“Pig! Pig!” Pigtunia’s Vacation, a humorous short romance

“Pig, Pig!”
(romance writer invents a new genre: Pig Romances!)

Janelle Meraz Hooper
Note: I use my blog for fun. Please see my serious books at the link below:
See my literary and romance books here!

‘Tis the season for silly. I found this in my files; it was written after a writer-friend sent me a photo of a pig jumping out of a truck of pigs headed for market in the middle of a busy intersection. The top of the truck was very high off the ground and the pig sailed right over the railing and landed safely on the ground. I wanted to post the photo, but I don’t have permission to use it; I’m sure it’s copyrighted!

“Pig, Pig!” Pigtunia shouted as she stood on the corner of a busy street in downtown Santa Monica. In between shouts for help, she squealed. Squealed until she literally stopped traffic at the busy intersection. Passersby, drivers, kids on bicycles, motorcycles driven by hairy black-jacketed men wearing black goggles—all looked around to see if they could figure out what the pig’s problem was.

Nothing looked amiss. Well, granted, there was a very upset pig on the corner of Cork and Vine, but no one could figure out why. The noise persisted until a businessman carrying a briefcase cautiously approached the angry pig and asked, “What’s the problem, Miss Piggie?”

“What kind of a town is this?” answered Pigtunia. “I’ve been calling for the cops for over twenty-minutes and there’s not a pig in sight!”

“Oh, you want the police? We don’t use the pig-word here unless we’re talking to an actual pig, like you. Here, you have to dial 911 if you need help.”

“Dial? Dial how?”

“Why, on your cell phone.”

“Do you see any pockets here?” Pigtunia asked as she looked down at her legs.

Just then, a news crew and cameraman from a nearby television station ran up and started filming. Sticking her microphone in the pig’s face, the newsperson began to interview the distressed pig. With no prodding, Pigtunia launched into her rant:

I signed up for a road cruise that was supposed to take me along the coast for a 6-day vacation. I was promised fresh mud every day, good food, and luxurious sleeping quarters. What I got was the back end of a crowded truck, “mud” that was far from fresh, sloppy slop, and it was so crowded I had to sleep standing up!” hardly pausing for a breath, she continued, “And as for the ocean views, the darn truck headed east on the freeway toward some place called Kansas. To make matters worse, some bimbo riding with the driver was carrying a purse made from a sow’s ear and she had some kind of a Spam cookbook in it that looked suspicious to me. That’s when I jumped out.”

“You jumped out of a moving truck over twelve feet off the ground?”

“I did. Who needs it? I’m going to insist on a refund.”

The interview of the distraught pig was picked up on YouTube and got millions of views. In a Kansas meat-packing plant, the owner watched the video and called his attorney. “This is bad publicity. If this keeps up, no one will ever eat pig again. Call the legal department! Send that pig a contract and get her over here. Fly her out here first-class and bring her to me.”

And that was how Pigtunia flew cross-country in a first-class seat with a window view and swilled champagne all the way to Kansas.

But wait. It gets better. When she arrived, the owner of the packing plant took a close look at her and knew she was a very special pig. All of her parts were prime pig. In fact, she was much too good to butcher. The meat packer made her an offer she couldn’t refuse and Pigtunia found herself in a luxury pin with cable TV and 24/7 gourmet food service.

But wait. It gets even better. Pigtunia was visited once a year by the most handsome pig in the yard. He romanced her for days while she squealed with delight. Each year, when the time was right, Pigtunia gave birth to at least ten piglets, making her much more valuable than she would have ever been in the bacon department…

And, thus, a new romance genre for books was born: Mail Order Jumping Pig Brides.

The end

P.S. : At least every 13th word of this story is true, I swear!

(Illustration–such as it is–by author)

Chapter 3, The Montana Kahuna-from Bears in the Hibiscus

3-21-10 Final Bears cover

Bears in the Hibiscus on Amazon

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

Chapter 3. The Montana Kahuna
Janelle Meraz Hooper
My website: Janelle Meraz Hooper

Mary was so busy getting her ducks in order so she could get out of town, she didn’t have time, at first, to think much about Mark spending the night at her house. When she did, she wondered why had he picked her house when he had a brother nearby? Actually, he had his own place a few miles away, on his parents’ compound. Why was he spending the night on her floor?

Before she went to bed the night before his visit, she made sure he could find the floor. All of the old newspapers, newsletters and mail-ads were either banished to recycling or put into a box in her car trunk so she could take them to Ray, who ran the layout department. Other peoples’ magazines were a gold mine for layout and design ideas, not to mention leads for new clients for the advertising department. Mary would almost sooner throw away money than old magazines.

A rental car was in the driveway when she got home the next night, and she had a rush of guilt for not offering to pick Mark up at the airport…what was she thinking?
She forgot her guilt when she got a whiff of something wonderful. Something only vaguely familiar. Something—trout! She raced upstairs, not sure which sight was more welcome, Mark or the trout he and Kate were cooking in the skillet.

“Mark! You brought the fish, I could have at least cooked them!”

“That’s okay, sis,” Mark grinned. “Kate wanted to learn how to cook fish that aren’t named Charlie.”

“It smells wonderful! I love the way you cook fish with just salt, pepper, and flour. I hate all those Frenchy sauces.”

“When there’s sauce on the trout, lookout!” Mark cautioned, “It’s probably covering up a fish that’s older than you are.”

“I guess being frozen kept them fresh on the trip,” she said as she admired the full skillet.

“Actually, I got up early and caught these before I left the park. You’d been without so long I figured you were due. Kept them cool in an old Styrofoam ice chest.”

“Did you get any strange looks at the airport when you checked your fish box luggage?”

“No, the floor was covered with ice chests bigger than mine that belonged to people who had been fishing for Kings in Alaska. My little chest looked kind of pitiful next to theirs.”

“The best things come in small packages, they say.”

Mary left the cheerful cooks to change into a boxy pair of khaki walking shorts and a forest green tank top. She had a closet full of similar clothes. Her outfit was fine for the Northwest, especially since she was having dinner with a Montana Ranger, but she had trouble picturing it on a Hawaiian beach. She’d have to dig a little deeper into her closet and see if she could find something a little brighter.

Before she returned to the kitchen, Mary gave herself a quick look in the mirror. What looked back at her was a woman with long brunette hair and a medium frame. She was a few pounds lighter than the last time Mark had seen her, and she’d lost her tan. Both changes could be attributed to an increased workload. She hadn’t stopped any cars lately, but she thought she looked as well as she could without the benefit of one of those instant facelifts she kept reading about in the women’s magazines.

How she hated being the ex-wife. What would this ex-brother-in-law say to Brian the next time they spoke? Maybe, “I saw your ex, she looks pretty good for her age, but your new love is a real knockout.” It distressed her to imagine other people commenting, “I saw your ex, she had wrinkles all over her face! No wonder you’re shopping around for a trophy wife.” Well, she doubted that people would actually make those comments out loud, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t think them. Mary hated most to hear, “When I look at Kate, I can see just how pretty Mary must’ve looked years ago.” Mary loved her daughter, and they did look a lot alike, but who could compete with someone half her age?

Well, she was hungry, and she doubted that her two cooks would deliver fresh, pan-fried trout to her bedroom door. “There she is!” greeted Mark when Mary entered the kitchen, “How about some wine?”

“Oh, you must have found my cardboard box in the fridge,” Mary said as she held out her glass.

“Yep. Park rangers know how to find their quarry. It was marked Wednesday, so I thought it must be fresh.”

“Very funny. Actually, I’ve got a box dated Thursday, I’m giving you the old stuff.”

“It tastes good to me.”

Dinner was delicious. Mary looked down at a plate of fresh trout, green salad with raspberry dressing, and lightly buttered and toasted Como bread, and thought she was in heaven.

After Kate downed her trout like it was a burger at Dollar’s and left with a carload
of friends, Mary and Mark settled down with fresh glasses of wine on the sundeck. Mary cringed as a whole flock of fruit bats flew into her big cherry tree. The crows stripped her fruit trees in the daytime and this was the night shift. Not surprisingly, she preferred the crows.

“So, how’s it going, sis?” Mark asked as he eased into a deck chair that had seen better days.

“Not bad. How about you?”

“Good. I’m really looking forward to getting away for a few days. I didn’t get much rest this year after the forest fires started.”

“Kate and I watched the news every night. It was the worst we’d ever seen.”

“That’s for sure. We were lucky we didn’t lose any of the firefighters.”

The niceties were over, and Mary asked what she really wanted to know, “Mark, you know you’re welcome here, but why did you come here instead of the compound or your brother’s?”

“Mom is letting company from Minnesota use my house at the compound while they’re here on vacation. And I didn’t feel up to spending the night staring at the bare chest of Brian’s latest Seahawk cheerleader. I think he should start carding those girls. Besides,” he said with a twinkle in his eye, “I thought it would be tacky to sleep on my brother’s floor when I was thinking about dating his ex.”

Mary choked on her wine, and reached for a tissue from her pocket before wine came out of her nose. “Mark! Don’t go there!” Mary said with surprise.

“Too late! I’ve already bought a ticket! What’s wrong? Have someone else?”

“No…”

“I have cooties?”

“No…Mark, I like you, but I’m just not sure if it’s smart for me to get involved with a Bergstrom again. You’re a great guy, but I don’t think I fit in with the rest of your family.”

“Mary, you fit in just fine. Don’t be intimidated by the Bergstrom money. It has nothing to do with me or us.”

Mary was still wiping wine from her nose when she said, “I can’t help the way I feel.”

“Well, I always like to leave a woman in a state of shock, so I’ll go to bed now,” he said with a grin. “Thanks for the hospitality, sis. I’ll be gone when you wake up, so I’ll call you in Hawaii to see if you’ve managed to get your mouth closed yet.” Mary felt him hesitate as he walked behind her chair, but he kept walking. Was he going to touch her? Pat her on the head? What?

Whatever he almost did, Mary was glad he hadn’t. Her brain was occupied trying to list all of the reasons why their dating wouldn’t be a good idea. Mark had already left the sundeck, so whatever thoughts she had remained unspoken. She was left with an empty deck chair, half a glass of wine, and a big full moon that she was sure was laughing at her. Or was the laughter she heard coming from the bathroom where Mark was? She vaguely felt a mosquito chewing on her bare arm and swatted it with one hand while she finished her wine with the other. She groaned when she heard him turn on the shower. There was no question that Mark was a hunk. Knowing he was less than ten feet from her made her knees tremble. What would Roxanne do? The answer to that was easy. What was Mary going to do? “Nothing!” her friend’s voice ridiculed from the darkness.

The next sound Mary heard was Mark shaking out his sleeping bag. And fluffing his pillow. He made a big deal out of fluffing his pillow. There was something else. She was sure she heard another laugh when she scooted to the bathroom to get ready for bed. He was laughing at her. She was sure of it. And why shouldn’t he?

Kate was due in soon, so any thought of giving in and crawling into Mark’s sleeping bag with him was pointless, even if she could find the nerve which, of course, she couldn’t.

By the time Kate’s friends dropped her off in her driveway, Mark was already fast asleep. How could he do that? How could he make a pass at her and then just go to sleep? Mary was in her bedroom, wide awake, curled up into a tight, fetal position, with her pillow over her head so she couldn’t hear the soft gentle breathing of a man who was totally at ease on her living room floor. For now.

Read the book- Bears in the Hibiscus, paperback & Kindle, suitable for NA (New Adult) & up. Published by CreateSpace.


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Bears in the Hibiscus, a few lines…

3-21-10 Final Bears cover

A few lines from Bears in the Hibiscus…

There is life after divorce! (If you don’t mind a few bears and emus!)

…When Mary’s husband, Brian, decided to end their marriage, it didn’t take him long  to pack. That was because he had already been leaving, piece by piece, for years. Most of his clothes were already on the yacht that belonged to his father’s timber company. He had never been the outdoorsy type, so they had no closets filled with tents and blue speckled coffeepots to sort through like some divorcing Northwest couples did. When the end finally came, she didn’t cry a tear; all she felt was relief. As he rushed from room to room, opening closets and cupboards to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything, Mary searched for parting words to mark the occasion. She found none. The best she could think of was a few hand gestures that she managed, with great effort, to keep to herself…

Bears in the Hibiscus, a humorous romance, suitable for NA (New Adult) and up. Paperback and Kindle.


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The Art in His Bed

This is just for fun. It’s the first page of a novel I have in the works, titled Pool. It’s a little steamy…come on! I can’t write about turtles all the time! (: HAPPY FRIDAY!
The Art in His Bed
Janelle Meraz Hooper

This is just for fun. Visit my website for published books and stories.
My website: Janelle Meraz Hooper

The first thing Davis saw when he entered his bedroom was a bare foot sticking out from underneath his faux fur chinchilla throw. He didn’t need to look closer. He’d know that foot anywhere: it belonged to his ex-wife. The ankle, and the leg attached to it, were a work of art that could rival the classical nude painting above his bed.

With a grin he hastened through the shower, forgetting to move Helene’s swimsuit out of the path of the water. He wasn’t surprised to find his ex in his bedroom, he’d invited her to come by his new house and take a swim while he was out of town. He knew her well enough to know why she was sound asleep on his bed; she loved pools and always overdid it when she got into the water. She was obviously exhausted. Never a girl to laze around a pool in a designer bikini that couldn’t get wet, all of her suits were racing suits with sturdy I-mean-business straps with no built-in bra to slow her down when she did laps.

He quickly dried off enough to slip under the furry throw beside her. He wasn’t surprised to discover she hadn’t bothered to get even partially dressed. Why should she? He was supposed to be out of town until the next day and their two girls wouldn’t be home from college until after that.

“Hi. It’s me,” Davis whispered in her ear. “I didn’t think you’d made it. Where is your car?”

“It’s in the shop. I had my partner drop us off on his way home.”

“‘Us’ must be that 100-pound German Sheppard stretched out on the floor beside Rosa in the TV room. He looks like he’s healing nicely from that gunshot wound.”

“Is he behaving?” Helene sleepily asked as she put her arms around Davis’s neck.

“Of course. Sheperd’s aren’t stupid. It’s a case of love at first sight.”

“With Rosa?”

“No, with the leftover roast she’s hand-feeding him.” Tightening his grip around Helen’s waist, he pulled her closer. “How are you? I’ve missed you,” He said as he nuzzled her neck.

“I’m not sure. I met Joyce; she was already here when I got here. Are you with her?” she sadly asked.

“No, she’s just my real estate lady. I’m with you,” he said as he gently rolled her onto her back and lifted himself on top of her. “This divorce thing isn’t working out for me,” he said as he brushed a tear from her face. “Can we renegotiate?”


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Custer and His Naked Ladies, excerpt

finalcustercoverCuster and His Naked Ladies

A modern-day Western

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an excerpt

Janelle Meraz Hooper

1.      Dumped 

      Glory was on her way to join her husband on a NOAA research vessel when she tried to call him to say she was running late. That was when she discovered he wasn’t on the ship; without telling her, he’d pulled out of the offshore project days before. With that failed phone call, all of her recent, uncomfortable inklings fell into place. Her marriage was over. He just hadn’t gotten around to telling her yet.

That was how she ended up at Sea-Tac Airport, halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, with her hair in braids, wearing a pink Where’s the Powwow? sweatshirt. She carried only her wallet, a camera, and a faded blue gym bag. The bag was filled with the same kinds of clothes she was wearing, a few books, and a photo of her husband. The photo—frame and all—she chucked into a trash barrel outside the airport. She would have liked to toss it out of the airplane, but she was pretty sure it would make the stewards cranky if she opened the emergency exit at 35,000 feet.   

            Her original destination, the research vessel, was scheduled to drop anchor over the undersea volcanoes off the coast of Washington State. The scientists on the ship were to study the marine life that thrived in the hot water that spewed out of the craters.

            After the research trip, she and her husband, Rick, were to take a much-needed vacation to Mexico and reconnect. They hadn’t had any identifiable problems, but her husband had been moody and refused to talk about it. Glory had hoped he would open up after a few days rest on a hot sandy beach with a Margarita in his hand. Rick hadn’t been in favor of the vacation, but Glory had insisted. Finally, he had thrown up his hands and given up.

Before the research trip, he had convinced her to put all of their things in storage because they didn’t know if they’d be back in Seattle when the project was over. There was no use, he’d said, in paying rent while they were gone.

It made sense.

Sort of.  

But why hadn’t she been suspicious when he’d insisted on putting all of his things into separate marked boxes? How dumb was she? The dirty rat! And what would she have done on the research ship without him for three weeks? Her specialty was in freshwater turtles; there would be no real work for her there. No paycheck. He was the specialist in coastal underwater volcanoes. He belonged there. She would have been nothing more than a guest with no way off the boat. Her cheeks burned at the embarrassment she felt. What was he thinking?

Her new destination was her mother’s in Oklahoma. Getting a last minute ticket was expensive, and Glory was thankful for her credit cards. No one ever went to Oklahoma unless they had to, and airline tickets to the Sooner State were never a bargain. Glory handed the woman at the check-in counter her credit card and mumbled a quote from a rich friend, “All it takes is money.” The woman briefly looked up, then, expressionless, continued adding up the full fare charges on her keyboard.

On her way to the airplane boarding area, over and over, Glory thought, this isn’t the way normal, educated people get divorced.

I’ve been dumped!

With no explanation.

No discussion.

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