book reviews

Welcome Bish and Her Wonderful New Book, The Bowl and the Stone

bishI’m so excited to be part of Bish Denham’s blog hop, to share her newest novel, The Bowl and the Stone. Before I share an overview of the book and details about Bish, I need to share an interview Bish and Sam recently concluded (Sam’s a character in her book). I think this will give you a great sense of the atmosphere and voice in The Bowl and the Stone:

It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240-year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.
But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.
They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them? 
Their carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, and Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.

Interview with Sam

Bish: Hi Samantha! Nice to talk with you.

Sam: Just call me Sam, most everyone does.

B: Sure thing, Sam. Are you up for a few questions? Readers want to know.

S: Shoot!

B: You talk about some of the history of the Virgin Islands in your book, The Bowl and Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands.

S: *blushes and becomes shy* A little, yeah.

B: Do you think it’ll make people want to learn more about St. John or maybe visit?

S: I hadn’t thought about that, but yeah, I hope when people read it, they’ll learn a little something. There’s so much history here.

B: Do you have a favorite historical story?

S: Alexander Hamilton being raised on St. Croix is pretty interesting. So is the fact that Columbus named the islands on his second trip in 1493 and that Sir Francis Drake sailed through here. But I think the best stories are about the slaves fighting for their freedom. It took them a long time, from the slave revolt on St. John in 1733 to emancipation in 1848, but the thing is they did it on their own. Emancipation wasn’t granted, like what England did. And a war wasn’t fought “for” them, like in the American Civil War. The people here in the Virgin Islands fought for and won their own freedom.

B: That’s very interesting. Your story, The Bowl and the Stone is about a ghost. Do you know of any other ghosts on the island?

S: I’m sure there are plenty, but being haunted by one ghost was enough for me.

B: If you could tell people one thing, what would it be?

S: *no hesitation* Don’t judge people by how they look.

B: Do you say that because of Trumps?

S: Definitely. He’s not who he appears to be.

B: Well thanks, Sam; it’s been nice talking to you.

S: Nice talking to you too. Tell everyone you know to read my book, The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands.


“Trumps, Trumps,

Crooked as he broom,

Don’t come too close,

Give he plenty of room.”

Trumps. He’s a thin, little man with a large hump on his back. The hump causes his over-large head to bend forward. I doubt he’s ever been able to lift his head above his shoulders. His left arm, permanently bent at the elbow, has a withered claw for a hand. The face he shows most people appears angry. Crooked eyebrows wiggle over small eyes. His mouth is frozen in a frown. A dozen or so thin threads of curly whiskers grow on his long chin.

People find him ugly and unfriendly. He mutters to himself as he sweeps The Park and shakes his broom made out of sticks at anyone who comes too close.

About the AuthorBish Denham

Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.

She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery, that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”

The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at

To learn more about Bish, you can visit her blog, Random Thoughts, at

She can also be found on Facebook:

And Twitter @BishDenham

Available now at Amazon and Smashwords

Contact Bish at:

Twitter: @BishDenham

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

31 thoughts on “Welcome Bish and Her Wonderful New Book, The Bowl and the Stone

  1. Hi Jacqui – I love Bish’s themes about her beloved St John’s and the Virgin Islands … fantastic to get these stories out there … to share with many others – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was my take, too. I rarely read stories about St. John’s or the Virgin Islands–maybe never–so this was refreshing. I’ve read a few authors who write about island life (like Michael Smart) and am always left with a more relaxed attitude no matter the genre.


  2. This book sounds a real treat, wonderful descriptive writing and I can just picture Trumps! What a magical place to grow up and Bish has obviously drawn great inspiration from her home island. Lovely post and thank you for the introduction to Bish and her book. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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