Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Inside Look at… A Secret Match




 
Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look at the making of my gay romance, A Secret Match.
It’s a sizzling contemporary novel set in the world of professional wrestling.

Before we get started, let me answer the question lots of folks may be asking: “Why do you write gay romances? You’re not a man or gay.” I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.”

But seriously, I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever story comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My romances are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other. This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

So, how did A Secret Match come about? I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life and A Secret Match is a follow-up (of sorts) to my other wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. That book is about a straight couple (Vin and Danni) and Everett (the main character from A Secret Match) is a secondary character (and Vin’s best friend). 

I loved writing for Ev— he’s one of those characters who tries to run away with the book. I always thought that “one day” I’ll give him a story of his own, but I didn’t have a clue as to what the plot would be. I put thoughts of him aside and wrote other books. Then, one morning as I was driving to work, he popped into my head with a four-line book summary. Within an hour, I had the whole story in my head and I started writing the outline. 

A big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. Ev’s longtime partner, Josh, is tired of being kept in his “walk-in closet” and wants Ev to come out (at least to his friends and family) but Everett is concerned about losing his job. Will fans accept a gay wrestler? How will his boss react? Part of him wants to keep everything just as it is because that’s safe. But another part of him longs to stop hiding the truth. 

When I wrote the book, I focused on Ev’s anguish over being caught between two worlds: his job (where his wrestling persona is a horny womanizer) and his secret, private life with Josh. Everett can’t balance the two and worries about what the other wrestlers would think of him coming out.

As Ev tells Vin (while discussing the issue of gay athletes in sports): “… a gay baseball player doesn’t have the type of physical contact with other guys like we do. There are all sorts of issues—changing in the locker room, showering together… Can you imagine some of the things that would go through the guys’ heads when I tried to put a hold on them? You think they wouldn’t freak out when I touched them if they knew?”

Vin’s reply: “You won’t know if you never take the risk.”

And risk Ev does. After he comes out (twice, in fact—I loved writing those scenes!), he discovers a different side to himself, embraces who he is, and even faces down intolerant fans and homophobic coworkers. 

I enjoyed showing Everett on his journey of self-acceptance. He’s a bit of a cocky wise-ass, and he’s definitely a fun character to write for. I was glad to give Ev and Josh the happy-ever-after ending they rightly deserve (and some hot love scenes!), because no matter what, love is love, and that’s all that matters.

I hope you’ll check it out. It’s a fun blend of drama, humor, romance, and action that M/M romance fans will love.
 

A SECRET MATCH
Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

Order your copy of A SECRET MATCH here:






Don’t miss the book that introduced readers to Ev and Vin, A Deceptive Match.


Happy Reading!
Kelli

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Writing Gay Romances - 4 FAQ






Hi everyone,

As most readers know, I'm a writer. My books cover nearly every genre and vary in heat level from mild to super-spicy. People have different reactions when they learn what I write. (Sometimes they gasp and pretend to be horrified, and then ask me if I “act out” my love scenes at home!)

But when people find out that I write gay romances—that really gets them going! “Why would you write one of those? You’re not a man or gay.” (Here’s my turn to gasp and act surprised. Really? You’re kidding!) I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I write gay romances? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.” (That usually quiets people down for a while.)

I get a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write gay romances. Here are the top four, along with my answers.

You’ve written lots of straight romances. Why write gay romances?
Why not? I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever romance book comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My stories are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other.

This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

When I wrote A Secret Match and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing I trusted my instincts and wrote the story that was in my head. Although both books are contemporary gay romances, they’re very different.

In A Secret Match, a big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality, and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. The characters in Killer in Wolf's Clothing are comfortable with their sexuality, but have other issues to deal with. This super-hot paranormal/shifter is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.

How do you write the gay love scenes?
I approach a same-sex love scene the same way I would if I was writing about a hetero couple. When I write a straight romance, about half of the scenes are written from a male point of view. So I have experience thinking about scenes from a male perspective anyway.

Peter thinks about the girl he loves, fantasizes about making love to her, he kisses her, they touch, and… There’s not much difference in writing a story from two male points of view. Writing a love scene isn’t only about the gender or the anatomy of the characters—it’s about creating a believable, intimate scene where two people express their love for each other.

Each character in each book is unique, so the love scenes are always approached from different directions. Everett and Josh’s first kiss (in A Secret Match) was a tender and sweet moment, while the first time readers meet Deke (from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing) they realize he’s anything but shy.

What’s the hardest part about writing a gay romance?
The answer to this is quite surprising, and no, it has nothing to do with bedroom activities. The hardest part about writing a same-sex romance or love scene is: pronouns.

As I’m writing, I’ll dash off something like: “He ran his hand down his chest and…” Wait, what? He ran his own hand down his own chest? No… I have to pay extra close attention when revising or editing a same-sex scene. Too many “his” references and the reader doesn’t know who is doing what. Better to say: “He ran his hand down Kevin’s chest and...”

Are you concerned about “what people will think” about you writing gay romances?
Not in the least. People will think whatever they want. I realize that not everyone wants to read the same type of romance, and that’s fine. But if readers are turned off to me as an author just because I write gay romances… well, that’s too bad, see ya.

When I wrote my first gay romance, I considered “what people would think” about the book and me writing it—for about three seconds. Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book.

I don’t worry about what people might think of me writing about two male characters kissing, going to bed, or making dinner. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. As a writer, I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, a historical Viking tale, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations), and a first-person vampire love story.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters (and the story) take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated fables.

I once read a blog where a woman was “confessing” to writing an erotic romance, even though she couldn’t tell anyone about it and wouldn’t “dare” put her real name on the story. I got to wondering…why? Why hide your writing? And if you’re “ashamed” to be writing in a particular genre, why invest the time and energy into something you’re not going to stand behind?

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose. 

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.

Kelli

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - June 2016 Issue






Kelli’s Quill
All Romance Double Issue
May/June 2016
Hi everyone,
The warm weather is finally here, and believe it or not, summer is just around the corner. This issue of the Quill is loaded with info about my new romances. Why not add a few to your summer reading list? 


3 HOT ROMANCES
Kelli’s contemporary wrestling romances, A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match, were released in May. Although these books are related and share characters, they each stand alone as individual reads. Here are the summaries and links:

A Deceptive Match

Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash.

Disgruntled with her job as the office assistant for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler.

Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.

Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie, and she unwittingly becomes a key player in his title match. Their mutual attraction grows, and late one night, they give in to the lustful feelings they’ve been fighting. 

As their relationship deepens, Danni considers telling Vinnie her secret. But before she can confess the truth, Vinnie discovers she isn't the reporter she claims to be. Her lie threatens to ruin everything between them. Will their relationship be destroyed by her deception or will their love win out?
Order your copy of A Deceptive Match here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F18X3XQ


A SECRET MATCH
Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?


Order your copy of A Secret Match here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FERW65A

In June, Kelli released Killer in Wolf’s Clothing. This super-hot gay paranormal/shifter is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.
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. 
 
Order your copy of Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3V9VWW


RECENTLY RELEASED: The Royal Desires Series
This spring Kelli released the Royal Desires Series. This trilogy of spicy historical/fantasy romances is made up of A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, and A Most Unfortunate Prince. As an added bonus, each book contains a sneak peek excerpt from the next book in the series.

Here are the summaries and links:

A Most Unusual Princess
Princess Elara needs to find a royal husband, but claims that no man can satisfy her. Her father hires Dalton, a special guard, to watch over her while she’s courting suitors. Dalton finds her unusual behaviors charming—and enthralling.
Dalton’s aloof manner intrigues Elara, and despite their differences, they share tender moments and intimate nighttime encounters. Elara is heartbroken when her father chooses a “proper” husband for her—until she meets the mystery man.

Order A Most Unusual Princess, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CBX43D8

And… A Most Unusual Princess got a new 4 Star review:

A Most Intriguing Temptation

After only four months of marriage to Princess Elara, Prince Dalton is sent to Emperor Salizar’s pleasure palace on business. Not wanting to be left behind, Elara risks her personal safety and sneaks along on the trip.

Aided by her mischievous brother, Prince Allan, she disguises herself as one of Salizar’s sultry kharim women and decides to test Dalton’s loyalty. Masquerading as Oonish, Elara goes out of her way to tempt Dalton at every turn. Despite Dalton’s resolve to resist the indulgent girls, he finds himself falling under the spell of the mysterious Oonish.
After nearly giving in to temptation, Dalton discovers Elara’s trickery and turns the tables on her, making her into his submissive playmate. Their fun and games are quickly shattered when Emperor Salizar learns about Elara’s deception. He holds the royals prisoner and condemns Elara to a fate worse than death.
Can Dalton save Elara before it’s too late, or will her prank bring about the end of their love?

Order your copy of A Most Intriguing Temptation here:


A Most Unfortunate Prince

This time, it’s all about Allan… and he never expected to fall in love!


Banished by the Royal Family, pampered Prince Allan is forced to abandon his life of luxury. The former Royal Shipmaster General is sent to the worst part of the kingdom and manages to find work at the docks. Lost in a commoner’s world, Allan is miserable—until he has an unusual encounter with a saucy shop girl named Claudette.
Allan must earn the respect of the woman he loves while keeping his true identity a secret. In an effort to redeem himself in his father’s eyes, he exposes a dangerous smuggling operation involving the Royal Fleet. But his loyalty to duty comes with a deadly price.
Can he keep Claudette and his royal title? Or will he lose her forever when she discovers his secret?

Order your copy of Book 3, A Most Unfortunate Prince here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMBYJ6E



KELLI’S BEEN GUEST BLOGGING!



Get an inside look at A Most Intriguing Temptation:

Read about the making of Kelli’s hot wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match here: http://lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com/2016/05/spotlight-deceptive-match-by-kelli.html?m=0


IF YOU LIKE HISTORICAL ROMANCES - DON'T MISS:

A naughty interview with Ashton Bailey, the hero from Kelli’s Colonial historical/mystery romance, Dangerous Indenture:


A spicy excerpt from Dangerous Indenture:


This Month’s Writing Exercise: Secrets…
Each month, I’ll leave you with a writing prompt or 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. 

To celebrate the release of A Secret Match, this month’s writing prompt is all about secrets! In A Secret Match, Ev (our hero) is hiding a secret from the world (he’s gay). During the course of the book we learn that keeping this secret is causing Ev a lot of grief, anguish, and heartache. (Danni, the heroine in A Deceptive Match, is also hiding a secret from Vin. Lots of secrets in these books!)

Do your characters have secrets? (Most people do, so your fictional “people” should too!) If not, why not give them one? Secrets, deception, and lies (whether innocent or down-right deliberate) can add layers of drama to your story, increase the tension, and let you explore your characters’ emotions from many different angles. All of this can enhance the story and give your characters some heavy-duty motivation.

Ask yourself: What secret can I give my hero or heroine? Maybe he’s hiding the fact that he’s being blackmailed; she’s keeping quiet about her role in a murder; a husband knows his wife is cheating, but keeps the information to himself to avoid a scandal; or a worker discovers something strange about his boss…

Once you know the secret, you can really turn up the heat on your characters. Start asking: What happens if someone else finds out the secret? What if the person feels the need to confess? (Who does he or she confess to and then what happens?) How does holding this secret make him/her feel? (guilty, like a phony, has no remorse about it, nervous at being found out, tired of holding the secret?) What (if anything) will make the character confess the secret? 

Secrets and deception add twists and turns to your plot and can make things very interesting for everyone involved. What sort of secrets you can invent for your next story?

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

Enjoy the summer!
Kelli

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just Released - Killer in Wolf's Clothing





Hi everyone,

My hot gay romance, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing was just released. This contemporary paranormal/shifter novella gives readers an unusual look at the werewolf legend.


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.

Order your copy from Amazon here:

See a full list of my romances on my Amazon author page:


Happy Reading,
Kelli