Resolutions: Four Words

Four word Resolutions: Debunked
Weight
Exercise
Improvement
Friendship

 

At the beginning of the New Year I typically create resolutions…as most people do. Historically, I’ve found four easy enough to manage for an entire year.

After age 30 I added “lose weight” to the resolution list. As the metabolism slows the exercise must increase in order to maintain balance or eat less…but that’s a joke, as I enjoy cooking and especially savoring good food. So resolution number one…discredited.

Consistently exercise: the easiest of the four as I enjoy making my body stronger. I’ve discovered the importance of health, but time and motivation counteract my good intentions.

Help my children improve their lives: the most difficult because how does a mother know when to cease guiding and let the child make his or her own way. Making mistakes is a powerful learning tool. In retrospect I wished I had taught, “LISTENING” and “CONSEQUENCES” to a greater degree.

My third resolution is to be a better friend. As I grow more mature I learn the value of friendships and how harmony in one’s life evolves around health, wellness, family and friendship. However, friendship seem to mock me as we’ve moved to a larger city and I’ve found social groups are diverse and harder to infiltrate. I pledge to be a better friend to those I have—even if it’s via email and text.

Now, seventeen days into the year 2016 I’m debunking the four resolutions set. I refuse to let fear of the unknown dictate my thoughts, and I accept the reality of life…it ends without notice. I’m going to laugh, love and live so I’m going to embrace each day as if it is, indeed, the last.

How about you? Do you make resolutions? Stick to them?
Are you going to fling aside rules and cherish friends, family and time?

http://www.jj-keller.com
Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

WORDPRESS https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

Last Chance at Love

The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love&
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
All rights reserved.

121 characters: Star-crossed #lovers: find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart? #LastChanceatLove @jjkellerauthor

I just finished reading Last Chance at Love. I truly enjoyed it.
I loved that sexy cupid at the start, the gorgeous art work Sam and Alyson made, Tina’s growing understanding, and the depth of the emotion as the story built to resolution. A feel good factor of 10.
Daisy Banks
A Gentleman’s Folly
Marked for Magic
Christmas Carols

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Last-Chance-at-Love-Keller-ebook/dp/B015VV68DA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443629710&sr=8-1&keywords=Last+Chance+at+Love+by+jj+Keller

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lastchanceatlove-1897353-349.html

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/last-chance-at-love-3

Cobblestone Press http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/lastchance.htm

BN-Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-chance-at-love-jj-keller/1122751405?ean=2940151215930

 

COMING SOON: STALKER

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Believe…do you?

Interiew with a hunk!

I’m trying something different with this blog. An author friend, Kathleen Grieve, is going to interview Jensen Palmer, Chicago Police Force Detective, star and hero in Believe. He also reappears in Melody’s Song, the third in the series. Kathleen wrote a terrific medical romance, The Doctor’s Deception.

I’ve posted the book cover to the side, so you can see what a hunky man he is…also, you can read an excerpt by visiting my website, http://www.jj-keller.com. or at Cobblestone Press

Picture this setting: Jensen’s mansion, outside city limits, has a country feel with trees and plants surrounding the estate. We are in the conservatory, which has scrumptious beige, brown and cream Italian slate floor. The furniture is bamboo, with bright printed tropical print cushions. A silver serving tray with a carafe of water, a bowl of lemon wedges, and a plate of cinnamon bread, his favorite according to Mikhail, rests on the glass coffee table top. Kathleen has a seven inch notebook PC and Jensen has a PDA that he’s continually punching buttons. Introductions have been made, so I’ll sit quietly in the corner and Kathleen will take over, from her point of view.

Kathleen opens the dialogue: Mr. Palmer, how long have you been with the CPD?

Mr. Palmer: Please call me Jensen. I’ve been with the CPD for ten years, and half of that as a detective.

Kathleen: (Nods.) Yes, I’d love to. Jensen, how do you feel about co-starring in Believe?

Jensen: My role progressed quickly and the action was rapid fire. My co-star is well, as you can see, beautiful and intelligent. (He points into another room, where Mikhail is tinkling piano keys with their son, Jack. She is a attractive woman, blond hair, lean body, pretty face. Mental note: keep jealousy at bay.)

Kathleen: How did you first feel about your co-star, Mikhail?

Jensen: I was instantly drawn to her. She is gorgeous. After I got past the fact that she was a fortune teller, let’s say I’ve adjusted to her abilities, and now…well you can see how it all turned out.

Kathleen: At the end of Believe you hadn’t caught the leader of the Dark Angels. Do you catch her in Melody’s Song?

Jensen: I guess your audience will have to read it to find out. (Wink).

Kathleen: (I couldn’t keep the excitement out of my voice.) Will there be another book in this series?

Jensen: (He smiles, that sexy slight lifting of his mouth. His blue-gray eyes twinkle and my PC slips a little on my lap.) I believe there may be another novel. It certainly depends on how well the readers respond to Melody’s Song. I wouldn’t mind being the hero again.

Kathleen: Mikhail had some trials to get past in Believe, and you of course, hero that you are, saved her. How did it make you feel to see her in such jeopardy?

Jensen: (He glances toward Mikhail, she glances up and smiles. The energy between the two was so sharp and intense I thought my tiny PC would melt all of its circuit’s right then.) The process of loving another being changes a person’s perspective. I don’t look at an object or situation the same today, as I would have prior to loving Mikhail. She is a strong independent woman, she’ll always be so, (I think he mumbled “much to my dismay” under his breath), so when she was in a tight situation it was imperative for me to act. There hadn’t been true thinking or plotting involved. I simply had to get her free and to safety. I’d give my life in exchange for hers.

Kathleen: (I squirmed in my seat a little. Hot. Hot. Hot.) How did you feel about your author?

Jensen: jj’s great. She developed my character in a logical and sensitive fashion. I think she could have added a few more sex scenes for Mikhail and me. (He winks and I’m drawn to the little groove under his lip. Perfect set of lips. Perfectly matched set of lips. Calm down…)

Kathleen: Did you have any problems with your author?

Jensen: I would have liked to have fired my gun more. (He smiled at jj.) I voiced this before she wrote Melody’s Song.

Kathleen: So, there’s gun play in Melody’s Song?

Jensen: He shrugged his broad shoulders, encased in a dark blue Armani suit, and I completely lost my train of thought.

Kathleen: Ah, how easy is jj to work with?

Jensen: She’s very considerate. I know Sable, from Cobblestone-Press, loves her work.
Kathleen: We have ten minutes left. Do you want to talk about your role in Melody’s Song, which is being released in the spring of 2008, right?

Jensen: In Melody’s Song I’ve tracked down some of the drugs being used on the kidnapped children in Believe. Several thefts occurred in a local hospital. The star, Devon Siegal, is a pediatric oncologist. He helps me track who’s stealing the drugs. Unfortunate for him, the evidence points to his love interest, Melody Haney. She’s a waitress and opera singer. The girl has a fabulous voice. The release date is in April, I think.

Kathleen: From what you’re telling me you’re the hero in this book too? (He shot me a look that seriously made me squirm. His dreamy eyes, adorable smile and quick wit had won me over.)

Mikhail laughed from the other room. Jensen glanced at her. She shouted, “Sorry for the interruption.”

(Damn, I forgot she could read minds. Clear the mind. Erase all lustful thoughts.)

Jensen: Devon’s the real hero of Melody’s Song. I just get to use my Glock! (He tapped his gun lodged inside a shoulder holster strap. And then, he chuckled.) And of course I protect my constantly interfering wife.

Mikhail laughed louder, jj snickered, and a sweet youthful laugh chimed through the air.

Kathleen: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with me today. Perhaps I can return once Melody’s Song has been released and talk with you again? (I powered down and stowed my PC in my oversized handbag.)

Jensen rose from his chair, held out his strong masculine hand. I quickly put my palm against his and he assisted me from the sofa. I couldn’t break eye contact with this fabulous hero and was reluctant to let go of the connection.

Finally, jj coughed and I released the hunk’s hand and meandered toward his equally handsome son and beautiful wife.

End of Interview.

Thanks, Kathleen!
Believe

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, his has to believe in the impossible.

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

Will they find love along the way?

 
All rights reserved.

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Daisy Banks Free Holiday Read

Hi all, popping in to share the great news….my friend Daisy Banks is sharing a tale to excite and give you Holiday cheer….check it out.

https://daisybanks.wordpress.com

This year as a Christmas gift I have a free read to offer you. Christmas is a time for magic and the telling of tales to lift the heart. I hope this little story will please.

Below is  the first chapter. If you’d like to read the rest simply leave your email address in a comment and I’ll be happy to send the story to you.

This is a sticky post and other posts appear beneath it.

BanksDaisy KeepTheFireBurning

 

Chapter 1

Not a mushroom in sight!
Cora tutted at the lack of fungi and continued her search. She couldn’t return to her aunt’s cottage with nothing but a few herbs. This autumn season seemed all wrong, too dry for mushrooms even here in the usually damp forest. Some of the leaves clinging to the boughs had already turned to shades of gold and bronze and rattled crisply. All of it seemed too soon.
The ground quivered. Judders shook her, and the basket tipped, spilling its contents. She dropped onto her knees, scrambling to pick up the herbs, but fell forward as the turf rippled and shifted.
Earth tremor.
She closed her eyes. “Don’t let me die today.” A thunderous growl rumbled beneath her.
Run!
She tried to stand but stooped again, for around her, like blades of grass in the wind, tall trees wavered. Several fell onto their neighbors with terrible groans. One lush evergreen missed those about it and thudded to the floor with a mighty crash.
Cora huddled into a small ball with her hands over her ears and prayed.

* * * *

Prince Randolph of Merin grasped the nearest boulder at the edge of the subterranean pool and hauled himself out of the warm water. A deep moan came from the roof above. Part of the cavern’s ceiling gave way and spewed rocks into the far side of the iridescent blue pool.
The light from the glimmering water dimmed as ripples raced over the surface. He strode across the stones to reach the bundle of his clothes. His foot slipped on a mossy patch on the rock and his back foot sank to his knee into the gap between two boulders. After three painful attempts to pull free, he paused at another low rumble near where he stood.
Stuck.
The small gravelly patch of sand and his pile of clothes slowly descended into a sink hole. Twirling like dancers, his boots disappeared last.
Each time he tried to move, a merciless weight ground hard against his flesh.
His stomach lurched as the rock beneath his front foot tilted and his precarious position grew more uncomfortable. He balanced with his leg stretched farther to keep his place on the unsteady boulder. If either of the rocks tipped much more, the impact on future generations of the royal house of Merin would be serious, for he’d be split in two.
The cold air chilled his skin.
A gentle tinkle of pebbles replaced the crashes from earlier. He breathed a sigh. The earth movement seemed over. Shivers raced down his back as he stared around in the wavering light from the water.
Trapped.
None of his attendants knew where he’d ridden this morning. Why had he been so determined to come here alone? They might take days to discover his horse tethered outside the entrance to the tunnel. That was if Starlight, poor beast, hadn’t fled or been killed by the earthquake. The palace and all those in it might well have been swallowed whole in the tremor.
He grinned. The thought of his Uncle Owen, presently guardian and protector of the kingdom, devoured by the might of the earth was enough to bring about a sense of deep pleasure. However, if Owen were still alive, he’d probably not make much effort to discover what had happened to the one person who would end his rule in four months and three days’ time.
I’ve played right into his hands. Given half a chance, Owen will make sure I’m never found.
The need to get out rose in a volcanic wave and he yelled at the top of his voice. “Help!”
The sound echoed. More pebbles fell into the pool. He shouted again.

* * * *

Cora rose to her knees. Trees, tipsy as guardsmen after a vat of ale, lay across the tops of others on each side of the glade. Creaks and groans from tortured wood hurt her ears. The birds had fled. She wished she could fly too. Her journey home would take much of what was left of the day and be far more perilous than the walk here.
She grabbed her basket, scooped up all the spilled herbs and rose. Her knees still shook, but the ground remained steady. She edged away from the forest path and moved toward the trail leading back along the Ridgeway toward her village.
She rarely used the hillside pathway for fear of robbers. However, with the other littered by fallen trees and this one looking much clearer, she’d no choice.
The raw squeals of a horse sent a shiver through her. The concern for the screeching animal drew her back toward a glade in the trees. Wild-eyed, the creature stamped and struggled against reins tethering it to a branch.
Poor thing. Who might have left it here? Only a nobleman or a robber would have such a mount. There seemed to be no one around though. She set her basket down and made comforting low sing-song noises to calm the horse as she approached. Beyond anything but fear, the animal reared screeching, and threatened her with metal shod feet.
A different sound reached her as she backed away from the horse. A cry? A word?
Yes. Someone called for help. She listened harder and tried to guess the direction. Parting the dark shrubs, she discovered the mouth of a tunnel into the spine of the Ridgeway. Another cry came again from the depths. This had to be the magic place whispered about by the villagers. A forbidden place of wonder and terror, but she must go inside.

 https://daisybanks.wordpress.com

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Last Chance at Love

Greetings! I’m off to have outpatient surgery on Monday, so for this blog I’m going to share a bit about my new release, Last Chance at Love.

Last Chance at Love

When Alyson McLeod returns to Jove, she never expects her high school sweetheart to knock on her front door. Sam’s arrival stirs memories she thought she’d banished long ago and awakens a fiery need no other man has been able to conjure.

The phoenix tattoo on Sam Crown’s arm immortalizes the woman he loved—and lost—long ago. Alyson’s return should excite him, but instead, she awakens a guilt he’s not sure even love can overcome.

Can these star-crossed lovers finally find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart forever?

http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/jjkeller.htm

EXCERPT:

Alyson swung her attention from her laptop to the handyman bent over the kitchen cabinet. Chris’ powerful, flawless arms enabled him to wield the screw gun like a pro, and durr, durr, durr added a pleasant melody to the room.

The maple cabinets had been an impulse purchase, but she rather liked how the lighter color made the space appear larger. A bonus to having her kitchen updated, Chris modeled the hero in her current book. His white T-shirt pulled taut across his broad shoulders as he stretched to secure a bolt from a toolbox a foot away.

Jeans sheathed his tight, perfectly formed rear. His thick thighs enabled Chris to lift heavy pieces of lumber while her hero’s enabled him to hold the heroine against the wall during a hot, sexy, clandestine encounter. Chris’ dark blond hair, styled in a buzz cut, accentuated his sharp cheekbones and granite jawline. Her hero had light brown hair that touched the tips of his ears. However, the cheekbones and stubborn jaw…the same.

In a lot of ways, Chris reminded her of Sam Crown, her boyfriend at Chilton Academy nearly thirty years ago. Sam had been the love of her life, the man who’d created a cancer in her heart no other man had been able to cure. Returning to her hometown had stirred memories of their ill-fated romance, and she’d embedded some of those details into her book. In doing so, in giving fictitious-Sam and fictitious-her a happy ending, maybe she could finally eradicate him from her thoughts.

She scooted her chair away from the dining table and evaluated the renovations. The noise and scenery inspired her. She wouldn’t leave the area despite the strong odors of glue and dust. She had to think of another job to keep her handyman on site after the current project ended on Friday. At least long enough for her to write twenty thousand more words. She hated the thought of her “hero” leaving before her book was finished.

The whirring of the motorized tool ended, and wood particles flew into her nostrils. A couple sneezes had her frantically searching for the napkin she’d left amongst the clutter on the table.

“Ms. McLeod?” Chris’ resonant voice matched his six-and-a-half-foot frame. The scent of man-sweat radiated from him, so unlike anything she’d become accustomed to over the course of her marriage. Jasper, her ex-husband, was the type of man to hire people to shift a piece of paper from one side of the desk to the other, so she’d rarely seen him perspire. Not even after he’d played polo, but he’d sure been sweaty when she’d found him naked in their marital bed with his assistant.

She looked away from the carpenter’s sculpted upper torso, and he chuckled, his tools clanking and tingling. Oops. She hadn’t looked away quickly enough.

She lowered her gaze to the keyboard. “Yes, I’m sorry, Mr.—”

“Please, call me Chris.” He nodded to her laptop. “How’s the book coming?”

She glanced into his eyes. The blue-grays were so reminiscent of Sam’s. She had to get a grip on her overactive imagination. Would she see Sam’s face in everyone, all over town? One of her high school friends had told her Sam moved away, hadn’t been seen since the funeral.

“Ma’am?”

“Sorry. Great. Good. The best one yet.”

Chris looped a thumb through a hanging hoop on his leather utility belt. “I’ll have a substitute here tomorrow. My son has a doctor’s appointment, and I need to check on another project. Sam will manage the installation of the countertop. It’s a simple task. He’ll arrive around ten in the morning.”

“No problem.” Good God, even her old flame’s name came into play.

“The sub’s my dad.” At the mention of his father, pride splashed across his roughened features. “He’s a professor.”

“Architecture or construction?”

“He’s a math professor at West Indiana State University. He’s been teaching a reduced load of classes this semester and going stir crazy with nothing to do. This project came at the perfect time.”

She wanted to jot down notes about mannerisms. Some of his phrasing was priceless. She lifted scattered papers and searched for an ink pen. Finding one, she slid a glance at him, put ballpoint to notepad and quickly scribbled to get the ink to infuse.

“I understand that happens,” she mumbled. “Maybe he needs a hobby?”

Wiping his hands on a red, thin square towel, he smiled and showed off his pearly whites. “Oh yeah, a hobby would be good.” He pointed to her computer, the cloth waving like a banner. “Is that the type of book you write? Hobbies?”

Heat infused her cheeks. She’d just finished a sex scene for the vamp character. Nope, not a book about typical hobbies. “Not exactly. I—”

The ding of a cellphone sounded and a light shone through his jeans pocket. He dug the phone out and glanced at it. “Excuse me. I need to take this.”

The younger man swiped a finger across the screen, and after a few mumbled comments, glanced at her as he took a few steps into the corridor. He wouldn’t have privacy in the Echo Wall hallway.

Alyson put the pad of paper in front of her keyboard and focused on the computer screen.

“Dad, Mrs. Clydesdale called and said you ditched her.” He paused.

She leaned forward, wanting to know more. Might be useful information for her book.

“Yes, she does look like her name, but you can’t keep dating women one time and…” Chris exhaled. “No, I don’t want to hear about that aspect of your life. I know. I’ll meet you at the usual place. Someday maybe we could meet at a coffee shop instead. Yeah, I miss her too. I’ll be on time.”

Alyson choked back a chuckle and lowered her laptop’s screen. In her own style of shorthand, she jotted notes. Busy trying to catch up from the previous interaction, she failed to hear more of the conversation. Usually, she couldn’t care less about other people’s phone discussions, but for some reason, the dialogue between Chris and his father had piqued her interest.

“Time to leave?” she asked when he returned.

“Yeah, something came up with my dad.” He tucked his phone back inside his pocket.

She smiled, hoping to reassure him she hadn’t overheard his conversation, at least not all of it. “I understand about complicated families.”

He nodded. “Oh, I forgot you’re a widow too, so you understand. Even after a year and a half my father’s adapting. He and my mother were really tight.” Chris packed up his tools. He slid screwdrivers into the loops of his utility belt and plunked heavier items into the metal toolbox.

She didn’t want to correct him about her single status. Perhaps her brother, Grayson, had declared her a widow. He’d arranged the construction company. Maybe Grayson didn’t want his friends to find out she’d left her husband. Divorcees had their own set of barriers and stigmas.

She dreaded the questions, the ones her friends would ask. From her experience, people were either predominately nosy or, the polar opposite, caring.

Chris looked barely twenty years of age, too young to lose a parent. Then again, maybe his parents had him later in life.

He returned to the table. Tools were no longer distributed throughout the kitchen. A sudden sense of loss snatched the warmth from her.

She slid the notepad forward. “I’m sorry about your mother. How did she pass?”

Chris hoisted his toolkit. “Cancer. She was an amazing woman.” His cell phone dinged. “Dad—Sam—will be here tomorrow around ten to do prep work and accept the delivery of the countertops.” He nodded toward the panel truck in the driveway, visible through the kitchen window. On the side, “Stiles Construction and Remodeling” was written in bold black letters over a sun rising on a blue sky. A ladder sat on top. “But we’ve remodeled a couple of kitchens, so he has skills.”

“Okay, thanks. I look forward to meeting Sam.” She stood, wishing she’d made more notes about the way Chris talked, some of the charming language he’d used and his magnificent facial expressions, but she always had next time.

* * * * *

The next day, Alyson tossed clothing on her king-sized bed. She’d collected a lot of designer eveningwear during her ten years of marriage. She selected a dress for the upcoming Wish Upon a Star charity event but added most of her gowns to the donation pile. She probably wouldn’t use formal attire as often now that Jasper was no longer dragging her to one black-tie affair after another.

With a smaller closet, she should have thinned out the older garments before moving back to Indiana. She’d donate the unused clothing to a local woman’s shelter. From the height of the pile, she’d need a truck to transport them. Most of the dresses could be converted into casual wear or business attire if their new owners were so inclined.

Dressed in her camisole and panties, she tried on summer outfits to determine if she needed new sizes. She didn’t want to think her hips had expanded or back fat had appeared. As a realist, she understood changes occurred in a woman’s body as she aged, but she didn’t want to admit she couldn’t keep a husband or that she’d gained weight in all the wrong places.

A knock sounded on the front door.

She glanced at the oversized medallion clock. Nine. Chris’ dad wasn’t due to arrive for another hour.

Her sleek emerald robe hung off the edge of a beige barrel table. She grabbed it and slid her arms into the sleeves as she scurried down the hallway and into the dining room. She bypassed the security panel and eased the white plantation shutter open to peer outside.

Her heart thudded to a stop. “Sam,” she whispered, not truly believing what she was seeing.

The man on the porch was Sam. Her Sam. The love she’d never been able to forget. The one who’d broken her heart over two decades earlier.

Last Chance at Love

http://www.jj-keller.com

Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

WORDPRESS https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

BLOGSPOT http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

Last Chance at Love 

The Valkyrie and the MarinePippa’s RescueMemory of Love&

Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint. 

All rights reserved.LatChanceAtLove-squarebutton

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Book Signing in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Yep. I’ve packed my bags and heading out to sign books. I invite all my fans to stop by and chat. I’m giving away free stuff. 1-4 today (Nov 14, 2015) in Fort Wayne at http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/home/explore/locations/mainTwitter

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How important is a story title?

Is a title of the book more important than the cover?

Would you consider reading The Mud Dungeon with a shirtless man on the cover? What would be the draw? The man or the idea something existed in a dungeon made of mud?

What about a title, The Killing Hotel with a basket of red roses on the cover? Do they even go together?

What is your idea of a good title for a story about second chances? Here is the blurb:

When Alyson McLeod returns to Jove, she never expects her high school sweetheart to knock on her front door. Sam’s arrival stirs memories she thought she’d banished long ago and awakens a fiery need no other man has been able to conjure.

The phoenix tattoo on Sam Crown’s arm immortalizes the woman he loved—and lost—long ago. Alyson’s return should excite him, but instead, she awakens a guilt he’s not sure even love can overcome.

Can these star-crossed lovers finally find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart forever?

I titled the book Second Chances because the couple has a second chance at renewing a love and the “messenger in training” had a second chance at getting the black off her soul. However, there is a freighter full of books with this title. My own publisher has a book in their store with this label.

So my editor and I came up with a list of possible name selections.

Here is the excerpt of Last Chance at Love for you, it’ll give you a better idea of what we were considering.

EXCERPT:

Alyson swung her attention from her laptop to the handyman bent over the kitchen cabinet. Chris’ powerful, flawless arms enabled him to wield the screw gun like a pro, and durr, durr, durr added a pleasant melody to the room.

The maple cabinets had been an impulse purchase, but she rather liked how the lighter color made the space appear larger. A bonus to having her kitchen updated, Chris modeled the hero in her current book. His white T-shirt pulled taut across his broad shoulders as he stretched to secure a bolt from a toolbox a foot away.

Jeans sheathed his tight, perfectly formed rear. His thick thighs enabled Chris to lift heavy pieces of lumber while her hero’s enabled him to hold the heroine against the wall during a hot, sexy, clandestine encounter. Chris’ dark blond hair, styled in a buzz cut, accentuated his sharp cheekbones and granite jawline. Her hero had light brown hair that touched the tips of his ears. However, the cheekbones and stubborn jaw…the same.

In a lot of ways, Chris reminded her of Sam Crown, her boyfriend at Chilton Academy nearly thirty years ago. Sam had been the love of her life, the man who’d created a cancer in her heart no other man had been able to cure. Returning to her hometown had stirred memories of their ill-fated romance, and she’d embedded some of those details into her book. In doing so, in giving fictitious-Sam and fictitious-her a happy ending, maybe she could finally eradicate him from her thoughts.

She scooted her chair away from the dining table and evaluated the renovations. The noise and scenery inspired her. She wouldn’t leave the area despite the strong odors of glue and dust. She had to think of another job to keep her handyman on site after the current project ended on Friday. At least long enough for her to write twenty thousand more words. She hated the thought of her “hero” leaving before her book was finished.

The whirring of the motorized tool ended, and wood particles flew into her nostrils. A couple sneezes had her frantically searching for the napkin she’d left amongst the clutter on the table.

“Ms. McLeod?” Chris’ resonant voice matched his six-and-a-half-foot frame. The scent of man-sweat radiated from him, so unlike anything she’d become accustomed to over the course of her marriage. Jasper, her ex-husband, was the type of man to hire people to shift a piece of paper from one side of the desk to the other, so she’d rarely seen him perspire. Not even after he’d played polo, but he’d sure been sweaty when she’d found him naked in their marital bed with his assistant.

She looked away from the carpenter’s sculpted upper torso, and he chuckled, his tools clanking and tingling. Oops. She hadn’t looked away quickly enough.

She lowered her gaze to the keyboard. “Yes, I’m sorry, Mr.—”

“Please, call me Chris.” He nodded to her laptop. “How’s the book coming?”

She glanced into his eyes. The blue-grays were so reminiscent of Sam’s. She had to get a grip on her overactive imagination. Would she see Sam’s face in everyone, all over town? One of her high school friends had told her Sam moved away, hadn’t been seen since the funeral.

“Ma’am?”

“Sorry. Great. Good. The best one yet.”

Chris looped a thumb through a hanging hoop on his leather utility belt. “I’ll have a substitute here tomorrow. My son has a doctor’s appointment, and I need to check on another project. Sam will manage the installation of the countertop. It’s a simple task. He’ll arrive around ten in the morning.”

“No problem.” Good God, even her old flame’s name came into play.

“The sub’s my dad.” At the mention of his father, pride splashed across his roughened features. “He’s a professor.”

“Architecture or construction?”

“He’s a math professor at West Indiana State University. He’s been teaching a reduced load of classes this semester and going stir crazy with nothing to do. This project came at the perfect time.”

She wanted to jot down notes about mannerisms. Some of his phrasing was priceless. She lifted scattered papers and searched for an ink pen. Finding one, she slid a glance at him, put ballpoint to notepad and quickly scribbled to get the ink to infuse.

“I understand that happens,” she mumbled. “Maybe he needs a hobby?”

Wiping his hands on a red, thin square towel, he smiled and showed off his pearly whites. “Oh yeah, a hobby would be good.” He pointed to her computer, the cloth waving like a banner. “Is that the type of book you write? Hobbies?”

Heat infused her cheeks. She’d just finished a sex scene for the vamp character. Nope, not a book about typical hobbies. “Not exactly. I—”

The ding of a cellphone sounded and a light shone through his jeans pocket. He dug the phone out and glanced at it. “Excuse me. I need to take this.”

The younger man swiped a finger across the screen, and after a few mumbled comments, glanced at her as he took a few steps into the corridor. He wouldn’t have privacy in the Echo Wall hallway.

Alyson put the pad of paper in front of her keyboard and focused on the computer screen.

“Dad, Mrs. Clydesdale called and said you ditched her.” He paused.

She leaned forward, wanting to know more. Might be useful information for her book.

“Yes, she does look like her name, but you can’t keep dating women one time and…” Chris exhaled. “No, I don’t want to hear about that aspect of your life. I know. I’ll meet you at the usual place. Someday maybe we could meet at a coffee shop instead. Yeah, I miss her too. I’ll be on time.”

Alyson choked back a chuckle and lowered her laptop’s screen. In her own style of shorthand, she jotted notes. Busy trying to catch up from the previous interaction, she failed to hear more of the conversation. Usually, she couldn’t care less about other people’s phone discussions, but for some reason, the dialogue between Chris and his father had piqued her interest.

“Time to leave?” she asked when he returned.

“Yeah, something came up with my dad.” He tucked his phone back inside his pocket.

She smiled, hoping to reassure him she hadn’t overheard his conversation, at least not all of it. “I understand about complicated families.”

He nodded. “Oh, I forgot you’re a widow too, so you understand. Even after a year and a half my father’s adapting. He and my mother were really tight.” Chris packed up his tools. He slid screwdrivers into the loops of his utility belt and plunked heavier items into the metal toolbox.

She didn’t want to correct him about her single status. Perhaps her brother, Grayson, had declared her a widow. He’d arranged the construction company. Maybe Grayson didn’t want his friends to find out she’d left her husband. Divorcees had their own set of barriers and stigmas.

She dreaded the questions, the ones her friends would ask. From her experience, people were either predominately nosy or, the polar opposite, caring.

Chris looked barely twenty years of age, too young to lose a parent. Then again, maybe his parents had him later in life.

He returned to the table. Tools were no longer distributed throughout the kitchen. A sudden sense of loss snatched the warmth from her.

She slid the notepad forward. “I’m sorry about your mother. How did she pass?”

Chris hoisted his toolkit. “Cancer. She was an amazing woman.” His cell phone dinged. “Dad—Sam—will be here tomorrow around ten to do prep work and accept the delivery of the countertops.” He nodded toward the panel truck in the driveway, visible through the kitchen window. On the side, “Stiles Construction and Remodeling” was written in bold black letters over a sun rising on a blue sky. A ladder sat on top. “But we’ve remodeled a couple of kitchens, so he has skills.”

“Okay, thanks. I look forward to meeting Sam.” She stood, wishing she’d made more notes about the way Chris talked, some of the charming language he’d used and his magnificent facial expressions, but she always had next time.

* * * * *

The next day, Alyson tossed clothing on her king-sized bed. She’d collected a lot of designer eveningwear during her ten years of marriage. She selected a dress for the upcoming Wish Upon a Star charity event but added most of her gowns to the donation pile. She probably wouldn’t use formal attire as often now that Jasper was no longer dragging her to one black-tie affair after another.

With a smaller closet, she should have thinned out the older garments before moving back to Indiana. She’d donate the unused clothing to a local woman’s shelter. From the height of the pile, she’d need a truck to transport them. Most of the dresses could be converted into casual wear or business attire if their new owners were so inclined.

Dressed in her camisole and panties, she tried on summer outfits to determine if she needed new sizes. She didn’t want to think her hips had expanded or back fat had appeared. As a realist, she understood changes occurred in a woman’s body as she aged, but she didn’t want to admit she couldn’t keep a husband or that she’d gained weight in all the wrong places.

A knock sounded on the front door.

She glanced at the oversized medallion clock. Nine. Chris’ dad wasn’t due to arrive for another hour.

Her sleek emerald robe hung off the edge of a beige barrel table. She grabbed it and slid her arms into the sleeves as she scurried down the hallway and into the dining room. She bypassed the security panel and eased the white plantation shutter open to peer outside.

Her heart thudded to a stop. “Sam,” she whispered, not truly believing what she was seeing.

The man on the porch was Sam. Her Sam. The love she’d never been able to forget. The one–who’d broken her heart over two decades earlier.

You don’t meet Christina in the excerpt. She’s learning how to cleanse her soul in heaven. Yeah, she was a bad girl and oh so full of character. I can’t wait for you to meet her.

Considering the characters, the plot, and the setting we came up with the title Last Chance at Love, because it might very well be the last chance for Sam and Alyson to rekindle their romance.

Let me know what you think about the title…and the story.

Here’s the cover. Do you think it goes along with the title?

LatChanceAtLove-300x454

Where to buy:

Last Chance at Love

http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/jjkeller.htm

All Romance Ebooks

Amazon

Kobo

Cobblestone Press Inc.

BN-Nook

http://www.jj-keller.com

Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

WORDPRESS https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

BLOGSPOT http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

Last Chance at Love October 2015

 The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love&

Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint. 

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Last Chance at Love

LatChanceAtLove-150x225

When Alyson McLeod returns to Jove, she never expects her high school sweetheart to knock on her front door. Sam’s arrival stirs memories she thought she’d banished long ago and awakens a fiery need no other man has been able to conjure.

The phoenix tattoo on Sam Crown’s arm immortalizes the woman he loved—and lost—long ago. Alyson’s return should excite him, but instead, she awakens a guilt he’s not sure even love can overcome.

Can these star-crossed lovers finally find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart forever?

All Romance Ebooks

Amazon

Kobo

Cobblestone Press Inc.

iBookstore

Bookstrand

BN-Nook

EXCERPT:

Alyson swung her attention from her laptop to the handyman bent over the kitchen cabinet. Chris’ powerful, flawless arms enabled him to wield the screw gun like a pro, and durr, durr, durr added a pleasant melody to the room.

The maple cabinets had been an impulse purchase, but she rather liked how the lighter color made the space appear larger. A bonus to having her kitchen updated, Chris modeled the hero in her current book. His white T-shirt pulled taut across his broad shoulders as he stretched to secure a bolt from a toolbox a foot away.

Jeans sheathed his tight, perfectly formed rear. His thick thighs enabled Chris to lift heavy pieces of lumber while her hero’s enabled him to hold the heroine against the wall during a hot, sexy, clandestine encounter. Chris’ dark blond hair, styled in a buzz cut, accentuated his sharp cheekbones and granite jawline. Her hero had light brown hair that touched the tips of his ears. However, the cheekbones and stubborn jaw…the same.

In a lot of ways, Chris reminded her of Sam Crown, her boyfriend at Chilton Academy nearly thirty years ago. Sam had been the love of her life, the man who’d created a cancer in her heart no other man had been able to cure. Returning to her hometown had stirred memories of their ill-fated romance, and she’d embedded some of those details into her book. In doing so, in giving fictitious-Sam and fictitious-her a happy ending, maybe she could finally eradicate him from her thoughts.

She scooted her chair away from the dining table and evaluated the renovations. The noise and scenery inspired her. She wouldn’t leave the area despite the strong odors of glue and dust. She had to think of another job to keep her handyman on site after the current project ended on Friday. At least long enough for her to write twenty thousand more words. She hated the thought of her “hero” leaving before her book was finished.

The whirring of the motorized tool ended, and wood particles flew into her nostrils. A couple sneezes had her frantically searching for the napkin she’d left amongst the clutter on the table.

“Ms. McLeod?” Chris’ resonant voice matched his six-and-a-half-foot frame. The scent of man-sweat radiated from him, so unlike anything she’d become accustomed to over the course of her marriage. Jasper, her ex-husband, was the type of man to hire people to shift a piece of paper from one side of the desk to the other, so she’d rarely seen him perspire. Not even after he’d played polo, but he’d sure been sweaty when she’d found him naked in their marital bed with his assistant.

She looked away from the carpenter’s sculpted upper torso, and he chuckled, his tools clanking and tingling. Oops. She hadn’t looked away quickly enough.

She lowered her gaze to the keyboard. “Yes, I’m sorry, Mr.—”

“Please, call me Chris.” He nodded to her laptop. “How’s the book coming?”

She glanced into his eyes. The blue-grays were so reminiscent of Sam’s. She had to get a grip on her overactive imagination. Would she see Sam’s face in everyone, all over town? One of her high school friends had told her Sam moved away, hadn’t been seen since the funeral.

“Ma’am?”

“Sorry. Great. Good. The best one yet.”

Chris looped a thumb through a hanging hoop on his leather utility belt. “I’ll have a substitute here tomorrow. My son has a doctor’s appointment, and I need to check on another project. Sam will manage the installation of the countertop. It’s a simple task. He’ll arrive around ten in the morning.”

“No problem.” Good God, even her old flame’s name came into play.

“The sub’s my dad.” At the mention of his father, pride splashed across his roughened features. “He’s a professor.”

“Architecture or construction?”

“He’s a math professor at West Indiana State University. He’s been teaching a reduced load of classes this semester and going stir crazy with nothing to do. This project came at the perfect time.”

She wanted to jot down notes about mannerisms. Some of his phrasing was priceless. She lifted scattered papers and searched for an ink pen. Finding one, she slid a glance at him, put ballpoint to notepad and quickly scribbled to get the ink to infuse.

“I understand that happens,” she mumbled. “Maybe he needs a hobby?”

Wiping his hands on a red, thin square towel, he smiled and showed off his pearly whites. “Oh yeah, a hobby would be good.” He pointed to her computer, the cloth waving like a banner. “Is that the type of book you write? Hobbies?”

Heat infused her cheeks. She’d just finished a sex scene for the vamp character. Nope, not a book about typical hobbies. “Not exactly. I—”

The ding of a cellphone sounded and a light shone through his jeans pocket. He dug the phone out and glanced at it. “Excuse me. I need to take this.”

The younger man swiped a finger across the screen, and after a few mumbled comments, glanced at her as he took a few steps into the corridor. He wouldn’t have privacy in the Echo Wall hallway.

Alyson put the pad of paper in front of her keyboard and focused on the computer screen.

“Dad, Mrs. Clydesdale called and said you ditched her.” He paused.

She leaned forward, wanting to know more. Might be useful information for her book.

“Yes, she does look like her name, but you can’t keep dating women one time and…” Chris exhaled. “No, I don’t want to hear about that aspect of your life. I know. I’ll meet you at the usual place. Someday maybe we could meet at a coffee shop instead. Yeah, I miss her too. I’ll be on time.”

Alyson choked back a chuckle and lowered her laptop’s screen. In her own style of shorthand, she jotted notes. Busy trying to catch up from the previous interaction, she failed to hear more of the conversation. Usually, she couldn’t care less about other people’s phone discussions, but for some reason, the dialogue between Chris and his father had piqued her interest.

“Time to leave?” she asked when he returned.

“Yeah, something came up with my dad.” He tucked his phone back inside his pocket.

She smiled, hoping to reassure him she hadn’t overheard his conversation, at least not all of it. “I understand about complicated families.”

He nodded. “Oh, I forgot you’re a widow too, so you understand. Even after a year and a half my father’s adapting. He and my mother were really tight.” Chris packed up his tools. He slid screwdrivers into the loops of his utility belt and plunked heavier items into the metal toolbox.

She didn’t want to correct him about her single status. Perhaps her brother, Grayson, had declared her a widow. He’d arranged the construction company. Maybe Grayson didn’t want his friends to find out she’d left her husband. Divorcees had their own set of barriers and stigmas.

She dreaded the questions, the ones her friends would ask. From her experience, people were either predominately nosy or, the polar opposite, caring.

Chris looked barely twenty years of age, too young to lose a parent. Then again, maybe his parents had him later in life.

He returned to the table. Tools were no longer distributed throughout the kitchen. A sudden sense of loss snatched the warmth from her.

She slid the notepad forward. “I’m sorry about your mother. How did she pass?”

Chris hoisted his toolkit. “Cancer. She was an amazing woman.” His cell phone dinged. “Dad—Sam—will be here tomorrow around ten to do prep work and accept the delivery of the countertops.” He nodded toward the panel truck in the driveway, visible through the kitchen window. On the side, “Stiles Construction and Remodeling” was written in bold black letters over a sun rising on a blue sky. A ladder sat on top. “But we’ve remodeled a couple of kitchens, so he has skills.”

“Okay, thanks. I look forward to meeting Sam.” She stood, wishing she’d made more notes about the way Chris talked, some of the charming language he’d used and his magnificent facial expressions, but she always had next time.

* * * * *

The next day, Alyson tossed clothing on her king-sized bed. She’d collected a lot of designer eveningwear during her ten years of marriage. She selected a dress for the upcoming Wish Upon a Star charity event but added most of her gowns to the donation pile. She probably wouldn’t use formal attire as often now that Jasper was no longer dragging her to one black-tie affair after another.

With a smaller closet, she should have thinned out the older garments before moving back to Indiana. She’d donate the unused clothing to a local woman’s shelter. From the height of the pile, she’d need a truck to transport them. Most of the dresses could be converted into casual wear or business attire if their new owners were so inclined.

Dressed in her camisole and panties, she tried on summer outfits to determine if she needed new sizes. She didn’t want to think her hips had expanded or back fat had appeared. As a realist, she understood changes occurred in a woman’s body as she aged, but she didn’t want to admit she couldn’t keep a husband or that she’d gained weight in all the wrong places.

A knock sounded on the front door.

She glanced at the oversized medallion clock. Nine. Chris’ dad wasn’t due to arrive for another hour.

Her sleek emerald robe hung off the edge of a beige barrel table. She grabbed it and slid her arms into the sleeves as she scurried down the hallway and into the dining room. She bypassed the security panel and eased the white plantation shutter open to peer outside.

Her heart thudded to a stop. “Sam,” she whispered, not truly believing what she was seeing.

The man on the porch was Sam. Her Sam. The love she’d never been able to forget. The one who’d broken her heart over two decades earlier.

jj

http://www.jj-keller.com

Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

WORDPRESS https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

BLOGSPOT http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

Last Chance at Love October 2015

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Carole Lombard, superstar from Fort Wayne, Indiana

Carole Lombard! Umm, you’re probably thinking the name sounds familiar.

Carole_Lombard_1940

She was a Hollywood Movie Superstar. Ms. Lombard, was born in 1908 and left for the glitz and glamour at the age of sixteen. Her birth name was Jane Alice Peters. This amazing actress lived in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her ancestral home has most recently been a bed and breakfast in need of a make over.

photo 1

Ms. Lombard took roles in screwball comedies in the 1930’s. She was one heralded as one of the highest paid movie stars of her era. I love the irony given it was a time of economic downturn.

When I decided to write a blog about Carole Lombard, I watched one of her movies, Nothing Sacred. Her co-star was Fredric March. The movie evolved around a radon-poisoned character, Hazel Flagg. Hazel was misdiagnosed by a small-town physician. During her last days, a New York newspaper wanted to make her the toast of the town. The day the reporter arrived to take her to the city that never sleeps, the doctor told her he’d made a mistake. She was healthy.

Fredric March was forgettable, but Carole…she had pizazz. Her stage presence drew me into the story despite the hokey plot line. I want to watch more of her movies—the select few because at 33 years old she was killed in a horrific plane crash.

During her short life she was married twice, once to William Powell for two years and then Clark Gable. If you’ve ever watched Captain Ron the yacht Kurt Russell navigates was once owned by Clark Gable. CG +CL is engraved in the wood of the master bedroom.

The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana commemorates Carole by placing a star on the sidewalk outside the Embassy Theatre.

photo

And a bridge has been named in her honor.

photo 2

photo 4

Some of her movies include: Marriage in Transit with Fox Film Corp, but they dropped her after she had a car accident and her face was scarred. She appeared in a few short films. Finally she got contract with Paramount and acted in Buddy Rogers and Safety in Numbers, Man of the World, Ladies Man. She co-starred with Clark Gable in No Man of Her Own Other films like Bolero, Hands Across the Table, The Princess Comes Across, My Man

Godfrey, Swing High, Swing Low, and Nothing Sacred. Her final movies were Made for Each Other, Name Only and Vigil in the Night and even a thriller by Alfred Hitchcock’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

 

Watch one of Ms. Lombard’s movies. She was an energetic force on the stage and in front of the camera. Please let me know your review.

Not a copyrighted photo, sharable. Movie posters per https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carole_Lombard_1940.jpg

Coming October, 2015:

LAST CHANCE AT LOVE

When Alyson McLeod returns to Jove, she never expects her high school sweetheart to knock on her front door. Sam’s arrival stirs memories she thought she’d banished long ago and awakens a fiery need no other man has been able to conjure.

The phoenix tattoo on Sam Crown’s arm immortalizes the woman he loved—and lost—long ago. Alyson’s return should excite him, but instead, she awakens a guilt he’s not sure even love can overcome.

Can these star-crossed lovers finally find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart forever?

LatChanceAtLove-125x190

http://www.jj-keller.com

Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

WORDPRESS https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

BLOGSPOT http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

Last Chance at Love coming October 2015

The Valkyrie and the MarinePippa’s RescueMemory of Love&
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED.  http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
All rights reserved.

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Christmas Carols by Daisy Banks

HRchristmascarols

Christmas Carols Blog Tour.

Thank you, jj, for your kind offer to help me celebrate the release of my new book Christmas Carols, published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August.

I know readers might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early. One of the things I love about this era is the ingenuity of so many of its entrepreneurs.

The Christmas Card is one of those things designed and produced in this era. First used by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843 this proved to be a money spinner for generations of illustrators, poets, designers and producers. Cole had introduced the Penny Post in the UK. With the Christmas card he gave people a reason to use it for more than letters.

Victorian Christmas cards are often sentimental and the best of them in my opinion are self-made. This is a tradition which is delightful to follow. You send your friend not a bought card with a print out of the family’s doings in the last eleven months but a personal greeting card. You can, of course buy templates for cards but the very best ones are those with original designs and messages. If you intend to send many cards and don’t want to have to buy them I would suggest you start early. I love the snowy street scene as a basis for a card because the possibilities of making it all your own are endless.

Being in mourning Alice Broadbrace, my heroine in Christmas Carols doesn’t send cards. It would be unseemly for a widow to celebrate anything. As can be seen from this excerpt, Victorian life as a widow often proved an obstacle course to avoid scandalizing the community.

Excerpt

“Mrs. Broadbrace!”

She turned and smiled at the vicar. “Good evening, Mr. Francis. Do you wish to speak with me?”

“Indeed. A splendid recital, don’t you agree?”

“Oh, yes. Thrilling.”

“I want to thank you, Mrs. Broadbrace, for your work with the floral displays. They have been superb.”

She smiled. “I’m glad you approve of them. You are quite happy with the accounting from the wholesaler?”

“I am. The committee agreed last night it is a modest sum to pay for such exquisite work. They have also charged me to inform you they wish to offer you a quarterly sum in recompense for your efforts.”

“Oh, that is gratifying, sir. I’d be most grateful.”

“Indeed, but we’ll keep the information to ourselves, we don’t want any tittle-tattle about it.”

She sighed. Every aspect of her life seemed tinged with the threat of gossip. “Of course.”

“Are you on your way to take tea?”

“No, sir. Not unaccompanied. I’m afraid it might raise eyebrows.”

“Then, Mrs. Broadbrace, join me as my guest for tea.”

“That is kind of you, but I think I’ll make my way home now. I’ll be back here tomorrow, sir, and leave you some of my suggestions for the seasonal floral displays.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Broadbrace. Good evening.”

“Good evening.” She made her way to the church door and out into the darkness. The streetlamps flicked and the November wind, brutal as any bully, shoved at her skirt and scoured her cheeks. All the way home, as she trod the low-lit street, she hummed snips of the music that had lifted her heart.

What a wonderful evening. Next week, she would attend again.

Snowy street

Blurb

Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

Thanks for reading

Daisy Banks

Find Daisy Banks here

Blog http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

Tsu   http://www.tsu.co/DaisyBanks

Amazon http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Buy Links

Amazon

http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1NWh8gi

itunes

http://apple.co/1IN2oP2

Kobo

http://bit.ly/1y85pJt

Daisy Banks is the author of

Soon to be available with Liquid Silver Books Serving the Serpent

Christmas Carols

Marked for Magic

To Eternity

A Perfect Match

Timeless

Valentine Wishes

A Gentleman’s Folly

Your Heart My Soul

Fiona’s Wish

A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available here

Amazon    http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iTunes

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

Attribution for Snowy Street scene

Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_almoond’>almoond / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

daisy banks is an awesome author…I recommend you purchase Christmas Carols. It is a joyful pleasure.

jj Keller

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Midwest destruction… rain go away…

The midwest has been plagued with foul weather…tornados, superstorms and crop destroying rain.

A few days ago I glanced from my kitchen window and beheld a tiny robin roosting on my fence post.photo 1

It clung to the post most of the day. Many birds fluttered near and their beaks moved…in conversation? No mother to rescue the poor baby?

Two days later the sun came out, and I hurried to get the grass mowed before rain arrived later in the day. On one of my White Birch trees I found the branch hopper…

photo 2 photo 3

The little fella didn’t appear to be the least bit afraid of me, nor the loud lawn mower. I sprinkled bird food [seeds] nearby, but it didn’t seem interested. Perhaps the robin was to young to consume bird food?

When the rain arrived and he remained perched on the tree branch I considered calling animal rescue.

Then…

photo 4

the mother arrived. You can barely see her through the rain-slicked window. Whoot! No longer an orphan.

jj Keller

www.jjkeller.com

https://www.facebook.com/jj.keller.58  {like me and I’ll like you}

https://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30057 (Jewel Heist)

(http://www.theromancereviews.com)

Barnes&Noble Jewel Heist Print

Amazon: Jewel Heist

Barnes&Noble Love Hurts Print

Amazon: Love Hurts

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