Hi BJ. So glad you could stop by today. Grab yourself a warm drink and snuggle down by the fire while we talk about your newest release with Changeling Press: Santa's Helpers: Wolf Run.
The title of your Santa’s Helpers story is Wolf Run. Tell us a little about this tale.
A storm has closed the roads leading to Ridgetop, preventing the annual Christmas delivery of presents to the underprivileged children attending Iverson School. Two werewolves become Santa’s Helpers, making a wolf run by snowmobile to deliver the presents. Werewolf, Cade Winter has another reason to endure the long, cold trip to Ridgetop on Christmas Eve. He’s smitten with an Iverson employee, Stella Summers.
Sounds like a hot romance in the making. So what inspired you to write Wolf Run?
Each year I’m inspired by the Christmas theme chosen by Margaret Reilly, owner/publisher of Changeling Press. You never know what idea Margaret will toss out to her authors. When the call went out for Santa’s Helpers, I had to write a story about a werewolf subbing for Santa.
Werewolves are irresistible, any time of year, aren't they? Tell us, which character in Wolf Run makes the best Santa’s Helper and why?
Cade is my Christmas hero. He’s an officer/ranger for his wolf pack and is part of the emergency rescue team. When he sees all the presents intended for the children, Cade finds a way to make the delivery. He and his friend, Oliver, load the presents onto rescue sleds and pull them by snowmobile up the mountain and over the summit to Ridgetop.
*sigh* My kinds of heroes. Now, on the flip side, which character would find him/herself highest on Santa’s Naughty List and why?
My heroine, Stella, is having a unique Christmas. Iverson School has an annual tradition. The employees and students write down a Christmas wish to Santa. The wishes are placed into red envelopes, then tossed into a bonfire. Stella wished for the hunky ranger that helped her with a flat tire. Santa is giving Stella a wish she’ll remember, a night with a werewolf.
Why can't it be that easy to have our Christmas wishes come true? *g* I know you’ve written several stories for Changeling Press’s Christmas series over the years. What draws you to write for this particular series?
Christmas is a special time of year and in each of my stories the holiday takes a central role. I try to incorporate the spirit of the holiday into my love stories. In Canine Call my werewolf heroine and human hero put their special skills together and spend the holiday searching for a small child lost in a forest. In Holiday Moon my human hero puts his military career in jeopardy to go behind enemy lines on Christmas Eve to save the she-wolf he secretly loves.
I hope each book imparts the warmth and joy of the season.
Absolutely, BJ. And speaking of the specialness of this time of year, do you have a favorite Christmas story – classic or otherwise, and why is it a favorite?
I read the Night Before Christmas each year. The poem is a sweet reminder of the days when I believed in Santa Claus and felt the magic of Christmas.
Yes, an eternal favorite. Finally, will you please share an excerpt of Wolf Run?
I’d love to share a snippet. This short scene takes place after Cade has delivered the presents and he and Stella are finally alone for the night. Merry Christmas.
Cade tapped lightly on Stella’s door before stepping inside.
The apartment was attractive with a comfortable looking sofa, entertainment center and winter landscapes on the walls. A Christmas tree with multi-colored lights and heavy with ornaments gave the room a cheery holiday ambiance. The dining area and kitchen flowed together.
She walked toward him, a vision in a red sweater that showed off the roundness of her breasts and black pants that emphasized her long legs.
“I’ll take your jacket.”
Cade stripped off his jacket and handed it to Stella. He removed his boots and set them beside hers on the tiled entryway.
“Would you join me for a glass of wine?”
“I’d like that. Any chance I could shower first?” His day had begun well before dawn and the last thing he wanted to do was sit next to Stella in a sweat-stained t-shirt.
Cade followed her to the bathroom in the hallway. At each end of the short hallway was a bedroom.
“The towels on the rack are fresh. Soap and shampoo in the shower.”
Cade noticed red candles placed in the corners of the tub.
Stella gathered the candles and set them on the vanity. “Sorry, the master bath only has a shower.”
The image of Stella bathing in candlelight flashed in Cade’s mind. He set his bag on the floor. “I really appreciate this.”
“If there’s anything else you need, just ask.”
Stella stood just inches . For a few heartbeats they stared at one another. He shouldn’t be thinking about her naked or the possibility of sharing her bed, but her scent stirred his senses. Not the light floral scent of her perfume, but her natural, female scent that spoke to the wolf.
Unable to resist her, he leaned closer. “Thanks for putting me up for the night.”
Stella lifted her chin, the action subtle, but tempting. Their lips touched, feather light.
Fire licked through Cade’s middle, a howling-moon kind of fire that surprised him.
You do have a way of leaving the reader wanting more, BJ. Thanks so much for stopping by, and here's a toast to a great Christmas season for all!
You can pick up your own copy of Wolf Run, out now at Changeling Press.
Remember, your purchase of a Santa’s Helpers story gets you entered for a chance to win free books for a year from Changeling Press!