#GuestBlogger Straddling the Line Between Paranormal Romance & Horror by Kelli A. Wilkins

Greetings Romance Lovers!

At this time of year, horror movies are extremely popular and everyone is focusing on the supernatural. Werewolves, vampires, and other “creatures of the night” seem to be lurking everywhere, just waiting to leap out and terrify an unsuspecting heroine…

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover coverBut sometimes the heroine isn’t terrified. Sometimes she’s attracted to a vampire and can’t wait for the sun to go down so they can roam the night together, like any couple. That is, any couple in a paranormal romance.

Paranormals are a unique genre in the romance world. (Where else can a woman make love to an undead creature and not face criticism?) They straddle the line between traditional romances and the supernatural/fantasy/horror realm. And to create a convincing paranormal romance, the author has to do a bit of juggling in all of those worlds.

One of the most important elements in writing paranormal romances is to invent a believable universe where shifters, vampires, and other types of “otherworldly” characters are very real. Sometimes these creatures interact and coexist with “normal” humans (everyday people accept that vampires and shapeshifters exist), but most times they stay hidden in the shadows.

Whatever the basic premise, readers need to suspend their disbelief and lose themselves in the world the author has created. The writer has to establish a realistic paranormal character (or several) and take the reader on an exciting journey with the hero and heroine as they fall in love. After all, this is a romance!

The type of paranormal character who stars in the story is key to the plot, and can vary from nearly human to full-fledged monster.

For example, suppose the hero was once human and has been cursed to live as another vikings witchcreature (such as a Bigfoot, or a gargoyle). Can the curse be broken if he finds a human woman to love him? How does he go about that? Does he retain his human memories? Is the woman repulsed by him at first? Do they make love while he’s in his altered state? Variations on this “beauty and the beast” theme have been used in many paranormal romances, and usually there is a happy-ever-after ending for the couple.

But maybe the hero is an undead creature (a vampire) or turns into an animal (a werewolf or a werepanther). How does this change his personality and way of life? Does he resent humans and live with others of his kind? What does he do when he’s not transformed? How (and why) does he transform? What happens when he reveals his true nature to his beloved? How do they live happily-ever-after?

As you can see, falling in love with a non-human can create a lot of conflict and difficulties for the couple. And sometimes it’s a challenge for the author to make the “monster” into a romantic lead.

coverEven though the hero isn’t human, he must have a special appeal that makes the heroine overlook this fact and fall in love with him. Basically, the hero-creature has to remain true to his paranormal status and still be attractive to humans (and human readers), just like a traditional romance hero. (If not, then he’s the lead in a horror story, and that’s an entirely different realm.)

If the author doesn’t create a believable paranormal hero, readers won’t buy into it, and there certainly won’t be any sparks flying in the romance. Writers must make the “monster” as real as any other human character and flesh him out completely with a backstory, goals, motivation, and conflicts.

Another challenge for the author is to keep a balance between the paranormal elements and the romance. There needs to be realistic supernatural details added to the love story, but the author can’t gross out (or turn off) the heroine… or readers.

If a paranormal romance includes too much violence or gore, it could turn into a horror story. (In fact, with a little bit of rewriting, practically any paranormal romance could be transformed into a dark and disturbing horror tale.) To avoid this, the author has to find a way to deal with the bloodier or unpleasant aspects of being a monster, while still keeping the hero attractive.

For example, if the hero is a vampire, he’ll have to feed at some point during the story. The book coverwriter and the other characters must address this. How does the heroine deal with her boyfriend’s need to drink blood? Does she accept it? Ignore it? Does he feed “off page” where she can’t see? Does she ever let him feed off her? What if he loses control and goes wild?

These are all crucial things the author has to consider when developing characters and plotting a paranormal love story. Readers want to fall in love with a “safe” creature and live vicariously through the heroine as she navigates the paranormal world. But the monster/hero shouldn’t be dull or boring, or too predictable, either.

It’s always refreshing when authors break patterns and have paranormal characters go against stereotype. (Why do all vampires have to be suave, live in large houses, and dress well?) When I write paranormal romances, I always try to give readers something unexpected, turn a cliché on its ear, or use a different point of view to liven up the story.

In Killer in Wolf’s Clothing, my “werewolf” didn’t turn into a four-legged animal; he became a super-aggressive Alpha male. Beauty & the Bigfoot is a paranormal comedy that explores the legend of Bigfoot through quirky characters (and some hot love scenes!).

Rothgar, the hero in The Viking’s Witch doesn’t believe the heroine has witchlike powers—until she proves it. Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is told in first person from the hero’s point of view and takes place at the beach—and that’s not where you expect to find a vampire. Eddie, my “ghost cop” from In Another World has a lot of supernatural talents most ghosts don’t— including the ability to pull the living into an alternate realm—and make love to the heroine!

As Halloween approaches, take a closer look at the “monsters” and other supernatural creatures you encounter. But don’t be afraid… you might just fall in love with one of them!

Here’s the summary and links to In Another World, my latest paranormal romance.

 

In Another World

A Paranormal Mystery/Romance Novel

Disgraced psychic medium Julie Kershaw has finally met her soul mate. The problem is he’s dead… and his spirit haunts the car she just bought.

The spirit of Detective Eddie Mahoney is determined to find his killer and needs Julie’s help. At first, she refuses. She’s tired of being called crazy and swore she’d never use her abilities to speak to the dead again—even if Eddie is handsome and charming.

Eddie persuades Julie to contact his former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to ask him to reopen his case. Skeptical, Lou dismisses Julie as a fake—until she proves she can communicate with the dead—and he finds out Eddie has a lot to say.

Julie channels Eddie’s spirit and together with Lou, the unusual trio tracks down leads and follows clues to solve Eddie’s murder. The case takes them down a dark and dangerous path filled with secrets, where nobody can be trusted.

As they work to find his killer, Julie falls for Eddie. Funny, smart, and sexy, Eddie is the guy of her dreams—and he doesn’t look or act the least bit dead. To her surprise, Eddie discovers a clever way they can be together, and they begin an ethereal romance.

When Lou’s investigation brings him too close to the killer, his life and Julie’s are put in danger—and Eddie may be the only one who can save them.

Order your copy here:

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R11STRN

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bpw16g

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/in-another-world

You can catch up on all of my romances here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/romance and if you like to be scared, don’t miss my horror fiction: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror

Happy Haunting,

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger “In Another World A Paranormal Mystery/Romance” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Love Paranormal Romances? Don’t miss In Another World A Paranormal Mystery/Romance!

Hi everyone,

It’s November, the perfect month to curl up with a paranormal romance. Today I’m sharing a look at the making of In Another World. This contemporary romance novel blends a murder mystery with the world of the paranormal. Here’s the book summary and links…

book cover

In Another World

A Paranormal Mystery/Romance Novel

Disgraced psychic medium Julie Kershaw has finally met her soul mate. The problem is he’s dead… and his spirit haunts the car she just bought.

The spirit of Detective Eddie Mahoney is determined to find his killer and needs Julie’s help. At first, she refuses. She’s tired of being called crazy and swore she’d never use her abilities to speak to the dead again—even if Eddie is handsome and charming.

Eddie persuades Julie to contact his former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to ask him to reopen his case. Skeptical, Lou dismisses Julie as a fake—until she proves she can communicate with the dead—and he finds out Eddie has a lot to say.

Julie channels Eddie’s spirit and together with Lou, the unusual trio tracks down leads and follows clues to solve Eddie’s murder. The case takes them down a dark and dangerous path filled with secrets, where nobody can be trusted.

As they work to find his killer, Julie falls for Eddie. Funny, smart, and sexy, Eddie is the guy of her dreams—and he doesn’t look or act the least bit dead. To her surprise, Eddie discovers a clever way they can be together, and they begin an ethereal romance.

When Lou’s investigation brings him too close to the killer, his life and Julie’s are put in danger—and Eddie may be the only one who can save them.

Order your copy here:

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R11STRN

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bpw16g

In Another World has been a labor of love for many years. I’m thrilled that I finally finished the book, and now readers can enjoy the story and meet these very unusual characters I’ve created.

The book opens with Detective Eddie Mahoney, an undercover police officer, in a jam. His cover has been blown and he’s in the middle of nowhere with two criminals. Things don’t end well for Eddie, and although he doesn’t make it out of his predicament alive, his role in the book is just beginning.

Yes, you read that right. I killed off my main character—and the hero of the book—in the first few pages. Why? Because this isn’t your typical romance. Eddie is dead right from the start, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fall in love.

Next, readers are introduced to a headstrong woman named Julie Kershaw. She’s arguing with an unscrupulous used car dealer named Big Al. He sells her a car for cheap, and Julie is suspicious. Naturally, she wonders if there’s a catch, and there is. The car is haunted by… you guessed it—Eddie.

Eddie has been trying to communicate with the car’s previous owners, but never had any luck until Julie bought the car. At first, Eddie doesn’t realize that Julie is a psychic medium and can communicate with spirits. Once he knows she can see and hear him, Eddie uses his charms and persuades her to help him find his killer.

And so begins this unusual romance.

Most people would think this is a bit absurd. And maybe some readers will. But once you get drawn into the story and see that Eddie is pretty much like any other romantic hero (he just happens to be dead), the story flows along.

Eddie and Julie visit Eddie’s former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to persuade him to reopen Eddie’s case. Lou thinks Julie is crazy and can’t possibly be talking to Eddie. When Julie tells Lou things only Eddie knows, Lou is convinced Julie is telling the truth. Lou and Eddie start working the case just like old times. (Sorta.)

Lou is a great guy, and I loved writing for him. On the outside he appears to be a tough, no-nonsense detective who takes his job seriously. When he first meets (and interrogates) Julie, he acts like a typical “bad cop” and is very rough with her.

Lou doesn’t believe in ghosts and thinks all psychics are fakes. He’s also taken Eddie’s death personally. He feels like a failure because he couldn’t find his partner’s killer, and he is still working through his grief. Once Lou starts investigating with Eddie and Julie, his true personality comes out, and he’s more determined than ever to catch Eddie’s killer.

When I wrote the book, I had to make sure readers were able to follow the investigation along with Lou, even when Julie and Eddie weren’t present. I’ve never written a full-fledged mystery or detective story before, but I’ve watched enough mysteries and police dramas, so I think I got it right. I also had the good fortune to be related to a police captain and was able to ask his advice on the “police stuff” in the story. The book is a hybrid of romance and mystery. Sometimes it takes on more of a police procedural/mystery feel than a romance, and then in other scenes with Eddie and Julie, it’s a traditional romance.

I hope mystery, romance, and paranormal readers will enjoy this unique novel. It’s got something for everyone: danger, humor, love, ghosts, and quirky characters. I had fun writing this book and stepping into another world, blending the living and the dead.  (I’m also happy to report that the book has received several excellent reviews. You can read some of them here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/in-another-world)

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

~~~~

#GuestBlogger Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Julian from “Ultimate Night’s Delights” by Kelli A. Wilkins

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.

Hi everyone!

Today I’m sharing a fun chat with Julian, the hero from my erotic historical/fantasy romance, Ultimate Night’s Delights. Let’s get to know him better…
Ultimate Cover

Q: Greetings! Please tell the readers about yourself and describe your latest adventures.

Hello everyone! It’s nice to chat with readers who have found my sexploits with Annabelle, Sabrina, and Vincent so interesting (and tantalizing!).

As some readers may already know, Ultimate Night’s Delights is the third (and final) novella in the Naughty Nobles trilogy that began with Midsummer Night’s Delights and continued with Midwinter Night’s Delights.

In this book, Vincent, the Marquis of Demby, has gotten himself into a bit of trouble. Someone has betrayed his confidence and told the wretched Duke of Blackwell all about the erotic balls Vincent has been hosting at the estate. (Couples do pair up everywhere at these balls—but not for dancing!)

The duke is out to destroy Vincent, and his livelihood and reputation are at stake. As Vincent’s assistant, it’s my duty to help him out of this crisis any way I can, even if it means taking on the Black Duke. I also do what I can to relieve Vincent’s stress and tension, and perform a few other interesting “favors” along the way.

Here is the summary and links to all three books:

Ultimate Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for the final ball!

The Midsummer and Midwinter Balls changed Julian and Annabelle forever. Vincent, the Marquis of Demby, and his wife, Sabrina, introduced them to a world of erotic pleasures. Freed from their inhibitions, they now help other shy couples explore their sexual urges and hidden desires.

But life on Vincent and Sabrina’s estate is anything but tranquil. The notorious Duke of Blackwell has discovered the secret about the naughty balls and is out to destroy the marquis.

Vincent refuses to deny the rumors about the “anything goes” parties he hosts, and turns to his friends for assistance. Together, they devise a plan to defeat the Black Duke… and still find time for a few wicked games.

Order Ultimate Night’s Delights here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGCCTJW

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

 

Need to catch up? Order Books 1 & 2 here:

Midsummer cover

Midsummer Night’s Delights (Book 1):

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6W5QHM 

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3LrJP1 

Midwinter cover

Midwinter Night’s Delights (Book 2):

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTH1GCC

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

~~~~

Q: Was Kelli always going to write a third book in the series?

No. In fact, when she wrote the first book, she never intended to write a sequel and had no idea she was starting a trilogy. After she finished writing the second book, Midwinter Night’s Delights, she wrote a few other romances, and then started toying with ideas for a third novella that tied everything up (so to speak!). Readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters from the first two books (rightfully so) and wanted more. She was happy to round out the series with Ultimate Night’s Delights and leaves everyone in a good place.

Q: You and Annabelle have an open marriage, and some people would find that extremely unusual, even in this day and age. Can you explain how this arrangement came to be?

Annabelle and I had an arranged marriage that didn’t start off very well. (Those of you who read Midsummer Night’s Delights understand exactly what I mean.) We were both shy and inexperienced, and unsure of everything. Vincent and Sabrina took us under their wings (or rather, into their beds) and taught us how to enjoy ourselves to the fullest. After spending a few days at Vincent’s estate, we shed all traces of our shyness and learned a lot about our secret desires. I suppose Annabelle and I are what some people call “swingers.”

I admit, I was hesitant about jumping into such an unconventional situation at first. But later, when I learned Annabelle was eager to experiment and have naughty fun, I gave in—and I don’t regret it at all.

Even though we share our affections with Vincent and his lovely wife, Sabrina, Annabelle and I have our own special connection. I love her playfulness and her excitement about life. She’s devoted and tender and yet, has an adventurous side.

Q: Since you’re being so open, let’s have a little naughty fun. Where was the wildest place you ever seduced your partner(s)?

It’s hard to choose just one place! Once, Annabelle and I were caught having relations at a dinner party. (We didn’t mind if the guests watched, but my father and the host were highly offended.) Recently, Annabelle and I were strolling through the garden and I seduced her in the gazebo. She’s not shy about frolicking outside where anyone might see. (Being on display makes her even wilder!)

I’ve also surprised Vincent with a quick seduction while he’s working at his desk or after a long day’s ride across the grounds. Last month, I seduced Sabrina while she was in her bathtub. Anything goes at Vincent’s estate, and we tend to act on our impulses whenever (and wherever) they present themselves.

Q: If your partner wants to seduce you, what’s one sure fire trick he/she can play?

Some readers may find this confession a bit risqué, but I like to be tied up, bound naked and helpless while my lover drives me wild with tender kisses all the way down my body… Pulling hard on my restraints, anticipating the next kiss, shivering in anticipation of what’s to come next…You can imagine the rest!

Q: What was one of the most embarrassing things Kelli did to you in Ultimate Night’s Delights?

Kelli usually doesn’t embarrass us; she loves writing about our erotic adventures too much to make us uncomfortable. But I did feel like a raging fool when I had to confront the Duke of Blackwell while wearing a disguise! And I didn’t like the fact that Kelli kept certain details about Vincent’s plan a secret from me. I was nervous that the Black Duke would catch on to our plan and all would be ruined. But Kelli is a very clever writer. By now, I should know to trust her.

Q: Can you tell us about two secondary characters, Lono and Lobo, and how they tie into the story?

Certainly. Annabelle and I first met Lono and Lobo (incredibly tall and muscular twins) in Midwinter Night’s Delights. Vincent had instructed them to dole out our punishments, and they were very effective. We never knew much about them other than they were devoted to Vincent and obeyed his every request.

In Ultimate Night’s Delights, Kelli expanded Lono and Lobo’s characters and made them an essential part of the story. Readers find out about their history, how they came to work for Vincent, and even what their real names are. I can’t give away too much of the plot, but Lono and Lobo show Vincent a clever way to defeat the Black Duke by turning the tables on him.

Q: Kelli has written a lot of romances in all genres in all heat levels. How does she switch back and forth so easily?

I’ve been curious about this myself, so I asked some of her other characters. Basically, each book comes to her in a different form. Sometimes an entire story “jumps” into her head, and she’ll know everything that happens to the characters. (That happened with A Deceptive Match, A Most Unusual Princess, Redemption from a Dark Past and Dangerous Indenture.)

Other times, she gets bits of the story and parts of the characters. Once in a while, she’ll have a character come first and then the other pieces of the book fall into place, like a puzzle. (That happened with Killer in Wolf’s Clothing, Trust with Hearts, and A Secret Match.)

Before Kelli starts a book, she says she needs to know who the characters are and what’s going to happen to them. Then she outlines the scenes and starts writing. As Kelli writes, she explores things she hadn’t considered in her outline and might add entire scenes or write scenes that are later omitted. Writing a new book is always an adventure, and she never knows where the characters or stories will take her.

Kelli has written several other historical romances, and 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. Although she writes a lot of historical romances, they take place in different time periods and different places. So, she’s not “just” writing Westerns or “only” writing about a certain century.

 Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Although Ultimate Night’s Delights is the last book in the series, all of our stories stand alone as individual reads—and I encourage readers to catch up on all of our wickedly-fun adventures. I’m content with the way the trilogy is ending—and I know readers will be satisfied (in many ways!).

Kelli has written several fantastic erotic tales in all genres, and I wish I could have a crossover with a few of her other characters. We would have a lot of fun together!

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

Best wishes,

Julian

 ~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger BehindTheScenes “Midwinter Night’s Delights” – A Sizzling Historical/Fantasy Romance by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll 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. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

Hi everyone,

Today I’m highlighting the second book in my Naughty Nobles trilogy, Midwinter Night’s Delights. The series includes Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the books are connected, each stands alone as an individual read.

Midsummer coverIn a previous blog, I wrote about Midsummer Night’s Delights. This novella introduced readers to repressed newlyweds, Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

The second book in the series, Midwinter Night’s Delights, picks up six months after the last story and follows the continuing sexual adventures of Annabelle and Julian. (And yes, this novella is just as hot—if not hotter— than the first one.)

In the sequel, we discover that Annabelle and Julian have taken what they’ve learned and gone wild. Instead of being shy and repressed, they are more than eager to give in to their desires whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes—even if it’s at a formal dinner party. Needless to say, Julian’s father sends them back to Vincent’s estate to be “disciplined” and learn self-control.

Although they have been invited to the Midwinter Ball, there’s a catch. Before Sabrina and Vincent allow them to participate, they need to learn how to control their insatiable appetites and undergo certain “punishments” along the way.

So, how did this sequel come about? At the end of Midsummer, I left the door open to a follow-up story, hoping that readers would want more. And they did! Readers and reviewers were interested in learning more about the characters and seeing what other erotic escapades awaited them.

Some people wanted a prequel—a story devoted to how Sabrina and Vincent met and where they learned to play their wicked games. Others wanted a follow-up story to find out what happened to Annabelle and Julian. Would they still play games with Vincent and Sabrina?

This story satisfies both camps. I let Sabrina explain the circumstances that led to her meeting Vincent and how she became educated in playing naughty games. Julian and Annabelle learn about self-control as they become Vincent and Sabrina’s submissives and take their “punishments” in stride.

I also introduced two secondary characters into the story, Lono and Lobo. They are Vincent’s Ultimate Coververy devoted and extremely loyal employees who help Julian and Annabelle learn their lessons. I don’t give away too much about them or their backstory in this book, but they play a key role in the final chapter of the series, Ultimate Night’s Delights.

Readers wanted to know more about them, so I had Lono and Lobo share their history (and their real names) in that book. Readers also wondered, how did Lono and Lobo get their nicknames? I named Lono after the title of a Hunter S. Thompson book, The Curse of Lono. And Lobo? No, he is not a wolf—he is named after the singer of the 1970s classic, “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.”

And what about the third book? At the end of Midwinter, I saw the potential for another, final, chapter in the saga. I’ll share more about Ultimate Night’s Delights in another blog, so stay tuned.

Here’s the summary and links to the trilogy.
Midwinter cover

 

Midwinter Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for another naughty ball!

The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer Ball transformed Julian and Annabelle forever. No longer shy about satisfying their sexual urges, the young newlyweds give in to their wanton desires whenever—and wherever—the mood strikes. Anything goes in their open marriage, and they’re not ashamed to share their passions with others.

But everything changes when they are sent to Vincent and Sabrina’s estate to be disciplined. Before they can participate in the Midwinter Ball, they must learn self-control. Carnal punishments and sensual lessons are just a few of the erotic surprises awaiting them… before the ball even begins!

* * *

 

Order Midwinter Night’s Delights here:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTH1GCC

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

Need to catch up?

Get Midsummer Night’s Delights (Book 1) here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6W5QHM 

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3LrJP1 

Then…

Order Ultimate Night’s Delights (Book 3) here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGCCTJW

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

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. If you’ve read the trilogy, drop me a line with questions or comments. Let me know which book or character is your favorite!

Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. You can read more “Behind the Scenes” blogs here: www.KelliWilkins.com/blog

I also made a Facebook page for my historical romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~~

                                                         ABOUT THE AUTHOR       

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger Behind the Scenes: “Midsummer Night’s Delights” – A Sizzling Historical/Fantasy Romance by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll 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. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes look at the making of the first book in my Naughty Nobles trilogy, Midsummer Night’s Delights.

Midsummer cover

Like many of my romances, this novella has its own origin story. Years ago, I was writing romances for Amber Quill Press, and they put out a call for super-hot erotica stories including/featuring ménage. I thought about it for a while, then I got an idea for a story. The premise was simple: What if a highly repressed/inexperienced couple was introduced to the world of wife swapping, ménage, and group encounters? Hmmm…

I wasn’t exactly sure where the story would lead, but I had a good opening scene/sequence, and a few ideas for key scenes. Based on those, I just started writing.

Midsummer Night’s Delights introduces readers to Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

Julian and Annabelle meet the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies. Anything goes in this erotic tale, and I had a lot of fun showing how Annabelle and Julian loosen up and embrace their wanton sides.

When I wrote Midsummer, I had no idea I would write a trilogy. I figured the story was self-contained and had wrapped up nicely. Julian and Annabelle were no longer repressed, the end.

But readers and reviewers loved the story and the characters so much that they wanted these very naughty adventures to continue. So, I wrote two sequels, Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the stories are connected, each novella stands alone as an individual read.

After the original release of Midsummer Night’s Delights, readers asked for a prequel. They were curious about how Vincent and Sabrina met and what their history entailed. Although I had no plans to write a full prequel, I was still able to give readers what they wanted. In Midwinter Night’s Delights, Sabrina tells Annabelle how she met Vincent and how they got involved in their unusual games. (I’ll be sharing more about that book in another “Behind the Scenes” blog.)

I liked writing this novella because it was something different for me. I had never written a full-fledged super-hot, X-rated erotica story before. Most of my romances are heavy on plot, characterization, adventure and/or mystery with key love scenes included every so often—this book is the opposite of that. It was good for me to break out of the pattern of full-length historical romances and write something shorter, hotter, and out of character.

I’m happy to say readers enjoyed the book. Here are a few kind words:

Praise for Midsummer Night’s Delights…

  “Smokin’, 4 Stars! Looking for an author who isn’t afraid to push the envelope in erotic romance? Kelli A. Wilkins has gifted us with her take on a secret summer ball that opens the eyes of two unsure newlyweds. Midsummer Night’s Delights is a story that draws you in. Subtle teases and heated scenes ebb and flow around the central characters and before you know it, not only are you eagerly turning the pages to see what unfolds. You won’t be disappointed with this piece – you’ll be curious, become titillated, and leave aroused.” – Natalie, Reviewer, EroticRomanceWriters.com

“For those of you who delight in erotic romances, Midsummer Night’s Delights is a book you won’t want to miss. Kelli is an author who brings joyful imagination to her writing, an equal part of enthusiasm, and a lot of talent, as well. Her love for her characters shines through in her words. Midsummer Night’s Delights is a must-buy for Kelli Wilkins fans everywhere, as well as those who enjoy a truly excellent erotic romance. This book is a keeper, so get your copy today.” – Rose, RomanceatHeart.com

“4.5 Blue Ribbon Rating! What a romp! Midsummer Night’s Delights is a delight in itself! I really felt for poor Julian and loved how he “rose” to finding the solution to his predicament. And Annabelle proved to be an apt pupil for her lessons. They are endearing characters with a real problem and a rather thrilling, fun answer. Good writing and lots of action make this a book to recommend!” – Kris Jones, Romance Junkies Reviewer

Here’s the book summary and links to all the books in the trilogy:

Midsummer Night’s Delights

At this Midsummer Ball, couples pair up everywhere—but not for dancing!

 Young newlyweds Julian and Annabelle are miserable. Their arranged marriage is lacking everything—especially sex. Julian suffers from a lack of confidence and is harboring a secret urge. Innocent Annabelle’s longings go unnoticed and unfulfilled, no matter what she tries.

But all that changes when they are invited to a Midsummer Ball. Their unconventional hosts, Vincent and Sabrina, introduce them to a world where their most intimate desires and hidden passions are explored—and fulfilled. Swapping and naughty games are just a few of the surprises awaiting them…

~~~~

 Order Midsummer Night’s Delights (Book 1) here:

Midsummer cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6W5QHM 

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3LrJP1 

 ~

Get Midwinter Night’s Delights (Book 2) here:

Midwinter cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTH1GCC

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

~

Order Ultimate Night’s Delights (Book 3) here:

Ultimate Cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGCCTJW

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

~

I’ll be sharing more about Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights in future blogs, so stay tuned.

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. If you’ve read the trilogy, drop me a line with questions or comments. Let me know which book or character is your favorite!

Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. You can read more “Behind the Scenes” blogs here: www.KelliWilkins.com/blog

I also made a Facebook page for my historical romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~~

 

                                                         ABOUT THE AUTHOR       

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

~~~~

#GuestBlogger Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Sam Hixton from “Love, Lies and Redemption” by Kelli A. Wilkins

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.)

LLR

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?

LLR

Order Love, Lies and Redemption here:

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

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

***

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

Best wishes,

Sam Hixton

 ~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger How Do You Write a Gay Romance? The Answer is Simple… by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi, my name is Kelli Wilkins, and I write gay (M/M) romances. I also write straight romances, historicals, paranormals, and just about any other romance genre you can think of. But I get a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write gay romance. “Why would you write one of those? You’re not a man or gay.” I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’m not a vampire.”

ASM

When my gay romance A Secret Match came out, a friend asked me: “How do you write a gay romance?” I replied: “The same way I wrote my historical Viking romance. I wrote the story that was in my head.”

And that’s how you write a gay romance. Just write the story. Let the characters tell you what happens and start typing. Writing a gay romance is really no different than writing a romance in any other genre, but some people get hung up on the idea of writing intimate love scenes, not understanding how the characters should act, or getting the story right—but that could happen when you’re writing any book, in any genre.

Let’s go back to English class for a minute. All good books (regardless of genre) need to have the same basic elements: a believable plot, interesting, fleshed-out characters the readers can root for (with histories and backstories), sensory details that pull the reader into the story, and good dialogue. These elements go into every romance (and everything else) I write, whether it’s an erotic historical/fantasy, straight paranormal, or gay contemporary. Once you get the basics down, you can just about write anything; mysteries, suspense, horror, and even children’s books.

But everyone has different comfort levels when writing (and reading) a romance. Some people are content with mild M/F romances, others like to spice things up and get a little wild with experimentation or ménage, and still others write straight, gay, ménage, or any combination. It’s probably safe to say that if you’re not comfortable reading M/M romances, you’re most likely not going to write one—and that’s fine. If writing a gay romance isn’t something you’re comfortable with and you can’t get inside your characters’ heads and write freely, you might want to stick to M/F romances.

The bottom line is: read and write whatever you want. I’ll do the same, and I’ll write whatever book comes to me, no matter what genre. My romances are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other.

This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. That’s why I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I have no “control” over the characters who come to me, so I go where the story and the characters take me.

book coverIt’s interesting to note that some of my M/F romances (In Another World, A Deceptive Match, and Redemption from a Dark Past) include gay secondary characters. They’re important to the overall story and move the plot along, just like any other character—but they just happen to be gay.

As I’m writing, I focus on the story and tell it the way the characters live it. (It’s their story, after all!) I don’t worry about “what people might think” of me writing about two male characters kissing, going to bed, or making dinner. People will think whatever they want. If readers are “turned off” to me as an author because I write gay romances… well, too bad, see ya.

When I wrote my first gay romance, Four Days with Jack, I considered “what people would think” about the book and me writing it—for about three seconds. Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters Four Days with Jack coverand scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, a historical mystery, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations), and a first-person vampire love story.

But what about the love scenes? Well, my “secret” to writing gay love scenes is: I approach a same-sex love scene the same way I would if I was writing about a hetero couple. When I write a straight romance, about half of the scenes are written from the male point of view. So I have experience thinking from a male perspective anyway. He thinks about the girl he loves, fantasizes about making love to her, they kiss and touch, and… there’s no difference in writing a story from two male points of view. Writing a love scene isn’t about the gender or the anatomy of the characters—it’s about creating a believable, intimate scene where two people express their love for each other.

So what’s the hardest part about writing a same-sex romance or love scene? The answer may surprise you—pronouns! (Yes, we’re back to English class again!) As I’m writing, I’ll dash off something like “He ran his hand down his stomach and….” Wait, what? He ran his own hand down his own stomach? I have to pay extra close attention when revising/editing a M/M scene. Too many “his” references and we don’t know who is doing what. Better to say: “He ran his hand down Steve’s stomach and…”

I enjoyed writing all of my books, and I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after.

Here’s the book summary and links to A Secret Match. It’s my favorite M/M romance and is a great blend of drama, humor, and hot love scenes.

 

A SECRET MATCH

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

ASM

Order A Secret Match here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FERW65A

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/md6rZb

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-secret-match

Catch up on all my romances here: www.KelliWilkins.com

~~~

I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. I made a page for my gay romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Happy Pride Month everyone!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger The Making of… “In Another World – A Paranormal Mystery/Romance (Part 2)” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

This is part two of my two-part blog about the making of my paranormal/mystery romance, In Another World. In my previous blog, I talked about the origins of the story idea and the overall theme of the book. In this blog, I’ll share some insights into the “cop stuff” I needed to know for the story, the paranormal elements of the book, and how I finally got the title.

Before I get started, here is the book summary and links:

guest blogger

IN ANOTHER WORLD

A Paranormal Mystery/Romance Novel

Disgraced psychic medium Julie Kershaw has finally met her soul mate. The problem is he’s dead… and his spirit haunts the car she just bought.

The spirit of Detective Eddie Mahoney is determined to find his killer and needs Julie’s help. At first, she refuses. She’s tired of being called crazy and swore she’d never use her abilities to speak to the dead again—even if Eddie is handsome and charming.

Eddie persuades Julie to contact his former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to ask him to reopen his case. Skeptical, Lou dismisses Julie as a fake—until she proves she can communicate with the dead—and he finds out Eddie has a lot to say.

Julie channels Eddie’s spirit and together with Lou, the unusual trio tracks down leads and follows clues to solve Eddie’s murder. The case takes them down a dark and dangerous path filled with secrets, where nobody can be trusted.

As they work to find his killer, Julie falls for Eddie. Funny, smart, and sexy, Eddie is the guy of her dreams—and he doesn’t look or act the least bit dead. To her surprise, Eddie discovers a clever way they can be together, and they begin an ethereal romance.

When Lou’s investigation brings him too close to the killer, his life and Julie’s are put in danger—and Eddie may be the only one who can save them.

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R11STRN

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bpw16g

~~~

In Another World is a mystery/romance, and although I’ve written dozens of romances, I never wrote a full-fledged mystery before. Some of my short stories and novels have mystery elements where an amateur sleuth investigates something, but this was different. The book borders on being a police procedural, and I knew I had to get the details of the “cop stuff” right. For that, I turned to an expert—Uncle Rich.

My uncle Rich was a retired police captain and had pretty much seen everything in his 20+ years on the force. Several years ago we were at a wedding and he asked me, “What’s new?” I told him, “I’ve got this idea for a story…”

From there, I gave him the rundown of the plot and started asking him lots of questions. When I told him I had “jurisdiction issues” about the location of Eddie’s body, he said, “Location, location, location. Jurisdiction follows the body; it doesn’t matter where you’re from, or where you work. If you’re from Los Angeles and your body is found in Memphis, it’s a Memphis case.”

I asked Rich a million questions and I learned a lot. His advice was excellent and I incorporated some of our actual conversations into the book as dialogue, usually when Lou or Eddie explains something to Julie.

Rich also pointed out that Eddie and Lou wouldn’t have to explain how to solve a murder to each other. For them, it’s their job, it’s routine, something they do all the time. That made things a little easier, because I didn’t want to make the book too “police” heavy and bore the reader or bog down the story. I included just enough “cop” details to make Eddie and Lou’s investigation authentic while keeping the reader hooked.

It saddens me to report that Uncle Rich passed away unexpectedly several months before the book was finished. He never got to read the final version, but I’m sure he’s proud of the book, and me. Thanks again, Rich. I couldn’t have done it without you.

As much as I tried to be “real world” accurate with the police procedural aspects of the book, I let my imagination run wild with the paranormal parts, especially Julie and Eddie’s relationship.

I’ve met dozens of mediums, psychics, and intuitives over the years (at workshops, in classes, on ghost tours, etc.) and I always ask them questions about what they see, how they receive messages, and how they discovered they have these abilities.

The answers vary from person to person. Some mediums see the dead as clear as a living person, others see them in their mind’s eye or feel their energy and sense things about them. Several mediums I talked to were born with the ability to contact the dead, some learned how, and others only were able to communicate with the other side after a near-death experience. I used this information to explain why Julie can do what she does, and how she “sees” Eddie.

When I was writing the book, I knew I needed to make Eddie as “real” as possible for the sake of the story. I had him appear in full form (as a living person) to Julie, and gave them a clever (and easy) way to communicate. Eddie’s ability to connect to Julie helps him become a full-fledged character. He’s as “real” as any other hero in a romance—complete with a backstory, flaws, and other issues—but he just happens to be dead. Eddie’s and Julie’s relationship becomes so solid (in a sense), that readers forget Eddie isn’t alive.

In the book, Julie says their situation is unique and she’s not even 100% sure how this is all possible, but she goes with it, and so do readers. This bit of creative license with the paranormal worked for the story, although it’s not how mediums interact with spirits in the real world.

And speaking of the real world, the title was a bit of a challenge. I had been working on the book for years (see part one of the blog for more on that) and I never had a clue about the title. I just called it the “ghost cop” book. Well, when I was in the final proofreading stage, I figured I’d better start thinking about a title.

I wanted the title to convey the mystery/paranormal/romance aspects of the book. I spent hours brainstorming on the title. (As some readers may know, titles don’t come easy to me. I’ll be writing a separate blog about that soon). I played around with different combinations of words, annoyed everyone I knew for suggestions… And what did I get? Nothing. So I gave up for a while.

Then one day, my husband and I were driving to my friend’s house and listening to music when Dwight Yoakam’s song, “In Another World” came on. I didn’t pay it much attention at first, then I started listening to the lyrics with my book in mind, from Eddie’s and Julie’s point of view—and it clicked. I played the song again and then declared, “There’s the title!”

“In Another World” works on many levels: Julie is living part of her life in guest bloggeranother world/realm, Eddie takes Julie into/exists in another world of his own, and poor Lou is dropped into another world he never knew existed. Of course, Dwight’s song isn’t about psychics or spirits, but the lines; “Bound by love that never strays/In another world/We’ll be okay” really reminded me of Eddie and Julie at the end of the book.

And while I’m talking about the music in the book, I want to mention my use of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” toward the end. My mother LOVED Roy and I was raised on his music. It seemed only fitting that I borrow a few lines from Roy, as an homage to my mother. (She also passed away before the book was finished.)

 

When Lou is really down in the dumps, he hears the song and it connects him to Eddie. I’ve always loved the lines “In dreams/I walk with you/In dreams/I talk to you” —because as Julie says in the book (and this is a real quote from a psychic) the dead can (and do) communicate with the living in dreams. I believe that to be true, and maybe Roy knew it too, when he wrote the song.  (And yes, “Blue Angel” appearing in the book is no accident, either.)

This concludes my second blog about In Another World. I hope you’ll read the book and get drawn into this mysterious “other world” filled with drama, humor, and incredibly interesting characters

Until next time, happy reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#GuestBlogger Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Ashton Bailey from “Dangerous Indenture” by Kelli A. Wilkins

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 Ashton Bailey, the hero from Kelli’s historical mystery-romance, Dangerous Indenture. Let’s get to know him better…

Dangerous Indenture

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

Certainly. Dangerous Indenture is a historical romance novel set in Colonial Pennsylvania. It blends romance with mystery and suspense. The heroine (Shauna) is an Irish indentured servant, and the hero (me) is a dashing gentleman… with more than a few problems. Here’s the summary and important links (whatever those are):

 

DANGEROUS INDENTURE

Indentured for five years… how long can Shauna resist her master’s son?

Desperate to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony. But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and Shauna’s hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.

Ashton needs to redeem himself in his father’s eyes and earn the respect he has always longed for. Meeting Shauna turns his life around, and he sets out to win her heart. Torn between propriety and passion, Shauna struggles against her growing attraction to Ashton as long as she can.

But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants wanted to work for the strange Stewart family.

Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.

Shauna’s investigation leads her close to the truth, and yet, she’s not sure who she can trust. Events take a deadly turn when she confronts the murderer and discovers the mystery of the Stewart family.

Will Shauna be rescued before time runs out, or will she meet with the same fate as the other servants?

Order your copy here:

Dangerous Indenture

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PJVQ7XJ

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3JyROP

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/dangerous-indenture

Like historical romances? Follow Kelli’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

 

Q: Tell us about Dangerous Indenture. How does the story begin for you?
The book opens with our new servant, Shauna, arriving from Ireland and settling into the house. She has left everything behind to work for my father, Joshua Stewart. For me, the story begins when I meet Shauna. I’ve been sent home to Stewart House in disgrace and I’m at a pretty low point. I’m drinking too much, womanizing too much, and basically hating my life. I didn’t want to return to Stewart House, but I had no choice.

Anyway, as I sat down to dinner, Shauna came into the room. The moment I saw her, I was glad I’d been sent home, because that meant I could spend time with her. Shauna was having a rough time serving dinner; my father was constantly scolding her and my despicable half-brother Colin was making her drop things, just so she’d get in trouble. I felt bad for Shauna because she was trying so hard to do a good job.

Over the course of the next few days I got to know Shauna a little better. She’s intelligent, strong-willed, has a temper, and is pretty damn courageous for coming to the Colonies to start a new life. I fell in love with her, and I swore I’d protect her while she was living at Stewart House.

I don’t want to go into too many details, but the house has a bad reputation, and my father couldn’t hire any local servants to work for him. A previous servant named Sarah Purdy was murdered and nobody was certain who did it.

Q: What was your life like before Kelli started pulling your strings?

Where do I start? I’ve been described as “a bit of a rogue” by people: I’m opinioned, have a biting wit, tend to be sarcastic… and yet, I’m utterly charming… when I haven’t been drinking too much at the local tavern. (Laughs.) Of course, these “good qualities” have driven members of my stuffy family utterly mad. They referred to me as the “drunken whoremonger with no sense of responsibility”—but I had my reasons.

When Kelli was writing about me, she was kind enough to see past all of my so-called faults and realized that deep down I’m a sensitive, caring individual who needed to find my way in the world. Meeting Shauna changed me for the better.

Q: Dangerous Indenture features several interesting secondary characters. What can you tell us about them?

Although everyone’s family has issues, the Stewart clan is probably more dysfunctional than most. The house is always filled with conflict or some sort of drama. My father, Joshua, is rather stern and has high standards. We don’t get along very well, and he sees me as a failure. My half-brother, Colin, is a vile beast, and his long-suffering wife, Minerva, is a little off balance (to put it politely). Adding Lila (a new servant) to the mix really stirs up things around the house and sets people on edge. Kelli has created quite a unique group of individuals! (And one of them might be a killer.)

Q: Yes, this is a mystery-romance… tell us more about the mystery elements of the book.
After Shauna learned that Sarah had been murdered, she was extra cautious when she was alone with Colin and Minerva. Minerva is a troubled woman, has fits of rage, and can be quite violent. Colin is a horrid excuse for a human being and is condescending and abusive to everyone in the house, even my father. We’ve certainly had our fair share of arguments and brawls.

I warned Shauna to be careful and not to be alone with Minerva or Colin. I didn’t trust either one of them, and for all we knew, one of them could have killed Sarah. Things were fine in the house for a while, until Colin convinced my father to hire Lila. Lila was more trouble than she was worth and caused even more problems for Shauna.

One night during a storm, Shauna heard a racket downstairs. There was lots of yelling and fighting. Come morning, Lila was nowhere to be found. Minerva told Shauna that she dismissed Lila in the middle of the night. Shauna was suspicious and started investigating… She suspected Lila had been murdered. I’m ashamed to say that none of us believed her—until it was too late.

I won’t give away the ending of the book, but I can reveal that Kelli keeps everyone guessing about the identity of the murderer up until the end. Readers follow along and figure out the clues as Shauna does, and there are many twists and turns.

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, depression, lack of purpose, and a few thrashings over the course of the book.

All the emotional baggage forced me to take a long hard look at my life and my choices and decide I wanted something better. I wanted to have a happy life with Shauna. She was my main inspiration for turning my life around. I wanted to prove to her that I was decent, respectable, and I could make something of myself. I also had to redeem myself to my father. He had a very low opinion of me and thought I was a worthless failure.

I also got the hell beat out of me on a few occasions and suffered a near-fatal accident toward the end of the book. And I confronted the murderer when I was in less than peak health. So, Kelli really made me suffer! I understand it was all for the good of the story, but still…

Q: Kelli has written a lot of romances in all genres in all heat levels. How does she switch back and forth so easily?

I’ve been curious about this myself, so I asked some of her other characters. Basically, each book comes to her in a different form. Sometimes an entire story “jumps” into her head, and she’ll know everything that happens to the characters. (It happened with A Deceptive Match, A Most Unusual Princess, Loving a Wild Stranger, and Four Days with Jack.)

Other times, she gets bits of the story and parts of the characters. Once in a while, she’ll have a character come first and then the other pieces of the book fall into place, like a puzzle. (It happened with Redemption from a Dark Past, Trust with Hearts, and A Secret Match.)

Before Kelli starts a book, she says she needs to know who the characters are and what’s going to happen to them. Then she outlines the scenes and starts writing. As Kelli writes, she explores things she hadn’t considered in her outline and might add entire scenes or write scenes that are later omitted. Writing a new book is always an adventure, and she never knows where the characters or stories will take her.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Kelli did an excellent job of blending romance, mystery, and even a bit of Redemption from a Dark Past coverhumor into this anything-but-boring historical romance novel. I’d recommend it to readers everywhere. I’ve also heard her other historical romances (such as Redemption from a Dark Past, Loving a Wild Stranger, and Love, Lies & Redemption just to mention a few), are excellent reads, as well. I’m looking forward to reading all of her romances. I want to see what other interesting characters she has created and follow their adventures.

 

Q: Tell us more about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?

Kelli asked me to tell readers that she is an award-winning author who has guest bloggerpublished 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. She released two mini-mysteries in 2021: More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel. Earlier in 2022 she published a full-length paranormal mystery-romance novel, In Another World.

Kelli says readers can visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

 

Thank you for letting me chat here today. I hope everyone reads Dangerous Indenture and falls in love with me as much as Shauna has. If you missed any blog in this series, you can catch up here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

Cheers!

Ashton Bailey

#Spotlight “In Another World: A New Paranormal Mystery/Romance Novel” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my new release, In Another World. This contemporary romance novel blends a murder mystery with the world of the paranormal. Here’s the book summary and links…

guest blogger

In Another World
A Paranormal Mystery/Romance Novel

Disgraced psychic medium Julie Kershaw has finally met her soul mate. The problem is he’s dead… and his spirit haunts the car she just bought.

The spirit of Detective Eddie Mahoney is determined to find his killer and needs Julie’s help. At first, she refuses. She’s tired of being called crazy and swore she’d never use her abilities to speak to the dead again—even if Eddie is handsome and charming.

Eddie persuades Julie to contact his former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to ask him to reopen his case. Skeptical, Lou dismisses Julie as a fake—until she proves she can communicate with the dead—and he finds out Eddie has a lot to say.

Julie channels Eddie’s spirit and together with Lou, the unusual trio tracks down leads and follows clues to solve Eddie’s murder. The case takes them down a dark and dangerous path filled with secrets, where nobody can be trusted.

As they work to find his killer, Julie falls for Eddie. Funny, smart, and sexy, Eddie is the guy of her dreams—and he doesn’t look or act the least bit dead. To her surprise, Eddie discovers a clever way they can be together, and they begin an ethereal romance.

When Lou’s investigation brings him too close to the killer, his life and Julie’s are put in danger—and Eddie may be the only one who can save them.

Order your copy here:
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R11STRN
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bpw16g

In Another World has been a labor of love for many years. I’m thrilled that I finally finished the book, and now readers can enjoy the story and meet these very unusual characters I’ve created.

The book opens with Detective Eddie Mahoney, an undercover police officer, in a jam. His cover has been blown and he’s in the middle of nowhere with two criminals. Things don’t end well for Eddie, and although he doesn’t make it out of his predicament alive, his role in the book is just beginning.

Yes, you read that right. I killed off my main character—and the hero of the book—in the first few pages. Why? Because this isn’t your typical romance.

Eddie is dead right from the start, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fall in love.

Next, readers are introduced to a headstrong woman named Julie Kershaw.

She’s arguing with an unscrupulous used car dealer named Big Al. He sells her a car for cheap, and Julie is suspicious. Naturally, she wonders if there’s a catch, and there is. The car is haunted by… you guessed it—Eddie.

Eddie has been trying to communicate with the car’s previous owners, but never had any luck until Julie bought the car. At first, Eddie doesn’t realize that Julie is a psychic medium and can communicate with spirits. Once he knows she can see and hear him, Eddie uses his charms and persuades her to help him find his killer.

And so begins this unusual romance.

Most people would think this is a bit absurd. And maybe some readers will. But once you get drawn into the story and see that Eddie is pretty much like any other romantic hero (he just happens to be dead), the story flows along.
Eddie and Julie visit Eddie’s former partner, Lou Kaplonski, to persuade him to reopen Eddie’s case. Lou thinks Julie is crazy and can’t possibly be talking to Eddie. When Julie tells Lou things only Eddie knows, Lou is convinced Julie is telling the truth. Lou and Eddie start working the case just like old times.

(Sorta.)

Lou is a great guy, and I loved writing for him. On the outside he appears to be a tough, no-nonsense detective who takes his job seriously. When he first meets (and interrogates) Julie, he acts like a typical “bad cop” and is very rough with her.

Lou doesn’t believe in ghosts and thinks all psychics are fakes. He’s also taken Eddie’s death personally. He feels like a failure because he couldn’t find his partner’s killer, and he is still working through his grief. Once Lou starts investigating with Eddie and Julie, his true personality comes out, and he’s more determined than ever to catch Eddie’s killer.

When I wrote the book, I had to make sure readers were able to follow the investigation along with Lou, even when Julie and Eddie weren’t present. I’ve never written a full-fledged mystery or detective story before, but I’ve watched enough mysteries and police dramas, so I think I got it right. (LOL) I also had the good fortune to be related to a police captain and was able to ask his advice on the “police stuff” in the story. The book is a hybrid of romance and mystery. Sometimes it takes on more of a police procedural/mystery feel than a romance, and then in other scenes with Eddie and Julie, it’s a traditional romance.

I hope mystery, romance, and paranormal readers will enjoy this unique novel. It’s got something for everyone: danger, humor, love, ghosts, and quirky characters. I had fun writing this book and stepping into another world, blending the living and the dead.

Stay tuned to future blogs to learn more about the book (where the original idea came from, my take on ghosts, psychics, and the paranormal, plus the overall theme of the book) and to read an exclusive excerpt.

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins
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 January 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.

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 for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

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