It’s days like today…hot, sultry, last days of summer days…that reminds me of summer time in the swamps of Louisiana. When you come from a poor family and grow up in a small Cajun town, you have to be creative to keep food on the table.

And my mother was as creative as they come..

Poverty and pride do not work well together, so my mother had no problem haggling with the local farmers who would come through town, driving up and down our little streets, calling out what they had for sale. If you were interested, you would simply flag them down. The farmer would stop , pull out an old-timey scale and the bargaining would begin.

Mother usually had one or two farmers who would come by our house at the end of their routes. The two of them would haggle and before you know it, money exchanged hands and Mother would basically scoop up the “rejects” of the day for pennies on the dollar. This might be where I inherited my “treasure-hunting” spirit.

There would be bruised tomatoes where my mother would cut away the bad and can what was left. I remember one time in late summer, one of the farmers stopped by the house with what amounted to a truckload of corn. He was tired and wanted to go home while my mother knew how much that corn would help stretch our food budget in the coming winter months. A few minutes of haggling and our closed in front porch was literally overrun with fresh corn waiting to be shucked.

If you’ve never shucked corn, here’s a little bit of advice…


Those leaves surrounding the ears of corn have razor sharp edges and can slice up your fingers real quick. But the thought of munching down on a fresh from the garden that morning ear of corn topped with my mother’s hand churned butter was a great incentive. All I have to do is close my eyes and that mountain of corn comes back to me.

I tackle my writing like I did that corn and tomatoes. I shuck away the unnecessary parts of each story and trim away the dead weight. All that’s left, hopefully, will be a tasty story to share with my readers…








Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?




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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 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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, available now in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also coming to the Titanic museums in Branson & Pigeon Forge soon!