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.




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Have a spooky and fun —>>

From Pearls to Terror

When I was a little girl, my parents used to take me to Seaworld, San Diego. There were two shows I absolutely adored.

One was the Underwater Show that featured mermaids.


The other was a pearl diving exhibition.


Over the years, I never forgot what it was like to sit spellbound while watching both, and somehow, after I became an author and got the itch to write a thriller, one of these shows made it to a place called TERROR ISLAND.


What? One of these things does not match the others, right? But I wanted my mystery-thriller heroine, Katsu Espinoza, to be a pearl diver, come hell or high water! The profession made sense to me because I needed a woman who could fight her way through a storm on the seas, one who had diving skills, and one who looked delicate but was actually as tough as nails. (You’d need to be that way to survive a serial killer who’s luring victims and killing them!)

And don’t you love it when life presents you with an opportunity to give you what you need? It just so happened that, years ago, when I first wrote this book (the former title was BAITED), two of my good friends had moved to Japan, and they invited me to visit.

Well, since there was no more pearl diving show at Seaworld, I just had to go overseas to do my research!

So I set out for Mikimoto’s Pearl Island. (Yes, this Mikimoto, the pearl guy.)


True, my Japanese was tragic (Oh, but did I try to get it right!). It’s also true that the island was far from where I was staying and I would have to take quite a trip all by my lonesome to get there. In a foreign land. Without speaking the language. But it was my mission.

I was doing it for Katsu.

As I watched the ama (pearl divers) display their skills, diving and coming up for a whistling breath of air, Kat Espinoza took shape in my mind, and I liberally used that research in the book. If I ever make it back to Japan, maybe there’ll even be another mystery romantic thriller in store!

Or maybe I’ll just go to satisfy the dreams of a little girl who watched the mermaid and pearl diving shows with stars in her eyes.

Chris Marie Green is also the thriller author of the Vampire Babylon series, including the spin-off Lilly Meratoliage series, plus the Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love, traveling. You can find her on Twitter @ChrisMarieGreen and on Facebook at “Chris Marie Green—author”! www.chrismariegreen.comwww.terrorisland.weebly.com

You can get TERROR ISLAND here:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1SBXtHq

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/terror-island/id1001600862?mt=11

Print: http://amzn.to/1fcVMkr

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1056089293?ean=2940151509756

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/terror-island-a-spine-chilling-mystery-romantic-thriller