About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Magic is in the air come October by: Stephanie Burkhart

Autumn is in the air. The pumpkin patches are full. It's time to mull the apple cider and dust off the pie tins. Vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon scents fill our houses. The leaves are changing vibrant colors – rust, purple and gold. In 2 weeks Halloween will be with us. The little ghouls and goblins will be out looking for treats.

Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic ceremony Samhain so I thought I'd share some fast facts with you.

Samhain is pronounced "sow-en)

Translated, Samhain means "end of summer."

The Celts lived in what is now Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.

Celts believed that transitions had magical properties. Samhain was a transition, creating an opening to dead which included ghosts, fairies, and demons.

All the crops were harvested for Samhain. The Celtic priests would light fires and offer sacrifices to thank the gods for harvest.

Celts lit bonfires to honor the dead, help them on their journey to the otherworld and keep them away from the living.

My short story, "Night of Magic" takes place during Samhain. Dare Finn brave the bonfires and a journey to the otherworld for a woman he's never met?

Enjoy this excerpt from "Night of Magic:"

Just as Finn blew out the candle, loud rhythmic drumming filled the air and the bright light of a high fire cascaded through the window. A shiver shot down Finn's spine, and an uneasy feeling twisted around his nerves. The smoke from the candle drifted past his nose. An odd, sweet scent overtook him and Finn swooned. Reaching out, he grabbed the table, securing his balance.

The vision of a woman appeared before him – sweet curves, long, luscious red-gold hair and moss green eyes. Around her neck was a Celtic cross on a gold chain. She peered at him intently, studying him, and then slowly, she smiled, revealing a small dimple in her cheek. His blood stirred. Every male instinct within him cried out to stake his claim and conquer.

"Finn, ye all right?"
He straightened his back and drew in a breath, instinctively placing his hands on his weapons. He had no idea who the woman was or how he'd come to see her, but she'd ignited a hunger in his loins to find her and possess her.

You can find "Night of Magic" in the 2012 VTP Fall/Paranormal Anthology along with four more sweet to sensual stories.

Question: Do you have any questions about Samhain? Ask away. I'd love to hear your comments, thoughts and feedback and find our what you're dressing up as for Halloween. smiles

BUY LINKS (ebooks)





  1. I love autumn. It's a great time of year when the air is cool and crisp. This is the prelude to a season of holidays. Love apple cider, pumpkin patches and, of course, pumpkin pie. Your blog certainly brought up a lot of nostalgia for me. I know Night of Magic is going to be a great story.
    All the best to you, Steph...

  2. Is the photo from a couple of years back--the boys look so little! Such a darling picture. I just read on Sweethearts of the West where Sarah posted the cover and all about the anthology. You all should do really well with that!

  3. Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love all the fall decorations and I especially love Halloween!!

    My kids when they were younger couldn't wait to go to the pumpkin patch. Cute picture!

  4. When I think of Halloween, I think of the quote by Ray Bradbury in his Something Wicked This Way Comes about the Autumn people. That pretty much sums it up. Great Post!

  5. Samhain is pronounced sow-en? I never knew that. I've been pronouncing it in my mind the way it's spelled. I even had my characters celebrating the holiday in my first novel. Go figure. Good thing I was never tasked with reading that chapter aloud.


Comments relevant to the blog post are welcome as long as they are noninflammatory and appropriate for everyone of all ages to read.
Thank you for your interest and input.