Guest -Judi Lynn and a Giveaway!

Congratulations, Mark, you are the winner of the giveaway! Jessie will email you to arrange to send your prize.

Jessie-In New Hampshire where the darkness is gathring earlier and earlier.

October is just about the perfect time to double-check one’s to-be-read pile to be absolutely sure that there are enough books to last the winter. Our guest today has one you might just want to add to your stack! Take it away, Judy!

Hi!  I’m Judi Lynn, and I want to thank The Wickeds for inviting me to their blog today.  My latest Jazzi Zanders cozy, THE BODY FROM THE PAST, ends with a Halloween party.  Jazzi’s husband, Ansel, loves holiday parties, and since he and Jazzi host Jazzi’s family meal each Sunday, they combine the meal with a celebration.  Jazzi’s cousin, Jerod, and his wife have three kids—Gunther, 5; Lizzie, almost 3; and Pete, almost 1.  Their friend, Walker, has a son, too, River-7.  Jazzi makes “mummy” hotdogs, wrapped in strips of crescent rolls; meatballs with sliced green olives attached that look like eyes, and floats them in marinara sauce; pumpkin soup; and caramel apples and popcorn balls.  Ansel loves kids, so he plans lots of Halloween games for them and buys a black cat pinata for them to break open.  

Writing the party scenes made me think about Halloween when my sisters and I were growing up.  We ran the entire neighborhood, knocking on doors for candy.  We were only allowed one night to fill our goody bags.  Neighbors went to extra bother for the holiday.  One woman made candy apples to hand out every year.  Another made homemade caramels.  The lady down the street made popcorn balls, and another baked cookies.  Homemade treats are taboo these days.  Parents would worry what was in them.  

When our girls were little, I baked tons of cookies for their Halloween school parties.  No more.  Now, we buy lots of candy every year and leave our porch light on, but fewer and fewer kids knock on our doors these days.  

My husband belongs to our local American Legion, and members donate candy to have a Trunk or Treat.  Both of our city’s malls pass out candy for kids going door to door from one shop to the next.  Our local elementary school banned devil and witch costumes for the Halloween costume parade.  No witches on Halloween?  Come on!

 I have wonderful memories of waiting until dark to dress in my costume and fly out the door with my big grocery bag, ready to beg for treats.  Kids in our city are only allowed two hours for trick-or-treating—5:00 to 7:00.  It’s not even dark.  And parents walk with their kids to keep them safe.  I know the world has changed.  I know parents have to be more cautious of their kids’ safety.  But it makes me sad.

Trick or treating, when I was young, was so much fun.  Our neighborhoods were still innocent.  Our neighbors made us feel safe, not wary.  I don’t spend much time mourning for the “good, old days.”  Life evolves and changes.  But I do miss the joys of Halloween.

Readers: What was trick-or-treating like for you when you were growing up?  Are you still a fan of All Hallow’s Eve? Judi is giving away a copy of The Body from the Past to one lucky commenter!

To find my blog:  https://writingmusings.com/

Judi Lynn is the pseudonym for Judith Post.  I love to cook, so recipes sneak into most of my books.  I’ve always wanted English gardens like Agatha Christie writes about, but my own are mostly survival of the fittest.  I’m no great gardener.  I like kids, animals, and most people😊  I belong to a writers’ group, Summit City Scribes, that keeps me honest.  No dangling participle gets by them.  And I love to read.

61 Thoughts

  1. I used to be all excited many years ago when it was trick or treat the houses were far away from my foster home but we knew even if we got no dinner it was fine with us as we could eat on the way. The best thing is that while we were doing our paper route the people gave us candy or made us something then told is to come back. Well that is the wrong thing to tell a foster child as they will come back for candy as many nights we went to bed without dinner.

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    1. The people you delivered papers to or went trick-or-treating at sound really nice. They went above and beyond. Kids are what makes Halloween so much fun for me.

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  2. Congratulations on the new book!

    First, let me just say “SHAME SHAME SHAME” on your local elementary school for banning those costume options. I’m so sick of that kind of garbage being done by supposedly educational institutions.

    Growing up, Halloween for me was pretty much the standard most people had. Getting dressed up in the costume choice of the year, going around the neighborhood and collecting a TON of candy. Saying “Trick of Treat” when the door opened and thank you when you got the candy.

    I am the one who has given out the candy at my house for years. I enjoy it for the little kids but the teenagers who should be getting a job and buying their own candy coming to the house kind of annoys me.

    Things are definitely different nowadays. There’s a sense of entitlement as if I owe them this candy by natural law. I have no problem calling out rude behavior at the door. You don’t get a thank you or anything. Also, the numbers have dropped lately. I used to have close to 300 kids at the door. Last year I had about 100. The rise of that Trunk or Treat thing has reduced traffic.

    At my house, there’s candy to be had. But I also have comic books and special prizes for great costumes too.

    With the pandemic, I’m not expecting a lot of people at the door this year but I am sure I’ll have some. I’ve also sent out candy to my nephew, the daughter of high school friend who isn’t going out this year and I have a bag made up to drop off for the daughter of a bartender at my favorite restaurant.

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    1. Wow! You go all out for Halloween. Love the idea of adding comic books and prizes for great costumes. We’ve never gotten as many kids as you do. We live in a small community that got gobbled up by the city, but it’s mostly kids from around us who knock on our door, and the numbers have gotten smaller and smaller. Last year, we only had about twenty kids, so let each one take three pieces of candy, hoping they’d come back this year. But with the pandemic, who knows? We always donate candy to the Legion, but we don’t get to see those kids. Have to enjoy the ones who show up here.

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  3. I grew up in a small town in MA so you had to do a lot of walking to get a good haul of candy. My last year of trick or treating I was a gypsy and I put a lot of work into my costume. I found the perfect skirt and top. I raided my mom’s jewelry box. It was so cold out but I refused to wear a coat as then no one would see my costume. I did wear gloves. We knew everyone where we lived so my parents knew it was safe to let us go out and have fun. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. The houses were spread out where I grew up, too, so it took a long time to go from house to house, and even if it was a school night, we got to stay up late to fill our bags. We thought we were pretty special:) And good luck with the giveaway!

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  4. I am a huge fan of All Hallows’ Eve! Being Pagan, it is a celebration of our ancestors and the new year. As a family we celebrate Halloween and Samhain together. We have a Dumb supper honoring our ancestors with a traditional family meal, we each eat 3 seeds of a pomegranate and keep a small piece of the perk in our amulet for good luck abs protection thru the coming year, we carve both turnips and pumpkins to keep away the evil spirits, and we offer the ancestor dinner at a crossroads along with wine to close the evening. Being a full moon this year we will also do a special celebration with that as well! Really excited and can’t wait!! 🎃🌙💜

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    1. Interesting! This will be a blue moon, the second full moon in one month, won’t it? I hope this is a really special Halloween for you and your family! I’ve written a few supernatural mysteries with a witch, so I’ve tried to include a few traditions in the stories at holidays, but not all of them. My stories are just for fun. Have a great Halloween!

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  5. It is sad to see how much things have chance in my 68 years. Although there have been many advances and in many ways life is easier, but at what cost?

    Both when I was a child, it was more like The Andy Griffith Show. Parents didn’t have to be with their kids because all the adults watched out for the kiddos safety. Trick or Treat was a time for fun and imagination. My generation knew the difference between real life and our imaginary play life. It was fun to watch Wile E Coyote was fun to watch, but we knew not to blow ourselves up. It was fun to be scared by the “hand” on The Adams Family, but we knew that a cut off hand wasn’t a living thing. It was tons of fun for the good little girl to be the wicked witch or the scary ghost for Halloween. Being a clown was a good thing before they started terrorizing people. Most costumes were made out of imagination and what was on hand. I can only remember one store bought costume and it was me as a hotdog. Can’t remember the reasoning behind that one just the costume. 🙂

    Trick or Treat was school carnivals, getting go out and collect and eat candy after it got dark, and having fun with friends and swapping out candy for what you really liked. It was the time of using your imagination!

    Still love Halloween, but the one bad side of living out in the country now is we don’t have trick or treaters, but those that do tell us that it’s sure not the same any more. Such a shame that what was such a fun time has been turned into a time to be cautious what’s in candy and leery of people in mask.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of “The Body from the Past”. Absolutely fabulous cover and storyline to match. Shared and hoping to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. A friend of mine, who lives in apartment complex with mostly young or retired couples never gets any trick or treaters either and really misses them:) I think kids still have lots of imagination. That might be why Harry Potter was so popular, and there are so many fantasy series for middle grade and YA readers now. Kids need to let their imaginations soar. And good luck on the giveaway!

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  6. What a cute cover, Judi! I did trick-or-treat as a kid, but nobody does that where I live now. Now all the kids tend to go to the mall or another organized event. I’m still a fan of Halloween though!

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    1. Thanks so much! Tammy Seidick designed all the covers for the Jazzi series, and I’ve loved every one of them. George, the pug, looks pretty cute for Halloween on this one. Glad you’re still a fan of Halloween! Have a good one.

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    1. You’re lucky. My sister lives in a neighborhood full of kids, too, and has to buy lots of candy each year. And thanks to Jessica for inviting me to your blog. I’m so happy to be here!

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  7. Fun post, Judi, and best of luck with the new release – it sounds like a winner.

    I loved trick or treating. I grew up in what was then known as a garden apartment – talk about easy pickins! Our favorites were the families who made treats. We had the candy apple man, the cookie folks, the popcorn ball house. You could tell who was giving out the good stuff by the line of kids outside the door. Of course, all the candy bars were full size.

    My parents allowed me everything except loose candy corn and I suspect my sweet-tooth father ate more than his fair share of my loot. I did have some store-bought costumes – the one I remember best was Olive Oyl – was a tall kid. Most costumes were homemade and I never wore a mask. My mom didn’t think they were safe and she did my makeup. Halcyon days that are foreign to kids these days. It’s sad, but necessary, that Halloween has turned into a much more controlled day. I haven’t had a trick-or-treater in probably 20 years. So, let me say it here – trick or treat? Trick or treat for Unicef?

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    1. Wow! No trick or treaters for 20 years? Ours only started fizzling out three or four years ago. Love the Olive Oyl costume. I was tall, too, always in the middle of the back row for school pictures, and skinny. A few kids nicknamed me Olive Oyl. It was appropriate:) Funny you should mention full-size candy bars. Our little neighbor girls were just telling us that their parents drive them to where their dad grew up because the entire Main Street gives out full-size bars. Guess some things never change:)

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  8. I lived on a dark country road with few neighbors so there was no trick or treat time. We celebrated in school with treats from parents and a parade around the building.

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    1. I taught elementary school for 6 years, and that’s what we did, too. We always had a party at the end of the day and a parade around the building. Parents came to watch the parade. It was wonderful!

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  9. Congrats on the new release, Judi! I love the cover. Growing up, I loved all things Halloween, from pumpkin carving to the Irvington Halloween Festival to trick or treating. These days, we live on a dead end street without any trick or treating and the kids are grown, so there’s much less celebrating, but I still love all things Halloween. 🎃

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    1. Our kids are grown, too. So are our grandkids. They still used to come home the first weekend in October to go to the pumpkin patch, choose a pumpkin, and carve them for our front steps. Now, they all have jobs and significant others or spouses, and we just get together once in October. So we still celebrate, but in a more civilized manner:) Have a great Halloween, J.C.!

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  10. We did a lot of trick or treating when I was a kid. Now I live on a busy road with no sidewalk on this side so we don’t tend to get anyone

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  11. I have always enjoyed giving out the treats more than going door to door for them, even as a child. Give me a cookie over candy any day and please make it chocolate chip. 🙂 In our neighborhood for the past 20 years we have given out books for Halloween. We are known as the “Book House” by the children. Being a children’s librarian it just seemed like a natural idea…and we do always give a piece of candy out, too. We have a speak-easy little door in our front door and my husband likes to open it when the children arrive on the stoop and say, “Whoooo is there?” Now the children expect him to do it and always giggle. 😉 Best of luck with your new book baby!

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    1. My husband loves passing out candy as much as I do. Your door and your husband’s greeting sound fun. I love the idea of giving out books. I used to love to reading to kids. They’re all grown now, but we have a LOT of books from when our kids and grandkids were little, so the little girls next door come over once in a while and I let them each choose one to take home and keep. My stash is getting lower:)

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  12. I love Halloween. When I was a kid we usual had a good covering of snow by Halloween and we had to wear winter coats over our costumes. It was fun going around to all the houses because in a small town you know everybody and are related to most of them. And we knew who had the best candy. We would go to grandma’s house last because she lived right next door so it wasn’t a big deal if we got there past the designated trick-or-treat time- she knew we were coming and we’d get most of her leftover candy!

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  13. Halloween for me was usually taking my younger siblings around the neighborhood – when what I really wanted to do was hang with my friends. Once I had kids, there was the stress of coming up with multiple costumes (because what worked for school didn’t work for activities didn’t work for actual trick-or-treating).

    Needless to say, I was glad to put Halloween behind me.

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  14. Welcome to the Wickeds, Judi! Party scenes are so difficult to write. There are so many characters and so much going on. You are brave to end a book with one!

    When my husband and I lived in Somerville, MA our street was THE trick-or-treating street in town. We had hoards of kids in great costumes. Now we live downtown in Portland, Maine. There’s not a kid on our street. But I’m okay with that.

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  15. I always enjoyed trick or treating as a kid. We would only go to houses we know, but I still got more candy than my mom wanted me to have. 🙂

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  16. When I was growing up , we were 6 kids , Halloween used to be alot of fun, we lived in a small town , so we would go trick or treating all over the town, it used to be alot of fun. I love to see my Daughter and her little family that live here in our same town get all dressed up, my daughter, my son in law and our granddaughter and grandson all dress in a theme, so I always love seeing them dressed for Halloween. We got lots and lots of kiddos here at our house, our daughter and her little family live outside the city limits here, so they bring their candy over and they handout candy here at our house also. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. I love the sound of this book and the book cover is so, so cute!!

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    1. I think it’s so nice that your daughter and son-in-law dress up to go trick or treating with their kids. AND they bring candy to pass out for other kids. Halloween is still special for you and them. And I love the book cover for my book, too. Thank you. My daughter and grandson came to stay with us for the weekend, so it’s going to be a great time. Hope you have a nice weekend, too.

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  17. It was fun to dress up and go door to door to get candy. My grandparents usually drove me around the area to houses that were participating.

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  18. Back in the day My twin sister and I would go treat or treating each year. We each had a pillow case and would fill it up several times. We went everywhere! I miss those days for sure!
    I also now donate money to our town park that does a Halloween hike each year. We turn our porch light on each year and give out candy. I loved seeing the kids outfits. It’s a fun time!
    Love the book cover!

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    1. Thank you. George, Ansel’s pug, is on every Jazzi book cover but one. I’m impressed you filled pillow cases with candy several times. That’s a lot of candy:)

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  19. I have always loved Halloween despite growing up on a rural road with no nearby houses. I remember we went trick-or-treating through the house, with my parents racing ahead of us to get to the next door. One year my dad created a big scavenger hunt for us (me and my brother) that took us all over our yard, the house, the garage, and the shed – I think that’s my favorite memory! Now, as a grown up, I love costume parties – really any chance to dress up and pretend to be someone else for a little bit is fun. 🙂
    Congrats on the new book Judi!

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    1. Thanks so much. What wonderful parents. They went to a lot of trouble to make Halloween fun for you and your brother. We used to do scavenger hunts every year for Easter for our girls and then our two grandsons. So much fun. My sister loves costume parties. I’m sort of a slacker. I dress up, but she gets really elaborate. Her favorite costume, ever, was when she rented a saloon girl costume with a little pretend derringer.

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  20. Your Halloween sounds a lot like mine. One night only around the block in the subdivision I lived. I don’t give out candy because so many go to the trunk and treats plus I live at a end of a dark street. Mawahaha…😳

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  21. Halloween is a lot different now than when I was a kid. Once we were old enough to go trick or treating by ourselves, we went all over the neighborhood. We used to take a pillowcase and didn’t come home until it was too heavy to carry. It always was a great time.

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    1. Since so few kids come down our street anymore, people throw in extra candy when someone knocks on the door. The kids do pretty well just going down our street.

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  22. Trick or treat for me growing up was a lot like yours. I feel sad for the kids who never know the joy of running from house to house and sometimes being greeted by adults who were really into the whole scene. This year, there won’t even be the substitute gatherings at various community centers, etc.

    I know progress happens and it’s a good thing for the most part. But some things really were better in the “good old days.”

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    1. Agreed. Times change, and I know it’s safer if kids have shorter hours and more Trunk and Treats these days, but our Halloweens were a lot more fun!

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  23. I enjoyed trick or treating when I was a kid. We hardly went out of our neighborhood so it was nice to know people in the houses. I haven’t been interested for years. I still live in the same house but the neighborhood is so different, so many houses are empty, and I don’t know many people. I love your books. Stay safe and well.

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    1. Things HAVE changed now. We have neighbors, and even though we make small talk, it’s not like the neighbors my parents had. Everyone’s busy these days. And thank you! I’m so glad you like my books. Hope you have a safe and wonderful Halloween this year, too.

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  24. My parents made sure that we had great experiences for each holiday even though we did not have a lot of money. Our neighbors were great when we trick or treated back in the 1950s.

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    1. Our costumes were always pretty thrown together and hodgepodge, but so were all of the other kids’ in our neighborhood, so we didn’t think anything about it. Your mom went to a lot of extra work to make your costumes. That’s pretty special.

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  25. Halloween was my favorite holiday growing up. It was quite awhile ago, so yes I remember all the things you mentioned. I loved to dress up. My Mother was an excellent seamstress and made all my costumes. I sometimes made my own. I was a Knight/Crusader one year. With a pillow case for my surrcoat, old tennis shoes painted silver, a cherry can cut out for the helmet and a wooden sword, my father made. It was pretty cool. I even won a Costume contest at the park rec center. Way cool. I do miss getting to dress up. Might have to look into cosplay. 😁

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  26. I am like you growing up. We would have two to three hours to Trick or Treat. We would be in groups, but our parents would let us go. We had one neighbor that made homemade candy apples for us. My Aunt and Uncle would make me up a bag with extras in it for me. We would celebrate at school with a party in the afternoon. We would do a Halloween parade down the next block of the school for the parents and neighbors to enjoy seeing all the costumes. I am not a fan of Halloween any more. We had some teenagers who were threatening so we stopped giving out candy. We no longer have children in our area either.

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