Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Did the ancient Chinese invent social media? 啼 Tí - to twitter.

(Photo credit: Learn Chinese Now)

Merry Christmas from The Beijing Family! 圣诞快乐! Shèngdàn Kuàilè!(Merry Christmas!)

The Winter Wonderland of Beijing: Solana Park, Chaoyang (Photo credit: Christmas China Style, The World of Chinese)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thanks for your support! Over 350 downloads on Amazon!

Amazon ran a 5-day free ebook promotion and I had over 350 downloads on The Beijing Family book series.  Pretty smokin' hot for a first time free ebook promo! I plan to have more freebies and promos in the future.  Thanks for your support.  I feel so blessed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

**FREE EBOOK**The entire Beijing Family ebook series is FREE to download on Amazon!

**FREE** FREE**FREE- Holiday promotion.  The entire Beijing Family ebook collection is FREE to download from 12/12 to 12/16 on Amazon.  The Beijing Family (v1), The Beijing Swag (v2) and The Beijing Ghosts (v3).  Click on link to download your FREE copy today!

**FREE EBOOK**The entire Beijing Family ebook series is FREE to download on Amazon!

**FREE** FREE**FREE- Holiday promotion!  The entire Beijing Family ebook collection is FREE to download from 12/12 to 12/16 on Amazon.  The Beijing Family (v1), The Beijing Swag (v2) and The Beijing Ghosts (v3).  Click on link to download your FREE copy today!

**FREE EBOOK**The entire Beijing Family ebook series is FREE to download on Amazon

**FREE** FREE**FREE- Holiday promotion.  The entire Beijing Family ebook collection is FREE to download from 12/12 to 12/16 on Amazon.  The Beijing Family (v1), The Beijing Swag (v2) and The Beijing Ghosts (v3).  Click on link to download your FREE copy today!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with "Man of Tai Chi", a US and China collaboration. #keanureeves #matrix #china

Chinese ouiji board written into The Beijing Ghosts

I had heard from my mom and her friends that they played with a Chinese ouiji board back in China many years ago when they were young and silly. I had her recount her experiences in great detail and reconstruct the exact Chinese ouiji board that they used which I wrote into the seance scene in The Beijing Ghosts, my third book. Rather than having hundreds of Chinese characters, they wrote words like 'man', 'woman', 'love', 'hate' and used a tea cup as the indicator. For the sake of English readership, I added the 26 letters of the American alphabet around the Chinese words. In reality, spirits do not speak in languages and have no barriers. Word of caution - don't play ouji in your own home.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful that I am able to wake up every morning to make my next 24 hours the best that it can be no matter what is happening. Life is in our own hands and we are blessed with that choice to fill it with abundance and joy. Make the best of life and everything it has to offer! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Beijing Family book series available on Amazon today!

My good friend Miki in Tokyo just bought my book, The Beijing Family, on Amazon and it arrived 10 days later.  Get your copy today from Amazon -  Visit the official Beijing Family blog at:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

My sister in law sent me this photo via Wechat yesterday.  Nothing like sharing the Shanghai Metro with three jiang shi or the undead! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

KevJumba and Papajumba - comedic inspiration for The Beijing Family book series

One of my biggest comedic inspirations in writing The Beijing Family series is 23 year old KevJumba and his father, PapaJumba. Youtube comedian celebrities with over 91 million viewers, Kevin Wu (KevJumba) became the #1 subscribed comedian... on Youtube in 2008. I love how the younger Asian generation on Youtube challenges issues with humor, comedy and entertainment. Look up one of his videos on youtube or check out his website for some hilariousness.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Qinchuan and Lele!

A staff member prepares ice birthday cake for giant pandas Qinchuan and Lele at Jinbao Fairyland in Weifang, Shandong province, July 26, 2013. The special cake is made of ice with apple, carrot and bamboo shoots.

 More photos :

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lost Cities in China

Two ancient cities He Cheng and Shi Cheng in China were drowned in 1959 by a man-made lake and were forgotten about until discovered in 2001 by a tourist diving company. The cities remain intact and in good condition. The complete apathy of the government towards preservation of the ancient cities is shocking.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hurricane drinks in N'Awlins!

Bourbon Street is the only place I know in the US where people can walk around with their drinks openly on the streets. Famous for serving their Hurricanes cocktails, a friend was knocked out once from drinking that strong concoction. It will #@!&% the *&#@! out of you!

Bourbon Street in the French Quarter

Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, New Orleans. Lots of southern charm and fun things to do! The best shrimp gumbo I had was in a dumpy little take out on a street corner.

The Voodoo Museum in New Orleans

Have you been to the famous Voodoo Museum in New Orleans or N'Awlins? They show you the different religions of Voodoo and will also give you cemetery tours and show you sights of hauntings. It's fun to learn and cool to see.

Kara seeks a powerful voodoo priestess in The Beijing Ghosts

Desperate to vanquish blood-thirsty ghosts in The Beijing Ghosts, Kara Chan seeks a powerful voodoo priestess - Clarice Delphine Beaulieu. She is a direct descendent of Marie Laveau, the renowned 'Voodoo Queen' that brought the mysticism of voodoo from Santo Domingo to the sleepy backwaters of N'Awlins back in the 19th century.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Orbs in old casino saloon for outlaws

Two years ago, a broker in Nevada contacted me regarding an old casino saloon he had listed for sale. It was about 100+ miles north of Las Vegas. The old casino had a long history of seedy gamblers, outlaws and people of ill repute who di...dn't want the watchful eye of the Strip before it was finally cleaned up by the Nevada gaming regulation. I asked him to send me some photos. In practically every room, there were orbs floating everywhere. Some paranormal experts suggest that the orbs are spirits. Maybe they were criminals who died unwillingly. (Photo - orbs over a cemetery in Indiana)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Real ghost story #2 - old commercial building

Happy Friday! Here's another ghost story to start the weekend. Last year, I met an owner of an old commercial building on Pine Ave. in Long Beach that has since been renovated for popular restaurants and retail stores. We went to an empty banquet room on the second floor to discuss selling the building. Five minutes after we sat down, a window on the top ledge about 15 feet above us began opening and slamming by itself a few times. We both stared at the window in silence and bewilderment since there was no wind. It was bizarre. He said, "And this building comes with a ghost." I suddenly got this ill feeling that the ghost didn't want me there. Sometimes ghosts will try to scare realtors and it's better that they appear in the first meeting rather than after the listing agreement is signed. I never went back since I didn't know how far that ghost would have gone to make sure there are no new owners. (Photo - Pine Ave., Long Beach in 1928)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My scariest ghostly experience as a realtor

My scariest experience as a realtor happened two years ago when I was hosting an open house in an old two-story estate in Hollywood Hills with a fellow realtor. Around 4pm, we closed down. I was in the kitchen cleaning and heard slow heavy footsteps up and down the wooden stairwell. Thinking it was my colleague but a bit doubtful since she's thin and medium height. I ignored it. After I was done cleaning, I walked towards the front of the house and happened to peer out the window and there was my colleague standing outside rearranging her car, where she had been all along. So who was walking up/down the stairwell? I turned to look and there was no one! (
Photo credit:

Three bedrooms, two baths and a ghost

I was inspired to write The Beijing Ghosts from my own personal experiences as a realtor with the paranormal. According to the National Association of Realtors, every realtor has had at least one encounter to the unexplainable. Here are two real ghost stories.

Here is an article with true ghosts stories involving realtors:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nu Gui 女鬼 - Female ghost out for revenge

Nu Gui 女鬼 - Female ghost often in long white dress and long hair. Woman who commits suicide returns as a ghost in red dress to take revenge on the living. Some ancient folk tales tell stories of beautiful female ghosts appearing like a woman, seducing lecherous men then killing them for their blood or for revenge.

Jiang Shi 僵尸 - A Chinese vampire

Jiang Shi 僵尸 - A Chinese vampire which feeds on the blood of the living. Often seen wearing Qing Dynasty official costume, its corpse-body was so stiff that it had to hop to move around. It could be immobilized by pasting a Taoist talisman on its forehead. When we were kids, my brother and I watched many movies with jiang shi hopping around looking for prey. At night, we would hold out our arms and hop around to scare each other.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival

In the US, we have Halloween. In China and many parts of Asia, they have Chinese Hungry Ghost festival. Originated from the Liang Dynasty (502-557 A.D.), it is not only a day for getting rid of ghosts, but also a day for commemorating ancestors. It falls on the 15 of the seventh month according to Chinese lunar calendar. Parades, floating river lights, temple fair, food and celebrations are commonly seen.

Huli Jing are fox spirts or demons

When my mother was a little, her and her family were escaping the invasion of Japanese soldiers in Nanjing. En route, they found refuge in an abandoned old Chinese courtyard home where strange paranormal events began occurring. Frustrated, my Uncle raised his fist and cursed loudly at the house, "Damn you huli jing!" According to Chinese folklore, huli jing are fox spirits or demons that cause mischief or seduce humans. The next morning, they found all the dishes shattered onto the kitchen floor into a million angry pieces and rice splashed all over.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yummy gooey Zhong Zhi or Chinese tamales for Dragon Boat Festival

For Duanwu Jie or Dragon Boat Festival, my mom has been giving yummy gooey zhong zhi or Chinese tamales to her friends. I gave some to my neighbors. I'm trying to stick to a low carb diet so I will enjoy it vicariously through them.

Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kara gets a tea leaf reading in The Beijing Ghosts. You can learn to read leaves

In Chapter 11 of The Beijing Ghosts, Kara consults Grandma Moh for a tea leaf reading where she initially learns the dark secrets of the haunted mansion and its past.

You can learn how to read tea leaves:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stephen King almost threw away the manuscript for "Carrie"

In the 70's, Stephen King worked as a janitor at a local high school. While cleaning the girls' bathroom and refilling the tampon dispenser, he got an image of a group of mean cheerleaders throwing tampons at a young feeble girl unable to defend herself. He was inspired to write 'Carrie'.  Unable to relate to young teen females, he had difficulty developing the Carrie White social outcast character and wrote and threw away the manuscript three times. His wife found it in the trash, read it and encouraged him to finish it. She said, "I think you've got something here." She helped him develop the Carrie White character and the rest is history.

I read alot of Stephen King when I was writing The Beijing Ghosts

I read a lot of Stephen King when I was writing The Beijing Ghosts. One of my favorite authors, Stephen King turns the most average people, objects and events into complete utter horror. Here is young boy Danny with psychic abilities passing by Room 237 while riding around the vacant hotel......the room that the caretaker warned him to stay away from in the movie, 'The Shining'.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Remaining fragments of Old Peking

The remaining fragments of Old Peking are very cramped. The city planners are tearing down large sections of the old city, to make way for modern apartment houses.

When Beijing was once called Peking....

Mysterious visitors from Old Peking...

About 30 mins. before Kara closes down the private viewing of the mansion, 4 mysterious Chinese guests arrive and say they are from "Peking" and "know the owners of the house".....How odd, Beijing was once called Peking....but that was in the early 1900's and the owners have died over two decades ago......WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE??

Luxury homes and private viewings

Luxury homes of $15M + price range hold 'private viewings' and not open houses where it's by invitation or appointment to assure the privacy and security of the property and owners who are often celebrities, athletes and moguls. Mostly sold... through private listings, word of mouth, who's-who and rarely in the mass market. Private viewings often have catered food, bar, entertainment, live music and poetry readings. In The Beijing Ghosts, Kara hosts a private viewing of the haunted mansion in Chapter 5.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aquanetta is a crucial companion and comic relief in The Beijing Ghosts

Aquanetta Kadeja Jackson, older sister of Tayshawn who is sassy, feisty and intolerant of BS. She plays a crucial companion to Kara and comic relief in The Beijing Ghosts, especially when the ghostly activities in the haunted mansion gets crazy. I was thinking of Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, "Ghosts" when I was developing her character.

Misty is like Emma Stone in The Beijing Ghosts

Misty, the bubbly red-headed assistant to Kara Chan in her company, KC Real Estate Inc. She helps Kara prepare an open house of the haunted mansion. Always perky, she speaks with the colloquial "Valley Girl" verbalism, wears flashy clothe...s and sports even more colorful long painted fingernails. More intelligent that her outward appearance portrays, she understands office Mandarin and has working knowledge of the Chinese culture. Although the famous actress Emma Stone isn't the typical "valley girl" type, I imagined Misty looking a bit like her when I was developing her character.