Please welcome Tena Stetler, who writes for The Wild Rose Press. Her Christmas story, A WITCH’S HOLIDAY WEDDING, will be released on December 9.
Elemental witch, Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL, Lathen Quartz have built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. During a romantic interlude on Halloween night, Pepper happily agrees to become Lathen’s wife. What better day than Winter Solstice for their wedding in a town that loves celebrations and Christmas. However, planning a wedding and operating their wildlife center takes a toll on both Pepper and Lathen.
When the couple takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife. Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, while trying to deal with issues concerning friends and family. Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?
A strong arm whipped around her waist, the air whooshed out as she squealed. Pepper balled up her gloved fist as a large warm hand wrapped around her wrist. “I’ve seen you defend yourself. Not going to chance it.” A deep voice chuckled behind her.
“Lathen — I’m going to…”
He spun her around and covered her cold lips with his warm ones. Werewolves run several degrees warmer than most of the population, one of the many things she loved about him. She relaxed into him, their parkas making a wisping sound as the material rubbed against each other. “That’s better,” he murmured against her lips.
All at once the lights in the town square blinked on. Low positioned red and green laser light decorations sparkled over the snow-covered ground and onto the gazebo complementing the white lights. From the other direction, a blue laser sprinkled tiny snowflakes across the building. Evening fell quickly in December.
“This is absolutely beautiful,” She breathed against his chilled cheek and whirled out of his hold taking in all the lighted decorations not visible earlier. Then she pointed toward the bulletin board. “I’ve been reading the town’s holiday events, Lobster Cove really embraces Christmas.”
“Told you.”Lathen said smugly. “Even some of the boats docked in the harbor are decked out with colored lights.”
“Christmas was just another day, too much to do and no funds to do it with at Salem’s Sanctuary. This year will be soooo different.” Pepper reached for his hand and twined her fingers through his.
“Did your folks celebrate Christmas—Oh, witches don’t believe?” A brown paper bag in hand, he reached in and handed her a lobster burger. “There’s fries in the bag.”
She took her glove off and held the warm burger in her hand, took a bite then peered into the bag, and snatched a couple french fries. “Irish witches do—we have enough mortals in our family that Christmas is a tradition, even if beliefs are different. It’s just that I wasn’t in a position to have reason to celebrate after becoming an adult. Made bad choices in men. Loved my work, but the pay was—lacking though the rewards made up for it.”
“I see.” Lathen scrubbed a hand over his chin. “So things are going be a lot different for you, as well as Gwen this year.”
The warmth in his voice made her smile. Yes indeed, things would be different. “Yep.”
Author Bio: Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance at the age of thirteen, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.