Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories by Charlaine Harris


Book Nerd Spotlight

For the first time together in one volume, the complete short story collection starring Sookie Stackhouse—with a new introduction from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the series, Charlaine Harris.

For the first time together in one volume, here is the complete short story collection starring Louisiana’s favorite telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. New fans can fill in the gaps in their Sookie lore while old friends can revisit some of their favorite moments and characters. From investigating the murder of a local fairy to learning that her cousin was a vampire, from remodeling her best friend’s house to attending a wedding with her shapeshifting boss, Sam, Sookie navigates the perils and pitfalls of the paranormal world.

Belly up to the bar at Bon Temps’s favorite watering hole and hear stories that will make you wish Sookie never left, including…

“Fairy Dust”
“One Word Answer”
“Dracula Night”
“Lucky”
“Gift Wrap”
“Two Blondes”
“If I Had a Hammer”
“Small-Town Wedding”
“Playing Possum”
“In the Blue Hereafter”

This definitive collection is the perfect binge read for people who like their stories with bite!


PRAISE for SOOKIE STACKHOUSE STORIES

“It’s the kind of book you look forward to reading before you go to bed, thinking you’re only going to read one chapter, and then you end up reading seven.” —Alan Ball, executive producer of True Blood

“Vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of southern life.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Charlaine Harris has vividly imagined telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and her small-town Louisiana milieu where humans, vampires, shapeshifters, and other sentient critters live…Her mash-up of genres is delightful, taking elements from mysteries, horror stories, and romances.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“The series continues to be inventive and funny with an engaging, smart, and sexy heroine.” —The Denver Post

“Blending action, romance, and comedy, Harris has created a fully functioning world so very close to our own, except, of course, for the vamps and other supernatural creatures.” —The Toronto Star

EXCERPT
Fairy Dust

The triplet fairies--Claudine, Claude, and Claudette--needed a story featuring them and their sleazy (but lucrative) strip club. I felt I had to explain how to kill a fairy, since I had created them as very strong, very powerful, and very long-lived. Something had to be their Kryptonite . . . and I chose something pretty unlikely. Since "Fairy Dust" is also a murder mystery, there was a crime and a solution to be explained--comfortable territory for me.

"Fairy Dust" takes place after Dead to the World.

I hate it when fairies come into the bar. They don't tip you worth a toot-not because they're stingy, but because they just forget. Take Claudine, the fairy who was walking in the door. Six feet tall, long black hair, gorgeous; Claudine seemed to have no shortage of cash or clothing (and she entranced men the way a watermelon draws flies). But Claudine hardly ever remembered to leave you even a dollar. And if it's lunchtime, you have to take the bowl of lemon slices off the table. Fairies are allergic to lemons and limes, like vamps are allergic to silver and garlic.

That spring night when Claudine came in I was in a bad mood already. I was angry with my ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, a.k.a. Vampire Bill; my brother, Jason, had again postponed helping me shift an armoire; and I'd gotten my property tax notice in the mail.

So when Claudine sat at one of my tables, I stalked over to her with no very happy feelings.

"No vamps around?" she asked straightaway. "Even Bill?"

Vamps like fairies the way dogs like bones: great toys, good food. "Not tonight," I said. "Bill's down in New Orleans. I'm picking up his mail for him." Just call me sucker.

Claudine relaxed. "Dearest Sookie," she said.

"You want what?"

"Oh, one of those nasty beers, I guess," she said, making a face. Claudine didn't really like to drink, though she did like bars. Like most fairies, she loved attention and admiration: my boss, Sam, said that was a fairy characteristic.

I brought her the beer. "You got a minute?" she asked. I frowned. Claudine didn't look as cheerful as usual.

"Just." The table by the door was hooting and hollering at me.

"I have a job for you."

Though it called for dealing with Claudine, whom I liked but didn't trust, I was interested. I sure needed some cash. "What do you need me to do?"

"I need you to come listen to some humans."

"Are these humans willing?"

Claudine gave me innocent eyes. "What do you mean, Precious?"

I hated this song and dance. "Do they want to be, ah, listened to?"

"They're guests of my brother, Claude."

I hadn't known Claudine had a brother. I don't know much about fairies; Claudine was the only one I'd met. If she was typical, I wasn't sure how the race had survived eradication. I wouldn't have thought northern Louisiana was very hospitable toward beings of the fairy persuasion, anyway. This part of the state is largely rural, very Bible Belt. My small town of Bon Temps, barely big enough to have its own Wal-Mart, didn't even see a vampire for two years after they'd announced their existence and their intention to live peaceably amongst us. Maybe that delay was good, since local folks had had a chance to get used to the idea by the time Bill showed up.

But I had a feeling that this PC vamp tolerance would vanish if my fellow townsfolk knew about Weres, and shifters, and fairies. And who knows what all else.

"Okay, Claudine. When?"

The rowdy table was hooting, "Crazy Sookie! Crazy Sookie!" People only did that when they'd had too much to drink. I was used to it, but it still hurt.

"When do you get off tonight?"

We fixed it that Claudine would pick me up at my house fifteen minutes after I got off work. She left without finishing her beer. Or tipping.

My boss, Sam Merlotte, nodded a head toward the door through which she'd just exited. "What'd the fairy want?" Sam's a shifter himself.

"She needs me to do a job for her."

"Where?"

"Wherever she lives, I guess. She has a brother, did you know?"

"Want me to come with you?" Sam is a friend, the kind of friend you sometimes have fantasies about.

X-rated.

"Thanks, but I think I can handle Claudine."

"You haven't met the brother."

"I'll be okay."

I'm used to being up at night, not only because I'm a barmaid, but also because I had dated Bill for a long time. When Claudine picked me up at my old house in the woods, I'd had time to change from my Merlotte's outfit into some black jeans and a sage green twinset (JCPenney on sale), since the night was chilly. I'd let my hair down from its ponytail.

"You should wear blue instead of green," Claudine said, "to go with your eyes."

"Thanks for the fashion tip."

"You're welcome." Claudine sounded happy to share her style sense with me. But her smile, usually so radiant, seemed tinged with sadness.

"What do you want me to find out from these people?" I asked.

"We'll talk about it when we get there," she said, and after that she wouldn't tell me anything else as we drove east. Ordinarily Claudine babbles. I was beginning to feel it wasn't smart of me to have accepted this job.

Claudine and her brother lived in a big ranch-style house in suburban Monroe, a town that not only had a Wal-Mart, but a whole mall. She knocked on the front door in a pattern. After a minute, the door opened. My eyes widened. Claudine hadn't mentioned that her brother was her twin.

If Claude had put on his sister's clothes, he could have passed for her; it was eerie. His hair was shorter, but not by a lot; he had it pulled back to the nape of his neck, but his ears were covered. His shoulders were broader, but I couldn't see a trace of a beard, even this late at night. Maybe male fairies don't have body hair? Claude looked like a Calvin Klein underwear model; in fact, if the designer had been there, he'd have signed the twins on the spot, and there'd have been drool all over the contract.

Claude stepped back to let us enter. "This is the one?" he said to Claudine.

She nodded. "Sookie, my brother, Claude."

"A pleasure," I said. I extended my hand. With some surprise, he took it and shook. He looked at his sister. "She's a trusting one."

"Humans," Claudine said, and shrugged.

Claude led me through a very conventional living room, down a paneled hall to the family room. A man was sitting in a chair, because he had no choice. He was tied to it with what looked like nylon cord. He was a small man, buff, blond, and brown-eyed. He looked about my age, twenty-six.

"Hey," I said, not liking the squeak in my voice. "Why is that man tied?"

"Otherwise, he'd run away," Claude said, surprised.

Excerpted from The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories by Charlaine Harris. Copyright © 2017 by Charlaine Harris. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Author Spotlight
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Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with Sweet and Deadly.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare’s Counselor, the fifth—and final—Lily Bard novel, was printed in fall 2001.

By then, Harris was feeling the call of new territory. Starting with the premise of a young woman with a disability who wants to try inter-species dating, she created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series before there was a genre called “urban fantasy.” Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each subsequent book follows Sookie through adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which ended in 2013, has been released in over thirty languages.

Sookie Stackhouse has proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new HBO series based upon the books He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008.

In October 2005, the first of Harris’s new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. After four novels, this series is on hiatus.

Now Harris is working on a trilogy of graphic novels with Christopher Golden and artist Don Kramer, “Cemetery Girl.” On her own she is writing a new series set in the small town of Midnight, Texas.

Harris has also co-edited a series of very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner, aka Leigh Perry. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA, and she has served as president of the MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America, just to make sure she’s covered.

Personally, Harris has been married for many years. She mother of three wonderful children and the grandmother of two. She lives in central Texas, and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.
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8 comments:

  1. I definitely believe in the afterlife.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I believe in the afterlife. There has to be something after this life. I believe those who have passed can send us little tokens or signs of their love too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Do you believe in the afterlife?" Alas, no, I don't believe in mumbo-jumbo! This is it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, but I can't speculate details.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes I believe there is an afterlife.

    ReplyDelete