Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Summer Romance Rewind… A Deceptive Match

Hi everyone,

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner, so today I’m sharing a look at my sizzling summer romance, A Deceptive Match.

A Deceptive Match is a contemporary romance novel set in the world of professional wrestling. Wrestling has always been a part of my life, so it was only natural that one day I’d write a book with wrestling as the backdrop. But this book is different from all of my other books because the entire story came to me in a rather unusual way—in a dream.

One morning I woke up and said “Uh-oh!” and grabbed the pen and paper next to the bed. (I keep it there in case of inspiration.) I knew that if I didn’t immediately start writing down everything in my head, it would be lost forever. So I sat there, furiously scribbling the outline. At this point, it was just the bare bones of the plot and the characters, but I knew I was onto something.

Over the course of the day, more bits and pieces came through. Now I had a subplot, secondary characters, and knew more about what was happening in this wrestling romance that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I was fortunate enough to actually “see” the book in my head like a movie—some scenes were missing, but I had a clear picture to work from.

People who have read the book and know about my love of wrestling always ask me the same questions: Which wrestlers are the characters based on? How do you know all this stuff? How much of it is real?

It’s easier to answer the second question first. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be on friendly terms with a bunch of wrestlers. My husband and I would go to matches and hang out with the guys after the shows. (No, I wasn’t a ring rat.) I picked up a lot of terms and got a real feel for what they did and how they experienced life on the road.

At the time, the thought of being a writer never even crossed my mind, so I had no idea that one day I’d use what I learned in a book. When I got the idea for A Deceptive Match, I was able to incorporate much of what I knew into the plot through Danni’s point of view.

The male characters in the book (Vinnie, Ev, Thorn, and Nick) aren’t based on any one wrestler or any real person. I specifically made sure that Vinnie and the others aren’t linked to real wrestlers, because it would take away from the story. Like characters in any book, I invented whatever quirks, flaws, and backstory I needed to help move the plot along.

And how much of it is real? Well, anyone who knows anything about wrestling can tell you that it’s technically termed “sports entertainment” for a reason. But that doesn’t discredit all the training, hard work, and other sacrifices the wrestlers go through every day. A Deceptive Match touches on the subject of what’s “real” and what goes on behind the scenes that most fans are unaware of.

Here’s the book summary:

A Deceptive Match

Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash.

Disgruntled with her job as the office assistant for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler.

Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.

Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie, and she unwittingly becomes a key player in his title match. Their mutual attraction grows, and late one night, they give in to the lustful feelings they’ve been fighting.

As their relationship deepens, Danni considers telling Vinnie her secret. But before she can confess the truth, Vinnie discovers she isn’t the reporter she claims to be. Her lie threatens to ruin everything between them. Will their relationship be destroyed by her deception or will their love win out?

Order A Deceptive Match here:


I enjoyed creating the characters in this wrestling universe, and as I was writing, I fell in love with Everett, Vinnie’s best friend. I knew I had to tell Ev’s story and give him his own book, so I wrote A Secret Match. That book is all about Everett, but Danni and Vinnie play supporting roles in the storyline. Although the books are connected, they each stand alone as individual reads.

I hope romance fans and wrestling fans alike will check out A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match. They’re a good blend of action, drama, romance, humor, and spicy love scenes.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What Readers Want to Know…


Today I’m answering a few fun questions about myself, my books, and writing in general.

Readers want to know…

How would you describe yourself using only five words?
Busy romance and horror author.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Of course! I lounge around on the couch in front of the TV when I should be writing, or cleaning, or doing something else. I usually devote my Friday nights to being lazy.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I block out a chunk of time and review my outline. Then I envision the scene I want to write and just do it. My first draft is nowhere near perfect—at that stage, all I want to do is write the scene so it’s out of my head and on the paper. When I go back and revise, I add dialogue tags, sensory details, and fix up the word choices to make the scene come alive.

If someone hasn’t read any of your work, what book(s) would you recommend that they start with and why?
That depends on what genre they like to read. My romances include almost all genres, and the heat levels vary from mildly sensual to scorching-hot.

Historical romance lovers would enjoy Dangerous Indenture. It’s a full-length novel set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Or, if they like something with more adventure, they could read Loving a Wild Stranger. Redemption from a Dark Past is perfect for Gothic romance lovers.

Readers of historical/fantasy romance would like either the Royal Desires series (A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, and A Most Unfortunate Prince) or the Naughty Nobles trilogy (Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights).

Contemporary romance readers can fall in love with Vinnie, the hero from A Deceptive Match, or Curtis, the sexy country singer from Trust with Hearts. Paranormal lovers would like Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover or Beauty & the Bigfoot.

And readers of gay romance have a choice between A Secret Match, Four Days with Jack, or Killer in Wolf’s Clothing. I like to say I have romances for everyone!

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this?
That’s a fantasy. People want to believe that writers sit around contemplating what to write all day, crank out a perfect book in a week, then sit back and collect outrageously huge checks. That’s fiction! Many non-writers don’t understand that creating a book out of thin air is a time-consuming (and sometimes frustrating) process that takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

I’ve had people ask me how come I don’t have a million dollars or why haven’t my books been on the New York Times Best-seller List yet. The reality is that some authors can and do quit their day jobs to write, while others put in 40 hours a week doing something else and then carve out time from the rest of the day to write. It’s not always glamorous, but creating characters and writing about them is fun, and that’s why I do it.

Do you ever feel forced to write?
Yes. Sometimes when I haven’t been writing for a while and I’m slacking off, a little voice pops into my head and says, “You’d better sit down and start writing something, now!” This usually happens after I’ve taken a week or so off after a new release to recharge.

Have you ever written about your own bad habits/personality flaws? 
I haven’t yet – at least not consciously! But Elara in A Most Unusual Princess can be pushy, stubborn, opinionated, and doesn’t always listen. (Some people might see a bit of me in her…) I do give my characters some of my better traits: a wacky sense of humor (Beauty & the Bigfoot), inner strength and determination (Dangerous Indenture) and belief in a good cause (Trust with Hearts). I like to include character traits or incorporate aspects of real people into my stories, so I always tell friends and family (and others), “be nice to me, or I might put you in a story.”

If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’d have lunch with Stephen King (his schedule permitting, of course). Most people probably don’t know that in addition to my romances, I also write horror fiction. I read Stephen King’s short stories at a very young age, and his writing style and distinct voice have always stuck with me. I think his book On Writing is a must-read for anyone who writes or wants to write. And lunch? We’d go someplace low-key and casual (like a retro diner that has its fair share of unique characters) and be so busy talking about all sorts of stuff (writing, the horror genre, Dwight Yoakam, and Lucas Davenport!) that we’d forget to eat!

Tell us about your latest release(s).
In March, I released Dangerous Indenture. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Earlier this year I published the second half of 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. Readers can learn more about them on my website.

What’s next on the horizon for you?
Currently, I’m re-editing my historical romances previously published with Medallion Press. After that, I have ideas for a few other romances (a paranormal, and a gay contemporary). Of course, in between all this, I’m also working on a few new horror stories.

Where can readers get in touch with you or find you on the web?
I just launched a brand new website - - same url, totally new look! It’s the best place to read about all of my books and find me on social media. There’s also a contact form where readers can get in touch with me and ask me questions or leave feedback. I invite everyone to stop by for a visit. I enjoy learning which books, characters, and scenes readers love best. 

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts today.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Kelli’s May Update — Time Brings Changes…

Welcome to May!

It’s hard to believe that we’re starting another month, and summer is just around the corner. Time is certainly flying by, and the last year has been hard for me, personally and professionally. I’ve had to deal with more than my fair share of loss, grief, disappointments, and frustrations. It’s been rough, and these painful changes have made me reevaluate just about everything in my life — including my writing.

I’ve decided to let go of all the things that aren’t working, purge the excess, change what needs an overhaul, make the best use of my time, and go where my heart leads me. Life is too short to spend it bogged down with “must do” or “should” lists and wasting precious time on things that don’t make you happy.

What does this mean for my writing? Well, for a time, I considered giving it up completely. It was just too much work with too little reward. It wasn’t fun anymore and it had lost the magic it once held for me. But instead of abandoning writing entirely, I decided to streamline. I gave up trying to do “everything” — write all the stories in my head, blog, promote my backlist, etc.

I sat down and prioritized what I want to do. Which romances do I still feel enough love for that I want to invest the time and energy in writing? Which ideas can I let go? What stories would I regret not writing? What about my horror fiction? How many stories do I want to write in 2019? What about the non-fiction ebook ideas I have?

I made some decisions on how I’ll be using my writing time for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

Romances: I’m in the process of re-editing/revising my last two Medallion Press historical romances. At least one will be released in 2019. Maybe both. (They are 85,000-90,000 word novels, so they’re a bit time consuming.) What about new books? I’ve got a few on my “want to write” list. A contemporary gay novella, a paranormal/contemporary novel, and maybe another historical. Many other romances on my “I’ll write it someday” list didn’t make the cut. 

Horror: I have several story ideas brewing in my head. I love reading and writing horror — it’s what I started out writing, and I’ll be focusing more of my time on the genre. (I’ll also be releasing an anthology of sci-fi/horror short stories sometime. Maybe in 2019. We’ll see.)

Non-fiction: I have a non-fiction guide to romance all written and ready to be released (except for a cover) and I have 3-4 other ideas for more non-fiction ebooks and another online writing class. Will I write them? Not sure. Right now, they’re taking a back seat to everything else.

Other stuff: In April, I launched a brand new website ( — same url, totally different look. The new site is more modern, easier to navigate, and allows readers to follow me on social media, share, like, and pin posts and pages. The site also has its own dedicated blog. I’ll be sharing posts there as well as on my Blogspot blog.

As for social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), I’m cutting back to posting once a week or so, unless there’s a new release or exciting news to share. It’s time for me to get out of the endless loop of “needing” and “having” to post all the time. Social media is fine, but I’ve got things to do in the real world.

So that’s where things stand at the beginning of May. Will they change? Probably. And when they do, I’ll adjust — because life is all about change and how you adapt to it.

Until next time,