Saturday, February 29, 2020

Creating Characters with Author Kelli A. Wilkins

 Hi everyone,
When people learn that I’m a writer, I’m often asked: “How do you create such interesting characters? Where do these people come from?” I don’t necessarily “create” my characters. For me, it’s more like I’m meeting them, or “discovering” them and their stories. Many times, my characters show up and tell me about themselves. Other times, something I hear or see gets me thinking, and before I know it, a new character has emerged. (Shauna Farrow, the heroine from my historical romance, Dangerous Indenture was created after hearing the name “Shawna Farrell” in a bakery.) The characters in a novel or a short story need to be so realistic that they could step off the page and function in the real world. As the author of your story, you need to know your characters better than anyone. (After all, they’re your inventions!) Before you start writing, spend time thinking about your characters and learn everything you can about them. How do you do this? Create a character profile. Some of the most important details you need to know are:

  • Full name, nicknames
  • Hair and eye color/General build & body shape
  • What job do they have? No job? High-paying job but hate it?
  • Family life. Have siblings? Parents together or divorced? Raised by uncle? Are their relatives dead, alive, missing?
  • What is his/her role in the story? What lessons do they need to learn?
  • What do other people think of them?
  • Strengths/weaknesses? Fears/Phobias?
  • What secrets do they have? What would happen if people found out these secrets?
  • Dreams, aspirations, goals, and regrets. Are they happy with their lives or do they wish they had done things differently?

The more you know about the characters in your story, the better the reader (and the other characters) will identify with them through personal details. These details can be used to move the plot along, add conflict, build dramatic tension, or liven up a love scene. For example, knowing your character has to overcome his fear of fire to save a child trapped in a burning barn will bring him to life. Although you need to know everything about each character, you don’t have to use all of it in the book. In fact, too much character information can be worse than not enough. Unless it’s crucial to the story, readers don’t need to know that Marc was kicked off the football team in high school because he flunked math. But if your serial killer is stalking old high school teachers or enemies, then it would be worth mentioning, maybe as a flashback. Every character should be a three-dimensional person, not a flat, stereotypical cardboard cutout who lives a perfect life. They need to be fleshed out enough so they have quirks, hobbies, goals, and dreams that take them beyond the current situations they’re in during the story. Give your characters unique personalities and interesting habits to make them stand out. Maybe the heroine loves heavy metal music and the hero rescues kittens, or does something else that goes against the reader’s expectations. I like to take bits and pieces of traits, likes, and dislikes I see in strangers, friends, or whoever, and mix and match them into a character. In order to make your characters believable, step into their world and look around. Notice the details of their living room, car, bedroom, anywhere they go about their day. Pay attention to what they wear, how they act, and what makes them tick. All these details will add a level of depth to your characters and the story. Be sure your characters have a past, a present, and a future. After all, they didn’t “show up” on page one; they had a life before the story started. Dig deep into their pasts and make them realistic. You can draw on past events to influence their present and develop their future. Remember to give your heroes and heroines flaws. “Too-perfect” characters are boring. Maybe your romantic hero has trust issues, self-esteem problems, or he feels like a phony. A hero cop could be plagued by nightmares of not being able to stop a shooting, he feels guilty about an unsolved murder case, or he drinks too much. I hope you enjoyed this look at how to create interesting characters. If you want to learn more about the writing process, check out my online writing courses on Teachable:

My latest historical romance, Love, Lies and Redemption is filled with unique characters—from the headstrong heroine to the troubled hero, and a quirky group of townspeople—this western romance set in 1877 Nebraska blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.


Love, Lies and 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? 

  Order your copy here: Amazon 
 All other platforms HERE  

Remember, when you’re writing a story, you can invent anything you want—so have fun and let your imagination run wild. Happy Reading & Writing! Kelli A. Wilkins   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories. In January 2020, Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.   She released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance in November 2019. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her. Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in August 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North. Earlier in 2019 she released The Viking’s Witch, a paranormal/historical romance, and Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania.   Kelli has authored two online writing courses: Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas and Fiction Writing for Beginners. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. 

Visit: for more details.
 Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock  and iStock  to view her photos.
 Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: Author Kelli Wilkins and Twitter: @KWilkinsauthor . Visit her website/blog to learn more about all of her writings.


Friday, February 28, 2020

REVIEW The Last Merry Go Round by C.L. Charlesworth Genre: Women's Contemporary Fiction

**** In, "The Last Merry Go Round"  the writing is very good, I dare say FABULOUS. C.L. Charlesworth has a beautiful way of weaving words whilst tackling a heavy subject. I love the irony of the "Merry" in the title and also using Merry-Go-Round as life has a way of inserting the vicious circles until we have the courage to get off.
Toxic relationships that can n away be as addictive as alcohol and sedatives. The story-line is very clever, and the book is well written, but divided in a way that makes the reading a little awkward. It is HOWEVER so clever and well written, albeit dark and sad subject matter, that I recommend the read. 

When fear underlines the answer, Y E S becomes a trap with ominous consequences.

There are three letters when put together that can change your life—they can either bring happiness or sadness. The letters spell the word Y – E – S. When spoken lovingly, Y E S means everything. When fear underlies the answer, Y E S becomes a trap with ominous consequences.

For Diane Fletcher, a commitment to Y E S has left her dangling on a tightrope between sanity and insanity. Despite children she loves, and an opulent lifestyle, saying yes to twenty-eight years of marriage with Richard has brought very little happiness.

Too many secrets permeate Diane and Richard’s relationship. Guilt, alcohol, and sedatives are Diane’s safety net when she falls. Regular visits to a psychiatrist have done little more than put Diane back on the tightrope. Richard has other coping mechanisms. He is devoted, and at the same time, severe, ambitious, callous, and vindictive.

How different Diane and Richard have grown together. Raw emotions, unthinkable actions, and an explosive secret threaten any pretense for their marriage.

The Last Merry Go Round peels back the skin of a volatile marriage with dark secrets, revealing what happens to the family when the secrets explode. 

Who am I? 
I have the gift of imagination and that has been a beacon all my life. I’m fortunate to be able to take a blank piece of paper and create a page turning story that evokes a wide array of human drama. I’m inspired by the simplest–to the most complex challenge a person can face, and with that, derive empathy for my characters. I would best describe myself as a “back porch storyteller”– writing that grabs you from the first sentence. 
I have written two books (so far): The Last Merry Go Round and The Ears That Have Eyes. Each book takes a human challenge and hurls the characters against the wall. Whether or not they survive--- depends on them. 

Amazon Gift Card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A ‘hit’ list from beyond the grave.


Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars A ‘hit’ list from beyond the grave.

Reviewed in Australia on 1 February 2020

Format: Kindle Edition

Verified Purchase

A surprise inheritance from an old school friend leads Anne Geyer into a strange and rather sick new world. Like a child with a new toy, she shares its secrets with friend Connie in an effort to add colour to their hard hit lives. Delving into the world of on-line aliases, the knowledge she receives in the ‘inheritance’ is dangerous and is tantamount to bullying and blackmail. And can lead to disaster. Dark, but full of little anecdotes like: “In Florida all buildings are cold; you always need a little sweater.” But all's well, that ends well. Or is it? Well-written, if somewhat extreme in places, entertainment.

Ghost Hunters: Bones in the Wall by Susan McCauley Genre: Middle-Grade, YA Horror

Twelve-year-old Alex may have lost his ability to play sports, but he gained the ability to see ghosts. Now he must figure out how to put an evil spirit to rest—or die trying. 

Once an athlete and popular kid, Alex is in a terrible car accident that severely injures his hip and leaves him with a rare power: he can hear and see ghosts. All Alex wants is to be normal. But when a malevolent spirit begins haunting him, Alex must accept his unwanted psychic powers and work with his best friend, his paranormal investigator cousin, and two friendly spirits to solve the mystery of the bones in the wall and put the vicious ghost to rest. If he fails, he’ll lose his family and friends to a gruesome fate. 

“An inventive, fast-paced tale brimming with chills, thrills, and heart. Perfect for fans of Lockwood & Co.”— Henry H. Neff, author of The Tapestry series 

**On Sale for only .99 cents Feb 11th – 15th!!**

Book Trailer 

Susan McCauley was born and raised on the gulf coast of Texas, not far from Houston. She spent several years in Los Angeles, California acting, writing, and teaching college English. In 2002, she moved to London to further explore professional theater. While in London, her stage adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's "The Nose" was performed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's George Bernard Shaw Theatre; and, scenes from her play The Prisoner: Princess Elizabeth were performed at HMS Tower of London. She returned to the U.S. in 2005. In 2007, she was the line producer of the Emmy Award nominated Civil War short film Now & Forever Yours: Letters to an Old Soldier. She has had short stories published in several anthologies, and her short story, "The Cask," was made into an award winning short film. 

Everyone should check-in with voice actor Maxwell Glick (who did the audiobook for Ghost Hunters). Max will be doing a giveaway (or two) on his YouTube channel (
and/or his Instagram (!!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Shattered by Melissa Lummis $.99 and free ebook

Shattered (Of Light and Blood Book 2)

Melissa Lummis 
He surrendered his soul to the Devil. She’s the only one who can get it back. More than a century ago, Christian Harris gave up everything in a last desperate attempt to finally have the revenge that had consumed him. The vampire that turned him promised him wealth, power, and the revenge he most wanted. But Christian found no satisfaction in his final triumph, and he wanted nothing more than to disappear into the depths of darkness and forget everything he hadn’t done right-- and everyone he couldn’t save. But when he's brought before his Master and sent on a mission to seduce Heather Macgregor, he finds himself captive to the untrained red-headed witch who wakes him to buried longings and something he never expected: hope. In her bed he finds passion without boundaries and in her heart, redemption. But Heather also unwittingly provides him with the key to his Master’s obsession, the Light Walker Loti Dupree. Now a pawn in a dangerous game, Christian must make an impossible choice: save the one who saved his soul and condemn the World to darkness or save the world and forever lose the only love he’s ever known. **Fans of the reverse harem genre will love this polyamorous contemporary romance**

Grab on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited Paranormal Romance and Fantasy author Melissa Lummis lives in the mountains of Virginia with her husband and two kids who are her support system and constant inspiration. When she's not manifesting with the moon or mixing up magic, you can find her cloistered in her Yurt diving into her fantasy world to craft supernatural heart-stopping and heart-warming adventures for her characters. 

For Magical Tips and more, follow Melissa on FacebookJoin her group Melissa's Mages
Instagram Grab this free book when you join her newsletter!

Defying the Relic Hunter Coletti Warlord Series Book 11 by Gail Koger Genre: SciFi Romance, Adventure

Kizzy sees dead people, but she's a thief and talking to dead folks is about as useful as a three-legged horse. The Dragos clan booted her out when her year's take was a lousy five hundred and sixty credits. The only way back in is to pull off a million-credit heist. Alone.
When Kizzy's jobs as a roadkill collector and medical test subject goes south, she decides taking Montezuma's gold away from an Indiana Jones wannabe will be easy.
The snag? The Indiana Jones wannabe is Ethan Jones, a dangerous Coletti Warlord. Now that she's caught his attention, he's determined to capture her as his prize.
Can the ghost whisperer defeat the big, bad Warlord? 

How do I come up with my stories? Being psychotic helps. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for way too long. All those years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. Don’t get me wrong. Working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher can be very rewarding. BUT - some days I felt like the entire world was nuts. I mean, c’mon, who in their right mind calls 9-1-1 for the winning lottery numbers? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone, I took up writing. 
I made the Night Owl's Awesome Paranormal Romance Authors List. 

$25 Amazon gift card and Choice of 1 Coletti Dagger aka a nail file with a fired glass handle
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Camouflaged Series by David J. Englund

Camouflaged Encounters 
The Camouflaged Series Book 1 
by David J. Englund 
Genre: Science Fiction 

Forget what you think you know. How well do you really know your neighbors or fellow workers? Do you trust your boss? What about politicians? The fabric of our society is under attack. Our way of life, our livelihood, our very existence is under full assault. No one even realizes that it’s happening. Disguised as horrible natural disasters on the news, the world is caught unsuspecting as events draw us ever nearer to extinction. As “natural disasters” escalate and tensions between nations mount, one man hears a whisper. It has begun . . . 

Camouflaged Mischief 
The Camouflaged Series Book 2 

No more births. Ever. Extinction. No more rice. No more wheat. Starvation. That is what humanity is facing. The Ascanti, a conquering alien species, have been stopped, but scientists are incapable of reversing the environmental weapons engineered by the vicious aliens.

Clark Jackson, using his secret portal system, must find the Ascanti home world to learn if such a reversal is possible. And he’s on the clock, racing against the frightened nations of the world erupting into the third and final world war, bringing about extinction that much faster.

However, finding the alien planet is one thing, surviving its hostile inhabitants and environment is quite another. 

David J. Englund is a former Associate Professor of Economics turned storyteller. He daydreams of visiting other worlds and cultures on Clark Jackson’s adventures. 

His interests include reading, writing, baseball, cooking Italian food, and walking/jogging. David currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota. 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Here Comes Earth by William Lee Gordon

Here Comes Earth Book 1 
by William Lee Gordon 
Genre: Science Fiction 

Where did mankind really come from? Why are we here?

We can’t understand the past until we embrace the future.

These critical mysteries take center stage as Earth emerges into a Galactic Society that is far more perilous than anyone could have imagined. Our history is far more complicated than we could have known. Can a few brilliant minds find a way out for Earth?

One saving grace is that there are those that believe ancient clues foretell that Earth has a destiny, and if we can survive our present difficulties we might just find out what that destiny is…

Dr. Mark Spencer was a young and up and coming history and anthropology professor who was all too familiar with what happens to less advanced civilizations when suddenly exposed to others of considerably higher technology. There’s only one survivor and the culture witnessing magic isn’t it.

When modern day Earth suddenly finds itself on the losing end of that proposition a team of the world’s best scientists is put together to find a solution.

Of course the advanced society being friendly, Earth’s citizens uniting, and the world’s politicians working together for the common good would help tremendously, but… what if none of that were true? 

Here Comes Earth Book 2 

The Galaxy is Filled with Humans… They Know More about Our Past than We Do…

Some will Fight for Us; Some will try to Destroy Us… Earthers are Special; But do we Really Want our Destiny?

Mark and Julie are brilliant scientists and Major Reagan has kept them and others alive to this point, but the most dangerous confrontations will not be with the Noridians, it will be with the Lower Houses of The Accord.

Destiny is a thought-provoking journey that will cause you to inspect your basic values. From what it really means to be human to wondering if there’s room in the universe for God.

It’s also a fun read. 

Here Comes Earth Book 3 

The Long-Awaited Conclusion to the HERE COMES EARTH Series...

Earth's Diaspora is well underway and the colonies are flourishing. There are Dynasties of The Accord, however, that resent Earth's expansion. Charli Morgan and Lucca Spelini each lead their respective teams from colony to colony, preventing interference and keeping the peace.

Standing up to the Dynasties is one thing, but what happens when Lower Houses of The Accord start butting in?

Dr. Mark Spencer hasn't been heard from in years until he suddenly shows up one day. The news he brings... isn't good. 

William Lee Gordon is the author of six Best Selling sci fi novels. He also writes political non-fiction under the pen name of StressFreeBill. With the realism of hard science, he loves writing action-filled adventures that keep readers turning the pages. 

Check out his website and register for the Free Newsletter to receive free content, share ideas, debate plot ideas and receive new book announcements: 

$25 Amazon gift card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!