Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-Ween with Stephanie Burkhart and Fun Halloween Facts

The CONTEST IS closed! The winner is Jean! Congratulations!!

KAREN: Stephanie Burkhart is a multi-published author of paranormal tales. For your treat today, she's here to share some interesting Halloween facts that you're sure to enjoy!!

***GIVEAWAY: For an added treat she's giving away an e-book copy of the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection to one lucky commenter. Read on and find out how you may add this prize to your goodie bag. CONTEST ENDS OCT. 28TH AT MIDNIGHT. 

Interesting Halloween Facts by Stephanie Burkhart

Karen, thanks so much for having me on your Wicked-Haunt-O-Ween Blog. I thought I'd share a couple of "fun" Halloween facts with your readers and a short excerpt from my story, "Night of Magic" which is featured in the 2012 Victory Tales Press Fall/Paranormal Anthology. Smiles, Steph

Fun Facts:

The first "Jack-o-lanterns" were made from turnips.

The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.”

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.

Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhaim, and Summer’s End.

Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis.

During the pre-Halloween celebration of Samhain, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, hard winter. Often Druid priests would throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence, “bone fire” became “bonfire.”

Because the movie Halloween (1978) was on such a tight budget, they had to use the cheapest mask they could find for the character Michael Meyers, which turned out to be a William Shatner Star Trek mask. Shatner initially didn’t know the mask was in his likeness, but when he found out years later, he said he was honored.

My short story, "Night of Magic" can be found in the 2012 Victory Tales Press Fall/Paranormal Anthology. Stories are sweet/sensual.

BLURB: It's 800 A.D. on the Emerald Isle. Samhain. Dark. Dangerous. Powerful. Dare Finn brave the bonfires to bring Aithne home?

Enjoy this excerpt:
Steeling his shoulders, Finn projected calm and confidence.

Her words echoed in his mind. You need true courage to walk through the bonfire and then you'll find me...

Finn drew strength from the words and didn't hesitate when he entered the pathway between the bonfires. His heart beat in rhythm with the drums as his vision blurred.

"Come to me, come..." Her voice, soft and sweet, issued an invitation he couldn't deny.

A force tugged at Finn when he stood in the middle. He extended his hand and collapsed. A whirling sensation surrounded him, then nothing. Cold pricked his cheeks. Finn gasped for breath and dared to glance up. There was no moon. In the distance, torch lights illuminated the lone castle. Where was he? What had happened to the fire?

A kick to his mid-section sent a blast of pain rattling through his bones and he rolled over. Four men armed with swords, wearing armor and decorated in a coat-of-arms he didn't recognize, hovered over him.

"Get up, Outlander, or we'll drag you by your hair to see the Queen."

Cant wait?  Purchase a copy of 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection at: 
AMAZON (ebook)   Barnes & Noble: (print)
Smashwords: (ebooks)

***GIVEWAY: Share an interesting fact about Halloween or ask me a question about writing and you'll be entered to win a copy of the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Anthology including my story, "Night of Magic." Please leave your email in case you are picked so I can get a hold of you. CONTEST ENDS OCT 28TH AT MIDNIGHT.

Thanks, Steph

Stephanie Burkhart's WEBSITE

Facts Taken from: Random History Halloween Facts


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Hello Stephanie,

Thanks so much for sharing the Halloween facts with us. I love all things Irish. :)

I especially enjoyed your tale, too in the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection. I liked the interesting take on vampires and the crossing between the worlds during the Samhain celebrations.

What sparked your interests in 800 A.D. and the Samhain celebration? How much research went into creating your paranormal tale?

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

So, do you think that stingy Jack and the turnip Jack-o-lanterns have anything to do with the expression, "you can't squeeze blue from a turnip"? LOL
Very interesting factoids, Steph. I enjoyed your blog.

katsrus said... Best Blogger Tips

Love the facts and excerpt. I know some facts but; a lot I had not heard. Do you do anything speical while you are writing like have a certain kind of music or quiet?
Sue B

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed reading all the facts and the excerpt.
I found this interesting that Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Carriefort29 said... Best Blogger Tips

Learned a lot!! Do u have a routine for reading or do u just go?

Carriefort29 @ yahoo .com

Shadow said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi! This sounds so good!! Thanks for sharing! :)

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

Interesting facts. What are you favorite kinds of scenes to write?


StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, thanks for having me. I'm excited to take part in the Haunt-O-Ween. Sorry I didn't get here sooner though. I had a busy morning and then my younger son had a birthday party to go to. I'm pooped!

You know, I had always been intrigued by Samhain. I did a bunch of Internet research and immediately learned there was a lot of conflicting information about Samhain. I tended to "weigh heavier" those things I heard more than twice. I thought 800 A.D. would be a good time to set the story since it was a time you could still believe in magic.

I heard something similiar - You can't squeeze blood from a turnip. It's amazing how things change from place to place and time to time.

Sue B, I prefer background "white" noise on while I write. I usually listen to the news on TV. LOL

I think people really get into the costumes. I know I kinda get into it and I'm over 40, but I do it because my kids are 10 and 6 and wicked into dressing up. Also, I'm sure the Candy adds up. Perhaps Valentines is another high grossing holiday, but I can't think of any other holiday that comes close to sales like Halloween and Christmas.

Routine for reading?
Kinda. It's loose. Right now I'm reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians along with my 10 year old who is really into them. I also read other romance authors for two reasons - see how they do it and for pure entertainment. I want to read John Taylor's book from Duran Duran but I don't want to pay $15.00 for the ebook!

Shadow thanks for stopping by. I had a fun time researching the fun facts.

My favorite scenes to write are love scenes. LOL!! I also like writing the opening. Openings are a lot of fun. There's a lot going on - the hero and heroine meet and then there's the problem...

Thanks everyone for your patience.

Marianne Stephens said... Best Blogger Tips

Fun facts. I didn't know about the origin of bonfire and the "Captain Kirk" mask for the movie Halloween!
Good luck with your book!

Destiny Blaine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks so much for such an interesting Halloween post.
Wishing you continued success!

Destiny Blaine

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Marianne, I didn't know about Cpt Kirk either. I thought that was very cool considering.

Thanks for stopping by Destiny. Hope your Halloween is spooktober!


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Steph thanks for sharing the facts. Interesting and little known trivia is fun to learn about. Good luck with book sales.

pc said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Stepahnie~
Do you ever work on more than one story at a time? What are the pros or cons?

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Kathy, it's great to see you. *waves hi*

PC - I used to be able to work on 2 novel length projects at a time, but I've found that challenging. Now, I can work on a novel project and a short story, but that's it. Cons - find the time to balance the two projects. Pros - it's nice to have multiple releases.

Great question.
Thanks for stopping by

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats to JeanMP! Winner of the Ebook copy of the Fall/Paranormal Anthology. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and had a great month exploring the season here on Karen's blog.