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: 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: Mud Puddles & Mud Pies

mud puddle

 

Rainy days like today remind me of my childhood back in the swamps of Louisiana. I was raised to be a country girl while living in a small town on the edge of the bayou. We weren’t the poorest family in town but came pretty darn close.

I had a few toys to my name, but had to use my imagination just as much to entertain myself on a rainy day.

If it was really storming outside, Mother would let my sister and me take over the dining room and turn it into our own private fortress. We would take covers off the beds and drape them over the table top to create an instant cave to hide in. Dining room chairs could be turned over to make walls to protect us from the monsters waiting in the other room. Flashlights for reading in the semi-darkness, and if we were lucky, some of mother’s cookies and Koolaid to tide us over til lunch time.

If it was a light, summer rain, I would hang out in our garage. There was a large pool table there where I would challenge Janet to a game, but most of the time I just sat on the hard, dirt floor and played house with my dolls. Mud and grass mixed together made some fine mud pies and all my stuffed animals would always ask for more!

It didn’t take much during those kind of days to keep me occupied.

Just a little bit of rain and some mud…

 

mud

 

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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?
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? Hiding In Plain Sight

hiding

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I went to the Rose Glen Literary Festival this past Saturday. For the second year in a row, I was able to hang out with my critique group, Debbie Dadey, Rick Starkey, and Rinda Beach. Nationally known authors, local literary celebrities, and lots of book lovers coming together to  celebrate the written word. 

Lot of visitors stopping by my booth…young and old…and I got to share Amelia’s story with them all. They wanted to meet her but I had to explain she’s been traveling and I don’t always know when she will show up.

Weird thing, though, the whole time I’m talking to people, selling books, and taking pictures, I kept hearing the faint whisper of a giggle but can’t find the source. It sure sounded like Amelia but it’s kinda hard not to recognize a large mouse scampering around so I figured it was just my imagination.

It wasn’t until the festival was over and I was packing up when I discovered the source of the giggles. Hiding in plain sight was my adventurous Amelia…laughing because she played a trick on everyone with her quirky game of hide and seek…and then she was off in a flash. I wonder where she’s off to now?

 

Plain sight

 

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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?
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: Killer Cures

sick

 

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…

 

TOUGH LOVE

 

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.

 

KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS

 

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…

 

egg

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!