Happy Halloween (bwa-ha-ha)

How many of you have plans to see a spooky movie this weekend? I will see Malificent eventually. That’s about as close to a horror movie that I can deal with. When I was a kid, my mom picked me up from school every Friday and we went to the movies which showed a double feature. I had been having too many nightmares from House Of Wax (Vincent Price) and Tarantula. So mom decided I couldn’t see Creature From the Black Lagoon, but she still wanted to.

She left me in the lobby with familiar workers (things were different in those days, so she wasn’t endangering me) and told me not to peek and I could go in to see the second movie. Of course, tell a kid not to peak and what is she to do? Every time, the monster was on screen! Afterward, I believed the Creature hid in our basement. We lived in a Pullman apartment on the first floor, and since mom worked second shift, I was a latchkey kid and was there alone after school until dad arrived from work.

So when I came home from school, the first thing I did was make sure the hook on the basement door was latched (like that would keep away a monster, right?). And when mom insisted I go to the basement to get something for her, I would turn on the light and sit my way down the stairs, looking at the surroundings as I made the turn where I could see everything.

I never told her about my childhood fears until I was an adult and took her to see The Exorcist at her insistence. Yikes! That movie was way too scary for me.

My favorite entry into the romantic horror story is Wolf Moon (The McKenna Legacy Book 7). It combines an old fashioned scary werewolf tale with romance.  Romantic Times named it Best Intrigue of the Year and warned readers they would soon believe in werewolves… on sale for 99c through Halloween!


Aileen McKenna arrives in Wolf Creek to study wolves in the wild only to learn Rhys Lindgren has a unique connection to the local pack. Frightened townspeople fear the three men found dead and mutilated in the woods were killed by a wolf. Rhys doesn’t believe that any more than does Aileen. But can she trust this secretive man to take her into the snow-covered forest to prove the wolves are innocent… and possibly to draw out a killer.

WOLF MOON



Tell me about your favorite or funny scary time with horror movies for a chance to win a free copy of Haunted – a much milder romantic suspense ghost story set at Halloween.


Celebration, Superstition and Ghosts

Halloween originated with Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of bonfires and costumes meant to ward off roaming ghosts. It was the time of the year when the veil between the living and the dead lifted so spirits could walk on Earth. (Celts appeased them with treats.) Later in Ireland and Britain, on All Hallows Eve, Christians prayed for protection from evil in the world.

November 1 is All Saints Day, meant to remind us how we’re supposed to live. On November 2 , All Souls Day, people pray for the dead trapped between heaven and hell.

Throughout the Middle Ages, this three-day period was celebrated. The Pagan tradition of appeasing the spirits of the dead remained, including the practice of lighting candles for  souls waiting to go to heaven.

To remember the departed, many cultures prepare meals for the souls of the dead, light candles or leave flowers on relatives’ graves. Each celebration touches on cultural beliefs about the spirit world, honoring the dead.

Day of the Dead in Mexico combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls’ Day. Celebrated on November 1 and 2, Day of the Dead is joyful inthat  it helps people remember the deceased with candlelit altars so spirits can find their way back to their relatives. The altars are set with the deceased’s favorite foods — in case they’re hungry — and personal items they favored. Papier-mâché skeletons and small plastic or clay skeletons represent Day of the Dead.

Halloween and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, and creating the series RETURN TO JENKINS COVE with Rebecca York and Ann Voss Peterson added some fun Halloween scare via ghosts into the Christmas season. By why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why can’t the ghosts move on …

Christmas… Ghosts… Mystery… Romance…
Something evil lurks in the charming town of Jenkins Cove. When Sophie Caldwell devotes a room in her B&B to communicate with spirits, dangerous secrets rise to the surface, and the lives of three couples will never be the same.

But why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why do the ghosts remain behind? What justice must be served before they can move on?

Christmas Delivery (Return to Jenkins Cove Book 3)
Haunted by ghosts, Jenkins Cove will now have to deal with Simon Shea who has “returned from the dead” seeking revenge…only to reconnect with Lexie Thornton, the girl he loved, and the daughter they conceived thirteen years ago.

Excerpt from Christmas Delivery:

The fog was lighter here, the chill greater, and once past the fence’s wooden gate, which had been left open, Simon realized where he was. The cemetery. Why had the spirit brought him here?

Following the curving redbrick path lined by boxwood on both sides, Simon kept track of the mop of pale hair, which appeared on the other side of the hedge, then lost him altogether. When he came to the open area dotted with gravestones and markers, Simon only half hoped he would actually find him again. He gazed around, past a couple of large willow oaks and a magnolia tree in the center of the graveyard, then spotted the ghostly figure at a far gravesite, touching the stone that identified its occupant.

Again, he looked up with hollow eyes and gestured that he should come.

Reluctantly, Simon did. Not wanting to cross anyone’s grave — he’d had enough of that in his former life — he stayed on the brick path, keeping his gaze locked on the figure still summoning him.

One minute the fog seemed to circle the kid, the next he seemed to fade away into the mists. “Wait! Don’t go!” But the demand came too late. He was already gone. And Simon was moving to the headstone he’d touched, had obviously wanted Simon to see.

A deep, arctic cold suddenly surrounded Simon and then the breath was knocked out of him as he stopped in the spot where the wraith had disappeared. Looking down, Simon understood why Lexie believed he was dead and buried. The headstone bore his name and the dates of his birth and of his supposed death on Christmas Eve thirteen years before.

Not a man who easily believed in what he couldn’t see, Simon had no doubts about who had led him here. Or who was buried in his grave. He was certain the kid he’d seen shot had taken his place. Thirteen years ago and his ghost still wandered, unable to rest, Simon thought. How many ghosts inhabited this area? How many souls were denied eternal rest?

Of one thing he was certain. The boy he’d seen shot had been buried in his stead. How had they pulled that one off? They looked nothing alike. A closed coffin, then? How had he supposedly died so that no one would have raised the alarm? Who had been in on his supposed death? More questions that needed answering. Another reason for him to stay undercover awhile.

Did ghosts seek retribution? he wondered. Considering the evil that had stalked the town unchecked, probably not.

But now the town had to deal with him.

99c each through November 7

Christmas Spirit by Rebecca York
Christmas Awakening by Ann Voss Peterson
Christmas Delivery by Patricia Rosemoor

 

Christmas Spirit …Christmas Awakening …Christmas Delivery
Each of these stories are complete novels, but only the full series will get to the bottom of all the ghostly happenings in Jenkins Cove.

 

Halloween by Mona Risk

Did you know that one quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween?  Yes, October is the cruelest month for our molar teeth. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.

 

It is hard to imagine that 100 years ago, Halloween looked quite different from the candy debauch of today.

Halloween origin: Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.

 

History of Halloween: At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

The seemingly timeless custom of trick-or-treating is actually a quite recent American invention. The ritual of costumes, doorbell-ringing, and expectation of booty appeared for the first time in different locations throughout the country in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

It wasn’t until the late 1940s that trick-or-treating became widespread on a national scale. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow.

Decorating the house inside and out is part of what makes this holiday so much fun with gargoyles, demons, and zombies; or spiders and bats, or anything that can make your visitors scream.

My grandchildren are turning their beautiful front-yard into a scary graveyard with skulls, skeletons, insects and rodents that give their grandmother–poor me–the fright of my life. Of course, the louder I scream, the harder these scamps laugh. Planning and designing the Halloween costumes start at the beginning of October.

 

 

Next Friday happens to be a Friday the Thirteen. My grandchildren will wear their costumes and invite their friends for a carving and painting of pumpkins.

 

 

 

May I ask you to click on this link and follow me on BookBub?

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mona-risk

Have a spooky and fun —>>

Halloween Apples – the older version of Trick or Treat!

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I remember when I was a child in Winnipeg, Halloween was the day us kids would hurry home from school in a panic to get our costumes organized. In those ancient times…..giggle, my mom used to get a bunch of old clothes out from the closet in readiness. My sister and I would fight and scramble to get the pieces that would best fit our vision of whatever witch or old man our mom had dictated as our choices for that year.

The money was never there to buy costumes. Folks today think of it as a necessity but, my goodness, we never had the wherewithal for such foolishness. Not when there were pieces of cardboard, old clothes and paint to make up something that would ensure us our ultimate goal – that of getting as much candy as possible.

As daylight waned, we’d watch out the window, prancing from foot to foot, praying that the streetlights would come on soon. It was our sign that the time had come. Mom would give us each a pillow-slip and some gloves (Winnipeg right??) and off we’d go to join hordes of other goblins all racing to and fro to get their anticipated cache.

Up and down the streets, childish voice yelled Halloween Apples! It would be a few years before the bellow of trick or treat would be used. Little ones in the care of older brothers and sisters were dragged along, forced to keep up because there were only so many houses in the neighborhood that would give away candy apples as reimbursement for singing a song. And everyone on our street had practiced their song knowing that the reward far outstripped the effort.

Soon, we’d have to drop the first load off at the house because the pillowcases, half full of apples, would be heavier than we could manage. And, mom would have warned us that she would be running out and would need reinforcements from our precious supply before the night was over. At first, we always begrudged this necessity, but after stuffing our faces with as much junk as we could force down, it didn’t seem to be so painful to let her pass some of it back out again.

Finally by the end of the evening—we’d stick it out as long as there were lights on in front doors and our frozen fingers and toes could stand the cold—we’d head home to peruse our stash and gloat about the goodies we’d stuffed into our pockets, hoping that sharp motherly eyes wouldn’t see the bulges.

Because we so seldom had candy, parents in those days knew that the best way to handle this bounty was to pass out daily treats in order to make it last. Funny thing is, by the end of the week, we’d run out. Always wondered how that could happen. Of course, today I know exactly where those precious sweets went.

Darn sneaky parents!!

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Soon to be released – Mimi’s newest novella – Please Keep Me!

 This is Book #1 in her Holiday Heartwarmers Trilogy.

PleaseKeepMe_CVR_MED

A single mom of a very intelligent four-year-old daughter, Belinda Page is at her wits end trying to keep up with the munchkin. When the child throws herself into a lake to rescue a puppy, Belinda is frantic. Turning to the man who saves both babies, she seeks support – until she finds out he’s one of those hated Carltons. After all, it was at their home where she’d gone to a party, been drugged, raped and left to deal with the consequences of that distressingly blank time.

Dr. Reed Carlton, an introvert who feels uncomfortable around most people, can’t believe his luck. He’s finally found Lindy; a girl from his past, a fond memory that has haunted him for over four years. Except that this Lindy hates him on sight. What was that all about? At least her daughter and the puppy were on his side. But would that be enough for him to be a part of her life.