Tuesday, May 26, 2020

3 Sizzling Summer Romances to Celebrate the Season!


 

Hi everyone,

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer season, so today I’m sharing a look at three of my summer romances. I incorporated a lot of summer details into my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts. In this sizzling tale, Curtis and Sherrie fall in love over the course of a summer. I used hot and sticky weather, cool summer drinks, and sultry summer nights to enhance their romance.

My paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is set at the beach. (Yes, it’s quite an unusual setting for a vampire romance!) In this book, I used a variety of details to describe the hero’s obsession with the sun, sand, and surf (or as he put it: wax, water, and waves).

In A Deceptive Match, Danni spends the month of August on the road with a hot wrestler named Vinnie Valentine. This scorching contemporary romance builds over the long summer days, and I built plenty of heat between the two characters.

Here are the book summaries and links. Why not lose yourself in one of these love stories on a lazy afternoon?


TRUST WITH HEARTS

After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.

Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.

Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074422FHY

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mgrK7R

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/trust-with-hearts

 


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 here: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBYWYCI

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/confessions-of-a-vampire-s-lover


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?

Order your copy here:

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-deceptive-match

 

I created a Facebook page for my contemporary romances. Visit it here:

https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

I’m posting book blurbs, excerpts, and more.

Visit my site www.KelliWilkins.com to learn about all of my romances.

Enjoy the summer!

Kelli



Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Food Blog: Spring Layer Cake




Hi everyone!

Since it's Friday, I decided to share a Friday Food Blog. Here's a recipe that's a favorite in my family. This easy-to-make colorful cake is a perfect spring treat!

Pastel Layer Cake

Ingredients:
1 package (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 package (4 serving size) Jell-o Lime Flavor Gelatin
1 package (4 serving size) Jell-o Lemon Flavor Gelatin
2 tubs (8 oz. each) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed


Directions:
Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box.

Divide batter into 2 bowls. Add lime gelatin to one bowl, lemon to the other. Stir thoroughly. Pour each into separate greased 9 inch round cake pan. (You’ll have 1 lemon and 1 lime.)

Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. (Oven times vary, so check cake.)

Cool 15 minutes and remove cakes from pans. Let cakes completely cool on a wire rack.

Place one cake (lime or lemon, your choice) on a serving plate and spread with ½ tub of whipped topping. Top with other cake layer. Frost cake with remaining whipped topping. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Options:
This simple recipe can be modified in a variety of ways. You can change the Jell-o flavors to create your own combinations: orange-pineapple, cherry-black cherry, blue raspberry-raspberry, etc. Or make a cake with one flavor (all orange or all lime).

If you want a more natural option, substitute homemade whipped cream for the Cool Whip.

Enjoy!

And if you’re looking for something to read, be sure to check out the book pages of my site. Whether you love romance, horror, sci-fi, or maybe want to write a story of your own, I’ve got something for everyone!

Kelli

 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Hear from a Hero! Chatting with Sam Hixton




Today I'm sharing a fun character interview with Sam Hixton, the hero from my historical romance Love, Lies and Redemption. Let's see what makes Sam tick.

Q: Greetings, Sam. Before we get started, could you tell our readers about the book?
Sure, I’m glad to. Love, Lies and Redemption is a full-length novel set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy Western romance with mystery and danger. It has a little bit of everything: humor, sadness, and more than a few spicy love scenes. (Grins.)

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?
I’m not sure what I did to make Kelli annoyed at me, but the book begins with me shot and half-dead, stumbling across the prairie. I’m at the lowest point in my life then, and I was ready to fall down and not bother to get up. I’m not usually like that; I’m known for being resilient and determined. Once I set my sights on a goal, I go after it. Of course, that’s how I got into that predicament in the first place—but that’s a long story.

I made my way to Cassie Wilcox’s store and she saved my life. Against her better judgment, Cassie allowed me to stay with her until I recovered. When I was back on my feet I felt that I had a debt to pay, and that it was my duty to watch over Cassie. Naturally, this led to lots of conflict between us. And it didn’t help that the townsfolk (and Luke, the sheriff) didn’t trust me because I was a stranger, and I defended Cassie when she needed it.

Cassie brought me back into the land of the living (in more ways than one), although it wasn’t easy for either of us. We both had issues with trusting other people, and ourselves.

Q: What drew you to Cassie? Tell us about her.
Cassie is an amazing woman for our time. When I met her, she was running a general store that had seen better days. The store meant everything to her and she was determined to keep it open, no matter what. Cassie lived in Holloway all her life, and her father used to run the store. After a tragic incident, Cassie inherited the store, but the puritanical townspeople didn’t approve of her independent ways and wanted to drive her out.

I admired Cassie’s strength and perseverance, and discovered that under her seemingly gruff exterior, she was a sensitive woman who longed to be loved. Of course, she refused to admit that, and we had our fair share of spats from the moment we met. (Laughs.) That probably made me love her even more.

Q: What is it about Cassie that makes you crazy in a good way?
Sometimes she’s just so dang headstrong! She’ll get an idea to do something, and off she goes. Of course I’m able to settle her, but that’s because she loves and trusts me. In the book, I have to be the calm voice of reason and tell her to slow down and make a logical plan to do something. Cassie was on her own and had to rely on herself for everything. Now she has me to help her, whether she wants the help or not.

Q: Was there an instant attraction between you?
Oh yes! I was attracted to Cassie from the moment I first woke up—even though she wasn’t very nice to me. Cassie fell for me, too, but she had a hard time admitting it. Part of her didn’t want to get attached because her heart’s been broken before, and she didn’t want to feel vulnerable again.

Q: Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? What sort of upsetting or embarrassing things did Kelli do to you and Cassie in the book?
I was put through the worst trials and tribulations imaginable before the book started. (I can’t divulge them here, but they were whoppers!) Of course, the troubles from my past resurfaced just as I was settling in and making a new life with Cassie.

Our relationship was nearly destroyed a few times (thanks, Kelli!) due to trust issues (or rather, “lack of trust” issues), and we almost went our separate ways toward the end. It was a very emotional time for me, and I’ll admit, I wasn’t always seen in a good light. But, as in all great romances, Cassie and I do live happily-ever-after.

Q: Describe yourself in four words.
Loyal. Dependable. Funny. Mysterious.

Q: What do you do for a living?
Right now I’m working in a hardware store, and loving it. Why? (Laughs) Nobody’s shooting at me! A long time ago, I used to be a sheriff, and that got me into a lot of trouble. That experience came in handy in the book, but I’m glad to put that violent lifestyle behind me.

Q: What do you fear the most?
I fear what most people fear—losing the people they love. Before I met Cassie I suffered a great personal loss and it took me a very long time to get over it. I nearly lost Cassie a few times in the book, and I was reminded all over again how short and precious life is.

Q: Anything else you want to add?
Love, Lies and Redemption is a great book, if I do say so myself. It’s gotten several excellent reviews and is a perfect way to lose yourself in another place and time. If you like Westerns, you’ll love this story. And if you’ve never read one, now’s your chance.

Kelli has written several other historical romances, but her other two most recent releases are: The Viking’s Witch and Dangerous Indenture. From what I heard, they’re pretty good, too. Lots of action, adventure, mystery, drama, and hot love scenes! I’ve learned that Kelli doesn’t write boring books. She says that although she writes a lot of historical romances, they all take place in different time periods and different places. So, she’s not “just” writing Westerns or “only” writing about a certain century.
Her romances span all genres (contemporary, historical/fantasy, gay, paranormal) and range from mild to super-spicy. I encourage everyone to check out all of her books here: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins or read more about them on her site: www.KelliWilkins.com.
  
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. This was fun. I might ask Cassie to visit in an upcoming chat.

Thank you, Sam, for joining us today. Here’s a look at Love, Lies and Redemption:


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


Want more romance? Visit Kelli’s site: www.KelliWilkins.com and follow her pages:




Happy Reading!

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Making of Love, Lies and Redemption (Part 2)


Hi everyone,

I’m sharing Part Two of the making of my historical western romance, Love, Lies and Redemption. In the first blog, I talked about how the book came to be and discussed the research involved in writing a historical romance. Today I’ll explore the characters and touch on another subject—realism.

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

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

When readers meet Cassie in her store, they see that she works hard trying to make her store successful. But they also watch her going through the motions and wondering why she bothers.

Each character is at a crossroads, and everything is about to change for them. As the book progresses, we learn that Cassie is headstrong, independent, and not the type to take guff from Sam, or the people in town. She’s running a store all by herself and doesn’t like to accept help or rely on anyone.

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

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

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

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

People died of infections, diseases, and all sorts of other ailments, and there was the threat of violence to consider. The west was known for being “lawless” and some people took advantage of the fact that you practically could do whatever you wanted.

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

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

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

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

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

And of course, as in any romance, it all worked out happily-ever-after. Here’s the book summary:

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

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/love-lies-and-redemption


Want more romance? Visit my site: www.KelliWilkins.com and follow my Facebook pages:




I hope you enjoyed this look at the making of Love, Lies and Redemption. I had a great time creating the characters and I think readers will fall in love with them as much as I have.

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

Happy Reading!
Kelli 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Making of Love, Lies and Redemption (Part 1)



Hi everyone,

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 from my new historical western, Love, Lies and Redemption. That was also how I introduced readers to Sam—lost and hurt and wandering along the prairie.

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

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?

* * *
Believe it or not, that first scene came to me many 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. I wrote other romances while this one was waiting in the wings, so to speak.

When I started working on the book, 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’m always scribbling notes about details I could use in the book. I never use 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. Love, Lies and Redemption is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

Here’s a mini excerpt:

Cassie removed the sling and uncovered Sam’s shoulder. She bent forward, resting her hand on the center of Sam’s chest. His skin was warm, and she felt his muscles ripple beneath his skin. Her heart beat faster, and she closed her eyes. She shouldn’t be in here. It wasn’t proper, and yet… It took all her willpower not to peek at his lower half again.

“How is it?”

She opened her eyes and checked the wound. “It looks fine to me.” A lock of hair came loose from her bun and brushed across Sam’s chest. He reached up with his good hand and tucked it behind her ear.

Before she could protest, he leaned in close and kissed her.

Oh, Lord.

Sam’s lips moved against hers, slow and tender, as if he expected her to pull away or slap him. She didn’t. Instead, she closed her eyes and gave in.

Sam clutched her tighter, pulling her down to him. Her fingertips splayed against his bare chest, and she moaned. God, it felt good to be kissed and held by a strong man again.

A warm pulsing sensation flooded between her legs as Sam slipped his tongue into her mouth. She lost herself in his embrace and everything faded away. After what seemed like forever, Sam broke the kiss.

“Stay with me,” he whispered.

She gazed into his blue eyes. “I can’t. I should—”

“Yes, you can. I’ll treat you right. We’ll only do as much as you want. Kissing and cuddling, that’s all,” he said, then kissed her again.

That’s all? That wouldn’t be enough for her. Once they got down to serious kissing and touching, she wouldn’t want to stop. And she wouldn’t let Sam stop—even if he wanted to. It would be so easy to give in, to say yes, stay here all afternoon and… Lord almighty, what was she thinking? She knew better. After all she’d been through, she knew she should resist him, but...


Order Love, Lies and Redemption here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdzL6W
  
Want more romance? Visit my site: www.KelliWilkins.com and follow my Facebook pages:




I hope you enjoyed Part One of the making of Love, Lies and Redemption. In Part Two, I’ll focus on how I created these troubled characters and share insight into why I included such a powerful sense of realism in the story.

I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow me on social media.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

Monday, March 23, 2020

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Welcome Spring 2020 Issue




Greetings everyone! Happy Spring! The start of a new season is the perfect time for new things, and this issue of the Quill is no exception. I’ve included information about my latest historical romance, links to new guest blogs and other important sites, and I answer a few FAQ in Kelli’s Corner.

Latest Romance Release…
I’m pleased to announce the release of my western romance, Love, Lies and 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

Want more romance? Visit my site: www.KelliWilkins.com to read book reviews, and follow my Facebook pages:



Name Your Platform!
Recently I’ve started using universal book links from Books2Read. If you’re not familiar with universal links, they’re great. Simply click on a book’s link and you’ll instantly see where you can buy the book. Whether it’s available on Apple, Kobo, Sribd, or another platform, you’ll always have options.  (My Amazon books on Kindle are still retaining those links, however.)
Each book has its own page complete with a full book description and links.

Don’t forget, you can get a full list of my Kindle books here: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Did You Know… Past Issues of Kelli’s Quill are online here:

Sharing Spring Guest Blogs

Here’s a two-part guest blog special! Read Part 1 about the making of Kelli’s latest historical romance, Love, Lies & Redemption in this guest blog: https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-making-of-love-lies-and-redemption.html

Then read part 2 here:

Like feisty Irish heroines? Read about the making of Dangerous Indenture - A sensual historical/mystery romance set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s.  https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/like-feisty-irish-heroines-don-t-miss-dangerous-indenture-a-colonial-romance-mystery

Did you ever wonder how writers create interesting characters for their stories? Find out in this guest blog: http://mariacatalinaegan.com/2020/03/03/creating-characters-with-author-kelli-a-wilkins

February was “Women in Horror Month” and Kelli blogged about horror writing. If you’re ready to get scared, don’t miss this blog: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/february-is-women-in-horror-month

Enjoy Women in Horror Month with a Nightmare in the North! Kelli shares an inside look at her terrifying tale here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/celebrate-women-in-horror-month-with-a-nightmare-in-the-north

Hey, it’s not too late to celebrate Valentine’s Day! If you like sweet love stories, don’t miss Kelli’s contemporary romance anthologies, Cupid’s Schemes. Read about Volume 1 here:

And Volume 2 here:



Kelli’s Corner
Today, Kelli answers 4 FAQ submitted by readers.

When is the best time for you to write? 
I don’t have a set time or place devoted to writing. Basically, I write anytime, anywhere. I like to write outside, so if I’m working on a book and the weather’s nice, I’ll sit in my yard and write or edit, or outline a new book. Otherwise, I find a quiet spot in the house and write.

How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing? 
Growing up in rural NY (in the woods, as I sometimes say) helped me understand small town life, and get a great respect for nature. When I want to tap into the horror side of my imagination, I think about how it was to grow up in an environment where houses were far apart, there were no streetlights, and you could drive into really creepy and desolate areas and not see any people.  Most of my short horror fiction takes place in small towns (usually on or around Halloween). Autumn is my favorite season, and Halloween is my favorite holiday!

What do you want to resonate with readers when they read “The End”? 
I want readers to feel as if they fell in love with the characters, read an interesting story, and come away satisfied with the ending. I try to include something for the reader to think about in each book (a theme or a social comment) that is introduced through characters, scenes, or situations. I think it takes the book to a higher level and adds another dimension to the writing. Of course, when readers finish one of my books, I’d like them to read another one of my books and meet some new interesting characters!

What are you working on now? More romances? Horror stories? Both? 
My historical romance novel, Love, Lies and Redemption was just released, so now I’m taking a break from romances–and full-length novels–for a while. I’ll be focusing on short horror fiction for most of 2020. I’ve already written a new short story and I have lots of ideas for more spooky stories. Readers can follow my blog or social media posts for new release info and links.

I hope you enjoyed this spring edition of the Quill. Enjoy the season!

Happy Reading & Writing,

Kelli A. Wilkins

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Like feisty Irish heroines? Don't miss "Dangerous Indenture" - A Colonial Romance/Mystery

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture. I’ll discuss how the book came about, the research involved, and how I created these unique characters.

As most readers know, I write romances in nearly every genre: contemporary, historical, fantasy, gay, and paranormal. When I write historical romances I never know where (or when) my story will take me. Redemption from a Dark Past is set in the kingdom of Hungary, Loving a Wild Stranger is a pioneer romance set in 1823, and Dangerous Indenture is a sensual historical/mystery set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s. Here’s the book summary:

Dangerous Indenture
Indentured for five years… how long can Shauna resist her master’s son?

Desperate 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 Shauna’s hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.

Ashton needs to redeem himself in his father’s eyes and earn the respect he has always longed for. Meeting Shauna turns his life around, and he sets out to win her heart. Torn between propriety and passion, Shauna struggles against her growing attraction to Ashton as long as she can. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants wanted to 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.

Shauna’s investigation leads her close to the truth, and yet, she’s not sure who she can trust. Events take a deadly turn when she confronts the murderer and discovers the mystery of the Stewart family.

Will Shauna be rescued before time runs out, or will she meet with the same fate as the other servants?

***
So, how did the novel come about? Dangerous Indenture is one of those books that just jumped into my head. (Yes, every so often that happens to writers.) One day, I overheard the name Shawna Farrell, but I thought I’d heard Shauna Farrow. The name stuck with me and I wrote it down.

A few minutes later, I knew all about her: she was an Irish indentured servant who came to Pennsylvania Colony and worked at a house where a previous servant was murdered. Once I knew that, I started outlining the book.

Before I wrote a word, I did a lot of research. I was starting from a good place with the book—I knew where I wanted to set the story and in approximately what timeframe it should take place. From there, I spent time in the library going through history books, reading up on Colonial times (What life was like, what people wore, ate, etc.) and indentured servants (Where did they come from? Why did they leave their home country?).

As I wrote, I incorporated my research as background information. This gives the book a rich, historical feel without going overboard with details that slow down a scene or are of no interest to readers.

When I’m writing historical romances, I include details and descriptions that are integral to the story. I don’t bog down the plot with a step-by-step procedure for churning butter or how to saddle a horse, and I don’t go into an endless description of how to unfasten a corset (unless it’s befuddling a hero who is eager to remove it!)

And just because historical romances are set in time periods before cars, the Internet, and cell phones, that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make them boring. My historicals include plenty of action, adventure, intrigue, danger, comedy, and sensual love scenes.

When I wrote Dangerous Indenture, I especially enjoyed creating the characters and setting the stage for the drama that’s about to unfold. Right from the start, we’re told that Stewart House is a place to be wary of, and then we (and Shauna) meet the master of the house, Joshua Stewart, and his strange family.

Our hero, Ashton Bailey, is flawed and has a lot of problems to overcome. For starters, he’s the black sheep of the family and has been sent home in disgrace. He has a reputation as a drunkard and a womanizer, and tends to get himself into troubling situations. By giving Ashton all this “baggage” I made him vulnerable and provided him with lofty goals to reach.

Shauna has come to the Colonies to start over and make a new life for herself. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with anyone—and then she meets Ashton. Shauna is headstrong and independent, and not your typical heroine. She’s brash and opinionated and falls in love with Ashton despite all of his socially unacceptable flaws. Ashton gives her the strength and encouragement she needs to keep going when things look bleak, and he stands up for her at a critical plot point in the story.

When I developed the secondary characters, I made sure to give them all interesting backstories and unusual quirks. Joshua comes off as a mean bear of a man, Minerva just might be crazy (and a murderer), Colin is… a villain in many senses of the word, and Lila thought she had everything going for her—for a while. Not everyone in Stewart House is as they seem, however, and this adds another level of mystery and intrigue to the book.

I love the characters and the fact that Dangerous Indenture is a romance blended with mystery. I had never written a romance set in Colonial times before, and combining all these elements into this Gothic-type story was a lot of fun.

Order Dangerous Indenture here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3JyROP


I hope you enjoyed this look at the making of Dangerous Indenture. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow this blog for the latest updates, and visit me on social media. If you like historical romances, follow my Facebook Historical Romances page: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/


Happy Reading!
Kelli