Surely it's not too much for me to ask
What seasonal costume you plan--and what mask.
What are you doing this year
(with apologies to Frank Loesser and the more than 30 artists from Ella Fitzgerald to Rufus Wainwright who have covered his song “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”) Frank
My family is celebrating Halloween a day early. I’ll be spending Saturday with most of my family. Saturday afternoon will find us gathered around a big screen TV watching the Georgia-Florida game. We’re a lot more optimistic about the Dawgs than we were at the beginning of the season, and you can be sure than it will be a noisy few hours with lots of cautions from the great room language referees when the game doesn’t go the way the men in our family want it to.
Saturday night is for the kids. We’ll have a Cleopatra, an Iron Man, a Luke Skywalker, a couple of Bakugan Dragonoids, a cowboy, and a Tinkerbelle among the Trick or Treaters. My #1 nephew and his wife are going all out this year with a fog machine and talking ghosts. Their home will be our observation post to watch the reactions of the Grands and other costumed tweens and toddlers, as we nibble on brain dip (pink shrimp dip) and goblin cupcakes.
As always, I hope to be reading. If I can find a few hours between now and Sunday night, I’ll choose from among some thematically appropriate romance novels. Halloween books are far rarer on my shelves that Valentine and Christmas books, but there are a few. Sandra Heath has three traditional Regencies that are clearly Halloween books: two fun reads, The Halloween Husband (1994) with a matchmaking ghost and The Magic Jack o’ Lantern (1999) with a mischievous, invisible brownie, and a darker one, Halloween Magic (1996), in which a Halloween thunderstorm releases a Tudor witch 200 years after her death to seek revenge on the descendants of those who caused her death. It pits the ancient magic and evil purposes of the seductive witch against the goodness and innocence of the heroine.
A more recent addition to Halloween romances is Hallowe’en Husbands, an anthology with novellas by Lisa Plumley, Denise Lynn, and Christine Merrill. I particularly like Merrill’s Gothic romance, “Master of Penlowen.” Vicki Lewis Thompson’s 2010 Babes on Brooms books are great fun. In the first, Blonde with a Wand, the heroine turns the hero into a cat. Oops! And in Chick with a Charm, the witchy, bar-tending heroine slips a love potion into the hero’s drink. Of course, if we count witch books as Halloween books, we can’t forget Nora Roberts’s Three Sisters Island trilogy: Dance Upon the Air, Heaven and Earth, and Face the Fire.
I reread Howl’s Moving Castle (1986) by Diana Wynne Jones, not exactly a romance but a YA fantasy, every time I have an excuse to do so, and Halloween is a good excuse. I love the story of Sophie, the eldest of three sisters who is turned into an old crone by the Witch of the Waste. She becomes the housekeeper of the infamous Howl and eventually they save each other and the kingdom. I might also watch the 2004 Miyazaki movie; it’s almost as good as the book.
So what are you doing Halloween? And do you have any Halloween reads to recommend?