Hi Everyone –
Halloween is my favorite time of year, so I’ve got a couple of Blog Hops coming up! J Lots of Tricks and Treats for everyone!!!!
This week’s Hop is the Spook-a-licious: Where BOO-ks Devour You! Muahahaha!!!
But first a couple of TOUR RULES:
1) HAVE FUN!!!
2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!
3) THIS TOUR RUNS – October 17th – 24th
Winners will be drawn and posted October 25th! ***
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH ALL THE AUTHORS & BOOK BLOGGERS! EXPERIENCE A NEW PARTY DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER,
THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s)
within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who
participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***
Being from San Diego, so close to the Mexican border, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a regular part of the culture here. When the calendar changes to October, you start to see skull sugar cookies… And even Disneyland has decorated for the Dead…
Notice that the skeletons aren’t the scary Halloween-type ghouls. Dia de los Muertos is actually a joyous celebration for loved ones who have passed away. The actual celebration day is on November 1st, but all through the month of October along the border you’ll find these Dia de los Muertos skeletons enjoying the festivities. On the evening of November 1st, candles are left at gravesites to remember loved ones. It’s a beautiful, moving event to behold.
In my novel, Night Walker, Calisto has been waiting over 200 years for his one love to live again. Their paths finally cross on the night of Dia de los Muertos as Calisto is leaving his offering of flowers in memory of his lost love. Here’s an excerpt from the book… Hope you enjoy!
According to her friends, Dia de los Muertos was the perfect night for ghost hunting. Lori and Edie always enjoyed ghost stories when they were kids, and their fondness grew until they considered themselves amateur paranormal investigators. What better place to find them than in the oldest building in San Diego on the one night a year reserved for the dead?
Kate didn’t share their zeal for spirits, but she had no problem waiting for them to have their fun. She was happy to have a few minutes to herself anyway.
The candlelight glimmered around her, the flickering flames left to burn out sometime before morning. The warm glow made for eerie light, casting long shadows of the weeping crosses over the garden. It
was exquisite and melancholy in the same moment.
She caught a sudden chill. The longer she lingered, the more her sadness mutated into unease. The back of her neck prickled. Kate crossed her arms and walked toward the sanctuary doors. She suddenly felt exposed and alone.
Before she reached the doors, Lori and Edie came up the path at the other end of the courtyard, snapping pictures as they walked, until Lori disappeared from view.
When Edie saw Kate approach, she grinned. “Oh, you should see some of the great shots we got tonight. We had lots of orbs in a couple of pictures of the bell tower. There might be even more when we can look at them on a larger screen.”
“You’ll have to show me once you get them on the computer.” Kate glanced around the courtyard. “Where’d Lori go?”
Edie turned around. “She was right behind… ”
“Edie… Kate.” Lori’s voice, a loud and insistent whisper, emanated from the shadows.
Kate flinched when she heard her name. She had no idea why she was so jumpy tonight. They tracked down Lori and found her kneeling by one of the crosses. She beckoned them closer.
Edie rushed over with an eager grin, camera at the ready. “Wow. Look at this.” She squatted beside Lori. The cross was smaller than most of the others, weather-beaten and canted. There was a single letter in the center, a T, and a single candle burned beside a bundle of large white blossoms.
“Who do you think left those?” Lori whispered.
Kate shrugged. None of the other crosses had fresh offerings. “Probably the priests, right?”
“I don’t know.” Lori glanced at the other crosses. “Maybe this person’s relatives still visit every year.”
“Can you imagine?” Edie whispered. “Being remembered like that? I hope someone’s still bringing me flowers after I’ve been dead
a couple hundred years.”
Kate thought about correcting them, telling them these crosses were memorials to the Native Americans. But she didn’t. Something about the cross held her rapt. The conversation around her faded away as Kate moved in closer to the fragrant blossoms.
She’d never seen flowers like these with huge, beautiful blooms of white, silky petals and a center like pure sunshine. And the scent. It was the primrose-like perfume that made her reach out to touch them, entranced by their spell.
Had she seen these flowers before?
“Kate? Are you okay?”
Kate looked up at Lori, her brow furrowed and mouth pinched in concern. “I’m fine,” she said, yanking her hand away from the flowers. “Just a little tired, I guess.”
“We’re almost done. We need a couple more pictures around the front by the steps,” Edie said.
“All right.” Kate straightened, still unable to pull her attention away from the cross and its bouquet. “I’ll wait for you here, okay?”
Lori continued to frown, but Edie said, “No problem. We’ll be right back.”
Kate watched them wander off before kneeling closer to the cross. Unable to stop herself, she traced her finger along the T in the center.
Behind her, someone cleared his throat. Kate jerked her hand away and shot to her feet. When she turned around she found a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.
Her cheeks flushed with heat. She hoped he hadn’t witnessed her touching the relic. She waited for some kind of admonishment, but he didn’t say anything.
Not with words.
Something in his dark eyes captured her. His gaze wandered over her face like a tender caress, and strangely, instead of screaming for Lori and Edie, she caught herself imagining his touch on her skin.
“I hope I did not frighten you,” he said.
His deep voice resonated through the empty courtyard, and the intimate tone weakened her knees. The hint of a Spanish accent didn’t hurt, either. Nervous laughter escaped her before she could contain it.
Her face warmed all over again. “Just a little startled. I didn’t see anyone else out here.”
He stepped closer without encroaching on her personal space, his eyes locked with hers from beneath thick lashes. “Forgive me.”
She swallowed hard and prayed she wasn’t blushing. “No problem.” She looked away before she embarrassed herself even further, focusing on the cross. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”
“Si.” He nodded slowly. “Yes, it is.” His barely there smile made her think he wasn’t referring to the flowers or the cross. “I am Calisto. Calisto Terana.”
Expectation hung as heavy as the scent of eucalyptus, as if he waited to hear something more than just her name.
“I’m Kate.” Instead of offering to shake his hand, she tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“The honor is mine, Kate… ” His accent colored the vowel in her name. It had never sounded more beautiful. She reminded herself to breathe.
When he hesitated for a moment waiting for her to speak, she realized she hadn’t shared her last name as he had. She flipped through a rapid pro and con mental checklist, and decided it couldn’t hurt. Maybe they would meet again.
“Bradley,” she said.
A sexy smile curved at the corners of his lips. “I hope this will not be our last meeting.”
She glanced around the shadowed courtyard, feeling vulnerable, and almost gave in to her first instinct—to run. But she remembered her promise to herself. Be strong. Take action. She lifted her chin and
said, “I guess you never know.”
With a smile that said he had every intention of seeing her again, he tipped his head. “Buenos noches, Kate Bradley.”
Her heart raced and her palms sweated when she realized he meant to leave. No man made her palms sweat. Ever.
His gaze held hers for a moment, full of unspoken promises she didn’t understand. Without another word, he walked away.
I hope the excerpt helped you feel the mood of Dia de los Muertos. It is supposed to be the one night a year that the veil between the living and the dead is thinned, and instead of being a time of mourning, it’s a time to remember and celebrate…
So let’s do some celebrating here!
I have treats (aka Prizes) to give away to lucky commenters! (Also if you already follow me, you still get extra chances, just let me know you’re already a subscriber, etc.)
Dia de los Muertos CONTEST: (You don’t have to do all of these to play! Just extra ways to collect treasure! J )
1) Leave me a question or a comment here at my blog below. Please also leave your email address so I can notify you in case you are a winner!
2) Earn +2 extra chances to win by Subscribing to my Blog…
3) Click on my Twitter link and follow me at: http://twitter.com/LdyDisney– You guessed it +2 more chances!!!
4) If you have a Goodreads account, add me as a friend at: http://www.goodreads.com/lisakessler and/or add Night Walker to your to-read list http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11557788-night-walker
5) Sign up for my newsletter and get +5 entries! http://lisa-kessler.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=021315e00577de12b41994e33&id=d2d2bcb9d2
6) Follow me on Tumblr – http://LisaKessler.tumblr.com – +2 more chances!!!
7) This won’t get you any entries because Facebook is mean about contests now, but you can find me and like me here anyway if you choose to! http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter and http://facebook.com/NightSeries
PRIZES FOR THIS CONTEST:
Thanks for celebrating Dia de los Muertos with me! I hope you’ll Hop on over to another Spooky blog next! J