Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015: History of Jack-O-Lanterns! #halloween

Did you know the first jack-o-lanterns weren’t make out of pumpkins?  When I told my 9 year-old son, Joe, he was surprised.  Nope, they were turnips.

The Irish used to make jack-o-lanterns out of turnips and put them out on All Hallow’s Eve to scare away the evil spirits and specifically, Stingy Jack.  They didn’t just hallow out turnips either. They also made jack-o-lanterns out of: rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. In the 1800’s Irish immigrants came to America and discovered the pumpkin.  Since then, the squash has been a favorite to make jack-o-lanterns. 

So is Stingy Jack the guy that the jack-o-lantern is supposed to keep at bay?

Stingy Jack is an old Irish legend.  He was a miserable man who drank too much and loved playing tricks on anyone who passed his way – including his mom and even the Devil.

He tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree then he placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. Since the Devil couldn’t touch the crosses, he was stuck in the tree.  Stingy Jack struck a deal with the Devil.  The Devil wouldn’t take his soul when Jack died.  Then Jack removed the crosses the Devil got out of the tree.

When Jack finally died he met St. Peter at the gates of Heaven.  St. Peter told Jack he lived a miserable life on Earth and was very cruel.  Jack couldn’t get into Heaven.  So he went to Hell and asked the Devil if he could come in.  The Devil said no.

Can you imagine?  You can’t get into Heaven – or Hell!

Jack fussed with the Devil who took pity on him and gave him an ember from Hell to help Jack light his way as he traveled through the Netherworld which had no light. Jack stuck his ember in his turnip and even to this day, roams the Earth since he doesn’t have a resting place using a “Jack-O-Lantern.”

Have a Great Halloween! Question for you: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Joe the Minion and Andrew the Scream Guy for Halloween 2015. We made our trunk into a Graveyard. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Night of Magic: 99 cent Paranormal Romance perfect for the Samhain!

There's plenty of magic on the night of the Samhain!
Note: Night of Magic has a Jimmy Thomas cover!


Samhain ~ Dark... Dangerous... Powerful... 
The year is 800 AD on the Emerald Isle.

Five years ago, Prince Jasper lost his daughter Aithne to the world on the other side of the bonfires. Every year since, Jasper sends champions to this other world on the day of Samhain, when the barrier is weakest. 

This year, Finn braves the bonfires in search of Aithne, but dare he follow his heart? Or will greed dictate his actions?


Finn tried not to gawk at the castle before him. The structure appeared like a perfect square with three levels. Torches lit each distinctive floor. No flag flew from the top, but with guards posted at the entrances, Finn was convinced the queen was in residence.

Ryal escorted him through the main gate and Finn entered the great hall. People bustled about, serving food and ale. Men sat at tables, talking and gambling. To the rear, an empty throne on a raised dais peered over the room.

Darius whispered instructions to a nearby foot soldier who raced off. Drums pounded a strong beat. Finn turned in the direction of the drummers, recognizing the beat from earlier in the evening. Unease slithered down his spine.

Darius, the pretty boy, motioned for Finn to proceed down the center aisle. "Queen Aithne will come out once you kneel before the throne."

Finn grunted. He felt like a lamb being led to a slaughter, but he complied anyway, driven by an instinctual feeling he couldn't explain. Servants stopped to stare as he walked past. Men at the tables quieted. Finn furrowed his brow. Aithne? Wasn't that the name of the prince's daughter?

He kept quiet, only drawing a breath to tamp down his rising anxiety. He never cared to be restricted. Giving up control and submitting to another's will made him uncomfortable. His parents lost their lives when they trusted the soldiers from the east who invaded their homes. Finn swore he'd never trust anyone so blindly after that but he had.

Reluctantly, he had put on the mask, allowed himself to be taken by Darius, and had his wrists bound, and he'd hardly protested. Why? He needed to find the prince's daughter, but a part of him hoped to find the woman of his visions, too.

Darius placed his hand on Finn's shoulder and pushed him to his knees. Finn snarled his displeasure. Darius had a problem with him but what?

The side door opened. A handmaiden stepped out. The sweet, sensual scent of lavender trailed after her.

"Head down," Darius whispered into Finn's ear.

Finn swore the first chance he had, he'd give Darius a taste of his fists. He felt the woman's presence in front of him before glancing up.

"Darius, rise with our...guest." Her voice was low and commanding.

As Darius tugged Finn to his feet, Finn found himself gazing into seductive, soulful emerald eyes. The woman of his visions was real and right in front of him!

She raked her gaze over him from head to toe, surveying his appearance before finding his face. She said nothing, only cocking her head a bit and smiling, revealing that amazing dimple. As their expressions fixed on each other, Finn sensed a heated and sensuous light pass between them. She licked her lips, and his pulse quickened. 






5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reviewer: Night of Magic is a love story, slightly on the dark side, with a time span of only a night, the night of Samhain on the Emerald Isle, the night that marks the darker part of the year. 

5 Stars, CrazyPuce, Amazon Reviewer: It was a quick and fun read. If you have a few hours to spare, you should go grab it.

5 Stars, M. Fullington, Amazon Reviewer: Once I started, I couldn't put the book down.

Book Blast: Fury of a Highland Dragon by Coreene Callahan #goddessfish #bookblast


Trapped by a future she refuses to face…

Accused of cyber espionage by the United States government, ethical hacker Ivy Macpherson is now on the FBI’s most wanted list. Out of options, she runs, desperate for time to prove her innocence. When fate takes an unexpected turn, bringing her face-to-face with Tydrin, she must decide—trust a man more dangerous than the hunters on her trail to keep her safe. Or risk capture by a covert agency well known for ruthlessness.

Condemned by a past he doesn’t want to remember…

Cursed with a terrible temper, Scottish dragon-warrior Tydrin struggles to atone for a mistake that took innocent lives. Unable to forgive himself, he returns to the scene of his crime in hopes of finding absolution, but discovers a woman in need of his help instead. Intervening in the nick of time, he whisks Ivy to safety, only to realize the daughter of the family he wronged is the one destined to steal his heart.

Enjoy this Excerpt:

The climb over the high stone wall almost killed her. The half mile trek across the cemetery in the dark hadn’t helped much either. Not that Ivy Macpherson could afford to complain. Not after escaping with little more than the clothes on her back. She was alive and mobile, and no matter how screwed up the situation, she refused to take it for granted. Gratitude surfaced along with her relief. On her knees in the dirt, she bowed her head. A cold breeze flicked over the nape of her neck. She shivered and, closing her eyes, offered up a quick prayer. An inadequate way to say thank you maybe, but…

By God, she’d made it.

All right, so it hadn’t been smooth sailing. She’d been lucky. So damn fortunate to have gotten out of Washington D.C. in one piece. Quick wits had helped. A friend with questionable business contacts had done the rest, providing fake ID, some cash, and a one way trip to the UK. A rough ride by any standards. To be expected given the circumstances. The crew aboard the freightliner Mary Frances would never be called sweethearts. Or embody kindness.

She should know. After a week of hiding out on the open seas—of scrubbing pots, mopping floors, and dodging the cop-a-feel Captain—Ivy now understood the meaning of hard work. Manuel labor at its finest. Sexual harassment at its worst. Not a bit like her regular job. But then, the terrified and on the run couldn’t be choosy.

Neither could a hacker accused of espionage by the US government.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Growing up as the only girl on all-male hockey team, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write characters inspired by them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally gave in and returned to her first love: writing. Her debut novel, Fury of Fire, was a finalist in the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest in two categories: Best First Book and Best Paranormal. She combines her love of romance, adventure and writing with her passion for history in her novels. She lives in Canada with her family, a fun-loving golden retriever, and her wild imaginary world.


Coreene will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK ON THE LINK! 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

Do you have a question for Coreene?  Just ask! She'd love to hear from you!