Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: The Twins Effect (2003) – Asian Cinema Film Club [Podcast]

Kicking off Week 3 of Ultimate 2000s Blogathon is the Asian Cinema Film Club hosted by Elwood and Stephen. AC Film Club is a monthly podcast that takes a look at  different Asian films ranging from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other films. It doesn’t stop there as you can follow their blog to see monthly mixtapes for a variety of Asian music as well as reviews and essays, etc. You should give them a follow and join them as they are about to pass their 25th episode milestone. For their choice for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, they are sharing their podcast of 2003’s Hong Kong vampire action horror film, The Twins Effect.


The Twins Effect

The Twins Effect (2003)

Elwood and Stephen kick off 2019 looking at “The Twins Effect” a wonderfully random mash up of vampires, romantic comedy and special friendly appearances?
On this episode, they dive into this star-studded movie vehicle for Cantopop duo “Twins” while also looking at the many scandals which rocked the various cast members.
Stephen has another tale from the dark side of Asian cinema, this time looking at the actress Bai Jing, plus podcast recommendations, 2019 releases much more!!

Further Viewing

Mr. Vampire
Rigor Mortis
Diary
Beyond Our Ken

Shoutouts

The Feminine Critique
Cinema Recall
Forgotten Filmcast
Exploding Helicopter
Simplistic reviews
French Toast Sunday
Blade Licking Thieves
That’s Weird
Debatable

Listen To The Show

Itunes
Podomatic
Spotify
That Moment In


Thanks to Asian Cinema Film Club for joining us with this fun choice! Be sure to check out their podcast every month to see which films they choose to review and expand your knowledge of Asian Cinema! Remember to give them a follow and check out their other episodes

To see the full list of blogathon entries, you can find it HERE.

Advertisements

Eternal Hunger (The Enchanted Bloodline #3) by Denise K. Rago

To see the reviews for the first two books of the series, you can find it below.

Book #1 Immortal Obsession
Book #2 Blood Tears

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

Eternal Hunger
by: Denise K. Rago

eternal hunger

And the romance continues with Book Three in The Enchanted Bloodline Series….. Nothing will stop Amanda Perretti from protecting her son. She hides away with him, protected by her lover, the vampire Michel Baptiste, as they both await the return of vampire Christian Du Maure, once Amanda’s lover and Michel’s best friend, now a fugitive somewhere in Europe. Convinced Christian is being held prisoner and in desperate need of her help, Amanda works to hatch a scheme that will get her and Michel to France to find Christian, and still keep her beloved son safe. But they are not the only ones who seek Christian. There are some among the vampire order who believe that his rightful place is as the king of the vampires, with a strong queen beside him, and who will use any means necessary to entrap him into a heritage he has fought against for centuries. Though Michel and Christian both carry secrets that could destroy both their friendship and their relationship with Amanda, they are only the first of many who harbor knowledge that could either see the vampire order rise to power once more in the mortal world, or destroy it completely … – Goodreads

Its been over three years since I read the last book (and 4 years since the previous book in the series was released). If you look at the reviews (or you were around then), you know that I liked and even loved this series a lot, both for the classy writing style and the beautiful romance and the dilemmas that these characters got caught up into. Its a great vampire story. I still remember a little from it but to be honest, my biggest worry about starting this one had to be how continuous it would be and whether the fragmented memory I had of it would affect my immersion to the story. Its always a challenge when it takes years for a sequel to come out. Luckily, the novel gives us a good bit of transition and description to make the crossover easier and there was a lot of little bits that pieces what happened before together so that what happened in the previous novels came back fairly easily. If not everything, the crucial parts were recounted just enough to make it easy to catch on to the foundation of what to know.

One of the aspects that I’ve always loved these books is Denise K. Rago’s writing style. Its elegant and classy and uses the power of refined vocabulary to create these relationships and mystery behind both the scenario and the characters. It has these very fluid and vivid descriptions that seem just enough. Its refreshing to read a vampire love story and use he characteristics of rather refined characters to create a history behind them that has so many layers. Especially since the vampires themselves, especially with the many new characters introduced to create a multilayer sort of story and each of these characters, because of their past, all reflect in the way they speak. The detail behind each of the characters is something to truly applaud.

At the third book, Eternal Hunger still manages to change the scene from the first two books. It still feels standalone in the sense that there is an effort to still recall events that happened in the past to make it easier. At the same time, the characters create shifts. There are twists and turns to the story and most of our main characters eventually reach their own change. While the story keeps a good pace, the only downfall is sometimes the change in the timeline creates this jump which makes it feel like it rushes through some plot lines, however, at the same time, I’m not sure if elaborating or emphasizing more would have been good either. As there are still enough twists and turns to make it quite the pageturner. For a third (and I would think final) book of the series, this definitely is quite an incredible feat.

Goodreads Score: 5/5 (if there was half points, it would be 4.5)

Movies and Tea #10 – Cronos

Its time to kick off Season 2 of Movies and Tea Podcast after a little break on our end. This season, we’re looking at Guillermo Del Toro’s films and we start with his debut, Cronos which gives a new spin on vampires. Head over to our blog and listen to the podcast! Perfectly timed for Halloween on top of that! Enjoy and give us your thoughts on Cronos or the show!

We are looking for guests for some of the shows. If you are interested, drop us an email and we’ll see if we can work something out.

Movies and Tea

Elwood and Kim return from thier break with a new season and a new director’s filmography to dive into as this season they turn thier attention to the films of the visionary Guillermo del Toro whose love of horror and fairytales have lead to him crafting some of the most original cinema of the last few years.

Kicking off this season is Del Toro’s feature debut “Cronos” which sees him bring his own spin to the vampire mythos as a clockwork scarab which grants eternal life is discovered by an elderly antiques dealer.

Come join us in the booth!

Further Viewing

The Lost Boys
Near Dark
Fright Night
Daybreakers

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

View original post

It Sleeps at Dawn by Anthony Renfro

***Thank you to Anthony for sending me his short story! It is much appreciated!***

Anthony Renfro is one of our own talents here in the blogosphere. You can check out his blog over at Poetry, Books, Movies and Music . He writes up haiku posts every day and he has released a very good selection of short stories with unique twists, predominantly in the horror genre.

With Halloween right around the corner, his new short story, It Sleeps at Dawn, is here right on time.

It Sleeps at Dawn (Short Story)
by Anthony Renfro

It Sleeps at Dawn

This short story is about a Vampire who stalks the Appalachian Mountains. A traditional Vampire who uses fangs instead of guns. He hunts. He kills. He sleeps at Dawn. – Goodreads 

Excerpt

She gripped her nerves tight, pushed back the fear, and stepped up to the door that she hoped led out of the long hallway and into freedom. The door was made of solid oak, black from top to bottom and side to side, with a gold door knob in the shape of a demon with two emerald green eyes. Bright red pentagrams were embedded into its wood. These pentagrams were so red they seemed to be filled with blood, ready to bleed at any moment, almost pulsing from their plumpness. She reached down for the handle, deep breaths filled with dread ran through her lungs, as her heart drummed a loud terror beat inside her chest. She turned the handle and opened the door, which was so heavy that it took two hands and a healthy dose of sweat to move.

Her heart sank once the door was wide open because there he stood, the man who had brought her here the night before. Her cloudy memory had finally opened up, spilling forth the information. It was the bar where they had met, the bar where he had laid on his charms, the bar where he had asked her to go home with him, the bar was the last memory she had before waking up in this mysterious place. And she was sure of another thing, he wasn’t the same man who had picked her up. That dashing handsome young man with the long black hair and dusty blue eyes, who stood at least six foot five, and was easily a foot taller than her was now nowhere to be seen. Instead of the young man dressed in modern clothes, here stood an ancient older man in dated black three piece suit with a cape tied around his neck. The cape fell to somewhere near the middle of his back. It was black to match the suit, but the interior of it was as red as the pentagrams on the door. His cologne wafted through the air as he stood there, an ancient smell of High Karate.

He smiled at her, an evil dark eat you alive from head to toe smile, which revealed large white fangs that hadn’t been there when he picked her up.

Review

Something about going back to the basic vampire formula is very dazzling. Everyone right now wants to add a new tweak to the vampire stories to make it unique but no one realizes that vampires in their traditional forms have a certain appeal. They create a danger through their clever, one-minded goals. They are sly and yet still have a disadvantage of living only in the evening. Plus, it adds a bit of mystery and magic to what they are. This is where Anthony’s story comes in as a rather fun one to read. On one hand, we get a view of the vampire and how he hunts for his victims. On the other hand, there is a portion of how his victims get lured into the trap. Through this short story, we already get a complete image of what a vampire’s abilities and his ruthlessness. While I can’t say that this is terrifying to read, it did feel slightly tense in the second half as the vampire’s plans seem to unfold and we, as the audience, looks in and can see the victims walking into a plan and are way above what they expected to find in the first place. Plus, Anthony uses very vivid imagery and language for a top notch writing that made it even more engaging to read. Definitely one of his finer short stories!

Where to get it

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXYPP02
UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LXYPP02
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01LXYPP02
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LXYPP02

House of Cards by Ilana Waters

House of Cards has been sitting in my Kindle for a while. As I work through the list and only in my 2013 free Kindle downloads, House of Cards was the next one and I remember downloading it because it had the same name as the TV series but the plot was totally not.  To be honest, at this point, I wasn’t even reading the summary again.  From the cover, it looked YA paranormal (aka vampires) so hey, I did read the whole Sookie Stackhouse so this is right up my alley. I do love me some vampires.

Let’s check it out!

House of Cards
by: Ilana Waters

House of Cards

Eighteen-year-old Sherry has just begun her newly independent life in Paris when she is kidnapped by a group of vampires. They hold her hostage in the House of Cadamon, their catacomb lair beneath the city, ruled with an iron fist by a leader known as “the Master.” The only thing keeping Sherry alive is her ability to tell vampire fortunes through tarot cards, a task she is forced to perform night after night. She finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a four-hundred-year-old reluctant blood drinker who is as much a prisoner of Cadamon as she is. –Goodreads

It turns out my deductions are correct, mostly because the cover of the book was positioning the book well. Very nice cover, by the way! I like it quite a bit.  While I want to rate a book and sometime even pick up books by their attractive covers, we can’t exactly do that.  It means nothing to the story itself. House of Cards is an average YA paranormal vampire romance. There were some good ideas, like using tarot cards and fortune telling to indirectly weave in the vampires in House of Cadamon and even reveal their temperament, especially that of “the Master”. I liked the beautiful setting of Paris and “the Master” having a hold on them and having the freedom but not actually having it so it wasn’t just set underground in the catacombs where House of Cadamon was located.

The story is simple.  Its at times a good thing and at times, not so good.  For one, its not a long book but in the middle, it dragged out quite a bit as they built the relationship between Sherry and Lucas.  I have nothing against romance.  In fact, I like reading them.  As I was reading House of Cards, I couldn’t help but feel like Lucas and Sherry had the Bella and Edward sort of vibe and I only know it from that one time I watched 70% of New Moon. If you’ve followed my last few reviews of these ebook adventures, I stepped into this one hoping for that it wouldn’t have these steamy sex scenes and then this was all reluctant and craving it all.  The point is: Sherry is in this House of Cadamon and I can’t imagine being seventeen year old, on my own, being captured and having been revealed that vampires actually exist and while there was fear, it quickly subsided and became like something totally different.  But that is the thing, House of Cards isn’t aimed or made for me so its hard for me to relate in a realistic way and for that, I couldn’t engage into Sherry’s character.

However, the main issue here isn’t even that.  I think its the fact that the writing style is not done well.  We are looking at everything from Sherry’s perspective but yet its in a third person point of view however, the actions are insinuate towards a first person. Then, deductions and events happen and it would feel awkward to read.

Don’t get me wrong though. House of Cards may not be geared towards me, even if I read a good bit of YA paranormal novels but while it takes time and drags on a little at parts, the ideas here are good.  I can understand the appeal of the book and it actually changes from my normal views of YA books.  I would’ve preferred a first person perspective and maybe a little more romance action.  I don’t mean sex but just kissing or more of that than just desires floating all over the place and feeling like it didn’t really amount to much after all that wait time. If YA and vampire stories appeal to you, its worth a read.

A Vampire at Christmas by Anthony Renfro (Free Today!)

**A Vampire at Christmas is free today and December 19-21! Links below!**

I realized that I have never actually done a short review for Books Movies Poetry ‘s Anthony Renfro’s story A Vampire at Christmas.  I did do a post a little while back for the revamped cover reveal for A Vampire at Christmas but I never got around to reading and reviewing it.

Now, lets check out this festive short story!

A Vampire at Christmas (short story)
by Anthony Renfro

A Vampire at Christmas

A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

Vampires are always associated with being dark.  They have some hatred.  Maybe they resent being a vampire for centuries or maybe its a ton of loneliness.  Thing is, they have their own issues.  The vampire created in this one is different.  In the dark creature that he is, he brings a certain light to the situation.  That’s what I like about Anthony’s stories.  Its the way he can see a different twist to the normal story.  A vampire doesn’t always have to be vicious for selfish reasons but rather, you can mix the vicious vampire and turn him into someone who uses their riches and immortality for something good. Its a different take on the normal vampire story but adding a little Christmas twist to it.

Amazon

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Cover Reveal: A Vampire at Christmas

We’re back with another cover reveal! Exciting, right?

Anthony’s been working hard on updating and revising his short stories and this time its for A Vampire at Christmas. If you haven’t check out Anthony’s blog Books, Movies, Poetry, make sure to head over to see his other work.  Christmas in July seems to be a huge thing so his new cover and revised version for this story arrives at the perfect time.

Without further ado, I present to you the cover:

A Vampire at Christmas

Synopsis

(Revised and Updated 2015) A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

Excerpt

Talan Gawayn became a vampire in the 15th century on a cold, starry, full-moon night just after the first big snow of November. He was walking a less traveled path, on his way home from seeing his fiancé, whom he planned to marry the following spring, when three men stepped out of the shadows to rob him. He fought them at first, but they soon overpowered him, beat him ruthlessly, laughing as they did it, drunk and looking for someone to rob. They had found it in Talan who was so hopelessly in love he hadn’t seen them sneak up on him.

While he lay there in the snow dying from his injuries, one eye shut and swollen, the other able to see only a blurry vision, he thought he saw something, something moving quick and fast. The men who had beaten him were counting out their stolen money when this thing attacked them. It tore through their flesh, ripped out their throats savagely; and didn’t just drain the robbers of their precious blood, but this thing seemed to almost be bathing in it while it fed.

Talan tried to stay focused, tried to see what this thing was, but his will gave out and his good eye closed. He passed out into an injured slumber.

Weight.

Something heavy was straddling him . . .

Reviews

5 out of 5 stars: A deadly and dashing vampire

Amazon Ebook:

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0