Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kelli’s Quill - January 2018 Issue

Happy 2018 everyone! In this issue, we’re doing a flashback to my 2017 releases (all 7 of them) and flashing forward to a look at what’s on the horizon. I’ve also included new social media news & links, blogs, book reviews, plus answer a few FAQ in Kelli’s Corner. Here we go:

A Look Back
It’s hard to believe, but I released 7 romances in 2017. These titles were originally published by Amber Quill Press (in one form or another) and we all reedited and revised. Some even got excellent new covers. In case you missed any, here’s the list:

Beauty & the Bigfoot - paranormal comedy (September)
Trust with Hearts - contemporary romance (July)
Four Days with Jack - gay contemporary (June)
Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights - erotic historical/fantasy trilogy (Spring)
Loving a Wild Stranger - historical/pioneer romance (January) 

Read book summaries, excerpts, reviews, and more on my website: and blog:

Sharing New Reviews
Several of my books got great reviews! Here’s a sample…

The San Francisco Review of Books posted a great new review for my writing book You Can Write—Really! Here’s an excerpt: “If you’ve ever wanted to write fiction, then you will want to read this book. This book has tips and techniques that will help not only beginners, but more advanced writers as well. All aspects of the craft of writing are covered, in the order that they are needed. There are concrete and detailed descriptions in each chapter, information that would well serve writers from a variety of levels. And yet, the complete novice will not be overwhelmed.”

Ready to write? Order You Can Write—Really! here:

Coffetime Romance gave Beauty & the Bigfoot a 4 coffee cup rating! Here’s a snippet: “Tara and Kyani’s story is unusual but entertaining. There were a few times I laughed out loud at the path this love story took. The book is an unusual spin on paranormal but one worth reading. Give Beauty & the Bigfoot a read – you will not be disappointed.”

Read about Beauty & the Bigfoot here:

My contemporary romance novel, Trust with Hearts also got a great review. Here’s an excerpt: “There are family and friends, sorrow, loss, sadness, fear, anger, hurt, angst, tears, laughter, happiness, lots of loving and ultimately love. There is a nice flow to the story and I loved Curtis’ memories of growing up with his grandmother and what an important role she played in his life even now. Wilkins is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her books in the contemporary and historical romance genres – two that I especially love.”

Read about Trust with Hearts here:

New Stuff for the New Year
I'm now on Instagram!!! Follow my wacky posts:

I added my profile & books to Bookbub:

Check out my new look for Twitter & follow along:

Get FREE READS from all of my romances here:

Stay tuned for website & blog updates/refreshes as the year progresses!

And… I’m putting the finishing touches on a new historical romance. This full-length novel  has a Gothic feel and will be out sometime in 2018. After that, I have more ideas for a new gay romance (or two), another historical, and a paranormal contemporary romance. Be sure to follow me on social media for the latest updates & news.

Looking for something to read? Catch up on these guest blogs:
Need some motivation to reach your goals in 2018? Check out my latest writing blog!

If you love historical romances, don’t miss LOVING A WILD STRANGER. Read more about the book here:

Read an excerpt from my contemporary romance, A DECEPTIVE MATCH, in this book spotlight:

Like Vikings? Read about my historical romance, THE VIKING’S WITCH. Post includes an excerpt!

Kelli’s Corner
This month, I’m answering a few FAQ about my paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot.

Q: Beauty & the Bigfoot is certainly an unusual romance with a blend of comedy and sensuality. Tell us more about it. 

I knew that a romance about Bigfoot would have to be a comedy – nobody would buy into the idea of a “serious” love story about Bigfoot. From there, the idea, characters, and back story about the legend grew and morphed into the book. It’s sort of a modern take on Beauty and the Beast – with plenty of humor and drama to draw readers into Tara’s crazy world.

When I was writing the story, I was concerned about two aspects: One was readers being turned off/freaked out by the idea of a woman being intimate with a “monster” (or an “animal”); the second thing that concerned me was that readers wouldn’t “get” the wacky humor and unusual characterization of Tara and her father, Charlie.

I made sure I gave the Sasquatch a name, (Joe), and humanistic traits so readers can see him as Tara does – as a really hairy guy. I’m happy to say that Beauty & the Bigfoot has received several excellent reviews, so the story and humor are connecting with readers.

Q: Beauty and the Bigfoot is a romantic comedy. Is a sense of fun something you try to incorporate in much of your writing?

Some of my books feature characters that have odd or strange senses of humor or are just plain witty. (Prince Allan’s character in A Most Intriguing Temptation was so adorable and clever that I gave him a book of his own, A Most Unfortunate Prince. Allan is able to cope with bad situations and maintains his smartass sense of humor even though the book is not a comedy. A Most Unusual Princess also has a lot of humor in it. However, Beauty & the Bigfoot was the first book that I set out to intentionally make funny. 

It’s one thing to sprinkle in some humor here and there, but to start out trying to be funny can be a bit daunting. I try to make my stories fun or lighthearted in some scenes, dramatic in others, and steamy when the romance heats up. I think giving the characters variety helps – not everyone is always clever or always serious.

Q: How much research do you do before writing your books?

That depends on the type of story I’m writing. If I’m writing a historical, once I have a time period for the story, I research details and/or ideas for setting, clothing, occupations, or even the food that people ate. I like to weave details into the stories and blend them in as naturally as possible. When I’m writing fantasy romance, I invent my own “world” and history, so that cuts down on a lot of research. I don’t do much research for the contemporary romances. But if I need to know specific details about a subject for the sake of the character, I’ll find out all I can to make the character or situation believable.

I actually did a great deal of research before I wrote Beauty & the Bigfoot. Although I know a lot about Bigfoot, I had to know everything about the history and mythology of the creature. To write the part of Charlie (Tara’s “Bigfoot-expert” father) I needed to be able to rattle off all kinds of details about the creatures that only an avid Bigfoot hunter would know (sort of like how a baseball fan can recite a favorite player’s stats).

I went to the library and took out all the Bigfoot books they had. (And yes, I got strange looks from the librarian.) I also watched Bigfoot shows on TV. While doing research, I came across Sasquatch accounts that dated from as far back at the 1500s, and sightings that referred to them as wild men who sometimes took human wives. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest have several names for the creatures and had their own legends, as well. All of that information got my imagination going, and the story took off from there.

A lot of the tiny details in the story are authentic – based on the research I did and the actual reported Bigfoot sightings. Knowing these details made it easier to understand the characters and write the story.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Please share it with your social media friends. I welcome feedback and questions from readers, so drop me a line with your comments.

Until next time…

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cold? Spend Four Days with Jack!

Hi everyone,

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

Four Days with Jack is set on a tropical island, and it’s a perfect read if you’re looking to heat up your winter nights!

Here’s the book summary and a mild excerpt:

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

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

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

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

The excerpt:
Jack finished brushing his teeth and studied his reflection in the mirror. He looked happy for a change, and for once, he felt content. How many years had he waited, prayed, for this night? He’d been hopelessly in love with David forever. Now they were together. But why? What had prompted David to make the leap?

Obviously breaking up with Allison had played a part in his sudden “conversion,” but what would happen when they got home? Would David come out to his parents and everyone else? Or keep living a lie?

He flicked off the bathroom light and went into the bedroom. David’s steady breathing told him he was asleep. It was no wonder that he was exhausted. They’d had a long day—flying in from Philly, sitting in the sun, drinking… and now this. He smiled. And they still had two more nights in their island paradise.

He walked to the veranda, slid the screen door open, and stepped outside. The night air was a bit chilly, yet the cool breeze felt refreshing. He gazed toward the ocean. A quarter moon reflected off the water. In the distance, he heard calypso music and people laughing. That was an interesting thing about the resort; although hundreds, maybe thousands of people were around, it felt like they were alone.

You have to tell him about Andre. It’s only fair.

He leaned against the railing and sighed. Eventually David would ask him how he could toss aside his live-in boyfriend of two years. He was too morally straight not to question if this was considered cheating.

Ironically, he had been dating Andre exactly as long as David had been with Allison. But Andre had kicked him out a week before David and Allison called it quits.

Despite what happened, part of him still loved Andre. But Andre had only been interested in getting hard and getting off. There was no romance between them, just whatever it took to come. David was different. When he was with him, it wasn’t about sex. They had a connection. They belonged together.

And besides, he couldn’t go back to Andre, not after what he did. It was one thing to have an argument and move out, but when the person you loved hit you—

“What are you doing?”

David’s sleepy-sounding voice broke him from his thoughts, and he cleared his throat. “Watching the water,” he said, then reentered the room. Thinking about the situation with Andre depressed him. Right now, he felt like curling up with David and telling him everything—but he didn’t want to burden him.

“Should I get a wake-up call?”

“Nah, let’s sleep in.” He stripped, then pulled the sheets back and climbed into bed. Instinctively, they rolled onto their sides and kissed.

“Thank you for tonight,” David said, nestling close. “What can I do for you?”

“Hold me, and don’t let go.”

Order your copy of Four Days with Jack here:

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

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Romance Rewind - Loving a Wild Stranger

Hi everyone,

Believe it or not, it’s been a year since I released my historical/pioneer romance, Loving a Wild Stranger. I’m happy to report that the book has received several great reviews. This full-length novel is set in the Michigan Territory and blends adventure with a sensual love story.

Here’s the summary, excerpts from two reviews, and few links to learn more about the book:

Loving a Wild Stranger

A woman running from her past… straight into the arms of an untamed man

In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and forced to rely on her instincts, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride.

Committed to her deception, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and starts her new life with Luther in an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. Michelle has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from.

Luther’s friend, Redfeather visits and tries to convince Luther to send Michelle back east. Distrusting Michelle, he warns Luther that his bride is not what she seems. But Luther is in love with Michelle, and he is harboring a secret of his own—one that might force Michelle to reject him when she learns the truth.

Michelle falls in love with Luther and adapts to her new way of life. Together, they face off against brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy everything.

Publisher’s Weekly says:
“Wilkins (Trust with Hearts) has created a wonderfully sweet romance. The fantastic tension between the two characters as they grapple with their sudden newlywed status and the awkwardness that comes with marrying a perfect stranger keeps this story emotional and realistic as they fall in love. The story flows nicely and does not rush the romance. Wilkins keeps readers interested with strong, complex characters. Fans of pioneer romances will enjoy this one.”

Long & Short Romances says:
“4 Stars! This book has the potential to be made into a movie. This book took over my life. I ignored everyone and everything. The writing style made the entire book come to life as if I were there. The plot was really great. Nothing was going to interrupt my time with Luther. I envied the heroine, Michele. Loving a Wild Stranger reminded me of the 1970s T.V. show, “Grizzly Adams” – one of my favorite childhood television shows.

The writing style made the entire book come to life as if I were there. It was clever how Ms. Wilkins incorporated many plot threads and weaved them all together. I recommend this book and will be keeping it on my keeper shelf! I would recommend reading Loving a Wild Stranger while relaxing by a lake!”


Order your copy of Loving a Wild Stranger here:

Want even more? Learn about the making of the book & read an excerpt here:

Then, read an interview with Luther, the hero from Loving a Wild Stranger

Feel free to repost & share this blog (and links) with your social media friends!

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Set Your Writing Goals for the New Year

Hi everyone!

Welcome to my first blog of 2018!

If you’ve visited my social media pages in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that I made some changes. I have new banners on my Facebook Author page, my Twitter feed will feature fun photos as well as book news, free reads of all my books are available on the Manic Readers site, and I’m now on Instagram. (Whew!)

It’s appropriate to think about changes at this time of year. After all, we have brand new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come. Every day is filled with hope, possibilities, and opportunities to make this year really great.

As we head into the New Year, it seems that everyone’s talking about changes and goals. What are your writing goals for 2018? 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? Now is the perfect time to sit down and make a list of all you want to accomplish. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track.

For example, if you’re determined to start 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. (Need help getting started? Check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write - Really!)

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.

Take ten or fifteen minutes to evaluate your writing career. What did you accomplish last year that you’re most proud of? What would you like to achieve this year? What markets did you crack that you’d like to write for again? Which publications do you really want your work to appear in?

When you write down your goals, start off your sentences with a positive statement, such as: “I will finish my novel by June 1” or “I will submit six articles to magazines.” After you’ve made the list, note what you need to do to get started. This could include setting aside specific times to write each day, getting writer’s guidelines, or sending out query letters. Then, pick one project (the most time-sensitive one, or your personal favorite), and get to work. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to publication!

One of my goals was to get my latest historical romance novel “done” by today. (It’s my birthday!) It’s “done” in the sense that the latest draft is finished. I need to give it another proofread before I send it out, but that’s one goal down so far. (Another goal is to find a title for the book ‒ but that’s a whole other subject…)

This is also the perfect time of year to let go of things that no longer serve you. Simplify as much as you can, and you’ll make room for new opportunities and events in your life. (This applies to everything – not just writing.)

For example, if certain social media sites or groups aren’t working for you, or are taking away from your writing time, scale back on the time you spend there. Everyone get 24 hours each day, so choose how you use your time wisely. 

What are your writing goals? Is there a topic you would like to see me address on the blog this year? I welcome comments/feedback about the blog, my books, and my newsletter. Sign in and leave a comment or email me via the “Contact the Author” form on the News page of my website.

Until next time,