Enter the Charlaine Harris Holiday Sweepstakes!

December 20, 2010

Win A True Blood Character’s Autographed Stocking:

Charlaine Harris' 2010 Holiday Sweepstakes

Attention all Southern Vampire Mystery and True Blood Fans! Penguin USA, the publishers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, is holding a holiday sweepstakes!

How would you like to have a stocking from one of the characters signed by the ‘number 1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series’ author Charlaine Harris? Or perhaps an autographed copy of ‘Dead in the Family‘  is number 1 on your wish list?

5 Lucky Winners!

Can’t decide? Well that’s a just fine because through December 27, 2010, you can enter for a chance to winboth a personalized holiday stocking from one of the Southern Mystery/True Blood characters with their name, signed by Harris plus a signed copy of the latest Southern Vampire book, Dead in the Family. There will be five winners and they will be selected around January 3, 2011.

Harris is the creator of the Southern Vampire Mysteries also known as the Sookie Stackhouse series upon which True Blood is based. There are ten books in the series so far with Dead in the Familybeing the latest novel. The 11th Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Reckoning is scheduled to be released in May of 2011.

Good luck to all who enter!

Source: Penguin USA– Charlaine Harris Holiday Sweepstakes

(Photo Credit: Penguin USA)

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‘Dead in the Family’ Makes Amazon’s Best Books of 2010 List

November 14, 2010

Customer Favorite & Editors Pick

Dead in the Family CoverEvery year Amazon.com rates all of the books released during the last year in their “Amazon’s Best Books” list.  The list includes Top 100 Editors’ Picks, Top 100 Customer Favorites and Top 10 lists in 23 categories such as Romance, Non-fiction, Mystery & Thrillers.  Charlaine Harris, the writer of the series behind HBO‘s True Blood, has received yet another honor.  For the 2010 list, the 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, ‘Dead in the Family’ came in at No. 4 in the Top 100 Customer Favorite books list and No. 80 on the Editors’ Picks list.  In addition the book was named No. 1 on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Top 10.

This is not the first time that Harris’ books have made the list.  In 2009 ‘Dead and Gone’ made the list at No. 8 and in 2008 ‘From Dead to Worse’ came in at No. 65.

You can view the complete list here.

Source: Amazon.com – Best of 2010: Books

(Photo Credit: Amazon.com)

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Charlaine Harris Promotes Dead in the Family and True Blood in Seattle

May 20, 2010

Still on her book tour for Dead in the Family, which has now hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, author Charlaine Harris made a stop in Seattle on the New Day Northwest morning show.

She talked about how far ahead she is planning the Sookie Stackhouse series:

“I do know where I’m going, but I don’t know how long it’s gonna take me to get there.”

Charlaine’s contract takes her through Book 13, so she will evaluate how much story she has left to tell as she continues writing. The host, Margaret Larson, asked about all the books having “Dead” in the title, to which Charlaine nodded and said that was her publisher’s idea:

“It’s certainly easier to think of good titles if you don’t have to include a mandatory word!”

They also discussed True Blood, telling the audience that the Season 2 DVD will be released on May 25th and Season 3 will premiere on June 13th. They showed the clip from Season 2 in which Bill and Eric meet in the clothing section of the department store and argue about Sookie going to Dallas.

Ms. Larson laughed about how many passionate Alexander Skarsgard fans have gathered over the last year, and Charlaine added that Stephen Moyer is not too shabby with adoring fans, either!

One thing that Charlaine seems happiest about from the popularity of the show based off her books is that her kids now think of her as a really cool mom. They got to accompany her to one of HBO’s premiere parties and loved getting the star treatment.

Based on the success of Dead in the Family in the short time since its release, it looks like people are still crazy about vampires and Sookie’s story in particular, but we’ll see in a few weeks if True Blood obsession has grown enough to break Season 2’s huge viewer records!

SOURCE: king5.com

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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Charlaine Harris Promotes Dead in the Family

May 8, 2010

As the release week for Dead in the Family comes to a close, author Charlaine Harris is busy with promotion for the book, the 10th in her popular Sookie Stackhouse series. On Saturday, May 8, she will be signing copies at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, CA, at 2:00pm.

In an audio interview with San Diego’s KPBS, Charlaine discusses vampires in general, her career, and her experience as a writer whose work has inspired the successful television show, HBO‘s True Blood.

She read plenty of vampire literature to establish the rules of her stories:

“I read a lot of vampire material, and I really had to adapt what I learned to suit my own world, which I think every writer has to do with folklore.”

The unique thing about the vampires in Sookie’s universe is that they are out in the open. Aside from that, they follow many of the conventional restrictions on vampire behavior–sunlight, fire, wooden stakes. But Charlaine’s stories are far from conventional. They provide that unique blend of comedy, romance, politics, religion, mystery, and many more elements, that make them engaging and appealing to so many readers.

One of the aspects that people focus on is the prominence of sexuality as part of the vampire lifestyle in the book series and on True Blood. Charlaine says that it made sense to her for vampires to have vast experience in that area after being around for hundreds of years:

“It was part of the world-building, when I had to think about what it would be like to have lived for so long. How would you feel about so many different things [like sex]?”

There are several attractive vampires and other supernatural creatures that cross paths with Sookie, but only Charlaine knows how the story will end. When asked if our telepathic heroine will find true love, Charlaine coyly responded, “Could be!” She seems to enjoy teasing the fans like this…

She goes on in the interview to discuss the adaptation process. She had fielded offers before from people in Hollywood interested in turning her books into a movie. Alan Ball was the one who made the best pitch for Sookie, and he agreed with Charlaine that an HBO television series would be a good match for the material.

She insists that her input is minimal and that she leaves Alan to do the work he is so excellent at, while she continues to write her books. She thinks the spirit of her story has been maintained by True Blood, even when the plot deviates to allow for a twist or to develop another character. Charlaine sees herself as just an excited fan of True Blood:

“I’m kind of a super informed and invested fan. I love to watch the show. I probably look at it with a little different eye than other people, and I’m really always amazed at the richness of the writing and the look of the show.”

When she does promotional work for True Blood, like she has done the past couple of summers at Comic-Con in San Diego, Charlaine says it is a lot of fun to see how enthusiastic the fans are. Although, with so many people around, it can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, as this interviewer remarks and as anyone who has had the pleasure to meet her knows, Charlaine always seems charming and composed. Those will be valuable traits in the coming months as she continues to travel and promote Dead in the Family, in bookstores now!

SOURCE: kpbs.org

(Photo credit: charlaineharris.com)

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True Blood and Charlaine Harris’ Vampires

May 7, 2010

With the latest release of Charlaine Harris‘ tenth book, “Dead in the Family“, many Charlaine Harris and True Blood fans are getting their hunger quenched. Many fans of the book series and of the show can be quite passionate as to who they would like to see with the protagonist Sookie Stackhouse, thus leading to many discussions and debate regarding which vampires should win Sookie‘s heart.

I was honored to be interviewed by Sarah Seltzer for her article in the “Speakeasy” section of the Wall Street Journal where she examined and contrasted between Bill Compton and Eric Northman both from the point of the show and the books.  As many try to compare the two characters from the two mediums, I was asked for my observations based on the many discussions I have seen on this topic.

Ollie Chong, the Editor/administrator of truebloodnet.com, explains the difference more succinctly: “In the books and show, the roles are reversed — who is the bad guy, who is the good guy? If you watch the TV series first, you’re likely to be more pro-Bill, but if you read the books first you like Eric.”

As many regular readers of this website are aware we try our best to maintain civility in our discussions about the differences and why we see them. I would like to expand on the above statement by emphasizing that this is a general statement based on discussions and comments I have read and participated in, thus it is not absolute or all encompassing.  Many have commented that they see a role reversal in the translation from the books to the TV show while others have mentioned that books fans tend to be more “Team Eric” while fans of the show tend to be more “Team Bill“.  Again it does not mean everyone feels this way.

We here at TrueBloodNet.com are “Team True Blood” which should be emphasized, not marginalized and realize that the two mediums are very different from each other and there is no need to choose.  We should enjoy them both for what they give us, escape from the everyday world.

Ms. Seltzer brings up some points that some may or may not agree with, but one thing I would like to point out (as I stated in her comment section) is that there is no need to disrespect any of the characters in the show because you end up not only disrespecting the actors but put an unfavorable light on who True Blood fans are.  So let’s remain civil in our discussions and stand united in proclaiming Bill Compton and Eric Northman are two of the hottest vampires in the media.

You can read Ms. Seltzer’s article in its entirety here.

SOURCE:  Wall Street Journal – Speakeasy

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Charlaine Harris’ Characters Are Progressive

May 1, 2010

Several “straight talk” questions were posed to author Charlaine Harris in an interview by New York Times Magazine. The author of the Sookie Stackhouse series of books, on which HBO‘s hit series True Blood is based, was first asked why her yet-to-be-released book “Dead in the Family” has such a similar title to her previous “Dead and Gone“. It seems her publisher wants the word “dead” in all the titles in the series.

After responding to typical questions about the current popularity of vampires and how her own vampires compare to Count Dracula, Charlaine was asked to comment on more socially related topics about her characters.

“Most of my vampires have experimented with other sexualities. Eric, Sookie’s lover, was turned into a vampire by a male vampire who had a sexual relationship with him for many years. Pam is bisexual. Lafayette is gay.”

According to Charlaine, living in a small town in Arkansas has not diminished her interest in gay rights. She has a lot of gay friends which perhaps unconsciously motivated her characterizations. But it wasn’t deliberate and Charlaine promotes accepting the fact that “not everyone is wired the same way”. And no, she is not bisexual.

When asked if she has ever met the author of the Twilight Saga series, Charlaine responded that she has not and doesn’t know any other writers in her field (“urban fantasy”) who has met her.

With regard to any advice she can give to writers just starting out, no matter what genre, Charlaine said “read everything you can and then put your butt in the chair and write.”

Look for “Dead in the Family”, due out May 4th, and Season 3 of True Blood starting June 13th.

SOURCE:  nytimes.com

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Charlaine Harris Speaks to Fans in her Hometown

April 13, 2010

With Book 10 of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Dead in the Family, scheduled for release on May 4, author Charlaine Harris continues making promotional appearances. She didn’t have to go far from home, when she spoke to a group of fans in Magnolia, AR, the city in which she resides. The Echo, the student newspaper at the University of Central Arkansas, covered the event, saying that Charlaine spoke to a large audience of fans–some students, some locals proud of their hometown’s successful writer, as well as people who came in from other states to hear her.

Charlaine talked about the Sookie books and how they are more about a young woman’s journey through life than a story of vampires and other supernatural creatures. She also said that it is because of her own experience as a rape survivor that she writes such strong, independent female leads, many of whom overcome great physical or emotional trauma. She hopes that her characters will be an inspiration to other women who suffer similar experiences.

Often asked to give advice to aspiring writers, Charlaine’s message was this:

“What you study is less important than what you read and that you write every day.”

Her long career as a writer and avid reader is a testament to this wisdom.

SOURCE: ucaecho.net

(Photo credit: magnoliafirstpresbyterian.org)

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Dead in the Family Secret Revealed

April 12, 2010

(The following post may contain spoilers related to the ninth and tenth books of Charlaine HarrisSookie Stackhouse, aka Southern Vampire series.)

Charlaine Harris‘ tenth Sookie Stackhouse novel, “Dead in the Family,” reveal why Eric Northman couldn’t immediately come to Sookie‘s rescue when she was kidnapped and tortured by the faes in book 9, “Dead and Gone.”

The scanned pages, posted here, are from the end of “Dead and Gone” in paperback which presents a preview of Chapter 1 of “Dead in the Family” and pick up where a previously released portion of Chapter 1, posted here, leaves off.

Sookie is at the gym with JB du Rone, working to regain her strength after sustaining severe injuries in the Fae War. Tara, JB‘s wife, is reading a baby book, and she and Sookie talk about which doctor Tara plans to see during her pregnancy. JB smiles when Sookie is able to lift 10 pounds more than their previous sessions. Tara asks Sookie to babysit sometime for their child after it is born, and Sookie finds herself looking to the future — presumably something she hasn’t done since her horrific confinement.

The next paragraph skips ahead a few days. Sookie, in bed with Eric, has awoken from a nightmare, which she cites as a typical occurrence. She is crying, and Eric, sensing her pain, is crying too. He begins to explain why he couldn’t come to her rescue when she was taken by the faes. His boss, Victor Madden, would not allow him to leave, and chained him to the wall with silver to prevent it. Victor used the excuse that he could not allow Eric to get involved in the war, no matter what happened to Sookie. He pretends to forget that Sookie and Eric are married, even though he witnessed the ceremony. It took a clandestine call from Pam to Felipe de Castro,vampire king of Nevada, Louisiana and Arkansas, to gain Eric‘s release. Felipe owes Sookie for saving him from Sigebert.

Sookie is skeptical of Eric‘s story at first, but allows herself to believe him. It is clear to her that he suffered the torture along with her, even if he didn’t experience it firsthand.

These pages are surely just a taste of “Dead in the Family’s” secrets. The book hits shelves in May, so be sure to save your appetites!

SOURCE: The Unread Reader

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

Eric Northman and Sookie Stackhouse
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“Dead in the Family” Hits Shelves May 4

April 8, 2010

book-sookie-stackhouse-charlaine-harris-dead-in-the-family-10A Book Reviewer from Wilmington, North Carolina’s Star News Online received his advanced copy of Charlaine Harris‘ “Dead in the Family” this week. For those of you who have been faithfully reading Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, this is the long-awaited tenth book. Harris’ blog acknowledges that the book has an underlying theme of family and specifically refers to those of Sam, Sookie, Eric, and Bill. The Star News Book Reviewer makes no note of the family theme, but he does give a general plot summary. I will try not to regurgitate too much here, but if you have not yet read this far in the book series, you may want to stop now.

Apparently Harris has Sookie mourning the loss of both her beloved Fairy Godmother, Claudine, who was killed during the Fairy War in “Dead and Gone“, and her grandfather, who has returned to the Fairy World permanently. Sookie attempts to make amends with Eric, and their struggle with defining their complicated relationship continues (Sookie inadvertently symbolically “married” Eric in the last book). In the biggest hint yet at what the book holds, the Reviewer notes that at least one of the Fairies did not return to the Fairy World and continues to exist in the Human World for the purpose of seeking revenge on Sookie. I see another mystery in readers’ futures!

This Reviewer’s preview certainly whets the appetites of those of us eagerly awaiting Sookie‘s next adventure. Given Harris’ blog post and lack of detail in either her notes or the Book Reviewer’s, I still wonder what will transpire between Sookie and Eric, Sookie and Bill, Sam, and Jason. Will Sookie’s discontentment with Alcide resolve (I can’t help but want her with him, though Harris seemed to dash that hope in the last few books!) Harris claims she had “big plans” for several characters but did not want to cram everything into this book and is holding some back for the next – giving fans more reasons to devour “Dead in the Family” and start awaiting the next. Fortunately, we have True Blood to tide us over in the interim!

SOURCE:  Star News Online

(Photo credit:  FantasticFiction.co.uk)

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Charlaine Harris’ Dead in the Family Book Review

March 17, 2010

Many Charlaine Harris fans are waiting in anticipation for the May 2010 release of Charlaine Harris‘ 10th book, Dead in the Family.  Many are wondering what to expect and are anxious to get any tidbits regarding the storyline and information about their favorite telepathic waitress, Sookie StackhousePublishersweekly.com presented their book review of Dead in the Family and based on what they stated it seems it is going to be a very interesting book.

Still reeling from the deaths of her fairy cousin, Claudine, and many others in 2009’s Dead and Gone, Sookie Stackhouse struggles with paranormal politics in her entertaining if slow-moving 10th outing. When Claudine‘s triplet, Claude, appears at her doorstep, Sookie reluctantly allows him to move in. The government threatens two-natures with mandatory registration, and tensions run high in the local Were pack. Then Eric‘s maker, a Roman named Appius Livius Ocella, arrives without warning, bringing along Alexei Romanov, whom he rescued from the Bolsheviks and turned into a vampire. Though the action often builds too slowly, the exploration of family in its many human and undead variations is intriguing, and Harris delivers her usual mix of eccentric characters and engaging subplots.

SOURCE:  publishersweekly.com

Photo credit:  charlaineharris.com

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