Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Pink with Avon Romance - Lyons, Witches, and Curses, Oh My!

Follow the cobblestone road to Glenfinnan where Cathy Maxwell's THE SCOTTISH WITCH unfolds with a witch's curse, a desperate brother, a curious lover, and a surprise ally:

When a Chattan male falls in love, strike his heart with fire from above . . .

Portia Maclean believes she is beyond love and marriage. Then one moonlit night, while attempting a daring masquerade in a desperate bid to protect her family, she finds herself swept off her feet by a powerful stranger. But what will he do once he discovers she has betrayed him?

Harry Chattan is fighting for his family. For two hundred years the Chattan men have been destroyed by love . . . and now he's come to Scotland on the hunt for a witch to break the curse. Instead he finds himself bewitched by Portia. Harry has vowed to fight the demons that torture him.

But will that battle destroy her as well?

We first met Harry, an alcoholic womanizer, in LYON'S BRIDE.   He was inspired by his brother's belief that love was worth the risk to find the Scottish witch to reverse the curse.    The story takes place in the Regency Era - a relatively modern time in Scottish history.  Yet superstition still influenced every day life, particularly in the small villages such as Glenfinnan.    Consider this folklore from Alistair Briggs (at this link),

It is bad luck to:
- See a pig on the way to your wedding.
- Take pigs on fishing boats.
- Cross two knifes on a table.

It is good luck to:
- Have a rowan tree outside your house to keep witches away.- Touch iron if you see or even hear evil.
- Wear a sprig of white heather.


Hawaii has its own superstitions - most center around the Volcano Goddess, Pele:

- do not take home any pieces of lava; you are taking a part of Pele away from her beloved Hawaii.  It is illegal do so from the perspective that lava is a limited resource and it may contain bugs that could contaminate your area.

- do not carry pork over the Pali Highway.   The Pali divides Oahu into windward, where Pele visits, and leeward, where she banished her spurned lover, a man-pig.   Hence, bringing pork from the leeward to windward violates her edict.

Even H50 opens each season with a blessing

For good luck, always start with a Hawaiian blessing.   The US Navy learned the hard way.  From Hawaii History (at this link),

In 1909, work to build a drydock began over caves Hawaiians believed were home to a shark goddess. The drydock was nearly finished when it collapsed. Workmen clearing debris found the skeleton of a large shark in the foundation, after which Hawaiians advised that a kahuna priest cleanse the area with prayers and ritual offerings. After this was done, there were no further problems with the project. 

When it comes to dealing with Madame Pele, the Hawaiians turn to their ali'i (chiefs).   From Hawaii Alive (at this link),

When Madame Pele threatened the town of Hilo with a voracious lava flow in 1881, the people asked Ke‘elikōlani to intercede [she was the granddaugher of King Kamehameha I].  Ke‘elikōlani offered traditional oli (chants) and ho‘okupu (tribute) to Pele and later reportedly camped at the foot of the flow. The flow stopped just short of town.

Madame Pele devours all in her path.

There is something about Hawaii, and Scotland, that makes it easy to believe the supersitions ... and curses!   Cathy Maxwell will have you believing, too, with THE SCOTTISH WITCH!   I posted my review on SOS Aloha (link), Amazon (link), and Goodreads (link).   I am giving away a special Lyons, Witches, and Curses gift pack:

- print copy of LYON'S BRIDE
- print copy of THE SCOTTISH WITCH
- tote bag from Cathy Maxwell

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about superstitions from your part of the world.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 3, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 4.


Kim in Hawaii

To learn more about Cathy and her books, check out her website at

To increase your chance of winning, check out these blogs who are also featuring Cathy and giving away THE SCOTTISH WITCH:

- Ramblings From This Chick at this link.
- Romantic Crush Junkies at this link.
- The Reading Reviewer at this link.
- The Romance Dish at this link.


  1. I don't know a lot about superstitions... I was told that walking under a ladder is bad luck. As is seeing a black cat (don't believe in that one personally). You may not cross a knife and fork on your dinnerplate, and if you spill salt you need to throw some over your left shoulder to make it right. The last one I've done loads of times at reqeust from my mother. I guess she believed in that one.

  2. I do know that on New Year's Eve right after midnight we open the front door to let the good luck in and at the same time open the back door to let the bad luck out.

  3. I've been doing this almost all my life but still no such luck. Every Christmas and New Years Eve, we jump to grow taller (still stuck with 5'2") and shake our pockets (with coins) to attract money.

  4. I am superstitious about everything so cannot narrow it down to one thing. Thanks for the link to my blog it is as always appreciated!

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  5. I honestly don't know any superstitions for the area we are living at this time. I know when we were in Louisiana there was a ton. I can't remember them at this time.

  6. Not too many superstitions in Toronto. But my parents believe in lucky and unlucky numbers...

  7. My mother always told us that if we dropped a knife, we were not to pick it up. Somebody else had to pick it up, and we were NOT to thank them, otherwise we would be cursed with bad luck.

    We were also told not to cross knives, otherwise an argument would ensue.

    We were also told the salt thing that Joe #39 said, and I've thrown salt over my left shoulder countless times.

    Another one was not to cross our eyes, otherwise our eyes would stay like that.

    We were also told the one about not walking under a ladder, not breaking a glass mirror, otherwise we would have 7 years of bad luck.

    Thank you for such a generous giveaway contest. I'd really love to read "The Scottish Witch" etc.

  8. In my country if you break a mirror you're going to have bad luck or If you don't want a certaing thing to happen to you, you knock wood.

  9. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! Ummm... either I don't pay attention or here in the Midwest, we don't have any specific superstitions. Just the usuals :)

  10. It looks like all of my superstitions have already been given. Thank you for the wonderful prizes giveaway! I really enjoy reading Cathy's stories and would love to win her books and tote bag.

  11. I am from south Louisiana, where tales of voodoo abound. Did anyone else love Disney's The Princess and The Frog? It's set in New Orleans and the bad guy is a voodoo practitioner.

    I enjoyed Lyon's Bride and am really looking forward to The Scottish Witch. Thanks! Happy Halloween, all.

  12. I'm not superstitious but think they are fun. The only one I know that was not mentioned is "step on a crack, break your mother's back" - kind of gruesome lol but it was a game I played going to and coming back from grade school - that was 4 trips since we went home for lunch and there were a lot of cracks in the sidewalks lol. I've been hearing wonderful things about these book!

  13. The only one I remember is don't walk under a ladder.

  14. I don't pay any attention to superstitions. The few I know have been mentioned.

  15. I do not of any peculiar tot his area. Just regular common old superstitions.

  16. There's a Chinese superstition when there's a death in the family a couple who wants to get married must either wed within 100 days else wait for 3 years.

  17. There were/are a lot of superstitions in our family but I tended to ignore most of them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. This book sound so awesome! I ended up buying 2 copies of Lyon's Bride not realizing I had already bought it because I was so eager for this one's release. Oops!

    As far as superstitions go, my grandmother always talk me to throw salt over my shoulder when you spilt a glass of water. Not sure why. We also always say, Bless You with sneezes to ward off bad spirits.

  19. The only one that I can think of that we actually bothered even repeating was breaking a mirror and having 7 years bad luck. My family did not believe in superstitions. I would LOVE to read these books though.

  20. I don't know of my local ones. The general ones I do know of is not taking a pictures with three people in it (I sometimes do this) and walking under a ladder. I also try to practice feng shui where I arrange my furniture in a way that can bring luck.

  21. I'm not superstitious, myself, but through my life, I've heard the usual about walking under ladders, black cats, spilt salt, etc.

  22. If you could see my windshield you would see many X's across the top left corner. I always lick my fingertip and X it when a black cat runs out in front of me or when a hearse passes.

  23. Our superstitions are principally universal I'd say.

    The Australian aborigines don't speak the name, depict or view images of the dead, because you would recall and disturb their spirit.

  24. I live in Minnesota and most of our superstitions are sports related...seems to me anyway. But here are a couple:
    Need rain? Wash your car, guaranteed to rain the next day (or even a few hours later, tried
    A dog howling at a moon means death is near. (I have a husky, who far so good. Whew!)

  25. Break a mirror and it is seven years bad luck.

  26. I dont think I've heard of any unusual superstions here in Oregon.

  27. Wonderful post, Kim! It is very interesting to me to hear about others' superstitions. One I read about in Fl is that if you see an alligator in Tampa, you will get athlete's foot. Lol.
    I have a friend who is very superstitious. She thinks that if her children get their heads wet in the rain, they will catch a cold or get sick. I tried to tell her that it wasn't true, but she says that is just how she grew up.
    I have a few, but of course cannot think of them at the moment, and they come and go.
    I really need to start this series! ;)
    Thank you for sharing.

  28. Not exactly local superstitions as much as cultural ones wherein we do cleaning before Chinese New Year to wash any bad luck away to make room for the good during the week of Chinese New Year. So during this time, we do not clean or dust in case we accidentally sweep away our good fortune and luck for the coming year.