Yeah, everyone thinks Halloween is a Yankee-doodle dandy American conconction, but what they fail to understand is that it’s not. Author Susanne Bellamy show us the roots of trick-or-treating–although she doesn’t explain the origin of pumpkin spice or peanut butter cups.
When Sandra floated this post idea, I was stymied at first by the request to link to my current release, a sweet romance! So I turned to Mr Wiki (as one does – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween ).
I should have known my subconscious choice of an Irishman as protagonist had its roots in half-forgotten Celtic traditions.
In 19th century Ireland, “candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the dead. After this the eating, drinking, and games would begin”. Throughout the Gaelic and Welsh regions, the household festivities included rituals and games intended to divine one’s future, especially regarding death and marriage
(Death and marriage? There’s a great deal more I want to say about that combination but I digress!)
In modern Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales, “the festival included mumming and guising, the latter of which goes back at least as far as the 16th century. This involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. It may have come from the Christian custom of souling, or it may have a Gaelic folk origin, with the costumes being a means of imitating, or disguising oneself.”
Matt Mahoney, the gorgeous Irish hero of Engaging the Enemy, has to lay to rest the ghost of his little brother, Patrick. Matt also needs the appearance or disguise of a wedding on the horizon to entice his mother to leave Ireland and move to Australia’s healthier climate. Funnily enough, the two work together in fiction as well as folklore.
Matt and Andie’s story is set in a Melbourne October, which is mid-Spring with gorgeous weather for getting out and about. Glorious days and lengthening nights simply don’t lend themselves to the dark and gloomy, hag-ridden images associated with Hallowe’en and All Saints Day (Nov 1).
But the infusion of a little Celtic mystery into a fine romance was fun!
What do call a pretend engagement to a hot Irishman whose blarney and body bring out the wild woman in you?
Engaging the Enemy!
Susanne’s heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one she married. He saved her life then married her. They live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia with two children and their dog. She writes contemporary romance and historical suspense novels set in exciting and often exotic locations.
White Ginger, One Night in Sorrento, Engaging the Enemy, A Season to Remember (Coming 28 November 2014) and Her Mountain Man (coming Coming 2015 from Entangled Publishing).