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Holiday Foreplay with Jeri Smith-Ready + Giveaway

Holiday Foreplay

Hey everyone, Shane McAllister here. I do the 90s grunge/indie/alternative show at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll, where every DJ is a vampire from their era of expertise (no really, we are, maybe). Our story is told in the WVMP RADIO series by Jeri Smith-Ready. It all started with WICKED GAME, and the fourth and final book, LUST FOR LIFE, just came out last week. (Coincidence? I think not.)

Thanks to Carmel for inviting me to take part in the Holiday Foreplay event. I couldn’t decide whether to give you a Christmas-flavored excerpt or discuss holiday music, so I picked both.

One of my favorite songs of the season is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks. It came out when I was a kid growing up in Youngstown, Ohio in the late seventies (technically I’m 44, though I look 27 because of the vampire thing). The steel plants had just closed, and my dad was laid off. So I could totally relate to a song about a gang of poor kids mugging Santa for grocery money.

It also has a nice driving beat and some excellent harmonies.

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin
While you’re drinkin down your wine

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Well beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread, so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Complete lyrics

NOTE: I swear I never beat up Santa, or anyone else. Not for money, anyway. I mean, not to take their money.

Moving on…

Here’s a holiday excerpt from the second book in the WVMP Radio series, BAD TO THE BONE. It’s told from the point of view of my girlfriend, Ciara. She and I went back to Youngstown for Christmas Eve with my mom, my sister, Eileen, and my nephews, Jesse and Ryan.

None of them had a clue I was really a vampire. See, the Control (a paranormal paramilitary agency that monitors the undead) forbids vampires from having contact with their human families and friends. They worry our loved ones will get suspicious when we never age or eat or, you know, go outside during the day. So I was forced to abandon my family, which sucked. A lot.

But Ciara did a deal with the Control that convinced them to make an exception for me. Off we went.


Excerpt from Bad to the Bone (Book 2, WVMP RADIO series):

             We go into his mom’s tiny house, into the front room, where snacks and cocoa are waiting for us next to a sparkling tree. It’s like a TV special: A Very Normal Christmas.

             We set about opening gifts. Shane gives me a box set of CDs with every 5:54 a.m. song he’s ever played for me. Each disc has a cover with original artwork and a list of songs. The last disc is all him, playing acoustic. In a separate package is the best gift of all: a mix tape of music I’ve never heard, entitled, Not Fade Away.

             I lean over to kiss him thanks. “It must have taken forever to put all this together.”

             “Lotta time to kill while you were imprisoned,” he murmurs low enough for only me to hear.

             Mrs. McAllister hands him a present and pats his cheek. “I can’t get over how young you look.”

             He shrugs. “Must be all those blood transfusions.”

Christmas Mouse

             We gape at him. I’d kick his shin if I could reach.

             Shane pops up his eyebrows. “You know, from Dick Clark.”

             Even Eileen laughs a little. Then Ryan says quietly, “I don’t get it.”

             (…some conversation deleted here for space…)

             I reach into my pocket and pull out a slim package, wrapped in metallic red paper. “I just realized I tucked this into my purse.”

             He takes it from me with a smile of relief and rips off the paper. “Oh. A new pick.” He turns it over. “It’s really nice.”

             His mom lets out a giggle. Jesse bounces on the sofa cushion, more like a toddler than a teenager.

             “What’s so funny?” Shane asks us.

             “There’s another part to the gift.” I give his mom a hopeful glance. “Right?”

             She jumps up from the sofa. “I thought you’d never get to it. Shane, it’s in the den.”

             He looks at her, then at the pick, then at me. “You didn’t.”

             He leaps up, forgetting to hide his supernatural speed. His mom sucks in an astonished gasp. We follow him to the door of the den, which he slides open.

             “Oh my God.”

             Shane moves zombie-slow toward the pure white electric guitar that waits for him in the center of the armchair.

             He kneels before it and reaches out tentatively, as if it will burn him with its beauty. Before he touches it, he turns to me. “You did this?”

             (…some more conversation deleted for space…)

             Finally he plucks a few strings, then pauses. All at once he launches into the opening licks of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.” The notes stream flawlessly from the speaker. If Regina were here, she’d have her finger in her throat in a fake gag at the music choice. But to me it sounds like angels singing.


             Jesse punches his fist into the air in a gesture that reminds me of Shane’s football victory gloats. When Shane stops, the boy goes, “That was awesome! Let me try.”

             “Jesse, don’t be a hog,” Eileen says, though her face glows at the sight of her son and brother together.

             Shane and Jesse take turns slobbering over the guitar for about an hour, while Ryan and I talk dogs. He wants to be a veterinarian. He shows me the picture of his own two mutts on Mrs. McAllister’s end table.

             Eventually I find myself playing video games with the two boys. They kick my ass in a thousand ways, but it gives Shane some time alone with his mom and sister. The living room next door is quiet, with an occasional feminine sob, drowned out by the sound of my avatar getting his brains splattered.

             It’s the noisiest Christmas ever. Also, the best.


Thanks again for having me, Carmel.

You can follow me and Ciara on Twitter, where sometimes we have chats on the #WVMPchat hashtag. Our author, Jeri, can be on Twitter, at her website, and on Facebook.

Jeri Smith-Ready
Author Bio

Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. Her plans to save the earth were ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. To stay out of trouble, she keeps her Drama Drive strictly fictional. Her friends and family appreciate that.

When not writing, Jeri she can usually be found—well, thinking about writing, or on Twitter. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late.


And hey, Jeri is giving away a signed, personalized copy of any book in the WVMP RADIO series, plus some signed swag to one randomly drawn commenter. All you have to do is tell us your favorite holiday song. Open to international entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
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Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, ’60s psychedelia, ’80s goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned.

Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station — and the link it provides to their original Life Times — the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and undeath.

To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara rebrands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, 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. Soon the stakes are higher — and the perils graver — than any con game Ciara’s ever played…

Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready

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TURN ON. TUNE IN. DROP DEAD.Welcome to WVMP, “The Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll,” where conartist-turned-station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staffof off-the-wall DJs—including new boyfriend Shane McAllister—who really sink their teeth into the music of their “Life Time” (theera in which they became vampires). Ciara keeps the undeadrocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive—withoutmissing a beat.

For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash. With cool tunes, hotcostumes, killer cocktails—what could go wrong? To start, areligious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occultpreempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciaratracks down the transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded bywhat appears to be . . . a canine vampire? Behind it all is a groupof self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and arewilling to stake their lives on it). Ciara must protect the stationwhile struggling with her own complicated relationship, her bestfriend’s romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of hermysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year’s in one piece,she’ll need to learn a few new tricks. . .

Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready
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WHAT’S BLOOD GOT TO DO WITH IT? Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot DJ Shane McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor’s degree!

But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps? Ciara’s suspicions are confirmed when she’s assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control’s oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers. To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic.

Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

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EVERYONE’S OUT FOR BLOOD—HERS Ciara’s con-artist parents taught her three keys to survival: keep low, keep quiet, and most of all, keep moving. But managing WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll—not to mention becoming a vampire herself—has kept her in one place long enough to fall madly in love, adopt an undead dog . . .

. . . and make more enemies than she can shake a stake at.

A psychotic DJ, a wanna-be necromancer, and a posse of vengeful hippies would all love to see Ciara get her day in the sun—literally. To protect Ciara, her fiancé, Shane, has traded his flannel shirt and guitar for a flak jacket and crossbow. If she survives to walk down the aisle, will she recognize the man waiting at the altar?

In this final chapter of the award-winning WVMP RADIO series, Ciara must decide who to trust, whom to love—and whom to kill.

Carmel Signature

About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. My favorite Christmas song is “The Christmas Song” Thanks for sharing the Kinks and WVMP Radio series with me 🙂

  2. my favorite is ” douce nuit”
    thank you a lot for this giveaway! I have started the series in french and i liked what i’ve read

  3. Will I be laugh at if I say Jingle bells rock? well, I love it!

  4. Have yourself a merry little Christmas 😛 with Michael Bublé. Thank you Jeri for the giveaway, fingers crossed.

  5. I love the song “All I want for Christmas is You” !
    Thanks for the giveaway 😀 !

  6. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Bif Naked.

  7. Mine is O Christmas Tree. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I love Silent Night and Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree! Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

    Suz Reads

  9. I always loved Madonna’s rendition of Santa Baby.

  10. thanks for the great post! I think I don’t have a real fav holiday song, but I like the Summer songs, they’re always so dynamic and make you dance.

  11. I love the song All I Want for Christmas Is You, and I have also always loved Silent Night as well.

    Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

  12. I love Jeri’s books! Thank you so much for this giveaway ^^
    My fave Christmas song is Silent Night but always enjoyed Siver Bells as well.

    Best wishes!

  13. @kimbacaffeinate Very original. LOL j/k. :p

  14. @miki I think that’s Silent Night in English if I’m not mistaken… good pick!

  15. @Reading Mind / The Loyal Book Not at all! I like that song too!

  16. @Ana Lucía Ooh Michael Bublé…

  17. @Katy That’s a very cute song. 🙂

  18. @Angie F Nothing says Christmas like Bif Naked. Teehee!

  19. @Susan You’re welcome! Good luck!

  20. @Suz Another good one: Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree!

  21. @whitewolfreads Ooh yes, you can’t go wrong with Madonna.

  22. @Melliane You’re thinking about the wrong season chicka! 😉

  23. @Crystal Silent Love is a classic. Love it.

  24. @Carol Good luck!!

  25. The Christmas Shoes. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. I love your books Jeri WVMP Radio is an awesome series .My favorite Holiday song is I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas .

  27. Thanks for the awesome post! I’m dreaming of a White Christmas by Bing Crosby 🙂

  28. Love Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree… always gets me in the holiday mood:)

  29. My favorite old time song is Winter Wonderland, but The Kinks’ Father Christmas is definitely a favorite as well.

  30. Love this, =) and the excerpt, can´t wait to read more.
    My fav. holiday song is a swedish jokester song, called “Vår Julskinka har rymt” it means Our Christmas Ham ran away XD It makes me smile, every time.
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Tuesday!

  31. White Christmas is my fav xmas song.

  32. @Tore Hmm, I haven’t heard of that one.

  33. @wanda f You can’t go wrong with a song featuring a Hippopotamus!

  34. @erin I’m dreaming of a white Christmas too, the recent rain melted all the snow. 🙁

  35. @*yadkny* Whatever works! 🙂

  36. @Barbara E. Winter Wonderland is a great song.

  37. @Linda What!? It’s only Tuesday? Boo! LOL

  38. @Jennifer Bielman Good pick! 🙂

  39. My favorite Christmas song is “Last Christmas by Wham”, thank you!

  40. Carmel, thanks so much for hosting me–I mean, Shane! 😉 My favorite Christmas song is a whole album, really: The Bells of Dublin by the Chieftains. It’s got a song for every mood! (Wait, I just realized I haven’t listened to it yet this year. *starts iTunes*

  41. I have a lot of favorites! “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, Shake Up Christmas by Train, “The Little Drummer Boy”! Love all of them! Thank you for the giveaway and post!

  42. i like most of them, jingle bell rock, the first noel, all i want for christmas, rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, and many more

  43. It’s from South Park and I can’t remember the name of it. LOL

    So I’ll pick Granny Got Ran Over by a Reindeer or All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey.

  44. I love all the traditional Christmas Carols.


  46. Right now, I think I would have to go with Little Drummer Boy by Sean Quigley.

  47. Mmmm my favorite one, that’s gotta be Silent Night 🙂

  48. I love the White Christmas 🙂

    Pauliina O

  49. My favourite holiday song would be, and yes I’m going with this, Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman. Very old children songs, but there is nothing wrong with that! LOL ;p But is I could pick another song, I would pick Last Christmas by Wham!. Not the best holiday song, but still pretty amazing! I love it!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! 🙂

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  50. I like Pearl Bailey’s “Five Pound Box of Money”–hilarious!


  51. My favourite holiday song is either silent night of frosty the snowman 🙂

  52. I love Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You song!


  53. All Time Low’s Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass. Love love love ATL

  54. I love Christmas in Dixie and Tender Tennessee Christmas by Alabama.

  55. My favorite song was Silent Night 🙂

  56. @Diana You’re welcome!

  57. @Jeri My pleasure! Thanks for participating! 🙂

  58. @Veronika I like most Christmas songs so it’s hard to pick just one.

  59. @sienny Oh yes, can’t forget Rudolf!

  60. @Jennifer TheBookNympho On the radio they did a list of people’s top 5 least fav songs and Granny Got Ran Over by a Reindeer. So… :p

  61. @Mary Preston Xmas is all about tradition so I can understand that. 🙂

  62. @Sheila Hudnall Hehe it’s so hard to pick just one, isn’t it?

  63. @Stéphanie Ooh, that’s a good one! Thanks for sharing the YouTube link.

  64. @Gaby Pendragon I enjoy that one in both English and French.

  65. @Nenna It’s a classic!

  66. @MåїÐ»-(¯`v´¯)-» I can’t believe that no one has said Frosty until now!

  67. @ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 I’ll have to look into that one. Thanks!

  68. @Sapphired Dragon There we go, another vote for Frosty!

  69. @Leannessf Good luck!

  70. @Dea S. That’s quite the song title. LOL

  71. @Ashley Montgomery Both are great songs!

  72. @Filia Oktarina I like that one too.

  73. Jingle Bell Rock!
    (Ileana A.-rafflecopter)

  74. Lol, it’s a little embarrassing, but Last Christmas by Wham is my jam! I always crank up the radio when it comes on and sing my heart out 😉

  75. My favorite holiday song is not a Christmas song at all. I love The Hannukah Song by Adam Sandler. It cracks me up every single time I hear it.

  76. I love Baby It’ s Cold Outside, Let It Snow and the TSO Carol of the Bells. Thanks for the contest! I really love this series!

  77. Jingle Bells! I know it’s cliche, but somehow whenever I think about the holidays, that’s the first song to come to my mind 🙂

  78. My favorite song is Shake Up Christmas by Train 😀

  79. My fave is Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses.

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  80. I’m a Wham! fan so I grew up to their songs and Last Christmas is one of my favorites. 🙂

  81. going with Elvis’ Blue Christmas
    Picardsmom at yahoo dot com

  82. My favorite Christmas song is Jingle Bells or Santa Claus is coming to town – especially when my little ones sing it to me :)Thanks for a great giveaway!