Jun 16 2017 12:00pm

“Love, Magic, Reckoning”: A Beginner’s Guide to Madhuri Pavamani’s Keeper Series

The Keepers Series by Madhuri Pavamani

Everything you need to know to make The Keepers Series your next keeper

When you start a new series, quickly getting a feel for the setting is key, and that's never more important than when reading a paranormal. One of the most original romances we've read this year is Madhuri Pavamani's Keeper series, which introduces readers to the world of Poochas, Keepers, Deaders—and the hot romance between Dutch and Juma.

Want to know more? Of course you do! With help from author Madhuri Pavamani herself, allow us to present an introduction to Books 1 and 2 of the Keeper series, Dutch and Juma, as well as scoop on Book 3, Death.

First off, what are the important terms?

Poocha: Death’s reclaimers, those beings who help the dead cross back into life. Poochas have nine lives and are the archnemeses of Keepers. Death chooses who shall become a Poocha.

Deader: Nickname for the dead used by Death, her Poochas, and the Alighters.

Alighter: Alighters work with Poochas to assist in the reclamation of the dead. Fixers of memory and circumstance, they often work in teams around the globe to wipe memories and clear the way for a Deader to return to life.

Keeper: Deadly assassin of The Gate, trained to hunt and kill Poochas. Only Keepers may become Ren and lead The Gate.

Each of these roles is dependant on the existence of the others, Pavamani tells us, adding: “These three are intertwined by necessity more than desire—without deaders, there would be no need for poochas, and without poochas, there would be no need for keepers. Each is the reason for the other’s existence, a most twisted co-dependency based upon death, death, and more death.”

Who are the key players?

Pavamani offers profiles of our main characters:


Dutch Mathew is a thirty-seven year old Keeper for The Gate—an assassin who kills for a living. Again and again and again. Tasked with ending each of a Poocha’s nine lives, his existence is a never-ending circle of hell. Descended from a family of ruthless sociopaths, Dutch leads a solitary life of blood and violence and death, keeping most at bay with his three simple rules: 1. no talking 2. no kissing 3. no touching. But every man has chips in his armour, those points of softness that most might not see because they’re not looking, because they don’t care, and Dutch is no different. Underneath his caustic exterior lies a dark tormented tender soul, someone seeking a little laughter, light, and love. His small inner circle have learned this about him over the years, Juma knows it the second she lays eyes on him.


Juma Landry is a thirty-five year old reclaimer for Death, crossing the dead back to living, giving them a second chance to lead their fullest life. Smart—seductive—sensual, Juma makes no apologies for indulging her senses as often as possible, with as many people as possible. Because Juma knows how quickly it can all end, how a split-second can make a world of difference, and how merciless and painful death can be. She died when she was five at the hands of a careless teenager with a loaded gun and a bone to pick. She carries the knowledge of that death, the memory of the pain, in her blood and bones, its made a home in her cracks and crevices, a constant reminder of how hellish her inevitable deaths will be. Because she will die - that is a fact. She is a Poocha with nine lives, each of which will end at the hand of a Keeper for The Gate. It is why she seeks as much touch and tenderness as she can collect, a counter to what she knows is right around the corner, headed her way, one day soon.


Petty conniving manipulative. Brilliant loving charismatic. Death is a walking dichotomy of good and bad, power and vulnerability, dark and light. She is self-serving, violent, and gross. She is altruistic, tender, and wondrous. Able to love with desperation, then turn around and kill her lover, Death serves one master: herself. But do not be fooled—what seems childish and immature sometimes hides the best laid plans. And Death always has something up her sleeve.

Who... or what... is The Gate?

When you hear the words, “The Gate” you tend to think of physical gates... but no. The Gate isn't an object, but an organization—one with a leader who is dead set on keep the dead with Death, and oops, it happens to be Dutch's father! 

“A tacit understanding has always existed that Death, in whatever incarnation Death shall take, would allow certain people to cross back to life,” Pavamani says. “It is the nature of Death having had a soul once upon a time and the dead having a good tale to tell. The Gate works to prevent those cross-backs, or reclamations, from running amok and disturbing the fine balance between those who live and those who die.” 

However, Khan Mathew, the new leader of The Gate, seems to have a vendetta against Death. 

“Khan Mathew has one goal in mind: to make sure his family rules The Gate by any means necessary,” says Pavamani. “And a big part of that play for power is making sure Death has none.“

As we're introduced into these dangerous characters and organizations, it becomes clear that while they're devoted to their causes, they feel the conflict of the pull on both sides—especially Juma and Dutch. 

”Perhaps a lesser man would have succumbed to the sadness and the horror [of his past], but nothing about Dutch is lesser, and somewhere deep within his dark tortured soul, I like to believe he knew Juma was coming for him,“ says Pavamani. ”I like to think he knew his despair had her name written all over it.“

This isn't the New York City you know

New York is the backdrop of the Keeper series—as it is for many other beloved urban fantasy series. Unfortunately, we've yet to run into any of the supernatural elements those series tease are out there. In Pavamani's series, New York is as much of a character as Death, Juma, or Dutch, and it takes us on a wild ride with secret portals that link New York to places like Florence, Aquitaine, and more. 

”It’s beautiful and dark and unpredictable, a city full of the most impossible possibility, the most magical of magic places,“ Pavamani explains. ”It is my New York City, letting all her wild sexiness show out.“

Reader Experience 

The Keeper series is pure poetry

While reading the Keeper series, readers may notice that the rhythm of the book is a bit different than that of other fiction, and that's because Pavamani's a poet.

“I joined [my friend's] writing group and she pushed me out of my shell, encouraging me to further explore the inherent rhythm of my words, urging me to write poetry.” Pavamani said. ”Poetry? The P word? Oh, hell no. But my friend is magic and able to convince you to do things with words you never expected, and so began my dive into poetry. I never returned. Nor do I want to.“

Pavamani says the poetry then became not only a big part of her personal life, but also a key part when it came time to write The Keeper series, ”from the basic rhythm of Juma’s voice to actual pieces interspersed throughout the novels. It was never intentional, the interplay of poetry and prose, but it felt natural.”

So you've read Dutch and Juma... What's ahead in Death?!

“(I can't tease) much, except to say that you ain’t seen nothing yet. I fully intend to own every readers’ soul, kill them with my brutal words, then piece them back together, leaving them whole, but slightly askew. It’s the wonder of Dutch and Juma and their mad raw beautiful love. Don’t fight it, just understand you’ll come out the other side a different person. Assuming you survive…”

Learn more about or order a copy of the books in Madhuri Pavamani's The Keeper Series:

Death (available August 8, 2017)

Madhuri Pavamani is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy, THE SANCTUM. A Southern girl with Northern sensibilities, a slight twang, and who still uses the word y’all, but never fixin’, she has an affinity for writing twisted love stories and dark poetry. A graduate of Barnard College, and incapable of leaving the bright lights of New York City, Madhuri works in Manhattan, but rests her head in New Jersey. She loves whiskey, tattoos, Bukowski, and yoga. Her upcoming urban fantasy trilogy, THE KEEPER SERIES, will be released from St. Martin’s Press in 2017. 

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
I've been so intrigued by this series! As a New Yorker, I'm waiting to find one of these portals ;)
2. MadhuriPavamani
"seek and ye shall find" - I believe that's what they say, right Jennifer?
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