Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blogtoberfest kickoff: Rosemary Clement-Moore!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the first day of the Halloween & Homecoming Blog Party! If you missed last night's introductory post because you were maybe watching Glee--like everyone else except those preparing for blog parties--you can catch up now. Go ahead. We'll wait.

Welcome back!

I was very psyched when our first guest, Rosemary Clement-Moore, agreed to kick things off for us. She recently won the Rita Award for Best YA Novel of 2008 (for Hell Week) and is the president of the Young Adult chapter of RWA (pronounced Yarrr-wah, as pirate-y as possible). She's also an all-around spectacular person.

Rosemary is giving away a signed copy of her latest novel, The Splendor Falls. Kirkus Reviews had this to say: "Long, satisfying and just chilling enough, this will please a wide audience and leave readers hoping for more." And believe me, the folks at Kirkus don't say nice things unless they really mean it.

Party on, Rosemary!

* * * *

Everyone knows the best part of Halloween is the costumes.

For me, it was never the sweets. Even as a child, I wasn’t only a picky eater, I was a picky CANDY eater, and I gave ninety percent of my loot away.

No, I loved to dress up. In theory, anyway. My problem was that since my parents had to shell out money for dance recital costumes every May, they were keen to recycle. So until I was old enough to protest that I didn’t want to be a ballerina Every Single Year, I was, in fact, a ballerina Every Single Year.

(My brother was a pirate Every Single Year, but this was by choice. Or maybe not, because his name is Peter, so there’s something of an alliterative imperative.)

So, my first year of Not A Ballerina, Mom asks me what I want to be.

“A princess,” I say. And Mom is cool with this because a princess costume looks amazingly like a ballerina costume, just with different shoes.

Next year, Mom suggests “black cat,” but at least it’s not a ballerina. It is, however, a pair of ears and my ballet leotards with a tail pinned to the seat. Mom is WAY smarter than I am.

The next year I wise up, and the answer is: “Nancy Drew.”

No objections from Mom. I get her sweater set and a tweed skirt and saddleshoes, just like the cover of The Hidden Staircase, flip up the ends of my reddish-brown-but-not-really-“Titian” hair, grab a magnifying glass and flashlight and I’m ready to go.

Only no one knows who I am. I am asked if I’m a “teacher” or a “crossing guard” or, appallingly, “nerd” (but I think that kid was just being mean).

The problem was, I was as picky about my costumes as I was about my candy. I didn’t want to be scary, or ugly, or an inanimate object. And the characters in my head--like the girl detective experiment--didn’t translate into much of a visual picture.

Already I was finding that the cool part of being someone else wasn’t what they looked like, but what they did. The characters in my head were space fighter pilots and monster hunters and, yes, girl detectives. They were princesses who slew dragons.

Which is how I ended up a writer. I could “be” any character I wanted, and I wasn’t limited by what my Mom had time to sew, or the cost of materials. I only had to make the picture with words.

I still love to dress up for Halloween. With the whole month still to plan my costume, I’m thinking of dressing up this year as the character from my latest book, The Splendor Falls. I figure it will be an easy costume for me.

She is, after all, a ballerina.

* * * *

To enter to win The Splendor Falls, leave a comment below. For complete rules, read the introductory post. It's got important stuff.

Deadline for entry: Thursday, October 8, 11:59pm Eastern time. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED--THANKS!

Thanks again to Rosemary for being first in the pool!

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Halloween & Homecoming: A Blogtoberfest!

(I am somewhere in this Homecoming photo from Loudoun County High School. Click the picture for a larger version. First person to find me gets to make fun of my eighties' hair.)

To celebrate my five-year blog anniversary and the not-so-far-off-anymore release of Shade, I'm hosting a month-long, mega-bonanza-giveaway blog party for fans of YA fiction.

Every weekday (and maybe a weekend or two), a fabulous author will blog about Halloween or Homecoming, and also give away a signed book or ARC to one lucky commenter.

Then at the end of the month....

The grand prize....

A package of every single book in the contest, delivered to the winner's door, courtesy of moi. That's over $300 worth of reading bliss.

The Schedule:

October 1: Rosemary Clement-Moore
October 2: June 2010 debut author Shannon Reinbold-Gee
October 5: Saundra Mitchell
October 6: Sarah Beth Durst
October 7: Megan Crewe
October 8: Nancy Holder
October 9: Kelly Parra
October 10: Lauren Baratz-Logsted - new addition!
October 12: Amanda Ashby
October 13: Shana Norris
October 14: Linda Joy Singleton
October 15: Linda Gerber
October 16: December 2009 debut author Alexandra Diaz
October 19: Melissa Walker
October 20: Sydney Salter
October 21: Christine Marciniak
October 22: Tricia Mills
October 23: Simone Elkeles
October 24: Maggie Stiefvater--new addition!
October 26: Stephanie Kuehnert
October 27: Carrie Jones
October 28: Jennifer Echols
October 29: PC Cast
October 30: Me
October 31: Rachel Vincent--new addition!

Schedule is subject to change.

The Rules:

1. Contest open to U.S. residents only. This isn't because we're cheap and don't want to pay international postage--some of us are international ourselves. It's because I'm trying to keep this contest legal and can only keep track of one country's laws at a time. Sorry!

2. To enter the daily contests, simply comment on that day's post. After a week, a winner will be drawn using a random number generator. All daily contest commenters will be automatically entered in the grand prize drawing.

3. Retail value of grand prize: $307.61. Retail value will increase (and be updated here) as more authors join the party.

4. Odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

5. Names of winners will be posted in the comments of that day's post, and in the post that appears the day after the drawing. Winners have one week to claim their prize by contacting me via e-mail at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. If the winner does not contact me by that time, I will draw another name at random.

6. Grand prize drawing will take place Saturday, November 7, 11:59pm and will be announced in a blog post on Monday, November 9. The winner will have one week to claim his or her prize by contacting me via e-mail at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. If the winner does not contact me by that time, I will draw another name at random.

7. No purchase is required.

I didn't have any Halloween photos on my computer, but here's Meadow looking pretty scary! (Gargoyle audition, maybe?)


See you tomorrow, and the next day, and next week, and--well, you get the picture.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kittens having kittens!

I'm way overdue on updating you on our current foster cat, Twinkle. I assure you, it's not because we want to hide her from the world so that no one ever adopts her. Really.

We've had her since mid-August, nursed her through a case of Coccidia (don't ask) as well as a spay operation, the recovery to which went more slowly than usual because she wouldn't take it easy afterward and ended up with some swelling around her sutures. You try to keep a nine-month-old kitten "quiet and still."

What's she like, you ask? She's a terrible, horrible, naughty kitten. She chews on boxes, and she--um, well, uh....

Okay, she's pretty much perfect. She gets along well with Misha and Meadow, she's cuddly, playful, well-behaved at the vet's and when getting medicine at home. She's so cute, it almost makes my head explode.

Editor kitteh edits. (That's a red pen if you can't tell.) on Twitpic

(Click for larger version--hold onto your head.)

But that box-chewing thing. You don't want her. She should just stay with us indefinitely, for the next sixteen or seventeen years.

Instead, let me direct your attention to her four lovely kittens. Poor Twinkle got knocked up during her first heat when she was only six months old. She showed up at the Howard County (MD) animal shelter ready to pop. They immediately sent her to the vet to be spayed and the kittens aborted, since their shelter was already chock full o' kittens.

The morning of the surgery, the vet walked in to discover that she'd given birth during the night. (Twinkle, not the vet.) So these kittens were Meant to Be.

I met the whole litter at the foster cat coordinator's house when I picked up Twinkle. Jet was my favorite--the runt of the litter, he's a little feline dynamo. He never stopped moving or playing the whole time I was there. He's much cuter than this picture.


His favorite sibling is Andy (who was called Annie when I met her--I mean, him). Andy is gorgeous, and quite the adventurer. I would love to see them adopted together. Here's a really bad picture of Andy. He doesn't usually look this drunk:

Then there's Onyx. Sweetie pie Onyx. The polar opposite of Jet--he's laid-back, happy to just hang out and be petted. Perfect for a quieter household. Here he is with his favorite sibling, Tootsie the Tortoiseshell. Tootsie is like a miniature version of Twinkle, personality-wise: friendly, affectionate, playful, and a Collector of Things. It would be great if Tootsie and Onyx could go home together.


If you live in Maryland, Northern Virginia, DC, Delaware, or south central Pennsylvania and are looking for a kitten (or two--they're better in pairs), or know someone who is, please consider one of these babies. (Click on their links for more info on adopting from Tails of Hope.) It would make me so happy to see Twinkle's kids go to good homes.

Note: This is not an "OMG SAVE THE KITTENS!" plea. They will stay in foster care until they're adopted. But they'll be four among a mess of kittens (there were 15 when I was there), and I would love to see them go to a Forever Home where they can have their very own people.

Just like their mom. Little box-chewing, heart-stealing minx.

----------------
Now playing: The Blues Brothers - Peter Gunn Theme

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Podcast with my agent & WVMP e-book updates

My awesome agent Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd. just did a great podcast interview with Jon Armstrong of If You're Just Joining Us.

Aspiring writers, hark! The interview is a lot of fun and very enlightening. She discusses myths about agents (some of them aren't myths), the future of publishing (don't ask), her great Twitter conversion (yes, I told her so!), and how not to pursue an agent (hint: stay within the law and basic social codes).

I've also found the Sony eBook versions of my books, including the WVMP books, which as I mentioned last week, are also now available for the Kindle.

If you want the Adobe or Microsoft eReader versions, try Barnes & Noble or Fictionwise.

I've got some chunks of good news coming down the pike, including a big blog party next month. Stay tuned!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

WVMP in Kindle,and release date news

Great news for Kindle lovers: Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone are finally available for your cherished device!

Other electronic formats should be available shortly, and of course I'll let you know when that happens. Or you can let me know, if you see it first.

The third book in the WVMP Radio series, Bring on the Night, will be released on August 1, 2010. I know, it's a long time after Bad to the Bone, but the good news is that the fourth book, tentatively titled Lust for Life, will be released six months later, in Spring 2011. So your patience will be rewarded! They'll also all be in mass market paperback (and so will Bad to the Bone as of February 23, 2010), so your wallet will thank you, too.

The change in schedule is due to the release of my first young adult novel, Shade, on May 18, 2010. My publisher wants to space out the releases so they don't compete with each other and so I don't, you know, go insane.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Two interviews & book giveaways

Quick post between vet visits (nothing serious, just routine checkups):

For the few people who are actually on the internet this close to the holiday weekend, your diligence is rewarded! I have two interviews up with two different signed books being given away.

Furthermore, I did not repeat myself ONCE between the two interviews. Although I may have used the word "and" in both.

Jocelynn Drake's giveaway of Wicked Game continues through tomorrow, and is now joined by a short interview about the WVMP series. Then Brooke Reviews has a longer interview where I discuss entirely different things, and where I'm giving away a signed copy of Bad to the Bone.

Yes, I forgot this was Labor Day weekend. I'm an idiot. But hey, those of you who actually check it out will have an even better chance than usual to win, because you won't have to compete with people who are out having fun.

Not that reading an interview with me isn't fun.

Anyway, have a great weekend, holiday or not!

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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**

More about THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com.

NOW AVAILABLE!

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!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

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

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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