Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Let It Bleed playlists

Like all the WVMP novels, "Let It Bleed" has a playlist of songs mentioned in the story. Sometimes the songs are explicitly stated, and other times it'll just say something like, "a haunting blues tune," which leaves me room to choose anything I want.

Like the novella itself, "Let It Bleed"'s playlist is full of criminals. Enjoy.

Song Artist
Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash
Stack O'Lee Blues Mississippi John Hurt
House of the Rising Sun The Animals
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Iron Butterfly
Gimme Shelter The Rolling Stones
Amber 311
Everlong (acoustic) Foo Fighters
The Righteous and the Wicked Red Hot Chili Peppers
Give It Away Red Hot Chili Peppers
Negative Creep Nirvana
F.O.D. Green Day
I'll Be Seeing You Billie Holiday

Let It Bleed soundtrack by Jeri Smith-Ready on Grooveshark


Again, like the WVMP novels, each chapter of "Let It Bleed" is the title of a popular song (or at least a song that was popular in its time). I try to strike a balance among all the eras, from the 1940s to the present. The title of the book is usually the title of the penultimate chapter. And I always end on a Nirvana song.*

Song Artist
She's Not There The Zombies
Dangerous Type The Cars
Me and the Devil Blues Robert Johnson
Down with the Sickness Disturbed
Closer Nine Inch Nails
A Mess of Blues Elvis Presley
Where It's At Beck
Cousins Vampire Weekend
The Kids Are Alright The Who
Come Out and Play Offspring
Over, Under, Sideways, Down The Yardbirds
Running on Empty Jackson Browne
Born to be Wild Steppenwolf
Running on Empty Jackson Browne
Let It Bleed The Rolling Stones
All Apologies Nirvana

Let It Bleed chapter titles by Jeri Smith-Ready on Grooveshark

* Except in Bring on the Night, which was framed by Neil Young's "Hey Hey My My (Out of the Blue)" and its counterpart "My My Hey Hey (Into the Black)," which Kurt Cobain quoted in his suicide note ("It's better to burn out than fade away."). So almost a Nirvana song.

For more playlists, check out the WVMP music page. Or tune in to the WVMP Pandora stations for continuous vampire DJ action.

Thanks for listening!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let It Bleed is live!

Just a quick note to let you know that "Let It Bleed" is now available for free download here on the website! It doesn't have a final cover yet--I had one made, but it wasn't, you know, PERFECT, so I'm going back to the drawing board.

I wanted to post the playlist here as well, but Grooveshark and Blogger aren't playing nice with each other, so I'll get that fixed and up tomorrow, if not here, then on the WVMP Music page.

But hey, the story itself is available! Yay!

If you're curious to know the full story of how "Let It Bleed" came to be, check out my Let It Bleed - the long story post from last week.



Is this adult or YA?

The WVMP RADIO series is for adults. The recommended reading age is 16 and up.

How long will "Let It Bleed" be free?

Until at least May 27, 2013, six months after the publication of the fourth and final novel in the series, Lust for Life (coming November 27 from Pocket Books). When "Let It Bleed" goes on sale in Summer 2013, it'll contain bonus material or be packaged with other short fiction. 

Do I need to read "Let It Bleed" to complete the series?

YES. It's not an offshoot side story like most novellas, but rather an essential part of the series' overall story arc. (Read the background post to understand why.) This is why I'm offering it for free for the first year--I didn't want readers to pick up Lust for Life in December and go, "HUH? Did I miss something?"

I'm new to the WVMP RADIO series. Do I need to read Books 1-3 to understand and enjoy "Let It Bleed"?

Definitely not. In writing and editing "Let It Bleed," I tried to ensure that new readers would be able to follow the story and understand the characters.

That being said, "Let It Bleed" has a spoiler (on the first page and in the description) for a major development in the series that takes place in Book 3, Bring on the Night. If you're a stickler for reading stories in order, start with Book 1, Wicked Game. Check out the sidebar on that page for free samples and connected short stories.

If you've read Wicked Game and/or Book 2, Bad to the Bone, but not Bring on the Night, I strongly suggest reading that novel before you even glance at the "Let It Bleed" description. (Seriously, it's been almost two years--what are you waiting for?)

Will "Let It Bleed" be available on Amazon, B&N, etc., so I can review it there?

Yes, hopefully within a month. Once I get a cover, I'll submit it through the distribution channels that put it on those sites. Amazon won't allow free books unless you go with them exclusively, so so there'll be a charge to download it from there. But it'll remain free here on the website for about a year.

Any other questions? Leave them in the comments or email me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. Thanks!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let It Bleed - the long story

As I mentioned yesterday, "Let It Bleed" is having a "soft release" to WVMP Street Teamers tonight. It will be available on its brand-new web page next Tuesday, June 26, as a free download in all major ebook formats. Yay!

EDITED TO ADD: And here it is!

It's been a long journey, and it's high time I told the story of that journey. You've waited approximately forever, so I owe you that much.


January 2010: I start writing Let It Bleed the novel, fourth in my WVMP Radio urban fantasy series, a series I'd planned to be five books, finishing with Lust for Life.

Spring and Summer 2010: I fit Let It Bleed around my schedule for Shift and two anthology stories, since it's not due until October.

October 2010: I finish Let It Bleed and turn it in to my editor. Like all rough drafts, it has major problems, but I think I know how to fix them.

November 2010: I start planning the revisions. I download Scrivener and become a HIGHLY  ORGANIZED INDIVIDUAL. What with page proofs for Shift and the proposal for Shine, I haven't actually started writing the new version of Let It Bleed, but it's cool--my editor still hasn't read it yet, and besides, I definitely know how to fix it.

Early December 2010: I get a revision letter from my editor that says, basically, "I know you like to do massive rewrites, so maybe you should just tell me how you plan to fix this, and I'll comment on your ideas." Yeah, the rough draft isn't even worth editing--it was THAT BAD. But it's okay--I know how to fix it! My editor loves my ideas and gives me helpful suggestions, because she is awesome and patient and knows how I work.

Mid-December 2010: I turn in the proposal for Book 5, Lust for Life, which has the perfect ending for the series. Happily ever after for Shane and Ciara! Woo-hoo!

Early January 2011: It turns out, I do not know how to fix Let It Bleed. The rewrite is a giant mess. The book has too many subplots, too many antagonists, and the story is ultimately just a bridge between the Big Event of Bring on the Night and the Even Bigger Event of Lust for Life. The story doesn't hang together, and there's nothing I can do to fix it. I consider running away to New Zealand.

Late January 2011: Let it Bleed the novel is a failure. It just. doesn't. work. Sometimes this happens. If you're a writer and it has never happened to you, just wait.

February 2011: My agent tells me that my publisher has turned down my proposal for Lust for Life,  due to the series' sales numbers. There will be no fifth book. There will be no happy ending. Unless I do something drastic, my favorite series ever will end with a hot mess of a novel with a bittersweet conclusion.

I do something drastic.

The first sentence out of my mouth after "Ohhhhhh shooooooot." (only I didn't say, "shoot.") is this:

"Hey! What if I take the plot for Book 5 and make it Book 4, then boil down what was Book 4 into a novella, Book 3.5? Then the characters and the readers still get the wonderful ending they deserve. Plus, this unsalvageable novel becomes an excellent novella!"

Yes, I said to her, I understand that this means essentially writing an entire novel for my publisher FOR FREE. (Imagine telling your boss you'll gladly work for six to eight months for no pay, just for the chance to do your job right.)

Luckily, Pocket was happy to let me make this unorthodox move. They changed the title and publication date for Book 4 from Let it Bleed and Summer 2011 to Lust for Life and Fall 2012.

The Rest of 2011 through May 2012: Between contracted projects (Shine and Lust for Life), I convert Let it Bleed the novel into "Let It Bleed" the novella. I attempt to serialize it on my website, but delays make this very cool idea unworkable. I receive angry emails from WVMP readers who think I've forgotten them.

I continue to work on it when I can, ripping out subplots, characters, needless meanderings--all the crap that didn't work in the novel form. It  turns out to be much, much harder than I thought. I get stuck on Chapter Nine for about six months.

The delay is fortuitous, though! Because once I start writing Lust for Life--and more important, rewriting Lust for Life--I have a grand epiphany on how to end "Let It Bleed." Woo-hoo!

June 2012 (Hey, that's now!): I put the finishing touches on "Let It Bleed," my beta readers love it, and finally, after years of pulling my hair out and cursing its very existence...I love it, too.


There you go, the sordid saga of "Let it Bleed." It's been one of the hardest struggles of my career. I almost shed a tear just typing this up. It wasn't easy putting readers off time after time and not being able to explain the delays.

But now at last you know, I did it all so that you and Ciara could have the ending you deserved, and have it in print.

So I hope that when you read "Let It Bleed" (either this week if you're on the Street Team or next week if not),  and when Lust for Life releases on November 27, you'll agree they were worth the wait.

I think they are.


Once again, if you'd like to be notified when "Let It Bleed" is available on the website for download (next Tuesday, June 26), sign up using this sweet button:

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Last day to nominate for Crush Tourney--and my incentives

Wow, things are really heating up over at YA Sisterhood's Crush Tournament, and it hasn't even begun! As expected, competition is incredibly fierce this year. But guess what? SHADE fans are the FIERCEST.

Current standings, with ONE DAY to nominate:

Zachary is currently in 19th place. There will be 24 total slots in the tournament.

Zachary is a mere 21 nominations away from ELIMINATION.

Logan is in 41st, but a mere 28 nominations from inclusion in the top 24.

No SHADE boys in the tourney means no Team Kilt slumber parties, no snippets of Zachary's novella, "Shattered," popping up during voting day, no giveaway bonanzas. It means Sadface Summer.

That's an Underdogpuppy if I ever saw one.

But you can save them! Nominate Zachary and/or Logan before 11:59pm Central Tuesday. It takes less than a minute to fill out the nomination form, and your ballot is 100% private.

Readers have given me some fabulous ideas for incentives. I'm keeping some of them secret until tournament time, but here's a taste of what's to come.
  • If Zachary makes the tournament, I'll do a limited illustrated print run of his e-novella, "Shattered," complete with photos where certain scenes take place. These will be given out as prizes during the tournament (to be mailed once the novella is finished, of course). 
  • If Zachary makes it to the finals again, I'll write a multi-scene story about Senior Prom night. Readers can vote whether it'll be written from Aura's or Zachary's (or both) point-of-view. If you've read SHINE, you know there are no Senior Prom details provided there. You know also Zach wears the kilt. ;)
  • OTHER AWESOMENESS TBA (e.g., charitable donations, deleted scenes, "Shattered" sneak peeks, etc.)
  • If Logan makes it into the tournament, I'll write a short scene from his POV--maybe pre-SHADE, his and Aura's first kiss?
  • If Logan makes it to the finals, I'll write him a brand-new short story. Possibly post-SHINE. o.O
  • OTHER AWESOMENESS TBA (possibly involving Dylan, Mickey, and/or Siobhan)

I don't know how many nominations Martin has, but if he makes it into the tournament, he'll join Twitter. I can't begin to tell you how much fun that'd be.

So nominate Zachary, Logan, and/or Martin by 11:59pm Central Tuesday, then hop back to the Team Kilt signup form to help fight for the SHADE boys if they're lucky enough to get in.


...can prevent Sadface Summer. And forest fires.

Thanks again!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Let It Bleed goes to Street Team tomorrow!

I can absolutely positively confirm that unless I get hit by a bus*, Book 3.5 in the WVMP RADIO series, the novella "Let It Bleed," will be available to the WVMP Street Team members by the end of the day tomorrow!

(This is what you get when you Google image "Vampire Confetti." Source: DeviantArt)

So what'll happen is I'll send a message to the Street Team and ask them to reply saying they want it, at which point I'll send a PDF attachment of the file. It'll be fully printable, as well as readable on a Kindle (and hopefully other ereaders, but since a Kindle is all I have--don't judge me!--that's all I can test it on by then).

Then next Tuesday, June 26, I'll have the file available here on my website on the soon-to-be-constructed "Let It Bleed" page. At this point, it'll be in all major ebook formats and will hopefully have a smashing cover to boot.

More facts about "Let It Bleed":
  • It'll be free to download for one year. I'll set up a "tip jar" on the website if anyone wants to make a donation.
  • It's an adult book. Recommended reading age for the series is 16 and up.
  • This is Book 3.5 in the series, which means if you haven't read Books 1-3, you will be spoiled. Now would be a great time to catch up!
Go here to sign up for the Street Team. There are other benefits to being on the team, such as cool swag.

If you'd like to be notified when "Let It Bleed" is available on the website for download (next Tuesday, June 26), sign up using this swanky button:

Thanks once again for your patience. I'm so excited to finally share a work that's been two and a half years in the making!

*Don't worry, I will stay indoors and off the main roads. Worse that can happen is I get trampled by a rogue pony.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Putting the "Team" in Team KIlt

I see you've chosen teamwork. A coward's strategy.
--Cornelius Hawthorne (Pierce's evil dad), Community Season 3 Episode 20, "Digital Estate Planning"

Hey guys! As you've probably noticed, I've been a little scarce online lately. I'm almost caught up to where I need to be deadline-wise, but to do that I had to, you know, IGNORE THE WORLD (which isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds).

So when I saw the other day that the YA Crush Tournament was starting soon, what was my gut reaction?

Excitement. Then panic. And finally...nausea. All in about four seconds.

My Inner Eeyore said, How can I possibly do this, with all I have on my plate? Wait, how can I NOT do this? Last year's Crush Tourney brought us all together to take a virtual unknown all the way to the finals! I can't let Team Kilt down. The SHADE books aren't so huge that I can get Zachary or Logan or Martin a thousand votes with one tweet. If they lose badly, or don't make it in, THERE WILL BE KILT-Y SADNESS AND IT WILL BE MY FAULT.

Besides, Eeyore continued, what happened in last year's crush tourney can never be repeated. That magic, that camaraderie, that togetherness was like lightning in a bottle. It can't be recaptured!!


*feeds Inner Eeyore chocolate to silence it*

Hmm, I seem to remember a certain winter solstice when we all stayed up until (or napped, then got up at) 3am  to see the unveiling of the Kilt & Keeley SHADE fan site, built by Zachary's fantabulous crush tourney advocates Jen and Amy from Fictitious Delicious.

And then there was Burns Night. And St. Patrick's Day. And the end of February when you guys brought home victory for Zachary and Logan in two separate tournaments (and got yourself the SHIFT river scene from Zachary's POV). And the SHADEboys dance party! And in May when we flew across the country to take part in Team Kilt Con!

If anything, Team Kilt is bigger, stronger, and funner more fun than it was last summer. What started as a joke hashtag has grown into a community of crazy, loving, generous folks who share each other's joys and sorrows that have nothing to do with books or boys (well, usually it has to do with boys).

So yeah, I think we can do it again. And by "it" I don't mean take Zachary to the finals. If it happens, FABULOUS. If not, we will still have more fun than all the rest of the teams put together.

And it will be different. They're calling it Crush Tournament 2.0, but this is not Team Kilt 2.0. This is Team Kilt, um, I don't know...Pi?

Yeah, Team Kilt Pi. We have infinite digits and have something to do with circles because we, um, like to hug. Yep.

(mmmmm, pie....)

What's different this year? For starters, the SHADEboys are trying to get Martin from SHINE into the tournament and will apply to advocate for him. I think it'd be really cool to have an LGBT character in the mix, and Martin is certainly crush-worthy (if you like gingers, aka redheads). So if Martin gets in, there'll be mega fun times on the part of the SHADEboys.

If Zachary gets into the tournament, we have something DELIRIOUSLY fun and different planned for voting day(s). This activity was cooked up the other night between me and [undisclosed person] at around 2am, so you know it's ridiculous. You will love it, because you will help create it.

And if Logan gets in...well, I'll come up with something, together with his advocate. Spontaneity is always best where Logan is concerned.


As I may have mentioned, I am extreeeeeeeeeemely busy with deadlines right now, so I really really really really really really really really need your help. Big help, little help, medium-size help. I need ALL THE HELPS.

First, please go to YA Sisterhood and nominate Zachary and/or Logan and/or Martin, now through June 19. Spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. Even though Zachary did well last year, there is no guarantee he'll even make the tournament this year, much less be accompanied by one of his page-brothers. There are tons of lovely book boys out there, more every day, and from books that are in a million languages and have movies made out of them and are sold in, like, drugstores and stuff.

In short, the SHADE boys need you.

EDITED 6/15 2:50pm EDT, TO ADD: If you nominated Zachary, Martin, or Logan, blog about it and leave a link in the comments below. At the end of the nomination period, I'll draw a winner for a signed copy of your choice of SHADE books (your choice of covers, too). International entries welcome!

EDITED 6/20, TO ADD: The winner is Grace Lo! Congrats, Grace! Grace please send me your mailing address and let me know which of the three SHADE books you'd like to have me sign to you (this includes the SHIFT and SHINE UK versions).

  • PLEASE FILL OUT THE NOMINATION FORM ONLY ONCE (that goes for you, too, Mom!). If you try to nominate more than once, the tourney folks will delete all your nominations. 
  • PLEASE LIST EACH NAME ONLY ONCE. If you break this rule, DELETED.
  • PLEASE LIST BOTH THE BOY AND THE BOOK. Again, ignore this rule, DELETED.
  • PLEASE READ ALL THEIR RULES before you fill out the nomination form. 

Second, if you'd like to help any or all of these boys in the tournament, fill out the Team Kilt signup form below. (And know that I love you.) The mailing list will be used to send updates and offer "volunteer opportunities" (i.e., how you can help Team Kilt, even if it's only for 17 minutes on the solstice, heh). There is no deadline for signing up--we welcome everyone and every-when!

NOTE: You will not be added to any other list for any purpose. I don't believe in spam (well, I believe it exists, I just don't believe in doing it).

Everyone who signs up and includes their mailing address (optional) gets a SHADE series Team Kilt bookplate, which can't be bought or requested, only won or earned during an official Team Kilt event. There are 9 different designs. Here are 8:

But yours will be personalized with your name and a thank-you note from me. And there'll also be a UK SHINE cover thrown into the mix, so you might get that design instead of one of these. (Oh hey, SHINE came out in the UK last Thursday!)

For each person you recruit to Team Kilt (who puts your name down as their referrer (is that a word?), you'll get an extra bookplate. I promise not to send you more than one of the same bookplate design--I have a spreadsheet for this and everything!

(EDITED TO ADD: You'll also get a signed I AM TEAM KILT sticker, featuring the logo at the top of this post! I'm also looking into having Team Kilt bookmarks or cards made if one or more of the boys gets into the tourney. So cross your fingers for new swag!)

Third, there might be some grand prize drawing, but really, I just want people who want to be on Team Kilt because they love it, not because they might win an iPad (you will not win an iPad). I do plan to create some sort of Thank-you Thingie that will honor each of you in a personal way.

Fourth, you might want to watch the Community episode I linked to in the quote at the top of this post (the link goes to Hulu where you can watch online). It MIGHT be relevant. Or just really funny. OR BOTH. Who knows? Oh, I guess you will, if you sign up for Team Kilt. Otherwise, you'll just have to wait and see what we have in store....

EDITED 7/31 TO ADD: Team Kilt Signup for purposes of swag, etc., is now closed. But please follow our #TeamKilt hashtag on Twitter for daily shenanigans, and keep an eye out for future parties!

Again, thank you so much!

*disappears into Copyedit Cave*

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Monday, June 04, 2012

BEA schedule

Here's where I'll be this week--hope to see you there!
Location (except for Teen Author Carnival):
Jacob Javits Convention Center,
655 West 34th Street
Tuesday, June 5, 6:30-9:30: Teen Author Carnival, Jefferson Market Library, 425 Avenue of the Americas (at 10th Ave). This event is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
6:45-7:35, Panel: A Whole Another World - with Lenore Appelhans, Lauren Oliver, Aimee Carter, Victoria Schwab, Michelle Zink, Gennifer Albin, Karen Mahoney, Courtney Moulton, Leah Clifford, Scott Tracey
7:40 - 8:30, Panel: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger - with Eliot Schrefer, Michelle Zink, Courtney Moulton, Gretchen McNeill, Siobhan Vivian, Aimee Carter, Stacey Kramer, Valerie Thomas, Barry Lyga, Lauren Oliver 
8:30 - 9:20, Signing (books will be for sale or you can bring your own)
Wednesday, June 6, 10-11am: Signing and giving away copies of SHINE (hardcover) at Booth 3591 (Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America). One autographed book per person. For attendees of BookExpo America only.
Thursday, June 7, 9:30-10am: Signing and giving away copies of SHINE (paperback) at Booth 3784 (Romance Writers of America). Note: doors open at 9am, so signing might begin early to give me time to chat with all readers! One autographed book per person. For attendees of BookExpo America only.



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.

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Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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