Tag Archives: humor

Train Ride of Shame


The place was London – spooky, thrilling, pompous, historic, charming, expensive, wonderful London with its razzle-dazzle intertwine of ancient and pop-cultural life.

Hubby and I walked trillions of miles through downpours, sprinkles and blazing sun to see the Royal Palace, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Square, remains of the infamous 19th-century prison Charles Dickens described in Great Expectations and, naturally, the original Hard Rock Café.

We were sooty, damp and delirious with wanderlust when we arrived back at the London train station to return to Rochester, our nesting place for the two weeks Mark was on a business assignment.

Wrestling through thick crowds inside the train, we couldn’t believe our luck when we spotted two empty seats facing one another inside a nice enclosure. We went inside, chatting happily as we nestled noisily among the seated passengers and arranged our numerous shopping bags.

A tomb-like silence soon settled inside our senses.

Taking a better look at our seatmates, we realized that all four men were wearing expensive three-piece suits, perfectly unscuffed shoes, buffed nails, and meticulously groomed hair. They were the English versions of the perfectly turned out GQ gentlemen.

Each man had an open newspaper in front of his face and appeared deeply engrossed in it.

No other signs of life were manifest in the “GQ gentlemen.”

Good grief! Mark and I conveyed to one another with saucer eyes, we’re in a PRIVATE gentleman’s car, and the men were too polite to tell us!

Our jeans and street-trollop appearance suddenly became unbearable. We’d been in rain and dirty city streets all day. Might we even be smelly?

I couldn’t bear it! I squirmed. With a man on each side of me, I was a giant toad trapped inside a tiny teacup. Everything I did seemed animated. Loud. Preposterous.

Mark and I were now agonizing and insufferably common;

wretched street characters from a Dickens novel;

a couple of low-lifes.

In desperation, I glanced at Mark sitting between the two men opposite me. Did he comfort me, quell my fears with a simple shoulder shrug or a nod of the head?

No.

Not at all.

My dear husband committed THE UNPARDONABLE SIN.

He rolled his eyes in an animated arc and puffed out his cheeks. His expression screamed at me, Sheesh! What a bunch of stuffed shirts!

He knew better than to commit this act of treason.

All my life, which he is fully aware of, I have battled a private affliction of the most humiliating kind; that is, in terribly absurd situations, I am struck with fits of uncontrollable hilarity that cannot be checked.

My PROBLEM took over.

An outrageous guffaw escaped my mouth. Vulgar snorts  emitted from my nose and throat. Soon, heaven forbid, the unthinkable happened. I started to wheeze at the end of my laughs. For me, that’s a common side effect of a fierce laugh attack. I continued to stifle loud shrieks, followed by those exasperating wheezes. Meanwhile, all around us . . .

no eyes moved from the newspapers—no faces reflected any emotion.

I couldn’t look at Mark. If I did, he made another face. I threw on my sunglasses. They immediately steamed up from the combination of damp air and my elevated body temperature. I grabbed my newly purchased Dickens paperback from my shopping bag and pretended to read, silently begging God to knock me out.

I’d like to say that I gained control on that train ride, but that wouldn’t be true. I calmed down to just the occasional giggle, though, which I managed to turn into a little dignified cough. It was comforting to know that I at least looked less stupid with my nose buried in a Charles Dickens novel.

Mark and I tumbled from the private booth and off the train as soon as rails and wheels allowed. Taking in gulps of air, I was relieved, and mad.

“Why Mark? Why did you do that to me?”

His eyes danced with orneriness. He shrugged. “Well, you know, next time, turn your book right side up. It’s a lot more effective.”

I died of mortification standing right there at the train station.

Indeed, looking back, I pray that anonymous group of Englishmen will think of me sometimes with benign humor as they puff their Cohiba Behike cigars or patiently turn at the tailor’s shop while being measured for their Gucci suits.

Perhaps one of the four gentlemen is a Shakespeare devotee who will charitably attach these words to his sanguinary memory of me:

I had rather a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.

 

Do I dare show my face in London again? I still feel embarrassed about it, but I cherish this experience as one of the funniest of my life. It was so completely ridiculous!

Have you ever been hit with a very inappropriate laugh attack? What did you do to come out of it or to save face? Or did you?

I value your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hand

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

The Albuquerque Turkey


A Turkey's Life is Full of Peril

A Turkey’s Life is Full of Peril

As you probably already know, it doesn’t matter if you’re the most beautiful, or the smartest, or the most gifted of turkeys . . . you’ll most likely be eaten.

My fellow turkeys don’t seem to mind; after all, they say—we all wind up in Turkey Heaven and that’s not so bad.

Lots of the old-timers who darned near died from that ornery new cow dog chewing on them  or from a certain brat, I won’t mention any names, who lives here on Hollyberry Farm and loves to throw rocks and rusty cans at us. . . anyway, those old timers come back from their near-passed-away experiences just gobbling with lively stories.

They say up there has majestic blue mountains with crystal waterfalls and silver feeders bulging with corn, oats, wheat, spelt, barley, and golden glow worms sitting there on the sides of the water troughs, smiling as they bend their little heads to wait for you to slurp them up.

Shoot, some of those old coots said they saw angels passing out emmer up there in that pearlized turkey paradise. If you don’t know what emmer is, you’re probably not a turkey. It’s Eurasian wheat first cultivated by the Babylonians, and it’s the tastiest thing this side of the cracked corn from Old Man Burnie’s Feed Store up there in Dango. Dango’s about 20 miles from the farm, but I guess that’s not important to my story.

My turkey lurkey friends in the barnyard wouldn’t know about emmer or anything else if I wasn’t so nice hearted and prone to share what I read in the morning newspapers I scrounge from the farm dump.

Fact is, I’m just not like the other turkeys. Not one bit. Smarter, I am, and lots more handsome.

So when I noticed the leaves turning that orangey brown yellow like they do when people get to eyeing us with that strange glint in their eyes, I decided right then I had to take action.
Mean Gene the RoosterHere’s what I did first. I started hanging out with Mean Gene, the head rooster here at Hollyberry. I was dogging him one morning and trying to turn my melodious gobble into a scratchy crow sound when my dang ol snood wrapped around my beak and guess what? I almost suffocated!

You know what a snood is, don’t you? It’s that beautiful skin that grows out of our heads and drapes over our beaks. Pure art, it is.Turkey Snood

Back to what happened. Well, right there in the barnyard. I fell over gasping. Fred the duck waddled up quacking, “Your wattle is blue! Your wattle is blue!”

Can you imagine my mortification?

Everyone gathered around and made more fuss than a space ship landing in a haystack. Old Hurricane, the speckled guinea fowl and my best friend, is the one who saved me. She streaked right over and grabbed my snood with her beak. She ran underneath my head and flew over my neck, then back under my beak two or three more times. Finally, it came unwound, and I could go about my business, which is what I did with no wasted time.

I sat in the shade of the tractor a long time until my wattle cooled down and I didn’t feel so ruffled. The whole rafter of barnyard turkeys was discussing me that day, and my beautiful face burned with shame.

Me as a Chicken. Pretty wonderful, isn't it?

Me as a Chicken. Pretty wonderful, isn’t it?

Next thing I did was drastic, I admit it. Hold on to your hats because I had Hurricane bite off the end of my snood. That hurt my feelings more than anything, but I was desperate. I even asked the lady turks to help me dye all my feathers a lovely russet brown. Now if that didn’t look like a chicken, what would?

I hung out with those cackling biddies for oh, probably a week. My plan seemed to be working fine until I overheard the farm missus telling the hired man, “That turkey over there has gone plumb crazy. I gotta believe he fell on his head, the silly thing. Give him some extra feed, George. He’ll do fine this Thanksgiving.”

That did it. I had to get away.

Next bus came down the road, I was on it, brother, and I never even looked back once. That bus didn’t stop until it hit Florida. I watched out the window and couldn’t get over those crazy trees sticking out of the ground with their green roots sticking in the air. Some lady with a yellow moo-moo covered in purple flowers told me they were palm trees.

A slick looking guy wearing a pinstriped suit and a straw hat was hanging around the bus station when I came off the bus. He stared me down right away, and I have to say it made me nervous. Next thing I knew, he sidles up and asks if I was one of the Underground Turkeys that flock to Florida to escape the knife. I almost went into shock! What could I do but shake my blue and grey head yes. He looked all around and handed me, secret like, a brown bag.

“Wear this and hang out on the beach for awhile and don’t make any waves,” he said. Told me he was a fowl rescue ranger and he understood my pain.

My Florida Costume.

My Florida Costume.

Now who ever heard of wearing a suit that looks like a headless turkey? But I did it. Had to look through some little pin holes to see anything. Oh, the humiliation I’ve known, but that doesn’t get us to the end of the story, so here I go. I learned something real quick—I’m just no good in tropical weather. It wasn’t long before I started suffering with mildewed feet.

That rescue guy, he suggested I move to Albuquerque. It’s high and dry, and he had a friend there who might get me a job as an assistant tour guide.

Well, son, I knew that was right up my alley. I agreed to ride out there with a car full of turkey-loving people—and I have to say they were awful nice except for that little toddler who tried to suck on my head when they weren’t looking. I perched right up there in the back seat on a stack of boxes and watched the scenery pass by all the way to New Mexico.

I have to tell you, it was love at first sight! I was a New Mexican Turkey as soon as I crossed the line!

Now I can’t tell you where I live or work these days because I’m incognito and part of the Underground Turkey Railroad Group. We have to lay low, and keep our beaks clean and not gab about our work.

RistraDo I miss Hollyberry Farm? Just a speck. Sometimes at night when I’m just about asleep under that nearly mile-high sky and the stars are twinkling just so and pine and sage smells are tickling my craw, I think about my friends from my other life. I admit I sometimes get a little lump in my throat. That’s when I snuggle up to my red chile ristra and go sound asleep, snug as a mouse in sawdust.

Deep in my turkey heart, I know I made the right decision coming to New Mexico. Let me tell you this . . . next time you’re in Albuquerque, squint your eyes toward those Sandia Mountains.

Who knows? You might get lucky and see a gorgeous Albuquerque Turkey darting across the ridges.

 

 

 

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Fractured Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Watching the TV show Dance Moms


Dance MomsCan crow’s feet wrinkles kill you? Probably not, but watching Lifetime’s reality show, Dance Moms, might put you in the hospital.

That is, if you take the examples on the show and actually apply them to real life and real people.

Recently sucked in persuaded to watch an entire back season of this audacious show, I was under contract to my intellect to take something from the experience. What could I do but create a list of life lessons?

Disclaimer: My list is created exclusively from the television show, Dance Moms, and is not intended to apply to dance moms the world over. Surely *please God!* there are exceptions to the war and destruction lively antics of that show.

This is what the show “teaches” young Dancers

  • Everyone is replaceable.
  • If you freeze on stage, thaw quickly…or die.
  • Second-place winners are losers.
  • If you are injured, don’t bleed.
  • Learn dance routines until you blather like an idiot. Like your mom.
  • Dance until something in your foot breaks. Then dance some more.
  • The crash from the top of Abby’s pyramid can be heard around the world.

This is what the show “teaches” Moms

  • Gossiping is a religion and must be practiced daily.
  • Live through your children or remain an empty shell. Your choice.
  • Argue violently with the dance teacher in front of your kids. That shows them you care. Violently.
  • Tell secrets, get mad, take sides, whisper, giggle and pass notes until you turn sixty years old. Then stop.
  • Take no responsibility for your actions so you won’t be blamed for anything. Ever. Make Sense?
  • With the precision of Chef Gordon Ramsey, learn to slice, dice and sell each other on toothpicks to any passing troll.

Have you ever been forced swayed to watch Dance Moms? What did you take away from the experience? We’d love to know! In fact, we must know!

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Applying Makeup


 

Image from Fotolia

Image from Fotolia

Type-A folks aren’t fond of thinking they’ve wasted time doing anything.

When I heard the average woman spends 474 days of her life slapping on lipstick and lining her eyes *applying makeup*, I had to search for purpose in all that mirror time.

Here, then, is my version of life lessons I’ve learned from applying makeup.

  • Scrub out impurities before they turn black.
  • Moisture is the key to life.
  • Always start with a good foundation.
  • Rough handling will stretch you in ways you don’t want to go.
  • Never expect a thin line from a dull pencil.
  • Being too cheeky can backfire.
  • Frowning messes up everything.
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • Too showy gives a false impression.
  • Freshen up often.
  • Inner beauty is the best makeup in the world.

My kids always accused me of turning everything into a life lesson. Maybe they were right!

Have you learned wise things while doing life’s outwardly boring and repetitive tasks…maybe from doing the laundry, or exercising, even shaving your face *guys*?

You know I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Bu++ Bites Build Gristle


It’s like this – the gander that was flapping my face, back and legs . . .

. . . while simultaneously biting blood blisters on my little three-year-old derriere didn’t know he was contributing to my future female assertiveness.

Being left alone in trees by older cousins while they went off to play games assuredly built my self-reliance.

How did I get all this country-flavored therapy?

By being reared in a farm atmosphere with a pack of heathens for cousins, that’s how.

Descending upon Grandma and Granddad’s farm every summer made my cousins and me wacky. Throwing our shoes and socks over our shoulders, we screeched with pure, wild summer madness.

My gristle got a good start during those summers.

I was the youngest, shortest, and most sensitive of the cousin pack *actually, they called me bawl-bag* which swelled in number from six to sixteen throughout the summer.

Our fun was simple in those days – we simply created it from basically nothing.

Running wild and barefoot, teasing Heir Gander (the baddest guy on the farm), and not minding our elders were outstanding activities.

Of course, not minding always resulted in a lesson on branch cutting (for switches) and a character-building session involving our gluteous maximi immediately thereafter.

Challenging Grandma’s Gander to a mad race across the barnyard was forbidden. And thrilling. Except for me. My legs wouldn’t get me very far before I was missing in action. A little wing whipping before being rescued by the cousins was worth all the grass-rolling hilarity that followed.

One day, Gander snapped.

Possessed by Hitler, Gander went for blood . . .

. . . and I was his victim.

Hair-raising screams brought a rescue unit of five or six wild-eyed adults.

After Heir Gander was slightly reconstructed by my hysterical mom, I experienced a grit-building event. My mom, with multiple pairs of cousin eyes staring, pulled down my shorts to inspect the gander bites. Snickering, then outright peals of laughter, echoed through the barnyard.

That’s when I cried. Hard.

My strength was building!

Other times, when my cousins grew tired of babysitting me, they left me in a tall tree and told me to hold tight and be sure and not fall.

Hanging on for dear life—I’m afraid of heights to this day—I squalled until they came back. When they did, I was the center of attention. Merrily swung onto a pair of shoulders, I was teased and promised games and stories. They even meant it.

I was all giggles when we returned to the farmhouse. Any notice of my red eyes or purple face was attributed to the heat and my allergic problems.

Experiences like these were difficult, but I’m glad I went through them and others later on. Why? Well, I have a theory:

A little grit in your craw makes life’s toughest tidbits easier to swallow.

I love to hear from you.

Just for fun . . .

I told you using unauthorized media would sour your stomach.

I told you using unauthorized media would sour your stomach.

 

 

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.