Have you ever been infatuated? With a place? Well, I am. Have been for as long as I can remember. And believe it or not, it is the reason I write. You see, I was born just outside Charleston, South Carolina, and I realized pretty early on in my childhood that I was living in a very exceptional place. The Charleston Low country includes the coastal marshes, swamps, beaches and all the other low-lying lands that surround forests that harbor live oak trees that date back to as much as 1500 years.
I’m enchanted each time I walk outside, but—of course—I don’t write simply about settings. The people of the Low country are unique and fascinating, and it is their stories I wish to tell. From their slow drawls, attachments to family, adherence to a particular protocol of manners, worship of their ancestors, favoritism of local foods and recipes, to their bent toward outdoor activities like oyster roasts and polo matches—the people in this area are distinctive and make really interesting characters in books.
Notice that I’d mentioned “manners” earlier. Well, not all Southerners have them, and many just pretend to have them. So, throw in all the well-mannered, false-mannered, and ill-mannered people you find here, and it makes for a pretty good story. That’s the thing that’s most important when I write—story.
I call my writing “Authentic Southern Fiction.” Heavy on the Southern. If you’re from the South, you’ll identify with all that’s encompassed on the pages; if you’re not, you’ll learn about what it’s like to negotiate a very complex social order that may not be recognizable on the outside of the prim garden gates of antebellum homes. You’ll learn that when a local says, “Well, bless her heart,” that she may very well be giving “her” the proverbial “finger.”
My stories are filled with family—because they are the epicenter of Southern life—and humor—because you need a good sense of it to deal with some of the people you get stuck with. My stories are rather innocent and sweet—even the romances. Yes, bad things may happen in the books, but you won’t find any steamy sex scenes that you wouldn’t allow your teenage daughter to read—especially in The Summerbrook Novels—a series that I sold to Entangled Publishing for their Bliss line. The stories center around a group of friends who live in Summerbrook and are seeing their Southern world change as they find new lives, loves, careers and places for themselves in their small town.
When I’m not writing, I play. I love visiting local gardens and beaches; I love crabbing and hanging out at my family’s lake house. I love throwing informal soirees and serving barbeque and frogmore stew. I love the history and culture that permeate the very air I breathe. And I love sharing all that I am and see with my readers. I’d love to have you join me on my quest to bring these tales to life, these characters to light, and to illuminate the South the way I see it. Stop by my website and try some of my family’s Southern recipes and check out some of my favorite haunts at “My Southern Life” Happy reading, y’all!
Who said tempting a sweet Southern belle would be easy?
When rebel biker Bullworth Clayton gets tangled up with pastel-and-pearls-clad April Church, sparks fly. Sure, April would clearly rather work with anyone else, but if teaming up with Bull means a successful charity event for a sick little boy they both care about, then so be it.
April is baffled at how drawn she is to the leather-wearing, tattooed Bull—he just doesn’t fit with her simple, safe, country-club life. And as much as the handsomely rugged man tempts her, she still can’t shake the images of the tragic motorcycle accident from her past, which left her scarred and her father broken.
Bull tempts her to don a pair of leather pants and go for a ride with him, while April desperately tries to resist her attraction to the wild side and keep her exploits hidden from her small town. Will they be able to navigate their differences and find a middle road to love?
EXCERPT: (When April first met Bullworth)
April backed up against the wall to better hide the crooked chrome she held. Of all the stupid things that could happen.
With her free hand, she brushed at the pleats on her skirt to straighten them. Then she switched the mirror into her right hand and smoothed out the other side. Everything was under control.
“What do you have there?” inquired a low, masculine voice from above her head.
She snapped to attention like she was about to undergo a military inspection.
A handsome, muscular man in a black bomber jacket towered above her, larger than life. His shoulder-length hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. Golden streaks highlighted his nut-brown mane. His indigo-colored eyes perused her face. “Is something wrong?”
She twisted the strand of pearls that draped from her neck between her fingers with her free hand. “No. Everything’s fine,” she said. It would be as soon as she could meet up with Mr. Morrow or some of the other members from the civic organizations.
“Then what are you hiding behind your back?”
He had seen. Oh, no. He had seen.
“Just a little mishap. I’m going to take care of it.”
“You ride?” The left corner of his mouth curled up. “In a skirt?”
“No.” She hoped her voice didn’t sound strained. “No, I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before,” she said calmly.
He narrowed his eyes. “Then why are you walking around with a Harley dome billit mirror?”
That was a good question. Why was she? She held out the broken piece of the bike in front of her. “I don’t know how it happened. I was opening my car door, and then—”
He took it from her, examined it, and gave it back. “Let me guess. It just fell.” He tilted his head, exposing a strong, angular jawline. “All by itself.”
“That’s right. It really did happen that way. Exactly.” He probably didn’t believe a word she said. And she couldn’t blame him. She heard unlikely stories like hers from claimants at the insurance company all the time.
“Ahhh, I see. Sure it did,” he said. But the left side of his grin inched upward again…”
Praise for Bikers and Pearls:
“A sweetly Southern story with a deep heart.” –Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home
“This lovely book is a romantic journey of self-discovery, acceptance and understanding. With wonderful characters and a captivating story, it has a perfect combination of moments that are heartwarming and touching, those which make your heart ache and humour at which I laughed out loud.” –Review from Amazon and Goodreads
“Towards the end of the book I was crying….literally had tears coming down my face because there was such an AMAZING scene. Of course I was laughing the entire book, and of course had my awww….. moments…” – Meagan Weis, Inside the World of Books
“I can easily say this is the best Bliss book I’ve read yet. It’s a very sweet, very satisfying romance with a lovely HEA. I highly recommend it.” – Sutton Fox, Fox Tales
“…I was drawn in by the rebel biker Bullworth “Bull” Clayton meeting demure pearls and skirts wearing April Church but the sweetness between them unfolded and I was hooked.” – Sarah Tolinger, Vine Voice
“There is no hanky-panky in this book. I repeat: there is NO hanky-panky in this book! And you know what?! I LOVED IT! It made their relationship all that much more real, for me. The chemistry is TOTALLY obvious, and they didn’t need to sleep together to prove it. (Ya’ll know how much I love me some steamy romances, but this is perfect just the way it is.)” – Ashley Bodette at Book Junkie
“…Bikers and Pearls is definitely worth it. With a satisfying resolution and fun characters, it’s got a great mix of heart and depth, making April’s journey one to enjoy.” – Julie Johnsom at Book Trib Reviews
“This is one of those wonderful stories that has left me speechless…Vicki Wilkerson has created characters so touching, charismatic, compassionate, caring, and loyal, that I would love to sit down with them and maybe have one of those chili dogs at the bait shop…” – Crystal Bennett at Reviews by Crystal
“There was certainly a contemporary Pride and Prejudice vibe between April and Bull. The town of Summerbrook becomes a character with its poignant descriptions and accurate portrayal of life in a small Southern town.” – Reader Girls
Author BIO: Vicki is a native of the Charleston, South Carolina, Lowcountry and loves to share her enchantment with the area with readers through her writing. Even in childhood, she enjoyed penning stories and poems—no doubt fueled by her grandfather’s enthusiasm for telling tales himself. Where else—but in the South—could one find the interesting blend of salt water, eerie swamps, unwritten traditions and unique characters? In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending weekends at her family’s lake house, playing golf and cooking (with lots of wine).
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