Hi, I’m B.J. McCall and I write for Changeling Press. 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.
My story this year is Wolf Run and I’d like to tell you a little bit about it.
A winter storm has closed the highway to Ridgetop, but two werewolves refuse to disappoint the orphans at Iverson School on Christmas morning. Acting as Santa's helpers, Cade and Oliver pack the presents on sleds and make a wolf run.
Iverson employees, Stella and Charlotte are waiting for the gifts to arrive, but are the sisters prepared for two hunky werewolves and the most memorable Christmas of their lives?
Here’s a short excerpt.
Cade Winter stepped out of the ranger office and approached the vintage red pickup. The driver, wearing a Santa hat and sporting a long, white beard, rolled down the window. “Merry Christmas, Officer. I need to get to Ridgetop. A slide has closed the highway, and I’d like to use your road.”
There were only two ways to reach the small town of Ridgetop, the state highway or the road that ran through pack land.
“Sorry, the road’s closed,” Cade said. A big storm had slammed into the area yesterday, and it was still snowing. “If this weather holds, it will be closed for days.”
His shoulders drooping, the man sighed. “I don’t know what to do. Every Christmas I play Santa at the Iverson School. If I don’t get up the mountain, these presents won’t be under the tree tomorrow morning.”
Iverson School was one of the best private boarding schools in the state and the financial lifeblood of Ridgetop. Most of its students came from wealthy families, but every year the school offered two slots to underprivileged orphans. Most of the children went home for Christmas, but the orphans remained.
Cade glanced at the bed of the pickup. A tarp covered the cargo. “That’s quite a load.”
“Every year my church group buys gifts for the orphans. My family’s all gone, so I deliver the presents every Christmas Eve.” The bearded man chuckled. “The little ones think Santa drives a truck instead of a sleigh. The older ones know better, but they like the presents just the same.”
“You look like you could use a cup of coffee. I just made a fresh pot. Will you join me?”
The plump man climbed out of the truck. Besides the Santa hat, he was wearing a red shirt, jeans held up by suspenders and boots. In a red suit, he’d look like Santa.
“Thanks. I’m Alden Watts.”
They shook hands and stepped back into the heated office. Cade poured two mugs. “Thanks, I’m about froze,” Alden said. “Heater in the truck don’t work like it used to.”
Cade leaned back in his chair and sipped his coffee. He thought about Alden’s problem and the kids at the school. The image of the new office manager he’d helped with a flat last week came to mind. She was a knockout with long blonde hair and bright green eyes, but it was her scent that made her unforgettable. Cade still had Stella Summers’ thank-you note in his desk drawer. They’d had a laugh about their last names. She’d said if he was ever in Ridgetop to look her up.
Cade had planned to do just that, after the holidays, but maybe fate had intervened. “Alden, I think I know how to get those gifts up to Ridgetop.”
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