Dead in the Family – Cover Art

The cover art for Dead in the Family has hit the interwebs!

It’s not up on Charlaine’s site yet, but from what I can ascertain this seems to have been leaked by her publisher.

So – we have a red rose, front and centre. The red rose of course is most commonly associated with true love. Interestingly, it is also symbolic of respect, and the recognition of courage. Both courage and respect are a constant thread running through Sookie and Eric’s relationship – and this was never more evident than it was by the end of Dead and Gone.

The rose shows two stems entwined, leading into one single bloom. Eric and Sookie’s lives have been entwined for such a long time now and the thorns are interesting too, since that attachment has never been easy for either of them. Are they finally heading in the same direction?

We already know that there’s going to be trouble for Sookie and Eric in this book – the arrival of Eric’s maker Appius, and the discovery of Debbie Pelt’s body practically guarantee it. And of course the reappearance of Alcide, who somehow always means trouble and at least one good bashing – usually of Sookie. Even granting all of that, this cover gives me hope that perhaps – finally – Sookie is going to be willing to allow Eric into her life as a partner and an equal. They’re reaching out for eachother and Eric almost looks as though he’s smiling. Pleeeaase let this happen Charlaine. Don’t make us beg. He has waited SO long and he’s shown the patience of a godamn saint. They deserve it.

I’ve suspected for a while based on spoilers that Sookie may spend some time at Eric’s house in this book – finally accepting after the fae war that perhaps a bit of protection is not such a bad idea in the aftermath. Eric has already offered this to her willingly, and looking at this cover the possibility that Sookie might start to see some sense in Eric’s offer is becoming a little more tangible to me.

I am squeeing here. Tingling right down to my E/S shipper toes.

I might also like to take a self-indulgent moment to reflect on the fact that Bill/Sookie shippers are probably spitting blood, as we speak. Many are convinced that Sookie fell in love with Bill again at the end of DAG, and that the spoilers for DITF about an E/S relationship were either exaggerated or a hoax. For six months we’ve had to cop the most vehement Eric bashing, made worse with the True Blood crowd getting in on the act as well.

Well look at that cover.

They can all kiss my Viking-wench ass.


28 Responses to “Dead in the Family – Cover Art”

  1. 1 Gigi
    December 11, 2009 at 2:16 am

    You’re squeeing there and i’m happy dancing here LOL. Very symbolic the rose with thorns…

  2. 2 Gigi
    December 11, 2009 at 2:26 am

    There’s no rose without a thorn. To live and enojoy a beautiful love, one must endure the difficulties it could arise (in this case, the family issues…)

    • 3 Gigi
      December 11, 2009 at 2:28 am

      *enjoy (no enojoy lol. I’m also in a hurry, and sorry for the double post but wanted to be so quick that didn’t finish the thought :/ ).

  3. 4 VampirePamsGirl
    December 11, 2009 at 4:51 am

    I’m squeeing and happy dancing, lol, and looking like quite the idiot, but oh well. I got a lot of the same suppositions from the cover as you did and they all make me sooo happy. I’m wondering too if the blood bond thing is going to play into this one at all. Maybe by their hands being outstretched towards each other but having the thorns in the middle means even more than that they’re going to finally try to be together, but there will be obstacles in the way. I mean, when you prick yourself with a thorn, there is blood; but yet they are willingly (it seems) reaching towards each other and the thorns. So I can’t help but wonder if that means anything for the blood bond….perhaps Sookie will finally accept it for what it is, learn to enjoy it and realize that it is not the cause of her feelings for Eric. Haha, I’m not sure if this is a theory or just some fangirl hopes. ;D

  4. 5 mairemor
    December 11, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Finally! After all of the Eric bashing on the part of AB and CH a little hope… I hope after CH’s comment that Eric is “bad.” this is not a tease. Here’s hoping CH doesn’t disenfranchise Eric’s girls…we’re the heart of her readership.

  5. 6 nbu
    December 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Oh wow. Like the rest of our little gang I am squeeing, but I guess I’m dreading the bottom line. Like their arms outstretched towards one another with a big eff off rose in between is all too good to be true. Like, Bill or Alcide or (heaven forbid) Quinn could do something to take it all away. I am tingling down to my E/S shipper toes but not only of excitement and elation, but a touch of mild anxiety too.

    Try not to throw anything at me for ruining this beautiful moment, but I guess when it comes to Sookieverse I can tend to be a tad pessimistic.

    • December 11, 2009 at 9:53 am

      Coming down off my sugar high now and I just had a thought that was like a bucket of cold water.

      That rose – looming large like that in between them with two stems intertwined.


      Appius and Eric.

      Nothing is ever what it seems with CH and you’re right nbu, a good dose of pessimism is always a good policy with these books.

      I just know this guy is going to be the biggest PITA ever. Just the size of that rose…how it’s literally “looming” over them…the fact it’s red…the two twisted stems….hmmm.

      • 8 nskars
        December 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

        This is the commenter formerly known as nbu! I got myself a wordpress username! It had to be at least 4 characters so I took one for the team and decided to marry myself to the hunk of Viking love himself. You like??

        PS I am totally sadfacing at the rose being a metaphor for Appius and Eric. It makes so much sense. The thorny stems intertwined. The looming. Sigh.

        • December 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

          Oooh! The new you! I like! 😉

        • 10 walgigi
          December 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm

          Thanks to nbu (who activate my curiosity lol) I know now that I don’t need a blog to have a username and avatar in wordpress (big HUG to nbu!!). So, I just joint my two known nicknames for my username and now have my beloved Viking besides it lalala :).

          About the rose methaphor… I increase the soze of the cover art pic to study and analyze the details. I don’t really think the two interwined stems with bloody thorns meant to be Appius and Eric.

          IMO, Sookie and Eric are trying to reach each other through all their own the blood bonds (Appius-Eric, Eric-His brother (dont forget Appipus arrives with Eric’ brother), Eric-Sookie, Sookie-Jason, Sookie-Hunter, Sookie-Bill). They are trying to reach each other through the FAMILY issues they both have (two bloody thorns stems) that stand between them. At the end, don’t forget that when people shares the same blood through natural or vampire meanns they become “family” and have a blood bond.

          Must be very difficult, but my only hope is that both interwined stems bloom into just ONE big rose…

          (..and will have four more books to worry about after this one lol)

          • 11 walgigi
            December 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm

            I increase the size, the SIZE, not the soze lol!! Please excuse my horrors because english isn’t my first language and I’m not a good typist either :/ LOL.

    • 12 VampirePamsGirl
      December 12, 2009 at 1:00 am

      *throws rotten fruit at the poster formerly known as nbu for raining on my parade* Just kidding! You and our esteemed webmistress (sookieverseblog) do make some valid, but disheartening posts. I guess we’ll just have to hope for the best, but expect the worst. I think maybe being an Eric Lover in Sookieverse kinda trains you to be a little pessimistic. You kinda have to develop some type of armor against the constant attacks and let-downs, lol. You use pessimism; I’ll use blindness to possible crappy realities.:D

      • 13 nskars
        December 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

        I think, as you said VPG, that being an Eric lover means you have to hope for the best but expect the worst. I think the thing that pulls us all through is the undeniable attraction that they have and even though Sookie refuses to see it most of the time, the fact that Eric is the only honest and genuine male in her life. And I firmly believe that after all the crap – the best man will win in the end.

        ERIC LOVERS UNITE! We only have each other to depend on!

  6. 14 ksr
    December 11, 2009 at 11:48 am

    “Rose is symbol of beauty, joy, love, bliss, pride, wisdom, peace and mystery. It’s also related to images of heart, heaven, lover (I like this most)… The most significant factor considers presence of thorns as a symbol of expiation for sins and a martyrdom (well, it would be boring if there wouldn’t be problems! 😉 )… In generally rose is figure of perfection and harmony (finally!).” ))))

  7. 15 ksr
    December 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    RE “’Bad’ Eric”. Well, he is. He isn’t an angel or Mr. Perfection and he is not “warm and fuzzy” that’s for sure! But that’s why he is so interesting to me. “I’ve never been perfect but neither have you.” Otherwise I’ll get back to 100 years old vampire-virgin Edward or will mull over about AB’s version of St.Bill. But I’m not. I want Eric in all his bad or good diversity. All I’m asking CH about – ‘Just give us a little rest! Let them (S/E) accept each other and be together at list for one book! We all (funs, Eric, Sookie and even you are) deserve it! ’)))

    • December 11, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      So true.

      I think one of the biggest distinctions between the Bill and Eric camps is that people who root for Eric are far more likely to embrace him for what he is. We see a duality in his nature and we are ok with that. You often hear Eric fans discussing Eric’s “high handedness” or his ability to manipulate and that is accepted as part of his nature – mainly because HE accepts it and doesn’t make excuses for it. And he always has a reason for it, whether you agree that its justified or not, there is always something “big picture” going on with Eric.

      When Bill is put through the ringer, every action that isn’t honorable or human-like has to be blamed on someone else – Lorena, Sophie-Anne, Eric, or even Sookie. Bill doesn’t own his actions or their consequences on the page fully until Book 9 – so it’s no wonder that his fanbase have him deified.

      Re the “bad Eric” comments CH was making. The way she went on about him being a ruthless killer like we were all missing something major really annoyed me. Yes he kills people – he’s a vampire. That’s what they do. But I’d challenge anyone to show me a single instance in those books where Eric kills primarily for fun or frivolity. He doesn’t. He just does not do it. He kills for sure, but only ever when the unlucky sod has tried to kill him or Sookie first. So she can say what she likes to stir everyone up, but if it doesn’t gel with what she writes in her books – I call bullshit 😉

      • 17 ksr
        December 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm

        Eric is a BAD guy because he is a KILLER?!!! Ouch! This is really big revelation! Apparently nobody noticed this before CH pointed out at that matter… Well this is a really serious reason to hate him! But wait a minute! Who in this series doesn’t?!! Just like queen’s half demon advocate told “We all do.” Bill? I lost a count of his victims. Sam? When he turns into lion and not a nice collie does. Fairies? Oh, just with a sweet smile on their faces! Alcide? Yes! And also he is fucked a girl in the middle of slaughter to prove his status, and lied, blackmailed and maneuvering Sookie to force her help his father, pack, etc… (should I continue a list? Noooo…because evidently somewhere deep inside his is much better than Eric! He is a good guy!) Quinn? Ha! Hahaha! Sookie? Only demons and goblins avoided her practiced hand so far! And even if she doesn’t do it by herself she caused a death to others every now and then. Thanks to her behavior, there is no vampire which CH could hire as a bartender for Fangtasia anymore I guess!)))) So naturally it’s silly to discuss Eric’s murderous nature against this background! So, why CH said that? Is she teasing us? Is she trying to relax Bill’s funs? I don’t know. I just have to add to my previous speech “Dear CH! Please, I’m begging for mercy! Don’t try our patience! And don’t mess with Eric, he couldn’t bear it!” (How do you think, will it works?) )))))))
        But honestly I don’t think she will soil his reputation because I also think that Eric is her favourite! ;))
        What am I really worry about is Eric/Appius problem. Eric wouldn’t be able to solve this problem by himself, which means that Sookie would be involved! And we know HOW Sookie “solves” personal problems of her boyfriends (Rest in peace, Lorena! Rest in peace, Debbie!) and where it’s lead (Good buy Bill! Good buy Alcide!)! So I hope that CH wouldn’t play this trick on us again! And more than that, I’m worrying about the fact that in DAG Eric sent Bill to save Sookie and didn’t come himself. Remember Sookie ask Eric “Where were you?”
        “Eric flinched almost a half inch, a big reaction from a vampire his age. He looked away. I could not believe I was saying these things. “It’s not like you were obliged to come find me,” I said, “but I hoped the whole time—I hoped you would come, I prayed you would come, I thought over and over you might hear me. . . .” “You’re killing me,” he said. “You’re killing me.” He shuddered beside me, as if he could scarcely endure my words. “I’ll explain,” he said in a muted voice. “I will. You will understand.”” O, yes, Eric, you better will! And you better don’t tell her that you had family problems (with your maker) as Bill had with Lorena or Quinn has with his mother and sister or some business/politics issues stopped you on your way to her rescue as it happened with Bill before. Otherwise what the difference between you and all this exes?!…
        Well, I think that this speculation is a good subject for your new topic! Which I’m waiting impatiently!))))

      • 18 tribalbellydonsah
        December 12, 2009 at 3:31 am

        oh, oh,
        may i also bring up that Bill HAS killed for the pleasure or revenge of it, remember dear old Uncle?

        good points here!

        • 19 walgigi
          December 12, 2009 at 7:18 pm

          On nov 27, 2009 I made an answer to a post on ericnorthman.net forum of someone who claimed that even when Eric was a bad guy as viking (because they killed entire populations), a ruthless and evil killer who has killed, moreso than Bill (that in her opinion had a more noble past and didn’t go around pillaging as Eric), she loves him despite of that… ( if any of you want to read her post, you can find it here: http://www.ericnorthman.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=933&start=20 ). I’m just going to post here my answer pointing some important facts about our BAD GUY/RUTHLESS KILLER and what is really bothering me about CH’s manipulative comments. Quotes of the person post and CH are between “” :
          The real issue here isn’t if Eric and Bill are bad or not. If we go to history per se, vikings, as southern men during Civil War, both were warriors, soldiers serving their territories interests. The job of a soldier is to kill the enemy (with another marginal tasks as patrol, guard, etc, but their formal training has the purpose of teach them to kill). From this perspective, right or wrong, they both were killers. No more, no less. But they both were doing what they think were right… even when NOW we (I include myself) think we can judge History and say what they did was wrong. But, if we can justify a southern soldier actions inside the mores and historical context of the Civil War events just because we have to consider he was a christian and had a family; then we have to justify a viking as well considering the mores and historical context period the vikings existed, understanding he had another belief system because christianity didn’t even exist, and because he had a family, too.

          Going further, if they were both turned into vampires, they aren’t human anymore. I’m not going to discuss the vampire predatory and instinct nature here because we read about it enough on the books. Saying that both of them HAVE to “live” dead as vampires is enough. So what’s the difference? The extent of time? I can’t believe that unique variable could determine which one is the best or the worst because then, to be fair, we have to search for the intentions and motives of their actions. And also we know that PEOPLE (vampires are dead, but still are dead people) are always able to learn, change and grow through time… for better or for worse.

          “Bill, while still a vampire, has a more… noble… human past, although I suppose the slavery thing sure as hell isn’t noble. But basically… Bill didn’t go around pillaging. Eric most probably did.”

          And this is the thought with which I’m more in disagreement. First, because of the arguments I already wrote above. Second, because it’s an opinion that isn’t based on canon facts (you can’t find those facts on any of the SVM books). And, Third, because nobility isn’t a exactly a virtue that Bill Comptom has.

          Nobility by definition is the quality of being exalted in character, ideals or conduct (or a priviledge class holding hereditary titles, that neither applies here). I can’t say Bill was a noble person as human because isn’t a fact, and can’t say he is noble as a vampire, because he is the only one of both (I mean between Eric and him) that has commited murders beyond his vampire predatory nature. He murdered the Rattrays and Sookie’s great uncle Barlett, not even in self defense or defending her, but just for revenge (and vengeance isn’t a very noble purpose because it is wilful, calculated and deliberate in itself). As calculated and deliberated as was his purpose of return to Bon Temps to seduce her for the Queen’s benefit. The only action I could think of him as noble was giving his money to the Bellefleurs, but it was blured by the fact that he didn’t care about Sookie’s home and financial needs even when he almost lived with her, used all her house utilities and “love” her (well, that’s was Sookie’s complaint, right?).

          “I do agree with the statement that Eric can’t love anyone but himself. He really couldn’t.”

          I can’t disagree with you more on this, too. As Bill, he also had a family (mother, father, brother, wife and children) and told Sookie about his lost of them when he was turned into a vampire helping what he thought was a hurt man on the road (which is a very weird behavior for a man that, like you think, enjoyed killing…). Love is a very subjective construct and feeling. There are different kinds of love (eros, agape, philial, fraternal, etc), and not experience one kind doesn’t excludes been able to feel another. Also the individual perception of what we know as “romantic” love is determined by many other variables as history periods and even Hollywood movies.

          IMO,the real issue here is DeeDee’s question about CH attitude. I was reading on trueblood.net the article about the last interview of CH with ABC News ( http://truebloodnet.com/charlaine-harris-discusses-books-abc-news/ ) and found this:
          One question that was sent in to Charlaine by a reader for the interview was regarding a statement that Charlaine once made that she didn’t understand why so many fans love Eric so much? The reader wanted clarification to this statement since in her eyes she felt that Charlaine had written the Eric character as always being there for Sookie, fulfilling her needs, being truthful and being emotionally connected to Sookie.

          “I’m not denying that’s one side of Eric, but he’s also a ruthless killer and I think some of my readers tend to forget that in their enthusiasm for his sexier habits.”

          She insists (the low blow again…) that in our enthusiams for his sexier habits some of us forget that Eric is a ruthless killer?? It seems she forgot to add that even Sookie is a killer and an accomplice on several murders. Wasn’t she ruthless when Bill murdered his great uncle? She said to him she was glad he was dead and her only worry was thinking dating him was like dating the Godfather but she was sure he’d never hurt her… ????!! (Isn’t she the only killer from the 3 known telepaths on the books? lol) ALL Sups, vampires, werewolves, fairies, shifters and Britlingens had kill on the books. So, what happens to CH with Eric and his fans now? Killing is bad, but ALL are killers, so why are now Eric the one and only bad ruthless killer worth to mention? If Bill fans are always asking if they are going to have hot and steamy sex on her next book (which in fact was also a question on the interview) why are Eric’s fans the only ones airheads enough to forget how BAD is killing and how ruthless Eric is (of course because in her opinion we are now just a bunch of nympho-eric-maniacs?)

          Anyway, I will be eternally grateful if any of you, please, enlight me with the information about which book, chapter, page and paragraph tells about an Eric’s ruthless murder (not a self defense kill, or a kill defending his queen) since he met Sookie. Because, honestly, I read and re-read all 9 books, and can’t find one.

          I’m really getting very, very tired with her attitude…
          That was my answer, and I’m still mad at her and really hope she changes her attitude, because she is still on the edge to loose the more for the less…

  8. 20 Kricket
    December 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I love this cover! The Bette Midler song came to mind after thinking a while about this cover. It’s a perfect song for Sookie and Eric:
    Some say love, it is a river that drown the tender reed,
    Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed,
    Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need.
    I say love it is a flower, and you its only seed.
    It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
    It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
    It’s the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give,
    and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
    When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
    that you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
    just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow,
    lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.

    I’m trying to be positive and see this cover as further proof that Sookie and Eric are the real deal. Their love is the rose at the end of winter. There will be plenty of thorny obstacles along the path-Appius, Felipe, Quinn– but I can’t believe that after ten books of build-up that CH will go in another direction. Any other suitor would be major settling for Sookie, and major disappointment for the bulk of CH’s readership. I can’t imagine she wants to end the Sookie Stackhouse series on that kind of note. So, for now, I’m gonna squee!!!
    Also, I absolutely adore this blog! I always appreciate your take on things!

  9. December 12, 2009 at 3:45 am

    @ksr and tribalbelly
    I’m planning to do a post about where Eric might have been at the end of DAG sometime…and also thinking a comparative body count between B, S and E might be in order!

    I always come back to that as well – these books have been steered in one direction since book 2. It’s too late for her to change course now.

    Ain’t that the truth. Sometimes I feel like a dog that’s been kicked one too many times.

  10. 22 Dan
    December 12, 2009 at 4:57 am

    It Charlaines vampire lore, it’s rare for a mature vampire to kill just for the sake of feeding. As Sookie say “a drink here, a drink there”. Eric does not go around killing humans for the joy of it. Its usually other immortals. He Bill have a similar body count in recent years.

  11. 23 Stef
    December 13, 2009 at 3:44 am

    I completely agree…The Bill lovers can kiss my Viking-wench ass too!! I think that there will always be turmoil in Sookieville when it comes to her and Eric’s relationship. But I do believe that with the comment from her great-grandfather that “the vampire is not a bad man, and he loves you”–this will reaffirm the feelings that Sookie has had for Eric as completely genuine. I believe that the great-grandfather meant Eric. And c’mon, the only reason she felt longing for Bill at the time was due to the fact that he was dying! However, I don’t know if killing Bill off would do the trick to help further along the E/S relationship. I think that would put a bigger rift between them. I know that CH has mentioned she thought about killing Bill off before…while I would personally enjoy that…I think it would place a lot of strain on Sookie…better if he is alive and the triangle continues. But, I really hope she ends up with Eric. He is the best for her.

    • December 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

      bill is a bad ass bastard who betrayed sookie and i think charlaine should end up with his life.i think too niall meant eric.i completely agree with you and this article.

  12. 25 mada
    December 13, 2009 at 8:16 am

    the cover is amazing.i love it.i hope sookie and eric will end up toghether.i love eric,is the greatest vampire ever 😀

  13. 26 ksr
    December 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    To Walgigi
    “…I will be eternally grateful if any of you, please, enlight me with the information about which book, chapter, page and paragraph tells about an Eric’s ruthless murder…” There is no that kind of information! ))))
    “…I’m still mad at her and really hope she changes her attitude, because she is still on the edge to loose the more for the less…” Don’t be! CH is just violently jealous for Eric’s wide popularity! That’s all!!! Lets be indulging… ;))))

  14. 27 BookWormBelle
    December 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I think this book will be the most angsty of all of them.
    I don’t forsee a very happy ending, especially with Eric and Sookie.
    With all that we already know is going to happen, I can’t imagine the book being particularly happy. The return of Alcide (squee), Debbie Pelt’s Body, Eric’s Maker, Eric’s Brother, Bill’s silver poisoning. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. I’m very excited about Dead in the Family, and expect it to be the best one yet!

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My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I'm going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are rampant...you have been warned!

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