Thursday, April 17, 2014

Historical Romances Are Anything But Boring...










Hi Everyone,

Recently a woman told me she didn’t read historical romances because they were boring. I replied, “Some of them might be, but not mine—far from it!” I’m not sure if I convinced her to try historicals, but our conversation got me wondering, why do some romance readers think historicals are dull?

Maybe they were turned off by boring history lessons in school, or they think nothing exciting happened in the days before electricity and the Internet. Perhaps they tried a historical romance ages ago and it was weighted down with hard-to-read language or endless “boring” details.

When I sit down to write a historical (and I’ve written a dozen of them), I never know where the characters will take me. Each book starts out from a different place. Sometimes I’ll know the plot before I meet the characters (as in The Viking’s Witch and The Dark Lord) and other times I’ll know everything about the characters and then have to work with them to uncover the plot. (This happened with my newest historicals, Wilderness Bride and Dangerous Indenture.)

But no matter how the story unfolds, I always make sure the characters are interesting and lively. I don’t have “stuffy shirts” making long-winded speeches about politics, law, or anything not crucial to the storyline. You won’t find me (or my characters) giving anyone a history lesson!

As I’m writing, I include only the historical details and descriptions that are integral to the story. I don’t bog down the plot with a step-by-step procedure for churning butter, or go into an endless description of how to unfasten a corset (unless it’s befuddling the hero who’s eager to remove it!). Readers of historical romances understand that in the 1700 and 1800s everyone knew how to ride a horse, so I don’t have to describe it. But, if I was writing a time travel romance where the heroine from 2014 Brooklyn found herself in the mid-1700s, I would need to show how everything seemed different and strange through her eyes.

When I wrote WildernessBride, I researched mail order brides, different time periods, American history, Native Americans, fur trappers, traders, and more. Some of the interesting things I learned in my research I added into the storyline or weaved into the background, but I couldn’t use everything. It was important for me to convey the flavor of the time period while keeping the reader hooked and the plot moving.

Every romance genre has its fans. Some people like to read contemporary romances, others live for paranormals, and there are those who switch up genres and read anything that sounds appealing. I like writing historicals—but I also write contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and gay romances, too. Why? Because I enjoy writing great romances about interesting characters that fall in love, whenever and wherever that may be.

If you’ve never read historical romances, don’t be shy, give them a try! You might just find yourself swept away to a long ago time period in a place far away…

Why not start with my latest historical romance, Wilderness Bride? Order it here:


 
Next week I'll be posting an excerpt from Wilderness Bride and sharing the backstory of how the book came about.
 
Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins



***

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, seventeen romance novels (for Medallion Press and Amber Quill Press), and four non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli has two historical romances debuting this spring. Wilderness Bride is available now from Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx) and Dangerous Indenture is coming in May from Medallion Press: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/dangerous-indenture/.

Kelli publishes a blog: (
http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com) filled with excerpts, interviews, writing prompts, and whatever else pops into her head. She also writes a monthly newsletter, Kelli's Quill, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Kelli invites readers to visit her website, http://www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wilderness Bride - Sneak Peek & Exclusive Excerpt




Hi everyone!
Today I’m sharing a sneak peek at my new historical romance, Wilderness Bride. This traditional historical is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in 1823. The book was a lot of fun to write and is an exciting blend of adventure and tender romance. 

I like to bring my historical romances “out of the history books” and into the everyday lives of my characters. My stories aren’t weighted down with heavy discussions about politics or war. Instead, I focus on the lives of people and how they meet, fall in love, overcome their obstacles and challenges, and eventually live happily-ever-after.

Back in the day, not everyone was a noble lord or lady who lived in a castle and attended fancy balls. There were plenty of “regular people” with stories to tell, lives to live, and love to share. My female characters are far from the “helpless heroines” who graced the pages of historicals years ago. These women aren’t wearing frilly dresses and hosting tea parties while waiting to find the perfect man. 

In most cases, they’re too busy trying to keep themselves alive or fighting against perceived notions of how a “proper” woman should behave to look for a husband. And if they do find a man they want to be with, they are only willing to accept love on their terms. Claudette from The Pauper Prince and Michelle from Wilderness Bride are two examples. These strong women would be right at home in a contemporary romance novel.

When I sit down to write a historical (and I’ve written a dozen of them), I never know where the characters will take me. Each book starts out from a different place. Sometimes I’ll know the plot before I meet the characters (as in The Viking’s Witch and The Dark Lord) and other times I’ll know everything about the characters and then have to work with them to uncover the plot. 

But no matter how the plot unfolds, I always make sure the characters are interesting and lively. I don’t have “stuffy shirts” making long-winded speeches about politics, law, or anything not crucial to the storyline. You won’t find me (or my characters) giving anyone a history lesson! Just because historical romances are set in time periods before cars, the Internet, and cell phones, that doesn’t make them boring. In fact, with a few plot and character modifications, any of my historicals could take place in modern times.

Here’s the summary to Wilderness  Bride and an excerpt.

Enjoy!
Kelli


Wilderness Bride
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.

Can their love survive, or will their pasts destroy any hope of happiness?

The 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.


Wilderness Bride is available in ebook and paperback formats. Order your copy here:
 
Look for it soon on Amazon and B&N!



ABOUT KELLI A. WILKINS
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, seventeen romance novels (for Medallion Press and Amber Quill Press), and four non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli has two historical romances debuting this spring. Wilderness Bride is available now from Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx) and Dangerous Indenture is coming in May from Medallion Press: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/dangerous-indenture/.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Release! Wilderness Bride - Historical Romance




Hi everyone!

My 16th Amber Quill Press historical romance, Wilderness Bride was just released. This full length novel is available in paperback and ebook formats. This traditional historical is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in 1823. The book was a lot of fun to write and is an exciting blend of adventure and tender romance.

Wilderness Bride
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.

Can their love survive, or will their pasts destroy any hope of happiness?

***
Here’s a teaser:

Now he knew why Michelle hadn’t seemed interested in him; she was waiting for him to make the first move. “You liked the kissing we did outside the cabin that day, didn’t you?”
“Yes, but I wasn’t sure you liked it. You haven’t tried to kiss me again.”
He stroked her cheek. “Darling, I didn’t try again because I wasn’t sure I should. I didn’t want to pressure you or scare you off.”
“Well…” Michelle twirled her hair around her index finger. “If you want to kiss now... I wouldn’t mind…. In fact, I’d like it.”
He cupped her chin in his hand. “No darling, it’s not going to work that way. I want you to kiss me.”
Michelle pulled back. “I can’t go first… I’m not sure….”
“Yes you can. You know how.” He closed his eyes. “I’ve got all day.”
He waited, hoping she’d break out of her shell and kiss him. A few seconds later, Michelle’s minty-tasting lips covered his. His heart pounded faster and he kissed her back, savoring their tender embrace.
After a minute, Michelle broke the kiss. “What that good? I’ve never…kissed first before.”
“That was perfect.” He gathered her into his arms. “You want more? Don’t be bashful, you can tell me.”
“Yes, I would,” she admitted.
“Good, I’m glad to hear it,” he said, bending close for another kiss. The instant his lips touched hers, Michelle wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Eyes closed, he let his long-denied urges take over.
He kissed her slow, delighting in the tingling sensations flooding his body. He wanted her, needed her. As he slid his tongue into Michelle’s mouth, she made a soft mewing noise and arched her back. Michelle’s tongue entwined with his, sending a rush of blood to his groin. He groaned as she kissed him down to his soul.
All too soon, Michelle pulled away. “I think that’s enough for now.”
He stopped even though his cock throbbed for release. “All right. Besides, we gotta get home.” He gave Michelle a quick kiss on the lips. “Otherwise, we’ll be in the woods all night fooling around under every tree.”

Order a copy from Amber Quill Press here: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx
  
Next week, look for the book on Amazon and B&N.

All this month, I'll be sharing "inside looks" at the making of this romance along with a few more excerpts, so stay tuned!

Happy Reading,
Kelli 
  

Kelli invites readers to visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com  to learn more about all of her writings.

Catch up with Kelli on the Web: