Seasonal Meaning

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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!

 

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Book Signing for the Introvert

Hi all,

Whew, tomorrow is my book signing at the Allen County Library.  My nature is to stand in the middle of the crowd watching how people interact and, of course, to create stories from those observations…but as an author I need to market.  Yeah, I know, the dreaded market word (to some not all).

For the past ten years my cheeks heat, my stomach rumbles and my heart pounds at a rate I should be fainting, but I stand or sit and try to sell my books. I love to write which entails merchandising. Most of all I love talking to fans about books, my books especially, including plots, characters and future stories.

If you’re in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area please join me at The Allen County Library-Main Branch for a chat or to gaze upon my red face. 11.11.17 from noon until 5pm.

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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: Amalfi Coast

If you’ve seen a painting or print of Italy, generally the scenery is of houses built into the mountain side. The Amalfi Coast has this spectacular landscape admired by most who venture along the rough, wicked turning roads to get to the quaint seaside towns. My husband and I joined two other couples in a van driven by an energetic Italian. The wheels of the van barely touched the asphalt surface, but the fear wasn’t enough to keep me from admiring the scenery. I couldn’t look past the terraces lined with lemon trees.

Crags of misshapen olive trees bursting with soon-to-be-harvested olives dotted the landscape breaking up the vibrant yellow. Houses, seemingly built into the sides of the mountain, glistened in the noonday sun.

We jolted to a stop for a thirty-minute sightseeing walk through Amalfi, where the infamous lemon liqueur is made. Our taste buds were not disappointed…and the next leg of the journey was not as shocking with a bit of 32 proof in me.

A troop of school girls in matching outfits rushed through the streets handing out flyers to a play being performed that night. Visitors and locals interacted despite the language barriers. Coins, EUROs, were exchanged and merchandise moved.

Our next stop was at Positano and lunch at Chez Black a few feet above Mermaid Beach. We tried the buffalo mozzarella and swordfish, both were excellent. Well worth the winding staircase trip to get to the location.

What do you think of the magnificent blue waters of the Amalfi Coast?

Road Trip to Old Stone Fort

The setting for Mystic Love was created from a road trip my family took a few years ago.

We were driving to Florida for spring break and took a rest stop in Tennessee. I’d been reading about ley lines and how the underground alignments of places hold a mystical power. And what do you know–Old Stone Fort Park was at the next exit.

Fee paid and car parked we shed our over coats and embraced the warmer temperature. The boys wanted to go to the site and get it over with

Instead we walked the trail that looped around. At the entrance of the ceremonial site were two mounds of soil, perfectly formed. The park had been created during the Woodland period so pedestal mounds…much like Native American burial grounds found in the northern Indiana area of my parents homestead… were typical in a religious place.

I stood in the center of the religious area and closed my eyes. I let the sounds of rushing waters from the Duck Rivers and the birds cooing in the leafless tree branches surround me. Earth scents from the warm fresh breeze, mixing with the fallen leaves and pungent waterfalls took me to another place. Peacefulness beyond anything I’d experienced before set over me. I could almost feel the magic in the area.

Until, my eldest son shouted into my ear.

The spell was broken, but I’ve never forgotten the special emotions I experienced.

Do ley lines hold mystical powers?

Mystic Love

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

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

Rating: Spicy 
Page Count: 282 
Word Count: 68692

978-1-5092-1060-2 Paperback 
978-1-5092-1061-9 Digital

Excerpt

She threw herself against her dream lover, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him. His lips were cold, but perfect in form. At first, his mouth didn’t move, but after a couple of seconds, he pressed into her. She flicked the tip of her tongue over his mouth, outlining the curves, and then slid it between his lips. His tongue played with hers. Sharp, decadent longing powered through her.

Wait a minute, he didn’t taste like she’d imagined. He tasted like mint and human. She touched whatever smooth cool skin she could find available between the coat and his neck and shoulders. Strong and virile hot body. She inhaled, taking in his scent; fragrant late fall wind and the odor of male sweat.

Sweat? Wet skin? She licked her lips, savoring the zest. A spear of lightning brightened the sky. Six foot three. Left ear piercing. Broad chest. Wrangler posture, with one knee bent.

Her heart thumped harder, pounding strong in her chest.

Whom had she kissed?

****

Joe supported her, keeping her in an upright position. Definitely a her as supple breasts snuggled tight against his chest. Her robe opened, and he fought the urge to remove his own garments to feel her warm body against his, flesh to flesh.

Lips tasting of wine connected with his, insistent and passionate. Six months ago, he embarked on his solo quest, but it hadn’t been so long that he couldn’t remember previous intimacies, and those encounters didn’t compare to her lavish kisses. Whew, hot, he’d go with the flow for a little longer.

She jerked, and then shoved him away. Sadly, the kiss had been a mistake, and from the flash of surprise crossing her face, she’d realized it as well. The pale blue, almost white, towel came loose from her head. She snapped the cloth off. Sexy dark ringlets fell in twisted disarray to her shoulders.

Joe had been lucky enough to catch a joyful kiss and snuggle. He’d delighted in the touch of her lips, the scent of her womanhood, and her wonderful nipples piercing into his thin, sodden shirt. Enjoying the mistake and resulting benefits, he grinned.

The gleam in her eyes went from surprise to anger. With a shaking hand, she wiped her luscious pink mouth.

He stood in a quandary and debated how to explain. Under the circumstances, she wouldn’t accuse him of a forced entry.

“Sorry. No lights. I didn’t hear a security system buzz. I would’ve shouted.” He took a step. “Instead of coming inside.”

She retreated.

Damn. He’d be sleeping in the rain after all.

 

Mystic Love

 

Romantic, but Relationship Avoider, Ericka Gilmore

Mystic Love: characterization of Ericka.

Ericka Gilmore ached for a special love. Hidden deep down, for a brief insane moment, she dreamed of a husband, children, and pets. A perfect family. She came to her senses and shook off the unlikeliness. Love she could do, but engagement leading toward commitment…no. Forever wasn’t in her genetic code.

Men came in all shapes, sizes and personalities (some strange), and she always gravitated toward the wrong guy. None of her lovers progressed past the eventual clash of vow or not to vow. After a short fling with a ghost, who-like other males before left without a word, she found a loophole.

Cast a spell and bring forth a supernatural lover. She’d have constant romance without the messy entanglements of a relationship. In addition, the women of her family were cursed.

She convinces her BFF, Jacey, to chant a pricey abracadabra incantation. The result was a window slamming shut and lights flickering—possibly due to an approaching storm.

Jacey tried to dissuade her from continuing down witchy lane; but she had too much to lose.

The expression on her friend’s face …to repeat a cliché, ‘said it all’. She’d go on a date with one of her friends. Date arranged, Jacey left.

Ericka prepares for her only case.

As a new attorney in the area, her client list was dismal to the point her deflated bank account meant she had to win the case or sell her house. She loved Ames Mansion, with its soft southern charm and rambling acres. It was home and the first she’d ever owned. She needed the sense of posterity.

She had to win.

Too bad the guy was guilty. A high profile case would give her press, but not if she lost. What about morality? As an attorney she promised to defend. She didn’t like the guy. What if he proved to be responsible for the wrongdoing? What a mess.

A storm blew through by the name Joe Reeves. This handsome, motorcycle-riding nomad appeared on her doorstep and changed her entire world.

MYSTIC LOVE…appearing October 26, 2016

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Joe Reeves: Deathwatch Cop

I’ve a new book, Mystic Love, with a release date of 10.26.16, and I can’t wait to introduce you to the characters. I  hope you grow to love them as much as I do.

This week I’ll be presenting Joe Reeves,a detective from Louisiana. He has a stellar work history and would be fighting crime today if it weren’t for a car accident.

Joe has one sister who is married to a psychology professor at a university in Pennsylvania. He has two nephews and a newborn niece, but do to his problem he hasn’t met the little tyke.

Joe Reeves: Deathwatch Cop

Flashing lights and the siren’s roar of a high-performance car during a chase had been an exciting part of law enforcement. The odor of burning rubber, fumes from the tailpipe of the criminal’s car and the thrill of putting him in jail was typically something Joe loved, but not on that day.

Adam, his partner, had insisted he drive. For the first time Joe sat in the passenger seat, gun primed and ready.

On reflection he regretted the mistake of allowing Adam to navigate the race. Broadsided by a failure-to-yield, his friend was instantly killed and Joe went comatose. The coma lasted for a month and left him with consequences.

Yeah, riding in a confined space gave him claustrophobia… and he dreamed of death.

Resolving the neurosis was simple–he purchased a motorcycle and stayed away from tight spaces.

The dreams were more difficult to manage.

At first he ignored the nighttime visions, believing them aftereffects of his coma. Then he had a prophecy of a kid being killed by a drive-by. He managed to locate the crime scene. His timing…he was to late.

The realization he could have saved him—if he would’ve taken responsibility for his mind’s trickery.

Something happened inside him. After the nervous stomach and subsequent puking, he experienced an empyrean light.

He paid attention to the visions, details and especially timing, and acted sooner.

The spark, fresh determination to succeed and to save victims, lasted six months. One of two results occurred each time he attempted to change the outcome of a vision: the bystanders labeled him a champion or they challenged him, claiming the circumstances made his activities suspicious. Either way he lost because people turned away.

His hero mindset dissipated when he concluded he couldn’t…it wasn’t humanly possible to keep the target from certain death.

He became a wanderer, trying to avoid remaining in one place for any length of time. His visions seemed to occur when he got close to a person. Emotional involvement set off a prophecy.

Running didn’t help, the predictions continued.

He had to make them stop.

Attempts were made to eradicate the foresight through religious avenues to no avail. No matter how bizarre or odd the gimmick he’d try. He would not allow another child to die.

The prophecies had to end.

Cyan, Indiana and a Native American healer became his aim.

PREORDER MYSTIC LOVE AT THE WILD ROSE PRESS

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Next week I’ll introduce Ericka Gilmore…she’s a jewel. I hope you’ll visit and make her your book  friend .