So here we are, the final matchup of the YA Crush Tournament. Tomorrow, the 25th- and last-seeded Zachary Moore goes up against the second-seeded Jace Wayland from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series.
Here's some fun stuff that'll happen:
- As before, we'll raise money for the Tartan Army Childrens Charity, both on a per-vote basis and a bonus if Zachary wins. I'll put up a pledge form on the blog if you want to get in on the action. So far TeamKilt has raised over $1200 to help needy kids in Scotland and other countries where the national football side plays (last year they donated 130,000 pounds to help disabled and orphaned children in Lithuania and the Czech Republic).
- I'll tweet more snippets from SHINE under the hashtag #SHINEline. I might have to make it every 250 votes instead of 100 votes, since last time I couldn't keep up--which is awesome!
- Assorted giveaways, including signed copies of SHADE, SHIFT, and the ENTHRALLED anthology--plus one of those super-rare ARCs of SHINE (there are only 5 left up for grabs ever).
- And of course, the Big Incentives. So far I've posted four SHINE teasers (including a blasted shower scene) and promised a short story from Zachary's point-of-view, with all members of TeamKilt listed in the dedication (if you voted for Zach and want your name included, send an e-mail to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com with the subject line TEAMKILT before Round 5 voting begins).
- 1. I've got a Big Incentive for Logan fans, something people have been asking for since SHADE came out but I've been too nervous to try. More on that later.
- 2. And something really Really REALLY big for Zachary fans. A special thank-you to those who've supported him this last month.
I confess, when I think about going up against Cassie Clare, I get a little queasy and have to go lie down for a while. I'm in awe of her, so much so that when we were on a panel together at the RT Convention in April, I was too shy to introduce myself, sitting three feet away.
But this isn't about me.
Is it about Zachary? A dude from an almost-unknown series, who wasn't even the main love interest in the first book? I love him, I do. To me, Zach's more than the accent or the kilt that people make such a fuss over. He's kind and patient and loyal and proud. And if you mess with his friends or the girl he loves, he'll kick yer ***k**' arse. (Just ask Brian Knox, or those jerkwads at Ridgewood who spread rumors about Aura after Logan's death.)
If it is about the boys, then maybe Jace deserves to win. He has more fans, and more books, and he was created by one of the nicest, hardest-working authors in the business.
But to me, this is no longer about the boys. It's about the girls.
Namely, Amy and Jen from Fictitious Delicious, who have gone above and beyond ANY reasonable expectations of character advocates. They've written poems, handed out flyers and candy at booksignings, and made this video that, I'm sorry, is ten times more evocative than most of the stuff that authors and publishers pay buttloads of cash for.
Amy and Jen also created Team Kilt and recruited so many readers and bloggers to join--they'll make a rhyme out of your Twitter handle if you use the button as your avi--that my tweet-stream has turned to a sea of plaid. They've devoted days and weeks of their lives to getting Zachary to the next round, and the next, and the next.
I've already described their dogged determination in the wee hours of Saturday morning that kept Zach close enough to win with a last-minute surge. Jen said she cried when Zachary himself checked in at 7am and she had to tell him he was behind by 600 votes.
Aaaack, just thinking about it is making me cry. I don't know what I did to deserve them.
*wipes tear, puts game face on*
So to me, this final round isn't about a boy. It's about a girl and a girl, and hundreds of other girls and guys who've supported Zachary since July 8.
Do I deserve to win this tourney? No. Does Zachary deserve to win it? Maybe.
But anyone who says that Team Kilt doesn't deserve this victory has to be blind, deaf, and heartless. So if you think hard work and sacrifice and sheer amaze-tastilicious cleverness should be rewarded, please vote for Zachary Wednesday, from 9am eastern until the same time Thursday. Not for me, not for him, but for these wonderful ladies:
Until today, Team Kilt has fought for me. But now, I'm fighting for them.