Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Winter 2020 Issue





Hi everyone! I hope 2020 is off to a great start for you! Time flies, and it’s hard to believe that we’re into another decade! This issue of the Quill has something for everyone.

Writers: I’m sharing a guest blog that shows you how to get on track with your writing goals for 2020, a link to a new interview, and info about my 2019 online writing course.

Readers: I’m flashing back to my 2019 releases and giving you the “Best of” my 2019 blogs. I’ll also get you ready for Valentine’s Day with a look at two collections of sweet romances.


2019 FLASHBACK

My historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Read all about it on the book’s page of my site: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/dangerous-indenture

The Viking’s Witch was published in August. This full-length novel is set in Celtic Scotland and blends a hot romance with adventure and paranormal elements. Visit the book’s page on my site for a full summary and reviews: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/the-viking-s-witch

In November 2019, I released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her. Learn more about it here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/romance-every-weekend-1

In August 2019 I published Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories. In these 18 sci-fi stories, you’ll encounter aliens of all shapes and sizes, curious (and sometimes unlucky) space explorers, and ordinary Earthlings having otherworldly experiences. This collection of speculative fiction will stimulate your imagination, unnerve you just a little, and make you wonder… “What if we’re not alone?” Read more about it here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/extraterrestrial-encounters

I released a Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. I also authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Kelli’s Been Blogging!

If writing a novel or a short story is on your list of things to do, don’t miss these posts!

Want to write in 2020? Need some motivation & advice? Read this blog about setting writing goals for the New Year: https://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/2020/01/set-new-writing-goals-for-new-year-by.html

Where do writers get their ideas? Find out here! One of the most common questions authors are always asked is: “Where do you get your ideas?” Author Kelli A. Wilkins shares her secrets on how to find great story ideas everywhere in this blog: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

Read my new for 2020 Novelspot Interview. I talk about the writing life, horror, romance, new books, and more: http://novelspot.net/node/841

BEST OF… BLOGS

I was blogging like mad in 2019. Here are links to the “Best of” blogs!

In this blog, I shared an inside look at my August release: Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/spotlight-on-extraterrestrial-encounters-a-collection-of-sci-fi-stories

Ready for romance? Here’s a spotlight on Romance Every Weekend - my non-fiction guide to romance: https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/spotlight-on-romance-every-weekend/

Read a fun character interview with Rothgar, the hero of The Viking’s Witch in this blog. https://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/2019/10/character-interview-rothgar-norseman.html

Like to be scared? Read the true story that inspired my horror novella, Dead Til Dawn in this blog: https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/2019/10/dead-til-dawn-by-kelli-wilkins-book.html

Read an Interview with a "Mistress of the Macabre" - Horror Author Kelli A. Wilkins talks about writing horror fiction & more: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/interview-with-a-mistress-of-the-macabre-horror-author-kelli-a-wilkins

I was a food blogger this summer. If you’re looking for a cool & quick dessert, check out my Quick Custard Cake recipe: https://theafterworkcook.blogspot.com/2019/08/quick-custard-cake-by-kelli-wilkins.html

Looking for something else to read? Check out my new Books2Read page. It features my romances (in all genres), horror fiction & more! 


Get Ready for Valentine’s Day!

If you love short and sweet romances, don’t miss my flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Cupid’s Schemes - Volume 1
A Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 16 flash fiction vignettes, Cupid’s arrow hits the mark and ignites a spark between two strangers—whether or not they’re looking for romance. Their unusual meetings lead to new beginnings and new chances at love.

Sweet stories of couples falling under Cupid’s spell include:

* a Medieval knight courting a pretty lady
* two neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a dehydrated mermaid rescued by a handsome stranger

Order your copy here:
All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/boZxkZ  


And don’t miss Cupid’s Schemes - Volume 2
Another Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 12 mini-romances…

* a photographer falls for a sexy cowboy in a supposedly abandoned ghost town 
* a long-lost love returns in an unexpected setting

Order Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 2 here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mYrBBd

Want some real-life romance? Don’t forget about Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, my non-fiction guide to romance. Romance Every Weekend makes a great gift for you – or for your sweetie! Why not order it now and set a New Year’s resolution to try all 104 suggestions in 2020?

Get your copy here:
All other Platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3npVVP


I hope you enjoyed this winter edition of the Quill. What’s coming up in 2020? I’m working on two new romances, and I’ll be re-releasing a historical western romance previously published by Medallion Press. If that isn’t enough, I’m also toying with ideas for more horror fiction.

Stay tuned to my blog and my social media pages for updates and release info.

Before I sign off, I want to give a big Thank You to everyone who ordered my books, visited my blog, followed my social media pages, and supported my writing in 2019. Thanks!

Stay warm this winter!

Happy Reading & Writing,

Kelli



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Where do writers get their ideas? Find out here!




Hi everyone,

One of the most common questions authors are always asked is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no secret to finding a great story idea. In fact, ideas are everywhere—you just need to know where and how to find them.

I’ve been asked about story ideas so often that I decided to share what I’ve learned in an online class called Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas.

This fun and easy-to-follow class shows you where and how to find interesting ideas for your short story or novel—no matter what genre you write. Short writing exercises and helpful tips highlight the material and get you writing.

Here are 2 tips I share in the class:

TIP: Keep a folder for “someday” story ideas, characters, and settings. File notes, scraps of plots, bits of dialogue, and photos of scenic views that you’ve accumulated in one place. If you’re ever stuck on what to write next, open the folder and see what inspires you.

TIP: Never censor yourself when you’re gathering ideas or freewriting. Write what is in your head and stay engaged in the process, even if what you are writing makes no sense. You don’t have to use it in a story or share it with anyone.

If you’re a writer, today is finally the right time to embrace a new idea and work on fleshing it out.

Learn more about the class and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

See all of my writings on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com

Happy Writing!
Kelli


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Set New Writing Goals for the New Year!



Happy New Year!

It’s January and everyone is talking about making changes and setting goals for themselves. And why not? We have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come.

But do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar and wondering, “How is it 2020? Where did last year - or decade - go? I had all those plans…”

If so, don’t stress out. Not everyone accomplishes every goal they set for themselves. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for 2020.

Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?

If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)

Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?

Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track.

If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

If you want to learn more about the writing process, why not check out my online writing class? Fiction Writing for Beginners is designed for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing.

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners gives you all the tools you need. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/


Not interested in an online course? On a budget? How about an ebook? Check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. It’s only $2.99.

The book is designed for writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started. Each chapter targets a specific aspect of writing and includes tips and fun exercises.

If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4AqYN4

Enjoy the New Year!
Kelli


Thursday, January 2, 2020

Want more romance in the New Year? Start this weekend!


Hi everyone!

If one of your New Year’s goals is to add more romance in your life, why not start this weekend? How? With Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love.

Whether you’re just starting out dating, in a committed relationship, newlyweds, or you’ve been married for twenty years, Romance Every Weekend will show you how you can strengthen the bond between you and your loved one and deepen your relationship.

Romance shouldn’t be reserved for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or an anniversary. Why should people wait for a special occasion to show someone they love that they care? Love can (and should) be expressed every chance you get.

Romance Every Weekend features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Everyone has his or her definition of “romance.” Some people like to send mushy cards, while others are more practical. But however you define it, romance is more than giving flowers, buying a box of chocolates, or getting frisky in the bedroom. Romance is all about making tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

They say “It’s the little things in life that count.” and I believe that’s true. A simple expression of love can go a long way to cheer someone up, make them feel special, and show you care. And let’s face it—everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated.

Romance Every Weekend contains 104 romantic suggestions designed to make your weekends sparkle. Why 104? There are 52 weeks in a year, and two suggestions per weekend will keep you and your partner busy. If your schedules don’t give you a lot of free time on the weekends, that’s okay. You can do these any time during the week.

If you're looking for ways to keep your romance fresh, this is the book for you! Why not order it now and try all 104 suggestions in 2020?

Get your copy here:


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

I hope you (and your partner) enjoy the suggestions. You may even be inspired to come up with a few of your own!

Kelli

Monday, December 16, 2019

Romance Rewind - The Viking’s Witch - A Historical/Paranormal Romance




Hi everyone,

I’m spotlighting my 2019 releases all through December. Today I’m sharing a look at my historical paranormal romance, The Viking’s Witch.

The Viking’s Witch is a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. 

The Viking’s Witch

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…

Odaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with the villain, Brennan, Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.

I loved showing readers (and Rothgar) Odaria’s powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry. The scenes that included the “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write. I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age/paranormal subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.

I hope you enjoyed this “inside look” at The Viking’s Witch. I’m happy to say that readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters and the book has received dozens of excellent reviews.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Order The Viking’s Witch here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Romance Rewind: DANGEROUS INDENTURE




Hi everyone!

All through December, I’ll be spotlighting my 2019 releases on my blog. Here’s a look at my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.


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?

Order your copy here:

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


Visit my website www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of my writings.

Tune in next week for another “Romance Rewind” and follow me on social media!

Kelli


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Romance Rewind: Cupid’s Schemes Volumes 1 & 2




Hi everyone,

This month on my blog, I’ll be sharing “romance rewinds” of my 2019 romance releases.

Here’s a look at my contemporary romance releases, Cupid’s Schemes - Volumes 1 & 2. As many readers know, I write romances in all genres (historical, fantasy, gay, paranormal, and contemporary) at all heat levels, but these novellas are something new for me. Instead of full-length romances, each book is a collection of flash-fiction stories.

Both volumes contain a dozen or more sweet romances where the characters meet under unusual circumstances and develop an intense connection. And that’s where I leave them—at the start of their relationship. Why?

I wanted to show how two people meet, feel a spark of romance, and then leave the rest of the story up to the reader’s imagination. What happens next is up to you. I end each story with the characters in good places and the potential to have a happy-ever-after ending with their new love interest. These feel-good stories are perfect for a boost of romance whenever or wherever you need it.

The settings vary from New Year’s Eve parties to snowstorms, summer picnics, and even a haunted corn maze. I grouped the stories by season, so as you read through each book, you’ll be following the calendar year. And believe it or not, some of these settings and “first meets” were inspired by true stories people have told me over the years.

Here are the summaries and links to each book, plus a mini-excerpt from the first story in Volume 2.

Cupid’s Schemes - Volume 1
A Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 16 flash fiction vignettes, Cupid’s arrow hits the mark and ignites a spark between two strangers—whether or not they’re looking for romance. Their unusual meetings lead to new beginnings and new chances at love.

Sweet stories of couples falling under Cupid’s spell include:
* a Medieval knight courting a pretty lady
* two neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a dehydrated mermaid rescued by a handsome stranger

These lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Order it here:

And don’t miss 

Cupid’s Schemes - Volume 2
Another Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 12 mini-romances…
* a photographer falls for a sexy cowboy in a supposedly abandoned ghost town
* new neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a long-lost love returns in an unexpected setting

Order Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 2 here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mYrBBd


Here's an Excerpt from…
New Year, New Love

“This New Year’s Eve party is going to be fun. I’m glad you could come at the last minute,” Sharon said to Diana as they stepped into the hotel lobby.

“Thanks for inviting me. I didn’t want to let your extra ticket go to waste,” Diana replied. She hated to admit that she’d had no other plans for tonight other than to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. She turned as Sharon’s boyfriend, Matt, and another man strolled up to them.

“You remember my cousin Eric, don’t you?” Sharon asked.

Diana gazed up at the six-foot-three blond hunk. Eric looked absolutely adorable in his dark gray suit, crisp white shirt, and blue and gray striped tie.

“Yes, of course.” How could she ever forget Eric? Even though she had only spent an afternoon with him, meeting a dreamboat like Eric stayed with a girl for a long time.

“Hi Eric. Happy New Year,” she said, then glanced at Sharon, confused. Why was Eric here? Was he alone? Where was his girlfriend, Melissa?

Eric stepped to her side. “Hi Diana. It’s nice to see you again. Can I take your coat?”

“Sure. Thanks.” She let Eric help her out of her gray wool coat. She caught his eyes roving down the front of her midnight-blue dress. She almost hadn’t worn the low-cut dress tonight, but then reconsidered. Why not? It was New Year’s Eve and she should dress up and look nice, even if she was single. One of her New Year’s resolutions was to jumpstart her boring life, starting tonight.

They handed their coats to the coat check attendant and strolled into a grand ballroom decorated in silver and gold. Eric kept pace with her as they followed Sharon and Matt to a table.

“This is some change, huh?” Eric said as he pulled out a chair for her. “The last time I saw you it was ninety degrees outside and we were both in a pool.”

Diana felt a blush creep into her cheeks. “I know. Sharon’s Labor Day party seems like yesterday.” She sighed as she recalled seeing Eric’s lean, tan body in nothing but blue swim trunks. She and Eric had gotten along fabulously at the party and they had a lot in common. They had been having harmless fun playing volleyball when Melissa showed up and everything went to hell.

But Melissa wasn’t here tonight. Did that mean Eric was single?

She looked at Eric and felt her pulse surge. Now she was elated that she had accepted Sharon’s invitation. This was one New Year’s Eve she’d never forget.

***

I hope you enjoy these collections of sweet romances. I welcome comments and questions from readers and other authors. Contact me via my site or social media pages.

Happy Reading!

Kelli