Oct 28, 2011

The Story of Jack!

Welcome to the Romance Girls Gone Goblin Halloween Hop!


You probably know the story of Jack  already and how he earned his lantern? No. Okay then.

Those carved pumpkins we see everywhere at this time of year didn’t start out as pumpkins. They actually started like this.


Not very attractive, right? This is a turnip and it’s from The Museum of Country Life in County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. It’s part of the National Museum of Ireland and a Turnip is a traditional Irish root vegetable. 

So, one version of the story goes that Jack was a bit of a blaggard, a drunk and an egit, as we say in Ireland. He was a farmer and by all accounts a lazy so and so. He knew he’d been living his life under the greedy, watchful gaze of the Devil, who was only too eager to get his hands on Jack. He also knew his lifestyle hadn’t been paving the way to heaven but had been pushing him to an early grave, so Jack formulated a plan.

After one of several drinking sessions together, the Devil informed Jack his time was up. Jack agreed to go willingly but had one final request. As they passed under an apple tree, Jack pointed to one of the top branches and begged the Devil to allow him one last taste of the fruit. There is probably a certain irony in the Devil being tempted by an apple, nonetheless he conceded and climbed the tree to retrieve the fruit.

While the Devil was high in the branches, Jack got to work. He surrounded the tree with crosses and even carved some into the trunk of the tree to trap the Devil. Jake refused to release him until he agreed to never take Jack’s soul to Hell.

Years past and Jack lived out his life the way he always had. He lied, cheated and stole his way to his deathbed. Finally, he died. Remembering his deal, Jack attempted to enter Heaven but was refused and directed to the Gates of Hell. The Devil turned him away just as he promised. When Jack asked the Devil how he was supposed to find his way through the world, he tossed Jack an ember from the flames of Hell.

To this day Jack wanders the earth with his ember in his makeshift lantern carved from a turnip as a warning to all. You can’t outsmart the Devil.

When the Irish and British sailed to America in their droves, they brought with them the story of Jack. Turnips were hard to find and so they used Pumpkins to carve Jack ‘O’ Lanterns.

Now we have these:


To celebrate Halloween and in conjunction with the story of Jack and his ever burning ember. I’m going to give away two E-copies of EMBER.

When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago.

Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

To enter leave a comment and email. Winners will be selected November 1st.

Thank you and Happy Halloween!


  1. Turnips, who knew? Not me. I've learned something new, so thank you :-)
    My husband is Irish, and I always giggle when he says egit :-) Love it!
    I'm enjoying the blog hop; it's great to meet so many new (to me anyway) authors. I'll be following your posts in the future.


  2. Thank you! I love being able to pick up new bits of trivia.

  3. I never knew that!!! Thanks for the Irish lesson. My mom used to make this turnip dish but thankfully she doesn't anymore. ;)

  4. That's an awesome legend! I'd never heard that version before, and love it :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    romanceaholic at gmail dot com

  5. I actually did know this about turnips. Great giveaway. Thanks.

    Areeths at new dot rr dot com

  6. Thank you for stopping by everyone.

    Jen, I love to eat turnip but it can be bland and is easy to overcook. The best way is steam or boil just to tender, puree with a touch of cream and lots of sea salt and black pepper. Alternatively, cook in thick slices to tender. Shallow fry in real butter and serve on warm herb bread.

  7. Carol, you are a frigging genius. This whole post circling back to the book title? Amazing. I can't wait to read Ember as soon as I'm done with you know what ;) But I know a certain Jack that approves of this tale and the kind devil it has.

  8. Debra, I actually thought of you and Jack as I was writing it and guess who the Devil looked like in my head. lol.

  9. Great hop and giveaway! THX! But...I hate turnips...yuck!


  10. That's an interesting story, Carole! And the ember? yes, made me curious about your book! ;) Have a great halloween!

    J.D. Revezzo
    (No need to include me for the giveaway. I'm part of the Hop myself. Just stopping by to peek at all the great fellow hop-stops

  11. I personally hate turnips. Thanks for the post & giveaway! Gloria

    geschumann at live dot com

  12. thanks for the story. i didn't know the story ^^

    witchvela at web dot de

  13. Thanks for the giveaway!


  14. I love reading all sorts of version of this story Thanks for sharing ^_^ I love Ireland I'd like to visit that country one of these days ^_~

    GFC & Twitter follower:kimyunalesca

  15. oooh i like the two men in the story :D hehe
    email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu