Erin's bookshelf: read

Private Pleasures
Vampyres of Hollywood
Religio Duplex: How the Enlightenment Reinvented Egyptian Religion
Four: A Divergent Collection
Mighty Dads
Cuffed, Tied, and Satisfied: A Kinky Guide to the Best Sex Ever
Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self
The Casual Vacancy
Midnight Crossroad
Play Him Again
Just My Typo: From
This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Reasons My Kid Is Crying
Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack

Erin O'Riordan's favorite books »

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Out Now – Timeless Desire by Lucy Felthouse @cw1985 #erotica #romance #paranormal #ghost


Emily arrives at Westbury Hall with a job to do. She’s to clean and conserve all of the books in their impressive library, preserving them for future generations. Not long into her stay at the house, she bumps into the night guard, George. She’d expected an old, balding guy with a comb over, so the hunky chap she actually meets is a very pleasant surprise. The introductions complete, George leaves Emily in peace to get on with her job. But when a falling photograph sets off a chain reaction of ghostly events, Emily and George are thrown together in order to find out who—or what—is causing them. Their investigation uncovers a tragic past, a lost love, and a stunning secret.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a revised and extended of a previously published title, Love Through Time.



Emily received some strange looks and frowns from the people she passed as she walked across the graveled drive towards the front entrance of Westbury Hall. She could appreciate their confusion. It was closing time for the stately home and the last of the visitors were being politely ushered out of the building, yet she was heading inside. What’s more, she’d been invited. She had a job to do.

An elderly lady stood in the porch smiling and nodding as she held the door open for those departing the property. Most of them seemed in no hurry to leave, stopping to make comments to the woman, thanking her for a lovely visit and so on. Emily waited patiently, allowing the patrons to leave before attempting to get in. When the staff member—most likely a volunteer, Emily thought—caught sight of her, she gave her a polite nod of acknowledgment.

Finally, the last of Westbury Hall’s visitors moved out, leaving Emily free to enter. Climbing the single stone step to the threshold of the front porch, she took the hand that had already been offered to her.

Shaking Emily’s hand with a surprising firmness, the woman said, “You must be Miss Stone.” Her smart appearance and the intelligence in her eyes indicated that despite her advancing age, she was far from past it, “I’m Mrs. Thompson, house supervisor.”

“I am,” replied Emily, dropping her hand back to her side, “but please, call me Emily. It’s lovely to meet you. So, house supervisor? Do you live on site?” Not a volunteer, then, but a paid member of staff.

Indicating Emily should step inside the entrance hall, Mrs. Thompson proceeded to close and lock the porch and front doors of the house, securing them in.

“I do,” the older woman said, turning back to face Emily, “I have rooms in a separate building just off the back of this one. So you needn’t worry about me disturbing you.”

“Oh no,” said Emily, worried she’d inadvertently rubbed Mrs.  Thompson up the wrong way, “I didn’t mean that. I was just curious, that’s all. You’re more than welcome to see me at work, Mrs. Thompson, although I’m afraid you won’t see anything terribly exciting.”

Mrs. Thompson smiled now, the warmth reaching her eyes. Emily almost sagged with relief. She’d yet to see the extent of the work she had to do, but she’d been told it was no easy task, so she could be here for some time. The last thing she needed was to upset any of the staff.

“Oh, you’d be surprised, my dear. This is a fascinating old place. Of course, all these old houses have history, but Westbury Hall’s is particularly rich.”

Emily smiled. The woman’s enthusiasm was infectious. “Well then,” she replied, “I can’t wait to learn more about it. I hope you’ll feed me some historical tidbits throughout the time I’m here?”

Mrs. Thompson gave an enigmatic smile. Then, startling Emily somewhat, she turned smartly on her heel and walked deeper into the house. “Come, my dear, I won’t hold you up any longer. I’ll show you to the library, where you’ll soon start uncovering Westbury’s illustrious history for yourself.”


Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica ForAll, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nonfiction Review: 'My Life in Middlemarch' by Rebecca Mead

My Life in MiddlemarchMy Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author Bio: REBECCA MEAD is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.  She lives in Brooklyn.

Random House's Book Blurb: A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth--Middlemarch--and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories.

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people," offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not.

In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot's masterpiece--the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure--and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot's biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead's life uncannily echo that of Eliot herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us.

My Review: Delightful - I enjoyed reading this more than I actually enjoyed reading Middlemarch. (Read my review of Middlemarch here.)

Mead has skillfully combined a memoir of her own life experience through the lens of George Eliot's novel, instructive incidents in Eliot's life as they relate to the novel, and opinions from the leading scholars of Eliot's work. It doesn't hurt that Mead is herself a talented writer. Taken together, these various elements add an extra dimension to my recent reading of the classic, increasing my appreciation for the lengthy work of fiction.

Here are some quotes from this book that I found particularly interesting and insightful:

“Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself.”

“What's your favorite book?' is a question that is usually only asked by children and banking identity-verification services--and favorite isn't, anyway, the right word to describe the relationship a reader has with a particularly cherished book. Most serious readers can point to one book that has a place in their life like the one that Middlemarch has in mine.”

“Some very eminent critics writing in the decades immediately after the novel's publication felt that Eliot failed to maintain sufficient critical distance in her depiction of Ladislaw--that she fell in love with her own creation in a way that shows a lack of artistic control and is even unseemly, like a hoary movie director whose lens lingers too long on the young flesh of a favored actress. Lord David Cecil calls Ladislaw 'a schoolgirl's dream, and a vulgar one at that,' while Leslie Stephen complained 'Ladislaw is almost obtrusively a favorite with his creator,' and depreciated him as 'an amiable Bohemian.”

“Eliot was scornful of idle women readers who imagined themselves the heroines of French novels, and of self-regarding folk who saw themselves in the most admirable character in a novel, and she hoped for more nuanced engagement from her own readers. Even so, all readers make books over in their own image, and according to their own experience.”

“In the Life of George Eliot, John Walter Cross gave an intriguing account of Eliot's creative method. 'She told me that, in all her best writing, there was a "not herself" which took possession of her, and that she felt her own personality to be merely the instrument through which this spirit, as it were, was acting,' Cross wrote.”

I think some time I would like to read George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda. It sounds good.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: 'I Work at a Public Library' by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the StacksI Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I've never worked in a library, I find them to be fascinating and wonderful places. One of the most wonderful things about the library is that it makes so many resources available to a wide cross-section of the community...almost anyone, in fact. The public library is very democratic. The rich variety among library patrons gives rise to this book, which started as a Tumblr blog, of strange, unusual, humorous, and amusing incidents in the life of public library assistants and librarians.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny, but it also gives the reader a new appreciation for all the things librarians and their assistants actually do.

My favorite is the incident relayed on pages 145-146. A man who did not speak English as a primary language needed help accessing a website, fearing he might lose his job if he couldn't complete some online paperwork, but the website was malfunctioning. The library assistant TRACKED DOWN THE PHONE NUMBER OF THE WEB MASTER AND GOT HIM TO REWRITE THE CODE OF THE WEBSITE TO MAKE IT WORK PROPERLY. Wow - that's dedication. The man did not lose his job, and he showed up at the library WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY to thank her.

Cheers, workers of the public libraries of the world. You put information in the hands of the people who can be cranky, belligerent, drunk, users of unknown substances, distracted, or simply ignorant of a particular facet of life. You endure much with stoic poker faces and gentle good humor.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Appropriately enough, I checked out this book at a public library. I was under no obligation to write a review. This review represents my own honest opinion.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

ISIS, Pazuzu, and Middle East Folklore in Popular Culture (CW: Disturbing Images)

The content warning is for those who don't like to look at possibly-scary pictures. If that's you, do not scroll down the page.

On Thursday, September 11 of this year, I decided to stop by Loren Coleman's blog Twilight Language to see if Coleman had added any interesting updates lately. As you know, I'm an amateur folklorist. For my own personal satisfaction, I enjoy looking at non-traditional media and what might be called "conspiracy theories" through the lens of modern folklore and urban legends. Coleman isn't a "conspiracy" blogger per se, but his explorations into predicting patterns of human behavior often touch on weird phenomena.

I read the post titled "Tridents, Pitchforks, and Satan in the News" dated September 10th. It mentions the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). You may recall that I mentioned ISIS, or ISIL, in my review of Religio Duplex the other day. Coleman's post talks about the persecution of the Yazidi (also spelled Yezidi) minority group by ISIS/ISIL.

According to Wikipedia, the Yazidis live primarily in northern Iraq and mainly speak the Kurdish language, although they consider themselves - and are considered by the United Nations - as an ethnic group separate from the Kurdish people. The article describes the Yazidi religion as combining elements of pre-Zoroastrian Iranian religion, Christianity, Gnosticism, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, as well as an ancient nature-worshiping religion.

Quoting the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, Coleman mentions that the Yazidi's object of worship is a figure known as Melek Tawwus. To the radical ISIS group members, this makes the Yazidi people "devil worshipers" and, thus, legitimate targets. The cultural confusion may stem from the fact that another name for Melek Tawwus is Shaytan, which is the name the Koran uses to refer to Satan/the devil. However, the Yazidi people themselves do not use the word "Shaytan" and do not associate Melek Tawwus with evil acts.

Creative Commons image by PHGCOM
Coleman identifies an image similar to this one with Melek Tawwus, but also with "the same region's Assyrian demon Pazuzu."

The name Pazuzu rang a bell in my mind. Where, I thought, had I heard that name before? Then it occurred to me: Futurama. Pazuzu is the name of the dragon-like beast in Professor Farnsworth's care. The animated creature is rather cute.

Borrowed from
Coleman mentions that the ancient artifact above would be "familiar from the Exorcist movies." I've only seen the movie once, several years ago, but I do seem to recall that the early scenes involve an archaeological dig in which the demonic-looking (or angelic-looking, depending on your point of view) statue is found.

Apparently, the name of the demon that possesses the 12-year-old character Regan in The Exorcist is named Pazuzu. Although the creature's name is never used in the film, it's revealed in the sequels and also in William Peter Blatty's novel on which the film is based.

So, did Futurama name the Professor's living gargoyle after the demon in The Exorcist? Probably not. According to The Infosphere, Futurama is filled with references to the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. In D+D, Pazuzu is the name of a demon prince - based, of course, upon a reference to Assyrian and Babylonian mythology. The Paris setting of the end of the episode, says the Futurama wiki, alludes to a graphic novel called The Demon of the Eiffel Tower by Jacques Tardi.
Encyclopedia Mythica's Mesopotamian mythology area describes Pazuzu thus:

"A winged demon, feared by the people of ancient Mesopotamia. It is a creature with a deformed head, the wings of an eagle, the sharp claws of a lion on its hands and feet, and the tail of a scorpion. This demon is the personification of the south-east storm wind, which brings diseases. The Mesopotamians believed that Pazuzu lived in the desert."

Wikipedia elaborates that the south-east wind is associated with bringing famine in the dry season and plagues of locusts in the rainy season. However, Pazuzu's name may be invoked on amulets used to protect human beings from harm, since Pazuzu wards off the evil goddess Lamashtu. (Lamashtu, a she-demon who menaces women in childbirth and kidnaps young children, treads some of the same folkloric ground as Lilith.)

And why might William Peter Blatty have been interested in Middle Eastern people's ancient folklore? Because the New York-born American writer has two Middle Eastern parents, both from Lebanon. His mother's uncle was a well-known Christian bishop in Lebanon, and Blatty went to a Jesuit school as a youth. So, he is both an Arab and a Roman Catholic.

Most Lebanese people identify as ethnically Arab, although they are technically a lovely melange of several related West Asian ethnicities that includes the Arab people. If you don't believe me that people of Lebanese descent are quite lovely, you need only look at Amal Ramzi Alamuddin, the British human rights lawyer who's engaged to George Clooney. The lady is of most exquisite beauty.

Now 86 years old, Blatty is still writing. His latest novel was published in 2011.

By the way, if you go to Tumblr and search for pictures of Professor Farnsworth's rather cute-looking gargoyle beast, prepare to have the excrement scared out of you. A search of the tag "Pazuzu" brings up this hideous-looking thing.

Borrowed from
The rational part of the brain knows that's just the actress Eileen Dietz, who appeared on the soap opera General Hospital, in a bald cap, makeup, and false teeth. The irrational part of the brain says DEAR GOD PLEASE GET THAT HIDEOUS MONSTROSITY AWAY FROM ME!

Dietz served as a body double for Linda Blair, the young actress who played Regan, in The Exorcist. She did the difficult "projectile vomiting" scene, for example. Images of Dietz in demonic makeup were inserted in key points in the film to heighten the viewer's discomfort and fear on an almost-subliminal level. These shots flash by so quickly, one is not really sure what one has seen, but it has still provoked a visceral fear reaction.

This post suggests the disturbing makeup was inspired by a Japanese film called Onibaba. According to IMDB, Onibaba is about a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in feudal Japan who kill passing samurai and sell their possessions. The daughter-in-law takes an awful-looking, demonic mask off one of her victims and begins to wear it, only to find that soon it will no longer come off.

Blatty claims he based his fictional novel The Exorcist on a real-life exorcism that took place while he was a college student at Georgetown in 1949. (He says so in this opinion essay.) However, this does not mean that there was an actual documented case of demonic possession. The events that took place surrounding the 14-year-old boy who was believed to be "possessed" have been explained by psychology and possible trickery on the part of the adolescent in question. (He's referred to by the pseudonyms Roland Doe and Robbie Mannheim.)

Now, a personal note:

The Exorcist came out in 1973. My dad took my mom on a date to see it at a movie theater in downtown South Bend, Indiana. (The building is still there, but it's no longer a movie theater. It was most recently a venue for live music.) My mom, also raised as a Roman Catholic, was so terrified she hid her face in my dad's jacket for almost the entire thing. To this day, if she's flipping TV channels and happens to hear a bit of the theme music, she runs from the room.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Haul + Teaser for Morgan Black's Fireside Series

Nothing as erotic as Morgan Black's Fireside Series appeared in my shopping basket at my local library's used media sale yesterday. These are the things I did get, though:

I love Marta Acosta, and my fondness for Marvel has grown immensely since I first saw The Avengers. I've been wanting this book for over a year now, and here it is!

I don't know anything about this series, and I don't think it has anything to do with Vampire Academy, but if Richelle Mead wrote it then I'm willing to give this graphic novel a chance.

To go with my Twilight collection.

I gave away my copy of Volume 1 a long time ago, but look at how beautiful Edward looks on the cover. Young Kim's artwork is beautiful.

I also got three DVDs. I had hoped to find a bigger selection, including some of the young adult book-to-film adaptations that I've recently missed (The Book Thief, Ender's Game, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones). But instead I found these.

This second one is a movie I've already seen. I reviewed it here.

...and finally, another one I've seen before. I reviewed it here.

This was my personal haul. I also got 10 books from my grandmother's handwritten, extensive, alphabetized list. She gets a mix of literary fiction and suspense:

Doughty, Louise. Whatever You Love

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House

Haigh, Jennifer. Faith

Kellerman, Jonathan. Killer

LaPlante, Alice. Turn of Mind

Mathis, Ayana. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Meyer, Phillip. The Son

McGrath, M.J. White Heat

Patchett, Ann. State of Wonder

Quinlan, Anna. Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Those should keep her reading for at least six months. What are you reading? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

'Mustang Maddy' by Kacey Hammell (Contemporary Erotica) with Excerpt

Mustang Maddy
Revved & Ready Book 2
By Kacey Hammell
Contemporary Erotica
ISBN 9780987799326

Grey Burkhardt is an expert at a lot of things—including keeping his feelings for Madison Evans in check. Sexy as sin and sweet as honey, she's always revved his engine. But she's his next door neighbor. No way is he going to muck up friendly neighborhood relations just to satisfy the heat simmering between them.

Madison has never seen anything sexier than the tricked out GT Mustang Grey has been keeping under wraps—other than the glint of danger and intrigue in his eyes when he offers her a ride. Now is her chance to act on the deep passion she’s harbored for him because this might be her one shot at taking control.

Book Buying Links:

Coming soon to:

And get Book One – 69 Mustang – FREE until September 30th at all book outlets. Buy Links HERE.

Excerpt ©Kacey Hammell, 2014:

He cleared his throat and stepped closer. “You know, Mads, watching you fawn over my car, stroking her, makes me hot. I can hear every breath you take and sigh you release over her. It’s sexy as hell.”

She stood still as he moved in even closer, wedging her between him and the rear window. Thoughts of getting in the car fled as her heart raced. The hunger in his eyes called to her, her body craved it, wanted it.

She couldn’t deny herself any longer.

Leaning back against the car, she smirked. “I like appreciating great things. And to be honest, Mustangs turn me on. A lot.”

They said confession was good for the soul. Maddy was certain she’d just cleansed hers and there would be no going back.

Her palms flattened on the doors behind her. “The feel of the metal, and the pulse that emanates off the surface even when they’re not running…mmm. Everything in me comes alive whenever I see these muscled beauties.”

Grey lifted his arms, bracketing her in. “You’re one of the hottest chicks I know. No other woman has ever turned me on so much by talking about cars. You know, I’ve watched you—in a non-stalker way of course—for a long time now.”

Thrilled, Maddy’s heart skipped a beat. “What are you going to do with me now that I’m here?” What possessed her to ask, she had no idea, but the need and the desire in his gaze, aimed at her, called to all her sexual instincts. There was no way she could walk away now.

He aligned his body with hers, his eyes hooded as he gazed down at her. She surrendered to the headiness of this man, the pulsing rhythms of her body and waited with bated breath.
“I’m going to taste you...” Grey tilted his head to the side. All she could do was stare at his lips as they came closer. “ any sexy spot you’ll let me.”

His mouth met hers. Maddy opened to him like a budding flower. Claimed. Possessed. Riotous emotions swirled through her and her mind cleared. This. This type of hunger and excitement she’d been missing with any other man was all she desired. Intense, seductive and thirst to let go and give into the headiest of sexuality.

He eased his tongue into her mouth, gliding along hers, exploring, tasting... Maddy never wanted to break free.

A low moan escaped the back of her throat. She encircled his shoulders, arms pulling him in to stand between her legs.

His hardness behind his shorts pressed against her. Gasping, she broke free from his mouth and laid her head back on the car. He kissed his way down her throat. Her pussy throbbed. Her juices flooded her panties. A shiver raced down her spine. Her fingers clenching against his pecs, Maddy trembled as the exquisite tortures of his lips worshipped her, and his hips rolled his cock against her. His teeth grazed her skin along her shoulders. She widened her stance. Grey moaned as he pushed into her, harder and more aggressive.

Laying his forehead on her shoulder, he breathed deep. “Damn you’re intoxicating.”

Maddy palmed the back of his head, holding him in place as his hips still moved and let sweet agony build. The friction of her panties and shorts against her clit were spectacular. But she needed more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'True Blood' Season 7 Discussion, Pt. 2 #TrueToTheEnd

In last week's post, we discussed the 7th and final season of True Blood in terms of the fates of some of my favorite characters: Tara, Sam, Alcide, Jessica, and Arlene. Today we'll wrap up with Sookie, Bill, Jason, Eric, Pam, and Lafayette.

I'm going to mention Charlaine Harris's book series, so if you don't want to be spoiled on the books, do not proceed.

Lafayette Reynolds and James Kent: Tara Thornton met a terrible fate, but fortunately her cousin Lafayette did not. Several seasons back - in Season 5 - Lafayette lost the man who had the potential to be the love of his life, Jesus Velasquez.

(I'd forgotten how beautiful Kevin Alejandro was until Tit Elingtin and I watched the series Weeds. Then I remembered the Jesus-Lafayette romance. Then I made myself sad.)

It was high time for Lafayette to find love again.

Creative Commons image by Kristin Dos Santos
When we met James Kent in the vampire internment camp is Season 6, he was introduced as a love interest for Jessica Hamby. He was also played by a blond actor names Luke Grimes. When Grimes read the script for Season 7, he decided to leave the show. In a plot twist, James turns out to be bisexual. The '70s rocker vampire had a previous relationship with a male bandmate, and he's attracted to Lafayette.

This season, James is played by dark-haired actor Nathan Parsons.

Creative Commons image by Nehrams2020
I have a wee bit of a problem with the way their relationship was handled, though. James, rather than breaking up with Jessica and then pursuing Lafayette, he sneaks off with Lafayette at Sookie's party. Of course, Jessica just happens to step outside at the right time catch James and Lafayette having sex.

A) I don't like the stereotype that bisexual and pansexual people are all cheaters. We're probably no more or less faithful than the gays, the lesbians, and the straights.

I don't judge people for non-monogamy, but I do judge people for betrayal of a partner's trust.

B) I wish James and Lafayette's sex scene had been better than just an outdoor quickie leaning against a car. It seems like every other couple on the series has, at one point, gotten romantic music, candles, firelight, and a bearskin rug...or at least a nice, sturdy pool table. James and Lafayette don't deserve a romantic sex scene? Even Eric-Talbot was more romantic...up until the point that Eric staked Talbot.

However, the bad blood between Jessica and James did not seem to last long at all. I think she was just happy that he was happy with Lafayette. The finale's flash-forward showed them still together.

I must say, Lafayette and James made one strikingly beautiful couple. But, as we saw with Pam/Tara, this show had a history of giving short shrift to couples when one of them is a person of color.

On the next TV show Nelsan Ellis lands on, can he please play the main character?

Jason Stackhouse: Jason's story ends happily, and pretty much the same way it did in After Dead. I'm glad, because you have to like Jason, even if he is dumber than a bag of hammers. The biggest difference between book Jason and TV Jason, of course, is that book Jason turned into a werepanther.

In the True Blood finale, it appears that Jason has married Bridget, Hoyt's fiancee from Alaska until they broke up over the issue of children. They have three children together. Jason appears to be an excellent father. Happily ever after for them.

I don't really have any emotional attachment to Bridget. She was introduced this season, essentially as a plot device to resolve the tension between Jessica, Hoyt, and Jason. But it's still good to see Jason settled down.

Creative Commons image by Kristin Dos Santos
Ryan Kwanten, I will miss your butt. I hope to see it again in your next project.

Pam Swynford de Beaufort and Eric Northman: By rescuing Sarah Newlin from the Yakuza, only to use her for their own purposes, and then killing the Yakuza, Pam and Eric have become rich beyond their wildest dreams, cured Hepatitis V, and no longer have to answer to anyone. They get to stay together, and there's no indication they'll have to meet the true death any time soon.

This is a much sunnier ending than After Dead mapped out for Eric, married to a vampire he didn't love. I don't even remember what happened to Pam, other than that she took over for Eric as the sheriff of Area 5.

What I didn't like about Pam and Eric's ending was their cruelty to Sarah Newlin. They keep her chained in the basement of Fangtasia, and vampires pay them thousands of dollars to spend a few seconds terrorizing her. Yes, Sarah did an awful thing to vampire-kind when she helped the governor unleash Hep V on them, but that still doesn't make it okay for Pam and Eric to torture her. Pam and Eric are cruel. Eric's cruel nature is why I never really rooted for Eric and Sookie to be together.

I also wish that Alexander Skarsgard's unnamed "boyfriend" character in Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" video had been nicer to the character Gaga is playing. Instead, he pushed her off a balcony.

Still, I am also going to miss A.Skars's butt. I'm sure we'll see it again, though. He does all those strange foreign movies.

Drum roll, please.

Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton: In Dead Ever After, Sookie embarks on a relationship with Sam Merlotte. The official end of the book series doesn't tell us whether or not they'll have a long, happy life together. After Dead reveals they do, with three children, although one of their children dies as a teen.

I had always hoped Sookie and Bill getting back together would be the endgame of the book series. I did not get my wish. I had a faint hope that it would be the endgame of the TV series...but that started getting dismantled as soon as the ailing Bill started pushing Sookie away.

I really didn't think she would kill him, though. I really thought they would change their minds at the last minute.

Sookie driving a stake into Bill's heart was sad enough after all the time I've spent reading about and watching these characters. It was made even more poignant by the fact that Anna Paquin and Bill Moyer fell in love in real life, got married, and had a child together. This must have been an agonizing scene for them to film - who wants to contemplate the mortality of their spouse? The scene of Sookie covered in the goo that used to be Bill was heartbreaking.

Creative Commons image by BladeRunner0427
The flash-forward to three years from that moment, showing Sookie married to an anonymous human man and pregnant, held no emotional pull for me. Was he the love of her life? Maybe, but since we the viewers had no clue who he was, he didn't mean anything to us.

I just really wish Bill would have been happy knowing his daughter's descendants, Andy and Adilyn, were alive, well, and possibly carrying on the family line, and that Jessica was happily married and might have a vampire progeny of her own some day. (Possibly, Hoyt will one day want Jessica to turn him.) I wish that had been enough of a reason for him to stay alive - or, well, undead, at least until Sookie's death. Considering what a magnet for supernatural trouble she is, Sookie probably won't live that long, anyway.

So, the thing that disappointed me most about the finale was Bill's death, followed by Sookie's lackluster, non-supernatural HEA.

What did you think about the last season of True Blood?