Monday, December 21, 2009

Rachel Vincent Contest

Rachel Vincent, author of urban fantasy and young adult paranormals such as Stray, Rogue, and the Harlequin Teen release My Soul To Take, has announced a new contest. In preparation for the December 29 release of My Soul to Save, Rachel is offering a signed copy of both My Soul To Take and My Soul To Save to a lucky contest winner.

Entering is as simple as filling out a short form with your name and email address, although there are additional ways to enter. For more information, please check out Rachel's blog. All contest entries must be received no later than 11:59pm (CST) on December 23, 2009.





~Lily

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Great Starts to Great Books

Because I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, I thought it may be worthwhile to give some of Harris' other books a try. Ms Harris does have another paranormal series out, The Harper Connelly Mysteries, but I didn't start with those. Actually, I started with Harris' very first published novel, Sweet and Deadly.

Why am I mentioning Sweet and Deadly, a non-paranormal novel that was published before I was even born (pub date, 1981) on a current paranormal blog?

Well, because Charlaine Harris is a gifted writer, and her stories are always interesting. Because she's made a huge impact in the realm of paranormal romance, via her Sookie Stackhouse series and the television show it inspired. And because Sweet and Deadly has one of the most interesting first lines I've ever read in a novel.

"She passed a dead dog on her way to the tenant shack."

It may not sound that interesting at first, but instead of taking the easy route of introducing the main character or offering a meaningless platitude, Harris starts this rather simple novel with a disturbing, seemingly meaningless image that, although not impacting the storyline directly, or even indirectly in any significant way, is telling of the story as a whole and the otherwise random events that can mean so much more. This dead dog, though unimportant to the protagonists, bookends the story completely. It orients the details of the story and the events of one woman's life within the larger plain of the human existence. The last line of the story is also dedicated to the dog, but again in a subtle way that marks the short passage of time in the novel, and orients the characters within the greater scheme of things:

"A few miles outside of Lowfield, up the higway that led to Memphis, a little boy cried over his supper because his dun-colored dog had been missing for four days."

If she could do this with her first novel, how many more tricks has Charlaine Harris placed up her sleeve in the last 28 years?

~Lily

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Moon in 15 Minutes

Cleolinda is back with another hilarious parody, this time of the teen vamp juggernaut, New Moon.

Like most of her parodies, New Moon in 15 Minutes can be found at Cleolinda's m15m community on LiveJournal. Her Twilight in 15 Minutes is also available through this community.

Highlights of New Moon in 15 Minutes:

JACOB: "Happy birthday, paleface! I stopped by Redskins 'R' Us and got you a dreamcatcher. I hear you'll be needing one a few scenes from now."

***

CHARLIE: Okay, that's ENOUGH. You've been sitting here in your pajamas not changing facial expressions for FIVE MONTHS, writing emails to that loopy Cullen girl who won't even answer you, waking me up every night with screaming nightmares--what the hell are those even ABOUT? The kid dumped you, he didn't rip the beating heart out of your chest!

BELLA [opening overshirt]: YES HE DID.

CHARLIE: Well... then... spackle that up and... go pretend you have friends or something. Harry and I gotta go hunt.

***

BELLA: So... you came down with a fever of a hundred and werewolf and... now you're allergic to shirts.

JACOB: It's not a lifestyle choice, Bella. It's not like I wanted the women of America to treat me like a piece of meat. [*GLARE*]

BELLA: Hey, who said I was complaining?

JACOB: Well, I mean... that's kind of what you do.

***

As always, Cleolinda is funny and fantastic. Check out the full New Moon in 15 Minutes immediately!

~Lily

Dangerous Wands

I would totally watch this, if it were a real movie, that is.

I love me some Harry Potter, and I adore this.

College Humor created a crossover parody of Dangerous Minds and Harry Potter. Presenting: Dangerous Wands.


video

~Lily

The Most Ridiculous Part of New Moon

Just a short lil entry for me this morning, because I saw this picture online and just couldn't resist.

Spoiler alert, for those that haven't seen the movie or read the book series (or have any deductive reasoning abilities).

Allow me to set the scene. The Volturi are ready to snap the lovely little human neck of a frail little human girl. Let's call her, oh, how about Bella. The only way to save Bella's frail little human neck is for her sickly-looking, emo vampire not-yet-lover to agree to change her into a vampire. Which he refuses to do. Because he's a wuss.

But then his lovely and talented sister Alice interjects, with her ability to see forms of the future that are contingent on myriad changing factors and generally wrong, and yet everyone chooses to believe her anyhow. What does she see? What possible future lands itself in Alice's vision just in time to save the day and Bella's beautiful little human neck? Well, it's this.



And this is when the entire theater burst out laughing.

Hmmm, so the whole point of whining through 3 books to be changed into a vampire is so Bella can frolic through a forest wearing clothing courtesy of the Land's End catalog?

There are no words to describe how very lame this possible because Alice's visions are flawed future will be.

EDIT: Because I just couldn't resist -


~Lily

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Well That Just Makes It Sound So Icky...

Just as Helena's amusing post illustrates the scary double standard held between dirty old men and twimoms, this also rings of truth.


Kinda puts it all in perspective, huh?

~Lily

Twilight, How It Should Have Ended

This.


~Lily

Because I want to play, too

Because Helena got to show off her mad paint skillz, I want to show off my mediocre paintshop skillz.

Hence, Edwardsiella ictaluri, as I envision it:


~Lily

While studying for finals...

I came across a bacterium called Edwardsiella ictaluri; it causes disease in catfish.  I will leave it to you to google if you care enough (doubtful).  There was one striking image in my head that I could not seem to shake.  This one:







Sparkles courtesy of my awesome Paint skillz!

~Helena

Oh Stephanie, what have you done?

This made me smile and shake my head. Honestly, put down your daughter's fluffy fodder and get you a grown up lady book...they make those with vampires and shifters too.





According to the Novel Ingestion Board, aka ME, Twilight substitution for moms equals Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series.

~Helena

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The New New Moon, Courtesy of Jen Lancaster

For those of you who haven't yet dished out the $10 ticket price to see New Moon, and have no desire to tackle the 609 page book, never fear! Jen Lancaster has tackled the entirety of New Moon's plot with merely 4 action figures, an assortment of kitchen accessories, 17 photos, and a heaping handful of snark.

Check it out at her blog, Jennsylvania.

Yes. It really is better than the original.

~Lily

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's an Anniversary, of Sorts

Attention everyone, this is a big day for those of us here at Vamps R Us. Why? Well, because our last post officially put us at the 100 posts mark!

Ok, ok, so emo tweens may reach the 100 post mark in 5 days, but school, work, and everything in between has conspired to keep Helena and I (not to mention Evie and Virgina, when they have time) from basically anything fun. This little blog, dedicated to a subject we actually enjoy, is our form of peaceful protest against the adult world that's doing its damnedest to turn us into 9-to-5 drones.

That's why we appreciate the little things.

Thanks for reading, everyone.


It's the Return of...

Vampire Kitty!



Fear me.


~Lily

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bitten at New Moon

According to an article in the Expressindia, Erin Westrate a 17 year old went to the theater like many of us to indulge in the guilty pleasure known as New Moon.  Little did she know, the movie would have more of a "bite" than she bargained for.  Westrate was grabbed and bitten by a 40ish year old man at the end of the flick after enduring sexually suggestive comments during the screening.  Come on people...keep your teeth to yourselves.

~Helena

A Vampire's place in a Christian World

A while ago, Lily posted a few diagrams linking vampires to christianity in an "I can feel the fires of hell lapping at my heels" fashion ;p.  While playing around on amazon, actually doing research for my previous two postings, I found there are multiple novels out that delve into the philosophy behind this culture wave and attach deeper meaning onto the pleasure writings of Stephanie Meyer a tad too much in my opinion.
 

I find the first book in this segment: Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality by Rebecca Housel et al to be mildly interesting.  Mind you, I do not think a deeper meaning is tucked within the tween writings of Meyer, but I am willing to be humored.  The summary reads:

"Bella and Edward, and their family and friends, have faced countless dangers and philosophical dilemmas in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. This book is the first to explore them, drawing on the wisdom of philosophical heavyweights to answer essential questions such as: What do the struggles of "vegetarian" vampires who control their biological urge for human blood say about free will? Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people? From a feminist perspective, is Edward a romantic hero or is he just a stalker? Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?"



The next two books I will mention concern themselves wholly with the dialogue that parents should enter into with their young girls enfatuated with the Twilight saga and how they can view the novels in a Christian light.  This I find amusing seeing as how Meyer is Mormon...but I digress.



Touched by a Vampire by Beth Felker Jones, described by a reviewer as such:

"Beth does a excellent job of examining the major themes of: love, family, humanity, sex, marriage, and violence The Twilight Saga presents. She examines the saga's stance on each of these things with footnoted quotes from each book. She then cross examines each of the books stances with the truth of Scripture giving good real life examples and Scriptural text to support. Each chapter ends with some questions to ask in a small group setting over what was read in the chapter. These sections make this book a great study to do with a group of girls. There's a discussion guide as an appendix to the book as well."






 Then we have Parables from Twilight: A Bible Study by Diane Schantin which allows the reader to:

"discover how passages from the Twilight books and the Bible inter-relate. Included are ten lessons guaranteed to spark great discussion among Twilight fans about their favorite characters and great Biblical themes."





Now I am not in particular poking fun at the Christianity study books listed above, but I can hardly fathom how anyone can find deeper meaning in the Twilight saga than what is literally written on the page.  The book is meant for entertainment on a very basic level, reading more into it just weighs it down and makes it unenjoyable.  The philosophy behind why vampires have become such a booming trend in pop culture has a place, but not a literal translation of the books themselves.  If anyone is interested in these and has read them or disagrees completely with my lack of faith in Meyer's third eye, please feel free to comment.  Also these are but a small handful of the books out there in this topic range, if there is one we should check out be sure to send a note! :)

~Helena

Cooking with Bella

Yep you read me right!  There is now a cookbook out with recipes for the human-dying-to-be-a-vampire in all of us!  Check out Bite at Twilight: Vampires, Forks, and Knives by Gina Meyers and Gina's other cookbook entitled Love at First Bite. (which both honestly look like the same product to me...shrug)

The books boast Twilight themed recipes like: "some scrumptious delights to satisfy even the pickiest, puritan "vegetarian" vampires: Bell's Lasagna, Harry's Famous Fish Fry, Mushroom Raviolis, Red Velvet Cake, and Blushing Bella Punch. Besides mouthwatering recipes, you'll also find a Twilight Party Planning Guide, and for the teenagers, Bell's Prom Primer."

The lengths this pop culture phenomenon has gone does not really suprise me anymore.  The reviews I have found say the cookbook is rather juvenile, but would still make a good gift for getting that teenager into the kitchen.

~Helena

Parody Bandwagon: stop number 2

Enter TwiLite by Stephen Jenner.  The synopsis reads very similar to the previously reviewed Nightlight by the Harvard Lampoon, yet this novel was released back in April of this year:

"Love between a teenage girl and a vampire can be a beautiful thing. Then again, it can get a little ugly. Just ask Stella Crow. Stella is a clumsy but otherwise ordinary girl whose life takes a radical turn the moment she meets Edweird. Though perfect on the outside, Edweird Sullen is remarkably unrefined on the inside. He also happens to be a one hundred year old vampire, trapped in the body of a teenage boy, who has yet to finish high school. Nonetheless, Stella is unconditionally smitten with him. But not everything is rosy in this gloomiest of towns. Edweird's enemies have sworn to put a tragic end to their romance. Against all odds, the bond between Stella and Edweird is nearly strong enough for their love to survive. Most love stories between an impossibly handsome vampire and an ungainly young woman have a magical ending. This one - not so much."

Even though I was disappointed in NightLight, my snark-dar is begging me to pick this one up.  Maybe after finals and the holidays I will be able to see if the more promising rating for this novel (courtesy of my beloved amazon.com) is true to my tastes.

~Helena

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Short Review - Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon

I won't bore everyone with the details since Lily has already introduced the premise of this novel. I will just jump up on my well oiled soapbox and spout my opinion. :)

Yea, so just finished Nightlight. Honestly, besides a couple funny quote-ables like:

No. 1: "we went to a cemetery, the Chuck E. Cheese's of vampires!"

No. 2: "a cold seeking missile, I call, the vampire shish kabob"


No. 3-um 8: "That's when her hemophilia kicked in. The blood started spurting from her arm like water from a fire hydrant. The vampires held their faces up and opened their mouths to catch the blood, some twirling around and playing in the crimson torrents like kids on a hot summer day."

it was just as painful and actually more so than just reading the Twilight saga itself. Sorry Harvard Lampoon but watching 40 year old moms drool over barely legal...clothed Taylor Lautner is more fun than reading a couple chapters of this any day.

Rating: 2/5

~Helena
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