She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Archive for Literature

The Emerald “Story” Ring


Here is the story that was inspired (meaning it is fiction) by this family emerald ring. We hope you enjoy it:

1692, the time of the Salem witch trials, an ancestor called “Granny Mann” by the townspeople of Salem Town was known as a midwife and “wise-woman”. It was noticed on her visits to birthing mothers and sick people that she wore a large emerald ring surrounded by diamonds, the kind of ring that would be worn by royalty or women of noble lineage, not a simple peasant woman. When questioned as to where she had acquired this ring, her answers were vague and varying. Sometimes she spoke of receiving it as a token of gratitude from a “noble lady”; other times she told of a past love affair with a “man of high birth.” However she got it. when the hysteria and accusations grew in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they came to include Granny Mann and her emerald ring. Soon after she was arrested and tried for witchcraft. The witnesses against her said that she had made a bargain with the devil and in exchange for her soul, he had given her a beautiful emerald ring that gave her the power to heal. She was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to burn at the stake. The night before she was to burn, the judge, who was also the town’s richest man came to her and told her that if she would give him the ring, he would see to it that she escaped in his own carriage and that he would provide her with enough money to last her lifetime. She accepted, handed him the ring, whereupon he turned and walked from the room. The next morning Granny Mann was led out to the square. As she was led to the post In the middle of a large pile of wood, she began screaming that she had traded her ring for her freedom. No one believed her, and so then she began to scream curses at the townspeople and at the judge in particular, “As the flames consume my body”, screamed Granny Mann, “so the ring shall consume all who dare to posses it!”  Some of the townspeople later claimed that, when Granny Mann’s body was completely engulfed in the flames, a brilliant flash of green light blinded them for a moment, and when they could see again, she was gone.

The town’s demise is recorded in the Massachusetts’s Bay Colony records. Shortly after Granny Mann’s death, Salem Town began experiencing a large number of unexplained deaths and disappearances. There were murders, an outbreak of smallpox, and several cases of insanity. Finally, in 1697  the entire town burned to the ground. There were very few survivors but it was recorded that those who did survive all reported that the flames, instead of being orange and red, were shades of emerald green. And what became of the ring? The story goes that in an effort to try and stop what was happening in Salem Town, the judge’s wife gave the ring to Granny Mann’s grandson. This was my great-great-great-grandfather. In 1903, Johan Mann, a Communist sympathizer, gave the ring to the Tsarina Alexandra while she was pregnant with Alexei. He was born with hemophilia and not expected to live. By 1918, the Tsar’s whole family was dead and their dynasty ended. Rasputin, apparently aware of the power of this ring, tricked Johan’s Mann’s son into taking back the ring and it wasn’t too long after that this son committed suicide. Since then, this family has had more than its share of deaths, murders and insanity. The latest has been my father’s second wife, who after wearing the ring for many years, recently was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. Her “other selves” include Anastasia Romanov and The Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

This story is fiction, but here is what is true about the ring – In 1999 the ring was appraised by Ali Baba Inc. in Norfolk,VA  for $5100.  They said it was a natural emerald of deep green color with “jardin” mostly toward edges of stone which is 7mmx9mm and 1.5 carat. Grade AA. There are 16 round .O2 ct. diamonds set around the emerald all laid in 14K Gold.

If you would like to see more or larger pictures, we now have the ring up for auction on eBay: Click here to go to auction





Giveaways at Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Parisian by Heart by Mari Mann

Parisian by Heart

by Mari Mann

Giveaway ends January 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Parisian by Heart

Parisian by Heart

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stories from the Other World by Mari Mann

Stories from the Other World

by Mari Mann

Giveaway ends January 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Stories cover

Stories from the Other World



Giving Tuesday Giveaway

New Book!

New Book!

I’ll be running this giveaway for one week, from December 2nd to December 9th, 2014. The giveaway is for one signed copy of Stories from the Other World. To enter to win, leave a comment here, or on Facebook. Bonne chance!

(Update: The giveaway is over, and the winner is…Ann Sutton! Thank you to all who entered and for all your support.)

Anniversaries and a Giveaway

Click on over to my Madeleine Moments blog and read about the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s first novel, the 6th year anniversary of my blog, and leave a comment to possibly win prizes, including a signed copy of my novel, Parisian by Heart, which features Marcel Proust himself.

My book, also now available in a Kindle edition

Parisian by Heart

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment here, or on the Madeleine Moments blog, or like my Parisian by Heart Facebook page. Contest ends Feb. 18th, 2013.

(Now that the contest is over, find the winners here.)

Yoga Master and Island Art Day

An amazing thing has happened- a real yoga Master has appeared on our island and is going to build an “International Yoga Institute” here. Why is this so amazing? Because I have been doing yoga off and on since I was a teenager (some 40+ years ago) but have never had an actual teacher, much less one who is a Grand Master. When I say “actual” teacher, I mean a living being- I have only done my yoga through books, tapes and DVD’s, “virtual” teachers, at best. This actual teacher is named Master Adam Nguyen and you can read about him here. I have been attending a weekly one-hour class every Thursday since May (2012) here on the island, and have had several private lessons as well. Master Adam stresses holding poses for lengthy amounts of time, and goes to each student to correct their positions if needed, and sometimes pulls you farther into each pose, to show how much more you are capable of doing, something a virtual teacher cannot give. Having him here has made a great deal of difference in my yoga practice.

The old Foxx house on Parker Lane, that used to be a lifesaving house over the water at Wash Woods.

This house is on the property that Master Adam bought on Knotts Island and he is allowing us (his students) to use it as a place to practice and as a place to have an Art Day. On August 7th, 2012, from 11am to 1pm, we will draw, paint, write, play instruments…whatever art or literary-ness you want to create. Bring supplies (I will also have some there), your creativity, a willingness to share and/or to learn, or just come to enjoy the vibes. Read more about it here and here’s a map.

As a warm-up to Art Day, there will be a one-hour yoga class on the same day, at the same place, at 10am. This class will not be led by Master Adam, but we may have him “virtually”, if we can get a TV set up to play one of his DVD’s. If not, we will follow his guidelines as best we can on our own. Bring your yoga mat or a large towel, some water, and please, no perfumes or strong scents.

Namaste, and see you on Art Day!

Father We Go…

…is the title of my second novel, which I have just finished on May 28, 2012. This book required lots more research than my first one, Parisian by Heart, even though, like that novel, it is a work of fiction. But also like that first book, it is based on historical events. In Father We Go, I have written about the early attempts at colonization, from the first failed English attempts at Roanoke to the eventually successful one at Jamestown, to attempts by French Huguenots and the Spanish. The time period spans from the 1500’s and 1600’s to the Depression years to the present, in a bit of time-skipping. The voices of the narrative include colonists, lost and otherwise,  a few of the multitudes already living on this coast before the colonists arrived, Native Americans, the man who named Knotts Island, Eleanor Dare’s daughter Agnes, and stones that sing.

Here’s a snippet:

His wife woke again when she heard the trunk open. She got out of the car and walked around to the back. Louis was there, pulling a wire brush out of a toolkit they had back there in the trunk. At his feet on the ground was a dirty brown-ish rock. He gave her a quick look, his eyes shifting away from hers quickly as he bent and picked up the rock and carried it and the brush over to the bank of the river. She stood with her hands on her hips, waiting for him to speak and give her some sort of explanation, but when none came she let her breath out in a whoosh, yanked her purse off the car seat and headed into the woods. Regardless of whatever tomfoolery Louis was up to now, she had to pee. When she came back out of the woods, he was back at the trunk of the car. He’d wrapped the stone in that burlap bag he kept for gathering what he called “specimens” and was placing it carefully in the trunk, making room for it among their one suitcase that they shared, the toolbox, and the other junk he’d picked up on this trip. Well, if he wasn’t going to speak, she was.

“What is that, and what do you think you’re doing with it?”

That glancing look again.

“Can’t look me in the eye, huh?”

Now he turned to look her in the face, his eyes on hers for so long that she almost spoke again before he did. But then he spoke.

“It’s a rock. It’s got some kind of writing on it. I’m taking it because it might have some kind of value, maybe we can find someone who can read the writing. It might be Indian.”

“Louis Hammond, you listen to me. That there rock is a tombstone, and what you’re doing is illegal. You put that rock right back where you found it and let’s get moving.”

“It’s not a gravestone, it’s too small and why would there be a graveyard out here? There’s nothing else out here and there’s no other gravestones.” He slammed the lid of the trunk closed and moved toward the driver’s door and got in. She stared after him for a moment, then went to her side of the car and yanked the door open.

“I’m warning you, Louis, if you take that rock you’re going to be in trouble. If you show it to anyone, they’re going to call the police and you’ll go to jail. And I’ll tell you another thing, I’m not going to get in trouble with you. Do you hear me, Louis?”

She straightened up from settling her purse on the car floor at her feet and looked at Louis. He was just sitting there, staring out the windshield of the car at the river.

“Louis, I said, do you hear me?”

He turned his eyes toward and gave her that long stare again. What is the matter with him? She shivered a little, despite the heat inside the closed car.

“I’m taking the rock and I’m going to find someone who can read it. If you don’t want to do this with me, you can go home, we’ll call your folks next town we get to and get them to cable some money for you to take the train home.”

Now it was her turn to stare at him, her mouth open.

“You would do that? You would send me home and go on without me, over some stupid rock? Why, Louis?”

He looked back at the river and leaned forward to turn the key in the car’s ignition. The car started up but Louis didn’t put it in drive and begin to move. He just sat there, staring at the river.

“Because the rock told me to.”

Now the hard part begins; editing, proofing, formatting…it took us nearly two years to do these things for Parisian by Heart,  I hope it won’t take that long for Father We Go.

This post also marks the Fifth Anniversary of this blog. My thanks to my readers who have stuck with me all this time!

Q and A and a GiveAway

My book, also now available in a Kindle edition

From March 30th to April 1st, 2012, the Goodreads group, Writers and Readers, is hosting an author Q&A for me – you get to ask questions, I get to answer them. Click here to sign up to participate (you must be a member of Goodreads and the Writers and Readers group to join in; see below for what to do if you are not a member and don’t want to join).

Also on Goodreads, I’m having a giveaway for two signed copies of my book- click here to sign up for your chance to win. But Mari (you say), what if I’m not a member of Goodreads?  No fear, folks. Leave your question here on this blog, or scoot over to my Madeleine Moments blog to read about my book and leave a question or comment there, OR (so many choices, yeah?) drift over to my Parisian by Heart Facebook page and like it, leave a question or comment.

Want to know more about me of my book before committing yourself? You can also set sail for Amazon to read my author page there or an excerpt of the book- click here for the book’s page or here for my author  page.

Here’s a bonus freebie: my next book is close to being finished (the writing part, anyway, then comes the editing and proofing and etc). I’m going to give you some clues and if you can correctly guess what the book is about, I’ll send you a free signed copy of Parisian by Heart now, or if you want to wait for it, a copy of the next book. Got it?  Right then, here are the clues:

1. I live on an island off the coast of North Carolina. This island, and another island farther south from here, are featured in the book.

2. The book is titled “Father We Go”.

3. The Pilgrims from England that landed up in New England were not the first folks on these shores.

That’s all you get. Tell me what my next book is about and win!  Or if you have no idea, do one of the things I mentioned above and I’ll throw your name in the hat.

The Hat