#GuestPost Paranormal Romance… Where Love Meets Monsters by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi Everyone!

To celebrate my favorite month, I’m writing about what happens when horror meets romance—paranormal romance!

Although I create hot and spicy romances, I actually started out writing horror stories. For some, that might seem like an odd combination, but it works for me. One half of my brain writes the horror, and the other half writes the romance. (In fact, I have published three horror ebooks. You can read more about them on my site or my Amazon author page.)

I like writing horror fiction because I get to explore different settings, plots, and characters that I couldn’t develop in romance. Sometimes after working on several romances, I’ll switch moods and write a horror story to give my brain and writing muscles a change of pace.

My horror short stories are more psychological/spooky/creepy than gory, but it’s always fun to add something scary (or strange!) into a romance. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a paranormal romance within bounds—you have to blend just enough horror elements into the love story without grossing out (or turning off) the heroine or hero… or readers!

Other times, the challenge to writing a good paranormal romance is creating a believable plot or finding a way to make a “monster” attractive/romantic/sexy. If one of your characters is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your creature is real, whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or something else entirely.

If you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it, and there certainly won’t be any sparks flying in your romance. As a writer, you need to make your monster as real as any other human character and flesh him out completely with a backstory, goals, motivation, and conflicts. (What kind of monster is he? How did he get that way? What is life like for him?)

Confessions of a Vampier's Lover coverMy contemporary paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover started out with the premise “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love with a surfer?” The book is extra “unique” in that it’s told in first person from the male character’s point of view.

I made Anya (the vampire) sympathetic and sexy, and not overtly terrifyingyet she still flexed her vampire muscles when she wanted to. This story could have easily gone down the horror road and become a full-fledged vampire story, but I wanted to show a softer, kinder side to the Anya and embrace her once-human side.

My gay paranormal, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is not your usual werewolf love story. Deke, the Killer in Wolf's Clothing cover“werewolf” character, doesn’t actually turn into a “wolf-man”—he’s more of a shapeshifter who transforms into a super-aggressive Alpha male during the full moon. As I say in the book, “It’s more Incredible Hulk than American Werewolf in London.”

I almost had a problem writing Killer in Wolf’s Clothing because I’m “old-school” when it comes to creatures of the night. I expect my werewolves to be violent and vicious, and anything but cuddly. In my opinion, if a person is going to turn into a werewolf/wolf-man, he should look like the werewolves in Dog Soldiers. (A horror movie I highly recommend.)

As I wrote the book, I contrasted Deke’s harsh and demanding personality with that of his gentle alter-ego Greg. Greg understands his condition and does everything he can to keep Deke suppressed. But Deke is a badass with a serious need for revenge, and the antagonist, Blayne, is just about as violent and vicious as you can get (without fangs and claws). I enjoyed writing this story, and although it’s dark in places, Larry (Greg’s boyfriend) lightens the mood with his offbeat sense of humor.

Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is not your typical werewolf or werewolf/shifter romance. Some people might have a problem or take issue with the subject matter, the use of humor, and/or my treatment of shifters (what they expect a shifter to be could be quite different from my interpretation) in this book. Yes, it’s very different. Yes, it’s graphic. And yes, you either “get” it or you don’t.

Beauty and the Bigfoot cover

And the same goes for Beauty & the Bigfoot. It’s a paranormal-comedy that starts with the premise: “What if a Bigfoot hunter’s daughter falls in love with Bigfoot?” I took a lighthearted look at the whole subject of Sasquatch, blended in some wacky lead characters, and added pretty hot love scenes. I don’t want to give away the ending, but not everything about Bigfoot is what it seems. He’s not the “monster” everyone thinks he is.

 

The Viking’s Witch is a historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…

Odaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her.Viking's Witch cover Rothgar (the hero) doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with Brennan (the villain), Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.

Vampires, shapeshifters, witches… no matter what subgenre of paranormal romance you write, readers need to be swept into the story and buy into the premise that you’ve created. Your job as a writer is to make the reader believe in the paranormal element (whether it’s a werewolf, zombie, vampire, or ghost) and take the reader on a journey with the main characters as they fall in love. The situations in the story need to be plausible and told in a way that grips the reader, even if the premise seems a bit far-fetched (at first).

When writing paranormal romance, don’t be afraid to break patterns, make your characters different, or have them go against stereotype. Give readers something unexpected, turn a cliché on its ear, or use a different point of view—it’ll make your work stand out.


Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBYWYCI

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J

Order Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3V9VWW

All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/mYRB6x

 

Order Beauty & the Bigfoot here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075SL9WT2

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4Dog0Q

 

Order The Viking’s Witch here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T15MHSW

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at paranormal romances. I like hearing from readers, so feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media via the links on my contact page.

Happy Haunting!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

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

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

 In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

 Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

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

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

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#NEW “Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories

A New Release from Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

 Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to announce the release of my science fiction anthology, Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories.   Although I’m mainly known for writing sensualcover romances and spooky horror fiction, every so often I like to surprise myself – and readers.

I’ve always been attracted to the unusual, peculiar, and “weird” that exists in the sci-fi and horror genres. I grew up watching Tales from the Dark Side, Amazing Stories, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits, and of course, The Twilight Zone. So I guess it’s no surprise that when I started writing, I wrote what I loved reading: sci-fi and horror.

Authors are always asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” so when I wrote Extraterrestrial Encounters, I decided to share a peek at my writing process. I’ve included a brief note at the end of each story in the collection, explaining what inspired me to write it, where I got the idea, or general comments about the plot or characters.

I hope you enjoy these stories. Some are humorous, some will make you think, and others might scare you a bit, but they will all take you on a journey into the realm of the unknown for a little while.

Here is the book summary and buy links.

Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories           

Are you ready to step into the unknown?

In these 18 sci-fi stories, you’ll encounter aliens of all shapes and sizes, curious (and sometimes unlucky) space explorers, and ordinary Earthlings having otherworldly experiences.

Some of the out-of-this-world tales in this short fiction anthology include:

The Hoax – A reporter learns that a creature from another planet is a dangerous thing to fool with

It Grows on You – A strange kind of mold has invaded an office, and it’s the perfect tool for revenge

What Lurks Below – Everyone knows there’s no life on Mars, but nobody thought about what might be lurking under the surface…

The Con – An alien becomes an unlikely ally to a down-on-his-luck petty crook

Space Cowboy – When a second-rate rodeo star is abducted by aliens, he makes the most of the situation

They Just Keep Eating – A Nebraska farmer encounters a menace from space… and it’s hungry

This collection of speculative fiction will stimulate your imagination, unnerve you just a little, and make you wonder… “What if we’re not alone?”

cover

Order it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W5JG1DC

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3JVJ9e

Visit my site: www.KelliWilkins.com to see all of my writings!

~~~

Halloween is just around the corner, and these unusual stories are a perfect way to get ready for the season!

I welcome questions and comments from readers. Let me know which story you loved best, which one made you laugh, or why you love reading sci-fi. You can learn more about all of my current titles on my site, sign up for my newsletter, or follow my blog and social media posts for updates on new releases.

Keep watching the stars!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

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

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

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

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#NEW “Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories

A New Release from Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

 Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to announce the release of my science fiction anthology, Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories.   Although I’m mainly known for writing sensualcover romances and spooky horror fiction, every so often I like to surprise myself – and readers.

I’ve always been attracted to the unusual, peculiar, and “weird” that exists in the sci-fi and horror genres. I grew up watching Tales from the Dark Side, Amazing Stories, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits, and of course, The Twilight Zone. So I guess it’s no surprise that when I started writing, I wrote what I loved reading: sci-fi and horror.

Authors are always asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” so when I wrote Extraterrestrial Encounters, I decided to share a peek at my writing process. I’ve included a brief note at the end of each story in the collection, explaining what inspired me to write it, where I got the idea, or general comments about the plot or characters.

I hope you enjoy these stories. Some are humorous, some will make you think, and others might scare you a bit, but they will all take you on a journey into the realm of the unknown for a little while.

Here is the book summary and buy links.

Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-Fi Stories           

Are you ready to step into the unknown?

In these 18 sci-fi stories, you’ll encounter aliens of all shapes and sizes, curious (and sometimes unlucky) space explorers, and ordinary Earthlings having otherworldly experiences.

Some of the out-of-this-world tales in this short fiction anthology include:

The Hoax – A reporter learns that a creature from another planet is a dangerous thing to fool with

It Grows on You – A strange kind of mold has invaded an office, and it’s the perfect tool for revenge

What Lurks Below – Everyone knows there’s no life on Mars, but nobody thought about what might be lurking under the surface…

The Con – An alien becomes an unlikely ally to a down-on-his-luck petty crook

Space Cowboy – When a second-rate rodeo star is abducted by aliens, he makes the most of the situation

They Just Keep Eating – A Nebraska farmer encounters a menace from space… and it’s hungry

This collection of speculative fiction will stimulate your imagination, unnerve you just a little, and make you wonder… “What if we’re not alone?”

cover

Order it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W5JG1DC

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3JVJ9e

Visit my site: www.KelliWilkins.com to see all of my writings!

~~~

Halloween is just around the corner, and these unusual stories are a perfect way to get ready for the season!

I welcome questions and comments from readers. Let me know which story you loved best, which one made you laugh, or why you love reading sci-fi. You can learn more about all of my current titles on my site, sign up for my newsletter, or follow my blog and social media posts for updates on new releases.

Keep watching the stars!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

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

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

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

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#GuestPost The Making Of… “The Viking’s Witch” (Part 2) by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest historical romance. The Viking’s Witch is set in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual love story with adventure and paranormal elements.

In my last blog, I discussed how the book came about, the research involved, and the conflicts that take place in the story. Now I’ll give readers insight into the origins and development of the characters, as well as Odaria’s magic “witch” powers.

Mockup3

The Viking’s Witch is a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Here’s the plot summary:

The Viking’s Witch

Scotland, 803 A.D.

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time runs out.

***

Interviewers have asked me how I can create such interesting and diverse characters for all of my books. They want to know where Rothgar and Odaria came from. Well, there’s no real way to answer that other than, I just made them up. (Chris Hemsworth from Thor is pretty much what I envisioned Rothgar to look like—even though I wrote the book long before the movie came out!)

Mockup1When I create my heroes and heroines I always give them “baggage” and flaws—along with problems to overcome. This way, they can grow and change over the course of the book. Odaria is a strong-willed “witch” who is tired of being abused and ridiculed by the people in her village. She swears she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get by. Rothgar was once a powerful warrior, but a personal tragedy has softened him and left him broken and unwilling to love anyone again.

When they first meet, they each play off the others’ weaknesses. Odaria has no qualms about standing up to Rothgar and arguing with him, and he respects her willful and fearless behavior. Eventually they realize that they need (and want) to be with each other forever.

I like to introduce secondary characters and subplots into my books to flesh out the story. I’m often asked about the secondary Norse character, Nordskog. He’s not the type of “hero” one would typically find in a romance, but he serves an important role in the story. Where did he come from? Well…

I used to work with a woman whose last name was Nordskog and I told her that one day I’d use her name in a book, so I did! Nordskog is a violent, vicious berserkr and has a history with Rothgar dating from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. After Odaria helps heal his leg, Nordskog displays a protective fondness for her, as well. He’s an impulsive brute, but he’s not stupid. He knows that Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services and loyalty.

But if readers thought Nordskog was bad, the antagonist, Brennan, is even worse.

Brennan has been described by one reviewer as “a perfectly evil villain” which was exactly my intention. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous SOB—but not have his character be too over-the-top. Brennan is a lying, murdering, religious zealot—and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers.

Most of the terrible things Brennan’s done happen off-page and we learn about them through Odaria. Each time I wrote a scene for, or about, Brennan, I made him a little more unstable and psychotic, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.

Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion and helps bring about Brennan’s demise. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…

Odaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with Brennan, Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.

I loved showing readers (and Rothgar) Odaria’s powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry. The scenes that included the “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write. I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age/paranormal subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.Mockup2

I hope you enjoyed Part Two of this “inside look” at The Viking’s Witch. I’m happy to say that readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters and the book has received dozens of excellent reviews. (And it also won a Gold IPPY Award for best romance ebook!)

~~~


Here’s a mini-excerpt from
The Viking’s Witch:

Odaria entered the gathering hall and mounted the stairs two at a time. Her lower body tingled and throbbed, craving Rothgar’s touch. She imagined his strong hands squeezing and stroking her as his hot mouth covered her breasts.

She raced into the bedchamber, lit a candle, and straightened the blankets on the bed. Now what? Should she undress and lie down? Should she wait and let Rothgar strip her? Did men like that, or would Rothgar rather find her nude and ready?

As eager as she was to make love, the thought of finally being deflowered set her nerves on edge. What if she did something wrong? How would she know how to pleasure Rothgar? No one had ever told her the secrets of lovemaking.

“There’s no need for me to be nervous,” she whispered as she paced the room. Even from inside the gathering hall, she could still hear the party in the courtyard. The music seemed to have gotten louder, and the men were cheering and singing. She went to the window and peered out. Two groups of men were tug­ging on a long length of rope, each trying to pull the other group down.

“I hope I haven’t kept you waiting too long,” Rothgar said from the doorway.

She turned from the window. “I wasna sure if I should take off me dress or—”

“I’ll take care of everything.” Rothgar locked the door behind him, then removed his tunic. “Come to me, my little witch.”

~~~

Order The Viking’s Witch here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T15MHSW

Link to all other platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Read more about my romances on my new site: www.kelliwilkins.com

 ~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#GuestPost The Making Of… “The Viking’s Witch” (Part 1) by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest historical romance. The Viking’s Witch is set in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual love story with adventure and paranormal elements.

In this blog, I’ll discuss how the book came about, the research involved, and the violence that takes place in the story. (Yes, even though it’s a romance, everything’s not all hearts and flowers.) In Part Two, I’ll talk about creating the characters, developing Odaria’s magic “witch” powers, and more.

~~~

coverThe Viking’s Witch is a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D.  The main character, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Here’s the plot summary:

The Viking’s Witch

Scotland, 803 A.D.

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time runs out.

***

Mockup3Interviewers and readers have asked what my inspiration was when I was writing the book, and are curious about how much research I had to do to create the unique characters and detailed setting.

Like many of my books, the idea for the story came to me out of the blue. One day, the entire opening sequences popped into my head and I knew I had to start writing. At the time, I had the basic plot (Viking warrior falls in love with Celtic witch), but I wasn’t sure about most of the details, like the character names, their backstories, and the subplot. All of that came later, along with the secondary characters, Brennan and Nordskog. (I’ll talk more about them in Part Two of this blog.)

Scotland is a beautiful place and I’ve always wanted to set a book there. (I still may write another historical set in the Highlands.) Having the story take place on the remote Orkney Islands added a sense of urgency and tension to the plot.

In a sense, Rothgar and Odaria are “trapped” on the island and are forced to deal with a pack of angry villagers and other Norsemen. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island, so there’s really nowhere for the characters to go. They’re forced to work together in order to get off the island—and survive.Mockup1

Before I wrote a word, I had to do a lot of research on where to set the story. I knew the book would take place in Scotland where the Vikings traveled in their early years of exploration, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. Once I decided on the Orkneys, I had to pick which island to set the story. (There are 70 different islands, but only 20 are inhabited.)

I also had to research what life was like in that time period for Odaria and Rothgar. (What kind of clothes did they wear? What food did they eat? How did Norsemen travel so far? What were their ships like?) Odaria and Rothgar come from different backgrounds and technically would have been speaking different languages, so I had to blend their two cultures together in a way that flowed with the book.

After I got a feel for what everyday life was like for each of them, I weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse background intrigues Odaria, and she is curious about their clothes, customs, food, how they travel, etc. Having Rothgar show her how he lives was a good way to introduce readers into the culture.

And of course, if you were living back in 803 with bands of invading Norsemen and crazy villagers, you could expect some measure of violence. Readers might think that there’s no place for any violence in a romance, but I think that type of realism (when kept in check) enhances the story.

In 803, life was completely different from how we live now—especially on a remote island. People got hurt, took sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch features a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with terrible reputations, so including some violence in the story is necessary to move the plot along—while also helping the reader get deeper into the minds and lives of the characters.

I didn’t cringe when I wrote the “gritty” scenes; I was happy to include them. I like history and it drives me crazy when people in 1500, 1791, or 1870 are perfectly clean and neat, have perfect teeth, and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. In The Viking’s Witch I included enough details to bring the story alive, yet showed how some degree of conflict was necessary for Rothgar’s and Odaria’s survival.

I hope you enjoyed Part One of this “Inside Look” at The Viking’s Witch. Next time, I’ll delve more into the characters and discuss Odaria’s magic.

Here’s a mini-excerpt from The Viking’s Witch:

Mockup2Rothgar inched closer to her. She tried to move away, but she had nowhere to go. Her back was pressed against the door. Rothgar grinned and cupped her chin in his wide hand. What was he doing? His rough beard grazed her cheek as his lips lightly brushed against hers.

Her entire body tingled, and a wave of dizziness washed over her. The room spun and seemed to grow dim. As everything faded, she had a clear vision of wrapping her arms around Rothgar’s neck and eagerly pulling him close for a kiss. Dizzy, she pitched forward. Rothgar caught her and clutched her to his chest.

“Shh,” he soothed, running his hand through her loose hair. “I will not harm you, Odaria.”

She relaxed against his broad chest, letting him support her weight. His touch was calming, and she felt safe here, leaning against Rothgar as she would rest against a thick tree. She inhaled deep. Rothgar didn’t stink of rancid sweat like the other men. He smelled clean and salty, like the sea. The scent comforted her. She could almost fall asleep where she stood.

After a few moments, her dizzy spell passed, and she gazed at him. “You are not like the others. You are different, Rothgar.”

He smiled. “Ja, in some ways. But fear not, Odaria. I will not share you with the others. I wish to have you all to myself.” Rothgar chuckled and winked at her.

Order The Viking’s Witch here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T15MHSW

Link to all other platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Read more about my romances on my new site: www.kelliwilkins.com

 ~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#Spotlight “The Viking’s Witch” by Kelli A. Wilkins

I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch. This full-length novel is set in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual love story with adventure and paranormal elements.

cover

The Viking’s Witch

Scotland, 803 A.D.

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.

But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time runs out.

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T15MHSW

Link to all other platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Read more about the book on my new site: www.kelliwilkins.com

 ~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

 

#GuestPost Writing Gay Romances – 4 FAQ by Kelli A. Wilkins

by Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I write romances. My books cover nearly every genre and vary in heat level from mild to super-spicy. People have different reactions when they learn what I write. (Sometimes they gasp and pretend to be horrified, and then ask me if I “act out” my love scenes at home. Uh, no. I write fiction—that means I make stuff up!)

But when people find out that I write gay romances—that really gets them going! “Why would you write one of those? You’re not a man or gay.” (Here’s my turn to gasp and act surprised. Really? You’re kidding!) I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I write gay romances? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.” (That usually quiets people down for a while.)

I get a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write gay romances. Here are the top four, along with my answers.

#1: You’ve written lots of straight romances. Why write gay romances?

Why not? I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever romance book comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My stories 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. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

When I wrote Four Days with Jack, A Secret Match, and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing I trusted my instincts and wrote the story that was in my head. Although all three books are contemporary gay romances, they’re very different.

A Secret Match coverIn A Secret Match, a big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality, and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. Ev has been in a committed relationship for years and is afraid that if he doesn’t come out, he’ll lose the love of his life. He’s also worried about his career. How will the world view a gay wrestler? Will there be backlash if he comes out?

Conversely, David, from Four Days with Jack, has Four Days with Jack covernever come to terms with his sexuality. He’s been lying to himself for years about his orientation and hiding his true desires. David has always loved his gay best friend (Jack) and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.

The main characters in Killer in Wolf’s Clothing are comfortable with their sexuality, but have other issues to deal with (like shapeshifting and a serial killer). This super-hot paranormal is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.

#2: How do you write the gay love scenes?

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 a male point of view. So I have experience thinking about scenes from a male perspective anyway.

There’s not much difference in writing a story from two male points of view. Writing a love scene isn’t only 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.

Each character in each book is unique, so the love scenes are always approached from different directions. In Four Days with Jack, David is introduced to a world of new experiences. Everett and Josh’s first kiss in A Secret Match was a tender and sweet moment; while the first time readers meet Deke from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing they realize he’s anything but shy.

#3: What’s the hardest part about writing a gay romance?

The answer to this is quite surprising, and no, it has nothing to do with bedroom activities. The hardest part about writing a same-sex romance or love scene is pronouns.

As I’m writing, I’ll dash off something like: “He ran his hand down his chest and…” Wait, what? He ran his own hand down his own chest? No… I have to pay extra close attention when revising or editing a same-sex scene. Too many “his” references and the reader doesn’t know who is doing what. Better to say: “He ran his hand down Kevin’s chest and…”

#4: Are you concerned about what people will think about you writing gay romances?

Not in the least. People will think whatever they want. I realize that not everyone wants to read the same type of romance. Some readers love historicals, others only read contemporaries or paranormals, and that’s fine. But if readers are turned off to me as an author just because I write gay romances… well, that’s too bad, see ya.

When I wrote my first gay romance, 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 and scenes that make up the book.

I don’t worry about what people might think of me writing about two male characters kissing, going to bed, or making dinner. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. As a writer, I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, a historical Viking tale, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations), and a first-person vampire love story.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters (and the story) take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated fables.

I once read a blog where a woman was “confessing” to writing an erotic romance, even though she couldn’t tell anyone about it and wouldn’t “dare” put her real name on the story. I got to wondering…why? Why hide your writing? And if you’re “ashamed” to be writing in a particular genre, why invest the time and energy into something you’re not going to stand behind?

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud/PRIDEful 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 with whatever partner they choose.

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life. Here’s the book summary to my first gay romance, Four Days with Jack. I hope you’ll check it out. I fell in love with the characters, and I hope readers will too. It’s got a good blend of humor, drama, and plenty of sizzling love scenes!

Enjoy & Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

FOUR DAYS WITH JACK

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

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

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

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

Order Four Days with Jack here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FTMWHL

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bo6Rap

 ~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Look for another historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, coming in July.

She published the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#GuestPost Celebrate Pride Month by Kelli A. Wilkins

Celebrate Pride Month with… Four Days with Jack

By Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

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

Four Days with Jack cover

Four Days with Jack is one of the few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having a pre-planned structure let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions.

At first, I didn’t know what the story would be. All I had was a basic plot (straight guy comes out to his gay best friend), a title, and one pivotal scene that takes place in a bathroom. (For those of you who have read the book, you know which scene I’m talking about—but I won’t give it away here.)

From there, I let my imagination wander and came up with the resort, the rest of the plot, and the unusual cast of characters that Jack and David encounter. As I wrote, David quickly revealed a major conflict—inner turmoil. Over four days, David and Jack learn a lot about themselves, each other, and what sacrifices they’ll make to stay together.

David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He’s afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him? If so, how will his life change?

These aren’t the typical types of questions that my straight characters have to face in their romances. And this line of thinking really got me wondering about what it’s like for people to come out in real life. Will they be shunned by friends and family? Should they tell anyone? Live a lie? Move to a new state? What if they live in a state that’s more conservative and not gay-friendly? What will their coworkers think? Is their preference really anybody’s business?

I picked up on this theme of “What will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”

As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.

Or maybe not. One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank). As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobic ass who says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and he treats his own wife like crap.

So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show that not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that help band David and Jack together during a crisis moment. Is Frank an over-the-top stereotype? No, I don’t think so, because he’s a compilation of a few real people I’ve encountered.

Even in this day and age, some people are offended by gay romances and consider them “icky” or immoral. (Yes, I was actually told by a book reviewer that gay romances are icky!) My philosophy is pretty simple when it comes to that: it’s a free country, so read whatever you want —but don’t expect me to censor what I write because you have a problem with it.

Now more than ever, 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 with whatever partner they choose.

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.

Here’s the book summary and links:

 

Four Days with JackFour Days with Jack cover

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

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

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

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

Order Four Days with Jack here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FTMWHL

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bo6Rap

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

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Look for another historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, coming in late June.

She published the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her new website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

#GuestPost “A Deceptive Match” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Summer Romance Rewind… A Deceptive Match

By Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the book summary and a mini-steamy excerpt:

A Deceptive Match

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt:

Danni hurried down the hall to the locker room. She hadn’t meant to be late picking up Vin tonight, but the moron lot attendant wouldn’t let her back into the parking area. She pushed open the locker room door and rushed inside. “Vin, I’m sorry I—”

Her tote bag slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Vin stood less than three feet away, soaking wet. A white towel barely covered his waist.

“Oh, my God!” Her entire body flushed as a tingling sensation built deep in her belly. Vin was practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.

“I…um…you’re…I…oh God,” she muttered and whirled around. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Vin’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. He gently turned her to face him. Beads of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick them away. “Um…you…you’re wet.” She glanced at the towel and prayed it would fall off his waist.

“And you’re not?”

She squealed as Vin drew her to his chest. His mouth covered hers, and she lost all sense of reason.

A wet heat built between her legs as Vin’s tongue entered her mouth. She clutched him tight and dug her fingers into the solid flesh of his back and ribs. He smelled like soap and water and yet there was a hint of something manly, musky about him.

Vin moaned and cupped her buttocks through her sundress, melding her body against his. A high-pitched mewing sound escaped her throat as a long-denied lust flared within her. Was this really happening? She’d had this fantasy for so many nights, would she wake up and discover it was only another erotic dream?

cover

Order A Deceptive Match here:

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F18X3XQ

All Other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3RB96j

***

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

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

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ***

Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

She published the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

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

Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

 

#Spotlight “Dangerous Indenture – A Colonial Romance/Mystery” by Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture. I’ll discuss how the book came about, the research involved, and how I created these unique characters.

As most readers know, I write romances in nearly every genre: contemporary, historical, fantasy, gay, and paranormal. When I write historical romances I never know where (or when) my story will take me. Redemption from a Dark Past is set in the kingdom of Hungary, Loving a Wild Stranger is a pioneer romance set in 1823, and Dangerous Indenture is a sensual historical/mystery set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s.

Here’s the book summary and links:

Dangerous Indenture cover

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?

You can order Dangerous Indenture here:

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

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

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So, how did the novel come about? Dangerous Indenture is one of those books that just jumped into my head. (Yes, every so often that happens to writers.) One day, I overheard the name Shawna Farrell, but I thought I’d heard Shauna Farrow. The name stuck with me and I wrote it down.

A few minutes later, I knew all about her: she was an Irish indentured servant who came to Pennsylvania Colony and worked at a house where a previous servant was murdered. Once I knew that, I started outlining the book.

Before I wrote a word, I did a lot of research. I was starting from a good place with the book—I knew where I wanted to set the story and in approximately what timeframe it should take place.

From there, I spent time in the library going through history books, reading up on Colonial times (What life was like, what people wore, ate, etc.) and indentured servants (Where did they come from? Why did they leave their home country?).

As I wrote, I incorporated my research as background information. This gives the book a rich, historical feel without going overboard with details that slow down a scene or are of no interest to readers.

When I’m writing historical romances, I include details and descriptions that are integral to the story. I don’t bog down the plot with a step-by-step procedure for churning butter or how to saddle a horse, and I don’t go into an endless description of how to unfasten a corset (unless it’s befuddling a hero who is eager to remove it!)

And just because historical romances are set in time periods before cars, the Internet, and cell phones, that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make them boring. My historicals include plenty of action, adventure, intrigue, danger, comedy, and sensual love scenes.

When I wrote Dangerous Indenture, I especially enjoyed creating the characters and setting the stage for the drama that’s about to unfold. Right from the start, we’re told that Stewart House is a place to be wary of, and then we (and Shauna) meet the master of the house, Joshua Stewart, and his strange family.

Our hero, Ashton Bailey, is flawed and has a lot of problems to overcome. For starters, he’s known as the black sheep of the family and has been sent home in disgrace. He has a reputation as a drunkard and a womanizer, and tends to get himself into troubling situations. By giving Ashton all this “baggage” I made him vulnerable and provided him with lofty goals to reach.

Shauna has come to the Colonies to start over and make a new life for herself. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with anyone—and then she meets Ashton. Shauna is headstrong and independent, and not your typical heroine. She’s brash and opinionated and falls in love with Ashton despite all of his socially unacceptable flaws. Ashton gives her the strength and encouragement she needs to keep going when things look bleak, and he stands up for her at a critical plot point in the story.

When I developed the secondary characters, I made sure to give them all interesting backstories and unusual quirks. Joshua comes off as a mean bear of a man, Minerva just might be crazy (and a murderer), Colin is… a villain in many senses of the word, and Lila thought she had everything going for her—for a while. Not everyone in Stewart House is as they seem, however, and this adds another level of mystery and intrigue to the book.

I love the characters and the fact that Dangerous Indenture is a romance blended with mystery. I had never written a romance set in Colonial times before, and combining all these elements into this Gothic-type story was a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the making of Dangerous Indenture. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media.

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins


ABOUT THE AUTHORKelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

She published the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

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

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

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