The sookie stackhouse co.., p.1
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       The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, p.1
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         Part #10.50 of Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris  
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Acknowledgements

  Preface

  Small-Town Wedding

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  Life in Bon Temps

  Dead Until Dark

  Living Dead in Dallas

  Club Dead

  Dead to the World

  Dead as a Doornail

  “One Word Answer”

  Definitely Dead

  All Together Dead

  From Dead to Worse

  Dead and Gone

  Dead in the Family

  Dead Reckoning

  The Sookie Short Stories and Related Material

  Vampires, Two-Natured, and Fairies, Oh My!Sookie Discusses the Creatures She’s Met

  Sookie Stackhouse TriviaHow Much of a Sookie Fan Are You?

  What’s Cookin’ in Bon Temps - A Selection of Down-Home Southern Recipes

  Breakfast

  Lunch

  Supper

  Sides

  Desserts

  Drinks

  Inside True Blood - Alan Ball Answers Questions from the Fans

  From Mystery to Mayhem - The Works of Charlaine Harris

  Recollections Around the Duckpond - The Fans of Charlaine Harris

  Charlaine Harris Answers Questions from Her Fans

  A Guide to the World of Sookie Stackhouse

  ABOUT THE EDITOR

  Ace Books by Charlaine Harris

  The Sookie Stackhouse Novels

  DEAD UNTIL DARK

  LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS

  CLUB DEAD

  DEAD TO THE WORLD

  DEAD AS A DOORNAIL

  DEFINITELY DEAD

  ALL TOGETHER DEAD

  FROM DEAD TO WORSE

  DEAD AND GONE

  DEAD IN THE FAMILY

  DEAD RECKONING

  A TOUCH OF DEAD: SOOKIE STACKHOUSE,

  THE COMPLETE STORIES

  Ace Books Edited by Charlaine Harris

  THE SOOKIE STACKHOUSE COMPANION

  Ace Anthologies Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

  MANY BLOODY RETURNS

  WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE

  DEATH’S EXCELLENT VACATION

  HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION

  Berkley Prime Crime Books by Charlaine Harris

  SWEET AND DEADLY

  A SECRET RAGE

  The Harper Connelly Mysteries

  GRAVE SIGHT

  GRAVE SURPRISE

  AN ICE COLD GRAVE

  GRAVE SECRET

  The Lily Bard Mysteries

  SHAKESPEARE’S LANDLORD

  SHAKESPEARE’S CHAMPION

  SHAKESPEARE’S CHRISTMAS

  SHAKESPEARE’S TROLLOP

  SHAKESPEARE’S COUNSELOR

  The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries

  REAL MURDERS

  A BONE TO PICK

  THREE BEDROOMS, ONE CORPSE

  THE JULIUS HOUSE

  DEAD OVER HEELS

  A FOOL AND HIS HONEY

  LAST SCENE ALIVE

  POPPY DONE TO DEATH

  Berkley Prime Crime Anthologies Edited by Charlaine Harris

  CRIMES BY MOONLIGHT

  THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

  PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  Copyright © 2011 by Charlaine Harris, Inc.

  HBO® and True Blood® are service marks of Home Box Office, Inc.

  Map created by Claudia Carlson, based on an original sketch by Charlaine Harris, Paula Woldan, Danna Woldan, and Lauren Dodson.

  “Sookie’s Family Tree” created by Tiffany Estreicher, based on a rough draft submitted by Tekno Books.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors’ rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  ISBN : 978-1-101-47560-7

  1. Stackhouse, Sookie (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Vampires—Fiction.

  3. Shapeshifting—Fiction. 4. Occult fiction, American. I. Harris, Charlaine.

  PS3558.A6427S66 2010

  813’.54—dc22

  2011019681

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  Paula Woldan, Danna Woldan, Lauren Dodson, Victoria Koski, Debi Murray, Beverly Battillo, Denise Little, and Rachel Klika volunteered their skills and talents in assembling various parts of this book. My gratitude to them for their vision and hard work. I also appreciate the enthusiasm of the many readers who submitted questions for me and Alan Ball, and recipes for the cooking section. I wish we could have included every single one.

  PREFACE

  The World of Sookie Stackhouse

  Sookie and I go back a long way. We’re practically sisters. Many years ago, when my mystery career was languishing, I thought it might be a good idea to shake up my writing style by trying something new. It might be fun to write a book that contained all the elements I loved: mystery, the supernatural, bloody adventure, and a dash of romance. And since people had told me for years that I had a great sense of humor, I thought it would be interesting to try to include that in the book, too.

  Without a contract, without a soul being at all interested, I began to establish the character of my protagonist. My grandmother’s best friend’s name was Sookie, and since it was a fine old Southern nickname, I thought it would do well for my heroine. And “Stackhouse” just flowed right after it. I wanted to write from the point of view of a human, not a vampire or other “supe,” and since I have to live with Sookie, I wanted to make her as interesting as I possibly could. I decided she would date a vampire, as the entrée into a completely different world, and I had to establish a reason for sensible Sookie to do such a crazy thing. After a long thinking session, I came up with telepathy, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

  Up until then, most vampires in fiction ha
d exotic, sexy names. My vampire, I decided, would be named Bill. Instead of setting my books in the picturesque, touristy part of Louisiana, I’d make do with the distinctly unromantic northern part. Instead of being angsty brooders, my vampires would be trying their hardest to be in the forefront of business; they’d be hard workers, and they’d have their own internal system of checks and balances.

  I finished Dead Until Dark and turned it in to my agent, the great Joshua Bilmes. It took Joshua a long time to warm up to the Sookieverse, but he dutifully did his best to sell my favorite book. After two years of rejections, Dead Until Dark seemed likely to live up to its acronym. Then a young editor at Ace, John Morgan (now at DC Comics), decided to take a chance, and his boss, Ginjer Buchanan (my present editor), okayed the deal.

  We’ve never looked back.

  Readers seemed to want more details of the Sookieverse, and the website (www.charlaineharris.com) has always bubbled and seethed with questions. How do you make Caroline Bellefleur’s chocolate cake? What about that pesky fairy genealogy? What book contains the famous shower scene? (I’m just kidding on that last one; everyone knows the shower scene.) How do the short stories fit into the chronology of the books?

  We’ve assembled The Sookie Stackhouse Companion to answer all of these questions and hopefully a few more, to give readers a thorough look at the world of Bon Temps, and to provide extra snippets of interesting information about Sookie’s world and the people who live and die in it. Though this book is about the books, we also give a nod to our favorite television show, True Blood, by including an interview with one of my favorite people, Alan Ball.

  Lots of people helped me assemble this companion, and I tried to thank all of them in the acknowledgments. But let me just say here that without the help of my assistant and best buddy, Paula Woldan, I would have torn out my hair and cast myself upon the floor in despair at a few points. So thanks, Paula, and I think I had some of the most fun ever drawing the map with you.

  I’m sure the second The Sookie Stackhouse Companion is on the shelves, I’ll think of something I should have included, but it’s time to let this project go. I hope you all find something in the book to entertain, enlighten, and engross you.

  See you in Bon Temps.

  —Charlaine Harris

  Small-Town Wedding

  BY CHARLAINE HARRIS

  There are a lot of people to thank, for a relatively short work! I forgot to mention my CSI niece Danielle, who helped me on a previous piece; so here’s to you, Dani! And Ivan Van Laningham offered me help on that same piece. My college buddy, Dr. Ed Uthman. Victoria Koski, my continuity queen, who struggles against my tide of fuzzy thinking. And the many people who were kind enough to help me attempt to pronounce Dutch: Geja Topper, Dave Bennett, Hans Bekkers, Jochem Steen, Leighton Gage, Sarah Bewley, and Simon Wood. And Duane Swierczynski, who is standing by to help me dispose of a body.

  CHAPTER ONE

  It was May, I had a great tan, and I was going on a road trip, leaving vampire politics behind. I felt better than I had in a long time. Wearing only my underwear, I stood in my sunny bedroom and went down my checklist.

  1. Give Eric and Jason address and dates

  I’d done that. My boyfriend, Eric Northman, vampire sheriff of Area Five of Louisiana, had all the information he needed. So did my brother, Jason.

  2. Ask Bill to watch house

  Okay. I’d left a letter pushed under my neighbor Bill Compton’s door. He’d find it when he rose for the night. His “sister” Judith (sired by the same vampire) was still staying at his place. If Bill could tear himself away from her company, he would walk across the cemetery separating our properties to have a look at my house, and he’d get my mail and my newspaper and put them on my front porch.

  3. Call Tara

  I’d done that; my pregnant friend Tara reported all was well with the twins she was carrying, and she’d call or get her husband to call if there was any news. She wasn’t due for three more months. But twins, right? You never knew.

  4. Bank

  I’d deposited my last paycheck and gotten more cash than I usually carried.

  5. Claude and Dermot

  My cousin and my great-uncle had decided to stay at Claude’s house in Monroe while I was gone. Claude had been living with me for about a month, and Dermot had joined him only two weeks ago, so Dermot said he still felt funny being in my house without me there. Claude, of course, had no such qualms, since he’s about as sensitive as a sheet of sandpaper, but Dermot had carried the day.

  All my clothes were clean, and I thought I was packed. Though it would be a good idea to review my packing list, which was completely separate from my “things to do” list. Since my friend and boss, Sam Merlotte, had invited me to go with him to his brother’s wedding, I’d been in a nervous tizzy about forgetting something essential and somehow making Sam look bad in front of his family.

  I had borrowed a pretty dress, sleeveless and blue, like my eyes, to wear to the wedding, and I had some black pumps with three-inch heels that were in great condition. For everything else, I packed the best and newest of my casual clothes: two pairs of good shorts, an extra pair of jeans. I threw in a yellow and gray skirt outfit, just in case.

  I counted my underwear, made sure I had the right bras, and checked the little jewelry pouch to be sure my gran’s pearls were there. I shut the bag, triumphant. I’d done my best to cover every contingency, and I’d fit everything into a hanging bag and a weekender bag.

  Just as I reopened the bag to make sure I’d included my blow-dryer, I heard Sam’s truck coming up the driveway that wound through the woods. In thirty seconds I pulled on my khaki shorts and a very thin white tank top with a teal tank layered over it. I had a little gold chain on, and I slid my feet into my new sandals. My toenails were a happy pink (“Run Run Rosy”). I felt great. I hurried to the front door and opened it just as Sam was about to knock.

  He was wearing his usual jeans and Merlotte’s Bar and Grill T-shirt, but he was sporting ancient cowboy boots. Yep, we were going to Texas, all right. His red gold hair was shorter these days, and I could tell he’d taken special care shaving.

  “Sorry I’m a little late,” he said. “I had to give Kennedy and Terry some extra instructions.” The two substitute bartenders were going to be in charge while Sam was gone, and Sam was pretty nervous about it.

  “No problem. I’m ready.” He picked up my overnighter while I got my hanging bag and locked the door behind me. Luckily, Sam’s pickup had an extended cab, and we were able to put our clothes on the backseat.

  “You looking forward to this?” I asked him, when we were on the interstate. We were going across the state line from Louisiana into Texas to a small town called Wright, south of the interstate past Dallas, where Sam’s folks had settled after his dad got out of the service.

  “This is the first nice thing that’s happened in my family in months, and for a while I didn’t think this wedding would ever come off,” he said. “I really appreciate your going with me.”

  “Are they putting pressure on you to get married?” I should have realized before that there might be another reason Sam wanted me to accompany him, something beyond the pleasure of my company. Some women have long careers as bridesmaids; I had a long career of being a pretend girlfriend. I hoped that wasn’t going to be a perpetual pattern.

  “That might be overstating it,” Sam said. He grinned at me. “But my mom and my sister sure are ready for me to show them I’m thinking about the subject. Of course, the shifters going public and my mom’s troubles kind of put my own marital status on the back burner.”

  The Weres had revealed their existence on television a few months before, following the vampire model. Many of the other two-natured (or “twoeys,” as the pop-culture magazines had immediately started calling them) had shown themselves at the same time. Oddly, the American public seemed to be more upset about the werewolves and werepanthers living among them than they’d been when they found
out vampires were real.

  “Does your mom try to set you up with nice shifter girls all the time?”

  “So far she hasn’t been able to find another pure shifter like me, though my sister, Mindy, told me Mom had gone online trying to track one down.” Sam could turn into anything: lion, dog, raccoon. His kind was pretty rare.

  “Gosh. Are you sure you shouldn’t have brought Jannalynn? She may not be exactly who your family wants you to bring home—at least, that’s what you said—but she’s a werewolf, and that’s better than a human like me, right? At least to your mom. If your mom’s looking for a woman for you online, that’s kind of . . . desperate, huh?”

  Sam laughed. “Definitely. But Mom means well. She was really happy with my dad, and their first date was a setup. If she can find an unattached female shifter the right age, she’s hoping lightning will strike twice in the Merlotte family.”

  “You told me that you’d almost gotten married once.”

  “Yeah, when I was in the army. She was a good ol’ girl, regular human. My dad would have liked her. But it just didn’t work out.”

  I wanted to ask why, but I knew it was none of my business.

 
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