Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday #9 - Smart Chicks tour & SHADE UK giveaways

Try to forget, for the moment, that it's no longer Tuesday. Okay, thanks.

I'm hard at work on LET IT BLEED (WVMP Book 4)! It's weird, because I first started writing this book way back on December 27. I've had to put it down several times to work on SHIFT (which is finally complete--woo-hoo!). Such are the travails of writing two series simultaneously. Not that I would ever want to give that up.

So finishing LET IT BLEED is like the end of that Waitresses song, "Christmas Wrapping," where the guy and girl keep trying to get together but something always comes between them. But instead of waiting until Christmas, I'll be done by October 11, less than three weeks away. Ack!

Working on LET IT BLEED lets me reunite with one of my favorite albums of the last year, THE SELDOM SEEN KID by Elbow. I first started listening to it when rewriting BRING ON THE NIGHT, but it wasn't quite dark enough for that book. It's perfect for LET IT BLEED (especially the song "Audience with the Pope," which sort of saves Ciara's life). In this book, Ciara is confronted with some not-so-savory elements of her past, both her own and her family's. She decides to redeem herself once and for all, but of course it has to be in her own twisted way.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, SHADE was released in the UK on September 2. Here's a picture a reader sent me of it stacked up on a table at Waterstone's with several other dark YA paranormal releases (all with predominantly blue covers, note). Yay!

Over at the Book Smugglers, I wrote a guest blog about the music that inspired SHADE.

Here are a few giveaways of the UK version:

Jennzah's Jumbled Bookcase (deadline September 30, international entries welcome).

The Hiding Spot (signed copy, deadline October 21, international entries welcome).

This weekend I'll be appearing with the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour as it winds up its two-week tour of North America in Cincinnati, OH, and Brampton, Ontario (near Toronto). See the complete schedule here. Hope to see you there!

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Lucienne Diver

This week's guest on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is none other than author and literary agent extraordinaire, Lucienne Diver! Her Vamped YA series from Flux began last year with Vamped, and now Gina's adventures continue this week with ReVamped.

ReVamped…because fangs are always in fashion!

The Books:

In Vamped, Gina and her minions defeated a vampire vixen, a psycho-psychic and the vampire council of Mozulla, Ohio. Gina was all ready to expose vampires to the world in all their fanged fabulosity…until the Feds arrived to sweep everything under the rug and make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

In ReVamped, Gina and her boyfriend Bobby are sent undercover to infiltrate a New York high school where some seriously weird stuff is going down. Worse than that, Gina’s new super-secret identity is as goth-girl Geneva Belfry. No color palette to speak of. More chains than a bike rack. And don't even get her started on the shoes. At least she won’t be too worried about blood spatter when kicking the butt of her newest nemesis, who’s decided that the high school makes a perfect playground.

All the cool people love it:

“This is a witty vampire romance/adventure with plenty of heart and action. Diver has written a supernatural sequel to Vamped (Flux, 2009/VOYA August 2009) that will attract even reluctant readers. It is filled with wry twists, such as the difficulties of trying to apply mascara when, as vampire, you don’t have any reflection in the mirror, as well as the typical agonies of being young and trying to fit in.” —VOYA

“Gina, the 17-year-old fashionista of the undead, is back and as sassy as ever (Vamped, 2009). Thoroughly enjoyable, this sequel is a light, fizzy read… listening in on Gina’s thoughts and quick-witted dialogue is what makes this such a treat.” —Kirkus Reviews

Who she is:

Lucienne Diver is a writer by night and a literary agent by day. She blogs on LiveJournal, and her heroine Gina has a blog, too! How awesome is that?

My interview with the lovely Lucienne:

1. If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?

I’d sort of love to be my heroine Gina. She’s a little clothing-obsessed, but, well, okay, I sort of have to own that myself. Deep down, though, she has a good heart—brand new, never been used. Once the chink forms in her armor, she discovers that she’ll risk dishevelment and other fates worse than death for the sake of those she comes to care for. In fact, whenever the going got tough writing Vamped or Revamped, she’d willingly sacrifice the toes of her Prada pumps to kick me out of the way and take over. I wish all obstacles were as easy to surmount. Maybe with the right wardrobe…

Anyway, I love her deal now, panic later perspective on life.

2. On the flip side, which of your characters would you most like to bring to life in our world (as a friend or a little bit more ;-) ?

Well, I’m already married to a hot geek like Bobby, Gina’s boy-genius (*grin*), so for variety I guess I’d bring to life Ulric, the cocky goth-guy I introduced in Revamped. I sort of fell for him a wee bit. So did Gina, for that matter.

3. Let's say there's a TV show, movie, or recording artist that has a cult of you. Which is it? (i.e., what do you like that no one else you know likes)?

My favorite somewhat obscure singer is Christine Lavin, who writes wonderfully funny songs like "Shopping Cart of Love: The Play" (click for video). I’m not sure how well known she is outside the New York area, but I absolutely adore her. It would absolutely kick my butt for her to do a Vamped song.

(Jeri's note: LOVE Christine Lavin! She was one of the first artists my husband and I listened to together when we started dating. We especially loved "Sensitive New-Age Guy." OK, back to the interview.)

4. What's your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is when we were living in Arbutus, Maryland, in a little row house with honeysuckle behind it. My mother taught us how to suck the honey out of the blooms. Specifically, though, the memory involves a birthday/tea party my parents held for me out on our lawn. A mimosa tree dropped seed pods like flower petals, and it was about the best day of my life. We moved when I was five, so I don’t know how old I was at the party, but certainly younger than that.

5. Do you have any phobias?

Thankfully, I have no fear of seed pods! It’s funny, though, that I love the outdoors the way I do when my phobia is of anything with too many legs—spiders, centipedes, millipedes, cockroaches, silverfish…. (*Shudder*)


Yecch, I agree (although I usually leave the spiders and centipedes alone, because they eat the other bugs. But if they get near my bed, forget it. In the toilet.)

Thanks to Lucienne for stopping by, and congrats on the new release!


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Kristina Springer

Wow, it's been a long summer (don't even get me started), but we're back to say goodbye to the season of sun with an incredibly fun book!

This week's Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest is Kristina Springer, author of My Fake Boyfriends is Better Than Yours, which was released this past Tuesday from Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

Yeah, I'm pretty much sold on the title alone. And that cover cracks me up to no end.

It also reminded me of something I'd forgotten: when I was Tori's age, I made up a fake boyfriend. I wrote my best friend a series of letters from vacation, about the cute boy next door (Dennis, who did in fact exist--we played together all the time as kids, but when I was 12 and he was 14 I got maybe a glance, maybe).

In each letter things got progressively more romantic, until finally he kissed me! It was my very first attempt at YA romance, with me as the heroine.

I would pay anything to read those letters again, but I think my BFF burned them in a fit of jealousy. When I finally 'fessed up that Dennis had never kissed me, she wasn't mad--she was relieved!

So that's my fake boyfriend story (and shows I was a liar creative writer from a very early age). I'm sure Tori's is much better:

Seventh grade was supposed to be fun, but Tori is having major drama with her BFF, Sienna. Sienna changed a lot over the summer—on the first day of school she’s tan, confident, and full of stories about her new dreamy boyfriend. Tori knows that she’s totally making this guy up.

So Tori invents her own fake boyfriend, who is better than Sienna’s in every way. Things are going great—unless you count the whole lying-to-your-best-friend thing—until everyone insists Tori and Sienna bring their boyfriends to the back-to-school dance.

Praise for My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours

“The sheer exhaustion of a fake-boyfriend arms race, with the need to create fake email accounts and to come up with competing romantic gestures on the fly, is cleverly depicted.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The themes will resonate with any girl who’s ever gone through the hardships of middle school: friendship, boys, popularity, and, most importantly, choosing to do the right, but often more difficult, thing. A fun read.” –School Library Journal

“The dialogue is realistic, and Springer brings refreshing personalities to standard character types; Tori’s parents are divorced, but both parents are active in her life, for instance, and the popular girls aren’t mean.” –Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Kristina Springer is the author of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS and the forthcoming PUMPKIN PRINCESS (fall 2011). She has a Masters in Writing from DePaul University and she resides outside of Chicago with her husband and children.

Visit her at, or on Twitter or Facebook. She blogs at her own blog and on author2author.

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And interview with Kristina!

1. If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?

Jane in The Espressologist. I’d have so much fun!

2. What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?

How to clean pumpkin gush off a leather shoe.

3. What's your earliest memory?

Swimming in the baby pool in my back yard. I think I was two.

4. Do you have any phobias?

I’m afraid of sky-diving, bungee cord jumping etc. No plunging to the ground for me!

5. Which author, living or dead, would you most love to collaborate with?

Meg Cabot

Thanks to Kristina for stopping by and for reminding me of my complicated relationship with the truth!!

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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," 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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