#CharacterInterview “Love, Lies, and Redemption” by Kelli A. Wilkins

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Please give a warm welcome to Sam Hixton, the hero from Love, Lies and LLRRedemption by Kelli A. Wilkins. Today we sit down and see what makes him tick.

Q: Greetings, Sam. Before we get started, could you tell our readers about the book?

Sure, I’m glad to. Love, Lies and Redemption is a full-length novel set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy Western romance with mystery and danger. It has a little bit of everything: humor, sadness, and more than a few spicy love scenes. (Grins.)

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?

I’m not sure what I did to make Kelli annoyed at me, but the book begins with me shot and half-dead, stumbling across the prairie. I’m at the lowest point in my life then, and I was ready to fall down and not bother to get up. I’m not usually like that; I’m known for being resilient and determined. Once I set my sights on a goal, I go after it. Of course, that’s how I got into that predicament in the first place—but that’s a long story.

I made my way to Cassie Wilcox’s store and she saved my life. Against her better judgment, Cassie allowed me to stay with her until I recovered. When I was back on my feet I felt that I had a debt to pay, and that it was my duty to watch over Cassie. Naturally, this led to lots of conflict between us. And it didn’t help that the townsfolk (and Luke, the sheriff) didn’t trust me because I was a stranger, and I defended Cassie when she needed it.

Cassie brought me back into the land of the living (in more ways than one), although it wasn’t easy for either of us. We both had issues with trusting other people, and ourselves.

Q: What drew you to Cassie? Tell us about her.

Cassie is an amazing woman for our time. When I met her, she was running a general store that had seen better days. The store meant everything to her and she was determined to keep it open, no matter what. Cassie lived in Holloway all her life, and her father used to run the store. After a tragic incident, Cassie inherited the store, but the puritanical townspeople didn’t approve of her independent ways and wanted to drive her out.

I admired Cassie’s strength and perseverance, and discovered that under her seemingly gruff exterior, she was a sensitive woman who longed to be loved. Of course, she refused to admit that, and we had our fair share of spats from the moment we met. (Laughs.) That probably made me love her even more.

Q: What is it about Cassie that makes you crazy in a good way?
Sometimes she’s just so dang headstrong! She’ll get an idea to do something, and off she goes. Of course I’m able to settle her, but that’s because she loves and trusts me. In the book, I have to be the calm voice of reason and tell her to slow down and make a logical plan to do something. Cassie was on her own and had to rely on herself for everything. Now she has me to help her, whether she wants the help or not.

Q: Was there an instant attraction between you?

Oh yes! I was attracted to Cassie from the moment I first woke up—even though she wasn’t very nice to me. Cassie fell for me, too, but she had a hard time admitting it. Part of her didn’t want to get attached because her heart’s been broken before, and she didn’t want to feel vulnerable again.

Q: Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? What sort of upsetting or embarrassing things did Kelli do to you and Cassie in the book?

I was put through the worst trials and tribulations imaginable before the book started. (I can’t divulge them here, but they were whoppers!) Of course, the troubles from my past resurfaced just as I was settling in and making a new life with Cassie.

Our relationship was nearly destroyed a few times (thanks, Kelli!) due to trust issues (or rather, “lack of trust” issues), and we almost went our separate ways toward the end. It was a very emotional time for me, and I’ll admit, I wasn’t always seen in a good light. But, as in all great romances, Cassie and I do live happily-ever-after.

Q: Describe yourself in four words.

Loyal. Dependable. Funny. Mysterious.

Q: What do you do for a living?

Right now I’m working in a hardware store, and loving it. Why? (Laughs) Nobody’s shooting at me! A long time ago, I used to be a sheriff, and that got me into a lot of trouble. That experience came in handy in the book, but I’m glad to put that violent lifestyle behind me.

Q: What do you fear the most?

I fear what most people fear—losing the people they love. Before I met Cassie I suffered a great personal loss and it took me a very long time to get over it. I nearly lost Cassie a few times in the book, and I was reminded all over again how short and precious life is.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Love, Lies and Redemption is a great book, if I do say so myself. It’s gotten several excellent reviews and is a perfect way to lose yourself in another place and time. If you like Westerns, you’ll love this story. And if you’ve never read one, now’s your chance.

Kelli has written several other historical romances, but her other two most recent releases are: The Viking’s Witch and Dangerous Indenture. From what I heard, they’re pretty good, too. Lots of action, adventure, mystery, drama, and hot love scenes! I’ve learned that Kelli doesn’t write boring books. She says that although she writes a lot of historical romances, they all take place in different time periods and different places. So, she’s not “just” writing Westerns or “only” writing about a certain century.

Her romances span all genres (contemporary, historical/fantasy, gay, paranormal) and range from mild to super-spicy. I encourage everyone to check out all of her books here: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins or https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins and read more about them on her site: www.KelliWilkins.com.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. This was fun. I might ask Cassie to visit in an upcoming chat.

Thank you, Sam, for joining us today. Here’s a look at Love, Lies and Redemption:

Love, Lies and Redemption

 Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature, but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store, but find their efforts are thwarted — and their lives endangered — by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?

Cassie has everything invested in the store — can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

LLR

Order Love, Lies and Redemption here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0849LN73Z

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdzL6W

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 Want more romance? Visit Kelli’s site: www.KelliWilkins.com and follow her FB pages:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

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 ABOUT THE AUTHORKelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2020, Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

She released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance in November 2019. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in August 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

vikings witchEarlier in 2019 she released The Viking’s Witch, a paranormal/historical romance, and

Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romanceDangerous Indenture set in Colonial Pennsylvania.

 Kelli has authored two online writing courses: Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas and Fiction Writing for Beginners. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Because of You” – Kelly Clarkson

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Alone/Confined/Depressed/Isolated/Restless/Solo.

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Kelly Clarkson originally wrote Because of You when she was 16 years old to cope with the emotional distress caused by her parents’ divorce. The song explores the pain of Clarkson’s deteriorating relationship with her father and the isolation she felt from both parents.

She wanted the song to be included on her debut studio album, Thankful (2003), but her record label rejected the song. She then polished the song with David Hodges and Ben Moody (both from Evanescence) before successfully convincing her label to include it on her second album, Breakaway, in 2005.

Because of You peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 2 million digital downloads in the United States. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

FUN FACTS:

  • Because of You became Clarkson’s biggest success in Europe, topping the European Hot 100 Singles chart. It also reached number one in Brazil, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland, as well as the top ten in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
  • Because of You won in the category for Best Female Video at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • In 2007, the song was recorded by Reba McEntire as a duet with Clarkson, which was released as a lead single for McEntire’s twenty-fourth studio album Reba: Duets.

Clarkson wrote the treatment for the accompanying video herself in order to reflect the pain that she felt due to her parents’ divorce. The video’s plot centers on Clarkson engaging in a heated argument with her husband in front of her child before realizing that she was repeating her parents’ mistake.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Because of You

I will not make
The same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break
The way you did, you fell so hard
I’ve learned the hard way
To never let it get that far
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid
I lose my way
And it’s not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that’s weakness in your eyes
I’m forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can’t possibly break
When it wasn’t even whole to start with
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid
I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known
Better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don’t know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I’m ashamed of my life
Because it’s empty
Because of you
I am afraid
Because of you
Because of you
Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, Lyric Find, and YouTube.
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