Thursday, August 28, 2008

True Blood and Other Links

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, posted a review (which I completely agree with) on Twilight. They also get extra points because they mention Etsy.

Marc's been sending me some things, and a link he sent me was Totally Looks Alike. Jim Croce totally looks a like Vlad!
The True Blood FanSite has more pictures posted for the show. If you have been reading my blog you know I am all team Eric… I’m not sure if I like the TV show Eric versus the man of my dreams. I think they did a better match for Eric than they did for Bill though. What do you think?



Bill does look a lot better here though:

According to Bestbuy, you can get a free DVD of episode 1 of True Blood if you buy an HBO DVD.

Here is extended trailor for the show:

Alan Ball POV with more show clips:

I hope the show isn't as lame as this picture...

Click to enlarge and see it in all it's glory... Thanks Marc!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life and Stuff

This weekend I am going to work at a retreat my job is putting on… I should have fun but I am not really looking forward to being gone all weekend. At least I get Wednesday thru Friday off for my reschedule days. I’ve been stressing over the whole “what do I want to be when I grow up” question. I’m trying to figure out what grad schools I would like to go to, what programs I want to enter, and how I can do it all by staying local, working, and being married. Mostly I am concerned about what program to enter into.

Around here, at CSU or UC the options I would be interested in would be Health Psychology, Cognitive Psych, Quantitative Psych, or Forensic/behavioral psych or a masters in marriage and family counseling. I don’t think I want to do therapy anymore, research would be cool, but I don’t want to teach. Forensic and behavioral Psych joint Doctorate would be pretty interesting. Who knows.

I am looking forward to going back to get my Master and/or Ph.D, but I’m not too thrilled about the cost, the years it will take, and the overall pain in the ass it can be. There are some really interesting jobs in Psych with a Ph.D, but they are mostly available in the big cities… not exactly where I am at, and I don’t really want to teach or do therapy, but we’ll see. I’m just hoping I can find something I truly love to do and make at least a living wage on it. I don’t have to make fantastic money, but something to make a living and worth 8+ years of college would be great.

But enough about my personal life. I am still reading Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K Hamilton. It is taking me forever; partly because I have been super busy, partly because it is a lot hard to get through than her other works. This was the first Anita Blake book I read and I am surprised I enjoyed it so much I wanted to read the rest of the books.

True Blood premiers in just a little over a week! My friends and I are planning on doing a little party (check out the recipes here and here). It’s been fun getting a few of my friends interested in the same books that I have been reading.

My good friend Cassie (also a vampire book lover) turned me on to Dance of the Vampires. I would love to see the musical, but that probably won’t happen. I am waiting to get the movie in the mail. Until then, here is an interesting clip.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blue Moon - Where it really starts going down hill

Warning - Spoilers if you haven't read the Anita Blake Books by Laurell K Hamilton

I just finished Blue Moon Book 8 of the Anita Blake series, the part of the series where things start getting trashy. Burnt Offerings – Book 7, had Anita in a sexual relationship with Jean-Claude, but her powers involving sex are just starting to evolve… nothing too incredibly skanky yet. The Killing Dance (which I guess is suppose to be a synonym for sex)– Book 6 pretty much ends with Anita running to Jean-Claude – and his bed. So in case you are wondering, book 6 is where it all begins, but Book 8 is where it really starts to get slutty.

So Anita goes to save Richard who is accused of raping some chick - he's innocent, but there is a big plot involving trolls, rich people, a demon, and bad cops that don't want to let Richard free. The vampire of that territory and his people are afraid and pissed off at Anita for coming and not all the werewolfs of the area can be trusted either.
A few members of her entourage give her the hots, Raini possesses her and initiates a "whoever has sex with me first wins" ritual that luckily Richard wins... Anita finds out that sex binds her, Richard, and Jean-Claude closer, and she wants control over what's happening. Anita again, does something that no one is able to do and she is healing at a remarkable rate.
It’s a shame that these books had to be turned into some bad erotica because like many others, I enjoyed them.

I am slightly confused by the cover art for this book in the different countries - lets take a look:

I like the Hungarian version again - might like it better if there wasn't the weird lighted boob:

The cover's nice, and I may be wrong, but I don't recall a single bird/feather/down pillow in this book:

What the hell?

Who died from an ax wound on a bean bag? There wasn't an ax in the story either - not sure how they came up with this one:

The Last of the Red Hot Vampires

So this weekend I finished book 5 of the Dark Ones series - Last of the Red Hot Vampires, by Katie MacAlister. As you can see from the cover - it looks like one of the many cheap and cheesy romances; the actual book might have been only a few grades above.


Physicist Portia Harding's life is grounded in facts. There's nothing that can't be explained by logic and science...until she travels with her best friend to England and accidentally summons an ethereal virtue who bequeaths her gift of weather control to Portia.

Now Portia is walking around with a literal cloud over her head, and a heart stoppingly handsome maniac trying to kidnap her. But Theo North is no run-of-the-mill lunatic. He's a nephilim - the son of an angel - who needs Portia's help to change his fate. Problem is, Portia's down-to-earth attitude frustrates beings from both heavenly and hellish realms, and gets Theo turned into a vampire. But at least he has Portia to satisfy his newfound hungers...and possibly save his soul.

I have no clue why the title of the book is "The Last of the Red Hot Vampires" it really didn't make much sense to me. Theo wasn't even borne a vampire, he was cursed into one about 1/3-1/2 way through the story.

I had a hard time getting though the book. It took me about 3 days to read through it. Yes, it is unique, but it was also quite boring to me for a while - a lot of stuff is going on too. While Katie MacAlister's Dark One's books are definitely paranormal romance, I would still want them to be higher quality then the Harlequen trash that's out there. The books aren't as trashy, but they are incredibly sappy.

If you are looking for another book where there is a sexy guy, a chick with problems, some adventure then they fall madly in love with each other - so much so they will die without each other, then here's the book for you.

Book 6 - Zen and the Art of Vampires comes out Dec 2008.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fun for Friday

Because it's Friday, and I am quite bored sitting at my desk at work, here are some fun links for your Friday.

Entries of note from my blogroll:
Judge a Book recently judged some of the Anita Blake Books.
Magia Posthuma explains why he is researching the historical context of the 17th and 18th century vampires scares. I love research and it's really quite fascinating.
Revenant Ones does a lot of vampire movie reviews.
The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire has old movie clips, news, stories, and more.
Vampirewire has a link to another vampire recipe - Vampie!

Links and Videos:
Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab has some unique scents and products. I just ordered samples of Blood Kiss and Dorian and a few others. There are hundreds of crazy and unique scents.

How to make your own vampire fangs:

A whole bunch of Vampire Links

Funny Vampire Quotes and t-shirts

Anti-vamp? Here's a vampire slaying kit.

Even Vampires Get the Blues

Even Vampires Get the Blues is book 4 of the Dark Ones Series. Yesterday I reviewed Book 3 – Sex, Lies, and Vampires, and although I thought it was funny and maybe a bit charming, I really wasn’t too impressed. I decided to read book 4 in hopes it might be a bit better (and it’s overdue at the library).

Paen is a Dark One who has not found his Beloved. He would like a soul, but he doesn’t want to have to depend on a woman to survive. He is content in doing his own thing and having his own life and would rather not have a Beloved. While his parents are away on a research trip a demon comes to collect his father’s debt and only Paen can do it: he has 5 days or he will take his mother’s soul.

Samantha, the half elf and her cousin who is in denial about being a faerie, run a business of finding things – Paen and his brother go to Sam and Claire to help find the item they need to save their mother’s soul.

Even Vampires Get the Blues is a nice change from the rest of the books in the series. Paen really doesn’t want to tie himself down to a woman forever, Sam is a unique character with some interesting characteristics, and Claire is funny and charming.

Even after Paen finds his Beloved and the “join” he still doesn’t want to fall in love with her and live happily ever after. This is a huge change from the rest of the books. Yes, the basic outline of the Dark Ones books (girl travels, boy meets girl, love and denial, danger, steamy sex, etc) still follows the same for this one, but it’s not so sappy and more bad things happen. I hate to admit it, but I even cried a little bit because part of it was so sad.

I enjoyed book 4 much more than book 3, and probably 2, maybe even the first one as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sex, Lies, and Vampires

Sex, Lies, and Vampires is number 3 in the Dark Ones Series by Katie MacAlister.

Here's an Excerpt:

Take a flawed charmer named Nell, add a cursed Dark One called the Betrayer who has sold his own kind for centuries to a demon lord, and throw them together in a desperate attempt to save an innocent child...while along the way unentangling themselves from a Welsh knocker named Gigli who runs a house of ill repute for poltergeists, avoiding death by a revenge-minded vampire, and trying to convince a group of mummies that dead really does mean forever.

If you don't remember - here are the steps of "joining the beloved with the dark one"
Dark One marks the heroine as his own
Dark One protects heroine from afar
Dark One conducts the first exchange of bodily fluids (usually a steamy kiss)
Dark One entrusts the heroine with his life by giving her the means to destroy him
Second exchange of fluids (usually sexual in nature)
Dark One seeks heroine’s assistance to overcome his darker self
Exchange of lifeblood: the heroine redeems his dark soul by offering herself as a sacrifice so he can live

Even if these books are a little to "romancey" for me, I have enjoyed the humor in them. Unfortunately, number 3 doesn't seem to be much different than the other books in the series. Here is the basic outline of all 3 of the books so far:

Girl travels
Girl meets Boy
Love and Denial
Some danger
Steamy sex
More danger
Love love love
Happy Ending
Steamy Sex

There is also some humor, a little bit of paranormal things, and some more sex sprinkled here and there. The heroines are funny, but the books really don't differ from each other.

I also want to complain a little bit about the cover art:

Books 1-3 (bottom 3) seem to go with each other - the artwork goes together fairly well. Then you have the next 4 - Just One Sip is kind of cute (it's a group of short stories with different authors), but the rest look like horrible romances. I'm probably over-critical of coverart, but I like it when the all coordinate!

Zen and the Art of the Vampire - Book 6 - is coming out December 2nd.

Two and a Half Weeks Until True Blood Premier

True Blood premiers on HBO September 7th at 9pm. I have been a big fan of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series and look forward to the show. I've also managed to get a few friends hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse books as well!

I know that the books will be 10x better than the show - I wasn't extremely impressed with the pilot episode - which you can read about here and here. They've made some changes and I would support Charlaine Harris and just watch it for fun.

Here's the trailor:

I'm a fan of the theme song too:

In honor of the premier my friends and I plan to have a little vampire party. Here are some recipes for you to have a vampire party too!

Here's the recipe for Vampire Cupcakes: A lot of folks did these for the Twilight Premier and I think they are fantastic.

These guys are pretty cute. You can find the recipe here.

Some Drinks:


You can really use any red mixture, add some elements to the glass, and it looks great. Here is the above recipe - find another yummy drink recipe here.


You can buy these glasses here, or make your own!

Have any more ideas? Let me know!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Bride of Casa Dracula

I just finished The Bride of Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta, our friend at Vampire Wire. If you are not familiar with the Casa Dracula series, I would highly recommend reading the first book - Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, and the second book - Midnight Brunch. I have reviewed them here and here. If you haven't read these books, this review might also spoil some things for you.

Here is the summary:

Milagro De Los Santos is having problems planning her wedding to the fabulous Oswald Grand, M.D. Not only do her future in-laws loathe her, but they have a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Milagro's extravagant best friends hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, but then the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. And why is Cornelia's decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, continuously showing up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn't wed the undead?

I started this book late last night and grudgingly put it away so I could get some sleep. I even woke up early and finished the book, which says a lot because it's a Saturday morning and I love the chance to sleep in.

Milagro is still smart, stubborn, funny and sarcastic, but now she seems more comfortable in her own skin. We see her more confident and we get a better sense of who Mil is. I thought Milagro was great; she isn't your classic female character. Mil knows she wants to write, knows what she likes to write, loves to garden and get in the dirt, enjoys cooking, and doesn't let anyone make her feel bad about what she loves to do. She's not dependent on a man to make her happy either. When she is away from Oswald, she may miss him, but she has fun with friends and by herself.

The character so The Bride of Casa Dracula were strong and interesting. We get to better know some of the characters we've already met and some of them are bound to surprise us. Nancy, Mil's best friend, was great, Edna was entertaining, and Ian was as charming as ever. Acosta did a wonderful job creating dialogue, emotions, and relationships between Mil and the other characters.

TBCD was funny too. I laughed out loud several times. The book was entertaining and it kept me interested. It was also well-written and was probably one of the best books I have read in a while. It is unique, funny, heart-warming, and it kept me guessing. Vampire lovers will enjoy this book, but so will those who don't normally read paranormal fiction.

I genuinely enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's not just a paranormal romance, it's much more than that. Milagro is a unique character and the book isn't cut from a cookie cutter. The characters are real and their joys, struggles, successes and stresses are realistic and tangible. People of different ages and backgrounds can enjoy this book. I think TBCD is the best one so far in the series. If Acosta wrote a number 4, I would definitely read it.

The Bride of Casa Dracula comes out September 16th, make sure to get your copy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Friday! Videos, Links, and Fun Stuff

It’s Friday! The week has gone by pretty quickly… I’ve been pretty busy with work, wedding stuff, and I went to the Warped Tour! I will post pictures soon. Since it’s Friday, I thought I would add something fun.

I think Stewart Townsend is one the sexiest vampires. Here is a picture and the music video from Queen of the Damned (Jonathon Davis of Korn is singing).


Check out this Vampire Music Playlist.

Etsy Seller EsmeArt has a great Lego and Vampire Print for sale:

While not exactly "vampire" art, BellatrixArt has some great pieces. Check it out!

I also just found out from Vampire Wire that Colin Firth will be in the Dorian Gray movie!

I love Colin Firth and I love The Picture of Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde. Coincidentally, Stewart Townsend also played Dorian Gray in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

Some people say that Dorian Gray is a vampire: he sells his soul to become beautiful forever; never aging and never growing old. Read the book, it’s great. Oscar Wilde is quite brilliant and his quotes are always great.

I have lot of plans for the weekend, but I am hoping to have some new book reviews Monday!

Lunatic Cafe and Bloody Bones

More old Anita Blake: In Lunatic Cafe we are finally introduced to Raina, Marcus, Jason, and a swan prince. Anita is still with Richard, although she is having to come to terms with the fact that he is a werewolf and she has always been against the monsters.

She must decide if she wants to spend the rest of her life with Richard, even if he is a monster. She also is asked by Marcus to help them find out who is killing off lycanthropes.

As with pretty much all Anita Blake books, her life is in danger, she is threatened and gets hurt, she is trigger happy, never goes anywhere unarmed, and she learns more and more about “monsters.”

We are also introduced to Anita’s sexual morals. She wants to wait until marriage, so Richard asks her to marry him… but will she say yes? Especially after seeing what he is capable of? Oh how the tables turn further on in the series.

We also meet Gretchen, the vampire obsessed with Jean-Claude, and Jean-Claude finds out about Anita and Richard's "engagement." Jean-Claude will either kill Richard, or Anita must agree to date him so that he may have a chance to woo her.

Bloody Bones is the next book and Anita is sent to do a zombie raising only she is able to do… no one else is capable. While she is up in the mountains, preparing to raise the graveyard, there are odd murders going on.

She has Larry, her animator and vampire executioner trainee with her on the mission. Anita thinks there is a powerful vampire with a sword responsible for the murderers and she must allow Jean-Claude to help her.

Anita, Larry, Jean-Claude, and Jason must stop the murders and save themselves from the powerful vampires and the other creatures of the mountain.

Jean-Claude is finally getting some attention, while Monster Anita is starting to shine. Larry is starting to realize that Anita has few issues with killing people who get in her way.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Circus of the Damned - More Old Anita

Yesterday I finished Circus of the Damned, Laurell K Hamillton's 3rd Anita Blake Book. I really don’t remember the beginnings of Anita Blake. I am glad I have started re-reading them.

Looking back, some things are still the same and some things are quite different. Anita is still stubborn and blunt, and she never likes to feel weak or threatened. The old Anita though, happens to get rescued a lot by other people. She usually isn’t responsible for saving every single thing.

I enjoy the old Anita Blake books; they are pretty original, have some funny characters, interesting plots, and some action… they don’t have any romance in them just yet, but towards the end of book 3, the romance seems to be blossoming.

I do have to try and not pay attention to what she is wearing though. The black shorts or pants, with black Nikes, taller socks, a polo and/or huge shirt, and the “sports pack” (aka fanny pack), just don’t do it for me. I am cutting her some slack though, since the books were published mid-95.

I am confused though, when Anita says she will never have slender thighs and non-muscular calves… she is 5’3 and 106 pounds! She is practically anorexic. She also goes on about how short she is… 5’3 is not that short. I’m about that height and it’s not too bad. Isn’t the average height for a female 5’3? Also, 106 pounds, 5’3… what size dress do you think she would wear? Definitely not a 7! She says she’s “too busty for a 5.” I don’t think 106 pound, 63 inch women would fit in a size 5 with or without boobs. Maybe I’m wrong though. Did sizes in the 90’s use to be different? Aren’t ladies even numbers and teenager clothing in odd numbers?

While I enjoy the books, I really don’t think the writing is that great. She will be going on fairly casual then all of a sudden LKH will try and add this really illustrative paragraph that just doesn’t fit. My mom also commented that she is tired of her saying “she could taste it in the back of her throat” and other descriptions for smells that she uses over and over again. She also doesn’t care for the “ugh” and “wow” and other expletives at the end of many paragraphs. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

If you haven’t read it, or don’t remember it, here is the basic summary:

Some master vamp has gone rogue and there is a group of vamps killing people and leaving them dead in public places. A new animator is hired who wants to be a vampire hunter, and Jean-Claude still wants Anita to be his human servant.

There are several people hunting down Anita for the name and resting place of Jean Claude, since many people don’t know who the master of the city is, and many want him dead. She has to make decisions on which vampire to trust more (because she doesn’t trust any of them).

This books we meet the werewolves Stephan and Richard. At the end of the book Anita has to make amends that maybe Lycanthropes aren’t monsters.
More cover art: I am tending to like Hungary's coverart version... this one is a little provocative... not sure why. There hasn't been in sex in the books yet.


Here's the classic 90's version on the book in it's full glory of horrible scienfiction style coverart:

To see more, click here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lost Boys: The Tribe

I finally had the opportunity to watch Lost Boys: The Tribe. Suprisingly, it has been out of stock at Blockbuster everytime I go in. Last night I visited my brother and we watched in "On Demand).

I loved the orignal Lost Boys. It's a movie I think everyone should see at least once (also Cry Baby, Amelie, Mirror Mask, and Pi). I wasn't expecting the straight to DVD sequal to even compare with the original.

Chris and Nichole are brother and sister; their parents have been dead for a couple of years and they move to Luna Bay where their aunt lives, hoping they would catch a break. Chris used to be a professional surfer until he had some sort of break down and was banned. After they move into a crappy apartment Chris meets one of his idols, Shane Powers (Angus Sutherland). Shane used to be a surfer too, and throws a huge party at his house.

Shane and another surfer. and a couple other guys, are vampires. Nichole becomes Shane's love interest and he convinces her to have a drink.... which is vampire blood, which turns her into a "half-vampire" until she takes the life of another human. Chris enlists Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) as vampire hunter to help him get his sister back.

The movie was actually better than I expected it to be. I was a little worried at the start of it, but I wasn't too disappointed when it ended. There is some unnecessary gore and sex, which contributes to the feel of the B-Movie vibe. The movie could have sustained itself without the gore and the boobs, which made the film look a little cheaper.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much humor. The first Lost Boys was much more funny. The vampire faces also changed towards the end of the movie. Also, one really annoying thing was that Corey Feldman was trying on his "batman" voice - where he talks deeper than he actually does in real life. I wanted to slap Christian Bale, and I want to slap Corey Feldman too. I also felt that maybe Chris should join "the tribe." SPOILER: the movie really doesn't show the evilness of becoming a vampire. The kids have nothing left but each other and becoming a vampire actually looks like a better alternative... I was kind of hoping I would be thrown for a loop and the siblings would join the band of vamps. There was no suprise in the film whatsoever. Well there's a little suprise at the end.

I thought the guy who crushes on Nichole was quite adorable though. I don't remember his name and I can't find his credits anywhere. Overall, I thought it was a decent sequal. It wasn't fantastic, but it was probably one of the best straight-to-DVD movies out there. Here are some trailors for the original and the sequal:

The Laughing Corpse Anita Blake Book 2

I've missed the old Anita Blake books. I forgot how entertaining they can be (even without the animal orgies!).

Anita Blake has a lot on her plate in The Laughing Corpse: there's a psychotic zombie who is murdering families, a powerful priestess of voodoo is out to get her, a rich evil man is set on Anita doing him a favor, and Jean-Claude is trying to convince her to be his human servant. Anita doesn't get much sleep this time around.

Laurell K. Hamilton does a great job holding your attention as Anita gets herself into all kinds of trouble and has to face all sorts of demons. Anita is still as stubborn and Strong-willed as ever. Anita also holds true to her faith and values throughout the book. She still lives in a black and white world, but it's starting to turn a little gray around the edges. She believes human life is precious, but she also kills those who are trying to harm her.

There is a lot of gore in this book, but no gratuitous sex. I'm not saying I'm against sex in books, but it's nice to read a LKH book without having to read through pages and pages of orgies, bondage, and bodily fluids. The Laughing Corpse is quite gory though, as is most of the Anita Blake books.

Again, I am fond of the book cover art from Hungary: Photobucket

I also find the cover art for the Turkish version atrocious: Photobucket

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vote for Which Banner I Should Use!

My brother made some banners for me. He also just started a zombie blog!

Help me decide by voting using the poll on the sidebar!


For Fun - Appropriate Song Lyrics...

I am going through a "The Hush Sound" phase. The song "The Boys are too Refined" seem perfect for someone who likes a little vampire romance. The song is the first one on the playlist now. It's a bit more peppy than the others. Here are the lyrics:

The boys who kiss and bite,
They are the brilliant ones who speak and write with silver luck...
They sing in clever tongues,
Oh how my knees go weak to be the one
she kicks and bucks.
Always quick to follow
The boys are too refined
Won't matter tomorrow
Oh, to be in his mind
And if the timing is right to sneak off into the night,
I'll let myself be taken just for the thrill.
And if I'm given the chance to be a doll in his hands,
I will be sure we shake the mountains while we dance
To daddy singing sweet,
a lullaby to all his credit speak,
his golden light
to the edge with a car,
he sent it off a cliff just for the spark
to hell with why
Always quick to follow
The boys are too refined
Won't matter tomorrow
Oh, to be in his mind
And if the timing is right to sneak off into the night,
I'll let myself be taken just for the thrill.
And if I'm given the chance to be a doll in his hands,
I will be sure we shake the mountains while we dance

Now... here are the absolutely wrong lyrics I found on the first lyric site that came up....

The boys are Kissing bright
They are the pretty ones who sleep in white
The silver while
They're singing clever taunts
Oh well my knees are ready to bathe in wine
Just to kiss the butt
Oh baby It's a pedophile
The boys are too refined
No baby I'll see you tomorrow
Oh can't we eat this mime?
And if the timing is right
To sneak off into the night
I'll let myself be taken just for the thrill
And If I'm given the chance
To be a dollanasans
I will be sure to shake the mountains round these ends
To get a sing or squee
With out the basketball
His credits stink
It's a golden lion.
To be a drifting car
It's saturday off,
We can't just go this far
I'll take out his wife
Oh baby his creature follows
Dumb boys are too refined
Whoa baby that's in tomorrow
Boys can't be hit with flies
And if the timing is right
To sneak off into the night
I'll let myself be taken just for the thrill
And If I'm given the chance
To be a dollanasans
I will be sure to shake the mountains round these ends

Wow.... can you say major fail? I'm hoping whoever submitted these lyrics were making a joke.

Guilty Pleasures... I was feeling nostalgic

I read Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton when I was a sophomore in high school. I actually had read Obsidian Butterfly first, and went back and read the in order, stopping at about, number 12 or so.

I had fallen in love with the books, even though I was quite ashamed to let anyone see me read them, and I certainly didn't want to explain to them what they were about (well, there's this vampire hunter/zombie raiser who falls in love with a master vampire and a werewolf, befriends a wereleopard and wererat.... etc).

I picked them back up about a year and a half or two years ago. As with many people, I was disappointed about all the orgies and the all-powerful Anita. I was feeling nostalgic this week though, and thought I would read the old Laurell K Hamilton. I didn't realize how much I had forgotten about Anita's story until I started reading.

Most vampire fans have read the Anita Blake books. Most of you know the story. In case you have forgotten, like I did, here is what happens in book 1:

Anita is forced into helping the master vampire Nikalaos (not Jean-Claude) find out who is responsible for the vampire killings. Anita's main job is still an animator, but she does do some vampire hunting on the side... she's killed 14 so far. Anita is also quite afraid of vampires.

Book 1 is where she becomes tied to Jean-Claude before he becomes master of the city himself. She meets the rat king Raphael too. Most of the human characters that are in the other books are introduced in this one. Not so many lycanthropes or other friendly vamps though. You don't see in were wolfs or leopards, just rats; no Asher either.

Anita is still innocent and fearful in Guilty Pleasures. She is also stubborn, has a temper, and very against anyone having control of her... typical Anita. Throughout the book Anita questions whether or not vampires have a soul. She thinks that all vampires are pretty much no good and not to be trusted.

I also found it interesting that Phillip, a co-dependent stripper from Guilty Pleasures who is addicted to vampire bites, likes pain, abused as a child, and wants approval is so incredibly similar to Nathaniel. I thought for a while that it was Nathaniel using a different name.

Guess what? Besides a pretty PG description of the guys dancing, there was no sex! No animal orgies, no 3-ways, nothing. I wish they were still like this one!

While getting the book picture, I was looking through the different book covers from around the world. I am particularly fond of the one from Hungary. The German one is nice too. You can find the rest here.

Photobucket Photobucket

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Old vs The New

Traditionally, vampires have been evil demons, not sympathetic creatures of the night. So what's changed?

Characteristics of the traditional vampire in fiction and folklore:
Drinks blood to survive
Can’t go out in the Sun
Allergic to crosses, holy water, and other religious relics
Obviously, traditional vampires have been seen as demons, messengers of Satan, and other evil beings. While I may not support all of Christiangoth’s beliefs, he explains the relationship between your classic vampire and religion it quite well:

"It is also important to note that while the vampire legend is nearly universal, it reached its most epidemic proportions in heavily Catholic (or Orthodox) eastern Europe. Most cultures have taboos against drinking blood. This can doubtless be traced back to the command the Lord gave Noah after the flood forbidding the drinking of blood (Gen. 9:4). It is ironic that both the Catholic and Orthodox religions feature as their central superstition the idea of drinking blood and eating flesh (under the sacramental appearance of wine and bread) against the specific commands of God. That these religions are dominant in cultures where vampirism (both in legend and in practice) runs deep is significant.”

These vampires were said to drink your blood… your life essence, your being. Leviticus 17:11 says "the life of a creature is in the blood." This goes with the above mentioned Levitical law forbidden the consumption of blood. If something drinks your blood and you die, it is a death worse them murder, they have literally consumed your life.

Darkness is synonymous with evil. The sun brings life. The sun helps crops to grow and makes living and working possible. The sun represents life. Light is often used to describe God or goodness. It is no wonder an evil being cannot bear to live in the sunshine.

A vampires weakness to religious items helps to illustrate how the church is able to defeat evil. Even though the creature may seem powerful and dangerous, it can be defeated with the use of a cross or holy-water. This gives power to the religion, it’s doctrine, and faith.

Another common way to kill a vampire would be fire. Fire is also used as a symbol for life and protection. People are able to cook and warm themselves with it, and many ceremonies used fire. Fire is also said to cleanse someone, to make them pure. Fire represents something good; good again, defeats evil.

Omnibus Sanctis discusses the symbol of the vampire as well, saying

"Vampires are us, what we become (monsters) when we turn our backs to God and give ourselves over to unbridled passions, our lusts and selfishness, our nihilism. In this way vampire stories are at their core Catholic. Built into the conventions of the genre is Catholic theology; light/darkness, blood/life, life/sacrifice, undeath/damnation, soul/immortality, instinct/vice, sin/slavery, the sacramentals (holy water, crucifixes, rosaries, etc…).”

Most vampires of the evil vampires are similar to the anti-christ. They are evil beings, but promise eternal life, often eternal riches and beauty as well, by drinking blood.

Today’s vampire, the same principles cannot be used. Not all vampires are seen as evil, more like they are “misunderstood.” There might be some evil vampires, but there can be good ones that exist as well. Experimental Theology touches on the differences between vampires now and the evil vampires of old, suggesting that vampires use to be more about sin, and now they are explained by biology.

In most modern works of fiction the vampire:
Usually has inhuman strength
Many times handsome/beautiful
Not always weakened by religious objects
Sometimes allergic to silver
Sometimes can mind read or exert mind control.

Today’s popular vampire is dark and mysterious, dangerous, yet able to love and protect. These vampires could be argued as a symbol for sin or temptation, but mostly they have been made into romantic characters. The vampire now represents eternal beauty, love, wealth, and sometimes wisdom. It is rarely associated with eternal damnation.

The romantic vampires are handsome (not too many ugly vamps out there), fall in love at first site of the heroine, loyal, smart, rich, great in bed, protectors, but they are also the attractive “bad boy” that women love. They are everything a woman could want… eternally.

Do vampires have souls? Could vampires be devoted to a God, or a faith? Anne Rice, who is now Christian, says she will not a write a Christian Vampire novel because she thinks it cannot be done, but Tanya Huff’s Blood Ties vampire is a devout catholic who believes he still has a soul, no matter what the church says. Edward of the Twilight Series is afraid that vampires do not have souls, The vampires in ----- go into a sort of limbo when they die because of their lack of souls, but if they are made into humans can enter heaven or hell if they are killed. Buffy’s vampires are soulless… until the handsome ones (Angel) are “cursed” and possess one once more.

Omnibus Sanctis makes a good point:

"Since vampires represent human nature how is redemption possible? Within the conventions of the genre it is not. Once you are a vampire you are always a vampire, there is no cure, no redemption. But this can lead to fairly one dimensional characters (pure evil, however witty). [This is why Milton gave Satan the best lines.] And why Mrs. Rice let Lestat suffer guilt. Others have tried in different ways to overcome this problem. Take the characters of Angel and Spike. But both characters suffer from what amounts to emasculation or an identity crisis. They are vampires but either can’t be a vampire (Spike’s chip) or do not want to be (Angel’s soul), except when convenient."

Today's popular vampire still promises eternal life, wealth, and beauty, but it is often mixed with guild, longing for death, and burden of time. If today's popular vampire isn't a symbol for sin or death, what do think it is a symbol of? Or does the vampires still hold a significant symbolic value?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Success! And Links...

Gardella Vampire Hunter Book 4 -When Twilight Burns came out yesterday... I am refraining from buying it because of I need to not spend money at the moment; shame shame. Check out Colleen Gleason's website and blog. You can even buy t-shirts.

I had a small victory yesterday. Yesterday my guy asked me for some books. I started handing him books he might like. After a few minutes he finally just said it - "do you have any vampire books?" I wished I would have remembered the exact words he said because he asked the question with such defeat. We have been dating for over 5 years and he has always made fun of me for loving (maybe obsessing) over vampire books and the like. I finally got him!

Check it out:

Magia Posthuma: "On several occasions, particularly on the periphery of the Habsburg Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries, dead people were suspected of being revenants or vampires, and consequently dug up and destroyed. Contemporary authors named this phenomenon Magia Posthuma. This blog is dedicated to understanding what happened and why."

Revenant Ones: Blog related to the BloodCopy site, but has much more to offer. This blog has all kinds of vampire movie clips and fun extras.

Urban Vamp: "Confessions of a modern day vampyre." I've mentioned her blog before; it includes information about modern day vampyrism and more. Plus I like her writing style.

Vampire Vineyards: They sell "vampire" wine, cola, energy drinks, and more. If they had a sparkling wine I might have bought it... I'm a sucker for sweet champagne (no pun intended).

Vampire Bear: A video advice column given by the vampire bear... lately it is how to learn Hebrew...

The Vampire Librarian: I haven't had a chance to look through his whole blog, but it looks great. I use to work in a library...

Blood and Shadow: "Everything one could want to learn about Vampires; from the blood drinking to the psychic vampires. Sanguines, myths, the horrors, the truths, et cetera. Give this a read, learn a bit about the topic, and enjoy this little slice of the more...regel side of the paranormal."

Vampire Tools: Originally in Portuguese, but offers a translator for different languages.

and Vampire Handmade stuff from Etsy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Movies, Books, Links, Etc.

I’ve been slacking: I haven’t been to work (sick hours – use’em before you lose’em) and I was too busy this weekend to do anything like read.

Lost Boys: The Tribe came out last week. I was quite disappointed when I went to the local blockbuster to find that they were all gone! I was quite surprised that they there were all checked out, so I have to delay on my review of the cult-classic sequel.

Did I mention I had no time for reading this weekend? I did start reading the first 3 pages of Red Death The first book in the Jonathan Barrett - Gentlemen Vampire Series. I’m not sure yet if I will enjoy the book or not, either way the cover art is horrible. Look how his little fangs rest upon his lower lip...that looks awkward.


I did make a lovely discovery; Halloween is on a Friday this year! I hope one of the clubs around here will have a big costume party; that would be super.

I was never a big Myspacer – when I joined I felt like I had given up a piece of my soul. That was a while now, and I have become practically addicted to the game Mobsters. Now they have a Vampire game that I have started playing… I think it’s a lot of fun. If you have myspace, you should play. It’s not that exciting, but I still think its fun. You earn blood to pay for abilities and other stuff, you do missions with how much energy you have, and you can kill and fight people.

Anyone read the 4th Twilight Book? While I didn’t, I did find the spoilers and reviews quite amusing. Maybe I will read it after all. It looks like a lot of fans were quite disappointed. It seems like young girls shouldn’t read this book either.
Spoilers – this thread Breaking Dawn – WTF? is awesome. Just reading it, I’m like “WTF?” Maybe I won’t read the book.

I know this a last week, but if you don't already know, this fella is playing Eric Northman in the Sookie Sackhouse TV Series True Blood. And if you don't already know, I'm all team Eric.


I will have to see him in action to judge if he is the Eric of my dreams or not... opinions?

Take the Sookie Stackhouse Quiz! Do you know the books?

More Vampire stuff here.