Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday's Special Is...Wicked Game!

WICKED GAME by Jeri Smith-Ready

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Jeri's website

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin takes a marketing internship at a local radio station, where the DJs turn out to be vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. To boost ratings and save the station from corporate takeover, Ciara re-brands the stations.

“WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll”--hiding the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight and disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around--next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light.

"WICKED GAME was consistently surprising and original...I highly recommend it."--Book of the Week pick, NY Times-bestselling author Charlaine Harris

Please read the following excerpt and answer the question at the end for a chance to win a free copy of WICKED GAME! Or, pop in and chat!!

Excerpt from WICKED GAME:

David touches my elbow to urge me forward a few steps. “I’m hoping Ciara will be our new intern.”

The hostility fades from the faces of the four awake DJs, replaced with a patronizing politeness. I attempt a smile, encouraged by the slight thaw.

“Spencer does our fifties show,” David says. “Birth of rock ‘n’ roll and all that.”

A man in a white dress shirt and black pants stands to greet me, unfurling endless legs from under the table. His dark red hair is slicked back into a ducktail. He squeezes the hand I offer.

“Hey, baby, what’s shakin’?” Spencer’s southern drawl and impeccable clothes give him a gentlemanly fa├žade, which doesn’t quite gel with the feral look in his eyes.

“Not much, Daddy-o.” It just comes out. Rather than take offense, Spencer smiles and nods approvingly.

The next guy springs out of his chair, and I force myself not to retreat from his approach.

“This is Jim,” David says.

“Man, I really dug your portfolio.” Jim hugs me. His long brown curls and tie-dyed shirt reek of marijuana and patchouli. “I used to go to art school, too.”

“Thanks, but I’m not an artist.” Is he sniffing me?

Jim pulls back and regards me at arm’s length. “Then how’d you get all those layouts to look so groovy?”

“For my class projects? I used the computer, of course.”

His eyes crinkle with confusion. “The...?”

David clears his throat loudly enough for my bullshit alert system to creep into Code Yellow. What the hell’s going on?

Comprehension crosses Jim’s face, and he snaps his fingers. “Right. Back in my day, we had to do it all by hand.”

I squint at him. He looks just a few years older than I am. They all do.

“Back in your day?”

The third man scrapes his chair against the floor as he rises. I turn to him, relieved to slide out of Jim’s personal space, which seems to lack boundaries.

“I am Noah.” The man’s voice rolls over me like a warm Jamaican breeze. “It is a pleasure to meet you, sweet lady.” He reaches across the table, takes my hand, and draws it to his full lips. My eyes go all moony and unprofessional under his gaze, which is softened by a pair of dark-rimmed glasses lying low on the bridge of his nose. Noah’s green, gold, and red knit cap perches atop a fetching set of chest-length dreadlocks. I’m relieved the seventies are represented by reggae instead of disco.

“Oh, please. Get the fuck off her, you wanker.” Despite the Briticism, the punk/Goth woman—Regina, I presume—has a flat Midwestern accent. Beneath a shower of spiky black hair, her face is a study in monochrome, with black eyeliner and lipstick setting off her skin’s porcelain perfection.

Regina gives me a chin tilt and a “yo,” before turning to Shane. “You can pretend to wake up now.”

He slides his flannel-shirted arm from his face, then turns his head. I take my first full breath of the evening. His warm eyes and crooked smile make me feel like I’m really here and not just a stain someone left on the rug.

“Hey.” Shane drags his battered Doc Martens off the couch and stands up slowly. Even with the grunge-cool slouch, he’s taller than the others. As he approaches, he flicks his head to sweep a tangle of nape-length, pale brown hair out of his eyes.

When our hands touch, he starts as if I’ve shocked him. He pronounces my name perfectly, and so softly I wonder if someone else in the room is still sleeping. Then his gaze cools, and he half-turns away, hands in his pockets.

Aw, he’s shy. How lovable, huggable, stuff-in-a-bag-and-take-home-able.

Question: Jeri needs another Bullshit Alert System for her next novel. What kinds of codes would you suggest? (As many or as few as you like!)


Chris Eldin said...

Good Morning Everyone!

Any night owls out there?

Not sure I'll be around a computer during official opening time (9 am), so I posted this early.

Welcome, one and all!!!

Jeri said...

Hi everyone! Wow, Chris, that's a tough question. I can't even come up with an answer myself, but then again, I've only had two sips of coffee. :-)

If the book looks familiar, that's because it's been out since last May in trade paperback, but today is the official release date for the pocket-size, recession-friendly mass market paperback. It includes an excerpt from the upcoming sequel, BAD TO THE BONE, in the back. And, um, some other features, like many, many words, all in the right order (I checked).

Looking forward to chatting with you today!

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Jeri,

Congratulations on the re-release!!! Sounds like a smart idea in today's economy. I know I'm not buying hard covers any more for a while.

The question is hard? hmmm....

Okay, here's another one...
Speaking of ducktails, who was your favorite Happy Days character?


Jeri said...

I was a huge fan of Potsie, and of Leather Tuscadero. Hmm, they would've made a really odd couple.

K Giardina said...

Good morning! I'm looking forward to reading Wicked Game - I don't know how I missed it the first time around. I'm been listening to your playlists - nice!

Congrats on the re-issue and the upcoming new release!


Jeri said...

Thanks, Kim! I love making the playlists. With WICKED GAME, my publisher asked me to make a list of all the songs mentioned in the book, and that became the playlist. Then I discovered Playlist.com and was ecstatic--I could give readers another dimension (not to mention listen to the awesome music myself).

So now the playlists have become part of the creative process itself, when I write the tie-in short stories (all on my website) and the next books.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the excerpt!

BS Alarms? Hm. That's a toughie. I'll have to think on that and get back to you.

Chris said...

I love the playlist idea! That's a favorite part of every Charles de Lint book, when he mentions in the notes or someplace what music he was listening to when he wrote the book,

Jeri said...

Sarah: Glad you liked the excerpt! There's more where that came from on my website. My publisher lets me put up the whole first chapter, which is a lotta words. ;-)

Chris: Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors--I especially love Someplace to be Flying. And it's neat that he gives a shout-out to some less well-known artists in his acknowledgments or notes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Hi Jeri,

I just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to reading this book:)


Chris Eldin said...

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to drop in with "Hello's!!"
This looks like a fun read!!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Codes, codes, who's got the codes?

Orange seems to be a favorite code around election time.

Red is good when we're talking finances or the stock market.

Blue is used for certain things like heart attacks and times of unintentional chastity.

But purple tends to be my fave. Some say it represents death and some say royalty. So for regicide, I say it's always safe to go with purple.

Wrighty said...

Love this site! I just found it through Jeri's blog so I have a lot of catching up to do! And that's all I need, more computer time! I sense a pasty-skinned summer coming on. I am now a subscriber.

For those that haven't read Wicked Game, run don't walk and get a copy! It's very cool. I especially like how different, uh, "DJs" represent different eras in music. I really don't know which code would be fitting. Probably not "The DaVinci..." right? I'll have to think on that too. I was a fan of Happy Days though (Hey, we only got 2 1/2 channels then. 2 in summer, 3 in winter.) Mrs. C. was pretty fiesty and I think she had a lot going on behind the scenes that we can only imagine.

Jeanne Ryan said...

Anything but alpha, bravo, charlie, delta. There is nothing worse than arriving home (I live on Dover AFB) and seeing the THREATCON (excuse me, Force Protection Condition or FPCON. That sounds so much more friendly, doesn't it?) read Charlie. Charlie means that we are going to be attacked. Delta means we have been attacked.

I ran home and turned on the tv, nothing. I checked the internet, nothing. Not only were we at Charlie, but we were at double top secret charlie. I called my husband who is in the Coast Guard and doesn't work on base.

We put our heads together and figured out it was a drill. You should see how drills go around here. They made it all the way to Delta and had some of the guys were madeup to look like they have chemical burns and radiation sickness.

At least I didn't make the panicked call to security "What the hell is going on?!?!"

Jeri said...

Bridget: Thanks--hope you enjoy it! :-)

Sarah: Great answers! I love the phrase "times of unintentional chastity".

Wrighty: Isn't this a great site? The posts are very clever, and they have some wonderful industry guests. And thank you so much for your comment--I'm glad you liked the book! I think you're right about Mrs. C. She had many hidden strengths.

Jeri said...

Jeanne: Wow, that's disturbing! Double top secret Charlie, I love it.

Jackie B. said...

Great excerpt. I will have to read this one!I would love to get a free copy (hint,hint!LOL). Not real sure about the Bullshit alert thingbut as far as happy days, Joanie wasn't the only one who loved Chachi!

Unknown said...

From the sounds of this crowd, Yellow won't be enough and Orange is too cheery.

Instead, various forms of red:

Crimson, Scarlet, Carmine, Rust and Blood, of course, as just a few suggestions.

Tana said...

Fun excerpt! Congrats on the re-release.
BS alarms, hmmm, how about a richter scale of sorts, trembler, seismic, quick painful jolt, rolling (e)motion ;)

Venus said...

I have read all Jeri's book and they are great. Requiem was such an amazing read. I can't wait for Bad to the Bone.

I found this website through Jeri's blog.

BS meter... hmm. That is a tough one.

Jeri said...

Jackie: Thanks for joining us. Hee, Chachi was so cute, wasn't he?

Karen: I love your different shades of red system, and your rationale for it!

T. Anne: Glad you enjoyed the excerpt! I like your system--thinking out of the box, the physical instead of the visual. You guys are making this a tough call. :-)

Venus: Thank you so much! I'm glad you could join us for the roast.

I have to run out to dinner now (celebrating the new release and my mom's visit), but I'll be back later tonight. See you then!

Pissenlit said...

I've never read Wicked Game but I liked the excerpt! I'll have to track this down.

Code Technicolour for when things go to Hell in a handbasket and you can't be bothered to come up with a specific colour. Ha!

Or if we're moving away from colour codes, how about # of rolls of toilet paper...the more bullshit, the larger the number...*snicker* I'm going to stop now. :D

laughingwolf said...

welcome jeri, skin me five :O

grats on the re-release, chickie... ;)

smooth excerpt, chrissie baby :P lol

as for jeri's new bullshit codes for 'bad to the bone':

frost: for, hostile

sugar: for, hunk

cocoa: for, bedtime

25 skidoo ;)

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for dropping by!!! The contest is now closed.

Thank you Jeri for spending time with us over here!!! I hope your mass market release is a huge success!!!


Shane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeri said...

OK, that was really funny. I was logged in as my character Shane for another blog where he was being interviewed, and I just answered as him here.



Pissenlit: I love your ideas!

Laughingwolf: That was a fun little trip back in time. I really don't miss the seventies at all. ;-)

laughingwolf said...

nor i, jeri... but it's all in good fun ;)

HockeyVampiress said...

Hey again Jeri, showing support with another comment. Those of you who haven't checked out this series get your butt out to pick up the re release and preorder BTTB!!! You will not be dissapointed!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I always enjoy a good use of the word "feral"

Jeri said...

And the winner is...Karen from TN! I loved her idea for the different shades of Code Red.

Karen, please send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com, and i'll get your copy of Wicked Game right out to you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented, and thanks to Chris for having me. I'll be back in a couple months to yak about Bad to the Bone. See you then!

Jeri said...

HockeyVampiress: Thanks for your support! And folks, I promise, she is not secretly my mom. ;-)

Charles: I agree. Certain words require judicious deployment. :-)

laughingwolf said...

grats karen... thx jeri :)

...ooops should be 23 skidoo, not 25 :O lol