As 2011 winds down, I'm sharing bits about the Amber Quill Press romances I've had published this year. Last week I shared info and reviews about my Amber Allure gay romance, Four Days with Jack.
Today I'm taking a peek inside the often misunderstood world of professional wrestling with my novel, A Perfect Match.
I grew up watching wrestling and several years ago I had the opportunity to hang out with real life wrestlers. At the time, I wasn't writing books, and the thought of creating a wrestling romance never even entered my mind. But I've always been the nosy and curious sort, so I kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut.
I learned a lot from observing the guys as they traveled to and from matches, dealt with zealous fans, and talked about the internal workings of the business. But two things stuck with me most: 1. when it came down to it, they were regular people (granted, very large regular people) and 2. 95% of the world doesn't understand what they do or why they do it. I filed all that away in the back of my mind and carried on with my life.
So how did A Perfect Match come about? Years later (after I'd been writing for a while) I woke up one morning with the entire book in my head. I knew the plot, the characters, and even the subtle backstories of everyone. I had everything I needed to write the book, so I did. (And the hero, Vinnie, is not modeled after any one particular wrestler - although it's fun to see who readers think he 'really' is. His character is a combination of about 5 different wrestlers. The other characters are all compilations, too.)
The book made the rounds to 'big name' publishers who all said the same thing: "Wrestling? Who wants to read about wrestling?" Their rejections only solidified my theory: people just don't understand it.
But I'm happy to say that the book got excellent reviews and several people have commented on how it opened their eyes to what goes on behind the scenes. The book isn't just for wrestling fans - it's for anyone who loves a good romance.
Here's a summary and a few of those nice reviews!
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 gopher 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. Their mutual attraction grows, and Danni gives in to the lustful feelings she’s repressed for years. As their relationship deepens, she finds herself drawn into Vinnie’s world and becomes a key player in his title bout. But before Danni can tell Vinnie that she isn’t the reporter she claims to be, he discovers her deception. Her lie threatens to destroy everything between them. Is their fragile, newfound love destined to fail, or are they a perfect match?
“5 stars! Kelli A Wilkins’ A Perfect Match is one of the best books I read in awhile. It’s romantic, sweet and HOT!! Vin and Danni have it bad for each other and once they both give into their passion, its hot and heavy. I really enjoyed this book, it has a great storyline and I loved all the characters.” – Wanda, Reviewer, Romance Writers Reviews
“4 stars! A Perfect Match is a how-to manual of what goes on in the professional wrestling world. I found it fascinating. You don’t need to know or like the sport to enjoy this tender, yet fierce love story, with a ‘HEA for now’ ending. I hope you like it as much as I did.” – Patrizia M., Reviewer, Manic Readers
“Kelli A. Wilkins writes a daring romance. She gives her readers ringside seats to a spectacularly sexy main event. Danni may have her reasons for being deceitful, but her treachery will not allow her to obtain what she honestly wants. Vinnie may be on his way out, but he will not surrender without the fight of his life. Together, they create a tag team that cannot easily be defeated. Ms. Wilkins certainly pins her readers and keeps them down for the count. I definitely could not stop reading once I was caught firmly in the grasp of the entangling romance. A PERFECT MATCH throws out all the rules and shows just how no-holds-barred love can be. This was a fun, fast, and feisty tale.” Melissa K., Reviewer, Noveltalk
Next week, I'll be posting my end-of-the-year newsletter with a year-end writing recap.
Until next time!