Tag Archives: historical romance

Book Spotlight: Midsummer Night’s Delights by Kelli A. Wilkins

Midsummer Night’s Delights – Hot Historical/Fantasy Romance

by Kelli A. Wilkins
www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Hi everyone,

Today I’m highlighting the first book in my Naughty Nobles trilogy, Midsummer Night’s Delights.

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

Julian and Annabelle meet the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer

Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies. Anything goes in this erotic tale, and I had a lot of fun showing how Annabelle and Julian loosen up and embrace their wanton sides.

When I wrote Midsummer, I had no idea I would turn the book into a trilogy. Readers and reviewers loved the story and the characters so much, that they wanted these very naughty adventures to continue. So, I wrote two sequels, Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the stories are connected, each novella stands alone as an individual read.

After the original release of Midsummer Night’s Delights, readers asked for a prequel. They were curious about how Vincent and Sabrina met and what their history entailed. Although I had no plans to write a full prequel, I gave the readers what they wanted. In Midwinter Night’s Delights, Sabrina tells Annabelle how she met Vincent and how they got involved in their unusual games.

Here’s the book summary and a mild excerpt:

Midsummer Night’s Delights

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

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

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

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the second book in the Naughty Nobles Trilogy:  MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DELIGHTS.

 

An Excerpt from Midsummer Night’s Delights
Julian followed Vincent down the carpeted corridor, lost in thought. Vincent’s crude words and lewd behavior in the garden had shocked him. Yet, he was intrigued by his claim to be able to “cure” him and awaken his passion. But the idea of attending a ball where everyone would screw, terrified him. What would Annabelle say when she learned of this? How could he ever bring up the subject with her?

“Let’s go in here,” Vincent said, stepping into a room.

“Whose bedroom is this?” he asked as Vincent gestured for him to enter. Like his own bedchamber, the room was elaborately decorated and had an enormous four-poster bed along one wall.

“Shh, keep your voice down.” Vincent removed a painting of a castle from the far wall. He tossed the canvas on the bed and gestured for him to come closer.

He was about to speak when he heard a woman moan.

“Oh, yes… Go deeper,” she said.

His skin prickled. Was a woman having intimate relations in the next room?

Vincent had his face pressed against the wall and was watching from a hole cut into the plaster. Had he no shame? Did he spy on all his guests in their private moments?

He crossed the room, curious, yet offended. “You shouldn’t watch—”

“Shh. Don’t be a prude. Take a look for yourself,” Vincent replied, moving aside so he could look.

He peered through the small hole and saw a brightly-lit bedchamber. A naked, dark-haired woman was kneeling over another figure on the bed. After watching for another minute, he pulled away and frowned at Vincent. “It’s not right to peek in on people. That could be someone’s wife.”

“It is. Mine. That’s Sabrina.”

His heart skipped a beat. “Don’t you care that your wife is in there with another man?”

Vincent shook his head. “She’s not. She’s in there with a woman. Annabelle.”

“What?” He pressed his eye to the peephole again. Sabrina had moved on the bed and now lay on her side, her hand moving between another woman’s parted legs. He scowled. That couldn’t be Annabelle.

Julian readjusted his position to get a better view. He heard a giggle, then saw a flash of light brown hair. A second later, Annabelle leaned forward and kissed Sabrina on the mouth. His mind reeled as he stared at the two women.

His mouth went dry and he turned away from the wall. “Are they…”

“Screwing? Yes. And from the sound of it, they’re enjoying themselves.” Vincent pulled the flask from his pocket and opened it. “You look like you need another drink.”

Julian took the flask and drank down the rest of the liquor. How could his innocent Annabelle be naked? Frolicking with another woman? Dear God, she was his wife and he’d never seen her completely naked himself.

“How… how did this happen?” he croaked out.

“It seems your delicate, repressed wife has learned to release her pent-up desires… with a bit of help, of course.” Vincent grinned as Annabelle whimpered in delight.

“But how? They’re women, and—”

“Take a look,” Vincent said. “You might learn something.”

* * *

Read the Naughty Nobles trilogy from the start!

Get Midsummer Night’s Delights (Book 1 of the Naughty Nobles trilogy) here:

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

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1200332774
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-midsummer-nights-delights-kelli-a-wilkins/1017484285;jsessionid=87E3955C938BCAD371754A91732AA807.prodny_store02-atgap12?ean=2940154252789
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/midsummer-night-s-delights
Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/bfffea07-82f8-4880-a9d0-2bdd4c4a520e
24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1932932

 

Order Midwinter Night’s Delights (Book 2 of the Naughty Nobles trilogy) here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTH1GCC
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1205303366
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-midwinter-nights-delights-kelli-a-wilkins/1028693117;jsessionid=5837BF1F840C63C258E691461858DC36.prodny_store01-atgap02?ean=2940154173978
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/midwinter-night-s-delights
Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/68cc3f49-9eb1-4e1d-aa72-8b3aaf1feb42

 

Get Ultimate Night’s Delights (Book 3 of the Naughty Nobles trilogy) here:

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

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1212741275

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ultimate-nights-delights-kelli-a-wilkins/1117193134;jsessionid=B05D52B3BD60C6859BA1B61C39D1CBAF.prodny_store02-atgap05?ean=2940154265840

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ultimate-night-s-delights-1

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/40d3ebdf-81de-44e3-8b43-fa2fb1318e7e

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. So drop me a line with questions or comments.

Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media.

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

Her trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was released in spring 2017.

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

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 book 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

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

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

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Book Spotlight: Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Genre: Historical Romance

In the gaming halls of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Book Excerpt

Now came the tricky part—the buttons. Thankfully, the Lord had blessed Angelica with a particularly long set of fingers and, despite the tiniest of buttons and the difficult positioning on the inside of her petticoat, she soon had the compartment undone. She folded the notes and laid them flat in the pocket so that they would lie unseen against her body for the journey home.

She was just fastening the last button when she heard the door open. Her raven-haired head shot up, and her large eyes darted in the direction of the intruder. No one had ever entered when she had been in here alone before. What was Mr. Russell thinking? He always left her in peace until she left of her own accord.

So shocked was she, she failed to remove her foot from its perch on the bookshelf and cover herself before a gentleman entered—a gentleman that was not Mr. Russell. At least, that is if you could call the man who entered a gentleman at all. The man in question practically fell into the room, sloshing the tankard of ale in his hand and taking more than a few seconds to find his footing.

Angelica watched with horrified fascination as the tousled hair escaping the pathetic ribbon at the back of his neck flicked up and down while he gained his balance. For a moment she wondered if he would merely stumble back out again, quite unaware of her presence. But fortune would not smile upon Angelica a second time tonight.

In spite of his graceless entrance and obvious inebriation, the man’s eyes were exceedingly quick. As he righted himself, they made contact with a heeled shoe, a pleasingly long leg beneath the flimsiest of materials, and a gathering of skirts. His eyes continued their journey upwards, over her bodice, her neck, and then they stilled at those indefinable blue eyes.

In the odd pause that followed, a cat-like smile slowly unfurled across the young man’s face. Angelica threw down her skirts and stepped back.

“I say…” was all the gentleman offered. He half-raised the tankard as if in salute, and Angelica could only be thankful that he had knocked the door shut during his imbalance. Or was she thankful? She took another step back, hitting the paneling of the wall.

She did not recognize the man, but he was undeniably handsome. Aware that she was looking him over, his boyish face gained a mischievousness. His green eyes twinkled merrily at her, lingering—to her utter infuriation—on her lips. He stumbled towards a book-lined wall and rested an unsteady elbow upon one of the shelves, leaning jauntily on one leg and most clearly making himself at home.

“I say…” he repeated himself, but he did not move towards her as Angelica had feared.

Her wits finally returning, she put some ice into her stare. “You say what, sir?”

Author Bio

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.

Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.

Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own.

Her debut novel, The Widow’s Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters.

Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel, Fool Me Twice (Madison Street Publishing, 2016), is a Georgian romance that has just been released.

So, what are you waiting for? Get swept away into another time with characters you will learn to love, and experience Britain in the 18th century and Regency like never before.

Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fool-Twice-Philippa-Jane-Keyworth-ebook/dp/B01M6TZ9UY

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32499458-fool-me-twice

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An Inside Look at “Loving a Wild Stranger”

by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look and an excerpt from my latest historical romance, Loving a Wild Stranger. This full-length pioneer-wilderness romance is set in the Michigan Territory and blends adventure with a sensual love story.

Here’s the summary:

Loving a Wild Stranger

A woman running from her past… straight into the arms of an untamed man
In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and forced to rely on her instincts, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride.

Committed to her deception, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and starts her new life with Luther in an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. Michelle has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from.

Luther’s friend, Redfeather visits and tries to convince Luther to send Michelle back east. Distrusting Michelle, he warns Luther that his bride is not what she seems. But Luther is in love with Michelle, and he is harboring a secret of his own—one that might force Michelle to reject him when she learns the truth.

Michelle falls in love with Luther and adapts to her new way of life. Together, they face off against brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy everything.

***

The idea for this book started with a simple premise: a woman on the run impersonates a mountain man’s mail-order bride and lives in his cabin in the woods. From there, I thought about the characters and how they would interact, learn to live with each other, and naturally, fall in love.

But before I started writing, I went to the library and did a lot of research. First, I had to decide on the time period. When and where I set my story would determine all the necessary details that bring the characters to life—and also influence the plot.

Once the time period was finalized, I needed to learn about mail-order brides, fur trapping and trading, Native Americans, and get an overall feel for what life was like back then. As I wrote the book, I incorporated my research as background information. This gives the story a rich historical feel without going overboard with details that might bog down the book or bore readers.

I enjoyed creating the characters and all the conflicts that take place between them. Michelle and Luther are very different people—sort of like a city mouse and a country mouse—and I played on their differences in lifestyles, clothing, expectations, etc. throughout the book. When Luther’s friend Redfeather arrives, Michelle realizes how far she is out of her comfort zone and begins to see her situation (and Luther) in a new light.

As Luther and Michelle get to know each other (and fight for each other) they realize they have a lot more in common than they once thought. They both had to fend for themselves to survive in a rough world, with little or no family support. This brings them closer together and makes their love stronger.

I enjoyed writing this book, and I hope readers will fall in love with the characters the way I did.

 

Here’s an excerpt from Loving a Wild Stranger:

 Kathleen’s knees shook as she strode down the sidewalk toward the livery. She had to get out of the store before there was trouble. She felt sorry for that man, Luther. He’d seemed nice enough when he gave her back her glove.

The coach waited near the livery, and her trunks still sat on the sidewalk. She had some time left. What should she do? She didn’t dare get back on the coach, but this town was awful and she didn’t want to stay here. Perhaps she could throw herself on the mercy of the church. There had to be one somewhere and the reverend would take her in. Or would he?

Kathleen crossed the street and entered the livery. A round-faced man slouching behind the counter straightened up.

“You must be from the stage,” he said, gazing at the front of her dress.

She folded her arms across her bosom and looked him square in the eye. “How did you know?” she asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Because I’ve been with all the women in town and you ain’t one of ’em. You Clyde’s new girl? I’d pay two dollars for a night with you.” He winked.

“How dare you! I’m looking for the church.”

The man spit a stream of tobacco juice on the floor next to her brown boots. “We ain’t got a church. If you ain’t the new whore, then what are you doin’ here?”

She spotted the newspaper the man had open on the counter in front of him. An advertisement for wedding lace gave her an idea. “I’m a mail-order bride.”

“That so?” He scowled. “Who’s the lucky man?”

Kathleen twisted her skirts and tried to stall for time. “There’s a problem with the papers you see…”

She glanced out the window. The driver stood near the coach, scratching his head. A second later, she heard the familiar clomp of boots on the sidewalk. This was her one chance. It had to work. She had always trusted her instincts, and now she could only think of one answer. Her gut told her to take the risk. “Luther’s his name and—”

“Luther?” The liveryman’s eyes widened. “Well, you’re in the right place.” He arched an eyebrow. “You sure it’s Luther?”

She nodded as the coach pulled away. All hope of escape left town in a swirl of dust. Her trunks lay abandoned on the sidewalk. There was no going back now. This man thought she was a mail-order bride. She tried to remember what she’d read about them. It sounded simple, a man sent money to a company and they sent a wife.

She tensed as the livery door opened.

“Hey, Karl. I pulled the wagon—” Luther stopped as he spotted her.

She averted her gaze and smoothed her skirts, suddenly ashamed of her appearance. What man would accept her unwashed and dusty?

The liveryman laughed. “Hell, Luther, looks like ya got more than you thought goin’ home with ya.”

“What’s that mean?”

Kathleen closed her eyes. What had she done? This wasn’t a game anymore.

“Seems your wife came special delivery on the coach.”

“My what?”

She heard the surprise in Luther’s voice. What if he hadn’t sent away for a bride like the men in the store had said? She had to think of a story, now. Luther’s boots clomped across the floor and stopped in front of her. When he cleared his throat, she opened her eyes.

Luther stood two feet away, holding his hat in his hands. His head was cocked to one side. “He foolin’? This a trick they paid ya for?”

“No,” she whispered. “No trick.”

As Luther’s shoulders relaxed, his face softened.

Kathleen clenched her hands behind her back, took a deep breath, and started her story. “I had paperwork for you to fill out, but there was a problem on the stage and some luggage got left behind, so there’s nothing for you to sign.” Her voice wavered, and she coughed lightly. “I sent the mail order place a wire. They said they’d send the papers as soon as they can, so…”

“That’s fine, ma’am.” He smiled. “My name is Luther Dubois, and you don’t know how long I’ve been waitin’ for you. Come with me. I’ll put the feed on the cart, and we’ll get settled.” Luther lifted a bulky sack from the floor and walked to the door, obviously expecting her to follow.

She hurried after Luther. A chestnut-colored horse and a wooden cart waited outside the livery. Luther headed to the cart with the sack slung over his shoulder like a dead body. He half-turned to her. “He give you any trouble?”

“Who?”

“Man inside, Karl. The men in this town ain’t known for their manners, especially when it comes to women.” Luther dropped the sack into the wagon.

“My trunks are over there.”

“I’ll fetch ’em. But I’m afraid I ain’t got room for you in back with all the supplies. You’ll ride behind me.”

She watched as Luther carried her trunks to the cart and tucked them in next to sacks of flour, grain, and other supplies.

“You ready, Miss…”

All of a sudden she realized that Luther had never asked her name. “Evans, I’m Michelle Evans,” she answered. After months on the run, she was smart enough never to give her real name.

“Me-chelle, that’s French.” Luther smiled. “Miss Me-chelle, we’ll be on our way.” He mounted the horse and reached down to her. “Give me your hand and swing your leg over.”

Kathleen bit her bottom lip, unsure. If she did this, there was no turning back.

“Now don’t tell me you ain’t never rode a horse before,” Luther joked.

Kathleen placed her hand in Luther’s palm and he hoisted her onto the horse. She sat behind him and adjusted her skirts. Where were the saddle and stirrups? Luther rode only with a blanket and reins.

“Wrap your arms around my middle and hold on. We’ll get home before dark.”

Home? She clutched Luther as the horse lurched forward, willing herself to stay strong. If she started to cry now, she’d never stop. What in heaven’s name had she done?

Order your copy of Loving a Wild Stranger here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6M551H  

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1190943526

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loving-a-wild-stranger-kelli-a-wilkins/1125413251?ean=2940154172131

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/loving-a-wild-stranger

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/335361512/Loving-a-Wild-Stranger

Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/51d0c248-fe8d-4a14-b1db-b524786870f4

24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1854921

***

I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the making of Loving a Wild Stranger. 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 AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

Loving a Wild Stranger was released in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

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 book 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

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

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

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

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An Inside Look at Lies, Love & Redemption (Part 2)

Lies, Love and Redemptionby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing part two of an “inside look” at the making of my new historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption. In the first blog, I talked about how the book came to be and discussed the research involved in writing a historical romance. Today, I’ll explore the characters and touch on another subject—realism.

The book opens with Sam, the hero, bleeding from gunshot wounds and stumbling across the prairie. He’s wondering if he is already dead and suffering in hell for what he has done in the past.

This gives readers initial insight into Sam. Right from the start, we know he has done something that he feels guilty about, and he is harboring secrets. We also see that Sam is stubborn and not the type of man to give up easily.

When readers meet Cassie in her store, they see that she works hard trying to make her store successful. But they also see her going through the motions and wondering why she bothers.

Each character is at a cross-roads, and everything is about to change for them. As the book progresses, we learn that Cassie is headstrong, stubborn, and not the type to take guff from Sam or the people in town. She’s running a store all by herself and doesn’t like to accept help or rely on anyone.

I contrasted Cassie’s independent nature with a secret vulnerability. The consequences of a failed relationship left Cassie emotionally fragile and broken. She says she’s not afraid of anything, but later we learn that’s not true. Deep down, she fears losing the store. She’s also afraid of falling in love with Sam, only to lose him. Cassie has experienced many losses in her life, and she is hesitant to open her heart and trust anyone.

Sam is a noble man who feels he has a debt to pay and a duty to watch over Cassie, and this leads to conflict between them. She doesn’t want to admit that she needs his help, and he is being overprotective of her (or so she thinks…).

Although Sam comes across as honest and open, readers quickly discover that Sam is keeping his past a secret and is hiding his true identity—and much more—from everyone. Sam is a troubled soul who has also experienced a lot of loss in his life. Without giving too much away, readers learn that Sam lost someone very important to him through an act of violence, and he’s set on getting his revenge—and that’s not pretty.

This leads me to my next topic—realism. Before I sat down to write, I did a lot of research about general stores, what life was like in the 1870s, etc., and I learned that life back then was very difficult and much different from how we live today.

People died of infections, diseases, and all sorts of other ailments, and there was the threat of violence to consider. The west was known for being “lawless” and some people took advantage of the fact that you could practically do whatever you wanted. (If you really want to see how gritty and brutal life was like back then, watch the TV show Deadwood. You’ll see gunfights, murders, robberies, hangings, and other acts of aggression that were all-too-common in that era.)

Life for anyone in the “wild” west was tough. Combine that with the fact that women virtually were the property of their husbands and had no rights, and you have the makings for pretty rough times for women.

I incorporated a few of these elements into Lies, Love & Redemption. How could I not? The setting and time period have to be realistically represented in the book. Although readers might take issue with including violence in a romance, it has a place in the story (to a degree).

If everything was too perfect or too pretty, the book would lose the richness in details that bring it—and the characters—to life.

Having Sam face the threat of a potentially lethal infection, Cassie trying to help a woman escape a violent marriage, and Sam admitting the horrific truth of his past, all work together to give the book an authentic feel.

And part of an author’s job (especially when writing historical romances) is to let readers live the story through the eyes and experiences of the characters. One thing authors are told is to make life difficult for your hero and heroine. If there is no conflict or drama, the story becomes dull, and the characters have nothing to strive for and don’t grow.

Yes, I may have put Sam and Cassie (and a few other characters) through an emotional wringer, and yes, they had to face violent situations, but they’re strong and their challenges built up their resilience.

And of course, as in any romance, it all worked out happily-ever-after.

Here’s the summary and a brief excerpt:

Lies, Love & Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

An Excerpt:

“I hate to tell you this, but you have a big problem.”

Sam broke off a chunk of bread and dipped it into the chicken broth. “Honey, I’ve got a lot of problems, starting with the fact that I got shot and nearly died. What else do I have to worry about?”

“A man who stands about six foot six.”

His heart skipped a beat. “Shit. Tell me it’s not your husband.”

“No.” Cassie laughed. “Luke, the sheriff. He was here this afternoon asking questions about you. Holloway’s a small town. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. Folks are bound to be curious when a shot-up stranger wanders into the only store, bleeding to death.”

He slurped more soup.

“Luke thinks you’re wanted, an outlaw, or… I don’t know, whatever he can dream up that might get him a reward.”

“I’m not wanted.” He gazed into Cassie’s brown eyes. “I know you have no reason to believe me, but I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Luke will be back tomorrow morning, and he’s determined to talk to you. He’s gonna ask how you got here and who shot you. I don’t care what you tell him.” She rose and uncorked the bottle of medicine on the tray. “Drink this.”

“Doc left two?”

“No. This is something different. I took this off the shelf downstairs.”

“Won’t you get in trouble with your boss?”

Cassie chuckled. “Nope. I am the boss. It’s my store. I can take what I want.”

“Oh.” That was unusual. Most women couldn’t handle the responsibility of running a business. How had Cassie come to own a store?

“What’s in it?” he said, eyeing the bottle warily. Patent medicines, or snake oil treatments, often made you feel worse than if you took nothing at all. They were full of arsenic, turpentine, or kerosene. “I don’t take well to these medicinal potions.”

“And I don’t regularly offer them, but this should dull the pain.” She poured a spoonful of the amber liquid and held it out. “Open up.”

He was about to argue, then thought better of it. If this poison helped him sleep, he’d be content with that much, at least. “Couldn’t I have whiskey?”

Cassie grinned. “This concoction is about three-quarters whiskey. That’s why I keep it on the shelf.”

He gulped the medicine down, and his eyes watered. “It sure burns like whiskey,” he said, clearing his throat.

“Good. Now that you’ve had food and medicine, I’ll let you sleep.” Cassie set a glass of water on the side table and headed for the door. “I’ll come back for the tray in an hour. Try to rest. Luke will aim to catch you muddle-headed in the morning. I told him you were still unconscious.”

“Why did you lie?”

“I figured you could use the time to get your story straight. Luke’s nosy, like everyone else in this damn town. We don’t get strangers coming through here, so you’re a curiosity. People are going to be suspicious of you.”

He nodded, grateful for the warning. The less Cassie and the other townsfolk knew about him and his past, the better.

***

Order Lies, Love & Redemption on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Love-Redemption-Kelli-Wilkins-ebook/dp/B01JMJLOU4
and on B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lies-love-and-redemption-kelli-a-wilkins/1124391964?ean=9781942546665

Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:

http://medallionpress.com/books/lies-love-redemption/

I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the making of Lies, Love & Redemption. 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 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 romances span many genres and heat levels.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list. Her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, was published in September 2016.

Kelli’s writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

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 book 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/

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Medallion Press: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

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

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

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An Inside Look at Lies, Love & Redemption (Part 1)

Lies, Love and Redemptionby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

One day, I was thinking about nothing in particular when this popped into my mind:

A man limping along the prairie. He’s been shot and left for dead. He’s bleeding and hurt bad. And thirsty. So thirsty. It’s hot and he wants to rest, but he knows he has to push on. If he collapses again, he’s not going to get up and he’ll die here. But maybe he’s already dead and this is hell. Or maybe not…

That was my introduction to Sam, the hero from my new historical western, Lies, Love & Redemption. That was also how I introduced readers to Sam—lost and hurt and wandering along the prairie.

Here’s the book summary that came from that initial idea:

Lies, Love & Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Believe it or not, that first scene came to me several years ago. When I got the idea for the book, I did all the initial research and wrote a very rough draft. Then the manuscript just sat around. I’m not exactly sure why so many other book projects came ahead of it, but they did. I wrote other romances while this one was waiting in the wings, so to speak. The story was always there, but I guess I wasn’t ready to revise and edit it.

I started working on the book last year and found that although the basic premise still resonated with me, I wanted (and needed) to make a lot of changes. I always had the opening scene of Sam walking across the prairie in my mind. I knew where he was going (to Cassie’s store), and I had the general idea of how the story would play out and who the characters were, but I didn’t have the specifics of each scene.

As I got further into revising the book, the details became more solidified. I added new scenes, deleted others, and generally gave it a complete makeover. Now it’s a much stronger (and better) book than it was originally.

But before I started writing, I did a lot of research. First, I had to decide when and where the book would take place. I knew it would be on the prairie somewhere (Kansas? Nebraska? Iowa?) and set after the Civil War. Once I picked a time period and a place I researched everything I could about it: what was going on in the country at that time, how people traveled, what their occupations were, what they ate, how a general store was set up…

I enjoy reading about history and exploring what life was like in different time periods, so doing the research part of a historical romance is interesting—but time consuming. I’m always scribbling notes about details I could use in the book. I never use them all, but adding realistic details helps draw readers into the world of the characters, even though it might be very different from how we live now.

Although I have written a lot of historical romances, the time periods are always different. I’ve used Medieval (A Most Unusual Princess), Scottish (The Viking’s Witch) and Colonial (Dangerous Indenture) settings. When I’m writing a historical romance, I never know when (or where) the characters will take me. Lies, Love & Redemption is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery and danger.

Here’s a mild excerpt:

Cassie removed the sling and uncovered Sam’s shoulder. She bent forward, resting her hand on the center of Sam’s chest. His skin was warm, and she felt his muscles ripple beneath his skin. Her heart beat faster, and she closed her eyes. She shouldn’t be in here. It wasn’t proper, and yet . . . It took all her willpower not to peek at his lower half again.

“How is it?”

She opened her eyes and checked the wound. “It looks fine to me.” A lock of hair came loose from her bun and brushed across Sam’s chest. He reached up with his good hand and tucked it behind her ear.

Before she could protest, he leaned in close and kissed her.

Oh, Lord.

Sam’s lips moved against hers, slow and tender, as if he expected her to pull away or slap him. She didn’t. Instead, she closed her eyes and gave in.

Sam clutched her tighter, pulling her down to him. Her fingertips splayed against his bare chest, and she moaned. God, it felt good to be kissed and held by a strong man again.

A warm pulsing sensation flooded between her legs as Sam slipped his tongue into her mouth. She lost herself in his embrace and everything faded away. After what seemed like forever, Sam broke the kiss.

“Stay with me,” he whispered.

She gazed into his blue eyes. “I can’t. I should—”

“Yes, you can. I’ll treat you right. We’ll only do as much as you want. Kissing and cuddling, that’s all,” he said, then kissed her again.

That’s all? That wouldn’t be enough for her. Once they got down to serious kissing and touching, she wouldn’t want to stop. And she wouldn’t let Sam stop—even if he wanted to.

Cassie melted in his arms. Their tongues entwined, probing and exploring each other’s mouths. Sam’s kisses stripped her of all reason and left her with a raging desire that needed to be sated.

It would be so easy to give in, to say yes, stay here all afternoon and . . . Was Sam healthy enough to make love? Lord almighty, what was she thinking? She knew better. After all she’d been through, she knew she should resist him, but . . .

“Cassie? You here?” Luke bellowed from downstairs.

She yanked herself from Sam’s arms. “Damn!”

“Don’t answer him.”

“I have to. If I don’t, he’ll come up here.” She stood and adjusted the covers over Sam’s chest. “Be down in a minute,” she hollered.

“Get rid of him and come back. I think I’m on my way to a speedy recovery,” Sam said, grinning.

***

Order Lies, Love & Redemption on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Love-Redemption-Kelli-Wilkins-ebook/dp/B01JMJLOU4
and on B&N:

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lies-love-and-redemption-kelli-a-wilkins/1124391964?ean=9781942546665

Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:

http://medallionpress.com/books/lies-love-redemption/
I hope you enjoyed part one of this inside look at the making of Lies, Love & Redemption. In part two, I’ll focus on the characters and discuss how they came to be. 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

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 romances span many genres and heat levels.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list. Her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, was published in September 2016.

Kelli’s writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

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 book 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/

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Medallion Press: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

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

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Save

Book Spotlight: New Romance Release — Lies, Love & Redemption

Lies, Love and Redemptionby Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt from my new historical western, LIES, LOVE & REDEMPTION. This full-length novel is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery and danger.

Here’s the summary:

Lies, Love & Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

A mild excerpt:

Cassie dusted off a can of apricots and restacked it on the shelf. “Why do I even bother?” she muttered as she picked up the next can.

Another week had come and gone, but her days were always the same. Get up at dawn, sweep out the store, dust off the cans, and . . . wait. Her few customers strolled in on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to buy odds and ends, but nearly everyone bought their bulk goods at the general store in Baxter. Townsfolk came here only when they wanted something quick—or on credit.

The bell above the door jangled, but she didn’t bother to turn around. “That you, Luke? You’re up early. I bet you haven’t seen this side of ten o’clock in—”

She glanced over her shoulder and shrieked. The can of apricots slipped from her hand and rolled across the floor.

A stranger covered in blood leaned against the doorjamb.

She rushed to his side. “Who are you? What happened?”

The man locked his blue eyes onto hers. “Help me.”

He held a battered leather satchel out to her. “Hide this,” he said, then collapsed forward.

Cassie caught him around the waist and eased him to the plank floor. Was he dead? She felt the side of his sweaty neck. His heart was beating, but he looked like hell. His clothes were coated in blood and dirt, and his face had a sickly white hue to it. He was lucky to be alive. Someone had shot him full of holes.

Where had he come from? Holloway was in the middle of nowhere with no railroad connection, and it wasn’t on the stagecoach line. She hadn’t heard a horse out front, and he couldn’t have walked here from Baxter, could he? That would be suicide.

Wild ideas raced through her mind as she stared down at him. Maybe he was a fugitive or a bank robber. Decent people didn’t get themselves shot for no reason. Whoever shot him could’ve been following him, looking to finish him off.

Her gaze settled on the satchel. What was in it? Money? Gold? The deed to a silver mine? Why did he want her to hide it?

Cassie brushed her hair away from her face and frowned. What the hell was she supposed to do with him? Why had he wandered into her store, of all places? The last thing she needed was a half-dead stranger complicating her life. His being here would only stir up trouble—and she already had more than she needed.

Maybe she could— With a start, she realized he hadn’t moved. She shook his bloodied left shoulder.  The man remained motionless. “Damn it to hell.” She yanked the satchel from his grip, then ran behind the counter and stuffed it in the bottom drawer. There wasn’t time to look inside and see what the stranger was hiding. Whoever he was, he needed help—fast.

Order your copy of Lies, Love & Redemption here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Love-Redemption-Kelli-Wilkins-ebook/dp/B01JMJLOU4

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lies-love-and-redemption-kelli-a-wilkins/1124391964?ean=9781942546665

Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:

http://medallionpress.com/books/lies-love-redemption/

And if you love historical romances, don’t miss my other Medallion Press novels:

The Viking’s Witch:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Vikings-Witch-ebook/dp/B008R5185G

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vikings-witch-kelli-wilkins/1112359676?ean=9781605421698&itm=1&usri=kelli+wilkins

and Dangerous Indenture:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Indenture-Kelli-Wilkins-ebook/dp/B00JMHZNIG/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dangerous-indenture-kelli-wilkins/1118590458?ean=9781605427157

In a future blog, I’ll share an inside look at the making of the book and a steamy excerpt.

Happy Reading!

Kelli

Book Spotlight: A Most Intriguing Temptation by Kelli A Wilkins

A Most Intriguing Temptationby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look and spotlighting the making of my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Intriguing Temptation. This book is the second story in the Royal Desires trilogy that began with A Most Unusual Princess and ends with A Most Unfortunate Prince. Together, they make up a fun series, but each story stands alone as a separate read. Why? Because when I wrote A Most Unusual Princess, I never knew I was writing a trilogy.

A Most Intriguing Temptation focuses on the theme of fidelity. Our headstrong Princess Elara wants to test Dalton’s loyalty, so she masquerades as Oonish, a sultry kharim girl in a pleasure palace. She teases and tempts Dalton at every turn and thinks her game is all in fun—until she gets in over her head and lands in big trouble.

I enjoyed taking Elara out of her element and giving her new experiences. I also got to show a different side to Dalton’s character as he (and readers) learn about his weaknesses and desires. He loves Elara, and yet, Oonish is tempting… This unique storyline was an interesting way to showcase Dalton and Elara’s relationship, discuss their views on trust, and see how they interact and respond to challenges in their lives.

A Most Intriguing Temptation was fun to write. It has a little bit of everything: adventure, humor, sizzling love scenes, an element of danger, and even a drop of sadness. This book also introduces readers to Elara’s charming, womanizing, “bad-boy” brother, Prince Allan.

When readers ask me if I ever have characters who want to “run away” with a story, I always point to Allan. By the end of A Most Intriguing Temptation, I knew Allan needed his own story, and so A Most Unfortunate Prince was born! I’ll be sharing more about him in my next blog.

Here’s the book summary and a brief (tame) excerpt:

A Most Intriguing Temptation

After only four months of marriage to Princess Elara, Prince Dalton is sent to Emperor Salizar’s pleasure palace on business. Not wanting to be left behind, Elara risks her personal safety and sneaks along on the trip.

Aided by her mischievous brother, Prince Allan, she disguises herself as one of Salizar’s sultry kharim women and decides to test Dalton’s loyalty. Masquerading as Oonish, Elara goes out of her way to tempt Dalton at every turn. Despite Dalton’s resolve to resist the indulgent girls, he finds himself falling under the spell of the mysterious Oonish.

After nearly giving in to temptation, Dalton discovers Elara’s trickery and turns the tables on her, making her into his submissive playmate. Their fun and games are quickly shattered when Emperor Salizar learns about Elara’s deception. He holds the royals prisoner and condemns Elara to a fate worse than death.

Can Dalton save Elara before it’s too late, or will her prank bring about the end of their love?

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the third book in the “Royal Desires” series: A MOST UNFORTUNATE PRINCE.

The Excerpt:
Dalton rolled over in his sleep. He heard bells jingling again. What was Oonish doing now? He’d told her to stay in the outer room. He opened his eyes. Oonish trotted around the foot of the bed. The room was dim and shadowy. How long had he been asleep?

“Good, you’re awake, Your Highness. I would not want you to miss anything.”

“Miss what?” he grumbled and tried to sit up. As he did, he realized that his arms were bent over his head. His wrists were tied to the wrought-iron headboard with long pink scarves.

“What is the meaning of this?” He moved his legs and found that his ankles were bound as well. “I order you to untie me, now.”

“Nay, Your Highness. You must stay here and be pleasured. It is my duty,” Oonish said as she unhooked her belt. Her scarves and bells fell to the carpet, revealing her tiny covering.

He looked away. What was she going to do? “I wish for you to–”

“You wish for this,” she said, turning her back to him and wiggling her buttocks.

He swallowed hard. Whether he wanted to admit it or not, Oonish was enticing…

Order your copy of A Most Intriguing Temptation here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8P8604

Catch up on Book 1, A Most Unusual Princess, here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CBX43D8

Pre-Order your copy of Book 3, A Most Unfortunate Prince here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMBYJ6E?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

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 romances span many genres and heat levels. Visit her website and blog for a full title list.

In addition to writing romances, Kelli enjoys scaring readers with her horror stories. Don’t miss her spooky ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

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 book summaries, 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: http://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/

Book Spotlight: A Most Unusual Princess by Kelli A Wilkins

A Most Unusual Princess by Kelli A WilkinsHi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look and spotlighting the making of my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess. This fun and sexy story is the first book in my “Royal Desires” trilogy. (The other two books are A Most Intriguing Temptation and A Most Unfortunate Prince.)

Together, they make up an exciting series, but each story stands alone as a separate read. Why? Because when I wrote A Most Unusual Princess, I never knew I was writing a trilogy.

A Most Unusual Princess is a sensual novella about unruly and willful Princess Elara, and Dalton, the handsome (and incredibly patient) guard tasked with protecting her while she searches for a suitable husband. The book is a unique blend of comedy, human drama, and romance. It’s also the first romance I ever wrote – and it was a lot of fun.

Although the fantasy genre wasn’t something I had written in before, I liked the idea of following a very headstrong and spoiled Princess Elara as she looked for a husband. From the outset, we learn that Elara is an opinionated young woman who is used to getting her own way. When Dalton innocently catches Elara doing something very unladylike, the Dalton-Elara love/hate/love relationship is born.

I enjoyed writing Dalton and Elara’s story and fell in love with them. I never expected I’d visit these characters again, but not long after completing A Most Unusual Princess, I knew Dalton needed his own book, so I wrote a sequel. And later, Elara’s brother, Prince Allan showed up and I decided to tell his story, as well.

I’ve been asked how I plotted the series. Did I use note cards to keep track of each character description? Did I make an overall outline of the whole trilogy, and then write each book?

Nope. The truth is… I just wrote the story that was in my head. I didn’t intend to write a trilogy – it kinda happened on its own. (With a lot of typing on my part, of course!) I wrote each book by itself, with its own setting, characters, plot, and theme, apart from the book that came before. So, although they make up a series, each book can stand alone as an individual read.

Here’s the summary and an excerpt from A Most Unusual Princess:

A Most Unusual Princess
Princess Elara needs to find a royal husband, but claims that no man can satisfy her. Her father hires Dalton, a special guard, to watch over her while she’s courting suitors. Dalton finds her unusual behaviors charming—and enthralling.

Dalton’s aloof manner intrigues Elara, and despite their differences, they share tender moments and intimate nighttime encounters. Elara is heartbroken when her father chooses a “proper” husband for her—until she meets the mystery man.

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the second book in the “Royal Desires” series: A MOST INTRIGUING TEMPTATION.

The Excerpt:
Dalton walked past her and entered her bedchamber. She stood in the doorway while he searched the wardrobes and looked under the bed. After last night’s fright, she was taking no chances.

“There’s nothing… a-ha! What’s this?” He pulled a white silk stocking out from under the bed and waved it in the air.

“Put that down.” She raced into the room and lunged for the stocking. Dalton held it over his head.

“Is this what a princess wears beneath her dress?”

“Give that to me.” She knocked him backward onto the bed and pounced on him.
“This would make a nice remembrance,” he said, keeping the stocking out of her reach.

“Beast!” She squirmed as they playfully struggled for the stocking. A moment later, Dalton turned his head and his lips brushed against hers.

She gasped. Dalton had stopped laughing and was staring up at her. She closed her eyes and felt his finger caress her cheek.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.

The next thing she knew, Dalton’s mouth covered hers. The feel of his warm, moist lips sent a searing heat through her. After a few seconds of heaven, he pulled away.

“I should not have done that.”

She licked her lips. “I’m glad you did. It was nice.” Her heart hammered out of control, and her lower body throbbed. This was the feeling she was supposed to have when she met with her suitors. “Kiss me again.”

“With pleasure.”

Dalton curled his arms around her and pulled her down onto him. His mouth moved against hers, and fire flashed between her legs. She kissed him, tentatively at first, then with more passion as she was swept away by desire.

He slid his hands across her back and down to her buttocks. She moaned as he squeezed her through her dress. Was this what it felt like to have a man make love to her? Every night should be like this.

She ignored a faint rapping on the sitting room door. It was probably a lady-in-waiting coming to undress her for bed. She needed no help with her clothes tonight. Dalton was here, he could remove her dress and then…

“Elara?”

Dalton broke the kiss and bolted upright. “It’s your father!”

Order your copy of A Most Unusual Princess here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CBX43D8
Look for A Most Intriguing Temptation and A Most Unfortunate Prince (Books 2 and 3 of the Royal Desires series) coming in April!

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 romances span many genres and heat levels. Visit her website and blog for a full title list.

In addition to writing romances, Kelli enjoys scaring readers with her horror stories. Don’t miss her spooky ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

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 book summaries, 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: http://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 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/