Monday, January 30, 2012

Team Smackdown Round 2

Popping out of the Deadline Cave for five minutes to let you know that Zachary (from Shade) is up against Dimitri from the fabulous Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead in this week's Team Smackdown at Library Mosaic book blog.

I hate to ask for more votes for my dear lad so soon after you've launched him to the top of the Chapters Indigo Book Boyfriend poll (have I told you lately that I love you?), but Zach's advocate Saleana has worked really hard on her post and delivered yet another awesome defense of our favorite Scot!

So please show your support this week by voting for Zachary, up to once per day, now through Friday (or possibly Saturday--last time they closed the polls Friday night and then reopened them a day later, so...I dunno).

As an incentive, for each round in the Team Smackdown Zachary wins, I'll post an excerpt from "Shattered," his short story coming out this summer.

Hmm, how big an excerpt? How word for each vote he gets? In Round 1 against Logan, Zachary received 181 votes. As a point of comparison, the holiday Shine excerpt I posted on Christmas Eve was 168 words.

At the top of the blog here is the latest in ZOGAN avis (made by Team Kilt member @jderucki) for those who like to show their support for Logan and Zachary equally. More ZOGAN avis can be found on my post about Round 1.

Thank you so much!

*ducks back into deadline cave*

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Friday, January 27, 2012

TeamKilt Burns Night Wrap-Up & SHINE teaser

Wow! Yesterday's Burns Night was a whirlwind of Scottish goodness. I felt a bit hungover this morning, though I drank nothing but tea and diet Pepsi all day. Staying up until 2am pretending to be an 18-year-old boy will do that do you.

(I'm referring, of course, to the extremely lively #FakeScotsmen Twitter chat between SHADE's Zachary Moore and BETWEEN's Aiden MacRae. There'll be a transcript on the SHADEboys tumblr eventually, but it'll involve several hours' work to get it in readable order, and I have a deadline next week...and the week after that. So!)

The other highlight of the day was the "Ask a Real Scotsman" chat with Fraser McFarlane of Street Spirit Photography. The chat was hosted by the lovely Sya at Mountains of Instead. Sya and Fraser also blogged brilliant arguments on behalf of Edinburgh and Glasgow, respectively.


Several giveaways are still going on. Check out the Burns Night Giveaway Hop at For What It's Worth (Karen's goes until Saturday, and scroll to the bottom of her post to check links for the other linked giveaways.).

(EDITED on FEBRUARY 1 TO ADD: One of the Giveaway Hop giveaways, at Page Turners Blog, is still open, through the end of today. Plus you can still enter by voting in the Book Boyfriends poll, through tomorrow night. For more on that, read a few paragraphs down in this post.)

The winner of my own giveaway of the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD or BluRay (winner's choice) is....ame1184! ame, please send your name and address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com (and remind me what it is you won) within the next week. If I've heard no response by then, I'll draw another name.

Thanks for all your comments on my All Things Scottish post! Looks like I've got my blogging work cut out for me this year with all this curiosity. :) I'll really enjoy sharing more about the Scottish things I love most.


Remember, winners of the Giveaway Hop contests will each be entered into the SHINE ARC giveaway, as will the entrants in my Aura in Scotland contest (I'll get to that in a sec).

And don't forget this (excerpted from Tuesday's post):

Chapters Indigo, the major chain bookstore in Canada, is having a poll on their Facebook page asking "Who would you choose as your book boyfriend?" Right now Zachary is in 5th place and hoping to climb higher, with your help!
  • If you vote for Zachary, you get a chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
  • If you also vote for Logan, you get another chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
  • If you also also vote for Shane from the WVMP series (my own choice, preferring guys who are over 21), you get a third chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
Since I wrote that, Zachary has climbed to second place and Logan is in third! This is pretty awesome, since Chapters Indigo's Facebook page, which is running the poll, has almost a quarter million followers. SHADE readers are the absolute BEST.


AURA IN SCOTLAND contest and SHINE teaser!

I adored reading everyone's imagined version of Aura's arrival in Scotland. I was also tickled to notice that virtually everyone wrote an Aura-Zachary reunion. Some made me laugh, others choked me up a little. Most were a wee bit naughty. :-D

However, in SHINE, when Aura arrives in Scotland...Zachary's already with her. That shouldn't be a spoiler, because after all they do plan to meet up in Ireland. Very little else goes according to plan, but that, at least, happens. And then eventually this:


As we flew in, the late sunrise glowed pink against the distant snow-speckled mountains and rugged highlands. I could tell already that this was a wilder place than Ireland, than any place I'd ever been, and I had a feeling that in twenty-four hours, I would know Zachary far better than I did now.

Wispy snow fell as we took a cab through the city toward the northern end where the Moores lived, in the Maryhill section. On the way, I gaped out the window at the buildings' dark, brooding beauty, and sighed at the grand Victorian architecture. "You told me Glasgow was beautiful, but I figured you were biased."

"I am biased. It's not for everyone." He swept a light hand over the back of my shoulders, leaving the words I hope it's for you unspoken.


And that, dear friends, is probably the last Shine teaser I'll share before the book comes out May 1. Any more and my publisher might rap my knuckles.

Okay, it's midnight, so time to draw the 3 winners of the SHADE paperbacks from the Aura in Scotland post...also, these folks each get two chances at that SHINE ARC...

The winners are:

Poochylover (Nicole)
Tine Vs. the World

Winners, please email your name and mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. Congrats!

The SHINE ARC drawing will take place Friday, February 3. Good luck, everyone, and thanks for making TeamKilt Burns Night a great event! See you on St. Patrick's Day!

PS: I am totally offline from now until I finish and turn in Lust for Life next week. To update Buffy--if the Apocalypse comes, text me.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All Things--and I mean ALL THINGS--Scottish

(If you're looking for my giveaway post, you've found it! Or, check out the latest updates on TeamKilt Burns Night.)


I admit, I'm indecisive. I can stand in front of the refrigerator for 15 minutes trying to figure out what to eat, then go to the pantry for another 10 minutes, then back to the fridge, and finally walk away still hungry.

So to ask me to choose one Favorite Thing about Scotland? How cruel! Who would do that?

Oh yeah, that was me.

So instead of choosing one thing about Scotland to prattle on and on about and give away, I've decided (yes, decided! I'm a decider!) to tell you about 26 things (and...still just give away one thing).

That was last night, and just before I went to bed at 3:30am, sort of finishing this post, minus the pics and videos, I tweeted this:

Not sure why I thought talking abt 26 things would be easier than talking about 1 thing. But it cleverly disguises my lack of deep thoughts.

So this brings me to my discomfort about discussing Scotland. Because though I don't think I have any Scottish blood (it's hard to tell with Smith--that could be anything, but most likely English, and on my mother's side I'm Irish and German), I do love Scotland something fierce. Fiercely fierce.

I first went during a short break while I was studying for a semester in London. (And when I say, "short break," I mean two of my friends and I skipped classes for three days to make a five-day weekend.) The experience can only be described as magical, and I was determined to get back one day, which I finally did last year. It felt like coming home. It's not the place of my blood (though Ireland was incredible, too), but maybe it's the place of my soul.

And yet...

I don't want to be one of those Yanks who's all, "AFKJFDDFKFHSDKFHDGKDLHHHAAAAHHH, SCOTLAND!!!" It's got a million lovely qualities, but in the end it's a place with regular people living their regular lives, just like here. Folks in Scotland put their trousers on one leg at a time, just like we do (unless it's a kilt day). The last thing I want to do is fetishize an entire nation and its citizens.

I wrote a book with a Scottish hero, but Zachary'll probably be the only one. I don't write about Scots, I write about teens, whoever they may be or wherever they may come from. I write about personalities, not nationalities.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I feel I can move on and present...What I Adore about Scotland, A to Zed!

A is for the Accent. How do you not love it, what with all that...tongue? A few don't love it. My husband, thank goodness, doesn't find it an attractive accent for girls. I think he prefers French (he's an old-skool guy that way).

B is for Billy Boyd. You can have your fancy-prancey Legolas and your questionably-hygienic Aragorn. Give me a man who can sing and drink and dance...and has a fair fortune on the side (never hurts, right?). I'm talking about Peregrin Took, aka, Pippin. He may not be the strongest or the smartest or the bravest. In fact, he's kind of a screwup. But he knows how to have a good time.

And that voice...was at the center of what might be the most powerful moment in the entire trilogy, in Return of the King when the maniacal Steward of Gondor sent his soldiers (including his son Boromir) on a suicide mission:

I cry every time that piece comes up on the soundtrack. EVERY time! (Also, the part when Gandalf dies--another perfect bit of music by Howard Shore.)

C is for the word that shall never be said on this side of the Atlantic, but which is said approximately 50 times a day by most Scotsmen between the ages of 13 and 50.

D is for drinking. My personal favorite: Crabbie's Ginger Beer, which cannot be found in the United States and is as good an excuse as any for packing up and moving to Scotland.

E is for Edinburgh. Despite my preference for Glasgow, Edinburgh's really a beautiful city, and I'm looking forward to going back this year with my husband for a software conference if the schedule works out. *fingers crossed*

F is for Frightened Rabbit. How many more times do I have to tell you that they are the greatest band in the world? They kick ass in the studio, live, and on Twitter, where they actually answer fan tweets. (Last August, I asked: "Is it wrong that I'm thinking of you when I'm with another band?" (It was true, so true.) and they said, "Ha. No, it's not wrong. Just don't tell the other band.") If you want to win my favorite CD ever, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, go see Living Fictitiously's All Things Scottish post--they're giving away a copy today.

G is for Glesga itself. Sigh...I started feeling sad to leave Glasgow approximately 24 hours after I arrived. I thought perhaps I was sentimental about it because it was Zachary's hometown, but Shane from the WVMP series is my favorite of all my dudes, and I'm somehow not dying to pick up and move to Youngstown, Ohio.

I'll blog much more about Glasgow as we get closer to the release of Shine and Zachary's short story, "Shattered." Oh yes, eventually you won't get me to shut up about Glasgow.

H is for Haggis. Vegetarian, that is. Don't laugh, it's delicious, and sheep-free!

I is for the Isle of Mull, where I spent a lovely day when I was 20, with the cutest Texan I've ever met.

J is for the Jags, the nickname for Partick Thistle Football Club. Technically, they're Zachary's favorite team, not mine, but I agree that fans of the two Scottish Premier League teams, Celtic and Rangers, aka the Old Firm, have a violent, sectarian rivalry that makes the Yankees-Red Sox games look like Woodstock. Plus, one of those two teams wins the whole shebang every year. How is that fun? It's bad enough we have a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl coming up. (Not that I'm a bitter, heartbroken Ravens fan or anything.)

K is for, well, come on...

L is for Limmy, aka Brian Limond, an extremely inappropriate Scottish comedian. While we're on the subject, if I could truly choose only one favorite Scottish thing, it would be the comedy. Shows like Burnistoun, or guys like Frankie Boyle, Billy Connolly, and Craig Ferguson (who's also a fabulous novelist)--they represent Scotland to me more than any romancey kilted Highlander. But their material is not only unsuitable for a young-adult audience, it's unsuitable for about 80% of adults in North America.

*checks Limmy's Twitter feed*

Hmm, make that 90%.

M is for Fraser McFarlane, our Glasgow tour guide and Team Kilt Burns Night participant!

N is for neeps, aka turnips. As in neeps 'n' tatties, which is basically turnips and mashed potatoes. Yum!

O is for Òran Mór, the church-turned-pub (how's that for a path to heaven?) less than a block from our B&B in Glasgow. It makes a significant appearance in Shine.

P is for the pubs. Like The Butterfly and the Pig.

Q is for...I don't know, what is Q ever for?

R is for Robert Burns. It's his day! And though I'm not an immense fan of poetry, I do love music, and many of his songs are Scottish classics, like this one:

S is for sweets like Tunnock's Tea Cakes. They're chocolate with marshmallow inside, which made me skeptical, as I'm not a fan of marshmallow treats like Peeps. But the marshmallow in a Tunnock's Tea Cake is like spun sugar, and melts in your mouth. More, please!

T is for The Twilight Sad, a fantastic shoe gaze-y band from Glasgow. I've talked here on the blog (and in SHADE and SHIFT) about bands like the Raveonettes and A Place to Bury Strangers. I love me some distortion and fuzzy guitars, like a mad thing. Give me a wall of noise, and I can take the volume to 11.

Anyway, The Twilight Sad's got all that, plus the gorgeous accent and poetic lyrics.

And now after mentioning their wall of noise, here's an acoustic performance of a song off their new release, No One Can Ever Know, which comes out February 6.

Twilight Sad Music Video from Mallard Productions on Vimeo.

The singer, James Graham, just might be the dead ringer for Zachary I've been looking for. Or Zach in five or six years. Then again, with all he goes through in Shine, he might age a bit faster than most lads.

U is for uisge beatha (pronounced ISH-keh BA-ha, roughly), which is Scottish Gaelic for whisky (Scotch whisky is spelled without the E). I used to love me some single malt Scotch, but then I tried Irish whiskey (Paddy's FTW) and was lured away. So now I'm pickier about my Scotch. Which is not a bad thing.

W is for William Wallace. Braveheart. Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting. He's a mentor to a writer friend of mine, and she told me a hilarious story of him going to a Chicago Fire soccer game and shouting the typical Scottish epithets at the players and officials, teaching the soccer moms and their kids some brand-new words.

X is for X-Men: First Class, which I haven't actually seen, but I have seen its star, James McAvoy in other brilliant films like The Last King of Scotland. I have never been so scared as I was at the end of that movie. My blood pressure was through the roof!

Oh, I just happened to have this pic of him:

Y is for Ya [expletive deleted] mad wee [expletive deleted], [expletive deleted]!

Glaswegian insults. Pure gold.

Z is, of course, for Zachary. By this point, he really is my favorite Scottish thing, but the reasons have more to do with his humanity than his nationality. I love his courageous, honest, stubborn, patient, pure heart that is absolutely nothing like mine. The people around me would be much happier if I could be more like him.

So out of all these things, which should I give away? Since I can't decide, I'll draw a random number between 1 and 26, and then whichever letter that number corresponds to, I'll give away something to do with that.


*draws number*


The number is....


Which corresponds to B--Billy Boyd! Yay! So the prize for my giveaway will be the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy on your choice of DVD or Blu Ray. These are the director's cut versions, so you'll get a good heaping dose of Billy and all those lesser lads.

To enter, tell me which of the 26 (okay, 25, since I left out Q) favorite Scottish things above you'd like to learn more about. I'll see what I can do.

Deadline: 24 hours from now: 1:01pm Thursday, January 26. I'll draw a name at random and contact the winner, who will have until Sunday to get back to me with their address or I'll draw another name. International entries welcome.

And like every All Things Scottish giveaway, the winner will be entered in the grand prize drawing for a signed, personalized ARC of SHINE.

(Follow that last link to For What It's Worth's Burns Day Giveaway Hop, where you can win tons of stuff and have a fantastic holiday.)


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Team Kilt Burns Night--let's get this party started!

It's now officially Burns Day in Scotland, so why not start the festivities now?

I'm not far enough along in my deadline to justify that very expensive bottle of Glenlivet, and it's best not to drink and blog/tweet, anyway, so I'll be downing Pepsi and wishing it was Irn Bru, the national soft drink of Scotland (ten times the sugar and caffeine, or maybe I'm making that up).

So, as I mentioned before, Burns Day is a significant cultural holiday in Scotland, celebrating its favorite (no, wait, since we're talking about Scotland, I'll spell it favourite--yes, AutoCorrect, I DO mean "favourite," leave me alone!) son, poet Robert Burns. I'll speak more on Burns in my All Things Scottish post, which'll go up tomorrow.

But for now! I realize there's a TON of stuff going on for this party, so I'll keep this as short as possible.

Many of the details on the different activities are on last week's post, so check there first if you're confused, or feel free to ask a question in the comments.

The Schedule (and this being the day to do things the Scottish way, things will START ON TIME, however hard I have to kick my Irish-American arse to do it):


--4pm EST: Ask a Real Scotsman chat (#RealScotsman)
--10pm EST: Fake Scotsmen chat with Zachary Moore and Aiden MacRae (#FakeScotsmen)

I will give away 3 signed, personalized copies of the SHADE paperback to randomly drawn participants in each of these chats. Giveaway is international!

All day:

***indicates an activity in which participants will be entered to win an ARC of SHINE. See last week's post for details. This giveaway also is international.

--***All Things Scottish giveaway hop, hosted by For What It's Worth. Go to the bottom of the post to see what Favorite Scottish Things people are giving away, or to link to your own giveaway. My own All Things Scottish giveaway is the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy (your choice of DVD or BluRay), in honor of Glaswegian cutie Billy Boyd (who plays Pippin).

--***Get Your Scot On festival of random fun, hosted by Fictitious Delicious. Go to the bottom of the post to link to your own celebrations of Scottish culture. Anything goes!

--Zachary will post songs, poems, and pics of Foods More Revolting than Haggis on the SHADEboys tumblr.

--Sya at Mountains of Instead and Fraser McFarlane of Street Spirit Photography are arguing for the superiority of Edinburgh and Glasgow, respectively.

--Cyndi Tefft will post a new Scotland-related blog every two hours!


--***And finally...right here, right now, the Aura in Scotland contest! Write a one- or two-paragraph description of Aura's first reaction to Scotland.

Rules: There are no rules. It can be funny or poignant, dialogue or inner musings, rambling or to the point. It can be a general impression, her first taste of haggis, or how she learned the hard way to look to the right instead of left before crossing the street. Anything!

Deadline: 11:59pm, Thursday, January 26. I'm giving you an extra day, because that's the generous, lazy person I am.

Put your Aura in Scotland bits in the comments to this post. Unlimited entries. Each Aura in Scotland entry gets you two chances to win a SHINE ARC, and 3 commenters will each win a signed, personalized copy of the SHADE paperback.


BUT WAIT! I have one more giveaway, just for Facebook users, who are often left out in the cold when we have all these Twitter parties and Blogger festivals.

Chapters Indigo, the major chain bookstore in Canada, is having a poll on their Facebook page asking "Who would you choose as your book boyfriend?" Right now Zachary is in 5th place and hoping to climb higher, with your help!
  • If you vote for Zachary, you get a chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
  • If you also vote for Logan, you get another chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
  • If you also also vote for Shane from the WVMP series (my own choice, preferring guys who are over 21), you get a third chance to win an ARC of SHINE.
Since the voting is not anonymous, there's no need to tell me you voted. You enter simply by voting. Awesome, huh?

Now go have fun!

(EDITED TO ADD: Nothing yet, but I'm sure I've forgotten a detail or two, or people will add activities to make this shindig even more awesome, and this is where that information will go.)

Aha! I thought of something to add, or at least remind you of. I'm also giving away a bunch of exclusive TeamKilt SHADE bookplates, featuring all the various covers of the books. Which makes them, like, collectible or something. And you can ONLY get a TeamKilt bookplate at an official TeamKilt event--the next one of which will be St. Patrick's Day.


(You thought I was going to put a picture of a guy in a kilt here, didn't you? But I'm a CAPRICIOUS LASS!)

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Monday, January 23, 2012

TeamKilt Burns Night update

Popping in for a quick update to Wednesday's activities. This thing is getting bigger!

My blogger co-host, Sya from Mountains of Instead book blog, will be hosting the 4pm "Ask A Real Scotsman" Twitter Q&A.

ALSO, she and the Real Scotsman himself will have a Glasgow vs. Edinburgh smackdown on her blog that day. Which is the superior city? (I have strong opinions on this, but they're based mostly on sentiment--I want facts to back it up!)

ALSO ALSO, my author co-host Cyndi Tefft will be blogging every 2 hours on a Scottish topic all day Wednesday. Amazing!

ALSO SQUARED, I asked for and received a box of SHADE paperbacks (with the original classic covers, soon to be rare/extinct) for giveaway. They're cramming my shelves and my husband is giving me side-eye about it. I will give away TEN signed, personalized copies of the SHADE paperback on Wednesday during the various TeamKilt Burns Day/Night activities. More details on when and how to enter will be posted here that morning.

Now go check out all the fun and get ready to party!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

TeamKilt Burns Night festivities & SHINE ARC giveaway!

(For the latest updates on TeamKilt's Burns Night activities, see my January 24 post.)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, TeamKilt is ready to party in 2012! Our first holiday celebration will be next Wednesday, January 25, for Burns Night. (The second one will be March 17 for St. Patrick's day--yes, Logan gets equal time with TeamKilt.)

One of Scotland's biggest cultural holidays, Burns Day/Night celebrates the poet Robert Burns, but more broadly, all things Scottish.

The grand prize will be an ARC of SHINE. There are only 2 left. This SHINE ARC post explains why there are so few and why you might want one.

The first thing you need to know about TeamKilt parties is: everyone is invited! Not just fans of Zachary, or fans of the Shade series. EV. REE. WUN.

The second thing you need to know is, "What the heck is going on?"

The answer: TONS.

Our planned activities for Wednesday, January 25:

1. "Ask a Real Scotsman" Twitter Q&A with Glasgow native and brilliant photographer Fraser McFarlane.

Time: 4PM EST

Hashtag #RealScotsman.

2. Twitter chat with Zachary Moore from the Shade series and Aiden MacRae from Cyndi Tefft's Between.

Time: 10pm EST
Hashtag #FakeScotsmen.

Logan and Aura will also be around for the chat.

--Note the plural "men" in this hashtag, and yes, Zach's a man now, having turned eighteen this past winter solstice. You can read all about that in Shine--very soon if you win an ARC!

--Also note: Cyndi and I, being Americans, would prefer that the questions for Zach and Aiden be kept as personal as possible--in other words, about the characters themselves. Quizzing Aiden and Zachary on Scottish history or asking "how do you say X in Gaelic?" will make us selectively blind!

3. All Things Scottish blogger giveaway hop

Bloggers, here's your chance to celebrate Scotland, give something nice to your readers, and get a chance (or several) to win a SHINE ARC!

On Wednesday, January 25, write a blog post about your favorite thing about or from Scotland and hold a giveaway for that item.

Your favorite thing about Scotland could be:
  • a movie
  • a book
  • music
  • food
  • a painting/photograph of a site or landscape
Be creative! If your favorite thing about Scotland is, say, James McEvoy, feel free to give away a DVD of any of his movies, not just ones with a Scottish theme.

^^^Billy Boyd is one of my favorite things about Scotland, but he's not quite my #1 favorite--wait until Wednesday to find out what that is.

Each blogger sets her or his own rules for the giveaway (i.e., international eligibility, time limits, what people have to do to enter). All I ask is that you draw a winner and send their name to me by Thursday, February 2. I'll put each of YOUR winners into my grand prize drawing.

Here's where it gets fun. Each blogger who hosts a giveaway also gets an entry into the grand prize drawing (for an ARC of SHINE).

AND, for every 50 entries your giveaway receives, you (the blogger) get an extra entry. So spread the word far and wide!

Host: For What It's Worth review blog. Our lovely co-host Karen will put up the post for the giveaway hop on Tuesday night. Just use Mr. Linky on her post to be included in the hop. That way everyone can go there to find all the giveaways, easy peasey.

Plus, no need to contact me until you've drawn a winner. I shall remain blissfully unaware as I work hard on my next book (lalalala, yay technology!).

4. Aura in Scotland contest: I considered having people write poems to Zach like they did for Logan for the BRIDGE party, but just did something similar last week for Aura (and it was awesome--go check it out).

So here's what I'd like you to do: write a one-paragraph reaction to Scotland from Aura's POV. No rules on length or content. It can be about Scotland in general, or it can be something specific--her first taste of black pudding, or her first visit to Zachary's house. It can be funny or sad or poignant or...whatever you want!

Since it involves a little creativity and thought, each Aura in Scotland contest entry gets two chances in the SHINE ARC giveaway. Unlimited number of entries. I will host this contest on my own blog so that people can put their entries in the comments like we did for Logan's BRIDGEparty.

At the end of the day, I'll post my own one-paragraph excerpt from SHINE, on Aura's first reaction to Scotland.

And don't worry--someday you'll have a chance to write poems about Zachary. Oh yes, that day will come.

5. Get Your Scot On contest: share your own photos of Scotland, or your attempts to make (and eat) haggis, or doing Scottish dancing, or whatever!

Hosted at: Fictitious Delicious, who will post the hub for the GYSO contest on Tuesday night. Just use Mr. Linky on their post to be included in the contest.

6. Other Assorted Nonsense
  • Since the celebration of Burns Night centers around haggis, Zachary will at some point recite Burns's "Address to a Haggis," or a shortened version thereof.
  • Being a bit defensive about the dish, Zach will post pics throughout the day on the SHADEboys tumblr of Foods More Revolting Than Haggis. (Oh look, he's started already.)
  • Possibly there'll be a Toast to the Lassies and a smart-ass response from Aura.
  • My guest author cohost Cyndi Tefft will be blogging all day long about Scotland and giving away copies of Between and Aiden's Angels swag!
  • TeamKilt swag will be given away all week by
  • I'll give away copious amounts of exclusive TeamKilt autographed personalized bookplates for SHADE, SHIFT, and SHINE. These will feature all covers, including new, old, paperback, hardcover, and UK versions. Collect all 9! NOTE: These bookplates will only ever ever ever be available during TeamKilt events.

And maybe more! The level of Jeri-driven festivities largely depends on where I'm at with my deadline for LUST FOR LIFE. If I'm where I want to be by Tuesday night, I'm so buying myself a bottle of Glenlivet 12. And then things'll get really interesting.

PLEASE NOTE: the official Twitter hashtag for the day's festivities will be #TKBurnsNight, not #BurnsNight. A few million other people might be using #BurnsNight on that date.

Any questions? I'm sure I forgot to explain something. Or other.

See you next Wednesday. GO TEAM KILT!

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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit welcomes Eileen Cook!

Welcome to our first release of the new year on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit! Eileen Cook is the author of many well-loved novels, including Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood and last year's The Education of Hailey Kendrick.

January 2 saw the release of Unraveling Isobel, which Kirkus describes as "blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative" and bestselling author Lisa McMann called "Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." Sounds like my kinda book!

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

About Eileen....

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Aww, I don't blame her--I love Vancouver!

And now, my interview with the lucky Eileen:

Which moment(s) during the writing/rewriting/editing of this book made you tear your hair out?

No matter what I do, without fail, around the three quarter point of the novel I fall into despair. Suddenly I realize that the ending I thought would work is terrible. I have no idea where I am going with the book and now that I think about it, maybe the whole book sucks. Why did I think I could write a book? Now I remind myself that I feel this way EVERY TIME and to keep moving forward. As they say, you can’t fix a blank page.

Which book/movie/TV show have you recently discovered that made you want to kick yourself for not reading/watching sooner?

I recently discovered Downton Abbey. I am in LOVE with this show. Considering the fact one of my other favorite shows is The Walking Dead, sort of illustrates how my interests are varied. Zombies and British nobility, makes sense to me.

If your house was on fire, what object (not including living creatures, human or non-human) would you grab on the way out?

When I sold my first book I wanted to use part of the money to buy something special, something that would remind me of reaching this huge goal. Paying off my Visa bill didn’t feel like it would be that kind of special. In the end, I made the decision to buy a painting. I figured supporting another artist would be a great way to spread the good art karma. If the house were on fire I’d rip that sucker off the wall and head for the door.

Is there anything most people are able to do (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike) that you can't?

I am incapable of doing a cartwheel. I start off good, but then my legs do this sort of spastic jerky thing and I sort of slump over. It’s very unattractive.

Have you ever been starstruck when meeting another writer? If so, by who?

Every time I meet another writer I get a bit star struck. I’m such a book junkie I’m impressed with everyone who completes a book. I’ve been lucky enough to speak at a few conferences and had chances to meet some great people. I am quite sure if I ever met JK Rowling I would lose my mind.


Congrats to Eileen on her new release. Hope it's a year full of great writing!


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

TeamKilt 2012

You may know TeamKilt as the force behind Zachary Moore's shocking, against-all-odds run from a virtual unknown last seed to the final battle in last year's YA Crush Tournament, where he was the only character to even come within breathing distance of Jace (47% of the vote, when up to that point the best anyone had done was 33%).

Or you may know TeamKilt as the self-designation for people who prefer Zachary over Logan in the Shade books (a designation I disagree with and so does Logan).

But TeamKilt is much, much more than one popularity-contest phenomenon, or one boy's unofficial fan club, or even one book's unofficial fan club (though it's those things, too--not gonna lie).

TeamKilt is the spirit of fun. It's about not taking anything (even books) too seriously.

It's not this way because I made it so. I didn't start it--Amy and Jen from Fictitious Delicious did. But it's not this way because Amy and Jen made it so, either. Even though...well, just look at them:

TeamKilt is an unstoppable force of fun because each of you made it so.

And in 2012, we want to make it MORE so.

This winter, TeamKilt and special guests will host a pair of holiday events, during which I’ll give away the last two remaining ARCs of SHINE. Because parties are fun, but parties with ARCs are even better.

***Thursday, January 25: Burns Night***

One of Scotland’s biggest cultural holidays, Burns Day/Night celebrates the poet Robert Burns and all things Scottish. It will run throughout the day, but there’ll also be special events, including an “Ask a Real Scotsman” Q&A on Twitter at 4pm EST, featuring my exceedingly good-humored friend and Glasgow tour guide--not to mention brilliant photographer--Fraser McFarlane.

--Blogger host: Fictitious Delicious
--Special author guest co-host: Cyndi Tefft (author of BETWEEN, featuring another Scottish hero Aiden MacRae),
--Special blogger guest co-host: Sya Bruce (Mountains of Instead)
--Special Real Person Guest: Fraser McFarlane (@StreetSpiritPic)
--Special Fake Person Guest: Aura Salvatore! (@Salvatore_Aura)

Random giveaways throughout the day include:
--signed books
--Team Kilt swag
--exclusive limited edition Team Kilt autographed bookplates for SHADE, SHIFT, and SHINE
--music and books by favorite Scots
--more! (do ya like that? sounds promising, right? But really I'm just being vague)

Bloggers, if you’d like to join in the fun and give away something awesomely Scottish or SHADE-related, just drop me a line and we’ll get you in the loop. Let’s kick the post-holiday blues BIG-TIME!

***Saturday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day***

Same deal as Burns Day, only instead of all things Scottish and Zachary, it'll be Ireland and Logan. Music, drinks (nonalcoholic for those under 21 in the US, or under 18 in Ireland, etc.)--and the final SHINE ARC giveaway!

--Author host: Me
--Blogger host: Fictitious Delicious
--Author Special guest co-host: To Be Announced
--Blogger Special guest co-host: To Be Announced
--Special Real Person Guest: To Be Announced (fingers crossed for Bono!)
--Special Fake Person Guest: Aura Salvatore

Again, if you want to take part in either of these parties, just let me know. TEAM KILT IS FOR EVERYONE. Not just fans of Zachary, or fans of that item of clothing (I'm a jeans-and-leather-jacket person myself, which is why it's what Zach wears 99.9% of the time).

If you like to party with silly-fun people from around the world, YOU ARE TEAM KILT.
If you like to celebrate books and celebrate life, YOU ARE TEAM KILT.

If you think spontaneously sharing pictures like this is an acceptable pastime, well...guess what?

It's that simple.

EDITED TO ADD: Um, Logan and Zach just had a spontaneous kilt-off on tumblr, in honor of TeamKilt. These things happen. At least, in our world they do.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

SHADE fan site kicks off Thursday!

Amy and Jen, the amazing team behind Fictitious Delicious book blog and Team Kilt, revealed their extraordinary Sekrit Project on Zachary and Aura’s birthday.

Ladies and Gentleman, readers of all ages...

Amy and Jen's partners in crime are Karen from For What It's Worth and Brooke from Brooke Reports. Together, the four of them--and web dude Mike--have made something amazing.

I can't put into words how it makes me feel to have a fan site made for one of my series, PERIOD, but to have a site this fun and entertaining? Wow, I am pretty much the luckiest author in the world.

I mean, look at these glossary entries:

Becca Goldman (SHADE): Oh, Becca. What to say about you without receiving fines from FCC? This is the girl trying to possess Zach’s heart.
USS Constellation (SHADE): A U.S. Navy warship now located at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Possesses very large potato bins.

And the Polaroid picture avatars for all the characters! I think my favorite is Mickey's. Look at the attitude in that jaw!

Thanks to everyone who stayed up late/got up early for the Solstice Surprise. There were prizes, SHINElines, and the kind of spontaneous goofiness that only comes from 3am tweeting.

The K&K site Official Grand Opening is this Thursday, January 5, including two special events bookending the day:

10:30am EST: "Zach and Logan in the Morning!" debuts with Special Guests Amy and Jen from Fictitious Delicious

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of the show Community, currently on hiatus (*sobs, shakes fist*). The SHADEboys (Zach and Logan on Twitter) are also big fans, particularly of Troy and Abed. So while Community is off TV, Zach and Logan will continue the Troy and Abed tradition of a fake morning talk show, asking off-the-wall questions of an assortment of people, including authors, agents, editors, bloggers, and musicians.

If you haven't seen Community and are not familiar with the magic of Trabed (#bestbromanceevah, as Logan calls them), here's a short example of what you can expect:

Yes, it is extremely silly to be interviewed by a pair of fake teenage boys. But look the folks who've jumped at the chance:

January 12: vlogger and Man Behind the Woman Upstairs, Christian Ready (@christianready)
January 19: Literary Agent Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd. (@Ginger_Clark)
February 2: Jodi Meadows, 2012 debut author of one of my favorite books, INCARNATE (@jodimeadows)

All times are 10:30-11am EST.

To follow the interviews, use the hashtag #ZOGANam, and/or follow Logan and Zachary on Twitter.

Highlights from the Zach and Logan in the Morning! interviews will be posted on the SHADEboys tumblr for those who missed them.

Thursday, January 5, 9pm EST: Kilt and Keeley Kickoff Chat with the Woman Upstairs (that’s me)

I’ll be giving away signed copies of SHADE and SHIFT with the new covers. Obviously you’ll have to wait until April when the books arrive in my greedy little hands, but hey, it’s something special. Giveaway is open internationally.

The prize award will be based on a trivia contest, the answers to which are found on the Kilt & Keeley website. You can join the chat on the K&K site itself, or on the chat section of the K&K Facebook page. has much more planned for this coming month. Check out the Full Kickoff Month Schedule, and follow K&K on Twitter for all the latest news and updates!


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Monday, January 02, 2012

NO KISS Blogfest - Zachary and Aura's "Scottish Lesson" from SHADE

My good friend, author Frankie Diane Mallis, runs this wonderful event every New Year's--the NO KISS Blogfest. The event features scenes, either from existing books or Works-in-Progress, where two characters alllllllllllmost kiss, but don't. Frustration Fest!

Frankie invited me to take part in the event, specifically to post what she calls the "Scottish lesson" scene. I could not resist.

For those who haven't read Shade (May 2010, sequel Shift came out in May 2011, and the final part of the trilogy, Shine, comes out May 1, 2012), the main character is Aura Salvatore. She and every person born after her can see and talk to ghosts, but no one else can. Her boyfriend Logan died and became a ghost a while ago, and they're still sort of together, even though they can't touch or have a future.

Which is where Zachary comes in. The new boy in town, he's patient and sweet and gorgeous. And Scottish. Oh, and alive.

In this scene, Aura and Zachary are out in the middle of nowhere, mapping stars as part of an exercise for a project. In the dark, obviously.


Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Zachary’s hand near my face. Slowly he brushed back my hair, sliding it behind my shoulder. His fingertip grazed my bare neck right under my ear.

My entire body tensed. I held my breath to keep from gasping.

“Sorry.” He quickly tucked the ends of my hair inside my hood. “It was in the way. I couldn’t see.”

I tried to force my mind back to the project instead of counting how many weeks it had been since anyone had touched me—really touched me, the way I wanted Zach to. I mean, the way I wanted Logan to.

Breathe. Blink. Focus.

Okay. A star where there hadn’t been one before. A supernova? A comet?

I smacked my forehead. “Duh.” I checked the steady yellow-white glow in the sky. “It’s Jupiter.”

“Is that your final answer?”

I finally dared to look at him. “It’s my final answer.”

In the faint red flashlight glow, his green eyes had turned almost black. “I think you’re right.”

“Good.” I laughed a little, to relieve the tension.

“Yeah. Good.” Zachary shifted, pulling one knee up and resting his elbow on it. I wondered if he knew this was one of his hottest poses.

“Your turn to draw.” I tossed the pencil at his chest.

“At least my hair won’t block your view.”

“No, but your big head might.” I crawled behind him so he could take my place in front of the chart.

“I’ll have you know, my head is a perfectly average size.” He spread his fingers. “My hands, though, are enormous, and you know what they say—”

“Shut up and draw, lad,” I said in my best attempt at a Scottish accent.

“Ouch.” Zachary covered his ears. “Don’t try this at home, children.”

“I thought it sounded good.”

“In your head, maybe.” He put down the pencil. “A few pointers on talking like a Scotsman. First, you don’t trill your r’s, you gently roll them. Try it. Say ‘no trill, just roll.’”

“No trill, just roll.” I bit my lip. I had trilled. Possibly even spit on him.

“No, no, it’s not Italian or Spanish. Don’t bludgeon that poor r with your tongue.”

“I can’t help it.” Must change topic from what tongues should do. “I took Spanish. And my family’s Italian.”

“They tell you to relax your mouth and let it go, right?” When I nodded, he replied, “That’s the thing, then. Keep in mind, my people are extremely uptight. So to talk like a Scotsman, you’ve got to keep that mouth under control.”

“That’s no fun.”

Zachary closed his lips. He blinked and looked to the right, then blinked again and looked back at me, as if preparing to share a secret. His voice came low and growly. “You’d be surprised how much fun it can be.”

My heart slammed in my chest so hard, I thought it would pop open my ribs. “Surprise me.”

Where had that come from?

Zachary hesitated, like he was waiting for me to take it back, then shifted so he was sitting in front of me. He took my face in his hands—which actually were pretty big—and placed his thumbs under my cheekbones, his little fingers under the curve of my jaw. “Now say it.”

“Say what?”

“Anything,” Zachary whispered.

My brain scrambled for a sentence that was suitably seductive, or at least funny. But at that moment of supreme panic, the only thing whirling around my mind was the Gettysburg Address.

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty.”

Zachary’s grip kept my mouth from opening too far. The r’s rolled out softly, tapped by my tongue with a gentle restraint.

“And dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” I switched back to my regular accent. “I forget the rest.”

“That was perfect.” He stared into my eyes, breaking our gaze only to glance at my lips. His warm hands still held my face, and the energy from his touch sent shocks zinging down my spine and out into my limbs.

An extra strong vibration came from my left side, near my heart. I closed my eyes and lifted my chin.



“Your, uh, your chest is humming.” He let go of me.

“Huh?” I blinked at the sudden loss of his touch. “Oh, my phone!” I unzipped my jacket and fumbled in the inside pocket.

It was my dear aunt and her impeccable timing.

“What’s wrong?” I answered.

“I’m just checking in,” Gina said. “Making sure you haven’t been eaten by wolves or hit by a stray bullet from a hunter.”

“I’m on a farm, not in the Yukon.”

“You know me. I have to be Turbo Godmother sometimes.”

“It’s fine. I’m fine.”

“You sure? You sound out of breath.”

“Yeah! I mean, we just moved our stuff because of the—uh, the smell. Of cows.”

“Ew. Are you almost finished?”

Zachary was already bent over our map, adding stars with a new urgency.

“Yes,” I told her through gritted teeth. “I’ll be home soon.”

When she said goodbye, I clicked off and put the phone back in my jacket.

“I also found Mars,” Zachary said. “In Gemini.” He pointed to the southeast without looking at me. “See the reddish orange one? It’s barely risen.”

“I see it.” I flipped the page in our book to a new quadrant of the sky, my hands still shaking. I hadn’t felt like this since the night Logan and I had first kissed, after his first concert a year ago.

A year ago tomorrow, I realized. I’d almost kissed another guy a few hours from our anniversary. Shame flushed my cheeks and forehead.

At least, I thought it was shame.



1. A fun note: In astrology talk, Mars is typically the planet that rules sex (and war). Gemini tends to indicate a duality, someone split in two. So Mars in Gemini points toward being attracted to two people at once. (I don't personally believe in astrology, but I find it fun to play with for characters.)

2. In SHINE, we find out how significant this Scottish lesson scene from SHADE really is.

Be sure to check out Frankie's blog for tons of other near-misses--I mean, near-kisses. And if you're intrigued by this wee bit of Shade and Zachary, you can learn more about the book right here on the website. Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Laurie Stolarz

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit! This week's guest is Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, which was just released from Disney/Hyperion Books for Children.

Look at that gorgeous cover! Deadly Little Voices is the third in Laurie's popular TOUCH series, which began with Deadly Little Secret in December 2008.

Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she'd be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history, has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren't torturing enough, Camelia's ex-boyfriend, Ben, for whom she still harbors feelings and who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are unsure how to handle her erratic behavior.

With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone's in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she’s on the brink of losing her own sanity?

Check it out! A teaser from DEADLY LITTLE VOICES:


“You’re just one big fat joke,” the voice hisses.

I cover my ears, but the insults keep coming.

“Just do it,” a voice whispers. It’s followed by more voices, of different people. They talk over each other and mingle together, producing one clear cut message – that I’m a waste of a life.

I rock back and forth, trying to remain in control. I smother my ears with the sheet. Press my forehead against my knees. Pound my heels into the floor, bracing myself for what comes next.

Meanwhile, there’s a drilling sensation inside my head; it pushes through the bones of my skull, and makes me think that I’m going crazy.

“Please,” I whisper. More tears sting my eyes. I shake my head, wondering if maybe I’m already dead, if maybe the voices are part of hell.


Here's the trailer for the previous installment in the Touch Series, DEADLY LITTLE GAMES:

Laurie herself has a message about her contest, where you can have a character named after YOU:

“In keeping with Touch series tradition, in celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, I’m launching my annual “winner-gets-to-have-a-minor-character-named-after-him/her” contest! The grand prize winner will get to have a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS, the fifth and final book in the TOUCH series named after him or her. Other prizes include autographed book copies and the opportunity to have original work appear on my web site, Facebook, and Twitter pages. OFFICIAL RULES and GUIDELINES for this contest are on my website, under NEWS. ALL ENTRANTS MUST SIGN A RELEASE FORM."

Sign up for Laurie's e-Newsletter for updates on contest, book, and appearance info.

Praise for the TOUCH series

  • Texas Tayshas List, 2010 (Deadly Little Secret)
  • Children’s Book Council’s 2010 & 2011 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee
  • Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominees, 2010 & 2011, American Library Association
  • Teens@Random, Favorite Book of 2009
  • Gold Star Award,, 2009

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master creator of suspense and romance. Her words cause the heart to pound, the palms to sweat, the spine to shiver, and the stomach to flutter. The trepidation born from the anonymous threats will make the pages fly, and the palpable tension between Camelia and Ben as they attempt to ignore their hearts causes the fire to burn hotter." -

Author Bio

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures

Favorite snack: Popcorn with soy butter and lemon/pepper seasoning.
Touristy Trip: Paris.
Fashion addiction (at the moment): artfully torn jeans, tall boots, pretty scarves, and Michael Stars tees.
Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
Fast food: French fries at least once every few months (with lots of ketchup).
Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
Late-Night TV: Real Housewives of (wherever), Mad Fashion, Fashion Hunters.
Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).
Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Peet's or Starbucks.
Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.

Other Random Info

Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
Favorite Music: Adele, Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.
Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking, shopping, interior decorating.

Congrats to Laurie on her new release, and hope everyone has a wonderful New Year full of great books like this!



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.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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