"With the sure touch of a master" (Crescent Blues), Charlaine Harris delivers "the sort of vampire thrills that make Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake novels so popular" (Locus). In Sookie Stackhouse-a Southern cocktail waitress with a supernatural gift-Harris has a created a heroine like few others, and a series that puts the bite back in vampire fiction. Now the hit series launches into hardcover for Sookie's biggest twist-filled adventure yet.When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn't just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn't a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It's Eric the vampire-but now he's a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.Watch a QuickTime trailer for the HBO original series True Blood.
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October 19, 2004
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Excerpt from Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
THE NEW YEAR'S Eve party at Merlotte's Bar and Grill was finally, finally, over. Though the bar owner, Sam Merlotte, had asked all his staff to work that night, Holly, Arlene, and I were the only ones who'd responded. Charlsie Tooten had said she was too old to put up with the mess we had to endure on New Year's Eve, Danielle had long-standing plans to attend a fancy party with her steady boyfriend, and a new woman couldn't start for two days. I guess Arlene and Holly and I needed the money more than we needed a good time.
And I hadn't had any invitations to do anything else. At least when I'm working at Merlotte's, I'm a part of the scenery. That's a kind of acceptance.
I was sweeping up the shredded paper, and I reminded myself again not to comment to Sam on what a poor idea the bags of confetti had been. We'd all made ourselves pretty clear about that, and even good-natured Sam was showing signs of wear and tear. It didn't seem fair to leave it all for Terry Bellefleur to clean, though sweeping and mopping the floors was his job.
Sam was counting the till money and bagging it up so he could go by the night deposit at the bank. He was looking tired but pleased.
He flicked open his cell phone. "Kenya You ready to take me to the bank Okay, see you in a minute at the back door." Kenya, a police officer, often escorted Sam to the night deposit, especially after a big take like tonight's.
I was pleased with my money take, too. I had earned a lot in tips. I thought I might have gotten three hundred dollars or more ' and I needed every penny. I would have enjoyed the prospect of totting up the money when I got home, if I'd been sure I had enough brains left to do it. The noise and chaos of the party, the constant runs to and from the bar and the serving hatch, the tremendous mess we'd had to clean up, the steady cacophony of all those brains . . . it had combined to exhaust me. Toward the end I'd been too tired to keep my poor mind protected, and lots of thoughts had leaked through.
It's not easy being telepathic. Most often, it's not fun.
This evening had been worse than most. Not only had the bar patrons, almost all known to me for many years, been in uninhibited moods, but there'd been some news that lots of people were just dying to tell me.
"I hear yore boyfriend done gone to South America," a car salesman, Chuck Beecham, had said, malice gleaming in his eyes. "You gonna get mighty lonely out to your place without him."