Friday, August 26, 2016

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Summer of '16 Issue!






Hi everyone,

This issue of the Quill is loaded with info about my new romances. Catch up on my guest blogs, and get a sneak peek at my historical/western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption coming this fall!
2 HOT ROMANCES
This summer, Kelli released two sizzling contemporary romances, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing and Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. Here are the summaries and links:
KILLER IN WOLF’S CLOTHING
A super aggressive Alpha male, a serial killer, and a visit to a kinky sex club… What has Larry gotten himself into?

When Larry learns that his boyfriend Greg changes into another man during the full moon, he has a hard time accepting it—until he meets Deke, Greg’s alternate Alpha personality.
Deke doesn’t play nice and has no time for games. He only wants two things—to get laid and to get revenge against the arsonist who murdered his friends. 

Finally free from Greg’s restraints, Deke is ready for action, and Larry is more than willing to submit to Deke’s needs.

Together, Larry and Deke set out to find the killer. Their hunt takes them to an all-night Alpha sex club where things heat up for the two of them. 

But when Larry unwittingly falls into the clutches of the murderer, it’s up to Deke—and Greg—to save him before it’s too late. 
***
This gay shifter romance is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.
Order your copy of Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:
***

A few related guest blogs:

An inside look at the making of Killer in Wolf’s Clothing:

Kelli answers 4 FAQ about writing gay romances:


CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE’S LOVER
The moment Brian spotted Anya sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Anya was the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her—all night long!

Everything is perfect between them—until Brian discovers Anya’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover!
***
Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a different type of romance. For starters, the novella is told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of a setting where you don’t normally find vampires—the beach! 

Read a guest blog about the making of the book here: http://bookreviewsbylynn.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/book-spotlight-confessions-of-vampires.html

Order your copy of Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confessions-of-a-vampires-lover-kelli-a-wilkins/1017484568 


The Royal Desires Series – Now on More Platforms
Kelli’s steamy historical/fantasy trilogy, the Royal Desires series is now available on iTunes, Nook and other platforms. Order your copies here:

A Most Unusual Princess:

A Most Intriguing Temptation:

A Most Unfortunate Prince:



LIES, LOVE & REDEMPTION COMING SEPTEMBER 19!
Mark your calendars! Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption is coming September 19. This historical/western romance is set in Nebraska in 1877. Here’s the summary:

Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth? Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

 Bookmark this page for links and ordering info as it becomes available:
and visit Kelli’s social media pages and site for more information!


KELLI’S BEEN GUEST BLOGGING!

Catch Kelli’s summer interview about writing, books, and more:


Learn more about book 1 of the Royal Desires series, A Most Unusual Princess:

Get an inside look at book 2 of the Royal Desires series, A Most Intriguing Temptation:

Read about A Most Unfortunate Prince, book 3 of the Royal Desires series: http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2016/04/talking-about-most-unfortunate-prince.html?zx=d977cce1521f825c

Catch a spotlight on Kelli’s hot wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match: http://lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com/2016/05/spotlight-deceptive-match-by-kelli.html?m=0

Learn more about Kelli’s gay wrestling romance, A Secret Match:
http://lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com/2016/05/spotlight-secret-match-by-kelli-wilkins.html



This Month’s Writing Exercise: Settings

In each issue of the Quill, I’ll leave you with some writing advice, a prompt, or a short exercise. Use it for a freewriting warm-up, write a few paragraphs about it for fun, play the “what if” game, or just muse it over. This month, we’re focusing on settings.
Setting and details are necessary elements for your short story or novel. They give readers a firm idea of when and where the characters are. (They don’t exist floating in space.)

Take a second and look around. Where are you reading this? In your living room? A park? While walking on a treadmill? Wherever you are is your setting, and your story’s setting needs to be as realistic as the one you see around you. How do you do that? Through sensory details and (perhaps) a little bit of research.

Setting is when and where your short story or novel takes place. It can be a historical setting (ancient Egypt), contemporary (present day Florida), futuristic (Earth Colony Vega in space year 2513), or anywhere you can imagine. But no matter when (or where) a story takes place, readers have to be comfortable in the setting and “buy into” the fact that the story is set wherever it is. In short, you need to make the setting so real the reader forgets he or she isn’t in a Medieval Scottish castle.

And if your historical romance takes place in a castle, use enough details to describe the castle to the reader through your hero’s and heroine’s points-of-view. Each character will notice (or not notice) different things. The hero has lived in this castle for years, so he’s used to it. He’s not going to notice the portraits on the walls or want to investigate a closed-off wing.

However, to your heroine (who has never been there before) everything is new and a bit overwhelming. She can’t wait to explore and naturally gets lost, is awestruck at the grand hall, and becomes curious about a locked tower room. As you write each scene, use sensory details to show readers what each character is seeing, smelling, hearing, etc. so they can imagine they’re in the castle, too.

If you already have your story idea, you probably have a setting. If not, ask yourself: Where does the story take place? When? Why is it set there? For what reason? You need to know the answers to these questions because the setting is the backdrop of the story; it’s where the characters live. Write down everything you know about the setting and start dreaming up the locations you will need.

The clothing your characters wear also helps establish setting. If the hero is wearing a ruffled shirt and breeches, readers will know he is not in contemporary times (or he has time traveled). A long-haired guru is wearing a Nehru jacket, denim bellbottoms, and six strings of beads? Welcome to 1968.

Weather can be an important setting element, and the sensory details of the weather can add to your story. A rainy, gray day can reflect a character’s depressed mood. Happy kids will be running out the door to play on a sunny summer afternoon. See if the weather could be used as a source of conflict. An earthquake, flood, or tornado causes trouble for your characters, or maybe the witch in your paranormal story can conjure storms with her mind.
No matter how simple or exotic the setting, make your characters at home there. Describe it so readers know exactly where the story is taking place. 
Want more writing tips, exercises, and advice? Get a copy of Kelli’s fun writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. (It’s available on Amazon and other platforms). If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:


I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Next month, I’ll be sharing more about Lies, Love & Redemption, links to guest blogs, writing prompts, and more!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Kelli

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Setting the Stage for a Summer Romance







Hello romance lovers!
 
To celebrate the release of my paranormal summer romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, I’m sharing a few thoughts on how to set the stage for your summer romances. 

Take a minute and consider this scenario: A young woman runs a bed and breakfast in a resort beach town. While kayaking early one morning, she sees a swimmer caught in a rip current. She helps him get to shore safely and learns that he’s spending the summer in town. They are attracted to each other, but don’t immediately act on their feelings. 

How would you write the rest of the story? Where would you take it from there?

As an author, I’m free to invent anything I want in my books. I create the characters, their backstories, goals, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. I’m also in charge of the setting and the details—and they are two important things to consider when writing a summer romance.

Summer is generally considered a “fun” time (except for the mosquitos!). Kids are out of school, people take vacations, friends and families gather around the pool, lake, or barbeque, and everything is more relaxed. All that can lead to summer love.

Everything’s hotter in the summer—including romances! Characters get hot—physically, as temperatures soar and the humidity rises—and hot for each other. Suppose a hero and heroine meet on the beach. They can get an eyeful of the other person’s muscular chest or long, lean legs. They’re both hot and sweaty (maybe he just finished playing a volleyball game). They may flirt, playfully touch each other, ask the other to apply sunscreen, or simply fantasize about what’s under that bathing suit. 

In my summer romance, A Deceptive Match, Vin and Danni are stuck driving across the country in July. At the start of the book, she’s professionally dressed, but as things heat up between them, she starts wearing playful summer sundresses, sandals, and shorts. Her outfits were a great way for Vin to notice her legs and fantasize about touching her. (And his tank tops showed off his huge arms…) 

Setting a story in the summer months opens a world of possibilities. Writers have more opportunities to bring the hero and heroine together and keep the interest going with summer escapades. Where you set your romance often leads to the types of encounters between your characters and also can influence the plot.

Suppose your heroine lives in a beach town. Give her an interesting job that gets her out in public and she could meet Prince Charming. Maybe she’s a waitress at a tiki bar, is a lifeguard, or just happens to meet a hot guy on the beach. Or, maybe your hero is on a beach vacation to get over being dumped by his ex and finds himself falling for the woman (or man) he meets on the boardwalk.

When writing any story, it’s always fun to play the “What if…” game. What if your hero is a lifeguard at a pool and rescues the heroine—or her child? What if a boater is stranded out in a lake? Suppose your hero and heroine meet on a fishing trip? They play on opposing volleyball teams? Meet at a Civil War reenactment event?

Don’t be afraid to turn things around and try something unusual. What if a surfer meets someone who absolutely hates the sun? (That is the premise to my summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.) What if the hero is terrified of the water and has to overcome that fear to be with (or rescue) the person he loves? 

But not every summer romance has to involve the water, sun, and sand. Anywhere you can get your characters together doing any summer activity is a great way to create mood and setting. Suppose your single mom heroine is taking her son to day camp and falls for the camp instructor? 

Maybe your hero loves the woods and likes to hike, camp, or rock climb. Is your heroine attracted to the hot guy who mows the lawns in her development? The hero meets a sexy new neighbor at a community barbeque or fireworks display? 

And don’t forget about summer sports: surfing, baseball, softball, or any outdoor event is a good way to have your characters meet. County fairs and concerts in the park are also great settings for love to blossom. Maybe your heroine falls for a member of the band…
 
Some summer romances have nothing to do with people on vacation or doing “outdoorsy” things, but can still retain that summer heat. How? Work in plenty of seasonal details to give the book a summer “flavor” and spice things up! (See my blog on summer details for more specifics.)

If it’s really hot outside and your characters are the naughty, adventurous types, have them go skinny-dipping in a pool, a lake, or the ocean. If your lovers are camping and feel the urge for a quickie, they could sneak off and do it in the woods (with the added thrill of the risk of getting caught), under the stars, in a tent (where someone might hear), or on a boat during a fireworks display. 

Readers love being swept away by summer romances and writers enjoy creating them. In fact, summer romances could very well be a separate romance genre. They’re fun reads for a day at the beach—and they’re an excellent way to add a little “summer heat” to cold winter nights. 

So… grab an icy beverage, set out that lounge chair, and lose yourself in a hot summer romance before the end of the season.

Want more writing tips, exercises, and advice? Get a copy of my fun writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. (It’s available on Amazon and other platforms). If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins





ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. 

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information as it becomes available. Look for her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, coming in September. 

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
 
Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

 

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Heating Up Summer Romances with Sizzling Details




Hi Everyone,

To celebrate the release of my paranormal summer romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, I’m sharing a few thoughts on how to use details to spice up your summer romances. 

Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach. The ocean waves are rolling into shore… you feel the sun on your skin and the warm, gritty sand beneath your toes… the air smells like salt water mixed with coconut scented suntan lotion… You open your eyes and see a tanned hunk standing in front of you. A bead of sweat drips down his six-pack abs…

Did it feel like you were on the beach? Could you sense everything happening around you? Good, because conveying sensory details to readers is an excellent way to draw them into the book and make them part of the action. 

More than anything, readers want to get inside the story, feel what the characters are feeling, and live vicariously in the world the author has created. When writing a summer romance (or any romance), authors should make the most of the five senses to bring the story alive. Exploring all the details of a scene gives the reader the experience of “being there.” 

Here are a few examples of how you can bring everyday surroundings to life and enhance the sensory details in your story:

What’s the weather? What time of day have you set your scene? Early morning sunrise? In the blazing afternoon heat? A cool summer night? Does a sudden thunderstorm send everyone at the baseball game running for cover?

Liven it up with color!
Summer colors are usually bold and bright. Describe your heroine’s hot pink bathing suit, the hero’s cherry red convertible, or the vibrant turquoise beach towel they make love on…

Add some flavor:
The sense of taste is usually hard to work into a romance, but you can get inventive. When the characters kiss, what do they taste? Zingy lemonade? Beer? Mint chip ice cream? Spicy BBQ? Does she taste like the strawberries she’s just eaten?

The sounds of summer: People spend lots of time outdoors in the summer, so what do your characters hear in the background? People talking? Kids yelling and playing games? Splashing in a lake or a pool? Carnival-ride sounds from a boardwalk? Sea gulls calling? Lawn mowers buzzing?

Look around:
What do your characters see as they go through a scene? Fireflies? Bees buzzing around flowers? A tattoo peeking out from under a bathing suit? Her long legs? Are people watching them kiss on the beach?

Breathe deep: The sense of smell isn’t always crucial to a romance, but having your character follow his nose to the scent of burgers cooking on a grill or relaxing in the comforting smell of smoke from a campfire can enhance a scene. Maybe your heroine is turned on (or off!) when she smells suntan lotion. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Flowers are blooming all summer, and your heroine can be an avid gardener who loves the scent of roses, while your hero has allergies.

Reach out and touch: Summer is a great time of year for your main characters to touch each other. Explore the feel of a shirt stuck to her body, sweat trickling down his back, the brisk coolness of walking into an air conditioned room, jumping into a cold lake, what it feels like to touch the other person’s hot, sweaty skin…

My summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is set at the beach. (Yes, it’s quite an unusual setting for a vampire romance!) In the book, I used a variety of details to describe the hero’s obsession with the sun, sand, and surf (or as he put it: wax, water, and waves). 

I contrasted that with details of being with the vampire heroine at night (moonlight reflecting off the ocean, making love on the deserted beach, and swimming at night). By enhancing the details, I showed how Brian and Anya lived in completely different worlds (literally, night and day) and still found summer love.

The next time you read a summer romance, pay closer attention to the little details the author has added. Notice how they draw you deeper into the world of the characters and the story. And don’t we all want to get swept away into another world for a while?

Whether you’re writing a summer romance, or losing yourself in one on a lazy afternoon, enjoy the rest of the summer!

Happy Reading,
Kelli


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. 

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information as it becomes available. Look for her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, coming in September. 

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. 

Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb