Friday, May 28, 2010

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Jennifer Echols

You may remember this week's Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest from last year's Blogtoberfest, when I squeed over her Rita-nominated Going Too Far. Ladies and gentlemen...Jennifer Echols!

*applause, catcalls, rattly noisemakers*

Anyway, Jenn is here to introduce her latest book from Simon Pulse, Endless Summer. Is that a cute/hot/awesome (chawsome? yes, it's a chawsome) cover or what?

Endless Summer
came out three days ago, and if after you read about it here, it doesn't seem like the perfect vacation book to you, then I can't help what ails you. Some serious deficit of fun-sense, I guess.

ANYWAY (again), here's the skinny, the dope, the lowdown, the [insert other totally outdated slang words for information] on Endless Summer:

Coming May 25: ENDLESS SUMMER by Jennifer Echols

The Boys Next Door and the sequel, Endless Summer, in one volume!


Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.


Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster. ISBN-10: 1442406593; ISBN-13: 978-1442406599.

About the Author:

Jennifer Echols grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama--a setting that has inspired many of her books. Always interested in creative writing, she finished her first (and still unpublished) novel soon after graduating with a degree in English from Auburn University at age 20. She worked as an editor for newspapers, a writer for business publications, and a writing instructor for three major universities, completed a master's degree in English, and finished the coursework for a PhD in genre studies before selling a book.

Since then, she has written many young adult novels for Simon & Schuster, including Major Crush, which won the National Reader's Choice Award, and Going Too Far, which is a finalist in the 2010 RITA, the National Reader's Choice Award, and the Book Buyer's Best. Her next novel, Forget You, will be released on July 20. Currently she works as a copyeditor and lives in Birmingham with her husband and son. Please visit her online at jennifer-echols.com.

------

And now, my interview with the fabulous Jennster herself:

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 man, I would love to live this book in the main character Lori’s shoes. I think that’s what made it so easy for me to write. There’s definitely some wish fulfillment going on here.

Yes, I would love to be able to wakeboard. Sounds like such a thrill! 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 ;-) ?

Yeah, I could bring Adam back with me. I would constantly be beating the other chicks off, though.

That's always a pain (but probably worth it!). What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?

You can bet that all accidents and resulting medical procedures and treatments in my books are true-to-life, because my brother is an emergency room doctor and my sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner. I have trained them to answer my questions and cook up bizarre scenarios for me without asking why.

Always nice to have resources who don't ask questions. Speaking of questions, 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)?

Earth Wind & Fire. I have seen them in concert four times. I own all their albums up until 1987, when they came out with an album with no horns, just electronic keyboard stand-ins. What is Earth Wind & Fire without horns? I may have ceremonially unwound that cassette tape in my trash can. But the song “That’s the Way of the World” alone would be enough to make me love them forever. I forgive them. I think.

I love it--ceremonial unwinding of the cassette tape. There's just no MP3 equivalent to that. Last question: what's your earliest memory?

We lived in Atlanta until I was two, and I have a vivid memory of the avocado sculptured carpet and the wallpaper with lions and other zoo animals in my big brother’s bedroom.

Thanks, Jenn, and congratulations again on your new release! The next one's just around the corner in less than two months....

Everyone have a lovely Memorial Day weekend, and if you're in the Baltimore area tomorrow, consider stopping by Balticon to say hi to me and my science fiction/fantasy friends.

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Balticon schedule

BEA was amazing! More details coming, well, probably never, because I have a book due Tuesday, and after that I will have forgotten most of it. But I'm very glad I went.

I probably would not have gone at all were it not for the events set up for the class of 2k10, so I want to give a HUGE shoutout to author Shari Maurer (whose novel Change of Heart was just released and looks fabulous) for setting it all up. It was a lot of work and well worth it, so Shari, you rock!

Moving on to this weekend...here's my schedule for Balticon. As you may notice, I'm only in for one day, due to the aforementioned deadline (and due to being pretty much dead from BEA).

Saturday, May 29

1:30-2:30 Reading from Shade and Bring on the Night
Belmont Room

6-7pm Signing
Maryland Ballroom Foyer

7-8pm: Panel - Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy
with authors Maria V. Snyder, Joe Sergi, Catherine M. Petrini
Belmont Room

8-10:30 Book launch party with authors Laura Anne Gilman, Benjamin Tate, and David J. Williams
Books for sale! Food for eating! Drinks for drinking! (ID required for alcohol consumption, due to the possible presence of minors, due to, uh, me.)
Parlor 1041

Full programming schedule (PDF format). Hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BEA Schedule

Hey! I'm in New York, which was kind enough to save its hot and muggy weather (a local specialty) just for BookExpo America. Woo-hoo!

Last night I participated in the Teen Author Carnival, which was an amazing event the coordinators should be very proud of. There were sooo many fantastic authors I got to meet (and many I didn't). But the best part was meeting readers, answering their questions (on the panel and in person) and seeing how excited they are about books. Books!

Okay, I'm completely incoherent this morning, so here's the rest of my schedule. THIS is the official complete schedule of BEA Jeri. All others (like on my news page and Facebook page) are accurate but slightly incomplete, because I didn't think my attendance at an event really counted as "my" event, y'know? Because it's not all about me. BUT if you want to find me somewhere, here are the places:

(events marked *** are open to the public)

TUESDAY, MAY 25:

***6-8pm: Books of Wonder
18 w. 18th Street
New York, NY
Signing with Class of 2k10
List of authors and more info here

WEDNESDAY, MAY 26

11-11:50am BEA Panel
YA Authors Crossing over
Midtown Stage
I'm told there might be copies of SHADE and/or the WVMP books available at this event, but it's not definite and I don't know if they'd be for giveaway or for sale.

1-2pm Class of 2k10 meetup with book bloggers
Javits Convention Center Level One in front of the cafe

***4-5pm Voracious Reader
Class of 2k10 group signing
Featuring: Alexandra Diaz, Bonnie Doerr, Irene Latham, Jame Richards, Janet Fox, Jeri Smith-Ready, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Leah Cypess, Rhonda Hayter, Shannon Delany, Shari Maurer, Swati Avasthi

THURSDAY, MAY 26

10-11:30am Class of 2k10 meetup with book bloggers
Javits Convention Center Level One in front of the cafe
NOTE: I will probably be late to this one, but I will be there for at least the last half hour!

3-3:30pm: SHADE signing and giveaway at BEA
Booth #3484 (Romance Writers of America)
That's right--they're free! Arrive early (3pm or sooner) to be sure to get one while supplies last. One autographed book per person. For attendees of BookExpo America only.

4-6pm: Book Bloggers Convention reception
Room 1E13 Javits Convention Center

Hope to see you there!

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Last round before hibernation

It's time to break my e-mail/Twitter/Facebook addiction cold turkey. I mean it. Shift is crying out to me with its unfinished scenes (or scenes with three different endings), its feeble prose, its sheer lack of done-nosity.

So one last post of Shade giveaways and Neat Stuff.

It's the Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick for today. Yay! I got a special icon to display on my website 'n' everything.

The amazing Stephanie Kuehnert interviewed Aura for her Women Who Rock Wednesday feature this week, and she's giving away a signed copy of Shade. Deadline: May 19. U.S. residents only.

Speaking of character interviews, YA roundup interviewed Aura and Logan separately (although apparently Aura had to translate for Logan since the interviewer was over seventeen), and then me today. As I mentioned before, they're giving away a signed copy of Shade as well. Deadline: Friday, May 14, 8am Eastern. U.S. Residents only.

So a funny thing happened yesterday. One of my lovely Twitter pals sent me a photo of Shade on the shelves of her local bookstore.


The funny thing is, two authors to the right is the much-loved, award-reaping Jordan Sonnenblick, who is also one of my former classmates from Kings College (London), where I studied for a semester my junior year in college. At the time (twenty years ago, you do the math), neither of us wanted to be writers. Jordan wanted to teach (which he did), and I wanted to graduate college (my ambitions were slack-aliciously low--can you believe I was once a Type B personality?). Jordan tells the rest of the story on his blog today.

Anyway, it's a neat thing. Of course, this will only happen in bookstores where they don't shelve YA paranormals apart from YA normals. (Jordan's books are wonderful, by the way--totally hilarious, with a heaping dose of heart.)

If you have pics of Shade in the wild, I would love to see them! No e-mail attachments, please (I get enough of those from family members), but you know where to find me, either here or Twitter or Facebook.

And now, it's time for dinner and a long weekend of real writerly work. I shall return to the surface Monday morning with a finished rough draft. OR ELSE YOU MAY MOCK ME!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Treasure hunt! Finding SHADE at real-life bookstores

I can't begin to describe how nice it is to see all the pictures people have sent me of Shade on the shelves of their local stores. I even got a pic from a Twitter pal who said they were selling it at the Albertson's (supermarket) where she works (click for larger size):

I Totally had dream we'd sell Shade @jsmithready @ Albertsons... on Twitpic

It's especially nice because usually when one of my books comes out, I get a flood of, "WHY CAN'T I CAN'T FIND YOUR BOOK IN MY LOCAL STORE?!! R U A REAL AUTHOR OR NOT??!" messages.

(Okay, they don't actually accuse me of not being a real author, but that's the subtext my paranoid mind hears: "It's not in my store" = "Ur a loser.")

BUT there is a chance that if you go into your local bookstore, you might have a bit of difficulty finding Shade.

Not because it's not there. A quick inventory on Borders.com and BN.com shows that almost every store has it in stock.

But it might not be where you think it is. It might not even be where the "helpful" kiosk computer says it is. Because it's a new book, it could be in places that are designed to catch the eye of browsers, but not necessarily people who are actually seeking it.

For instance, I went to the Madison Square Garden Borders on release day and looked it up on the computer. It said Shade was in stock and shelved with Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.

Giddy, I trotted over to that section and found no Shades. My heart sank.

Finally I asked one of the helpful sales associates, who took me to the New in Teens table. Voila! Right on the edge for easy access. (I autographed them all, but forgot to take another picture with the "Signed Copy" stickers, so you'll have to take my word for it.)

EDITED TO ADD: The ever-awesome Leah Cypess (whom I interviewed here two weeks ago for her release of Mistwood) was in the same bookstore yesterday and took this shot, of my autographed Shades on the Summer Reading table. It's part of Borders' Double Dog Dare deal, where if kids read 10 books, they get one free.



I got on the train, giddy once again. When I got home, a family member sent me a picture of Shade on the endcap of her local Barnes & Noble:

Yay! So on Friday, when I went to another bookstore to sign stock (having checked the online inventory to make sure they had it), I looked everywhere--tables, endcaps, shelves.

Nothing. My giddy was gone.

I asked the helpful information desk dude, who looked it up and said that it was supposed to be on an endcap. Alas, we discovered that the copies were still in a box in the back stockroom. Due to understaffing, they hadn't had time to put all of last week's books out yet. So I signed them and he put them on--well, he couldn't find the "Autographed Copy" stickers, so for all I know they're still sitting at the info desk.

See where I'm going with this? Shade is in stores, so if you can't find it, PLEASE ASK. Not only will you be more likely to get your copy, you'll raise awareness of Shade with booksellers. And I will love you.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

More SHADEs for you (and you and you and even you)!

It's been quite a week. Shade is out in the world and is being pretty well-received, judging by the density of exclamation points applied to it. I just had my fourth signing in a week, Saturday at Borders in Winchester, VA, which still has several signed copies of each of my books, which can be picked up or ordered at 540-535-2243. Note: the only place to get signed copies every day is Constellation Books.

It's been exhilarating, but I'm ready to collapse. Luckily for my exhausted body and hair (which gets cranky if it has too many consecutive applications of styling products), my in-person appearances are taking a two-week hiatus while I finish Shift (the sequel to Shade, coming May 2011, but only if I can finish it soon!).

On the internet, however, the SHADE/Jeri Smith-Ready Internet Carpet Bombing continues, dropping more autographed copies on readers as we speak!

Many of last week's giveaways, listed in this blog post, are still open, so check them out if you haven't already.

The latest giveaways, from nearest to furthest deadlines, are:

Do the Write Thing for Nashville, a fundraiser to help the flood victims of Nashville, Tennessee, is auctioning off some amazing prizes from writers and editors, including signed books, critiques, and even lunch dates. Today I'm offering a "marked-up" copy of Shade. "Marked-up" means that I insert little behind-the-scenes tidbits beside the text (I use sticky notes so they can be shifted for easier reading). Sort of the book version of a director's commentary.

This is a one-of-a-kind prize. You will have something no one else has, ever. Deadline: Bidding ends tonight at midnight central time EDITED TO ADD: on Wednesday, May 12! International entries welcome!

I'm guest blogging today at Bitten by Books, where we're giving away 5 signed copies of Shade, plus a grand prize of a signed copy of Shade and a $25 iTunes gift card. Rawr! So come chat with me about the "generation gap" between teens and adults, or tell me your favorite (or least favorite) high school memory. Starts Monday, May 10, noon Central. Deadline: 11:59pm Central time, Tuesday, May 11. U.S. addresses only.

Linda Gerber of Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit (and Blog-toberfest) fame hosted me on her Freebie Friday feature, where we're giving away a signed, personalized copy of Shade. Deadline: May 12. U.S. addresses only.

I got to be a Dame for a Day last Saturday at the Deadline Dames blog. In "All I Really Need to Know (About Storytelling) I Learned from Kindergartner," I described my rabid love for the webcomic Axe Cop--written by five-year-old Malachai Nicholle and drawn by Malachai's twenty-nine-year-old brother Ethan--and how it taught me to be fearless with my imagination. Deadline: May 13. U.S. addresses only.

Finally, Shade is the featured book this week at YA Roundup. There'll be a giveaway, plus interviews with me, Aura, and Logan.

Good luck and hope to see you around the internetz this week!

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Guest blogs, giveaways, and goodies!

Just so you know, it took me several minutes to figure out what the third 'g' word in the title would be up there. I love alliteration, but the brain today is not so much, um, working.

But I'm finally home--yay! I'm enjoying a day "off" in my sweats, catching up on e-mail and this weekend's guest blogs/interviews.

Speaking of which, the internetz are being carpet-bombed with Shade-related fun! Which might be the first time "carpet bomb" and "fun" have appeared in the same sentence.

On Sunday, I guest-blogged at Amberkatze's Book Blog about the Shade soundtrack, which can be found on the Shade music page and downloaded in its entirety from iTunes. I'm really proud of this one, because I tried to create a musical landscape of the entire book, not just the parts that had music in them. Ideally, the songs should take you through the emotional ups and downs of the novel, like a road leading through the story.

Amberkatze is giving away an unsigned copy of Shade. Deadline: Sunday, May 9. International entries welcome!

On Monday, I did a Big Idea post at John Scalzi's Whatever blog. I discussed some of the ideas behind the book, including the whys and hows of the red and violet. Since most of that deep thought stuff doesn't make it into the book (because that would be boring), this post was a chance to outline the book's thematic background and give a little insight into how I rose to the challenge of all that world-building.

Yesterday, I blogged at the class of 2k10 on the place my main character calls home: Baltimore. In "City of Ghosts," I tell why I love that town and why it's the perfect setting for an urban fantasy. My Nana makes a brief appearance, too.

Fantastic Book Review is giving away 5 unsigned copies of Shade, courtesy of my generous publisher, Simon Pulse. The contest links to a really fun interview and a stellar review. Deadline: May 13. U.S. residents only.

The third of three behind-the-scenes-of-Shade posts is now up at at TeenReads.com. Check out the "Story Behind the Story" to see what inspired me to write Shade.

Fabulous YA author Elizabeth Scott is holding a contest to win a signed copy of Shade. All you have to do is tell her your favorite salad dressing. Mine's honey mustard, but she seems to attract a ranch-y crowd there at the blog. Deadline: May 7. U.S. Residents only.

Fellow Class of 2k10 member Leah Cypess interviewed me for the Enchanted Inkpot blog. It's a really good blog community made up of those who write YA and middle grade traditional fantasy (as opposed to us grungy urban fantasy types). The variety of posts is really fun, so if you like fantasy, you should follow it. I do.

This Saturday at 11am Eastern, I'll be chatting live on Blog Talk Radio's "A Book and a Chat" program, with the delightful Barry Eva. You can tune in live and ask questions, or you can listen to it later.

Speaking of live, I'll be doing a live chat at FallenArchangel.com, the official fan site for Becca Fitzpatrick's novel Hush Hush. The chat will be on Monday, May 17, 9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific. Shade is one of two featured books on FallenArchangel.com, along with Holly Black's White Cat, which I can't wait to read. It has con artists. 'Nuff said. More details to come, including a Shade giveaway!

I saved the best for last: For What It's Worth blog is giving away ALL of my adult books this week in its "Fawesome contest" (the name comes from a term I coined after misreading one of my editor's comments in the margin of my manuscript). Deadline: May 9. International entries welcome!

Whew...that's just a portion of the contests out there. Probably best just to Google "Jeri Smith-Ready Shade giveaway." I mean, even though you've already gone out and BOUGHT YOUR COPY (right?), you can always use an extra one for a friend, family member, coworker, or random person you meet on the sidewalk.

Now...the goodies! Did you think I forgot? Check out the Shade downloads page for widgets (like the one below, animated avatars (like the one at the top of this post), regular avatars for Twitter, LiveJournal, etc., and downloadable wallpapers for your computer. Soon there'll be Keeley Brothers swag so you can show your love for our favorite fake band!

Hope to see some of you this Saturday at the Borders in Winchester, Virginia, 2-4pm. Reading at 3. Buy Mom a Mother's Day gift while you're there.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy Birthday to Constellation Books (oh, and SHADE)!

I'm writing this from my small but lovely (no, small and lovely--I prefer a room where the bathroom is a few steps away) New York hotel room, where I spent the night after reading at Lady Jane's Salon. It was a fabulous experience, and I'll be blogging about it later this week. (No, really, I will, because they asked me to.)

Lots of exciting stuff has been happening over the last week. My plan is to fill in a few blog posts as soon as I get a chance, backdating them to pretend I did them on time. You'll see--it'll be fun.

But today is the release of Shade, my first young adult book. I'm staggered by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm online. Bloggers and reviewers and friends have been talking it up, and apparently it's going over well on Simon Pulse's teen-only Pulse It site, where teens can read the book online for a month while it's featured, then discuss it with each other in the forums--and hopefully tell their real-world friends, too!

This came out yesterday from Publishers Weekly, making me scream and scare the cats:

Shade
Jeri Smith-Ready, Simon Pulse, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9406-0
Sixteen-year-old Aura, the first child born after the “Shift,” is in the vanguard of a change in human perception. Ghosts are now visible, everyday creatures, but perceptible only to those born after the Shift, creating a subtly delineated schism between generations. What the Shift was and why it occurred are still mysteries--very personal ones for unwilling pioneers like Aura. The uncomfortable questions turn excruciating when her boyfriend, Logan, dies of an accidental overdose. His ghost can give Aura some comfort, but it can’t touch her or interact with the world the way the living Logan could--or the way a charming Scottish transfer student, Zachary, can. Though adult author Smith-Ready’s occasionally racy YA debut resolves almost none of the issues surrounding the Shift, leaving the door open for future books, it is a fully satisfying read on its own, with well-developed, believable characters. Aura’s grief, Logan’s rage, and Zachary’s wistfulness are expertly sketched. Perhaps even more impressive is the understatement of the paranormal premise--Smith-Ready changes the world completely by simply changing our ability to see. Ages 14–up. (May)

So yeah, I'm pretty much over the moon. A little tired, but glowing nonetheless.

Anyway, I have to run and get a shower soon so I can make my train (and hopefully see Shade on the shelves of the Madison Square Garden Borders!), so I want to ask you to help me wish Lauretta Nagel and her awesome bookstore, Constellation Books, a Happy Third Birthday!

Lauretta started her store in a time that can only be described as "challenging," a time when many independent bookstores (heck, many chain bookstores, for that matter) have been shutting down after decades of business. She holds a ton of community events and has become part of the fabric of downtown Reisterstown, Maryland, not far from where I live.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Constellation is the source for signed copies of my books. To get your signed copy of Shade, either call the bookstore at 410-833-5151, or place your order online, and when you get to the order page, note in the comments if you want it personalized.

If you decide to buy elsewhere, there's always Mysterious Galaxy, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or Powell's.

The audio version of Shade also releases today! You can buy it at most of those online stores, or directly from iTunes. I for one cannot wait to hear it.

Gotta run--they don't hold trains for anyone, not even people with books out today. I hope you enjoy Shade! Woo-hoo! Bye!

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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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