Snarkology Halloween Hop

Snarkology Halloween Hop

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Sometimes you want to party without having to visit a haunted house or a masquerade. But first you’ll have to win the approval of a guardian.  Like in the excerpt below, from Enchantress’ Destiny, where my hero Rowe confronts the mysterious Caretaker of the Elfshore.


Rowe Calder pushed open the plain wooden door of the ElfShore and entered the club. He stepped to the side so his friend and bodyguard, Derwyn, could cross the threshold. Shadows shaded the hardwood floor and danced against the unadorned beige walls.

Derwyn flicked his long, white-blonde bangs from his eyes. At five-foot-nine inches, he was stockier than Rowe’s own lean, five-eleven. But Derwyn was the best tracker in the clan. And the quietest.

Rowe blinked until his eyes adjusted to the dim light. His gaze alighted on the two staircases before them. The one on the left headed downstairs and pulsed with an eerie red glow. Silver bells tinkled from the right upstairs stairway and it glimmered in alternating shades of pale blue and green.

“Welcome, gentleman,” a deep voice crackled behind them.

Turning, Rowe watched the caretaker materialize from the shadows of the corner. The older gentleman was thin, dressed in a gray tuxedo with short, silver hair and not a strand out of place. His face was the most distinguishing aspect of his appearance; a wrinkled, weathered dark brown complexion accented the harshness of his boney skull. His stormy gray eyes blazed with power.

“May I have your keys?” The caretaker held out his thin skeletal hands, his lips turned down in a grimace.

The ElfShore was exclusive in its clientele; only the most powerful could enter and enjoy the amenities. Derwyn readily handed over his deep black onyx stone. Rowe waited until the caretaker returned Derwyn’s channeling stone and then surrendered his own rock of green polished malachite. He needed the grounding and extra protection against negativity, even if it meant cleansing the powerful stone daily.

“Very well, gentlemen. Mr. Morgan, you may follow the staircase to the left.” The caretaker turned his hypnotic gaze on Rowe and said, “I highly recommend you, Mr. Calder, follow the staircase to the right.”

Rowe lifted an eyebrow at the almost-command. He was a prince of the elves and didn’t follow the commands of anyone. He strolled toward the left staircase, past Derwyn. Take the case of his arranged marriage. It was unheard of for anyone in the leadership clans to reject a marriage, he even understood the need to mingle the powers of the clans, but he refused to take the chance of falling prey to the dark curse threatening his life. On the day he completed the marriage bond with his true love, his life would end.

He’d managed to stare down his father, leader of the second largest elven clan and ignored his betrothed. Disregarding the directions from a simple guardian didn’t concern him. He stopped at the top of the staircase. “And if we stayed together tonight, and I choose to follow the staircase down?”

The world stilled, no sound could be heard, life existed between heartbeats, the pressure of power weighed heavy in the air.

“You know the rules, Mr. Calder. My words are but a suggestion. The ElfShore takes no responsibility for the safety of our guests. Your will is yours to command. Those looking to enjoy the darker side of passion go below and those looking for a quiet, relaxing night ascend.”

One moment the caretaker stood before them and the next he was gone, a ghost among the shadows. The world snapped back into existence. Heady laughter drowned out quiet murmurings and yet neither muffled the thumping of Rowe’s heart. There was nothing simple about the power at this guardian’s command. The Goddess conveyed her desires many ways; even he knew to heed her messages.

“And your decision?” Derwyn asked, a sparkle of mischief lighting his gray eyes.

Rowe hesitated. He almost took a step onto the left staircase, but a gentle tug on his powers drew him toward the right one. “Perhaps it is best to do as we are directed.” His gaze remained riveted on the right stairway.

“As you command, my prince.” Derwyn chuckled, gave Rowe a nod, and then bounded down the stairs.

Wary about what awaited him upstairs, Rowe casually climbed his way to the club’s upper floor. His right hand trailed along the wooden rail while his left hand fingered a silver coin in his dark gray slacks.

The soft gurgle of water poured through the sound system. The upper room was wide open with small tables diagonally spaced to create the impression of intimate conversations. Miniature orbs of white twinkling fairy lights lit the ceiling and the area around the bar. Large red flowers bloomed from potted trees along the walls, and beside the dark walnut wooden bar, underwater spotlights bathed an indoor waterfall in a pool of soft green light.

The bartender tonight was a Kinnaris. Nameless, the women lived in bevys of eight. The only way to distinguish a Kinnaris was by their coloring. This bartender possessed pearlescent skin and the bright white-feathered wings and tail of a swan. Beings of immense grace, they enjoyed music and dancing, the perfect purveyors of a bar. The woman tilted her head and gave him a half-bow. A formal acknowledgement of his status as an elven prince.

Typically this space provided a casual mingling atmosphere for mass gatherings. Tonight, it was different. The layout created a more intimate setting for patrons to separate into pairs. His palms itched and he had a desire to flee before something irrevocable occurred.

Then he saw her.

Two couples quietly talked on the opposite side of the room, but ahead of him in the back corner an elven woman sat alone. His attention focused on her. The self-confidence she exhibited by sitting alone, unaffected by the romantic atmosphere augmented her slender elegance and drew him.

Although her face was square, there was a hint of mischievousness that softened the harsh lines. And he couldn’t ignore her long, butterscotch blonde hair. It fell to her waist and he had an irrational desire to see it spread across his bed. The forest green dress with puffy, short sleeves and a tightly cinched bow emphasized her chest.

He needed to claim her. Now, before someone else discovered her sweet essence. He should be terrified by his desire, because tying himself to anyone would engage the curse overshadowing his life.

But he couldn’t help himself. He had to meet her. Had to feel the rush of her power entwined with his.

He crossed the room and sat across from her.

She tilted her head to the side. “And what if that chair is taken?” Her brown, green and gray tri-colored eyes sparkled with mischief.

He looked around. “I don’t see anyone watching you. If you were mine, I wouldn’t take my eyes off you.”

“Any man I’d be with would trust me to handle any unwanted attention.”

The challenge in her voice heated his blood. Their interaction was only an appetizer. He looked forward to their engagement and hoped it would end with her in his bed.

He stuck his hand out. “If you get to know me, then you can’t claim any unwelcomed attention. My name is Rowe.”

She placed her hand in his without hesitation. “Nice to meet you. You may call me Claire.”

He rubbed his thumb against her smooth skin. “Why don’t I get us some drinks? Talking can be a thirsty business.”

She stared at him and then the prickle of earth magic washed over him. Nothing overt, but an aggressive testing of his intentions. This woman took no chances. He approved.

“Very well, a bit of fun this evening would be welcome.” Her smile disappeared and the energy around her dimmed.

He preferred her glowing with happiness. If nothing else, he vowed to give her an enjoyable evening, to see the sparkle return to her expression.

“I’ll have a nectar spritzer.” Her voice soothed him, enveloped him in a sensual embrace.

He nodded, stood and walked back to the bar. Anticipation heated his blood. Maybe he wouldn’t have to sleep alone tonight. It would be a welcome distraction from the business concerns that brought him to Wildeloch.

Cover for Enchantress' Destiny

In a land ruled by magic, can two elves break a dark curse and forge a new destiny together?

Clairessa Bellehaven may be a princess, but she’s also the loneliest elf in Wildeloch. She spends her days analyzing spell books, and her nights dreaming of someone to share her life. This seems unlikely, after her betrothed, Prince Rowe deserted her and her latest beau betrayed her trust. Surely just one night of passion with a handsome elf will do no harm … that is, unless the Goddess finds out.

Rowe Calder, elf clan prince, can no longer delay returning home if he is to save his family’s livelihood. But once there, he finds himself under the spell of his lovely bondmate, Princess Clairessa—the woman destined to cause his death. He’s a powerful elvish prince, surely he dares risk one tryst with her. 

But there is no hiding from the vindictive curse cast long ago. Rowe will have to fight for the safety of everyone he loves, including Clairessa. And Clairessa must use the most powerful spell of all to save her prince—love. Will it be enough when the dark elf comes to claim a soul?

On sale for $0.99 through October 31

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Leave a comment about your favorite scary hangout for a chance to win this bookmark.

Don’t forget to visit the other authors participating in the Snarkology Halloween Hop.

74 thoughts on “Snarkology Halloween Hop

  1. Thanks for having everything that is need in the post. Great job.

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks for checking, Anita

  2. Kelly Kalmanson

    Great excerpt, Beth. Thanks for participating in the hop 🙂

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks for stopping by Kelly

  3. Bonnie


    • BethCaudill

      My godmother used to live up the street from a cemetery. I always had trouble sleeping the first night in her house…too much imagination.

  4. Denise Winchell

    My favorite scary hangout would have to be my backyard. It is surrounded on all sides but woods. You can sit out there at night and just listen to nature doing its thing. Deer romping around, the sounds can be quite spooky at times, especially during a new moon.

    • BethCaudill

      I have a similar backyard. We live near a park and my husband and I will take our dog out late at night. A cat’s cry and fighting are very spooky late at night.

  5. Diana Tidlund

    dont really go to scary hang outs… we go to haunted hayrides all over between mass and vermont but the kids never liked scary….. but we love the haunted mansion at disney…lmao

    • BethCaudill

      The Haunted Mansion is awesome. It’s cheesy enough to make scary fun. I like funny scary not gory scary.

  6. Elizabeth S

    I don’t think I have a favorite scary hangout…my house, I guess.

    • BethCaudill

      Any house late night can be scary. When I’m tired and its late, I sometimes imagine my bedroom door moves. I know it’s a trick of poor eyesight and wild imagination but it’s scary when my husband isn’t there.

  7. Cassie

    The bridge by Yorktown Beach in Yorktown VA.

    • BethCaudill

      Ooo. Sounds spooky. Does a fog roll in over it?

  8. Misty Dawn

    My favorite scary hangout place would be down by the river on the woods. It can be scary after the sun sets. Thank you. Happy Halloween!

    • BethCaudill

      Sounds like a great scary place. I bet at night with a fog coming up from water it is really spooky.

  9. Alyssa Weinzapfel

    Favorite scary hangout is the spook house.

    • BethCaudill

      I love spooky houses. In high school, a friend lived near an abandoned house. It was scary even in daylight.

  10. Nancy Burgess

    I like visiting haunted houses the best!

    • BethCaudill

      I wish they had some haunted houses around here. But Halloween in NC doesn’t seem to hold the same intensity that it did WV.

  11. Dakota Palmer


    • BethCaudill

      A great spooky place.

  12. Shelley G

    When I was a teenager, I would hangout at the Salam witch house, it wasn’t really a witch house but just an old run down house in a old cemetery in the middle of nowhere. Never got scared, always felt at piece there.

    • BethCaudill

      Death can be peaceful. I wonder if a long time ago a witch cast a peaceful spell.

  13. Wonderful post. Scary hangout–deep in the woods on a rainy night.

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks Judy. I’ve always found rain refreshing. It’s that scary time when just the lightning, thunder and storm clouds before the rain that get me.

  14. Crystal Cox

    Happy Halloween , great excerpt! Favorite scary hang out was my one friends farm . They had a small cemetery and a bunch of weeping willow trees , it was super fun to go out there and tell each other scary stories.

    • BethCaudill

      Thank Crystal. Oh, a private spot for ghost stories sounds awesome.

  15. Alicia Rodriguez

    Any haunted house!

    • BethCaudill

      Love Haunted Houses.

  16. The woods at night! Totally freaky!

    • BethCaudill

      Yep. Particularly with all the animal sounds. It echoes at night.

  17. Lynn Johnson


    • BethCaudill

      Spooky. Full of Wolves, Huntsmen and other creatures.

  18. Vicki Wurgler

    favorite would be the cemetery

    • BethCaudill

      Full of Vampires, Ghosts and Ghouls.

  19. Julie Tipton

    When I was growing up, I always went to the cemetary to get away from everyone. I would sit on the ground hiding behind a headstone that was really tall and unattended to and I would talk to whoever was under it the only name on it was Grow. After people found my spot there I started trying to get lost in the woods, on the property my family owned there were lots of open and abandoned oil wells really easy to fall into and no one would know where you went. there were some really weird things that went on out in those woods.

    • BethCaudill

      Sounds creepy.

  20. Not sure I have a scary hangout. lol But will the Haunted Queen Mary do?

    • BethCaudill

      I’d love to go out on Queen Mary. Elegant and spooky.

  21. Megan

    Awesome excerpt! We lived in a haunted century home for 5 years. The ghost sure kept me on my toes!

    • BethCaudill

      I’m not sure I’d be able to live with a ghost. I’m kinda a control freak. 🙂

  22. bn100


    • BethCaudill

      Not a place I’d like to spend the night.

  23. Kimberly Bea

    I have never actually hung out there, but the favorite scary place I’d like to hang out is the Winchester Mystery House. I grew up about 20 minutes away from there, yet I’ve somehow never been!

    • BethCaudill

      Kimberly – I’ve been twice. I love it just for the strange architecture choices. I saw in an article where they are now allowing sleepovers in some of the outer buildings. Really creepy.

  24. Desiree

    I don’t have one. I don’t like scary places, although I do like the dark…go figure. Thanks for the chance! 🙂

    • BethCaudill

      The dark can be scary enough. Caves scare me even in daylight…not sure why never had a problem.

  25. I don’t have a favorite scary hangout. Thanks for the chance for the giveaway.

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks for stopping by.

  26. Stacy

    Haunted house

    • BethCaudill

      Love walking through different rooms and seeing creepy settings.

  27. Cristene Mankasingh

    My old elementary school does a haunted house tour around Halloween, that my friends and I go to just for fun

    • BethCaudill

      Sounds like a fun night.

  28. Brittany Wendtland

    Haunted hay rides or corn mazes! I really don’t know why they scare me but I still go every year!
    Happy Halloween!

    • BethCaudill

      I haven’t done a corn maze…too spooky for me. Hayrides sound fun though.

  29. Kristi Van Howling

    My dad was a funeral director so he would pick up bodies from nursing homes, airports and anywhere else he needed to get them. One time he literally brought a body home but left it in the car and I didn’t know that it was there. I was just walking past the car and the body just freaked me out. I couldn’t sleep for awhile.

    • BethCaudill

      A dead body in the car would freak me out too.

  30. I love your description! Sounds like the perfect place for spooky story with a fog coming up from water!

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks Casi. Perfect for a bit of romance.

  31. Donna LaValley

    The favorite hangout place I went to was the Haunted House in the mall when I was younger.

    • BethCaudill

      Donna – I’ve been to a haunted house in a mall. It was fun.

  32. Valerie Miller

    Ill say the cemetery and we go there a lot with the pokemon go game. It is a poke stop in our town so the kids want to go there all the time now.

    • BethCaudill

      I find it peculiar that a kids game takes you to cemetery. We used to get in trouble for playing in a cemetery. 🙂

  33. Jeanna Massman

    When I was a teenager We would hang out in cemeteries.

    • BethCaudill

      Spooky hangout.

  34. In Mississippi, there were a few wonderful haunted graveyards my friends and I loved to visit. Great fun!

    • BethCaudill

      sounds like you and your friends had good times.

  35. Lori Shore

    We used to live in my husband’s grandma’s house after she died. That house seemed spooky and somewhat haunted, that’s about the scariest place I’ve hung out. In a big scaredy cat so don’t like being scared.

    • BethCaudill

      Yeah, old houses can me spooky. If nothing else, then all the creaking can be mysterious at night.

  36. Jeanna Massman

    When I was a teenager, we hung out in cemeteries.

    • BethCaudill

      I must have been in the wrong group because I never went to the cemetery to hang out. It seems to have been a popular past time.

  37. Michelle Bledsoe

    The scariest place I have ever hung out at was HIGH SCHOOL…..LOL
    Thank you for the excerpt. I am looking forward to reading this book.

    • BethCaudill

      Thanks Michelle – I think my oldest son would agree that High School is scary. 🙂

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