Tag Archives: Dead Ever After

Dead Every After: Nothing But A Heartache

The lovely admin of this site and I both requested an ‘Advanced Readers Copy’ of Dead Ever After, the final installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series for our sites (Eric and Sookie Lovers for me) a little over a month ago. We waited and waited (patiently I might add) and every day nothing came in the form of a package. We gave up hope, realizing that they were not going to give the final book away early just to have it spoiled online early,(not that we would have done such a thing mind you) and who could blame them? Little did they know that it would be leaked all over the internet two weeks before publication due to a book seller putting the book on the shelf early. *snickers*

The UK released the final book on Monday, the day before the release date and we were fortunate to receive a copy as well. We spent the night reading the book even though we already knew EVERYTHING before hand. I could not believe all the time, energy and money I wasted on this books series for the book was truly awful. According to what the author wrote about her characters in this book, I found that I did not know who these people were at all. I started writing my review immediately after I was done reading and I admit to having a pretty foul mouth due to my feeling duped and manipulated. This post will be slightly cleaner but it is a good thing my girls at Eric and Sookie Lovers do not mind my language in the slightest.

I wrote my review and chatted about it with my fellow Viking Wenches for a while (which is tremendous therapy) I forgot all about the ARC I requested so long ago. My buzzer rang on the Wednesday following release day and I let who I thought was the medicine man with a delivery in through the main door. I answered the knock on my door and it is the UPS guy with a bubble-wrapped package from none other than Penguin. I thanked the man, shut the door and immediately said thought “Oh this cannot be what I think it is ” but it was a hardback copy of Dead Ever After along with a copy of the WJS article.

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The fact that I was stunned is an understatement but I was also very, very upset and angry. I thought to myself, “They know the site I write for is “Eric and Sookie Lovers” did they honestly think I was going to be excited by the blatant assassinations of two of the most beloved characters? While I am glad they granted my request, I felt as if it was a slap in the face of all that we held dear.

I received a text from my dear friend who runs this site on Thursday (two days after the release)that she received her hard copy as well from Penguin. We both had the same reaction, our request was granted but now we felt like it was a ‘late review copy’.

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Since we have received an ARC or LRC (*snickers again) we thought it would be appropriate to give our opinion of the final Sookie Stackhouse Novel. I was highly emotional in my first review of the book and I am a tad more calm so perhaps I can do this in more of an orderly fashion. Although I have to say, I do love what I wrote at ESL.

THE PROLOGUE TO BEAT ALL PROLOGUES (NOT REALLY)

I did not care for the prologue at all because it seemed so out of place in a Sookie Stackhouse Novel. The author attempted to give the readers an air of mystery surrounding the ‘businessman’ and his ‘driver’ along with the ‘medium man’ and the ‘tall man’ but failed miserably at it. I was disappointed in the whole ‘we will hear different POV’S this time around’ for it was very, very boring. I would have rather heard the POV’s of Eric, Pam, even Bill because at least they were more centrally located to Sookie.

WHERE’S THE BEEF…..I MEAN PLOT?

What beef….I mean plot? Well, there was an attempt at one but it was less than stellar. Sookie was accused of murder and all her friends rallied by her side to prove her innocence. Well,with the exception of those that had been by her side for the better part of 12 books but in the end they did not matter. Who cares if the author spent time developing those relationships, only to have them not mean a damn thing at the end of the story. Claude is the reason behind the framing and the reasoning behind it (1) Niall was going to close Fairy(something he planned to do already) and (2) Sookie would not have sex with him. Well, that is some mystery!

ERIC AND SOOKIE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

What happened to these two characters was a low down dirty shame. I am okay with them not ending up together at the end. What I am not okay with is what was done to them. What I read was that the author had Eric give up without a fight to maintain his freedom and that goes everything she wrote about Eric previously. Gone was the bad ass Viking vampire and that was sad. The author took away everything that was good and pure about his character and turned him into someone 99.9% of the fan base did not recognize. There were a lot missed opportunities that could have made this a great end to a once beloved series if the author had stayed true to her characters. Sookie and Eric got the worst end of the deal.

Sookie ended up settling for a maybe HEA with Sam because her choice, Eric was taken away. She was willing to leave her home and Bon Temps life behind to be with Eric and all that was gone in the blink of an eye. They both just simply gave up. Sookie sat back and let everything happen, she thought more about her tomatoes than anything. While everyone else went about proving her innocence, she sat around her house, cooking and thinking. Where was the Sookie that took matters into her own hands? Where we these friends of hers before when she needed them?

I was looking for a battle of epic proportions and I did not get that. The lesson here seemed to be, don’t fight for what you want because it won’t do you any good. There seemed to other messages but I won’t get into them for I will just end up with a headache. I am not getting into the HEA either because I have beat that dead horse into the ground already.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I finished this series because I owed it to myself to do so and this was after I knew EVERY single SPOILER that was out there. It was very, very painful to read abut my favorite characters going out like that. I was expecting them to out with’a blaze of glory’ and I got nothing for sticking with this series. There is something to be said about expectation when reading a final book in a series but another entirely when those expectations are not met? From beginning to end,this book was a huge disappointment and it failed to satisfy many of it’s long term readers. Who is to blame? The author, for leading the readers down a path she was never going to follow or the reader for putting their faith and loyalty in that said author? According to the author, we just were picking up what she was putting down. The bottom line: I cannot trust the author to deliver the goods.

I know what I read and I did not get it wrong. I have been reading for a number of years and I write myself so I understand that characters can start to take on a life of their own(and become more)so sometimes what an author intended to write has to be changed to accommodate that and the author failed in this regard. I know what I read in regards to characterization in the previous books and the characters assassinations of beloved characters just to the authors original end game was heartbreaking. It went against previously established narrative regarding those characters. It was not in Eric’s character to just give up and take it,he ended up loosing everything he had achieved in his 1000 plus years. He now has to ask permission to do anything, and that is is including spending his own money. He went from being a big fish in a small pond, to a little fish in a big pond.

Sookie ended up right back where she started, all the personal growth she experienced in her time spent with the vampires was gone. Everything she had done to survive had truly been for nothing. She won’t truly be safe from anyone as Karin will only be there a year and who is to say that no vampire will come for her then. Felipe and Freyda can promise that she won’t be used, abused or bitten by any vampire ever until the cows come home but they do not control every vampire, especially those in states that they do not control. Victor can’t spread himself any thinner than he already has and there is not guarantee that his kingdoms won’t be taken over, same with Freyda. It really was a sloppy,lazy ending to what could have been an awesome ending to a once beloved series. Who was Sookie anyway? I am afraid we will never know. Goodbye Miss Stackhouse.

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Dead Ever After Prologue Excerpt

The final Sookie Stackhouse book is almost here!! There is a Prologue posted on the Penguin site. Here is an excerpt:

UPDATE:  Since this post was written a HUGE SPOILER has been leaked concerning the final book. I see a lot of hits for this post. I do not have that spoiler on this site. May 7 will soon be here. Just prepare your self for the final book. I know I was quite surprise and yes very saddened in the end of the series.

Prologue

JANUARY

The New Orleans businessman, whose gray hair put him in his fif¬ties, was accompanied by his much younger and taller bodyguard/ chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter. The meeting was by prearrangement.

“This is really the Devil we’re going to see?” asked the bodyguard. He was tense—but then, that wasn’t too surprising.

“Not the Devil, but a devil.” The businessman was cool and col¬lected on the outside, but maybe not so much on the inside. “Since he came up to me at the Chamber of Commerce banquet, I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know before.” He looked around him, trying to spot the creature he’d agreed to meet. He told his bodyguard, “He convinced me that he was what he said he was. I always thought my daughter was simply deluded. I thought she imagined she had power because she wanted to have something . . . of her own. Now I’m willing to admit she has a certain talent, though nowhere near what she thinks.”

It was cold and damp, even in New Orleans, in the January night. The businessman shifted from foot to foot to keep warm. He told the bodyguard, “Evidently, meeting at a crossroads is traditional.” The street was not as busy as it would be in the summer, but there were still drink¬ers and tourists and natives going about their night’s entertainment. He wasn’t afraid, he told himself. “Ah, here he comes,” the businessman said.

The devil was a well– dressed man, much like the businessman. His tie was by Hermes. His suit was Italian. His shoes were custom made. His eyes were abnormally clear, the whites gleaming, the irises a pur¬plish brown; they looked almost red from certain angles.

“What have you got for me?” the devil asked, in a voice that indi¬cated he was only faintly interested.

“Two souls,” said the businessman. “Tyrese has agreed to go in with me.”

The devil shifted his gaze to the bodyguard. After a moment, the bodyguard nodded. He was a big man, a light–skinned African Amer¬ican with bright hazel eyes.

“Your own free will?” the devil asked neutrally. “Both of you?”

“My own free will,” said the businessman.

“My own free will,” affirmed the bodyguard.

The devil said, “Then let’s get down to business.”

“Business” was a word that made the older man comfortable. He smiled. “Wonderful. I’ve got the documents right here, and they’re signed.” Tyrese opened a thin leather folder and withdrew two pieces of paper: not parchment or human skin, nothing that dramatic or exotic—computer paper that the businessman’s office secretary had bought at Office Max. Tyrese offered the papers to the devil, who gave them a quick glance.

“You have to sign them again,” the devil said. “For this signature, ink is not satisfactory.”

“I thought you were joking about that.” The businessman frowned.

“I never joke,” the devil said. “I do have a sense of humor, oh, believe me, I do. But not about contracts.”

“We actually have to . . . ?”

“Sign in blood? Yes, absolutely. It’s traditional. And you’ll do it now.” He read the businessman’s sideways glance correctly. “I promise you no one will see what you are doing,” he said. As the devil spoke, a sudden hush enveloped the three men, and a thick film fell between them and the rest of the street scene.

The businessman sighed elaborately, to show how melodramatic he thought this tradition was. “Tyrese, your knife?” he said, looking up to the chauffeur.

Tyrese’s knife appeared with shocking suddenness, probably from his coat sleeve; the blade was obviously sharp, and it gleamed in the streetlight. The businessman shucked off his coat and handed it to his companion. He unbuttoned his cuff and rolled up his sleeve. Perhaps to let the devil know how tough he was, he jabbed himself in the left arm with the knife. A sluggish trickle of blood rewarded his effort, and he looked the devil directly in the face as he accepted the quill that the devil had somehow supplied . . . even more smoothly than Tyrese had produced the knife. Dipping the quill into the trail of blood, the busi¬nessman signed his name to the top document, which the chauffeur held pressed against the leather folder.

After he’d signed, the businessman returned the knife to the chauf¬feur and donned his coat. The chauffeur followed the same procedure as his employer. When he’d signed his own contract, he blew on it to dry the blood as if he’d signed with a Sharpie and the ink might smear.

The devil smiled when the signatures were complete. The moment he did, he didn’t look quite so much like a prosperous man of affairs.

He looked too damn happy.

“You get a signing bonus,” he told the businessman. “Since you brought me another soul. By the way, how do you feel?”

“Just like I always did,” said the businessman. He shrugged his coat back over his shoulders. “Maybe a little angry.” He smiled suddenly, his teeth looking as sharp and gleaming as the knife had. “How are you, Tyrese? ” he asked his employee.

“A little antsy,” Tyrese admitted. “But I’ll be okay.”

“You were both bad people to begin with,” the devil said, without any judgment in his voice. “The souls of the innocent are sweeter. But I delight in having you. I suppose you’re sticking with the usual wish list? Prosperity? The defeat of your enemies?”

“Yes, I want those things,” the businessman said with passionate sincerity. “And I have a few more requests, since I get a signing bonus. Or could I take that in cash?”

“Oh,” the devil said, smiling gently, “I don’t deal in cash. I deal in favors.”

“Can I get back to you on that?” the businessman asked after some thought. “Take a rain check?”

The devil looked faintly interested. “You don’t want an Alfa Romeo, or a night with Nicole Kidman, or the biggest house in the French Quarter?”

The businessman shook his head decisively. “I’m sure something will come up that I do want, and then I’d like to have a very good chance of getting it. I was a successful man until Katrina. And after

Katrina I thought I would be rich, because I own a lumber business. Everyone needed lumber.” He took a deep breath. He kept on telling his story, despite the fact that the devil looked bored. “But getting a supply line reestablished was hard. So many people didn’t have money to spend because they were ruined, and there was the wait for the insurance money, for the rest. I made some mistakes, believing the fly–by–night builders would pay me on time. . . . It all ended up with my business too extended, everyone owing me, my credit stretched as thin as a condom on an elephant. Knowledge of this is getting around.” He looked down. “I’m losing the influence I had in this city.”

Possibly the devil had known all those things, and that was why he’d approached the businessman. Clearly he was not interested in the businessman’s litany of woes. “Prosperity it is, then,” he said briskly. “And I look forward to your special request. Tyrese, what do you want? I have your soul, too.”

“I don’t believe in souls,” Tyrese said flatly. “I don’t think my boss does, either. We don’t mind giving you what we don’t believe we have.” He grinned at the devil, man to man, which was a mistake. The devil was no man.

The devil smiled back. Tyrese’s grin vanished at the sight. “What do you want?” the devil repeated. “I won’t ask again.”

“I want Gypsy Kidd. Her real name is Katy Sherboni, if you need that. She work at Bourbon Street Babes. I want her to love me the way I love her.”

The businessman looked disappointed in his employee. “Tyrese, I wish you’d asked for something more lasting. Sex is everywhere you look in New Orleans, and girls like Gypsy are a dime a dozen.”

“You wrong,” Tyrese said. “I don’t think I have a soul, but I know love is once in a lifetime. I love Gypsy. If she loves me back, I’ll be a happy man. And if you make money, boss, I’ll make money. I’ll have enough. I’m not greedy.”

“I’m all about the greed,” said the devil, almost gently. “You may end up wishing you’d asked for some government bonds, Tyrese.”

The chauffeur shook his head. “I’m happy with my bargain. You give me Gypsy, the rest will be all right. I know it.”

The devil looked at him with what seemed very much like pity, if that emotion was possible for a devil.

“Enjoy yourselves, you hear?” he said to both of the newly soulless men. They could not tell if he was mocking them or if he was sincere. “Tyrese, you will not see me again until our final meeting.” He faced the businessman. “Sir, you and I will meet at some date in the future. Just give me a call when you’re ready for your signing bonus. Here’s my card.”

The businessman took the plain white card. The only writing on it was a phone number. It was not the same number he’d called to set up the first rendezvous. “But what if it’s years from now?” he said.

“It won’t be,” said the devil, but his voice was farther away. The businessman looked up to see that the devil was half a block away. After seven more steps he seemed to melt into the dirty sidewalk, leav¬ing only an impression in the cold damp air.

The businessman and the chauffeur turned and walked hastily in the opposite direction. The chauffeur never saw the devil again. The businessman didn’t see the devil until June.

JUNE

Far away—thousands of miles away—a tall, thin man lay on a beach in Baja. He was not in one of the tourist spots where he might encoun¬ter lots of other gringos, who might recognize him. He was patronizing a dilapidated bar, really more of a hut. For a small cash payment, the proprietor would rent patrons a large towel and a beach umbrella and send his son out to refresh your drink from time to time. As long as you kept drinking.

Though the tall man was only sipping Coca–Cola, he was paying through the nose for it—though he didn’t seem to realize that, or per¬haps he didn’t care. He sat on the towel, crouched in the umbrella’s shade, wearing a hat and sunglasses and swim trunks. Close to him was an ancient backpack, and his flip–flops were set on the sand beside it, casting off a faint smell of hot rubber. The tall man was listening to an iPod, and his smile indicated he was very pleased with what he heard. He lifted his hat to run his fingers through his hair. It was golden blond, but there was a bit of root showing that hinted his natural color was nearly gray. Judging from his body, he was in his forties. He had a small head in relation to his broad shoulders, and he did not look like a man who was used to manual labor. He didn’t look rich, either; his entire ensemble, the flip–flops and the swim trunks, the hat and the dark glasses, had come from a Wal–Mart or some even cheaper dollar store.

It didn’t pay to look affluent in Baja, not with the way things were these days. It wasn’t safe, gringos weren’t exempt from the violence, and most tourists stayed in the established resorts, flying in and out with¬out driving through the countryside. There were a few other expats around, most unattached men with an air of desperation . . . or secrecy. Their reasons for choosing such a hazardous place to live were better not discovered. Asking questions could be unhealthy.

One of these expats, a recent arrival, came to sit close to the tall man, too close for such proximity to be an accident on a thinly popu¬lated beach. The tall man gave the unwelcome newcomer a sideways look from behind his dark glasses, which were obviously prescrip¬tion. The newcomer was a man in his thirties, not tall or short, not handsome or ugly, not reedy or muscular. He was medium in all aspects, physically. This medium man had been watching the tall man for a few days, and the tall man had been sure he’d approach him sooner or later.

The medium man had carefully selected the optimum moment. The two were sitting in a place on the beach where no one else could hear them or approach them unseen, and even with satellites in the atmosphere it was probable that no one could see them without being spotted, either. The taller man was mostly hidden under the beach umbrella. He noticed that his visitor was sitting in its shadow.

“What are you listening to?” asked the medium man, pointing to the earbuds inserted in the tall man’s ears.

He had a faint accent, maybe a German one? From one of those European countries, anyway, thought the tall man, who was not well traveled. And the newcomer also had a remarkably unpleasant smile. It looked okay, with the upturned lips and the bared teeth, but somehow the effect was more as if an animal were exposing its teeth preparatory to biting you.

“You a homo? I’m not interested,” the tall man said. “In fact, you’ll be judged with hellfire.”

The medium man said, “I like women. Very much. Sometimes more than they want.” His smile became quite feral. And he asked again, “What are you listening to?”

The tall man debated, staring angrily at his companion. But it had been days since he’d talked to anyone. At last, he opted for the truth. “I’m listening to a sermon,” he said.

The medium man exhibited only mild surprise. “Really? A sermon? I wouldn’t have pegged you for a man of the cloth.” But his smile said otherwise. The tall man began to feel uneasy. He began to think of the gun in his backpack, less than an arm’s length away. At least he’d opened the buckles when he’d put it down.

“You’re wrong, but God won’t punish you for it,” the tall man said calmly, his own smile genial. “I’m listening to one of my own old ser¬mons. I spoke God’s truth to the multitudes.”

“Did no one believe you?” The medium man cocked his head curi¬ously.

“Many believed me. Many. I was attracting quite a following. But a girl named . . . a girl brought about my downfall. And put my wife in jail, too, in a way.”

“Would that girl’s name have been Sookie Stackhouse?” asked the medium man, removing his sunglasses to reveal remarkably pale eyes.

The taller man’s head snapped in his direction. “How’d you know? ” he said.
For the rest of the prologue please click on the link below:

Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris – Penguin Group (USA).

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Farewell Sookie Stackhouse Charlaine Harris Video Reading Definitely Dead

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The final Sookie Stackhouse book titled “Dead Ever After” will be released on May 7, 2013. Charlaine Harris is in the video below reading an excerpt from “Definitely Dead”. Spoiler warning for “Dead Ever After”. Waiting for the last book has really sucked but it will soon be here!!

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Dead Ever After Audio Sample

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Amazon has an audio sample of the final Sookie Stackhouse book “Dead Ever After” on their partner site.  SPOILERS ahead on  Link here:

The scene in the audio sample involves- Copley Carmichael (Amelia’s father) and Tyreese his chauffeur and yes of all beings- the Devil. Seems that Copley has fallen on financial hard times after Hurricane Katrina and has made a deal with the Devil for his soul. Tyreese also makes a deal for his soul. The book was rumoured to have additional voices but I never thought we would see this at all! I never trusted Amelia or her father and after listening to this scene I trust them even less. Perhaps Amelia leaked to her dad that Sookie had the Cluviel D’or? Maybe Copley is going to bargain with the devil for that?

Here is an excerpt of the prologue being heard on the audio:

The final Sookie Stackhouse book is almost here!! There is a Prologue posted on the Penguin site. Here is an excerpt:

Prologue

JANUARY

The New Orleans businessman, whose gray hair put him in his fif¬ties, was accompanied by his much younger and taller bodyguard/ chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter. The meeting was by prearrangement.

“This is really the Devil we’re going to see?” asked the bodyguard. He was tense—but then, that wasn’t too surprising.

“Not the Devil, but a devil.” The businessman was cool and col¬lected on the outside, but maybe not so much on the inside. “Since he came up to me at the Chamber of Commerce banquet, I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know before.” He looked around him, trying to spot the creature he’d agreed to meet. He told his bodyguard, “He convinced me that he was what he said he was. I always thought my daughter was simply deluded. I thought she imagined she had power because she wanted to have something . . . of her own. Now I’m willing to admit she has a certain talent, though nowhere near what she thinks.”

It was cold and damp, even in New Orleans, in the January night. The businessman shifted from foot to foot to keep warm. He told the bodyguard, “Evidently, meeting at a crossroads is traditional.” The street was not as busy as it would be in the summer, but there were still drink¬ers and tourists and natives going about their night’s entertainment. He wasn’t afraid, he told himself. “Ah, here he comes,” the businessman said.

The devil was a well– dressed man, much like the businessman. His tie was by Hermes. His suit was Italian. His shoes were custom made. His eyes were abnormally clear, the whites gleaming, the irises a pur¬plish brown; they looked almost red from certain angles.

“What have you got for me?” the devil asked, in a voice that indi¬cated he was only faintly interested.

“Two souls,” said the businessman. “Tyrese has agreed to go in with me.”

The devil shifted his gaze to the bodyguard. After a moment, the bodyguard nodded. He was a big man, a light–skinned African Amer¬ican with bright hazel eyes.

“Your own free will?” the devil asked neutrally. “Both of you?”

“My own free will,” said the businessman.

“My own free will,” affirmed the bodyguard.

The devil said, “Then let’s get down to business.”

“Business” was a word that made the older man comfortable. He smiled. “Wonderful. I’ve got the documents right here, and they’re signed.” Tyrese opened a thin leather folder and withdrew two pieces of paper: not parchment or human skin, nothing that dramatic or exotic—computer paper that the businessman’s office secretary had bought at Office Max. Tyrese offered the papers to the devil, who gave them a quick glance.

“You have to sign them again,” the devil said. “For this signature, ink is not satisfactory.”

“I thought you were joking about that.” The businessman frowned.

“I never joke,” the devil said. “I do have a sense of humor, oh, believe me, I do. But not about contracts.”

“We actually have to . . . ?”

“Sign in blood? Yes, absolutely. It’s traditional. And you’ll do it now.” He read the businessman’s sideways glance correctly. “I promise you no one will see what you are doing,” he said. As the devil spoke, a sudden hush enveloped the three men, and a thick film fell between them and the rest of the street scene.

The businessman sighed elaborately, to show how melodramatic he thought this tradition was. “Tyrese, your knife?” he said, looking up to the chauffeur.

Tyrese’s knife appeared with shocking suddenness, probably from his coat sleeve; the blade was obviously sharp, and it gleamed in the streetlight. The businessman shucked off his coat and handed it to his companion. He unbuttoned his cuff and rolled up his sleeve. Perhaps to let the devil know how tough he was, he jabbed himself in the left arm with the knife. A sluggish trickle of blood rewarded his effort, and he looked the devil directly in the face as he accepted the quill that the devil had somehow supplied . . . even more smoothly than Tyrese had produced the knife. Dipping the quill into the trail of blood, the busi¬nessman signed his name to the top document, which the chauffeur held pressed against the leather folder.

After he’d signed, the businessman returned the knife to the chauf¬feur and donned his coat. The chauffeur followed the same procedure as his employer. When he’d signed his own contract, he blew on it to dry the blood as if he’d signed with a Sharpie and the ink might smear.

The devil smiled when the signatures were complete. The moment he did, he didn’t look quite so much like a prosperous man of affairs.

He looked too damn happy.

“You get a signing bonus,” he told the businessman. “Since you brought me another soul. By the way, how do you feel?”

“Just like I always did,” said the businessman. He shrugged his coat back over his shoulders. “Maybe a little angry.” He smiled suddenly, his teeth looking as sharp and gleaming as the knife had. “How are you, Tyrese? ” he asked his employee.

“A little antsy,” Tyrese admitted. “But I’ll be okay.”

“You were both bad people to begin with,” the devil said, without any judgment in his voice. “The souls of the innocent are sweeter. But I delight in having you. I suppose you’re sticking with the usual wish list? Prosperity? The defeat of your enemies?”

“Yes, I want those things,” the businessman said with passionate sincerity. “And I have a few more requests, since I get a signing bonus. Or could I take that in cash?”

“Oh,” the devil said, smiling gently, “I don’t deal in cash. I deal in favors.”

“Can I get back to you on that?” the businessman asked after some thought. “Take a rain check?”

The devil looked faintly interested. “You don’t want an Alfa Romeo, or a night with Nicole Kidman, or the biggest house in the French Quarter?”

The businessman shook his head decisively. “I’m sure something will come up that I do want, and then I’d like to have a very good chance of getting it. I was a successful man until Katrina. And after

Katrina I thought I would be rich, because I own a lumber business. Everyone needed lumber.” He took a deep breath. He kept on telling his story, despite the fact that the devil looked bored. “But getting a supply line reestablished was hard. So many people didn’t have money to spend because they were ruined, and there was the wait for the insurance money, for the rest. I made some mistakes, believing the fly–by–night builders would pay me on time. . . . It all ended up with my business too extended, everyone owing me, my credit stretched as thin as a condom on an elephant. Knowledge of this is getting around.” He looked down. “I’m losing the influence I had in this city.”

Possibly the devil had known all those things, and that was why he’d approached the businessman. Clearly he was not interested in the businessman’s litany of woes. “Prosperity it is, then,” he said briskly. “And I look forward to your special request. Tyrese, what do you want? I have your soul, too.”

“I don’t believe in souls,” Tyrese said flatly. “I don’t think my boss does, either. We don’t mind giving you what we don’t believe we have.” He grinned at the devil, man to man, which was a mistake. The devil was no man.

The devil smiled back. Tyrese’s grin vanished at the sight. “What do you want?” the devil repeated. “I won’t ask again.”

“I want Gypsy Kidd. Her real name is Katy Sherboni, if you need that. She work at Bourbon Street Babes. I want her to love me the way I love her.”

The businessman looked disappointed in his employee. “Tyrese, I wish you’d asked for something more lasting. Sex is everywhere you look in New Orleans, and girls like Gypsy are a dime a dozen.”

“You wrong,” Tyrese said. “I don’t think I have a soul, but I know love is once in a lifetime. I love Gypsy. If she loves me back, I’ll be a happy man. And if you make money, boss, I’ll make money. I’ll have enough. I’m not greedy.”

“I’m all about the greed,” said the devil, almost gently. “You may end up wishing you’d asked for some government bonds, Tyrese.”

The chauffeur shook his head. “I’m happy with my bargain. You give me Gypsy, the rest will be all right. I know it.”

The devil looked at him with what seemed very much like pity, if that emotion was possible for a devil.

“Enjoy yourselves, you hear?” he said to both of the newly soulless men. They could not tell if he was mocking them or if he was sincere. “Tyrese, you will not see me again until our final meeting.” He faced the businessman. “Sir, you and I will meet at some date in the future. Just give me a call when you’re ready for your signing bonus. Here’s my card.”

The businessman took the plain white card. The only writing on it was a phone number. It was not the same number he’d called to set up the first rendezvous. “But what if it’s years from now?” he said.

“It won’t be,” said the devil, but his voice was farther away. The businessman looked up to see that the devil was half a block away. After seven more steps he seemed to melt into the dirty sidewalk, leav¬ing only an impression in the cold damp air.

The businessman and the chauffeur turned and walked hastily in the opposite direction. The chauffeur never saw the devil again. The businessman didn’t see the devil until June.

JUNE

Far away—thousands of miles away—a tall, thin man lay on a beach in Baja. He was not in one of the tourist spots where he might encoun¬ter lots of other gringos, who might recognize him. He was patronizing a dilapidated bar, really more of a hut. For a small cash payment, the proprietor would rent patrons a large towel and a beach umbrella and send his son out to refresh your drink from time to time. As long as you kept drinking.

Though the tall man was only sipping Coca–Cola, he was paying through the nose for it—though he didn’t seem to realize that, or per¬haps he didn’t care. He sat on the towel, crouched in the umbrella’s shade, wearing a hat and sunglasses and swim trunks. Close to him was an ancient backpack, and his flip–flops were set on the sand beside it, casting off a faint smell of hot rubber. The tall man was listening to an iPod, and his smile indicated he was very pleased with what he heard. He lifted his hat to run his fingers through his hair. It was golden blond, but there was a bit of root showing that hinted his natural color was nearly gray. Judging from his body, he was in his forties. He had a small head in relation to his broad shoulders, and he did not look like a man who was used to manual labor. He didn’t look rich, either; his entire ensemble, the flip–flops and the swim trunks, the hat and the dark glasses, had come from a Wal–Mart or some even cheaper dollar store.

It didn’t pay to look affluent in Baja, not with the way things were these days. It wasn’t safe, gringos weren’t exempt from the violence, and most tourists stayed in the established resorts, flying in and out with¬out driving through the countryside. There were a few other expats around, most unattached men with an air of desperation . . . or secrecy. Their reasons for choosing such a hazardous place to live were better not discovered. Asking questions could be unhealthy.

One of these expats, a recent arrival, came to sit close to the tall man, too close for such proximity to be an accident on a thinly popu¬lated beach. The tall man gave the unwelcome newcomer a sideways look from behind his dark glasses, which were obviously prescrip¬tion. The newcomer was a man in his thirties, not tall or short, not handsome or ugly, not reedy or muscular. He was medium in all aspects, physically. This medium man had been watching the tall man for a few days, and the tall man had been sure he’d approach him sooner or later.

The medium man had carefully selected the optimum moment. The two were sitting in a place on the beach where no one else could hear them or approach them unseen, and even with satellites in the atmosphere it was probable that no one could see them without being spotted, either. The taller man was mostly hidden under the beach umbrella. He noticed that his visitor was sitting in its shadow.

“What are you listening to?” asked the medium man, pointing to the earbuds inserted in the tall man’s ears.

He had a faint accent, maybe a German one? From one of those European countries, anyway, thought the tall man, who was not well traveled. And the newcomer also had a remarkably unpleasant smile. It looked okay, with the upturned lips and the bared teeth, but somehow the effect was more as if an animal were exposing its teeth preparatory to biting you.

“You a homo? I’m not interested,” the tall man said. “In fact, you’ll be judged with hellfire.”

The medium man said, “I like women. Very much. Sometimes more than they want.” His smile became quite feral. And he asked again, “What are you listening to?”

The tall man debated, staring angrily at his companion. But it had been days since he’d talked to anyone. At last, he opted for the truth. “I’m listening to a sermon,” he said.

The medium man exhibited only mild surprise. “Really? A sermon? I wouldn’t have pegged you for a man of the cloth.” But his smile said otherwise. The tall man began to feel uneasy. He began to think of the gun in his backpack, less than an arm’s length away. At least he’d opened the buckles when he’d put it down.

“You’re wrong, but God won’t punish you for it,” the tall man said calmly, his own smile genial. “I’m listening to one of my own old ser¬mons. I spoke God’s truth to the multitudes.”

“Did no one believe you?” The medium man cocked his head curi¬ously.

“Many believed me. Many. I was attracting quite a following. But a girl named . . . a girl brought about my downfall. And put my wife in jail, too, in a way.”

“Would that girl’s name have been Sookie Stackhouse?” asked the medium man, removing his sunglasses to reveal remarkably pale eyes.

The taller man’s head snapped in his direction. “How’d you know? ” he said.
For the rest of the prologue please click on the link below:

Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris – Penguin Group (USA).


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AfterDead

Cover Art for Sookie Stackhouse Coda “After Dead” Book Revealed

AfterDead

The cover art for the Coda book “After Dead” was revealed on Amazon. (huge thanks to DB for the link and info). The Coda will be released after the final Sookie Stackhouse book and as the cover art shows “what came next in the world of Sookie Stackhouse”.

In the prior post on the coda book the following was already revealed:

The end papers for the final book :
endpaper_deadeverafter

Charlaine Harris posted a bit of news related to the coda which will be released after “Dead Ever After””

I hope a lot of you read this thread today, because I’ve chosen it to make a little announcement. I just saw the cover for “After Dead,” which is the coda to the Sookie books. My publisher decided to publish it before Christmas in a separate volume. It will be a slim book containing what happens AFTER “DEA” to many of the characters I’ve created over the years. And Lisa is drawing a Sookie alphabet for the book. There are several other features under consideration for this volume, which is intended as a stocking stuffer. I’ll post more when I know it.

Here’s what Charlaine wrote earlier re. the coda:

6915 Maker 2012-09-17 11:24:  I just finished writing the Coda, which will comprise the futures of many of the important characters in the Sookieverse. I can’t possibly cram all of them into the last book. We’re still deciding how and when to make the Coda public.

SOURCE:

Amazon has the coda already available on their site. Not a lot of information of yet

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Sookie Stackhouse Series Coda “After Dead”

endpaper_deadeverafter

Charlaine Harris posted a bit of news related to the coda which will be released after “Dead Ever After””

I hope a lot of you read this thread today, because I’ve chosen it to make a little announcement. I just saw the cover for “After Dead,” which is the coda to the Sookie books. My publisher decided to publish it before Christmas in a separate volume. It will be a slim book containing what happens AFTER “DEA” to many of the characters I’ve created over the years. And Lisa is drawing a Sookie alphabet for the book. There are several other features under consideration for this volume, which is intended as a stocking stuffer. I’ll post more when I know it.

Here’s what Charlaine wrote earlier re. the coda:

6915 Maker 2012-09-17 11:24:  I just finished writing the Coda, which will comprise the futures of many of the important characters in the Sookieverse. I can’t possibly cram all of them into the last book. We’re still deciding how and when to make the Coda public.

 SOURCE:

Amazon has the coda already available on their site. Not a lot of information of yet (title to be released October 2013)

The last Sookie Stackhouse book will be out in May 2013. It will be sad to see the series end but it is great to hear we will get a little bit more after the book in the coda.

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Charlaine Harris Releases Dead Ever After Endpaper Merry Christmas!!

Christmas is a little early for Sookie Stackhouse fans! Charlaine Harris posted the artwork for the endpapers for the final Sookie book “Dead Ever After”. The artwork is shown above. I see Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman on there! Also see a wolf (representing Alcide perhaps), Dean the dog (Sam’s favorite  go to shift) , a tiger (pretty sure that’s Quinn) and a few bats.

Definitely looks like the moon in the artwork. Sad to see the final book coming but great to see this beautiful work by Lisa Desimini. To purchase prints of the covers by Lisa visit her site here:

SOURCE:

I think the way the papers will fold up will show Eric and Sookie together. The space to the left of Sookie is about the same space that Eric is taking up with his cape!! It almost looks like they are parallel to each other:  ( I drew in a yellow line to show:)

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Dead Ever After Final Sookie Book Synopsis

Sookieverse blog posted an unoffical synopsis for the final Sookie Stackhouse book- “Dead Ever After”.

Sookie finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

SOURCE:

Rising Shadow posted the synopsis on their site here:

So what do you think will happen in the final Sookie book?

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Dead Ever After Book Cover Art

USA Today posted the new cover art for the final Sookie Stackhouse book! We see quite a few characters in the artwork (tiger tail, bats, Dean the dog) and yes Sookie Stackhouse! From their article: SOURCE:

Dead Ever After, the 13th and final novel in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, will be published May 7, and USA TODAY has this first look at the cover, which shows Sookie walking off into the sunset.

Inspiration for the HBO hit True Blood, starring Anna Paquin, the novels tell the story of a telepathic waitress who mixes it up with all sorts of paranormal creatures.

Asked why she’s shutting down the series, Harris says, “I felt that I’d told the story I set out to tell. I thought continuing it, which I could have done, would have been a disservice to readers who have stuck with me this long.”

The First Sookie novel, Dead Until Dark, was published in 2001. There are more than 20 million copies of the series in print.

It will be sad to see the last book! (but I can’t wait to get my hands on it!) So what do you think will be in this last book? My theory-she will be saying good bye to some of the prior suitors in this book- Quinn (the tiger tail), Sam- (shows as Dean the dog), Alcide (the wolf). They are behind her in the art work. She is walking towards the sunset and is closest to the bats. The bats are a symbol for the vampires in her life (even though they don’t turn into bats). There are 3 there representing 3 important ones in her life, Eric, Pam and Bill. Her hair is pointing towards the bats and they are closest to her. The bat closest to Sookie is bigger than the other 2 so that one could be Eric and his wings are pointing downward as if going to land next to Sookie. In Dead and Gone, Sookie’s hair pointed towards Eric on that cover. (she was between Eric and Bill and did choose Eric in that book) Yes of course I still see it as Eric and Sookie being together in the end!!

UPDATE:  there are other symbols on the cover-

Tomato can symbolize domestic happiness (yes Sookie will be happy in the end)

Rose is a symbol of love and beauty.

The flower to the right of Sookie looks like an aster to me. There is a purple one called Celeste. The symbolism per teleflora for Asters:

With their wildflower beauty and lush texture, asters have long been considered an enchanted flower. In ancient times, it was thought that the perfume from their burning leaves could drive away evil serpents. Today, they’re known as a talisman of love and a symbol of patience. Also known as starworts, Michaelmas daisies or Frost flowers, the name aster is derived from the Greek word for “star ”

The flower could also be a “coneflower” Echinacea (they come in this color). The symbolism for coneflowers:  are a symbol of strength and – depending upon the genus – healing.   It is believed that carrying this blossom with you will keep your spirit strong during turbulent times; they are sometimes presented as spiritual offerings, and are thought to enhance the power of any spell that is cast.

Pre-orders are available on Amazon:

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Charlaine Harris Interview SciFi Now UK

SciFi Now UK spoke with Charlaine Harris and the interview and page scans are in the gallery below. She speaks a bit about the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Dead Ever After is due out May 2013 and will be the final installment in the series. She also speaks of the faux pas committed by Alan Ball during a press conference. She had confided in him that she was contemplating having the character of Bill Compton die in an upcoming book (book 9). Well good old Alan Ball let that one slip at Paley Fest 2009. The way he said it was just unbelievable. It mislead fans a bit. So glad she finally said something about this!!

The page here on the site has the full size scans link here:

Gallery has the page scans:

 

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