Sunday, November 25, 2012

2 great reviews for The Viking's Witch and Killer in Wolf's Clothing





Hi everyone!

Today I'm sharing two new great reviews for my two 2012 romances!

First up, Killer in Wolf's Clothing!


"Kelli A. Wilkins gives us an amazing new take on wolf legends with Killer in Wolf's Clothing."

Larry cannot understand why his boyfriend keeps disappearing for a few days each month. The only explanation Larry can discern is that he has another boyfriend.  Greg has no choice but to confess that he changes into another man during the full moon. Larry is not sure he can believe that much less accept it until he meets Deke.  Deke is Greg’s alternate personality and he is  an Alpha wolf man with a capital A.

Deke wants only two things. He wants to get laid and he wants revenge on the man who murdered his friends by setting fire to the club. Deke breaks free from Greg’s restraints and together with Larry sets out to seek revenge. Their hunt takes them to an Alpha sex club where Deke is soon distracted, allowing Larry to be captured by the murderer. Deke and Greg will have to work together if they are to rescue Larry before it is too late.

Killer in Wolf’s Clothing was a delight to read and enjoy. Deke was so different from Greg in his sexual needs and desires. Larry enjoyed both men for different reasons. Then trouble brewed and they all had to work together.  Kelli A. Wilkins has penned a tale that will heat your blood and increase your heart rate as you become immersed in both the hot scenes of loving and the terror of the crazy murderer.  Killer in Wolf’s Clothing shows that you never know who your neighbor is." Elise, Sensual Reads
http://sensualreads.com/?p=10863


Killer in Wolf's Clothing makes a great holiday gift! Read a hot excerpt and order copies here:



The Viking's Witch got a 4 Coffee Cup review from Coffeetime Romance!

Odaria is a powerful witch, a Pict who follows the old ways. However, by the 9th Century, Christianity has spread across northern Scotland and the Isles. While villagers still seek cures and potions in the dark of night, witches are tolerated in good times and blamed for any misfortunes that befell the community. When Brennan, the evil leader of the community, falsely occuses Odaria of murder, she is tied to a stake to suffer a horrific death. Odaria, like all witches about to burn, casts the worst of her curses.
The Norse king has commanded the Viking nobleman Rothgar out of retirement to command a band of Vikings to find his son who has disappeared with his ships and warriors. Rothgar’s search leads him to a beach on Stronsay, one of the Orkney Islands. His plan is to attack the only village, gather the villagers, discover the location of Orvind and his men, rescue them, and return home. Rothgar, however, did not anticipated meeting Odaria.
The villagers, terrified by the rampaging Vikings, are quickly scooped up into nets. Rothgar rescues Odaria from his Vikings by claiming her for his own. Both feel the passion ignited by a touch or look but Rothgar has his mission and Odaria must have her revenge. As they pursue their quests, they discover that they cannot deny the attraction that is becoming something more.
Author Kelli Wilkins created a fascinating world view of the forgotten Pictish culture. Despite the generally dark tone of the story, the evolution of Odaria’s and Rothgar’s relationship provides humorous episodes as two powerful people vie for position in their relationship. Nordskog, a Viking berserker who owed a debt to Odaria, was an intriguing secondary character, who needs his own story. Overall, The Viking’s Witch was an enjoyable read for a lover of historical romance." Rita, Coffeetime Romance and More
The Viking's Witch also makes a great holiday gift! Read more reviews, an excerpt, and order copies here:  http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/the-vikings-witch/


Next week, I'll be unveiling details about my new blog contest! Stay tuned!

Happy Reading,
Kelli

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Build a Cast of Supporting Characters in Your Next Romance





Hi everyone!
 
This month, I'll be sharing a bit of everything on the blog - writing tips and advice, my newsletter, bits about my books, and whatever else pops into my head. Today, I'm offernig advice on how to create great supporting characters!
 
Supporting (or secondary) characters are sometimes overlooked by writers and can be overshadowed by “larger” (or more interesting) main characters. But, if developed the right way, they enhance a story and make the hero and/or heroine shine.

 
Almost every main character needs a secondary character to “play” off of, whether it’s a meddling nosy neighbor (remember Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched?), a trusty sidekick (Batman’s Robin), or a friend (Hermione from Harry Potter). Supporting characters help move a story along by giving out information, getting themselves or other characters into (or out of) sticky situations, showing up at the worst (or best) moment, or just by being a sounding board.

 

Another advantage to using supporting characters in a story is that you can have them misbehave, be socially inappropriate, and shake up the story in ways that your well-behaved main characters can’t. For example, in my book, Dalton’s Temptation, Prince Allan was introduced as a hedonistic, selfish secondary character. He caused all sorts of trouble, and yet he served an important role in the story.

 

Like any character, secondary characters need to have a purpose for being in the story. Sometimes they are introduced to move a story along or to provide comic relief, but they have to do something. Dave in Trust with Hearts acted as a sounding board for Sherrie and Curtis, offering each of them advice they wouldn’t listen to.

 

If you’re working on a story now, take some time out and identify the supporting characters. You should be able to answer these questions for each secondary character: What are their roles in the story? Are they important to the plot? If you removed them, would the story still make sense? If they’re not there for a reason, either give them one, or see if your story works just as well without them.    

 

How developed are your supporting characters? They need to be as “real” as any other character, but on a smaller scale. Each one should have a backstory, a history with the main character(s), a physical description, and a personality. (Preferably one that stands out or contrasts the protagonist.) Don’t just “drop” a character into a story and call him the “quirky” neighbor—flesh him out and let him come alive. Make sure the reader knows why he’s important to the story, even if he just has a small role.

 

One note of caution: watch out for secondary characters who try to take over the story. Sometimes they become “too big” to remain supporting players, and they could detract from the main characters in your story. If this happens, scale them back a little. If you’ve created a fantastic secondary character who absolutely demands time on the page, save up some of his adventures and let him run free in his own story. (When I was writing Dalton’s Temptation, I knew that Prince Allan needed his own book. Now he has one, The Pauper Prince.)

 

Secondary characters are a great way to enhance your writing, create unusual personalities, and, if, done right, they can jump off the page and remain with readers long after they’ve finished your story!

 

Happy Reading!
 
Look for my newsletter next week!
 
Kelli
 
 
Learn more about Kelli at: www.KelliWilkins.com and


 
Readers can also find Kelli at these sites:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.-Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Even More Spooky Stories for the Halloween Season!







Hello everyone!
Welcome to part three of my horror fiction blog! This week, I’m sharing an inside look at two more stories, “The Ape” and “Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men”.


The Ape” appeared in TheFour Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine & Death, published by Pill Hill Press. This anthology of twenty-five short stories is based on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In “The Ape” a young boy in South Carolina uses an unusual “toy” as a tool for revenge.

An Excerpt from The Ape

Billy wrinkled his nose as he entered the dimly lit shop. The air smelled funny, like a mix of spices and smoke. He closed the door behind him, cutting himself off from the outside world. His mind fired a jumble of warnings. Nobody knew where he was… he wasn’t supposed to be here… who knew what might happen to him?

He fought the urge to yank open the door and run, but he couldn’t. He had work to do. It had taken every bit of courage he had to get this far, and he wasn’t going to give up now. Everyone in town knew where the voodoo-lady practiced her magic—but no kid in fourth grade had ever been brave enough to come inside before.

The red curtain behind the high wooden counter whipped open. An ancient black woman wearing a bright yellow dress stood in the doorway, looking him up and down. She frowned. “Little boy, what you doin’ here? Don’ you know better?”

“I need a spell,” he whispered.


My humorous sci-fi short, "Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men" is one of 14 sci-fi tales appearing in What if…. Each story is unique and is based around the concept of “what if…” In “Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men”, a young couple moves into an old Victorian house and discovers they’re not alone.

An Excerpt from Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men

Sam grabbed a handful of yellowed "Not of This World" newsletters and dumped them into a trashbag. Everywhere he looked, he found books and pulp magazines about UFOs, aliens, and mystical creatures.

"No wonder everyone thought the old lady was a wacko," he muttered. He glanced at the cover of a sci fi magazine. The poorly drawn illustration showed three little green men standing next to a rocket. He frowned. Maybe these magazines had given Margie the idea about the pixies, or maybe she'd been hearing the strange noises at night, too.


***

Next week I’ll be back with a look at paranormal romances. Until then, you can check out more of my writings on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com

Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two More Spooky Stories for the Halloween Season!






Hi everyone! 

Hope you’re enjoying the autumn weather!

Today I’m sharing an inside look at two more of my horror stories, “Kropsy’s Curse” (an individual flash fiction read available from Fictionwise), and “Just an Innocent Little Cat” (which appears in the Dark Things II: Cat Crimes anthology).

As almost everyone knows, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and before I started writing erotic romances, I wrote lots of horror stories. When I was growing up, I always wanted one of my horror stories to get published in an anthology so people could read it. Well, I'm happy to say that my horror fiction has appeared in several print and online anthologies.

And even though I’m writing romances, my horror stories have a special place in my heart! Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped writing horror - new stories will be out in the next few months. Until then, here's a little bit of backstory about each of these tales of terror:


My Halloween-themed short, Kropsy'sCurse was published in the October 2003 issue of The Far Sector SFFH and is available in electronic format from Fictionwise. (Isn’t that a great cover?!) I actually had the ending to this little gem in my head before I knew the rest of the story. In this tale, I combine the best of Halloween/horror themes into a quick and spooky read. Remember folks, if you go exploring a graveyard on Halloween, leave the ouija board home!

Here’s an Excerpt from Kropsy's Curse

Kyle’s sneakers slipped on the dewy grass as he followed Jerry down the last hill in the cemetery. The moon appeared as a slit in the night sky. Dark clouds occasionally floated out of its way, and a sliver of pale yellow mixed with the blue-black night.

A field of headstones stretched before them. The white marble markers, old and worn, were sunk into the ground and leaning in different directions. Kyle knew they had to be in this section, the neglected part of the cemetery, for tonight's purpose.
***
 Just an InnocentLittle Cat” was published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes:Tales of Feline Mayhem and Murder. The character of Chester is based on a real-life orange cat with an attitude. Cats are loyal and devoted creatures – and they’re damn smart, too. This “tail” is a good example of what could happen if you don’t stay on a cat’s good side. All proceeds from sales of this anthology go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA.

An Excerpt from Just an Innocent Little Cat


Chester sat on the bathroom floor with his tail wrapped around his body. He arched his neck and lifted his nose high in the air. Eggs and bacon. Betty was making food downstairs. That left him alone with Danny.

He leapt onto the side of the blue bathtub and sat on the rim, just outside the shower curtain. The hot water was running inside the tub, and he twitched his nose at the harsh-scented detergents filling the room. He studied the shadow of the fat man as he moved around behind the thin curtain.

Last night, he’d decided that Danny had to go. Before Danny came, Betty used to have her lady friends over to visit. They played something called “Scrabble.” Sometimes, the little brown pieces of tile landed on the floor and he swatted them under the couch. It was a fun game. But now, the nice ladies didn’t visit anymore. Danny wouldn’t allow them to come here. This made Betty sad.

After a few minutes, Danny turned off the water and opened the shower curtain. He yelped and stepped back.

“Damn thing! Get the hell out of here!”

Chester riveted his gaze on Danny, then hissed.

“Ma, hey, ma!” Danny screamed and covered himself with his hands. “Get this cat outta here!”

***

I hope you’ll check out the stories! They really were a lot of fun to write. Check out the new horror pages I made on the blog. Next week, I’ll offer up two more tales….

Until next time, Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Spooky Stories for the Halloween Holiday Season






Happy October!

As most everyone knows by now, I not only write sizzling erotic romances, I also write short horror fiction. I’m kicking off my month of horror blogs with a look at two of my short stories that have appeared in horror anthologies.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who likes to read horror stories - or if you’re a horror fan who wants to get in the spirit of the holiday season, Frightmares and Haunted are just for you!

Haunted is a collection of 42 stories about haunted places! Set in a haunted house, “Whispers from the Past” blends the paranormal with a startling bit of reality. The anthology is available in paperback and electronic formats

Here’s an excerpt:
Paul rolled over in the narrow twin bed and tried to ignore the faint whispers. No matter what he did, they invaded his mind like silvery moonbeams.

He closed his eyes and counted to fifty, hoping to focus on anything but those quiet sounds on the edge of his sanity. Ghosts did not exist, yet he was hearing eerie noises in the dead of night.

The whispers grew louder, more insistent. Now and then, he could make out a word or two in the hushed voice he recognized from long ago. It can't really be him. It's just my over-stimulated imagination, or maybe the contest people are playing tricks on me.
"Stop it!"

He snapped back the bedclothes and stood up. The whispery voice fell silent. He let out a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair.

My flash fiction story, “Death is Just a Tick Away” appeared in Dark Moon Digest’s e-magazine (Issue #1), and it also appears in the Frightmares:A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror paperback anthology published by Dark Moon Books. The story is based on a real superstition!

The book is a compilation of dozens of flash fiction horror stories. Each tale is under 500 words and is a quick read. The authors weren’t limited to a central theme (vampires, zombies, or haunted places), so each story is completely unique.

Here’s an excerpt:

Dave couldn’t sleep. The ticking echoed through the house. Even at 35 years old, the damn thing still spooked him. Lots of families passed down stories to scare kids, but most of them didn’t involve cursed objects that could kill.

He was seven when Dad had told him about the clock. His great, great grandfather had severely beaten a servant who had forgotten to wind the clock, and the old lady had cast the curse on them. If ever the clock was allowed to wind down to a stop, one of his family members would die.

Three days ago, Dave’s father had been found lying at the base of the black walnut clock, one arm stretched toward the ten-foot high carved demon. Paramedics said he had suffered a heart attack. But Dave thought he knew better. Dad had been trying to wind the clock.

***

Next week on the blog I’ll share two more horror stories! And I've also added links to my horror stories on the blog’s upper right corner. 

Until next time!
Happy Haunting,
Kelli



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Viking's Witch - recap & excellent reviews (and an excerpt!)




Hi again everyone!
Before I head off into October and the land of horror and paranormal romances, I wanted to share a quick recap of my Medallion Press historical romance, The Viking's Witch. The book was released in August and has received a bunch of really great reviews!

I blogged about the book in a previous 2-part blog, so I won't go into the book's details again, but I will share the summary, fantastic reviews, and a steamy excerpt.



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 and be used for his ambitions?

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.

 Great Reviews...
“5 stars! I enjoyed this book from the Viking era! A must read! Kelli’s writing is flawless and beautiful, her world building is amazing, and you can literally “see” this world as it was back in that era. This book was full of excitement and twist and turns that I did not see coming. Overall I loved this book, and highly recommend it.” - Michelle Lynn, ConciseReviews
“5 stars! Loved it! The Viking's Witch is a great read penned with strong characters. I was totally engrossed within the tale and cannot wait for her next book. A must read for all who love the paranormal, historical fantasy genre.” Susan P., My Cozie Corner Book Reviews

“5 stars! This was a really, really, really good book! Really enjoyed reading it, just sped right through it. Odaria and Rothgar were, from an outsider's perspective, really funny together, they kept riling each other up, accidentally, of course, but that caused some really major arguments, which really spiced the novel up. The Viking's Witch was a really good book; a fantastic read with wonderful characters, so you really should check it out! Read it!!!” - Louisa P., Words I Write Crazy
“4.50 stars! Reviewer Top Pick! The Viking’s Witch is a fantastic novel. It is extremely fast moving, and the story is beautiful and scary and all around wonderful. It’s not often that I can sit down and start a book of this length one night and finish it in its entirety the following day. This is a novel that I would recommend for anyone seeking a splendid adventure, or a scorching, heartwarming romance destined to set many hearts aflame. This is a truly fantastic book. Take a trip with a Viking and see what happens. It’s definitely worth the trip.” - Hitherandthee, Night Owl Romance Reviews

 “4.5 hearts! Ms. Wilkins crafted a wonderful story. I liked the combination of learning to love and trust each other between Rothgar and Odaria. I especially loved the berserkrs, specifically Nordskog who was their leader. This book kept me engrossed from start to finish, wondering what was going to happen and if Odaria's visions are really correct. What a great read!” -Teresa, The Romance Studio
“4 stars! I have never read a Viking era book before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found the world building and character behaviors very believable. I was curious to see how Kelli would develop a romance within this era. Let me say she did a fabulous job. It was a page-turner that had me cheering on the main characters. The world she describes is believable and so easy to visualize.” – Vickieann, TRB: Reviews
“4 stars! I think the author played it well, creating a chance circumstance that could build on the power of Odaria and Rothgar and the love that seems to bring them together. I enjoyed the book; it flowed really smoothly. I liked that they struggled for their love, it wasn’t one of those love at first sight ordeals. Lust on the other hand... I do suggest approaching this book with caution because there is plenty of steam ready to fog up your glasses when turning the pages of this book.” - PrincessPixistixx, WonderlandReviews
“Weaving in paranormal and thriller aspects and a zinger of an ending, Wilkins presents a violent, exciting, and steamy tale sure to please historical romance readers.”
~ Judy Murray,
Library Journal (August 3, 2012)
“The world she describes is believable and so easy to visualize, and the characters are all there. There is a hero and heroine, the horrid bad guy and all the secondary people to fill out the story.”
~ Vickie A. Sold,
Amazon review (August 21, 2012)
 
Eclectic writer Wilkins (e.g., A Midsummer Night’s Delights; Beauty & the Bigfoot) doesn’t disappoint with her latest historical romance title, set in ninth-century Scotland. Odaria is a Pict and self-proclaimed witch. Rothgar, a Norseman seeking his missing countryman, arrives just in time to interrupt the burning of Odaria as a witch. There is an instant attraction, and Rothgar becomes Odaria’s protector. Love blooms as violence and deceit swirl around them. Surrounded on all sides by enemies, our lovers must rely on each other, but can they trust each other? The inclusion of descriptions of daily life and such graphic details as the Vikings’ use of the Blood Eagle execution technique and the behavior of the Berserker Viking warriors adds interest.
Verdict Weaving in paranormal and thriller aspects and a zinger of an ending, Wilkins presents a violent, exciting, and steamy tale sure to please historical romance readers.—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., MI
“Ms. Wilkins has written a fun escapist romantic fantasy novel.”
The Steamy Excerpt:

As Odaria rubbed her temples with her fingertips, the wool blanket slipped down, exposing her breasts. She tried to cover herself, but Rothgar held her wrists.


"Let me admire you." He pulled away from her and sat back on his heels.


Although she was a bit embarrassed, she felt no need to shield herself. She trusted Rothgar like no other. Before she knew what was happening, Rothgar’s warm mouth covered her left breast. A flash of desire coursed through her, and she groaned.


He suckled her gently, then twirled his tongue around her nipple. The sensation of his mouth working against her flesh sent her senses reeling, and she longed for more. A low moan escaped her throat as he increased the pressure on her breast.


She wrapped her arms around Rothgar’s head and held him to her, arching her back as he devoured her. Her lustful feelings from this morning resurfaced, and she willed him to ease her back onto the bed and make love to her.


After a few minutes, Rothgar moved away. "I thought that would make you feel better," he said with a wink.

She smiled. "Aye. I do. I’m tingling everywhere, but it isn’t enough."

 
Rothgar stroked her cheek with his forefinger. "Then lie back. I will make you feel things you’ve never dreamed of."

 
Odaria lay on the bed and closed her eyes. Her entire body felt prickly, and her heart thundered in her chest like a drum. What would Rothgar do next? Would they make love? He was the only man who had ever sparked these desires in her. It felt natural to give herself to him.

 
She felt a slight chill as Rothgar tugged the wool blanket away from her lower half, exposing her. A tremor of fear rippled through her. "What happens now? I dunno how to do this," she whispered.

 
"Fret not, my little witch. We will not make love now. I wish to save that pleasure for tonight." He chuckled. "But I know how to give you the same pleasures of lovemaking while leaving you intact."

 
"How could—?"

 
She gasped as Rothgar leaned over her and suckled her breast again. Her skin quivered as Rothgar trailed kisses down her ribs and stomach, inching lower with each kiss. His strong hands massaged her calves, sliding upward until he rubbed her knees, then her thighs. His kisses went lower, tickling her until he reached her lower belly. She moaned and squirmed on the bed. This delightful teasing and touching was something she’d never expected. How did Rothgar know how to make her feel so weak and vulnerable?

**
 
October is just around the corner! Be sure to check out the blog and read about my horror stories and paranormal romances!

Until next time,
Kelli

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Inside Look at The Viking's Witch - Part 2




Hi everyone,

Welcome to Part Two of an “Inside Look” at TheViking’s Witch. As most of you may know, The Viking’s Witch is a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803.  The main character, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then – nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer.

 In the last blog, I talked about how the book came about, the research involved, and the violence that takes place in the story. Now I’ll share some insight into the characters, Odaria’s magic “witch” powers, and leave you with a steamy excerpt!

First, here’s the plot summary:


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 and be used for his ambitions?

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. They’re not based on any particular person. (Although Chris Hemsworth from Thor is pretty much is what I envisioned Rothgar to look like.)

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 meet up, 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.

I like introducing secondary characters and subplots into all my books to flesh out the story. I’ve been asked about the secondary character, Nordskog. He’s not the type of “hero” one would typically find in a romance, but he serves an important role in the story. Where did he come from? Well…

I used to work with a woman whose last name was Nordskog and I told her that one day I’d use her name in a book, so I did! Nordskog is a violent, vicious berserkr and has a history with Rothgar dating from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. After Odaria helps heal his leg, Nordskog develops a fondness for her, as well. He’s an impulsive brute, but he’s not stupid. He knows that Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services and loyalty.

But if readers thought Nordskog was bad, the antagonist, Brennan, is even worse.

Brennan has been described as “a perfectly evil villain” which was exactly my intention. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous SOB but not have his character be too over the top. Brennan is a lying, murdering, religious zealot and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers. Most of the terrible things he’s done happen off page and we learn about them through Odaria. Each time I wrote a scene for, or about, Brennan, I made him a little more unstable and psychotic, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.

Throughout the book, Odaria shows off her “witch powers” and uses them for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar doesn’t believe her and thinks she’s just pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after an interaction with Brennan, Rothgar got 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 “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write! I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.

Now that you know all about the book and the characters, here’s a short (yet steamy) excerpt from The Viking’s Witch.

As Odaria rubbed her temples with her fingertips, the wool blanket slipped down, exposing her breasts. She tried to cover herself, but Rothgar held her wrists.

"Let me admire you." He pulled away from her and sat back on his heels.

Although she was a bit embarrassed, she felt no need to shield herself. She trusted Rothgar like no other. Before she knew what was happening, Rothgar’s warm mouth covered her left breast. A flash of desire coursed through her, and she groaned.

He suckled her gently, then twirled his tongue around her nipple. The sensation of his mouth working against her flesh sent her senses reeling, and she longed for more. A low moan escaped her throat as he increased the pressure on her breast.

She wrapped her arms around Rothgar’s head and held him to her, arching her back as he devoured her. Her lustful feelings from this morning resurfaced, and she willed him to ease her back onto the bed and make love to her.

After a few minutes, Rothgar moved away. "I thought that would make you feel better," he said with a wink.

She smiled. "Aye. I do. I’m tingling everywhere, but it isn’t enough."

Rothgar stroked her cheek with his forefinger. "Then lie back. I will make you feel things you’ve never dreamed of."

Odaria lay on the bed and closed her eyes. Her entire body felt prickly, and her heart thundered in her chest like a drum. What would Rothgar do next? Would they make love? He was the only man who had ever sparked these desires in her. It felt natural to give herself to him.

She felt a slight chill as Rothgar tugged the wool blanket away from her lower half, exposing her. A tremor of fear rippled through her. "What happens now? I dunno how to do this," she whispered.

"Fret not, my little witch. We will not make love now. I wish to save that pleasure for tonight." He chuckled. "But I know how to give you the same pleasures of lovemaking while leaving you intact."

"How could—?"
 
She gasped as Rothgar leaned over her and suckled her breast again. Her skin quivered as Rothgar trailed kisses down her ribs and stomach, inching lower with each kiss. His strong hands massaged her calves, sliding upward until he rubbed her knees, then her thighs. His kisses went lower, tickling her until he reached her lower belly. She moaned and squirmed on the bed. This delightful teasing and touching was something she’d never expected. How did Rothgar know how to make her feel so weak and vulnerable?

***

 You can order a copy of the book here: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/the-vikings-witch/


If you've read the book, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment or drop me a line via the "Contact the Author" form on the News page of my site: www.KelliWilkins.com
 
Until next time,

Kelli

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inside Look at THE VIKING'S WITCH - Part 1




Hi everyone,

As most of you may know, my first Medallion Press novel, The Viking’s Witch was released in August. It’s a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D.  The main character, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then – nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer.

In this blog, I’ll talk about how the book came about, the research involved, and the violence that takes place in the story. (Yes, even though it’s a romance, everything’s not all hearts and flowers.) In Part Two of the blog I’ll talk about the characters, Odaria’s magic ‘witch’ powers, and more!


First, here’s the plot summary:


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 and readers have asked what my inspiration was when I was writing the book, and they are curious about how much research I had to do to create the characters and setting.

Like many of my books, the idea for the story just came to me. One day, the entire opening sequences popped into my head and I knew I had to start writing the book. At the time, I had the basic plot (Viking warrior falls in love with Celtic witch), but I wasn’t sure about most of the details, like the character names, their backstories, and the subplot. All of that came later, along with the secondary characters Brennan and Nordskog. (But I’ll talk more about them in Part Two of this blog!)

Scotland is a beautiful place and I’ve always wanted to set a book there. (I still may write another historical set in the Highlands.) Having the story take place on the remote Orkney Islands added a sense of urgency and tension to the plot. In a sense, Rothgar and Odaria are “trapped” on the island and are forced to deal with angry villagers and the other Norsemen. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island, so there’s really nowhere for the characters to go. They’re forced to work together in order to get off the island – and survive.

Before I started writing a word of the book I had to do a lot research on where to set the story. I knew the book would take place in Scotland, where the Vikings traveled in their early years of exploration, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. Once I decided on the Orkneys, I had to pick which island to set the story (there are 70 different islands, but today, only 20 are inhabited).

I also had to research what life was like at that time period for Odaria and Rothgar. (What kind of clothes they would wear? What food did they eat? How did Norsemen travel so far? What were their ships like?) Odaria and Rothgar come from different backgrounds and technically would have been speaking different languages, so I had to blend their two cultures together in a way that flowed with the book.

After I got a feel for what everyday life was like for each of them, I weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse culture intrigues Odaria and she is curious about their clothes, customs, their food, how they travel, etc. Having Rothgar show her how he lived was a good way to introduce readers into the culture.

And of course, if you were living back in 803 with bands of Norsemen and crazy villagers, you can expect there was some measure of violence. Readers might think that there’s no place for violence in a romance, but I think that type of realism enhances the story.

In 803, life was completely different from how we live now – especially on a remote island. People got hurt, sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch is about a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent reputations, so the violence in the story is necessary to move the plot along while also helping the reader get deeper into the minds and lives of the characters.

I didn’t cringe when I wrote the “gritty” scenes; I was happy to include them. I like history and it drives me crazy when people in 1500 or 1870 are perfectly clean and neat and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. In The Viking’s Witch I included enough details to bring the story alive, yet showed how some degree of violence was necessary for Rothgar’s and Odaria’s survival.

I hope you enjoyed Part One of this “Inside Look” at The Viking’s Witch. Next week, I’ll delve into the characters and discuss Odaria’s magic!

You can order a copy of the book here: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/the-vikings-witch/  


Until next time,

Kelli

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Viking's Witch - Just Released!



Hi everyone!
 
My first romance with Medallion Press, The Viking’s Witch, was just released. This historical with paranormal elements is set in Celtic Scotland.
 
This book was a lot of fun to write. As most readers know, I love Scotland and the paranormal, so the setting and characters were a great fit for me. I've already been doing interviews for the book and guest blogging, so stay tuned to this blog (and my Twitter & Facebook pages) for reviews, interviews, links, and more. I've also added a box to this blog that's filled with the latest news.

Here's the plot summary and a tame excerpt. (The book is more along the lines of a traditional romance, rather than a sizzling hot erotic story - but Rothgar and Odaria do share several steamy scenes!)

The Viking’s Witch

Scotland, 803 A.D.

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 and be used for his ambitions?

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.

An Excerpt From The Viking’s Witch

Odaria scanned the cookroom and spotted a large table piled high with food. Brennan must have been planning a feast to celebrate her death. There would be plenty of meat and beer in the underground storage area. Men liked to eat. The Norsemen must be hungry from their long journey. Mayhap she could offer Rothgar a meal and strike a bargain with him.

“Are you hungry?” she asked, cocking her head. “I know where to find food and drink, wood for the fire, clean water, and—”

Hvat ist das plass?”

She scowled at him, trying to decipher his words. A few seconds later, she understood. “This is a cookroom. Women in the village prepare meals here. See?” She waved at the iron pots, wooden pitchers, and other cookery items stacked on the shelves around the room. “They make food.”

Rothgar rolled his eyes. “Ja. Vat ist dat?” He pointed to the door behind her.

“The gathering hall. The men conduct business here. There is a room upstairs for sleeping. The larder, the food and drink, is below,” she said slowly, hoping he’d understand.

He nodded and 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. Her heart fluttered. What was he doing? She stared into his eyes as he bowed his head. 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.

Rothgar curled his arms around her ribs. She didn’t protest. In spite of everything, he hadn’t harmed her and he had saved her from that horrible Norseman in the red tunic.

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. “Now, show me this food.”

“Aye.” She had no choice but to obey Rothgar’s wishes—for now.

 
 
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Happy Reading!
Kelli