Welcome to our annual Halloween blog hop. There are all kinds of authors to visit … all kinds of prizes to win along the way … including our grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite. If you’ve stumbled here without jumping on the bus (or if you lose your way) click HERE to start at the beginning.

Our hop runs from now until SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 at 3 pm EST so you don’t have to enjoy all the yummy Halloween goodness all at once.

Once again this year I accepted the challenge and let a “word generator” tickle my Halloween muse. I’ve been challenged to write a short scene using a BODY GUARD, WEREWOLF and DENTIST as my characters. I need to work in the characteristics of DRIVEN, DIRTY and LIFELESS. And it all has to take place in a THICK FOREST. Please enjoy this excerpt:

Catherine ran blindly through the night. Though a full moon hung in a cloudless sky, its light didn’t penetrate the dark forest. Branches slapped against her face and tangled in her braids. Tree roots grabbed at the hem of her skirt and the toes of her boots, but determination kept her on her feet. She had to keep moving—had to reach Elijah.

She hadn’t been in time to save Doc Nichols.

Though she’d arrived in Colorado six months earlier, Buzzard Roost’s local dentist had met their stagecoach, overlooked her dirty eastern high-society dress and her little brother’s cranky attitude and settled them into a small cabin just off the main thoroughfare. A second cousin to her late father, Doc Nichols had given her a job and a new start. Now he was dead and Elijah was missing and Catherine didn’t know if the future she’d seen in her dreams would become her reality this All Hallow’s Eve.

Catherine hadn’t believed her visions were true until tonight when she’d arrived home from town, her arms filled with local produce and kitchen staples. Discovering the cabin door ajar and the cloying aroma of an animal filling the small space, she’d known instantly the wolf she’d trusted had somehow come for Elijah. She’d run to Doc Nichols for help, only to find the first of her nightmares played out in gruesome reality.

There had been no doubt Doc Nichols had been killed only moments before she’d arrived. The stench of death and evil still hung like a moldy curtain in his small office. Blood oozed in a rusty puddle from his torn throat, his lifeless eyes and gaping mouth beseeching her to save him. But she hadn’t believed her dreams and had never warned Doc Nichols of the malevolent forces hell bent on destroying his little town. Catherine didn’t have time for guilt— nothing could undo the horror that had befallen the dentist—but there was no way she’d let the same fate come to her little brother.

Grabbing the good doctor’s spare pistol from his desk drawer, Catherine had bolted into the forest. She’d never been to Elijah’s favorite fishing hole. Didn’t know in the inky blackness if she was even on the path. Driven by love. fear and instinct, she pushed through the unfamiliar forest. Her brother was only nine. Sassy and full of anger at their circumstances—he was all she had left in this world. She’d give her own life if she could save him from the death she’d seen in her dreams.

Until this night when she’d sensed the wolf, Catherine hadn’t wanted to acknowledge the visions she’d recently experienced weren’t the nightmares of a woman on the brink of insanity. At twenty, she thought the murder of her parents and the trip across country had triggered the violent dreams. Images of torches and thick forests, angry men and vicious wolves, blood and death had filled her nights until she’d feared falling asleep.

And then just last month she’d seen the wolf of her dreams on the far side of the river as she’d been gathering water. With eyes the blue of a cloudless sky and a coat that rivaled the purest of snow, the animal had watched her every move. At the time, there had been no fear, only the overwhelming sense of peace, as if the animal were a body guard protecting her from harm. It had come nearly every night to watch her from afar and she’d taken it as a good luck omen.

Catherine wondered now if she’d invited the monster to steal everything from her.

And then she heard him howl. Not the playful wail of a wolf calling his pack, but the plaintive call of distress. Catherine quickened her pace, tripping in her haste to find Elijah, her knee coming down hard on a rock. Ignoring the pain, she followed the sound, pushing herself to save the brother, somehow knowing the wolf called directly to her.

She was out of breath and nearly panicked with worry when she finally broke into the clearing. The ebony surface of the fishing pond that had brought her brother such joy over the summer now sat still as death, its ebony surface broken only by the reflection of the moon—and the ghostly specter of the white wolf standing over Elijah’s still body.

Even in the muted wash of the moon, Catherine knew the dark shadow running across her brother’s forehead and down his cheek was blood. It had soaked into the soft chamois of his shirt, prickling her soul with dread. Instinct took over as she raised the pistol, not sure the lessons Doc had given her could bring down the animal from this distance. It didn’t matter, she had to try— Elijah’s life depended on her bravery.

The wolf sprang and Catherine closed her eyes and pulled the trigger. The bullet missed its mark and she heard the wolf land not two feet from her in the spongy moss on the edge of the pond. Bracing herself for the inevitable attack, she brought the pistol up to shoot again, opened her eyes and gasped at the sight of a man standing naked before her, his shock of white hair nearly luminescent in the moonlight.

“Catherine, I didn’t hurt your brother. I’m trying to save him—trying to save both of you.” He took the pistol from her trembling fingers. “Someone killed the dentist and tried to kidnap your brother. I—”

She pushed past the man and ran to her brother’s side. Falling to the damp earth, she cradled Elijah in her arms, tears stinging her eyes. The blood on his head had dried, but he was so still, his tiny chest barely moving. She searched for claw or teeth marks, but found none. “What did the wolf do to Elijah?”

The man knelt next to her, careful to shield his nakedness from her. “I did nothing. Men were in your cabin and I ran them off and brought the boy here. They must have knocked him out. I haven’t been able to rouse him. I knew you’d find us if I called for you.”

“You? But I thought the wolf—”

“Catherine, I am the wolf. A werewolf. Both man and beast. I’m the one who’s been watching over you. I’m not sure why fate has brought us together, but I know our paths are as connected as your heart is to your brother.”

A gunshot rent the stillness of the forest.

He took Elijah from her arms and pulled her to her feet. “And so our journey begins … run!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoyed that little Halloween excerpt.

 *** CONTEST IS CLOSED ***

So what’s your favorite part of this spooky holiday? Leave a comment on this blog post between now and SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 at 6 pm EST and you’ll be entered to win:

A signed copy of my erotic suspense “Healer’s Garden”
goodies from my prize closet
(shipping to US or Canada only. An international winner gets a $15 Amazon gift card)

One winner will be chosen at random from all commenters this weekend. Best of luck … and enjoy the rest of the hop!

83 Responses to A Bewitching Halloween Hop

  • My Favorite part about Halloween is dressing up 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt 🙂

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

  • Loved the excerpt. My favorite part is the smells and colors and watching the little ones in their costumes Trick or Treating. 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • My favorite part of Halloween is the is tunes on the little kids I love to see them. So cute.

  • thanks for sharing. i just love all of halloween its hard to pick just one. but i guess it would be setting with my son and watching horror movie one after another

  • I like the candy and being scared. Haven’t been scared in a good while… Love a good scary film, like What Lies Beneath. 😀 Will have to find a good scary movie to watch this year.

    • Bethanne – I don’t mind being scared, but I don’t like scary movies. With my imagination the movies just give me fodder for nightmares.

  • Lovely! I generally don’t care for werewolf stories but this one is interesting! Thank you!

  • You are a new author for me. The best thing about Halloween is the kids excitement. Everything ‘pumpkin’ that starts coming out for Halloween & stays thru the holidays. Thank You for the giveaway. Leann leamei1981@yahoo.com

    • Leann – Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my short excerpt. And the kids enjoyment of Halloween is definitely infectious.

  • My favorite part of Halloween is taking the kids out trick or treating. I love walking around town with them. 🙂
    slinkydennis@yahoo.com

  • Victoria – I find it so hard to find a good costume. I’m not one of those creative types when it comes to dressing up. You’re entered.

  • the candy is my favorite part considering I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. 🙂

  • very well done 🙂

    I love the imaginative costumes

    meandi09@yahoo.com

    • Thank you, Jennifer. I’m glad you enjoyed the short story. And I have to agree … as long as I don’t have to come up with something myself I love looking at other’s creativity.

  • Thank you for the story! Love the pic of the wolf. Wow! When I lived in a place that had four seasons. Halloween was my favorite time because I would love the changing of the weather. Nothing beats the cold nip in the air and the rustic colors that take over summer’s green. Now I live in Hawaii and I get to “dress up” my Fall/Halloween. Since coconut tree leaves neither change color nor seasonally shed. I’ll draw a Jack O’ Lantern in the sand for ya’ll. LOL

    • Christina – I know I should love the changing seasons and though it’s beautiful in the fall, it makes me so melancholy. I do love carving pumnpkins though! I’ll be happy to know there’s one in Hawaii carved into the sand for me. 😀

  • Thanks for the great story! Please tell me its connected to a book you’ve writen. I love that my best bud brings her girls and my honey takes all 3 out trick or treating. We stay home, passing out goodies and watch, of all things, a Christmas movie to kick off the season.

  • Fav part of Halloween is dressing up and watching old scary movies, thanks for the read.

  • Thanks for the read, and I have to say fav part of Halloween is dressing up and watching old black and white scary movies.

  • Having an awesome time checking out new authors and old favorites in the Alpha Male and Bewitching Blog Hops!

    My to read list keeps getting longer!

    grapeapril75 at gmail dot com

    • April – Glad you’re enjoying the blog hop. There’s nothing like bouncing around blogs to find new authors and some great reads. Happy Halloween.

  • I love your short story. How interesting that you used a word generator for key words. I’d be interested in seeing where this story goes. 🙂
    My favorite part of Halloween is dressing up. I love a good costume, homemade, not bought. 😉 I like the candy too. LOL
    Have a Happy Halloween

    • Gail – I love the word generator that we use … it really gets my muse working. I’m glad you enjoyed our little foray into a Halloween story.

      I love to see people in home made costumes. I’m just not that creative. Have a wonderful Halloween!

  • First of all, LOVED the story! 🙂

    And my favorite part of the spooky day? Probably trying to one up my husband with scares. We like to take turns trying to scare each other. (I usually win! lol) Last year, I had him running… fast! Can’t wait to see how he reacts with what I have up my sleeve this year 😉 Have a very happy Halloween! 🙂

    Thanks for the story and for participating in this awesome hop! 🙂

    Marie
    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

    • Marie – I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      I can’t even imagine what you and your husband do to each other if you actually had him running! LOL! I hope you manage to get the better of him this year too!

      Have fun!

  • I love seeing all the costumes, some are just funny. Thx

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

    • Lona – I’m with you … I love to see the costumes as long as I don’t have to find something of my own to wear! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Hello, doing the Bewitching hop! Ready willing and able to hop along…get it? Ok, tough crowd! I like doing these. You meet some great new authors. I loved the halloween story!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win some great prizes!

    Belinda G
    belgre@comcast.net

    • Belinda – LOL! Thanks so much for joining in our hop. There’s nothing like bounding around on author blogs to find some new reads! I hope you’re having fun.

  • Costumes!

  • I DO hope you flush out the excerpt above! That was a great teaser!!!

    My fave part of Halloween? Everything! The costumes, the decorations, the spooky sounds, the candy… I just love it!

    Stacy Wilson

    dragn_lady at yahoo dot com

    • Stacy – Just the little excerpt definitely got my creative juices flowing. I already am half in love with that werewolf. Hmmmm ….

      Enjoy the holiday. Sounds like it’s one of your favorite!

  • Let’s see – my favorite part of halloween – there’s chocolate, costume parties, chocolate, kids on a sugar high, chocolate, the fall weather, chocolate and did I mention chocolate???

  • Hey, wait! What happens next! I WANT MORE!

    • Catherine – I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. And yeeeeah, I’m thinking I’m going to have to figure out what’s happening with these two!

  • I love watching scary movies this time of year. I loved your story! I want to read more. 😉 Thanks!

    • Christine – I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. 😀

      And you can keep your scary stories. They don’t do anything but keep me awake and give me nightmares. I’m such a wimp! 😉

  • Well I will take any excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate and candy! It’s also so much fun to be able to walk around looking like whatever you want to look like by dressing up. The scary movies, the beginning of the season. Did I mention the candy? 🙂

    And you did an awesome joby with the word generator! Thanks for the story.

    rae.gwendy(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Rae – Ummm, yeah, those snack-sized candy bars are just too easy to eat. I try not to buy my candy until very close to Halloween. I’ve been known to eat all the chocolate before the goblins arrive. 😉

      And have I mentioned I don’t like scary movies?

  • Seeing all the kids dressed up in their costumes and all the scary movies that are on tv this month.

  • What a great story! Dressing up for a Halloween party is my favorite.

    • Tessa – So glad you enjoyed the story. So far I don’t have any invites to parties so there’s no dressing up for me this year. But that’s alright with me, I’m not very creative when it comes to that stuff. Hope you have a wonderful Halloween.

  • I really enjoyed your story and would like to read more! I love everything about Halloween, dressing up, scary movies, pumpkins, and of course CANDY! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

    • Cheryl – I’m so pleased you enjoyed the story. I do love carving pumpkins and the dressing up and scary movies … not so much! But I’m all over that candy!! ;D

  • Liked your story. I love seeing all the little monsters, fairies, princess, ghouls, goblins, pumpkins and the really tiny babies dressed up as some unusual things. Oh yeah and the candy of course. Who wouldn’t like chocolate? Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • I love to see the kids in their costumes – particularly the little ones!
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  • Oh great story! I love the scene generator XD Thank you for sharing.

    • Alianne – The scene generator definitely pushes my boundaries and I do enjoy working with the words to see what I can create. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  • Wanda – I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. And I really enjoy seeing creative people all dressed up as well. I just wouldn’t happen to be one of them. LOL! 😉

  • Loved the excerpt/challenge. Would love to read more. Also loved the pretty pictures. One of the things that I love about this holiday is seeing all the kids in their outfits. Thanks for being a part of the hop. I hope that you have a great weekend!
    jessangil at gmail dot com

    • Jessica – So glad you enjoyed the short story. I really need to take it and continue to run with these two. (Literally, *g*). And the little ones with their big smiles in costume is my favorite part as well.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend as well.

  • I like seeing all the costumes.

    Nice post.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • My favorite part would have to be candy, lol.
    I generally just stay home with a good paranormal or suspense book, and a couple of scary movies. Oh, and candy 🙂
    Since I live so far out in the country, I don’t get trick-or-treaters 🙁
    June
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

    • June – When I lived in northern Maine all the people from the country brought their children in town where I lived. It was so much fun having them walking the streets.

      And there’s nothing like a good paranormal read to celebrate the season. Enjoy!

  • Since Halloween falls mid-week this year I’ll probably just hang around the house, read a book, and enjoy how cute all the costumes are!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  • Hi Nina ! I just love your books 🙂

    I enjoy candy at halloween, when my kids were smaller it was more fun !

    Happy Halloween

    ~Kym
    flwrs4ever(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Kym – Thank you for letting me know. I’m hoping my life will settle down just a little so I can get another one out before the end of the year!

      And I have to agree, Halloween was so much more fun when I had little children to enjoy it with.

  • Nooo, don’t stop there. I want to know what happens next!

    My fav part of Halloween is the scary stories. There’s nothing better than gathering around a fire, maybe with some hot apple cider, and telling spooky tales!

    • Mer – lOL! I’m thinking I’m going to have to keep going with this one! So glad you enjoyed it.

      And I love the idea of gathering around a fire and enjoying some scary stories with a cup of apple cider. I’d put up with the nightmares to enjoy an evening doing that!

  • My favorite part of Halloween is giving out candy for the trick or treaters. My son is now a teenager and thinks he is told to go anymore.

    I love watching scary movies too though most of the time I watch between my fingers (hands on my face) lOL

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Dawna – My teenagers ended up being the ones passing out candy to the little ones. (Unless of course it was a weekend, then they’d be at parties with their friends.)

      If I ever watch scary movies that’s exactly how I watch them … between my fingers. 😉

  • We have been living atop a mountain in northern Alaska the last several years on 10 acres, so we haven’t had any Tricker Treaters. Our children are grown, and we have 2 smaller grandchildren ages 2 and 7. We won’t get to see this year as we have moved back to Washington state, but we will have the children knocking at the door this year….*S*I don’t know if our little barkers will like all the noise, but we will wait and see…lol. the 3 dogs are like children and need to bee the center of everything especially the front door…lol.
    Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

    Darcy
    pommawolf @hotmail.com

    • Darcy – I hope your children send pictures of the grandkids. There’s nothing like seeing them with big smiles and in costume.

      I hope your dogs enjoy the festivities. Wishes for a Happy Halloween right back at you! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Loved the short story, and the wolf picture as well. I am enjoying every visit on this site and looking forward to reading books by new authors. Happy Halloween!

  • Yvette – I hear ya!!

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