Friday, October 28, 2016

Kelli's Quil Newsletter - Spooky October Issue





Hi everyone! 

Happy Halloween! It's October, and this month I’m focusing my newsletter on all things spooky, including my two short horror ebooks, paranormal romances, and more!

Tis the season for horror stories! Don’t miss these two tales of terror:

Dead ‘Til Dawn

Disturbing the dead doesn’t prove you’re brave – it proves you’re stupid.
After touring Gettysburg battlefield, Jessica, Tim, and Steve decide to sneak out to the Devil’s Den for some late-night fun. Jessica’s friend Kathy objects, and warns them about trespassing where they’re not wanted.

Undaunted by ghost stories and fueled by his own arrogance, Tim races toward the Devil’s Den. When the group drives through mysterious battlefield fog, they find themselves surrounded by Civil War soldiers looking for a little fun of their own.

Kathy leaves the others to fend for themselves and flees to Little Round Top. Although she’s rescued by a kind-hearted Union solider named Charlie, she refuses to believe that what she’s experiencing is real. As the nighttime battle rages on, Charlie introduces Kathy to other weary soldiers, and she quickly realizes she’s trapped in the land of the dead until dawn.
Spend a night in the land of the dead in this 8,200-word ghost story set on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Reviewers loved this  story. Here’s what they have to say:
Fallen Over Book Reviews gives Dead Til Dawn a 5 Goblet Review: “This was a good ghost story. Gave me the chills a bit and makes me not want to visit anywhere where a battle has taken place. This is a short but fully packed story. It does make you wonder if there are ghosts out there from battles long ago who cannot move and still live the battle every day. The author did a great job with descriptions and the characters. I hope the author keeps up with the ghost stories because she does a great job with them.”   http://fallenoverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2015/10/review-and-guest-post-dead-til-dawn-by.html?zx=90de6c6cf1f728ba
 
A World of Books gives Dead Til Dawn 4 stars! “Another great ghost story by this author. It was very dramatic and a very interesting read. I loved the interaction between the characters. The setting was very atmospheric, I thought the descriptions were great and I could see the story unfold clearly in my mind.”: https://bookgeeking.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/r4r-dead-til-dawn/

Book-O-Craze rated it 3.5 Stars!
“The way this author writes once again proved to be so smooth, with everything being well-described, as well as the appropriate details being given in all the right moments. At first, I was a bit skeptical of the concept of ghosts, but in this story everything was described in a way that didn't leave me any negative thoughts by the time I finished the story.” 
http://book-o-craze.blogspot.gr/2015/10/blurb-disturbing-dead-doesnt-prove_29.html


Order your copy of Dead Til Dawn here. It’s only $1.99:






Beware of Kropsy’s Curse!

Late one Halloween night, two young boys venture into a secluded graveyard in the hopes of conjuring up a spirit. Although Kyle is skeptical and would rather be home eating candy and watching horror movies, he reluctantly goes along with Jerry’s plan. He doesn’t believe Ouija boards work—until this one starts spelling out a message…

This Halloween-themed 1500-word short story is a cautionary tale about playing with a Ouija board in a graveyard.

Reviewers say:
5 stars! I've read a few of Kelli Wilkins's romances, and I like paranormal stories that aren't gory, so I decided to try this little horror story. (For $1, you can't go wrong.) This was great! Kropsy's Curse is perfect for Halloween or anytime you want a quick read. You can even read it aloud to someone around a campfire or at a party. I loved the twist ending!
L. J. - Amazon reader

Fallen Over Book Reviews gives Kropsy's Curse 5 Goblets!

"Wow short and perfect. You have two boys who on a Halloween night want to conjure up the ghost of Kropsy using a Ouija board, will the ghost visit them or is it something that is a dud? The characters are well developed in such a few pages that the author did a great job with it. The description of the cemetery and the fear you could get from Kyle was spot on. I know not to mess with a Ouija board but do you?"

Order Kropsy’s Curse here for only 99 cents: (what a treat!)




Still not scared?
Several of Kelli’s short horror stories have appeared in various anthologies. Read her tales of terror in Mistresses of the Macabre, Haunted, Wrapped in White, Cat Tales, Frightmares, The Best of the First Line, and more. Visit her Amazon page www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins for a full title list and links! 

A New Short Story!
Kelli’s short romance, Autumn Amour, appears in the October 2016 issue of Romance Magazine. Order your copy here: http://www.fictionmagazines.com/



Sometimes Love is a Bit Strange…
If you’re a paranormal romance lover, don’t miss Kelli’s two novellas: Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing. These super-hot stories are available on Amazon and other platforms.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a different type of romance. For starters, the novella is told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of a setting where you don’t normally find vampires—the beach! 

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover

The moment Brian spotted Anya sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Anya was 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 Anya’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.


Order your copy of Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:



B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confessions-of-a-vampires-lover-kelli-a-wilkins/1017484568 




In June, Kelli released Killer in Wolf’s Clothing. This super-hot gay paranormal/shifter is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.
Killer in Wolf’s Clothing
A super aggressive Alpha male, a serial killer, and a visit to a kinky sex club…What has Larry gotten himself into?

When Larry learns that his boyfriend Greg changes into another man during the full moon, he has a hard time accepting it—until he meets Deke, Greg’s alternate Alpha personality.

Deke doesn’t play nice and has no time for games. He only wants two things—to get laid and to get revenge against the arsonist who murdered his friends. Finally free from Greg’s restraints, Deke is ready for action, and Larry is more than willing to submit to Deke’s needs.

Together, Larry and Deke set out to find the killer. Their hunt takes them to an all-night Alpha sex club where things heat up for the two of them. But when Larry unwittingly falls into the clutches of the murderer, it’s up to Deke—and Greg—to save him before it’s too late. 

Order your copy of Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:





Want more? Read Kelli’s guest blog about writing paranormal romances: http://fallenoverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2016/10/guest-post-when-love-meets-monster-by.html

And if you’re not into the paranormal… don’t miss Kelli’s New Romance – Lies, Love & Redemption
Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released on September 19. This full-length novel is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery and danger. Here’s the summary:

Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?

Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

Order your copy of Lies, Love & Redemption here:


Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:

Read a guest blog about Lies, Love & Redemption. It includes an exclusive excerpt! http://fallenoverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2016/09/guest-post-lies-love-redemption-by.html?zx=1755d8eb0f948b16

Here’s a treat!
For Writers - Something to think about:
It’s October, so naturally we’re discussing horror fiction! Horror can take many forms—gore-filled splatter-punk with buckets of blood… mysterious cursed people living in isolated Gothic castles… psychological, unsettling horror that makes you feel uneasy… or your ordinary “classic monsters” such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves. 

Each kind of horror story has its fans, probably because everyone is scared of different things. But whatever type of horror story you write (or read) there are a few universal elements that should go into any horror tale.

You have to establish a believable setting. Whether the story takes place in a gritty, post-apocalyptic city or a foggy rural graveyard, you need to give your readers a concrete foundation of where the story is taking place. Use lots of details and props to make your descriptions come alive. Ask yourself why your story has to take place where it does, then take your reader there.

All characters (yes, even monsters) need to have a purpose. Why are your zombies in Wegmans? Your readers will want to know why (and how) the events in your story are happening. Your job as a writer is to get readers to suspend their belief and buy into your story. This is done by giving characters a purpose (or goal) and following it up with in-depth characterization and details. You don’t have to go into a lengthy explanation, just give your readers a reason, have your characters believe it, and move on. 

Avoid clichés like the plague! Masked killers hunting campers in the woods, serial-killing cannibal families, miserable Goth vampires in ruffled shirts, and mindless zombie attacks have all been done to…well, death. 

When writing horror, don’t be afraid to break patterns, make your characters different or have them go against the stereotype. Give readers something unexpected, turn a cliché on its ear, or use a different point of view - it’ll make your story stand out. The movie Cabin in the Woods is a good example.

Something to Write About
Just for fun, why not create your own horror story? Here are a few traditional and unusual horror settings, details/props, and “monsters” to spark your imagination:

Settings: abandoned cliffside castle; lighthouse; ice cream parlor; the woods; an abandoned factory, a house

Details/Props: ouija board; map; buried treasure; locked trunk; secret diary; a bottle

“Monsters”: ghost of dead sailor; possessed child; demon; ancient Native American spirit; vampire; ants

Enjoy! (And don’t scare yourself!) If you’d like to read more about my horror fiction, visit the horror section of my website: www.KelliWilkins.com.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill! Next month, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from Lies, Love & Redemption, writing advice, and more! Be sure to share this newsletter with your social media friends!
Happy Haunting!
Kelli

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Celebrate Halloween with Dead Til Dawn & Kropsy's Curse






Hi everyone! 

Halloween is just around the corner (yey!), and this week I’m focusing on my two horror ebooks, Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy's Curse. These short horror tales were a lot of fun to write, and I'm pleased to say that readers and reviewers enjoyed them.


Dead ‘Til Dawn

Disturbing the dead doesn’t prove you’re brave – it proves you’re stupid.
After touring Gettysburg battlefield, Jessica, Tim, and Steve decide to sneak out to the Devil’s Den for some late-night fun. Jessica’s friend Kathy objects, and warns them about trespassing where they’re not wanted.

Undaunted by ghost stories and fueled by his own arrogance, Tim races toward the Devil’s Den. When the group drives through mysterious battlefield fog, they find themselves surrounded by Civil War soldiers looking for a little fun of their own.

Kathy leaves the others to fend for themselves and flees to Little Round Top. Although she’s rescued by a kind-hearted Union solider named Charlie, she refuses to believe that what she’s experiencing is real. As the nighttime battle rages on, Charlie introduces Kathy to other weary soldiers, and she quickly realizes she’s trapped in the land of the dead until dawn.
Spend a night in the land of the dead in this 8,200-word ghost story set on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Order your copy of Dead Til Dawn here. It’s only $1.99:








Beware of Kropsy’s Curse!

Late one Halloween night, two young boys venture into a secluded graveyard in the hopes of conjuring up a spirit. Although Kyle is skeptical and would rather be home eating candy and watching horror movies, he reluctantly goes along with Jerry’s plan. He doesn’t believe Ouija boards work—until this one starts spelling out a message…

This Halloween-themed 1500-word short story is a cautionary tale about playing with a Ouija board in a graveyard.


Order Kropsy’s Curse here for only 99 cents - what a treat!



 
Still not scared?
Several of my short horror stories have appeared in various anthologies. Read my tales of terror in Mistresses of the Macabre, Haunted, Wrapped in White, Cat Tales, Frightmares, The Best of the First Line, and more. Visit my Amazon page www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins for a full title list and links! 

Next week, I'll celebrate the holiday by giving everyone a treat - sharing my October newsletter!
Happy Haunting!
Kelli

Thursday, October 13, 2016

An Inside Look at Lies, Love & Redemption (Part 2)







Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing part two of an “inside look” at the making of my new historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption. In the first blog, I talked about how the book came to be and discussed the research involved in writing a historical romance. Today, I’ll explore the characters and touch on another subject—realism.

The book opens with Sam, the hero, bleeding from gunshot wounds and stumbling across the prairie. He’s wondering if he is already dead and suffering in hell for what he has done in the past.

This gives readers initial insight into Sam. Right from the start, we know he has done something that he feels guilty about, and he is harboring secrets. We also see that Sam is stubborn and not the type of man to give up easily.

When readers meet Cassie in her store, they see that she works hard trying to make her store successful. But they also see her going through the motions and wondering why she bothers.
Each character is at a crossroads, and everything is about to change for them. 

As the book progresses, we learn that Cassie is headstrong, stubborn, and not the type to take guff from Sam or the people in town. She’s running a store all by herself and doesn’t like to accept help or rely on anyone.

I contrasted Cassie’s independent nature with a secret vulnerability. The consequences of a failed relationship left Cassie emotionally fragile and broken. She says she’s not afraid of anything, but later we learn that’s not true. Deep down, she fears losing the store. She’s also afraid of falling in love with Sam, only to lose him. Cassie has experienced many losses in her life, and she is hesitant to open her heart and trust anyone.

Sam is a noble man who feels he has a debt to pay and a duty to watch over Cassie, and this leads to conflict between them. She doesn’t want to admit that she needs his help, and he is being overprotective of her (or so she thinks…).

Although Sam comes across as honest and open, readers quickly discover that Sam is keeping his past a secret and is hiding his true identity—and much more—from everyone. Sam is a troubled soul who has also experienced a lot of loss in his life. Without giving too much away, readers learn that Sam lost someone very important to him through an act of violence, and he’s set on getting his revenge—and that’s not pretty.

This leads me to my next topic—realism. Before I sat down to write, I did a lot of research about general stores, what life was like in the 1870s, etc., and I learned that life back then was very difficult and much different from how we live today.

People died of infections, diseases, and all sorts of other ailments, and there was the threat of violence to consider. The west was known for being “lawless” and some people took advantage of the fact that you could practically do whatever you wanted. (If you really want to see how gritty and brutal life was like back then, watch the TV show Deadwood. You’ll see gunfights, murders, robberies, hangings, and other acts of aggression that were all-too-common in that era.)

Life for anyone in the “wild” west was tough. Combine that with the fact that women virtually were the property of their husbands and had no rights, and you have the makings for pretty rough times for women.

I incorporated a few of these elements into Lies, Love & Redemption. How could I not? The setting and time period have to be realistically represented in the book. Although readers might take issue with including violence in a romance, it has a place in the story (to a degree).
If everything was too perfect or too pretty, the book would lose the richness in details that bring it—and the characters—to life.

Having Sam face the threat of a potentially lethal infection, Cassie trying to help a woman escape a violent marriage, and Sam admitting the horrific truth of his past, all work together to give the book an authentic feel.

And part of an author’s job (especially when writing historical romances) is to let readers live the story through the eyes and experiences of the characters. One thing authors are told is to make life difficult for your hero and heroine. If there is no conflict or drama, the story becomes dull, and the characters have nothing to strive for and don’t grow.

Yes, I may have put Sam and Cassie (and a few other characters) through an emotional wringer, and yes, they had to face violent situations, but they’re strong and their challenges built up their resilience.

And of course, as in any romance, it all worked out happily-ever-after.

Here’s the book summary:

Lies, Love & Redemption

Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. 

They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth? Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

***

Order Lies, Love & Redemption on Amazon:



Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:


I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the making of Lies, Love & Redemption. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media! 

Next week, we celebrate all things horror!

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins