This Far From Homeless, excerpt

7-01-09Kindle pie cover

This Far From Homeless
An excerpt from Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories
Janelle Meraz Hooper
My website: Janelle Meraz Hooper

See the book on Amazon!

Living on the streets of Seattle isn’t easy…

Macky glanced into the office window as he shuffled by. There it was—the
chalk. Macky had to have it before he went home. He couldn’t take his eyes off
of its slender form as it rested on the powdery tray below the blackboard. It
was about six feet away from the front door; stealing it would be risky. Macky
nervously paced back and forth on the sidewalk. He had to be careful not to
alert the secretary inside that he was watching the chalk. Watching her. He
could have scrounged enough money to buy a piece of chalk, but where? Stores
in downtown Seattle didn’t sell piddley stuff like chalk.

It was getting late; he had to make his move soon. Not only would the office
be closing, but a storm was on the way. There was no door and no lock to his
home on the street; if he didn’t get back soon, someone else might move in.
His friend, Leo, always tried to save him a spot, but he was a small man, and no
match against the bigger homeless men who slept underneath the freeway
overpass. There was enough space under the bridge to keep eight men dry on a
cold, rainy night. No more. It was first come, first serve—unless a man bigger
than you wanted your spot. Whenever that happened, the best thing to do was
just roll up your bedroll and skedaddle. No spot was worth dying over…

Read the book- Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories, paperback and Kindle, suitable for YA and up. Amazon and other Internet bookstores. Published by iUniverse.

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Boogie, Boots, & Cherry Pie

9-9-14 Boogie front cover

New cover!
Boogie, Boots & Cherry Pie

See the book on Amazon

Amazon and others- paperback & Kindle- suitable for New Adult and up.

Janelle Meraz Hooper

See my other books and short stories: Janelle Meraz Hooper

When the great guy that Lily meets at her company’s St. Patrick’s Day party takes her home he discovers she lives at the Zoo, an apartment building that caters to tenants who have exotic pets. Unfortunately, one of the animals is missing and when Mike drops her off the first thing he sees is a sign on the front door:

Please Don’t Let Out The Snake!

While Lily is trying to figure out how Boogie, a big boa constrictor, is getting into her room, Mike, her new boyfriend, has his own problems. He’s a jewelry designer who is in danger of defaulting on a contract because all of his workers live on a flood plain and the river is rising. When it finally floods, everyone, including their pets, disappear without a trace. Suddenly, Mike isn’t worried about his business anymore. He’s worried about his workers and their families. Are they okay? Where could they be?

Filled with lively characters including: a Jamaican landlady, Reggae, whose traditional headdress holds her phone, iPod, and assorted office supplies; her boyfriend Mingo who thinks he doesn’t fit in; and Velma, a woman who collects snakes—big ones. Tension rises when Reggae and Lily begin to fear that Boogie is stalking Boots, Reggae’s pet iguana.

Kindle and others. Soon in paperback. Suitable for NA (New Adult) and up.

Janelle Meraz Hooper is an award-winning writer originally from Oklahoma who now lives in Washington State.

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Custer and His Naked Ladies, excerpt

finalcustercoverCuster and His Naked Ladies

A modern-day Western

Amazon and other Internet bookstores

Paperback and Kindle

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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