Friday, October 19, 2018

Spend a night in the land of the dead with DEAD TIL DAWN…





Happy October Everyone!

I hope you’re all avoiding the Christmas decorations that are invading the stores. What are they doing out already? Can’t retailers wait until November 1 to put out the snowmen? That’s scary, but today I’m sharing something spookier, a look at DEAD TIL DAWN…


Dead ‘Til Dawn
Disturbing the dead doesn’t prove you’re brave – it proves you’re stupid.

After touring Gettysburg battlefield, Jessica, Tim, and Steve decide to sneak out to the Devil’s Den for some late-night fun. Jessica’s friend Kathy objects, and warns them about trespassing where they’re not wanted.

Undaunted by ghost stories and fueled by his own arrogance, Tim races toward the Devil’s Den. When the group drives through mysterious battlefield fog, they find themselves surrounded by Civil War soldiers looking for a little fun of their own.

Kathy leaves the others to fend for themselves and flees to Little Round Top. Although she’s rescued by a kindhearted Union solider named Charlie, she refuses to believe that what she’s experiencing is real. As the nighttime battle rages on, Charlie introduces Kathy to other weary soldiers, and she quickly realizes she’s trapped in the land of the dead until dawn.

***

So how did this story come about? Well, if you know me, you know I love writing psychological/creepy/spooky horror stories. And I also love traveling to historic places — especially if they’re haunted.

This novella was inspired by actual events that happened to me in Gettysburg, PA. I had a very unusual experience with battlefield fog and I wanted to use it in a story.

Although I don’t consider myself a “paranormal investigator” I love exploring haunted places and  taking ghost tours. Historic houses and basically “anything old and creepy” appeal to my imagination. Is it any surprise that I love Halloween?

Here’s an excerpt from Dead Til Dawn, featuring the infamous battlefield fog. I’m happy to say that the book got several great reviews on Amazon!

Steve leaned forward in the back seat and tapped Tim on the shoulder. “You think we can get to the Devil’s Den now? Won’t they have security guards?”
“Who’d guard a battlefield at night? Ghosts?” Tim chuckled.

“The ghost stories we heard today were cool,” Steve replied. “I wanted to take that ghost tour at the orphanage. They let you investigate and try to contact dead soldiers. Maybe tomorrow—”

“I told you, that was a rip off,” Tim interrupted. “Who cares who died out here, anyway? It was over a hundred and fifty years ago. I don’t know why you keep wasting your time and money on that paranormal crap. There’s no such thing as ghosts. People in town made up those stories to rake in tourist money and sell costumes to idiot reenactors. If playing dress-up… Whoa!”

Tim stopped the car. A wall of white mist covered the road ten feet ahead of them.

“Is that fog?” Jessica asked, brushing her long red hair over her shoulder.

“Yeah,” Steve answered. “But why is it there and not anywhere else?”

Kathy peered out the side window. The two-lane road was crystal clear on both sides of the car, but the line of fog blocked their path. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Let’s go back.”

Tim glared at her in the rearview mirror. “You wanna go to the hotel? Get out and start walking.”

Kathy pursed her lips and counted to ten. Tim was a controlling smart-ass who insulted everyone, and for the last two days she’d been his primary target. It would be a miracle if she made it through the rest of the weekend without killing him.

She considered her options. The hotel was at least two miles behind them. It would be an easy walk, but she didn’t think it was smart to go wandering off alone in the dark. Besides, Tim wanted her out of the car. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of doing what he said. If he wanted her to leave, she’d do the opposite.

“I’ll stay.”

“Then keep quiet,” Tim barked, then stomped on the gas and plowed into the fog.

“Check it out. We’re surrounded,” Steve exclaimed.

Fog engulfed the car, blocking out the fields, trees, and fences along the road. Every so often Kathy thought she saw a glimpse of movement in the misty darkness, but it was hard to tell with Tim speeding like a maniac.

Steve pointed behind them. “Look back there. The town’s gone, swallowed up,” he said.

Kathy gazed out the rear window. Steve was right. Behind them, Gettysburg lay sleeping, wrapped in a blanket of milky whiteness.

“Sweetie, do you remember where the turnoff is?” Jessica asked.

“Yeah. I spent the whole afternoon trapped on that tour bus, visiting boring monu… what the—” Tim slammed on the brakes and the car screeched to a stop.

“What’s wrong?” Steve asked.

“Nothing. I thought I saw—” Tim paused and ran his hands through his short black hair. “I thought I saw the turn and I didn’t want to miss it. Stupid fog plays tricks on your eyes.”

Leaning forward, Kathy tried to see through the fog, but it was hopeless. It was as thick as paint and surrounded the entire car.

***
Wanna find out what happens when they get out of the car? Order your copy here:


All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4X9aLb

If you’re ready for more horror stories, don’t miss Nightmare in the North and Kropsy’s Curse.

Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Friday, October 5, 2018

Are you ready to be scared? Beware of KROPSY’S CURSE.




Greetings!!

It’s October, and you know what that means! Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m starting off the first October blog with a look at my Halloween-themed horror story…

Kropsy's Curse

Late one Halloween night, two young boys venture into a secluded graveyard in the hopes of conjuring up a spirit. Although Kyle is skeptical and would rather be home eating candy and watching horror movies, he reluctantly goes along with Jerry’s plan. He doesn’t believe Ouija boards work—until this one starts spelling out a message…

This Halloween-themed 1500-word short story is a cautionary tale about playing with a Ouija board in a graveyard.

Here’s a mini-excerpt:

“Where is it?” Kyle whispered.

“Over there.” Jerry swung his orange plastic flashlight to the left. “Why are you whispering? It’s just a graveyard. Ain’t no body here,” he joked, then laughed. 
“Come on.” Jerry hoisted his black backpack over his shoulder. “Hurry up. It’s almost midnight.”

Kyle’s sneakers slipped on the dewy grass as he followed Jerry down the last hill in the cemetery. He paused and glanced around. The moon appeared as a slit in the night sky. Dark clouds floated out of its way, and a sliver of pale yellow mixed with the blue-black night. Something made a noise off to his right, and he jumped. Maybe they should go home. This didn’t seem like fun anymore.

Kyle watched Jerry head deeper into the graveyard. He wanted to call out to him, tell him his plan was ridiculous, it would never work, they shouldn’t have snuck out and come here. Halloween night should be spent trick-or-treating, watching monster movies, and eating candy—not creeping around in an abandoned graveyard and trying to talk to a dead man.

Kropsy's Curse is only $.99! Get spooked here:


Links to all other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47kMYj

Love horror stories? Don’t miss my other horror ebooks - Nightmare in the North and Dead Til Dawn...

Visit my Amazon page for links, a full title list, and more!

Until next time,
Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Monday, September 24, 2018

Nightmare in the North - An Exclusive Excerpt



Hi everyone,

My favorite month (October!!!) is just around the corner, and today I’m sharing a look at my latest horror novella, Nightmare in the North. Think of it as a pre-Halloween treat!

Some of you may know me as a romance author, but I also write short horror fiction. I originally started out as a horror author, and nowadays I divide my time between the two genres.

Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter and trusting strangers. In my last blog, I talked about the origin of this unsettling story. This week, I’m posting an excerpt from the opening.

NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH

Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.

By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?

Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.

***
“You have reached Great Bear Lodge. In three hundred feet, turn right into the parking—”

“Are you kidding me?” Mark jabbed the power button on the navigation system, silencing it. The useless piece of sh*t had done nothing but get him lost.

For the last half hour he’d been listening to the robotic voice lead him deeper into the wilderness. He’d followed the GPS from one secondary road to another, and now he was lost in the backwoods of Nowhere, Vermont.

At least he thought he was still in Vermont. For all he knew, he could be in Canada. Then again, if he was at the border, at least there would be a sign and he could get directions from a Mountie.

He peered through the windshield, squinting into the wall of white. Fat snowflakes coated the car, and he couldn’t tell where the Camry’s hood ended and where the snow began. Who the hell rented a white car in winter? Nobody except him, obviously. He cursed and punched the steering wheel. This trip had turned into a disaster the second he’d crossed the Vermont state line.

The storm had started about four hours ago. At first it was only a few flakes, then more, and more. Then the wind kicked up, and before he knew it there was at least six inches of snow on the road. He had watched the outside thermometer drop from a balmy eight degrees to four, then two, until finally, it had settled at minus four.

There was nothing on either side of the snow-packed two lane road except more snow and a few scatterings of pine trees. He grumbled and kept driving at a whopping 10 miles an hour. He had no choice but to keep going. There was nowhere to turn around.

He probably should have stopped when he passed that house a few minutes ago. The driveway wasn’t plowed, but there was a light on, and he could have asked for directions. But the house might be empty. It was the middle of February. Didn’t most people up here spend the winter in Florida, or—

BAM! The loud bang snapped him from his thoughts and he yelped as the car started spinning. He took his foot off the gas and steered, twisting and turning the wheel as the car slid left, then right, then spun all the way around.

Everything happened in slow motion. A cluster of pine trees went past on the left, then the car rotated again and slid sideways on the road, spinning out of control. He spotted a pine tree three feet from the front end and jerked the wheel hard, shooting the car across the street toward a ditch. “Sh*t!” He hit the gas and cranked the wheel again.

After a few more spins and slides, the car finally stopped. He threw the gearshift into park and slumped over the steering wheel, listening to his heart hammering in his chest. Jesus, that was close. “I hate this state. I hate winter. I swear to God I’m never coming back here,” he whispered.

He took a deep breath and straightened up. It could have been worse, much worse. He could have slammed up against a tree or went flying sideways into the ditch. If he’d gone off the road there wouldn’t be help for hours, maybe even days. He’d freeze to death. Nobody would ever find a white car out here.

But what the hell happened? He’d heard a loud bang before he spun out. Did he hit something? He unhooked his seat belt and got out of the car. Icy air blasted him in the face as he pulled on his gloves and checked the driver’s side front tire. Great, just great. It was flat.

No, not flat. He leaned closer. The tire was… shredded. “What the hell?” He walked around to the passenger side and groaned. That tire was shredded too, right down to the rim. “Beautiful. What the frig did I hit?”

***

Find out how everything gets even worse for Mark in… Nightmare in the North. Order it here:


***
I hope you’ll check it out. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss my other ebooks: Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Next month, my blog goes all things paranormal & horror. I’ll be posting about my paranormal romances and my spooky horror fiction!

Happy Reading,

Kelli



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Travel takes a deadly turn in… Nightmare in the North




Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my latest horror novella, Nightmare in the North. Some of you may know me as a romance author, but I also write short horror fiction. I originally started out as a horror author, but nowadays I divide my time between the two genres.

Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter and trusting strangers. Here’s the summary:

NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH

Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.

By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?

Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.

***
So… how did this novella come about? Believe it or not, I wrote a version of this story for my eighth grade English class. The assignment was to write a short story – and boy, did I! The original version was much shorter and less detailed, but the basic premise was there. I’m not sure what my English teacher thought when she read it, but I got an A.

I grew up in upstate New York where winters can be brutal and last a long time. It can be an isolated place, and sometimes you could be snowed in for days. I decided to use that as the backdrop to the story, throw in some strange characters, and add a little mystery. After I submitted the story for my English class, I pretty much forgot about it.

Then, in January of 2018 I drove to Vermont in a snowstorm. I was in the car for 12 hours, and naturally, my mind started to wander… I wanted to write a new horror story, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. As I was driving, I thought back to that original story and decided to rewrite it – to tell the story the way it needed to be told.

I changed the opening, moved the setting to Vermont, and filled in all the details and backstory that set the tone. The ending of the new version is slightly different from the original, but it’s not off by all that much. I added an epilogue (of sorts) to the end, and spent about twenty minutes getting the last line just right.

Nightmare in the North is a departure from my “usual” romance novels, but it’s not gory. My horror stories tend to be more psychological/spooky than bloody. I love writing horror, and after writing a few romances, I find it refreshing to embrace my darker side and write something creepy. (I wrote this in between edits of my historical romance novel, Redemption from a Dark Past.)

After reading Nightmare in the North, my husband said that it was well written and it drew you in, but it was “twisted” and “disturbing” - I consider that high praise. Read it and decide for yourself!


Order Nightmare in the North here:



I hope you’ll check it out. Next week I'll share an excerpt from the opening… partially based on that trip to Vermont!

And if you like horror fiction, don’t miss my other ebooks: Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Happy Reading,
Kelli 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New! Online Writing Course - Fiction Writing for Beginners




Hi everyone!

My new writing course is now available on Teachable. 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.

Each class is self-contained and self-directed. This way, you can learn about a specific topic at your own pace, and not worry about completing the class by a certain deadline. Short writing exercises at the end of each class highlight the subject matter and get you writing.

The classes are grouped into four sections, and each section focuses on a writing theme. Here’s the breakdown:

Section 1: Getting Started
Class 1: The 5 Ws of Writing
Class 2: Getting in the Writing Zone & Staying Motivated
Class 3: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 1)
Class 4: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 2)

Section 2: Creating Your Characters
Class 5: Creating Characters
Class 6: Developing Heroes, Villains & Secondary Characters

Section 3: Get Writing!
Class 7: Plotting Your Story
Class 8: Scenes, Sequels & GMC
Class 9: Point-of-view & Dialogue
Class 10: Setting, Details & Research

Section 4: Revising, Submitting & Promoting Your Story
Class 11: Revising Your Story
Class 12: Getting Feedback on Your Story
Class 13: Submitting & Promoting Your Story

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners will get you started. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

I hope you’ll check it out. Next week on my blog, I’ll talk about the making of my latest horror novella, Nightmare in the North.

Until next time,
Kelli

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Late Summer 2018 Issue




Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all enjoying the last few weeks of summer. In this issue of the Quill, I’m sharing news about my new horror novella, Nightmare in the North, my NEW online writing course Fiction Writing for Beginners, plus revisiting my Gothic historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, and taking a quick look at my summer romances.

JUST RELEASED - Nightmare in the North
Kelli’s new horror novella, Nightmare in the North, was released in August. This story is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter.

Nightmare in the North

Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.

By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?

Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.

***
Order Nightmare in the North here:



ALSO JUST RELEASED…
I just uploaded my NEW writing course to Teachable. If you’ve always wanted to write, FICTION WRITING FOR BEGINNERS will get you started. Visit the course page here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

Stay tuned to my blog for more about the course!

Summer Release - Redemption from a Dark Past
In June, Kelli released a new 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.

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

Learn about the making of the book and read an excerpt here: https://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/2018/08/an-inside-look-at-redemption-from-dark.html

Summer Romance Rewind
If you’re in the mood for a hot summer romance or need a sultry beach read, don’t miss these titles:

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover 


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

Learn more about the book and read an excerpt here:

A Deceptive Match



Learn more about the book and read an excerpt here:




Trust with Hearts 


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

Learn more about the book and read an excerpt here:



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 on my blog page.

Have a safe and happy rest of the summer!
Kelli 

Friday, August 17, 2018

New Horror Release - NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH




Hi everyone!

My latest horror story, Nightmare in the North was just released. This novella is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter. 


NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH

Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.

By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?

Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.

Order your copy here:



ALSO JUST RELEASED…
I just uploaded my NEW writing course to Teachable.If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners will get you started. Visit the course page here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/