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Book Review – Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

May 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

Book Description:

The 13th (and final) Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart….

Sookie Stackhouse 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…

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Sigh, I was really hoping that Dead Ever After – the latest and final Sookie Stackhouse book – would be one of the good ones. While there’s been several clunkers in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, there have also been books that I really loved and consider favorites. I have really enjoyed the world that Charlaine Harris’ conjured up, and ended up loving many of her characters, so it really sucks for me to report that this last book – SUCKS. Badly. Way to go out with a whimper.

The writing was terrible (!) – the main mystery plot made no sense to me (and the subplots were all a mess too), the dialogue was clunky and unnatural, there were really egregious continuity errors (i.e. Sookie suddenly can’t read shifters’ minds – so what has she been doing all these previous 12 books? guessing what the shifters were thinking?), and none of the characters were acting like themselves (starting with Sookie herself). Based on this book, looks like Charlaine Harris is super-burned out, was dying to end the series, and just couldn’t care less. This reads like a really early draft that should never have been published as is. Shame on everyone involved.

I’m not even going to complain about the guy Sookie ended up with – I wasn’t really surprised since there wasn’t anyone left for her to jump in the sack with (although I was surprised with the speed at which she switched guys). To be honest, I didn’t really give a damn anymore in the end. Sorry.

Dead Ever After  by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, and Kobo books.

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Indie Saturday – Author Lola StVil on her “Guardians” Series @guardiansgirl

October 27, 2012 2 comments

Today, we have author Lola StVil featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her paranormal “Guardians” Series.


Lola StVil writes :

First, I would like to thank Randomizeme for allowing me to guest host.

I wanted to talk about writing Fantasy.

The best part about this genre is that you can still be a kid. You remember running around your house with a cape “flying?” Well with fantasy, you never have to take the cape off.

You can build worlds and planets. You can leap skyscrapers, make love potions and even save the world.

When I wrote book 1 of this series, there was so much action and adventure, my feet never touched the ground. I’m hoping you will feel the same way.

The first novel in my “Guardians” series is called “The Girl.” It centers around Emmy – a bookish, witty student who is rescued by six teenaged angels with powers, called Guardians. They’ve been sent to elicit the secret from her before the demons can; a secret hidden so deep, Emmy doesn’t even realize she knows it.

Things get worse when Emmy falls madly in love with Marcus, the well-intentioned but obstinate leader of the Guardians. He eventually confesses that he is in love with her as well. Unfortunately, Marcus has been warned by his clairvoyant and omniscient guide that should he and Emmy get together, the mission will fail and humanity will perish.

So, it’s okay if you are like me and can’t leap tall buildings and have no superpowers. Don’t worry. You can still save the world.

Lola St. Vil

Feel free to stalk me: )


Lola StVil’s Guardians series are all available on Amazon in Kindle format. Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3

You can also check out Lola StVil’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!

More author links!

Lola StVil’s Blog: http://www.marcusandemmy.wordpress.com and Twitter: @guardiansgirl

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “Guardians: The Girl” after the jump!

Read more…

Indie Saturday – Author Katella Stegmann on “The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf” Series

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, we have author Katella Stegmann featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her coming-of-age YA paranormal series – The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf.


Katella Stegmann writes :

Hey, you’ve never met me and this is crazy, but here’s my series … so read it maybe.

Now that you eternally hate me for getting that tune stuck in your head how about I introduce myself?

My name is Katella Stegmann. I’m a dreamer, a weirdo, and everything else most artists are known for. Writing has been a part of my life since the day I was born. I was a toddler when I wrote my first masterpiece about a group of superheroes banding together to save their city from an evil super villain bent on world destruction. I thought the tale was exceptionally good. My mother, however, was displeased with the scribbles of permanent marker I had left all over the wall.

I was a devious little child, always finding ways to be a menace to society. The one thing that seemed to qualm my thirst for trouble was writing. It has been as much a part of my life as anything else. It is etched into my soul. Through the years I have learned how to mold my words intricately into zany antics of tales of action, adventure, humor, and love. I truly can not remember a time in my life that I was not dreaming in some capacity. I have spent years perfecting my craft and take pride in the fact that I am an abstract artist who enjoys painting pictures with words.

My novels have always been about more than just one element. I’ve always believed that philosophy, character development, and plot are all equally important. I think that there is a balance of a perfect amount of love and strife in a good story. It was the great philosopher Empedocles that said, “At one time through love all things come together into one, at another time, through strife’s hatred, they are borne each of them apart.” There is both comedy and tragedy in my stories. I lean on humor, though, because I think that laughter is important. I don’t take myself or my writing too seriously, and I’ve been told that shines through in my stories.

I was sixteen when I wrote The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf. While other kids my age were dutifully taking notes in class about the fall of the Roman Empire I was engulfed in a world where a group of not so ordinary kids were protecting their town from rabid evil-doers. Imagine a world filled with secrets, corruption, and a wacky pack of werewolves who spend their time playing dare or dare and placing ridiculous bets with one another, all the while fighting crime and protecting innocent people. Trust me when I say that it’s not your average superhero team.

The first book, “An American Werewolf in Idaho” follows young Cassie Hill in her quest to find a place to belong in the world while she stumbles through her destiny to protect her small Idaho town from a band of evil werewolves led by an ancient angry wolf who has a vendetta against her. And as if her life isn’t complicated enough, Cassie also has to deal with the struggles of that awkward feeling of falling in love for the first time. Her love life is more than complicated, seeing as how she has to keep secrets from her admirer, the new kid in town, Jackson Tucker, who has a few secrets of his own.

As the series progresses in the second book, “A Tale of Two Shih Tzus” the reader watches the secrets and lies of the two lovers unfold. As our young protagonist uncovers those secrets she has to waver through difficult decisions about life, love, and family. She struggles with the internal battle in her brain and her heart while dealing with the impending battle on the horizon.

In the third book, “The Labrador of the Rings” the reader is taken on a fast paced action adventure where Cassie seeks to overcome the hurdles that are presented to her. She learns the true meaning of love, sacrifice, and loyalty.

In the fourth and final novel, “The War of the Werewolves” the journey comes to a close. The reader witnesses children become adults as the characters they have grown to love prepare to fight the battle of their lives. Good and evil are going to have it out. Who will be left standing?

The series has humorous undertones of government control, individuality, and battles between the sexes. It tackles cultural differences and discrimination in a language that young minds can understand. The novels were based on that (call me old fashioned) notion that beauty lies within the soul. Age, race, and gender are all meaningless because when it comes to being human we are all the same. Yeah, I’m a hippie. Aren’t most writers?

It took me ten years to publish this series. Ten years to perfect my story to my liking. Ten years to overcome my fear of putting my writing in the public’s eye. I have to give credit where credit is due. I have a lot of followers and supporters on fanfiction sites online. Without them I never would have been brave enough to jump into sharing my work. I have been a writer my entire life, but without my fans I never would have become an author. I count myself as lucky, because the fans that I have are great. And I hope to build my fan-base even more over the years. I like making new friends. I’m also one to take constructive criticism. I think it helps me grow as an author. So if you have any questions, don’t be shy! Speak up. If it’s one thing I’ve learned through this whole experience is that you should never be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve rambled long enough. Stop browsing the interwebs and get back to work or pay attention in school you naughty, naughty children! I’ll end simply by saying that if you’re into fast talking werewolves with wicked humor, non-sparkly vampires, and a whole lot of laughter then I urge you to check my books out. If not, that’s cool, too. I’ll just take comfort in the fact that you’ll be singing Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” all day. You’re welcome.

You can keep up with my books online on facebook (sorry, kids. I have not yet had time to build a real website for the series!)
https://www.facebook.com/AnAmericanWerewolfinIdaho

Or my facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/KatellaStegmann

Or the twitter:
@KatellaStegmann

And/or

@Barkingmadbooks

But be forewarned…I suck at the tweeting. I’m twitter stupid and have yet to really figure out how it works.


Katella Stegmann’s The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf series are all available on Amazon in Kindle format.

You can also check out Katella Stegmann’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “An American Werewolf in Idaho” and “The Labrador of the Rings” after the jump!

Read more…

Book Review – Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The 12th Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

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Deadlocked, the 12th and latest book from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, is thankfully the second-to-the-last book we can expect from Ms Harris (she recently announced the happy news). One last more, and we shall all be FREE (both author and masochist reader!) Yip Yip Hooray!

So why do I continue to read the Sookie Stackhouse series, you may ask, if the recent ones have been such stinkers? I don’t know anymore – maybe I want some closure, maybe I’m hoping (against hope) that Ms Harris would redeem herself – but the thing is, I’m stuck. I did love the series and I wanted to find out where the characters end up. Well, with book 12 Deadlocked, apparently, nowhere I wanted them to be 😦

Charlaine Harris has shown before that she has a good imagination (able to think up a fully fleshed vampire society that readers loved), and can write funny interesting characters readers loved to hate (or hated to love).  I didn’t see any of that in this installment. There isn’t much story at all in Deadlocked, with all the characters seemingly to be in some kind of stasis. Where did proactive Sookie go? All we get is Sookie playing passive-aggressive with her vampire-husband Eric. Where did Viking god Eric go? Honestly, I could not see any trace of previous books-Eric in present book-Eric. He’s indecisive, passive, dependent, and apparently, has dropped more than a couple of IQ points.  The big mystery plot here was who could have been behind the death of the young woman found on Eric’s front yard. And yet it never occurs to Eric to have it investigated (by Bill), until Sookie suggests it. When did Eric turn into a clueless idiot??? I now get what the Bill fans got so mad about in earlier books… when Ms Harris wants a book-relationship to end, apparently she finds it easiest to do it by killing everything  fans might love about the characters.

And everything else in the book was just as boring or rather – it felt like Ms Harris couldn’t be bothered to make it more interesting . For example, the whole ‘faerie-brethren of Sookie’ storyline was just dispatched suddenly, without so much as a by your leave. I wasn’t a big fan of the fairies, but great-uncle Dermot has grown on me, so I went – huh? That’s it? Jeez.

At least there’s Season 5 of True Blood on HBO to look forward to!

Deadlocked  by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover edition, Paperback edition and Audible Audio.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, Kobo books and Sony eBookstore.

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Book Review – Dead Reckoning: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The eleventh Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his child Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…

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Dead Reckoning, the 11th and latest book from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, starts out with a bang with the firebombing of Merlotte’s (where Sookie works as a barmaid). Then, for some strange reason, Ms Harris completely derails the exciting action by following that up with an in-depth account of Sookie getting a haircut to fix her singed hair. Yeah. I know, right, like Seriously?! At that point, I was very relieved that I didn’t shell out a cent for this book (thank you, library!). At least, I won’t be bitching about it as much…

To be fair though, Dead Reckoning is much better written than the last couple of books in the series. Taken as a stand-alone book (overlooking the continuity problems), it’s actually pretty entertaining and a good way to pass the time for those who enjoy paranormal books (minus an atrocious sex scene though – oh Ms Harris, where have you misplaced the missing chemistry between Sookie and Eric?).

In Dead Reckoning, an old enemy of Sookie resurfaces with murder in mind, and Eric FINALLY makes his move against his evil boss Victor Madden. That bad-ass bloody scene pretty much made up for the entire book for me (okay, not entirely, but still). I appreciated that some never-ending plot points finally got resolved here, and there’s even some progression in the Sookie-Eric relationship. Now, the progression isn’t necessarily in the direction I wanted it to go (given how much I love(d) Eric-Sookie), but like the bittersweet ending in Book 4 Dead to the World, I understood why Ms Harris would choose to place the characters at that fork in the road. That ‘twist’ actually made me curious about what’s coming up in Book 12 (hopefully, the last book, please? I really need some closure and some payoff for sticking with this damn series)

What really spoiled Dead Reckoning for me though is that there were just too many major continuity errors here, with Ms Harris seeming to  rewrite history as she saw fit (especially with the new revelations about Eric-Niall-Claudine that I won’t go into anymore, otherwise this review would be a bunch of ‘spoiler’ warnings). It’s confusing to me as a reader to have details changed like that. Do Ms Harris and her editors think that her readers have no memory of the previous books? Don’t they employ someone to keep track of the plot points in the series? Doesn’t she care to keep her characters behaving like themselves anymore? (For example, while I’ve never been a huge fan of Bill, he’s always been a complete gentleman – which made that crude dialogue that Ms Harris saddled him with so incomprehensible to me. Exhibit #1: “…you have a pair of breasts that should win the Miss America Tit Competition..” Get what I mean? And Eric/Alcide/Pam also behave very oddly & out of character in this book).  Honestly, I feel terribly insulted and feel that Ms Harris’ is just disrespecting her loyal fans. Please let this series end!!!

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover edition, Mass Market Paperback edition and Audible Audio.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, Kobo books and Sony eBookstore.

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Book Review – Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The tenth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Fae War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she’s mad. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he’s under scrutiny by the new vampire king. And as the political implications of the shifters’ coming-out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to one particular Were draws her into the dangerous debate. Also, though the doors to Faery have been closed, there are still some fae on the human side – and one of them is angry at Sookie…very, very angry…

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Three words – nothing important happens. Seriously, you can skip this and not miss much in the series.

Okay, the best thing I can say about Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is that at least I liked it marginally better than the forgettable book #9 Dead and Gone. Thank goodness for the two child characters in book #10 who saved me from just chucking it out altogether – there’s the innocent little Hunter (who faces being seen as a monster by the world if he can’t hide his gift as early as now), and there’s the tormented Tsesarevich Alexei (who was literally turned into a monster-in-perpetuity against his will while burdened by memories no child should have to deal with ).

Dead in the Family actually starts out pretty good – we see a traumatized Sookie slowly recovering from the grief and aftereffects of the torture she bore at the hands of her sadistic fairy kidnappers. I didn’t even mind when Sookie then went on to play babysitter for her telepathic second cousin Hunter since I really liked the little kid, and I’d always been interested in learning more about their gift/curse of telepathy. But then, the rest of the book just continued to meander along pointlessly until the end! I mostly found myself just twiddling my thumbs wondering where the main plotline was as I continued reading. Sookie just seemed to be passively dealing with a multitude of little crises here and there throughout the rest of the book without any real overall plot development?! It was like Ms Harris really didn’t have any new good ideas left, and she wrote this one just to meet the minimum requirements of her contract. Bah, humbug!

And seriously, the lack of development in the Eric-Sookie relationship is such a letdown, after all that build-up starting from the fab fourth book Dead to the World. It was great learning more about Eric’s background though, with the visit of his ancient maker and new little brother Alexei in tow.  I kind of wished that this subplot was delved into more, but as wont with Ms Harris lately, much of the exciting action happens with Sookie in the dark (and apparently just waiting for Eric to call and report in!) Bah, humbug!

I hope that Ms Harris stops resting on her laurels and actually produced a better 11th book (Dead Reckoning) in her series!  From this 10th book, my impression is that she’s all tapped out of all things Sookie. Hope you got your mojo back, Ms Harris!

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover edition, Paperback edition and Audible Audio.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, Kobo books and Sony eBookstore.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by RSS Or by Email.

Book Review – Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The ninth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, know little about vamps – and nothing about weres.

Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first all goes well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found near the bar where Sookie works – and she feels compelled to discover who, human or otherwise, did it.

But there’s a far greater danger threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings – older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves – is preparing for war. And Sookie finds herself an all-too human pawn in their battle.

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Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris starts off with the formal ‘coming out’ of the were/shifter community, so naturally, I thought the big news (and its aftermath) would be the focus of the book. Would there be a big brouhaha or would people just accept them quietly? I was most interested in how the revelation would affect the characters I already knew of, like Sam, Alcide, Jason etc. Unfortunately, the body of a crucified were-panther showing up at Sookie’s place of work (the parking lot at Merlotte’s) indicates that maybe acceptance won’t be so easy.

But to my disappointment, it soon became evident that the main plot for this ninth Sookie Stackhouse novel is not the weres at all (to add insult to injury, the mystery of the murdered were-panther is quickly resolved in a way that I did not like or agree with!). Dead and Gone is really about the brewing Fairy War between Sookie’s newly discovered great-grandfather Prince Niall and his enemy (and nephew), the Fairy Prince Breandan.  The problem with this plot is that since the books are written solely from Sookie’s point of view (notably, a Sookie who hardly knows anything about her new relatives), we readers won’t know anything about the main villains or their cause either, and more importantly, hardly get to see any of the actual great fairy battles (since Sookie isn’t out fighting the great war). Even though Sookie is one of the main targets of the enemy fairies, she’s still essentially a tangential character in the war (just a hostage or a pawn).

There’s a definite disconnect here, so all we, the readers, end up with is a lot of exposition or talking about things after the fact or while waiting for something to happen (It’s not enough to have a disheveled looking Niall or Eric come and give reports to Sookie!) Too much essential stuff happens off-screen (like important characters dying or almost dying!), and Sookie herself blanks out or is hurt much of the time so she becomes an unreliable narrator in the latter half of the book.  This is a terrible way to write a story, so I am absolutely perplexed that Ms Harris thought this plot would be a good idea. Add in some glaring continuity errors (why did the editors miss elementary errors like getting characters’ names wrong?) and hanging plot points (FBI investigation into Sookie, Sookie’s ex Quinn) … and this isn’t really a recommendable book at all.

The only thing I liked about Dead and Gone is that there is some progression in Sookie’s relationship with the vampire sheriff Eric Northman. I’ve always liked Eric’s character best, so I liked having some more insight into his past and how he’s dealing with regaining his memories of Sookie (admittedly, Eric doesn’t quite act like himself here, but I chalked that up to his adjusting to the new memories).  I even liked the bit of suspense about vampire Bill’s fate, but IMO Harris chickened out of doing a GRR Martin (if you watched the Game of Thrones on HBO, then you’d know what I meant).

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover edition, Paperback edition, Mass Market Paperback edition, and Audible Audio.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, Kobo books and Sony eBookstore.


For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of Dead and Gone by other bloggers:


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