Today I’m sharing an inside look and an excerpt from my historical romance, Wilderness Bride.
Wilderness Bride is a traditional historical that takes place in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in the early 1800s.
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 lacking a means of escape, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride. Kathleen calls herself Michelle and begins living a lie with her “husband,” Luther, in an isolated mountain cabin. She tells herself the arrangement is temporary until she can move on.
Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful blonde bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. She has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from. But Luther is harboring a secret about his background and fears Michelle will abandon him if she learns the truth about him—and his family.
The couple tries to maintain their rocky relationship as they work to fight brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When circumstances force Michelle to stay longer than she expected, she succumbs to her growing attraction and falls in love with Luther. But when they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past catches up with her, putting her and Luther in grave danger.
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.
Before I started writing, I went to the library and did some research on the time period, what life was like back then, Native Americans, fur trapping and trading, and more. 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 enjoyed creating the characters and all the conflicts 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 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 are on their own in a rough, unforgiving world, and both had to fend for themselves to survive, with little or no family support. All of that 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 a steamy mini-excerpt:
Luther eased Michelle down and knelt over her. Her eyes were closed and a slight smile crossed her lips. His cock tingled and ached, wanting her, needing her.
He propped himself on his elbows and nuzzled the side of Michelle’s throat below her ear. Her wet skin was cool from the lake, yet he felt her pulse hammering beneath his lips.
Michelle lay still as he trailed his hands down the front of her body. He took his time caressing the outline of her breasts, then worked down to her hips. His head swam with desire as he glimpsed the dark triangle of hair through her chemise. God, he wanted her. He ached to touch her, yet was hesitant about pushing things too far, too fast.
He kissed Michelle and moaned as she kissed him back. A soft mewing noise escaped her throat. He slid his hand to the top of her chemise and began unfastening the tiny white buttons. Halfway through, he paused and waited to see if Michelle would protest. When she didn’t, he kept going.
He separated the material, freeing her pale breasts. She was beautiful. His mouth watered at the thought of sucking her. He broke the kiss and looked at Michelle. Her eyes were still closed, and she was breathing hard.
“Can I touch you?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
Wilderness Bride is available in ebook and paperback formats from:
Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1941-Wilderness-Bride.aspx
ABOUT KELLI A. WILKINS
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, 18 romance novels, and 4 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli had three romances published in 2014: A Secret Match, Wilderness Bride, and Dangerous Indenture. Look for her story, “Home for Halloween” in the Moon Shadows horror anthology here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N232UEG
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:
NEW Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
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Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx