22 July, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - An Inside Look at… Dangerous Indenture by Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins


*** Special Feature - July 2015 ***

An Inside Look at… Dangerous Indenture
by Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone!

Today I’m sharing an inside look and an excerpt from one of my latest historical romances, Dangerous Indenture. As some of you may know, I write in several romance genres, including contemporary, paranormal, gay, fantasy, and historical.

If anyone has read my historical romances, you know that they are anything but boring! The main characters are lively and unique, and my heroines are far from helpless females waiting to find a husband. In fact, with a few plot changes, most of my historical romances could be rewritten to take place in modern times.

Dangerous Indenture is a spicy historical/mystery set in Pennsylvania Colony in the early 1700s. Here’s the summary:

Dangerous Indenture

Eager to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony.
But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.
Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.
Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.
When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.
***

So, how did the book come about? Dangerous Indenture is one of those books that just jumped into my head. (Yes, every so often that happens to writers.) One day, I overheard the name Shawna Farrell, but I thought I’d heard Shauna Farrow. The name stuck with me and I wrote it down. A few minutes later, I knew all about her: she was an Irish indentured servant who came to Pennsylvania Colony and worked at a house where a previous servant was murdered. Once I knew that, I started outlining the book.

Before I wrote a word, I did a lot of research. I was starting from a good place with the book – I knew where I wanted to set the story and in approximately what time frame it should take place. From there, I spent time in the library going through history books, reading up on Colonial times (What life was like, What people wore, ate, etc.) and indentured servants in general (Where did they come from? Why did they leave their home country?).

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 be of no interest to readers.

I especially enjoyed creating the characters and setting the stage for the drama that’s about to unfold. Right from the start, we’re told that Stewart House is haunted, and then we (and Shauna) meet the master of the house, Joshua Stewart, and his strange family. And, boy, they are strange!

When I developed the secondary characters, I made sure to give them all interesting backstories and unusual quirks. The master of the house, Joshua, comes off as a mean bear of a man, Minerva just might be crazy (and a murderer), Colin is a despicable villain in many senses of the word, and spoiled Lila thought she had everything going for her – for a while.

But Shauna and Ashton (our heroine and hero) are not entirely innocent and without flaws. They each have sordid pasts, wicked desires, and are not afraid to stand up for themselves – and each other. Despite their very different backgrounds and social standings, they are able to find true love (after going through some very dangerous situations and personal dramas, of course).

I love the characters, the setting, and the fact that Dangerous Indenture is a romance blended with mystery. I had never written a romance set in Colonial times before, and mixing romance with suspense/mystery to make a Gothic-type story was a lot of fun.

I hope you’ll check out the book. (It’s received several great reviews.) In the meantime, here’s a tame excerpt and purchase links.

Happy Reading!
Kelli A. Wilkins

Excerpt:

Ashton wrapped his arms around her. “Come here. Let me hold you.”

She relaxed against him, and her worries drained away. A familiar heat built between her legs as Ashton leaned forward and kissed her. Ashton moaned, and she felt a hardness jutting out from the front of his breeches.

Her mind flashed back to Ashton in his robe. His chest, his flat stomach, the glimpse of a tiny trail of hairs leading lower... What would Ashton do if he knew how desperately she craved his touch?

She fought the urge to slide her hands to the front of his breeches and stroke him, make him ready. What would it feel like to make love to him? She ached to be crushed under his body as he entered her and—

Without warning, Ashton pulled away.

“Forgive me,” he said, releasing her. “I tend to lose control and let my urges take over. I’m not used to being around a decent woman.”

Shauna bit back a grin. Ashton thought she was decent? That was a joke. If he knew what wicked ideas were swirling through her head, he’d probably faint.


Dangerous Indenture is available from:

Don’t miss my other Medallion Press historical - The Viking’s Witch. Excerpts, reviews, and links are on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com.

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 ShadowsWrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Connect with the Author

Books by the Author:
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PDF copy of either A Secret Match or Dangerous Indenture - Winner's Choice. Open Internationally.

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