Today’s special guest is Ana Raine, author of the new Peppermint Twist book Xander. Anna has an excerpt, interview and much more to share with us!
Xander (Peppermint Twist) by Ana Raine
His whole life, Xander’s known just who and exactly what he wants. As Santa’s oldest son, he’s next in line to inherit the family business. And that’s the only way he’s ever going to leave the North Pole.
Walter’s got the best job ever — creating and testing adult toys. But that job’s not near as much fun without a partner to share his passion with. Will Xander choose what he’s always wanted — to get out and see the world — or can he and Walter find their own Christmas magic right here at home?
On impulse, I headed down the side of the hill just before the road led me to the tavern and continued my way down. The temperature dropped several degrees and there was little light to guide me. I entered the clutter of trees and for a few minutes, there was nothing I could follow. Then the faint scent of vanilla and something else wafted through the air from a clearing in the woods.
I entered a very large clearing with multiple buildings clinging to the line of trees and rising several stories into the sky. The windows were tinted and made of wood and red brick.
“What the hell?” I rubbed my hands together in order to get some friction back into my fingers and peered around the area. I must’ve walked a lot farther than I thought because the dark clock tower standing in the center of the clearing told me an hour had passed since I left my house. If I didn’t want to be returning as a snowman, I definitely had to find somewhere to stay for a while before heading home. My pride came second because at this point I just wanted to keep all my fingers intact.
“Hello?” I called out. Only the distant sound of the howling wind greeted me. The sound of the Elves singing had been so loud I thought I would still hear it even after I died, but there was no trace of their lively banter.
There was nothing familiar about this place. I moved forward gingerly, my stiff legs threatening to give out from underneath me. I raised my fist and beat against the heavy door of one of the buildings.
When no one answered, I tried to force the door open but it wouldn’t budge so instead I headed to the clock tower where there seemed to be something like a doorway. It probably just led to the top but it was something.
I pushed the door with both hands, but it hardly moved. There was a dial where a door handle should be so I played around with the numbers until the door slowly gave way. I clambered inside, welcoming the light from the candelabras hanging on the walls. I had expected to go upstairs but there was only one way to go — down.
I could smell the scent of peppermint laced with something else in the air again, much stronger now. I hoped this led to a larger room, like a tavern, because spiked anything sounded pretty good about now. The descent took a long time but the stairway finally emptied out into a large waiting room with a high glass ceiling that magnified the stars.
There were several doors around the room but the mesmerizing aroma was coming from the one directly to my right. I opened the door and continued down that hallway until I reached a small room.
The door was open, revealing a large bed with fluffy pillows and a heavy looking comforter neatly folded down. It looked so inviting that I couldn’t help myself. I slipped my boots off and slid into the bed.
A deep, sensual voice penetrated the fog that delicious aroma had mired me in. “You’re very late.”
I opened my eyes and saw the man leaning against the only other door in the room. He was definitely an Elf, but he was unlike any Elf I’d ever seen. Instead of the long pointy hat and bright red and green garb I was used to, he had black leather pants that were like a second skin over his muscular legs. His blonde hair cascaded into curls that ended just at his collarbone, which was exposed because his shirt was hardly buttoned. I found myself licking my lips in anticipation as I gazed at his creamy skin and pale hair. I wanted to taste every inch of him.
But it was his eyes that were truly startling. They were a deep sea foam green with a gaze that stared directly at me like he knew what he wanted and was going to take it regardless of what I thought. I kind of liked the intensity of his gaze. I’d never been much attracted to Elves, but this one was different. His blond hair, pointed ears, powerfully built body, and handsome face were perfect, making him look more like a wickedly naughty work of art than an actual living creature.
I cleared my throat as I sat up, edgy and very turned on, all senses suddenly on full alert. “Late for what?”
He walked the length of the room, turning on lights as he went, and picked up a clipboard from a dark oak dresser. “For the test, of course.” When he moved, I saw what the dark and his tall, muscular frame had been concealing.
Lined in a neat row on the dressers were rows of toys I’d never seen in any of the shops in Santa’s village — a large collection of leather straps and collars, whips, and floggers, as well as an assortment of perfectly sculpted cocks.
Exclusive Interview with Ana Raine
Share a little bit about your writing style. What genres and types of heroes/heroines are you attracted to? What do you love to write about?
My writing style has always been a little dreamy, in my opinion, but I like to have concrete internal thoughts and feelings. I really like jaded heroes who end up overcoming their past in order to become a better person for their lover. I love to write about anything, but especially demons, BDSM, and cat-boys.
I hope to start writing a new series dealing with a circus theme too.
What can we expect when we experience one of your books?
I like to play with fantasy and magical realism, so most of my books have a paranormal element.
They also tend to have a mysterious element.
Tell us a little about your latest release, or your favorite among all of your books.
My latest release, Xander, is part of Changeling’s Peppermint Twist series. Xander is the human eldest child of Santa who wants to go to the human world more than anything. But after mistakenly spending a night with Walter, a dark elf who makes adult toys, he has to reconsider whether leaving Christmas Town is really what he wanted.
If you could have one date with a crush (before marrying your spouse if necessary!), who would it be and why? What would you do?
I’ve been with my husband since I was seventeen, but if I could pick a book character to go out with it would Tristan, from the book series Tristan and Isolde by Rosalind Miles. He is a very serious, but passionate and loyal lover who seeks only to comfort and love his Queen.
What’s the most romantic thing someone ever did for you, or that you did for someone else?
The most romantic thing someone ever did for me was when my husband asked me to marry him. He took me to a beach late at night when no one else was there and named a bunch of star constellations for me. Then he asked me to marry him.
Share your favorite romantic or sexy song and why you love it so much.
I really like “Burnin’ it down” by Jason Aldean because it has a raw sort of feeling to it. I also really like “Wherever you are” by One Ok Rock, because I like Japanese songs.