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Spotlght: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Grand prize package:

    • Signed paperback copy of The Goblins of Bellwater
    • $10 Starbucks gift card
    • “Flowerwatch” necklace/pocket watch
    • Artistic guided journal/sketchbook
    • Copy of Brian Froud’s Goblins!

Air prize package:
    • Signed paperback copy of The Goblins of Bellwater
    • Air-element necklace
    • 1 oz of Goblin Market tea from Dryad Tea

Earth prize package:
    • Signed paperback copy of The Goblins of Bellwater
    • Earth-element necklace
    • 1 oz of Goblin Market tea from Dryad Tea

Fire prize package:
    • Signed paperback copy of The Goblins of Bellwater
    • Fire-element necklace
    • 1 oz of Goblin Market tea from Dryad Tea

Water prize package:
    • Signed paperback copy of The Goblins of Bellwater
    • Water-element necklace
    • 1 oz of Goblin Market tea from Dryad Tea

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The Goblins of Bellwater

by Molly Ringle

CentralAve. Publishing


A story inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market“…

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Indiebound

 

PRAISE FOR GOBLINS OF BELLWATER

“The Goblins of Bellwater is a delightfully creepy paranormal romance set in the rich landscape of the Pacific Northwest … packed with gorgeous details … a journey to a world that feels both familiar and freaky—a wonderful place to get lost.” — Foreword Reviews

“Forget true love’s kiss to break a spell, or slaying a dragon to rescue the princess; Ringle employs familiar fairy tale tropes but turns them on their heads to deliver something wholly unexpected and fresh.” — Publishers Weekly

“This story cast just as much of a spell over me as the goblins cast over Skye. Once I entered Molly’s beautifully crafted world where magic and reality mingled, I didn’t want to leave! Four characters are drawn together by a goblin curse, and as you grow to care for each of them, you’ll find yourself sucked deeper into the story. Throughout the tale, magic and nature are woven together in a clever and believable way. It’s wild and rich and dangerous and beautiful—and it made me long to visit Puget Sound, Washington. I greatly enjoyed this one!” – Rachel Morgan, Author of the Creepy Hollow series

“Inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem ‘Goblin Market,’ Ringle takes us to a Pacific Northwest town where magic can be sinister and creatures lead us far from the path. You won’t want to go down into the faerie realm, but you won’t be able to resist it either. Ringle’s novel is fast-paced and sparkling with dangerous spells and unexpected delights. The goblins aren’t ethereal and magical; they don’t sparkle, shimmer, or shine. They repulse and draw you in — all at the same time.” – Kate Ristau, author of Shadow Girl and Clockbreakers

“The touches of pagan culture and elemental magic are perfectly applied, giving the modern setting an old-world, surreal flavour…” – Olivia Fields, Author of Her Heart’s Liege

 

Molly Ringle has been writing fiction for over 20 years, and her stories always include love and humor, as well as the occasional touch of tragedy and/or the paranormal. Her book THE GHOST DOWNSTAIRS, was a 2010 EPIC Award finalist for paranormal romance. Molly lives in Seattle with her husband and kids and worships fragrances and chocolate.
Molly’s Website

With not quite enough gold in his pocket, Kit Sylvain trudged through the underbrush, trampling salal and fern under his hiking boots. The sun had set, and the light was fading. Not that there had been much light to begin with. It was a Wednesday in early December, and here on the western side of Puget Sound, clouds generally socked everything in for the whole winter, and a good deal of fall and spring too. Tonight the sky hung pewter gray between the swaying fir branches high above, and on the forest floor the colors were washed out to a greenish black.

Kit couldn’t see the rising full moon what with the thick forest and all the clouds, but he knew it was there.

By now he didn’t even bother with a flashlight. He knew where to go. He wouldn’t recommend anyone else wander out here alone after dark, though.

He weaseled between close-growing trunks, and stopped in a tiny clearing wedged in by six thick trees. Only dead fir needles lay under his feet here; no other plants could take the constant lack of sunlight. Except mushrooms, of course. Never any shortage of mushrooms.

Kit ran his hand through his hair, and pulled the slim gold necklace from the pocket of his leather jacket. Another full moon, another offering.

He lifted his face toward the treetops and whistled a few notes of one of the the tribe’s songs. None were tunes you’d hear on the radio, though Kit would have sworn one of them had stolen riffs from a Bowie song. No surprise. Goblins stole stuff every chance they got.

In answer to his whistle, a few notes on a pipe floated down from the trees. Then someone blew a raspberry from a hundred feet up, and someone else cackled.

Immature buttheads. God.

“Guys.” Kit held up the chain. Three little gold hearts dangled from it. “It’s me.”

“Kiiiit. Daaaarling.” The cooing voice sank closer to the ground.

At the base of the trees, something light caught his eye. Several puffy white mushrooms had arranged themselves into a row. The line trailed out between two of the trees, through a space that hadn’t been there a minute earlier.

He gritted his teeth and walked forward, following the mushroom trail. The goblins wouldn’t show their faces unless you accepted their invitation and followed their path. But he hated doing it, every time.

FINDING BELLWATER

The tranquil, mysterious shores of Puget Sound have always been among my favorite places on Earth, and it’s easy to view them as a little bit magical. But what if (I decided one day, in my writerly mode) there was actual magic afoot in the area? Writing about the paranormal is something I like to do often, and when it came time to choose a new book to work on, I decided to infuse my favorite vacation location with a few goblins and other fae.

It was an easy case to make. The woods around the Sound are thick with moss, mushrooms, and hundred-foot-tall evergreen trees, so they stand in perfectly for the deep dark woods required of most fairy tales. The plot challenge I put to myself was to write a story inspired by the beautifully creepy poem “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti, which helped me fill in some of the characters as well.

I knew there would be a pair of sisters, for instance, as featured in the poem, and that one of them would fall under a goblin curse after tasting the goblins’ enchanted fruit in the woods. I also stuck more or less to the image of the goblins as presented in the poem: dangerous, mischievous, and liable to enchant you and make you do lewd things.

But I diverged from the poem too, in a desire to make it my own weird story. For instance, since I wanted it to be a romance, I gave the sisters a pair of local men to become involved with. One of these men, I decided, could provide the reason for the goblins being around in the first place. Inspired by general fairy tale lore, I locked his family into a longstanding blood contract with the goblins, in which he must provide them a payment of gold every month, or else they will lash out and meddle with the local humans.

What would it be like to be a modern human in a rural American town, carrying a century-old goblin curse around on your back? Obviously you couldn’t tell people, because virtually no one would believe you. Or what would it be like to be the young woman who wanders into the woods one evening, intrigued by a path of glowing mushrooms, and finds herself smacked with a spell that leaves her unable to tell anyone about it even though she longs to?

Since I wanted a fairly short, straightforward stand-alone novel, I kept it to the four main characters (plus a tribe of goblins and a few helpful fae), and spent a little time getting to know each of them by writing out notes and imaginary interviews before I began the book itself. I embodied the skepticism of the modern era in Livy, the cursed woman’s sister, who is a Forest Service scientist, but who therefore also carries the virtues she needs in order to break the spell: a healthy respect for the environment, in which the fae dwell.

As for the small town of Bellwater, it is a fictional place, but many a community in the Puget Sound area could stand in for it. A shoreline, a marina, some cabins, an espresso stand, some chainsaw carvings, a gas station, maybe a tiny island with a one-lane bridge, a lot of tall trees and damp forest paths—that’s all you need. Just add goblins.

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