Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just in time for the holidays...Dark Things II - Cat Crimes -




Hi everyone,

Here’s some great end-of-the year news!

The anthology, DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes: Tales of Feline Mayhem and Murder has just been released.

Everyone knows I’m a cat lover and author of three non-fiction cat care guides. Now I’ve combined my love of cats with my love of horror stories, and I found a way to benefit cats across the country.

My horror short “Just an Innocent Little Cat” appears in this anthology. This collection of tales (tails?) features feline mayhem, murder, and other things you always suspected cats were doing when you weren't looking. Cats you don't want in your worst nightmares and cats you might want on your side against evil. (My story falls into the latter CATegory.)

All proceeds from sales go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA. Enjoy over twenty-one cat “tails” and give a needy cat a new leash on life. (You’d think someone with such a bad sense of humor couldn’t write horror stories, huh?)


And here’s an excerpt:


“Just an Innocent Little Cat”

Chester sat on the bathroom floor with his tail wrapped around his body. He arched his neck and lifted his nose high in the air. Eggs and bacon. Betty was making food downstairs. That left him alone with Danny.

He leapt onto the side of the blue bathtub and sat on the rim, just outside the shower curtain. The hot water was running inside the tub, and he twitched his nose at the harsh-scented detergents filling the room. He studied the shadow of the fat man as he moved around behind the thin curtain.

Last night, he’d decided that Danny had to go. Before Danny came, Betty used to have her lady friends over to visit. They played something called “Scrabble.” Sometimes, the little brown pieces of tile landed on the floor and he swatted them under the couch. It was a fun game. But now, the nice ladies didn’t visit anymore. Danny wouldn’t allow them to come here. This made Betty sad.

After a few minutes, Danny turned off the water and opened the shower curtain. He yelped and stepped back.

“Damn thing! Get the hell out of here!”

Chester riveted his gaze on Danny, then hissed.

“Ma, hey, ma!” Danny screamed and covered himself with his hands. “Get this cat outta here!”

***

For the record: Chester was based on a real-life highly intelligent orange cat my parents owned. And isn't the cover cool?


Enjoy the holidays!

Kelli A. Wilkins



Friday, December 16, 2011

Romance Recap - A PERFECT MATCH



Hi everyone!

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!


 A PERFECT 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 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


I hope you'll check out the book - and give wrestling a try!

Next week, I'll be posting my end-of-the-year newsletter with a year-end writing recap.

Until next time!
-Kelli

Friday, December 9, 2011

Romance Recap - Four Days with Jack

Hi everyone!

As 2011 winds down, I'm sharing bits about my Amber Quill Press romances. First up, Four Days with Jack.

Since this is my first gay romance, readers may be wondering – why a gay romance now? What sparked the change in genres?

I always knew that one day I’d write a gay romance, and I’ve been batting ideas around in my head for a while. I was in between books and had just finished editing A Perfect Match when I heard about the Amber Allure “Postcards from Paradise” line, and I knew I had my next project.

Four Days with Jack is one of the very few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having an outline let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions. Over four days, David and Jack learn a lot about themselves, each other, and what sacrifices they’ll make to stay together. Readers and reviewers liked the book (and it was a May 2011 best-seller!).  I'm already entertaining new story ideas for more gay romances.

Here’s a short summary and some wonderful reviews (an adult excerpt is on my site):
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?

***

 “4 Gold Crowns! Four Days with Jack by Kelli A. Wilkins is a great story about best friends Jack and David. Two friends who have been in love with each other for years, and, for various reasons, afraid to let it out, finally give in while on vacation. David and Jack are beautifully created. They both have their faults but love each other enough to want to try. Kelli A. Wilkins’ Four Days with Jack is a great story about accepting who you are and going after what you really want.” - Jaymes, Reviewer, The Readers Round Table


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

 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

***
Next week, I'll share a bit about my wrestling romance, A Perfect Match.

Until then, happy reading!
Kelli


Friday, December 2, 2011

Something Spooky for the Holiday Season!






Hi everyone,


In this week’s blog I’m sharing a short and sweet promo for a new horror anthology! As most everyone knows by now, I not only write sizzling erotic romances, I also write short horror fiction.


If you’re looking for a gift for someone who likes to read horror stories - or if you’re a horror fan who wants to tune out the cutesy holiday cheer and explore the dark side, Frightmares is just for you!


My flash fiction horror story, “Death is Just a Tick Away” appeared in Dark Moon Digest’s e-magazine (Issue #1) this summer. And it now appears in the Frightmares: A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror paperback anthology published by Dark Moon Books. The story is based on a real superstition!


The book is a compilation of dozens of flash fiction horror stories. Each tale is under 500 words and is a quick read. The authors weren’t limited to a central theme (vampires, zombies, or haunted places), so each story is completely unique.


The link to the print book on Amazon is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983433550/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=shadara-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0983433550


And you can still order a Kindle version of the magazine here: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Moon-Digest-Magazine-ebook/dp/B005BSSL66/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_7

(Note: These links are for Amazon. However, these titles are also available at Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores.)

Next week on the blog I’ll be taking a look back at my 2011 Amber Quill Press romances!

Until next time,
Kelli