Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Stephanie Beck tells A Winter's Tale With Marshmallows
No winter night is complete without marshmallows.
Pregnant and on the run, Mona Renalds is a werewolf with trouble nipping at her heals. She wants a new life for herself and the twins she’s carrying. Embracing the future can’t happen until she finds an alpha male strong enough to take on her former pack leader.
Chris Meyters is alpha of Haven Pack. Mild mannered and progressive, he tries to reverse the archaic methods of his pack’s previous leaders. When Mona comes into his diner requesting sanctuary, his primitive instinct to claim her nearly consumes him, but he fights himself to give her the choices she was denied in her former pack.
Surrounded by the Pennsylvania winter of snow, sledding parties and creamy cups of hot chocolate, Chris and Mona are prepared to do whatever it takes in order to maintain the domestic bliss they’ve found with each other.
Chris leaned close and nuzzled the side of her face. She could feel him breathe her in, and she did the same and smiled.
“That’s not a good idea.”
Mona thought he might say that. “It’s a very good idea,” she replied. “I won’t beg, though, not for what you need to want as much as I do. A family, pups, I don’t blame you at all for hesitating. It’s a big order you weren’t expecting. And my family…well, I understand. I’m sorry I asked.”
She started to pull away, the heady feeling of lust and comfort ebbing, when she realized what it was she’d asked of him. He’d actually let her down very sweetly. The hormones and cocoa had gone to her head and made her much too loose.
Mona scooted to the edge of the counter, but before her feet touched the floor his lips were on hers, consuming them with a passion she’d never experienced. She dove right in, delving deeper into his mouth as he tried to do the same. Her belly was much too big to press as close as she wanted, but it wasn’t stopping either of them from doing their best to crawl beneath the other’s skin.
“Stop, stop,” she gasped, the willpower to pull away coming from a place she didn’t know existed. She couldn’t breathe, and more importantly, she didn’t want him guilt-tripped into something he didn’t really want.
“You don’t understand,” he growled and snuggled her hips to his erection, the heat and hardness penetrating through both of their layers of sweats. “I’m not hesitating. You don’t— I do want you. Everything feels right, but it’s not fair to you, so I’m going to let this be for now. I’m not pushing you away or saying ‘no.’ Oh, hell no. I’m just giving you time to decide what you want.”
He started to pull away, and this time she grabbed him, tugging him back until they were face-to-face. She was strong, but she also knew he allowed it. “Then no sex, no mating. But please come with me to bed.”
“And do what?” he asked suspiciously.
Her lips kicked up in a small grin. “Snuggle?”
He sounded incredulous, and she figured it probably wasn’t the offer he usually got. But then he smiled, and she didn’t need him to speak when he lifted her in his arms, taking her weight with ease. He started for the bedroom, then doubled back to the kitchen. Mona frowned at him when he motioned to the counter with his head.
“Your cocoa, Miss Renalds.”
She smiled and, still in Chris’s arms, took the warm cup of chocolate from the counter and held it between her palms. His grin as he carried her down the hall made her think he might be anticipating some of her treat—silly wolf.
Cocoa and a snuggle. She sighed with the first complete pleasure she’d felt in much too long.
Writing is like the perfect solitary sport. I believe that writers, like athletes, need to be prepped and ready before they can write. What are your routines/preparations before you sit down to write?
I have no routines or preparations...though I hate writing with a full bladder. I enjoy a cup of coffee as I write and sometimes I have trail mix, but other than that, I don't need the details.
Do you have habits as a writer? Always outlining? Never outlining? Keep a notebook with character information?
I like to make notes at the very start, putting the names of the characters, where they are and the basic information about them so I can swing back and check when I need someone to look deeply into anothers *add color here* eyes. I do love a good notebook for ideas and I have waaaayy too many at the moment.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
A Winter Tale With Marshmallows combines some of my favorite things. I love Christmas--to me it is 100% magic and love. There is a strong homey feel to my character Mona. She longs for a home and family and stability and I think at Christmastime many people also feel that way. And the werewolf element--who doesn't love a werewolf story? The combination of those elements made A Winter Tale With Marshmallows a joy to write.
Being that we’re now in full-out holiday mode, what would you like to ask Santa for this year? (And if you say world peace, we’re allowing the reindeer to eat your chocolate).
While peace on earth is on my list--back off deer!--I am hoping for new curtains in my living room.
What would a reader discover in your book that excites you? (Such as, I always have characters based on us old farts but usually they’re the strangest or crudest ones. Carolyn usually includes a dinosaur or two as a small memento of her childhood.)
In A Winter Tale With Marshmallows Mona bakes. I love baking and I think it's reflected in her. I have one of Mona's recipes up on my website. Mona's S'more Pancakes can be found under the Crafty Paranormals heading at www.stephaniebeck.net.
Did you always dream of being a writer when you grew up? Any words of advice to aspiring writers?
I planned on being the president for a few years, but other than that stint, writing has always been on my mind. The best advice I can think of is to keep writing and to be patient. That sounds vague and not very helpful, but at the end of the day, it's what a writer needs to do to get where they want to be.