Location: Somewhere in a near magical forest in northern Alabama.

Allison Merritt’s Halloween Candy Bark (31 Days of Halloween)

WystancoverHalloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday. Silly, because I’m an adult with no children, far too old to trick-or-treat on my own, and I don’t get the day off from work for it. Nevertheless, the certain eeriness that comes from monsters in the dark gives me a thrill.


Haunting costume shops and the Halloween accessories aisle is my favorite thing to do in the early fall. So of course paranormal romance is right up my alley. I have to make it really weird and throw in a western element, because nothing says romance like Supernatural meets True Grit. You know, that element of the past plus things that go bump in the night. Ahem, um, both monsters and naughty bits.


I hope you all have a super special and spook-tacularly frightening Halloween!


Halloween Candy Bark


I’m all about the easy. It’s Christmas tradition for my family to make candy before the holidays so we’ll have something homemade to enjoy around the fire–or you know, the warm glow of the television. Whatever. Me, I don’t like to get involved in the complicated projects that take all day. So cookies or almond bark coated pretzels are pretty much my limit when it comes to candy-making. Imagine my utter joy when I found a recipe for Halloween bark. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? I’ve listed some good ingredients here, but of course, play to your own tastes. There are all kinds of good candies you could put in this.



20 or 24 oz. Package of almond bark

½ c. mini Reeses, chopped

½ c. candy corn

½ c. M&Ms, pick out the orange, brown and yellow ones for extra spooky fun

½ c. royal icing eyeballs (you can find these at Wal-Mart or craft stores)


Melt almond bark according to package in a double boiler or in the microwave. Spread melted bark on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to ¼ inch thickness. Press candy into melted bark. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or until fully hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store.

About the Book:

Title: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Length: 228 pages

Pubisher: Samhain Publishing



Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.


Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.


Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.


The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.


With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.


Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.



Something changed in the air the moment the wagon crossed the town’s border. Too

early to be a supply train, and there was no way in hell it was visitors. Berner didn’t host

town fairs, theatre troupes, peddlers, or bible thumpers.

Wystan Heckmaster slapped his battered Stetson on his head, collected the keys to the

jail, then stepped out the door. The first thing he saw was a pretty woman with hair the color

of maple sugar—a rich brownish-blonde. The frown on her face spoke volumes, and the air

around her pronounced trouble. She made a straight path for him.

“Mr. Heckmaster. Or should I call you Sheriff? Or Mayor? I need to discuss the ad in

the Lancaster County Republican with you. Someone placed an ad, but your brother tells me

there is no school here. I’m sure there has to be a mistake. There’s only one Berner in New

Mexico Territory. I’m very capable at reading maps. If I wasn’t, I would be ashamed to call

myself a teacher.”

He doubted she had taken more than two or three breaths during the speech. If she

made talking in rambling paragraphs a habit, no wonder she looked so peaked.

“Teacher?” He glanced along the street, but it was deserted as usual. “Lady, we don’t

have a school here. Certainly no need of a teacher.”

Her hands balled into fists that settled on her hips. The dress she wore was patched—

the egg yolk yellow faded into something even more disgusting. It had little flowers dotting

the material, but they looked as worn as her scuffed black boots.

“Then what was the purpose of placing an ad in the Lancaster County Republican?”

She spoke with the fierceness of a mama bear warning predators away from her cubs.

Wystan reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a toothpick.

“I didn’t place any ad in any Lancaster County anything.” He looked past her, expecting

Eban to saunter up the street. Eban had to be the brother she’d referred to since Tell was still

on the trail.

“Someone did,” she insisted. She fished a crumpled and much-folded piece of newsprint

out of the pocket hidden by the folds of her skirt. “See? Right here it says, ‘School teacher

wanted for spring term at Berner Schoolhouse. Wages paid based on experience. Room and

board provided. Apply in person at City Hall, Berner, New Mexico Territory.’ I’m sure my

eyes don’t deceive me.”

Wystan stared at the clipping, then back at the woman. A galaxy of freckles spattered

across her nose and cheekbones, making her look younger than her eyes said she was. Full

figured and sure as shittin’ a grown woman. The wariness and worry darkening her hazel

eyes gave her away as one with a lot of trouble on her plate.

“I can read.”

She pulled the ad away from his face, folded it, and returned it to her pocket. “Where

would you suggest I look for an explanation, Mr. Heckmaster?”

Fussy little thing. “I assure you that no one in this town did. There’s been a mistake.

Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Schoolteacher. Now turn around and head home.”

A flush colored her cheeks. “I can’t head home! I have no home to return to. My little

sister and my friend are waiting at the doctor’s office for me to straighten this mess out. The

ad says that room and board will be provided. I’d expected to move into a room, sir.”

“You left them with Eban?” That explained his absence.

“Beryl is ill, Sheriff. This is the first town we’ve seen in days and it was past time for her

to get some attention.” Despair crept into her voice.

Wystan shifted his weight and transferred the toothpick to the other side of his mouth.

“Eban’s not exactly trained in human medicine.”

The woman’s mouth opened into an O. She shook her head and seemed to regain her

senses. “He’s a veterinarian? He seemed certain he could help Beryl.”

Wystan cleared his throat. “Sure, animal doctor. I’m sorry for your misfortune, lady,

but as you can see, Berner’s about run into the ground. There’s nothing here for you or your

friend. Might be best to move along.”

She seemed to deflate. “Move along.” Her lips moved, softly forming the words, but it

was as though she didn’t comprehend them. “We’ll move along, right down the trail into the

next town where there won’t be any teaching jobs either. Sylvie, Beryl, and I will starve to

death on the side of the road with no one in the world to care.”


Buy links:

Samhain – http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wystan-p-73651.html

Amazon – http://amzn.com/B00L501TJK

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wystan-allison-merritt/1119847207?ean=9781619222892

Google Books – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wystan-allison-merritt/1119847207?ean=9781619222892


About the Author:

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. It’s not unusual to find her lurking in graveyards, wandering historical sites, or listening to ghost stories.


Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.


Social media links:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/