So Long, Sookie, Goodbye!

deadeverafter There are very few book series that have had me anticipating the release date of the next book with tremendous excitement. The Harry Potter books, George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series have all made me want to pack my bags, throw in the extra toothbrush and move in with the characters for the duration. Three years ago, another series made my list: Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie Stackhouse had me at, “I’m a waitress.” I actually watched the first two seasons of True Blood back to back before picking up the first book in the series. Of course then my bank account took a small hit as I ordered all of the books then in print – in hardback. My husband and two daughters have been just as enthralled with Sookie and the residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana as I have, so when the 13th and final book in the series, Dead Ever After, hits the stands on May 7, we may have to draw straws to see who gets to read it first. I plan on rigging that game. Continue reading

The (Not So) Magic Moment

oneformoney In her blog titled Stuart’s Coat, Sara’s Spectacles, and Jessica’s Glove , Sandy talked about “those hit-you-in-the-heart scenes. The kind you remember. The kind you share with other readers who very often respond “Yes!” The kind that make you feel what the characters are feeling.” In other words, the magic moments, the ones that define a love story.

Recently I’ve run across the opposite of the magic moment. This is a scene in which an author, with just a few lines, turns you against her hero or heroine. It’s an act or statement that makes you wish the other party would get with someone else, anyone else. It’s the I-can’t-get-over-what-just-happened blues. It can ruin a good book or at the very least, ruin the HEA.
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Charlaine Harris Winners and a Hint (or Two) About Next Week

First things first:  Linda Henderson, Margaret, Sally, Martha Lawson, and Mary C are the winners in this week’s Charlaine Harris contest.  Thanks to everyone who entered and to Ace for donating the books.

And now here’s a hint.  If you’re a fan of romance, we’re hosting two of the most buzzed-about historical romance authors next week and we’ve got multiple copies of the authors’ newest books to give away, too.  It’s going to be a big week at AAR.  Here’s wishing everybody luck.

- Sandy AAR

Books with Buzz: 2010 Charlaine Harris Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

USEDITFMay 4th is a big day for Sookie Stackhouse fans when Dead in the Family, the tenth book in the series is finally released.  And, to keep the good news coming, we’re also just a little more than a month away from the season three premiere of True Blood, the HBO series based on the books.  

In celebration of the coming Sookie-fest, Charlaine Harris was kind enough to take the time to answer a few of my questions about the book and the show.  We’ve also got five copies of the just released paperback edition of Dead and Gone, the 9th book in the series, to give away to lucky readers.  To enter for your chance to win, just comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5th.

Would you tell our readers a bit about Dead in the Family?

As the title implies, the book is about family ties: not just blood ties, but emotional ties. Eric’s family, Sookie’s family, the werewolf pack . . . And of course, this being the Sookieverse, nothing runs smoothly.

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Casting My Favorites

cliveWe’re talking casting here again at the AAR blog.

Lynn wrote earlier this week about how she never, ever visualizes actors as characters in a novel she’s reading.  Truth is I rarely do either.

But sometimes something just clicks and the pairing of an actor with a character feels totally right.

The list of favorite characters that I haven’t cast is far (far, far, far) longer than the characters I have.

In fact, I’ve really only cast three.

Clive Owen as Derek Craven:

I’ve loved Derek Craven since he first crossed my path w-a-a-a-a-y back in 1994 when Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas was first published.  Back then, as is typical with me, I never pictured him as having a particular face.

Then I saw Clive Owen.  I forget what film – maybe Croupier – first introduced me to his wonders, but by the time Gosford Park was released in 2001, I knew he was Derek.  Just knew it.

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Who Are Your Favorite Bad Boys?

Don DraperThey’re mad, bad, and dangerous to know.  And we couldn’t live without them.  (In fiction, that is.)

From the first moment I was introduced to prototypical Bad Boy Vidal in Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, I’ve been a sucker for the Bad Boy mystique.  Though I recovered from my real life addiction (“tortured” used to be a positive guy descriptor for me in college), nothing fulfills my fantasies quite like a Bad Boy tempting a good woman.

My favorite Bad Boys?  Vidal was my first and will always hold a strong place in my heart.

I am currently swooning over Don Draper from TV’s Mad Men, early 60′s ad man extraordinare who has it all and nothing at the same time.  Men want to be him. Women want to sleep with him.  And he couldn’t be more lost and alone.  Hey, it works for me, baby.

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What Defines Literary Crack?

24668377I think we all know when we’re in the thrall of big time book crack.

But, hey, since defining the blazingly obvious is something we like to do around here sometimes, here goes:  Literary crack (the good kind) is a series of books that continues to suck you in no matter how pissed off you might get or disappointed you may be and, even though you may drop out of a series for a while, you know as sure as the sun rises in the morning that you’ll be back.  Sooner or later, you need your fix and that, baby, is the definition of crack.

And it hurts so good.

Okay, if it’s oh-so-obvious just what constitutes book crack, the next logical question is why isn’t there more of it since any writer able to crack (sorry) into the elusive code is guaranteed – and you don’t need a crystal ball to predict this – million dollar contracts in her future.

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Eating My Words (With a Large Side of Crow)

First of all, if you haven’t read Dead and Gone, the latest in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, and you have any intention of reading it ever in your lifetime, then stop reading this blog.


 I mean it.

If you’re still here, then I take it you have read the book and are prepared to consider just how seriously I might have miscalled it in my When the Hero You Want Isn’t the Hero She Gets post a few months ago.

Jumping the gun again, you say? (Surely not.)

 Well, okay, so I know that the door is still open for Bill and Sam or other possible supes and that Ms. Harris continues to keep us dangling, but I have done a total turn-around as to what I think the author’s intentions might be.

And, as the tag line for True Blood season two, goes It Hurts So Good.

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Charlaine Harris Winner

I drew a number at random and I came up with 3.  Linda in SW Virginia, our third commenter, is the winner of Dead and Gone.

Thanks again to Charlaine and to Ace Books for their generosity in giving us both their time and an early copy to share.

Can I say just one more thing?  It’s a cynical and stressful world we live in these days and I loved reading your comments and sharing with you the unbridled enthusiasm so many of you have for the Sookie books.  I hope everybody out there enjoys it as much as I did and I only wish I had a book for each of you.

May 5th is almost here!

-Sandy AAR

Books with Buzz: Charlaine Harris Interview and Giveaway (Contest Now Closed)

On May 5th, the wait is over for Sookie Stackhouse fans when Dead and Gone, the ninth entry in Charlaine Harris’ incrredible series hits bookstores.

As if that wasn’t enough to get your buzz on, season two of True Blood, the ultra-cool HBO show based on the ultra-cool books debuts on June 14th.

We’ll all have to wait until June to catch the latest TV adventures of Sookie, Bill, Eric, and Sam, but one lucky reader is about to get…well, very lucky because, courtesy of Ace Books, I’ve got an early copy of Dead and Gone ready to ship out Thursday.  Details on how to enter for your chance to win are at the end of this post.

In the meantime, ready for a tease (or two)?  Charlaine Harris herself was kind enough to take the time to answer a few of my burning (really) questions about Sookie, Dead and Gone, and, of course, True Blood.

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