Most of you celebrate Halloween today, and I can’t tell you how lucky you are. I live in Romania, and sadly, Halloween isn’t a local tradition (imagine that, in the land of Dracula!). Although, if one wants to dress up there’s always a club or party where, for one night a year, we can be whoever we want to be.
One of my favorite characters is the classy, timeless Morticia Addams, because, like her, I have a strong dose of cynicism and a macabre sense of humor at times. And I even found a man who appreciates this stuff. What more can one wish for?
I’ve always been fascinated by Halloween as a holiday, which is why I am already writing my second book that takes place around this time of year. The first one is Killer Score, a novel from the Irish Garda Files, which won the RONE award for Best Suspense/Mystery of 2021.
In Killer Score, psychologist Chelsea Campbell explains the meaning of Halloween to Evan Gallagher, an ex-FBI agent recently transferred to work as a detective for the Irish police.
“Halloween really is a big deal around here, too,” Evan observed while driving.
“Sure it is. Don’t you celebrate it in America?”
“We do, big time. Somehow, I’ve never gotten the spirit of it. Maybe it’s because in modern times it’s more of a commercial holiday than a true celebration of… the spirits’ world—or whatever its meaning. To be shamefully honest, I never knew exactly what this holiday was about.”
Chelsea shifted her body to make herself more comfortable. “Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is a Celtic holiday that marked Samhain, the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. The Celts thought this was the darkest time of the year, when the boundaries between this world and the otherworld thinned, and the spirits or fairies could come into this world more easily. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them. The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased has ancient origins and is present in many cultures throughout the world. This is what Halloween is really about.”
This explanation takes place while they drive to a Halloween party. As I wrote this scene I could almost hear Chelsea’s voice and Irish accent, that seems to enhance a good storytelling on a cold October night.
And because my books mirror life as much as possible, we also have a romantic scene at the club. Let’s see who else listens to my kind of music! 😉
The music changed and the DJ dedicated the slow version of Santana’s Black Magic Woman to all the ladies in the place. As the exotic guitar filled the air with magic, Chelsea smiled, closing her eyes and letting her head fall back. Evan couldn’t resist. Unthinkingly, he drew her into his arms, moving his body in tune with hers. Their shoulders glided together, their hips undulated close together. The music was like a drug. His hands tightened on her hips, traveled up her back, enjoying the exquisite caress of her hair. Her fingers sunk in the muscles of his chest, clutching handfuls of his shirt. As the music grew more intense, so did their dance, the friction, the heat, the closeness. Evan buried his face in her hair, hoping for solace, finding none. The fresh, spicy scent of her was maddening, promising things beyond his imagination. He didn’t want to want her, but his body burned to touch her, to have her, to possess her. She had a magnetic quality he’d never encountered in any other woman. Maybe because she wasn’t just a babe with a stunning body. She also had a powerful and intriguing mind. She constantly challenged him, and he never backed down from a challenge.
If that got your blood warm, this next—and final teaser—should make it run cold again, because alas, the killer strikes again. And what better night than Halloween?
“Bad doings tonight, Yank. All Hollow’s Eve should be a night for bringing back lost life, not taking it. I don’t know what’s going on in this city, but you have to stop it. We can’t have any more lassies killed and discarded like rag dolls.”
Well, you tell me guys: was this a trick or a treat?
Happy Halloween from Transylvania! (for real!) 🦇