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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

When Love Meets Monsters — Paranormal Romance!




Hi Everyone,

To celebrate my favorite month, I’m writing about what happens when horror meets romance—paranormal romance!

Although I create hot and spicy romances, I actually started out writing horror stories. For some, that might seem like an odd combination, but it works for me. One half of my brain writes the horror, and the other half writes the romance. (In fact, I released two horror stories last fall, Kropsys Curse and Dead Til Dawn. You can read more about them on my site or my Amazon author page.)

I like writing horror fiction because I get to explore different settings, plots, and characters that I couldn’t develop in romance. Sometimes after working on several romances, I’ll switch moods and write a horror story to give my brain and writing muscles a change of pace.

My horror short stories are more psychological/spooky/creepy than gory, and it’s fun to add something scary (or strange!) into a romance. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a paranormal romance within bounds—you have to blend just enough horror elements into the love story without grossing out (or turning off) the heroine or hero… or readers! 

Other times, the challenge to writing a good paranormal romance is creating a believable plot or finding a way to make a “monster” attractive/romantic/sexy. If one of your characters is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your creature is real, whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or something else entirely. 

If you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it, and there certainly won’t be any sparks flying in your romance. As a writer, you need to make your monster as real as any other human character and flesh him out completely with a backstory, goals, motivation, and conflicts. (What kind of monster is he? How did he get that way? What is life like for him?)

My contemporary paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover started out with the premise “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love with a surfer?” The book is extra “unique” in that it’s told in first person from the male character’s point of view. 

I made Anya (the vampire) sympathetic and sexy, and not overtly terrifyingyet she still flexed her vampire muscles when she wanted to. This story could have easily gone down the horror road and become a full-fledged vampire story, but I wanted to show a softer, kinder side to the Anya and embrace her once-human side.

My gay paranormal, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is not your usual werewolf love story. Readers should know that Deke, the “werewolf” character, doesn’t actually turn into a “wolf-man”—he’s more of a shapeshifter who transforms into a super-aggressive Alpha male during the full moon. As I say in the book, “It’s more Incredible Hulk than American Werewolf in London.” 

I almost had a problem writing Killer in Wolf’s Clothing because I’m “old-school” when it comes to creatures of the night. I expect my werewolves to be violent and vicious, and anything but cuddly. In my opinion, if a person is going to turn into a werewolf/wolf-man, he should look like the werewolves in Dog Soldiers. (A horror movie I highly recommend.)

As I wrote the book, I contrasted Deke’s harsh and demanding personality with that of his gentle alter-ego Greg. Greg understands his condition and does everything he can to keep Deke suppressed. But Deke is a badass with a serious need for revenge, and the antagonist, Blayne, is just about as violent and vicious as you can get (without fangs and claws). I enjoyed writing this story, and although it’s dark in places, Larry (Greg’s boyfriend) lightens the mood with his offbeat sense of humor.

Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is not your typical werewolf or werewolf/shifter romance. Some people might have a problem or take issue with the subject matter, the use of humor, and/or my treatment of shifters (what they expect a shifter to be could be quite different from my interpretation) in this book. Yes, it’s very different. Yes, it’s graphic. And yes, you either “get” it or you don’t.

The Viking’s Witch is a historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…

Odaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar (the hero) doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with Brennan (the villain), Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.

I loved showing readers (and Rothgar) Odaria’s powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry. The scenes that included the “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write. I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age/paranormal subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.

Vampires, shapeshifters, witches… no matter what subgenre of paranormal romance you write, readers need to be swept into the story and buy into the premise that you’ve created. Your job as a writer is to make the reader believe in the paranormal element (whether it’s a werewolf, zombie, vampire, or ghost) and take the reader on a journey with the main characters as they fall in love. The situations in the story need to be plausible and told in a way that grips the reader, even if the premise seems a bit far-fetched (at first).

When writing paranormal romance, don’t be afraid to break patterns, make your characters different, or have them go against stereotype. Give readers something unexpected, turn a cliché on its ear, or use a different point of view—it’ll make your work stand out. Why not set your werewolf story in Hawaii?

Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:




Order Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:




Order The Viking’s Witch here:



I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at paranormal romances. I like hearing from readers, so feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:


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Next week, I'll be sharing a look at my two horror ebooks, Kropsy's Curse and Dead Til Dawn.
Happy Haunting!
Kelli