Happy birthday, Hywela!
I love October. Not only is it the season of ‘mellow fruitfulness’ and all that, but it is also my birthday month – today in fact! I love the colours of October. The red, gold and orange hues of the falling leaves, red berries, yellow ‘everlasting sunflowers’ in my garden, and of course, red and green apples, either clinging stoically to the trees, or lying on the ground among the fallen leaves, as windfalls.
Of course it’s also the month of Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, or whatever you prefer to call it. On the 31st October, the children dress up in scary costumes and go door to door, trick or treating. This custom has come over the pond in recent years, and although it wasn’t made much of when I was a child, now it is nearly as popular here as it is in the United States. I always have some Halloween treats handy and have been known to answer the door in a long purple cloak, and a beautiful gold ‘Cleopatra’ masquerade mask, given to me by my dear author friend, the late Sharon Donovan, who loved Halloween. Sadly diabetes type 1 had left her blind, so she asked me to decorate her blog for her, and I used to love telling her about the fairies, witches, black cats, pumpkins and spiders with which I’d adorned her blog. Tragically, she passed away in 2012, but October and Halloween always bring back beautiful memories of how much fun we used to have on-line, although unfortunately we were never able to meet in person.
Having lived most of my life in Wales, I became steeped in Welsh myths and legends, many of which are scary enough to be ideal for telling at Halloween. One of my favourites is the legend of the Ellydan or fire goblins. I adapted this myth for my fantasy novella Dancing With Fate. These nasty little creatures, with glowing eyes and flames at their fingertips, appear as points of light, drawing the unwary into the bog, where the hapless victim vanishes, never to be seen again. I also borrowed the idea for a scene in Starquest, the first of my SF Romance Trilogy, The Destiny Trilogy, where the heroine, on an alien planet, sees strange lights which appear to be sentient and which try to steal the life-force of her wounded companion.
I love horses and used to keep my own at an old Victorian mansion which was reputed to be haunted. One of the ghosts is said to be an old lady, who, on her deathbed, gave her jewels to a maidservant to hide – and it is said she haunts the grounds searching for them, to this day.
I would sometimes stay late at the stables, and in stable yard, in the dark, we would often hear an unearthly screeching sound like ‘the wails of the damned’ as a friend who also kept her horse there used to say. Happily for us, it turned out to be just screech owls.
Wales is full of old haunted mansions. At another one, where the local University held occasional writing weekends, I took a picture in the garden, and when it was printed, there was what looked like a shadowy figure of a lady in a long, old-fashioned dress, shrouded in mist, in the shrubbery. Strangely there was no mist that day, and not everyone I showed the picture to, could see her. Creepy! I later learned that the ghost of a long-ago former owner who had fallen on hard times and been forced to leave the house, came back to haunt it, without malevolence but just because she loved it, which puts a rather sad spin on the story.
October – one of the best times of the year for spinning other-worldly tales.
Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.
Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret, and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red-haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.
Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?
About Hywela Lyn
Hywela Lyn is a member of The Romance Novelists' Association (UK). She was born and spent most of her life in Rural Wales which inspired much of her writing, and writes futuristic and fantasy romance for the Wild Rose Press. A keen animal lover she has a 'rescue' terrier called Choccy and a slightly manic but loving mare called T'pau. When not writing or out with her horse and dog she enjoys reading and eating chocolate - often together!