Birthday Cake for my Dog

Yeah! My sweet Sheltie is thirteen! We beat the heat advisory and took a pre-sun walk( a daily ritual) to celebrate. After a series of barks, sniffs and pleasant interactions with other K9s we returned home. She rested, and I baked her a birthday cake. Dog Heaven…PB and pumpkin.

I adapted a pumpkin cake, from, by adding a secret ingredient just for B…’cause it is her favorite.



  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (check ingredients to make sure Xylitol isn’t one…organic is best. I used Santa Cruz)
  • ½ cup applesauce, plain unsweetened
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin-do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 egg

I added ¼ cup shredded carrot, B’s favorite and helps make the cake less dense and adds nutrition.


            1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

             ¼ cup peanut butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking soda
  3. In a separate bowl mix together vegetable oil, peanut butter, applesauce and pumpkin puree. Add carrots (optional). Once combined mix in egg.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until merged.
  5. Pour mixture into an 8” pan that has been greased with oil.
  6. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
  7. Before removing from pan, allow to cool on a wire rack.
  8. While the cake is cooling, whip yogurt and PB. It thickens and is quite fluffy!
  9. Remove from pan, make sure completely cooled, then frost.

Two or four legged, celebrate your special day with a delicious treat!

Seeing Beyond…

Seeing Beyond…

Precognition is a topic which keenly interests me because of my genetic history: I come from a long line of “seers”.  In addition, my spouse has visions and 90% of the time they are on target. One of my sons has been double blessed (cursed) with the ability to divine events before they happen. These visions or random snapshots of inevitable providence are life altering occurrences and I question–is it possible to change the outcome, manipulate destiny?

Could we halt the dream, ignore or force the running mind broadcast to stop? More importantly when does one decide whether or not to act on the revelation? It takes a great deal of courage to admit having an ability very few people have tapped into and/or acknowledge the existence.

What if a warning is given to a person and it isn’t accurate? Should moral acuity prevail?

Precognition ( is having knowledge of the future, an event or situation, through extrasensory means. Theorists argue there may be layers or various dimensions in the universe which would allow for precognition to exist. Skeptics will contest a vision claiming it is a result of an existing future…from a different dimension?

Logic prevails: causality is a fact and it is called cause and effect. Example: If you are stabbed with a butcher knife (effect) the weapon must exist and be plunged into the person (cause). However, if a mapped-out future exists (destiny) then the order is abolished by altering the events due to precognition.

What about FREE WILL? We make choices every day. I tell my sons all the time, the choices you make lead to actions and those actions will determine the outcome of your future. Good and Bad. Your future is determined by you.

For my book Mystic Love I did a significant amount of research regarding ancient mysticism and theoretical models of reality. As a result, I question if objective reality exists or is our universe a phantasm?

If intuition is distilling information using ESP, touch, smell, taste, sound or sight, our survival depends on intuition on any plane, any universe.

80 to 85% of precognitive events concern family or friends and generally evolve around emotional circumstances or disasters, filtering future events by believing in precognition may affect you or your significant others.

Several passengers from the Titanic had a dream about the ship sinking, prior to boarding and told family members about the “dream”. One businessman didn’t get on the ship due to the third reoccurrence of the foreboding. The same with 911, family and friends of the victims had precognition experiences but shrugged aside the intuition. 

Why is it humans are uncomfortable discussing intuition?  Are dreams easier to talk about instead of claiming a vision occurred?

According to the Bible, a person with the gift of prophecy may receive messages in various ways, one of which is through visions (Ezekiel1) or dreams (Daniel7), words of knowledge or wisdom, discernment and the operation of another spiritual gift such as teaching (Paul’s epistles, Hebrews, James). Very often the prophet’s message will come in a way that requires the prophet to find the words to describe the message and may come in the form of a strong emotional impression.

On a deeper level, if we believe we choose the lessons we want to learn in this life and how we’re going to learn them, which includes very traumatic events that nearly kill us, do we take this knowledge with us in the next life?

Is precognition the next level? Will we be able to build this intuition into AI’s?

jj Keller

Fantasies with spice and humor.

Yum! Dog treats.

The intense humidity and rain continues in the mid-west, so I’ve been using my oven to make dog treats. I’ll share two recipes with you…my Sheltie gobbles both of them. Our little Riley doesn’t like the ultra healthy carrot bites. She’s more of a Snicker-Poos listed below.


1 ½ cups oat flour

1 ½ cups rice or rye flour

2 t cinnamon

1 egg

¼ cup honey (I used raw because our Sheltie has allergies and raw honey helps).

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup water

Wheat Germ

Preheat oven 375F. Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly in a large bowl. Spoon mixture out(use an ice cream scoop for consistency) and roll into balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with wheat germ, then flatten with a fork, which will also add decorative lines. Cookies can be placed close together as they don’t expand. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then store at room temperature in a loosely covered container.

Canine Carrot Cookies (Katie Merwick recipe)

2 cups carrots—boiled and pureed

2 eggs

2 Tbsp minced garlic (next time I’ll use less, this was very strong)

2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour (or rice or rye flour)

1 cup rolled oats

¼ cup wheat germ

Combine carrots, eggs, and garlic. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Roll out on a heavily floured surface and cut into bars or desired shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or to desired crunchiness. The centers will continue to harden as they cool. 

Note: Brush with egg whites before baking for a glossy finish.

There you go. Let me know what you think of the recipe. 

Warning: The Snicker-Poos smell so good people might eat them if they are not labeled.

Who me? I want more!

Cosmic Playhouse

What if we, humans, are simple docile puppets tethered by extraordinary long strings controlled by…what or whom?

Shakespeare’s As You Like It has a famous futuristic thought ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players,”.

Many theorists touch on the concept of alien interaction with key individuals throughout history and those people had been gifted with new intelligence. The History Channel’s Ancient Aliens created a documentary on the creation of man, claiming the first hominids existed 2 million years ago and due to abrupt upgrade from the primate the DNA given to us by the Gods from outer space gave us a jump start on intelligence evolution. “10,000-year-old petroglyphs link our ancient ancestors with star beings.”

UFO and Area 51 information recently released through the government sheds a new light on alien interface with Earth and Earthly Beings. In addition, increased activity with unidentified flying objects has become a daily viewing. According to Harvard scientist, New York Post and Obama, all keyed into Alien Life, we need to prepare for the future and interaction with Alien Lifeform.

However, according to Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality, our world is one huge hologram, “quite literally a kind of image or construct created, at least in part, by the human mind.” Talbot “explains many unsolved puzzles of physics, but also such mysterious occurrences as telepathy, out of body and near-death experiences, “lucid dreams, and even religious and mystical experiences such as feeling of cosmic. Unity and miraculous healings.” I’ve read this book and it is very compelling.

Ha, if we aren’t puppets on cosmic strings but merely images as Talbot believes I’d like to have some of my past reprogramed and my future designed in a certain manner…even if the Big Bang is required.

Photo by Pixabay on

If the alien string theory is correct, then beam me up ~ cut the invisible line and let me control my own destiny.

How about you? What do you believe?

A Ghost Story

Not one thing compares to dead and angry.

Each time the story is read, told, the more likely Kit will be able to rest in peace. Are you willing to aid him?

Chapter One

She blinked.

A gargantuan green and polished silver sign shot light through her windshield spot blinding her as she rounded the curve in the road. The car’s tires slid in loose gravel, forcing a rabbit from the tall grasses.

Her reflexes bypassed mental signals and she jerked the wheel, but her beautiful blue rental car veered to the right nosing straight for the ditch. Bile rose to her throat. She forced the brake pedal hard to the floorboard, closed her eyes, and prayed for a miracle.

“What do I do? What do I do?”

Rocks shot up against the underside of the car. She pulled the wheel hard to the left forcing the vehicle from the edge of the ditch and into the middle of the street, aiming for a fire engine red pickup.

Her heart thumped hard, like when she had sprinted an entire 5K disparate to time slowing. She accepted the fact her rental would hit the enormous truck. Her gut muscles clenched and the aroma of toast infiltrated her nostrils.

Oh god, she had just read an article regarding the increase of mid-thirties women having strokes and the scent of baked goods was the first sign.

Her survival instinct took hold. She pumped the brakes and somehow caught a glimpse of the truck’s driver. His hands gripped the steering wheel and the truck swerved but not enough. Metal crunched metal and the car jolted to a stop. Her body jerked forward, slamming all her weight against the force of the seatbelt. Air flew from her lungs in a painful whoosh. She took a few deep breaths until the pressure in her chest eased. Stillness and quietness as if the world stood motionless, surrounded her.

The squeal of a door opening drew her attention. She had the dim thought she should try to get out of the car; instead she leaned the side of her head on the steering wheel and with trembling hands punched the button to increase cool airflow. She stared out the window at a street sign she’d somehow managed to avoid ramming. Cyan, Indiana, population 20,888. Established 1817. 

She had arrived.

A tall, brawny guy jumped from the truck’s cab with both hands up in the air giving her a what the hell signal. “What are you doing?”

He came closer. His dark gray tee, emblazoned with Hank’s Hardware, was snug across his jacked chest and the tiny graphic of a man wielding a hammer also pointed an accusatory finger at her. The real man motioned from her to the sharp black tracks on the street, and ending where her bumper snuggled his fender.

Her focus immediately returned to his six-foot form. She loosened her death grip on the steering wheel and tasted blood inside her mouth as she blew out a harsh breath.

His quick menacing stride carried him around the car until he assumed a solid stance inches from her door. Undistinguishable color of eyes, due to their current narrowed shape defined his attitude—not happy. He rolled his hand, indicating she should lower the window. A large half-moon scar on his chin went from white to pink.

Instead of talking through an open window she should get out and face him. She took a deep breath and swiped the back of her hand across her forehead.

He motioned again, then scrubbed his fingers through the streaks of blonde in his brown hair. As an educator she’d encountered all types of students and personalities and this guy gave the impression anger didn’t motivate him, rather distress did. Maybe he thought she had been hurt, at least that was what she told herself especially considering she couldn’t relax her shoulders. Just call me the statue of calamity.

She shut down the engine, leaving the key in the ignition. The handle on the door slid beneath her slick palm. She wiped her hands on her jeans and knuckled the button to lower the window and humid August heat filtered in springing her hair into tight curls. Hot before the accident, her temp level elevated to extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully the toast scent had disappeared.

He braced his forearms on the car’s roof and ducked his head. As his gaze ran over her, volts of electricity streaked through her bloodstream. Nervous jitters multiplied tenfold under this guy’s piercing blue, heavenly-azure-blue, stare.

She released the seatbelt. Face him.

He lowered his arms and took a step away from the door.

Get out. Apologize. She wrenched the door lever and the heavy door sprung open as if operated by an unknown force. Crap! What next, Jacey Hewson? Head tucked, she slid out of the car. “Are you okay? No injuries?”

He shook his head. “Okay on my end and you?”

“I’m okay.” She swiped her palms on her jeans. Scents of grass, wheat and the cooked wood scent of river birch infiltrated her nostrils; soon she would start sneezing. She glanced into his face. His expression remained stern, but to her surprise a spark lit his gorgeous eyes. “I guess all wheel drive doesn’t include all wheel stopping?”

He didn’t laugh.

She eased the door shut. “Sorry about,” she waved to his truck, “I’ll accept responsibility for any damage.”

Up close, despite the sourpuss expression, he looked…fine. His back straightened and he worked his jaws as if trying to get a cramp out. Like most men, his gaze slid across her breasts and unlike most men she had dated, his focus centered on her face. He shook his head.

“My first collision.” She cleared her throat and managed a slight grin.

He glanced at the dent in his fender. Obviously humor could not diffuse any situation. Men love their monster trucks.

“My vehicle slipped on the gravel. You look,” hot kept banging against her mouth, instead she went with, “ill. Do you want to sit in the air-conditioning?” She touched his forearm, altruistically to find out if he had been injured, in reality she wanted to feel his sun-kissed skin. There couldn’t be any fat on the man at all. Pure solid muscles popped out from under the short sleeves of the tee and material bunched at his narrow waist. He wore jeans like a prince sported formal garments and buff colored work boots provided the foundation. Too bad this meet-cute involved a damaged vehicle.

“Damn,” he muttered and his cheeks flooded with color, nearly the tint of his truck. He didn’t appear angry anymore, rather…confused.

“Please let me take care of the damage. Here, I’ll get you my insurance card. You can contact them, Mr.?”


Crazy, pretty and one of the most tempting women he had ever seen had literally slammed into Big Red. Each time she apologized Griff’s gut jumped like he had taken a hit to his solar plexus. “Griff. No injury. Are you okay?”

“Yes, fine. A sunray reflected off the sign.” She pointed her thumb toward the glittering billboard. “Over there, the welcome from hell.”

The outspoken girl had spunk. Upon closer examination she had a round face, like a neighbor he had admired on several occasions. A narrow beam of afternoon sunlight showed traces of blonde and brown highlights through her auburn shoulder-length hair. She leaned into the car’s open window, lifting one foot off the ground and giving him a fine view of her nice round butt.

She withdrew a brown leather bag, the size of his tool satchel, and placed it on the hood. As she dug through the contents, his gazed over her, she wore a six-inch wide black belt over a long creamy blouse that showcased a small waist. The shirt’s low neck revealed tantalizing breasts, perfectly proportioned to her ample hips.

For the first time, he noted her fingers shaking as she removed a small silver case from her satchel. She bit her lip and dropped the case in her bag.

The good guy in him begged to soothe her. He shoved his hands into his pockets to prevent grabbing her into a comforting embrace.

Her shoulders slumped, and she chewed her lip.

Make her feel better. Ask her to go for coffee or a drink. His workday started at seven AM and ended around ten that night. He didn’t have time for dating, even if this scatter-brained lady made his heart race. This instant attraction for a woman was a new thing for him—he didn’t like it.

She held out a small white card, simple in design with a collection of furniture and lack of color, totally unlike the vibrant woman holding it between her dainty fingers. He took the rectangle. Their fingers brushed and a charge sparked between them. She snatched her hand back, telling him she’d felt it too. To regain his common sense, he evaluated the paper. “New to You Antiques?”

“My store. Right now the current address is my apartment. I’m working toward getting an actual storefront. The phone number won’t change, it’s a cell number.” She walked toward his truck. “Do you want to call the police and get a whatchamacallit?”

He adored her nervous chatter. Under the pressure of his fingers, the card bent in the middle. His mind urged him to give the paper back. “No, it’s okay.”

“Hum. You have a dent and my car has a nice bit of red on the bumper.” She scrubbed her hair from her face; the vibrant hue would kill him.

“Yeah, no real harm done.” Other than she made him hard as a piece of maple wood. Forget the schedule and offer her a coffee. He sighed. His nature wouldn’t allow him to forget his responsibilities. “I need to meet a client. If you’re okay,” he shoved the card into the rear pocket of his jeans, “I’ll go.”


The short word had a long drawn out ending, giving him insight into her temperament. A bead of sweat dripped along her neck into the valley leading to a place he wanted to visit. He opened her car door. Without making eye contact with him, she climbed behind the steering wheel. She shoved her satchel onto the passenger seat and strapped on her seatbelt. Her fingers tightened on the wheel and a whisper of a breath blew a curl from her pink cheek.

Say something other than nice rack or pretty hair. Torn between engaging in further conversation and making his scheduled appointment he hesitated.

She started the engine and stared at him .

Romance plus paranormal?

The combination of supernatural and love is endless!

Mystic Love

Ericka Gilmore dabbles in life and death when she tries to conjure a ghost lover. But when flesh and blood, Joe Reeves appears on her doorstep in the midst of a storm, she has to rethink her destiny.

A car accident left the former cop with the ability to foresee death. No longer willing to watch people he cares about die, Joe goes in search of a shaman to remove his “gift”. His remedy until then is to avoid all relationships. But like a lightning strike, he experiences a strong connection with Ericka. A nearby mystical ley line could be Joe’s solution if he and Ericka combine their gifts. But her secret past and his fear of seeing her death keep them at odds.

STAR for a day…

at Coffee Time Romance Facebook page and blog on January 23, 2021.

Today’s Star Author: jj Keller

I’ll be answering questions, discussing my recent release, Praline for my Rival and getting to know you. Please stop by and visit. We’ll have a nice chat and virtual steaming cup of java.

Best sellers and contest winners (finalist that is) are among my top novels. Here are a few:

Praline for my Rival

The Tarot Card

Trade Agreement

Trilogy: The Valkyrie and the Marine

            Pippa’s Rescue

            Memory of Love

Mystic Love (related to: Dead and Angry)

Dead and Angry (related to Mystic Love)

Jewel Heist

Love Hurts

Last Chance at Love


Dark Shadows (related to Dark Sun)

Dark Sun (related to Dark Shadows)


The Watcher


Melody’s Song

Shadow of the Hawk

Praline for my Rival BLURB

Jenn left the intelligence game behind to sell a delicious dessert using her family’s magical age-old recipe. As the sole ice cream vendor in the food truck arena, success is hers until the hot, new ice cream guy arrives threatening to melt her competitive nature as he heats emotions she thought were dead.

Former Navy SEAL, James “Camp” McLeod returns home wanting to bring joy to people. The perfect solution–making ice cream cones. Who doesn’t like ice cream? But what he really wants is to forget his past. Not an easy task…maybe impossible with the mysterious Jenn Beagle and her tantalizing waffle cone distracting him.
His past and her secrets may prevent the rivals from forging an alliance, but the magic spark is undeniable whenever they mix business with pleasure.


This Wild Rose Press book can be found at most e-book vendors (BarnesNoble,Amazon etc.).

Follow jj at Twitter: @jjkellerauthor Facebook: jj.keller.58                                         



LASR Best Book – For a book or story that is truly exceptional. You think about it when you’re not reading it. You wonder what happens to the characters when you finish. You would absolutely buy everything else this author had to offer. The highest praise – and reserved for only a few. 

Trade Agreement by jj keller

Follow jj at Twitter: @jjkellerauthor 

Facebook: jj.keller.58                                         


Ice cream food truck success is hers until the hot, new ice cream guy arrives threatening to melt her competitive nature as he heats emotions she thought were dead. Praline For My Rival by 


#OneScoopOrTwo #wrpbks


Fern, Long and Short Reviews

Jenn loved her ice cream food truck and enjoyed summer time the best. Camp had an ice cream truck of his own and was desperate to know how Jenn managed to make her truck so successful financially. Barely breaking even, Camp yearns to make his business a success but just doesn’t see how to could do it. Getting closer to Jenn is the logical solution, but she puts all thoughts of business and finance out of his head when she smiles at him.

I enjoyed this sweet and happy short story. I particularly was pleased that while Jenn and Camp are both fairly happy and simple people externally, they both had baggage and a past and were more complicated as they deepened their relationship. This helped them feel more realistic and relatable to me. While I adore uncomplicated and happy characters, something just clicked when they each showed a more vulnerable side and part hurts. I also really enjoyed the fact that while they each had an ice cream food truck and were in a similar area with similar clients they didn’t let this “rivalry” get in the way of friendship and exploring a deeper and more romantic connection between them. They didn’t perceive each other as annoying competitors or stealing anything, but were happy to let their friendship – and more – blossom and grow and work together. I really loved this happiness and positivity and it made the story really fresh and enjoyable to me.

There was a quick blitz of plot toward the end which I felt injected an interesting hint of surprise into the story, but I couldn’t help but feel it came a little out of left field and felt somewhat rushed to me. This didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the story and while a little puzzling certainly made the adventure of Jenn and Camp coming together and beginning their relationship have a bit more zing than the usual sweet and sugary romance.

Sweet and positive – this was a wonderful “feel good” story and one I really enjoyed. Readers looking for a summery, happy and enjoyable short read should find this totally ticks all the right boxes.

Fern Long and Short Reviews

Jenn closed her eyes and leaned forward. Camp wanted to engage but something bothered him. All the typical questions entered his mind. What if? Commitment? Take advantage? Most assuredly he’d been watching too much television. He met her halfway and placed a palm to her cheek to guide, protect, and keep her close. The kiss, delicious, and sweet, somehow felt like his soul had entangled into her very being. He outlined her lips with his tongue needing to memorize their shape, wanting to commit them to memory in case she…left, like the others who couldn’t cope with his nomadic lifestyle. 




Fan page:



GOODREADS:  url  (Jewel Heist)

Authors Den:


Wild Rose Press


YOUTUBE  (Trade Agreement)

Do you Believe?

Magic is, believing in the impossible.

Mikhail Romanasky has the gift of second sight. When her latest vision is of a kidnapped child, she reluctantly approaches the Chicago Police Force, endeavoring to prevent the crime. 

Detective Jensen Palmer doesn’t believe in the ability to foretell the future. But when his nephew is targeted, he is forced to trust his only source of information, the ever-so-attractive Amazing Mikhail. To do his job, he has to believe in the impossible. 

Neither is looking for love. Both are looking for a criminal. 

 jj Keller

Fantasies with spice and humor.

Believe by jj Keller – reviewed for TRS by LInda L.

“Believe is an awesome, I mean awesome book. I was completely drawn into the
characters of Mikhail and Jensen. The storyline grabs and kept me in
suspense until the ending. I love how Mikhail and Jensen work together, not
to mention the way their budding relationship blossoms. Their sweet
chemistry pulled me deeper into this magnificent story. 

To see more of the review:


Read the rest of the trilogy:

The Watcher

An angelic watcher and his human soul mate fight an evil force.

Museum curator, Emily Lucent, specializes in ancient Scottish swords. When she hears a Highland voice calling to her, she falls in love with the disembodied spirit seven days before her wedding.

Part of the Guardian Angel squad, Netzach is her watcher. He loves Emily desperately, and defies his deities to have her.

Her fiancé, Dr. Jon Hart, serves evil. He spouts words of love until Emily agrees to marry him. She wanted out of the engagement, he wouldn’t release her. Vengeance and anger took him to Scotland.

Will Emily survive Jon’s sharp blade and be reunited with her watcher?


Five Flags, The Watcher

     If you enjoy suspenseful, well-written stories that delve into dreams and thoughts of the supernatural–of angels, tarot cards, crystal balls, fortune tellers, and of forces of good fighting forces of evil, then you should thoroughly enjoy this fantastic read, The Watcher! Great job, jj Keller. 

Rating: FIVE FLAGS   

Reviewer: Karen 

Night Owl Romance Reviews

     Can your heart race in anticipation at the sound of a male spirit’s voice? This reviewer thought so, especially when reading the heart felt story of Emily and Netzach. How wonderfully refreshing to have an author remind us that love is eternal and also that through love anything is possible. This story contained a potpourri of magical elements guaranteed to satisfy every palette. A job well done by Ms. Keller and I truly hope that her future releases are as captivating as The Watcher. 

Score: 4 / 5

Reviewer: Marta of Night Owl Romance Reviews 

Online at: 

Melody’s Song

A love song will lead two opposing forces to bond in harmony. 

Melody Haney has an angelic singing voice, but denies the gift after her son dies. Out of obligation, when she is asked to sing to hospitalized children she agrees. Accused of stealing drugs from the oncology unit she pushes away the one man who would stand by her.

Dr. Devon Siegal, pediatric oncologist, doesn’t believe in coincidences. Even when faced with evidence that could damn her, he continues to believe in Melody’s innocence. He has faith she will tell him everything and love will prevail.


Ericka Scott rated it FIVE STARS. It was amazingIf you are looking for a sweet and heartfelt romance with a tinge of the paranormal, look no further.

Just Erotic Reviews and Believe

     Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Karen Haas

Five Stars

What a great book! I enjoyed this one from beginning to end and wanted more. Even those who don’t usually enjoy books with a paranormal theme will enjoy this one. Ms. Keller surmounted every preconceived notion I’ve ever had. I had no choice but to Believe. The character development is superlative. Mikhail and Jensen are utterly alive and on occasion, I almost felt they discussed the case with me personally; they were that realistic. Jensen’s partner, Jack, is a delightful addition to the team and adds a touch of humor to the mix. *** Believe is everything I love in a book. I recommend this one for everybody.

Karen Haas

Just Erotic Romance Reviews

For the Full Review:

The Dichotomy of a Main Character

The interesting want-to-know jump start of a book moves the reader to desire more, learn the meat of the book, the plot. The building of the conflict through the actions of the characters to propel the thread and eventually a satisfying resolution is key and only complicated original characters are able to maneuver the reader into the addiction of a well-developed intriguing story.

Touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste, strong true-to-life characters are developed using all five senses. For example, in one of my novels Trade Agreement: Her blue eyes danced as she swiped a strand of wheat-colored hair behind an ear making her rain-chime earrings tinkle. Jake was memorized and drew closer. 

“What do you want?” Georgina whispered.

A coffee scented puff rolled into his air space. A simple touch of his lips to hers would provide him an oomph of pleasure he’d desired for such a long time. 

Consistent and memorable character traits (sometimes flaws) will bring your character to life and maintain the base as the male or female participates in the events surging the plot forward to the climax and resolution or ending. By adding a trait like shuffling, lumbering, a voice quality or original mannerism you’ll enhance the life and humanity for that character. For example, in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Lenny Small is a giant bull of a man who cried over the death of a rabbit. His fidget was to stroke the soft fur of the animal.

Complex characters become deeper by their actions as described throughout the developing story. Georgina, Trade Agreement, learned to play verbal chess in order to avoid the abusive actions of her husband and later to remain hidden from him. She doubted any new friendships and hesitated to let Jake, CIA agent, to enter her carefully constructed world. Jake pulled out all of the stops to achieve communication in order to find Gee’s trafficking ex-husband. Jake understood how skittish she was around strangers, so he adapted by talking low and slow, building confidence and a level of trust and comfort.

Cynthia D’Alba creates a spine tingle using her antagonist tone of voice in Texas Hustle.

            Slade was quiet for a minute. “I know you can get the money. You owe me and I want it.” His voice lost all his fake friendliness. Now it was rough and guttural and threatening.

Try to use regional names for your characters to solidify or have an impact on the story. In Praline for my Rival Jenn and her friend, Alexa, are from the East, transplanted to Indiana and their given names fit both regions, allowing them to adapt to the environment and their past lives to remain in the shadows.

In Stalker I created Match, a given name as a result of his parent’s wild weekend, so he’s been told, and totally in contradiction to the main character’s personality.

Julie tilted her head as if evaluating the validity of the comment. Her hair glimmered under the florescent lights. She widened her stance and rested her hands at her middle. Her lips parted, then shut as if she contemplated which action to take or what to say. 

“Match,” Luke said in his exasperated tone of voice. 

“We’ll look at the locations in a moment.” Match focused on Julie. Why didn’t she say something, object to what was obviously an uncomfortable situation? 

She jerked her sunglasses off, fitted them on top of her head and then shoved her hands into her khaki’s pockets. Her mouth formed a thin, angry line. Good. Passion tempered action. Her flawless skin would be breathtaking under the camera lens. 

Yep, Match was smitten.

For this article I searched through a couple of my books to find interesting names of characters. I read the passage above from Stalker, if I’d have added a scent, the scene would have been better; use all five senses in a scene. Overall, the story is outstanding and I’m going to read it again during downtime.

Wooing the readers to identify with and understand your character can be achieved through creating emotions to fit the situation. In some scenes, a slow tear trekking along a cheek has the ability to strike emotion in a reader more than a screaming frenzy.  If the passage is developed well enough the reader might relate by thinking she/he would have done the same thing given the event. Or he/she might have felt exactly the same way as the character. Perhaps the reader couldn’t identify with that antagonist but understands the actions of the character. The ability to evoke emotions through a character in a story is the mark of a successful author, which prompts me to shamelessly pat myself on the back.

   LASR gifted me with a Best Book Award for Trade Agreement.                                  Ms. Larkspur, reviewer, said: “If she doesn’t get you with her edgy characters, she will with her thrill a minute dialogue. You get to know her players intimately and you want to because her characters are so well defined. She makes you cheer for the good guys and hate the evil one.” Read more at

To create a cast of supporting characters makes the hero/heroine more interesting and helps to unravel the complexity of the protagonist, reveal secrets, progress the plot and sometimes increases emotional depth. The cast of characters should not always agree, rather conflict keeps the story from getting stale.

In The Tarot Card, Jessica is Kerry’s best friend and tells it like it is, at least in her mind.

“So, the manly man helped you get out of the elevator. I’m not sure how the lost skirt happened. Unless that was before he helped you out.” Jessica laughed, holding her hand to her flat stomach. The dark blue knit dress showed every curve on her body. A tiny bit of envy ran through Kerry. …“You, Kerry McClure, are not immune to male charisma. You’ve fallen for a stranger never thought I’d see it in my lifetime.” Jessica waved her hand.

Kerry halted the instant retort. 

“Validations,” Jessica said. “One, you didn’t tell him your true name. Two, you asked him to remove your skirt, it’s more likely you’d rip the damn thing than let a stranger touch your person. Three, there is a glint in your eyes as you talk about him. He must have been very good-looking and down-to-earth, or you wouldn’t have given him the time of day. Next, although you think you’ve gone claustrophobic, we’ve been spelunking together, so I know if you can go two miles underground with limited light you do not have a fear of confined spaces. So, it confirms my theory you’ve fallen for a stranger.”

Jessica is a peach. One reviewer wanted to know when I’d write Jessica’s story.

Regional names are important and sometimes a character’s name belongs to a live person. A lovely lady by the name of Kerry McClure sent me a message after reading The Tarot Card. The true-to-life Kerry lives in a neighboring state. I guess it doesn’t get much more regional than that. I hope to meet Kerry McClure someday and chat about the story.

And for me, the best story has elements of humor. Characters should laugh. Laughter is always a relief from intense drama and can create a much-needed break from the darkness.

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