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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/

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Raise the Stakes in Your Story with Goal, Motivation & Conflict

Stack of Paper by Typewriterby Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone!
Here’s a question for you: What do you want? It can be anything: a new car, to lose ten pounds, or get a fantastic new job. (That’s your goal.)

Now what’s your motivation for wanting that? Prestige? An improved self-image? More money? Great. Now what’s stopping you?

These may sound like strange, soul-searching questions for anyone who isn’t a writer, but authors have to answer these questions all the time. And if you’re a writer, you probably recognize them as: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (or GMC).

Every character moves through the process of goal, motivation, and conflict (often multiple times) in a story. It’s the writer’s job to keep raising the stakes for his or her characters and keep the action moving. Here’s how…

No matter how grand or simple, everyone in a story has a goal. By the end of the first paragraph, the writer must establish what a character wants (goal), who or what is stopping him (conflict) and what’s at stake if he doesn’t get what he wants (motivation). This striving and struggling leads to action, which moves the story along. Each scene in a novel or short story is built around things getting worse for a character, and he or she taking action.

Goals can, will, and should, vary depending on the type of story, but they fall into two categories: emotional (or internal) goals, and physical (or external) goals.

The Viking's WitchAn internal goal is something the character needs or wants. This could be meeting a soul mate and falling in love or healing grief after the loss of a loved one. An external goal is something the main character physically must do, such as steal a magic ring from a dragon, or climb down into a cave to rescue a child. (In my romance, The Viking’s Witch, Odaria’s goal was to escape the townspeople trying to burn her alive.)

Sometimes goals start out simple (buying a house or getting to a wedding on time), and your job as a writer is to make it hard for your character to achieve his or her goal. How? By creating obstacles that force the character to work harder. Find out what the character wants, then throw in a curve and see how you can make things go wrong. (Basically, the worse you make things for your characters, the more they have to grow—and that adds drama and tension to your story!)

But writers don’t just give their characters goals; they must motivate them to reach those goals. Ask “What’s at stake?” for the character. Why do they want this thing? What happens if they don’t get it? If the answer is “Nothing, he moves on…” then you need to up the stakes and get your character seriously motivated. For example, if your character doesn’t get to an important meeting on time (goal), he may lose his job (motivation), and if your super-agent hero doesn’t stop the villain, there may be a worldwide disaster.

Conflict is what’s stopping your character from getting what he or she wants. It’s a complication that adds more trouble to your character’s life. Conflict boosts the action and makes your novel or short story more interesting. Authors can use external and internal conflict (or a combination of both) to enhance the drama.

External conflict comes in many forms, such as a villain blowing up a bridge, a well-meaning secondary character (or an overbearing parent) arriving at the worst time, or unforeseen circumstances such as a flood or a car accident. (In The Viking’s Witch, Odaria’s main external conflict was running into a pack of invading Norsemen. That turned into an entirely new complication for her!)

Dangerous Indenture coverConflict can also be internal. In this case, the character keeps himself or herself from having what he or she wants. (“I can’t go to the party because I don’t know anyone there.”) Internal conflict is self-sabotaging. The character has self-doubts and lacks self-confidence and through the course of the story, struggles to overcome his or her fears.

For example, maybe your divorced heroine tells herself she’ll never find true love, or a disgraced hero cop is secretly afraid of getting back on the street.

Goals can and do change as a story progresses. Some goals are reached (or not) but then a new goal will crop up and replace the old one. Each time your character changes his goal (or reaches it and gets a new one) the whole goal, motivation, and conflict cycle repeats and keeps the story flowing.

Remember, your job as a writer is to keep making your protagonist’s life miserable. Don’t set the story goals too low or make the conflicts too easy to resolve. If your pampered starlet is suddenly broke and living on the street, force her to work at a rundown diner and make her life absolutely dreadful. Show us how she has to struggle to overcome her circumstances and let us know what’s at stake if she fails.

I hope you enjoyed this look at how to get your characters moving. If you’re writing something now, pick a few scenes from your novel or short story and identify the goal, motivation, and conflict. Ask yourself how you could raise the stakes for the characters and enhance the drama—so readers will be hooked!
Happy Writing,
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. 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/

You Can Write Horror – Really!

you can write_coverby Kelli A Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my non-fiction writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. As an author of more than 95 short stories and 19 novels, I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out?

I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really!

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

Here’s an excerpt from the section on writing horror:

Horror readers want to be scared (or at least made to feel nervous), so start scaring people on page one. Use a clever hook, details, and setting to pull readers in. Start with a pool of blood on the floor or give us all the details of your haunted house. Let readers experience what it feels like to be chased across a field by a werewolf.

In horror, you can write almost anything and get away with it. Play on childhood fears and things people hate (or are afraid of). Here’s a short list: clowns, creepy dolls, being buried alive, stuffed moose heads, basements, closets, the dark…

As you write, keep the tension and suspense constant. Enhance anticipation and fear in layers. Your novel or short story needs twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and wondering, “What happens next?” Be sure to end scenes (and/or chapters) with a cliffhanger or other danger.

If your antagonist is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your monster is real (whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or a slimy sewer creature). If you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it. Make your monster as real as any other human character and show him in action.

Because your monster is not human, it’s okay for readers to hate him. They should know he’s bad news from the start of the story, so make him awful. You don’t want readers (or other characters) sympathizing with your monster—you want them to fear him.

TIP: Don’t mix monsters. Only include one primary monster or menace in your writing. Don’t have vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons running around in the same story, attacking a town during a full moon on Halloween. It’s overkill—and not in a good way.

If your monster is human (serial killer), depict him at his worst. Don’t shy away from showing him doing really bad, socially unacceptable things. Horror stories are generally dark and explore themes and ideas that expose the bad side of people. If you’re not comfortable going to “the dark side” to write terrifying stuff, you may want to consider writing thrillers or suspense stories.

Your human “monster” needs to be fleshed out. Develop his character through details, give him a history, and show why he’s so warped. If your villain is a racist, show readers how nasty he is through his actions, dialogue, or vocabulary. Make readers hate him. Get readers emotionally involved so they can’t wait for him to get what he deserves in the end. (And he will!)

In a way, it’s fun to show two sides to your villain. Maybe when we first meet him, he seems charming and sweet and is a perfectly normal eighth grade science teacher. Later, when we see the torture chamber in his basement, we’re thrown for a loop.

When creating a human monster, take cues from reality. Most predators are cunning, manipulative, without remorse or conscience, and have a sense of entitlement. They’re great at tricking people and identifying weak spots or vulnerabilities. They are practiced liars and good at covering their tracks to avoid detection. In general, people underestimate them. Many serial killers blend into society and nobody suspects a thing—now isn’t that scary?

If you are writing a serial killer-type villain, be sure he exhibits traits consistent with a predator. He can’t be nice. He can appear nice on the surface as he lures unsuspecting people into his van, and he’s very polite—but it’s all for show. Underneath he’s dangerous.

TIP: There are a lot of books about serial killers/predators and their psychological profiles. Use them to understand your character’s thoughts and behaviors. If you are writing about a villain, you might need to know if he’s a full-blown sociopath or just has narcissistic tendencies.

I’ve written dozens of speculative fiction (horror and sci fi) short stories as well as three paranormal romances. For me, creating disturbing villains and exploring the “dark side” of fiction is fun.

HiResHere are two writing exercises to motivate you to write a horror story of your own. How will you scare people?

EXERCISE 1: Take one of these first lines and write a few paragraphs about it. See what ideas come to you as you start writing.

Steve knew his house was haunted, but that didn’t bother him. He had bigger problems.

On a warm June day, the body of Ann Marie Duncan washed up on shore.
“I have to tell you a secret. I’ve got six bodies buried in the cellar.”

Mike got a strange call from Dave on Friday. After that, he never heard from him again.

EXERCISE 2: Here are some wild “what if” questions to get you thinking about story ideas. Pick a few and write three to five paragraphs about each. What if…

…archeologists uncovered a living mummy while excavating in Egypt?

…your character inherited a haunted house and knew the ghosts?

…a killer picks his victims according to their birth sign?

…the weird Goth kid down the block really is a vampire?

…a woman finds a blood-soaked clown hiding in her garage?

If you’re ready to write, order your copy of You Can Write—Really! here:
http://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Guide-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423749384&sr=1-1

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 Haunting,
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.

How to Pick the RIGHT Editor for Your Book

00409147by Nancy Nyman

Ask anyone who’s successfully written and published a book which person on their team was most critical in whipping their manuscript into shape and “My editor” will almost always make it onto the shortlist.

Why is an editor so critical? And what does an editor actually do? Knowing the answers to these two questions might help you take pressure off of yourself and guide you in choosing the right kind of editor for your project.

Getting Started

Some writers choose to engage an editor early on. In this scenario, the writer will hire a developmental editor to help develop the manuscript from initial concept, through outlining, and even drafting. A developmental editor will have a pulse on the marketplace, analysis of competing works, and references and resources to help the writer through the development of the book.

Improving Your Manuscript

Content editing is perhaps the most comprehensive, and often the most crucial, type of editing. A content editor will help you improve your manuscript by identifying and solving problems of clarity, context, accuracy, consistency, and order. A content editor can also help you figure out what’s missing. Content editing often yields a major rewrite or two.

Grammar Checking

Copyediting provides a line-by-line check for grammatical errors, a cross check of references for tables and illustrations, and will note any permissions that might be needed. If your book doesn’t include tables and illustrations, and you’ve already done your rewrite, it might be time for proofreading, the final phase of editing. During the proofreading process, an editor will review your manuscript line-by-line, word-by- word to ensure accuracy.

Wherever you are in the process, remember: editors approach your project with objectivity, enabling them to see things that you might miss, which makes their contributions key when it comes to writing your book.

Nancy Nyman is a writer and co-founder of Two Girls Unleashed. http://www.twogirlsunleashed.com/

Heating Up Summer Romances with Sizzling Details

you can write_coverby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi Everyone,
I hope you’re enjoying the summer! Today I’m sharing a few thoughts on using details to spice up your summer romances.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach. The ocean waves are rolling into shore… you feel the sun on your skin and the warm, gritty sand beneath your toes… the air smells like salt water mixed with coconut suntan lotion… You open your eyes and see a tanned hunk standing in front of you. A bead of sweat drips down his six-pack abs….

Did it feel like you were on the beach? Could you sense everything happening around you? Good, because conveying sensory details to readers is an excellent way to draw them into the book and make them part of the action.

More than anything, readers want to get inside the story, feel what the characters are feeling, and live vicariously in the world the author has created. When writing a summer romance, authors can make the most of sensory details to bring the story alive.

An author can (and should) explore all the details of a scene to give the reader the experience of “being there.” Here are a few examples of how you can bring everyday surroundings to life and enhance the senses:

What’s the weather? What time of day have you set your scene? Early morning sunrise? In the blazing afternoon heat? A cool summer night? Does a sudden thunderstorm send everyone at the baseball game running for cover?

Liven it up with color! Summer colors are usually bold and bright. Describe your heroine’s hot pink bathing suit, the hero’s cherry red convertible, or the vibrant turquoise beach towel they make love on…

Add some flavor: The sense of taste is usually hard to work into a romance, but you can get inventive. When the characters kiss, what do they taste? Zingy lemonade? Beer? Mint chip ice cream? Spicy BBQ? Does she taste like the strawberries she’s just eaten?

The sounds of summer: People spend lots of time outdoors in the summer, so what do your characters hear in the background? People talking? Kids yelling and playing games? Splashing in a lake or a pool? Carnival-ride sounds from a boardwalk? Sea gulls calling? Lawn mowers buzzing?

Look around: What do your characters see or notice as they go through a scene? Fireflies? Bees buzzing around flowers? A tattoo peeking out from under a bathing suit? Her long legs? Are people watching them kiss on the beach?

Breathe deep: The sense of smell isn’t always crucial to a romance, but having your character follow his nose to the smell of burgers on the grill or relaxing in the comforting smell of smoke from a campfire can enhance a scene. Maybe your heroine is turned on (or off!) by the scent of suntan lotion. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Flowers are blooming all summer, and your heroine can be an avid gardener who loves the scent of roses, while your hero has allergies! Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

Reach out and touch: Summer is a great time of year for your main characters to touch each other. Explore the feel of a shirt stuck to her body, sweat trickling down his back, the brisk coolness of walking into an air conditioned room, jumping into a cold lake, what it feels like to touch the other person’s hot, sweaty skin…

Authors can work “summer details” into a romance in countless ways. In Trust with Hearts, I had the hero and heroine have sex in his car after going to a drive-in—and get busted by the cops! I also had Curtis rescue Sherrie when she got overheated while gardening. He was worried she had heat stroke and brought her inside to cool down. (And that’s when they shared a kiss!)

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A WilkinsMy summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is set at the beach. I used a variety of details to describe the hero’s obsession with the sun, sand, and surf (or as he put it: wax, water, and waves). I contrasted that with details of being with the vampire heroine at night (moonlight reflecting off the ocean, making love on the deserted beach, and swimming at night). By enhancing the details, I showed how Brian and Cassie lived in completely different worlds (literally, night and day!) and still found summer love.

The next time you read a summer romance, pay closer attention to the little details the author has added. Notice how they draw you deeper into the world of the characters and the story. And don’t we all want to get swept away into another world for a while?

Whether you’re writing a summer romance, or losing yourself in one on a lazy afternoon, enjoy the rest of the summer!

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 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/

Setting the Stage for a Summer Romance

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A Wilkins by Kelli A Wilkins

Hello romance lovers!

Summer is here! To celebrate, today I’m sharing a few thoughts on writing summer romances.

Take a minute and consider this scenario: A young woman runs a bed and breakfast in a resort beach town. While kayaking early one morning, she sees a swimmer caught in a rip current. She helps him get to shore safely and learns that he’s spending the summer in town. They are attracted to each other, but don’t immediately act on their feelings.

How would you write the rest of the story? Where would you take it from there?
As an author, I’m free to invent anything I want in my books. I create the characters, their backstories, goals, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. I’m also in charge of the setting and the details—and they are two important things to consider when writing a summer romance.

Summer is generally considered a “fun” time (except for the mosquitoes!). Kids are out of school, people take vacations, friends and families gather around the pool, lake, or barbeque, and everything is more relaxed. All that can lead to summer love.

Everything’s hotter in the summer—including romances! Characters get hot—physically, as temperatures soar and the humidity rises—and hot for each other. Suppose a hero and heroine meet on the beach. They can get an eyeful of the other person’s muscular chest or long, lean legs. They’re both hot and sweaty (maybe he just finished playing a volleyball game). They may flirt, playfully touch each other, ask the other to apply sunscreen, or simply fantasize about what’s under that bathing suit.

In my summer romance, A Perfect Match, Vin and Danni are stuck driving across the country in July. At the start of the book, she’s professionally dressed, but as things heat up between them, she starts wearing playful summer dresses, sandals, and shorts. Her outfits were a great way for Vin to notice her legs and fantasize about touching her. (And his tank tops showed off his huge arms…) A Perfect Match by Kelli A Wilkins

Setting a story in the summer months opens a world of possibilities. Writers have more opportunities to bring the hero and heroine together and keep the interest going with summer escapades. Where you set your romance often leads to the types of encounters between your characters and also influences the plot.

Suppose your heroine lives in a beach town. Give her an interesting job that gets her out in public and she could meet Prince Charming.

Maybe she’s a waitress at a tiki bar, is a lifeguard, or just happens to meet a hot guy on the beach. Or, maybe your hero is on a beach vacation to get over being dumped by his ex and finds himself falling for the woman (or man) he meets on the boardwalk.

When writing any story, it’s always fun to play the “What if…” game. What if your hero is a lifeguard at a pool and rescues the heroine—or her child? What if a boater is stranded out in a lake? Suppose your hero and heroine meet on a fishing trip? They play on opposing volleyball teams? Meet at a Civil War reenactment event?

Don’t be afraid to turn things around and try something unusual. What if a surfer meets someone who absolutely hates the sun? (That was the premise to my summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.) What if the hero is terrified of the water and has to overcome that fear to be with (or rescue) the person he loves?

But not every summer romance has to involve the water, sun, and sand. Anywhere you can get your characters together doing any summer activity is a great way to create mood and setting. Suppose your single mom heroine is taking her son to day camp and falls for the camp instructor? Maybe your hero loves the woods and likes to hike, camp, or rock climb. Is your heroine attracted to the hot guy who mows the lawns in her development? The hero meets a sexy new neighbor at a community barbeque or fireworks display?

And don’t forget about summer sports: surfing, baseball, softball, or any outdoor event is a good way to have your characters meet. County fairs and concerts in the park are also great settings for love to blossom. Maybe your heroine falls for a member of the band…
Some summer romances have nothing to do with people on vacation or doing “outdoorsy” things, but still retain that summer heat. Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

My contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts, takes place in the summer, but doesn’t focus on summer activities. Sherri and Curtis fall in love over the course of the book while doing everyday things, but I did work in plenty of seasonal details to give the book a summer “flavor” and spice things up!

If it’s really hot outside (and your hero and heroine are the naughty, adventurous types) you can have them go skinny-dipping in a pool, a lake, or the ocean. If your lovers are camping and feel the urge for a quickie, they could sneak off and do it in the woods (with the added thrill of the risk of getting caught), under the stars, in a tent (where someone might hear), or on a boat during a fireworks display.

Readers love being swept away by summer romances and writers enjoy creating them. In fact, summer romances could very well be a separate romance genre! They’re fun reads for a day at the beach and they’re an excellent way to add a little “summer heat” to cold winter nights.

So… grab an icy beverage, set out that lounge chair, and lose yourself in a hot summer romance.

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 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/

Why it Matters that You Tell Your Story

Why it MattersA little while back I participated in a discussion around diversity in Science Fiction Romance  on the SFR Brigade group on Facebook.

The originator of the post had some thoughts around a post on The Galaxy Express  and had opened it up to discussion.

My impressions were that some people felt that there was criticism in the post and  that it was undeserved. While others mentioned diverse character they were using in their books.

It’s a discussion that has popped up before in various venues, and it seems with current events being what they are, the conversation is increasing.

Discussion about diversity in publishing is good and should continue. For too long these things have only been discussed usually among POC, and not made mainstream.

As a black woman, I write POC heroines because they aren’t represented in any major way in science fiction and fantasy. My first memories of seeing a black woman in a sci-fi setting was on classic Star Trek.

Back in the day, it was extremely unlikely to see black people on TV at all. In fact, the ones I remember seeing on TV could’ve been counted on the fingers of one hand: Nichelle Nichols, Diahann Carroll (“Julia”) are the ones who immediately come to mind. Two.*

Perhaps there were more during that time period, seeing how I vaguely remember Greg Morris in Mission Impossible, and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the Batman TV series (when the role wasn’t played by Julie Newmar or Lee Meriwether) but I’d be hard pressed to call any other names during that period.

*Update: after a bit more research I discovered that Cicely Tyson also had a regular role on the TV show, East Side, West Side from 1963-64.  H/T to commenter Clara54 who mentioned the  contributions of the incomparable, Pam Grier. Though Pam has also been on TV, her career kicked off in movies during the rise of the Blaxploitation era, in 1968-70.

Zero sum game

Fast forward to the present where we seem to be rehashing so many racially-tinged issuess that many people thought were resolved. Race/class/sexuality–it’s all churning above the surface now, helped along in no small part by the internet (via social media and blogging where voices can be heard across the globe).

My desire to write about POC as the lead characters comes from my own formative years where they didn’t exist. Or if they did, they were stereotypes. Relegated to the sidelines and bound by centuries old definitions.

In all the sci-fi I read as a young person, where were the POC voices? Hell, where were the female voices? They made spotty guest appearances usually typecast as “angry” or “inept” or “sex partner.” Background noise to fill in the scenery that was set in gear by the white male protagonists.

Blame it on Star Trek with the inclusion of various races and non-humanoids, but I had different expectations for what I wanted to see in a universe far, far away. It’s no secret that I identified with Uhura and with Spock, whose own struggles as a half human/Vulcan were often brought to painful life in the classic episodes. uhura

Luckily for the character, Spock was allowed self-actualization in the subsequent movies, where he started out as a coldly logical Vulcan and experienced an ultimate acceptance of his humanity by the time ST VI ended the classic cannon.

(The reboot revived it on a different timeline, and thankfully didn’t lose the flavor, though there are differing opinions on the casting choices for Khan in the second movie.)

A lot of what inspired this post was something I read last week written by  much younger reader. She described her first encounter with writer Octavia Butler. My first encounter with Butler is also a touchstone of mine, and I was drawn to her as a kindred (for Butler fans – no pun intended) spirit.

That all these years later this reader could connect in the same way I did shows how one voice can make an impact that reverberates long after that voice is stilled. Maybe when Octavia Butler started writing, she never knew how others would perceive her stories. How we would be moved to write stories of our own.

She (a black female sci-fi writer) showed me that it could be done. And when I read her books, I felt like I could feel her voice in my heart. She was telling my story in addition to telling a human story.

Because you see, that’s really what it comes down to. Human stories across the centuries, the civilizations, the cultures. It’s not a zero-sum game where if I tell my story, yours is discarded. As a POC I’ve felt that way for most of my life. Where were my stories? Where were my heroes/heroines?

Old Tropes

My story involves more than what is depicted in popular culture. Slickly packaged using the same old tired tropes. Checking off the same old boxes to ensure that  no reader/viewer is jolted out of their comfort zone. Or erased completely. Negated and rendered mute.

My story is timeless. As is yours. It is a shared human story, and can’t be told through just one POV.

So, I don’t write about POC characters because I want to reduce other stories or eliminate them. I don’t see it as a profit and loss sheet, where I’m going through the numbers, sliding beads across an abacus, deciding what has value and what does not.

Tell Your Story

My story is valuable, as is yours and all the writers writing across the world. We are telling the world’s story, in our own words, through our experiences. My story does not diminish yours. And your story does not reduce mine.

Tell your stories. Don’t wait for someone else to decide what they should be or how they should be defined. You own them. Tell them. Tell them now.

The Balance Between Writing Fiction & Non-fiction

the Balance Between writing Fiction and Non-FictionWriting fiction and non-fiction has always been a balancing act for me. My first “real” job was as a catalog copywriter for JC Penney. I wrote about women’s fashions and toys.

Imagine having to come up with 1 or 2 sentences of copy to describe an item–including all the selling points that a customer needs to know. And it had to be engaging, not just a list of descriptions.

Making every word count ensures that you eliminate fluff and a lot of useless filler. It taught me how to write very lean, which served me well years later. After several years in catalog copywriting, I changed careers into IT, which is about as far away as you can get from writing copy.

During my time as a programmer, I didn’t write any fiction, or non-fiction for that matter. When I was a child, I’d written tons of stories, poems and even song lyrics (which still surprises me to this day). But after I went into IT, I put my creative writing on hold for a time.

In the corporate world, my “voice” had to be more formal. Usually the “passive” voice is the way people there communicate. No direct statements that can come back to haunt you later on if anything hits the fan. A perfect match for corporate, but unless you want to put your readers to sleep, I wouldn’t recommend it for fiction.

Making the leap between non-fiction and fiction can feel like a leap across a canyon. Ultimately I started taking classes so I could sharpen my writing skills and learn how to structure short fiction. But still, it was tough to let go of all the business writing rules I’d absorbed.

When you document systems, usually you’re explaining how something works. Sometimes for a technical audience, sometimes not. No embellishment. Just straight facts.

What helped me bridge the gap between those two writing styles was to start a blog. Posts from that blog went into my first book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life. By that time I was also writing and publishing short stories. So, once my first non-fiction book was out there, I was ready to start working on a novel. Stack of Paper by Typewriter

My first published novel, Hathor Legacy: Outcast was rewritten about 3 times, but each time through, I stripped away more of the layers standing between me and my fictional world.

I had to be vulnerable when I wrote fiction. Getting into a character required me to see through their eyes. No way would I be able to maintain my distance and still make a connection with the character’s thoughts and feelings.

If there’s one big difference between fiction and non-fiction, that’s it. Distance. Writing for business requires a certain formality. You don’t get the same thing with blogs (but you might depending on the author and the audience). But with fiction (at least with genre fiction) you have to be willing to get closer. If you do that, the reader can too.

Going back and forth between a story world and “reality” isn’t as difficult if you do it regularly. Writing is one of those things that has to be done all the time. That’s how you get better. No matter what it is: short, long, non-fiction, fiction, poetry–just write it. Go with it. Once you’re writing all the time, you’ll find it’s not so much about striking a balance as it is finding the flow.

But in order to get there, you’ve got to keep writing.

Book Spotlight: You Can Write-Really! by Kelli A. Wilkins

you can write_coverNew Release from Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a bit about my latest book: You Can Write-Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

As an author of 95 short stories and 19 romance novels, I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips?

One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write-Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my 15 years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

I’m an eclectic writer, and that means I write everything-short horror fiction, full-length romance novels, science fiction, and non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles?”

It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.
Once you have the basics down, you can write-really! Here are two quick tips:

TIP: Set aside an hour a day to write. Not sure you have an hour? Consider writing on your lunch break or during a commute. Get up an hour earlier or schedule time after dinner. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. You can
also write in two blocks of 30 minute sessions.

TIP: Keep a pen and paper (or a voice recorder) with you at all times to note bits of dialogue you overhear, something strange, funny, or creepy you see, or anything else that captures your attention and could be used for a story.
Here’s the official book summary:

You Can Write-Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start-THIS is the book for you!

You Can Write-Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!

If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:
http://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Guide-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423749384&sr=1-1
Happy Reading (and Writing!)
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: http://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: 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/

Historical Romances—Far From Old Fashioned

Dangerous Indenture coverby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone!

Take a minute and consider these romance plots:

A father is desperate to find a suitable husband for his wild daughter, but she rejects all her suitors and wants the one man she can’t have.

An outcast is persecuted by the people in her small town and relies on a handsome stranger to help her escape.

Disowned by his well-to-do family, a spoiled socialite is forced to find a job and make his own way in the world. He falls in love with a sweet shop girl and suffers heartache as he sees how the “other half” lives.

A young woman leaves everything behind to start a new job far from home. She tries to solve a murder as she falls in love with her employer’s son.

A wealthy husband and wife invite couples to their country home for a weekend of sex games and wanton fun.

Sound like interesting books? Would it surprise you to learn that they are all plots from my historical romances? (In order, they are: A Most Unusual Princess, The Viking’s Witch, The Pauper Prince, Dangerous Indenture, and A Midsummer Night’s Delights.)

Some people think historical romances are boring “old fashioned” stories about royalty, dukes, castles, and historical battles. But with a few plot and character modifications, any of my historicals could take place in modern times. Princesses could become spoiled actresses, singers, or reality show stars. Imagine the pampered prince as a high-paid arrogant actor who is destined for a fall from grace.

I like to bring my historical romances “out of the history books” and into the everyday lives of my characters. My stories aren’t weighted down with heavy discussions about politics or war. Instead, I focus on the lives of people and how they meet, fall in love, overcome their obstacles and challenges, and eventually live happily-ever-after.

Back in the day, not everyone was a noble lord or lady who lived in a castle and attended fancy balls. There were plenty of “regular people” (considered by some to be lower class or peasants) with stories to tell, lives to live, and love to share.

My female characters are far from the “helpless heroines” who graced the pages of historicals years ago. These women aren’t wearing frilly dresses and hosting tea parties while waiting to find the perfect man. In most cases, they’re too busy trying to keep themselves alive or fighting against perceived notions of how a “proper” woman should behave to look for a husband. And if they do find a man they want to be with, they are only willing to accept love on their terms.The Viking's Witch

Claudette from The Pauper Prince and Shauna from Dangerous Indenture are two examples. These strong women would be right at home in a contemporary romance novel.

When I sit down to write a historical (and I’ve written a dozen of them), I never know where the characters will take me. Each book starts out from a different place. Sometimes I’ll know the plot before I meet the characters (as in The Viking’s Witch and The Dark Lord) and other times I’ll know everything about the characters and then have to work with them to uncover the plot. (This happened with my latest historicals, Wilderness Bride and Dangerous Indenture.)

But no matter how the plot unfolds, I always make sure the characters are interesting and lively. I don’t have “stuffy shirts” making long-winded speeches about politics, law, or anything not crucial to the storyline. You won’t find me (or my characters) giving anyone a history lesson! Just because historical romances are set in time periods before cars, the Internet, and cell phones, that doesn’t make them boring. There is plenty of action, adventure, intrigue, danger, comedy, and depending on the heat level, sensual love scenes.

Romances and forbidden love affairs aren’t new. Throughout history, people have loved and lusted after each other, regardless of social, political, or so-called “moral” rules. Hundreds of years ago there were plenty of “sordid” affairs going on behind closed doors. People were having sex, but it wasn’t mentioned openly or discussed in “proper” social circles.

I thought about this “forbidden” subject and decided to write a romance that addressed that “taboo”. It became the theme in my historical/fantasy trilogy: A Midsummer Night’s Delights, A Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights. In these stories, a respectable man in high society is basically running an invitation-only sex club for swingers. (As you can imagine, these novellas gave readers who thought historicals were old fashioned and boring a real shock!)

Every romance genre has its fans. Some people like to read contemporary romances, others live for paranormals, and there are those who switch up genres and read anything that sounds appealing. I like writing historicals—but I also write contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and gay romances, too. Why? Because I enjoy writing great romances about interesting characters that fall in love, wherever and whenever that may be.
Happy Reading!

About the author: Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, seventeen romance novels (for Medallion Press and Amber Quill Press), and four non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli had two historical romances published in April 2014: Wilderness Bride from Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx and Dangerous Indenture from Medallion Press: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/dangerous-indenture/.

Kelli publishes a blog: (http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com) filled with excerpts, interviews, writing prompts, and whatever else pops into her head. She also writes a monthly newsletter, Kelli’s Quill, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Kelli invites readers to visit her website, http://www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

Catch up with Kelli on the Web:
Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.htmlhttp://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionmediagroup.com/author/kelli-wilkins/
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelli.wilkins1