Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Creating A Rough Road to a HEA





Hi everyone,

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m a romance writer who loves torturing my characters. Why? So I can get them back together for a happily-ever-after ending!

Let’s face it, romance readers know they are going to get a HEA before they pick up a book. The hero or heroine isn’t going to die – unless you’re reading a paranormal and someone turns into a vampire.

People read romances for different reasons: for great storylines, to live vicariously through the characters they care about, and to know that whatever obstacles these lovers face, they’ll overcome them together.
I write stories based around characters who find each other, fall deeply in love, and live happily ever after – but not without going through some emotional ups and downs. Although my characters love each other, everything isn’t always roses and sunshine. As they work through their challenges, they have to learn a few lessons about themselves, trust, honesty, or whatever their personal internal struggles are.

For example, Princess Elara in A Most Unusual Princess has to open up and develop trust. In Dalton’s Temptation, Elara and Dalton learn important lessons about temptation and fidelity. Lord Adrik in The Dark Lord is moody and misunderstood, until an innocent girl teaches him how to love and trust again. These trials and emotional hardships are realistic challenges that people face every day. Once the characters have learned what they need to, they can live HEA.

But sometimes love can be a surprise. In a few of my stories, the characters aren’t looking for love – it’s the furthest thing from their minds – but there it is! Lauren in The Sexy Stranger found herself falling for her ex-con “captor.” Claudette from The Pauper Prince had Prince Charming stroll into her dress shop, and Brian found his true love on a deserted beach in Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. Although these types of relationships are uncommon, the characters focus on commitment and “being there” for the other person for the long haul, no matter what. 

Many of my characters find true love when they are willing to open their hearts and risk sharing their deepest emotions, darkest secrets, and intimate desires — and then discover that the other person loves them even more for it. (David and Jack from Four Days with Jack and Julian and Annabelle from A Midsummer Night’s Delights are excellent examples of this.) 

One of the things I like about writing romances is that I can make life miserable for the main characters and keep readers wondering: How are they going to live happily-ever-after? How will they get past this? For me, the how is the fun part.

In my books, I make sure the characters get on each other’s nerves, and I add lots of conflict (external and internal) to pull them apart. The conflict can be anything that will destroy their happy world: maybe he won’t compromise; his parents don’t approve because she’s from a different ethnic background; the hero finds out the heroine has a secret; the man he loves just cheated on him (or so he thinks); his beloved princess was kidnapped; or a blackmailer wants her dead.

In The Viking’s Witch, Odaria is nearly burned at the stake and is rescued by Rothgar, a brutish Norseman she can’t stand. Over the course of the book they fall in love, but at the same time they bicker, keep secrets from each other, people are trying to kill them, and it seems that Rothgar has betrayed her to her sworn enemy. Yet, under all that conflict and heartache, their love is a constant, and they learn important lessons as they fight for their HEA.  

Whether you read historicals, fantasy, gay, paranormal, or contemporary romances (or a combination) you’re always guaranteed a great story, troubled characters you can’t help but root for, some steamy love scenes, and a happy-ever-after ending. Because in the end, love conquers all, and that’s how it should be.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

Next week: Look for an exclusive sneak peek at my upcoming gay romance, A Secret Match!

Want to sign up for my writing newsletter? Follow this link:




ABOUT KELLI A. WILKINS
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, 18 romance novels, and 4 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Her third gay romance, A Secret Match, will be published in August.

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.



Catch up with Kelli on the Web:
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - All Romance August Issue





Kelli’s Quill
All Romance Issue
August 2014

Hi everyone!

I hope August is off to a good start and you’re enjoying the rest of the summer. This month in the Quill, I’m giving readers a sneak peek at my upcoming gay romance, A Secret Match, and sharing excerpts from my other new romances, Dangerous Indenture and Wilderness Bride. Check out the link section to catch up on my guest blogs and other fun stuff.

Let’s get started!

Coming August 31 - A Secret Match

A Secret Match is sort of a follow-up to my Amber Quill Press wrestling romance, A Perfect Match. This new book is all about Everett Kinkade, a secondary character (and the best friend of Vinnie Valentine) who was introduced in A Perfect Match. Ev is gay and his longtime partner wants him to openly acknowledge his status. But coming out is the last thing Ev wants. He’s torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves.

This Amber Allure title will be released on August 31 in ebook and paperback formats.

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Wilderness Bride update

In July, I shared an Inside Look at Wilderness Bride on my blog. You can read the full blog here: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2014/07/wilderness-bride-inside-look-mini.html

Here’s a mini-synopsis and excerpt:
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…

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 from:

Dangerous Indenture update


In July, I shared an Inside Look at Dangerous Indenture on my blog. You can read the full blog here: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2014/07/dangerous-indenture-inside-look-steamy.html

Here’s a mini-synopsis and excerpt:

Dangerous Indenture

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

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:

Web Links
Follow these links to read Kelli’s latest guest blogs and more!
Kelli blogs about writing gay romances:

"First Chapter Friday": Read the first chapter of Wilderness Bride for free:
http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/2014/07/first-chapter-friday-wilderness-bride.html

Saturday Storyteller Interview About Writing:
 
Don’t miss the Wilderness Bride blog tour:

 

And the Dangerous Indenture blog tour:


Guest Blog: Chatting with Bad Boys of Romance:

Mini-Blog: Kelli shares some practical advice for marketing your writing using social media.

You could spend the majority of your day on social media sites posting, linking, reading, and looking at funny cat pictures. But let’s start with the basics – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Yes, we all know we “should” be using these sites to promote/market our writings, but why? How? What’s the difference? Recently, my friend’s screenplay finaled in a national contest, and he was unsure why he should promote it on all three sites. “Why would you not?” I asked.

Setting up Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts is easy and it gives you (and your writing) the ability to connect with millions of people in seconds. It’s also free publicity. (And who would pass that up?) When you create your profile, you decide how much information you want to share, what to leave private, and who you’re going to connect with.

And if you’re not a writer, you can still use social media to promote your business or other interests. Just last week I was in a really cool store and the owner and I were talking about posting stuff online. I gave her some quick pointers and suggestions on where and what to post on social media.

No matter what genre you write, social media allows you to build relationships with professional organizations, writing groups, book groups, individual readers, reviewers, other authors, and publishers. And don’t forget about your friends! Reposting and retweeting have the potential to make one message viral in a matter of hours.

You’re probably wondering… “What do I Tweet about? What could I say in 140 characters?” You’d be amazed. A simple Tweet announcing a book contest, a new release, or a great review can spark interest in you as a writer or your latest project. When I Tweet about a book, I always include the genre, title, and a link to the interview, blog, or book. Readers can follow the link to learn more. Even if you have nothing “newsworthy” to Tweet one day, post a link to your blog or website with something like, “Looking for hot romances to spice up your weekend? Check out my books: www.KelliWilkins.com”.

I hope these tips showed you how easy it is to market and promote your writing. It takes time to set up your profiles and pages, but once they’re done, they are pretty simple to maintain. Used intelligently, social media can help you bond with readers and reviewers, and build a platform to showcase your writing.
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I hope you enjoyed this issue of Kelli's Quill. Next month, I'll be sharing more about A Secret Match, a survey, and links to more blogs.

Have suggestions? Send them along! Want to subscribe? Contact me via the email on my site:
www.KelliWilkins.com

Enjoy the summer!
Until next time,
Kelli