Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Four Days with Jack – What Will People Think?

Hi everyone,

As promised, here’s a bit of background about my Amber Allure contemporary romance, Four Days with Jack. When I got the idea for the book I knew the basic plot and premise, but I wasn’t exactly sure what the conflict would be within the story. As I started writing, David’s character quickly showed me the conflict – inner turmoil.

Up until now, David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He is afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him?

I picked up on this theme of “what will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family (and some friends) disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”

As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the m/m love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer and I create the characters, scenes, and plots that make up the book as a whole. The story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, detailed ménage scenes, a vampire romance. It’s not about me explaining myself on paper and waiting to be judged; it’s about the characters and what happens to them. It’s called fiction.

Writers have 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 story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.

One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank) in the story. As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobe and he says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and his own wife. So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show how even in this day and age, not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that helped band David and Jack together during a crisis moment.

But despite Frank’s interference, Jack and David have a happy-ever-after ending. And I’m pleased to say that Four Days with Jack has received two great reviews. Here are snippets from each:

“I thought that (Kelli) Wilkins did a very good job portraying the confused David and the wary, but hopeful, Jack. David’s inner turmoil and fears about outing himself were so heartbreaking. I definitely felt for him. Overall, I believe that FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is a strong romance with very likeable characters. I’m quite glad that I went ahead and read this story. I learned that as a romance fan I can definitely appreciate and enjoy those that feature two male heroes. FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is an emotional, yet sexy coming-out story about two men finally opening themselves up to the possibility of a great love. It was an excellent introduction into the world of m/m romance.” – Jennifer, Reviewer, Romance Novel News

“Four Days With Jack was exactly as promised. Hesitation, longings, risks, fears, and in the end, taking love the way it comes. The sex is hot, the characters likeable and the writing was easy to read. The peaks and valleys of the story come from David and Jack coming to terms with their relationship. Their secrets are exposed but those secrets and actions come with consequences. Their journey is a pleasant read and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy as well.” – Seriously Reviewed

Four Days with Jack makes a great summer read. It’s got a bit of everything: a tropical resort, humor, sadness, true love and some pretty steamy love scenes. The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/FourDaysWithJack.html

Check it out, and let me know what you think about it via this blog, Twitter or via the “Contact the Author” page on my site www.KelliWilkins.com. Have a topic you'd like to see me address on the blog? Drop me a line!

Until next time!

Kelli

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Five Steamy Romances to Heat Up Your Summer!














Hi everyone!

Now that summer is officially here, why not make things even hotter with a few summer romances? Although these books vary in genre and heat level, they all have one thing in common: the main characters fall in love and have a HOT and sweaty summer. To spice things up, here’s a brief excerpt from each…

Enjoy!


A PERFECT MATCH

Set in the world of professional wrestling, reporter Danni stone spends the summer getting close to a sex-God in spandex…

Danni unfastened his pants and undid his zipper inch by agonizing inch. Her breath blew on his stomach, and his cock twitched. She eased his pants past his hips, then ran her hands down his legs.

He stepped out of his pants and waited for Danni’s next move. Her hands traveled up his calves until she reached his thighs. His skin prickled from her delicate touch, and his penis strained against his briefs. Danni’s mouth was a whisper away. He prayed she’d yank down his underwear and suck him hard.

“You teased me, now it’s my turn to tease you.”

Thank God! He longed to feel her wet mouth surrounding his cock, her hands gently massaging his balls while she sucked him off.

Danni placed her hands on his hips and kissed him through his briefs.

“Do it again,” he begged.

The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/PerfectMatch.html

TRUST WITH HEARTS

In this contemporary novel, a sensual summer romance heats up between a country singer and a sexy houseguest.

Sherrie relaxed and closed her eyes. Would Curtis see it as a sign of submission and kiss her? Although she tried to deny it, she had a crush on him. His deep voice and mesmerizing blue eyes stirred feelings in her she thought were long dead and buried.

Her wish came true as Curtis’s kissed her. A low moan escaped her throat as his warm lips moved against hers, tender and slow. A tingling sensation built inside her, and she responded to his gentle embrace. Her lower body flared with a growing need.

Curtis slid his wide hand across her belly and up to her chest. He squeezed her left breast lightly, then slipped his tongue into her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. Now more than ever, she wanted him to touch her, to kiss her, to take her right here. She’d only known Curtis a few days, and yet she wanted him in a way she’d never wanted Rick.

The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/TrustWithHearts.html


BEAUTY & THE BIGFOOT

Have you ever read a Bigfoot romance? This paranormal comedy proves there’s a true love out there for everyone.

Tara’s protest faded as he licked the side of her neck. Every nerve in her body exploded. Her skin tingled, and she bent her head to the side. She closed her eyes as Joe nuzzled her neck with his lips, and then licked her again.

“How did you know? My neck’s always been my weak spot,” she whispered.

His tongue was warm and thick and felt a little rough, but she liked it. She moaned and relaxed against him, not caring that he could tear her throat out if he wanted—something deep inside told her she was safe.

“This shouldn’t be happening,” she muttered. She wanted to protest, but her body went limp. Trying to fight him would be futile, and he hadn’t hurt her. Besides, what was the harm in giving in a little?

Joe cupped her left breast in his huge hand. He huffed and shifted her weight on his lap. A second later, something hard poked her inner thigh…

The book link is: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/BeautyBigfoot.html

CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE’S LOVER

What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love with a surfer?

As soon as we got to my place, Cassie had me close all the blinds and run a hot shower. She stripped in the middle of the living room and casually tossed her clothes on the couch.

I stood gaping at her like I’d never seen a naked woman before. “You’re beautiful,” I whispered. And I meant it. Her pale skin was flawless, and the sight of her perky breasts made my mouth water.

Cassie stepped in front of me and ran her fingertips down my bare chest. Her touch sent a shiver through me, but for some reason, it aroused me.

I moaned and closed my eyes. Cassie slid her cold hand lower, past my ribs, down to the waistband of my bathing suit—then stopped and pulled away. I opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of her as she headed into the steamy bathroom. For a second, it looked like she was vanishing into vapor. I shook my head to clear it, then followed her in…

The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ConfessionsVampiresLover.html


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DELIGHTS

Hotter than the sun! This fantasy romance explores the spicy sexual adventures of two newlyweds.

Julian pressed his eyelids shut. His heart hammered so fast it felt like it would burst. His lower body ached and pulsed, burning with a raging need. He slipped his hand into his breeches and stroked himself. Vincent’s words swirled through his mind. Could he, should he, go into the bedchamber and take part in this wild sexual game?

Lord knew he wanted to. His body was ready…but the thought of taking charge and making love to Annabelle in front of another couple scared him. What if they mocked him or told someone what he’d done?

And how had Annabelle been convinced to do these things with another woman? Until today, she’d seemed so proper and innocent. Had she been waiting for him to unleash this lustful side of her?

He opened his eyes and glanced at the wall separating the two bedrooms. Everything was quiet in the other room. Annabelle wasn’t making whimpering sounds anymore. What was going on in there?

The book link is: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MidsummerNightsDelights.html

Reviews and full plot summaries are posted on my website: www.KelliWilkins.com


Next week, I'll share more about FOUR DAYS WITH JACK....

Happy Solstice, everyone!

Kelli A. Wilkins

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kelli's Quill - The Newsletter - HOT May/June Issue




KELLI’S QUILL

The Official Newsletter of Author Kelli A. Wilkins

Hot May/June Issue (Vol. 4 Number 3)


Hi everyone! The weather is heating up – and so are my romances! This issue is filled with news about my two new Amber Quill Press romances, links to interviews, reviews, guest blogs, and more! Enjoy!


FOR READERS:

NEW REVIEWS: Kelli’s sizzling wrestling romance, A Perfect Match has received three excellent reviews:


“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


Wanna read A Perfect Match for yourself? The link is:http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/PerfectMatch.html


INTERVIEWS:

On June 6, Kelli’s interview appeared in the Central NJ newspaper, The Home News Tribune. The link is: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011306050023


In April, Seriously Reviewed interviewed Kelli about her books. The link is:
http://seriouslyinterviewed.blogspot.com/2011/04/interview-with-kelli-wilkins-amber.html

Fallen Angel Reviews posted a new interview with Kelli. You can read the full interview here:http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/Interviews/2011/April-Tammy-KelliAWilkins.htm

GUEST BLOGS:

Kelli has been making the rounds as a guest blogger on the Seriously Reviewed blog. She’s sharing an inside look at all of her romances. Here are a few links to her most recent blogs:

http://seriouslyreviewedarchive.blogspot.com/2011/04/inside-look-at-kellis-hot-amber-quill.html

http://seriouslyreviewedarchive.blogspot.com/2011/04/kelli-wilkins.html

http://seriouslyreviewedarchive.blogspot.com/2011/05/kelli-wilkins.html


NEW BOOK RELEASE – FOUR DAYS WITH JACK:


Kelli’s new romance, Four Days with Jack, was released on May 22. Although this is her 13thbook with Amber Quill Press, it’s her first gay romance. This scorching contemporary is part of the Amber Allure “Postcards from Paradise” series and is available in a variety of electronic formats.

Here’s a short summary and link to the book:


FOUR DAYS WITH JACK

When David invited his best friend along on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…

Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David lived a lie and denied his attraction to Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally sheds his denial and admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.

Jack is more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden desires. But what will happen when they leave the resort? Will David sacrifice everything to start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?

The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/FourDaysWithJack.html


SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE:

Kelli has recently updated her author pages at Amazon.com’s Author Central, Goodreads, Shelfari, Romancewiki, Linked In, and Facebook!


Here’s a list of where to find Kelli on the web!

Website: http://www.kelliwilkins.com/ – Catch up on all my romances, read reviews, excerpts, and sign up for my newsletter, Kelli’s Quill.
Blog:
http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ - Each week I share book news, writing tips, exercises, and whatever else is on my mind
Twitter: @KWilkinsauthor
Amber Quill Press author page:
http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.html
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/kelli.wilkins1
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/KelliWilkins
Shelfari:
http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a987940/Kelli-A-Wilkins/

Q&A with KELLI:

What readers want to know! Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview with Kelli:

Q: Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
A: I’m always multi-tasking. Although I can only write one book at a time, I constantly find myself adding something extra to my ‘to do’ list. I might be writing a book, promoting another book, blogging, Tweeting, and writing my newsletter all in the same week! I also write short horror fiction, so I’m toying with those storylines while thinking about other romances to write.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
A: My favorite thing about being a romance writer is that I get to create different characters, worlds, settings, relationships and romances, and then share them with readers. I enjoy writing the story – meeting the characters and following along on their adventures. It’s a very creative part of the writing process, and it’s a lot of fun.

I write in several romance genres (fantasy, historical, paranormal and contemporary), so I get to dream up very different characters, plots, and settings for my books. My fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess (
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MostUnusualPrincess.html) is a lighthearted novella that introduces readers to a headstrong princess.


On the other hand, my paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover(http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ConfessionsVampiresLover.html), is written in first person from the hero’s point of view.


My historical, The Dark Lord (http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/DarkLord.html) is about a brooding, mysterious lord living in an isolated Carpathian castle with a naive female companion. I never know where my next book (or characters) will take me!


FOR WRITERS:

What’s the purpose of your writing?

Writers are often asked if their work has a theme or a message. Remember back in high school when you were asked, “What’s the purpose of this story?” Well, now that you’re a writer, you get to decide what the purpose (message, or theme) is of your stories!

A good story doesn’t stop the flow of the narrative so characters can preach to readers, but your writing should have a purpose, a point, a theme. There should be something that the reader takes away from the story. Someone once said that before you start writing, you should figure out what – if anything – you want to say. Ask yourself, why are you writing this story? What’s the point? Will readers learn anything?


When I wrote my three non-fiction cat care guides (Cats, Quick & Easy Guide to Cat &Kitten Care, The Simple Guide to Cats), the two themes I kept focusing on were: responsible pet ownership for the life of the cat, and adopting from a shelter or rescue organization.


I also incorporated these themes into my romance, Trust with Hearts. I gave the heroine (Sherrie) a subplot of adopting out cats from a local shelter. This helped build her character (and gave her a sense of purpose) while delivering a message to the reader. (And while I’m on the subject, I’d like to remind everyone that June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month! See? Even this bit of writing has a theme!)


When you’re writing to convey a message, you need to get inside the characters and voice opposing viewpoints, show conflicting actions, etc. to flesh out the theme and make the characters believable. These may not be things you’re comfortable thinking, writing, or showing, but they will help your story. Remember, the antagonist who is trying to cut down a 500-year-old tree will act in ways that oppose (and offend) your tree-loving heroine!


The next time you read a story, ask yourself, “What is the writer saying?” You might just learn something!

***

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Kelli’s Quill. Feel free to pass it along to other readers and writers and share it with your friends.

Until next time!

Kelli