Monday, May 21, 2018

Prince Allan's Meet the Character Interview





Hi everyone!

My 3-part series of character interviews concludes today. I’m turning the blog over to Prince Allan, the hero from A Most Unfortunate Prince. Let’s see what makes him tick.

Q: Greetings, Prince Allan. A Most Unfortunate Prince is the last book in a series of historical/fantasy novels. Can you tell us about the trilogy?

Of course I can! As some of your readers may already know, A Most Unfortunate Prince is the final story in a trilogy that began with A Most Unusual Princess and continued with A Most Intriguing Temptation. Although the books are related, each stands alone as an individual read. Kelli calls the trio the Royal Desires series, which I think sums up the books perfectly. We are, after all, royals, with lots of desires! (Laughs)

A Most Unusual Princess introduced readers to my headstrong sister, Princess Elara, and her ever-patient special guard, Dalton. Their story continued in A Most Intriguing Temptation, and that’s where readers were given the pleasure of meeting me for the first time. In that book, Dalton and I attended a business meeting with Emperor Salizar and Elara followed us. She got us all into a lot of trouble, and believe it or not, Dalton and my father blamed me for it!

That’s where A Most Unfortunate Prince begins. This book is (unfortunately, ha-ha get it?) about my banishment and fall from grace. Yes, my own father banished me! He said I was too spoiled and… a lot of other unpleasant things. So, he kicked me out and sent me to the worst place in the kingdom. This novel follows my adventures and my journey as I find true love. Elara and Dalton also appear in the book as minor characters, and they play a very important part in the ending. (Kelli says I can’t give that away.)

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?

Well, the way I hear it is… When Kelli was writing my scenes in A Most Intriguing Temptation she was so impressed with my good looks, charm, and witty and wiseass personality that she decided I needed to have a book of my own. She said I was one of those characters who try to take over a story. I thought having my own book would be a great idea. Of course, I didn’t realize that I’d have to suffer. The nerve!

As the title suggests, A Most Unfortunate Prince is all about my trials and tribulations. Right on page one, I’m banished, kicked out of my posh and pampered life. I’m forced to live the life of a commoner. Well, you can imagine that didn’t go over very well! I never really thought my father was serious. I figured he would change his mind in a day or a week… Nope!

Before I was banished, I was very spoiled and said and did whatever I wanted. I took all my luxuries for granted and could snap my fingers and have beautiful women crawling all over me. That all changed when I was living on my own. It sounds strange, but now I realize that being banished was the best thing that ever happened to me. Why? Because I met Claudette.

Our first meeting didn’t go over very well, but in time, I earned her respect and we fell in love.

Q: What drew you to your mate?

Claudette is a seamstress, and she’s a very clever young woman who has been forced to make her own way in the world. She’s not one to put up with nonsense from people, is strong-willed, and opinionated. And guess what? She hates rich people—and that certainly includes the royals —more than anything! Sounds like a great match, right?

We met in an odd way. I went into a shop to get a button on my breeches replaced. Somehow, my breeches “accidentally” fell down and, “somehow” I exposed myself to her. I thought it was a funny joke—for about two seconds. Then Claudette hauled off and smacked my… privates. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor, and she was yelling at me. Some meeting, huh?

Yes, what I did was crude and inexcusable, but I’d been so used to doing and saying whatever I wanted that I couldn’t help myself. Claudette apologized (she felt terrible and was worried I’d tell her boss what she’d done) and we made up. I thought she was cute and I wanted to get to know her better. Naturally she was hesitant about seeing me, but I persisted.

When I learned that she despised rich people (and the royals) I knew I had to keep my identity a secret, or risk losing her forever. Over the course of the book I learned all about Claudette’s troubled past and her loss. I admired her strength and determination to make a good life for herself, despite all the odds. It inspired me to make the most of my banishment and to redeem myself in my father’s eyes.

Q: A little naughty fun, where was the wildest place you seduced your partner? Or where she seduced you?

In this book, Claudette and I get frisky in several places. She isn’t shy when it comes to making love, and she was willing to share her affection with me quite often. The wildest place was at the shop where she worked. One night we just couldn’t control ourselves and made love (actually, we screwed like mad) on the counter. This book is definitely a blend of adventure and steamy love scenes.

Q: If your partner wants to seduce you, what's one sure-fire trick she can do?

Anything. (Laughs) Claudette can kiss me, blow in my ear, nibble my earlobe, or touch me anywhere, and I’m ready to go! I’m no fool, and I certainly won’t protest if she wants to tear off my clothes and ravage me.

Q: What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in A Most Unfortunate Prince?

Let’s see, Kelli did about five hundred embarrassing things to me in the book. Let’s just read them off: I was banished and humiliated in front of my royal family; I was sent off to practically starve to death in the worst part of the kingdom; I had to get a job working at the docks for a vicious beast of a boss; a sweet shop girl smacked my genitals; I was stripped and flogged like an animal... Need I go on?

Kelli tortured me and really made me suffer. In A Most Intriguing Temptation I had a good time and enjoyed myself. And all that changed in A Most Unfortunate Prince. I guess you can say that I “paid my dues” and had a fall from grace.

Of course I realize now that Kelli did all those awful things to me so I’d change and redeem myself. Now I’m a better person, a different person. And I have Claudette by my side. I’d willingly go through all that again, knowing her love would be my reward. (Pauses) Does that sound too mushy? Claudette changed my life and saved me from myself—and I thank Kelli for that.

Q: When Prince Dalton was a guest on this blog, he hinted that there was a different side to you. Can you explain?

Oh. That. Well… Dalton warned me you might ask about that. When Kelli was writing my story, I surprised her with a secret. You see, just because she’s the author, she thinks she knows everything about her characters. I showed her that she was wrong.

Sometimes the characters “take over” and decide to take the story in a different direction. That’s what I did. Here’s a secret from the book: Although my primary romance was with Claudette, I fell in love twice. Before I met Claudette, I had a relationship with my roommate, Alex. Yup. (Nods) Alex plays an important part in the story, and he saved my life. Kelli won’t let me share any more details (you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens), but I can say that Kelli fell in love with Alex as much as I did.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Although A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, and A Most Unfortunate Prince make up the Royal Desires series, each of our stories stand alone as individual reads. You can start with book 2 and then go back to book 1 to see how everything started, or start with book 3 and go in reverse order. However you read them, I encourage romance lovers to catch up on all of our adventures.

Of course, I’m partial to my own book. I think that one’s the best. Kelli has said: “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.”

You can’t get much better than that! I’m content with the way the trilogy ends—and I know that readers will be satisfied (in many ways!).

Thank you for having me. This was fun. I invite readers to catch up on all of Kelli’s romances and visit her on social media (whatever that is). You can also write me fan letters, if you like. (Winks)


Thank you, Prince Allan, for joining us today. Here’s a look at A Most Unfortunate Prince.
You can find all of Kelli A. Wilkins’s books at www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins or https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins and on her site: www.KelliWilkins.com.


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?

***The Royal Desires series is available on Amazon & other platforms. Catch this hot historical/fantasy trilogy from the start:

Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/me00L9

Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47kkvj

Book 3: A Most Unfortunate Prince:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3yPPM6



Stay tuned for more character interviews in upcoming blogs...
Until then,
Happy Reading!
Kelli

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Prince Dalton’s Meet the Character Interview





Hi everyone!

This week, I’m turning the blog over to Prince Dalton, the hero from my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Intriguing Temptation. He talks about the book, his relationship to her Elara, and shares a few naughty secrets!

Q: Greetings, Prince Dalton. A Most Intriguing Temptation is the second book in a series of historical/fantasy novels. Can you tell us about the trilogy?

Certainly. As some readers may already know, A Most Intriguing Temptation is the second story in a trilogy that began with A Most Unusual Princess and concludes with A Most Unfortunate Prince. Although the books are related, each stands alone as an individual read.

A Most Unusual Princess introduced readers to Princess Elara and myself. That was the book that brought us together through unusual circumstances. (Elara discussed that story in a previous blog.) In A Most Intriguing Temptation, I’ve been called away to attend a business meeting with Emperor Salizar. Elara got jealous of the fact that I’d be away and surrounded by Salizar’s sultry “kharim” women, so she decided to follow me and her brother, Prince Allan, to the palace. Needless to say, she got into a lot of trouble. A Most Unfortunate Prince (the last book in the series) is all about Allan’s banishment from the kingdom and his journey as he finds true love. Elara and I are also in the story, and we play a central role in the ending.

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?
I was charged with guarding Elara while she received suitors. Of course, one thing led to another and we ended up falling in love. I’m a very patient and understanding person and it takes a lot to push me to the edge. However, in A Most Intriguing Temptation, Kelli (my author), tested me at every turn.
In this novel, Kelli explored the themes of fidelity and trust. I was sent to a palace full of women whose only function was to satisfy the male visitors’ every wanton need. When Elara learned where I was going, she followed me, and to my surprise, impersonated a “kharim” woman to test me and my loyalty to her. I admit, I was tempted, but when I learned of her deception, I turned the tables on her to teach her a lesson.

Q: What was it that drew you to Elara?

Elara is headstrong and intelligent, and she has a sweet and vulnerable side that she only shows to me. Of all the people in her life, I’m the one who understands her best and can “manage” her moods and unpredictability. I love her dearly, and yet, at times, she is vexing.

We met under very unusual circumstances (she was nude and bathing in a pond) and I thought she was absolutely lovely—until she became furious with me for watching her. As we spent time together, I realized that she was putting on a brave front most of the time, and I learned not to be swayed by her tantrums or tricks. Elara needs to be treated like an equal, both in and out of the bedroom.

Q: A little naughty fun, where was the wildest place you seduced your partner? Or where she seduced you?

This story is definitely naughtier than the last one. We’re not shy about our lovemaking at home, or anywhere. Elara (disguised as Oonish) tried to seduce me everywhere—in the bathtub, in bed, in a hallway… In the book, we made very naughty use of a settee, and later we got frisky on a pile of satin cushions (and we were not alone!). After the story ended, we wanted to recreate the wanton atmosphere of the palace, so Elara and I set up a tent outside to engage in a few wild fantasies. She likes fooling around outside in the dark, and it’s something I look forward too, as well.

Q: If your partner wants to seduce you, what's one sure-fire trick she can do?

I’ll admit, I’m easy to seduce. (Laughs.) Elara can turn me on with a simple kiss or a gentle touch. She loves my chest and upper body, so anytime I take my shirt off, she pounces on me and gives me a massage or rubs my chest and stomach. It doesn’t take long for me to lose control and submit to whatever wicked ideas she has at the moment.

Q: What is the one place on your partner's body that you know will drive her wild—in and out of bed?
Sometimes I give Elara a light smack on her buttocks. I actually did that the first time we met. Although she pretended to be shocked and insulted, I knew deep down that she enjoyed it. Of course, she loves having her neck kissed and sucked on—doesn’t everyone?

Q: What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in A Most Intriguing Temptation?
Throughout most of the book, I’m in a state of sexual frustration. Oonish is at my side every minute of every day, and she’s practically naked. She goes out of her way to tease me, arouse me, and test my loyalty to Elara. And since Oonish is Elara, she knows just what to do to get me hot and bothered. At some point in the story, I get very, very excited and want Oonish so bad… I have a naughty dream about her and… Well, let’s just say, my body reacted in a physical way to the extremely erotic dream. It was highly embarrassing to be discovered like that, and I’m not thrilled with Kelli for putting me in that awkward situation. Naturally, Oonish/Elara thought it was funny!

Q: Kelli has written 19 romances in all genres in all heat levels. Does she find the love scenes difficult to write?

I asked her about that. A Most Unusual Princess was a mild book (I believe you’d call it a heat level of 1) and A Most Intriguing Temptation is much hotter (a 2 or 3, depending on your taste) and contains a lot of wanton sexual activities taking place at the palace.

Kelli’s books have different heat levels because she matches the intensity/situations with the characters and the plot. She says that she tries to make the love scenes as natural and as real for the characters as possible, given the story, the characters’ personalities, motivations, and backgrounds, and what level of intimacy they share.

She admits that sometimes she’ll be writing a scene and the characters “take over” and decide that the scene should go a different way, or something she planned on happening changes. (This can happen during regular scenes or love scenes.) Characters can jump off the page and take the story in a different direction. (“Of course we can,” I told her. “This is our story!”)

Kelli said that although she thought knew all about her characters before writing A Most Unfortunate Prince, she was surprised to discover a different side to Prince Allan. (I have no idea what that means exactly, but Allan will be here in a few weeks to address his book, so you can ask him.)

Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Although A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, and A Most Unfortunate Prince make up the Royal Desires series, each of our stories stand alone as individual reads. You can start with book 2 and then go back to book 1 to see how everything started, or start with book 3 and go in reverse order. However you read them, I encourage romance lovers to catch up on all of our adventures. I’m content with the way the trilogy ends—and I know that readers will be satisfied (in many ways!).

I’d like to add that Kelli has written several fantastic books in all genres, not just historical romances. She has contemporary, paranormal, and gay romances that bring incredibly interesting characters to life. I’d love to meet them. Maybe one day Elara and I can have a crossover with a few of her other characters. We would have a lot of fun together. (Winks.)

This visit was fun. Thank you for having me. Elara has arranged for Prince Allan to answer a few questions in another chat. Brace yourself, because he’s a wiseass.

Thank you, Prince Dalton, for joining us today. Here’s a look at A Most Intriguing Temptation.

A Most Intriguing Temptation

After only four months of marriage to Princess Elara, Prince Dalton is sent to Emperor Salizar’s pleasure palace on business. Not wanting to be left behind, Elara risks her personal safety and sneaks along on the trip.

Aided by her mischievous brother, Prince Allan, she disguises herself as one of Salizar’s sultry “kharim” women and decides to test Dalton’s loyalty. Masquerading as Oonish, Elara goes out of her way to tempt Dalton at every turn. Despite Dalton’s resolve to resist the indulgent girls, he finds himself falling under the spell of the mysterious Oonish.

After nearly giving in to temptation, Dalton discovers Elara’s trickery and turns the tables on her, making her into his submissive playmate. Their fun and games are quickly shattered when Emperor Salizar learns about Elara’s deception. He holds the royals prisoner and condemns Elara to a fate worse than death.

Can Dalton save Elara before it’s too late, or will her prank bring about the end of their love?

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the third book in the Royal Desires series: A Most Unfortunate Prince.

***The Royal Desires series is available on Amazon & other platforms. Catch this hot historical/fantasy trilogy from the start:

Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/me00L9

Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47kkvj

Book 3: A Most Unfortunate Prince:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3yPPM6

Next week, we'll hear from Prince Allan. Until then, happy reading!

Kelli

Monday, April 23, 2018

Princess Elara's Meet the Character Interview




Hi everyone!

Today I’m turning the blog over to Princess Elara, the heroine from my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess. She talks about the book, her relationship to her hero, and shares a few naughty secrets!

Q: Greetings, Princess Elara. A Most Unusual Princess is the first book in a series of historical/fantasy novels. Can you tell us about the trilogy?

Certainly. As some readers may already know, A Most Unusual Princess is the first story in a trilogy that also includes A Most Intriguing Temptation and A Most Unfortunate Prince. Although the books are related, each stands alone as an individual read.

A Most Unusual Princess introduces readers to me and my hero, Dalton. My father is searching for a proper husband for me, and Dalton acts as my special guard. In the second book, A Most Intriguing Temptation, I follow Dalton and my brother, Prince Allan, to a sultan’s palace and get into a bit of trouble. A Most Unfortunate Prince (the last book in the series) is all about Allan’s banishment from the kingdom and his journey as he finds true love. Dalton and I are also in the story, and we play a central role in the ending.

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?

I’m a princess and I’ve been pampered and sheltered my entire life. Some people might find that the perfect arrangement, but for me, it’s always been suffocating. I hate being told what to wear, how to speak, and I’m never allowed to have any fun. My brothers are free to do whatever they please while I’m forced to act like a lady. Bah!

Lately I’ve been acting out a lot. I’ve been called headstrong, spoiled, too opinionated, and unmanageable. It’s not my fault, though. I’m an intelligent (and very pretty) young woman who doesn’t appreciate being talked down to just because I’m female.

My father decided I was old enough to be married and wanted to find me a husband. I told him I could find my own husband and would only marry someone I loved; not some dull prince who only wanted me for my dowry.

Kelli started writing my story just before the search for my husband began. She was kind enough to see past all of my so-called faults and realized that deep down I’m a sensitive, caring individual who just wants to be loved. Meeting Dalton changed me for the better.

Q: What was it that drew you to Dalton?

Dalton is unlike any other man I have encountered before. We met under very unusual circumstances (I was undressed and bathing in a pond) and he… well, he thought the whole thing was amusing. At the time I didn’t think I’d ever see him again, but then he turned out to be my special guard. Imagine! As we spent time together, I realized that Dalton was strong, brave, and not easily swayed by my tantrums or tricks. He understood me and treated me like an equal. And I loved him even more for that. (He also acted a bit naughty, which I also liked!)

Q: A little naughty fun, where was the wildest place you seduced your partner?

In the story, we make use of a settee and my bed. But one night after the story ended, Dalton and I went back to the pond where we first met. We did all the naughty things there that we had only fantasized about doing before. It was fun fooling around outside in the dark, and it’s something I’m sure we’ll do again soon.

Q: What is the one place on your partner's body that you know will drive him wild—in and out of bed?

Dalton’s secret spot is along the side of his neck, right near his ear. A lick, a kiss, and he melts in my arms. He also likes me to rub his back and chest. I certainly don’t mind. (Giggles.) He’s strong and muscular and just touching him drives me wild too!

Q: What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in A Most Unusual Princess?

Well… the story starts off with Dalton catching me nude in a bathing pond. It would have been embarrassing enough to be seen like that, but I wasn’t exactly bathing… I was… how did Dalton put it… touching myself to relieve a bit of tension. (If you know what I mean.) A girl is entitled to her privacy! Later, Dalton teased me about it without mercy.

Q: Kelli has written a lot of romances in all genres in all heat levels. How does she switch back and forth so easily?

I’ve been curious about this myself, so I asked some of her other characters. They said that each book comes to her in a different form. Sometimes an entire story “jumps” into her head, and she’ll know everything that happens to the characters. (That happened with A Deceptive Match, Loving a Wild Stranger, A Most Unusual Princess, and The Viking’s Witch.)

Other times, she gets bits of the story and parts of the characters. Once in a while, she’ll have a character come first and then the other pieces of the book fall into place, like a puzzle. (That happened with Dangerous Indenture, Lies, Love & Redemption, and A Secret Match.)

Before Kelli starts a book, she needs to know who the characters are and what’s going to happen to them. After that, she outlines the scenes and starts writing. She says that writing a new book is always an adventure, and she never knows where the characters or stories will take her.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Although A Most Unusual Princess is the first book in the series, all of our stories stand alone as individual reads—and I encourage readers to catch up on all of our adventures. I’m content with the way the trilogy ends—and I know that readers will be satisfied (in many ways!).

Kelli has written several fantastic books in all genres, and I wish I could have a crossover with a few of her other characters. We would have a lot of fun together.

Talking with readers was fun! I’ll ask Dalton and Allan to answer a few questions in another chat!

Thank you, Princess Elara, for joining us today. Here’s a look at A Most Unusual Princess.

You can find all of Kelli A. Wilkins’s books at www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins and www.KelliWilkins.com.


A Most Unusual Princess

Princess Elara needs to find a royal husband, but claims that no man can satisfy her. Her father hires Dalton, a special guard, to watch over her while she’s courting suitors. Dalton finds her unusual behaviors charming—and enthralling.

Dalton’s aloof manner intrigues Elara, and despite their differences, they share tender moments and intimate nighttime encounters. Elara is heartbroken when her father chooses a “proper” husband for her—until she meets the mystery man.

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the second book in the Royal Desires series: A Most Intriguing Temptation.

**The Royal Desires series is available on Amazon & other platforms. Catch this hot historical/fantasy trilogy from the start:

Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/me00L9

Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47kkvj

Book 3: A Most Unfortunate Prince:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3yPPM6

Next week, we’ll hear from Prince Dalton!
Until then,
Happy Reading!
Kelli

Friday, April 13, 2018

Kelli’s Quill - Welcome Spring 2018 Issue





Greetings everyone! Happy Spring! 

The start of a new season is the perfect time for change, and this issue of the Quill is no exception. I’ve included new book links, blogs, and news about upcoming releases.

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. 

Here’s the list of universal links (broken down by book genre), plus the link to my main Books2Read page…

Historical Romances:
A Most Unusual Princess: https://books2read.com/u/me00L9
A Most Intriguing Temptation: https://books2read.com/u/47kkvj
A Most Unfortunate Prince: https://books2read.com/u/3yPPM6
Loving a Wild Stranger: https://books2read.com/u/4N1DGN
Midsummer Night’s Delights: https://books2read.com/u/3LrJP1
Midwinter Night’s Delights: https://books2read.com/u/mdKaaX
Ultimate Night’s Delights: https://books2read.com/u/bxgyPk

Contemporary Romances (M/F):
Beauty & the Bigfoot: https://books2read.com/u/4Dog0Q
Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J

Gay Romances:
Four Days with Jack: https://books2read.com/u/bo6Rap
Killer Wolfs Clothing: https://www.books2read.com/u/mYRB6x

Horror:

Non-Fiction:
You Can Write - Really!: https://books2read.com/u/4AqYN4


Get a full list of my Kindle books here: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins


Springing Forward…
Winter was very, very long, but I kept busy with many new projects. I finished revising a new historical romance. This full-length novel has a Gothic feel and will be out sometime in June 2018. Stay tuned for the book’s cover reveal and release info.

I also wrote new horror novella (as yet untitled). Look for that to make its debut in mid-2018.

Aside from that, I’m developing a few online writing courses, working on a new non-fiction book, writing more horror stories, and outlining a few new romances. Be sure to follow me on social media for the latest updates & news.

I'm now on Instagram!!! You can follow my wacky posts here: https://www.instagram.com/kelliwilkins2/ 

I added my profile & books to Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelli-a-wilkins

And I’m making a few changes to the Quill. As of now, it will be released quarterly, with the exception of special issues announcing new releases. (Of course, the traditional October Halloween/horror issue will be out as usual. I can’t miss my favorite holiday!)


New Guest Blogs


I talk about my books, characters, and share an excerpt from my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess.


Elara speaks out! Don’t miss this fun and informative character interview with Princess Elara from A Most Unusual Princess. https://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2018/04/character-spotlight-with-kelli-wilkins.html?zx=f7cf0e40846cf348



I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. I enjoy hearing from readers and welcome your questions and comments. Feel free to contact me on social media or via the email address on my website.


Want to subscribe? Follow this link: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Enjoy the spring weather!
Until next time,
Kelli



Monday, April 2, 2018

You Gotta Read... Talks with Kelli A. Wilkins (Part 2)




Hello everyone!

Here’s Part 2 of my interview with You Gotta Read! I answer some writing-related questions & share a few words of advice…

Q:.  Are your books based on real events or are they fantasy?  

About 99% of my romances are pure fiction. When I get an idea for a story, I start writing an outline and let the characters tell me what happens as the story progresses. Since I’m writing fiction I can make up whatever I want. There are three exceptions, however.
When I wrote Beauty & the Bigfoot, I did research on Bigfoot, so I could incorporate the facts into my story. (A main character is an avid Bigfoot hunter, so he had to know everything about the creature.) In A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match (my wrestling romances) I called upon my own personal experiences and observations to convey what life is like in the world of professional wrestling.

Q. Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

I love all of my books and all of my characters; they’re like my children. Since I write in different genres, I have favorites in each. In the fantasy genre, I’m particularly fond of my “Royal Desires” trilogy: A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, A Most Unfortunate Prince.  In paranormal, Beauty & the Bigfoot (it’s a comedy), and in straight contemporary, it’s a tie between Trust with Hearts and A Deceptive Match. I think my favorite gay romance is A Secret Match. I just love the hero, Everett and the struggles he goes through to find acceptance.

Q. Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Coming up with ideas for my stories is the fun part of writing. The challenging part is sitting down and doing the work that comes next: the revising, editing, and proofreading of a manuscript. That part of the process isn’t hard, it’s just not creative. You have to turn off the imagination part of your brain and get to work on the technical aspects of writing.

Q.  Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Fortunately I don’t get writer’s block. I have millions of ideas for stories, but I just don’t have time to write them all. Sometimes after I finish a book, I’ll take a break from writing for a while and let my mind relax and catch up on my reading. Then, when I’m ready to write something new, I’ll read through my ideas folder and see what inspires me.

Q.  Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?

I’ve been inspired by many authors throughout the years and probably every book I’ve ever read has influenced me or inspired me in some way. I started out reading Stephen King short stories and novels, and so really got a feel for good storytelling and world-building at a young age.

Lately I’ve been reading John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, and the Preston & Child novels. I find that I like to read anything and everything that isn’t in the romance genre when I’m reading for fun. I enjoy a good detective/mystery story and these authors have created some fantastic and memorable characters.

Q. How did you deal with rejection letters?

In the past, I used to get upset by them – especially if they were nasty or scathing. (I had my share!) Since then, I’ve learned to shrug them off or laugh at them. I’ve gotten rejection letters with typos, ones calling me the wrong name, and the ever-popular photocopied form letter rejection. Most of the stories that were rejected over the years have been bought by someone else, so I can look back and say, “Ha! You missed your chance. Someone wanted that story after all.”

Q.  What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Writers need to have a good imagination, excellent observation skills, and the determination and patience to keep writing, even when they get rejected. It’s not easy to finish a novel and get it published, and many would-be writers give up before they even start because “it’s too hard.” I know a lot of people who tell me they want to write a story (or a book) but say that don’t have the time or it takes too long (or it’s too much work). Writers need to have an internal drive to write. They also need to have the self-discipline to sit in a chair and edit a story when they would rather be outside or doing something else.

Q.  Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

I let the story and the characters dictate how much detail is enough. My erotic romances all vary in genre and heat level. Some romances (Midsummer Night’s Delights) are scorching hot and there are a lot of explicit erotic details. Other romances (A Most Unusual Princess, Loving a Wild Stranger) are tamer and hint at what’s happening without being too obvious. The heat level and sexual activities in the stories all depend on the characters and the plot. My horror fiction tends to be more psychological/spooky than gory. But if the story calls for some blood or a violent death, I’ll run with it.

Q.  Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas? What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

My ideas come from everything and everywhere. Most of the time I don’t even try to search out ideas, they find me. The only time I deliberately researched a legend was when I wrote Beauty & the Bigfoot. I needed all sorts of details for the story. I went to the library and took out every Bigfoot book they had. The librarian gave me a strange look and probably was wondering what I was doing!

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts! I invite everyone to visit me on social media for book updates, excerpts, and more. Let me know which of my books is your favorite, and which characters you love best.

Happy Reading,
Kelli



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You Gotta Read... Talks with Kelli A. Wilkins




Hi everyone!

Today I’m sharing Part 1 of my interview with "You Gotta Read!" I answer a few background questions & share some writing advice…

Q. Where do you hail from? What do you love most about your hometown?
I was born in New Jersey, but I was raised in a small town in upstate New York. Voorheesville was very rural and there wasn’t a lot to do, so I became an avid reader at a young age. Our house was on the outskirts of town. We had a creek in the back yard, and my brother and I used to go wandering up into the mountains to explore. Living there helped fuel my imagination and inspired some of my short stories.

Q. 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!

Q. How do you come up with the titles for your books?
Titles are tricky! Sometimes I’ll know the title before I start writing the story. That happened with several books: Four Days with Jack, Beauty & the Bigfoot, Trust with Hearts, and Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. Other times, I won’t know the title until I’m almost ready to send the book out! Usually I’ll have a few ideas for a title, based on the characters, the setting, or theme, then I take a survey of my writing friends and family to see which one they like best. My husband has come up with a few great titles.

Q. What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
No matter what genre they write, I’d advise new writers to take writing classes (either online or in person) and learn all you can about crafting a story. Telling a story is the main focus of being a writer. You have to be able to think of an idea and write/revise a good story before you can do anything else. Reading “how-to” writing magazines and joining critique groups are also excellent ways to learn techniques and get feedback from readers and/or other writers.

I get asked this question all the time, so wrote You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.The book gives you practical advice on how to create a story, step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. It also includes fun writing exercises and tips all writers can use.

Q. Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Coming up with ideas for my stories is the fun part of writing. The challenging part is sitting down and doing the work that comes next: the revising, editing, and proofreading of a manuscript. That part of the process isn’t hard, it’s just not creative. You have to turn off the imagination part of your brain and get to work on the technical aspects of writing.

Q. When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun?
I enjoy traveling, gardening, reading, going to flea markets, hanging out with my husband, and visiting friends. I also like to explore creepy/haunted places.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts! I welcome questions and comments from readers, so feel free to drop me a line. Let me know which of my books is your favorite, and which characters you love best. I invite everyone to visit me on social media for book updates, excerpts, and more.

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Behind the Scenes with... Dangerous Indenture




Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture
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. The Viking’s Witch is set in Scotland in 803, Lies, Love & Redemption is a western set in 1877 Nebraska, and Dangerous Indenture is a spicy historical/mystery set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s.

Here’s the summary:

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.

***

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!)

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 haunted, 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 known as 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.

I hope you’ll check it out.

Here’s an excerpt from Dangerous Indenture:

Ashton rolled over and winced. His head ached as if a spike had been driven into his skull. He blinked a few times. Where the hell was he? The air smelled stale. The scent of sweat combined with rum and perfume made his stomach lurch. He looked at the woman sleeping next to him. He was naked in a bed but where? He couldn’t tell one place from another anymore.

Hazy memories from the previous night flashed back to him. He had gotten into a fight and lost the last of his money in a card game. This came on the heels of last week’s fight that had landed him three nights in jail. His father had used his influence to spare him a public flogging for drunken and indecent behavior, but then two days later, he had caused the incident at Mr. Campbell’s house.

He studied the fair-haired girl half covered with a green quilt. In the dim morning light, she appeared ordinary and featureless. Why had he been attracted to her? What was her name? He searched his fuzzy memory. Jane? Joan? It didn’t matter. He had nothing to pay her with.

Now what? He closed his eyes. The letter. Father’s scathing letter had arrived yesterday, ordering him to return to Stewart House at once, before he “disgraced the family’s reputation further.” He had no choice but to go back to the Stewart madhouse for a while. He would endure the torment for a month or two or perhaps the entire summer if he could stand it. Then what? Repeat the pattern again?

Last night he’d been tempted to go down to the docks and sign on to a ship leaving for England or Ireland. In his drunken state, he had reasoned that if he left the colonies, he could start over and begin a new life.

But all the liquor in Boston couldn’t help him take such a bold step. Eventually, he’d admitted the truth to himself. It was easier to crawl into a bottle and ignore the world than to face reality. Besides, what did he have to look forward to?

He sat up and grimaced as a sharp pain shot through his head. Who cared about the future? Right now, he needed food and headache powder. Everything else could wait. He pulled his rumpled breeches from a pile of clothing on the floor and dressed quickly.

As he buttoned his vest, he felt something hard tucked into an inside pocket. A coin! He fished it out and ran his thumb over the edge. It was enough to buy a morning meal.

He glanced at the still-sleeping girl and felt a tug at his heart. Lord knew she deserved it for what she put herself through every night. He placed the coin on the edge of the dresser and slipped from the room, ignoring the rumbling in his stomach...

***
Order your copy of Dangerous Indenture here:





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

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

Happy Reading,
Kelli