by: Steffanie Holmes
Series: Wolves of Crookshollow
Genre: Paranormal Romance - Shifters
Release Date: May 18, 2017
Publisher: Bacchanalia House
Sink your teeth into the hot new werewolf paranormal romance from USA Today bestselling author, Steffanie Holmes!
I need to escape.
After those racist bastards destroyed my home, I can’t face the world again.
I’ve rented a cabin in the heart of the Crookshollow forest. I’m going to lock myself away and work on my book. I’m going to write my story.
And I absolutely, positively WILL NOT think about Caleb, the hunky labourer who’s fixing up my cabin.
I won’t think about the way his eyes melt my heart, and his smile melts my panties.
I’m too emotionally raw right now. I can’t handle a fling, especially not with a white guy.
Especially not a guy like him. A guy who shags and leaves. I can’t handle any more heartache.
Rosa Parker – clever writer, black woman, total hottie.
The connection between us sizzles – there’s no denying it: this woman is my mate.
When I’m near her, all I want to do is claim her.
If only I wasn’t the biggest threat to her life right now.
With a rogue wolf pack after my hide, I can’t afford a distraction. Even a distraction as alluring as her.
I need to keep my wolfish instincts in check.
But I can’t help myself.
Rosa Parker has got under my skin.
And I won’t stop until I’ve made her mine.
Writing the Wolf is a standalone novel with an HEA. It’s the second book in the hot new paranormal romance series by USA Today bestselling author Steffanie Holmes. Read on if you love spunky heroines, pack politics, and a hero so hot he’ll have you howling for more.
Hi Steffanie. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. You’re a new to me author. One thing I’ve noticed about your books is that most of the series have “Crookshollow” in the title. Are all the books related somehow?
Yes. Crookshollow is a fictional English village (think Midsomer Murders, except instead of murders, there are supernatural creatures. And also murders too, sometimes). It sits on the crossroads of two ley lines, and is considered to be the most haunted village in England. Many different supernatural species congregate there.
My Crookshollow books can be read as standalones, but characters from one book often turn up in another book. It’s quite fun writing interconnected stories and finding little ways to give readers a glimpse into the futures of their other favourite characters.
I also have another series, Witches of the Woods, which is set in dark ages Germany, and not related to the Crookshollow books.
Writing the Wolf is the second book in your Wolves of Crookshollow series. What can you tell me about the book?
Writing the Wolf is really about two people who have both just escaped really awful situations, finding each other and trying to figure out how to trust another person again. They make mistakes and say stupid things, but don’t we all do that? Sometimes love isn’t about being perfect, but it’s about being exactly what the other person needs at the time, which isn’t always two puzzle pieces fitting neatly together.
And, of course, there are werewolves, and ancient rings of power, and murder, and cake.
I love that answer. Oh. Cake!!! Rosa goes to the Crookshollow forest to “write her story”. What type of story is she writing?
When she first comes to Crookshollow, she’s dealing with a trauma, and the book is her way of dealing with her grief. It’s a kind of revenge story against the people who’ve wronged her. But as the story progresses, Rosa’s book changes into something completely different (but I won’t spoil it and say what it was).
What do you love about Rosa and Caleb?
I love that they both find each other right when they’re trying to figure out their place in the world again. It isn’t that Rosa needs saving and Caleb’s her hero. It’s more that through the strength they gain from being together, they can both face their own personal demons, and triumph.
Did you encounter any surprises writing this story?
Only that I really enjoyed the hip hop playlist I made to go with it. (Usually, I’m strictly a heavy metal girl, but we’d been watching Luke Cage and the soundtrack for that perfectly encompasses the idea of power and triumph I was trying to get through, so that became the book’s playlist.)
Describe yourself in five words or less.
A metalhead, bookworm, sword-wielding, crazy cat lady. (That might be more than five!)
That works. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Nick Cave. He’s a bit of an artistic hero of mine. I love the fact that he just chooses projects that interest him and doesn’t care if they make money or not. I love the way he constructs narratives and tells stories that embrace the darkness of the human condition. I love the way he finds beauty in that darkness, and finds a way to make even the grief of losing his child a story that resonates and heals others. I think he’s quite remarkable and I’d like to spend an evening picking his brain about art and creativity and the gothic.
Steffanie, thank you so much for answering some questions for me.
The toilet didn’t flush.
You can’t be serious. I am not doing this. I’m not living in a cabin with a toilet that doesn’t work.
I yanked the cord again, harder this time.
The loo made a gurgling sound, but nothing else happened.
“You’ve got to be kidding.” I said aloud, my voice sounding hollow in the darkness. Great. This is just perfect. I should have listened more carefully to Rita’s warnings about the plumbing. What had she said, while I was busy thinking about the fire again?
Even when I was hundreds of miles away, Old Garsmouth still managed to fuck up my life.
Well fine, I wasn’t going to deal with this problem in the dark. I’d call a plumber in the morning. I slammed down the lid, and turned on the tap to wash my hand. A tiny trickle came out, followed by nothing except a loud, thumping noise from the pipes.
“Aargh!” I pounded my fist against the wall. Something scuttled across my knuckles.
“Aargh!” I yanked my hand away and stumbled out the door, straight into a tall stranger who was standing on the path.
“Do you need some help?” A deep voice boomed in my ear, with the familiar heavy vowels of a Scottish accent. Huge arms wrapped around my body.
“Aargh!” I flailed my arms about, tearing myself away from his grip. Who the hell was that? Why was some guy walking around my cabin at night?
And why did my body suddenly feel so strange? It was as though I’d stuck my finger in a light socket. All the hair on my body stood to attention. I could only imagine what the frizz on top of my head must look like. My heart thundered in my chest, but this wasn’t fear – it was something else. It almost felt like … excitement.
I fought against the overwhelming urge to throw myself back into the arms of the stranger. What is that about?
I backed against the side of the loo, and studied the stranger. Even in the moonlight, it was obvious he was the world’s most attractive man. Well maybe not the most … Idris Elba was still alive, of course, and Sam Heughan. But this guy would certainly make top five. And he had the significant advantage in that he was in my immediate vicinity, although I still had yet to ascertain if that was a good thing or not.
He had long, floppy red hair that tumbled around his face in tousled waves. A line of dark stubble crossed his strong, square jaw, and the corners of his mouth lifted up into a cheeky half-grin. Eyes of blue ice looked me up and down with predator-like focus. Even though his thick leather jacket, I could see the dark shapes of a tattoo poking out from the side of his collar. He carried a metal box in his hand. A gold ring dangled from the top of his right ear. God, I’d love to grab that with my tongue and—
What are you even thinking? This is nuts. That’s a white guy, standing in the dark. Hot or not, he can’t be there for any good reason.
I backed away further, trying to ignore the desire surging through my body. Stay alert, Rosa. Ignore your body for the moment. It’s probably having some kind of seizure. If he makes a move, turn and run for the path at the other side of the cabin—
“Are you having some plumbing issues?” The stranger asked, taking a step forward.
I held up a hand. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I demanded, in a voice that oozed the confidence I did not feel. “You’re sneaking around my cabin in the middle of the night wearing all black, you scare me half to death, and the first thing you have to say to me is about the plumbing?”
He shrugged, a full-on wicked grin spreading across his face, the kind of grin that might move him from top five hottest guys on earth into the top three. “Why not? I help lots of women with their plumbing.”
“Don’t be disgusting. Are you here to attack me? I warn you, I’m dangerous when provoked.” I tried to make my feet move back, but they were frozen in place.
“Oh, I bet you are.” There was that grin again. Cocky, self-assured. Sexy as hell. Damn this guy. “In all seriousness, though. I just came to see if you were all right. I’ve brought my tools.”
He jiggled the box in his hand, which upon closer inspection did indeed look like a toolbox. Certainly not big enough to carry a body around in. That was some positive news.
I still wasn’t buying it. “Do you just randomly walk around the forest in the dark, looking for plumbing disasters? You still haven’t told me your name.”
The guy set down the box, and held up both hands in a gesture of supplication. “My name’s Caleb. Rita hired me to do some carpentry work around the place. I’m staying in the cabin just over there.” He jerked his thumb at the trees behind us. “She asked me to come out and check on you, offer my services for whatever you need.” Caleb grinned again. “Looks like I got here just in time.”
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Steffanie Holmes is a USA Today bestselling author of dark and steamy paranormal romance. Her books feature clever, witty heroines, wild shifters, cunning witches and alpha males who get what they want.
Before becoming a writer, Steffanie worked as an archaeologist and museum curator. She loves to explore historical settings and ancient conceptions of love and possession. From Dark Age Europe to crumbling gothic estates, Steffanie is fascinated with how love can blossom between the most unlikely characters.
Steffanie lives in New Zealand with her husband and a horde of cantankerous cats. She also writes dark science fiction under the name S C Green.
Places to find Steffanie Holmes:
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