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#IndieBooksBeSeen Secret Santa Giveaway

If you’re a frequent user of social media I hope you’ve gotten a chance to see the #IndieBooksBeSeen tag. #IndieBooksBeSeen is an authors-helping-authors movement to help shine light on the indie book industry and assist readers in discovering new authors and books. Want to join the fun? Go onto Twitter and search #IndieBooksBeSeen and find your next read. My friend Mark Shaw started the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement and is kind of a big deal now 🙂

A bunch of the authors involved in #IndieBooksBeSeen got together and said…know what would make the world amazing? FREE BOOKS! So we joined together to host an epic Secret Santa Giveaway. Winners will receive a personalized paperback copy of one of the books (open to the US, Canada, and the UK). You can see all the books being offered by clicking hereWe’re using Rafflecopter to make things easy. Best part? There are 74 ways to enter.

The weatherman says we’re heading into a painful winter, so be prepared. A few good books will get you through to spring!

Happy Reading!


My Reaction to the Face.Me Blog Tour

My Reaction to the Face.Me Blog Tour

Today some of my author friends banded together to host a Face.Me blog tour where they shared photos of themselves without makeup in an effort to promote true beauty. Lean in, friends, because I’m going to have a very honest moment with you. Ready? When I saw they were doing this and making a big deal about showing their faces without makeup I rolled my eyes. Yes. I’m a sinner. There’s proof.

However, many of those posting were close friends of mine and I wanted to see what they would blog about. I knew their posts would be insightful, but what I found blew me away. Man, was I humbled and challenged. I found myself nodding along. I found myself tearing up. And I found myself praying.

Let the King be enthralled by your beauty;


My original issue with the Face.Me challenge was that I can count on one hand (without using all my fingers) the number of days in my entire life that I’ve worn makeup. I have never tried figuring out how to wear the stuff because—frankly—I accepted the fact a long time ago that beauty is far out of my reach. No amount of makeup will turn this mug into a model, so what was the point?

I distinctly remember at grade school age being told that it was a shame I wasn’t pretty like my sisters. Then when it came time to have crushes on boys, the guys I liked always fell for my beautiful best friend(s). Every. Single. Time. See, I have this ongoing issue where I always make friends with beautiful people therefore casting me in the role as wingman for my entire life. This was my truth no matter what my setting—at school, in clubs, and at summer camp. Know how I became friends with my husband? He had a crush on my gorgeous college roommate. True story.

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I’ve worn many labels in my life. I have been smart. Clever. Strong. Funny. Driven. Independent. Tough. A tomboy. Even cute.

But beauty was never a label for me. Even on my wedding day (one of the few times I’ve worn makeup), I didn’t feel beautiful. I felt loved. So incredibly loved. And special. But not beautiful. I couldn’t have. Because I am not beautiful.

Let’s go back to me rolling my eyes when I first heard about the challenge. At the time I would have told you that I was eye rolling because I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I go without makeup every day and the world keeps right on spinning. You know?

However, as I read the heartfelt words of my friends I realized that I don’t wear makeup because I feel beautiful without it, but because I believe—for me—beauty is unattainable, even with it. So what’s the point? Besides, to this day, whenever I try to wear makeup I think I look silly. Like a little kid playing dress up.

AnnaAnd yet, it’s a little kid playing dress up who is teaching me about true beauty.

He will rejoice over you with singing

Almost two years ago my daughter was born. Every single day since, my husband and I watch her and look at each other to say, “she’s so beautiful!” We catch ourselves doing this constantly. Even when she’s covered in mud or sporting truly impressive bed head. We both believe she’s the most beautiful little girl on earth. Know what? It has nothing to do with her outward appearance. She’s beautiful because of her curious and adventurous spirit. Because she sees beauty and wonder in everything. And most of all, because she’s ours.

God feels that way about me. About you. About us.

That stopped me in my tracks.

To God: I. Am. Beautiful. The girl who no one has ever described that way. Who doesn’t believe that label will ever be for me. God labeled me beautiful the day He created me and He’s been there ever since saying, “See her? That’s my daughter. Isn’t she beautiful?”

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord

So, without further ado, here is my Face.Me picture. Snapped quickly, in one shot, with no filter and no make-up. My hair is still wet from the shower. You can see the extra weight I haven’t lost since having my daughter. And the place on my bottom lip that pulls weird because I have no feeling there from nerve damage when my jaw was broken (this is why I can’t ever wear lipstick!). When my daughter sees this face she cries “mama!” in joy and runs into my arms. This is the face my husband sees when he whispers he loves me. The one that the God of the universe is looking upon right now as He smiles, saying, “That one’s mine. Isn’t she beautiful?”


Below are some of the authors who blogged about Face.Me and their words really touched me. These are not all the authors involved in the blog tour, but if you click on one of the links, each of those authors have a list of all the blogs involved on their post.

Joseph Courtemanche

Nick Kording

Kristy Cambron

Katie Ganshert

Laurie Tomlinson

Katherine Reay

You are loved. And you are beautiful.

Join the conversation about #beauty using #FACEme and post your make-up free #Author #Selfie -via @AuthorKeller (Click to Tweet)


Celebrating a New Book!

Celebrating a New Book!

Today I’m handing out party hats and slicing the cake (oh, it’s totally okay to eat cake at before noon!) to celebrate my latest book which released this week! My newsletter subscribers are already having a lot of fun. I announced the release on my newsletter on Tuesday morning and gave them an opportunity to enter to win signed copies of both the new book Searching for Home and The Widower’s Second ChanceIf you don’t want to miss out on upcoming fun, make sure to stop by my website and sign up to receive future updates first. You’ll find the “Join Jessica’s Mailing List” box on the front page.

I also wanted to let you guys know that you may start to see some construction dust on my blog very soon. In the coming months my author website and my blog will both be revamped (design wise) and joined on one complete site. Won’t that be nice? I sure hope so.

But let’s get to the good stuff…a new book!

Searching for Home – Spies of Chicago, Book One

for websiteShe thought a dead relative ruined her life, but discovering his story will save it instead.

When the story of Whitney’s long-dead anarchist ancestor, Lewis Ingram, makes front-page news, she must find a way to exonerate her relative, or risk losing everything–her mayoral-candidate boyfriend and her job at a local magazine. Aided by Nate, a volunteer at the Chicago Historical Foundation, she digs in, determined to find a positive spin on the situation. But what awaits her isn’t spin at all. It’s truth–and it will change her life.

In the world of 1886, Ellen Ingram and James Kent didn’t intend to get caught in the middle of an anarchist spy ring. Ellen was content to leave all such intrigue to her brother, Lewis Ingram. But as the political climate in Chicago changes, Ellen and James have no choice. In the midst of the famous Haymarket Riot, both realize that they must live the life God created them for, not the one dictated by society.

Two generations encounter the same truth–and neither will ever be the same.

A Review for Destined for Doon

Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

 If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you know I love three things with equal tenacity: Young Adult fiction, Romance, and the Fantasy genre. Wouldn’t you know Destined for Doon has all three? Moreover, it doesn’t disappoint. At all.

DoonDestined for Doon is the second book in a four book series inspired by the musical Brigadoon. In the first book, Doon, we see best friends Veronica and Mackenna (Kenna) travel to Scotland and discover the magical, locked away land of Doon—complete with two handsome princes waiting for them, of course. 🙂

Did I mention I loved the first book in this series? I did, immensely. Well, I’m always a little afraid to read sequels—not because I don’t want more of the stories, I always do—but because usually they don’t live up to the magic felt while reading the first book. Well, that was not true with Destined for Doon, actually **leans closer and whispers** I liked it BETTER than the first book. I know—crazy, right?

Honest moment: Kenna wasn’t my favorite character in book one. I just didn’t get her reluctance when it came to love (the authors wrote her beautifully, it’s just my personal thing) so I was worried that I wouldn’t be as into the second book because the bulk of it follows Kenna’s story. Boy, was I wrong. Kenna won me over and then some. She’s strong and doesn’t always have a filter and feels deeply. She’s a good role model and lends strength to Veronica who desperately needs to believe in herself more (trusting that’ll come in the next two books).

And Duncan. Can we please talk about Prince Duncan (Kenna’s romantic interest) a little? Duncan has been my favorite character since he walked onto the page in book one. Many of my friends like Prince Jamie (Veronica’s romantic interest) better, but I’ve never been one for the moody, mysterious man. I’d rather have a heart on his sleeve, loyal to a fault, Duncan any day.Destined for Doon

The romantic tension and angst needed in a YA book is so well done in this one. I have no clue how the authors’ craft these things so seamlessly and believably—I wish I could sit down with Carey and Lorie for lessons in this to strengthen my own YA writing.

Both Carey and Lorie are skilled authors, their writing complements each other well. The setting of Doon comes alive. As someone who has never traveled to Scotland, the book transports me there and fills in all the gaps with beautiful description.

Beyond the romance, the conflict and mystery in this book are very good and kept me as a reader guessing how exactly Veronica and Kenna could possibly overcoming the thing that is threatening to destroy the entire kingdom of Doon and everyone who lives there. High stakes—yeah, I pulled a heart-pounding all nighter because I couldn’t put turn the pages fast enough for the last 120 pages. Man alive. These women know how to craft a story. I have said that already, haven’t I?

Lastly, I really appreciate that the authors take the chance to show two teen girls in an uplifting friendship. Kenna and Veronica always have each other’s’ backs. Their first instinct is to encourage and challenge each other. And they are constantly risking all for the other. When so many YA books only show girls gossiping and hurting each other, it’s refreshing to see the bond for friendship in the Doon series.

I am avidly awaiting the next installment and am considering bribing Carey and Lorie with cookies and musical tickets in order to read book three w-a-y ahead of time. Thankfully, we have two more books to look forward to. More adventures. More Doon. And more Duncan.

read the book


A Review for The Butterfly and the Violin

The Butterfly and the Violin – by Kristy Cambron

I’m going to be honest—I usually pass right by any book that I think will be depressing or things that cover heavy subject matters. I get enough real life shock value in my day job; I don’t need it during my relaxing time when I’m reading. Going off of that, you’re probably confused as to why I’m recommending a book that centers around Auschwitz—but The Butterfly and the Violin is brimming with hope and holds a story as breathtakingly beautiful as it’s cover.

The book follows both a contemporary and a historical storyline. Sometimes a book that has both can feel jarring when we transition to a different time period, but Cambron expertly weaves the two together. Both characters are written uniquely and I cared about both heroines.The Butterfly and the Violin

Sera James is an art gallery owner in Manhattan. As a young girl she saw a painting of a woman with a shaved head playing a violin and the image has stayed with her, haunting her into adulthood. When she has the opportunity to locate a copy of the painting, Sera jumps at the chance and heads to California where her life becomes entangled with a man who wants the painting as well.

I found Sera to be a realistic character who I enjoyed. Scars from Sera’s past threaten her hope for a relationship with William. Is he worth trusting? Sera’s past tells her most men aren’t.

Adele Von Bron has become Austria’s darling as a violin prodigy, but when she is caught attempting to help Jews escape during the Nazi reign, her prestige, nor her father’s high position, can save her from being sent to the concentration camp. Adele is broken and alone and finds the only way to save herself is to join the orchestra which plays for the laborers and at the whim of the Nazis. Adele proves to be remarkably brave—her story touched me deeply.

The historical sections are powerful, heartbreaking, and full of every emotion available. Cambron does a good job of showing us the horrors of the concentration camp without becoming gory or gruesome. Historical details in this book were so well researched. I had no idea there were orchestras or art in the midst of all of this.

One of the things I appreciated the most is that a story that could have been a downer, was instead stamped with hope on every single page. There is friendship that saves, romantic love offering new chances, and the eternal love of God that gives a future.

This story is deeply spiritual at its core containing messages about pushing beyond our mistakes, clinging to God even when evil is all around you, and urges you to see the beauty in every day of life.

The Butterfly and the Violin is a must read (and I just checked, its only $3.99 for Kindle right now!). It’s one of those stories that brands itself on your heart, coming back into your thoughts for years afterwards.


I’m Alive! An Update and Review of The Hesitant Heiress to Prove it!

Widowers Second ChanceI’ve been hopelessly absent from blogging and I’m very sorry about that fact. Truth be known, I really enjoy posting things for you and would like to get into a more regular schedule. I’m currently trying to figure out what that looks like, and what sort of content would serve you all best.

What have I been doing? Besides working at my day job and playing with a very giggly 20 month old, I’ve been writing. My latest Love Inspired book, The Widower’s Second Chance, released in August—it launches a new series called Goose Harbor which follows the lives of people who live on the sandy shores of a tourist community on Lake Michigan.

My next book with Phantom Ship Press will release in October. Searching for Home launches a three book series called Spies of Chicago that follows both a historical and contemporary storyline. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? And then at the end of November a historical Christmas novella titled Hear on Christmas Morning will release.


Other than that I’ve been catching up on one of my favorite activities—reading. Let me tell you, I’ve found some AMAZING books in the last few months and discovered some authors that went directly onto my pre-order every book they ever write list. With that in mind I’m going to post a book review/recommendation every day this week.

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

 If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. It’s easily the best historical fiction I’ve read in many years (and I’m a 100+ book a year reader). The second I finished The Hesitant Heiress, I wanted to start rereading it and I’ve been thinking about the characters long after finishing it because they are so well written they felt like real people.

The main character, Amaryllis Brigham, has lived a lonely life and would rather spend time with books and music than with people. The day her mother died is wrapped up in mystery and she hasn’t had much contact with her father since she was whisked away to a boarding school straight from the funeral. Adding to that is an over-riding sense that every terrible event in her life has been influenced by Bram Everstone—the man who once loved her mother.

Upon her grandmother’s death Amaryllis learns that she’s set to inherit a fortune as long as she marries within the year—something she’s not willing to consider. The story opens with Amaryllis being expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, which leads her to living with her well-to-do aunt in Boston, forcing her to attend parties and hob-nob with those in high society.

Amaryllis meets Nathan Everstone and sparks fly before they even exchange their first words. Nathan is a hero worth cheering on. A man who is both dreamy, yet believable—yes, I said dreamy. Nathan doesn’t give up easily and yet completely respects the space Amaryllis needs. Their love story is beautiful, full of tension, and kept me reading late into the early morning hours.

The Hesitant HeiressPoor Amaryllis can’t trust that Nathan loves her though because a misunderstanding leads her to believe that her aunt asked Nathan to pay attention to her. That—and he’s the son of her greatest enemy.

The Hesitant Heiress is told in first person, which I love. I wish more inspirational fiction—especially historicals—were written like this. It often felt like I was reading a contemporary of the book Rebecca or Jane Eyre (two of my all-time favorites). It’s that good. Seriously.

Crandall is masterful at crafting characters who have believable motivations. I completely understood why Amaryllis thought and acted and reacted the way she did to everything because I felt her past hurts and the lies about herself she believed so deeply.

As an author, I can usually guess most twists and turns that are going to happen in a story because that’s how my mind works when I dive into a plot—but with this book I was able to turn that off and just be along for the ride. That’s high praise because I can so rarely engage with a book on that level. I have to adore the book and characters to do that, but Crandall made that easy for me. She’s now on my preorder-every-single-thing-she-every-writes list. There were elements of mystery and plot twists in the book that I didn’t initially see coming.

Crandall expertly drew me into the Gilded Age setting with well researched details and authentic dialogue. I felt like I was there. She also didn’t fall into a mistake that many historical writers make of too much detail—sometimes that’s just as distracting.

More than anything, I can’t get Crandall’s characters out of my head. Amaryllis and Nathan are real. They live and breathe on the page and will do so in your heart and mind long after you’re done. Happily, the next two books of the series are releasing quickly so we all don’t have to wait long for the rest of the stories!

I can’t recommend The Hesitant Heiress highly enough. It deserves far more than 5 stars.

**I bought this book with my own hard earned money and am reviewing it because I think everyone should read it**


A Writing Whirlwind Complete with a Giveaway

Posted on

So far this year my writing life has been a whirlwind–in the best way possible!

Saving Yesterday

Saving Yesterday, my Sci-Fi/Fantasy young adult novel has recieved a lot of great feedback, but I could still really use your help to get the word out about this book and to help others decide if they’d like to read it. The best way to do this is by writing a review for the book (and any books by any authors you like) on Amazon. Without reviews, books don’t sell. Period. Remember, writing reviews shouldn’t be time consuming. Just a sentence or two about what you liked about the book and done.

Also, right now Saving Yesterday is on sale for only 99 cents. The sale ends tonight so feel free to get the word out on social media so your friends can snatch it up for an insanely low price.

Goose Harbor Series

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Widower's Second Chance by Jessica  Keller

The Widower’s Second Chance

by Jessica Keller

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The first book in my new Love Inspired series (The Widower’s Second Chance) will be in stores in August, but you have two chances to get a copy before it even releases. Right now you can sign up to win one of eight signed copies on my Goodreads giveaway. And later this month I’ll be running an exclusive giveway that’s only open to my newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Everyone have a safe and fun Father’s Day! Keep reading 🙂 -jess

Updates and a Giveaway

Happy Tax Day everyone! Hopefully your paperwork is in the mail and you can now enjoy all the free tax day promos. While we’re at it, I wanted to share a few freebies and updates with you too.

  • First of all I have some good news. I’ve been asked to be a regular contributor to the blog The Write Conversation and couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. Author friend Charity Tinnin and I will be sharing the Indie Tuesday slot and if your interested in writing at all, we’d love if you stopped by and talked with us on Tuesdays.

The Write Conversation : Indie Tuesday—Are You Ready to Self-Publish?: by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller Frantic heart palpitations. Occasional bouts of hyperventilation. Random sweating coupled with a coffee…


  • I’ve started a newsletter list and would love if you would join. It’s the best way to keep up on my latest releases and upcoming books. My newsletter subscribers will see cover reveals first, hear about sales and giveaways before anyone else, receive free book content not available to others, and prizes for subscribers only. What won’t you get by signing up? Easy. You’ll never be spammed and will never receive more than two newsletters a month (and more often just one). Scouts honor. You can subscribe to the newsletter right one my website.


  • Right now I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads. There are three signed copies of Saving Yesterday up for grabs, so if you’re a Goodreads member make sure to sign up. If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month to see if you win the Goodreads giveaway then the great news is the kindle ebook of Saving Yesterday is on sale right now for only $2.99. That’s less than a cup of coffee folks and it last a lot longer. 🙂


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Saving Yesterday by Jessica  Keller

Saving Yesterday

by Jessica Keller

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

  • Last but not least I wanted to share a song with you that’s offered a lot of encouragement to me as I’ve faced some hard things lately. I hope you enjoy it. Have a wonderful week dear friends!


Celebrating Indie Authors – Enter to Win: Gift Cards, Original Art, a Mug, and LOTS of books!

Indie Extravaganza: New Book Releases You Should Check Out – PLUS Gift Card Giveaway!

Looking for some great NEW indie reads?
All of these books are New Releases in the last few months. Skip to the genre you love, sample a new indie author… and enter the giveaway at the bottom! (Also check out the FREE books associated with these New Releases at the bottom.)
And THANK YOU for supporting indie authors!
(click on covers to learn more)p.s. is it me, or are these indie covers amazing?

Young Adult Science Fiction


Science Fiction/Dystopian

Young Adult Fantasy



Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Contemporary/Historical Romance

Young Adult Suspense

Middle Grade

Steampunk/Alternate History


FREE Books
Connected with New Releases Above

Giveaway includes Gift Cards, Original Art, paperbacks, ebooks, and a mug!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating the release of Saving Yesterday

Is everyone wearing their party hats and dancing shoes? We have some celebrating to do!

One – Does everyone know I launched a website at the beginning of the year? If not, please go check it out and let me know what you think.

Two – My Young Adult book Saving Yesterday, Book One in the TimeShifters series released TODAY.


*tosses confetti in the air*

Back Cover Copy:

Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.

Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.

Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.

It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.

Click to Purchase the Kindle edition

Click to Purchase the Print edition