This “Meet the Character Day” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each “Behind the Scenes” blog, I talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. The “Meet the Character Day” blogs are fun chats with the heroes and heroines from my romances. Warning: blogs may contain spoilers.
Today we’re chatting with Sam Hixton, the hero from my historical romance, Love, Lies and Redemption. Let’s get to know him better…
Q: Greetings, Sam. Before we get started, could you tell 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.)
Here’s the summary and links…
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?
Order Love, Lies and Redemption here:
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Q: Tell us about yourself. How does the story begin for you?
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, 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, but 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: You have a lot of emotional and physical struggles in the book. Kelli put you through the wringer at times. How do you feel about that?
Well, I realize Kelli knows what she’s doing when it comes to writing a good story, but really? I had my fair share of heartache, self-doubt, lack of purpose, and I nearly died over the course of the book.
And, I was put through the worst emotional 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: 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: 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. It blends adventure, danger, and wry humor into an anything-but-boring romance.
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. If readers missed any blog in this series, they can catch up here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 5 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.
Her latest novel, In Another World, was released in early 2022. This contemporary mystery/romance is set in the world of the paranormal.
She also released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.
In 2021, Kelli published Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.
Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.