Short Stories now available on Amazon

Short story sale extended until the end of January! My Kindle shorts: Harpy & Julianne’s Tomato war, Escape to Laredo, Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac, and There’s a Mouse in the House! are now just $.99 USD each  until after Christmas. Happy reading! Janelle

Author website for Janelle Meraz Hooper


Harpy & Julianne’s Tomato War
Last summer, Harpy & Julianne were fussing over cats and roses in my short story book, Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories (not on sale). This year, the two senior gardeners are having a tomato war. Kindle only. Suitable for all.


 Escape to Laredo cover

Escape to Laredo
To save her family, Gregoria Marteen and her children are fleeing Mexico on a train after the death of her husband. A pastry chef, Gregoria’s first job in Texas is at Bettye Buford’s Bed & Table. It does not go well. Kindle only. Suitable for all.



9-26-12 Old Joe cover


Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac
Old Joe didn’t have much, never did. But, at least, he had Elizabeth,
for a while…before his daughter, Cascade, got out of a women’s correctional facility and took her for a ride while Joe was at work. Kindle only. Suitable for all.



There’s a Mouse in the House!
A book of short stories and poetry to be read to toddlers.
Children and parents  alike will love the story content and characters like Okra (the cat), Jamaica (the green parrot), Mr. Hop (the nature-loving farmer), and more. A Worldreader favorite.



Read the first Harpy & Julianne Story here.
Read the first Harpy & Julianne story, Harpy & Julianne’s War of the Roses, here. Paperback & Kindle. Suitable for all. 

Escape to Laredo, an excerpt


Note: This is one of the back stories for my Turtle Trilogy:

(A Three-Turtle Summer, As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries, and Custer & His Naked Ladies).

Escape to Laredo
Riding the Train to America
Click here to see the story: Amazon
a Kindle short

Janelle Meraz Hooper

Thrown off the train in the middle of a Texas desert because she didn’t have her tickets, Gregoria and her children have been rescued by a cowboy on his way into town for supplies…

   Under a full moon, the combination of the cool air and the drops of water in her mouth from Wade’s canteen brought Gregoria around. The unorthodox picnic of biscuits and peaches was gobbled up by the children as if it were a Sunday meal at their father’s restaurante. When the food was gone, Wade loaded the woman onto his saddle, handed her the baby, and stacked the little girl with a head full of dark curls behind their mother. For safety and warmth, he tied her to her mother with a shawl he’d found among the discarded clothing he’d been picking up along the trail. The little darling whispered in his ear, “I have some gold coins in my pocket. Want one?”
    Wade smiled. Poor kid. If she had toy coins they must be all she had. As far as Wade could tell, the toddler didn’t even have a doll. What little girl didn’t have a doll? “No, honey, you keep it. Maybe you can buy yourself some ice cream when we get to town.” Her little face brightened at the thought.

More of my short stories on Amazon:

Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac  Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac

Harpy & Julianne’s Tomato War Harpy & Julianne’s Tomato War

Try my books:

My Turtle Trilogy:

A Three-Turtle Summer A Three-Turtle Summer

As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries As Brown As I Want; The Indianhead Diaries

Custer & His Naked Ladies Custer & His Naked Ladies

The Slum Resort The Slum Resort (Kindle only)

Bears in the Hibiscus Bears in the Hibiscus

Boogie, Boots, & Cherry Pie Boogie, Boogie, Boots, & Cherry Pie

 Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories Free Pecan Pie

For children:

There’s a Mouse in the House There’s a Mouse in the House There’s a Mouse in the House! Kindle only.

An excerpt from Escape to Laredo

last cropped train for cover

See the story on Amazon

To escape a greedy brother-in-law, Gregoria Marteen and her children are fleeing to America on a train after the death of her husband. A pastry chef, Gregoria’s first job in Texas is at Bettye Buford’s Bed & Table. It does not go well. Suitable for all ages.

…The conductor didn’t collect tickets until the train had left Mexico and had stopped in Laredo to pick up new passengers before it chugged its way across the Texas desert. The landscape was completely bare, and the passengers looked out across the hot, dry land without hope of seeing anything of interest through the windows of their stuffy railroad car. Not a tree. Not a bush. Not even a tarantula skittering across the desert floor.

   “Tickets…tickets…tickets…,” the conductor droned as he moved down the train’s aisle. Gregoria watched him as he briefly stopped to talk to a group of cowboys who had just gotten aboard and were on their way to join a cattle drive. He politely refused when a cowboy offered him a swig of whiskey from a bottle he pulled out of a saddlebag. “There are no laws against drinking on a train as long as you’re a passenger, but rules prohibit my drinking with you,” he cheerfully explained.

  The cowboys were in a good mood and looked forward to a long cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail up north toward Kansas with a big paycheck at the end. As the train rolled on, several cowboys settled in for a lengthy game of poker while a younger man softly strummed a guitar. The card players mostly ignored him now but later on in the middle of a long, boring cattle drive, they’d all come to appreciate their friend’s songs a lot more.

Gregoria held her breath when a banker in the middle of the car peppered the ticket-taker with questions about the likelihood of an Indian attack and she was relieved when the idea of seeing Indians excited the children more than frightened them. The eastern banker, a fiftyish man dressed in a three-piece suit that was much too warm for the trip, was beginning to hyperventilate. Unable to hide his nervousness, he kept up a list of questions that all started with “What if?” and ended with “What then?” The conductor tried to console him but some of his truthful answers made matters worse.

    Finally, the cowboy with the bottle passed the whiskey up the aisle and told the man to take a drink. The banker gratefully took a big glug before he passed it back. When the banker noticed the soldiers on board and asked if they would protect them from robbers and Indians, the conductor had to honestly answer, “Probably not. There are only a few soldiers aboard the train and they are new recruits, unarmed, and untrained.”

   Next, the banker wanted to know if there were armed guards in the boxcars to protect the bank’s money that was being transferred to Dallas. Patiently, the train employee admitted that “Company policy is to not put lives at risk to protect train shipments.”
The man’s whining was escalating and a soldier across the aisle from the panicky businessman became annoyed with the man’s cowardice and snorted underneath the cap he’d pulled down over his face, “Unless you see Geronimo and his band of Apaches,” the soldier said, “you’ll be fine. All of the other Indians are on the reservations.”

“And if I see Apaches? What then?” the banker queried.

“Then, you’ll be dead. No more problem,” the soldier answered matter-of-factly. Before he went back to sleep, he smiled at Gregoria and said out of earshot of the banker, “Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ve never heard of Geronimo chasing down a train. He seems to prefer stagecoaches…”

If you like this post, please share! Many thanks! Janelle