Friday, October 30, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 24 - Jeri Smith-Ready

The winner of Tricia Mills's Heartbreak River is...ddurance! Deirdre, I don't have a way to reach you, so please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com in the next week. Congrats!

Today's Blogtoberguest is, uh, me. I scheduled myself toward the end of the month because:

a) I'm a procrastinator.
b) I hoped by this point I'd have cover art for Shade.

As you can see, I have cover art! It's not final--they'll add a tagline and a cover quote--but this is the basic image. If you want to see Aura's face, check out the full wrap-around hardcover jacket near the end of this post. I love all my covers, but I am rabidly excited about this one. Aura looks like Aura and everything!

I'm still waiting for a trailer and back-cover copy, so I'll tell you about Shade in my own, non-marketing-professional words:

16-year-old Aura can see ghosts. Then again, so can everyone around the world who was born after her. In fact, they have a word for the moment of her birth: the Shift. Aura suspects that the Shift might be connected to her missing mystery dad and an event that happened at Newgrange tomb in Ireland a year before her birth.

Ghosts can be annoying at their best. At their worst, as dark, powerful "shades," they can be deadly. So Aura's major goal in life is to undo the Shift and make the ghosts go away.

And then, her boyfriend dies and becomes a ghost.

Release date: May 4, 2010, from Simon Pulse

So you'd think that because I write the spooky, I'd do a Halloween post. But Aura mentions in Shade that she and Logan went to Chiapparelli's before the Homecoming dance a few weeks before he died, so I decided to find out what happened on their last big date:

* * * *
SHADE prequel scene (not an excerpt from the book), in honor of Blogtoberfest


“I got us a ghost-free table,” Logan said. “At least, I hope I did.”

The hostess led us through the restaurant’s candlelit foyer, past the autographed photos of Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, into the brighter back room.

“If they're here, at least I won't be able to see them. Much.” I shivered as Logan peeled off my coat, his fingers brushing my bare shoulders and the wisps of dark brown hair cascading from my up-do.

He gave the gawking couple at the next table a muted version of his magnetic smile. They looked away with matching grimaces. Maybe they worried their two little boys would grow up to pierce their own brows, or dye their own hair bleached blond with black streaks.

As soon as the hostess left, Logan’s animated blue eyes peeped at me over the top of his menu. “Then again,” he said, “your dress could scare off every ghost in Baltimore.”

My face warmed—okay, not just my face. The way he looked at me brought up thoughts of Thursday and the thing we weren’t talking about.

As for the dress, I always wore a lot of red—ghosts hated the color—but never to any place important. No one born before me could see ghosts, including Logan, who was two months and three days older. So a red outfit was like a neon sign reading, “Hey, I’m only sixteen!” But when I saw the Faviana cocktail dress (new-with-tags) on eBay for $45.99, I knew it was destiny.

Red didn’t always deter ghosts. The only foolproof spirit stopper was the expensive BlackBox technology, where charged obsidian was built into the walls. Only the big chain restaurants could afford it, and we were not about to waste Homecoming night on a lame-ass piece of Generica.

Logan gave the menu a quick glance, then tossed it aside. “Penne vodka.”

“The alcohol burns off when they cook the sauce,” I told him.

After a brief pause, he said, “I knew that.” But he picked up the menu again.

When we ordered, the waiter nodded approvingly at my pronunciation of manicotti (mani-GOT, as taught by my Italian grandmom) and winced at Logan’s mangling of “Spaghetti Bolognese.”

“How was rehearsal today?” I asked Logan, before he could wonder out loud why the menu didn’t just say “Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.”

He brightened at the sound of his favorite topic. “It was awesome. Mickey and I worked out Siobhan’s fiddle part on ‘Ghost in Green.’ The transposition was a bitch, but by the next gig the song’ll be perfect.”

My gut tightened with sympathy nerves at the thought of their big show on Logan’s seventeenth birthday. “It’ll be perfect if Brian can stay sober.”

“Yeah. Pretty big if.” Logan stirred the ice in his soda glass. “I know I get pretty wasted sometimes, but I never let it affect the band.”

True. Unlike their drummer, Logan saved his binges for after the gigs.

He grew still as he focused on the bubbly brown depths of his soda. “So. About what happened Thursday.”

I looked down at my hands and fought the usual urge to pick at the ebony nail polish. “You mean what didn’t happen. I’m sorry I chickened out.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s my fault.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” I felt suddenly cold, so I wrapped my black pashmina shawl over my bare shoulders, covering the top of my dress.

“Aura—”

“Instead, let’s just try it again.” I dropped my voice to a whisper. “No, I mean—not try. Do.” Great, now I sounded like Yoda. “Tonight.”

“Aura, I’ve been thinking.” He set his elbows on the table and folded his hands together. “We’ve gotten really wrapped up in this do-we-or-don’t-we thing. Maybe we should take a break.”

A break? Icy fingers climbed the ladder of my rib cage. Is he ending us? On Homecoming night? We hadn't even gotten our appetizers.

“A break?” I choked out. “From each other?”

His eyes widened. “No! God, no. I meant take a break from thinking about sex.” He shifted his weight in the chair. “Okay, that’s not really possible for, like, two seconds in a row, but let’s stop obsessing about when and where. If it happens, it happens, and if not, that’s cool, too.”

I took as deep a breath as possible in the tight dress. “Really?”

“We’ll just put it away for a while.” He mimed opening a drawer and dropping something in. “We’ll have more fun together without all the pressure. Like we used to.” Logan closed the imaginary drawer.

“He’s lying,” said a voice behind me.

I turned to see the faint violet shimmer of a ghost, almost invisible under the recessed ceiling light. Her voice held a bitter, million-and-one-cigarettes edge.

“That boy’s not giving up on sex, hon,” she said. “He’s just giving up on sex with you.”

At the next table, the kid in the booster seat started to cry, his gaze fixed on the source of the voice. The baby in the high chair pointed and giggled, too young to know that ghosts were supposed to be scary (or at least annoying).

“He’ll find someone else,” the dead lady sneered. “With his looks—and did I hear right, he’s in a band?—it’ll take him about thirty seconds, if that.”

I clutched the edge of the table, refusing to react. Not that ignoring them made them go away or anything.

Logan looked at the kids, then at me. “There’s a ghost here?”

“Don’t worry about it,” I told him.

“You’re all pissed off. What’s it saying?”

“I said, don’t worry about it.”

He turned to the other table, where the mother was comforting the toddler. The father muttered, “So much for family-friendly dining. Karen, I told you we should’ve gone to the Cheesecake Factory.”

The ghost’s voice came close to my ear. “I bet he already has groupies.”

“Do you want to leave?” Logan asked.

“No,” I snapped. “This is my favorite restaurant. I’m not letting her chase me away.”

The ghost laughed. “He’ll go through those girls like a bag of potato chips. You know what they say, after all. You can’t eat just one.”

“Shut up!” I stood and whipped off my wrap, revealing the scarlet dress beneath. “Mind your own damn business!”

The ghost hissed as if she’d been burned. The little kid screamed louder, and the baby stopped giggling. Everyone else in the room just stared.

The dead woman slunk away, her slim, wispy form brightening in the shadows near the bar.

“I have no damn business,” she said in a forlorn voice. “No business at all.”

I smothered a pang of sympathy and sat down just as the waiter delivered our basket of fresh-baked bread. I reached for a slice.

“Hey.” Logan covered my hand with his. The warmth of the bread beneath my palm sent shivers up my arm. “What did it say to you?” he whispered.

I tried to tell him, tried to trust him. When he turned that gaze on me, I felt like we were the only two people in the world. But I knew that when he looked out into a screaming crowd, each person felt that same way.

Everyone said Logan would be a star before he turned eighteen. Not the kind of star I wanted to study in college—the kind that burned light-years away, glistening cold in the night sky. He’d be the kind that burned here, blazing in the eyes of those who would worship him. Who would come to possess him, piece by tiny piece, until there was nothing of him left for me.

I pulled out the bread loaf and tore off two slices. Handing one to Logan, I said, “She was in the wrong restaurant. She thought she was a walking fortune cookie.”

He took a pat of butter as I poured myself some olive oil. “You think the fortune’ll come true?” he asked.

I smiled at him around my bite of warm, soft bread, pretending my full mouth was what kept me from answering.

It'll never come true, I vowed. Not if I can help it.

* * * *

To enter to win a signed ARC of Shade (mailing in November), leave a comment below. And remember, each comment automatically enters you in the drawing for the grand prize package: all 25 books!

For complete rules, read the introductory post.

Deadline for entry: Friday, November 6, 11:59pm Eastern. NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is Leah!

Other open contests:

Simone Elkeles and Perfect Chemistry
Maggie Stiefvater and Ballad
Stephanie Kuehnert and Ballads of Suburbia
Carrie Jones and an ARC of Captivate
Jennifer Echols and The Ex-Games
PC Cast and Tempted

If you're wondering, Aura's dress can be found, among other places, here (sadly, not the bargain she found on eBay). Or visit the designer's website for more drool-worthy dresses.

Come back tomorrow for our final guest, Rachel Vincent!

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144 Comments:

Very exciting. Can't wait to see the whole thing.

Posted by: Blogger S B Frank at 10/30/2009 8:08 AM

Thanks! Again, this isn't from the book, it's just a little scene I put together in the last week. But I hope it gives a sense of the characters and the sort of mental place Aura's in at the beginning of SHADE.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 8:22 AM

Thank you very much Jeri!
I loved the prequel very much.
What a great way to start a Friday.
Thanks again,
RKCharron
xoxo

Posted by: Blogger RKCharron at 10/30/2009 8:23 AM

I can't wait to read the whole book of SHADE. Great start

Posted by: Blogger cait045 at 10/30/2009 8:25 AM

Glad you enjoyed it, RK & cait! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 8:39 AM

Yup, dating a musician can mess with your confidence....but add dead people twisting the insecurity knife and whoa! Can't wait to read the book. ;)

Posted by: Blogger Judith at 10/30/2009 8:41 AM

Judith: Tell me about it! I had to make sure there were other kids in the room so people didn't think it was just Aura's own insecure voice in her head. ;-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 8:46 AM

This is great, Jeri, and I LOVE your cover. Probably one of the best ones I've seen (hoping SP will be as good to me :)

Posted by: Blogger Denise Jaden at 10/30/2009 8:47 AM

Jeri,

Can't wait to read Shade! Thanks for the prequel!!!

Posted by: Blogger Katie at 10/30/2009 8:54 AM

Thanks for my win Jeri!

I can so imagine Aura's angst, being a teenager is bad enough, let alone dealing with bitchy ghosts. lol
Seriously though, I love the feeling of this book, anticipation in more ways than one.

Deidre

Posted by: Blogger ddurance at 10/30/2009 8:54 AM

Oh,Jeri! This was great!
Really, really looking forward to this one too! :)

Posted by: Blogger smj587 at 10/30/2009 8:55 AM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger smj587 at 10/30/2009 8:55 AM

Thanks for sharing! Shade sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

Danielle
koffeebean76 at mac dot com

Posted by: Blogger Danielle at 10/30/2009 9:36 AM

This sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it!

booknerdd AT gmail DOT com

Posted by: Blogger Stacy at 10/30/2009 9:42 AM

Thanks for sharing/writing a prequel scene! I think the book will be awesome. I love the cover art and your character's name is very provocative! Can't wait!
Thanks.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger holdenj at 10/30/2009 9:46 AM

I had vowed not to start any more series but I had already made an exception for this because it's you. But after reading that little "prequel scene" I HAVE to read it!! It looks great - can't wait!
Also, the cover art is gorgeous.

Karen

Posted by: Blogger Karen at 10/30/2009 9:51 AM

Denise: I'm sure your cover will be amazing, too--Simon Pulse does such an amazing job. They're always so sophisticated. I can't wait to see yours!

Katie: I can't wait for you to read it! ;-)

Deirde: Yeah, Aura has a bit more to deal with than the average girl. But at least she's not alone in the ghost-seeing. And some of the ghosts are friendly. Um, sometimes TOO friendly.

smj: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

Danielle & Stacy: I hope you like it when it comes out. May still feels like so far away...and then some days it feels like it's just around the corner.

JHolden: Thanks! The name just hit me one night last year when I was not even thinking about the book (I was watching TV, and--well, that's another story ;-). Everything sort of fell into place after that.

I have to run to take my dog to physical therapy (swimming, yay!), but I'll be back later to answer more comments. Thanks for coming by, everyone!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 9:53 AM

Wow! Now I really can't wait to read Shade. Thanks for sharing the great scene! :-)

Posted by: Blogger Sara C at 10/30/2009 9:58 AM

I am WAY past a YA, but can't wait to read this. Of course, you're on my auto-buy list anyway. . .

dulcibelle at earthlink dot net

Posted by: Blogger Riva at 10/30/2009 9:58 AM

Great post! I can't wait to read Shade!

Raelena
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger throuthehaze at 10/30/2009 10:06 AM

Jeri! I'm so excited to read this one. It sounds very good, just like the rest of your books! :D

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 10/30/2009 10:13 AM

WOW blown away as usual Jeri!! Thanks for the sneak peek.. you're right - May seems way too far away!!
LOVE the potato chip analogy! ;)
Can't wait for Shade's release!! Beautiful cover... looking forward to your book trailer as well...

Best wishes!!
Debbie in NY

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/30/2009 10:18 AM

So excited to read this one! Loved the prequel, and the cover is gorgeous! Going to be another winner for you! :)

Posted by: Blogger Alexia561 at 10/30/2009 10:20 AM

Fabulous, Jeri! I can't wait to read the whole thing!

xo

Posted by: Blogger Janet Fox at 10/30/2009 10:31 AM

Loved it! Sounds like it's a fabulous read.

Posted by: Blogger Melanie at 10/30/2009 10:33 AM

This sounds like such a good book, and considering I liked your other ones pretty well, I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for hosting blogtoberfest and all the fun contests!
Liz E.
reddjena AT yahoo DOT com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/30/2009 10:43 AM

Wow, what an awesome segment! It really makes me want to read SHADE. Such a great idea.

Posted by: Blogger Leah at 10/30/2009 10:48 AM

Oh, I love this cover and great excerpt. I would love, love, love to be entered. This sounds amazing!!

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/30/2009 10:49 AM

Looking forward to reading the book. That was great!

Jess
jessicaernst@mac.com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/30/2009 11:30 AM

Karen: I know what you mean about not wanting to start new series--there are so many new books all the time, it's overwhelming. I tend to be the opposite, though--I start most of the series and continue with maybe 10% of them (like the House of Night).

Sara: Glad you liked it--hey, maybe you'll win and get to read it sooner than you think. :)

Riva: I'm way past a YA, too (although my mom doesn't think so), but I really enjoy reading them. I find YAs to be more emotionally honest than a lot of adult books.

Raelena: Thank you so much!

Brooke: Aww, you're so sweet. This one is like the vampire books in several ways--contemporary setting, lots of music, a touch of humor, etc. I think you'll like it!

Debbie: It's always great to see you here! I'm looking forward to the book trailer, too. The publisher will be making it--I have no skills in that area whatsoever. :-)

I'll answer the rest in a separate comment. BRB!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 12:34 PM

Alexia561: Hello! I love the cover, too. I'm so, so happy with it.

Janet, Melanie, Leah, Lori & Jess: Glad you enjoyed the excerpt! I hope you all like the book when it comes out.

Liz: Thanks! If you like my books for adults, I think you'll enjoy this, too. And thank you for coming to the Blogtoberfest--it's been a great month with a ton of fabulous authors. I couldn't have asked for a better blog-iversary. :-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 12:40 PM

I love the cover art. It is simple but gorgeous! Thanks for the prequel post. Now, I am eager to read more.

Sue

Posted by: Blogger Sue (okibi_insanity) at 10/30/2009 12:45 PM

Interesting concept. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: Blogger DavidH at 10/30/2009 1:05 PM

Enjoyed reading the comments. The book sounds really good. I am always looking for different authors to read.
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/30/2009 1:19 PM

wow! I'd love to read the rest! Thanks for the great giveaways!

ruthiesbookreviews AT yahoo DOT com

Posted by: Blogger Ruth Schaller at 10/30/2009 1:20 PM

This looks great! One thing I love about YA is it's an experience I can share with my teenager.

The cover is gorgeous!!!

Posted by: Blogger Patti at 10/30/2009 1:34 PM

That is an awesome prequel scene! I really want to read the book now!!! The cover is beautiful! I would definitely pick this one up at a bookstore just because of the cover. Nice job to you and the team that worked on the cover.

Cheers,
Heather a.k.a. BookobsessedGrl
bookobsessed (at) comcast.net

Posted by: Blogger BookObsessed at 10/30/2009 1:54 PM

Hi Jeri, I absolutely ADORE your WVMP series it's one of the BEST urban fantasy series out there..hands down! Thank you for the teaser prequel to Shade..I am so excited to dive into that series and I normally don't read YA! I just Love your unique & witty voice :-)

Posted by: Anonymous Negine at 10/30/2009 3:08 PM

Sue & Heather: Thank you for your comments on the cover--I will definitely pass them on to the art team at Simon & Schuster. They are deservedly proud of this one! And I am one very lucky author!

DavidH: Thanks! It took me a while to work out a lot of the world-building as I was writing the novel (and the synopsis for sequels), but I hope it all hangs together in the end. I'm a stickler for world-building making sense.

JWisely: I'm so glad you're looking for new authors to read! I'm the same way--I would always rather try someone new.

Ruth: Hey, it's great to see you! I'm really enjoying e-mailing winners about the giveaways--they've made a lot of people very happy. :-D

Patti: Good point! It's always nice when parents can share a reading experience with their kids, and for a lot of people, that ends when the kids learn to read. It's wonderful that you can share that with your teen--I hope SHADE gives you a lot to talk about! :-)

Negine: Awww, thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying the vamps. If you like SHADE, I'd be happy to recommend other YA books you might enjoy. There are so many good ones out there.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 3:50 PM

I really really want this book....I am a huge fan!!!!

brittany_littlepage817@yahoo.com

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany at 10/30/2009 3:53 PM

Thanks, Brittany! Good luck in the drawing!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 4:14 PM

I enjoy reading ARC's, count me in!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/30/2009 4:24 PM

What a great little prequel, now I really want to read the book!

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/30/2009 4:35 PM

I do believe this as well as other blogtoberfest post were created to torture me! You get me all excited about the book then I have to...wait! Until it comes out! Patience, I have never been known for my great ability to practice this virtue. And here you post a prequel! *shakes my head* what an excellent cruel tease! I loved it!!!

Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/30/2009 4:53 PM

I really enjoyed your Vampire Radio series and look forward to the new book next year. When people used to ask me if members of my huband's band were married, I'd say "periodically".

Posted by: Blogger sneace at 10/30/2009 5:38 PM

I would love to read what happens. Maybe you will write the entire story sometime.

Posted by: Blogger Linda Henderson at 10/30/2009 6:10 PM

I can't wait to read this book. Plus, I LOVE the cover, Jeri! :)

Posted by: Blogger Lauren at 10/30/2009 6:18 PM

The cover is gorgeous, I love the wrap around concept, that's cool. Thanks for the taste - just enough to whet my appetite - now I really can't wait to get my hands on Shade.

Posted by: Blogger Barbara E. at 10/30/2009 6:48 PM

Thanks for posting that wonderful excerpt, Jeri! The book sounds terrific. I am especially intrigued at the idea of everybody 16 and under being able to see ghosts. One of the things I get a tired little of in paranormal fiction is all the "special" or uniquely talented protagonists; it will be interesting to see how one behaves who is surrounded by people with similar abilities.
Thanks for all the awesome giveaways!

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 10/30/2009 6:52 PM

This book looks so good.
It would make an awesome birthday present since it ships in November and my birthday is in November!! =]

Hope you have a happy halloween tomorrow Jeri!

Posted by: Blogger Tiffany Cunha at 10/30/2009 8:18 PM

Thanks for sharing that scene. I can't wait for SHADE to be released! It sounds awesome!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Posted by: Blogger Karen W. at 10/30/2009 8:33 PM

tetewa: I love reading ARCs, too. Getting a sneak peek is so fun!

Poppy: Glad you enjoyed it! The book is better written than this.

Casse: Sorry! Soon there'll be a first chapter excerpt here on my site, and also at the end of Christopher Pike's THIRST 2 compendium, which comes out in January. So you'll get a little bit larger taste, and next time it'll be from the actual book.

sneace: How funny! And sad. I made sure to marry a musician who only plays for fun. Best of both worlds. ;-)

Linda: Not sure what you mean by "write the whole story." This is just an extra scene that takes place a couple weeks before the book starts. The novel is already written and will come out in May. The sequel will be released the following May.

Lauren: Me, too! I will be sure to let the art director know how much people love it.

Barbara: Yes, I'm very excited about the wraparound. I think Aura's face will be on the spine, which will catch people's attention when it's shelved spine out.

Kimberly: I know what you mean about the "special" people. Aura is the first one born after the Shift, so she is special in some way, but her whole generation shares the ghost experience. And of course, the older people just don't understand what it's like.

Tiffany: Happy early Birthday! November is just when the ARC will be available (so I'm told)--the book itself, sadly, doesn't come out until May.

Karen: Thank you, and a Happy Halloween to you, too!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/30/2009 10:06 PM

I like it. Love the mood and the characters, and the little bits of information teasing the reader. Very neat.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/30/2009 10:57 PM

Great prequel Jeri! If I'm 5 minutes late (ET) do I still qualify? Hope so, because I can't wait to read the book!

Posted by: Blogger Sharon at 10/31/2009 12:06 AM

Awesome cover and I loved the prequel! Cant wait to read more.c

Posted by: Blogger donnas at 10/31/2009 12:17 AM

Bwa ha ha. That was fabulous (I absolutely love the paragraph where she compares him to a star). I'm positive the book is going to be just as good!

Posted by: OpenID scape-graces at 10/31/2009 12:27 AM

"Shade" looks amazing. I'm looking forward to reading it, one way or the other!

Posted by: Blogger BrigidsBlest at 10/31/2009 12:57 AM

Shawna L
weloveourdogs@juno.com

I have been looking at this book for quiet some time and would love to be entered into your giveaway!!

I am new to your blog & am so GLAD i found it I always love finding new amazing blogs thanks for yours!!!

Posted by: Blogger Shawna at 10/31/2009 1:44 AM

Shawna L
weloveourdogs@juno.com

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/5308275817

I added you & this giveaway to my sidebar http://booksequalmovies.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Blogger Shawna at 10/31/2009 1:49 AM

Wow! I loved the prequel. I was excited before about Shade but now I'm REALLY excited. I can't wait to read it when it comes out in May. :grin:

And I really enjoy how you create a unique spin to your stories - like the vamps being stuck in the era they were turned in and only the kids born after Aura being able to see ghosts. It really makes your books stand out from all the others that are getting a little repetitious.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Dawn M. at 10/31/2009 3:55 AM

This book looks amazing!! :)
x. Jenna
sorrowfulgoodbyes.blogspot.com
big-pink-fish@hotmail.com

Posted by: Blogger Jenna at 10/31/2009 11:16 AM

This book sounds incredible!  I love the cover art too!Mariahpenguinqueen(at)hotmail(dot)com

Posted by: Anonymous Mariah at 10/31/2009 11:58 AM

I love your books so much, and I totally can't wait for Shade!!!

Posted by: Blogger Rhia Raye at 10/31/2009 12:42 PM

At first I thought I didn't like the cover, but once I saw the wrap-around I decided that it was great after all. :)

Posted by: Blogger TJ at 10/31/2009 12:46 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger JMarie at 10/31/2009 12:52 PM

Thanks for the great Prequel!! It gives me more perspective of a idea of Aura. That cover is great also!! Love it!! I can't wait to read the story.

Posted by: Blogger Jamie at 10/31/2009 1:00 PM

Sheila: Thank you! I tried to give a little bit of the flavor of the story and the main conflicts--oh, and the ghosts. ;-)

Sharon: You're not 5 minutes late--you're actually 6 days and 55 minutes early. The drawing won't be for another week. :-)

donnas: Thanks! I wish I could take credit for the cover, but my entire participation consisted of me going, "WOW!"

scape-graces: That little bit came in the final draft, when I was trying to figure out how to show she was interested in something other than Logan, i.e., astronomy. Neat how it all tied in, huh? One of those lucky serendipities.

Brigidsblest: Thanks! I can't wait to see what you think of the book.

Shawna: I'm so happy you stopped by! Doing the Blogtoberfest has really rekindled my love for blogging, so it should be pretty active going forward. The posts will be a lot shorter, though. ;-) And thanks for tweeting and putting it on your sidebar! I appreciate you spreading the word.


I've got to run and do Halloween preparation stuff now, but I'll try to answer the rest of the comments tonight. If not, see you tomorrow!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/31/2009 1:32 PM

Awesome! Now I'm dying to read more!(:

Posted by: Blogger Kelsey at 10/31/2009 1:46 PM

Dawn M: Well, thank you. I can't really help being different, and I don't mean that entirely as a self-compliment. ;-)

Jenna: Thank you! Is that you on the horse in your icon? I used to love to ride when I was growing up. Now I settle for saying hi to the horses on the farm where I walk my dog every day. They are much more interested in her than they are in me! :-)

Mariah: Thanks! I hope you like it when it comes out. Only...let's see...six months and eighteen days now.

Rhia: It's always so great to see you here on the blog. Hope you're doing well!

TJ: At first I thought Aura's face should be on the cover, but then I changed my mind. I think having just the arm will make people pick it up to see the rest of her. Clever, huh?

JMarie: You're counted!

Jamie: Glad you liked it! I thought at first it would be hard to make Aura sound different than Ciara (the heroine in my vamp books), but they're such different people, it really wasn't hard at all.

Kelsey: Thanks! I'll be putting up the first chapter excerpt as soon as I get the go-ahead from my publisher. Probably next month or so. We're still making little tweaks to the text here and there.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/31/2009 2:18 PM

Eeek so excited, please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger I Heart Book Gossip at 10/31/2009 2:19 PM

Good stuff. Thanks for an intro. into the character's and Aura's mental place.....Stacy
samnstacy(at)me(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger stacy stew at 10/31/2009 2:37 PM

I can't wait for this book! Definitely count me in.

Posted by: Blogger Sara M at 10/31/2009 4:09 PM

I'm sure the book is going to be great and I really like the cover! Looking forward to checking it out.

Posted by: Blogger Dana at 10/31/2009 4:21 PM

OMGG, I need more! Love that prequel. I can't wait to read Shade!

Posted by: Blogger Wendy at 10/31/2009 4:45 PM

Thank you for sharing that! I cannot wait to read the book:) I love your idea of sharing a prequel instead of something directly from the book.

Posted by: Blogger Moonsanity at 10/31/2009 5:07 PM

That sounds awesome!!

Posted by: Blogger Jackie Uhrmacher at 10/31/2009 5:30 PM

Thanks for the prequel! The book sounds great, can't wait to read SHADE!


van

Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger van_pham at 10/31/2009 6:27 PM

OH MY GOD! I want more!! This sounds so amazing!! Please, let me win! Haha. The cover art is amazing, as well! Congratulations on the new series, by the way. You're a beautiful writer! <3 Bekah

Posted by: Blogger Bekah at 10/31/2009 6:28 PM

omg, Jeri Im new to your books but this sounds awesOme! i'm glad u waited till u had cover art b/c it really helps me to get a feel for a book, and ur cover looks great. plus, im so intrigued by "the shift" concept, i cant wait to read it & see what happens! btw I found u thru FB by HarlequinTeen, which i love cuz they have great info :)

iroquois.girl@yahoo.com

Posted by: Blogger 2.0 Blog at 10/31/2009 8:59 PM

Ahh, I really want to read this as well! The prequel sounded promising.

kakari89(at)hotmail(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger K A K A R I at 10/31/2009 9:33 PM

Awesome prequel! :) I'm loving the spunkiness of Aura!

The cover art is very nice! :) I'll be adding this book to my TBR list!

Posted by: Blogger Jessica Kennedy at 10/31/2009 9:42 PM

Okay... Why haven't I stumbled upon any of your books before!? Specialy, since I've been stuck (yes stuck) in MD for three years now... The prequel has me wanting more and you are on my TBR and getting bumped to the top.. I'm so bad lol...

Posted by: Blogger Brooke at 10/31/2009 9:59 PM

Sounds great! I'll be checking 'Shade' out for sure.

Posted by: Blogger BeyondTheIcyWalls at 10/31/2009 10:18 PM

I love reading YA and I have two YA boys that like it too. they especially love paranormal books.

Posted by: Blogger Pamk at 10/31/2009 10:47 PM

IHeart: Thanks for stopping by--good luck in the drawings!

Stacy: Yep, Aura's mental place is usually some mix of anxiety and annoyance. And that's before things get bad! ;-)

Sara: I can't wait, either! I will have to occupy myself until then by writing (gulp!) two more books (busy winter for me).

Dana: I love the cover, too! I've been very lucky with all my covers.

Wendy: Glad you enjoyed it! It was fun for me to write Logan and Aura in a somewhat normal setting.

Moonsanity: I got the prequel idea from Saundra Mitchell, who posted early this month in the Blogtoberfest. It was a great little peek into the world of her book, so I thought it would be fun to do, especially with the Homecoming theme.

Jackie: Thanks! Glad you could stop by!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/31/2009 11:04 PM

van: Thanks! I can't wait to see what readers think of the book itself. Hard to sleep at night sometimes waiting. ;-)

Bekah: Oh, you are so sweet! It's great to see you here again, as always.

2.0 Blog: I'm so glad you found me! I was thrilled they let me post the cover art even though it will still have a few tweaks (probably a tagline and quote on the front and some words on the back).

KAKARI: Glad you liked it!

Jessica: Hee, Aura is definitely spunky when it comes to standing up to obnoxious ghosts. It comes from listening to their crap her whole life.

Brooke: Ooh, top of the pile--thank you so much! My vamp books are also set in Maryland, but in Carroll County (they like the remoteness of the boonies ;-).

Beyond: Cool, thanks!

Pamk: I love reading YA, too. I'm so glad to hear your boys love to read! All the kids in our family, boys and girls, are big readers. My mom gets all the credit for that. :-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/31/2009 11:20 PM

Oh wow, her dress is stunning! I seriously would die if I got to wear something like that. No joke. How I'd love to be in her shoes, ghosts and all. :)

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Anonymous Elise K at 10/31/2009 11:59 PM

Ooh, conflict! Whether I win it or not, this is on my list. :)

Posted by: Blogger lale at 11/01/2009 1:42 AM

Elise: I know, isn't it gorgeous? I did see a similar dress by the same designer on eBay for $45.99. Sadly, not in my size. :-(

Lale: Yep, I love making Aura's life difficult. It doesn't get any easier (actually, it gets harder) as the book goes along, and as I'm finding out now, in the sequel, too. ;-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/01/2009 9:31 AM

Ooooh, this looks very exciting! I love the development of the world and the red dress (red is my favorite color). The potato chip analogy was hilarious. I can't wait to read the book. Thank you so much for the contest!

Rose S.
warsoldier79@yahoo.com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 11/01/2009 9:33 AM

would love a chance to win.

Posted by: Blogger Kiyote at 11/01/2009 9:52 AM

Shade looks awesome! Great contest!

Posted by: Blogger rachel445 at 11/01/2009 9:53 AM

EEEEH! Awesome contest!!! I can't wait to read Shade.

Izaya(at)hotmail(dot)de

Posted by: Blogger Letter Garden at 11/01/2009 11:12 AM

thank you for the contest with all these authors and yourself. I actually read bout your book on Scifiguy.ca it sounded awesome cant wait for it to come out. :) sign me up i would love to win

Posted by: Blogger victoriasdreams at 11/01/2009 1:58 PM

ohh your book sounds really interesting. Will have to put in my TBR pile :)

Posted by: Blogger emmad at 11/01/2009 2:41 PM

Hi Jeri,
I love the cover and the little tease you invented for us. This is gonna be a definite gotta have. Thank You so much for all the coolest authors and all the great books we get a chance to win! Awesome!

Posted by: Blogger Chris J. at 11/01/2009 4:20 PM

Love the excerpt. I really want to read this book!

Posted by: Blogger Janicu at 11/01/2009 8:01 PM

Oooohhh, I like it! New to your blog, but I really am enjoying reading the comments and finding more books to read. This one sounds awesome!

Posted by: Blogger Amy Jo at 11/01/2009 8:05 PM

Very, very fun. I can't wait to read this new one.

Thanks!

mmillet at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Michelle at 11/01/2009 10:24 PM

This is an amazingly beautiful cover. My daughter is starting her own YA urban fantasy autograph collection. I would love to give this to her to add.

Of course Mommy gets to read it first. :-D

Posted by: Blogger Jeanne Ryan at 11/01/2009 10:55 PM

Hi Jeri,

My wife reads your books (I'm more of a zombie man myself, but I am well versed in the WVMP universe & w/Ciara & Shane through her:-))Very funny & original. I love your books for the Playlists. You have introduced me to a lot of new music.

I hope to win the ARC for my wife. Major brownie points for me - maybe some new music ideas....it's a win win!

Take Care,
Kevin

Posted by: Blogger Kevin at 11/02/2009 8:17 AM

Hey, awesome prequel. I've read some things about this book on other bloggers posts, and I have to say, I am really looking forward to reading the whole thing! Thanks for the teaser!

Melanie

Posted by: Blogger Melanie Golden at 11/02/2009 12:05 PM

What a great excerpt. I can't wait to read the rest. I'm hooked!

Posted by: OpenID angel28140 at 11/02/2009 2:10 PM

From that excerpt, I found myself needing more. Crossing my fingers big time for this one!

Posted by: Blogger Kristen at 11/02/2009 4:22 PM

Please enter me in the contest!

Thanks,
krae991@yahoo.com

Posted by: Anonymous Kelsey at 11/02/2009 5:46 PM

I'd love to win!! :) I've had my eye on Shade for quite some time and now I want it even more!

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Posted by: Blogger Sara at 11/02/2009 6:03 PM

Holy crap, that was awesome! I haven't heard much of your book before, but I had a 'WTF NO' reaction when it stopped. And that's a good thing.

Can't wait to read! :D

Posted by: Blogger KatieDoll at 11/02/2009 6:12 PM

Wow, sounds great!! Can't wait to take a peek at the book!!

Thanks for a great contest!

Dottie :)

gymmom_027@yahoo.com

Posted by: Blogger My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) at 11/02/2009 7:28 PM

Shade looks simply amazing!

Posted by: Blogger Erica at 11/02/2009 9:10 PM

Sounds great! Please enter me!

belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger purplg8r at 11/02/2009 10:15 PM

Great scene! Can't wait to read Shade. I'm not a young adult by any stretch of the imagination, but my wife is a Young Adult librarian and she's recommended a lot of recent YA books to me -- things I would normally have missed out on. So much of it is great for readers of all ages! Maybe reading it will keep me young. Does it work that way? Well if not, I might just choose to believe it anyhow. :)

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 11/03/2009 3:22 AM

Rose: Thank you! I love red, too. I use it in SHADE sort of as a symbol of life. Also, it's at the opposite end of the visual spectrum from violet, which is why ghosts hate it--it vibrates at a frequency they can't deal with. That's the theory, anyway. ;-)

Kiyote: And you shall have a chance! :-)

Rachel & Letter Garden: Thanks! Good luck in the drawings!

Victoriasdreams: I love SciFiGuy's blog--he seems really really nice.

emmad: Sadly, it can't go on any pile until it comes out in May. But when it does, thanks for putting it in yours!

Chris J: You're welcome! It's been so much fun having all these great authors on the blog. Maybe I'll do it again next year.

Janicu: Thanks! I think you'll like it. It's got many elements common with the vamp books--music, contemporary setting, enough humor to keep it from being grim, etc.

Amy Jo: Welcome to the blog! I hope many of you keep coming back in November. I will try to be as entertaining as my guests have been. ;-)

Michelle: Glad you enjoyed it!

Dog is demanding her morning walk, but I'll be back soon to answer the rest of the comments.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/03/2009 10:16 AM

Missing fathers and a secret ritual at Newgrange? A whole change in the way people see the world? Sign me up! :)(And dang, that dress is gorgeous...)

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 11/03/2009 10:28 AM

Jeanne: There are so many wonderful YA UF's out there now, it's hard to keep up. And I think it's a very good idea for Mom to read them first. ;-)

Kevin: What a great husband you are! I'm glad your wife enjoys the vamps. And if you're a zombie guy, all I can say is...wait 'til next year. *evil grin*

Melanie: Ooh, people are talking about it already? My ears are burning... :-)

angel, Erica, Dottie & Kristen: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Good luck in the drawing!

Kelsey: You are hereby entered.

Sara: Thank you! I'm glad it's whetted your appetite. ;-)

KatieDoll: LOL! SHADE doesn't come out for six months and fifteen days (not that I'm counting or anything ;-), so there'll be a lot more about it out there eventually.

purplg8r: You're entered! :-)

Ken: I think that's one reason why a lot of adults like to read YA (besides the fact that they are some of the best books out there now, hands down). It lets us experience all the fun aspects of that age without any of that nasty reality stuff. At the end of the book, we don't have homework to do and colleges to apply to.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/03/2009 10:36 AM

enter me into the contest Jeri! I'm very excited for this book!

Lexie
Lexie.Cenni(@)gmail.com

Posted by: Blogger Lexie at 11/03/2009 11:33 AM

Thanks for the nice little bonus. It sounds like an interesting book.

Posted by: OpenID dan-phi at 11/03/2009 12:20 PM

Gorgeous cover!!! And love the concept, love the prequel scene... I'll definitely be watching for Shade in May!

Cara

Posted by: Blogger Cara King at 11/03/2009 6:40 PM

Hi Jeri! I am so intrigued...but also sad because I can't read more yet! I can't WAIT for SHADE!! :) Thanks for sharing that with us!

Kim
bookbutterfly9(at)gmail(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger Book Butterfly (Kim) at 11/03/2009 9:31 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger Lori at 11/04/2009 10:03 AM

You know I absolutely adore you Jeri and it is SO cool that I recognize places you write about being a Baltimoron myself. I must confess I have never eaten at Chiapperallis (see I can't even spell it) in my life. I know....shocking right? I can not wait to read Shade. I am so excited about you writing a YA that I can share with my daughter. You rock!! (Oh and you still need to make it out to a P.U.S.H. show...soon I hope........)

Posted by: Blogger Lori at 11/04/2009 10:05 AM

Looking forward to Shade!

Posted by: Blogger greytfriend at 11/04/2009 1:03 PM

Can't wait for shade!!

Posted by: Anonymous carrie at 11/04/2009 8:49 PM

alanajoli: I know, that dress makes me think twice about having dessert!

Lexie: You're entered--and thank you so much, BTW, for bidding on the marked-up Wicked Game! Good luck!

dan-phi: Glad you enjoyed it!

Cara King: Thank you! I wish I could take credit for the cover, but my entire involvement consisted of me going OOOOH! when they showed it to me. ;-)

Kim: I'll be posting an excerpt as soon as I get the go-ahead from my publisher. We're still making little tweaks here and there to the text.

Lori: This book is CHOCK FULL of Baltimore. And I hope I can get to a show soon, too!

greytfriend & carrie: Thanks, me, too!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/04/2009 9:55 PM

I'd love to win this ARC.

Posted by: Blogger Karen in TN at 11/05/2009 1:21 PM

I squeaked into this drawing today by accident and must say love the book cover even if not the final it is really nice looking. Thanks for the tidbit. Cannot wait for the release date, looks like a very good read.
Thank you for allowing us the chance and really hope that win the ARC of this one. Good luck to all.....
Jackie B. in Central Texas

Posted by: Blogger jacabur1 at 11/05/2009 2:05 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger victoriasdreams at 11/05/2009 11:30 PM

i cant wait til this book comes out. yippie! please sign me up thanks for the oppt. :)

Posted by: Blogger victoriasdreams at 11/05/2009 11:36 PM

That prequel is a grabber. I'd love to win the book. Please enter me in the contest.

Posted by: Blogger Catie at 11/06/2009 2:57 PM

Thanks for sharing the prequel with us. I'm looking forward to reading Shade.

Posted by: Blogger Angela at 11/06/2009 2:59 PM

Awesome prequel, can't wait to read the book!

Stacy
booknerdd(at)gmail(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger Stacy at 11/06/2009 3:17 PM

Oh, Oh, OH! I know I am gonna really love this one. But then...you know I am such a sucker for your work. You "get" what I like and put it in book form so I can read it....it's a very good plan. :D

Debi

P.S. I signed a contract. You know what for...we discussed "it" at RT.
:D

Posted by: Blogger Debi Murray at 11/06/2009 3:24 PM

That was an excellent prequel snippet! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to read SHADE and would love to be entered. Thanks!

Posted by: Blogger Angiegirl at 11/06/2009 4:10 PM

Oh my goodness! What a contest! And the post....definitely a good teaser for book lovers....I can't wait to read the actual book! Count me in for the contest!!

**off to post on blog sidebar...

grgenius(at)go(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger GMR at 11/06/2009 4:22 PM

not only is that one hot book cover (really it is, and I do sadly, sometimes start to judge things by their covers...just a little)--but there's reading for us, too? You're too nice!!

-Lucile

Posted by: Blogger Book Sp(l)ot at 11/06/2009 5:54 PM

Love the synopsis for Shade. I'm planning to get this for both myself and my 15 yr old daughter to read. She's always looking for new YA. Thanks for the chance to win the ARC. :)

Posted by: Blogger Leslie at 11/06/2009 9:25 PM

I would love a chance to win a great book thank you

Posted by: Blogger victoriasdreams at 11/07/2009 1:54 AM

OMG, im so excited for this book i cannot EVEN tell you, Jeri! i hope i win! :)

Posted by: Anonymous Jennzah at 11/07/2009 11:46 AM

Karen: Thanks for entering!

Jackie: I love the cover, too--it's my favorite one yet. :-)

victoriasdreams: I can't wait either--May seems a million years away some days, and then other days feels like it's right around the corner!

Catie, Stacy, & Angela: Glad you enjoyed the prequel!

Debi: It's true, I just channel your innermost wishes and sculpt them into a story. ;-) And congratulations!!

Angiegirl: Thanks! I can't wait to see what you think of SHADE.

GMR: Thank you so much for spreading the word--you rock!

Lucile: A good cover is probably the single biggest factor in getting a reader to pick up a book by a new author. I feel so lucky to have gotten such a talented designer and photographer.

Leslie: That's wonderful that you and your daughter can read some of the same books. Makes for good dinner conversation, I bet! :-)

Jennzah: Sooo sorry, but you missed the cutoff time. There'll be more chances to win SHADE in the coming months, though!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/09/2009 8:36 AM

The winner of a signed ARC of SHADE is...Leah! Congrats! Leah, please send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. I'll be the only one who sees it, promise!

Thanks to everyone for all your amazing comments on the SHADE cover and prequel scene. I was so nervous posting this, for some reason.

Anyway, there'll be more chances to win ARCs and early copies of SHADE in the coming months, so stop by again!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/09/2009 8:39 AM

GREAT prequel segment, Jeri! Nicely done. :D

Posted by: Blogger Shannon Delany at 11/10/2009 6:01 PM

Jeri, I just found this after some digging. This prequel really ties all the inferred responses in the actual book together. Wow. And it was great to get one more sip of this universe. I love it. You've officially taken the spot of my favorite female author.

Posted by: Blogger Carrie at 1/15/2010 3:59 PM

Thanks, Carrie! I think you're the first person to read it *after* having read the book/ARC.

And I'm gratified and honored to be your favorite author.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 1/15/2010 4:06 PM

I don't know how I missed this for so long, but it was a really great piece of story to add. And it really does a great job showing just why Aura is so worried about her relationship with Logan. IMO he never said or did anything to make her think that of him (or at least never made me think that way), but to see that someone else had a hand at taking her fears and putting them more toward the surface, and making them viable makes me sympathize with Aura more.

Posted by: Blogger Kendra at 7/07/2011 2:43 PM

I read "Bridge" in Enthralled and I am so excited to read this series!! I loved this prequel! I cannot wait to read more about Aura and Logan.

Posted by: Blogger Tammi at 10/18/2011 1:24 PM

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NEW RELEASE!

This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**

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Shattered

"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

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Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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