TALES FROM THE BAYOU

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There’s a difference between my childhood in the swamps of Louisiana and living now in the shadow of the Great Smokey Mountains. Here, when I’m lucky, I get to see Mother Nature dance in shades of yellow, orange, and red to celebrate the coming of Fall. Back then, the seasons went from muggy, hot summer, to a little less muggy, rainy Fall. No change in colors. No celebration of lovely autumn foliage. Just a quiet shift in air around you and the marking off of days on the calendar to let you know Halloween was fast approaching.

Mid October would have my mother going in search of the best pumpkin to make the scariest Jack-o-Lantern in our neighborhood. Then would come the choosing of our costumes. When I was little, it was hand me down clothes until the year mother could afford to buy those cheap, plastic ones. I still remember how hot and sweaty it was behind my cat mask but I felt so modern in it instead of another year of going as an old lady.

Then came time in the kitchen, helping my mother make her annual Halloween popcorn balls rolled in syrup. She would make me grease up my fingers with butter before hand molding freshly popped popcorn with karo syrup into balls that would be handed out to trick or treaters. We couldn’t afford store bought candy to hand out so we made do with what we had around the house.

Finally it was time for Mother’s Halloween cake. Oh, how I lived in anticipation of that cake. For a house that seldom stocked store bought goodies, Mother’s cake was the ultimate in decadence to a young girl. Yellow cake with chocolate icing, it held every kind of mallow cream bat, cat, half moon, pumpkin, wheat stalk, and witch a sheet cake could hold! If I was lucky. I would win a corner piece and could drown in the sugary delight my mother’s annual Halloween cake could bring! 

No wonder I’m eyeing the calendar with childish delight and find myself counting down the days to my favorite holiday of the year…

 

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                                  HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)HM The Chocolate Train Wreck front cover

The HISTORY’S MYSTERIES historical fiction chapter book series is finally here! Now available on Amazon, local bookstores, nd other online retailers. The Chocolate Train Wreck can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

 

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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. 

 

 

 

 

 

HERE A CONTEST, THERE A CONTEST, EVERYWHERE IS A CONTEST!

 

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I have always enjoyed entering contests. I might have gotten that love from my mother, who I remember entering several contests throughout my growing years. She gathered S & H green stamps…letting me lick them before pressing them into the books she kept in the kitchen drawer. I loved looking through the catalogs, dreaming of all the cool things she could buy with just a little more licking and a little more stamping. Occasionally there would be a contest where she could win extra S & H green stamps and my mother would carefully fill out her entry form before sending it in.

I entered my first contest when I was eleven years old. My hometown library was sponsoring a 4th of July writing contest on patriotism. I ended up winning first place in my age bracket, and won a copy of Misty of Chincoteague. I STILL have that book after all these years…a reminder I was a writer back then and still driven by the written word decades later.

I want share my love of contests by sponsoring not one, not two, but THREE contests during the months of October and November.

 

CONTEST ONE:

 

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AMAZON REVIEWERS’ CONTEST…

If you purchased or received the PDF copy of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, and left an Amazon review, your name has been entered in the Amazon Reviewers’ Contest where five lucky winners will each win a Titanic commemorative coin. Deadline is noon on Monday, October 14th in order to have your name entered into the contest. Winners will be selected Monday night.

 

CONTEST TWO:

 

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SHIP OF DREAMS CONTEST…

This contest is part of a month long book birthday celebration of my newest release, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams. Book One takes place in Southampton during 1912…one month before the world famous ship, Titanic, would arrive in Southampton before leaving on her maiden voyage to America. There are three ways to enter this contest:

  1. Follow this blog between Tuesday, October 15th and Saturday, November 2nd.
  2.  Share this blog post on your social media sites and tag me so I can add your name to the contest.
  3.  Leave an Amazon review on Ship of Dreams by clicking on this link…https://www.amazon.com/HISTORYS-MYSTERIES-Dreams-Donna-Martin-ebook/dp/B07WD1B7X8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=ship+of+dreams+history%27s+mysteries&qid=1571022945&s=books&sr=1-1

Contest deadline is Saturday, November 2nd. Nine winners will be announced on Monday, November 4th.

 

CONTEST THREE:

 

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STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITERS’ CONTEST…

This publishing contest runs from Monday, October 7th through Friday, November 15th and is for young writers ages 10 through 18 years old. There are five catagories…fantasy, humor, horror, mystery, and miscellaneous and each entry must be between 750-1000 words long. There will be 25 winners with 25 prizes AND all winning entries will be published in an anthology by Story Catcher Publishing. Contest Rules can be found by clicking on this link…  https://storycatcherpublishing.com/contest-rules/

There you have it. Three contests from someone who has been entering contests since the days of my childhood. If you know of anyone who loves contests as much as I do, please help me get the word out about these fun and rewarding contests!

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

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?

Now available in ebook, paperback, and hardback in all major bookstores and online retailers.

 

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In Book Two, nine-year-old Abigail thinks nothing exciting ever happens in Hamilton. But things change one stormy night when an airborne train and twenty tons of chocolate shower down on the sleepy village. Even local police and the FBI are puzzled over who caused the train to derail. Abigail and Billy team up to find out who’s behind the CHOCOLATE TRAIN WRECK, but will all they find is more questions?

There’s a mystery hovering over Hamilton–and it smells like CHOCOLATE!

 

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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 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, will be released in November.