TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Someone Throw Me A Lifesaver

 

lifesaver

 

You would think a gal who was raised in and around the swamps of southern Louisiana would know how to swim like a snapping turtle, but that was one life skill I never quite learned how to master.

When I was seventeen, I traveled to San Diego to spend some time with my older brother. He was in the Navy and stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.  I thought I would have the time of my life, romping on the beach and cultivating a tan.

I was wrong.

My first day at the beach, my brother and one of his Navy buddies decided it would be funny to grab me, drag me out to water over my head and dump me in the Pacific Ocean to see if I could get back to shore. What they didn’t bargain on was my getting disoriented and nearly DROWNING before they realized what was going on and had to drag me back to dry land.

That is one memory I’ve carried with me for almost forty years, coloring my fear of water I can’t see through and preventing me from enjoying the local pool each summer.

A worldwide pandemic can turn everyone’s world upside down. It can instill fear in some; frustration in others.  As writers, we sometimes allow all the daily tasks and writerly deadlines weighing down our plates to try to drown us to the point of immobility.  We can’t seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel and allow our fears to drown us in a sea of overwhelming uncertainty and lack of confidence in our ability to achieve our daily goals.

Here are some of the things I have done to help keep my head above water during these challenging times…

 

  1. Find a way to write daily whenever possible. In the past, when my computers have gone haywire, my boss generously allowed me to use the school’s computer to write my weekly blog posts so I wouldn’t get behind.  My local library also allows access to their computers in two hour blocks for quick tasks I can do there. It also gives me a chance to check out the books and do research for book four in my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series!
  2. Set priorities. If there are submission opportunities with deadlines, I made sure I found a way to meet those deadlines in time.  Some of my other writing projects will have to wait until next month.
  3. I’m taking this “down time” to work on either researching book four in my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series or revising/cleaning up old manuscripts that I have hard copies on hand. I can always transfer the info to my files and databases later, but for now, I’m staying productive.
  4. Use my smartphone for keeping in touch with my social sites so my friends and other connections won’t begin to think I really have drowned.
  5. Take this time to make sure I’m getting extra rest and ready to hit the ground running next month when hopefully, things return to something closer to normal. I’ve been going to bed well before my usual midnight lights out, and have actually found time to do some leisure reading this weekend that I NEVER get the chance to do anymore!

Some of these ideas might work for you, and maybe you will come up with some ideas of your own to prevent you from drowning under the stress of dealing with quarantines during this pandemic.

If you come up with something that really works for you, please share in the comments below. You never know when you might be saving another writer needing a helping hand!

 

++++++++++++

 

sale

 

***SALE***SALE***SALE***SALE***

 

From May 1st through May 15th, book one of my historical fiction series for 8-12 year olds, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, ebook edition is on sale for only 99 CENTS! If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go here and grab it… https://www.amazon.com/Historys-Mysteries-Dreams-Donna-Martin/dp/173232784X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ship+of+dreams+donna+l+martin&qid=1588549888&sr=8-1

 

HM HGG ebook cover jpeg 3-16-20

READER’S FAVORITE 5 STAR REVIEW 

 

SoD Reader's Favorite 5 star seal (web)

 

+++++++++++++

 

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.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Eileen Moynihan

 

crowd

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series and if you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com )

 

KEEPING COVID-19 BUSY

by Eileen Moynihan

 

Since the Covid 19 lockdown started, people have been worried about being bored, but I seem to be busier than ever. I have been writing a children’s story for an educational magazine, promoting a book to be published in the near future, doing critiques with my local writers group, and doing poems or stories for the same group. The writers group usually meet fortnightly in the local library, but since we can’t meet face to face now, some of us have met up on Google hangouts.

The lockdown has also coincided with the coming of spring. So it was time to get out to the garden, and fortunately the weather has been good enough to do so. I love weeding as I like being outside, and it is therapeutic to just concentrate on clearing an area in front of you; it is like a form of ‘mindfulness’.

I seem to have plenty to do every day and even went out for a couple of walks this week inside the 2k limit. Besides the beauties of nature in the spring, it was strange to see hardly any traffic, or only an occasional walker, or children playing in front of their houses. It was peaceful and somehow surreal.

I live on the edge of a village by the River Shannon in Ireland. I yearn to go to the sea in this fine weather, because up until about ten years ago I had always lived near the sea. But where I live now is in the heart of the Irish Midlands; so to see water of any kind is a bonus for me. I can just walk down by the Shannon and feel at peace.

I have been shopping in the local town once a week and it is like doing a marathon. I don plastic gloves before I go and make sure there is sanitizer in the car. There are long queues outside the shops with people standing two metres behind each other. This weekend, being a holiday weekend was busier than usual. Eventually, you see your goal, the finger of the shop assistant beckoning you to come in to shop. I take out my long list and my glasses and go up and down the aisles trying to keep my distance from the other shoppers. I stand impatiently at times, while someone dithers in front of the very shelves where I just want to grab my purchase. But I either have to wait, go around another way or come back later. Then when the trolley is full, you realize you have to go to another shop for some goods because the shop you are in doesn’t have them. You wait again for your turn at the check-out, then go to your car and load up all the stuff you have bought. Then onto the next shop to get the other items on your list, and start all over again. Of course, you keep sanitizing your hands or your gloves regularly in the process. As I drive home, I breathe a sigh of relief that I can go back to ‘cocooning’, for another week.

 

Francis

 

One day Frances Darwin finds a bit of torn paper on the ground. This excites Frances as she would love to be a detective. This bit of paper sends Frances on a ‘wild goose chase’ that leads her to find a stray dog called Bouncer. Finding out about Bouncer leads her onto to find his owner, who becomes a big part of Frances’s life. Before Frances knows it she has become involved in an investigation to find out who is dog-napping dogs in the local area. During her inquiries she meets and makes friends with the Randall children Tom and Cindy, who help her capture the dog-nappers. As well as this, Frances’s formidable Gran becomes friendly with Bouncer’s owner, and Mrs Marsh next door makes friends with Hannah Mortimer, a retired teacher. They both had dogs taken, and help with planning to foil the dog-nappers.

Available on Amazon and other online retailers.

 

Eileen

 

Eileen Moynihan was born in Essex England, and grew up on the Isle of Wight from the age of three. At the age of 22 she moved permanently to Ireland, where she lived in West Cork, and more recently on the border of Counties Roscommon and Longford in Termonbarry. For most of that time she was teaching children with Special Needs, and raising her three children with her husband. After taking early retirement, Eileen loves to write books for children. 

After discovering Amazon’s Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing, she decided to start self-publishing her own books. Then she created her own brand for her books, and so Childhood Books was born.

​Eileen also enjoys writing poetry and short stories and is the chairperson of Longford Writers Group. In 2018, Eileen was involved in a collaborative novella called ‘Let him Lie’ with nine other members of Longford Writers Group.

She has also had short stories published in four anthologies – ‘Ring around the Moon’, ‘Midir and Etain’, ‘The King at the Back of the Hill’, and ‘Home Made’.

Most recently Eileen published her first collection of poetry entitled, ‘Dipping Into The Font’. This was published with KDP under her new brand for adults, ‘Landscape Books’.

Eileen is hoping to publish a new children’s book of poetry soon. It is called, ‘A Posy of Wild Flowers’, and contains poems about wild flowers and trees, alongside beautiful illustrations by her sister, Angela Corkery.

https://eileenmoynihan.wordpress.com/

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.

 

++++++++++++

 

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.

 

++++++++++

 

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.

 

++++++++++++++

 

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!

 

+++++++++++

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Heidi E Y Stemple

letter

 

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series and if you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com )

 

***************

 

A LETTER TO YOU

by Heidi E Y Stemple

 

Owl Cottage on Phoenix Farm

Western Massachusetts

April, 2020

 

Dear Socially Distant Creative Friends,

There is one thing writers say all the time. It comes in many forms. “Someday, I’ll get to that story.” “Someday, I’ll find a way to fix that manuscript.” “Someday, I’ll figure out what to do with that idea.”

Guess what—“Someday” is today.

It can be difficult to jumpstart a new project when your routine changes–more people in your house or fewer. Anxiety levels are high. Speaking engagements (those things that keep us afloat financially) and conferences (those things that feed us emotionally) are cancelled. We’re all counting toilet paper rolls and milk and eggs. It’s hard not to be consumed by the fear of the unknown future.

The first week I was home, I did what I always do with my anxiety—I organized. Shuffled books, cleaned out desk drawers, recycled a million pieces of paper. Then I had to come to grips with the fact that I needed to write. When I say “needed,” all you writers reading this know what I mean. Creative people function better when they are creating.  I needed a kick in the pants artistically. For me, it’s always a poem that gets me up and running. I wrote this:

 

Quarantine with Cats

The cats don’t care

that my hair is growing gray

and my nails

are too long

because the nice man,

Ken,

that’s not his real name,

isn’t around to cut them down

to a reasonable length for typing.

They could not care less

about my

stress-organizing

and my

obsessive cleaning,

or even that I made sure to have 4 extra bags

of cat food.

They don’t know running out is a possibility

because they never have.

They are just happy

that their human

has learned,

by necessity,

and under duress,

                                to webinar                                 

and YouTube

and Zoom

because it means

I am here.

All the time.

And though, I’m sure

they miss the nice little girl

that checks on them when I’m gone,

and plays with them,

which I never do,

they prefer

me.

Here.

And to be honest,

through the worry about both

mother and daughters,

and every tickle

at the back of my throat,

I am not unhappy

quarantined.

Slow is not something I’ve done

recently.

I’m thinking of knitting

or needlepoint.

I should write, but

creative hasn’t come yet.

And, I’m past worrying

when it disappears.

I know,

it always returns.

Fear and sickness both have the same

effect.

But, neither last long enough

to scare the muse

too far gone.

I’ll write again

when I can.

For now,

I’ll just sit with a couple cats.

HEYS

3.24.20

 

When I write poetry like this, I give myself permission—permission to write without expectation, without revision, without caring what others think. I posted it on Facebook because I thought others might be helped by it. I sent it to my mom who told me I needed to change the line “too far gone” because it didn’t make sense and wasn’t needed. You see that, though she is right, I didn’t change it. Permission—to do something imperfect.

And, just like that, I was ready to tackle some other writing. Let the Someday projects begin!

Here’s what I have done since:

  1. Finished a manuscript that had all the right plot points but only about 20% of the right words. Sent it out.
  2. Revised and resubmitted a manuscript that an editor wanted completely changed and needed lots of research.
  3. Un-gendered (is that a word?) an entire manuscript from being about a girl (very specifically, not just pronouns) to being about a kid. I’m still fiddling with the ending.
  4. Worked on/reworked the first half of a nonfiction picture book with a co-author. It’s my turn to work and will do that today (I promise!)
  5. Reread and prioritized all the half-manuscripts on my desktop. Found 2 I would like to look at again.
  6. Made piles of the research books and articles I want to read to see if a couple ideas I have could be made into books.

None of these things took huge chunks of concentration, though some did take me into that wonderful headspace where everything but the project at hand melts away. They were all in some form of in-the-works. I have yet to start a brand-new story. But, I am working. I am writing. And, it is certainly helping get me through the now, month-long quarantine (I am not, technically quarantined—but I like a good word and “stay-at-home order just isn’t as good). It feels good to be writing—creating.

Think about some of those projects you have in your Someday pile. It’s time to revisit. Perhaps, that is looking through those saved tidbits that made you think, “this could be a story.” Maybe, it’s returning to a story that didn’t work. Or, your project could be going back and throwing out things that, now that you are further in your learning or your career, you know are not viable—and finding that one that may still be. Maybe, it is finally finding a critique group of trusted friends now that we are all developing new technological skills for not-in-person meetings. Maybe it’s re-envisioning an old, rejected picture book manuscript into a chapter book or a chapter book manuscript into a graphic novel. All these things are forward movement.

The anxiety and fear of the future unknowns are going to be with us for a while. The kids are going to be out of school longer than first guessed and they probably need help with math as you read this. Or, like me, you may be alone and missing humans. (The cats are nice, but…) We will all be touched by this illness and there is death all around us. I can’t help with that—I am in that rocking boat on the roiling seas with you.  What I can tell you is that the muse is not lost forever. If you are struggling with her absence, looking back is a step towards moving forward. Grab something from your Someday pile or file. See if it sparks you to reimagine.

You got this. I believe in you.

xo Heidi

 

storm

Coming October 2020

 

A tornado, a blizzard, a forest fire, and a hurricane are met, in turn, with resilience and awe in this depiction of nature’s power and our own.

In the face of our shifting climate, young children everywhere are finding themselves subject to unfamiliar and often frightening extreme weather. Beloved author Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Stemple address four distinct weather emergencies (a tornado, a blizzard, a forest fire, and a hurricane) with warm family stories of finding the joy in preparedness and resilience. Their honest reassurance leaves readers with the message: nature is powerful, but you are powerful, too. Illustrated in rich environmental tones and featuring additional information about storms in the back, this book educates, comforts, and empowers young readers in stormy or sunny weather, and all the weather in between.

www.amazon.com/author/heidieystemple

 

heidiHeidi E.Y. Stemple

 

Heidi didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published more than twenty-five books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children.

Heidi lives and writes on a big old farm in Massachusetts that she shares with one very small cat who lives inside, and a dozen deer, a family of bears, three coyotes, two bobcats, a gray fox, tons of birds, and some very fat groundhogs who live outside.

www.HeidiEYStemple.com

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Who’s Crazy Now?

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

 

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!

 

+++++++++++++++

 

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

 

++++++++++++

 

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!

 

+++++++++++++++

 

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!

 

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Homeward Bound…

Spring, At Home, Summer

 

It seems almost surreal that less than two weeks ago I woke up in a world which seemed very “normal” to me where I could walk into an indie bookstore or go out to eat or even just hug my Taekwondo students.

Now my world consists of temperature checks, face masks, and latex gloves. New words like “social distancing” and “COVID-19” are now added to my daily vocabulary and I’ve shed more tears in the past few weeks than I have in the past two decades. 

Amelia, on the other hand, has been quite the traveler these past few weeks…flitting around like a butterfly from flower to flower…until she heard the call to “stay at home”. Imagine my surprise to step inside my house this week to the sound of Aerosmith rocking out from my study and finding a certain someone in my favorite rocker. Apparently she plans on staying awhile…

 

rocker

 

************

 

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

 

While we all, including Amelia, hunker down at home to wait out this pandemic, Story Catcher Publishing and a wonderful number of amazing authors from all around the world, are coming together to shine a little light into the gloomy corners of the world.

Starting next Friday, April 17th, check out the FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series on the Story Catcher Publishing blog. Authors will help us laugh, feel inspired, and maybe even learn a new skill or two while we all find ourselves stuck at home. 

Tell your friends, share the good news, and be sure to come back next Friday for a little fun, a little laughter, and a whole lot of positivity!

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER…WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART!

 

*************

 

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!

 

*************

 

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!

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin