The Goblins of Bellwater

Molly Ringle

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.




Praise

"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


"Ringle provides a thoroughly satisfying thread-tying conclusion." ~ Publishers Weekly (Immortal's Spring)


"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




Excerpt

Chapter One

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.





By Molly Ringle

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