Monday, March 29, 2010

Help fight MS and get a free book!

The last two years I have had the pleasure of participating in the Multiple Sclerosis Society's Walk MS, a 5K walk to raise money to fight this debilitating disease.

In the past, I've offered a chance to win an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of my upcoming book to everyone who donated to my team. Then about six months ago, I read an article that cautioned against requiring contest entrants to make a purchase for the chance to win a prize. It makes it sort of like a raffle, which is sort of like gambling, which is not-so-sort-of prohibited in some states.

So this year, if you donate to my team, you won't get a chance at a free book. You'll get a free book. Period. Just like when I offered free copies of the trade paperback version of Bad to the Bone for people who donated to Doctors Without Borders' Haiti relief efforts. The rules are the same as before:

Rules:

1. Donate at least $15 to my team, then send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com (MS Walk's website will send me an e-mail notifying me of your donation). For every $15 you donate, I'll give you one signed book. So if you donate $30, you get two books, and above that, you can do the math.

2. Giveaway will continue while supplies last, or until 8am Eastern time, Saturday, April 10, whichever comes first. Please state your first and second choices from the following list. Requiem for the Devil and Shade are not eligible, since I have no copies.

Wicked Game
Bad to the Bone
Eyes of Crow
Voice of Crow
The Reawakened

3, International readers welcome. However, it costs a bundle to ship a book overseas (at least $10 more than domestic), so if you are outside the US, please be a pal and only do this if you really really intend to read the book or give it to someone who will.

4. Retail value of books: $7.99 (Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone) and $15 (Eyes of Crow, Voice of Crow, and The Reawakened).

5. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

6. I'll personalize the book to you, unless you request otherwise (if you'd like me to sign it to a friend for a gift or simply put "eBay auction winner" ;-).

Thank you very much in advance for helping this great cause!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday #5 - SHADE ARCs for you & UK news

Oi! Have I got good news today. I've been sitting on this bit for a couple of months, but then today I saw this tweet from SimonKids_UK, so I knew it was public record:

we'll be publishing UK in OCTOBER 2010 - can't wait! RT @jsmithready Giving away signed ARC of SHADE @YABookQueen today. http://is.gd/aUe2L

Translated into non-Twitter speak, that means that Shade will be my very first book to be officially published in the United Kingdom! Here's the catalog page to prove it. (Note: the catalog says September--I will know which month it is for sure before then.)

If you're reading this in the UK, you might be thinking, but Jeri, I've seen your other books in stores here. True, they can be imported there, but the prices are often high, and the distribution is less widespread. This will be the first time an actual UK house will be publishing a book by me.

And before you ask, I don't know if there'll be a UK tour. Chances are slim, since it's my first book, but hey, on ne sait jamais. (I think I mentioned before that I randomly jump into French for no apparent reason. Certainly not to show off, since I often get it wrong.)

Anyway, as you can tell by the above tweet, YA Book Queen is having a drawing for a signed ARC of Shade. The contest runs through Thursday, and international entries are welcome!

Also, the amazing author Lisa Schroeder (I Heart You, You Haunt Me; Chasing Brooklyn) is holding a Shade ARC giveaway for a really good cause: libraries. For every unique commenter on her post between now and Wednesday, she will donate 50 cents to the Salem, Oregon, Public Library, as part of this week's Library Lovin' Blog Challenge. One commenter will get her ARC of Shade, which my editor very thoughtfully sent her.

If you're not familiar with Lisa's books, GO CHECK THEM OUT NOW! They are beautiful and lyrical and heartbreaking. If you love ghosts or verse novels--or heck, even if you think you don't love either, prepare to be wowed. If I ever get around to making my "If you liked Shade" page on this website, her books will be at the top of the list.

Review Roundup

Shade ARCs seem to be making their way out into the big bad blogging wilderness. Here are a few reviews that were sent to me, either by the reviewer or another person (I'm too much of a weenie to hunt them down myself):

Yzhabella's Bookshelf
The Neverending Shelf
Book Reviews by Jess

Also, RT Bookreviews just released their review today. The online review is only viewable by subscribers, so I'm just transcribing it here:

Smith-Ready writes movingly and well about music, first love and the drama of having too much responsibility thrust upon your teenage shoulders. Her world is first-rate and every one of her characters rings true. You'll want to read the next book in this exciting series immediately, but alas, you'll have to wait.

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Aura can see ghosts, but she's not the only one -- everyone born after the Shift can. Like the rest of her generation, she considers this a liability instead of an asset. But then her boyfriend, the sexy musician Logan, dies. Aura used to want to reverse the Shift, but with ghost-Logan around, she's not so sure. Enter dazzling Scottish exchange student Zachary, and Aura is torn between a living and a dead boy -- a dead boy who could turn Shade and be locked up for eternity. (SIMON PULSE, May, 320 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9781416994060, HC, 14 and Up

I love the summary, especially that last line. And the review paragraph is pretty sweet, too. My stomach is always in knots waiting for the RT review, so I can breathe again until the end of June, when they'll be reviewing Bring on the Night.

I am exactly halfway through the first draft of Shade's sequel, Shift. No kidding--I have 39,999 words in a planned 80K manuscript. This is when I usually sit down and say, OK, have I told half the story yet, or am I filling too much space with meandering scenes that will have to be cut? I think it's great to meander for a while, look around, explore, but at a certain point I have to remember where I'm going. Map check!

Okay, that's enough. Two more words and I'm over the hump!

----------------
Now playing: The Cure - Burn
via FoxyTunes

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Monday, March 22, 2010

SHADE excerpt & 1st SHADE-y interview

The website changeover is complete! Doesn't it look sweet?

No, your eyes aren't broken. The site looks the same, but underneath it works so much better. I can now change the wording of a page or update a link in about a minute instead of half an hour.

One unfortunate side effect to the change is that some links created prior to this weekend will no longer work. It's because the content-management system doesn't create an html file but rather directs to a

*snoooore*

Never mind.

And now that the evolution is complete, I can show you the entire first chapter of Shade, previously only accessible to my newsletter subscribers and the owners of Christopher Pike's Thirst 2 compendium. Enjoy.

Also, my first SHADE-y interview can be found at YA Book Queen. Find out where I came up with Aura's name, which young dude in the book is my favorite, and two cool things I can do to impress people at parties.

YA Book Queen will have an ARC giveaway for Shade tomorrow, so go show her the love!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guest blog - Do you believe in ghosts?

Hey, remember last week when I mentioned the class of 2k10 on Spring Break over at the Daily Dose? Even if you don't remember, my post is up today, on whether or not I believe in ghosts. The answer, of course, is rather complicated.

Everyone who comments on all the Spring Break posts will be entered to win a class of 2k10 prize pack, including an ARC of Shade.

So pop on over and tell me your "ghost stories"!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Website changes--invisible to the naked eye

At least, I hope they'll be invisible. This weekend, we're "deploying" (I'm told that's the term, like an invading tank battalion) my new content management system, which my web designer/husband (or is it husband/web designer?) has spent the last couple months building for me.

Please give him a round of applause.

What this means is that rather than having to boot up my old, slow computer so I can use Dreamweaver to alter the website's HTML code, I'll be able to update the website using an online form, quickly and easily from anywhere in the world, assuming I have an internet connection and, you know, electricity. And THAT means that it'll get updated in a more timely manner. Real time, not geological time.

The site will look pretty much the same, although there'll be little changes here and there. The first thing I'll be adding is the opening chapter of Shade, which you've already seen if you've subscribed to the newsletter. I can't link to it here, because once the new system is in place, many of the URLs will change, and it would be downright mean to post a link that will be obsolete tomorrow.

So if you stop by at some point tomorrow and things are a bit...chaotic, please be patient, and come back Sunday!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Elizabeth Scott

Today's guest on the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit is the ever-awesome Elizabeth Scott. When I first came to Simon Pulse over a year ago, my editor sent me a few books that she loved and thought I would love, too.

One of them was Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott, and it was one of my favorite reads of 2009. The characters were so real and believable, and while there was a lot of humor (always a plus for me), it only added to the depth, which is not always an easy thing for an author to pull off.

Now Elizabeth Scott has a new book out this week, called The Unwritten Rule, which sounds like a phenomenal read:

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like you best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.
Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...


What others are saying about The Unwritten Rule:

"Sarah and Ryan's relationship, with the visceral thrill of physical attraction, is beautifully captured, but it's the delicate balance between insecure Brianna's need to put Sarah down and Sarah's loyalty to her needy and lonely friend that will stay with the reader. The painfully abrupt ending fits the characters and story, and will leave readers wanting more. Scott's realistic dialogue and empathetic view of symbiotic relationships will have teens thinking she has been eavesdropping on their conversations. Romance readers will pick up this novel and discover fine, accessible writing many notches about the standard love story." -- Booklist

"I read this book in a few hours, all in the same night. It was impossible for me to walk away from, because I wasn't sure what was going to happen to the characters, and I couldn't even decide for myself what I actually wanted to happen. Did I think the best friend should get the guy and lose her best friend? Was the girl currently with the guy being mean? Was I mad at the guy for not going for what he wanted in the first place? I really liked how our main character considered the role of best friends in the media (especially movies). I found what she said to be so very true - best friends in movies are there to be awkward, to listen... not often to have as great a life as the more popular of the best friends. I was very satisfied with the ending, and agreed with the ways things turned out, even though I didn't know that that is what I wanted until it actually happened. Bravo, Elizabeth Scott!" -- Chick Loves Lit

"This is an emotional novel and one that will stick with you. It might sound like it'll be a fluffy chick lit romance, and while there is romance, it's certainly not fluff! If you've read anything by Elizabeth Scott, you know she writes great romances and this one is no exception. It's never an easy or light romance--it's heartwrenching and heartbreaking and real. The Unwritten Rule doesn't take the easy all will be perfect route to this story which I think makes the book even more realistic. This book will have you thinking about your friendships and relationships long after you read the last page." -- Green Bean Teen Queen

And now...my interview with Elizabeth Scott!

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?


No one! I like writing stories, but I don't want to be in them--I'm very happy with my 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 have to say I wouldn't like to see this happen--honestly, by the time a book comes out I've seen it and gone over it and rewritten it so many times that I actually can't read it. (That's right--I've never read one of my books!)

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

There's a certain country where there are--or were, it's not a country that gets written about a lot because it's very, very closed off--gold statues of a certain person all over the place. HUGE gold statues! (And for those of you wondering, you'll see that in my September 2010 book, Grace)

4. What's your earliest memory?

Looking out the window of my bedroom at the fields.

5. Do you have any phobias?

I'm not super crazy about Friday the 13th. Don't know why, but I just don't like that day!

----

Elizabeth Scott grew up in a town so small it didn't even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She's sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn't want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband; firmly believes you can never own too many books; and would love it if you visited her website.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Logan Keeley's St. Patrick's Day playlist

Like every other holiday, it's not the parades or the decorations or even the food that I love most (okay, food is a close second). It's the music.

St. Patrick's Day is no exception. As you can probably tell from my photo, I have a bit of Irish in me. (Side story: Once when I was in college I went to the emergency room because the infirmary nurse thought I might have appendicitis. When the doctor walked in, he said, "Aw, you've got the map of Ireland on your face." Insert joke about the real source of my pain here.)

Logan Keeley, Aura's boyfriend in Shade, is the frontman for an Irish-flavored punk/rock band called the Keeley Brothers, which he shares with his older brother Mickey and sister Siobhan and a couple of friends. Logan's life is music, whether it's creating it or listening to it, and like many Irish-Americans, he's fairly obsessed with his musical heritage.

A brief taste of Shade to elaborate, Aura's description of Logan's bedroom:
Logan’s room was spotless—at least as far as I could see in the warm, dim light from his desk lamp. The Irish flag hung on one wall, a smaller version of the one in the basement. (The Keeleys’ ancestors left Dublin in the 1840s, but they acted like they just hopped off the boat last week. Their wet bar had a slow-pour keg tap specially designed for Guinness, and Notre Dame football was a second religion.)

Another wall was all shelves—CDs and music books. There was no obvious order, but Logan could always find what he needed in two seconds. In the far corner, his battered skateboard sat abandoned. I thought I could see a layer of dust on it, but that might’ve just been the angle of the light.

On the wall above his bed hung posters of his two heroes—the entire lineup of the Baltimore Ravens, and The Pogues’ frontman Shane McGowan. His parents didn’t approve of the second—anybody who could get kicked out of an Irish punk band for drinking too much was a bad role model, they said.

(In case you're wondering, this is probably the single longest descriptive passage in the whole book. I'm usually allergic to such things, but a guy's room says so much about him.)

So I thought for St. Patrick's Day I'd share some of Logan's favorite songs. None of these will appear on the Shade playlist, which I'm working on now and can't wait to show you. It'll be a little different from my WVMP playlists, because it'll include some songs not mentioned in the text but that work really well with the scenes or characters.

Enjoy, and sláinte!


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Take a Spring Break and win a copy of SHADE!

This was our front yard on February 11:


And the same Great Wall of Snow, one month later:


Sad, huh?

So the weather outside this weekend sure is...springlike, I guess. Rainy, windy, all the snow melting into pathetic little patches. I guess because we had so much snow this winter, and then it was cold and dry, it's been a long time since I've seen actual rain, and it's kind of getting me down.

Normally I love rainy days. I can work on the comfy living room couch without shafts of afternoon sunlight piercing my eyes. It's a great excuse not to do yard work, and it also keeps my dog from wanting to go for a walk every twenty minutes.

But for some reason this weekend the rain is driving me NUTS! I worked on the Shade sequel (Shift)all day yesterday, and I know the mood in the scenes I wrote was a little grimmer than it otherwise would've been, due to the weather.

So after a long, cold, snowy winter, and a long, cold, rainy weekend, I'm ready for a Spring Break!

Over at the Daily Dose blog, the class of 2k10 is blogging for the next week or so, and giving away a great prize pail of swag, as well as an autographed copy of Shade. Complete rules are here. To enter, you have to comment on every single post throughout the break, so go forth! The intrepid shall be rewarded.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour dates & places!

It's final! The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour has lined up dates for its fall sweep of North America. This is a tour entirely organized and sponsored by a group of authors who write young adult paranormal novels.

Many of them, as you can see from the list below, are famous. Many are New York Times bestsellers.

And then there's me. I'm not sure how I got to be on this tour, honestly. Possibly I was wearing glasses around one of them and they thought that meant I was smart, when really I just had dust on my contact lens.

To follow the continuing adventures of the Smart Chicks tour, become our fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

NOTE: This schedule is updated and FINAL as of August 25, 2010.

September 13th, 2010 7 PM @ BOOKPEOPLE, Austin, TX
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Rachel Caine & Cassandra Clare

September 14th, 2010 7 PM @ B&N THE WOODLANDS, Houston, TX
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia & Rachel Vincent.

September 15th, 2010 7PM. @ The Refuge (13150 Memorial Dr). Hosted by BLUE WILLOW, Houston, TX
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Margaret Stohl & Cassandra Clare

September 16th, 2010 6 PM @ Plantation Commons (105 Plantation Cove, Gluckstadt). Hosted by LEMURIA BOOKS, Jackson, MS
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Jessica Verday & Sarah Rees Brennan

September 17th, 2010 7PM @ Scottsdale Civic Library Auditorium, hosted by POISONED PEN Scottsdale, AZ
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan & Kimberly Derting.

September 18th, 2010 6 PM @ Menlo Park Library, Hosted by KEPLERS, Menlo Park, CA
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia & Kimberly Derting

September 20th, 2010 6 PM @ VROMAN'S, Pasadena, CA
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Vincent, Margaret Stohl & Mary Pearson

September 21st, 2010 6 PM @ Encinitas County Library, hosted by MYSTERIOUS GALAXY, San Diego, CA
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Pearson, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Vincent, Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia.

September 22nd, 2010 7 PM @ Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, Hosted by ANDERSON'S Naperville, IL
Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Barnes & Carrie Ryan
NOTE: for this event, it is free with the purchase on one book by a featured author or $5 without purchase.

September 23rd, 2010 7 PM @ BOOKS & CO AT THE GREENE, Dayton, OH
Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Lynn Barnes & Kami Garcia.

September 24th, 2010 7 PM @ JOSEPH BETH Cincinnati, OH
Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jeri Smith-Ready, & Margaret Stohl

September 25th, 2010 2 PM @ CHAPTERS BRAMPTON (52 Quarry Edge Drive) Brampton, ON
Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Melissa de la Cruz, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


Yes, I am still pinching myself. Yes, it still hurts, so I guess that means this is real.

Stay tuned for my BEA schedule, coming up at the end of May! That whimpering in the background is my dog telling me not to ever leave home again. Or maybe it's my husband.

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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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