Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sleuthing in TrueBloodville- The travelogue of our trip to Louisiana

TrueBloodinDallas (Dallas) and ObjectDesire (Object)

Sunday, December 28th: Hush, Hush planning meeting to coordinate details of super secret expedition to TBville. Meet and recruit bookstore employee for future missions. Chai latte is involved –yummy.

Monday, December 29th, bright and early: Check supplies, pack gear, kiss cats/dogs/children/spouses goodbye. Dallas leaves a cryptic clue on the blog with a picture of the Louisiana state bird , the brown Pelican ( no one gets the clue!) Depart Dallas.

10:00am "ish": Cross Louisiana state line. Cheer loudly. Funny that the state line sign does not say “Welcome to the Kingdom of Louisiana “

10:45 to 11:30: Discover that Object is not as good a navigator as she claims. See many parts of Shreveport that would have remained undiscovered otherwise, however.

11:30 Arrive at first destination, the "Blind Tiger" restaurant on historic Shreve Square, downtown Shreveport. This restaurant was selected in advance as an homage to Quinn (the weretiger). We consume excellent Cajun cuisine
(Dallas: shrimp po'boy; Object: blackened red snapper). Object tips cute young waiter generously because he graciously brings pitchers of both sweetened and unsweetened iced tea to the table to refill her glass exactly half and half as she requested (honest, that is the only reason).

Afternoon: Using Dallas' research and trusty map, we quickly find Lucky Liquors, the site where Monroe vamps house was burned, the Strand Theatre (where Quinn takes Sookie to see "The Producers"), and the Ogilvie-Wierner house that can be seen in True Blood opening credits. Quite exciting!

We leave Shreveport and head south. Armed with clues and extensive research by Dallas, at 1:54pm, we round a bend on a country road, and there is Bill's house!!! Object's daughter is unfortunate enough to have called at that moment and is still complaining about the ringing in her ears from all the jubilant screaming--oops. Dallas parks on road to take pictures. Temptation is too great and she swipes a handful of gravel from the drive. Construction foreman (the house is under renovation) drives his Jason's pickup truck down the drive to ask us what the heck we are doing. Dallas glamours foreman and he reveals that the owners of the house are renovating the property for personal use (not for a B&B as we had hoped).

Drove to nearby small town that stands in for scenes of downtown Bon Temp. Get pictures of square with courthouse where Jason learns of Gran's death, then find location where Jason saves large oak tree from the clutches of Rene's jackhammer. Discover to our delight that there is an establishment on the property named "Bubba's." How perfect is that! Dallas refuses to allow Object to enter local beauty shop to find out where in the world Jason's house is located. She does not believe that Object is sufficiently skilled at glamouring techniques and it would just be plain embarrassing.

Our eerie luck runs out and we drive around beautiful countryside for another hour and half looking for Jason's house (Dallas threatens to hit Object's portable gps system with a hammer when it provides instructions for a third u-turn in the same 2 mile stretch of highway). We stop for banana splits to console ourselves, then head to Keatchie to see if any restaurant similar to MawMaw's Mud Bugs (where Tara and Lettie Mae dine) exists. Find a "Crawdaddy's" convenience store in a nearby town, but discover that no mud bugs are for sale.

Happy but somewhat exhausted, we head back to Shreveport. Portable gps system redeems itself by leading us quickly to Superior Bar & Grill for one last fabulous meal (Mexican food). This was a recommendation by posters on the Charlaine Harris chat board. Dallas has fish tacos and Object has grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with Monterrey jack cheese and poblano peppers. Because we are driving back to Dallas, we sadly forego the excellent looking margaritas that are served in large Styrofoam tumblers.

Spend trip back to Dallas planning our next adventure. Stay tuned!

Charlaine Harris’ 3 favorite books

Thanks to Matt from Robots and Vamps for posting these, I am working on a full list which is coming soon.

Barnes & Noble asked several notable authors what their 3 favorite books are…some are interesting, some are strange and some explain alot.

Melusine by Sarah Monette

melusineDust jacket summary: Mélusine-a city of secrets and lies, pleasure and pain, magic and corruption. It is here that wizard Felix Harrowgate and cat-burglar Mildmay the Fox will find their destinies intertwined in a world of sensuality and savagery.

From Publishers Weekly - Starred Review. Set in the wondrous city of Mélusine, Monette’s extraordinary first fantasy novel focuses on two captivating characters from two very different worlds: Felix Harrowgate, a powerful magician at the court of Lord Steven Teverius, and Mildmay the Fox, a cat burglar who has been trained as an assassin. When Felix falls prey to the unscrupulous machinations of a man who’s plotting to destroy Mélusine, he’s left nearly mad, unable to clear his name or explain his actions.
Mildmay, on the other hand, undertakes a simple burglary, thinking it will lead to a bit of extra flash that will keep him going for more than a few days. Instead, the burglary opens the way to a series of unfortunate events that force Felix and Mildmay into a partnership neither of them could have anticipated or desired. Jacqueline Carey provides a blurb, but those readers expecting a knock-off of that author’s Kushiel series will be happily surprised. Monette resembles Carey only insofar as she, too, is a highly original writer with her own unique voice.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

world-war-zDust jack summary: “The end was near.” -Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston

a-dangerous-manDust jacket summary: Reluctant hitman Henry Thompson has fallen on hard times. His grip on life is disintegrating, his pistol hand shaking, his body pinned to his living room couch by painkillers-and his boss, Russian mobster David Dolokhov, isn’t happy about any of it. So Henry is surprised when he’s handed a new assignment: keep tabs on a minor league baseball star named Miguel Arenas.

Henry has no pity for the slugger and the wicked gambling problem that got him in trouble, but he can’t help liking the guy. After all, Henry used to be just like him: a natural-born ball player with a bright future. But hell, that was long ago. Before Henry did some guy a favor and ended up running for his life. Before his girlfriend and buddies got gunned down by someone on his tail. Before he agreed to buy his parents’ safety with a life of violence.

And when Miguel gets drafted by the Mets and is sent to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Henry must head back to New York, back to the place where all his problems began-and where Henry might find a real reason to keep living, a reason that may just cost him his life.

Check out their other great reviews and the great site here :

True Blood Music Video of the Day

Chop Suey by System of a Down

Happy New Year's Eve From LTBiD !

Dead Until Dark is Very Much Alive

I liked that this little review because it was posted to an Allstate Insurance Company business (dot com) site and that she called the Sookie and Bill' relationship a June - December one, which made me giggle.

HBO is showing a new series this year titled "True Blood." The TV show is based on Charlaine Harris's book Dead Until Dark.
Based on is perhaps not true. The series follows the book almost exactly. I suspect that the first season is the first book in Ms. Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries staring Sookie Stackhouse and the second season, I do hope there will be one, will be the second book.
The modern Ms. Stackhouse finds love with a Civil War veteran, Bill Compton, some 170 years her senior. Talk about a June-December relationship! Of course her friends, neighbors and some family members don't approve of the relationship. Not because of the age difference, rather because Mr. Compton is a vampire.
The Japanese have developed a synthetic blood allowing vampires to come out of the coffin and mainstream in normal Louisiana society. Gory murders galore happen and the vampires are, of course, accused. Sookie uses her ability to read minds to help solve the crimes. Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 1)

When the Hero You Want Isn’t the Hero She Gets- the Eric Factor

Sandy at All about Romance writes...

I'm thinking of calling it The Eric Factor.
For those of you who don't read Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series, Eric is a 6' 4" thousand year-old Viking vampire who - and I don't think I'm giving away much here - isn't likely to get the girl.
Yep, it's true. No matter how much I keep wishing and deluding myself into finding "hopeful" clues in the books, it's crystal clear that telepath heroine Sookie isn't going to hook up on a permanent basis with the devilishly sexy Eric.
It's a situation I should be used to since it's not the first time I've found myself in the position of rooting for a hero the author.well, obviously isn't. (And, gee, something tells me it won't be the last either.) But this time out, it hurts bad, baby. And I blame HBO and True Blood, the series loosely (and by that I mean really loosely) based on Dead Until Dark, the first book in the series.
Whatever else I found disappointing about the show's first season - and this isn't the post to get into the depths of my displeasure - the casting was perfect and quite simply the best I've ever come across when something I've loved was made into a TV show or film. Stephen Moyer's vampire Bill was hot
- hotter than I ever imagined him. Heroine Sookie as played by Anna Paquin was perfect. And Sam Trammell's adorable Sam was exactly how I pictured him
- only cuter.
And then there's Eric. Oh yeah. Not only did Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard physically embody my vision of Eric to the peak of stupendous perfection, it's also clear that he totally "got" the character: Eric's charm, humor, lethal menace, and imperious nature - all were perfectly realized. In short, he was as devastatingly, bone-meltingly sexy as I ever imagined Eric the Viking to be. (And my imagination? Let's just say it was pretty freakin' hot.) But despite the heap 'o melted bones into which he turned me - and no doubt tens of thousands of other women, too - Eric just isn't going to get the girl. (Nor, for that matter, much screen time either.) Frustrated by developments (or, more appropriately, the lack thereof), I found myself wondering if creating a fantasy-inducing character the writer knew she wasn't going to let the heroine - or readers - ever really have wasn't some kind of Big Authorial Tease. I decided to investigate. (Tough job, I know.) Since I hadn't read the series from the start in several years, I began revisiting the books in order to determine if my Eric fixation was the result of my own shallow fascination with a smokin' hot Bad Boy. The good news? It's not. Charlaine Harris makes it perfectly clear that Eric really and truly cares about Sookie - at times even more than Sookie's first lover Bill - in his own uniquely powerful and vampiric way.
And he re-gravels her driveway. (Nothing like giving a woman exactly what she needs, right?) ................... And you know what I think that means? That sometimes the best hero for a good girl heroine really is a semi-reformed Bad Boy. Maybe even a semi-reformed Bad Boy vampire.

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April makes the big jump from reading book 1 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries to book 7

April on her walkingonthedarkside blog read the Sookie books out of order and I thought you'd think it was funny to hear how confusing it can be to go from book 1 to book 7! I've emailed her and asked her for a report when she caught up with all the excitement in between! Yes, yes I also reminded here about the short stories.

Alright, I know I have done a big jump from reading book 1 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries to book 7, but I couldn't help myself.

Being an avid fan of the HBO show True Blood, I couldn't wait to start reading the books that they were based on.

I just recently read Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. I'd been on a waiting list at the local library for it. Ok well, I've been on the waiting list for all the books that they carry in the series. Which is only two or three.

After reading Dead Until Dark, I decided to purchase more of the series from Ebay. I am waiting on books 2, 3, and 4 to get here. Anyhow, I got the chance to pick up All Together Dead today at the library.

I'm on page 242 right now, and I can say I must have missed a lot in the other books. I'm enjoying it, but it's hard to imagine Sookie without Bill.
Eric is a dish though!

Spoiler Alert for those that haven't read the books. I'm shocked that the whole reason that Bill and Sookie hooked up was because he was on a secret mission for the queen. Yet it all makes sense. How he strolled into the bar and kept asking her, "What are you?" Up until this point, I always thought it was just a fateful meeting.

I really wish I would have discovered these books years ago. They are great.
If you haven't read them yet, I would run, not walk, to your local library and start with book one.

Head Up!! New Year's Eve True Blood Marathon !!!!

I came late to the "True Blood" party, but I caught up as the first season of this new HBO drama ended this fall. If you've missed the boat so far, your chance is today; HBO2 is running the whole first season starting at 6pm ET. (If you get both east and west coast HBO feeds, you may have more than once chance to grab each episode.)

Set in a small Louisiana town, "True Blood" imagines a universe where vampires are real -- and "came out of the closet" two years ago. They don't want people to be afraid; they've switched from drinking peo ple's blood to a new synthetic that's available commercially and is almost as good as the real thing.

Vampire stories are often thinly veiled stories about romance, or at least sex, and there's a fair amount of both in "True Blood." Anna Paquin as the small-town waitress, and Stephen Moyer as the newly arrived vampire she falls for, have a great on-screen chemistry, and do a fine job with their respective roles. There's also lots of anti-vampire prejudice, complete with parallels to the real world. (The "God Hates Fangs" sign is hard to miss.)

Season one is coming out on DVD soon (or just record it all tonight), and season two will air on HBO next year.!_New_Years_Eve_%22True_Blood%22_marathon!.html