I’ve always loved Halloween. Not for the candy and the costumes, although those are fun, too. But mainly because it’s the time of year when we celebrate witches, ghosts, and anything related to the Otherworld.
Now, to be clear, I’m not a ghost (yet…), nor have I ever seriously considered myself a witch, although I am the 9th great-granddaughter of one of the original Salem “witches,” who was hanged in 1692, and later (much, much later) cleared of all charges. But I’ve always been fascinated by mystical, unexplainable things, and magic. Early favorite books include The Active Enzyme, Lemon Freshened Junior High School Witch by E.W. Hildick, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. And on the lighter/television side, I watched Bewitched reruns, somewhat obsessively.
So, though I’ve never particularly enjoyed horror movies, I’ve come to realize I have a decided dark side. I actually begged my parents to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to me when I was four, and as soon as we were done, The Lord of the Rings. Talk about dark! But they also blend early Celtic legends in with the magic — another thing I’ve always been fascinated with. My Comparative Literature B.A. thesis was on Morgan le Fey, King Arthur’s half-sister, who in very early Celtic versions of the legend was a powerful sorceress, and far more respected than later Christian adaptations like to admit.
I also love Halloween, because to me, it’s the true start of Autumn (Samhain, anyone?). October in the Northwest can be pretty warm and dry — nice for walking and enjoying the gorgeous changing colors of the leaves, but I like it when the seasons actually change. The winds and the rains return, and it’s dark outside, so I can curl up with a good book, or veg on the couch (watching Supernatural, of course!).
It’s also (duh) the eve of All Hallows (All Saints’ Day), and the eve-eve of All Souls’ Day. So it has both early and later religious significance, along with the witches, ghosts, candy, and costumes. Plus, who doesn’t love It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown??
As me old dad used to say: “Happy Hollow-weenie!”
How about you? What makes this time of year special? Leave me a comment, then enter to win your choice of a $5 Starbucks card or a free ebook of my debut novel, DEBRIEFING THE DEAD. (Giveaway closes at midnight on 11/3/18; Love Romance Reads not responsible for any of it; see giveaway page for full terms and conditions.)
Debriefing the Dead
The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.
So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?
Kerry was born in British Columbia, Canada, and has since lived all over the West Coast of North America, including California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska—everywhere except Mexico! She’s a “computer industry” brat, not a military one, but moving so frequently meant she spent a lot of time reading, and later writing, (hopefully!) great books. She has a degree in Comparative Literature (French and Middle English) from U.C. Berkeley, and a Master’s in Teaching English and Mathematics from the University of Portland. She currently lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her husband, two “kids” in mid-to-late adolescence, assorted cats and dogs, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume.
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Well, it might be a day early, but the next few days are full of fools, and ghouls, and maybe a guy with tools. This is a time of celebration and some folks take it to a whole new level.
The end of October and the beginning of November is a special time for many people. For those who celebrated Samhain (pronounced “Saw-when”) it’s a time of acknowledging the end of the growing season and the thinness of the veil between the living world and the spirit world. It’s when the members of the Wild Hunt ride and often catch people unawares unless they have wards or leave offerings.
The tradition has changed over the years, mellowing to be more of a children’s holiday where they wear costumes and visit neighbors asking for candy and goodies. My own tradition is even the adults wear costumes and hand out light bracelets to the kids, to light the way to the next house.
November 1st follows with All Saints Day, the festival of honoring all the saints, both known and unknown. I suspect it was a way to tone down the Pagan celebrations for Samhain and remind the followers of the Christian faith that things were meant to be taken seriously in a controlled manner. But it is a good day to celebrate your own patron saint and to give thanks for them watching over your well-being.
November 2nd is Dia de Los Muertos, celebrated in Hispanic cultures as the Day of the Dead. This is a remembrance day to honor loved ones who’ve departed the land of the living. I got the chance to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos while taking a Spanish class in High School. It was so cool to see all the marigolds and goodies put out for the souls to partake. I even got to decorate real sugar skulls and make the tissue paper cutouts to wave in the wind. I found that celebration to be the most joyous despite the sadness of loss.
Traditionally, this is the time of year Hollywood puts out those horror films of werewolves, vampires, demons and whatnot. As a paranormal romance author, I just happen to have a few tales of such beings to entice and thrill at this time of year.
A Hell Hound’s Fire has a very special werewolf and he’s definitely hot. Hopefully he’ll light your fire.
Her Devoted Vampire is not your typical vampire or kidnapped heroine tale. He’s devoted to her safety. She’s convinced he’s crazy.
Order of the Dragon – Being the most famous vampire out there isn’t necessarily a good thing. Especially when there’s someone determined to make a name for himself by killing said vampire. Drake will definitely need a dragon to rescue him.
Second Chance Succubus – what’s better than one sexy werewolf? How about two? And one who’s so damaged, he can’t accept that a succubus is his true mate in this menage murder mystery.
Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack – Ever wondered what it’s like to be a werewolf? Julianna gets first-hand experience, but it’s not all chasing squirrels and howling at the moon. And someone might just be trying to kill her.
There you have it. Some lovely Halloween/Samhain tales to give you shivers and satisfaction (as all good romance does). And keep an eye on my page. There will be more paranormal romance to come, and not all the characters are the traditional “bump in the night” creatures we expect at this time of year. Gotta keep you on your toes.
Many blessings to all y’all for a blessed Samhain, a reverent All Saints Day, and a joyous Dia de Los Muertos. Happy reading!
Award Winning author Siobhan Muir lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he's never shifted when she can see him. Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you’ll find in her paranormal, dauntless romance, and romantic suspense stories.
When I first moved to the Bay Area in California, I lived near a town named Colma.
Population – 1,800.
Graves – 1.5 million.
As my eloquent friend said when he visited me, “Your new neighborhood must be haunted as Hades.” A two-thumbs-up location for a person that loves real-life surrealism. It’s known as the “City of the Dead” and “City of the Silent.” For some reason, the second AKA feels creepier. Like it can hear inside you. The town’s slogan is “It’s good to be alive in Colma.” A place with generations of corpses, hospitality to San Francisco’s cumbersome, space-hogging deceased, and a sense of humor – they got it going on.
When I needed a little inspiration I would sit at the end of the driveway that led into Woodlawn Memorial Park and couldn’t help but think about Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. So many stories lived behind the sweeping arches just waiting to be told in the City of the Silent.
It also gave me a taste of a place I lived and loved – Madrid, Spain. Just outside the old-world, cosmopolitan city, lurks Cementerio de la Almudena, home to about 5 million silent residents and the coolest cemetery I’ve ever explored. A place that, at night, will make your hair stand on end and your imagination run wild.
So cheers to the dead, from sea to shining sea, to the amazing memories they leave us and the tales they help us weave.
Do you have a favorite cemetery or spooky place to visit or lurk? Comment below. I’d love to hear about it!
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The Paranormal Romance Your Boyfriend Will Steal.
Grim: Legions of the Claimed
Grim’s Ruler had taught him well — dress me, obey me, suffer.
Sovereign Shield to the youngest of the three Ruler brothers, Grim fights to regain the humanity he lost to the Legions.
The code of the Shields is his only salvation. A code the three brothers battle to destroy.
Feisty waitress Sensual, recently Claimed and sentenced to the designation of Service, refuses to devalue her life and accept her new fate.
Trapped in their Ruler’s war against his brothers and the ticking clock of the Ceremony, Grim lowers his safeguards to gain Sensual’s trust.
She wrapped her fingers in the back of his shirt. “Let yourself want something, just for you.”
“An end. That’s what I want.”
“No, something that could bring you peace.”
“The only way I know to find peace is to die.”