Showing posts from August, 2022

'Jiangshi': the Hopping Vampire in Chinese Folklore

My latest book  The Corpse Ritual features a vampire-like Chinese folklore monster that some of you may recognize. It’s a “jiangshi,” which means “stiff corpse” in Mandarin. Those of you who’ve watched the Mr. Vampire Hong Kong comedy movies from the 1980s will be familiar with this creature. It’s basically a reanimated corpse. Its appearance depends on how long it’s been dead. It hops because its limbs are stiff from rigor mortis.  In Chinese popular culture, the jiangshi usually is shown wearing clothes from the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911). Although it’s called a “vampire” in the movies, there are major differences between a jiangshi and a vampire.  A jiangshi— doesn’t drink blood. It sucks a person’s life essence, or qi. isn’t good-looking or suave. behaves more like a zombie. doesn’t turn into a bat. doesn’t command other creatures of the night. doesn’t sparkle in daylight and won’t ever get the girl (or guy). The hopping corpse folklore supposedly dates back to olden t

'The Corpse Ritual' Is Now Available in Ebook Format

The Corpse Ritual , Book 3 of my Geomancer's Apprentice series, is now available as an ebook and on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. The paperback version is coming soon.  In their latest adventure, underdog feng shui consultants Joe Tham and Junie Soong investigate the theft of a mummy from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.  The full blurb is below.  The Smithsonian Natural History Museum is full of dead things. Now some may be undead … A brazen robbery takes place at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum at the height of the pandemic. The robbers make off with a 250-year-old Chinese mummy from the museum’s forthcoming exhibition. Soon, the dead bodies are stacking up.  Joe Tham and Junie Soong’s feng shui business is limping along, not helped by the D.C. government’s Covid restrictions. Joe is still trying to solve his father’s murder, while Junie is leaning into her special powers.   The two underdog feng shui consultants are roped into the museum case. As they dig deeper

Beware. We’re in the Midst of the Chinese Halloween …

We're in the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It's the Chinese Hungry Ghost Month, which started July 29 and ends August 26. During this period, the gates of hell open and ghosts wander the earth hoping for a meal and some entertainment. It’s a major festival for Chinese people of the Taoist and Buddhist faiths. They burn joss sticks, ghost money and ghost goods (papier-mache watches, cars, houses and other luxury products) to ensure their ancestors are well taken care of in the afterlife. They also place food and fruit offerings on makeshift altars for the dead. People with the sixth sense may glimpse ghosts with long, pencil-thin necks eating the food late at night. It’s also said that if you taste the food from the altar (please don't—you're asking for bad luck), it would be flat and bland because the spirits have already feasted on its essence. At this time, temporary stages are set up to provide music and entertainment for the ghostly realm. You’ll see the p

‘Geomancer’s Apprentice’ Series Book 3: Cover Reveal for ‘The Corpse Ritual’

I’m excited to reveal the cover for The Corpse Ritual , the upcoming third book in my Geomancer’s Apprentice series. There are still a few issues to sort out. I hope to release the book later this month. I’ve also overhauled the covers for the first two books to reflect a more cohesive look for the series. In addition, I wanted to add more elements in the covers to make it clear to readers that the books are in the urban fantasy genre, and feature Asian magic. The ebooks and paperbacks now come with the new covers.  That’s the beauty of indie publishing. You have the flexibility to make changes that you might not otherwise have in traditional publishing. It’s been one and a half years since the publication of The Geomancer’s Apprentice , my debut novel. It’s been a blast so far. The learning curve is steep for an indie author in terms of the craft and what constitutes good marketing. I’m still learning, and I hope you’ll keep reading.