Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Of Ghouls and Saints
By Maggie Toussaint

Many believe that on Oct. 31, the veil between the living and the dead thins, allowing the dead to return to earth. Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain wherein people lit bonfires, offered harvest sacrifices, and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated Nov 1 as All Saint’s Day, where all the saints are honored a tradition that also endured through the centuries.

In that same vein, we have sayings like “it’s always darkest before dawn.” Contemporary societies are conditioned to understand that bad things occur but taught that recovery/renewal happen afterward. The message is humanity can “take a licking and keep on ticking” to borrow a catch phrase. So, whether you celebrate Halloween or All Saints Day, you’re assured life goes on.

[Sidebar: Halloween has also become big business. It is the second largest commercial holiday in the US, following Christmas. A Halloween article at History.com claims over 6 billion dollars are spent annually on this holiday.]

For many in this bizarre 2020, the pandemic, social injustice, natural disasters, and politics raised fear, anxiety, and stress to unprecedented levels. Some keep hoping there might be a happy ending to these troubled times, while others realize things will never be quite the same again.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hunkering down, doing what I need to do to get by, and reading books.

My latest release, ALL DONE WITH IT, is a bit like Halloween with the payoff of All Saints Day. Things get dark indeed, with the fate of humanity hanging by a thread. Dreamwalker Baxley Powell Mayes puts everything on the line to save us. And, spoiler alert, there is a happy ending.

My upcoming release, SPAWING SUSPICION, is available for preorder now in print and digital format. In this culinary cozy, Caterer River Holloway stirs up trouble when she tries to clear her brother and his girlfriend from a murder charge.

With this in mind, I’m celebrating Halloween/All Saints Day, by enjoying some dark chocolate and a good book or two, all the while focusing on my blessings. Maybe I’ll light up the firepit.

How will you (or did you) celebrate Halloween this year? Leave a comment and be eligible for a copy of GONE AND DONE IT, book one of my paranormal Dreamwalker Mystery series. (digital or print, but print winner must have US shipping address)

Also, on and after Nov. 1, please check out our monthly book giveaway. One lucky winner will make a selection from our book vault. CLICK HERE to enter the November contest.

Comments

  1. SoCal Allison says

    No Halloween this 2020 year. Not even much decoration except for one wee ghostie on my door.

  2. maggietoussaint says

    Congratulations to Alicia, my winner for this Ghouls and Saints blog post! Gone and Done It is available in print and digital formats. Please let me know your choice.

  3. I’ll be watching a Hallmark movie tonight and keeping our house dark. We had lots of leftover candy last year as the hordes of kids seemed to pass us by. Didn’t even buy any sweets this time. So it’s just another day and tonight we change the clocks.

  4. 🙂 I enjoyed your post, Maggie. I’ll celebrate Halloween by watching movies. Congratulations on your upcoming release of, “Spawning Suspicion.” I enjoy your stories!

  5. authorlois says

    Our town is discouraging Halloween this year due to the pandemic and an upsurge in cases. We used to have lots of kids come around, but ever since Halloween was canceled 8 years ago when Superstorm Sandy hit, we’ve gotten fewer and fewer kids. Last year we had 3 show up.

    • maggietoussaint says

      It seems that everything changes. Like when water can’t flow one way, it finds another. Kids must still be getting candy from somewhere!

  6. Super excited that, since switching departments, this is the first year I won’t have to work Halloween night. I’m going all out!

  7. Nancy Timmerman says

    It’s just my hubby and I so no Halloween decor. I do put fall-type decor around the house though. We live at the end of dark road and no kids around to hand out candy. There are a lot of trunk and treat activities in my community where all the kiddos go. I have given out candy a few times over the years at trunk n treats. It was so fun seeing all the different ideas on the car or truck decor. The kids love it!

    • maggietoussaint says

      I have a few pieces of fall decor that I put out, too, Nancy, so we must be at the same phase in life. I don’t know that we have ever had trunk n treats here in our community. Some neighborhoods do trick or treating, some churches or civic groups have hosted it from time to time, but I’m not sure what our community will do during a pandemic. These are certainly some strange times. Glad you could stop by!

  8. Candy… and more candy… There was the year I used my bridal gown (a few months after our August wedding) to be the bride of Frankenstein and because my husband hates to dress up, but is 6’4″, I had him put on a suit, used green eye shadow on his face, and thimbles on his deck….. I thought it was a good use of my gown); and then again, there was the year where we went to a rude and crude party and he refused to dress up, so I had him wear one of his blue oxford shirts and taped a faucet on his chest and handles on his shoulders.. then I put on blue jeans and a white shirt and out of oaktag cut a round piece to wear around my waist — let’s put it this way, everyone knew who we were without even needing to bring a bottle of Tidy-bowl with us.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Your costumes sound so creative and fun-just like you are! It’s nice that you could find a compromise idea so that you could both enjoy the costume party.

  9. dianestuckart says

    Usually I decorate my secretary desk for each holiday, and Halloween is my fav. But I’m feeling a bit “meh” about life right now so probably will skip the decorating and watch scary TV instead. We live on a dead end in the boonies so no trick-or-treaters for years now, meaning all the candy is MINE! 🙂

    • maggietoussaint says

      It’s funny how we can get territorial about candy, of all things, but I think all of us need and want treats from time to time. Halloween is a way we can reward ourselves guilt-free because everybody (well, mostly everybody) is doing it!

  10. cherylhollon says

    When we lived in a house, husband and I would decorate the front porch and hand out candy through the first rush then hustle over to our grandkids house to spend the rest of the evening handing out candy over there. This year we’ll be staying clear of any parties, but there will be a bowl of smarties hanging out with us to watch TV.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Sigh, I’ve never lived close enough to the kids and grands to have that experience, but I know it must’ve been wonderful. My favorite part of Halloween has always been watching the little ones in their costumes, their eyes big as saucers as they stare at the candy I’m handing out.