A Three-Turtle Summer, #1 in my Turtle Trilogy


#1 in my Turtle Trilogy
suitable for most NA and adults
Amazon and others, PB & Kindle.
Published by iUniverse.

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See all of my books and stories: Janelle Meraz Hooper

Read the book- Amazon and other Internet bookstores. Published by iUniverse. 

Janelle Meraz Hooper gives us more than a story. She gives us a cast of hilarious and memorable characters in a vividly drawn scene. Libroseninguana.com

 Light-hearted writing, deep and disturbing content, October 31, 2013 by James R. Muri
This review is from: A Three-Turtle Summer (Paperback) 4 stars
Janelle – our author – has written a novel that disguises years of horror and despair behind cozy country anecdotes, dialogue, and situations. To me, this reads like a psychological thriller / chiller, made all the more so by the calm and carefree rhetorical style used throughout.

To some this would be disconcerting; to me, Janelle has produced a piece of genuine art. If you’re looking for warm fuzzies in a story, the only warm fuzzy you’ll find in this one is basic survival and triumph. I found it impossible to put down. I was struck – to keep hammering on this – by how deeply contrasted the prose and peril were. Excellent read, excellent work, Janelle.

By Marmalade on May 3, 2014 5 stars
This is a gripping story of domestic abuse fueled by the high level of racism existing in Oklahoma in the late forties. It documents the cruelties suffered by the Hispanic, Japanese and African American of that era.

Grace, the youngest daughter of a close-knit Hispanic family, lives in constant terror of being assaulted by her bigoted, mean-spirited husband, Dwayne. She suffers her beatings in silence fearing he will take her daughter, Glory, away from her. Grace is a talented seamstress and with the help of her family devises a plan to be free of her abuser while he is away on military leave.

The characters are fleshed out and the action is fast paced and full of suspense. This is a terrific read that offers hope to the victims of abuse and racism. Well done.

2002 Bold Media 1st place fiction award

Next: As Brown AS I Want: The Indianhead Diaries

Custer & His Naked Ladies

(All books stand alone)

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Are the snacks here yet? A baseball story

baseball 2Are the Snacks Here Yet?
A baseball story

from Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories
See the book on Amazon!
Amazon and others. Paperback and Kindle, suitable for all ages.
Published by iUniverse.
Janelle Meraz Hooper

T-ball season is over, and a good time was had by all. Of course, the spring weather was awful—isn’t it always? The grownups sat huddled in their folding chairs hugging their thermal coffee cups and urged their young players to run out on the field and roll around in the wet grass and the muck and have fun. When it actually rained, the adults brought out the umbrellas—not for the little players—for themselves. After all, wouldn’t want to get those camcorders wet, would we? No siree, Grandma and Grandpa back in Wisconsin had to see this!
We were into our second season, and the parents and grandparents could see a lot of progress in our girls’ and boys’ approach to the game. For instance, the first season, our little leaguers spent more time following the snack lady than the ball. You’d think the little rookies had never seen treats before.
This year, they were way cooler. As each player arrived, he’d saunter over to an earlier arrival and quietly ask if the snack mom arrived yet. When a player pointed out a mom with a big white plastic bag at her feet, you could hear a sigh of relief from the T-baller. Then, the player would carefully scan the Mom and the bag. Was the bag big enough? Could someone else’s mom be trusted to bring enough snacks for everybody? Surely, they didn’t have any mothers who couldn’t count?
Their mind at ease on the snack situation, they moved over to hear the coach’s instructions. “No dog-piling!” he pleaded. The team broke into a chant, “No dog-piles! No dog-piles!”
Actually, I was relieved to see some dog-piles. The first year, the T-ball would run through a tiny outfielder’s legs on its way to the alley and they’d never notice—their eyes would be on the snack bag.
This year, the same kids jumped on the ball rolling down the middle of the field like it was the last candy bar on earth. Sometimes, kids playing in other games on the multi-purpose field broke position in their own game to run over and jump on a ball in our game. Now that’s progress.
Yep. The season is over. The baseball pants and tee shirt have been washed and put away until next season—when they’ll undoubtedly be too small—the camcorder has been dried off, and the official baseball pictures have arrived in my mail.
At the beginning of the season I wrote a commentary that said organized ball was a lackluster substitute for a pick-up game in a makeshift field. I was wrong. Baseball is baseball.
Play ball!

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The Slum Resort

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The Slum Resort
Kindle only
Janelle Meraz Hooper

A few lines…

After Henry had deleted his ex-wife’s email, it occurred to him she hadn’t even asked him where he was. It was clear she had no interest in him, his whereabouts, or his activities. Not even a polite, meaningless inquiry about his health. He never asked her about her health. The answer was always too boring. She was well. Spectacular. Well into her sixties, she was still statuesque and able to beat most comers in tennis games at the country club. Good for her. He was happy she had what she wanted with whomever she had it with. He’d heard through the grapevine that the guy she was seeing in California was a real hunk, tanned, personable, strong, and athletic. The complete opposite from him. Angela had always liked good weather and good men; she was in the perfect spot to find both…

The Slum Resort is available on Kindle. $2.99 USD

See my books! I write in several genres!

How about a baseball story?

This commentary has appeared many places but I thought you might enjoy it since it’s baseball season…


 “Anybody want to play?”

a short story from Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories

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Janelle Meraz Hooper

Every spring the hamburger joints are filled with ball players all dressed up in their new baseball outfits, their pristine new balls, mitts, and hats scattered on the tables among the milk shakes and fries. It always makes me wonder: they have the equipment, but do they have a passion for the game? Is that all baseball is about—pricey equipment?

Times are getting tough, and excess has been on the minds of many Americans lately. I think that the sport of baseball is a good example. Fancy stadiums. Fancy uniforms. And those players’ contracts…well, let’s not even go there.

Maybe the fancy trappings aren’t necessary. Once, I saw a perfect pick-up baseball game that was low in budget but high in passion. It was back in the sixties, and my husband and I were taking a break from college to visit his favorite aunt and uncle in a little town in Idaho called Clark Fork (population: 125). Uncle Archie was a real mountain man who spent his days hunting, fishing, and trapping. His nights were spent drinking, gambling, and barroom brawling. Aunt Frances raised purebred Manx cats that she shipped all over the world. Her cupboard was full of home-canned delicacies—for the cats. Shelf after shelf was filled with canned kamloop, venison, and elk. Enough for a year. For sixteen cats.

That Saturday afternoon, we were kicking back with Aunt Frances while she watched wrestling when her small porch was filled with the sound of scuffling feet. The screen door creaked. A little hand knocked. When my husband opened the door, a chorus of excited voices of assorted ages all gushed out at the same time. “We’re getting up a game, does anyone here want to play?” Of course we did.

When they left, I said, “We forgot to ask them where we’re playing.”

My husband answered, “There’s only one ballfield in town, honey.”

Going through Uncle Archie’s closets we were able to come up with a mitt and a bat that may have been used most recently for clubbing kamloop before it was dragged onto a boat. Off we went to the ballfield that turned out to be a neglected lot with a rusty chicken wire backstop behind home plate and a cedar railing about eighteen inches high on the street side. The other sides were rimmed in tall, fragrant pines.

My husband pointed to the railing and told me I could sit in the bleachers. Everyone showed up about the same time. This was a logging town, and both teams were wearing plaid flannel shirts and logging boots with their heavy work jeans. Every age group was represented. We only had one ball that I think someone had taken away from their dog, and it was so dirty it kept getting lost in the grass and mud.

The air hung heavy with mist but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We were overcome with joy at the sight of the ball crossing the cedar shingle we were using for home plate. Everyone got a turn at bat, with the older players taking time to encourage the younger ones.

We stayed there playing until we couldn’t see the ball anymore and it was pure joy. I don’t remember who won. What I do remember is the passion we had for the game. Not the fancy uniforms, not the expensive mitts. There were none. It was the game we were there for, and only the game.

So, it’s spring again, and here comes another carload of kids dressed in their shiny new gear. Structured, organized games that are listed on a computerized schedule kept on their mothers’ refrigerator doors. It’s okay. But I keep longing to open my front door and hear a raggy group of loggers asking, “We’re getting up a game—does anybody here want to play?” Of course we do!


 *Note: The illustration is not in the book.