Thursday, October 27, 2016

Guest Blog with Roxanne D. Howard: Fun and Interesting Facts about Halloween



Today, Roxanne D. Howard and I are doing a blog swap for our Halloween-themed tours. Check her out and be sure to say hi! -Katey


Hi there, I’m Roxanne D. Howard. I write erotic romances with Loose Id. Thanks for having me on your blog! With my Halloween-themed book (the first in a series), Batten Down the Hatches, out now with Loose Id, I’d like to share ten fun and interesting facts about Halloween with you all.

1. The word “witch” actually means “wise woman.” Wiccan women were highly respected before Halloween came to America.

2. Halloween is thought to have been around for over 6,000 years. Trick-or-treating originated in Ireland in the early 20th century for a festival of the dead called Samhain, where Celts left treats on their front doors to ward off evil spirits, and then eventually it came to America through Irish-Americans. During World War II it died out due to sugar rations. After the war, the “Peanuts” comics helped to bring it back along with children’s magazines and radio shows, and by the early 1950’s it became popular again. In a way, Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day.


3. The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.



4. When the movie Halloween was made in 1978, the budget was so small that they used a Star Trek mask of William Shatner for the character of Michael Meyers. When Shatner later found out, he said he was honored.


5. Scottish lassies believed that they could see the images of their future husbands if they hung wet sheets in front of their fires at Halloween. Some believed that they’d see the face of their boyfriend if they looked into mirrors while they walked down stairs at midnight on Halloween.



6. October 30th is National Candy Corn Day. Despite it being one of the most hated Halloween candies, Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of Candy Corn every year. It’s surprisingly one of the healthier candies being fat free, with 140 calories per handful. Candy corn was created in the 1880s in Philadelphia, and at the time it was called “chicken feed.” The recipe hasn’t changed in over 100 years.




7. Some of the first Halloween costumes were worn by the Celts. They would wear animal skins and blacken their faces to emulate the dead to honor them. America didn’t see the outburst of costumes until the 1930s.




8. The largest pumpkin ever measured weighed over 2,000 pounds and took 105 days to grow.



9. Bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honored Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees. Young single adults would bob for apples either in water or hanging by a string, and the first one to bite into the apple would be the next one allowed to marry.


10. The first known pumpkin originated in Mexico around 9,000 years ago. People used to believe pumpkins had the ability to remove freckles and cure snake bites. We all better go eat some pumpkin pie, then!




Book Description:

Art by Bianca Duerte, Design by April Martinez
Batten Down the Hatches is currently published with Loose Id, and available at all major online retailers. Please enjoy the book description and character art below. The character art was commissioned by Natalie and Bianca Duarte.

Piper Goldhirsch is the head reporter for Business Buster, an Undercover Boss-esque tabloid exposé show. While it was never her dream job, it pays the bills. When she attends a masked Halloween Ball and has a passionate affair in the billiard room with a sexy costumed pirate captain who calls himself Captain Jack, what starts out as a few kind words and exchanged kisses soon transforms into the greatest sex of her life, and she’s haunted by the powerful magic between them. Piper parts ways with the mysterious stranger, and assumes she’ll never see him again… until he becomes her job’s next target.

Captain Jack Spencer runs his own brand new whale watching company, Ahoy, Matey, on the outskirts of Costa Mesa and Balboa Island. He’s so good at it he’s garnered the attention of rival companies. Piper is called in by Jack’s nemesis to go undercover on an ocean tour to expose him, and reveal his alleged illegal tricks that have made his business so successful in a short amount of time. But when Piper realizes he’s the same sexy man she slept with at the Halloween Ball, she’s emotionally conflicted. Jack is unable to forget the woman from Halloween, and when they do meet up again, they can’t keep their hands off each other. It’s time to Batten Down the Hatches, because the waves are about to get wild!


Character Art:





Excerpt:
IN TYPICAL HOLLYWOOD fashion, the idiots talking to Legs obviously had no idea she was upset, but Jack saw her pain, plain as day. Whatever they’d said had transformed her radiant smile into a thin line, which paled her pretty face, and it pissed him off.

He stalked past them and yanked a bottle of wine out of a bucket from a nearby table when the attendant had his back turned. She had her coat slung over one arm and appeared to be leaving, but then she paused and went into the billiards room instead. She left the door partially ajar. He waited a minute, then nudged the door farther open and stepped into the room. She had her back to him and was clutching the edge of the pool table on either side of her, her head hung low. Her coat lay sprawled out on the pool table, as though she’d flung it there in haste. Jack closed the door behind him.

He should have tried to make conversation while they danced. He knew he should have; after all, this woman had all but stepped out of his most private fantasies and been delivered right into his arms. But he didn’t want to break the magic that seemed to permeate the air tonight. As was the case when he spotted a rare, beautiful whale out in the deep-blue sea, he needed to hold on to the moment and cherish it. Hopefully she’d talk to him now.

“Mind if I join you?” he asked, his voice low.

She gasped and turned, her hand over her heart.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Her chest heaved as she took in some deep breaths, then he saw her visibly relax.

“It’s okay. I just…thought I was alone.”

Her strong New York accent and throaty voice shot straight to his cock. He lifted the bottle of wine like a white flag. “I can leave you alone if you’d like. I thought it looked like you could use this. I’ll leave it here. Have a nice night.”

He didn’t want to come off as a creep, even if it meant blowing whatever chance he had with her. He set the wine down on a side table and turned to go.

“Wait.”

He turned back around. She bit her lower lip as she appraised him.

“You can stay for a while.”

“Thank you.” He moved further into the room, picked up the bottle, and held it up. “Hey, you want to see a cool trick?”

“Sure.”

“Fifteen years at sea taught me this.” He grinned.

“Sea?” She paused, then eyed his costume. “Oh, that’s right, you’re Captain Jack.”

“Argh. I am, lass,” he quipped in a pirate voice. He slouched beside her and parked his rear end against the pool table as he began to remove the foil on the bottle. “Now, if you’d be so kind as to pass me your shoe, wench.”

She quirked an eyebrow. “What? Why?”

“So I can open this thing. I didn’t manage to grab a corkscrew. But I know an old sailor’s trick. Bear with me. I promise, I’ll give it back in pristine condition.”

“Um, okay.”

She steadied herself against the pool table with one hand and unlatched her right flat with the other. He hooked his finger beneath the strap and examined its craftsmanship. “You have dainty feet for such a leggy woman.”

“Charming. You always start conversations this way?”

“Only with beautiful women I’m trying to impress, Legs,” he said as he flirted with her, leveling a heated glance on her impressive breasts. He turned his attention back to the bottle. “Not from around here, are you? New York?” Her dark, intelligent eyes followed his movements as he removed the foil covering.

“Jersey, originally, but I grew up in New York.”

“You don’t strike me as an actress. You’re too with it. You would have told me your life story by now.”

She laughed. “No. I’m the anchor of a late-night cable news show.”

He nodded and hummed with this new information. He didn’t watch television and had no idea who this woman was, but he could believe it. She looked the type. “I see you’re a rebel too.”

“Excuse me?”

He motioned with his forefinger to her elaborate eye makeup. “The unconventional approach. Nice butterfly mask.”

“Oh.”

She smiled and ducked her head. God, her wide and beautiful mouth. He stifled a groan at the image of what her succulent lips would look and feel like around his cock.

“Thanks. My mom was a makeup artist for Cats on Broadway for seven straight years. She gave me some pointers, and they kind of stuck. She did all kinds of makeup experiments on me, like fairy eyes, animal faces… I asked her to do a big bruise once, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I went around the block and showed it off to all my friends.”

He chuckled. “She sounds pretty cool.”

“She’s the coolest. And anyway, if you can’t be original on Halloween, when else can you be?”

“I’ll drink to that.” He turned his attention to the flat in his hand. He nestled the slim bottle in the base of the shoe, and using both hands, smacked it against the pool table.

Her eyes widened, and she stretched her hand out. “Whoa. Here’s an FYI, Captain Jack. Those are expensive. You won’t impress me by ruining perfectly good shoes.”

“Trust me.” He winked at her and smacked the shoe on the pool table three more times. The cork loosened and came almost all the way out. He grabbed it between his teeth and yanked. A loud pop filled the room. He gave her the bottle of wine. “Milady. You take the booze. I’ll put your shoe back on.”

PIPER RAISED HER eyebrows, impressed. “Damn. I knew heels were instruments of power, but this took it to a whole new level.”

By all rights, a man on his knees before her with a cork between his teeth shouldn’t have been sexy, but he was. This guy had confidence coming off him in waves, but in a more organic sense than one of the manscaped   Hollywood peacocks who frequented these type of events. He exuded confidence. And boy, those boulder shoulders of his begged to be touched.

Author Bio:



 Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. She has published At the Heart of the Stone and Chicks Dig the Accent with Loose Id. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at author@roxannedhoward.com. To find out more, please visit her website at www.roxannedhoward.com.

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