Thursday, October 28, 2010

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Tour (+ Giveaway!) - Denise Jaden

This week's Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest is Denise Jaden, one of my fellow debut YA authors from the class of 2K10! I met the fabulous Denise at BookExpo America this year, where she accompanied the class on all of our events, even though her book wasn't out for several months. Talk about supportive!

My Simon Pulse editor, Annette Pollert, sent me Denise's debut, Losing Faith, because she knows I love to read phenomenal contemporary YA novels. It hit an out-of-the-park home run with me, not only for the sympathetic and complex heroine (which I expected), but for its courage in dealing with a touchy subject that is central to a lot of people's lives: religion.

At the beginning of the book, the main character Brie loses her sister Faith in a tragic accident that the police suspect was actually a suicide. Faith had been a devout and passionate Christian, and as Brie became a nonbeliever (in religion, at least, if not in God), the two sisters grew apart. After Faith's death, the old fond memories gradually return to Brie, and she remembers how much Faith meant to her.

But Losing Faith isn't only about mourning a loved one and exploring belief or the lack thereof. It's also a riveting mystery. Despite her parents' objections but enabled by their emotional withdrawal, Brie begins to investigate Faith's death, at first to determine whether it was suicide or an accident. The clues lead to an even more disturbing possibility.

The true testimony to this book's enthralling nature? I read Losing Faith in two sittings--on the same night Mockingjay failed my fifty-page test. (I'll get back to that book later, and I'm sure I'll love it. I just wasn't in the right mood, and it was due back at the library, so it was all-or-nothing.)

More about LOSING FAITH:

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Praise for LOSING FAITH:

Strong in its characterization…satisfying…a thoughtful read.

This book is wonderful. I stayed up way too late because I couldn't put it down. Tessa is one of my all-time favorite characters - fascinating, nuanced - she lived for me, jumped right off the page. Terrific read!
- Janet Fox, author of Faithful and Get Organized Without Losing It

Suspense, religion, romance, teenage angst—this book has it all and it is all well done. Losing Faith was an amazing read that hooked me in the beginning and when it was done I was well-satisfied with the conclusion. Great from start-to-finish!
- Crystal at

And now, my interview with the lovely (and incredibly fun to hang out with, did I mention that?) Ms. Jaden:

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 love to walk in Tessa Lockbaum's shoes for a day. She's tough and full of spirit, does all the things I wish I could do. Mostly I just think it would be interesting to be in her 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 ;-) ?

I'd love to have Alis in my world. He's sweet and deep and I know I could trust him with anything. Oh, and he's cute too!

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

I recently attended a high school archery competition to incorporate into my next novel. It was so interesting, and I even got to try my hand at shooting!

4. What's your earliest memory?

This is kind of gross, but I think the first memory I have is as a toddler, throwing up behind my parent's big armchair.

5. Do you have any phobias?

Like my main character, Brie, I have a fear of heights. Though I don't think mine is as severe as hers!

Simon Pulse is giving away one free copy of Losing Faith, because they rock! (Not that I'm biased--okay, I am, but I thought they rocked even before they were my publisher, so trust me on this.)

To enter, leave a comment below, about the interview, about my thoughts on the book--or just wish Denise a happy debut! Deadline: Monday, November 1, 11:59pm eastern. US shipping only.

Thanks to Denise for stopping by, and congrats on your wonderful new book!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New WVMP short story!

Back in July, I coincided my announcement of an anthology short story sale with LeBron James's announcement that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to "take his talents to South Beach" (whut-EVerrr).

In a bizarre confluence of sporting and publishing events, that short story was published yesterday, the same day that LeBron James had his regular season debut with the Miami Heat. As Spike Lee said of the 2004 ALCS, "You can't script this stuff!"

Let's just hope that "Thief" and its YA vampire anthology, Eternal: More Love Stories With Bite has better luck than LeBron and the Heat, who lost to the Boston Celtics last night (woo-hoo! Go Celtics!).

Eternal is already shipping from online booksellers and can be found on the shelves of many Barnes & Nobles and Borders. As always, you can get signed copies from my local indie bookstore, Constellation Books, or order from Mysterious Galaxy,, or Barnes and Noble.

Eternal is edited by the fabulous PC Cast, author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling House of Night series. The anthology will be listed under her name, so if you go to your store to ask for it, ask for "Eternal: More Love Stories by PC Cast." Don't ask for the latest Jeri Smith-Ready book, because they'll give you Bring on the Night (which you should probably buy, anyway, while you're there, if you don't have it, just to be safe, just sayin').

The anthology includes stories by Heather Brewer, Rachel Caine, Claudia Gray, Nancy Holder, and Lili St. Crow. They are all awesome, but you could've guessed that.

"Thief" is set within my WVMP Radio universe, but it's a YA story, so obviously it's not about Ciara. The narrator is her sixteen-year-old cousin Mary Cassidy O'Riley (aka, "Cass"), an Irish Traveller from South Carolina's low country. As is mentioned in the early WVMP novels, Ciara's parents are members of this mysterious, reclusive group of Americans who are often mistakenly called "Gypsies" due to their nomadic existence and their reputation of, uh, trickery.

Of course, it's never fair to paint an entire people with one negative brush. Plenty of Travellers lead perfectly respectable, legitimate occupations. They're devoutly religious and dedicated to the well-being of their families. But any Traveller will tell you there are always bad apples.

Here's Cass's take on it:

It's true what I said, that not all Irish Travellers are thieves. Thanks to the media and a few big arrests by the feds (I miss you, Granddad!), people think all any of us do is run scams and pick pockets.

But it's not totally true. Travellers just have a bad reputation. One we O'Rileys aim to live up to.

Imagine Ciara with curly hair and no conscience.

If you like Cass, you'll see more of her in the next WVMP book, Let it Bleed, coming out in August of next year. But you don't have to have read any of the WVMP novels to read the story, or vice versa. "Thief" stands completely alone.

Check out my website's Eternal page and the original announcement post for more details.

If you get a chance to pick it up, drop me a line and let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WVMP Mega-Prize for charity!

Some of you might remember how last year I gave away free trade paperbacks of Bad to the Bone to anyone who donated to Doctors Without Borders for their relief efforts after the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. They were one of the charities already on the ground at the time of the earthquake, and their much-needed work continues to this day.

One of my readers, who runs the fabulous blog For What It's Worth, took up the cause and held a giant multi-author charity auction for Doctors Without Borders.

And now she's doing it again! This time auction winners have the option of donating to Doctors Without Borders or the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that provides a "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

What you can win from me in this charity auction:

Signed copies of:

But that's not all! You'll also get, from the WVMP CafePress store:

  • A WVMP Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll button
  • A WVMP Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll coffee mug. I have one. It's awesome. I wish I had 2 or 3.

This package has a retail value of over $50, not counting the PRICELESS value of my scribbled signature, personalized to you.

So go forth! Bid! You have until Thursday.

Now playing: Great Lake Swimmers - Various Stages
via FoxyTunes

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Linda Gerber

The winner of Lauren Strasnick's Her and Me and You is...Vivien! Thanks to everyone who commented this week.

Today's Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest is Linda Gerber! I first "met" Linda last year when she took part in Blogtoberfest right here on the blog, and then we met in person at the Teen Author Carnival during Book Expo week in May. We were on a very interesting Mystery & Fantasy panel together, which was when I first heard about her fascinating new book, Trance. I've been very excited about this one for months!

TRANCE has already been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection. Woo-hoo!


Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what’s to come—a trance. She’s pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she’s never been able to stop the event from actually occurring—not even when the vision was of her mother’s fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn’s life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear: it’s up to her to save Jake from a near-certain death.

Combining romance and suspense, Linda Gerber delivers a paranormal thriller that is unique in its ability to appeal to sci-fi and chick lit fans alike.

About the Author

Linda Gerber ( is the author of the popular Death by Bikini, Death by Latte, and Death by Denim as well as two books in the S.A.S.S. series. She lives with her family in Dublin, Ohio.

And now, my interview with the lovely Linda herself!

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?

Probably Gina from TRANCE because I would love to be as uninhibited and free as she is. Plus I could write her husband Danny home from Afghanistan and make him totally hot and romantic and that wouldn’t be so bad, either.

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

While I was writing NOW AND ZEN, I discovered that sumo wrestlers believe it’s bad luck to wash their mawashi (that little diaper-looking belt they wear) – so they don’t. *shudder*

3. What's your earliest memory?

I remember dancing around on the back patio at my family’s old house when I was probably about three or so, being enthralled by the colored shadow thrown by my organza Easter skirt.

4. Do you have any phobias?

The dentist. I actually love my dentist and his entire staff. They are beyond wonderful. But the entire dental experience gives me cold chills. The smell, the whine of the drill, the skritch, skritch, skritch of the metal tools the hygienist uses on my teeth… gaah!

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

Donna Jo Napoli because her writing is gorgeous and I would love to learn at the feet (or computer) of such a master.

I am really glad I read Linda's answer to #4 after going to the dentist yesterday. *squirm* Thanks to Linda for stopping by, and Happy Release Week!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour (+ Giveaway!) - Lauren Strasnick

Whew! I've just met what I hope is my last book deadline of the year. I turned in Let It Bleed, the fourth book in the WVMP Radio series. And...well, it's rough. Luckily, my motto is, "Don't fear the rewrite!"

Moving on, our latest Girlfriends Cyber Circuit'er is Lauren Strasnick, whose second book, Her and Me and You, came out last week from Simon Pulse, who have generously offered up a copy for giveaway!

I recently read and loved Lauren's debut, Nothing Like You. I can definitely see why it was nominated for a Rita Award for best Young Adult romance. The characters are painfully real, and it was so easy to get inside the main character's skin. I couldn't put it down!

About Her and Me and You

Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, October 2010

First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.
Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred–and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred–and something about Adina–that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world, no matter the consequences.

Some HER & ME & YOU Lovin':

“Strasnick’s slim second offering packs a lot into its short chapters: divorce, broken friendships, crushes, the lines between love and sex and more. Characterization, scenes, dialogue and setting are seamlessly distilled into so few sharp, image-rich phrases that the novel reads almost as if it were written in verse. Less is definitely more here, and readers are plunged into Alex’s physical and emotional world within three to four words. Although the plot moves swiftly, the author’s ability to capture Alex’s inner world in so few words give the novel depth and balance. Complex and thought-provoking.” –Kirkus

Now, my interview with the lovely Ms. Strasnick:

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?

Oh god, I give my characters such miserable lives! Ha. I’d have to choose Holly from NOTHING LIKE YOU. She lives in Topanga Canyon, listens to good classic rock, eats bean & cheese burritos, has a sweet dog named Harry, and lives next store to an adorable dude.

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 ;-) ?

Fred, from H&M&Y! He’s cute and he wears corduroy.

3. What's your earliest memory?

Spinal tap! No joke! I was four.

4. Do you have any phobias?

See question 4. Also: raw chicken, flying, freeways, death.


Poor baby! I had a spinal tap when I was 3, and luckily I don't remember it, because I've heard they're really nasty. *cringe*

Unless she's talking about the movie This is Spinal Tap, and actually at four years old, that might be kinda traumatic, too.

Anyway, on to the giveaway! In keeping with the "twin" theme of Her and Me and You, answer me this:

If you're not a twin, would you want to be a twin?

If you actually are a twin, what's your favorite book/movie/TV portrayal of twins?

Regardless of your own twinnage status, would you like to date a twin? Date both twins? Have you ever dated a twin? (I have, and no, it wasn't the least bit confusing--they had different hairstyles, and mine was way cuter.)

Eligibility: US addresses only
Deadline: Friday, October 15, 11:59pm eastern.

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

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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**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"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.

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Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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