Friday, December 24, 2010

Contest updates and farewell for now

Before I bury myself in the Let It Bleed rewrite for the next five weeks (it's due January 24, so don't expect to see me around the internet much between now and then), I wanted to give you an update on this month's contests.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the You Pick holiday giveaway. The contest raised a total of $270 for eight different charities! And people got some sweet swag, books, and ARCs in the process. I'll probably do a similar giveaway next year, with different prizes, depending what I have in my Boxes O' Goodies.

The winner of the Shift ARC was...Jenny N.! Congrats! I received 37 correct entries to the trivia contest.T he last time I did a trivia contest a few years ago, I think I got about three or four entries. Y'all are motivated!

The correct answers are:

1. Aura's mothers name? Maria
2. The name of the place Aura's mother traveled to before Aura was born (the specific place, not the country), a place integrally connected to the winter solstice? Newgrange
3.The name of the haunted battleship that Aura and Zachary explore on their winter solstice/birthday "date."? USS Constellation

Thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned in the new year for more chances to win one of the two remaining signed ARCs of Shift. (The fourth one will be given to a newsletter subscriber in February, so sign up over on the sidebar if you haven't yet.)

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Candy-cane cookie chaos

Back on Saturday, December 11, I tweeted/Facebooked about making Chocolate Candy Cane cookies (and how much fun it was to SMASH the candy canes like our friend here to the left), and had several requests for the recipe.

Here it is, with one caveat: When I made them, they spread all over the baking sheet to make one giant sticky cookie. One giant DELICIOUS sticky cookie, which we and our friends gobbled up like pigs at a trough. But they weren't suitable for bringing to a party or giving as gifts ("Here's a Tupperware dish of Cookie Hash--enjoy!")

But I know the recipe is a good one, because it won the annual cookie contest held by the Baltimore Sun every year. (It was several years ago, so I can't find a link online.)

Anyway, here's the recipe. Any advice on what I did wrong, how I managed to create a Mega Cookie Muck instead of actual cookies, would be greatly appreciated!

Candy-Cane Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups softened butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons mint extract
2 eggs
6 candy canes, crushed
10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  • Beat the butter, sugar and mint extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add the eggs and beat.
  • Gradually beat in the dry mixture. Stir in the crushed candy-cane pieces and the chocolate chips.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes.

Enjoy, and happy holidays!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Solstice/Birthday SHIFT ARC giveaway!

As you probably know, tomorrow is the winter solstice (or to be fair to our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, the December solstice). The actual moment of the solstice takes place at 6:38pm eastern time. (And guess what? There's a total lunar eclipse after midnight tonight, making it the first total lunar eclipse on the solstice in 372 years--sweet coincidence!)

If you've read Shade, you already know that it's Aura and Zachary's birthday*.

So what better occasion to hold the first giveaway of a signed ARC of Shade's sequel, Shift (coming May 3)?

I only have four ARCs for my own giveaway, which means two things:

1) I can afford to make them international. Yay!
2) Each giveaway will be very special.

One of the other 4 ARCs will go to a newsletter subscriber in a drawing I'll do probably around the middle of February. If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up in the box over on the right sidebar.

The other two ARCs? Who knows? Stay tuned.

But this first ARC I would like to go to someone who has read and loved Shade, so it's trivia time! See if you know the answers to the following solstice/Shade-related questions:

1. Aura's mother's name.
2. The name of the place Aura's mother traveled to before Aura was born (the specific place, not the country), a place integrally connected to the winter solstice.
3. The name of the haunted battleship that Aura and Zachary explore on their winter solstice/birthday "date."

Rules:

1. Send an e-mail with your answers to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com by Thursday, December 23, at 11:59pm. I'll disable comments on this post so that no one "shouts out" the answer. ;-)

2. International entries allowed.

3. Retail value of ARC = $0. Sentimental/bragging value of winning an ARC = that's up to you!

4. I'll send an e-mail to the winner Friday, December 24. The winner will have a week to respond with his or her mailing address. If no response has come by the end of 2010, I'll draw another name.

And now, as a little holiday gift to Aura and Zachary, a pair of "classic" carols from Italy and Scotland.





Happy Holidays, everyone!

*To be completely clear, it was the same day but on separate continents with separate parents--they are not, I repeat NOT siblings. Ew. Just...ew.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BRING ON THE NIGHT a Goodreads Choice nominee!


One of my awesome Facebook friends informed me last week (or maybe the week before, it's hard to keep track) that Bring on the Night is a nominee for a Goodreads Choice Award, for Best Paranormal Fantasy! I was pretty blown away by this, especially considering the caliber of my fellow nominees.

You can go vote for your favorite here. Not that I have any chance of winning against the likes of Joe Hill, Charlaine Harris, and Laurell K. Hamilton, but hey, I'd be thrilled with sixth runner up.

And a very big thanks to whoever is responsible for this nomination. It was unexpected, to say the least!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

You-Pick Holiday Giveaway!

It's come to my attention recently that I have a lot of stuff. Book-related stuff. Book-related stuff sitting in boxes and envelopes, unloved and unused. There's nothing sadder (except maybe an unloved stuffed animal, like the Velveteen Rabbit over there, although in this image he looks content, or at least pensive).

So I've made a list of all my extra book goodies, and now I'm giving them away to you while raising funds for deserving organizations.

Not only do you get to pick your prize from a wide assortment of signed swag, books, and ARCs, you get to choose the charity!

Please read the specific rules below, but the basic gist is, you donate to the charity of your choice, forward me proof of your donation, then pick a prize from the list.


PRIZE CATEGORIES (quantity available noted in parentheses--Totals updated as of Wednesday, 6pm eastern):


For a $5 donation, you can get one of the following:

Signed cover flats:
--original Voice of Crow--not the final book cover, so this is a collectible item (3 1)
--The Reawakened (5 4)
--Wicked Game mass market paperback (1)
--Bad to the Bone trade paperback (3 2)
--Bad to the Bone mass market paperback (15 14)
--Bring on the Night mass market paperback (2 1)

Buttons:
--WVMP Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll (unlimited)
--Keeley Brothers (unlimited)


For $10 donation:

Signed books:
--Wicked Game (WVMP #1) mass market paperback (3 2)
--Bad to the Bone (WVMP #2) mass market paperback (5)
--Bring on the Night (WVMP #3) mass market paperback (10 7)


For $15 donation:

Signed books:
--Wicked Game (WVMP #1) trade paperback (1)
--Bad to the Bone (WVMP #2) trade paperback (3 2)
--Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite (YA vampire anthology) trade paperback (2)
--Eyes of Crow (Aspect of Crow #1) trade paperback (3 1)
--Voice of Crow (Aspect of Crow #2) trade paperback (10 9)
--The Reawakened (Aspect of Crow #3) trade paperback (10 9)
--Shade (Shade #1) hardcover (1)

Signed books, French editions:
--Voice of Crow (L'Enfant de la Prophetie) (1)
--The Reawakened (L'Oracle de Feu) (5 4)


For $25 donation:

Signed ARCs:
--Voice of Crow (1)
--The Reawakened (2)
--Wicked Game (3)
--Bad to the Bone (3)
--Shade (1)

(If you're wondering about ARCs of Shift, stay tuned next week!)

You can combine prizes, of course. For example, if you donate $20 to your favorite charity, you can request two $5 prizes and a $10 prize.

OFFICIAL RULES

1. Because of the sheer volume of prizes, this will have to be limited to US addresses only. I can't imagine how broke I would become, shipping all this stuff overseas. Please check back next week for an international giveaway.

2. Donate online to your chosen charity. I don't care what it is--if it's tax-deductible (it'll say it's a a 503(c)(3) organization somewhere on its home page), it qualifies. So no political donations or contributions to your own Very Special Christmas Motorcycle Fund.

3. Forward me a copy of the receipt **within the body of an e-mail**, not as an attachment--I will not open attachments from people I don't know, and sometimes not even from people I do know. My e-mail is jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. Please use the subject line YOU-PICK so that I can make sure it doesn't get caught in the spam filter.

4. Tell me, in order of preference, your top three choices, in case I run out of your first choice.

5. Let me know how you want the item personalized: i.e., if I should make them out to you or someone else, or just a signature alone. If you don't specify, I will sign it to your first name.

6. Include your mailing address.

7. I will reply within twelve hours to let you know which prize(s) you got. I will also update this blog post at least once a day to show the quantity of each prize still available.

8. Deadline: 11:59 eastern, Thursday, December 16. This will allow me to get everything mailed on Friday so that there's some hope of you receiving it before Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

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Giveaways, chats, booksignings, oh MY!

There's a great lot of goings-on this week. I've gotten word that my editor will get me her revision notes on Let it Bleed by Friday, which means that Friday night begins a six-week hibernation while I try to turn it into something resembling a book. No holiday vacations for writers! (OK, that's not exactly true--I did get a nice four-day Thanksgiving vacation, memories of which will have to last me throughout the next year.)

Anyway, first: results of the Walking Dead/Bring on the Night giveaway:

The winner of the signed copy of Bring on the Night from this blog was...Carolyn! Carolyn, I don't have a way to contact you, so please e-mail your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com by the end of the day Friday, or I'll draw another name. (All other winners have already been contacted.)

The grand prize winner was Autumn from Facebook! Congrats to Autumn and all the other winners, and thanks to everyone who entered.

GIVEAWAYS:

Jen Duffey at What's On the Bookshelf is giving away two prize packs, an adult book collection and a YA book collection, which contain Bring on the Night and Shade, respectively.

Several blogs are participating in "Best I've Read 2010," including Books Complete Me and Fire and Ice, and are giving away copies of my books.

I did an interview with Myra McIntyre for Fridays in the Fort, where I'm giving away a signed copy of Shade.

My newsletter is going out tonight. Before each quarterly issue goes out, I draw the names of two subscribers to win a prize. This quarter's prize is a signed copy of Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite.

CHATS (including giveaways):

Tuesday at 9PM eastern, I have the honor of chatting with Books Complete Me to close their Best I've Read 2010 celebration. My publisher is giving away a number of copies of Shade (not sure how many are left after the Best I've Read blog giveaways). Here's the link for the chat.

Wednesday at 9PM eastern, I'm chatting with Eve's Fan Garden, where I'll be giving away signed copies of Shade and Eternal. Here's the link for this chat.

APPEARANCES:

This Saturday, December 18, 1-3pm, I'm signing at the Borders Express in the Exton Square Mall in Exton, PA, which is conveniently located between Philadelphia and Lancaster.

Sunday, December 26, 1-3pm, I'm signing at the Borders in Winchester, VA. You might as well spend those gift cards on my books, just sayin'.

Can't attend the signings? Call 610-363-5036 (for Exton) or 540-535-2243 (for Winchester) and order your book(s) prior to the event, and I'll be happy to sign them for you. Please note how you want them personalized (i.e., to which name or just a signature).

Hope to see you, either online or at one of these wonderful stores!

Whew! I think that's it for now. Later today I'll post this week's You-Pick giveaway, where you pick the charity and the prize. Sounds nice, huh? Then next week comes the Solstice giveaway, where I'll (FINALLY) be offering a chance to win an ARC of Shift. Yay!

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Walking Dead/Bring on the Night Giveaway

...because nothing says Happy Holidays like ambulatory corpses.

It's only December 1, but I'm in a Santa-rrific mood, so this month I'll be giving away lots of stuff. Next week I'll do a fundraiser for Heifer International, where you can take home something from St. Nick's Bag O' Book Goodies (signed ARCs and books, cover flats, swag). The following week I'll be doing a Shade-related giveaway for the Winter Solstice (and Aura and Zachary's birthday).

But this week... it's zombies.

Unless you've been living under a rotting carcass, you probably know that AMC's The Walking Dead is television's hottest new show (according to the cover of Entertainment Weekly, at least). It's based on the bestselling graphic novel series of the same name by Robert Kirkman.

I like the show, but I love the graphic novel. It's my third favorite series after Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan and Neil Gaiman's Sandman (yes, in that order--I love you, Morpheus, but Spider Jerusalem IS. MY. HERO.)

I read The Walking Dead, along with lots of other zombie material*, last year while I was writing Bring on the Night, the third in my WVMP vampire series, which features, among other big events, a giant vampire-zombie battle scene. It was by far the most fun research ever.

So this week, in honor of the season finale of The Walking Dead, I'm giving away five signed copies of Bring on the Night, as well as a grand prize: a signed copy of Bring on the Night plus The Walking Dead compendium, which includes the first eight volumes of the graphic novel.

Here are the rules:

1. Entries will be accepted in five different forums (fora?):

a. Here at this blog post (leave a comment).
b. At the Pocket After Dark blog post (leave a comment; membership in Pocket After Dark community required).
c. On my Facebook "fan" page (comment on the BRING ON THE NIGHT/WALKING DEAD status update)
d. On my Facebook profile page (comment on the BRING ON THE NIGHT/WALKING DEAD status update)
e. On Twitter (tweet using the hashtag #therunningdead. All entries must mention "BRING ON THE NIGHT." Beyond that, be creative.)

2. On Sunday, December 5, at 11:59pm, using a random number generator, I will draw one winner from each forum to win the signed copy of Bring on the Night. For the grand prize, I will randomly draw a winner from all entries in all five fora (yep, apparently that's the word).

3. You may enter once in each forum for a maximum of five entries.

4. Retail value of prize: Bring on the Night, $7.99; Walking Dead compendium, $59.99.

5. US addresses only. Sorry, but if international folks won all six prizes, it would cost me nearly $200 to run this contest. Santa Jeri's family wouldn't be happy to hear that she blew her Christmas budget by December 5.

Thanks for taking part in the contest. And remember, kids, fast zombies rule!


*The other zombie standout was World War Z by Max Brooks, which is absolutely brilliant science fiction, though it's classified as general fiction (it bugs me when SF is shelved in gen fic just because it's accessible).

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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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