Sunday, March 21, 2010

Interview: Jeri Smith-Ready on SHADE

Today I have the fabulous author Jeri Smith-Ready here to discuss her new novel SHADE (release's on May 4th, 2010), her cool talents, where the name "Aura" came from, and whether or not she'd want to be able to talk to ghosts.

Tell us a bit (and by "bit, I mean "lot") about your new YA novel, SHADE. What happens to start SHADE off?
SHADE is the first in my new paranormal YA series. It's about Aura Salvatore, a sixteen-year-old girl whose birth marked an event called the Shift. Everyone born after the Shift, including Aura, can see ghosts.

SHADE starts with Aura at a crossroads with her punk rocker boyfriend Logan. They're ready to take their relationship to the next level, if you know what I mean, but she's worried that once he becomes a famous musician, he'll ditch her for a harem of groupies.

Then Logan dies and becomes a ghost.

What is your main character Aura like? How did you come up with her name?
Aura is very down-to-earth. She has a bone-dry, sarcastic sense of humor. She wants to be outrageously punk like her friends, but has a major straight-lace streak. She's pretty jaded about life, since she's spent all of her own listening to ghosts yak about their horrible deaths and the lives they regret. She misses the mom she barely remembers and the dad she never knew.

Her name, well...I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I named Aura after the new Saturn sports sedan. I didn't name her after the car, but when I saw a commercial for it, I said, "That's my main character's name!" I'd been pondering the story idea in the back of my mind for a couple of years but hadn't started writing it. Having the name really jump-started the brainstorming process.

I feel like I should buy an Aura in gratitude. ;-P

What are Logan and Zachary like? Do you have a favorite of the two?
Logan and Zachary couldn't be less alike, except that they're both nice, cute guys in love with (or at least in like with) Aura. Logan has a frenetic energy, always in motion and interacting with everyone. Life of the party, you know. He wants to be famous because he wants the whole world to love him.

Zachary is a lot like Aura--level-headed, stubborn, totally focused on his goals (his biggest one is winning Aura's heart). He's Scottish and a master flirt--the combination is absolutely deadly. He looks like he could star in a James Bond Jr. movie. He has many secrets.

Like Aura, I'm torn between the two guys. Whichever is in the scene I'm writing is my current favorite. But I bet readers will take sides--I can't wait to see what they think of them!

Do you wish you could see and talk to ghosts like Aura can?
No way! I'm a complete wuss and would probably pass out if I ever saw a ghost or experienced any kind of psychic phenomenon. With the rational part of my brain, I don't believe in ghosts, BUT like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, I like to hedge my bets by saying, "I do believe in ghosts, I do believe in ghosts, I do, I do, I do, I do, I DO believe in ghosts!"

What's one cool thing you can do?
I can juggle. Nothing fancy, but I can keep three balls in the air for several minutes. It's very relaxing.

I can also whistle with my tongue. It sounds like the wind howling.

Was this a fun book to write?
It was both fun and meaningful. Like Aura (and like most people), I know what it's like to lose someone who leaves a giant hole in your life. You feel like you'd do anything just to have them around again, even in another form like a ghost. I'll be honest--I cried a lot while writing it (and rewriting it, and editing it, and proofreading it). But they were good tears, not painful.

The book also has a lot of humor. Aura is pure deadpan, not consciously witty like Ciara, the heroine of my vampire books. I thought it would be hard to make their voices sound distinctive, but it turned out to be easy, because their personalities are so different. Aura may be younger than Ciara, but she definitely has an older soul.

What are you working on now?
I'm writing the sequel to SHADE, which will be called SHIFT and will come out in May 2011. Soon I'll be proofreading the pages of the third book in my adult WVMP RADIO vampire series, BRING ON THE NIGHT. That comes out this August.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I love to hear from readers, so I encourage people to come visit me at www.jerismithready.com, or even better: www.facebook.com/jerismithready or http://twitter.com/jsmithready.



Thanks for the incredible interview Jeri! And to everyone else, go check out Jeri's website or say hi to her on FB or Twitter. Don't forget to stop by Tuesday for a chance to win a signed ARC of SHADE, courtesy of Jeri herself!

105 comments:

  1. Ohmygod, Aura totally sounds like me in high school. Except that I couldn't see ghosts. I think I am going to love this book.
    Great interview!

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  2. love your books!!!

    im really looking forward to reading it

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  3. I can't wait to read this. I wonder which love interest will spark my attention... Also, the cover is spectacular.

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  4. I can't wait to read this. I wonder which love interest will spark my attention... Also, the cover is spectacular.

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  5. Great interview! I can't wait to read this book. I will have to add it to my list.

    I also wanted to say Jeri is amazing and during the Haiti earthquake she gave out books to fans who made a donation to Doctors Without Borders.

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  6. Lea, such a great interview! I'm definitely adding this book to my TBR pile :)

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  7. I love her cover. The colors pop. Awesome interview, I can't wait to read more.

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  8. I can’t wait to read this! It sounds great and cover is so pretty.

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  9. This book was such a great read. I won one in an earlier contest and tore through it the same day I got it in the mail. Jeri is my favorite author to go to for paranormal anything.

    You will love SHADE.

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  10. Awesome interview :) I've been wanting to read Shade for a while now.

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  11. I'm really excited for this, thanks for that great interview :)

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  12. Good questions! I must admit I don't know what to expect from this one. The cover looks weird but beautiful to me.

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  13. Great interview! I love the name Aura and it's funny she got it from a vehichle commercial. I really want to read this book.

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  14. I really want to read this book. I remember seeing it on amazon to be released on the 8th and was disappointed when I saw it was moved back. The book sounds really good.

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  15. Great interview! this book sounds really good and the author sounds so nice!

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  16. wait, there's a Scottish boy? SIGN ME UP!

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  17. I'm starting to read your books when i won WICKED GAME from a blog.
    And this book sounds great too :)

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  18. Scottish+master flirt=oooh la la!

    I can't wait for Shade-it sounds like an amazing read! Plus I'd also like to meet the two love interests, lol! Awesome interview :)

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  19. I love her comment about the wizard of oz.. Haha to funny

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  20. AHH I can't wait to read this! This was fun! I loved how she got the name for her mc. Car commercial! :) Thanks for the great interview! :D

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  21. Awesome interview! Great questions! Can't wait to read Shade! May is still too far away!

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  22. This sounds like a very interesting book and I LOVE the cover. Great interview!

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  23. Sarcasm for the win? Hmm I'd definitely be more about Zach (oh those Scots...)

    I'm so excited for this new book!!

    Lexie

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  24. Awesome interview. I am really looking forward to reading Shade.

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  25. Wow, thanks, everyone, for the great comments, and good luck in the drawing! I am so excited for SHADE's release--seriously, I have to have warm milk and cookies every night before bed so I can sleep. (But really, any excuse for cookies. ;-)

    Thanks so much for having me, Lea!

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  26. great interview...I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book!

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  27. I like the sound of Aura's personality. Great interview!

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  28. Haha! I love that the inspiration for Aura's name came from a car!

    Shade sounds really great - a main character with a sarcastic sense of humor who can see ghosts - what's not to love?! I'm super-excited to read it! :)

    Fabulous interview!

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  29. Nice interview :D
    I've all all of her books (yay for the proofread of 3rd WVMP radio book!) and i cant wait to read this one too *0*

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  30. Fun interview! Should be interesting to read about Aura's interaction with two polar opposite guys ;D

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  31. great inetrview, she sounds like fun! i cant wait to read her books!

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  32. Thanks for posting this interview! I love the inspiration for the name Aura. Sounds so divine. XD

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  33. I deeply envy juggling people T___T So yes, that a lot! xD

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  34. Hi Jeri!
    I can't wait to read this book--it sounds great. And I really envy the juggling...

    I can't see ghosts, but they occasionally talk through me when I am doing a tarot reading (which I do professionally, a bit). And it is just about as much fun as it sounds...

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  35. I so can't wait until Shade is released! Not only do I love the cover, I love the synopsis and everything I've heard about it. Great interview! I love where the inspiration for Aura's name came from LOL. I totally think the car company should do a joint promotion with her book :P

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  36. Thanks for the interview! I have had my copy pre-ordered for ages! I can't wait for it to actually arrive!

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  37. Great interview. I did not realize this was a new series, even better.

    I would not want her ability either. Creepy.

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  38. I love how Aura got her name!!

    (btw, I'm Sophie for contest purposes forgot that katarinasmama shows up on blogger)

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  39. This sounds like an absolutely awesome book; I can't wait to read it.


    BrigidsBlest at yahoo dot com

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  40. Awesome interview! i can't wait to read the book!!!!

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  41. Great interview!!Been dying to read this book!!Hope to be the winner of this contest!!!

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  42. I love everything Jeri writes so I can't wait to read this one...looks fantastic!

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  43. Wow, I cannot wait to read this. I think I have a precrush on Zachary already, hahaha. 2 swoon worthy boys?! *dies*

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  44. i socan"t wait to read this book! and i'm happy to read she's already working on the sequel.
    she likes to juggle to get relax? how cool!

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  45. Sounds like an awesome new series and can't wait to read it! Two hottie boys and a smart-mouth girl. What more could you want?! :-)

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  46. I loved Jeri's LUNA series Aspect of Crow. I'm really looking forward to reading Shade, which comes out on my birthday (how cool!!) Thanks for sharing this interview with us.
    Liz E

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  47. wow! thanks! I love her histories! shes a great author!

    Kisses and cheers for Jari!


    Liz

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  48. Awesome questions.. great responses! Hmm.... 2 guys to choose from?? oh no! lol

    SHADE sounds awesome, the cover is awesome... and you know I think you're awesome as well Jeri!

    Looking forward to all your upcoming releases... as patiently as I can... ;)

    Thanks so much for a great interview!

    oh.... and I tend to agree with Brodie on the joint venture promotion with Saturn Aura & your book! ;) (momma needs a new car! hehe )

    ~Debbie in NY

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  49. A sarcastic heroine is totally my type! I think I am going to love Aura!
    I love that Jeri can juggle. So sweet :)

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  50. I really want this book, I loved it. *-*

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  51. Nice interview with Jeri! I've been dying to read this book for a while now and it's so lovely to see comments from fellow readers who HAVE read and loved it. It confirms everything I feel about the book (without reading it) does that make sense? I just KNOW it's going to be good!

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  52. Great interview. How funny that the name came from a car. Can't wait to 'meet' the two guys in the book. I'm really looking forward to reading this one. And the cover is beautiful! I'll have to check out her vamp books.

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  53. Ahaha, Aura is such a great name! I've never heard of someone who has that name, but it reminds me of Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty)...Anyway! She sounds interesting. I like a sarcastic sense of humour. So having a likeable protagonist will be sure to engage me! :)

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  54. Sarcasm FTW!
    I can't wait for this book. :)

    Travis
    spongyman1026@yahoo.com

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  55. Thanks for a very interesting interview - I can't wait to read your newest book!!!
    wish you all the best, Ina

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  56. this book sounds SOOO good! I can't wait to read it...definitely on my wish list!

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  57. Great interview & the book sounds great, too! Can't wait to read it!

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  58. I cannot wait to read this book!! I've heard great reviews.

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  59. Can't wait to read her book! I can't believe her character is named after a car!!!

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  60. I am so super excited about this book, what a great interview.

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  61. The believing in ghosts answer reminds me of a debate I just heard about whether intelligent life is common in the universe. The scientific side won the debate with their convincing explanations of why it's unlikely. But the "I do believe, I do, I do" side won my heart!

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  62. I'm impressed. I can't juggle or whistle. :-P

    Can't wait to read Shade!

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  63. Wow! Great review. This sounds like a wonderful book. I'm so glad to hear that there's a sequel! I will definitely try to get this book and read it.

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  64. Coool!
    Cover is really cool.
    Book definitely sounds interesting.

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  65. Great cover. Great interview. Can't wait to read the book.

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  66. Aura sounds like a fantastic character. For some reason I didn't really know much about this book and somehow I missed out on the buzz until recently so I just added it to my TBR list. I am looking forward to it. I like the idea of the Shift and trying to figure out what caused it, etc. It sounds like a cross between a paranormal romance and a post-apocalyptic type novel (like The Forest of Hands and Teeth) but ghosts are so much better to deal with than zombies.

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  67. Great interview, really got me interested in reading this book!

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  68. I really, really want to read this book! It looks wonderful!

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  69. I can't wait to read this one. I am very excited

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  70. I love how she came up with that name. That's kinda funny! :)

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  71. Great interview! I can't wait to read Shade.
    xx,
    E.J.

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  72. Holy crap looks sooooooooooooo good! I'm really sad though because i know I'm going to looove this book but then I'm going to have to wait until NEXT MAY to read the sequel! Its going to be torture! :p

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  73. I seriously cannot wait for this book!Everything I've read about Shade is nothing but great.

    Christy

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  74. love the cover!
    Cannot wait for the actual book to come out :D

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  75. wow the book sounds really interesting and not-too-scary.
    I wonder if i could buy it from local bookstores lol.

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  76. Loved reading the interview and I just know I am going to love this book! Very excited for it!

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  77. this was a wonderful interview. Some really great questions and Jeri's answers were fabulous. Thanks.

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  78. Great interview!The book sounds very interesting

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  79. I really like the names she used for her characters, hope they can hold the candle to them, can't wait to read it!

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  80. I am not car savvy so don't really know much about Auras or sedans. But I think you ought to be rewarded for bringing Aura to us readers... so go buy yourself an Aura :)

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  81. I know this book will be awesome seeing as I'm a big fan of your other series. I just read bad to the bone.

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  82. Hehe I love the story about Aura's name.

    Aura seems like my type of character so I definitely want to read this book.

    Thanks for a great interview and for bringing this book to my notice.

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  83. Great interview. Shade sounds amazing.

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  84. Great interview. I laughed at the name part - but if it works, it works. I can't wait to read this :)

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  85. I would probably pass out too if I ever saw a ghost this book sound suspenseful I can not wait to read

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  86. Lol, named after a car commercial! Though I've always loved the name Aura. And I share the feeling of waiting to be rebellious but really majorly straight-laced... Great interview, Lea, and nice answers by Jeri! Can't wait to read Shade. :D

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  87. I really want to read this book I remember hearing about it from a friend . Great interview Leann!

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  88. Great interview! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  89. Hi Jeri, Loved your interview and how original was your picking Aura's name. Awesome..

    The cowardly lion reminds me of the little engine that could, I think I can..then..I know I can..
    Can't wait to read your book.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  90. im so so excited for this book!!
    thanks for the interview

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  91. That's funny that you got her name from a car commercial! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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  92. I'm a lot like her. I'm a total wuss and would be scared to death if I could see ghosts. I wonder who I'll like better Zachary or Logan? I cant even guess I'd probably wrong. :) Can't wait to read this book. Great questions :)

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  93. The interview started me giggling !

    With so much humour in the interview I am sure the book will be funny as well.

    Nothing like a little humour to help you relax.

    Carol T

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  94. dude, I wanna read this now. legit, NOW.

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  95. Jeri does have a good sense of humour. I can't wait to read the book :)

    WCY

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  96. Great review! Shade sounds like a very interesting book with great characters - I'll put this one on my wishlist right now! ;)

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  97. I'm thinking Saturn should give her a free Aura!

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  98. So wait, one of the male love interests is a ghost? This should be interesting.

    Doesn't the James Bond flesh and blood guy seem like the obvious choice? Guess I'll have to read this one to see what the quandary is.

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  99. I've head so much about this book and Jeri Smith-Ready in general (all very good things)! I haven't read anything by her yet but I definitely plan on giving her work a try.

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  100. I enjoyed the WVMP books, so I'm looking forward to this one whether I win a copy or not. :-)

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  101. This book sounds incredible. I have yet to read even one negitive review on it. I can't wait to read it!!! Great Interview!!!

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