Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dangerous Indenture - A Look Back 1 Year Later




Hi everyone! 

Did you know that one year ago I had two historical romances published within days of each other? Last April, Wilderness Bride and Dangerous Indenture made their spring debuts. Both full-length novels have unique storylines, feisty heroines, steamy love scenes, and have received great reviews! 

Today I’m sharing a look back at  Dangerous Indenture.  Dangerous Indenture is a spicy historical/mystery set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s. Here’s the summary:

Eager to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony.

But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.

Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.

Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.

When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.
***

So, how did the book come about? Dangerous Indenture is one of those books that just jumped into my head. (Yes, every so often that happens to writers.) One day, I overheard the name Shawna Farrell, but I thought I’d heard Shauna Farrow. The name stuck with me and I wrote it down. A few minutes later, I knew all about her: she was an Irish indentured servant who came to Pennsylvania Colony and worked at a house where a previous servant was murdered. Once I knew that, I started outlining the book.

Before I wrote a word, I did a lot of research. I was starting from a good place with the book – I knew where I wanted to set the story and in approximately what time frame it should take place. From there, I spent time in the library going through history books, reading up on Colonial times (What life was like, What people wore, ate, etc.) and indentured servants in general (Where did they come from? Why did they leave their home country?).

As I wrote the book, I incorporated my research as background information. This gives the story a rich historical feel without going overboard with details that might bog down the book or be of no interest to readers.

I especially enjoyed creating the characters and setting the stage for the drama that’s about to unfold. Right from the start, we’re told that Stewart House is haunted, and then we (and Shauna) meet the master of the house, Joshua Stewart, and his strange family.

When I developed the secondary characters, I made sure to give them all interesting backstories and unusual quirks. Joshua comes off as a mean bear of a man, Minerva just might be crazy (and a murderer), Colin is… a villain in many senses of the word, and Lila thought she had everything going for her – for a while. 

Shauna and Ashton (our heroine and hero) are not entirely innocent and without flaws. They each have sordid pasts, wicked desires, and are not afraid to stand up for themselves – and each other.

I love the characters, the setting, and the fact that Dangerous Indenture is a romance blended with mystery. I had never written a romance set in Colonial times before, and mixing romance with suspense/mystery to make a Gothic-type story was a lot of fun.

I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s a steamy mini-excerpt:

Excerpt:
Ashton wrapped his arms around her. “Come here. Let me hold you.”

She relaxed against him, and her worries drained away. A familiar heat built between her legs as Ashton leaned forward and kissed her. Ashton moaned, and she felt a hardness jutting out from the front of his breeches.

Her mind flashed back to Ashton in his robe. His chest, his flat stomach, the glimpse of a tiny trail of hairs leading lower... What would Ashton do if he knew how desperately she craved his touch?

She fought the urge to slide her hands to the front of his breeches and stroke him, make him ready. What would it feel like to make love to him? She ached to be crushed under his body as he entered her and—

Without warning, Ashton pulled away.

“Forgive me,” he said, releasing her. “I tend to lose control and let my urges take over. I’m not used to being around a decent woman.”

He thought she was decent? That was a joke. If he knew what wicked ideas were swirling through her head, he’d probably faint.
 
***

Dangerous Indenture is available from:



Next week, I’ll be posting my May newsletter on the blog.
Happy Reading!
Kelli

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Romance Author Feature & Book Sale





Hi Everyone!

Breaking news: Now thru 5/12 save 50% on ALL of my Amber Quill Press romances!

My romances cover every genre & heat level, so there's something for everyone. Get a full title list here:
http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx

Now is the perfect time to stock up on your summer reading!

And, I’m kicking off the month of May with an extended author feature on the You Gotta Read site (http://yougottaread.com).


From now until May 15, ALL of my romances (plus my writing book and a Summer Romance guest blog) will be showcased on the site. You can read full summaries, excerpts, and get links all in one place! 


As most people know by now, my romances vary in heat level from mild to super-spicy and cover nearly every genre: contemporary, paranormal, historical, fantasy, and gay. I like to say, there’s something for everyone.


Here’s the schedule, along with the links:
















May 9 - Dangerous Indenture:  http://yougottaread.com/2015/05/35382/  












May 15 - “Writing a Summer Romance” Guest Blog:



On a few days, more than one book is featured, so check back often or make the home page your favorite!


 In other news, my writing book, You Can Write-Really, just got another 5-star review:



and here’s a book spotlight. The post includes two fun writing exercises:



Feel free to like all the links and share with your social media friends.


Enjoy the warm weather! In my next blog, I’ll be taking a look back at the making of my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture.


Happy Reading,

Kelli





Monday, April 27, 2015

A Look Back at Wilderness Bride - 1 year later!

Hi everyone!

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of my historical romance, Wilderness Bride I'm sharing an inside look and a steamy mini-excerpt. If you like a blend of tender romance and adventure set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in the early 1800s, this is a book for you!  (And if not, why not give it a try?)

Here’s the summary:

A woman running from her past…straight into the arms of a wild stranger

In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and lacking a means of escape, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride. Kathleen calls herself Michelle and begins living a lie with her “husband,” Luther, in an isolated mountain cabin. She tells herself the arrangement is temporary until she can move on.

Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful blonde bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. She has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from. But Luther is harboring a secret about his background and fears Michelle will abandon him if she learns the truth about him—and his family.

The couple tries to maintain their rocky relationship as they work to fight brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When circumstances force Michelle to stay longer than she expected, she succumbs to her growing attraction and falls in love with Luther. But when they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past catches up with her, putting her and Luther in grave danger.

***
The idea for this book started with a simple premise: a woman on the run impersonates a mountain man’s mail-order bride and lives in his cabin in the woods. From there, I thought about the characters and how they would interact, learn to live with each other, and naturally fall in love. 

Before I started writing, I went to the library and did some research on the time period, what life was like back then, Native Americans, fur trapping and trading, and more. As I wrote the book, I incorporated my research as background information. This gives the story a rich historical feel without going overboard with details that might bog down the book or bore readers.

I enjoyed creating the characters and all the conflicts that take place between them. Michelle and Luther are very different peoplesort of like a city mouse and a country mouseand I played on their differences in lifestyles, clothing, expectations, etc. throughout the book. When Redfeather arrives, Michelle realizes how far she is out of her comfort zone and begins to see her situation (and Luther) in a new light.

As Luther and Michelle get to know each other (and fight for each other) they realize they have a lot more in common than they once thought. They both are on their own in a rough, unforgiving world, and both had to fend for themselves to survive, with little or no family support. All of that brings them closer together and makes their love stronger.

I enjoyed writing this book, and I hope readers will fall in love with the characters the way I did. Here’s the excerpt:

Excerpt:
Luther eased Michelle down and knelt over her. Her eyes were closed and a slight smile crossed her lips. His cock tingled and ached, wanting her, needing her. 

He propped himself on his elbows and nuzzled the side of Michelle’s throat below her ear. Her wet skin was cool from the lake, yet he felt her pulse hammering beneath his lips. 

Michelle lay still as he trailed his hands down the front of her body. He took his time caressing the outline of her breasts, then worked down to her hips. His head swam with desire as he glimpsed the dark triangle of hair through her chemise. God, he wanted her. He ached to touch her, yet was hesitant about pushing things too far, too fast. 

He kissed Michelle and moaned as she kissed him back. A soft mewing noise escaped her throat. He slid his hand to the top of her chemise and began unfastening the tiny white buttons. Halfway through, he paused and waited to see if Michelle would protest. When she didn’t, he kept going. 

He separated the material, freeing her pale breasts. She was beautiful. His mouth watered at the thought of sucking her. He broke the kiss and looked at Michelle. Her eyes were still closed, and she was breathing hard. 

“Can I touch you?” 

“Yes,” she whispered.
***
Here’s a snipped from the book’s 5-Star Amazon review:
This is the first western romance I've read and it won't be the last. The descriptions were so detailed that I felt I was in that world. I was pulled in right away. Kathleen was such an interesting heroine. She's smart and resourceful and certainly a match for the brooding hero, Luther. It's one of those books where you can't wait to find out what happens once secrets are revealed, yet you want to keep the story going.


B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wilderness-bride-kelli-a-wilkins/1119495843?ean=9781611245769

 Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx
  

Next week, we'll take a look back at my other spring 2014 romance, Dangerous Indenture!

Happy Reading,
Kelli
 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - April Issue






Kelli’s Quill

Happy Spring Issue!

April 2015

I hope you’re enjoying the spring weather! This month in the Quill I’m sharing news about my book contest, two 5-star reviews, links to guest blogs, and a few fun Q&A. 



You Could Have Won a Copy of You Can Write – Really! but the contest is over. 

Don't worry, you can still order a copy here:

Here are excerpts from those two great reviews I mentioned:

Literary Nymphs review:
You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction has a lot of very practical advice that is easy to understand and follow. The author did a good job breaking up the various components of writing a book or short story, making you think you are in a creative writing class as opposed to an English class. Each section of the book was followed by exercises that used the principles she was trying to convey. I loved this book and the way it is so easy to understand and follow. The author did good job in organizing it. Whether you are someone just starting or someone with some publications, this is a good book for the bookshelf.

Amazon Reviewer Nerdy Girl has this to say:
You Can Write—Really! isn’t just for beginning writers, it has something for writers at every stage. With sections such as Meet the muse, Excuses, Ideas, Characters, Marketing, etc., whatever you're looking for, there's something here to learn from. This book breaks down the writing process and shares tips and tricks to help you to learn and grow. I highly recommend it as a reference and as a way to inspire and encourage you to move past writing blocks, and tap into your creativity.



Kelli’s Been Guest Blogging!
I’ve been guest blogging about You Can Write—Really! Read what I have to say here:
http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2015/03/welcome-kelli-wilkins.html?zx=585fbe0deecb6c17

http://www.paranormalcravings.com/you-can-write-really-new-release-from-author-kelli-a-wilkins/

http://burgandyice.blogspot.com/2015/02/guest-post-kelli-wilkins-and-you-can.html


Romance Rewind!
Did you know that one year ago I had two historical romances published within days of each other? Last April, Wilderness Bride and Dangerous Indenture made their spring debuts. Both full-length novels have unique storylines, feisty heroines, and steamy love scenes.  If you missed these exciting historicals, catch up on them here:

Dangerous Indenture is available in several ebook formats:



Wilderness Bride is available in paperback and ebook formats:






Q&A with Kelli

Here are a few questions I’ve been asked recently. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, send it to me and I’ll answer it in an upcoming issue of the Quill!

What motivates you to write?

I’m motivated by the stories and the characters that pop into my head. I’ll be minding my own business, and “surprise!” an idea for a book or a short story appears out of nowhere. When that happens, I write down the idea or outline the story before it fades away. I love the process of writing a story and living it through the different characters. It’s exciting to invent a world for these people to live in and then write down what happens to them.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?

Coming up with titles is one of the hardest parts of writing a book. I can write the 70,000 word novel just fine, but then I get stuck on a three word title. Sometimes titles come to me before I start writing (that happened with A Secret Match) and that’s great. 

I played a mix and match game with Wilderness Bride and Dangerous Indenture—listing words that described the book, theme, characters, etc., and then combined them into different titles. I did the same sort of thing with You Can Write—Really! I wanted it to be catchy, positive, and motivating. I always ask my friends and family for their suggestions on potential titles and have them “vote” for their favorite once I’ve narrowed it down to three or five.

Out of all the books you’ve written, which ones are your favorites?

It’s hard to choose! I love all my books – they’re like my children. I’ll break down my favorites by genres.
Gay romance: A Secret Match. Ev was so much fun to write for and I love the storyline.

Historical: (This is a hard category to pick from, because I have a lot of historical romances!) I’ll go with The Viking’s Witch. It’s full of adventure, mystery, magic, and Rothgar is a hunky hero! 

Historical/Fantasy: (Again, hard to choose just one!) I’ll go with A Most Unusual Princess. (It’s also my husband’s favorite.) Why? Elara & Dalton have a passionate love-hate relationship and I fell so in love with the characters that I wrote two sequels: Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince.

Contemporary: A Perfect Match. This is the book that introduced Vin, Danni and Ev (who we met later in A Secret Match.) It’s a hot summer romance set in the world of professional wrestling.

Paranormal: Beauty & the Bigfoot. Yes, it sounds strange, but this quick, erotic read is a paranormal/comedy with some very unique characters!

(Read excerpts, full book summaries, and reviews of all of my books on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com) 
Which books are your favorites? Drop me a line and let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill Don’t forget to enter my book contest and share the news with your friends on social media.

Happy Reading,
Kelli

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

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