corona map


I grew up in a family with three other siblings.  Every winter there would be one or more of us who picked up some kinda bug along the way. If it was a minor illness, my mother would isolate the offending child and nurse them back to health while keeping the other kids away from them as much as possible.

But, if it was something like the measles or chickenpox or even the mumps, my mother would throw us all in the same room in the hopes we would ALL share the illness. ALL getting sick at the same time, and ALL recover at the same time so our house wouldn’t be in quarantine forever as one person passed the nastiness on to another and then another and…well, you get the idea.

Back then, I thought my mother was crazy to throw us all together. Back then I wanted to do the whole social distancing thing from day one but my mother ruled our house with an iron fist and if she said go sit in that stew of germs, then into the stew you went.

In TODAY’S world, crazy is at a whole new level. NOW, if one kid starts to get sick, no one in their right mind would ever think of throwing all the kids into the mix with the hope EVERYBODY gets the virus. The term social distancing has a whole new meaning in this Corona filled world we now live in.

When I was a kid, being sick meant no school, hanging out with your siblings, and hugs from your mom til you felt better.

Now, when you’re sick, it means maybe online schooling, isolated in your home, and Skyping with loved ones.

Who’s living the crazy life now?




HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover



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?





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!




My mother was a strong willed woman who had little to no tolerance for sickness in her house. With four children to raise pretty much on her own because my father was away from home so much, she always seemed to approach sickness with one of two approaches…




Unless there was some evidence of a fever or body parts falling off, Mother presumed one was healthy enough to carry on. Sniffles, coughing, or a slightly scratchy throat would be ignored and the child in question would be bundled up and sent off to school with the usual determination. A good education rated high on my mother’s list of life’s accomplishments, and the barometer of the day if one didn’t have a fever was, “Can you make it through school?” If I hadn’t contracted the plague, I knew my butt would be sent to school whether I wanted to stay home that particular day or not.




I was by no means a sickly child growing up, but there was one thing I could always count on during the fall and winter months. At least 4-5 times a year I would develop tonsillitis or strep throat.  The doctor told my mother I needed my tonsils removed, but with our family being so poor, she knew there was never any chance of that happening. She barely had the money for antibiotics so when they were purchased, I was never given the full dose…just enough to make me feel better because the rest would be saved for the next round the next month to help stretch the money.

There were three things I could always count on if I truly got sick. An alcohol rub down to help break the fever. Tepid, strong tea with little sugar. And poached eggs on dry toast. While I hated the constant battle with tonsillitis and strep throat, I hated even more my mother’s “home remedies” for trying  to cure what ailed me.

To this day, I like my toast heavily buttered, my eggs fried, with my weak tea boiling hot and sweet! Don’t even think about trying to serve me one of Mother’s “killer cures” the next time I get sick…