Thursday, December 6, 2018

If Vampire Review Wrote Commercials ...

Imagine you are selling a product ... would this make you think these Tampons are the best on the market?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Vetala, A Vampire-like Parasite That Possesses Its Victims!

Guest Post by Phillip Ernest, who wrote a Sanskrit vampire novel, called "The Vetala."

I thank Tami for offering me the opportunity to write this guest blog post on The Vetala: a novel of undying love.
Phillip Ernest, author of "The Vetala"

My vampire novel took me by surprise, like an unquiet spirit back from the dead, like a lost memory.

When I was growing up in Canada, I loved vampires in comics and films, and later, in fiction. But from the beginning, my own writing was always poetry. And in my thirties, my fascination with Sanskrit, the ancient literary language of India, drew me away from creative writing into academics. It was a wrong path for I would wander lost for many years.

In 2014, I had been living in the Indian city of Pune for eight years. As I walked home from my office job one day, I stopped at a junk paper shop to check out their used books. Among the English books, there was almost a whole shelf of novels from the new generation of vampire fiction that had developed since I had left Canada in 2004. I also saw Bram Stoker's Dracula, which I had actually never read.

The Vetala: available from the publisher 
I left that shop without buying anything but what I had seen had stuck in my mind. The vampire had come back to haunt me!

Over the following days, I found myself brooding. My academic ambitions had failed, my literary ambitions had failed, my life was going nowhere, I was a disappointment to myself and to others...

Then, I had a sudden inspiration! Maybe, from my strange perspective as a non-Indian Sanskritist living in India, I could write an Indian vampire novel that appealed to readers everywhere! Maybe I could, after all, despite so much past failure, finally achieve something!

So I went back to the shop and bought a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I began to read it in my spare moments at work. One day, after reading a few pages, the essential plot of The Vetala came to me, almost automatically, just like a possessing spirit. Yet it didn’t seem to owe anything to Stoker’s novel. It arose out of my Indian experiences and dreams, and the Sanskrit literature that had never stopped obsessing me. And as I wrote —for an hour each day before dawn—it surprised me to see how much love for India was coming out. I had almost forgotten...

The Vetala is a love story that spans many rebirths. The protagonist, a woman professor of Sanskrit at the University of Zagreb, has been translating an obscure Sanskrit manuscript on the vetala for more than twenty years. The vetala is a parasitical vampire-like being that possesses the bodies of his victims. In fact, it was a vetala that long ago killed Nada’s lover, setting her on this path of obsessive scholarly revenge.

Later, when her Indian mentor and collaborator dies in Pune, the monster suddenly reappears, emboldened and determined to seize the manuscript at last. His opposition grows increasingly desperate as Nada nears the text’s conclusion, and with the help of two fellow-scholars, she struggles to decipher its climactic secret—a secret which would allow her to exorcize the vetala at last. She would free not only the mysterious man whom he had possessed for centuries but also, perhaps, her own imprisoned and forgotten love.

The Vetala: a story of love forgotten and remembered. Nada’s, and mine.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Once-in-a-deathtime opportunity: Sleep in a coffin in Dracula's hometown!

A vampire festival in Transylvania invites you to sleep in a coffin in Dracula’s hometown: June 7-10, 2018.

Ever feel the beating heart of the Transylvanian mountains? In a Transylvania town called Sighisoara, where the medieval towers and stony lanes are fabled to lure vampires, now there's something even more bloody palatable to experience. The vampire film and art festival called Vampfest will breach the ancient walled citadel of Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, better known as Vlad the Impaler.

Spend a night in vampire hell

This means YOU can go and sleep just like the undead! Spend the night in a luxury coffin, in an otherwise deserted medieval catacomb under the hilltop town just like Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel. According to Festival Organizer Craig Hooper, sleeping in a coffin beneath the citadel guarantees quite a scary experience. “This town is so old you can feel the history seeping from the stones around you, not least the history around it’s most famous and most bloodthirsty son, Vlad Dracula, and the vampire myth that has existed in this part of the world for centuries," he said.

“The coffins will be comfortable but I think you’ve got to be brave – or at least make sure your imagination doesn’t run away with you in those dark hours – otherwise you won’t sleep at all,” Hooper said.

For those too spooked (or sane) to snooze in a coffin, the festival offers other exclusive rewards, including an after-dark ‘Banquet of Blood’ inside of Dracula’s castle at Bran. From South Wales, Craig and colleague Peter Phillips have been running Vampfest in Transylvania since 2016. According to their press release, this year's festival will be bigger, better and bloodier than ever before. They’re looking to raise £10,000 to make the already well-established festival into the most talked-about horror event of the year.

The four-day festival will include screenings of original and classic vampire films, trips to Dracula’s fortresses, live bands and lots of vampire-themed parties. It also hosts the Vampire Academic Conference, run by US university Seton Hill, where the keynote speaker will be bestselling Buffy The Vampire Slayer author Christopher Golden.

Other special guests include Bram Stoker’s direct descendant Dacre Stoker and the Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress who plays Drusilla, Juliet Landau. For more information about the festival Kelly Gumbley or or Aimee Thomas: See also

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Circle the trash-filled shopping carts. It's an attack on homelessness!

This man accepts cash donations but never uses the
money to care for his leg.
DISCLAIMER: This article only addresses the lowest segment of homeless society. Many hard working people, with great ambition, end up being broke, tired and worn-out. Good people become homeless for many different reasons. There's no sin in not being able to afford a home - except as it relates to a society that charges too much for rent and doesn't pay its workers enough so they can truly live independently.

I know there are MANY reasons why a person becomes homeless and there are many programs in place to get folks off the streets. This opinion article is about folks who CHOOSE the lifestyle when it leaches off others (not about folks with mental health issues).

by Tami Jackson
If mothers ran the country, there would be no homelessness problem. If that admission knocks your toupee loose, then get ready for more bald truths ahead. Good moms not only nurture their offspring but they discipline those who need it, when they need it, sometimes distributing *lessons* against that child's will. Mom's make really tough decisions to produce a better life outcome for all.

With the "mom" model in mind, our government should stop 
operating from a short-sighted "give the brat candy to shut it up" agenda. Presently, our city, state and national leaders continuously tax the well-behaved to create more dependency in the least inspired, then scratch their glabrous heads over why freeloaders keep failing to launch.     

Bureaucracy is why a man I call Agony plants himself at 72nd and Hosmer, in Tacoma, WA, to show off his enormous bio-hazard leg-wound. He refuses to accept existing assistance programs in preference for soliciting cash from ignorant donors, who never notice that he fails to use their offerings to treat his lesions. Yet there he sits, every day, giving more drivers traumatophobia. Like a stray dog that won’t leave a house that feeds it, Agony won't stop begging. Yet he doesn't need cash. He really needs medical intervention before he dies from self-neglect.

According to the City's website, Tacoma invested $10.9 million these past two years on homelessness service contracts. That's not counting all the homeless benefits provided by the county, state, and non-profits. Yet the mentally retarded, brain damaged and/or insane are still living on our streets along with Agony. Visit any local tent city to see all the same people still hanging out.

How many mentally ill could we have checked into hospitals for $10.9 million? Our culture's value of "free will" is one reason that homelessness seems like a problem that's so difficult to solve. "Free will" is why we allow those (who are mentally incapable of making wise decisions) to sleep outside in extreme heat or cold that can kill them.
Homelessness is also a problem because Americans deeply value human life. If not, we could decorate a barge with Christmas lights and promise "free drugs" to anyone who's exhausted community emergency funds (by being resuscitated from drug overdose more than twice). Once everybody onboard is high, we could ship that barge out to sea and sink it along with a note to God. "You sent us these defective people. We are sending them back."

While I admit that would be unconscionable, because we humanely put suffering animals to sleep but force people to live in their misery for eons, I half-wonder why our President of privilege, Donald Trump, hasn't realized how financially advantageous it would be to swap the identities between hard working illegal immigrants with able-bodied Americans who just don't want to work. We could then deport the lazy people and adopt the hard-working to dramatically improve our country's economy.

From psychology, we learn that contributing to a larger community makes people feel happy. A good mom knows when we give the homeless free clothes, they simply throw away whatever they've worn since the laundromat requires coins. Donating socks is also stupid when folks use them for toilet paper, thanks to T.P. costing money. To prevent such waste, a good mom would make recipients do chores like pull weeds or collect trash to earn their meals, clothes, and methadone.

For anyone who thinks it's inhumane to ask the homeless to work for the soup they consume, just talk to higher achievers who barely eke out a living. They must perform chores they loathe and nobody thinks it's inhumane when they must give up their personal freedoms to accumulate food and/or housing - then get taxed on everything they earn.

My brain says “I have to work and pay taxes, dammit. Homeless people should have to work for their sustenance too!” Then I realize that each person’s situation is unique. We have highly educated bureaucrats handing things. Everything will get better, in time, if we just relax and give beggars more of our hard-earned money after Uncle Sam has already taken most of it. Except the fact is ... most of our money never makes it to the beggars. Most of it gets lost in bureaucracy to line the pockets of those who are already most affluent in our country.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vampire Poetry To Make You Swoon And Feel Woozy (It's That Good)

Gotta admit I was pretty excited to learn Garrison Wells, who holds black belts in jujitsu, judo and Goju Ryu karate, was sending me his book of vampire poetry to review. *Kapow!*

With so many new writers seeking publicity these days, bloggers must often slog through typos, poorly written sentences and whatever else bleeds bloody grammar stains all over our freshly pressed white blouses. That is not the case with Garrison Wells' work, however. As a seasoned journalist, he's got skills and professional writing experience under his karate belts. His poetry is clean. It's sexually tasteful. I give his thought-provoking book five stars and I really hope you spend a buck to read it.


To you die-hard traditional vampire fans out there, you may get the chills when you realize not all of Garrison's artistry is stuck-in-the-coffin. He's not confined to the same old vampire lore that our Dracula made famous. Garrison makes up some of his own rules about whether a vampire's heart should beat slowly and whether the undead can produce offspring; sexually. In fact, children born to vampires can fly with muscular wings!

His work is new and fresh. You will love how he describes the burning daylight like a pair of handcuffs.

Because of my enthusiasm for his work, I hit Garrison up with a few overly excited questions, as follows:

Me: "Are you attracted to more in the vampire realm than just the poetry of it? What inspired you to write vampire poetry in the beginning? Do you self-identify as a vampire?

Garrison: "I don’t necessarily self-identify, but do have a passion for the vampire story. To me, vampires are sensual beings and Dracula is one of the world’s great love stories."

Author Garrison Wells has a passion for the Vampire story
Me: "How do you switch from writing various perspectives ... from the vampire to the vampire's host, to the vampire's child ... and make it seem so seamless?"

Garrison: I initially wrote just a couple vampire poems trying to see where I connect and understand why. It turned into several and then into the book. (Another one is coming) As I wrote them, I found myself needing to explore other bits of the vampire lore, and then to go beyond where history has led us, which then leaked into previously unexplored territory. I began to feel that poetry done right is a great way to tell their story because it is so poetic itself.

When I asked why he changed vampire facts from historic depictions, Garrison replied: "I didn’t want to tell the same story that has been written and filmed a thousand times. I wanted to go past the history and into today, where it seems to me that vampires could, like the rest of us, evolve. Thus, the heart, beating slowly, he comes slowly to his humanity. They are growing and so dual mating of vampires can create superior offspring, in essence, a new line of higher evolved vampires.

I challenged Garrison about a line where he describes pavement as though it cannot be stained by blood. Like a true poet, he responded: "The lack of stain on the concrete is more of a simile. He leaves no mark on this world. Blood, of course, being his mark."
Then he elaborated: "I think some of it too was that I didn’t want to portray vampires as joyless, vicious beings with no heart, which again is the slow heart thing . . . Maybe, in a sense, as I think about it, I figured that vampires, in some ways, want to be us. And we want to be them. And by making them a touch more human, we touch each other."

Garrison's is offering his vampire poetry book on Amazon for just $1. (You read that right. A single buck!)
To see MORE of his fantastic work ... go here!
Follow Garrison Wells on Facebook!
Here is a link to his newest novel! Nightgoer: The journey begins

*Happy reading!* 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Update on the William Ross Rust House

Of all the stories I've written here at Vampire Review, the William Ross Rust house research has stimulated the most consistent curiosity and feedback on an on-going basis over the years. 

As a blogger, receiving so much interest expressed about my Tacoma Haunted House tale, I feel inspired to write even more mystery house stories. That means I will have to conduct even more intuitive and tangible hard research on historic homes.

Just recently,  Tacoma author Steve Dunkelberger contacted me about the 
William Ross Rust story. He quoted my article in the newsy feature he wrote.

Here's a screen shot of Dunkelberger's feature, which was published in Southsound Talk.

You may read his article, in its entirety, here: Tacoma’s Rust Mansions – Lavish Living Followed by Rumors, by Steve Dunkelberger.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bluetooth Uses Magick To Grow Its Business

What does the Bluetooth symbol have to do with witches?

Bluetooth sets the standard for 
wireless communications. Its 
service allows TVs, mobile
devices and desktop 
computers to
communicate wirelessly, and
device to device.
Recognize this symbol? If you ever use wireless technology you've undoubtedly seen it.

What you might not realize is the Bluetooth company logo is an ancient binding Rune. Perhaps we'll talk about binding Runes and how witches use them for working powerful magick some other time.

For now, you'll need to know that the Bluetooth binding Rune is made from two powerful Runes and both have very specific meanings; magickally. The first Rune, "Berkana," is also the Norse word for Birch tree. (See image of Berkana, below.)
Berkana is also called "Berkanan"
(Germanic), "Bjarkan" (Viking)
and "Berkano" depending on dialect 

SIDE NOTE: In Norse mythology, the Birch is associated with Goddess Frigg (Odin's wife) and Idunna, Goddess of innocence and fertility. Odin (Frigg's husband) is vital to Rune casting because he is the God who first received the Runes and gained their meanings from a great deal of self-sacrifice.

Berkana stands for "growth" and "rebirth." Knowing that, it's easy to conclude why an entrepreneur would incorporate this very positive symbol into his/her company logo! Obviously, Bluetooth wanted to induce growth and rebirth magickally and, since they're setting the standard for wireless communications today, we can deduce that their magick is working!

The second half of the binding Rune is Gebo. Gebo means "gift of the Goddess." Life teaches us that with every gift there is an obligation for reciprocity. Or to think about it another way, Gebo is all about having a "fair exchange" and about gaining a reward for sacrifice. 
Gebo means "Gift of The Goddess"

What better company logo could any business adopt besides these two ancient Runes bound together in an overlay? By putting the two runes together, Bluetooth sealed its future success with growth and reciprocity.

The plot thickens: With all the advertisements around teeth whitening these days, it's entertaining to realize Bluetooth is named after a wealthy royal who had stained teeth!  

"Bluetooth" was the nickname given to Scandanavian Warrior King Harald Gormsson, who loved eating Denmark's wild blueberries. Reportedly, they didn't have teeth whitening strips back then, so when King Harald smiled ... (*ahem*). 

Don't blame me for making that Bluetooth name connection to King Harald. I learned about it from Symbols, A Universal Language, by Joseph Piercy.

Finally, this whole Bluetooth symbol thing has me wondering: Are the blue stained king's teeth the reason why Bluetooth made it's logo blue? Does the shape of their logo look like a tooth to you?  (One can only postulate!)

If you're interested in learning the Runes, so you can incorporate the same kind of magick Bluetooth uses in all your business dealings, I recommend
 The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Runes by Sterling quite strongly. I've read many Rune books and this has got to be the absolutely best one I've found.