Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Have you ever read a Bigfoot romance? Beauty & the Bigfoot – a paranormal/comedy

Hi folks!
Today I’m sharing a look back at my Amber Quill Press paranormal, Beauty & the Bigfoot, (Yes, it’s a Bigfoot romance!) This offbeat novella offers readers a quirky look at the legend of Bigfoot. When I told people I was writing a Bigfoot romance, they said, “You’re kidding, right?”
Nope! As anyone who knows me will attest, I’ve always been interested in the paranormal or supernatural realms. (In fact, an recent episode of Ancient Aliens talked about the possible origins of Bigfoot.)
Maybe I watched too much In Search Of… as a child or “unexplained phenomena” appealed to my imagination, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in the strange and unusual.
I started out writing horror short stories and it was only a matter of time before I went down the paranormal romance road. Beauty & the Bigfoot is my second paranormal romance. My first, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is a more serious love story.
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.
The book started out with the premise: “What if a girl fell in love with a captured Bigfoot?” 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.)
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.
Here’s a summary:

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!

I’m pleased to say reviewers loved the story!:

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

“An Erotic Twist on the Classic Bigfoot Tale! 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

More reviews and an excerpt are on my website: www.KelliWilkins.com
I hope you’ll check out the story and decide about Bigfoot for yourself!

Until next time,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Flash back to...THE DARK LORD

Hello everyone,

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my Amber Quill Press historical romance, The Dark Lord. It’s a Gothic-style romance set in the Carpathian mountains. This novella was one of the original three that I submitted to the AQP “Amber Heat” contest back in 2005. The other two novellas were A Most Unusual Princess and TheSexy Stranger

When I set about creating the mysterious “Dark Lord” Adrik, I wanted to make him a flawed (and sympathetic) 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 also has a reputation as a murderer (among other things). 

Everyone in the tiny, remote village 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 plot summary:

Explore the mysterious, sensual castle of…


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?

I’m happy to report that 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

 “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

And to spice things up – here’s a short excerpt!

Sebestyen peered through the small vent in the wall and watched as Katarina untied the laces across her bosom. Her green dress fell open, and her breasts were illuminated in the candlelight. He licked his lips and stared at her rosy nipples. It had been years since he had suckled a woman. He swallowed hard. It had been years since he had done anything to a woman.

Katarina climbed into the tub and splashed water over herself. He held his breath and waited to see what she'd do next. If she was an obedient girl, she'd wash herself as he had instructed. If she wasn't obedient, he'd have to barge in there and soap her himself. He grinned. Now, which would he prefer?

So far, Katarina was working out perfectly. She was much more accommodating than the other girls. One had started fighting him the moment he'd tricked her into his lap, and another had burst into tears when he had told her to wash. Katarina seemed sensible and willing to follow his orders, but was she the one?

His heart thundered as Katarina soaped her arms and chest. Her nipples perked as she washed herself. He longed to feel her silky skin beneath his hands. Perhaps that would spark his body into a response. He looked down, hoping to see a bulge in his breeches. There was no reaction.
"Give it time," he muttered, slipping his hand between his legs. It was Katarina's first night here; if he disturbed her now, she would be put off to him. He stroked himself faster as she bathed. Despite the deep ache in his loins, his member remained soft and useless.

He studied Katarina as she stepped from the tub. Her pink nipples begged for his lips. The thatch of wet hair between her thighs teased him. Her long legs led to a tender, pink place untouched by a man. He'd give up everything he owned just to know the pleasure of a woman, to feel the sweet release he savored, but that could never happen. His suffering was punishment for his heinous crime...

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 A Most Unusual Princess appear together in my Amber Quill Press anthology, Naughty Nobles

As always, excerpts, reviews, and more details on all my romances are on my website: www.KelliWilkins.com

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Flash Back to... The Sexy Stranger

Hi everyone!

Today we flash back to one of my first Amber Quill Press romances… The Sexy Stranger!
This contemporary romance was one of three stories that I submitted to the Amber Quill Press “Heat Wave” writing contest (way back in 2005).

This short and fun romance puts a different (and sexy) spin on hitchhikers and mistaken identities. I wanted to add some elements of danger to the story, but without putting my characters into too much jeopardy. This novella is a very condensed version of an idea I had for a longer romance with more “bad guys” and a detailed backstory about the characters – and the crimes they’re going to commit. (And who knows, I might just write it one day.)

Here’s a short summary:

The Sexy Stranger

Lauren's life was predictable and boring—until 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 she had only seen in movies. Lauren soon realizes that this bad boy has a romantic and passionate side he’s been shielding from her—along with a few other secrets, as well.

 A brief excerpt:

Matt bent forward and slid his tongue down her belly. He stopped just before he reached the edge of her hot-pink panties. She groaned and writhed on the bed.

"Don't make this harder than it already is," he whispered. "I'm gonna take a shower. Don't go anywhere," he said as he climbed off the mattress.

A few minutes later, the bathroom door opened and Matt came out wearing a pair of gray briefs. The sight of his tanned, well-muscled body sparked a lustful craving deep inside her. A trickle of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick it away.

"Been a good girl since I was gone?" he asked, sliding into bed and straddling her chest.

"I had no choice. I'm stuck here." She rattled the handcuffs. "Why don't you take these off me?"

"Why should I?"

She stared into his eyes, then trailed her gaze down his torso until she was looking at his gray briefs. "Because, I'll make it worth your while."

(and yes, this novella heats up pretty quick! Amber Quill gave it a Heat level of 2!

 I’m happy to say that readers and reviewers fell in love with Matt and Lauren and their wild adventures. Here are a few kind words from reviewers…

“4.5 Hearts!...Very sensual!...I can definitely recommend this wonderful read! Ms. Wilkins has packed a lot into this sexy story. There is some humor, some extremely hot sex, a bit of mystery and suspense, and finally, some real love between Lauren and Matt.”—Yvonne, The Romance Studio

“5 Cups!…Has it all; suspense, drama, and sensual heat that are sure to pop some firecrackers. Ms. Wilkins’ style is clear and straightforward, her writing nearly flawless with no loose ends. This reviewer will not only be adding this book to her keeper shelf, but will also be watching for even more tantalizing tales from the talented Ms. Wilkins.”—Kimber, Coffee Time Romance

“Blue Ribbon Rating 3!..A quick, fun story for all readers to enjoy!”—Tracy Marsac, Romance Junkies Reviewer

“A lunch-break read that will have you smiling for the rest of the day! Kelli Wilkins knows just how to brighten a small part of the day.”—Jan Douglas, Writers Unlimited

“8.7 Rating!...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. You can't help wondering if Lauren will allow her feelings free reign, and if Matt is truly as kind as he pretends to be. Another fabulous story by this Kelli A. Wilkins.”—Aline de Chevigny, In the Library Reviews

"...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. It’s over quick, but it’s the perfect length to create an intense erotic daydream.” Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed

“...Every woman’s secret fantasy. This short story telling the encounter of one woman hell bent on making a new life after her boyfriend leaves her touches something in every woman. While a brief telling, this story hits the bull's eye with sexual desire, anticipation and a thrilling ride. Kelli A. Wilkins shines in this story. The fantasy comes to life for every woman who reads it. I found myself captivated from the first sentence to the ending. Well done, Ms. Wilkins. Well done indeed.”—Emma Gayle, Romance at Heart

“Kidnapping, hot sex, criminals and even a bank robbery—The Sexy Stranger has it all and then some. Kelli A. Wilkins crafts this little scorcher just right to please, and does it with style and interesting plot twists. Surprisingly well developed for a novella of this length, The Sexy Stranger is an erotic read, and a funny one to boot.”—Michelle, Fallen Angel Reviews

I hope you’ll check it out and spend some time with The Sexy Stranger!

Next week we’ll be taking a look back at my historical novella, The Dark Lord!

Until next time,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where do you get your ideas? What if I told you....

Hi everyone!

Happy March! Recently I was asked the famous question: "Where do you get your ideas?” Since this is a popular topic with readers (who may wonder "How on earth did you think of that?") and beginning writers ("I need an idea for...") I thought it would be a good time to share a few insights.

One way to think of ideas is to play the “What if…” game. Most stories start off with a “what if” premise (“What if there was a school for young wizards?”) and develop from there. As a writer, you can use your imagination to create endless “what if” scenarios and build stories around them.

Playing the “what if” game is also a great tool to help you if you’re writing a story and get stuck with a fizzling plot. Ask yourself “what if” and send your characters on a new adventure or alter their lives in a new direction. (What if the hero discovers the heroine has a secret love child? What if the heroine finds a hidden room in the castle?)

Using ‘what if’ can take your story into uncharted waters and deepen the plot, add emotion, or otherwise raise the stakes for your characters. I used the "What if?" game to write my two pararnomal romances, Confessions of a Vampire's Lover and Beauty & the Bigfoot.

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover began with the premise, "What if an avid surfer falls in love with a vampire at the beach?" From there, I let my imagination wander. And Beauty & the Bigfoot sprang from the premise "What if a cryptozoologists daughter falls in love with Bigfoot?" And what if she never believed Bigfoot was real, until her father brought him home?

I also used "what if" as I wrote The Dark Lord. As Katarina explores the castle, I had fun playing with all sorts of "what ifs". What if she went into the closed off wing of the castle? What if she found out about Lord Adrik's first wife? What if Lord Adrik was blaming himself for something that wasn't his fault?

“What if” can be a great game to play, whether you’re using it as a tool to help move your writing along, to start a story, or just for fun as a writing exercise. Play the “what if” game the next time you’re observing your surroundings and watching people. (What if the red car doesn’t stop for the old man in the crosswalk? What if the woman in the restaurant is waiting for her secret lover?)

Here are some wild “what if” questions you can use for writing exercises:

What if… a fisherman found a live mermaid?

…archeologists uncovered a UFO while excavating in Texas?

…your character inherited a haunted house---and knew the ghosts?

…a killer picks his victims according to their birthsign?

…the weird goth kid down the block really is a vampire?

…a man in the witness protection program won the lottery and his secret life was revealed?

Once you start thinking in terms of “what if” keep asking yourself more questions to take the scenario further. For example, “What if a character murders someone and buries the body in his cellar? Then, what if his wife comes home and finds him covered in dirt (or blood)? What if the wife’s brother is a cop?”)

As you can see, once you start the “what if” game, the possibilities are endless, and you can take the story anywhere.

And to add to the fun, I had a sci fi story included in an anthology titled, What If.... so it must be a good idea!

Until next time,