The New Year Brings…BONUS PRIZES!

With so many great books out there, it was hard to decide which ones would be included in my year-long PAY A BOOK FORWARD event. Once the word got out that I wanted to share my love of books with educators, librarians. homeschool groups, and just any book lover out there who likes FREE books, some of my author friends generously sent me signed books to give away as BONUS prizes.

But I also wanted to do other things that will make this event extra special. One of the genres I write in is historical fiction so anything to do with history is near and dear to my heart. I was given this bundle of What Is/Who is books and thought they would make a great BONUS prize! They might be given away in January, or I might hold them back and add to the pile. Either way, someone is going to be the lucky winner of some fabulous reading…;)

Come back tomorrow to learn exactly how you can win FREE books for your school, local library, homeschool co-op, or even your own home library!

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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 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 and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

A New Year Brings With It A New Word…

As a writer, I find myself fascinated with the written word. Whether simple or elaborate, for myself anyway, words have the magical power to life a spirit up or dash that same spirit on the rocks of despair.

Last year we became well acquainted with words no one I associated with used in their vocabulary prior to 2020…

Pandemic

COVID-19

Quarantine

But this is a new year, and I would like for a moment to look back to at least 2017 when someone chose to use a word to create a wonderful, yet to be determined, destination.

CODDIWOMPLE

It kind of describes my PAY A BOOK FORWARD year-long event.

I came up with this idea to share my love of books with educators, librarians, homeschool groups, and just any book lover as my way of supporting this KidLit community. What started out with a handful of purchased books, quickly grew into over 300 books bought or donated to FREELY share with others.

There will be a drawing run from the 10th to the 20th of every month for BONUS prizes like special autographed books, jewelry, and other goodies, along with at least 12-15 books beginning January 10th!

I don’t know exactly what other surprises 2021 holds for us, but you ALL will have a chance to come out a winner…

Of books.

Of BONUS prizes.

ALL YEAR LONG!

So who will go coddiwompling with me today? Come back Wednesday to see this month’s books and BONUS prize to be given away…

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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 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 and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

NEW YEAR…NEW WAY TO WIN FREE BOOKS!!

Happy New Year’s Day everybody!

I took a much needed hiatus the past couple of months to focus on the many spinning plates I was trying to juggle. Between pandemic, work, house, writing, and business, I was concerned I couldn’t focus 100 percent on my blog as my readers deserved! But now I’m back and have so many new things to share with you…

  1. PAY A BOOK FORWARD event! Every month throughout 2021, I will be giving people the opportunity each month to win a bundle of new and gently-loved books to add to their libraries.

FOR FREE!

I’ll share much more over the next few days and the event will run from the 10th to the 20th of each month. Librarians, educators, homeschool families, or just book lovers in general will have chances to add their name to the monthly drawing to possibly win a bundle of children’s books from board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade and more! There will even be signed books and other special bonus prizes to be won!

It’s just my way of sharing my love of books and supporting the wonderful writers who make up our KidLit community!

Come back on Wednesday for a peek at this month’s book lineup!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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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 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 and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Patiently Waiting…

 

Kid, Girl, Child, Childhood, Summer, Day

 

If you’ve read any of the previous posts in this series, you realize Amelia considers herself a world/time traveler. When she’s not uncovering her latest little known historical event, she’s playing hide and seek with me. 

It’s a game I used to play all the time when I was a child.  I imagine Amelia feels the same nervous excitement I used to feel when she peeks out from her hiding spot and sees me moving ever closer to making a discovery of my own. The challenge is to see how long she can patiently wait…not moving or making a sound…before I finally find where she is hiding next.

But today is bittersweet. I visit many elementary schools and public libraries as a children’s book author. Walking through those halls, listening to the pitter-patter of busy little feet, hearing the laughter of young voices at play, I find much happiness in that environment. 

Unfortunately, the atmosphere right now is filled with uncertainty. WHEN will schools and libraries reopen? Will the world ever be the same once this pandemic is over? But the more I think about it, the more I know in my heart where I will find Amelia. All I have to do is look for the nearest elementary school…and some books…

 

Dolphin

 

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub 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?

NOW AVAILABLE IN EBOOK AND PAPERBACK ON AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, BOOKS A MILLION, AND OTHER FINE RETAILERS!

 

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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 now available in ebook and paperbook everywhere!

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Summer Time Reading

 

library

 

Summer is almost here and for me that means BOOKS! It’s not like I don’t read books the rest of the year, but during the summer I read to my Adventure Camp kids at my TaeKwonDo school every day for the ten weeks of summer. I read 3-4 books every day so by the time the new school year comes around, we have gone through at least 200 books…and this is sometimes the ONLY time some of my kids get to enjoy a book!

Reading to me has been the foundation of my childhood. It let me escape from the drama surrounding me. It allowed me to visit new places…meet new people…all from the comfort of my bedroom or front porch. I lived in a very small town and this was the library I visited as often as my mother would allow.

I still remember the day I was finally old enough to check out my own books. I was about 5 or 6 and there was a special row of books located behind the librarian’s desk where first timers could go and pick out ANY book from that shelf. It’s not like today where there are literally millions of books a kid could get their hands on, so those 20 or 30 books I was allowed to browse as a first timer was like giving me a golden ticket to OZ and I just had to figure out which train to catch!

 

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It might find it hard to believe, but the very first book I selected to take home was a DICTIONARY! I was fascinated with the illustrations and wanted to learn more about the words hidden inside. The librarian gave me a funny look because why would a little kid want to read a dictionary, but today I wonder…why did she put it on the first-timer shelf for me to select it? ;~)

I ran home with my treasure and it took me a week to read through the entire book. Granted, it was a small beginner dictionary but when I told my mother the next weekend I was ready to go back to the library for another book, she didn’t believe I had read it. She sat me down and literally gave me an oral test on random words from that book. I don’t know who was more surprised..my mother because I answered every question correctly…or myself because I remembered what those words meant. In any case, she let me go back to the library that day and from then on I made it my summer time goal to always read a minimum of 100 books before going back to school in the fall.

 

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The summer I turned 9 or 10 my library ran a writing contest. The theme was something about being proud to be an American and I entered the contest. I was big into horses back then…even thought I would either be a vet when I grew up or would one day own my own horse ranch…so when I found out first prize for my age group was a copy of MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE, I just had to enter! I don’t remember what I wrote about but it must have been impressive because I ended up winning first place and have read my copy of Misty many times since that day. It holds a special place on my bookshelf…a reminder of how books have been a life long friend to me.

The Gueydan library is still open for business, still tempting children with tantalizing dreams of adventure to faraway lands. And I’m sure they probably still have an old dictionary or two just waiting for another little girl to come in and discover the magic hiding within those well worn pages…

 

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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.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Keiko Kasza

kieko

 

***Welcome to BOOK NOOK REVIEWS where I will share my thoughts (and reader rating) on a variety of children’s books…from board books and picture books to chapter books and young adult novels. Why, I might even sneak in an occasional family-friendly adult novel when I get the chance. If my review entices you to buy the book as a gift or to even add to your own home library, why not share this post with others by clicking on the social share links below!***

 

Title: Badger’s Fancy Meal

Author: Keiko Kasza

Illustrator: Keiko Kasza

Publisher: G P Putnam’s Sons

Ages 4-8

 

“Badger’s den was full of food, but he was not happy. ‘Apples, worms and roots…same old, same old,’ he sighed. ‘I wish I could have a fancy meal for a change.'”

 

Synopsis:

 

Poor Badger has all the food he can possible want but it isn’t enough. He wants more. He wants a fancy meal and he goes on an adventure to find it. At first Badger thinks Mole, Rat, and Rabbit will make a delicious meal. When each gets away from him, Badger decides to return home but boy, is he in for a big surprise!

 

Why you should read it:

 

Ms. Kasza is both author and illustrator in this delightful story that children of all ages will love! I was captivated by the “turned-down” pages artwork which allowed me to peek into another part of the story and kept me fully engaged until the very end.

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5…Grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!
4 out of 5…think about it.
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!

 

Author Profile Pic

 

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, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.

 

 

My House That Books Built

 

girl reading books

 

When I was a young girl, I lived for books. I learned to read at the tender age of four, and I soon learned that a good book was like having a magic carpet that could whisk me away to magical lands. I couldn’t wait until summer when my town library’s reading program would allow me to take home as many books as my little arms could carry. I even won my first literary award at the age of 10 when I wrote an essay about why I loved America. I won first place which was the book, Misty Of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry. It had my name engraved on the book plate and I still cherish that book years later.

 

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While Hansel and Gretel may have wanted to live in a house made of candy, I dreamt of a home made from books. To surround myself with the things I loved most in the world would have been a fantasy come true.

 

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As I grew older I would be able to write my own stories at my desk piled with books. Maybe they would help inspire me to great literary works of art? Or create the foundation of the next epic series?

 

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My chairs would be dedicated to the written word. Great authors who came before me would now bring me comfort as I relax in my chair. I would learn from the best as I soaked up their wisdom.

 

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My library would be the envy of the neighborhood. From Alcott to Wilde, the classics would stand comfortably on the shelf. Lovely books beckoning me to come and visit for awhile.

 

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Even my art would speak of my love for books. Old friends, once vibrant and lively, could be recycled into something new. It would speak to the world that the written word can truly be a thing of beauty.

 

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And when at last the child in me had tired from a day of reading I could lie down to rest. I would know that the things I cherish most in this life, my books, would be there to greet me when I awake. Oh, the sweet dreams I would have in my house that books built.

 

Author Profile Pic

 

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.