Saturday, October 31, 2009

Samhain by Cornelia Amiri

As an author of Celtic/Paranormal/Romance novels, my favorite holiday is Samhain, the Celtic festival which gives us our Halloween traditions. Samhain, pronounced SOW-uhn, is the Celtic New Year, October 31st or November 1st. Samhain falls between the old year and the new, it is a day without time. Spirits of the dead and supernatural beings easily cross into our earthly dimension on this day, since the veil between worlds is at its thinnest.

In our modern Halloween celebration, one of our favorite supernatural creatures are vampires. The Celts have their own versions of vampires, the Manx Leanan Sidhe and the Scottish baobhan sith.

From Manx and Irish mythology the Lhiannan Shee (lannan-shee) and the Leanan Sidhe (lan-awn shee) are vampiric fey women. A Leanan Sidhe is a succubus muse, targeting poets or musicians. She inspires her victim to create a great masterpiece by inflaming them with the creativity of an entire lifetime at once. Then, she drains them of all that artistic energy, so the men die shortly after. The Lhiannan Shee, drain their mortal lovers of their blood and store it in a red cauldron in an underwater cave. Something about that struck me as funny. So I wrote a paranormal/comedy romance about a Leanan Sidhe on the Isle of Man, A Fine Cauldron of Fish, from Eternal Press.

Here’s a short, funny excerpt from A FINE CAULDRON OF FISH, about a Leanan Sidhe:

Before Margaid could answer, the guy shook his head at Andrew. "It's okay. You can keep my shirt. Although I don't know how you're holding it when your arm's about four inches away from it, but hey, I'm sure I simply had too much to drink. Keep it, that's fine.”

"What? No, I don't want your shirt. Margaid, well she thought I wanted it, but-"

"No, don't let him go." Margaid shook her red head. "You do want his shirt. And you need his pants, too."

Before Andrew knew what was happening, she shoved the shirt into his arms. Then she turned back to the quaking man and grabbed hold of his waist. "Oh, no, Margaid, don't do it." The moment Andrew yelled out, he knew she wasn't going to listen. He watched in utter horror as she unsnapped the poor man's jeans, yanked down his zipper, and slid his pants all the way to his ankles. Damn, I'm glad he's wearing underwear. Black boxers with writing all over them. What does that say? Andrew read aloud, "B is for big."

Another Celtic vampiric fey is the Scottish baobhan sith (baa'-van shee), who wear green dresses and in some legends have goat hooves for feet. Like the Manx, Lhiannan Shee, they don’t have fangs, their nails extend like claws and they rake them down their lovers back to draw blood. They are known as the dancing vampires. I thought, what a great character for an erotica paranormal romance, and I wrote a short story with a baobhan sith, Vampire Dancer, in the vampire/erotic/romance anthology, Sleeping With the Undead, which is in e-book and paperback from L & L Dreamspell.

Here’s an excerpt from Vampire Dancer:

Suddenly, Ian stopped in his tracks. “Look.”

His brothers froze as their gazes turned to where his hand pointed. Seven women, all dressed in odd dresses of green tartan silk, stood beside the carin. Their lush lips curved into smiles as seductive as warm kisses.

Ian’s pulse hammered.

Errol stepped up to them, stopping right in front of the fairy mound. “Why are lassies as bonny as all of you wandering around McLeod’s farm so late at night?”

All seven answered in turn.

“Well, we were kind of called out.”

“You see, something disturbed our sleep.”

“So we all got up and came to look about.”

“We were also hungry and wanted to pick up something to eat.”

“And on our way we found you seven handsome men.”

“We wanted to meet all of you.”

“We like to dance. We wanted to ask you to dance with us.”

Ian gazed at the last woman who spoke. She walked toward him. Her complexion was radiant, skin as smooth and luminescent as alabaster. Every line of her body, her long legs to her slender feet, her ample hips to her tiny waist and curvaceous bust, her long firm arms, slender neck, and flowing raven hair was like the same lines which swirl and loop in Celtic tracery and knot work. She was art. Her gown was a silk plaid, squares of vibrant green, like the hills, crossed with stripes of beige and ivory, like the sea coast. As

if sculpted to her body, the dress enhanced her curves. Gathered at the neckline with a round Celtic brooch, it was belted at the waist with a triple corded belt of gold. The flowing silk exposed the long calves and the slender ankles of her creamy legs. As she moved, he could see her erect nipples beneath the veil of thin fabric.

His mouth went dry. He couldn’t speak. Ian couldn’t touch her. If he touched her, he could never let her go.

So on Halloween as you look for ghosts, witches and vampires, keep an eye out for Lhiannan Shee, Leanan Sidhe, or baobhan sith. After all, our Halloween traditions come from a Celtic festival
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Debby said...

Thanks for the interesting information about Samhain. I lvoe your books

Debby said...

sorry debby236 @

s7anna said...

Great factoids! I love to find out the history behind the myths & legends that exist today...It's so cool and fascinating!!!

Happy Halloween/Samhain!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

Judy said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I always find out neat facts or folklore!! I love vampires no matter what they are called, but I like the idea of them being female.

Mitz said...

Enjoyed the reads now you got me interested in The Vampire Dancer..

Happy Holloween!!!!

Jaxxy said...

I've always been interested in Celtic folklore, so these stories look really good.

Stephanie Julian said...

Sounds fascinating and I love mythology so double interesting.

Virginia C said...

Those Celts are such cut-ups!
"H" is for Happy Halloween!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Carol L. said...

I have always had a love for Scottish and Irish stories and lore.
Thank you so much for the info on Samhain. Love to read both stories.
Thanks. Happy Halloween.
Carol L.

Mindy said...

Happy Halloween, Cornelia :)
I LOVE the folklore & pronunciation of the Celtic Vamps.
The excerpts ROCK too!

Mindy :) V-V

April Ash said...

Love the black boxers and "B is for big". Funny!

Susan Hanniford Crowley said...

Being part Irish and Scottish, I am totally interested in your Celtic vampires. I found your blog fascinating. Please, enter me in your contest. Thanks so much.

Susan Hanniford Crowley

Annie Nicholas said...

Great facts, I've never heard of this. Food for thought or plot bunnies. ;)

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent excerpt & for sharing.
All the best,

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