Samain. All Saints Eve. Hallowe’en. A night to be wary of, a short moment in time when the thin veil that separates the living from the dead can be breached, when restless souls wander the dark in search a new abode. Well, assuming you believe in stuff like that, right?
I’m not sure I do. No, wait; I’m sure I don’t. I’m quite certain the deceased generations that precede us have little interest in us, the living. I seriously doubt that they go traipsing around in the cold and wet of a late autumn evening, hoping to run into someone still alive to strike up conversation with. After all, the probability of meeting people out for a brisk walk is very low if you restrict yourself to the last night in October. No, the dead have other things to do – hopefully mainly to remain at peace.
In Sweden, until recently the celebration of All Saints was a sedate religious affair. All over the country, we set lit candles on the graves of our dead ones – we still do, and in the dark of the October night the candles flutter and gasp, throwing elongated fingers of moving shadows over the silent graveyards. Ghosts? I think not. Remembrance? Absolutely.
Nowadays, many Swedes have embraced the US Hallowe’en traditions. Pumpkins are cut into jack o’lanterns (but we’re still pretty crap at making pumpkin pie), houses are festooned in synthetic spiderwebs and paper cut out ghosts. Our stores sell Hallowe’en cakes (bright orange marzipan replaces our traditional green marzipan), our kids want to dress up – but we don’t do any trick or treating, as every Swede knows that trick or treating is an Easter tradition. (Go figure; maybe I should elucidate you, but not now, maybe around Easter.)
Despite our national aversion for trick or treating this time of the year (it’s too cold, it’s too dark), I do feel that a Hallowe’en Blog Hop without a treat is like celebrating your birthday without a cake (impossible!) Besides, our fearless leader and blog organiser, Francine Howarth, has urged us all to be generous. One should not disregard the instructions from a fearless leader…
So, without more ado, let me reveal the treats I have in store for you, dear reader:
I am giving away one copy of The Prodigal Son. If you’re interested, leave a comment with your e-mail address and let me know if you’d prefer to meet a witch or a wandering soul should you be abroad on Samain.
I am also giving away a copy of my latest release (due out November 1) A Newfound Land. But this treat comes with a caveat; I give you my book, you give me a review. Sounds fair? If yes, leave a comment and your e-mail address.
And guess what? The winners get to choose if they want a Kindle or a paperback.
Give away open until Nov 3, after which we must really start focusing on Guy Fawkes!
UPDATE, NOV 4.
THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED AND THE WINNERS ARE GORDON LEVINE AND CAROL MCGRATH. CONGRATULATIONS!
While you’re at it, why not visit all the other bloggers participating in the hop?
Hallowe’en Blog Hop Participants