How do you DEAL?

Turning the corner is an idiom meaning to pass a critical point in a process. For example: a patient passes from a critical state to fair status; a new coach leads a football team from losing to having a #1 season; and most importantly–turning points in a person’s life path.

There have been many turning the corners or points of interest so far on my journey: graduating from higher education; marriage and the ensuing adjustment to living with someone twenty-four, seven; children who changed my priorities and outlook toward life—forever; my eldest son’s battle with cancer; my first book contract; and more recently my father’s crippling brain injury and subsequent memory loss.

Unlike the fictional character Forrest Gump’s philosophy that life is like a box of chocolates, my life resembles the Steel Twang (Indiana Beach) with peaks and valleys, exhilarations and gut-wrenching fear.

Steel Hawg

The highs are positive healthy rewarding events and I want more!The lows, the fears all of us deal with when the bumps are upon us, are necessary in order to progress through life, to GROW, and to BALANCE the bad with the good.My method of dealing: Analyze research, think again and make the experience a positive.Most of all I rely on my husband, sons and friends for support and encouragement. Life if good when you have others to share the rush at the top and the fear when heading down, especially the sadness when the journey ends.

I’m interested in you. What is your philosophy: a box of chocolates or a roller coaster?
How do you deal with life events?

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.
http://www.jj-keller.com
The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, MEMORY OF LOVE, coming soon

Jewel Heist, Kensington Books

Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print
All rights reserved.
Visit me: Facebook, Twitter,

Four Star Review from Long and Short Reviews:
http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-valkyrie-and-marine-by-jj-keller.html

 

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Names?

Mistresses of the Sea

The Christmas holiday always brings excess stress for me.  I want everyone to be happy. Commercial Christmas equates to happiness, which is nearly impossible to achieve. With weeks of planning, shopping, and cooking the day finally arrives. In the past I had been disappointed as a child when my request to Santa hadn’t been met. Not wanting my children to experience this feeling, I try to exceed their expectations. A vicious cycle—attempting to please everyone.

This year, my husband suggested traveling to Florida for a restful vacation before the entire hubbub of the holidays. I jumped on board the plane faster than you can say BEACH.

Our trip to Treasure Island was fantastic. The beaches weren’t crowded, the food was excellent (check out Bamboo Bar and Grill, tell Loretta we sent you) and we enjoyed a sand art festival.

Shopping at John’s Pass, a quaint turn-of-the-century boardwalk, proved to be entertaining and for once I didn’t mind shopping.

Typically we rent beachside, but this time we stayed marine-side. I’m glad we did. The view was breathtaking, sunrise to sunset. The ships motoring out of the bay hummed, making me sing a joyful song of peace.

Boats in harbor web page

I exercise each day and this wondrous warm environment provided me with the urge to walk, swim, and stair climb (several restaurants required climbing up flights of stairs (Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. at John’s Pass).

In the morning I’d walk around the marina as far as possible and during the out-and-back trips I noticed most of the ships were named after women.

Miss Rebecca Boat web page

Miss Rebecca was bumped against Miss Caroline…how sweet.

Traditionally ships and boats were given feminine names. From what I could find on the web there isn’t an exact reason why ships were given female names except this website had two theories.

While it is not known exactly why ships are named after female figures, there are two prominent theories. One hypothesizes that boats were named after goddesses and other mythical figures, and later shifted to popular feminine names as recognition of gods and goddesses faded. The second major theory focuses on the basis of European languages. A number of languages, such as German and French, have a complex system of gender involving grammatical terms in which objects are assigned specific masculine or feminine tones. Olde English also used this system of naming, with many inanimate objects such as boats referred to in the feminine form. As the English language changed and evolved, the tradition of using this feminine form for ship names continued and is still present today. Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_4606761_why-boats-named-after-women.html#ixzz2mBEJJ8ap

Many ships are named by the captain, in honor of important women in his life; although, a majority of vessels are named after historical icons. An extensive, precise ceremony is performed before the ship can sail. The name is painted on the ship, a bottle of wine is smacked on the ship’s bow to ward off any bad luck, and provide safety to the crew. The vessel proceeds on its maiden voyage following the blessing.

Champagne (wine) is a much better choice than what the Vikings used, spilling of blood. More often than not religious men or officials mainly performed the launching ceremony, now women cut the ribbon and sometimes smash the bottle against the hull. We’ve come a long way, baby.

I find it ironic that captains give female names to their vessels. When superstition through the centuries indicate women bring bad luck on board a ship because they distract sailors from their duties. Amusing, because most of the ships of yore approved a naked woman being on board and often ships’ typically had a figure of a topless women perched on the bow of the ship. Her bare breasts “shamed the stormy seas into calm” and her open eyes guided the seamen to safety. http://www.boaterexam.com/blog/2011/07/boater-superstitions.aspx

no-women-on-board

Pirate Ship Madiera Beach web page  The pirate ship at John’s Pass didn’t have a naked female form…what’s up with that?

Once a ship is named it is bad luck to change the name; after all, the Christened vessel had traveled the seas and developed their life and mind.

I’ll talk about John LeVeque, the pirate who lost his gold coins on Treasure Island, in the next blog.

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SHADOW OF THE HAWK

“Simple educator” doesn’t begin to describe Kristina, not when she has the ability to read minds and shove someone’s molecules into another dimension. The kidnapping of her little brother by the Dark Angel adds another complication to her life, which is already messed by desiring Grant Carmichael.

Grant uses shifting and clairsentience searching for a means to an end, until he touches Kristina Palmer. A jolt of normal excited him and for the first time, in a century, he’d have to navigate a relationship the old-fashioned way. But will the sweet paranormalist allow him, a shifter, to seduce her?

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

Coming soon: Shadow of the Hawk, The Twilight Zone meets The Da Vinci Code

Pippa’s Rescue, Horse Rescue Ranch Owners battles a Marine.

The Valkyrie and the Marine, The Wild Rose Press, July 18, 2012
Jewel Heist Diamonds used to be this girl’s best friend.

Dark Sun He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation. Cobblestone-Press

Trade Agreement LASR Best Book.
All rights reserved.

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

 

 

 

Bark at the Moon

Bark at the Moon.

Last weekend I attended a book signing at Allen County Public Library. The library’s contemporary structure with its raised roof and glass ceilings allowed sun to filter into the halls. Beautiful artwork and plasmas exhibiting historical events added to the thrum of noise from visitors and fellow authors. I decorated my table with a sage green tablecloth embroidered with tiny gemstones and beautiful books drew a crowd. Not only did I have a wonderful time talking to fans and making new ones, I spent quality time with my BFF of several years, Ramona.

During the down time, we discussed my current book, Memory of Love the sequel to The Valkyrie and the Marine and Pippa’s Rescue. We talked about my syllabus for the writing class I’m teaching in the spring. We both attended Ball State University. Ramona acquired an MA in Community Education and my MA is in Educational Development for Public Service, so there is an overlap of information.

My friend suggested an icebreaker, writing on slips of paper “I am” topics. People get to know each other without the in-face-here-I-am awkwardness. Great idea, right?

From this conversation we moved onto how to relieve stress. Both of us have had changes in our lives, drastic life altering changes. Some types of stress relievers we discussed were music therapy, breathing and meditation, laughing (we are experts). Addition methods of altering our stress levels was to watch aquarium fish, pray, walk a dog, crafting, art work, dance, solve a cryptogram puzzle, write in a journal, surround yourself with positive energy and the new one we created: bark at the moon.

When stress is overwhelming…go outside and bark. Howl at the moon until your throat hurts, and you’ve cleared your head of any noxious thoughts.

It works…give barking a chance. Note: turn up the music or your neighbors might think you strangeor if you live in the city go to the rooftop and shout.

The best stress reliever is reading a great book. Here is one you can download for free in January, 2014.
Pippa’s Rescue
Determined to bring his friend’s killer to justice, Basil’s search takes him to a horse rescue ranch and the beautiful owner, Pippa Wilson. Is she hiding Wilson in order to keep her livestock in feed?

PippasRescue_w7614_medPippa must find her brother before the bank puts her home in a holding pattern and eventually financial ruin. When a gorgeous Marine arrives, she can’t fight the attraction. She must use her wits to outsmart a Special Forces Captain.

Skogul, Valkyrie leader of the first squad, is to offer immortality to one of the humans she enjoys observing. Except, watching science fiction on the big screen holds more appeal. Will she let her assignment slip through the cracks and answer to Odin himself?

Pippa’s Rescue will be made available for free for 5 days during the following period: January 21-25, 2014 KDP select through Amazon

Basil wants justice. Determined to find the man who turned on his own unit and caused the deaths of many brave men, Basil tracks him to a Horse Rescue Ranch. But the ranch owner is the traitor’s sister, and she’s not talking. Caught off guard by her beauty–not to mention the bizarre arrival of a leather-clad Valkyrie–Basil has a hard time keeping his mind on his mission

Animal rights activist Pippa Wilson must find her brother before the bank forecloses on their rescue ranch. When a gorgeous Marine arrives looking for him too, she tries to resist the attraction–but will her heart listen?

Product Nbr: 7614 
Title: Pippa’s Rescue 
Series Name: 
Theme(s): Animals 
SubGenre(s): Suspense, Fantasy 
Imprint: Faery 
Length: Miniature 
Rating: Spicy 
Keywords: Valkyrie, Asgard, Valhalla, horses, Marines, rescue 
Page Count: 136 
Word Count: 33333 
Digital Price: 3.99

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.
http://www.jj-keller.com
The Valkyrie and the Marine, 2012, coming March 25, 2014 Pippa’s Rescue
Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/jjkeller.htm
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
All rights reserved.

Tag, you’re it!

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Hi everyone.

This Thursday’s blog is in answer to someone tagging me in a blog. Thanks, Daisy and to Zrinka too. I’m linking back to you both as well.

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What are you working on right now?

At the present time I’m perfecting a novel, Conjured Lover.

Here is the premise:

Ericka Gilmore plays with life and death as she tries to resurrect her ghost lover. It isn’t until she meets Joe Reeves that she gets the chance to pursue true love…only to be lost if she resurrects her ghost.  Joe Reeves wants to get rid of his gift of prophecy for fear of seeing people he cares about die. He avoids relationships…until he meets Ericka Gilmore. She ignites a stronger desire to be normal—but he won’t risk seeing her die. A little known mystical Ley Line may be the answer to what they seek, but will they find what they are looking for in each other instead.

The Ley Line, pivotal location in the story, is an actual site. The Native American ceremonial ground has been researched and a visit to the site confirmed it as a perfect location for this story.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

An attorney who speaks to ghosts and an ex-cop who has the ability to predict (and possibly save) people who are to become spirits. What do you think?

Why do you write what you do?

Paranormal has always been a part of my life. My mother has psychic abilities, and I’ve witnessed my eldest son’s talent. At times of trouble, when my son was diagnosed with cancer and my youngest son had a life-threatening motorbike accident, I experienced paranormal activity. These experiences are the bases for several of my books.

The Watcher (guardian reassuring a female at the brink of change)

Believe (an evil woman uses chemotherapy drugs to alter the DNA of gifted children)

Melody’s Song (a mother loses her son to cancer and deals with the aftermath)

Shadow of the Hawk (conclusion of the above three)

Other titles of interest:

Dark Sun

Dark Shadows

Love Hurts

Jewel Heist

The Tarot Card

Trade Agreement

The Valkyrie and the Marine

CS: Pippa’s Rescue

Future: Memory of Love

How does your writing process work? My writing process varies according to the story and the inspiration. Events in my life influence my story line. Sometimes I need to research the background and more often than not I drag out my journals from trips I’ve taken to different states, Canada and Europe as personal references for settings. As far as characterization I often watch people for facial expressions or body motions to write into my characters.

Once I have the story line, plot, characters and maybe affectations I begin to write. I’m generally a pantster (writing as the thoughts flow rather than creating a detailed outline). However, I do create a GMC chart to keep the pace flowing at a steady rate.

If I encounter a block, I usually go through the previous chapters and layer in scenery, characters and pump the dialogue. This process tends to provide light into what should happen next…and if not a hot toddy and a good night’s sleep always gives me a fresh start.

After the story is finished I like to let it sit on my desk for a while and then I’ll review to get rid of duplicate words and try to fix the grammar ( I love commas!). When I believe I have the story tidied, I’ll print the pages and go over the text again. I tend to edit better with a hard copy.

That is my writing process. Is it similar to yours? How does your writing process evolve?

I’m tagging Zrinka Jelic, a phenomenal new author who is making a powerful impact on the romance world.

Thank you, Daisy for adding me to the blog hop.

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PippasRescue_w7614_med

Aliens in Roanoke

From the Front Porch I see an alien calling card, a faux crop circle on my yard.

grass circles

For those of you, who are unfamiliar with a crop circle, tamped down wheat, corn, oats, rice, barley, rye, tobacco, or even weeds, a pattern of elaborate design is formed. Sometimes the patterns are simple circles or elaborate geometric shapes.

Celtic-Knot Crop Circle A formation at West Kennett in Wiltshire that looks like a Celtic symbol called the Triskell.

See how the area is so clean it appears to have been created by a machine? The shoots are bent, simply laying down and sometimes continue to grow as normal. Crop circles have been occurring since 1500’s as picture in artwork of a “mowing devil.” John Rand Capron, Surrey, England, described a field of wheat appearing to have been blown by cyclonic wind action, forming circles.
“But the phenomenon didn’t gain attention until 1980, when a farmer in Wiltshire County, England, discovered three circles, each about 60 feet (18 meters) across, in his oat crops. UFO researchers and media descended on the farm, and the world first began to learn about crop circles.” (How stuff works)

In the 1990’s crop circles became a tourist attraction with more elaborate crop circles appearing in layered patterns clockwise and counterclockwise. They can range from a few inches to hundreds of feet across. Not only do crop circles appear in Indiana, but England, Australia, Japan, and India.

When do they typically appear? April to September. My yard art was September 11, 2013.

So why do crop circles appear?

Outside a visit from aliens, one theory is that they are a result of wind, whirling burst of air jet to the ground…kind of like the dust devils in my living room. Some researchers believe the patterns are created by earth and electromagnetic radiation, because people standing inside a crop circle have felt strange sensations, dizziness and tingling. Finally, human hoax. You can have your own crop circle created. Go to http://www.circlemakers.com.

Have tiny aliens appeared in my front yard, leaving a little message just for my enjoyment?
purple alien

As an author writing paranormal, fantasy, and suspense I like to imagine miniature aliens left a message for me, but more than likely due to the drought in my area, it’s just dead grass.
What are your thoughts?

Have you visited a crop circle site?

What do you believe?

Credits:
http://www.freeimages-photos.com/crop-circles.php
http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/unexplained-phenomena/crop-circle1.htm
http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/space/aliens/

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

Shadow of the Hawk

The Valkyrie and the Marine, The Wild Rose Press
Coming Soon: Pippa’s Rescue

Dark Sun He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
Trade Agreement LASR Best Book.
All rights reserved.

Horse Rescued by Marine

Pippa’s Rescue
Skogul, Valkyrie leader of the first squad in Valhalla, is supposed to offer immortality to former Marine Basil Vanguard. Too bad watching science fiction on the big screen is more fun. But if her assignment slips through the cracks, will Odin himself take a hand?

Basil wants justice. Determined to find the man who turned on his own unit and caused the deaths of many brave men, Basil tracks him to Horse Rescue Ranch. But the ranch owner is the traitor’s sister, and she’s not talking. Caught off guard by her beauty—not to mention the bizarre arrival of a leather-clad Valkyrie—Basil has a hard time keeping his mind on his mission.

Animal rights activist Pippa Wilson must find her brother before the bank forecloses on their rescue ranch. When a gorgeous Marine arrives looking for him too, she tries to resist the attraction—but will her heart listen?

Coming soon at The Wild Rose Press

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.
http://www.jj-keller.com
Shadow of the Hawk
The Valkyrie and the Marine, The Wild Rose Press
Coming Soon: Pippa’s Rescue
Dark Sun He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
Trade Agreement LASR Best Book.
All rights reserved.