TALES FROM THE BAYOU: All Creatures Great And Small

cricket

 

Growing up, my love for animals wasn’t just for stray pets like cats and dogs. Oh no, my fascination with all living things expanded far beyond the ordinary and I spent a lot  of time outdoors studying nature. If it crawled, hopped, flew, or otherwise moved I was interested in it.

Hot summer days now remind me of Mother’s wash days. Whether she was using the old ringer washer and scrub board or the washing machine she finally got when I was much older, Mother never had a dryer in the house. She would carry the wet clothes out back and hang them on the line. I don’t know if it was the fact the clothes were wet or if it was all that flapping in the wind, but you could always count on dozens of dragonflies to make a stop on the clothesline…dancing in the hot summer sun along with the clothes as they dried. I was mesmerized by those creatures and would spend many an afternoon trying to sneak up on one so I could examine their dainty, translucent wings as they fluttered in the breeze.

I like to think it’s the Cherokee blood in me that connects with nature but I’ve always hated to see any harm come to one of God’s creatures.  Even things like going fishing bothered me. While I enjoyed the actual fishing part, I never had the heart to be the one to send a worm to its watery demise. Either my parents or my brother had to load the hook and cast the line before I could be tempted to hold the pole.

But one Saturday afternoon, I took my love for all creatures great and small to a whole new level…

I was in elementary school at the time and every Saturday we would gather around the television to watch westerns like Bonanza and Rawhide. It was during one of those shows when a small cricket managed to get into our house and make it’s way into the living room where I lay on the floor watching TV.

I don’t remember who heard the chirping sound first but all I wanted was to capture the little guy and put him back outside. My brother, on the other hand, decided he was going to do what most boys his age would have done and hunt the cricket down like prey. Before I could stop him, David had killed it and I was devastated. I cried my little heart out and begged my mother to allow me to have a burial service for the cricket. Not only did she say yes, she found a matchbox to bury him in and made us kids go outside in the middle of the shows so I could have a proper funeral for him.

I’m sure my brother wasn’t too happy about missing his westerns, but you can bet he never tried to kill another critter that managed to get into the house as long as I was around!

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover

 

 

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 HISTORYS 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?

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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 flash fiction, 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.

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: The Kid Next Door

chocolate

 

Growing up in a small town allowed me to get friendly with our neighbors every time we had to move to a different house. I grew up during an era where you didn’t have to lock your front door at night. Heck, most nights during a hot Louisiana summer we wouldn’t even close the door in the hopes a light breeze would makes its way through the house since we didn’t have air conditioning either. 

The last house I lived in before I graduated was next door to a lady named Rowena and her young son, Damian. Rowena worked at the local beauty shop and was a single mom. Not something you saw much back then, but she was friendly and seemed to have money for the kind of luxuries I could only dream of.

Sometimes when Rowena worked late she would ask me to babysit her son on the weekends. The first time she asked if I could watch Damian I was shocked to hear my mother give her permission. I was never allowed to go anywhere, but I suppose the fact I was a mature 12 year old and it was only for a couple of hours at the house next door, Mother was persuaded it was okay. It didn’t even matter much to me that any money I made would end up buying cigarettes for Mother…the freedom and independence from being away from the house was intoxicating enough.

Damian was about 6 at the time and a cute kid, but I quickly realized the first time I went over to his house that his station in life far exceeded anything I could ever hope to achieve. That kid had every toy known to man and I took full advantage of playing with as much of his stuff as I could. My favorite was the Fisher Price Family Play Farm. I could play with that thing for hours and even confess to loving the animal sounds coming from the barn doors as I swung them open to let the critters out.

But it was what was in the kitchen that kept me going back every chance I could. Rowena was an extremely indulgent host and told me I could eat anything  I wanted whenever I looked after Damian. Her son, not used to wondering where his next meal was coming from or what ingredients might be in it, was quite content to eat hot dogs when I came over. 

I, on the other hand, stumbled across one drawer in their refrigerator that literally stopped me in my tracks. Pound after delicious pound of chocolate candy was stuffed in one of the crisper drawers.  Free for the taking and take it I did. By the handful. To someone like myself who only saw candy on the rare holiday, I simply couldn’t fathom the reasoning behind having a treasure trove of goodies whenever the sugar high mood struck you.

I don’t remember much about those babysitting days beyond that toy farm and the candy, but I do remember two things…

 

  1. Damian never had any interest EVER in eating any of that candy.

 

  1. I knew Damian HAD to be an alien from outer space.

 

It was the only way I could figure out why he would turn his nose up at the chance to dive into all that chocolatey goodness…

 

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover

 

 

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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 flash fiction, 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.

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: A “Military” Family

 

Daddy soldier 1

 

Today is Memorial Day. A time in the United States when we honor those who paid the “ultimate sacrifice” while serving their country.

But I say there is more than one type of “military” training and more than one way to serve one’s country. I thought I would share how my family have served this country for more than 100 years…

 

Daddy young boy                        Daddy soldier

 

I’m not sure if my father dreamed of going into the military when he was a young boy living near the bayous of southern Louisiana. But by 1950 he was a young man serving in the Air Force as part of the military police division. While he never served his country overseas during the Korean War, he did manage to offer up his two front teeth in a home front battle. He caught a beer bottle with his mouth one night while trying to stop a bar fight. My father adapted to the changes a military life provided but I’m not sure he was prepared for the pretty little thing who crossed his path during those war years.

 

Mother young woman

 

My mother came from sturdy country folk living in the hills of the Ozark Mountains. Her lineage included full blooded Cherokee Indian and an ancestor who served in a distinguished Cherokee division of soldiers during the Civil War. When she was 17 and living in California, World War II broke out . My mother, who once sewed together baby bibs, geared up to do her duty for the war effort when her factory began to create war time fighting equipment. She further “served” her country by raising three children and three grandchildren to follow a “military” lifestyle while serving their country in different ways.

 

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup                                  David soldier

 

My brother joined the Navy once he turned 18 and served for twenty years with the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise before retiring as a Naval officer. He continued serving as a high school teacher before retiring again a few years ago.

 

Patrick and Robert young boys

 

Patrick soldier                  Robert soldier

 

My brother raised two of his children to become military men as well. Both followed in their father’s footsteps, joining the Navy once they graduated high school and served their country for a few years.  The one on the right continues to serve during the pandemic by becoming a long haul truck driver.

 

Carol young girl                          Carol soldier

 

My oldest sister joined the Navy a couple of years after my brother. She spent a tour serving in the southeast and married another Navy man. 

 

Donna young girl                                  Randy young boy

 

Randy & Donna tkd

 

And then there is MY family. My son and I both began training in the ancient art of Taekwondo years ago. It is a self-defense program based on military training and a code of ethics which promotes service of others.  The two of us served our school and the children who came there for years, before my son chose to change career paths. He is now a traveling nurse serving in Missouri during this pandemic. For myself, eighteen years later I continue to serve my community…my country…in various ways. I continue to teach children how to become strong community-minded individuals who have the confidence to defend themselves should the need arise. I also serve others by supporting children’s literacy  and proud to know I’ve helped donate over $130,000 worth of books to local elementary school libraries as well as worthy literary causes all over the country.

My family is steeped in decades of military duty or service to others, but it all started with my father’s decision to join the military and eventually marrying my mother. When my father died, I was put in charge of his estate and I thought it fitting he receive a 21-gun salute at his funeral. There is nothing so haunting as the echo of a military farewell to a fallen soldier, whether from the ravages of battle or the end of a long life. It will be a memory I will take with me to my own grave. Besides a heartfelt thank you for service to his country, there is only one other thing I can think of to say to my father…

Good bye, Daddy. I hope you are at peace now. 

 

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover

 

 

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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 flash fiction, 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.

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: The “New” Normal

 

normal

 

Before I started writing stories in my youth, I wrote poetry. Some of my poems were good. Many of them were not. But they all served a purpose. It gave me a way to express my feelings when the world around me stopped feeling normal.

Since nothing these days seem very “normal” to me, I thought I would change things up a little with my TALES FROM THE BAYOU post. I’m sharing two poems with you this week. “Carry On” was written when I was twenty years old. I wrote it for a friend of mine at the time who lost his younger brother to a sudden heart attack while he was playing touch football. For my friend, his “normal” changed that day as he struggled to come to terms with his “new” normal.

The other poem, “The New Normal”, came to me last night in my dreams. When I woke up this morning, the first two lines played over and over in my mind until I had to write them down. It reflects how I’m feeling right now as I struggle to adjust to my own “new” normal.

Maybe one day this “new” normal we are all dealing with will become old again.

 

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CARRY ON

 

When the clouds turn grey

And the path seems long,

When your will to fight

Doesn’t seem that strong,

When the world turns away

And you feel like you don’t belong;

Just  keep your head up…carry on.

 

When the turn of the card

Doesn’t come your way,

When you want to give up

At the end of the day,

When friends start to leave

Though you wish they would stay’;

Just keep your head up…carry on.

 

When the night draws near

And darkness will find you,

When you feel all lost

And don’t know what to do,

When something brings pain

And you discover others hurt, too;

Just keep your head up…carry on.

 

When you lose someone you love

And you have to say goodbye,

When the truth begins to hurt

And you start wondering why,

When you know it’ll get better

Yet still feel the need to cry;

Just keep your head up…carry on.

 

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THE NEW NORMAL

 

Where I once lived, flowers grew,

Among the rocks and grassy dew,

There, families hugged

And laughed

And loved,

Living the only “normal” they knew.

 

But now the world seems so tilted,

With dreams on pause and lives all stilted,

Where some will cry

And mourn,

Ask why?

Towering faith suddenly wilted.

 

Yet sounds of nature are still there.

Songs of life still in the air.

Where families still hug

And laugh

And love.

This “new” normal where people still care.

 

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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, PAPERBACK & HARDBACK 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, paperbook & hardback everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Easter Traditions

easter

 

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, but it didn’t feel like it. No early morning church services. No Easter egg hunts. No large family get together around a food laden table. Strange how COVID-19 shadows just about everything we do these days.

Back when I was growing up, Easter was one of the few times a year when I could look forward to some extra treats and especially store bought candy.

Being so poor usually meant the only sweets we would see is things like Mother’s greasy donuts or sometimes cookies but even then I wasn’t a huge fan of  her orange peel ones. But at the first sign of spring I would start counting down to the Easter Bunny’s arrival.

If my father was home from working on an oil rig as a short order cook, he would threaten to take his old shotgun and shoot the Easter rabbit but every year that sneaky bunny managed to make his delivery and still escape with his tail intact.

There were no magic pills back then to turn water into colorful dyes so Mother would boil at least six dozen eggs…a dozen for each of the four kids and the rest for deviled eggs, pickled eggs, and egg salad sandwiches. Once we got the okay, everyone would gather around a mound of hard boiled eggs on the dining room table where we would create a rainbow of colored eggs using as many crayons as were available. 

Easter morning we would wake up and race to see what was in our baskets. The one prize I waited to receive every year was a hollow Binks Bunny. Things like jelly beans and marshmallow eggs were nice to see, but that chocolate rabbit nestled in the middle of all the candy like a king on his throne was my sign that all was right with my world.

In this COVID-19 crazy world we live in right now, maybe celebrating our holidays are the best way to be reminded not everything in our lives have changed…like finding a chocolate bunny in your Easter basket…

 

bunny

 

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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, PAPERBACK & HARDBACK ON AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, BOOKS A MILLION, AND OTHER FINE RETAILERS!

 

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donna

 

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, paperbook & hardback everywhere!

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: An Easter Tradition

Easter Egg

 

 

My sister will probably laugh when she sees this picture. She will probably THINK she knows the tale I will tell today. Maybe she will be correct. And maybe she will learn a thing or two.

Card-giving is a billion dollar business. Today there are cards for every conceivable situation so finding one that says just what the sender wants it to say is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel…odds are in your favor.

But when I was about 8 years old the card selection wasn’t that great. I didn’t have the money to buy something other than this card to give to my big sister for Easter. I didn’t even take the time to sign it and truth be told, Janet kept the card…only to return the SAME card back to me the following year. She says she did it simply because she really didn’t like the card in the first place and was just trying to get rid of it.

Maybe that’s true. Then again, maybe she was just starting an Easter tradition that has stood the test of time. Year after year, decade after decade, this card has traveled back and forth from my hands to hers. In between it is tucked into safe keeping until it is time to take it out again and send it on it’s special journey back into another sister’s hands.

I can’t even tell you what it says on the inside but I CAN tell you what it whispers to me before I tuck it away for another year.

I am still here.

The sisterly bond has not been broken.

Love has endured despite births, deaths, marriage, divorce, illness, and all the other possibilities of the human condition to tax our minds and spirits. That little card has reminded me of this fact for FIFTY YEARS of passing from my hands to my sister’s. It is a symbol of the most cherished part of my childhood and I pray God allows us to carry on our Easter tradition for many more years to come…

 

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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, PAPERBACK & HARDBACK ON AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, BOOKS A MILLION, AND OTHER FINE RETAILERS!

Www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

 

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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: Entertaining The Troops

 

Live Concert, Concert, Stage, People, Crowd, Audience

 

One of the houses I lived in when I was growing up among the bayous of Louisiana had a sidewalk running off the front porch. It split the front yard into two sections which, to my young mind, provided the perfect venue for my world of make believe.

My sister, Janet, and I would spend hours using that front yard to share our budding talents with our “audience”. Whether it was dressing up for an impromptu fashion show or grabbing a hairbrush microphone to sing to the troops, we spent many a summer day hanging out on that front porch.

When I wasn’t with my sister, I would sit in that front yard and watch the lazy bees flit from one patch of clover to another. I would make flower necklaces and lie in the cool grass, watching puffy clouds float by. Sometimes, if I was really lucky, I could just make out some magical creature smiling back at me from the sky above.

Funny how simple childhood games come back to me during these fearful days. The whole world holds its breath to see how this pandemic will ultimately change their lives. And as the world around us gets so small we can’t see beyond our front yard, I’ve made a place of my own to be able to sit and watch new clouds go by…

 

patio2

 

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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 available in ebook and paperbook everywhere!

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Leaving A Mark

eyeglasses

 

I want to warn everyone that this week’s tale might be disturbing for some people. It won’t hurt my feelings if you choose to skip this week and come back next time. If you choose to read on, remember…I warned you.

Growing up when I did, I knew each school year where I would sit in the classroom and even who I would sit behind. Teachers always arranged their classrooms by alphabetical order and since my hometown was small, there weren’t any new faces at the beginning of the new school year to disrupt the order of things.

Every year I sat behind the same boy. I don’t know if he had an issue with me because I was a girl, because I was poor, or maybe he was just a jerk and it had nothing to do with me. But one particular year when I was in fifth grade, there was two incidents that literally left their mark on me and changed my life forever.

I don’t even remember what caused our argument. Bickering between school mates over something dumb I’m sure. Before I knew what was happening, the boy turned around in his chair and stabbed his pencil in my arm.

I was surprised, to put it mildly.

The teacher was more excited than anything and proceeded to drag me to all the classrooms in our building where she showed off the pencil still sticking out of my arm. She hadn’t bothered to pull it out before creating the pathetic circus performance I became a part of. I”m pretty sure nothing ever happened to make that boy accountable.

Then came the next pencil encounter.

Later that same school year, again there was some disagreement between this boy and myself. I don’t know why, because I liked his older brother very much. Anyway, the bickering escalated until the boy swung at me again with another pencil.

This time,  it wasn’t my arm that was his target. 

The pencil was stuck in my eye!

It landed in my left eye near my tear duct and luckily this time, it wasn’t left in place while I was paraded around like some monkey in a cage. I really don’t remember if there was ever any repercussions for him, but by the sixth grade I was forced to wear glasses and now years later, I have issues with that eye which might eventually lead to blindness down the line.

Either way, that boy left his mark on me and I will never forget him. I hold no ill will. Kids can be dumb sometimes and lash out in anger or stupidity. But no matter his reason, when it comes to being blessed enough to  see the cover of my eleventh book being released later this spring, I’m seeing just fine!

 

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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!

 

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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 scheduled to be released later this spring!

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…

 

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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!

 

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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 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…

 

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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?
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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 scheduled to be released later this spring!