Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scream for #HALLOWEEN, #WIN a Rouge audiobook!

Halloween is my all-time, absolute favorite holiday.

So in honor of the occasion, I'm RE-presenting my Top Three Favorite Halloween Memories starting from least scary to... well, most silly.

And Stay tuned... your chance to WIN! is at the end~

1. The Country Fair-McCue Road.

In elem-middle grades, I went to a private school that had a Country Fair every year on Halloween. There were games, dunking booths, crafts for sale, fair food, etc.

That was all fun when I was little, but when I got closer to high school, I realized the teenagers would always take off and run around to local "haunted" sites while all the children and parents were at the fair. (Back then you got your drivers' license at 15 and I had an older brother.)

There were two sites near where we lived that had several legends around them. The first was McCue Road. It led back into the woods and started off paved, but eventually it turned to gravel. Supposedly two dead bodies drained of all their blood had been found wrapped in garbage bags back on the gravel part. Naturally, that meant there was a coven of witches doing Black Sabbath rituals that we had to investigate.

The other was a grave at this Civil War-era cemetery in Zachary, La. I don't remember the name, but the grave had bars installed across the top because the legend was it contained the corpse of a witch. One by one the bars had been removed by... teenagers... and supposedly when the last bar was gone, she'd come back and kill us all.

All sorts of stories about cars going dead and then failing to start, power windows going down and not going back up, headlights going out and not coming back on, etc., were told by kids who'd tried to steal bars off the grave.

(To me that didn't make sense because wouldn't she want to come back? So why mess with the teenagers trying to release her?)

Nothing ever happened to us on these trips, but the memory of being 13 and allowed to tag along with the cool "big kids" on those adventures is still pretty vivid. It forms the basis of my Halloween love...

2. My Hero.

In college I dated a guy who was six-foot-two, 200 pounds--big guy. He stomped around town in Size 13 Docs, was the lead guitarist in a band. Mr. Cool, right?

He was also the youngest of nine kids--good south Louisiana Catholic family--and claimed when he was out running one night he saw the Spirit of Death (a dark shadow) rise out of a gutter and go into a house in his neighborhood. The next day (he said) the man who lived in that house died of a heart attack.

My boyfriend was also a major campy-horror-movie fan. Like the super B- variety. He made me watch The Evil Dead. And the sequels. Texas Chainsaw MassacrePiranha! (the original)...

So he and I went to this haunted house one Halloween--you know, the pretend kind where people dress up and try to scare you? Many of you have never seen me in person. I'm not so big. I'm about five-foot-four, and I weigh between 120 and 130 pounds, depending on if there are cupcakes in the house.

At one point on our haunted tour a fellow dressed as Leatherface with a chainless chainsaw ran out toward us. Immediately my giant boyfriend lifted me off the ground by my upper arms and threw me in front of him, at the guy with the chainsaw.

Me: What are you doing?!?!
Him: (panicked) They won't hurt a girl!
Me: They won't hurt anybody! It's all fake!

We all know that was a completely illogical response, btw. They always hurt the girl.

3. Trick or Treat.

We didn't celebrate Halloween at my house when I was a kid. Well, my paternal grandmother thought that was a lot of ridiculousness. So one year when my brother and I were visiting her at Halloween (we were very young), she decided to take us trick or treating around her small hometown of Liberty, Miss.

I was very much a pleaser as a child, and I just knew we weren't supposed to be doing this. Internally, I was all a-fret because "if Mom found out..."

I was also a pudgy little kid. I was never very tall and until I hit puberty, I was ... well, fat. There's just no other nice way to say it. I didn't like to sweat and I liked to eat. Two plus two equals four.

So we went to several houses, got bags filled with candy. Me: Hey, this Halloween business ain't so bad! Then my Mammaw said we had to go to one more house. It was someone she knew, but at the time, I wasn't aware of that.

My brother and I walked up to the door and knocked and "REEE!!!" An Evil Witch jumped out and released a blood-curdling screech! My brother took off like a rabbit, but I knew I'd never out-run her. I closed my eyes and started swinging my Halloween bag with all my might.

To this day I remember hearing nothing but a high-pitched shree and feeling all my precious candy falling around my shoulders and disappearing through the cracks in the porch. At some point, I took off running. I was not pursued because the "witch" was bent over, hyperventilating with laughter.

I remember seeing her talking to my grandmother through the driver's-side window at the car, and I crept back and got in the backseat. We had to drive a few blocks before we found my brother...

So there you go! My fave holiday memories... ***Now for the TREAT! Your chance to WIN!***

On Amazon
I'd love to hear your favorite Halloween memory.

Leave a comment, and on Monday, I'll pick ONE LUCKY commenter to WIN a copy of the Rouge audiobook!!!

Here's the description:

Romance, velvet, sequins, and murder...
Hale Ferrer is the rising star of the hottest cabaret in New Orleans. And her one goal is escape. Escape from the lies, from the crime, and from her growing fear that one day she'll have to earn her living in the secret back rooms, where the dancers do more than dance.
But she won't leave behind Teeny, the orphan-girl she promised to protect.
Freddie Lovel is rich, handsome, and in love with Hale, and he's ready to sweep her away with him to Paris. But her heart is captured by Beau, the poor stagehand with eyes as blue as Louisiana iris flowers.
Denying her fears, Hale is ready to choose love and a life with Beau, until a predator hidden in the wings launches a chain of events that could cost her everything--Teeny, their one hope of escape, and possibly even her life.

Yep! My dark and atmospheric tale set in New Orleans read by the lovely & talented Susan Eichorn Young is perfect for the season. You'll LOVE it~

So leave a comment, then get out, scare some children, eat some candy, watch a scary movie, be safe.

But most of all have a very, very



Matthew MacNish said...

The best Halloween was when I was like 13 or 14, and in Saint Paul, it snowed like a foot that night while we were out trick or treating. It was boss.

StratPlayerCJF said...

Best Halloween memory? Hmmm...

I'm going to go with one that also has a "haunted house" in it. The first time I got to go to the one they put on in our town, I was 12 or 13 and went with some friends, one of which had a girlfriend. We met up with her and a group of her friends, including one girl I had a huge crush on. In those days I was geeky and awkward and shy, and couldn't imagine that the girl might actually be interested in me, also. Well, we went through the haunted house as a big group, and at one point, a couple of the 'actors' jumped out at us from behind closed doors and my crush grabbed onto my arm and screamed. But she touched me! Then the group kind of separated and I never really talked to her again. Before too long, she had a boyfriend that she kept through high school. I look back at my younger self and realize that was a huge opportunity missed -- who knows what could have happened if I'd had the nerve to talk to her and get to know her???? I was so awkward in those days. :)

But still... just that magical moment of fleeting contact in the midst of screams in a cheesy haunted house has stayed with me for all these years.

Hope you have a very Happy Halloween, Leigh!

Old Kitty said...

Not really a halloween celebrator here in the UK but I guess my most enduring memory of Halloween is when I used to live in London. A few families would tell the neighbours they were coming round with their little ones so we'd be prepared and we'd open the door to really cute and amazingly dressed kiddies! I just love the effort made to dress up!

Happy halloween!! Take care

ESchramm said...

You know I don't have too many Halloween memories that really stand out, but this year was great. My niece is 2 and this year understand the concept of Halloween, so I was really excited to have the opportunity to go Trick or Treating with her. She was Little Red Riding Hood, and her parents (my brother in law who dressed at the Big Bad Werewolf and my sister who also dressed as Little Red) While walking behind my niece, she'd say "I need my wolf" and reach for her Dad's hand. It made my heart swell. Then at one point she started petting his furry costume and squealed in absolute delight "He's so cute!"