Monday, October 31, 2011

Family Tradition (AND a Contest!)

One of my all-time favorite costumes

Happy Halloween to all my readers!

Halloween has always been a special day for me. While other kids looked forward to Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or maybe the first day of summer vacation, All Hallows Eve always won out in my family.

Part of it was the opportunity to dress up. My mom made our costumes from scratch - with our help of course. We'd watch the weather reports, worried that it would be so cold we'd have to wear coats that covered our finery. We'd count the days until we could become a pirate or a robot, a dwarf or a princess, a sorcerer or a demon, for one magical evening.

Part of it was the unaccustomed bounty of candy. In the interest of preserving our teeth, my parents tended to restrict our access to sweets. There's a tale about how I was offered a lollipop in a doctor's office when I was three - I didn't know what it was or what to do with it! Anyway, Halloween was an exception. After the enchanted night, my brother and I would hoard our stash, competing to see who could make our Snickers, Three Musketeers and Mars Bars last the longest. I once stretched my Halloween candy out until March! (Even now, I've only had one cavity!)

My dad got into the act too. He'd tell us creepy ghost stories about monsters that lived in the woods and creatures with a thousand arms. I still remember some of those tales. And he was the master of the carving ritual.

The Halloween season would begin, perhaps a week before the great day, with a trip to the local farm stand. There my father officiated while my brother, my sister and I each chose a personal pumpkin. We had distinctly different tastes. I liked the symmetrical, round ones. My brother tended to pick the weird looking, distorted shapes.

A day or two before the 31st, my dad brought out pencils, knives and the melon baller, spread the kitchen table with newspaper, and we all had the chance to design our own Jack O'Lanterns. When we were younger, of course, we just drew the faces and my dad carved them. As we got older, we learned his techniques, including using the melon baller to make round, surprised eyes, or the use of thin slivers cut from the pumpkin meat to serve as eyebrows. It turns out that the eyebrows have a huge influence on Jack's expression.

When the carving was complete, we'd stick candle stubs into the hollowed out pumpkins and my dad would kindle them. Then the fun began.

He'd turn out the light, select the fiercest, scariest looking Jack O'Lantern, and start to sing the pumpkin song he'd composed, dancing around as he did so. He'd swoop the lighted pumpkin into our faces, startling us and making us laugh. We couldn't see anything but the glowing, demonic face. Dad was an expert in animating that toothy, grinning apparition.

I live half a world away from my family now, and my father died three years ago (well into his eighties), but I still try to maintain the pumpkin carving tradition. I can't get orange American pumpkins here. Asian pumpkins are squat, green, and bumpy as though they had warts. Still, once you cut them open, they're pretty much the same inside. I can apply all the expertise I gained from my dad.

I haven't bought my pumpkin for this year yet, but it's on my list for today. I don't have any children to thrill - but on Halloween, I become something of a kid myself.


Speaking of Halloween, you can win a free copy of my Halloween story Rendezvous or any other paranormal book from my back list, in my monthly contest. What do you have to do? Share your favorite Halloween costume!

Send an email to contest [at] with the subject "Halloween Contest". Then tell me about the best costume you ever wore. If you have a photo, send it along as an attachment and I'll enter you in the contest twice! Sometime around the 15th of November, I'll randomly draw the winner. I may also feature your photos in a blog post - with your permission, of course.

And speaking of thrills, here's a sexy, scary excerpt from Rendezvous to help you celebrate the season!


What the hell, I could still dress up. Even if there was no one to see me.

This year I was going to be Marie Antoinette. I'd found the dress in a book of theatrical patterns, and spent many Saturdays working on the complicated layers and delicate gathers. It was lavender satin, with fringes of crystal beads and ivory lace trim.

I shucked my bra and after a moment's hesitation, my panties, too. With the greatest care, I unzipped the garment bag and slipped the gown off the hanger. The many-layered skirt could almost stand by itself. I stepped into the gown’s embrace, sliding my arms into the flounced, off-the-shoulder sleeves, then reached behind me to lace the bodice tight.

Marie would have had a bevy of maids to fasten her buttons and bows, but this pattern, designed for the stage, was more practical. A pair of satin cords criss-crossed the back, from mid-spine to just below the waist, making it easy to create the body-hugging effect the gown required, but also straightforward to disrobe for changes of scene.

I had planned to pin up and powder my hair, adding baubles and bows in an imitation of Marie Antoinette's signature pouf. I'd also brought the make-up I needed to hide my freckles and produce a fashionable pallor. At the moment, though, that seemed like too much effort. I took another sip of whisky then turned to the mirror.

The costume worked its magic. I was astonished at how regal I looked, and how desirable. The bodice pinched my waist to tiny dimensions, and forced my breasts upwards. The square-cut neckline drew attention to my swelling flesh, barely hiding my nipples. In fact, they were not hidden at all. Though I'd lined the top with muslin as the pattern specified, the tight nubs were clearly visible through several layers of fabric.

I cradled my breasts and used my thumbs to trace circles around those sensitive buds. With each cycle, the spring of tension in my cunt wound tighter. A light flick of my thumbnail sent electricity down my spine and triggered spasms of pleasure. I worried briefly that the juices trickling out of my cunt would spoil the satin. But after all, what did it matter? There was no one to see me tonight, no one to please but myself.

“You certainly do look sexy. Like something right out of de Sade.”

“What? Who...?” I whirled around in confusion, my heart slamming against my ribs. The voice had been close, right next to my ear. Yet the room was empty, unchanged. The same rippling walls, the same thread-bare carpet, the same rusty stains on the ceiling. The rumpled bed where I'd had my tantrum. The almost-empty glass on the dresser.

Ah, the liquor. I must be more drunk than I thought. I turned back to the mirror, searching my face for signs of intoxication, and yelped as something, someone, pinched my nipples.

“Hey! That hurts.” Indignation overwhelmed fear.

“It does, at first. But afterwards, it changes, doesn't it? Afterwards, it feels quite delicious.” I stared at my image, mouth hanging stupidly open, as invisible hands caressed my breasts Strong hands, gentle hands, hands that seemed to know exactly how to make me shiver with delight. “That's what most people don't understand about pain. It's the gateway to the most exquisite pleasure.”

The voice was a melodious baritone, rich, deep, almost hypnotic. “You fear the pain, but that's foolish. You must surrender to the pain. Let it move through you. Let it wash away your doubts and your inhibitions. Let it open you to ecstasy.”

Firm, unseen lips nibbled at my neck. A warm, wet tongue traced the curve from below my ear to my exposed shoulder, then down to the hollow at my throat. With each touch, extravagant new species of pleasure bloomed in my sex. I closed my eyes and let my head fall back, savouring the delicate caresses and the amazing sensations that they triggered in my cunt.

Then suddenly, something sharp pierced the rounded flesh of my shoulder. I screamed, surprise heightening the agony that gripped me, and tore myself away from the grasp of the unseen intruder.

My reflection made me gasp in horror and wonder. Droplets of blood oozed from several wounds on my shoulder, wounds arranged in the distinctive semi-circular shape of a bite.

I felt an arm around my waist, pulling me backwards against the unmistakable bulk of a male body. I struggled against his seemingly supernatural strength. “Let me go!” There were fingers at my back, unlacing and loosening the bodice, working their way into my top.

“Is that really what you want?” A hand snaked into the opening I had left in the voluminous skirts—a slight modification I had made to the pattern. After all, what was the point of wearing a sexy costume if it made you inaccessible?

Cool fingertips wandered up the inside of my thigh, smearing the damp of my secretions into my bare skin. My clit ached in anticipation. A fresh flow of lubrication made my thighs damper still. “I think that you actually want something else.” He found his way into my folds and began massaging the swollen bud at my centre.

I moaned and arched backward, my body taking over while my mind whirled in confusion and disbelief.

“Who—what —are you?” He slid two fingers deep into my sopping cunt, making me writhe.

“Does it matter?” Now his thumb beat rapidly against my clit, while his fingers stroked my depths. His other hand pumped my breast in the same rhythm. I felt the first shimmers of orgasm, far away like heat lightning on the prairie horizon.

“I am who I am, and I know what you want. What you need.” He captured one swollen nipple and squeezed, waking echoes of his previous assault. I yelped and twisted, trying to get away but succeeding only in impaling myself more completely on the hand in my cunt. “Let yourself go, Rebecca,” he murmured close to my ear. Lost in a fog of arousal, and terror, I hardly wondered that he should know my name.

If you can't wait until November 15th - you can get your own copy of Rendezvous here!

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