Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hot summer romance - Confessions of a Vampire's Lover

Greetings Everyone!

Today I’m sharing an inside look at one of my paranormal romances, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.  (As most everyone knows by now, I write spicy romances and spooky horror fiction. For some, that might seem an odd combination, but it works for me. I like to say that “one half of my brain writes the horror, and the half writes the romance.”)
So far, I’ve written three paranormal romances for Amber Quill Press (Killer in Wolf’s Clothing, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, and Beauty & the Bigfoot).

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover offers a different view of a vampire romance. For starters, the novella is told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of an unusual setting – the beach. Yes, it’s a summer beach-themed vampire love story! (And you don’t see those every day.)

So, how did this story come about? My original idea for the story was: “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love?”

I’m married to a surfer and one of our trips to the beach got my imagination going. I liked the idea of contrasting typical sun-worshipping beachgoers and surfers with a darkness-loving elusive vampire. (Besides, what could be more mismatched than a die-hard surfer falling in love with a nocturnal blood-drinker?)

Although the story is about a vampire, I wanted to keep the central focus on Brian and Cassie’s relationship and not on the ‘bloodier’ aspects of vampirism. I think there’s a fine line when blending horror and romance into paranormal romance. Too much gore or a “too terrifying” creature can snap the readers (and the characters) out of the romance and into a full-on horror story.

I love combining my two favorite genres into one great story. (You can check out all of my romances and horror stories on my site – www.KelliWilkins.com.) Some people think it’s strange, but writing horror lets me explore characters, settings, and plots you don’t normally find in romance. And every so often, it’s good to mix the two a little and see what happens.

Here’s a book summary and a steamy excerpt from Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.

The moment Brian spotted Cassie sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Cassie is the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her–all night long!

Everything is perfect between them–until Brian discovers Cassie’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover!

The excerpt:
She draped her arms around my neck and pulled me close, as if she were hungry for my touch. Her wet lips met mine, and a shock coursed through my entire body. Cassie’s lips were soft and supple, but ice cold. It was the strangest kiss I’d ever experienced, and it stirred something primal in me.
I let out a throaty groan as a hot rush of blood surged to my cock. I stiffened in an instant and clasped Cassie’s buttocks hard. A burning desire to have her overtook me, and I fought the urge to push her down on the sand and shove myself into her—anything to release my raging need.
Cassie kissed me deeper and twisted her tongue around mine. The world seemed to spin, and once again I felt myself falling under her spell. I was hers, willing to do whatever she wanted. After a moment, she released me.
Wait for me on the beach. I’ll let you take me any way you want,” she whispered, then dove back into the water.
I made my way to shore as quietly as possible and flopped onto the sand. My heart raced out of control and my stiff cock ached with every heartbeat.
I closed my eyes and tried to think rationally. What was Cassie doing out there? Nobody could see in the ocean at night or safely swim with sharks after dark. Maybe Cassie was a mermaid. I chuckled at my own stupidity. Mermaids weren’t cold, they couldn’t vanish into thin air, and they didn’t hide from the sun. That was a vamp—
“Look what I found.”
I opened my eyes. Cassie stood over me, holding something shiny in her hand. The gold ring gleamed in the moonlight. I took it from her and studied it. The stone was dark, almost blood red. I handed it back to her and she slipped it on her ring finger.
“You really should let me explore for awhile. There are a lot of interesting things down there,” she said.
I scowled. “How did you find that in the water? It’s pitch black.”
            “Don’t ask, Brian.” Cassie straddled my hips and kissed me. She bent close, offering me her breast. I drew it into my mouth and sucked eagerly. To my surprise, she felt flushed and warm, and tasted salty, like the ocean.
            Cassie gasped and arched her head back. “Make love to me, Brian. I want to feel alive,” she said as she unzipped my jeans….

Here’s what reviewers had to say:

“In Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, Kelli A Wilkins writes a story filled with seeming incongruities. It is only one of a dozen reasons her stories are so intriguing and exciting. She manages to put such a variety of characters together, and melding them so perfectly you never notice the things that shouldn’t be possible. Her stories premises always seem to include the unusual, and that is evident in her very unique ways of telling her tales, whether they are fantasy, contemporary, or paranormal. Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover makes for interesting reading, and a story too good to put down.” - Rose, reviewer, romanceatheart.com

“My first thought after finishing Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover was “what a fun story.” Kelli A. Wilkins has spun a fast, entertaining, deliciously wicked tale that was wonderfully satisfying. What makes Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover somewhat unusual is that the story is written in the first person, entirely from the hero’s point of view. It’s fascinating and sensual with two immensely likeable protagonists. I am fast becoming a fan of Ms. Wilkins’s stories and look forward to reading more of her work in the future.” - Shayna, Reviewer, Joyfully Reviewed

“3 Coffee Cups! Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a hot read. Cassie is a person who goes after what she wants. I loved the way she could often read Brian’s thoughts and end his sentences before he spoke. Kelli A. Wilkins pens a delightful story I could read again and still fall in love with Cassie and Brian all over again.” - Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

“4 Stars! Wow! Confessions of a Vampire's Lover is one scorching read. Confessions of a Vampire's Lover is one quick read and I have put Kelli A. Wilkins on my must read list.” - Cheryl, Reviewer, Manic Readers

There are plenty of beach-going days left in the summer, and I hope you’ll make this book one of your hot summer reads!

Don’t miss my upcoming August blogs: Social Media 4 Social Change, a look back at A Midsummer Night's Delights and A Midwinter Night's Delights and all the details on my upcoming AQP super-hot historical Ultimate Night's Delights.

See you in August!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Perfect Match - hot summer romance recap

Hi everyone!

Today I’m sharing another part of my “summer romance” blog series. I’m offering an inside look at my hot contemporary, A Perfect Match. This love story is a bit different - it’s set in the world of professional wrestling!

 I grew up watching wrestling and many 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 PerfectMatch 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?" (Even though the book was a top ten finalist in the first "American Title" book contest.) 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. A Perfect Match isn't just for wrestling fans - it's for anyone who loves a spicy romance. 

Here's a summary, a steamy excerpt, 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 love destined to fail, or are they a perfect match?

 Danni hurried down the hall to the locker room. She hadn’t meant to be late picking up Vin tonight, but the moron lot attendant wouldn’t let her back into the parking area. She pushed open the locker room door and rushed inside. “Vin, I’m sorry I—”
Her tote bag slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Vin stood less than three feet away, soaking wet. A white towel barely covered his waist.
“Oh, my God!” Her entire body flushed as a tingling sensation built deep in her belly. Vin was practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.
“I…um…you’re…I…oh God,” she muttered and whirled around. Why wasn’t he saying anything?
Vin’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. He gently turned her to face him. Beads of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick them away. “Um…you…you’re wet.” She glanced at the towel and prayed it would fall off his waist.
“And you’re not?”
She squealed as Vin drew her to his chest. His mouth covered hers, and she lost all sense of reason.
A wet heat built between her legs as Vin’s tongue entered her mouth. Her body surged beneath his touch. She clutched him tight and dug her fingers into the solid flesh of his back and ribs. He smelled like soap and water and yet there was a hint of something manly, musky about him.
Vin moaned and cupped her buttocks through her sundress, melding her body against his. A high-pitched mewing sound escaped her throat as a long-denied lust flared within her. Was this really happening? She’d had this fantasy for so many nights, would she wake up and discover it was only another dirty dream? 

 “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 sharing a summer romance...with a vampire!
Happy Reading,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hot summer romance - The Sexy Stranger!

Hi everyone!

Happy Summer!

Today we flash back to one of my first Amber Quill Press summer romances… The Sexy Stranger.

This short and fun romance puts a different (and sexy) spin on hitchhikers and mistaken identities. A spunky heroine longs for some adventure in her life, and on a cross-country trip, she gets more than she bargained for. A sexy, ex-con hitchhiker jumps into her car and takes her on a wild ride that blends suspense, fantasy, and steamy sex. Although I added some elements of “kidnapping” and danger to the story, I did so in a way without putting my characters into too much jeopardy. 

This story is a very condensed version of an idea I had for a longer romantic/suspense novel with even worse bad guys (and the crimes they’re going to commit), additional characters, more secrets, detailed backstories, a heightened sense of danger, and even more steamy sex… And who knows, I might just write it one day!
Here’s the summary, an excerpt, and some great reviews:

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

 “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!

Remember, excerpts and reviews of all my romances are on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com
Happy Reading,