Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Month of Romances – Part Four - Trust with Hearts and The Sexy Stranger


Hi folks!

People always ask me, “Out of all the romances you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my two favorite Amber Quill Press contemporary romances – The Sexy Stranger and Trust with Hearts. Why is it a tie? Both books are dear to my heart and feature sexy, skin-tight jean-wearing heroes – now how can you choose just one?

But that’s where the similarities end. The Sexy Stranger (released in 2005) is a fun contemporary that puts a different spin on hitchhikers and mistaken identities. An attractive stranger has just jumped into Lauren’s car and is kidnapping her! (But don’t worry, it works out okay.) 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).

The hero in Trust with Hearts (released in 2010) is a lonely country music singer named Curtis, and Sherrie finds herself falling for him – even though he’s not her type. Curtis may be shy, but he’s keeping a whopper of a secret from her. This full-length novel 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.

Here are plot summaries and a few review snippets for both books:

The Sexy Stranger

Lauren's life was predictable and boringuntil the day she met a sexy stranger along a deserted Nevada highway. When an ex-con named Matt jumped into her car, he introduced her to a world of steamy passion and intrigue that she'd only seen in movies. Lauren soon realizes that this bad boy has a romantic and passionate side he's been shielding from heralong with a few other secrets, as well.

Reviews for The Sexy Stranger

"8.7 Rating! The Sexy Stranger by Kelli A. Wilkins is an erotic comedy. You can see the charged heat between Matt and Lauren. You can feel the attraction to each other grow as the story progresses. Another fabulous story by Kelli A. Wilkins." - Aline de Chevigny, In the Library Reviews

"The Sexy Stranger is a hot, sexy, fantasy read. The sparks between Lauren and Matt quickly turn to flames. If I close my eyes and imagine an encounter with a hot sexy stranger, this steamy short story fulfills the fantasy." Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed

"The Sexy Stranger is every woman's secret fantasy. This story hits the bullseye with sexual desire, anticipation and a thrilling ride. Kelli A. Wilkins shines in this story. I found myself captivated from the first sentence to the ending. Well done, Ms. Wilkins. Well done indeed." - Emma Gayle, Romance at Heart.com


Trust with Hearts

After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.

Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.

Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?


Reviews for Trust with Hearts

"Trust With Hearts is a must read. You will laugh, cry, and in the end, you will totally fall in love with the story, characters and all. Trust With Hearts is typical Kelli A. Wilkins work. It is character rich, and full of drama along with some sizzling scenes to spice it up. The relationship with her characters helps us see that Curtis and Sherrie may not make it, but then, as the drama unfolds, and she shows us their hearts, we realize there just may be more there than meets the eye. This book will remain on my favourites shelf for a long while, and it is a definitely recommended read from this reviewer.” - Rose, Reviewer, Romance at Heart.com “

"4.5 stars! 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. I am always thrilled when I get the chance to discover a new-to-me author who I can’t wait to read more from.” - Emily, Reviewer, SingleTitles.com


So, what’s on the blog horizon for March? It’s March Madness! I’ll be sharing a sneak peek at A PERFECT MATCH (my upcoming Amber Quill Press contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling), plus sharing more writing prompts, tips, and advice.

And, in other news – you can now find me on Twitter: @KWilkinsAuthor

Until next time,

Kelli

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Month of Romances – Part 3 – Beauty and the Bigfoot


Hi folks!

People always ask me, “Out of all the romances you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my favorite Amber Quill Press paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot.

The book started out with the premise: “What if a girl fell in love with a Bigfoot her father captured?” I liked the idea, but I wasn’t sure where I could take it. Later, when I was doing research for the book, (Yes, there was research involved!), I came across several historical accounts (dating back to the 1500s) of huge, hairy “wild men” living in the woods. Native American tribes have several names for Bigfoot and they took the subject seriously. After reading these stories, my imagination took over from there. (Once you read the book, you’ll see how it all ties in together.)

I knew from the start that this was going to be a paranormal comedy – because really, how can you take a Bigfoot romance seriously? So I set about creating the unique/strange characters. Tara’s father is pretty odd. He has an entire room in his house devoted to Bigfoot evidence and will stop at nothing to capture – not just any Bigfoot – but the Bigfoot that’s been roaming the woods near town for years. Charlie’s out to prove something to himself, to Tara, and to everyone in town – even the pigheaded Sheriff.

Believe it or not, I had to do a ton of research before I started writing this book! When I wrote the part of Charlie (Tara’s father and Bigfoot expert) I had to know everything about Bigfoot that he did. So I became my own expert in the subject.

Beauty & the Bigfoot was a lot of fun to write and I had a great time creating the characters. Through Tara and her eccentric father, Charlie, I was able to turn up the camp level and add in many wacky references and asides.

Here’s a plot summary and some fabulous reviews:

The summary:

Beauty & the Bigfoot

Can true love exist between the species?

Tara’s world is anything but normal. Her father is known as the resident crackpot – just because he’s on a personal mission to catch a Sasquatch. Despite all of the “Bigfoot evidence” cluttering their house, Tara never really believed in Bigfoot – until the day her father brought him home.

She affectionately names her father’s prized catch ‘Joe’ and discovers there’s something oddly familiar – and erotic – about him. With a media circus descending on her father’s ranch and a showdown brewing with the local sheriff, Tara risks her life to save Joe. When Tara finally succumbs to her animalistic urges, she learns that Joe is not exactly who – or what – he seems. Joe is more than a Sasquatch – he’s her soul mate!

The reviews:

"An Erotic Twist on the Classic Bigfoot Tale" Having a father who is a certified Bigfoot investigator was not easy for Tara MacAllister growing up. He has been obsessed with the fictional creature for years, even claiming one lived within miles of their own place. Not believing in Bigfoot, Tara warred with her father constantly, until the day he actually brings Bigfoot home.

Beauty & the Bigfoot is a thoroughly entertaining read on a classic legend, that I found enjoyable and sexy! Ms. Wilkins puts a twist on the Bigfoot myth, that left me pleased with the ending. Beauty & the Bigfoot was a well thought out, erotic and downright fun read to the end! I loved Tara and her take on what is happening to her, and Joe is just a downright yummy male, even if he is a little hairy! If you are looking for a fun, erotic and entertaining read then Ms. Wilkins delivers.” Reviewed by Missy Brown – paranormalromance.org

4 Coffeecups! "I thought this story was going to take a weird and strange turn when I first started reading it. A large sigh of relief escaped my lips when I discovered it to be a regular love story with an odd twist. I enjoyed this book a lot. I have always been fascinated by the idea of Bigfoot and the author heightened my curiosity by adding a hint of the Native Americans’ belief. Tara’s father, Charlie, adds a certain comedic flair to this book. His dedication to Bigfoot and not caring about public opinion won my heart. This is one story where you will laugh and sigh all in one reading." Kimberly, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

A hoot and a half! “I could use a lot of words to describe Kelli A. Wilkins’ BEAUTY & THE BIGFOOT, but if I had to narrow it down to just one summary word, it would be this: fun. I knew I was going to be in for a treat when I picked this novella up; there was just no way that a story with a title such as this could take itself seriously. I mean c’mon…love with Bigfoot? Sex with Sasquatch? How far-out is that? I am delighted to report that I was right. This story was a hoot and a half, and Ms. Wilkins has definitely been placed on my “authors to be watched” list because of it. I quite enjoyed reading BEAUTY & THE BIGFOOT. It is a quick and easy read, entertaining, and even sexy at times. And now that I’ve “discovered” Ms. Wilkins writing, I am definitely going to have to explore her backlist of stories. And maybe sign up for her newsletter as well.” BD Whitney, BookWenches Reviewer

So, is Bigfoot real? Is the Patterson film a hoax? Are there Sasquatches roaming the forests of the Pacific Northwest? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that the legend continues on – with a happy ending – in Beauty & the Bigfoot.

Next week, my favorite contemporary is… a tie!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Month of Romances – Part 2 – The Dark Lord


People always ask me, “Out of all the romances you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my favorite Amber Quill Press historical romance, The Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord is a gothic romance that takes place in a secluded castle high in the Carpathian Mountains of Hungary. Why is it my favorite historical? I put this novella at the top of my list because of the wonderfully troubled and unique characters.

When I set about creating the mysterious “Dark Lord” Adrik, I wanted to make him a flawed hero. He has two physical ailments (one most romance heroes never have!) as well as several psychological scars. As if they weren’t enough problems, he has a reputation as a murderer (among other things). Everyone is terrified of him and his castle – except the heroine, Katarina. This innocent peasant girl agrees to be his companion, yet instead of fearing him as the other companions before her; she takes the time to get to know him and helps him heal.

Here’s a full plot summary:

Explore the mysterious, sensual castle of…

THE DARK LORD

Katarina, an innocent village girl, agrees to become Lord Sebestyen Adrik’s latest companion, despite the dreadful rumors she has heard about him. When she arrives at his isolated castle high in the Carpathian Mountains, she discovers that the mysterious “Dark Lord” is a lonely, troubled man haunted by a cursed past. Katarina is left alone with Lord Adrik every night---will she become his next victim or find a way to cure him?


And, reviewers loved the book!

“8.5 Rating and a recommended read! Kelli A. Wilkins has a talent for writing the intriguing short fantasy, I've enjoyed every one of her stories to date and The Dark Lord is no exception. I really enjoyed her story twist; it made me wonder how she would resolve it. I would recommend anything by Kelli A. Wilkins including this short.” - Aline de Chevigny, IntheLibraryReviews.com

“5 Stars… The Dark Lord is a historical romance with a slight twist of intrigue to display a bit of suspense and just a drop of horror in the works to make the story flow along smoothly and keep the reader interested. Author Kelli A. Wilkins has woven together a wonderful story with characters who try to move both earth and sky to make their dreams come true.” - Wanda Maynard, Simegen.com

“5 Unicorns, Superb! Add to your immediate reading list… The Dark Lord is a superb gothic story of a tortured hero and an innocent, strong willed woman. The Dark Lord kept me interested from the very first sentence. I enjoyed the sinister surroundings of this story along with the sweet love that blossoms between the main characters. This is definitely a story to add to your immediate reading list.” - Anita, Enchanted in Romance.net

“4 Stars, Excellent… The Dark Lord is a wonderful story; I wished it was longer so I could go on enjoying it. Ms. Wilkins has developed a wonderful character in Lord Adrik. The storyline is intriguing with a dash of mystery. The flow is smooth, the sex is imaginative and the characters are well described. I will be looking for more historical stories by this writer.” - Kim, MayReviews.com

“4 Beacon Review… The author paints a vivid gothic scene with a gloomy castle, a grumpy servant who leaves at night, and a very handsome Lord with a dark secret. Sebestyn is the perfect tortured hero… This short story is definitely a keeper.” - Moe811, Lighthouse Literary Reviews

“3 Hearts… The Dark Lord has a very Gothic style feel to it. Kelli A. Wilkins manages to bring these two very different two characters together despite the odds stacked against them, despite their different pasts and different social statuses. Overall, The Dark Lord is a charming tale that will please most readers.” - Sarah W, The Romance Studio

“Blue Ribbon Rating 4.5! Containing a fascinating plot, a mysterious Lord, and a girl that is not afraid to face “the dark lord” in his lair, this is a story that is sure to capture your curiosity and keep you reading until the very end. Katarina isn’t your typical timid girl, which is the main reason I adore her. Sebestyen is in so much pain, both physically and mentally; it’s impossible not to love him. Rumors have caused him much heartache and practically destroy any chance he would have of finding love. I thoroughly enjoyed how the story turned out.” — Chrissy Dionne, Reviewer, Romance Junkies

I hope you’ll check it out. It really is a good story, with a perfect blend of gothic mystery and spicy romance. The Dark Lord, and last week’s book, A Most Unusual Princess, appear together in my Amber Quill Press anthology, Naughty Nobles. (Click on the book’s cover to the right and you’ll be directed to the buy link.) As always, excerpts, reviews, and more details on all my romances are on my website: www.KelliWilkins.com

Next week: my favorite paranormal – or -Vampire vs. Bigfoot!

Happy Reading,

Kelli

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Month of Romances – Part 1 – A Most Unusual Princess

Happy February Everyone!

People always ask me, “Out of all the romances you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

That’s a hard question to answer because I invented all the characters and their adventures, so naturally I love them all. (It’s been said that whatever book you’re working on now is your favorite – which is also true!)

So, to answer the question, I’ve decided to share my personal favorites by genre. First up, fantasy romance!

Of all my fantasy romances (A Most Unusual Princess, Dalton’s Temptation, The Pauper Prince, A Midsummer Night’s Delights, Naughty Nobles, and A Midwinter Night’s Delights) my favorite is A Most Unusual Princess. Why? For several reasons.

A Most Unusual Princess was my first erotic romance. I wrote it specifically for the Amber Quill Press “Heat Wave” contest and it won! Another reason I put this book on the top of my list is because the characters and story are so damned amusing. In most fantasy stories, princesses are demure, polite, restrained, and the model of perfection. Elara is the complete opposite: feisty, headstrong, rude, misbehaved, and… well, the list goes on and on…

A Most Unusual Princess spawned two sequels, Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince. Together they make up the “Royal Desires” trilogy and are a hoot to read back to back. The trilogy covers their loves and lives with lots of adventure, romance, and danger. Although the other two novels are sequels, each book stands alone as a separate read.

Here’s a blurb about A Most Unusual Princess:

Princess Elara needs to find a royal husband, but claims that no man can satisfy her. Dalton, Elara’s special guard, finds her unusual behaviors charming---and enthralling. Dalton’s aloof manner intrigues Elara, and despite their differences, they share tender moments and intimate nighttime passions. Elara is heartbroken when her father chooses a “proper” husband for her---until she meets the mystery man.

and some excellent reviews from romance readers.

“5 Coffee Cups! Bravo to Ms. Wilkins for writing a twist in the book that makes the reader want to continue reading until the end. The way Ms. Wilkins allowed the two lovers to explore their bodies for the first time was so hot, I doubt a fire extinguisher would have been able to extinguish their passion for each other. The combustion sizzles between the pages as Elara desires to be closer to Dalton. I loved the banter between the two.” — Cherokee, Reviewer, Coffee Time Romance

“4 Beacon Review! A Most Unusual Princess by Kelli A. Wilkins is a lighthearted and often funny story. Elara and Dalton’s growing relationship is very entertaining, as they are two very appealing main characters.” — Moe811, Reviewer, Lighthouse Literary Reviews

“8.9 rating! A Highly Recommended Book! A Most Unusual Princess by Kelli A. Wilkins is a new erotic twist on an old beloved tale. The interaction and friendly bickering between Dalton and Elara made me laugh out loud at the characters. I truly enjoyed this romantic tale and would highly recommend this book.” - Aline de Chevigny, Inthelibraryreview.com

“4 Stars, Excellent! Ms. Wilkins has written a wonderful Princess fairytale, with humor, stimulating encounters, and sweet romance. The characters are well developed considering the short length. The storyline is interesting and the sexual situations flow smoothly with the story.” - Polly, MayReviews.com

A Most Unusual Princess is an amusing book that will seize your attention from the first word. Elara is a woman who wants to get married on her own terms, not those set by her father. The growing attraction and love between Elara and Dalton carry this sweet story. Ms. Wilkins has created appealing characters that will touch your heart.” - Tewanda, Fallen Angel Reviews

“Enchanting! A Most Unusual Princess is a quick afternoon retreat. When you’re just a little bit stressed and need some relief this is where to get it. Kelli Wilkins puts an erotic little twist to “once upon a time.” So put up your feet and relax while you slip into this enchanting story.” - Jan Douglas, Writers Unlimited.com

A Most Unusual Princess is a quick trip into a sensuous fantasy world. I loved the characters—the abrasiveness and quick wit of both was hilarious, and the sexual tension between Dalton and Elara is oh-so-yummy.” — Cassidy, Reviewer, JoyfullyReviewed.com

I hope you’ll check out the book and add it to your library of favorites!

Next week, I’ll share a bit about my favorite historical romance.

Happy Reading!

Kelli