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Janelle Meraz Hooper














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Interview on PI Online Newspaper

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Janelle Meraz Hooper
Visit my WordPress blog! Chick books with cluck!

Reviews and clippings below.

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Amazon Kindle

Amazon Prime
members
can borrow
this article
for free
on their Kindle!

Surviving Arthritis
How to Live on a Rocky Beach
(Article)
Janelle Meraz Hooper
    About the time I was coming down with a chronic illness, teenagers were wearing tee-shirts that said: "Life's a Beach!"  I wanted to stop one of them and scribble underneath: "Yeah, but some beaches have rocks!"
   Okay, so somehow, we ended up on a rocky beach.  What to do?  What to do?  Well, the way I figure it, a rocky beach is better than no beach at all, and things could be worse.  At least we're still here! In the meantime, there are a lot of little things we can do to help ourselves live better.
   I’m counting on your medical staff to do the big things to stabilize your condition. What we’re aiming for in this article is to make you as comfortable as possible in non-medical ways. The way I figure it, if we improve your comfort level by just 1% and do that ten times, we’ve made some progress!           
   A lot of people suffer thought arthritis with only a few achy joints easily handled by light medication. If you’ve just been diagnosed with arthritis or similar autoimmune disease, I hope that turns out to be your case. However, if you find yourself on a whole beach full of rocks, I hope this article will be of help to you.
   Please keep in mind I am not a medical doctor. I am just another victim of arthritis who was first diagnosed in 1984. Since then, my autoimmune issues have expanded to lupus, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and more. I can truly say it has been a learning experience! Kindle, $2.99 USD

New!

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2013-Honorable mention at the Great Northwest Book Festival

 

The Slum Resort

Janelle Meraz Hooper

Back cover

Maggie, close to retirement, has lost her home and almost everything else because of an alcoholic husband and a reckless son. She lands in Mountain High Resort, the only place she can afford. She quickly dubs the collection of old campers and trailers that nestle next to a pristine lake The Slum Resort. She finds lots of company in others who have also worked hard all of their lives and have lost everything due to a fatal financial misstep at the last minute. Her list of friends is short: Stella, a former librarian; E-Z, who lost everything when he and his fellow employees tried to save their failing airline; Henry, a mysterious tenant who showed up in the middle of the night; and Breaking News, an Indian from a coastal reservation who works with urban Indians and makes jewelry on the side. Until the very end the isolated group thinks their main enemy is Rodella, the cigar-smoking resort manager, who sells stale-dated hamburger at the little store. They have no idea their troubles are just beginning. Coming soon, a novella with humor and heart, on Kindle. Soon on Nook, iPad, & Kobo $2.99 USD.

 

 

YouTube book trailer:

The Slum Resort

New!

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Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac

a short story

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

   Before Old Joe’s best friend left for Vietnam he dropped his pink 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville off at Joe’s for safekeeping. The old car was in bad shape and when his friend didn’t come back Joe made it his mission to restore her.

   Most nights, after work, Old Joe could be found with his head stuck under the hood of the collectible car, murmuring loving, encouraging sounds to the eye-catching lady who once ruled the highway.  When he finished, she was a beaut. Old Joe didn’t have much, never did. But at least he had Elizabeth…for a while. $1.99 USD

 

 

 

YouTube story trailer:

New! 
A Seattle romance
with  a
Jamaican twist!

50's style!
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Kindle and others $2.99 USD

On Nook- A romantic ribbon weaves its way through a latticework of exotic pets, jewelry, and Northwest cuisine including cherry pie! All of this against the backdrop of urban Seattle...

Boogie, Boots & Cherry Pie

Love on the Zoo’s Third Floor

Janelle Meraz Hooper

  When Lily meets the brother of one of her co-workers at their company St. Patrick’s Day party, it’s love at first sight. At least it is for Lily. Mike might just be dazzled by the sparkly green earrings she’s wearing…earrings that Lily bought in a department store but were made by Mike’s jewelry company.

   By the time the party is over, Mike is hungry and the three of them head to a local restaurant for pie and coffee. Lily orders cherry pie and catches Mike grinning at her. He’s just met her; how can he possibly know she’s still a good girl? Is it that obvious?

   When Mike and his sister take Lily home, the first thing he sees is a sign on the front door:

 Please don’t let out the snake!

   Lily lives in the Zoo! An apartment building that’s well-known because most of its tenants keep exotic pets. Is this the beginning of a great romance? Or just the beginning of a great snake hunt?

   Whatever it is, it has to compete with Mike’s career, he’s just invested everything he owns to buy supplies for the biggest jewelry contract of his life...he’s on a tight deadline to deliver hundreds of jewelry pieces and, during a flood, all of his jewelry assemblers disappear. He’s most likely ruined. Where can they be? Are they okay?

   A light, character-driven romance in which the characters in Lily’s wacky world of exotic animal-lovers mesh perfectly with the sophisticated, glitzy characters of Mike’s jewelry world. 

 

Boogie, Boots & Cherry Pie- a very light romance, Kindle, Nook, and others.  Also available in the UK, DE, and Fr. Suitable for all ages. $2.99 USD.

                                           YouTube book trailer

                                       Boogie, Boots, & Cherry Pie

                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1dRoABQnhs            

Now on Kindle & Nook!

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Paperback $9.99 USD, Kindle, Nook $2.99 USD

 "I loved the book. I will read it again!" H.B. Tacoma, WA.

Bears in the Hibiscus

A humorous romance...

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

  Mary Bergstrom, a single mom, has left her twenty-five year marriage and entered the work force for the first time.

  Luckily, she has found a job she loves and two good friends who are also starting their lives over. Despite challenges, they haven’t lost their positive, humorous outlook. Mary has a plan to make a success of her new life that includes fiscal stability and excludes men. Not that she has anything against them, she just thinks she can’t afford them. Unlike Mary, her friend, Roxanne, is launching a detailed plan to find Captain Marvelous with a yacht. Ray, another friend, bounces from coffee baristas to business moguls looking for love that’s lasting and real.

  Mary’s plans aren’t that grand. All she wants is a Hawaiian vacation so she can relax. Too late, she discovers her ex-brother-in-law, Mark, a park ranger from Montana, will be there at the same time for a conference on state parks. He leaves a note for her at the hotel desk warning her to watch out for bears. He hasn’t seen any, but he thinks there might be Bears in the Hibiscus.

  Mark’s interest in her brings complications she isn’t ready for: romance; wealthy, demanding in-laws that she didn’t like the first time she’d married into the family; a jealous and vindictive ex-husband; and a greedy and  crazed ex-sister-in-law who dumps her two daughters to follow a con man into a scheme to get-rich-quick raising emus. Then, when that fails, she takes off with a rich Arab in a silk keffiyah.

  Mary can’t deny she may have found true love in Mark, but is it worth it if it means being a part of that family again? Some sexual content.

  Contact Janelle:

JanelleMHooper@comcast.net

You Tube book trailer:

Bears in the Hibiscus

Now on iPad, Kindle & Nook!

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Paperback $15.95 USD, Kindle $2.99 USD

 

"...you are excellent at spinning a yarn and at painting a verbal picture of people and places." P. R., Tacoma 

 
Custer and His Naked Ladies
 
Janelle Meraz Hooper
When her husband unexpectedly dumps her, Glory boards an Oklahoma-bound plane at the Sea-Tac Airport. On her way to the ticket counter, she takes the framed photo of her husband out of her gym bag and dumps it into the nearest trash bin—frame and all. She has wasted too many years on a man who doesn’t want her, and her biological clock is beginning to pound like a powwow drum.

 

Part Hispanic, part Anglo, and raised on the reservation, Glory hopes that by going back to her roots she’ll discover who she is, but her home is in turmoil. Her greedy stepmother has returned, a group of dysfunctional mobsters wants her mother’s land on the Indian reservation to build a casino, her pastor cousin is kidnapped in Mexico while on a mission, and Glory’s beloved turtles are in an environmental crisis. When the mob tries to kill her, Glory counts herself as being an endangered species!

 

Her biggest problem of all may be Soap, a sexy Comanche lawyer who wants to do something about that powwow drum pounding in her head…

 

Sprinkled with Spanish phrases and Comanche words, Custer and His Naked Ladies is full of Southwest flavor.

 

Although this book stands alone, it is the third book in a Turtle Trilogy, and the characters in the first two books reappear for one last time in Custer and His Naked Ladies. I'm going to miss them.

 

A fun read! Some sexual content.

 

YouTube book trailer:

Custer and His Naked Ladies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT3DraacOcY&feature=youtu.be 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set in the 50's!
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Paperback $17.95 USD, Kindle $2.99 USD

 
Amazon Prime
members
can borrow the
Kindle version
for free!

 
 
Winner!
2002
Bold Media Fiction
Book Award!

First place fiction: 2002 Bold Media Award!

 

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

A Three-Turtle Summer  

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

An entertaining book about women who stick together to help one of their own find her place in the world for herself and her daughter…

 

Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1949…Grace and her five-year-old daughter, Glory, are living through A Three-Turtle Summer—a summer so hot the turtles are dying. It’s also the summer that Grace’s sisters and mother join forces with Grace to help her dump Dwayne, her abusive husband, who her sister Pauline says is “meaner than a rattlesnake and dumber than adobe.”

     Besides her Hispanic family, a rich list of characters also assist in her  escape, including: Sako, an American-born Japanese neighbor whose former home was the internment camp at Poston, Arizona; two gay dance instructors; a Negro gospel singer who sells lip-smackin’ Barbecue out of the trunk of her new orange Cadillac convertible; and Rudolf, her older sister’s husband who’s a colonel in the Army.

     This women’s fiction story, set in the Southwest, will appeal to women everywhere who are looking for a good story with a happy ending. Published by iUniverse, softcover, 6x9, 323 pages, ISBN # 0-595-24375-4.Fictional autobiography.

           

     A Three-Turtle Summer is the first novel in the turtle trilogy. The second novel, As Brown As I Want, The Indianhead Diaries, is also available for order and was a finalist in the 2004 Oklahoma Book Awards. Adult content.

     

             Purchase Janelle's books from iUniverse at www.iuniverse.com , on her web site, or order from your favorite walk-in bookstore.

                    

                         contact Janelle: janellemhooper@comcast.net

 

                                              YouTube book trailer:

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDyRdzVMp4k 

 

 

Set in the 50's!
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Paperback $13,95 USD, Kindle $2.99 USD

Amazon Prime
members can
borrow the
Kindle version
for free!

 
Finalist!
2004
Oklahoma Book Awards
 
1999
1st place fiction
Surrey

2004 Oklahoma Book Award finalist!

1999 Surrey Book Conference 1st place fiction winner!

 

As Brown As I Want, The Indianhead Diaries

 

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

      The summer of 1952, Lawton, Oklahoma… Eight-year-old Glory has a father who's taken out a $50,000 accidental-death policy on her--now he's spending the summer trying to collect. In his first attempt, he throws Glory to the snakes, but a giant alligator snapping turtle scares the snakes away.

       Glory writes in her diary: Well, Powwow Pete drove us home to talk to Mom, but we didn’t get very far. Mom thinks I just have a wild imagination. At least Powwow Pete believes me. I think it was the turtle that killed it for Mom.

       “How could there be a turtle that big?” she scoffed. They talked some more and Powwow Pete got kind of mad and got up to leave.

       This was one of those times when a kid thinks they’re talking about a turtle, but the grown-ups are really talking about something else entirely. In this case, I think Powwow Pete was accusing Mom of still loving my dad, but he never said that, he just kept talking about the turtle. Mom was doing the same thing: talking about the turtle but meaning that she didn’t want to get messed up with some guy who was a pathologgy liar (Glory can’t spell). As Brown As I Want is the second book in the turtle trilogy. Published by iUniverse, softcover, 6x9, 166 pages, ISBN # 0-595-29408-1.Fictional autobiography. suitable for all ages. A popular young adult book!

 

To read sample chapters or purchase Janelle's book, visit her web site: http://JanelleMerazHooper.com

 

 contact Janelle: janellemhooper@comcast.net

 

YouTube Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-WSPB3fzhI&feature=youtu.be      

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Paperback $12.95 USD, Kindle $2.99 USD

Amazon Prime
members
can borrow the
Kindle version
for free!

"First of all let me congratulate you on your wonderful stories. I find them to be very funny and entertaining."

B. M., Texas

 

Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories

 

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

  What’s a chick story? It’s a story with no drugs, bombs, or spies who have numbers instead of names. And clean. It’s gotta be clean. Spend some time with Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories and its other stories and shorts like Elvis Has Left the Building…and is Living in My Computer, Harpy and Julianne’s War of the Roses, and Gets Tickled and the Fish Trap, and have a smile on me.

  I balanced out the short stories with some commentaries so we won’t forget where we’ve been…and how far we have to go.

  If you’re looking for the answer to world peace, you probably won’t find it here, but why does everything have to be so serious? Published by iUniverse, softcover, 6x9, 132 pages, ISBN # 0-595-34464-X. Mixed genre. Includes Thanksgiving and Christmas short stories. A favorite of teachers! Good for English-as-a-second language classes! Suitable for all ages.

 

  www.janellemerazhooper.com

 Also available on online and instore bookstores

contact Janelle: janellemhooper@comcast.net

 

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Available now on Kindle, Nook, & iBookstore!

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$2.99 USD

Barnes & Noble Nook

Also on iBookstore
$2.99 USD

Chosen as one of the best poems for children 2-6 by iPad on YouTube!

There’s a Mouse in the House!

Janelle M. Hooper, Jacob N. Studebaker

Illustrations, Sherri Bails

 

Jamaica and Jupiter

 Excerpt: Chapter 1. A pretty good life

 

This is a story about birds. Three birds to be exact: a little green parrot named Jamaica, a yellow cockatiel named KoKoMo, and a big black crow named Jupiter. Little Jamaica and KoKoMo lived in a nice warm home, with lights, a color TV, and lots of music. Their gourmet birdseed came from a nearby pet shop, and they regularly received treats from the kitchen. Jamaica and KoKoMo loved the treats! They especially liked the bites of brussels sprouts, baked potato and bread. Sometimes, they even got a bite of pizza! In short, life was good. Even the house cat, Okra, was nice to them. Actually, Okra was nice to them partly because he was terrified of the sound that the bird’s wings made when they flew. Flap! Flap! Flap! He couldn’t figure out why it was necessary for them to do that. They didn’t see him flying all over the place, did they? No. He kept all four of his paws on the ground. Like a cat should. And a bird should. At least inside birds. Okra was surprised to learn that the new bird could talk. Many a good nap had been spoiled by Jamaica calling, “Okra, Okra, I love you, Okra!” The first time he heard Jamaica say that, he almost wet Sally’s carpet. Never before had the cockatiel said anything to Okra, although he had heard her whistle that “shave and a haircut, two bits” tune she’d learned from Sally’s husband…

 Pull a toddler onto your lap—or tuck it into bed—and share a tale about a house that has a mouse problem (There’s a Mouse in the House!), a gooseberry-gobbling pheasant (George, the Great Green Gooseberry Gobbler), and a cat named Ribbons who gets into trouble with a Christmas tree (Ribbons at Christmas). I’ve broken up the story about Jamaica and Jupiter (Jamaica and Jupiter) into shorter chapter stories so that the friendship between the “outside” bird and the “inside” bird can develop over time. The love of words is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

                                                Frederick Douglas

 

 

YouTube book trailer:

There’s a Mouse in the House!

and

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Rudy Ramos
as
Geronimo!
 

 

Life on the Reservation

 

Janelle Meraz Hooper

 

“…I had to steal the laptop. The white men will never tell the whole story. They control everything that's said about us in newspapers and books. Even the maps are slanted toward the whites. Look and you'll see they're dotted with each place we fought the white soldiers. Look closely. You'll see that if the soldiers won, it was a battle. If we won, it was a massacre…” 

 

Rudy Ramos was a star in The High Chaparral television series. He has also appeared in other television shows. 

 

Note: Geronimo, Life on the Reservation will be a live, traveling show, premiering at the High Chaparral Reunion at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson on March 22, 2014. It will not be available in book form. Check back for more information!

 

 

Reviews and clippings...

Amazon review for The Slum Resort:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Corporate Greed January 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In this departure from her typical humorous and satirical style, seasoned author Meraz Hooper addresses the thorny issue of near-homelessness. With wit and compassion, this short story presents a cross-section of some of society's powerless and marginalized, namely those who struggle to survive in their decrepit trailers.

Not surprisingly, each resident has a sad story: save one, all have been abused by or fallen prey to their children, spouse, employer, or the system. All are smart and genuinely good people who must fight daily for their dignity and their limited possessions.

The plot is centered on a not-so-unlikely case of corporate greed where a single outsider's machiavelic plan will annihilate the entire park's residents fragile stability. As the threat looms, the author takes the reader inside the park's miserable atmosphere, also inside some of the residents' discriminating mind.

This is no tear-jerking story meant to instill pity for those who have been forced into borderline homelessness. Yet its lighter tone does convey the implicit warning that such devastation can indeed happen to anyone. While attempting to dismiss the trailer trash stereotype of SS and system abusers, if anything in this tale of corporate greed, Meraz Hooper suggests that anyone hit by such tragedy deserves at least some measure of compassion.

Aline Lesage, author of Gaby's Penance

 

 

Amazon review of The Slum Resort:

Unique and inspirational, January 29, 2013

By 

Raul Ramos "author of the Class H Trilogy, AMERICA LIBRE, HOUSED DIVIDED & PANCHO LAND"

 

This review is from: The Slum Resort (Kindle Edition)

In spar5.0 out of 5 starskling prose, author Janelle Meraz Hooper relates the tale of a plucky group of seniors who endure poverty with humor and aplomb. Far from the golden years we all wish for, these seniors are down on their luck -- mostly because of their willingness to help others. How they resolve a crisis which threatens to leave them homeless left me inspired at our capacity for caring and love.

 

                Custer and His Naked Ladies

                           Review by Tiffany (Richards) Elliot

 

"Custer and His Naked Ladies," is not normally a book I would just pick up and read. Personally, I'm more of a historical fiction and sci-fi nut. It was a pleasant deviation from my usual literature-diet.

I loved the setting. Not many people think great stories can come out of the American mid-west, or even Oklahoma for that matter, but trust me, they can. It provides a unique flavor of it's own, I was actually pleased that it didn't take place the whole time in Seattle, or even LA or New York. Plus, the huge presence of the native culture provided a brilliant and thought-provoking look on society, from casino debates to the influence of the Mob.

The second unique factor I enjoyed was the age group. With the exception of the few key characters; Glory, Soap, and Ben, everyone was a senior citizen. Most stories feature characters between birth to middle age, so it comes to no surprise that most are convinced that all the fun has to end when you turn sixty. This story, and this cast of characters, proves different. They are all the most feisty, and entertaining lives I have ever had the chance to glimpse at.

I also highly enjoyed the romance between Glory and Soap. I kept thinking, "Oh please get together, please get together." You don't see enough older romances and they're beautiful. The love scene (yes, there is a small one) was revealing, modest, and simply lovely.

The third, and perhaps best, was the inner-weaving of so many plot lines. You not only had the drama with Glory going on; her divorce and endless fear of never finding true happiness, which was the main arch. But also the drama going on in the community, the casino debate on the reservation and over-reach of the Mob. As I live-long Washingtonian, I am very familiar with the love-hate relationship between reservations and casinos, but until I read this book, I was unsure of how the Mob worked into all of this. And the measures the ladies take, is both hilarious and serious. The third plot was the side story of Dan, a cousin of Glory's, who is kidnapped while on a mission trip to Mexico. I was unsure of how this would go down, but you were able to weave it in seamlessly - this was just another thing they had to deal with - and I enjoyed it very much.

If you want a break from the daily grind of the Northwest winter, pick up "Custer and His Naked Ladies." No only will you feel relaxed and refreshed from all that great Oklahoma sunshine, you might learn something along the way.

 

Tiffany (Richards) Elliott

Freelance writer and part-time critic

 

 

 

The Oklahoman, July 6, 2008
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1-24-08The Puyallup Herald, part 1

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Tacoma News Tribune

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1-24-08 The Puyallup Herald, part 2

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Please report any problems with this site to Janelle: Janellemhooper@comcast.net  Thanks!