Thursday, July 19, 2018

Summer Romance Spotlight… “Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover”





Hi romance lovers,

Although I write in several romance genres (contemporary, gay, historical), I also like to write horror stories. Many people think that’s an odd combination, but I like to say that one half of my brain writes the horror, and the other half writes the romance. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before I combined the two and started writing paranormal romances.

My contemporary paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is a different type of romance. For starters, the novella is told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of a setting where you don’t normally find vampires—the beach!

I got the idea for the story while sitting on a nearly deserted beach at the end of the summer season. (I’m not a beach person, but I was there with my husband, a surfer.) As I sat there watching the few people milling around, I wondered: “What if a vampire went to the beach? And what if she fell in love with a surfer?”

I liked the idea of contrasting typical sun worshipping beachgoers and surfers with a darkness-loving elusive vampire. Besides, what could be more mismatched than a die-hard surfer falling in love with a nocturnal blood-drinker?

I started toying with ideas and knew that although the book is about a vampire, I wanted to keep the central focus on Brian and Anya’s relationship and not on the ‘bloodier’ aspects of vampirism (show her feeding, etc.) There’s a fine line when blending horror and romance into paranormal romance. Too much gore or a “too terrifying” creature can snap the readers (and the characters) out of the romance and into a full-on horror story.

When I wrote the book I made sure that the love scenes were highly sensual and almost surreal. Aside from being a vampire, Anya is a woman with needs, and she makes sure Brian satisfies them. I don’t remember how I was inspired to have the story told by Brian, but it worked. Readers and reviewers like the first-person aspect—it pulls you into a story that would seem unbelievable.

Several people have asked me if it’s hard to write horror and romance. Not really. I enjoy it. Writing horror allows me to change up my writing style, use different settings, and create characters you wouldn’t find in a romance. My horror stories are more psychological/spooky/creepy than gory, and I like to explore darker plots and not always give the characters a happy ending (as I do in my romances).

Here’s the summary and a tame excerpt from...

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.

* * *
I first saw her on the beach. I came up over the top of a dune and spotted her right away. She was sitting on the sand, about ten feet from the water. It was almost midnight and the beach was deserted, except for us. The moon beamed down on her, and she seemed to glow with a strange luminescence.

I stood still, listening to the roar of the crashing waves. Seeing the girl had stopped me in my tracks. I felt drawn to her, like I had known her before. But that was impossible, wasn’t it?

A gentle wind ruffled the blonde hair cascading around her shoulders, allowing me to see her more clearly. Her head was bent down and she was staring at something she held in her hands.

I inched a little closer and watched her for a few minutes. She looked close to my age, somewhere near thirty. I longed to ask her some inane question to break the ice, but I froze. What could I say to her? Lone figures on the beach at night were probably not interested in making conversation.

I’d never had much luck with women. They thought history teachers were boring and considered surfing nothing more than a juvenile waste of time. Most of the women I had dated wanted successful, professional men like lawyers and doctors who drove fast cars and had money to burn. What kind of woman would fall in love with an unemployed thirty-year-old teacher who drove a beat-up car littered with sand and surf wax?

I turned and gazed out over the ocean. The sets were breaking just offshore. The surf would be good tomorrow morning if the wind didn’t shift.

A minute later, I glanced back toward the girl. She was gone. Not just gone from that spot— but gone, vanished. I looked up and down the beach, but I didn’t see her anywhere. Had I scared her away? Where did she go? I knew she hadn’t passed me, and there were no footprints leading off into the distance.

I wandered to where she’d been sitting and found a paperback book half buried in the sand. I picked it up and squinted at the cover in the dim light. A couple dressed in Victorian clothing was locked in a passionate embrace. Had she been reading this out here?

I heard a whisper behind me, and I whirled around. Nobody was there. The darkness and the roaring waves were playing tricks on me. At least, that’s what I thought.

I headed home. I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl as I gathered my surf gear together.

Who was she? Why was she alone on the beach at midnight? I wasn’t sure why I was so entranced by her. Maybe she—like me—was hoping to find some solace in the eternal ocean waves.

* * *
Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J
* * *
I hope you’ll check it out. It’s a perfect blend of steamy beach romance and mystery to heat up your summer!

If you haven’t started following me on social media, now is the perfect time. Here’s a list of where you can find me on the web:

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ (Yes, you’re here - why not Follow this blog?)

Happy Summer Reading,
Kelli

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Romance - Redemption from a Dark Past




Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to announce the release of my historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

Here’s the summary, a mild excerpt, and links:

Redemption from a Dark Past

Lord Sebestyen Adrik has an unsavory reputation as a madman, murderer… and worse. Lonely and searching for love, he seeks the companionship of local young women, hoping one of them will ease his torment and bring him the happiness he longs for. Katarina is his last chance—but will she fear him like all the others? Or is she the one who can lift his curse?

Desperate to avoid a forced marriage, Katarina agrees to become Lord Adrik’s latest companion, despite the rumors she has heard about him. She discovers the “Dark Lord’s” secret past and realizes he’s not the monster everyone thinks he is.

As their love blossoms, she renews his passion for life—yet they cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

When a meeting of the nobility goes horribly wrong, Sebestyen’s world unravels, and his enemies plot to destroy him. As all seems lost, a mysterious stranger arrives at the castle. Sebestyen must decide if he is a friend or a foe…and if he can find redemption in his love for Katarina, or lose her and everything else that he holds dear.

The Excerpt:
Katarina stood in the parlor doorway, clutching her skirts. The large room was lit with three candles, and firelight cast long shadows on the walls. One story about His Lordship seemed to be true; he did live in the dark. She heard a low growling noise coming from the corner. What was that? Did Lord Adrik have a vicious dog?
She stepped into the parlor and spotted a figure slumped in the throne-sized chair near the fire. A white ruffled sleeve hung over the armrest. A moment later, she realized the noise was coming from Lord Adrik. He was fast asleep and snoring.
Had she kept him waiting too long? She had eaten her fill of meat and potatoes and even tried the greens and biscuits. His Lordship hadn’t been interested in talking to her before, so why he had summoned her here?
She touched his arm. “Lord Adrik?”
He jerked awake. “What is it?”
She reeled back. “I finished eating and—”
“Your name again?”
“Katarina.” Had he forgotten about her already?
“Yes, Katarina.” He blinked up at her. “Sit here, next to me. I wish to ask you questions.”
She balanced herself on the padded arm of the chair as he instructed. Even from her perch, she couldn’t see him clearly—he was still cloaked in shadows. Why did he hide himself? Was he deformed or disfigured in some way?
“Are you afraid of me?
How should she answer? She wasn’t afraid, but she was nervous. The last thing she wanted was to make a mess out of things and displease him. “No. I’m not afraid, merely curious. I’ve never met a lord before, and I haven’t been around such finery, My Lord.” She hoped her answer would satisfy him.
“Tell me about yourself. Where do you come from? How old are you? Are you a virgin? How many lovers have you had?”
“What?” The questions surprised her, and she spun toward him. As she did, she lost her balance, toppled off the arm of the chair, and fell into Lord Adrik’s lap. She yelped and gazed up at him.
“From the expression on your face I imagine I’m not what you envisioned. What did the villagers tell you? That I had horns? That I was a troll?”
“No, nothing like that. Nobody ever mentioned your looks,” she replied.
Lord Adrik was anything but malformed. In fact, he was the most handsome man she’d ever seen. His black wavy hair hung to his ruffled white collar, his clean-shaven face was long and lean, and his green eyes sparkled in the firelight.
“Do you wish a glass of wine or brandy? It may settle your nerves.”
“No, Your Lordship. My… my… nerves are fine,” she stammered.
“For now,” he said, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and pinning her close to him. “But in a little while you may wish you had a healthy dose of liquor in you. It would dull the torment of being sacrificed to the Dark Gods.”
What did he mean by that?

***
Order Redemption from a Dark Past here:
Link to all other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3R1aYD

Happy Reading,
Kelli

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Summer 2018 Issue




Hi everyone!

Happy Summer! In this issue of the Quill, I’m sharing new release news about my latest historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, and still celebrating Pride Month with a quick look at my gay romances. I also included links to guest blogs and more. Let’s get started!

Just Released - Redemption from a Dark Past

This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

Redemption from a Dark Past

Lord Sebestyen Adrik has an unsavory reputation as a madman, murderer… and worse. Lonely and searching for love, he seeks the companionship of local young women, hoping one of them will ease his torment and bring him the happiness he longs for. Katarina is his last chance—but will she fear him like all the others? Or is she the one who can lift his curse?

Desperate to avoid a forced marriage, Katarina agrees to become Lord Adrik’s latest companion, despite the rumors she has heard about him. She discovers the “Dark Lord’s” secret past and realizes he’s not the monster everyone thinks he is.

As their love blossoms, she renews his passion for life—yet they cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

When a meeting of the nobility goes horribly wrong, Sebestyen’s world unravels, and his enemies plot to destroy him. As all seems lost, a mysterious stranger arrives at the castle. Sebestyen must decide if he is a friend or a foe…and if he can find redemption in his love for Katarina, or lose her and everything else that he holds dear.
***

Order Redemption from a Dark Past here:


Link to all other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3R1aYD


Still Celebrating Pride Month!
Pride Month might be over, but I'm still sharing a quick look at my gay romances. Full book summaries, excerpts, and more are on my blog (http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/) and site (www.KelliWilkins.com).

Four Days with Jack
In this contemporary novella, best friends David and Jack embark on a sexual relationship. David has always loved Jack and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.

Order Four Days with Jack here:

A Secret Match
A hot gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling. The book follows Everett’s struggles as he faces a crossroads in his personal and professional life. This full-length novel is a great blend of drama, humor, action, and romance.

Order A Secret Match here:
Killer in Wolf’s Clothing
A super aggressive Alpha male, a serial killer, and a visit to a kinky sex club… What has Larry gotten himself into? This paranormal gay romance is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.
Order Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:



Kelli’s Been Blogging!
Kelli Celebrated Pride Month with a fun character interview. Everett, the hero from Kelli’s gay romance, A Secret Match shares a few insights...

Read one of Kelli’s favorite excerpts from A Secret Match on her blog.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Kelli's gay romance, Four Days with Jack. She answers the question: “What will people think?”

Kelli’s latest interview! She talks about her romances, latest release, and more! https://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2018/06/get-to-know-romance-author-kelli.html?zx=112ff3a0d3bd71e1

Take a trip back in time and talk to a hero of the Old West! Sam, from Lies, Love & Redemption shares some insights in this special character interview. Post includes an excerpt!

Read a fun character interview with Princess Elara from Kelli’s historical/fantasy romance A Most Unusual Princess.

Hear from a hero! Prince Dalton from A Most Intriguing Temptation takes over Kelli’s blog and shares his thoughts in this revealing character interview.  https://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2018/05/prince-daltons-meet-character-interview.html

Love historical/fantasy romance & adventure? Check out this spotlight on A Most Intriguing Temptation. Post includes an excerpt:

Find out what’s on Prince Allan’s mind and learn the secret from A Most Unfortunate Prince in this lively character interview.

Katarina, the heroine from Redemption from a Dark Past, answers fun questions in this blog:




I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Please share it with your social media friends! Remember, if you have questions or comments about my books, or if you want to see me address a topic on my blog, please contact me via the News page of my site or leave a comment here.

Have a safe and happy summer!
Kelli A. Wilkins

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pride Month Spotlight on... Killer in Wolf's Clothing



 Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look at (and two excerpts from) Killer in Wolf's Clothing. This super-hot gay paranormal/shifter romance is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.


Killer in Wolf’s Clothing

A super aggressive Alpha male, a serial killer, and a visit to a kinky sex club… What has Larry gotten himself into?

When Larry learns that his boyfriend Greg changes into another man during the full moon, he has a hard time accepting it—until he meets Deke, Greg’s alternate Alpha personality.

Deke doesn’t play nice and has no time for games. He only wants two things—to get laid and to get revenge against the arsonist who murdered his friends. Finally free from Greg’s restraints, Deke is ready for action, and Larry is more than willing to submit to Deke’s needs.

Together, Larry and Deke set out to find the killer. Their hunt takes them to an all-night Alpha sex club where things heat up for the two of them. But when Larry unwittingly falls into the clutches of the murderer, it’s up to Deke—and Greg—to save him before it’s too late.

As readers may know, I write in nearly every romance genre (historical, fantasy, gay, paranormal, and contemporary) and my books vary in heat level from mild to super-sizzling hot. Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is a blend of several genres (gay, contemporary, and paranormal) and readers might be wondering how this unusual story came about.

Although I write horror and romance, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my “monsters” and I didn’t think I ever would (or could) write a “werewolf in love” story. In my book, werewolves are ferocious, snarling animals who closely resemble the creatures from the movie Dog Soldiers.

In some werewolf lore, the cursed human doesn’t physically grow a tail and pointed ears, but rather takes on wolf-like characteristics and becomes more aggressive and violent. I decided to use this as the basis for my “werewolf” and instead of having Deke turn into an actual wolf, he becomes an Alpha male. As Larry says in the book, “It’s more Incredible Hulk than American Werewolf in London.”

But the uniqueness of this romance doesn’t end there. Not only is Deke and Alpha male, he’s out for revenge against a fellow Alpha who murdered several of his friends.

Although the book is a paranormal romance involving a serial killer, right from the start, I knew I had to balance the dark subject matter with a light tone; otherwise the story would get too heavy. (After all, this is a romance!) So I decided to have a little fun with the story and the characters.

What would be your first reaction if someone you loved told you they changed into a werewolf? Disbelief? Shock? Send that person to the psych ward? It’s a little hard to take such things seriously, so I gave Larry a smart-ass sense of humor when it came to dealing with Greg’s affliction. The jokes and his sarcastic wit added a comedic element and eased the tension when things got very… hairy. (Sorry!)

Killer in Wolf's Clothing is not your typical shifter or werewolf/shifter romance. Some people might have a problem or take issue with the subject matter, the use of humor, and/or my treatment of shifters (what they expect a shifter to be could be quite different from my interpretation) in this book. Yes, it's very different. Yes, it's graphic. And yes, you either "get" it or you don't.

When the book was originally published by Amber Quill Press, I left the ending open, so readers could decide for themselves how things would turn out for our threesome. Would Greg be cured of his “werewolf” disease and not turn during the next full moon? If so, what would happen to Deke? Would Larry turn into an Alpha or remain human?

Personally, I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to end. Over the course of the story, Deke and Larry develop a bond and get along great. (Larry even tells Deke that he and Greg can share him.) Deke opens up a bit as he comes to terms with his past and realizes what truly matters in life. Greg relaxes his hold on Deke, and appreciates the fact that sometimes it’s good to have a brute like Deke around.

A few readers told me that they wished the book had a clear-cut ending. This time around, it does. I thought about the different ways I could take the story and came up with a satisfying conclusion that leaves everyone in a good place.

Here are two mild excerpts from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing:

“I don’t know how it happens, but during the phase of the full moon there’s a physical transformation. I get aggressive and bigger—”

“Bigger how exactly?” Larry teased.

He smiled. “Get your mind out of the gutter. I change, physically change.”

“Into what? A wolf with a tail and pointy ears?”

“No, it’s not like in the movies. I don’t turn into a monster. I become someone else.”

Larry dismissed him with a wave of his hand. “That’s impossible. Maybe you have an undiagnosed personality disorder. Have you seen a psychiatrist?”

“Three of them. They all told me I suffered from delusions.” Greg drank down more of his beer. “One woman said my Alpha persona was a manifestation of my true male sexuality fighting against the gay side of me.” He laughed. “I didn’t tell her that my Alpha self is gay, too.”

Larry sat up. “He is?”

“Oh yeah, definitely.”

“Wow, that’s good. I mean… Wait... you’re acting way too serious about this.”

“I am?” He arched an eyebrow and stared into Larry’s blue eyes. “Would you like to see the video?”

***

Larry lay down on his side, facing Deke. Up close, the musky, manly scent was stronger, and his heart beat faster. What did Deke have in mind? “Now what?”

“This.” Deke leaned forward and kissed him hard on the mouth. Deke’s rough, stubbled chin grazed his cheek, and he tensed for a second. Deke kissed him again, hot, needy and insistent. Larry felt himself giving in. He wanted this; he wanted Deke to take charge. He smelled so good he’d let Deke do whatever he wanted.

Deke’s tongue plunged into his mouth and Larry kissed him back, desperately craving more. They kissed for a few minutes, teasing each other with their tongues. Just when things were heating up, Deke pulled away.

“I knew you’d like it. You act like you don’t want to be my love slave, but you do, I can tell.”

Larry pursed his lips. How did Deke know? When he and Greg played their games, he wanted Greg to take charge, but he never did. Deke wouldn’t hesitate about taking over—and he was more than willing to let him.


Order Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:



If you’re a fan of gay paranormal romances, I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think. 

If gay love stories aren’t your thing, visit my Amazon author page to catch up on all of my m/f romances.

Happy Reading!
Kelli







Thursday, June 14, 2018

Four Days with Jack — What Will People Think?





Hi everyone,

Pride Month is going strong, and today I’m sharing a look at the making of my gay romance, Four Days with Jack. In this contemporary novella, best friends David and Jack embark on a sexual relationship. David has always loved Jack and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.

Four Days with Jack was the first gay I wrote, and it’s one of the few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having a pre-planned structure let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions.

At first, I didn’t know what the story would be. All I had was a basic plot (straight guy comes out to his gay best friend), a title, and one pivotal scene that takes place in a bathroom. (For those of you who have read the book, you know which scene I’m talking about – but I won’t give it away here.)

From there, I let my imagination wander and came up with the resort, the rest of the plot, and the unusual cast of characters that Jack and David encounter. As I wrote, David quickly revealed a major conflict—inner turmoil. Over four days, David and Jack learn a lot about themselves, each other, and what sacrifices they’ll make to stay together.

David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He’s afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him? If so, how will his life change?

These aren’t the typical types of questions that my straight characters have to face in their romances. And this line of thinking really got me wondering about what it’s like for people to come out in real life. Will they be shunned by friends and family? Should they tell anyone? Live a lie? Move to a new state? What if they live in a state that’s more conservative and not gay-friendly? What will their coworkers think? Is their preference really anybody’s business?

I picked up on this theme of “What will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”

As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.

Or maybe not. One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank). As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobic ass who says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and he treats his own wife like crap.

So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show that not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that help band David and Jack together during a crisis moment. Is Frank an over-the-top stereotype? No, I don’t think so, because (unfortunately) he’s a compilation of a few real people I’ve encountered.

Even in this day and age, some people are offended by gay romances and consider them “icky” or immoral. (Yes, I was actually told by a book reviewer that gay romances are icky!) My philosophy is pretty simple when it comes to that: it’s a free country, so read whatever you want—but don’t expect me to censor what I write because you have a problem with it.

This updated version is a bit different from the original book. I’ve given the story an overhaul and made a lot of changes. New scenes were added, others were completely revised, and a few were deleted. BUT, I was very happy to make one significant change to this edition: when the book was originally published by Amber Quill Press, gay marriage wasn’t recognized. I’m pleased to report that I’ve included the line: “same-sex couples are getting married all over the country.”

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose.

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.

Here’s the book summary and links. I’ll be sharing an excerpt next week!

Four Days with Jack

When David invited his best friend on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…

Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David has lived a lie and denied his romantic feelings for Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.

Jack has been in love with David for years and is encouraged by his desire to explore a sexual relationship. He’s more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden cravings, but what will happen when they leave the resort?

Will David come out and start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?

Order your copy of Four Days with Jack here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bo6Rap


I hope you’ll check it out. I fell in love with the characters, and I hope readers will too. It’s got a good blend of humor, drama, and plenty of sizzling love scenes that will heat up your summer! 

Happy Reading,
Kelli

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web:

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










Thursday, June 7, 2018

Read Ev's Favorite Excerpt from "A Secret Match"





Hi everyone!

Last week I shared a fun character interview with Everett, the hero from my gay romance, A Secret Match. I hope readers enjoyed hearing from Ev!

This week, I’m sharing one of Ev’s favorite excerpts from the book. It’s tender, sweet, and one of my favorite scenes too.

I hope you enjoy!

And if you’re looking for more gay romances, don’t miss Four Days with Jack (a sultry coming out story) and the super-hot paranormal, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing.

Happy Reading!

Kelli


A SECRET MATCH

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

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

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

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


The Excerpt:

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

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

“I… nah…”

“What? Anything. Say it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Order A Secret Match here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/md6rZb

Friday, June 1, 2018

Kicking off Pride Month: Everett Kinkade's Character Interview




Hi everyone!

I’m kicking off Pride month with a fun character interview. Everett, the hot and sexy hero from A Secret Match, joins us today and talks about the book, his relationship, and shares a few insights.

Stay tuned to the blog and my Facebook pages all month for book spotlights, excerpts, and more! (Links are below.) Next week, I’ll be posting an excerpt from A Secret Match.

And now, here’s Ev…

Q: Greetings, Everett. Before we get started, could you tell our readers about the book?
Absolutely. A Secret Match is a contemporary gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling. The book follows my struggles as I face a crossroads in my personal and professional life. It’s a great blend of drama, humor, action, and hot love scenes.

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?
I’m a professional wrestler. Kelli got the idea for this story while she was writing A Deceptive Match, her straight romance that also takes place in the wrestling world. I was a secondary character in that book. I helped the hero (Vin) and the heroine (Danni) get together. Vin is my best friend, so I acted as a soundboard/matchmaker for him and Danni.

While Kelli was writing A Deceptive Match, she knew I needed my own book, but she wasn’t exactly sure what the storyline would be. Then one day on the way to work, the majority of the plot popped into her head, and she was off and writing. She says that I’m one of those characters who tries to take over a book. (Laughs) And why not? I’m charming, and witty, and handsome. Who wouldn’t want to read about my life?

A big part of the novel centers around me dealing (or rather, not dealing) with my sexuality and my (un)willingness to be open about who I really am. My longtime partner, Josh, is tired of being kept in my “walk-in closet” and wants me to come out (at least to friends and family) but I’m concerned about losing my job. (Will fans accept a gay wrestler?) Part of me wanted to keep everything just as it was because that’s safe. But another part of me longed to stop pretending and hiding the truth.

Q: Do you sometimes want to strangle Kelli? What sort of upsetting or embarrassing things did Kelli do to you in the book?
At times, yes! The book starts off great, but within the first two scenes, all hell breaks loose. Josh decides to tell me that he’s tired of being my little secret, and wants me to come out. That caught me off guard and it was something I was not at all comfortable with. (Kelli’s great at jumping right into conflict!) So, Josh gave me an ultimatum. (Sighs) Things didn’t end well for us, and I was really broken up. Only one person knew about Josh, so I turned to my best friend, Vin, for help and advice.

Over the course of the book I had to come to terms with accepting myself for who I am, what I am, and how I’m perceived by the wrestling fans, my coworkers, and everyone else. Being an openly gay wrestler was something I didn’t sign up for, and Kelli threw me into a lion’s den! I did eventually come out —not once, but twice!—on live TV. That changed everything and took the story in a whole new direction.

Looking back, I realize it was for the best and Kelli knew exactly what she was doing, but at the time, I was physically hurt, emotionally wrecked, confused, and pretty pissed. Vin and Danni helped me through all the turmoil, and Josh stood by me when I needed him most.

Q: What is it about Josh that makes you crazy in a good way?
He likes to drive me nuts on purpose. He enjoys teasing me and pushing my buttons and my boundaries. But it’s always in a positive way, for my own good. He’ll deliberately force me to come out of my shell and open up to new people and new experiences. And I love him dearly for it.

Q: Was there an instant attraction between you?
Yes and no. I met Josh at the gym—but it wasn’t a gym hookup. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye and thought he was cute, but I was so deep in the closet that I didn’t dare approach him. Josh asked me for training advice and we got to know each other in a casual way. Then one night he asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat, and the rest is… in the book! (Laughs)

Kelli did an excellent job of working my first meeting (and first kiss) with Josh into the book. They are some of the most sensual, tender scenes she’s ever written. I was incredibly nervous and unsure of myself, and Josh was there to put me at ease.

Q: What’s your favorite food?
Well, since I need to stay in tip-top shape for my job as a hot and sexy professional wrestler, I have to eat a healthy, low-fat diet. But when I do indulge, I like to have steak, BBQ, or chicken wings and a few beers. I’m actually a great cook and love to make meals for Josh and our friends.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your world. What are your greatest challenges?
I’m on the road wrestling about 300 days a year, so one of my greatest challenges is maintaining my relationship with Josh. We don’t see each other all the time, but we’re constantly talking on the phone and sharing photos. When Josh has time off from work he comes on the road with me and we hang out before my matches. It’s not easy (okay, it’s almost impossible) to have a “normal” home life, but we do the best we can—and we make the most of the time we have together.

Q: Describe yourself in four words.
Sensitive, strong, sexy, wiseass.

Q: Anything else you want to add?
I’m grateful to Kelli for sharing my story with the world. And I’m pleased to help her promote it during Pride month. A Secret Match isn’t just a “wrestling story” or a typical romance loaded with sex scenes, it’s a sensitive, coming out story that resonates with all types of romance readers; straight, gay, or whatever. Anyone who likes a good love story/romance should read the book. And you don’t have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy the book. But you might become one after you read it! (Laughs)

If gay romances aren’t your thing, I urge you to check out the book that introduced me to readers, A Deceptive Match. It’s a great romance and a fun behind-the-scenes look into the world of professional wrestling.

Kelli writes a lot of romances in all genres—historical, paranormal, contemporary, gay, and straight—but they all have two things in common—they’re all unique stories, and they’re anything but boring! I hope you’ll check them out. I plan on reading her other two gay romances, Four Days with Jack, and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with everyone. Here’s the book summary. Next week Kelli is posting one of my favorite excerpts.  

A SECRET MATCH

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

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

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

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

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