Category Archives: worldbuilding

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover… Love at first bite

tnConfessionsVampiresLover coverby Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Greetings Everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look at my paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. As most everyone knows by now, I write spicy romances and spooky horror fiction. For some, that might seem an odd combination, but it works for me. I like to say that “one half of my brain writes the horror, and the half writes the romance.”

There have been a lot of vampire romances published over the years, and vampires continue to fascinate romance readers. So what makes this story different from all the rest? Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover offers readers a different view of a vampire romance. For starters, the novella is a summer romance told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of an unusual setting – the beach. Yes, it’s a summer beach-themed vampire love story! And you don’t see those every day.

So, how did this story come about? My original idea was simple: “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love?”

I’m married to a surfer and one of our trips to the beach (where I sit and write) got my imagination going. I liked the idea of contrasting typical sun-worshipping beachgoers and surfers with a darkness-loving elusive vampire. Besides, what could be more mismatched than a die-hard surfer falling in love with a nocturnal blood-drinker in the heat of summer?

Although the story is about a vampire, I wanted to keep the central focus on Brian and Cassie’s relationship and not on the “bloodier” aspects of vampirism. I think there’s a fine line when blending horror and romance into paranormal romance. Too much gore or a “too terrifying” creature can snap the readers and the characters out of the romance and into a full-on horror story.

I also made sure that the love scenes were highly sensual and almost surreal. Aside from being a vampire, Cassie is a woman with needs, and she makes sure Brian satisfies them! I don’t remember how I got the idea to have the story told by Brian, but it worked. (Readers and reviewers liked the first-person aspect – it pulls you into a story that would seem unbelievable.)

I love combining my two favorite genres into one great story. (You can check out all of my romances and horror stories on my site or Amazon author page.) Some people think it’s strange, but writing horror lets me explore characters, settings, and plots you don’t normally find in romance. And every so often, it’s good to mix a little paranormal into your romance and see what happens. Who knew vampires could have a summer romance?

Here’s the book summary for Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover

The moment Brian spotted Cassie sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Cassie is the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her–all night long!

Everything is perfect between them–until Brian discovers Cassie’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover!

***

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. So feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, and to let me know how you liked the book. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Happy Reading!
Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning romance and horror author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her short horror fiction has appeared in several anthologies. In autumn 2015 she released two horror ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

The Viking’s Witch – An Inside Look (Part 2)

Viking Czech_200by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

To celebrate the foreign release of my Medallion Press novel, The Viking’s Witch, I’m sharing an “inside look” at the making of the book. In my last blog, I talked about how the book came about, the research involved, and the violence that takes place in the story. Now I’ll offer some insight into the origins and development of the characters, as well as Odaria’s magic “witch” powers.

The 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
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?

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 is up.

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 is what I envisioned Rothgar to look like—even though I wrote the book long before the movie came out.)

When I create my heroes and heroines I always give them “baggage” and flaws along with lots of 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 meet up, 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 also 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 develops a 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 he’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 story 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 use 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” subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.

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!)

The Viking’s Witch is available exclusively as an ebook from
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Vikings-Witch-ebook/dp/B008R5185G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375813873&sr=1-1&keywords=Kelli+A.+Wilkins
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vikings-witch-kelli-wilkins/1112359676?ean=9781605421698&itm=1&usri=kelli+wilkins

Happy Reading,
Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

The Viking’s Witch – An Inside Look (Part 1)

Viking Czech_200by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone!

To celebrate the foreign release of my Medallion Press novel, The Viking’s Witch, I’m sharing an “inside look” at the making of the book. 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.

The 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
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?

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 is up.

Interviewers and readers have asked what my inspiration was when I was writing the book, and they 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. (But 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.

Before I started writing a word, I had to do a lot 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 today, only 20 are inhabited).

I also had to research what life was like at that time period for Odaria and Rothgar. (What kind of clothes they would 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, their food, how they travel, etc. Having Rothgar show her how he lived was a good way to introduce readers into the culture.

And of course, if you were living back in 803 with bands of Norsemen and crazy villagers, you can expect there was some measure of violence. Readers might think that there’s no place for 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, sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch is about a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent 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 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 violence 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.

The Viking’s Witch is available exclusively as an ebook from
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Vikings-Witch-ebook/dp/B008R5185G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375813873&sr=1-1&keywords=Kelli+A.+Wilkins
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vikings-witch-kelli-wilkins/1112359676?ean=9781605421698&itm=1&usri=kelli+wilkins

Happy Reading,
Kelli
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Pangaea: Eden’s Planet by Tom Johnson

New Pangaea1Pangaea: Eden’s Planet was a concept I came up with several years ago while looking for a possible book proposal to submit to Hollywood Studios. Yes, I’ve submitted several proposals without success yet, but I keep trying. I’ve actually gone through two agents that were not hungry enough to sell my books to Hollywood.

Basically, Pangaea: Eden’s Planet is a character-driven novel and focuses on seven astronauts on a mission to Mars to begin a terra-farming project after a nuclear war on Earth.

But problems arise when they enter a space anomaly that disables their ship, sending them back in time. The planet’s gravity pulls them back to Earth, where they crash land on an alien world 250 million years in the past.

Their mission now turns into a survival situation, as fierce reptiles of the Permian Period, as well as explosive nature, endangers their very lives.

The seven astronauts are scientists in special fields that will be needed to fulfill their mission on Mars. This includes Colonel Evelyn Peterson and Major Adam Cooper, the pilots of Galileo Two; Colonel Peterson is the leader of the mission, the major is her second in command. I gave each character individual personalities.

The subplot was a romance building between Peterson and Cooper. When I first conceived the story, Evelyn was black and Cooper white, which I figured would be one of the problems keeping them apart, but later I changed my mind about pursuing this element of the story, and dropped all reference to her race. After all, her responsibility of keeping those under her command alive in a harsh environment is concern enough. Besides, in the 21st Century race should no longer be a stumbling block to romance.

My love of biology and study of paleontology and other zoological areas of science has always been a driving force in my writing. In Pangaea: Eden’s Planet, I fill my world with known creatures from the period, as well as a few from my own imagination.

Sixty million years before the dawn of the dinosaurs, there were still predators as menacing as T-Rex. Colonel Peterson and Major Cooper were the only ones armed, and that consisted of small caliber pistols, each holding 15-round clips of ammunitions, and they were faced by incredible odds.

Their survival would require ingenuity and fearlessness. We have seven people alone in a world of fierce reptiles, volcanic activity, and danger from the heavens. But yet love will also find a way.

Readers that enjoy a story with action and danger, with a light touch of romantic tease will find Pangaea: Eden’s Planet a work of fiction both entertaining and, hopefully, memorable.Tom's Back Cover Picture

There is drama and humor as the characters face each situation, good and bad, with the knowledge that life or death could be ahead of them. Their survival may depend on their next action. You will find laughter at times, and cry at others, but I believe you will come to know and love the characters, whatever their faults might be. Happy reading.

Where to find author Tom Johnson on the web:

Blog http://jurnovels.blogspot.com
Website http://www15.brinkster.com/jur1/index.html

Where to buy Pangaea: Eden’s Planet:

First Realm Publishing
http://www.firstrealmpublishing.com/pangaea-eden-s-planet

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Pangaea-Edens-Planet-Tom-Johnson-ebook/dp/B00L9A7SAU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415551384&sr=1-1&keywords=pangaea%3A+eden%27s+planet+by+tom+johnson