Thursday, December 7, 2017

Like your romances spicy? Don’t miss the Naughty Nobles trilogy….



Hi Everyone,

This month, I’m highlighting the Naughty Nobles trilogy on my blog and Facebook pages. These sizzling-hot historical/fantasy novellas are guaranteed to heat up a cold winter night!

Here’s a look at the making of the trilogy:

Midsummer Night’s Delights introduces readers to Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

Julian and Annabelle meet the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies. Anything goes in this erotic tale, and I had a lot of fun showing how Annabelle and Julian loosen up and embrace their wanton sides.

When I wrote Midsummer, I had no idea I would turn the book into a trilogy. Readers and reviewers loved the story and the characters so much, that they wanted these very naughty adventures to continue. So, I wrote two sequels, Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the stories are connected, each novella stands alone as an individual read.

The second book in the series, Midwinter Night’s Delights, picks up six months after the last story and follows the continuing sexual adventures of Annabelle and Julian. (And yes, this novella is just as hot—if not hotter—than the first one!)

In the sequel, we discover that Annabelle and Julian have taken what they’ve learned and gone wild. Ever since the Midsummer Ball, they have been overindulging in all sorts of lewd activities. Instead of being shy and repressed, they are more than eager to give in to their desires whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes—even if it’s at a formal dinner party. Needless to say, Julian’s father sends them back to Vincent’s estate to be disciplined and learn self-control.

Ultimate Night’s Delights is the third and final novella in the series. When I started thinking about the plot, I wasn’t sure what direction to take. I knew there had to be something interesting (beyond a naughty “anything goes” ball) that raised the stakes for everyone, and I thought about blackmail. (It’s always a good motive!)

From there, I developed the idea of the “Black Duke” and his mission to destroy Vincent. Then of course, I had to devise a clever way to tie it all together at the end. I also enhanced a storyline and shared some insight on two secondary characters, Lono and Lobo. (Readers were briefly introduced to them in the second book.) In this story, I explain how they came to be employed by Vincent and Sabrina and what’s ahead for them in the future.

I think fans of the first two novellas will find this book to be a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Here are the summaries and links to each book…

Midsummer Night’s Delights

At this Midsummer Ball, couples pair up everywhere—but not for dancing!

Young newlyweds Julian and Annabelle are miserable. Their arranged marriage is lacking everything—especially sex. Julian suffers from a lack of confidence and is harboring a secret urge. Innocent Annabelle’s longings go unnoticed and unfulfilled, no matter what she tries.

But all that changes when they are invited to a Midsummer Ball. Their unconventional hosts, Vincent and Sabrina, introduce them to a world where their most intimate desires and hidden passions are explored—and fulfilled. Swapping and naughty games are just a few of the surprises awaiting them…

Order your copy here:


Midwinter Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for another naughty ball!

The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer Ball transformed Julian and Annabelle forever. No longer shy about satisfying their sexual urges, the young newlyweds give in to their wanton desires whenever—and wherever—the mood strikes. Anything goes in their open marriage, and they’re not ashamed to share their passions with others.

But everything changes when they are sent to Vincent and Sabrina’s estate to be disciplined. Before they can participate in the Midwinter Ball, they must learn self-control. Carnal punishments and sensual lessons are just a few of the erotic surprises awaiting them… before the ball even begins!

Order your copy here:


Ultimate Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for the final ball!

The Midsummer and Midwinter Balls changed Julian and Annabelle forever. Vincent, the Marquis of Demby, and his wife, Sabrina, introduced them to a world of erotic pleasures. Freed from their inhibitions, they now help other shy couples explore their sexual urges and hidden desires.

But life on Vincent and Sabrina’s estate is anything but tranquil. The notorious Duke of Blackwell has discovered the secret about the naughty balls and is out to destroy the marquis.

Vincent refuses to deny the rumors about the “anything goes” parties he hosts, and turns to his friends for assistance. Together, they devise a plan to defeat the Black Duke… and still find time for a few wicked games.

Order your copy here:

* * *
I hope you’ll check out the trilogy and let me know what you think. Which book is your favorite? Which characters did you love the most? I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors, so drop me a line with questions or comments.

Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media.

Happy Reading,               

Kelli

Friday, December 1, 2017

Spotlighting... The "Naughty Nobles" Trilogy



Hi everyone,

This month, I’m highlighting the Naughty Nobles trilogy on my blog and Facebook pages. These sizzling-hot historical/fantasy novellas are guaranteed to heat up a cold winter night!

Although the stories are connected, each stands alone as an individual read. They’re available on several ebook platforms and all are just $1.99. If you haven’t read them, why not give them a try? They also make great gifts!

Here’s a look at Book 1, Midsummer Night’s Delights. I’ll be sharing more about the other two books (Midwinter Night’s Delights & Ultimate Night’s Delights) in other posts.

MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DELIGHTS

At this Midsummer Ball, couples pair up everywhere—but not for dancing!

Young newlyweds Julian and Annabelle are miserable. Their arranged marriage is lacking everything—especially sex. Julian suffers from a lack of confidence and is harboring a secret urge. Innocent Annabelle’s longings go unnoticed and unfulfilled, no matter what she tries.

But all that changes when they are invited to a Midsummer Ball. Their unconventional hosts, Vincent and Sabrina, introduce them to a world where their most intimate desires and hidden passions are explored—and fulfilled. Swapping and naughty games are just a few of the surprises awaiting them…

Order your copy here:









Visit my Amazon page to read reviews & excerpts for all 3 books:  www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Bountiful November Issue






Kelli’s Quill

Bountiful November 2017 Issue

Hi everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween. Believe it or not, “the holidays” are rolling around again. For me, November is Medallion Month, and I’m featuring my Medallion Press historical romances, links to guest blogs, new stuff, free reads, and I answer 5 FAQ.

New things are happening…
My blog has been updated and refreshed… I’ve got new pages for historical romances and contemporary romances… New banners are up for my Twitter page and Facebook author page...

FREE READS from all of my romances (all genres) are now on my Manic Readers page: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/


It’s Medallion Month!
All through November I'll be highlighting my Medallion Press historical romances on my blog and Facebook pages. These full-length romance novels are available on several ebook platforms and all are just $2.99. If you haven’t read any of them, why not give them a try?

Here’s a look at each title:

Lies, Love & Redemption: This full-length novel is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery, and danger.


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 here:


Links to other platforms:

Dangerous Indenture is set in Pennsylvania Colony blends sensual romance with mystery.

Dangerous Indenture

Eager to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony.

But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.
           
Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.

Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.

When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.

Order your copy here:



Other platforms:


The Viking’s Witch: This historical/paranormal novel won a gold IPPY award for best romance and has received several excellent reviews.


The Viking’s Witch

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up.

Order your copy here:




Guest blogs & Fun Stuff


Ever talk to a Viking? Read a chat with Rothgar, the hero from The Viking’s Witch… https://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-chat-with-rothgar-from-vikings-witch.html

Like historical romance? Read about the making of Dangerous Indenture: https://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2017/11/dangerous-indenture-historical-mystery.html

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

Looking for something more modern? Read an exclusive excerpt from my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Exclusive-Excerpt-Trust-With-Hearts-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins


Need some motivation to write your book? Check out this blog about finding time to write. Post includes fun writing exercises. https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/finding-the-time-to-write-by-kwilkinsauthor-nanowrimo-writingtips-tuesdaybookblog/

See what's on my desk & read about my writing routines... “What’s on your desk, Wednesday” http://bit.ly/2zaMDGm

Kelli’s Corner
This month, I answer the Top 5 Questions Writers are Often Asked. I hope you find them interesting.

1. How do I get published?
“How do I get published?” is one of the most common questions writers want answered. The truth is, you can’t “do” anything to get published other than submitting your best work to the appropriate publication. The rest is up to the editor. He or she will like it – or not.

But here are quick three tips to getting published: 1. Write the best story you can (revise as needed!) 2. Research the market(s) you’ll be submitting to 3. Pick the best place to send your story, and submit it. Really, that’s all you can do! After you’ve submitted your story, forget about it and write something else. It may take months to hear back about your submission.

2. Any advice for aspiring authors?
The best advice I can give to any writer (regardless of what genre he or she likes to write) is to keep writing. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to sit down every day and write something. But the more you write, the easier it gets. Writing classes are also a great way to learn the basics of storytelling. (That’s how I got started!) If possible, join a writer’s group or a critique group to get feedback on your stories. When you’ve written, revised, and polished your story, submit it! You can’t get published if you never submit, and you never know when your first acceptance will arrive. You can also check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write — Really! It’s packed with advice, tips, and writing exercises.

3. Where do you get the ideas and titles for your books?
Ideas are everywhere… you just need to find them. I tend to be a bit nosy and I like to explore, so I come up with ideas just by noticing my surroundings and observing what’s going on around me. I also have a vivid imagination, which helps give me ideas. Once in a while, a story idea or character will come to me out of nowhere. Sometimes I take two ideas and combine them into one, or I take an idea and ask myself “what if” to invent new scenarios and plotlines.

Titles are harder to come up with than the whole book! In some cases, I’ll have a title in mind before I start writing the story (such as Four Days with Jack and Midsummer Night’s Delights), but many times I don’t have the title until well after I’ve finished writing. I try to find a theme or a line in the story to use in the title or as the title. (A Most Unusual Princess is a good example.) If that doesn’t work, I’ll brainstorm about the characters or related words, then mix and match potential title ideas until something clicks.

4. What are some of the public misconceptions or myths you’ve encountered when people discover you write romances?
The first one that comes to mind is that romance authors are basing the love scenes in their books on their own private lives, and that we “act out” the love scenes. Not true! The stories are fiction, not confessionals. Another misconception is that writing romance is “easier” than writing stories in other genres because there’s no “real” plot or characterization. Again, not true! Writing good romance (at any heat or sensuality level) is just as difficult and as labor-intensive as writing horror, sci fi, or mystery.

5. How long does it take to write a book? Do you spend a lot of time researching topics for your historical romances?
Once I have the time period for a historical romance, I do research for details and/or ideas for setting, clothing, occupations, or even the food that people ate. (I did a lot of research for Dangerous Indenture and The Viking’s Witch.) I like to weave little details into the stories and blend them in as naturally as possible. When I’m writing fantasy romance, I try to make the details believable, even if I’m making them up!

The only contemporary romance I did research for was Beauty & the Bigfoot. I had to know everything about Bigfoot so I could create the quirky characters and give the story an extra boost of realism.

Depending on the length of the story or the scope of the book, it can take anywhere from a week to a month to write the first (very rough!) draft. Shorter stories like Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover and Four Days with Jack took a week to make it onto paper. Full-length books such as Lies, Love & Redemption and Loving a Wild Stranger took a month. I write all my stories in longhand, so after the first draft is finished, I edit it as I type it.

I love the process of writing. Creating characters and telling the story of their adventures is a lot of fun. It’s interesting to see what the characters do, to watch them fall in love, and to learn how they overcome their troubles to have a happy ending.

* * *
I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Please share it with your social media friends. I welcome feedback and questions from readers, so drop me a line with your comments.
Here’s a list of where you can find me on social media:

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
FREE READS: Manic Readers page: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/

Until next time…
Kelli


Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Viking’s Witch – Hot Historical Romance (Part 2)



Hi everyone,

It’s Medallion Month, and all through November I've been highlighting my Medallion Press historical romances on my blog and Facebook pages. These full-length romance novels are available on several ebook platforms and all are just $2.99. If you haven’t read any of them, why not give them a try?

Today I’m sharing Part 2 of my “inside look” at the making of The Viking’s Witch.

In my last blog, I discussed how the book came about, the research involved, and the violence that takes place in the story. Now I’ll give readers insight into the origins and development of the characters, as well as Odaria’s magic “witch” powers.

The Viking’s Witch is a traditional 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. Here’s the plot summary:


The Viking’s Witch

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time is up.

***

Interviewers have asked me how I can create such interesting and diverse characters for all of my books. They want to know where Rothgar and Odaria came from. Well, there’s no real way to answer that other than, I just made them up. (Chris Hemsworth from Thor is pretty much what I envisioned Rothgar to look like—even though I wrote the book long before the movie came out!)

When I create my heroes and heroines I always give them “baggage” and flaws—along with problems to overcome. This way, they can grow and change over the course of the book. Odaria is a strong-willed “witch” who is tired of being abused and ridiculed by the people in her village. She swears she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get by. Rothgar was once a powerful warrior, but a personal tragedy has softened him and left him broken and unwilling to love anyone again.

When they first meet, they each play off the others’ weaknesses. Odaria has no qualms about standing up to Rothgar and arguing with him, and he respects her willful and fearless behavior. Eventually they realize that they need (and want) to be with each other forever.

I like to introduce secondary characters and subplots into my books to flesh out the story. I’m often asked about the secondary Norse character, Nordskog. He’s not the type of “hero” one would typically find in a romance, but he serves an important role in the story. Where did he come from? Well…

I used to work with a woman whose last name was Nordskog and I told her that one day I’d use her name in a book, so I did! Nordskog is a violent, vicious berserkr and has a history with Rothgar dating from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. After Odaria helps heal his leg, Nordskog displays a protective fondness for her, as well. He’s an impulsive brute, but he’s not stupid. He knows that Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services and loyalty.

But if readers thought Nordskog was bad, the antagonist, Brennan, is even worse.

Brennan has been described by one reviewer as “a perfectly evil villain” which was exactly my intention. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous SOB—but not have his character be too over-the-top. Brennan is a lying, murdering, religious zealot—and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers.

Most of the terrible things Brennan’s done happen off-page and we learn about them through Odaria. Each time I wrote a scene for, or about, Brennan, I made him a little more unstable and psychotic, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.

Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion and helps bring about Brennan’s demise. 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 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, 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.

I hope you enjoyed Part Two of this “inside look” at The Viking’s Witch. I’m happy to say that readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters and the book has received dozens of excellent reviews. (And it also won a Gold IPPY Award for best romance ebook!)

Order The Viking’s Witch here:




Happy Reading,

Kelli

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Viking's Witch - A Hot Historical Romance (Part 1)




Hi everyone,

It’s Medallion Month, and all through November I’ve been highlighting my Medallion Press historical romances on my blog and Facebook pages. These full-length romance novels are available on several ebook platforms and all are just $2.99. If you haven’t read any of them, why not give them a try?

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of The Viking’s Witch. This historical paranormal romance is set in Celtic Scotland and blends mystery, adventure and danger with some steamy love scenes. I’m happy to say that the book won a gold IPPY award for best romance ebook and has received dozens of excellent reviews.

Here’s the summary:

The Viking’s Witch

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time is up.

***
Interviewers and readers have asked what my inspiration was when I was writing the book, and are curious about how much research I had to do to create the unique characters and detailed setting.

Like many of my books, the idea for the story came to me out of the blue. One day, the entire opening sequences popped into my head and I knew I had to start writing. At the time, I had the basic plot (Viking warrior falls in love with Celtic witch), but I wasn’t sure about most of the details, like the character names, their backstories, and the subplot. All of that came later, along with the secondary characters, Brennan and Nordskog. (I’ll talk more about them my next blog.)

Scotland is a beautiful place and I’ve always wanted to set a book there. (I still may write another historical set in the Highlands.) Having the story take place on the remote Orkney Islands added a sense of urgency and tension to the plot.

In a sense, Rothgar and Odaria are “trapped” on the island and are forced to deal with a pack of angry villagers and other Norsemen. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island, so there’s really nowhere for the characters to go. They’re forced to work together in order to get off the island—and survive.

Before I wrote a word, I had to do a lot of research on where to set the story. I knew the book would take place in Scotland where the Vikings traveled in their early years of exploration, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. Once I decided on the Orkneys, I had to pick which island to set the story. (There are 70 different islands, but today, only about 20 are inhabited.)

I also had to research what life was like in that time period for Odaria and Rothgar. (What kind of clothes did they wear? What food did they eat? How did Norsemen travel so far? What were their ships like?) Odaria and Rothgar come from different backgrounds and technically would have been speaking different languages, so I had to blend their two cultures together in a way that flowed with the book.

After I got a feel for what everyday life was like for each of them, I weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse background intrigues Odaria, and she is curious about their clothes, customs, food, how they travel, etc. Having Rothgar show her how he lives was a good way to introduce readers into the culture.

And of course, if you were living back in 803 with bands of Norsemen and crazy villagers, you could expect some measure of violence. Readers might think that there’s no place for violence in a romance, but I think that type of realism (when kept in check) enhances the story.

In 803, life was completely different from how we live now—especially on a remote island. People got hurt, took sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch features a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent reputations, so including some violence in the story is necessary to move the plot along—while also helping the reader get deeper into the minds and lives of the characters.

I didn’t cringe when I wrote the “gritty” scenes; I was happy to include them. I like history and it drives me crazy when people in 1500 or 1870 are perfectly clean and neat, have perfect teeth, and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. In The Viking’s Witch I included enough details to bring the story alive, yet showed how some degree of violence was necessary for Rothgar’s and Odaria’s survival.

Here’s a mini-excerpt from The Viking's Witch:

Rothgar inched closer to her. She tried to move away, but she had nowhere to go. Her back was pressed against the door. Rothgar grinned and cupped her chin in his wide hand. What was he doing? His rough beard grazed her cheek as his lips lightly brushed against hers.

Her entire body tingled, and a wave of dizziness washed over her. The room spun and seemed to grow dim. As everything faded, she had a clear vision of wrapping her arms around Rothgar's neck and eagerly pulling him close for a kiss. Dizzy, she pitched forward. Rothgar caught her and clutched her to his chest.

"Shh," he soothed, running his hand through her loose hair. "I will not harm you, Odaria."

She relaxed against his broad chest, letting him support her weight. His touch was calming, and she felt safe here, leaning against Rothgar as she would rest against a thick tree. She inhaled deep. Rothgar didn't stink of rancid sweat like the other men. He smelled clean and salty, like the sea. The scent comforted her. She could almost fall asleep where she stood.

After a few moments, her dizzy spell passed, and she gazed at him. "You are not like the others. You are different, Rothgar."

He smiled. "Ja, in some ways. But fear not, Odaria. I will not share you with the others. I wish to have you all to myself." Rothgar chuckled and winked at her.

***
Order The Viking’s Witch here:




I hope you enjoyed Part One of this “Inside Look” at The Viking’s Witch. Next time, I’ll delve more into the characters and discuss Odaria’s magic.

Happy Reading,
Kelli


Monday, November 13, 2017

Lies, Love & Redemption - A Spicy Western Romance



Hi everyone,

To celebrate Medallion Month, I’m sharing a look at the making of my latest Medallion Press release, Lies, Love & Redemption. This full-length novel is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery and danger.

One day, I was thinking about nothing in particular when this popped into my mind:

A man limping along the prairie. He’s been shot and left for dead. He’s bleeding and hurt bad. And thirsty. So thirsty. It’s hot and he wants to rest, but he knows he has to push on. If he collapses again, he’s not going to get up and he’ll die here. But maybe he’s already dead and this is hell. Or maybe not...

That was my introduction to Sam, the hero. That was also how I introduced readers to Sam— lost and hurt and wandering along the prairie.

Here’s the book summary that came from that initial idea:

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?

***

Believe it or not, that first scene came to me several years ago. When I got the idea for the book, I did all the initial research and wrote a very rough draft. Then the manuscript just sat around. I’m not exactly sure why so many other book projects came ahead of it, but they did. The story was always there, but I guess I wasn’t ready to revise and edit it.

When I started working on the book again I found that although the basic premise still resonated with me, I wanted (and needed) to make a lot of changes. I always had the opening scene of Sam walking across the prairie in my mind. I knew where he was going (to Cassie’s store), and I had the general idea of how the story would play out and who the characters were, but I didn’t have the specifics of each scene.

As I got further into revising the book, the details became more solidified. I added new scenes, deleted others, and generally gave it a complete makeover. Now it’s a much stronger (and better) book than it was originally.

But before I started writing, I did a lot of research. First, I had to decide when and where the book would take place. I knew it would be on the prairie somewhere (Kansas? Nebraska? Iowa?) and set after the Civil War. Once I picked a time period and a place I researched everything I could about it: what was going on in the country at that time, how people traveled, what their occupations were, what they ate, how a general store was set up…

I enjoy reading about history and exploring what life was like in different time periods, so doing the research part of a historical romance is interesting—but time consuming. I was always scribbling notes about details I could use in the book. I never used them all, but adding realistic details helps draw readers into the world of the characters, even though it might be very different from how we live now.

Although I have written a lot of historical romances, the time periods are always different. I’ve used Medieval (A Most Unusual Princess), Scottish (The Viking’s Witch) and Colonial (Dangerous Indenture) settings. When I’m writing a historical romance, I never know when (or where) the characters will take me - but I enjoy the journey back in time - and I hope readers do, too!

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I hope you enjoyed this inside look. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media!

Happy Reading,

Kelli