Sweet smell of herbal cures.

Miami Indian 2.8.18


A Native American gardener shared her cultural knowledge of native Indiana, Fort Wayne, plants and their medicinal uses.

The marshes (protected areas in Fort Wayne) contain special grasses and floral plants. Sage is a component of the sweet grasses and is used in ceremonies. One ceremony is burn or smudge to purify area, which will get rid of evil and impurities-an herbal cleanse?

Sweet grass also grows in and near the marsh, women braid the grass and wear around neck to repel insects and counteract sweat aroma. (Personally I’m not sure this will work as well as a bath, but something is better than nothing.)

Another bush native to the area is Spice Bush, the leaves smell like citrus and the berries have an all spice aroma. Lovely. Medicinal use—cleansing.

Corn is a major component of the Green Corn ceremony of the Miami Nation. White corn: silk can be tied and put in a tea, which is a medicine for kidneys. Use the jawbone of a deer to scrap corn, then grind the kernels in order to make tortillas and bread. After the husks and stalks have dried use them as fire tender-can you imagine how great the air would smell?

Corn is important to Miami and they have several words referring to the vegetable in addition to using songs to chase away crows and encourage growth, the harvest and the process. How sweet is the community of people who put music to their tasks?

I love Redbud trees when they are in bloom and apparently the flowers when seeped taste similar to green tea.

Slippery Elm is another tree that has medicinal use for constipation; diarrhea and if you hold the bark in your mouth your sore throat will be reduced. Pulverize to make into powder and used in tea.

She showed us a basket made with American Elm and a braid on top is made from hickory, which gave a solid beautiful reddish brown color. The natives peel bark off the tree in large enough slits to draw the pattern on one side and used the portage as glue to hold it together.


She also shared their saying for sap collecting:

freeze at night warm in the morning.

When they have sugar dried from the tree collection they put it in a basket and bury to keep from animals.

Different plants can be used as cords for weaving, especially fishing baskets: Mulberry, milkweed, and dogbane (dogbane is also used as digitalis).

Buckeyes can be strung into a necklace and helps with arthritis and sore joints. Men put buckeyes in pockets. The inners of the nut can be used as a meat substitute…I’m not buying it. 😉

Walnut: I have experience with using fallen walnuts as a stain for furniture. The rich brown tint is unbelievable

The nut flesh helps with brain worms and memory.

Hazelnuts can be hulled and made into flour—can you imagine how many of those little fellows it’d take to make a cup of flour?

Sumac-fragrant collect berries three days post rain-strip them off the branch and steep in tea to prevent cold. Leftover can be used as a pink dye.

Mullein:  I’m not familiar with this plant but she said it has yellow flowers and the leaves are fluffy like lambs ears. Mullein helps with respiratory infection. The leaves can be wrapped on cut to reduce bleeding (shrinks tissue). When a fellow attendee asked if there is documented validation our little bear responded: TRUTH.

The stalk can be used as a torch and a spindle as a bow and spindle to start a fire.

Poke: I’m not sure what this is but she had a lot of laughter when she talked about eating the green and white plant when grilled or crumb coated and fried. If the poke gets bigger and has red streaks (tropical looking) don’t eat.

The berries are used by a vet to treat worms and as a dye (purple).

Remember: Green, wash and eat

Red, dead if eat.

Finally: Cattails.

This was the most interesting of the topics discussed. The cattail leaves and roots are used to make mats. In the fall dig up roots, burn on fire and take out the inside to eat. In the spring they eat the plant like asparagus, when the cone is white and green soak in water and eat like roasted corn. Take the cone and shove through the hole of a clean milk jug and the “tail” can be used as flour. Store in fridge.

Anytime a native gardener digs up or alters a plant it’s important to talk to the plant, like talking to a friend. State appreciation for the life and nutrition it provides and cover the root or damaged area to heal the plant and the plant will heal the person. (I didn’t do justice to the lyrical loveliness of this notion, but I believe in the value and will attempt to “talk” to my plants.)

Fertilizer isn’t a friend of the Native American and wishes more farmers committed to GMO. River Rice hasn’t been present in the environment for centuries and some has been discovered around the bend of one of the three rivers in Fort Wayne.

On tradition the Miami maintain is to set out a plate at Thanksgiving for ancestors, a symbolic reminder of the ancients who have passed. I liked the idea!V


A Love Letter

My Dearest,

I love you, always.

We met by chance and the shimmer glowed and grew.

Our holographic universe spat our destiny into waves and rolls.

We made choices and decisions, some bad but mostly good.

Learning about life, creating life and losing loved ones made us stronger.

I love you, always.

Sacrifices were plenty, celebrations few and oh so magnificent.

The sparks have lessened and the shimmer has dimmed; however, companionship is worth more than youthful heated ecstasy. I look forward to seeing how the future plays out.

I love you, always.


a heart not quite the same.



Heart on Concrete Floor

jj Keller is a native Hoosier. A dreamer. A writer. A storyteller.


She’s married and has two sons. Traveling to exotic locations is something she can’t do enough of (even if it’s only in her mind) and puttering around in her herbal garden is her favorite pastime. She enjoys a good story, easy listening music and a fine glass of wine.


Urban fantasy, paranormal, romantic suspense and thrillers are her favorite genres.


jj is a member of Romance Writers of America.


jj’s pen name is a result of her family name. She used lower case in her given name because of her fondness for ee cummings’ work.The man was a great poet and author. They both tend to be unconventional, his capitalization and her imagination and “fresh” attempt at writing. ee studied English, as jj did, he had a fondness for Greek and Latin and she loves to use Greek Mythology references in her work. His unique style of writing can be seen in Buffalo Bill’s/defunct and her only western to date, revolves around Buffalo Bill.


She hopes someday her work will be considered “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful”.








Fan page:







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





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


Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=93172








Wild Rose Press














https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxf1tPBXdSY (Trade Agreement)







Super Blue Blood Full Moon

One hundred and fifty years ago Earth experienced a super blue blood full moon…so how could I not wait and watch for the one predicted for January 31,2018?

When a lunar eclipse occurs, the moon darkens as it moves into the Earth’s shadow, and when the moon is completely shadowed, it doesn’t go completely black; instead, it appears to be red or a blood moon. This phenomenon is known as Rayleigh Scattering.

Typically a full moon occurs once a month or there are 29.5 days between full moons; however, sometimes it works out we have two full moons, i.e. blue moon. January 2nd we saw a full moon and now we’ll see the second.

This super blue moon will cross paths with the Earth’s shadow making it a super blue blood moon eclipse.

The only thing more unusual would be to view the Dark Moon Goddess, Hecate. Hecate comes out to play during black nights when the moon is hidden. She is associated with deeds of the Crossway, which are ghostly places of evil magic.

If you’re out tonight and happen to be where three roads intersect-beware. Whatever you do, don’t hit a deer-her favorite of all wild animals. Hecate isn’t the nicest goddess and as with most of divinities good and evil is an uncertainty.

Edith Hamilton states in her Mythology book:

Hecate of hell,

Mighty to shatter every stubborn thing.

Hark! Hark! Her hounds are baying through the town.

Where three roads meet, there she is standing.


Have a wonderful super blue blood full moon eclipse–who knows when the next one will occur!


If I’m lucky—a photo will be attached later. Visit my site again Well …cloudy and even with the Nikkon I couldn’t get a clear shot in the Hoosier state. Maybe in my next lifetime?




Barnes&Noble Jewel Heist Print

Amazon: Jewel Heist

Barnes&Noble Love Hurts Print

Amazon: Love Hurts


The Watcher


Melody’s Song

Shadow of the Hawk

Dark Sun

Last Chance at Love



Love Hurts

Jewel Heist


Trade Agreement

The Tarot Card

The Valkyrie and The Marine

Pippa’s Rescue

Memory of Love

Mystic Love


Dark Shadows

Coming soon:

Angry and Dead


Book Reviews: (Four Moons)


**** Dark Sun by The Romance Studio

“This was a powerful, paranormal erotic romance of good against evil. I enjoyed that this story of right versus wrong not only introduces the readers to angels and demons but also mentions sirens, elves and sea nymphs while it weaves the threads of fate and reincarnation.”

Theresa Joseph



Full Review


Night Owl Romance, Love Hurts

“I kept reading I realized that it could very well be a true story. These people are just trying to do the right thing.” Terri Hawk

Full Review


Happily Ever After

Lena said, “JJ Keller created a story of one woman just trying to survive in a world where not many survive without succumbing to another life.” For full review visit: Happily Ever After.


**** Love Hurts by Romance Book Scene

“Love Hurts is a well written contemporary romance filled with real life characters, with good dialog and a cute little tyke who steals the attention of readers.”




Romance Book Review: Love Hurts


Dark Divas

Thursday, July 22, 2010



Undercover Housewife by JJ Keller


Publisher: Lyrical Press


Genre: Erotic, Romantic Suspense


Length: 98 pages


Considering the length, I’m quite impressed with what JJ Keller did with this story. This one gives you a lot of bang-for-the-buck…no pun intended.


In addition to the suspense, Undercover Housewife is all about the romance, with the added bonus of tastefully written sex scenes. You gotta love that…and who doesn’t love a hot police detective who’s there to protect and serve? (Or is that protect and service?-oops, sorry!) lol




Rated 4 1/2 Delightful Divas by Shelly!


For the full review click here.




Romance Book Scene

Roni,Romance Book Scene,gave Undercover Housewife a rating of five hearts!


Undercover Housewife adds together a story filled with mistrust and a long time unrequited love and with a mystery case. Nikki is a woman coming to terms with her new life and finding that she really didn’t like the woman she became. The hero, Josh, is finally fulfilling the dream of getting the woman he’s wanted for over twenty years. Add to that the supporting cast of Josh’s partner Calvin and his gay antics, and this book is a fine piece of entertainment. Roni


For the Full Review: http://romancebookscene.blogspot.com/


Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Trade Agreement by jj keller


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

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Genre: Contemporary/Thriller/Suspense/Action

Length: Full (242 pages)

Heat: Spicy

Rating: Best Book

Reviewed by Larkspur


JJ Keller gives us an explosive thriller in Trade Agreement as she exposes us to international crime, kidnapping, high seas adventure, murder and an electrifying romance. Meet Jake and Georgina who fall into lust at first sight, can they survive the danger, the lies and the secrets and find true love in the end.


Ms Keller throws you right into the heart of her plot then keeps our attention riveted while we hold our breath to find out what happens next. *** *** Her love scenes are evocative, sensual and sizzle on the page, while her romance between our hero and heroine is sweet and sensual.


Trade Agreement rocks and rolls with action, suspense, thrills, chills and romance. It’s a gutsy read and should come with a physician’s warning. If you like to bite your nails to the quick while sitting on the edge of your seat, this read is for you and if you, like me, love your romance on the sizzle burner, well don’t wait another minute go out and get this book.


For the full review: http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2009/09/trade-agreement-by-jj-keller.html


Loved…The Tarot Card

The Tarot Card by JJ Keller

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Heat: Sensual

Length: Short (148 pages)

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: 4 Books

Reviewed by Larkspur


Holy Cow what a great read! Ms. Keller gives us a love at first sight story. Stein and Kerry make a great hero and heroine.


I loved the characters, they were well developed and enjoyable to get to know. The writing style was great and was a credit to the author telling such a well written story confined in 148 short pages.


*** I think this novel would appeal to all lovers of romance. It’s a truly enjoyable tale of boy meets and gets girl. For full review: HTTP://LONGANDSHORTREVIEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM/2009/06/TAROT-CARD-BY-JJ-KELLER.HTML


Love Romance…loves Dark Shadows

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Publisher Tease Publishing

Date published October 15, 2008

ISBN 978-1-60767-005-6



Reviewed by Dawn


DARK SHADOWS is part of Tease’s Dark Tarot line and this is one edge of the seat ride. Author JJ Keller delivers a unique bar where creatures that go bump in the night come to relax and chill out. Here you meet Teri Kepler, one of the owners of Dark Shadows. ***


Author JJ Keller writes a tight, fast paced story that will keep you on the edge of your seat as she weaves a spell around you. With the right touch of magic, mystery and passion, she delves into a world that good and evil reside in and this author definitely delivers a story that will have you clamoring for more once the last page is read. DARK SHADOWS is a pure delight to read and I am wondering if there will be more stories centered on the Dark Shadow Bar. If you enjoy an enjoyable setting, unique characters and intriguing storyline, then grab THE HIEROPHANT: DARK SHADOWS and be prepared to be lost in this author’s wonderful creation.


For the full review: http://loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/2009/04/hierophant-dark-shadows-by-jj-keller.html


Four Tombstones for Dark Shadows

Mar 14, 2009

The Hierophant: Dark Shadows by jj Keller

Review by Virginia

Categories: Adult Content, Book Reviews, Immortals, e-books


I really enjoyed Ms. Keller’s writing style. Her plot line has lots of room to write sequels and can be drawn in many interesting directions in future books. I do not know what Ms. Keller has planned down the road for this, but I look forward to reading any sequels she may write.


For the full review: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=1499


The Tarot Card..a shelf keeper

Between the Lines, ranked The Tarot Card: Fantastic, Stays on the Shelf


Title: The Tarot Card

Author: jj Keller

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Line: Contemporary Champagne Rosebud

Review: Rating: spicy

ISBN: 9781601544377


This story is chili-hot with lots of spicy scenes so if you’re the sort of person who likes stories with heat this is for you. The book doesn’t rely only on spice for its power- there is a complex plot and a really good sort-of-twist at the end. It left me with a smile on my face and a real sense of satisfaction.

I’d say this is definitely a story I’d like to share with my friends –well worth a read. Enjoy!


Reviewed by Vasiliki Scurfield

WRDF Review


For the Full Review: http://blog.lyndacoker.net/2008/12/29/wrdf-review-of-the-tarot-card-by-jj-keller.aspx


Five Mystique Moons for Dark Shadows



Momma Mia! I need a cold shower and some aspirin. There was so much passion in DARK SHADOWS that I thought my head would explode. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! In fact, I love this book so much that I nearly blew off finishing my day’s work so that I could finish it in one setting. Duty called, however, and I got to it as soon as I could. And what a finish! DARK SHADOWS has it all: Good versus Evil; Love, Lust and Secrets competing for dominance; boundless love and those velvet ties that transcend even the strangest of circumstances.** What a ride! As I said before, I LOVE this story. **


Anyway, this book is fabulous and romantic and going on my Keeper shelf. If J.J. Keller has more books in this line, feel free to push them in this direction. Fan for Life!! That’s me.


Five Mystique Moons. (Outstanding)

Class Three sensuality. (Standard Romance)


Rachel Nail, Reviewer

For the Full Review: mystiquebooks@gmail.com

Tags: j.j. keller


Note to Rachel: I’m one of your fans for life as well. Dark Justice will be coming soon. Another fantastic ride for you!


4 out of 5 Stars for Dark Shadows

Manic Reviews, Stevi B said:




I love when a paranormal author can come up with new and unusual characters. *** But the strength of a determined woman is illustrated as Tori finds a way to make something good from her pain. Surely fate can find a way to reward such a special woman. Ms. Keller adds a twist to her plot that brings the story together at the end with a satisfactory solution!


I enjoyed The Hierophant: Dark Shadows, as I have other books I’ve read by Ms. Keller. Ms Keller remains a favorite author for me when I want an unusual story with a unique perspective!


For the full review go here: Dark Shadows-4 out of 5 stars- http://manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=reviews&bookid=1304


Believe Receives an Awesome Review



jj Keller

Paranormal erotic romance

Available from Cobblestone Press

ISBN: 978-1-60088- 189-3

October 2007




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. ***jj Keller gives the audience a fast–paced entertaining read where the adrenaline rushes. This story consumes with vibrant characters, and an evil person that this reader wanted to reach through the pages and stomp.


Overall rating: Five Hearts

Sensuality rating: Very sensual


Reviewer: Linda L.

october 20, 2008





Thank you, Linda. You made my day!


Mystique Books Recommends Melody’s Song 4.5 Moons

One of the best points MELODY’S SONG makes is that no matter your circumstances, no matter your lot in life, you needn’t loose your self-respect. More, you can rise above all challenges if you believe enough in yourself and are willing to risk all to make that change. This is a point that we should always remember and never forget. T*** I congratulate J.J. Keller for portraying this struggle so believably with Melody Haney. Very, very well done. Recommended.


Four and a half Mystique Moons. (Excellent)

Class Four sensuality. (Standard Romance)


Rachel Nail,

For the Full Review Reviewer




Paranormal Romance Reviews Melody’s Song

“Melody’s song is a touching romance”


Melody’s Song is a touching romance that explores finding love and hope after losing the most important thing in life. *** The sex scenes are deliciously sweet and passionate. There is a mention of whips, chains, etc. by a villainous character. Over all, the book is sweet and touching and will make you cry in places.


Reviewed by Amy Parker Posted June 17, 2008


For the Full Review: http://www.paranormalromance.org/reviews/review.php?id=28362


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:http://www.justeroticromancereviews.com/book-review.cfm?bookID=977433016&reviewID=5771&sNav=nav03-02


5 Flowers for Believe from Pam at My Book Cravings

My Book Cravings where you can relax with a good book Banners of Romance


Believe by J.J. Keller


ISBN: 978-1-60088-189-3


Paranormal Suspense


Cobblestone Press Ebook


This gem of a romance grabbed my undivided attention from the very first paragraph and didn’t let go until I’d raced to the final page. This fast paced and well plotted story is filled with all the things that make a book great…suspense, danger, deceit, bigotry and intense sizzling attraction that blooms into deep and abiding love. ** One of the best and most unexpected gems in this book is diabolical child predator… ** The scary thing about this premise is …** After all, checks and balances of power are only as good as the men and woman who follow them.


This is the first book by Ms. Keller that I’ve had the opportunity to read, and it certainly won’t be the last. This reader eagerly waits for the next installment, The Watcher, by this inventive and talented writer. For the full review:http: groups.yahoo.com/group/mybookcravings ·


Five Fallen Angels for BELIEVE

What a wonderful suspenseful story! Believe by J. J. Keller just may make a believer out of all of us. From the beginning of the story right up to the end, the reader is kept sitting on the edge of their seat wondering what will happen next. Even if you think psychics are a bunch of frauds, you will find yourself not only believing in Mikhail but rooting for her to convince Jensen and quickly. It is amazing how evil the human mind can be when there is greed and science involved and that is what the bad guy in this story portrays and who knows maybe there is a little truth in this evil plot?


Reviewed by: Stephanie B.

For the full review: http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/


The Watcher and The Romance Studio’s excellent rating

The Romance Studio




This is a well-written story of lost love and true soul mates. I was drawn in by the love between Emily and her mysterious voice, Netzach. But their struggle to overcome evil in their quest to be together forever is what kept me anxiously turning the pages. I was lost in this story from the first chapter and will definitely ad it to my list to read again. Anyone who loves a wonderful love story and the battle of good versus evil will love this one.


Overall rating:5 hearts

Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual


Reviewer: Sandra

September 4, 2007


Go to The Romance Studio for a full review.


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.




Reviewer: Karen




For a full review:


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: http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.asp?ReviewId=815


Two Lips loves The Watcher

JJ Keller creates a story that grabs you at the first page. The author entangles you in her wonderful story and just as you start to cry at the injustice done to Emily, she puts a smile on your face. The Watcher is not much on white hot sex, but you get a vivid tour of Scotland and a great plot instead, and I have never enjoyed a story more. The Watcher is one of those books that you just want to read again and I heartily recommend it!



Reviewer: Alisha



Rating: 4. 5 Lips




For the full review:Two Lips


Romance Junkies Reviews

j.j. Keller gives romance a mystical twist in THE WATCHER. I found it an interesting tale. I especially enjoyed the character Mikhail, the gypsy fortune teller. She really was a wonderful catalyst for the story. If you like spicy paranormal suspense this is a good one to read.


Reviewer: Lisa


Rating: Four Blue Ribbons For a full review:http://www.romancejunkies.com/


Mystique Books

I really liked this book. I enjoyed the evolution Emily went through as she searched for the truth about her past life with Zach. Keller handled the transition beautifully. I was rooting for Emily and Zach and was glad they where able to find their happily-ever-after.


Sarah GentiliReviewer

Four Moons–Excellent Work

Mystique Books For the full review: http://www.mystiquebooks.com/Book%20Reviews/Light%20Paranormal/The%20Watcher.htm


2018…What Awaits Us in the Year of the Dog?

Changes are occurring.

Nuclear destruction: an omen?

Our connection to the cosmos is becoming clearer, let’s reach for the stars.

Global warming is a real threat.

Women are universally becoming stronger. Me too is just the beginning.

Massive numbers of authors are creating stories and publishing through various avenues.

As a sheep…I can’t wait to see how the year will progress. What about you? What do you foresee in your future?

Tarot Cards Proven to be a Link


“Yes, I’m here,” Emily Lucent responded in a whisper, yearning to hear her name again. The gentle, lovelorn utterance, tempting and mesmerizing, created a stronger need to see the speaker. His Scottish accent made his bereavement, if she could call it that, all the more intense. She wanted to help him find the love he had apparently lost. She longed to see him.

For the past few months the voice had grown stronger and more frequent as the days passed. He called her name in the pre‐dawn and lately during the course of the day. Her heart would race with anticipation. When would she hear the sweet harmonious sound again? Alone in the house, without the background noise of a television or music, sometimes she would hope to hear it, try to hear it.

Hear him.
Hear her name.
She questioned her sanity. Yet, the deep, clear masculine voice sweetly lulled and soothed her. Restlessness and greed took over. Despite the fear of lunacy, she wanted more, needed more. She wished to see the unearthly being who spoke to her.


The Watcher


Mikhail gathered tarot cards and shuffled the deck. “You need to shuffle this once and fan out the cards. Pick any three cards from the deck and place them face up on the table. The second card should be placed to the left of the first card. The third card placed on the right of the first card. You must concentrate on one aspect of a decision to be made or question while drawing the card.”

A force pulled her further into this web of mystery and mysticism. She must discover, divine or infer the source of the voice. Good or bad.

Earthly or unearthly.
Angelic or demonic.
Ghost or hallucination.
She shuffled, drew out three cards, and placed them face up on the table. Mikhail watched closely. They carefully viewed the cards on the table top. She threw her head back and stared at the door. Emily glanced behind her, thinking Melody had come into the room. Empty space. A shiver of unease rippled over her skin. She returned her attention back to Mikhail. The fortune teller removed the turban and combed her fingers through her hair.

“Emily, I must ask you if you’re a religious person.”

“I don’t know what that has to do with the forecast of my future, but I was raised as a Catholic. For the past two years I haven’t attended mass. Although, I believe I’m a spiritual person.” She lifted her glance from the elaborate, elegantly detailed, tarot cards to connect with Mikhail’s gaze.

“The voice is not a hallucination and does not belong to a…ghost.” Mikhail bit her lower lip. The white of her teeth gleamed against the red lipstick.



Buy at your favorite book retailer….

Happy Holidays!




Seasonal Meaning


I love to place words in an order to make a story come alive and having a sweet-happy-ending gives the tale a happy-happy-joy-joy feeling to the reader. The best time to market my books is during the holiday season, but the days are filled with friends, work events and family. As a result forgiveness is the theme for my seasonal blog.

I forgive my friends and myself for not being a good friend to the people from my past life…distance does not make the heart grow fonder. How about you? Do you have friends you’ve lost contact with and this season want to reconnect? Facebook may make it seem quick and easy, but face-to-face is more important-right?

Work events are what they are-I like to dress in evening/formal garments and chat with strangers. I hope the new acquaintances forgive me for not listening to their blah blah blah while I create new characters by using their behaviors and sometimes-odd physical anomalies.

Family, whew this is a deep well and  I don’t want to expose all of my vulnerabilities. My father and I are close; he was my mentor, guardian, teacher, confidant, and stable platform that allowed me to grow as an individual. I recently learned my siblings  might not have had the same perception of our family as I do. I’m not sure how to describe the heartbreaking lack of familial connection over the years. I guess I’ll just say I forgive them.

Happy holidays to all and to all a forgiving new year!


Venice: City of Romance or a Murky Mess?

My husband and I just finished our tour of Italy. The one place I wanted to spend quality time was Venice, a city that survives all odds. Built on a eries of low mud banks constantly beaten by the tidal waters of the Adriatic the brigthly colored facades still stand in their architectural glory.


And I wanted to walk in the same footsteps of William Shakespeare centuries ago.


After boarding a ferry we went from the train station across the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco. The boatmen had a muscle building tasks of tying the old-school rope instead of nylon. The earthy scent and squeaking of the line as the man wrapped it around a dock post helped distract from the constant downpour of rain.

The croweded pathways didn’t detour me from appreciating the streets made of water, or the black gondolas as the black and white striped shirted gondolier manuevered visitors through the narrow watery alleys.


Much to my disappointment many of the churches and museums didn’t allow photographs. The art work of Venice and architecutre of the buildings cannot be adequately described…you must see them in person.

Oddly enough my favorite store consisted of Murano glass products. The beauty of the clear and brillant glass made by Venetians since 1291 helped me to decide on gifts for many family members.

Our time in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region was too short. I wanted to spend more time exploring and maybe going over to the glass factory in the small cluster of islands, Murano.


all rights reserved jj Keller




Italy: An Experience

Ciao! My husband and I returned from our Italia vacation. The international travel was from his bucket list and although the country isn’t a fav of mine, I am a fan of distinct architecture and classic art work.

Our pilots, on air Italia, were exceptional…coming and going. We prepared for the extended flight, but jet lag zapped our energy straight away. After a sluggish first day, we walked and walked, climbed and slid on the wet stones…loved every minute. Our hotel, while the small room had a water spotted ceiling and no air conditioning, the location near the Trevi Fountain couldn’t have been better…and was guarded by the military,


because of this building.

Trevi Fountain, just a few steps away, is the largest and most famous fountain since 1762. Central Figures are Neptune flanked by two Tritons-one trying to master an unruly seahorse, the other leading a quieter beast. Symbolizes the two contrasting moods of the sea.IMG_1471.JPG

The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome (outside the museum). Roman temple of all the Gods designed by Emperor Hadman in AD 118. The temple is fronted by a massive portico, with a screening by a cylinder fused to a shallow dome. The oculus lets the only light inside. 7th Century Christians made the structure into a church and today is lined with tombs and monuments to Raphael. There is a strict dress code and they didn’t allow women with no shirt sleeves or dresses/skirts above the knee to enter. IMG_1455.JPGIMG_1453.JPGAmazing!

After a late dinner,DSCN0962.JPG

we retired. Tomorrow we travel to the Amalfi Coast.

Add a little something-something to your summer fun:Trade Agreement


ISBN: 1-60154-491-X 8.15.09

Falling in love with the next door neighbor—impulsive. Kidnapped by her ex-husband—startling. Traded for contraband on the high seas—unbelievable.
Photo-journalist, Georgina Barrister, realizes she has little time left in this world when her ex-husband hands her over as partial payment for a shipment of illegal imports. Apparently being the perfect wife, the perfect hostess, and the perfect lover hadn’t been enough for him. What did he expect of her now, to be the perfect token? As a captive on a freighter, how will she escape?

Special Agent Jake Callahan believes love at first sight is impossible, until he meets Georgina Barrister Kaplan. However, his assignment on a high-seas trafficking case must overrule his feelings when Georgina becomes the prime suspect.

In search for the truth will they lose their one chance at happiness?

Trade Agreement

Available in Print and eprint:

jj Keller

Chapter 1

Atlantic Ocean

Shivers cascaded over Georgina’s body, the November cold penetrating her thin dress. She braced herself against the bumpy jolts as the speed boat hit rough water. The night was moonless, deep black ink surrounded them. The closer they got to the freighter, the faster her heart beat, a quick cadence to match the waves hitting the side of the vessel.

Georgina drew in a shaking breath and tried to lessen her grip on the rail of the boat as they pulled beside the ladder. Her fingers ached with the chill of tension. She glanced at the freighter. It was oh-so tempting to simply fall into the water, but she’d freeze to death or get eaten by sharks. No, the only logical means of escape was catching a ride on the gray metal whale floating in the dark night, on a black ocean, surrounded by a mysterious fog.

She glanced at Kandi, her ex-husband’s current femme-de-jour, dressed in a sleek strapless azure dress and spiked heels, then to Tristan himself. She’d loved him once, but now even looking at him made her colder. His fingers wrapped around the rail of the freighter’s ladder. He grabbed her hand and tugged her from the seat.


Her spine tingled with dread. Tristan couldn’t be trusted. She knew better.

“I’ve changed my mind,” Georgina said. “You can let me off at the next port.”

Tristan gripped her hand tighter and pulled her toward the ladder. “Can’t.”

“Why not?” Georgina jerked Tristan’s arm, ready to throw him overboard. Did demons sink? Her stomach tumbled. Getting on that freighter would be a mistake.

Kandi slid beside Tristan and snarled, “Just get on the ship, Georgina, or I’ll throw your spoiled ass overboard and you can swim back to Virginia.”

Shocked at Kandi’s language and the threat, Georgina glared.

“It’s too late. There’s no going back…not for Gemma either,” her ex-husband spewed.

Damn him for using her best friend as a pawn.

Georgina’s heart rate went tachycardia. She blew slow breaths trying to slow the pace. She released his forearm, sat down on the padded boat seat, and crossed her arms.

“Georgina, climb the ladder.” Tristan’s jaws snapped together.

Kandi sighed and tapped her foot on the metal rail of the rocking boat.

Had Tristan really kidnapped Gemma? He had to be bluffing, but Georgina’s heart rattled against her chest. What if Gemma wasn’t safe? She’d already lost one baby, she couldn’t lose another. “I decline.”

Tristan gripped her arm and jerked her upright. She reached up with her other hand and dug her nails into the tender skin of his palm.

“She’ll go,” Kandi said.

Georgina sneered at the two, pivoted, and clutched the nearest brass rung.

The three-inch heels clipped the metal, and she slipped on the third rail of the ladder. Determined, she tightened her hold and stepped to the next rung.

Homeward bound. A precarious scramble on steps or fear of the unknown wouldn’t prevent her from returning to her little house and Jake. Thoughts of the sleepy little town of Nero intruded. She’d often complained about the boredom and photographing nothing but dog and garden shows. Well, she’d trade her current situation for some of that routine any day.

Jake, her lover. Her heart clutched a little in her chest. Was he searching for her? She maneuvered up one more rung. In the back of her mind, she hoped Jake would come to her rescue.

A wintery breeze blew up her dress and she shuddered. She was beyond chilled in the clingy little dress. She clutched a metal bar and pushed the hem down. Her foot slipped, and her spiked heel dug into Tristan’s fingers. She applied as much pressure as possible.

Tristan roared. He slapped her rear with such force she pressed flush against ladder. “Keep going, Georgina. Move it.” Bastard. She stepped to the next bar, releasing his hand.

Finally, she reached the top. Two goons, heavyweight bookends with matching blank expressions, hauled her over the rail. Tristan crawled on deck and helped Kandi onto the platform.

“Come.” One of the goons, with a melodic Russian accent, motioned with his head.

It didn’t sound like a request.

The men led them down a staircase, through a corridor, and into a square, frigid room. A stainless steel table and two metal chairs were the only furnishings. One seat was occupied by a man she assumed to be Aleksandr Stypopas, the captain of this fine vessel. Like the gentleman he was, Tristan sat down on the other chair. A bottle labeled IKON Russian vodka sat in the middle of them like a referee. Kandi stood behind Tristan, her hand resting easily on his shoulder. Georgina stood to the side, as close to the door as possible.

While the men talked, in Russian or Ukrainian, Georgina deliberated how to convince Aleksandr to return her to the States. He was as dark and mysterious in appearance as the freighter. His shaggy black beard seemed blacker as a result of the elegant gray shirt and pants covering his thin body. Would this nightmare ever end? It had to be a dream, because Aleksandr was wearing Armani for God’s sake, at midnight, on a freighter, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t look like a man who did favors out of the goodness of his heart. Would he want money? She didn’t have anything to offer. Or did she? She shuddered at the thought. A raised voice captured her attention. What had she missed?

There was a palpable sense of menace in the air.

Had they walked into a trap? Would they all be killed?

ISBN: 1-60154-491-X


One of the Long and the Short of Its Best Book 
Every year, The Long and the Short of It likes to reward the best of the best, and this year your story TRADE AGREEMENT is a finalist.

Excerpt 2:

Aleksandr’s voice was oily and his smile– insincere. “Kaplan, we’ve been comrades for almost a year. Why the mistrust?”

“Do we really trust one another, my friend?” Tristan took a sip of vodka.

From Georgina’s viewpoint, Tristan’s hand appeared to be trembling. Damn. There were some underlying messages being sent back and forth that caused her alarm radar to go off. She glanced at Aleksandr. He was smiling. Like a crocodile.

Okay, Tristan, it’s time to leave—now! You’ll have to drop me off at the next port.

“Are you calling me a thief?” Aleksandr’s deep, heavily accented voice filled the tiny room like a sonic boom. He bolted to his feet and his chair clanged to the floor. The angry red glow on his face, either from the heated argument or from the drink, accentuated his gray appearance. His lips virtually disappeared into the mass of black facial hair as he sneered.

Tristan’s face remained calm. “Of course. Aren’t we all? We take items and sell them for a profit. The buyers are not important, nor the nationality, nor the cause, nor how illegal the goods. We steal them for the thrill of making a deal. For money.” His blond cropped hair, light crystal-blue eyes, and winsome smile widened, giving him the appearance of the boy next door.

Georgina stared at his devilish dimples while trying to get a grasp on the situation. She’d fallen in love with his dimples, before she’d fallen in love with the man. Now she looked past the façade and wondered how she’d been so foolish.

“I’ve never cheated anyone in my life, and I resent the implication, Kaplan.” Aleksandr nodded his head to one of his henchmen at the door. Georgina’s fight or flight urge was strong. She tensed and glanced at the exit, calculating whether she could get to it before the goons caught her. What she would do after reaching the entrance, she didn’t know. But she desperately wanted to go through that door.

“Please accept my apology. I meant no offense.” Tristan calmly lifted his half-empty glass of liquid fire and held it out to Aleksandr, for a customary salute.

Aleksandr stared at Tristan, a long, intense, soul-searching glare. “Ah, none taken. However, I do insist the whore be given to me as a fair trade agreement.”

Aleksandr slid his black-eyed gaze down Georgina’s body and came back to stare into her eyes. His thoughts about her were as clear as the vodka between them: brown hair, heart shaped face, an ordinary body, and not worth his time. The brunt of his perusal landed on Kandi. Georgina’s heart rate slowed from its marathon speed. Aleksandr lifted his chair and lowered to the seat.

Kandi gasped, edged closer to Tristan, and reached toward her diamond and jade bejeweled bodice. She tossed her long auburn locks out of the way and pulled the limited blue silk material of the strapless dress higher, trying to cover her endowments as much as possible. Her nipples protruded further as a result of her efforts. She folded her shaking hands at her waist.

“Consider it done,” Tristan said, the words ice cold.

“Tristan!” Kandi screeched, her voice, shrill and full of shock. Her pale pink lips quivered, and her bare shoulders twitched back and forth. Tristan had offered her as a door prize.

Could this be happening? The scene was a Saturday B-movie event. People in real-life did not trade off their friends or family to get a shipment of…of…of whatever obviously illegal thing they were exchanging. The goods had to be contraband to make Tristan sweat. Georgina knew him well enough after six years of living together to recognize the signs of his anxiety. Regardless of how calm he appeared, he wasn’t in control of the situation.

Aleksandr’s eyes glittered with dangerous ecstasy. He turned his cold, calculating stare onto Tristan and leaned back in his chair. His jacket gaped, revealing an old fashioned .44 revolver in a gray holster strapped to the side of his chest. Her father had one just like it in his gun cabinet. The racketeer’s don’t-mess-with-me attitude made him the perfect bad guy for any mafia movie.

Georgina tried to ignore the chills running through her body. She pushed a dry wind-blown strand of hair behind her ear. In an effort to appear to be in command of her emotions, she clasped her hands in front of her and waited.

Kandi’s brown gaze turned toward Tristan. She reached over and grabbed his arm, spilling vodka onto the table top. He peeled her fingers loose one by one.

“You can’t do this!” Georgina didn’t care how much she angered either man. Part of the reason she had filed for a divorce concerned Kandi and all of the Kandis before her. But she was still a human and Aleksandr, regardless of his designer suit, was scum.

“Shut up, Georgina,” Tristan barked.

Aleksandr’s glance took in the clear pool of vodka, and a scowl formed on his hairy face.

Apparently he valued his alcohol.

“How barbaric. Stop this right now, Tristan,”

Georgina reasoned, hoping he’d understand this was illogical and perverse.

The oppressive atmosphere grew weighty and thick. Sympathy coursed through Georgina. The black Russian wouldn’t give Kandi the spa treatment on this tub as she’d had on Tristan’s yacht. Tristan had to do something. Why didn’t he act?

“It’s done. Take her away,” Tristan spoke softly, as if the words were for his ears alone. He lifted his hand to his mouth and sucked the alcohol off. The goons started toward the door.

Georgina glanced at Tristan and witnessed the truth in his eyes.




Fantasies with spice and humor.

All rights reserved.


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