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