Guest Author: Jeri Smith-Ready

Today, I am excited to welcome Jeri Smith-Ready to Literary Escapism!  Jeri is the author of the superb WVMP Vampire series – Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone – plus the upcoming YA novel, Shade.  Next week, Bad to the Bone comes out in mass market paperback and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you really should.

Turn On. Tune In. Drop Dead.

If you’re just joining us, welcome to radio station WVMP, “The Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll.” Con-artist-turned-station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs—including her new boyfriend Shane McAllister—who really sink their teeth into the music of their ‘Life Time” (the era in which they became vampires). It’s Ciara’s job to keep the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive—without missing a beat.

For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They’ve got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails—what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be…a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it).

Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend’s unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year’s in one piece, she’ll need to learn a few new tricks.…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away signed copies of both Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone, plus a cool silver metal dog or cat bookmark – to one lucky winner.

Q goes Paranormal – Way Cool Toys for (Kickass) Girls and Boys

I love spy movies—the heart-pounding action, the witty one-liners, the brief and tragic love affairs. But my favorite part occurs when the agents get their toys, when James Bond sits down with Q to learn about the devices that will later save his life (and by extension, the world).

For my WVMP RADIO vampire series, I created the International Agency for the Control and Management of Undead Corporeal Entities.* To keep humans safe from the undead, the Control employs an array of anti-vampire weaponry. Katana swords for decapitation, crossbows for shooting, and stakes for—well, you know. Standard stuff.

But for long-range, non-lethal vampire control, I bring you: The Holy Water Super Soaker. The most advanced models (like the awesomely named Aquashock Hydroblitz, pictured here) can blast the burning liquid up to thirty-five feet, far out of fang range. They’re painted black for night ops camouflage, and because macho Control agents wouldn’t be caught dead wielding a bright blue gun.

One advantage to creating fictional agencies—especially paranormal ones—is the ability to change reality to suit the story. For Bad to the Bone, I did a lot of research into listening devices, but couldn’t find one that fit exactly what I needed.

So I did what authors do in a pinch: I made one up. The Control’s “bugs” have a microphone the size of an earbud, an adhesive backing, and a tiny extendable antenna. Hide it in your palm, stick it under the desk in your archenemy’s lair, or use it to call in an SOS in the event of detainment.

My favorite invention so far is something my heroine Ciara calls the “Blinky Badge.” A Control agent’s badge has a dynamic security system made of a tiny keypad under a flashing green light. An agent’s codes are refreshed every 72 hours (more frequently for those in high-risk areas or situations). Punch in your new code as soon as you receive it, or—uh-oh, the badge’s green light turns red.

So if your badge is stolen, you can’t be impersonated. And if you go rogue—or if the Control in its infinite, ineffable wisdom decides to cut you off—your fellow agents will know right away not to trust you.

What are your favorite cool toys from books or movies? Do you like when fictional agencies invent their own gadgets, or do you require hard-core realism? Do you stretch your willing suspension of disbelief further for paranormal books?

*Why “Undead Corporeal Entities” and not “Vampires”? I wanted to leave the door open for zombies, and gosh darn it if they don’t shamble right through that door in Book 3, Bring on the Night, due out in August.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Jackie for having me as a guest!

Jeri is giving away a signed set of the first two installments of her award-winning WVMP RADIO urban fantasy series, Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone (which comes out in mass market paperback February 22). PLUS, in honor of Dexter the vampire dog, one of the heroes of Bad to the Bone, you’ll win a shiny metal bookmark engraved with paw prints and animal quote (see picture, your choice of cat or dog).

Visit Jeri at, or


Thank you Jeri for taking the time to share with us …

Contest Time! Jeri has graciously offered to give away signed copies of both Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone, plus a cool silver metal dog or cat bookmark – to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer one of this question: What kind of super cool, kick ass spy toys would you give your hero or heroine?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
  • +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
  • +10 purchase for any of Jeri’s novels – Shade, Requiem for the Devil, Eyes Of Crow, Voice Of Crow and/or The Reawakened – or any print novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace.  Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter.  Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until February 25th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

Also, I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Hi, great contest!
    I’d give my heroine a way (maybe a capsule inside the cheek you can only use once to make the story better?) to become invisible.

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  2. ““Blinky Badge.” A Control agent’s badge has a dynamic security system made of a tiny keypad under a flashing green light. An agent’s codes are refreshed every 72 hours”

    When I worked in Security, we had something akin to that actually. The keycards had internal codes that were changed every few days. The employee had to acknowledge the receipt or their bade was turned off. Jeri, I’d patent that idea of the Blinky Badges. Simply innovative. Sure you didn’t get a degree in Criminal Justice?

    Love your books, (and I’m hedging on stalking I swear) but for people who have not checked your work out, they really, really should.

  3. Bethany, that would be way cool indeed! Sometimes when I’m shopping in department stores and need help finding stuff, I wonder if I actually am invisible. ;-)

    Carrie, you’re so sweet for saying that! That’s interesting about the keycards. I got the Blinky Badge idea from a “Secure Key” my husband used when he telecommuted and needed to log in to the server at his job. It was the size of a key and it would display a new code according to an algorithm shared by the central server onsite at the company. As the code changed onsite, the key would give him the new code so he could log in remotely.

  4. Enjoyed reading the comments.
    I would give my heroine super toys like a lipstick that could enhance far away sounds/earrings that send signals with a turn of the head/pointy-toed shoes that have knives in the ends of them/makeup that makes her invisible/and a jet-pack that allows her to fly from one space to another. Oh, and she would have to have a kick-ass car that had all kinds of weapons on it (like a James Bond one)

  5. I think I’d make something like spiderman’s web shooter that would shoot bullets. That way you’d have your hands free and the bad guy wouldn’t know that you’re armed.

    Can’t wait for Shade to come out.

  6. I would give my heroine a pendant that could turn into whatever type of weapon she needed at the time. The pendant would be linked to her mind and can only be used by her. I figure this would take away some bulk she would always have it with her, even if she has no pockets, a purse or no clothing.

  7. Please don’t enter me! I am lucky enough to own all of Jeri’s books and even have a few signed ones!

    Just wanted to pop in and say hi! Lovely guest post!

    Wish I had more time to visit Literary Escapism! Sorry I haven’t been around lately!

    Good luck to everyone!

  8. I’d give my hero a suit of clothes that had silver buttons and was stitched with silver thread. that would keep vamps from getting to close.

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  9. I always thought having a gadget that would either speed up or slow down your movements would be pretty cool. You could whip past unsuspecting guards or slow down you movements when it came to going through detection areas.

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  10. I’d give my hero a magic bracelet that had a button on it that can be used to stop time for 5 minutes.

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  11. I’ve not read any of this series but it sounds great so I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the chance to win copies of the first 2 books :o)

    I think it would be pretty cool to have some kind of gadget that allowed you to become invisible. Of course you’d still need something to allow you to listen in on conversations from a distance, some kind of recording equipment and some really kick ass weapons too :o)

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  12. I have both the books and ONE of these days I’ll be lucky enough to see her in person (boy, didn’t THAT sound stalker-y), so please don’t enter me.

    I just wanted to say thank you, for such terrific reads. When I was in college, I hung with a few dj’s, and them being vampires would have made EVERYTHING understandable. LOL.

    As for cool toys, I’m afraid I’m from the original Get Smart generation. I still grin at the government toys that didn’t work, especially the cone of silence and the shoe phone.

    Keep up the great work, Jeri! I promise I haven’t stalked anybody in YEARS! : )

  13. Wow, you guys are giving me some fantastic ideas! *making notes for future use*

    Joye: Those are incredibly creative toys! I especially love the sense-enhancing lipstick.

    Sandy G: Thanks–I can’t wait for Shade, either. :) And very smart about keeping hands free to fool the bad guys. That’s the sort of thinking authors need to use when coming up with gadgets and fight scenes, etc.

    Dana: Ooh, cool! If it were linked to her mind, way no one else could use it even if they stole it.

    Spav: The forget-me flash would be sooo convenient for a vampire-oriented agency, where the whole idea is to keep them secret. I wish the Control had something like that.

    *waves to Amberkatze*

    Lisa: Wow, silver thread to fend off vampires–very clever! (Although my vamps aren’t allergic to silver, so it wouldn’t help there.) You could use iron thread or some kind of filings to ward off faeries. Hmmmm…

    I’ll answer the rest in a separate comment (I’m always worried blogs will eat my comments if they get too big).

  14. Stephanie N: Ooh, I like it! That would be really handy if it were adjustable on the fly.

    gypsywitch: And I love you for loving Wicked Game! :-)

    Carrie E: Wow, that has a lot of story potential, especially if there was a limit to how often it could be used in a certain period of time. Major decisions involved.

    Sarah: Invisibility would be great. As for recording equipment, Ciara does pretty well with her cell phone camera in Bad to the Bone. ;-)

    Michele: It would be great to meet you in person! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books. I had my favorite DJ read Wicked Game for a cover quote, and he said that my vampire DJs were so true to life it was scary. ;-)

  15. Tough one!
    I’d love one of those awesome all-in-one watches that does everything: laser, timer, bomb detonator, phone, etc. Plus, men watches are *so* sexy!

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  16. A night vision of contact lenses ? sounds cool.
    or a bracelet that can absorb the poison from your body if you get poisonous without you know it :)

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  17. I think some sort of gadget to make you turn invisible and something that would transport you at the push of a button to anywhere you want to be would be useful.

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  18. Christine M: That would be the all-time best watch ever! Just make sure it doesn’t get stolen. ;)

    Mariska: Ooh, night vision contacts! I would love those. Mine always seem to get blurry at night.

    Raelena: Invisibility seems to be popular here. Transporting would be cool, as long as they put all my molecules back in the right place.

  19. I would probably give my hero/heroine a couple of small glass orbs (like the one in the movie Van Helsing)that when you throw it in front of a group of vampires it will emit a light as strong as the sun. It would be the size of a ping pong ball, which makes it easier to carry.

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  20. Oh thanks for the review. I really Jeri’s Wicked Game. As far as spy toys go, it’s all about the car baby. Shiny, fast and lots of little gadgets to get my spy out of any tricky situation. It might help to also have a computer a la Nightrider…

  21. Hi Jeri!
    I’m not great at imagining/creating new technology or spy stuff but when I was a teen working at the PX on base, I remember being fascinated by their first-aid kit! It had a spray on bandage that dried clear and was like second skin, and the disinfectant was in it too. This was a couple years before liquid bandages were widely available. so I’d include stuff like that, lol.

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