Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Breaking Up with Jeri Smith-Ready

Today I'm happy to welcome Jeri Smith-Ready, author of Shade. To win your own copy, please leave comment. Here's Jeri's breakup story:

I tried writing several breakup stories, but looking back, most of my relationships make me sound either feeble or evil.

Like my first boyfriend, a high school dropout who shoplifted my birthday gifts, ridiculed my virginity, and eventually wandered off in search of fresh prey. Or Boyfriend #5, who left me for Jesus. Or Boyfriends 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8, whom I left for, well, in most cases, the next number on the list.

If you can count, you’ll notice I omitted Boyfriend #4. For privacy’s sake, let’s call him “Dude,” because that’s what he called everyone else. Dude was a skateboarder back before skateboarding was cool—in fact, I’m pretty sure we singlehandedly kept it from being cool. Dude collected more styling products in one year than I have had in my entire life.

Dude dumped me about an hour before I was going to dump him. (With breakups, as with comedy, timing is everything.) I’d felt so guilty about wanting to leave him, thinking I would ruin his summer, that I’d been extra sweet and attentive, calling him every day during break. Looking back, this behavior probably drove him away that much faster. Oh well.

When sophomore year started two months later, Dude and I were inseparable friends, with none of the bickering and baggage that had plagued our former relationship. This really confused the people we hung out with, who assumed we were secretly hooking up.

Nope. We had just discovered that we liked each other better this way. Plus, Dude did wonders for my hair.

More About Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. She holds a master's degree in environmental policy and lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and the world's goofiest greyhound.

More About Shade

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

To win your own copy of Shade, please leave a comment by midnight, Tuesday, June 15, 2010.


  1. Sounds like you had an interesting collection of boyfriends Jeri!

  2. Looking forward to reading Shade real bad!

  3. All I can say is that you are incredibly brave to share a break-up story with the world Jeri!!

    mmillet at gmail dot com

  4. can't wait to read Shade one day :)

    jlhsperry624 @hotmail. com

  5. Interesting type of menage a trois!

  6. AnonymousJune 09, 2010

    So did each boyfriend have their own mix tape/playlist?

  7. Thanks for sharing that breakup story! And Shade sounds terrific!

  8. Not sure who's more anxious to read this book--me or my teenage daughter. :)

  9. I really want to read this one! Looking forward to it :)

  10. such a strange breakup story, lol
    Crossing my my fingers for Shade :)

  11. You've had such a quirky string of boyfriends to show off! In spite of being dumped, I bet you've had a very interesting love life :P

  12. Even with a free copy, I have no idea if I'll get to Shade this year, but I'll do my best.
    The break up story wasn't so weird.
    Looking forward to Shift.

    sscout @ gmail . com

  13. Catie: Yes, "interesting" is a good way to describe them. But overall I've been extraordinarily lucky--they were all good guys. Except the first one. Jerk.

    Sweet Lady Jess: Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it.

    Michelle: I really wanted to talk about the breakup in my novel, because I was too chicken to talk about my own life. But I read all the other authors' entries, and they were all personal stories. So I picked the one that had the least drama, the one that if Dude were to stumble upon today, wouldn't make him feel bad.

    beaverlisa: Thanks! Good luck in the drawing!

  14. Elaine: I hope you mean the characters in the book and not me. ;-p

    dan-phi: Great question! Many of them did. Many of them made me mix tapes, and I made them mix tapes in return. It was definitely the romantic thing to do in the 80s and 90s.

    Kimberly: Glad you enjoyed it!

    tilleyjewels: Maybe you could flip a coin, or bargain for it. Say, let her read it first if she does the laundry for the week. ;-)

    Liz: Thanks! Hope you enjoy SHADE. :)

    Bella: Strange? Hmm. Well, I wanted to tell the one breakup story that involved no tears whatsoever. All the rest made me feel lousy one way or the other.

    Bee: Yep, it was interesting! Luckily I found the right guy at a pretty early age (22) and married him two years later.

    sscout: Thank you!

  15. Haha that's an interesting list of exes! Happy to hear that you've found the right one now!

    Shade sounds really good! Enter me if this contest is open internationally! :)


  16. love to have that kind of copy of your book, i dont evenhave the us version

  17. Oh, I love breakup stories! How great that you guys remained friends. I haven't been able to do that with any of mine. Is the giveaway international? I'd love to read the book.

  18. Looks like a great book.

    treerose AT yahoo DOT com

  19. I've been hearing alot about this one, count me in!

  20. AnonymousJune 15, 2010

    I purchased and read the kindle version already, but loved it so much that I will be adding the hard-copy to my shelf at some point. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book - it's hands down one of my favs for 2010. Oh and the playlist rocks - like Infinity by The xx and Houses by Great Northern, get the point. dmarkley199(at)gmail(dot)com.

  21. Kimberly B.--You're the winner. Please email me at sydneysalter AT mac DOT com so I can send you the book.

    Thanks, everyone, for participating!

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