Gotta Write: How wonderful to hear that your 15th Amber Quill Press erotic romance, Ultimate Night’s Delights, was recently released. I understand this novella has a heat level of 3. With this sequel to A Midwinter Night’s Delights did you find it difficult to explore a high level of sexual freedom?
Kelli: After writing the first two books in the series (A Midsummer Night’s Delights & A Midwinter Night’s Delights) I didn’t have a problem writing the more explicit love scenes. The first two books explored Julian and Annabelle’s wildest fantasies and introduced them to a world of “anything goes” sexual freedom. In this book, I show how they help other shy or insecure couples embrace their sexuality.
When I write a romance, I’m not really “in charge” of the heat level. I don’t decide “I’ll write a scorching book.” I let the characters in each story determine the sexual content. Every story is different, and so are the sexual lives of the characters. They all have a sexual history (whether curious, shy, very open, or unsure) that comes into play during the course of each book.
Writing in different romance genres also influences the sexual content. In The Viking’s Witch, (a historical) Odaria is innocent about things, yet, is so hopelessly in love with Rothgar, she insists that he’s “the one” for her. David in Four Days with Jack (a gay contemporary) is a modern, though sexually unsure man who’s interested in experimenting. Sherrie (from Trust with Hearts) had her heart broken, so she’s not going to jump into a relationship with just anyone.
In Ultimate Night’s Delights none of the characters are shy, and anything goes! Writing for the different characters and their individual situations helps keep things interesting and fresh from book to book.
Gotta Write: Who is the Marquis of Demby and why does he host these erotic Midsummer and Midwinter Balls?
Kelli: Vincent (the marquis) is a very open, free-thinking person.He’s always had a wild, uninhibited side, and he enjoys inviting guests to the estate to partake in various naughty games. In A Midwinter Night’s Delights, Sabrina (his wife) explains how she and Vincent met and we learn that Sabrina also has a very interesting sexual past. The two are perfect together and take great delight in teaching Julian and Annabelle how to overcome their repressed feelings.
Gotta Write: Does he veil these affairs from society and only invite those he’s sexually interested in?
Kelli: Vincent invites guests he feels he can trust to the wanton games and the naughty balls. His guest list varies depending on the type of games he’s playing, and not everyone receives an invitation to a ball. (This is explained more in A Midsummer Night’s Delights.) He doesn’t invite guests over to seduce them – he invites them to play. They’re free to watch others, take part in the games, and explore their fantasies in a variety of ways.
In Ultimate Night’s Delights, word about Vincent’s games has gotten out and he’s embroiled in a scandal! He’s been betrayed by someone and “proper” society has shunned him – even though some of the people who are condemning him have been guests at the estate. Vincent is very discreet about his “activities” and the way his so-called “friends” turned on him, stuns him. These scenes let me explore themes of trust, hypocrisy, and dark secrets as I wrote the story.
Gotta Write: What time period and setting have you placed your characters in?
Kelli: The book is a historical/fantasy, and I never specifically mention a year or a country. But if I had to pin it down somewhere, I’d say the setting is an England-like kingdom, in the mid- to late 1700s/early 1800s.
Gotta Write: How much research was needed to convince your readers your writing is accurate?
Kelli: Because the book is a historical/fantasy, I was free to make up whatever I wanted. I made sure to keep the book accurate in the sense that I have horse-drawn carriages, estate houses, servants, talk about the king, and introduce other details that add authenticity to the story, without giving specifics about the year or country.
Gotta Write: How have the balls changed Julian and Annabelle? Tell us about their lives.
Kelli: A Midsummer Night’s Delights introduced readers to newlyweds Julian and Annabelle. They were strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing…)
Julian and Annabelle meet the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies.
A Midwinter Night’s Delights picks up six months after the first book. In the sequel, we discover that Annabelle and Julian have taken what they’ve learned and gone wild. Ever since the summer ball, they have been overindulging in erotic activities and are more than eager to give in to their desires whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes. Needless to say, Julian’s father sends them back to Vincent’s estate to be disciplined and learn self-control.
A Midwinter Night’s Delights is more intense than the first book. From the outset, readers know that Julian and Annabelle are learning lessons and being disciplined – but it’s all for their own good. I sprinkled in some B/D/S/M to make things interesting. It was fun to explore a different side to the games that take place at the estate and watch how the characters reacted as they received their ‘punishments’ throughout the book. I also shared the backstory about how Vincent and Sabrina met, and introduced two new characters, Lono and Lobo.
In Ultimate Night’s Delights, Julian and Annabelle help others open up and explore their sexuality. In a way, they’ll be continuing the “services” that Vincent and Sabrina have been doing for others. The balls and naughty games have changed them forever, but even though they frolic with others, Julian and Annabelle still share tender love scenes with each other.
Gotta Write: Who is trying to put an end to these scandalous affairs?
Kelli: The Duke of Blackwell is out to destroy Vincent and is looking for solid evidence to have the marquis stripped of his lands and title, so he can move in and take everything for himself. The Black Duke (as he is known) is notorious for destroying people and is an arrogant hypocrite. He thinks he can do anything he wants – but that doesn’t turn out to be the case!
Gotta Write: What did you truly enjoy writing about in this novella?
Kelli: This book was fun to write. I liked visiting with the characters again and finding new adventures for them to take part in. I also expanded the roles of Lono and Lobo, two characters that I introduced in Midwinter.
One of my favorite scenes is where the Black Duke barges into Vincent’s ball, expecting to find the guests participating in a full-on orgy, only to discover them dancing and having drinks. I infused this scene with some humor (which I love doing) and enjoyed making an ass out of the duke. I also set the stage for something big that comes later!
Knowing this was going to be the last book in the series I wanted to leave everyone in a good place as the book ended. I think readers will agree that it’s a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
Gotta Write: What type of feedback are you getting from readers and reviewers?
Kelli: Readers and reviewers love the series and the books have gotten excellent reviews. After reading Ultimate Night’s Delights, one reviewer was hoping for another book in the series. That’s a great feeling. It tells me that readers fell in love with the characters as much as I did.
Gotta Write: Tell us about your current writing project.
Kelli: I’m working on a few new romances for Amber Quill Press, including a paranormal and another gay romance. My second Medallion Press romance, Dangerous Indenture, is scheduled for release in May 2014.
Thanks for letting me share a bit about my latest romance. I love talking about books and writing, and I invite readers to contact me with questions about my stories, follow my blog, and sign up for my newsletter. (Links are below.)
Ultimate Night’s Delights
Julian and Annabelle are back for a final ball!
The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer and Midwinter Balls changed Julian and Annabelle forever. Freed from their inhibitions, they now help other shy couples explore their sexual urges and hidden desires.
But life on Vincent and Sabrina’s estate is anything but tranquil. The notorious Duke of Blackwell has discovered the secret about the naughty balls and is out to destroy the marquis.
Vincent refuses to deny the rumors about the “anything goes” parties he hosts, and turns to his friends for assistance. Together, they devise a plan to defeat the Black Duke. . . and still find time for a few erotic games.
The book is available in several electronic formats. Order your copy here:
Amber Quill Press: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/UltimateNightsDelights.html
About the Author:
Kelli A. Wilkins writes in several romance genres including gay, historical, fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal. Her most recent romance, ULTIMATE NIGHT’S DELIGHTS, an erotic historical, was released in September 2013. Readers can learn more about Kelli’s romances on her site: http://www.KelliWilkins.com and her weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
Readers can find Kelli on the web here:
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.html
Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionmediagroup.com/author/kelli-wilkins/