The Bowl and the Stone...and Jumbies

I'm still editing, but the good news is I'm on the last pass before sending my triplets off to the editor. Of course, I'm only about 25% through Book #1, so there's a way to go yet. Sigh. But I'm getting there!

Bish Denham is visiting the Tiki Hut this month to tell us about her new book, THE BOWL AND THE STONE, a Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands. How perfect is that for October - the month of Halloween!

It's just out, so go buy it today!

Bish is also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway for a copy of her new book. Some of you may recall that Rafflecopter refuses to acknowledge my existence, so I'm unable to post the signup link here. If you wish to participate, just zip over to Bish's blog, and you can enter the drawing from there.

If you buy the book AND win the Rafflecopter giveaway, you have one to keep and one to donate or give to your favorite library or child. Win/Win!

Hold onto your laptops! The jumbies are coming. . . .

Thanks for hosting me today Carol!

Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about jumbies.

A jumbie, jumbee, or jumby is a mythological spirit or demon in Caribbean folklore which has its roots in Africa. It is a generic name given to all malevolent entities. Different islands have different concepts of what jumbies are. Generally it is thought that people who were evil in life will become instruments of evil after death. Unlike ghosts that are wispy, fog-like beings, jumbies are dark and shadowy.

Traditional sayings
In the old days some parents would tell misbehaving children to watch out or, “the Jumbies will get you!”

Ways to avoid a Jumbie
You can confuse a Jumbie by wearing your clothes backwards or inside out.

Leaving a heap of sand, salt, or rice outside the door compels the Jumbie to count every grain before sunrise. You can also place 99 grains of rice, sand, or salt around your house and the Jumbie will spend the night looking for the 100th grain.

Leave a rope or thread tied with many knots outside your door. Jumbies love to untie knots and will be so busy untying the knots they’ll forget about coming into your home.

Jumbie beads, Abrus precatorius, is a plant native to India. The seeds were believed to ward off Jumbies. Because they are small and hard they were also used in percussion instruments and in jewelry. The seeds are quite poisonous. One well chewed seed can kill an adult or child.

Jumbies are mentioned in my book, The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands. In it, Sam and her best friend Nick, are being haunted but they don’t know if it’s a mischievous jumbie or tormented ghost. In this excerpt they encounter the mysterious man for the first time.

We turn at the same moment, staring down the porch which is shrouded in the deepening gloom of dusk. A huge black man is there in the blocked doorway. His body fills the space. In the darkness I can barely make out the tattered pants that are tied at his waist with a rope. His face is in shadow. As one, without a word, Nick and I slowly walk towards him. As we approach, he backs up into the thorny tangle of lime trees and disappears. We race to the blocked entrance, but we can’t get through the trees, so how could a person of his size manage it?

“Did you see that?” Nick runs back to the main entrance and the front steps, red cape flapping.

I follow, almost stepping on his heels. “None of the branches were moving!”

We race outside and around the front of the house to the lime trees, searching for whoever disappeared into them, but no one’s there.

We go back to the front steps and sit.

“How weird….” My heart is pounding. “But we both saw it, didn’t we? So it has to be real, right? This isn’t a game, is it?”

“No, it’s not a game. Maybe it was a jumbie. OOoooooOOooooo.”

I slap Nick’s arm. “Stop it, that’s not funny.”

Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.

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? 

As carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.

Purchase your copy today
and enter the ghostly tale of the Jumbies. 

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 www.http:/
She can also be found on Facebook:
Twitter @BishDenham

In order to avoid posting on Election Eve,
I'll be back here on Wednesday, November 2. See you then!


I'd had to waste good rice, so I'll pour a heap of sand outside my door to ward them off.
Those seeds are super toxic, aren't they?
Congratulations, Bish!
Bish Denham said…
They are toxic, Alex, and yet as a kid I used them in jewelry I made... I'm not sure they can used any more.
L. Diane Wolfe said…
Congrats, Bish!

One could have a lot of fun writing stories about Jumbies. They could be just about anything.
Tamara Narayan said…
I got to read a review copy of this book and it was excellent! I wonder if those Jumbie beads were the inspiration for the deadly berries in The Hunger Games?
Bish Denham said…
Diane, you right. Jumbies make for great stories. Very like Anansi the spider.
Bish Denham said…
Oh Tamara, such kind words. Thank you! I don't know about the deadly berries in The Hunger Games as I'm sure there are plenty of possibilities around the world.
Christine Rains said…
Sounds like such a fun story and perfect for this time of year! Jumbies also sound a bit like fairies with the knots and the clothes worn backward to ward them off.
Bish Denham said…
I never knew that about fairies, Christine!
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi, Y'all! Thanks for stopping by. Bish, I'm getting a copy of your book today, but I'm going to wait until after I finish this edit before I read so I can really enjoy it.
H.R. Sinclair said…
Very cool! And a wonderful excerpt too. Congrats Bish!
Bookie lust ignited. Again.
Congratulations Bish.
And is editing ever done? Good luck with yours Carol.
Jumbies - what a silly and innocent sounding word for something so terrifying. I love it. Cheers to Bish, and good luck on that editing, Carol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks for the good editing wishes! Today I needed them bad, so your timing was impeccable :)
Janie Junebug said…
Men are always disappearing like vapor right in front of me. It's because I want someone to mow the lawn. Best wishes with your editing. Gooooooo, Carol!

Mason Canyon said…
I like the idea of putting out 99 grains of rice so the Jumbies would look for the 100th. Congrats to Bish. The book sounds intriguing and the cover is great.

Hi, Carol. :-)

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours
Bish Denham said…
Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, HR.

Bookie lust! What a great way to describe the desire for more books! Thanks, Elephant's Child.

A Beer for the Shower, having grown up with the word it never occurred to me that it sounded silly, but now that you mention it, it kinda does. :)

HaHa, Janie! I think they disappear under other circumstances as well.

As a child, 99 grains of rice was one of the first things I can remember hearing about, Mason.
Kelly Steel said…
Congrats, Bish!

Great tip...wear the clothes inside out! But it's the first time I came across about Jambies.
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi, all! I'm already trying to pull out my hair with this edit. And there are two more books after this one. What would I do without coffee? Or chocolate? Or good friends like you :)
Julie Flanders said…
Congratulations to Bish!! What a cool story. I've never heard of jumbies and it's always fun to learn about mythological creatures from different cultures. I love the word jumbies even if they are scary LOL.

Hi, Carol! :)
Loni Townsend said…
It sounds fun, Bish!

I hope your editing goes well and goes quickly, Carol. :)
Bish Denham said…
Kelly, it's the small things that confuse jumbies. :)

Hang in there Carol. I know editing is a pain and I also know you'll get her done.

Julie, I'm always happy when I get to introduce something new to people!

Thanks, Loni!
VR Barkowski said…
Terrific excerpt, Bish. Congratulations! I love this time of year and all the scary stories. This morning I got dressed in the dark and didn’t realize until almost noon I had my tee-shirt on backwards. Good to know I was protected from jumbies. :)

VR Barkowski
Jemi Fraser said…
Very cool! I love the ways of keeping the house safe!

Great job on your writing, Carol!! :)
Good luck with the fine tuning, Carol! (You're gonna do great!)

Wow, that sounds like a fantastic book. I never heard of jumbies before, but it reminds me a poem I used to like as a child. "... the goblins will get you if you don't watch out!"
Carol Kilgore said…
Appreciate your happy editing wishes! Storing them up for the next rough patch I hit. Let's all stay clear of those jumbies!
DMS said…
Loved this post! So excited for Bish! I had no idea those Jumbie beads were as toxic as they are. Scary! Especially if one is trying to ward off Jumbies!

Wishing Bish the best of luck. :)
I'd hate to count out 99 grains of sand ;)
Congrats, Bish.

Enjoy your edits, Carol!
Crystal Collier said…
Very cool fact. I love it--and wearing your clothes backwards or inside out to confuse them? LOL. I'm reminded of so many other fairy type creatures and their myths. Bish, I loved the excerpt. Can't wait to read the book!
Carol Kilgore said…
I think I need to go pile up some sand outside the Tiki Hut to keep the Jumbies away. I'd hate to count 99 grains of it, too, so several piles should do the trick.

Crystal - Stay safe from Matthew.
Mark said…
I never heard that saying, but I'll totally use it now! Thanks:)
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks for stopping by, Mark.
Hi Carol! Good luck with the editing, and I'm sure the "triplets" will be bouncing off the shelves soon! Bish's book sounds fun, and I'll check under my bed for "Jumbies" before I go to sleep!


cleemckenzie said…
Bish has kept me on the trail for days! She's just about everywhere.
Carol Kilgore said…
Julie - Thanks for the support - I need it!

Lee - I know! I'm looking forward to reading her book after I finish this edit. It's will be just what I need.
Unknown said…
Jumbies! Despite the cuteness of the name, you did a good job creeping me out with all the superstitions and with the brilliant excerpt. Wishing you oodles of luck with your release, Bish!!

Good luck with the editor and getting more written on your WIP, Carol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks, Lexa! You, too :)
Crystal Collier said…
(Popping back in to report that I heeded your advice and stayed safe during Matthew. Didn't even lose power. How cool is that?)
Carol Kilgore said…
Awesome, Crystal! Glad all is well :)
Congrats Bish!
Some cool info and a wonderful excerpt.
Hello Carol! *waving*
Carol Kilgore said…
Waving back, Michelle :)
Melissa said…
What a fun book!
Congratulations, Bish. :)

Hi, Carol. Miss you.
Carol Kilgore said…
Melissa - Gotta get these books done!
Kelly Steel said…
Wonderful excerpt. Congrats, Bish!
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. Happy Weekend!
LD Masterson said…
Congratulations, Bish. I love all the ways you can avoid a jumbie, especially wearing your clothes backwards or inside out.
Carol Kilgore said…
Great seeing you out and about in blogdom, Linda!
Hello, Carol and Bish! Congratulations, Bish :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi, Keith! Hope you're enjoying autumn in Germany :)