travels through time and around the globe to uncover treasures linked to great stories.

 

No photo description available.

 

Like this special treasure box she found one day while visiting the bayous of my hometown. Inside are messages from a dad caught in a war he never wanted, to a daughter heartsick with missing her father. If you want to know what’s hidden inside, you’ll have to wait until book three of my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series comes out later this spring. Amelia took off running right after I took this picture. Can’t wait to she what treasure she uncovers next…

 

*********

 

HM Hunting Gris-Gris HB cover

 

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Hunting Gris-Gris

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

Coming to a bookstore near you in the spring of 2020!

 

**********

 

donna - Copy

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book three, Hunting Gris-Gris, is scheduled to be released later this spring!

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Slip Sliding Away

Rain, Boots, Umbrella, Wet, Rain Falling

 

I’ve always loved rainy days. Especially when I could just hang out and listen to it or watch it fall. I especially liked when it would hit one of the metal awnings around my childhood home…pinging and slapping the metal in a rhythmic sound that always had a calming affect on me.

I’m not a huge fan of lightening though. Storms in southern Louisiana can get pretty intense and the lightening was almost always followed by the crashing, booming  rolls of thunder that would drive me under the covers when it happened in the middle of the night. 

But then there were those times when there would be a light rainfall and my mother would let me go outside to play in it. Donning galoshes and a raincoat,  I would dance in the rain…not a care in the world…and create streams in the mud where leaves with stick sails would travel to another world in my mind.

If I was really lucky, the water would collect in the deep ditch in our front yard. My sister and I would then take a thrown away refrigerator size cardboard box confiscated from the local hardware store dumpster and cut it open to create a homemade slippy slide leading from our front yard into the pond created in that ditch.

It didn’t matter we were poor and didn’t have a real pool. It didn’t matter that the water wasn’t crystal clear surrounded by white, sandy beaches.

In my mind, I was diving into a blue lagoon on some deserted tropical island and having the time of my life! My mother didn’t choose the life of poverty her children were born into, but she did allow us the freedom to use our creativity to have a little fun on a rainy day…

 

*********

 

HM Hunting Gris-Gris HB cover

 

***COMING MARCH 20, 2020!***

 

Book three of the HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series, Hunting Gris-Gris, is scheduled to be released this spring, just in time for Easter!

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known events. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in book three of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES.
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?
************
donna - Copy
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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book three, Hunting Gris-Gris, is scheduled to be released later this spring!

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Back To The Future

footprints

 

Last week when Amelia stopped by the house, she told me to “follow the bread crumbs.” I wasn’t sure what she meant by that until I visited the Titanic Museum this past weekend. 

 

Amelia Titanic anchor 1

 

There she was, sitting so smug and sassy at the foot of the actual center anchor from the original ship. Amelia loves a mystery so I knew she was trying to give me clues but at first I couldn’t figure them out.

 

Titanic

 

I knew she’d shared the story of Margaret and the SHIP OF DREAMS with me but what was she trying to share with me now? I spent the next two hours stepping back in time to relive all the sights and sound of that once mighty ship. I felt the excitement of those workers who took pride in building something that had never been created before.

I stood on the replica of the grand staircase, gazing up in awe and wonder at the intricately carved molding and glittering domed ceiling. How fine a ship it was and how lucky those passengers must have felt to set sail on her maiden voyage.

Then came the heart wrenching magnitude of lives lost and souls trapped forever in the fabric of time. Stories needing to be told of the lives lived BEFORE an iceberg stole their future chapter of how they could have conquered their world.

Maybe Amelia wanted me to fully understand how important ALL history is for use who live in its wake?

 

Titanic lego

 

And then there was the amazing exhibit of the large LEGO Titanic built by a young, autistic boy from Iceland.

 

Lego Brynjar Karl 10 yrs old 

 

Brynjar was only ten years old when he began his creation. It took him 11 months and 56,000 LEGO bricks to built his tribute to a ship that sailed into history back in 1912.

 

 

Lego Brynjar Karl today

 

Years later he’s all grown up but his future will be forever tied to the past and how he came to terms with such a tragedy by building something to honor the memories of those who came before him.

Maybe Amelia was trying to show me a glimpse into my own destiny? Maybe MY role is to create the portal where readers can visit the past while moving forward into their own future?

 

Amelia

 

I just think she’s waiting to see what I come up with next…

 

**********

 

Donna's Books

Books always make a great gift! There’s everything from inspirational essay journals to picture books…young adult fantasy novels to historical fiction chapter books. Something for everyone on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other retailers. HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

 

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

 

donna - Copy

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Back To My Not So Italian Roots…

 

pasta

 

Life on the bayou wasn’t always all about crawfish and gumbo.

There were other times when my mother threw together other ingredients in her attempt to put food on the table. Sometimes it worked.

Sometimes it didn’t.

I lived for Sunday afternoons because I could identify what was on my plate. I loved mother’s fried chicken and mashed potatoes. I wasn’t so lucky the other days of the week. Sometimes I would come home from school to fish head soup. Yes, you heard me right. NOT fish soup…fish HEAD soup. Do you know how freaky it is to look into a pot and have your meal LOOKING BACK AT YOU?

Then there were the rooster COMB and chicken FEET meals placed in front of me. Just in case you’re wondering…no, there is NO meat on chicken FEET, but you can have lots of fun playing with the tendons like a theater puppet to make the claws clinch up!

Occasionally, mother would try to make a  traditional Italian meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Most of the time we didn’t have the ground meat for meatballs so she would substitute diced chicken. Then there was the fact she usually didn’t have enough spaghetti to feed six people so she would substitute rice on the bottom of the dish. Being raised in the middle of rice country had it’s advantages. Seasoned tomato paste topped off the dish instead of homemade spaghetti sauce, and I imagine the “cheese” that was sprinkled on top came from the government subsidized cheese handouts we would travel to the next town each month to receive.

Any true Italian would have been horrified to have that concoction placed in front of them, but in our house, it was WAY BETTER than the grease dripping pancakes or turnip rice dishes I had to choke down to avoid being hungry.

Luckily, pasta dishes are much easier to make these days…

 

Close-Up, Pasta, Pesto, Italian, Fettuccine, Cuisine

 

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

Donna's Books

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s easy to pick up a quick read to share with a loved one! Check out my author page on Amazon…https://www.amazon.com/Donna-L-Martin/e/B00KA7DS02

 

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

 

donna - Copy

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

 

 

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Follow The Bread Crumbs…

 

crumbs

 

I’ll be the first to admit it has not been an easy week for me. It can get pretty crazy when my Taekwondo school, my writing career, AND LIFE is doing backflips all at the same time.

This week, the weather started with me sitting in my office at the school on Monday and feeling the shocks of an earthquake hitting several counties north of me. Then on Tuesday, I was doing battle with snow. Wednesday I was scrambling to get a lot of my TKD students ready for their next belt testing coming up in two weeks. Thursday I juggled several afterschool students squabbling like siblings and teaching a bunch of new students the program. Today, while I’m dealing with thunderstorms, it dawned on me that my latest book, HOW BIG CAN YOU DREAM, launched yesterday. My publisher had to remind me about it because in the swirling vortex of my crazy, three-full-time career life, it had slipped my mind. Glad no one else forgot because we ended the day with my latest inspirational journal hitting #1 in several categories on Amazon and #1 in several countries.

What does this have to do with Amelia, you might ask?

Well, a lot actually.

In the middle of all this creative and Mother Nature chaos, I was also dealing with a medical issue. I woke up last Saturday with the right side of my face looking like I was trying to chew on a tennis ball. I was in so much pain, all I could do the entire weekend was sit in my recliner and bury my face in hot compresses. A trip to the doctor on Tuesday and I was put on antibiotics for an INFECTED SALIVARY GLAND. Who knew your salivary glands could cause your FACE to swell up?

I didn’t.

I was not feeling my best when I got home Tuesday, so I was surprised to see Amelia sitting in my recliner when I walked into my living room. She had come back to make sure I was okay. I was glad she was home, but when I tried to ask her where she’d been all this time, all she did was smile at me all mysterious-like and said, “Follow the bread crumbs…”

And in a flash, she ran out the back door and was off on another one of her adventures.

At least she knows her way back home…

 

 

Amelia recliner

 

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Find Me A Crawdad Hole…

crawfish

 

As a child growing up near the swamps of southern Louisiana, there were a couple of things I was sure of….

Alligators could come to visit us whenever they wanted.

Crawfish were fun to play with.

Growing up poor on the bayou didn’t give me many opportunities to play with the fancier toys other children in my small hometown would, so I would make up my own unique forms of play…like hunting for crawfish.

There was a tiny ditch zig-zagging its way through our back yard at one of many houses I lived at during my childhood. Whenever it rained my siblings and I would get ready for what we knew was going to happen. That little ditch would fill up with water and before you know it, crawfish would be drawn to that mini-bayou in our back yard. 

I never knew how they actually got there, but as soon as mother told us we could, we would run barefoot through the squishy backyard to that ditch. My brother David, who was six years older than myself and far braver than I would ever be while living in that house, would calmly tread his way in that water from one side of the yard to the other. He was using his toes as bait for the crawfish we knew were hiding just under the surface. Of course it would hurt like the dickens when one of those mudbugs caught a toe with those front pinchers, but my brother would just scramble out of the water to toss his prize into a nearby bucket we brought for just such an occasion.

You would have to ask my sister, Janet, if she ever followed our brother into the ditch. My memories feel like she did, but I just might be putting her on a bravery pedestal like I did my brother. Scaredy-cat me, I did the next best thing. Stretching out a long piece of string, I dipped one end into the mudholes I would find nearby. Even at six years old I knew crawfish liked to burrow themselves into the mud after a rain and I’d never met a crawfish that didn’t like to grab onto anything that got in its way. Patience eventually paid off and I could pull that string up with one or sometimes two angry crawdads clinging on for dear life.

We never caught more than a handful, but it was just enough to have some crawfish races on the sidewalk. All Cajuns knew crawfish ran backwards when they’re trying to get away from something so the “finish-line” was always placed behind them.

When you’re a kid and dirt poor, there are always ways to have a little fun on the bayou…

 

crawfish

 

 

 

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Batten Down The Hatches

Amelia

 

Amelia Earmouse used to kick back in her favorite chair and read a little over the weekend. But she made a New Year’s resolution this year to be more adventurous now that our new series, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES, is off to a good start.

Book three, “Hunting Gris-Gris”, is almost complete and set to be released later this Spring. That means Amelia will be back on the road promoting our latest book. That is, if I can only figure out WHERE DID AMELIA GO?

There were huge storms coming in this weekend, so while I made a mad dash to the grocery store before the winds hit, Amelia doubled back to the house and was batting down the patio hatches when I pulled into my driveway. I managed to grab my phone and take this picture before she headed out on her next adventure.

I just hope she comes back in time for our Barnes & Noble author spotlight event next month…

 

patio

 

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

 

Donna's Books

Books always make a great gift! There’s everything from inspirational essay journals to picture books…young adult fantasy novels to historical fiction chapter books. Something for everyone on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other retailers. HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

 

***********

 

donna - Copy

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.