Monday, December 6, 2010

Meet Sweet and Adorable Stephanie Beck

Hot Chocolate
Stephanie Beck

There is something about winter that makes us all reach for something cozy and familiar. Even those who live where it’s warm (sissies) find that as the holiday season approaches, cocoa and marshmallows taste better.

In my family, hot chocolate is the staple after snowman making and hockey practice. Whip cream is my topping of choice, but my kids always go for the marshmallows (not that I’m above adding marshmallows to my cocoa…mmmmm). When I was a kid my mom, in desperation after a bunch of neighbor kids stopped by after playing in the snow, went with the ingenious addition of animal crackers to cocoa. That version wasn’t my favorite, but it’s hard to forget the whimsy of finding elephants floating in my hot chocolate.

In A Winter Tale With Marshmallows I add a few other winter favorites of mine to make the werewolf story a mix of paranormal and so ‘normal’ that most people can identify with a memory. I adore that mix in paranormal stories because suddenly, it makes it possible for me to go to a coffee shop and, just perhaps, sit beside a very nice pregnant werewolf with a craving for a peppermint hot chocolate. I have a feeling we’d end up talking about kicking babies, diaper rash and how naughty it would be if we ordered one more piece of baklava—to share of course.

Adding food and comfort was my favorite part of writing A Winter Tale With Marshmallows. The cozy, feel good moments made the more intense times that much stronger and by the end, I had my own cup of chocolaty goodness at my side, finishing up a really sweet story I couldn’t wait to share.

Hot cocoa comes in so many versions now, my favorite is cocoa made with milk chocolate and topped with whip cream. Mona in my story, is a straight from the paper package with a handful of marshmallows kind of girl. How do you take your chocolate?

 Excerpt from A Winter Tale With Marshmallows. Available December 6, 2010:

“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.


  1. Your story sounds so good. You are right hot chocolate and marshmallows do taste better during the winter esp the holidays....

    Great blog post.

  2. Thanks for stopping in Savannah. I'm very biased on this story--I think it's the chocolate and yummy things on top of a really sweet and hot romance that make me love it so much. I hope you find lots of marshmallows in your cocoa mug this winter!!
    Steph Beck

  3. Congrats on the new Release, and May I say I loved it!!!!!!!!! Did I mention LOVEd it...

    Now I am off to make my homemade hot cocoa Mix. :)

  4. Just picked up the book this morning on my kindle. I can't wait to dive in!

  5. Congrats, Steph. And I like my cocoa with whipped cream. But I have no problem with marshmallows...or a cinnamon stick. Is it wrong to have all three?

  6. Thanks for stopping by everyone. And for the girls who already picked up A Winter Tale...well you're absolutely super :) And Kate...cinnamon in cocoa? Not my favorite, but if it's what floats your boat, you rock all three :)


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