Sunday, September 6, 2020

Author Kelli A. Wilkins Talks About "The Viking’s Witch"

 


Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an interview about my historical/paranormal romance, The Viking’s Witch.

Enjoy!

 

What was your inspiration in writing The Viking’s Witch? Had you always been a fan of that period in history?

I can’t recall one thing that inspired The Viking’s Witch. Like many of my books, an idea just came to me. One day, the entire opening sequences popped into my head and I knew I had an idea for a new book. 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. For readers who don’t know, The Viking’s Witch is set in 803 A.D. on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. I like history and I love the U.K., so the plot and setting were a natural fit for me.

Did you do a great deal of research before writing the novel? Was the magic drawn on anything in particular you had seen or read?

I had to do research on where to set the story before I started plotting. I knew the book would take place in Scotland, where the Vikings traveled, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. The isolation of the Orkney Islands adds to the tension in the story. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island.

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. I researched what life would have been like for each of them and weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse culture intrigues Odaria and she is curious about their clothes, customs, their food, how they travel, etc.

The “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write! I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other “New Age” subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character. I enjoyed letting readers (and Rothgar) see Odaria’s clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry in action.

I couldn’t help but picture Chris Hemsworth, a.k.a. Thor, as Rothgar while reading. Did you have any actors or imagery in mind when writing Odaria and Rothgar?

When I wrote the book (about 10 years ago) I didn’t have any particular actor or actress in mind for the characters. But when I saw the movie, Thor, I was blown away by how much Chris Hemsworth was Rothgar! Mr. Hemsworth can definitely play Rothgar whenever there’s a movie version of the book!

The character of Nordskog is pretty interesting. Why do you think he evolves so smoothly from enraged beserker to ally of Rothgar?

I loved creating the character of Nordskog. Readers aren’t sure if he’s a good guy or not. Nordskog has a history with Rothgar from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. Nordskog’s not stupid. He knows Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services. But he’s by no means reformed – he’s more of a berserkr for hire. For the right price, anyone can buy his loyalty. He walks the line between unpredictable violent warrior and a crafty opportunist. His actions help bring the main plot and the subplot to an exciting conclusion.

I like introducing unique secondary characters and subplots in my books to flesh out the story. Even though Rothgar’s and Odaria’s relationship is central to the book, The Viking’s Witch has a lot of adventure blended into the love story.

Brennan is a perfectly evil villain. How did he evolve in your mind?

I’m glad you “like” Brennan. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous villain – but not have his character be too over the top. Brennan is a lying, religious zealot and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers. Most of the terrible things he’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 vicious, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.

The love scenes are pretty steamy! What is it about writing erotic and romantic scenes that appeals to you?

Each time I write a romance I let the characters determine what happens (and what doesn’t) in the love scenes and how intense and detailed they are.

I make sure the scenes are keeping with the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I base the book on the premise of two people falling in love and learning about themselves and each other. The story shows how the characters change and grow during the course of the book – and every so often they express their love and feelings for each other.

There is just as much violence as there is romance in the book, which is fitting for the time and place the novel is set. Do you find yourself cringing when writing those scenes? Do you worry about scaring off readers?

No, I don’t worry about scaring off readers – if anything, a little realism enhances the story. Back in 803 life was completely different from how we live now – especially on a emote island. Life was dangerous. People got hurt, sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch is about a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent reputations, so the 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 and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. I loved the TV show Deadwood because it was a realistic, historically accurate look at an Old West town. Everything was dirty and gritty – there was mud and horse manure in the streets like it would have been back in the day.

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.

Do you want to write any more about Odaria and Rothgar, or do you plan on moving on to something new with your next book?

Rothgar and Odaria are in a good place, so I won’t be writing a sequel. Most of my romances are stand-alone single titles. I did write two historical/fantasy series: The Naughty Nobles trilogy (which is super-hot) and the Royal Desires series (which is tamer).

Here are the book summary and links to The Viking’s Witch.

 

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 runs out.

 

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/%20ebook/dp/B07T15MHSW

All other platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/the-viking-s-witch

I invite readers to visit my site (www.kelliwilkins.com) to find out more about all of my romances, to read reviews, and catch up on my blogs.

Happy Reading!

Kelli

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wishing You "Unpleasant Dreams"

 


Hi everyone!

My latest flash fiction horror story "Unpleasant Dreams" appeared in Fabled Journal last week. 

Read it here: https://www.fabledcollective.com/journal/unpleasant-dreams

Part of the story is based on an actual dream (or would you call it a nightmare?) that my mother had ages ago. The visual stuck with me all these years, and when I wrote the story I incorporated part of her dream into the plot.

If you like to be scared, visit the horror section of my site (https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror) and read about my horror ebooks. 

They're more psychologically creepy than gory - although Nightmare in the North was called "disturbing" - among other things!

Happy Reading!

Kelli

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Historical Romance Book Sale Starts Saturday August 1




Hi everyone,

If you love to get swept away by romances set in different time periods, I’ve got great news for you – all of my historical romances are on sale for a limited time. (And if you’ve never read a historical romance, now’s the perfect time to try one!)

The sale starts Saturday, August 1, and ends on Saturday, August 15. 

But there’s one catch – these titles are on sale everywhere you buy ebooks – except for Amazon. Yep, you read that right. So, if you get your ebooks on Kobo, Apple, Nook, 24 Symbols, Scribd, Playster etc. this sale is for you.

My historical romances are anything but boring, and they vary in heat levels and settings. Some books are mild and others are scorching hot! The time periods and settings are as varied as the heroes and heroines. I even have two historical/fantasy trilogies: The Royal Desires series and the Naughty Nobles trilogy.

If you love single titles, you can lose yourself in a pioneer/adventure romance (Loving a Wild Stranger), a Colonial mystery (Dangerous Indenture), a Gothic romance (Redemption from a Dark Past), a paranormal Viking tale set in Celtic Scotland (The Viking’s Witch), and a love story set in the Old West (Love, Lies & Redemption).

Want to learn more about these titles? Full book summaries and reviews are on my site: www.kelliwilkins.com

There are two ways to order:

Visit my Books2Read page: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins choose a historical romance, and follow the links to order.

Or, go to my website: www.kelliwilkins.com find a book you like, then follow the link under the book description that says:  “Buy it on other platforms:” That link will take you directly to the book’s ordering page.

It’s easy. And it’s economical. All the books in the sale are $1 off until Saturday, August 15. So stock up on some great reads now and enjoy them for the rest of the year.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

 


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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Spotlight on "A Most Unfortunate Prince"

Hi everyone,

Today 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, as well.

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 complete trilogy are at the end of the post.

Here’s the book summary:

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?

Read the Royal Desires series from the start:

Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CBX43D8

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/me00L9 

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-most-unusual-princess

Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8P8604

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47kkvj

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-most-intriguing-temptation

 

Book 3: A Most Unfortunate Prince:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Most-Unfortunate-Prince-Historical-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B01DMBYJ6E

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3yPPM6

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-most-unfortunate-prince

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? You can contact me via the contact form on my site or on social media.

 Stay tuned to next week's blog - I'm having an August book sale!

 

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Summer 2020 Issue!


Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer weather and getting outside as much as possible. If you’re looking for some great reads to pass the time, why not visit my website and add a few of my books to your device? Whether you like romance, horror, or sci-fi, I’ve got something for everyone!

In this issue of the Quill, I’m sharing links to guest blogs, spotlighting my hot summer romances and more…

Special News!
I had a July book sale over the long holiday weekend, and I’m having another sale soon. My historical romances will be on sale for the first two weeks in August. Stay tuned to my blog and social media accounts for info and ordering instructions.

Here’s Something New…
This spring, I created a new Facebook page for my Horror Fiction! Visit it here and share it with your social media friends: https://www.facebook.com/HorrorFictionbyKelliAWilkins/

I’m posting excerpts from my horror and sci fi stories, reviews, and anything else that comes to mind…

Recent Release Recap
Earlier this year, Kelli released her historical/western romance, Love, Lies & Redemption. Set in 1877 Nebraska, this novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

Love, Lies and 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 Love, Lies and Redemption here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdzL6W



Still Celebrating Pride Month? Don’t miss these sizzling gay romances…


A Secret Match
Killer in Wolf’s Clothing
Four Days with Jack

Read all about them on Kelli’s Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins or site: www.KelliWilkins.com


Kelli’s Guest Blogs

Kelli’s been guest blogging about animal rescue, her books, and even sharing some recipes! Catch up on these posts…

June was Adopt a Cat month! Author and cat lover Kelli A. Wilkins shows you how you can help save a life by adopting from an animal shelter. https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/save-a-life-adopt-a-shelter-cat

Need a fast summer dessert? Kelli shows you how to make a Quick Custard Cake in this Friday Food Blog: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/quick-custard-cake
Like Pistachio? Kelli shares a yummy cake recipe in this Friday Food Blog: https://theafterworkcook.blogspot.com/2020/02/easy-pistachio-cake-submitted-by-kelli.html

Author Kelli A. Wilkins kicks off Pride month with her two-part blog series: “Writing Gay Romances: 4 FAQ”:


Looking for a hot summer romance? Kelli A. Wilkins shares 3 of her sizzling love stories in this post: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/3-sizzling-summer-romances-to-celebrate-the-season

Have you ever wondered how publishing has changed over the years? Find out in this guest blog: https://alternative-read.com/2020/05/21/how-has-publishing-changed-over-the-years-its-a-different-animal-guestpost-by-kwilkinsauthor/ 

Read an interview with Sam Hixton, the hero from Kelli’s historical romance, Love, Lies & Redemption: http://nesiesplace.com/2020/04/26/characterinterview-love-lies-and-redemption/
Want to learn how to create interesting secondary characters in your next story? Kelli shares her insights here: https://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/2020/03/how-to-build-cast-of-supporting.html
Read Kelli’s blog series about the making of her latest historical romance, Love, Lies & Redemption:





Summer Romance Rewind
If you’re looking for a few hot summer romances, don’t miss:


Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover
Trust with Hearts
A Deceptive Match

Read more about these books on Kelli’s Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins or new site: www.KelliWilkins.com


I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Coming this fall… news about new horror releases, more guest blogs, and book excerpts. 

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors, so feel free to contact me with questions about my books, writing, or share your favorite summer reads.

Enjoy the season!

Happy Reading,

Kelli

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Special July Book Sale - Starts 7/3




Hi everyone,

Happy July! If you’re looking to add to your collection of summer reads, I’ve got great news for you. I’m having a special summer book sale!

The sale starts Friday, July 3 and runs until Monday, July 6. I’ve chosen 20 books in all genres (romance, horror, and non-fiction) to discount as part of this promotion. I’m calling it the “20 in 2020 sale.”

But there’s one catch - these titles are on sale everywhere you buy ebooks - except for Amazon. Yep, you read that right. So, if you get your ebooks on Kobo, Apple, Nook, 24 Symbols, Scribd, Playster etc. this sale is for you.

You can order books two ways:
Visit my Books2Read page: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins choose a title, and follow the links to order.

Or, go to my website: www.kelliwilkins.com find a book you like, then follow the link under the book description that says:  “Buy it on other platforms:” That link will take you directly to the book’s ordering page.

It’s easy. And it’s economical. All the books in the special sale are $1 off until July 6. So stock up on some great reads now and enjoy them all summer. (And when you’re done reading, why not leave a review?)

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins


Monday, June 15, 2020

Save a Life - Adopt a Shelter Cat!




Hi everyone!

June is Adopt-A-Cat month, and as always, I’m advocating adopting pets (of all kinds) from shelters and giving them a loving, forever home. (Would you want to live out the rest of your life in a wire cage?)

Years ago, when I adopted my furry children, I went to my local no-kill shelter. The volunteer was happy to hear that I was interested in adult cats. Most everyone wants cuddly kittens because they’re cute now – but they do grow up. Sadly, adult cats are often overlooked and sometimes have a hard time getting placed. Older cats need love too!

As a writer, my love of cats has naturally extended into my writing. My short story “Just an Innocent Little Cat” was included in the Dark Things II: Cat Crimes anthology. I even found a way to weave cat adoption into my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts. The subplot of the book – Sherrie’s devotion to save Kitty Corner – was crucial because I wanted to give her a purpose, something to build her self-esteem. Sherrie’s cat adoption project lets her help unfortunate cats who need good homes. (Read more about the book on my site: www.kelliwilkins.com)

I’ve also written three non-fiction cat care books that explain how to choose a cat and keep it happy and healthy. You can find them all on my Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

This summer, please consider adopting a cat or two (or a dog – they need loving homes too!) and saving a life. If your local shelter isn’t open right now, visit https://www.petfinder.com/cats/ and browse through the animals up for adoption in your local area. It’s an excellent source for locating pets looking for “furr-ever” homes.

And if you can’t adopt – you can always donate. Shelters are in desperate need of funding and supplies these days. Visit your local shelter’s Facebook page or website to learn how you can help.

If you’re wondering about the handsome fellows above… as of today, they’re all available for adoption. You can read about them here:



Milo: UPDATE - MILO GOT ADOPTED! Yey!!

Until next time,

Kelli