Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Look Back at Kelli’s Ten Romances…






Hi Folks,

Before the release of my 11th Amber Quill Press romance, A Midwinter Night's Delights, I thought I’d share a few insights and little-known tidbits about all 10 of my Amber Quill romances. So in chronological order, here goes!

A Most Unusual Princess
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MostUnusualPrincess.html

This was the first erotic romance I ever wrote, and with the exception of one scene, the entire first draft was completed in two days. This fantasy novella introduced readers to witty Princess Elara and her guard, Dalton. The characters were so interesting that I continued their romantic adventures in two sequels: Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince.


The Dark Lord
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/DarkLord.html

Set in an isolated Carpathian Mountain castle, Lord Adrik has a sinister reputation. I wrote this Gothic historical without an outline (which is unusual for me). For a while, I was tempted to make the Dark Lord into a vampire, but then considered it a little cliché. This is one of my “original three” Amber Heat contest winning romances (along with A Most Unusual Princess and The Sexy Stranger).

The Sexy Stranger
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/SexyStranger.html

This short and fun contemporary puts a different spin on hitchhikers and mistaken identities. I wanted to add some elements of danger, but without putting my characters into too much jeopardy. This story is a very condensed version of an idea I had for a full-length romance (which I might write one day).

Dalton’s Temptation
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/DaltonsTemptation.html

The sequel to A Most Unusual Princess. A few weeks after finishing Princess, the idea for this fantasy novel came to me. Dalton is sent off to a pleasure palace on business, and Elara just has to keep tabs on him (in her own unusual way, of course). I wanted to explore the concepts of fidelity and cheating. Is it still cheating if you cheat with your own spouse? This novel introduced Elara’s brother, Prince Allan to readers. Halfway through writing this, I knew Allan needed his own book, so I wrote The Pauper Prince. (At that point, I dubbed the three books the “Royal Desires” trilogy.)

The Pauper Prince
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/PauperPrince.html
After being banished from the royal family, pampered Prince Allan is forced to live like a commoner. The book is a bit violent and gritty and has a “medieval” feel to it. I enjoyed exploring the plot and setting of a darker fantasy novel for a change. Allan undergoes a tremendous personal transformation over the course of the book. However, one thing I dreaded was killing off a secondary character that Allan (and I) had fallen in love with. This is the final book in my “Royal Desires” trilogy. And Elara and Dalton’s storyline is also wrapped up.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ConfessionsVampiresLover.html
My first paranormal romance. Inspired by the premise of “what if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love with a surfer?” I blended horror and romance into an ethereal paranormal. It’s different from my other romances because it’s written in first person from the hero’s point of view. My husband is a surfer, so I sat on the beach surrounded by “research” as I outlined and wrote this story. It’s a great beach read!

A Midsummer Night’s Delights
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MidsummerNightsDelights.html
This hot historical (and Amber Heat bestseller), follows inexperienced newlyweds as they partake in naughty games at a Midsummer Ball. How did this erotic tale come about? One day, the entire first scene popped into my head. I thought the characters and premise were interesting, and I knew I had to write the rest of Annabelle & Julian’s story. Parts of the novella are so intense/graphic that for the first time ever; I had to turn off my internal editor while writing it. The sequel (A Midwinter Night’s Delights) will be released on Sept. 12.

Naughty Nobles
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/NaughtyNobles.html

My first anthology! This is a paperback collection of three fantasy novellas (A Most Unusual Princess, The Dark Lord, A Midsummer Night’s Delights) never before in print. It’s a good overview of different storylines, writing styles, characters, settings, and heat levels. Three hot stories in one book – how can you beat that?


Beauty & the Bigfoot
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/BeautyBigfoot.html
Have you ever read a Bigfoot romance? This paranormal/comedy came about from the premise “what if a girl fell in love with Bigfoot?” I knew the story would have to be a comedy – because who could seriously believe a Bigfoot romance? When writing it, I had to make “Joe” into his own character so readers would see him as Tara does – as a really hairy guy. I’m happy to say that readers loved the humor and wacky characters in the story, and it got great reviews!

Trust with Hearts
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/TrustWithHearts.html
This full-length contemporary romance won Honorable Mention in the 2009 Reading Writers “Romantic Encounter” writing contest. This book has a country setting and is more laid back then my other romances. Sherrie and Curtis have a whole summer to get to know about each other, fall in love, and discover a few secrets along the way. I wanted to explore another side of being famous and show that it’s sometimes not as glamorous as people think. The subplot with Sherrie helping save Kitty Corner gives her a sense of purpose and makes her stronger. Adopting pets from shelters is one of the things I advocate, so I inserted a bit of my own personal feelings into the story.

So what’s next? A Midwinter Night’s Delights will be out before we know it. I'm revising a historical/mystery romance and editing a full-length contemporary romance set in the world of professional wrestling. I’ve also got several story ideas brewing for other fantasy romances and another paranormal.

Here’s to the next ten books!
Happy Reading,
Kelli



Friday, August 20, 2010

Trust with Hearts: An Inside Look

Hi folks,

Today I’m sharing an inside look at my 10th Amber Heat romance. Trust with Hearts was released on April 25 and received a 4.5 star review from singletitle.com:

“Trust with Hearts is beautifully written. You struggle with Sherrie as she tries to regain her footing, and Curtis’s charm is intoxicating as it flows off the pages.” http://singletitles.com/?p=4087

People ask me, how did this book come about? Trust with Hearts is different from my other Amber Heat romances in that it has a more “traditional” romance novel feel – but still plenty of heat! Although Sherrie & Curtis are attracted to each other, they’re total strangers and are hesitant about getting involved in a relationship. Trust with Hearts gives them the whole summer to get to know each other. Readers are given a look into their pasts and follow along as Curtis & Sherrie heal their hearts, love, and learn to trust again.

The idea for the book came to me before a country music concert. I was sitting in the front row before the show started, when all of a sudden the whole plot and all the characters jumped into my head. Naturally, I started scribbling down notes before the house lights went down.

Although inspired by real-life, the character of Curtis isn’t based on that one particular country music singer – rather he’s a blend of three or four cowboy-hat-wearing singer/songwriters. Elements of the “inspirational” singer are there, but I used my imagination to fill in background details and invented whatever else I needed to make the story work.

The subplot of the book – Sherrie’s devotion to save Kitty Corner – was crucial because I wanted to give her a purpose, something to build her self-esteem. Sherrie’s cat adoption project lets her help unfortunate cats who need rescuing and good homes. It parallels how Dave takes Sherrie in (aka “rescues” her) and gives her a second chance at a new life. And, on a more personal note, giving Sherrie the “job” of helping cats allowed me to make a social/personal statement. I’m a “cat person” and I’ve written three cat care books. I always advocate adopting pets (of all kinds) from shelters and giving them a real home. (Would you want to live out the rest of your life in a wire cage?)

Back on topic: Knowing how I often write sequels, a reader asked if there will be another book following up Trust with Hearts. Will Dave get his own story?

I do have an idea for a sequel in mind. What if Curtis’s cousin Jen suddenly had to move in with Dave? Hmmm… I already have a plot brewing in the back of my mind, so if readers would like to see another book (or novella) let me know!

And here’s a little-known fact: Once upon a time, Trust with Hearts had a different ending that picked up right after the funeral. Curtis & Sherrie were driving back to Dave’s house when they got into a car accident. The Ventura was demolished, Sherrie was thrown clear, but had to go back into the burning car and rescue Curtis. I’m happy to say that despite their injuries, everyone lived happily-ever-after. The “car wreck” chapters were deleted after several people (contest judges, among others) told me it felt too “tacked on” and was depressing. Maybe. Maybe not. But I opted to delete it for the final version.

I hope you'll check it out! It's available in ebook format and paperback (on Amazon.com) or directly from Amber Quill Press. The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/TrustWithHearts.html

Happy Reading!
Kelli

Welcome to My Blog!

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to my blog! I named it Kelli's Quill - The Blog so readers can follow Kelli's Quill - The Newsletter, and now, Kelli's Quill - The Blog.

So what will I be blogging about? Books, the writing life, writing advice, reviews, and whatever else comes to mind.

My goal is to post at least once a week. If readers have questions about my books, writing in general, or just want to say "hi" feel free to email me via the "contact the author" form on my website (www.KelliWilkins.com).

For anyone who doesn't know, I'm a writer of romance, horror, non-fiction, and just about everything (and anything else.) Readers (and the curious) can catch up on all my writings on my website. My books are also on www.Amazon.com - along with some pretty good reviews, I must say.

I've also been known to post my newsletter on www.Goodreads.com and (of course) www.Facebook.com.

What's the latest? My 11th Amber Quill Press erotic romance A Midwinter Night's Delights will be published on September 12. (This is the scorching-hot sequel to the bestselling A Midsummer Night's Delights). Trust with Hearts (my contempory romance) was released in April.

Look for more blogs soon! (I'm going to post one about my romances next.)

Until next time,
Kelli