Friday, May 19, 2017

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Early Summer Issue


Greetings! It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. Time flies, doesn’t it? 

In this issue of the Quill, I’m reflecting on the theme of “time flies” and taking a look back at my romances, sharing links to guest blogs and interviews, and answering a few FAQ in the Kelli’s Corner writing section. Let’s get started!


A Look Back…

Believe it or not, Amber Quill Press closed a little more than a year ago. Since then, I’ve re-edited, revised, and re-released several of my AQP romances. To date, eleven titles have been published on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and other platforms. Here’s the list:

A Deceptive Match*
A Most Unusual Princess** 
A Most Intriguing Temptation**
A Most Unfortunate Prince**
A Secret Match*
Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover 
Killer in Wolf’s Clothing
Loving a Wild Stranger
Midsummer Night’s Delights***
Midwinter Night’s Delights***
Ultimate Night’s Delights***

* A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match are related titles with shared characters. However, each novel can be read separately.

** These titles make up the Royal Desires series. Although connected, each book stands alone as an individual read.
*** These novellas complete the Naughty Nobles trilogy. It is recommended that they are read in sequence.
Visit my website (www.KelliWilkins.com) or Amazon author page (www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins) to read complete book summaries, reviews, and excerpts.

Special thanks to Eve Grinnell (www.grinnellgraphics.com) for creating these fantastic new covers!



What’s Ahead?

You might be wondering… what about the rest of your AQP books? Well, plans are in the works to re-release three of my contemporary romances (Four Days with Jack, Beauty & the Bigfoot, and Trust with Hearts) later this year or in early in 2018. Stay tuned to my blog and social media for updates.


Attack of the Blogs!

I’ve been blogging like mad! Follow these links to read “inside looks” at the making of my romances, catch up on interviews, and get some writing advice.

Read about the making of the Naughty Nobles trilogy. Each post includes an excerpt.

Midsummer Night’s Delights:

Midwinter Night’s Delights:

Ultimate Night’s Delights:

Read a fun chat with Julian from the Naughty Nobles trilogy:

Like your romances HOT? Find out how to Spice up Romances with Menage:
http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2017/03/guest-author-day-with-kelli-wilkins_27.html

Learn about my historical/pioneer romance, Loving a Wild Stranger:

Read an interview with Luther, the hero from Loving a Wild Stranger:

Don’t miss my guest blog about writing historical romances: http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/2017/01/on-genres-with-kelli-wilkins.html

Romance lovers… read an excerpt from my historical/paranormal, The Viking’s Witch
https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/the-vikings-witch-by-kwilkinsauthor-is-a-historicalromance-gem-books-amreading/


Read an interview with Rothgar, the hero from The Viking’s Witch: http://bookreviewsbylynn.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/guest-blog-book-promo-vikings-witch-by.html

Get ready for a hot summer romance with Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover:
http://dbaileycoach.com/brightbooks/2017/04/inside-look-confessions-vampires-lover/

Catch my BOOK CLUB FRIDAY interview. I talk about the writing process, creating characters, and more!
http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/2017/04/book-club-friday-guest-author-kelli.html



Check out Kelli’s NOR Author Tip of the Week:
https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Author-Tip-Of-The-Week



Kelli’s Corner…

In this issue, Kelli’s Corner shares a few FAQ from readers and interviewers.

Most authors write in one romance genre, but your books cover a lot of different genres and heat levels, why? Which genre or genres do you prefer to write?
I write romances in nearly every genre (historical, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, and gay) at all heat levels. Some of my romances are mild (Loving a Wild Stranger) and others are super-sizzling hot (Killer in Wolf’s Clothing). I feel drawn to historicals, but I’m not “married” to the genre. If I’m inspired to write a character’s story, I go where and when the idea takes me. That could be in any time period, in any setting, and in any genre.

Although I’ve written several historicals, they all have different settings. For example, Loving a Wild Stranger takes place in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in the early 1820s; Lies, Love & Redemption is a western set in 1877 Nebraska; Dangerous Indenture takes place in Pennsylvania Colony, and The Viking’s Witch is set in 804 in Scotland. Setting books in the different locations and time periods lets me explore plot ideas and create unique characters for those settings.


What prompted you to write in the genres you do?
I like reading about history, watching historical movies, and visiting historical places, so all that plays a part in my interest in writing historical romances. I enjoy researching what life was like hundreds of years ago and learning about how people lived, what they ate, and how they survived in different time periods. I incorporate this information into my stories and use details to flesh out the characters and settings.


What obstacles do you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
I don’t have many obstacles when it comes to outlining, writing, or revising a book, but finding enough time to do all that can be challenging. Writing a book is a time-consuming process. Authors need to set aside time every day (even if it’s just an hour) to work on a writing project, and sometimes finding the time to write (while still having a non-writing life) can be hard. 


What gets your creative juices flowing?
A great idea will always inspire me to grab a pen and paper and start writing! Sometimes I’ll see or hear something that sparks an idea and that will give me the basis for an entire book. Of course, once I’m writing a book, the characters and the story keep my creative juices flowing. Even though I plot out my books and have a good idea of what’s going to happen next, every once in a while my characters will surprise me and take things in a different direction.


I hope you enjoyed this early summer issue of the Quill. Why not visit my Amazon page and add a few of my romances to your summer reading list?

I welcome questions or comments from readers and other authors, so feel free to contact me. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. 

Here’s a quick list of where to find me:

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Enjoy the early summer weather!

Kelli



Monday, May 8, 2017

Spotlight on… A Secret Match





Hi everyone!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since I released A Secret Match. Here's a look at the making of the book and a mild excerpt.

 
A Secret Match is a sizzling contemporary gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling.

Before we get started, let me answer the question lots of folks may be asking: “Why do you write gay romances? You’re not a man or gay.” I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.”

But seriously, I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever story comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My romances are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other. This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

So, how did A Secret Match come about? I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life and A Secret Match is a follow-up (of sorts) to my other wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. That book is about a straight couple (Vin and Danni) and Everett (the main character from A Secret Match) is a secondary character (and Vin’s best friend).

I loved writing for Ev—he’s one of those characters who tries to run away with the book. I always thought that “one day” I’ll give him a story of his own, but I didn’t have a clue as to what the plot would be. I put thoughts of him aside and wrote other books. Then, one morning as I was driving to work, he popped into my head with a four-line book summary. Within an hour, I had the whole story in my head and I started writing the outline.

A big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. Ev’s longtime partner, Josh, is tired of being kept in his “walk-in closet” and wants Ev to come out (at least to his friends and family) but Everett is concerned about losing his job. Will fans accept a gay wrestler? How will his boss react? Part of him wants to keep everything just as it is because that’s safe. But another part of him longs to stop hiding the truth.

When I wrote the book, I focused on Ev’s anguish over being caught between two worlds: his job (where his wrestling persona is a horny womanizer) and his secret, private life with Josh. Everett can’t balance the two and worries about what the other wrestlers would think of him coming out.

As Ev tells Vin (while discussing the issue of gay athletes in sports): “… a gay baseball player doesn’t have the type of physical contact with other guys like we do. There are all sorts of issues—changing in the locker room, showering together… Can you imagine some of the things that would go through the guys’ heads when I tried to put a hold on them? You think they wouldn’t freak out when I touched them if they knew?”

Vin’s reply: “You won’t know if you never take the risk.”

And risk Ev does. After he comes out (twice, in fact—I loved writing those scenes!), he discovers a different side to himself, embraces who he is, and even faces down intolerant fans and homophobic coworkers.

I enjoyed showing Everett on his journey of self-acceptance. He’s a bit of a cocky wise-ass, and he’s definitely a fun character to write for. I was glad to give Ev and Josh the happy-ever-after ending they rightly deserve (and some hot love scenes!), because no matter what, love is love, and that’s all that matters.

I hope you’ll check it out. It’s a fun blend of drama, humor, romance, and action that M/M romance fans will love.


A SECRET MATCH
Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?


An Excerpt:
Everett finished his beer and gazed around the living room. It was comforting to have someone to talk to, instead of constantly keeping everything bottled up inside. It had been years since he’d been alone with a guy, and he liked Josh, liked him a lot. But he was worried. What if something went wrong? What if Josh told someone?

Josh gave his shoulder a little shove. “Come on, out with it, Muscles. Either you really love staring at my bookcase, or you’re too shy to face me. I know you’re thinking about something behind those beautiful blue eyes.”

“I… nah…”

“What? Anything. Say it.”

He sneaked a glance at Josh out of the corner of his eye. “I was wondering what it would feel like to”—he bowed his head—“kiss you.”

“Why don’t we find out?” Josh took Ev’s empty beer bottle and set it down on the marble end table. “Come here.”

He let Josh draw him into his arms. Ev closed his eyes and waited, his heart hammering out of control.

A second later, Josh’s lips gently pressed against his. Ev gasped and kissed him back gingerly. Josh increased the pressure, and their mouths moved in unison. The scent of Josh’s spicy vanilla cologne washed over him and he lost himself in the tender embrace. Josh’s beard grazed his cheek, sending an electric tingle racing up his spine. God, this was good.

He clutched Josh tighter, holding on to him for dear life, not daring to let go. Josh groaned and slid his tongue into his mouth. An adrenaline rush of excitement flooded through him, and his cock sprang to life.

Dear God, he wasn’t supposed to have these kinds of feelings, this hunger, for another man, but it felt right. The wet heat of Josh’s tongue swirling around his drove him into a frenzy, and he kissed Josh deeper, praying this would never end.

After a few minutes, Josh eased away. “You are amazing. That was hot.”

Ev smiled. “It’s been so long. I forgot how good this could be. I feel safe with you. I really do.”

Josh rested his head on Ev’s chest. “You should, because you are. And don’t worry, we’ll take this slow. You set the pace, Muscles. Whatever you’re comfortable with works for me.”


Order your copy of A SECRET MATCH here:







Happy Reading!

Kelli

Monday, May 1, 2017

Spotlight on... A Deceptive Match



Hi everyone,



Happy May! Believe it or not, it's been a year since I released my contemporary wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. Here's a look at the making of the book and a steamy excerpt.

A Deceptive 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 assistant 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, and she unwittingly becomes a key player in his title match. Their mutual attraction grows, and late one night, they give in to the lustful feelings they’ve been fighting.

As their relationship deepens, Danni considers telling Vinnie her secret. But before she can confess the truth, Vinnie discovers she isn’t the reporter she claims to be. Her lie threatens to ruin everything between them. Will their relationship be destroyed by her deception or will their love win out?

 * * *


Wrestling has always been a part of my life, so it was only natural that one day I’d write a book with wrestling as the backdrop. But this book is different from all of my other books because the entire story came to me in a rather unusual way—in a dream.

One morning I woke up and said “Uh-oh!” and grabbed the pen and paper next to the bed. I knew that if I didn’t immediately start writing down everything in my head, it would be lost forever. So I sat there, furiously scribbling the outline. At this point, it was just the bare bones of the plot and the characters, but I knew I was onto something.

Over the course of the day, more bits and pieces came through. Now I had a subplot, secondary characters, and knew more about what was happening in this wrestling romance that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I was fortunate enough to actually “see” the book in my head like a movie—some scenes were missing, but I had a clear picture to work from.

People who have read the book and know about my love of wrestling always ask me the same questions: Which wrestlers are the characters based on? How do you know all this stuff? How much of it is real?

It’s easier to answer the second question first. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be on friendly terms with a bunch of wrestlers. My husband and I would go to matches and hang out with the guys after the shows. (No, I wasn’t a ring rat.) I picked up a lot of terms and got a real feel for what they did and how they experienced life on the road.

At the time, the thought of being a writer never even crossed my mind, so I had no idea that one day I’d use what I learned in a book. When I got the idea for A Deceptive Match, I was able to incorporate much of what I knew into the plot through Danni’s point of view.

The male characters in the book (Vinnie, Ev, Thorn, and Nick) aren’t based on any one wrestler or any real person. I specifically made sure that Vinnie and the others aren’t linked to real wrestlers, because it would take away from the story. Like characters in any book, I invented whatever quirks, flaws, and backstory I needed to help move the plot along.

And how much of it is real? Well, anyone who knows anything about wrestling can tell you that it’s technically termed “sports entertainment” for a reason. But that doesn’t discredit all the training, hard work, and other sacrifices the wrestlers go through every day. A Deceptive Match touches on the subject of what’s “real” and what goes on behind the scenes that most fans are unaware of.

Here’s a steamy excerpt:

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. 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 erotic dream?

She slid her hands down Vin’s flat stomach to the edge of the towel. For a second, she hesitated, unsure. Did she dare do what every instinct commanded? Vin’s tongue plunged deeper into her mouth, wordlessly urging her on…

* * *

I enjoyed creating the characters in this wrestling universe, and as I was writing, I fell in love with Everett, Vinnie’s best friend. I knew I had to tell Ev’s story and give him his own book, so I wrote A Secret Match. That book is all about Everett, but Danni and Vinnie play supporting roles in the storyline. Although the books are connected, they each stand alone as individual reads.

I hope romance fans and wrestling fans alike will check out A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match. They’re a good blend of action, drama, romance, humor, and spicy love scenes.

Happy Reading!
Kelli

Order your copy of A Deceptive Match here:



Next week, I’ll share a look at the follow-up book, A Secret Match.

Happy Reading!

Kelli

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spotlight on… A Most Unfortunate Prince





Hi everyone,

Time flies, doesn’t it? It feels like just yesterday that I released the Royal Desires series, but it’s been a year!

To celebrate, I’m sharing an inside look at the making of A Most Unfortunate Prince. This book is the third story in the Royal Desires trilogy that began with A Most Unusual Princess and A Most Intriguing Temptation. Together, they make up a fun series, but each story stands alone as a separate read. Why? Because when I wrote A Most Unusual Princess, I never knew I was writing a trilogy.

When I wrote A Most Intriguing Temptation, I introduced readers to Prince Allan. He’s basically the male version of his sister, Princess Elara – hedonistic, selfish, and utterly wild at times. 

I enjoyed creating the character and it was fun to set him free in a pleasure palace completely without limitations. As I was finishing A Most Intriguing Temptation, I realized Allan needed a book of his own, so I wrote A Most Unfortunate Prince. (Several readers also asked me if Allan’s story would be told, and I was happy to oblige!)

But before I wrote a word, I knew that Allan was going to have to face the music for his bad behavior. At the start of the book (yes, right there on page 1) Allan is banished for his actions stemming from A Most Intriguing Temptation. His father kicks him out into the real world alone and broke, and he’s forced to make his own way in life.

I decided to take this carefree, roguish prince and turn his world upside down. I asked myself: How bad can you make things for him? He has nothing: no food, no fancy clothes, certainly no job skills, and no real sense of identity. He had lived a pampered life where everything was handed to him on a silver platter (literally), and now was in for a rude awakening. I really put the screws to poor Allan and at times left him broken, sad, and utterly miserable. 

Over the course of the book, Allan suffers life’s lessons at the hands of his evil employer and falls in love—twice. The story introduces us to Claudette, a sassy seamstress who fancies Allan and helps him adjust to the life of a commoner. Although Claudette appears innocent, she has a secret past and a bit of a naughty side. 

Although A Most Unfortunate Prince has a happy ending, it is a bit darker than the other two books in the series. I wanted to contrast Allan’s former easy-going pampered life with his current harsh and gritty existence. (And it broke my heart to kill off a secondary character that I utterly adored. But I found a way to bring him back—at least for a little while!) Readers may also be surprised to discover a few things about Allan, as well. (Even I was shocked when certain events in the story took place—and I was the one writing it!) 

Allan’s “fall from grace” and the journey of self-discovery that he undergoes are some of the reasons I love this book. It has something for everyone: hot love scenes, tender moments, mystery, adventure, and suspense. 

But what about Dalton and Elara (from A Most Unusual Princess and A Most Intriguing Temptation)? They’re in the book too, as minor characters. Elara and Dalton play important roles in the finale of the story, and we get to see how these lovebirds are adapting to their married life. (Again, there’s a secret I don’t want to give away!) I can tell you that this book wraps up the trilogy in a neat package and everyone is left in a good place.

Links to the trilogy are at the end of the post.

Here’s the book summary and a tame excerpt:

A Most Unfortunate Prince
This time, it’s all about Allan… and he never expected to fall in love!

Banished by the Royal Family, pampered Prince Allan is forced to abandon his life of luxury. The former Royal Shipmaster General is sent to the worst part of the kingdom and manages to find work at the docks. Lost in a commoner’s world, Allan is miserable—until he has an unusual encounter with a saucy shop girl named Claudette.

Allan must earn the respect of the woman he loves while keeping his true identity a secret. In an effort to redeem himself in his father’s eyes, he exposes a dangerous smuggling operation involving the Royal Fleet. But his loyalty to duty comes with a deadly price.

Can he keep Claudette and his royal title? Or will he lose her forever when she discovers his secret?

A Mild Excerpt:

Claudette squealed and Allan drew her to him, crushing her against his chest. They were crammed into the wardrobe so close that Allan’s hot breath tickled her face. He draped her arms around his neck, then settled his hands on her waist. At first, she tried to protest, but then gave in when she realized her knees were shaking. Allan was here for her, holding her up. 

“Shh, don’t make a sound, no matter what. I won’t let them hurt you,” he whispered. 

She closed her eyes and rested her head on Allan’s shoulder. Thank heavens he was here. A second later, she heard the man rifling through drawers and cupboards, knocking cleaning supplies and her sewing aside. How did these men get in? What did they want? 

Allan tightened his grip on her waist. Was he scared? Did men ever get scared? 

“Bloody hell, where is it?” the man growled, and hit the side of the wardrobe. 

Her heart skipped a beat and she took a breath to scream. As she did, Allan’s mouth closed over hers. She squirmed against him, then gave in as her body responded with a will of its own.

Her skin tingled as she kissed him, her lips eagerly seeking his. How long had it been since she’d kissed someone? She opened her mouth wider and drew Allan’s thick tongue in. He clutched her tighter as she twirled her tongue around his.

All thoughts of the intruders vanished from her mind as Allan yanked her lower body closer to his. His hot tongue teased hers and he slid his hands off her waist and cupped her buttocks…

Read the Royal Desires series from the start:
Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:

Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation
:
Book 3: A Most Unfortunate Prince:

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124084269?ean=2940153366067

I hope you’ll check out one (or all) of the books in the series. They’re a fun read with a blend of spicy love scenes, humor, and suspense.
If you’ve read the trilogy, let me know what you think. What was your favorite book? Which scenes did you like best? Readers can contact me via the email address on the “News” page of my site or on social media. 

Happy Reading!
Kelli A. Wilkins