Monday, December 29, 2008

Update: Supernatural, Legend of the Seeker Will Resume in Mid-January 2009

I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas break. Although I am still on vacation, I know many fans cannot wait to resume watching their favorite fantasy/thriller TV shows. I feel the same way too.

If you are wondering when will the new episodes air on television, I have the dates listed below:

Legend of the Seeker (Season 1, Episode 8) will resume on Saturday, January 10, 2009.

The fourth season of Supernatural (Season 4, Episode 11) will resume on Thursday, January 15, 2009 on the CWTV.

Ghost Adventures will have a new episode this Friday, January 2, 2009 on The Learning Channel (TLC).

Stay tuned for my 2008 reflections about my blog later this week.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Miracle: Angel Saves Dying Daughter

Christmas is the season of miracles. We give to one another and take care of the sick and needy. Last night during the holy hour (midnight) I prayed to God to bless me and my family and to guide us through these very tough times on the path to righteousness. I came across this article and it really touched me. This was truly a Christmas miracle.

The picture shows proof that angels DO exist. That bright light in the hospital hallway was an angel who saved that severely ill teen girl, Chelsea Banton. Although she endured many challenges with her health, Chelsea had the courage to live and her family believed in her. It was not her time to die yet.

If you are still skeptical, here is another article about a pregnant woman who stopped breathing when the doctors went through an emergency Caesarian section to deliver the twin babies. When the doctors had about given up on her, she became conscious again and opened her eyes. This stunned the doctors! This was another Christmas miracle.

What do you think about these stories? According to a CBS News 12/21/08 article, 70% of Americans believe angels exist. Many people believe in their own versions of angels (guardian, messenger, or other). Nevertheless, we live in a supernatural world.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

Christmas Day is only a few days away. Many people don't realize that the celebration of Christmas originated in Northern Europe (particularly in the Celtic and Germanic regions). The Catholic Church adopted many pagan rituals and traditions to convert the local people to the Christian religion. Nevertheless, this is a happy special moment to support each other, give to the sick/needy, and celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Looking for ways to enjoy the holidays? Don't forget to read Charles Dickens' famous novel, A Christmas Carol. For those of you who are looking for Christmas ghost stories, origins and legends, check out the links below:

Happy holidays, everyone, and celebrate with your family and friends.

Enjoy the beautiful Christmas music below by Celtic Woman and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Celtic Woman - O Holy Night

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Carol of the Bells
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Upcoming Movie: Underworld 3 - Rise of the Lycans (2009)

In less than two months, the third installment in the Underworld franchise triology will premiere in theatres nationwide in late January 2009. The official name is Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans. It is a prequel to the first two movies that answers questions about the origins of the main characters, specifically Viktor (the vampire king) and Lucian, leader of the Lycans (werewolves). The setting is the Dark Ages (medieval period).

The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian (Sheen) emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja (Mitra), in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom. - IMDB

If you have not seen the first two movies (Underworld, Underworld: Evolution), you can rent it now at local movie places such as Blockbuster or try online movie sites such as and Netflix. I really recommend watching both movies first because they do a great job realistically depicting the personalities of vampires and werewolves. Vampires are masters; werewolves are their slaves. Their war is ancient and brutal.

You can watch the official trailer below:

Stay tuned to my movie review in 2009!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: Elfen Lied (2004)

Elfen Lied (2004) is a psychological science fiction Japanese anime. This 14-episode (13 TV episodes + 1 OVA total) series is for mature audiences due to the violent and graphic nature of the scenes. The opening theme is "Lilium" by Kumiko Noma and the ending theme is "Be Your Girl" by Chieko Kawabe.

The Diclonius (meaning "two-horned human") are a mutated, dangerous species who have two horns on their head and possess a sixth sense with powerful telekinetic abilities. It is said the Diclonius have the power to exterminate the human race so they must be captured and destroyed. They have been locked and isolated inside a secret military laboratory confinement by the Japanese government. Lucy, a young, red-haired and manic Diclonius, breaks free of her cell and brutally murders the guards. Before she could escape the laboratory grounds, a guard shoots her in the head and falls into the ocean. She survives this shooting and drifts along the island beach where two teenagers, Kohta and Yuka, discover her.

Lucy suffers amnesia and undergoes an alternate personality. Kohta and Yuka call her "Nyuu" because they is all she can say. With no place to go, the cousins allow Lucy (aka Nyuu) to stay at their hotel home called the Maple Inn. They do the best they can to help the ignorant, confused and troublesome girl. As Kohta constantly chases after Nyuu, Yuka becomes extremely jealous because she has romantic feelings for him. Meanwhile, Kouta allow Mayu, a homeless young girl, to stay with them at the Maple Inn.

Nevertheless, the evil "Lucy" is not dead yet. While Mayu isn't a major character, she does introduce and befriend another Diclonius, Nana, who was ordered to capture and kill Lucy by Professor Kurama, who heads the research facility and supervision of the Diclonius. She finds Nyuu who immediately regains her memories as Lucy. However, Nana fails in her mission as she lets her guard down in the fight and Lucy tears her limb to limb leaving her only with a head and torso. Director Kurama rescues Nana and gives her artificial limbs so that she can return to her mission.

Nana returns to Mayu and discovers Lucy inadvertently. She immediately attacks Lucy only to learn that she is playful, ignorant and innocent in this state of mind as Nyuu. Earning their trust, Nana becomes the next person to stay in the Maple Inn. Danger still lurks ahead for the group. Will Lucy ever fully recover her memories again? What will happen to Lucy and Nana once the research laboratory is still after them? Will Lucy/Nyuu hurt Yuka's relationship with Kouta? Only you can find out by watching Elfen Lied.

This is a really good (and complicated and controversial) series because of the horror and psychological themes involved: cruel experimentation, abuse/sadism, outright killings, and more. The Diclonius have vectors ("invisible arms") which can turn humans into their kind if penetrated through the skin. In a way, their DNA is highly adaptable and infectious. I know Adult Swim wanted to air Elfen Lied but it would have to undergo too much censorship and editing for television audiences. There is a lot of nudity and extreme violence scenes (I even tensed a bit at the way the soldiers were brutally mutilated and murdered. Yikes!). Yuka and Kohta don't fully understand how dangerous the Diclonius are. We never learn the full names of the characters except Professor Kurama. I don't know if I will ever fully understand the storyline: where did Lucy and Nana come from? What other powers do they possess?

The music is also fantastic. I especially love the opening song, Lilium, a slow, canonical yet gloomy melody sung in Latin with images of Lucky in Austrian Art Nouveau artist, Gustav Klimt's famous painting, "The Kiss" (1907-08), as the background. The name "Lucy" also plays homage to the oldest human ancestor skeleton discovered in Africa. The title of the series originates from the German poem, Elfen Lied ("Elf Song"), by Eduard Mörike. All episode titles are in German. I highly recommend this series but it has many dark horror scenes and not for the faint of heart.

This show is available to buy and rent on DVD.

"Lilium" by Kumiko Noma (Note: This includes the Latin lyrics with English translation.)

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Friday, December 12, 2008

TV Show: Ghost Adventures (Travel Channel)

Ghost Adventures is a paranormal detective TV series on the Travel Channel. It airs new episodes every Friday at 9:00pm Eastern Time. Zak Bagans and his main camera crew, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin, search and investigate haunted locations around the world. During their investigations, they scope out the general area, interview locals about the history of the hauntings, and go face-to-face during lockdown (from dusk to dawn) with the spirits who reportedly haunt these places. Zak and his crew try to provoke the spirits to reveal and show their presence. They use the latest electronic technology and camera equipment to capture evidence and prove the existence of the paranormal.

This is a good show to watch, and I'm positive there will be a second season in the near future. Their award-winning documentary first appeared back in June 2008 on the Sci-Fi Channel. Their camera results have definitely shown evidence that they were in the presence of spirits and other supernatural phenomenon. To learn more about Zak Bagans' background and future events, check out his interview on Cinema Suicide and their MySpace page.

I need to clarify though the crew do not investigate locations with very powerful evil spirits. I say this because there have been well-documented incidents where people inadvertently entered very unholy/evil places and never returned alive. (Yes, they died.) This show will make you realize that ghosts exists and the supernatural is definitely real.

Watch the Ghost Adventures trailer below.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: Blood Debt (Vickie Nelson #5)

"The restless dead are demanding vengeance from Henry Fitzroy even if it means breaking the vampires’ code he’s lived by for centuries..."

Blood Debt, by Tanya Huff, is the fifth and final book in the Blood (Vicki Nelson) series. The setting is contemporary (1990s) Vancouver and Toronto, in provinces, British Columbia and Ontario, respectively. It has been two years since the incident at Queens University that left Henry Fitzroy, 450-year old bastard son of King Henry VIII (Duke of Richmond and Somerset and other royal titles) and Mike Celluci, Toronto Metro detective, shocked in horror and Vicki Nelson, ex-police officer and Toronto-based private investigator, from sudden death. Celluci got his wish: Henry turns Vicki into a vampire to save her. Celluci has not heard from Vicki ever since that frightful night.

Somewhere in Vancouver, a young man waits in a hospital about to be released. When he tries to stand up, an orderly balances him. When the young man turned around, the look of horror scares him. Later that night, three longshoremen discover a body near their dock with bruises, purple-colored skin and missing hands. Missing hands. Who on earth could have done such a thing? As Henry Fitzroy wakes up from his night sanctuary in his condo, a ghost stands before his bed raising his missing hands. Shaken from what he has seen, Tony Foster, his friend and once homeless kid living from the streets in Toronto, insists that maybe the ghost wants revenge. Vengeance. But what can Henry do?

The ghost continues to reappear, and Henry tries to gather more information about this event. When Fitzroy could no longer handle the situation (handling ghosts are not his expertise, after all, he’s a romance writer), he calls Vicki, now vampire detective, his child, for help to get rid of his specter guests. Vampires, by the code, are supposed to keep a safe distance from each other. They live by territorial rules. Although she was his former lover, vampires no longer can have such mutual relationships. Vicki receives the call and summons Celluci to accompany her for the trek across the Canadian country to solve this case before it – these ghosts – drives Henry to insanity.

However, things become more complicated as more deaths continue to rise in the Vancouver region. Vicki and Mike suspect a clinic, through the resources of Patricia Chou, news anchor and journalist, behind the connection between the ghosts and illegal organ-legging scheme. But what they did not discover that using the law and catching the monster behind this could be risky, dangerous and even deadly. As Henry partners with Vicki, despite vampire codes, to settle this situation, they must race against time before someone dear to them could become another ghost haunting the night.

After reading Blood Pact, which was action-packed and highly suspenseful, this book seriously disappointed me. While the story of organ-legging sounded appealing and innovative, the storyline fell short. This adventure was a week long, but it felt like this case only took 3-4 days to solve. Yet this novel was over 300 pages long. I was also expecting a big, surprising ending. I didn’t get that, but at the same time, the reader can tell there will be more stories and adventures between Henry Fitzroy and Vicki Nelson. This book was not as exciting and wild as the previous novel. I understand that Huff tries to diversify her books with innovative and supernatural plots, but this book would be the least supernatural of the Vicki Nelson books: beginning with demons, werewolves, mummies, zombies and now ending with ghosts?

While I would have given this book three stars, I will give it four stars just for adding character twists on Mike Celluci (when he becomes the victim) and more background information and greater character role for Tony Foster. Tony has always been a minor character in the series whom you would have thought as, "well he’s there just for adding information." He has a bigger lead in this novel. We also sense his emotions that trouble him: Vicki is no longer human, she's a vampire, how shall he act around her? Henry has been the greatest thing in his life for giving him food, shelter and a job, but will he always live with Henry? Another question that arises, although Huff never fully explains it: can vampires truly be friends and stand near each other? Is the vampire code outdated?

Fortunately, this is NOT the last book of the Blood a.k.a. Vicki Nelson novels. When I had originally finished this novel several years ago, Blood Bank had not been published yet. It should answer my questions and concerns which led me to believe this series was still incomplete. If you haven't had the chance, check out the TV series, Blood Ties
. Although Lifetime declined to renew the series, I highly recommend the show. As of November 2008, the producers are still seeking production partners but there's no indication it will premiere again.

Overall, this novel series has been fun and invigorating. I recommend that readers start from the beginning of the series with Blood Price. Blood Pact, the fourth book, is definitely the climax—and most stimulating—of the series. I am so glad Huff decided to make this a six-book series!

Stay tuned for next and final review in the Vickie Nelson Blood series, Blood Bank.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

"The Last Unicorn" Music Video

Today is the first official snow storm in my area. What a winter wonderland. It is also officially the holiday season.

I want to began this month with a popular song that soothes my mind. This amazing video is called "The Last Unicorn", which is based upon the 1968 critically-acclaimed fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle. It has also been fully adapted into an animated cult classic film (1982) with the help of a team of Japanese animators. A unicorn, who believes she is the last of her kind in the world, sets off on a journey to discover what has happened to the other unicorns. On her magical journey, the unicorn meets a host of diverse characters who help her reach her goal. Check this website for more information about the novel/movie. This novel has captivated international audiences of all ages similar to Lord of the Rings. I have also added the lyrics (originally performed by the band, America) to the video below. Enjoy the video. The music and pictures are very beautiful.

When the last eagle flies over the last crumbling mountain
And the last lion roars at the last dusty fountain
In the shadow of the forest though she may be old and worn
They will stare unbelieving at the last unicorn

When the first breath of winter through the flowers is icing
And you look to the north and a pale moon is rising
And it seems like all is dying and would leave the world to mourn
In the distance hear the laughter of the last unicorn

I'm alive, I'm alive

When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning
And the future has passed without even a last desperate warning
Then look into the sky where through the clouds a path is torn
Look and see her how she sparkles, its the last unicorn

I'm alive, I'm alive

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Review: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)

But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line--and choose between the two people she loves most.

Shadow Kiss, by Richelle Mead, is the third novel in the Vampire Academy series. Rose Hathaway, a dhampir student, is forbidden to love her handsome guardian, Dimitri Belikov. Meanwhile, she must also protect her best friend, Lissa, the last Moroi royal member of the legendary Dragomir family. Lissa has a special gift: spirit, which has inexplicable healing and compulsion powers. This is their last year at St. Vladimir's Academy, a private school for Moroi and dhampir children in the remote wilderness. Lissa plans to attend college, and Rose will become her guardian alongside with Dimitri permanently. Unfortunately, her feelings for Dimitri have become very difficult to ignore even if she's in the middle of her guardianship field experience. She must also face her worst enemy, Victor Dashkov, at the Moroi Royal Court.

Since her first Strigoi kills, Rose has never felt the same. She feels responsible for the recent violent death of Mason, a former classmate who had a major crush on her. No matter where she goes, she notices his sad ghostly appearance and suffers other dark flashbacks warning her that something evil and terrible is approaching the Academy. She can hardly concentrate in her studies with the dreams and panic attacks. Rose hates lying to Lissa, but who would believe her story that ghosts exist? Adrian Ivashkov, another spirit user and nephew of the Moroi Queen, has a major crush on Rose, which makes her life even more complicated. He becomes Lissa's mentor as they both uncover the secrets of spirit. Meanwhile, Christian becomes increasingly frustrated and jealous at Adrian for reasons even Rose cannot reveal because the truth would shock them all.

When the Strigoi surprisingly attack the Academy, Dimitri is unexpectedly captured. Rose must make a painful and ultimate decision. Will she choose to protect Lissa over her love for Dimitri? Or will she sacrifice Lissa to save Dimitri? No matter which path she chooses, she must do what is right for herself.

Wow! This series gets even better and more unpredictable. I love Mead's writing style because she is great on character and plot development. It took me only a week to finish this novel. I could not stop reading which is quite impressive. The ending is so sad that I became emotional. I won't spoil it, but I really feel for Rose. All this time she knew she would become a guardian, but the Academy attack changed her perspectives on life. Is her loyalty to the Moroi more important than her own feelings? Relationships are tested through novel, and some love triangles emerge (Adrian-Lissa-Christian, Adrian-Rose-Dimitri). Readers will learn how vulnerable Rose becomes as she endures being "shadow-kissed" (higher awareness of the supernatural and sensitivity to Lissa's spirit magic) because she came back from the dead. Although their relationship was forbidden since dhampirs cannot marry nor reproduce, Rose really loved Dimitri. It's also tragic that she leaves behind her friends, especially Lissa and Adrian. The next book will focus on how she will face him again in her incredible journey to adulthood and self-realization.

I highly recommend this series to teens and young adults. You must read Vampire Academy and Frostbite to understand the plot. Stay tuned for more updates. The fourth novel will appear in 2009.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Review: Code Geass - Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006-2008)

Code Geass is a Japanese science fiction mecha anime set in an alternate universe. The storyline chronicles the epic journey of Lelouch vi Britannia who leads a rebellion as the masked hero, Zero, to seek revenge on the death of his mother and create a new world order with the power of Geass ("Power of Kings"). It premiered in June 2006 and finished in September 2008 with 50 episodes total. I will cover both seasons (Code Geass and Code Geass R2).

The Holy Empire of Britannia conquered the Japanese country with their robotic mechas called Knightmare frames. In the aftermath, the Japanese people lost their freedom and their rights. The country was renamed Area 11 of the Britannian Empire. The Japanese people, also renamed as Elevens, lived in unsafe, squalor neighborhoods while the Britannian people lived in settlements in excellent condition. Rebel groups and organizations gradually emerge to protest the Britannian government and to reclaim Japanese independence.

After his father, the Emperor of Britannia, failed to prevent the assassination of his imperial mother, an attack which also left his sister, Nunally, blind and crippled, the young prince Lelouch vowed to his childhood friend, Suzaku, that he would destroy the empire. Seven years later, with a new identity as Lelouch Lamperouge attending an elite private high school, he accidentally becomes mixed up with "terrorists" in Area 11. He stumbles upon a military secret and encounters a mysterious young girl named C.C., who grants him the power of Geass. With it, he finally has the power that he needs to defeat Britannia and fulfill his two wishes: to seek revenge for his mother and to construct a world in which his beloved sister can live happily. While Suzaku, who is of Japanese descent, is a soldier in the Britannian task force and secretly made the pilot of Britannia's new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero of the Black Rebellion to destroy Britannia and create a new world of peace for his disabled sister.

After the failure of the Black Rebellion to overthrow the Britannian forces, the empire assigned Area 11 on a "correctional education" status where the Japanese people are made an example with brute force to suppress rebellious thoughts and uprisings. Lelouch, who lost his memories as Zero a year ago, stumbles upon C.C. (who is immortal) who reveals his forgotten purpose. With his memories and Geass in tact again, he resumes his role as Zero and sets out to finish what he started with the Black Rebellion. The story line and battles becomes more complex as Lelouch learns new enemies, confronts his father, and endures betrayal to achieve his ultimate goal.

I must say this was a GREAT EPIC anime series. I watched all 50 episodes for an entire year, and I am very glad I stayed loyal even though there were some bad pacing and inexplicable moments in the second season. This season incorporates a lot of themes from Irish and Norse mythology. Geass is a corruption of geas/geis, a term for a magical contract in Irish mythology. Ragnarok means "final destiny of the gods" which becomes a central theme in the second season when Lelouch confronts his father in the realm of Geass. Area 11/Japan is a major battleground scene with mechas. The "Holy Empire of Britannia" takes its name from how Great Britain was able to conquer one-fourth of the world in the early 20th century. Although he learns the truth about his mother in the later half of the second season, Lelouch fulfilled his promise to Nunally by sacrificing himself to create a better world.

The ending was so ambigious that people still debate whether Lelouch is still alive or dead. If he achieved the Power of Kings, he also became immortal. If you have watched Death Note, there are similarities between Kira/Lighto and Zero/Lelouch: they are masterminds who have a srong sense of justice and desire to change the world through magical abilities. Some fans may wonder did so many people in this series have to die for Lelouch's dream to come true. While I do believe Lelouch did not want some people to die (i.e. Euphemia and Shirley), he made sure their deaths were not in vain. Lelouch also helps C.C. fulfill her wish in the last episode.

This was a very good popular show. The OSTs are also excellent, particularly the songs ("Innocent Days", "Stories", and "Boku wa, Tori ni Naru") by hitomi. Both seasons have been licensed for release in the United States. You can learn more information on Adult Swim and the English official version of Code Geass R2. I highly recommend this series.

Code Geass 1st Season ED2: Mosaic Kakera by Sunset

Code Geass Insert Song: All Hail Britannia

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

"A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "Phantom of the Opera" by Sarah Brightman

I am a fan of soprano singer and actress, Sarah Brightman. She is the original Christine of the Broadway musical hit, The Phantom of the Opera. She is also the only singer to successfully perform hits on both the Classical and Dance music charts. The first video is "A Whiter Shade of Pale" from her 2000 album, La Luna. It's officially the holidays and it's starting to look like winter (snow) outside my window. It is so beautiful and mystical. The second video is a Nightwish version of Phantom of the Opera with Sarah Brightman in Vienna, Italy. It has a more gothic symphony rock style. Enjoy!

Sarah Brightman - A Whiter Shade of Pale

Sarah Brightman feat. Nightwish - The Phantom of the Opera

[Update: I had to remove the Nightwish video because it became unavailable. The man singing in this version is Michael Crawford.]

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Updates: True Blood 2nd Season, 9th Sookie Stackhouse Novel, New Fantasy Series by Yasmine Galenorn

First, I have more updates about Charlaine Harris' projects.

The ninth novel, "Dead and Gone," of the Southern Vampire series will be available for purchase in May 2009. I cannot wait to review more Sookie Stackhouse's adventures with the supernatural. In the meantime, I will continue to post reviews on books 6-8 (Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, and From Dead to Worse) in the upcoming months. You can learn more about the TV show and book series on this site by clicking on the "harris" label on the right-hand column.

The first season of True Blood has finished. The final episode was definitely the best. The ending was shocking and briefly introduced some new characters. It is following the order of the novels faithfully (you can probably guess who got killed in the end.) This show is so popular that HBO counted almost 6.4 million viewers! The second season of True Blood will premiere in Summer 2009. There will be more characters in the cast to reflect the Southern Vampire series.

Second, I am starting a new supernatural novel series called the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon by Yasmine Galenorn. A good friend recommended the author, and it looks good. It chronicles the lives of the three D'Artigo sisters: Camille (witch), Delilah (werecat), and Menolly (vampire). I should have a review of the first novel (Camille) in December 2008.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: Forever Knight (1992-1996)

He was brought across in 1228. Preyed on humans for their blood. Now he wants to be mortal again. To repay society for his sins. To emerge from his world of darkness. From his endless, forever night.

Forever Knight (1992-1996) was a cult supernatural and contemporary TV drama centered around the vampire protagonist, Nick Knight and his quest for redemption. It aired on the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel. There were 3 seasons (70 episodes total). It is now available for purchase on DVD. (Click on the link below to see the trailer in this post.)

Nicolas de Brabant is a 13th-century European vampire who has endured a lifetime of struggle and guilt. He feels tortured with who he is (a superhuman monster who preys on humans, a predator who feeds off blood for his own survival) and seeks his unending journey to become human again. He moves to Toronto, Ontario with a new identity (Nick Knight) to become a homicide police detective permanently on the night shift. In this role, he would pay society for his sins by doing good deeds. Dr. Natalie Lambert, a crime-scene medical examiner, accidentally discovers Nicolas' true nature and vows to help him. He distances himself from the vampire community to retain his mortal feelings and thoughts. She is the presence that helps him retain his humanity and sense of justice. Natalie presents a medical report to the police captain, Joe Reese, that he suffers a severe allergy to sunlight. Nicholas and Natalie gradually develop a forbidden love complicated by Nicolas' always present vampire family hiding in the shadows. Throughout the show, the audience witnesses flashbacks of Nicolas' past experiences over 700 years ago.

Janette du Charme has a very powerful influence Nicolas. They share an eternal love for one another and are bounded by the same master who created them. He can indulge in his vampiric urges and share a deep history (both originally came from France) of companionship together. The most powerful force in his life is Lucien LaCroix, the ancient and mysterious vampire master who brought both Nicolas and Jeannette across as immortals. Nicolas has a love-hate relationship with Lucien for bringing him into the darkness but also providing an important father figure in his conflicted journey. While Jeannette is amused by Nicolas' desire for mortality, Lucien derides the idea and loves him as his own son. It becomes even more complicated when Nicolas learns how Lucien was brought across as a vampire: known as Lucius, he was a decorated Roman general with a desire to live during the eruption of Vesuvius in Pompeii.

At the police station, Nicolas' partner is Don Schanke, whose happy-go-lucky and charming personality helps Nicolas develop his mortal character. Schanke provides comedy relief and reassurance to Nicolas' often depressed and conflicted life as a vampire.When Schanke is killed in the end of the second season, Nicolas inherits a new female partner, Terry Vetter, who finds herself secretly exploring the world of vampires. She does not discover Nicolas is a vampire until her own violent death. In the last episode of the third season, Natalie asks Nicolas to turn her into a vampire so they could live together as lovers for all eternity. He refuses initially, but obliges to drink from her neck slowly as a way to cure his vampirism. As he bites her, a flash of memories from all of his past experiences engulf him, and he is unable to stop drinking from her. Lucien arrives at the scene of the dying Natalie and gives Nicholas two choices: turn her or leave her. Nicholas refuses and gives him a wooden stake. Lucien questions his view of life, but Nicholas already chooses his fate. He raises the stake behind Nicholas as he kneels down next to Natalie and damns him, clearly resenting Nicholas's decision. This ending implied that Lucien killed Nicholas and Natalie dies from loss of blood.

Trailer for "Forever Knight"

Forever Knight has truly become a cult classic. It was one of the first shows that introduced me to vampires and other supernatural creatures of the night. You could empathize with Nick Knight through his struggle and desire to regain mortality again. In the end, the audience learns there is no cure for vampirism. His journey is not a success but he was able to die with the one he loves (Natalie) rather than walk life for all eternity alone and tormented. I really loved this series because of the alternating themes. Oddly enough, all his partners notice the odd behavior, such as allergy to the sun, lack of appetite, superior strength, and other abnormal traits, but they never actually learn his true identity. I also see parallels between Nick Knight and Bill Compton. A former Confederate soldier, Bill Compton of True Blood also wants to resume his mortal life and retain his mortal feelings but he also must live with the rules of the vampire community.

There is still strong interest to resume the TV series on television. Click here for more information on the Save the Knight petition.

If you have not heard of Forever Knight, rent or buy it today!

I have also decided I will review the three novels based on the Forever Knight TV series: A Stirring of Dust, Intimations of Mortality, and These Our Revels. All books are from different authors so it will take me a while to figure out and rate which book is the best. I am a Forever Knight fan for life!

Stay tuned for these book reviews in 2009.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review: Bite Me If You Can (Argeneau Vampires #6)

But until they stop a renegade bloodsucker from destroying the human race, passion wil have to wait!

Bite Me If You Can, by Lynsay Sands, is the sixth novel in the Argeneau Vampire series. The story begins in Kansas City with bar-owner and Harvard graduate, Leigh Gerard. She fled an abusive relationship and decided to make a fresh start in her new hometown. Leigh considers hereself very independent and self-sufficient. In th early hours of the morning, she is attacked, kidnapped and turned by a renegade, powerful vampire named Morgan on her way home. Her life as a human has forever been altered. The turning is quite painful. Meanwhile, three hunters who terminate rogue vampires come to her rescue.

Lucian Argeneau, the leader of the hunters, is handsome, stern and strategic. As one of the oldest-living vampires in the world, he is responsible for enforcing the ancient rules that keeps other immortals from exploiting the human population. The nanos keeps his body healthy and attacks anything that harms him. Sunlight increases the need for more blood to repair additional damage. He must destroy any immortals who turns humans recklessly for their own reasons.

Having lost his wife and young children nearly 2000 years ago, there is little in life to excite him. He walks immortality as dull, arrogant and grumpy. When Lucian rescues Leigh and brings her to his sister-in-law's house in Toronto, Ontario, he faces some new challenges. He cannot read her thoughts and becomes her unofficial, unwilling tutor on vampire traits. Worse, he left all of his important belongings, such as credit cards and cell phone, back in Kansas City and must take care of the family dog, Julian. His Argeneau vampires are either absent, on vacation, or refuse to help him with Leigh's turning. Lucian has never had so much responsibility dropped on him all at once!

When Lucian realizes he's falling in love with Leigh, life suddenly seems brighter and merrier. He takes interest in her ideas and hobbies. He finds everything around him more meaningful. He's even eating and drinking coffee and thinking about sex! Finally, he cannot read her mind. Does this mean she is his lifemate, the one who he will spend eternity as husband and wife? Lucian must figure out how to become the right man for Leigh and protect her from Morgan, who still remains at large. Leigh will also discover why she is so special to Morgan.

It has been a while since I have last read Lynsay Sands' novels. I was so happy to find this book in my local library. I wanted to continue the series before I get further behind. Almost 400 pages in length, this book is similar to Love Bites where the new vampire must learn to live with her status and get to know her male vampire hero. I was sure there would be plenty of romance, comedy and action to satisfy me. I couldn't wait to read about Lucian's story. The alpha male of the Argeneau family, he would have so much wisdom and power as a 2000+ year old immortal.

This novel can be very slow to read. It it took me a while to get to the more interesting sections. Both characters have problems with long-term commitments. There was definitely more focus on the light-hearted romance than the vampire characters in previous books. The main characters already sense they are meant to be together so there's little suspense and not much plot development. Morgan does not reappear until the very end, and the action was brief which disappointed me. Lucian might be detached from the rest of society, but I thought he was ridiculed too much for his unawareness of modern living and lack of a sex life.

I believe this novel would be among the least memorable in the series. I still recommend it but don't have high expectations if you're already a Sands fan.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Argeneau Vampire series, The Accidental Vampire.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

New TV Series: Legend of the Seeker (2008)

There is a new epic fantasy series on the CWTV called Legend of the Seeker. It is based on the The Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. It is similar to the Lord of the Rings franchise. Sam Raimi, producer of Hercules: The Legend Continues, Xena: Warrior Princess, and the blockbuster Spiderman movie franchise, is directing this series. Here is the synopsis below:

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out. This is the beginning. One story. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

I discovered this TV series through a friend referral. I watched the first two episodes, and I am hooked. The actors are great, and the storyline is very good. It has magic, wizards, and adventure. This is what I currently know about the series:

  • It consists of 22 episodes total.
  • It runs from November 2008 to July 2009.
  • Each episode is 42 minutes long.
  • It airs weekly every Saturday at 8:00pm Eastern Time.

I will have a full review in summer 2009. In the meantime, check out the trailer below.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Novel Fall 2009: "Dark Road Rising" (Vampire Files #12)

Jack Fleming's got his hands full with his wounded partner in the hospital and girlfriend Bobbi falling for the siren call of Hollywood. Jack is dodging the cops, two mob torpedoes out for his blood, running Gordy's operation, AND keeping track of a dangerously unstable vampire!

I am proud to announce that the 12th novel, Dark Road Rising, of the Vampire Files series will be officially available for purchase as a trade paperback in Fall 2009! This is very exciting news. I am a major fan of P.N. Elrod's work, and I cannot wait to read more about vampire detective Jack Fleming's adventures in 1930s Depression-era Chicago. If you have not heard of the series, click on the "elrod" label on this site to learn more about her novels. I currently review the Jonathan Barrett Gentleman Vampire and Vampire Files series. Stay tuned for more information in 2009.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Night of the Raven" by Magic Affair

Remember the 2003 radio smash hit, "Fly Away?" Here is another great song, "Night of the Raven (1997)," from the same band. Magic Affair is a German-based Eurodance group (founded in 1994 by producer, Mike Staab) whose music is reminiscent of 1990s dance/techno music. The vocalist is Anita Davis, and the rapper is Raz-Ma-Taz. I am an avid fan of Eurodance music. I love the special effects and imagery in this video, especially the raven bird sounds. The singer has a very powerful and amazing voice. She currently lives in London. Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Review: Devil Hunter Yohko (1990-1995)

Devil Hunter Yohko (1990-1995) is a fantasy Japanese TV show (6 OVAs total) about a high school girl, Yohko Mano, who discovers she is the 108th-generation successor to a line of ancient powerful warriors who fight and banish demons and evil spirits from earth. As Yohko tries to balance school life and martial arts training, she will face her ultimate test when she meets the demon who started it all. She is voiced by the beautiful and legendary Japanese seiyuu (voice actress), Ayu Hamasaki.

For centuries, the Mano family has been responsible for slaying demons. Yohko's grandmother, Madoka, is the 107th warrior. Her mother, Sayoko, could not fulfill the role because devil hunters ("mamonos") must be a virgin when the secrets are revealed to take on the power and responsibility. Yohko is a typical teen girl: sixteen years old, athletic and crazy about boys. When she is attacked by an underwater demon at her school's pool, a burst of energy releases from her soul and defeats the creature. She learns from her grandmother that her power has been manifesting as she grew up to become the next Devil Hunter.

This is an old series (early 1990s), and it was one of the first anime shows I've ever seen since I was a child. It reminds me of Sailor Moon. When Yohko transform into her Devil Hunter attire (tradtional Oriental dress that emphasizes her bosom and long legs), she is sexy and can kick major demon ass. I can still remember the music from Ayu Hamasaki and other seiyuus. It's cute and catchy. The only negative I have about this show is that there is no real ending. The producers made six episodic original animation videos (OAVs) because of its popularity at the time. Six episodes doesn't exactly allow room for much plot and character development either. The sixth OVA was supposed to relaunch the series, but it failed to do so.

Nevertheless, I recommend this show for classic anime fans and newbies who are just exploring the world of Japanese animation for a few short hours. You might be able to find some songs and albums on websites such as and Nipponsei. The fourth OVA is actually a collection of music videos.

  • Episode 1 End Theme: "Go, Go! Love Coup" by Aya Hisakawa

  • Episode 2 End Theme: "Not So Fast, Sexy Girl" by Kaori Honma

  • Episode 3 End Theme: "So Bad Boy" by Aya Hisakawa

  • Episode 5 End Theme: "I Like the Way I Don't Give Up on Myself (Ganbaru Watashi ga Suki") by Aya Hisakawa

  • Episode 6 End Theme: "Touch My Heart" by Aya Hisakawa

"Touch My Heart" by Ayu Hamasaki

"Full Moon Light" by Ayu Hamasaki

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Review: Fire in the Blood (Vampire Files #5)

A vampire’s got to do what a vampire’s got to do.

Even the dead have to work for a living. This time, a priceless heirloom bracelet’s been stolen from the wealthy Sebastian Pierce. And guess who’s been hired to find it? I’ll give you a hint: Me."

Fire in the Blood, the fifth novel in the Vampire Files series, begins with Jack Fleming, vampire detective, typing a fictional prose on his typewriter in the basement. Charles Escott, Chicago’s finest British-born private agent, consistently calls for his attention. Fleming has resided with Escott ever since his death on the Lake Michigan beach (read first novel, Bloodlist) because the basement provides a cozier environment than his temporary hotel room. They have a new case: wealthy Chicago socialite, Sebastian Pierce, has had a diamond bracelet stolen, which belonged to his daughter, Marian. He wants them to find it immediately without stirring any trouble.

The possible suspects are Kitty Donovan, Stan McAlister, Marian Pierce and her boyfriend, Harry Summers. Kitty has a decent trust fund left by her parents to indulge in her own interests. Stan is a gambler who despises getting a real job. Harry is a man of common background who loves Marian very much; he just has a terrible temper. Nonetheless, Jack had other things on his mind: meeting his girlfriend, Bobbi, at the hip club, Top Hat. When he arrives, unfortunately, he meets Pierce’s daughter, Marian, who intentionally flirts with him. He offers to buy her a drink since he needs critical case information.

Meanwhile, Harry Summers, rushes and snatches Jack from his seat and what a brawl it turned out. Jack, Marian and Harry had to leave the clubhouse quickly, but Jack shares valuable information with Charles. They traveled to Stan McAlister’s hotel room to search for clues only to discover his girlfriend, Kitty. Unfortunately, everyone walks into Kitty’s kitchen in horror: Stan lies on the floor stabbed to death. Kitty only stays briefly as she escapes before Jack could even track her down. Lieutenant Blair and his police troops surround him as she disappears into the night. Jack stays by the hotel and notices one of Stan’s friends, Doreen Gray, a pornography photographer with her bags ready to leave after the police raided the place. Jack then pays a visit to bookie, Leadfoot Sam, to whom McAlister owed a significant debt. Sam has prepared a few surprises for Jack's arrival.

Since Jack is a vampire with supernatural strength, he makes certain to leave a lasting impression on Leadfoot Sam when he leaves the place. He returns back to Doreen Grey’s place, to find her alone in the dark with a pistol in her hands. While Jack calms her down, he has an insatiable hunger about her he cannot resist. He gently caresses her neck and drinks a little from her vein, but releases his hold so that he doesn’t drain her completely.

Fleming takes Doreen to a midnight bar to find answers on Stan. With no luck, he takes her back home only to find Leadfoot Sam wanting his revenge. We know how Jack reacts. Once again, the poor man is left behind traumatized and horrified. Later, some goons spot Jack and request that he come with them. There, he meets crimelord, Vaughn Kyler, who took over and expanded Frank Paco’s (he was a major character in the novel, Bloodlist) establishment. They ask for Doreen, but Jack left her behind. Unfortunately, there was a news bulletin that that the body of Doreen Grey was found with bullets in her body. Jack and Charles rush to the hospital where they confirmed her identity. Who wanted Doreen Gray and Stan McAlister dead?

It’s time for Jack Fleming and Charles Escott to finish this case once and for all. Too many deaths are happening on the streets of Chicago. In addition, Jack wants his revenge for what he had to endure that fateful night. Being a vampire is not easy. After all, he has a “night job [he] can really sink [his] teeth into.”

Note: You may also buy this book in the Vampire Files, Volume 2 edition.

Stay tuned for my next review on the sixth book of the Vampire Series, Blood on the Water.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Within Temptations "The Howling"

Due to popular demand, I decided to end this month with the Dutch symphonic metal band, Within Temptation's "The Howling." It is an intense song that fits the mood of the day and will leave you wanting more. Sharon is the beautiful, lead singer. She has such a wonderful melodic voice that is hypnotic and sweet. She doesn't disappoint her fans in this song. (You can find this song on the 2007 album, "The Heart of Everything.")

Note: Click on the link below to read the lyrics.

Have a safe and happy and exciting Halloween!

We’ve been seeing what you wanted, got us cornered right now
Fallen asleep from our vanity, might cost us our lives
I hear they’re getting closer
Their howls are sending chills down my spine
And time is running out now
They’re coming down the hills from behind

When we start killing
It’s all coming down right now
From the nightmare we’ve created,
I want to be awakened somehow
(I want to be awakened right now)

When we start killing it all will be falling down
From the Hell that we’re in
All we are is fading away
When we start killing...

We’ve been searching all night long but there’s no trace to be found
It’s like they all have just vanished but I know they’re around
I feel they’re getting closer
Their howls are sending chills down my spine
And time is running out now
They’re coming down the hills from behind

When we start killing
It’s all coming down right now
From the nightmare we’ve created
I want to be awakened somehow

When we start killing it all will be falling down
From the Hell that we’re in
All we are is fading away
When we start killing...
When we start killing...

I feel they’re getting closer
Their howls are sending chills down my spine
And time is running out now
They’re coming down the hills from behind

The sun is rising
The screams have gone
Too many have fallen
Few still stand tall
Is this the ending of what we’ve begun?
Will we remember what we’ve done wrong?

When we start killing
It’s all coming down right now
From the nightmare we’ve created
I want to be awakened somehow

When we start killing it all will be falling down
From the Hell that we’re in
All we are is fading away
When we start killing...
When we start killing...
When we start killing...

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008!

Happy Halloween 2008!

Here is a list of links that may interest you as you plan to celebrate Halloween! You may also check out the links on the right-hand column of this blog. Many sites have access to ghost stories, videos, poetry and more!

Let's not forget Disney Fantasia's rendition of the "Night on Bald Mountain" by Russian composer, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky. The second video is the opening theme, "This is Halloween," to the Tim Burton film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Enjoy the videos!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City of Austin Breaks "Thriller" Dance Guinness World Record

When you think of Michael Jackson's 1983 smash hit revolutionary music video, "Thriller," you would never think generations would still sing and talk about it 25 years later. It has become the unofficial Halloween dance song. Approximately 800 people (yes, Thriller fans dressed in their zombie-like costumes) in the city of Austin, Texas broke the Guinness World Record with their dance routine.

You can watch the group dancing in the video below.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: Smoke and Mirrors (Tony Foster #2)

"...things have been quiet since the defeat of the shadows. Then Chester Bane, head of CB Productions, rents Caulfield House, a long-deserted, turn-of-the-last-century mansion, to shoot an episode about a haunted house. It should be an easy week, with a perfect setting, the cast all in place, the script ready to go, but there's one little hitch that no one's counted on. Caulfield House really is haunted!"

Smoke and Mirrors, by Tanya Huff, is the second book based on Tony Foster, a reoccurring character from the highly popular Vickie Nelson/Henry Fitzroy "Blood" series. The setting is contemporary Vancouver, British Columbia where he relocated with ex-lover Henry Fitzroy, 450-year-old bastard son of King Henry VIII of England. Once a homeless kid living on the streets at the age of 15, Tony returned to school for his GED and has his own place. Now at the age of 23, he landed a job as a Production Assistant at CB Productions for the syndicated TV show, "Darkest Night", a vampire-private investigation series. He discovered he was a real wizard after battling evil shadows in the first novel, Smoke and Shadows,. He thought his life could not become more complicated than it already is.

His boss rented a haunted house for an episode of his TV series. It look like the perfect place to film. It was old and no one was living there anymore. Surely, no one would be harmed in the production. However, Tony noticed strange things. People who were actually dead ghosts replaying their deaths continuously. When the actors and production crew become locked inside the house, which feeds off their fear, anxiety and ultimately death, Tony had to think fast. This also meant he had to reveal his secret as a wizard. Could everyone survive the horror until sunrise, or would the house consume them all for eternity?

I thought this was an excellent opportunity to review this book out for Halloween. Although I was somewhat reluctant since I was very disappointed with the Shadows novel, I really enjoyed Mirrors! It had the typical haunted house plot, but this gave me a chance to learn all the major and minor characters and their personalities. Some major Blood fans will be disappointed that Henry basically only has 20 lines throughout the entire book, but he was not needed. The story felt real, some scenes scared me, and I felt sympathetic with the ghosts and people who died in the haunted house. Huff managed to keep the wizardry to a layman's level so I never questioned her intentions with the story. Tony came out as a hero and progressing wizard. In addition, he might have a new boyfriend that he never would have expected in the next novel. I want to read the next novel, which was clearly lacking in the previous Huff book in this series.

In sum, I highly recommend Smoke and Mirrors because Tanya Huff redeems herself from her disappointing first novel in the series. Filled with humor, suspense, and horror, Mirrors recognizes why Huff fans love her books so much. Please read the first book of the series because Huff makes many references to it, and you will enjoy the second book better. Plus, Halloween is approaching soon, so get it before it's too late!

Stay tuned to the next book in the Tony Foster series, Smoke and Ashes.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Documentary: A Haunting in Connecticut (Discovery Channel)

The Discovery Channel did a special documentary about a real-life haunting. It will definitely frighten you (not recommended for young children). Here is the story: A family moved into an old Connecticut home to live near the hospital where their teenaged son receives cancer treatment. What they did not learn was the residence used to be a funeral home. The family begin to see paranormal activity, such as ghosts, shadows and demons. Their teenaged son's health and behavior worsens so much that they commit him to a mental hospital. Paranormal investigators arrive to help rescue the family from these dark forces.

Haunted house. Dark entities. Did that scare you? This event is based on a true story. You can watch the entire documentary (9 parts) online here (make sure you click on the link below to view the entire post).

There will also be a full-feature film based on this documentary called "The Haunting in Connecticut" scheduled for theaters in 2009. You can view the trailer by clicking here. I am looking forward to the movie. Enjoy the show.

UPDATE (April 3, 2009): Don't even bother watching the 2009 film, The Haunting in Connecticut, that has been recently released in theaters. The ratings are so bad, and the plot uses too many familiar cliches and plot elements from other previous thrillers. Stick with the documentary.

And here is the rest of it.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review: Witch Fire (Elemental Witches #1)

Mira Hoskins doesn't know she's a natural-born witch who possesses the rare--and powerful--element of air. And she never expects to find herself tied to a mahogany bed frame, captive of a man who aches to fulfill her every desire and let loose the magick that dwells inside her...

Witch Fire, by Anya Bast, is the first book in the Elemental Witches series. Mira Hoskins is just another ordinary woman who is recently divorced and trying to make ends meet as a cafe waitress in the Minneapolis area. Orphaned at birth, her aunt raised and introduced her to the Wiccan way of life. Mira does not seriously believe in magick, but she has no idea there is something very special and magikcal inside her. She is a rare and powerful air witch who inherited her powers from her parents. Although Mira is unaware of her powers, others know about her true gifts and want to use them for evil reasons.

She meets a mysterious, drop-dead-gorgeous and muscular hunk who leaves a handsome tip for just a cup of coffee in the cafe. She wonders who is he and why she feels so sexually attracted to this man. Jack McAllister is a fire witch who was sent to monitor and protect Mira from the Duskoff, a group of rogue witches who summon demons, led by his wealthy and wicked father, William A. Crane. Things don't go as planned when the Duskoff try to kidnap Mira from her apartment. Jack rescues and takes her to his penthouse apartment under magickal security wards until he receives a message from Thomas Monahan, leader of the Coven, a governing authority of witches.

When Mira learns the real truth about her parents' death, everything begins to make sense to her. Crane wants to use her magick to heal his life-threatening cancer, and will summon the demons to do so. At age 10, Jack ran away from his father, who forced Jack to witness the death of Mira's mother. While Jack trains her how to use her magick properly, he warns her that fire and air are sexually compatible elements. The two find themselves almost irresistibly hot and attracted to each other! He knows not to seduce her, but the eroticism is too much. Furthermore, Jack does not want Mira to learn his true identity. It could break her heart. As Mira learns more about her family origins with the Coven, she must decide if her heart truly belongs with Jack.

One of my friends recommended I check this series out. I am starting to read more novels about witches, since I often cover and review vampire fiction. I believe we live in a very spiritual world, and there are people who possess gifts and encounter the supernatural. You could say these paranormal authors provide an excellent introduction to the elements and powers around us. In this series, Elemental Witches, we encounter young women with hidden spiritual powers who must face danger and self-realization in their own paths.

I really enjoyed this novel. It is very erotic (if you love sexual imagery) and there were times I had to control myself! The story centers around Mira Hoskins, an air witch who is unaware of her powers. I grew attached to her personality, growing up as an orphaned only child with her aunt by her side. Suddenly, she meets extended family she has never envisioned she had all this time. Jack, who loves Mira deep down, cannot imagine hurting her with his dark secrets -- his own past and his biological link to his wicked father. How these two overcome these obstacles and true feelings is the final test in this novel.

There is adventure, mystery, suspense, and sex packed in this series. I enjoyed watching Mira grow as a young woman over time with her inherited powers and independent ideas. Bast does an excellent job with the character development and story pacing. I highly recommend this new series to paranormal fiction readers.

Stay tuned for the next book in the Elemental Witches series, Witch Blood
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Supernatural: Dean Lip-Synching "Eye of the Tiger"

If anyone saw last night's episode of Supernatural, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is lip-synching to the song, "Eye of the Tiger," by Survivor after the ending credits. It is truly classic and hilarious. Check out the video below.

Supernatural Presents: Jensen Ackles

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Review: Pure Moods Vol. 3 (Audio CD)

This is Volume 3, another excellent edition, of the Pure Moods collection. It has various artists that comprise the new age and world music genres. You may hear New Age music if you take yoga classes, visit massage parlors, or listen to instrumentals that soothe the body and mind. World music is usually traditional and indigenous rhythms such as Celtic, Native American, Asian and other regions.

This album has some popular songs from famous singers and original motion picture soundtracks. I enjoyed Enya, Sarah Brightman, Yanni, Enigma and others. The cover art of the album reminds me of modern art by painters such as Rothko and Walinksky with the emphasis on horizontal forms and simple color design. I highly recommend anyone to purchase and listen to the entire Pure Moods collection. It is available to buy on Amazon.

Here is a sample video, "Theme from the Silk Road" by Kitaro. It has an Far Eastern folk instrumental tune. I particularly love the changing of the seasons and beauty of nature in this video. For the discography, click on the link below. Enjoy the song!


  1. "Only If..." – Enya
  2. "Porcelain" – Moby
  3. "Life in Mono" – Mono
  4. "Games Without Frontiers" (Massive Attack / David Bottrill remix) – Peter Gabriel
  5. "Cristofori's Dream" – David Lanz
  6. "Land of Anaka" – Geoffrey Oryema and Brian Eno
  7. "Dela Dela" – Sacred Spirit
  8. "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" – Ryuichi Sakamoto
  9. "The Velocity of Love" – Suzanne Ciani
  10. "Ever So Lonely / Eyes / Ocean" – Sheila Chandra
  11. "Virtue" – Jesse Cook
  12. "Theme from Silk Road" – Kitaro
  13. "Synaesthetic" – Blue Man Group
  14. "On Sacred Ground" – Yanni
  15. "Gravity of Love" – Enigma
  16. "Deliver Me" – Sarah Brightman

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)

When love and jealousy collide on the slopes, winter break turns deadly...

Frostbite, by Richelle Mead, is the second novel in the Vampire Academy series. Lissa has a new boyfriend, Christian, whom she spends more time with at St. Vladimir's Academy, a boarding school located in isolated Montana away from human civilization. She finds herself in an intriguing love triangle with Dimitri and Mason. She loves sexy Dimitri, but he has his eyes set for Tasha, a royal Moroi (mortal vampire) who may need a guardian in the near future. Mason has a huge crush and would die to be with Rose, but she doesn't share the same feelings for him. If things could get more difficult, Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head when she makes love to Christian! She is next in line to become Lissa's guardian. (Lissa is a royal vampire from the Dragomir line.)

It is winter break at the Academy, but Rose feels neither festive or exhilarated. A massive Strigoi (rogue, evil vampires) attack has put the school campus on high alert. Senior dhampir guardians, including Rose's legendary mother, Janine Hathaway, have arrived to strategically plan their next move. The royal families and school officials are not taking any risks as the Strigoi have human accomplices to carry out their work. The school has its annual holiday ski trip in Idaho, and attendance is mandatory. The resort is posh, luxurious and radiant but it only creates the illusion of safety. When three of Rose's friends run away to chase after the Strigoi, Christian joins her to rescue them before it's ultimately too late. In the end, even her heroism as a future guardian has a deadly price.

I really loved the second novel. When I finished the book, I witnessed a new Rose Hathaway who overcome grief and death become more mature and controlled with herself. She killed two Strigoi and earned her first tattoos, which is rare for a student still in training. I watched Rose transform from an emotional popular troublemaker to a serious sword-swinging guardian! The pacing and plot development was excellent with the many twists and surprises. Rose is a funny and brave character that I have grown to love. I loved the scene where she finally opens up to her mother in the end after the Strigoi attack. Rose blamed her mother for so many things that went wrong in her life and finally got the mother-daughter comfort she always desired. More importantly, Rose finally learns her mother loves her dearly and wanted what was best for her -- a stable school environment around mentors and a quality education in preparation for royal guardianship. (Some dhampir women choose to give up guardianship to raise dhampir children.)

The question for now is what lies ahead for Rose Hathaway as she completes her senior year at the Academy. She has witnessed so many things that her peers typically don't even imagine. Readers will learn that Lissa is not the only Moroi vampire who did not specialize in an element. The novel will continue to explore the origins and abilities of "spirit" users. Mead does such an excellent job of portraying the complexities of vampire society and identifying Rose's struggles with her upbringing and those in her circle of companions. I highly recommend this series for teens and young adults.

Stay tuned for the third book in the Vampire Academy series, Shadow Kiss.

(Note: The third book is due out in November 2008.)
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Friday, October 3, 2008

"Uruwashiki Kamen no Shotaijo" by Malice Mizer

This is "Uruwashiki Kamen no Shotaijo" by Malice Mizer, one of the greatest 1990s visual gothic rock bands in Japan. This was their first single in 1995 under the lead vocalist, Gackt. He introduced a sweeter, romantic French melody to the band's goth direction. You will find many of their songs in the Gackt-era with French classical-inspired titles and melodies. The band members even dressed in classical 18th-century European-styled attire with a modern punk edge. This is personally one of my favorite songs. It reminds me of someone walking into a haunted house. The sound effects are excellent (glass breaking, doors opening, ghosts singing, the violins are my favorite part!) with a sinister yet techno/trance edge. The instrumental version is even better because you can hear the background vocals and special effects carry out the gothic and haunted house theme.

After Kami's death in 1999, Gackt departed Malice Mizer to start his own successful solo artist career in Japanese pop music. I have nothing against Klaha, the band's successor, but Gackt will always be remembered for the inspiration he bought to uplift and propel Malice Mizer to legendary status. His mark on the band is timeless. I have written previous reviews about the band (including the Klaha era) on this site. Please check them out at your convenience. If you happen to enjoy the music, downloading the album torrents online is the better opportunity because Malice Mizer has disbanded for years now (R.I.P.). I believe official sales have also discontinued.

Since Halloween is around the corner (less than 30 days!), I will have more posts about the concepts and origins of Ol' Hallow's Eve! Enjoy the video!

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