Update: It’s been a long day, and I have to get up and finish BEFORE I WAKE tomorrow. Jeri and Zach have played a REALLY good game, as have all of you awesome Tod supporters. Zach is currently in the lead, but he and Tod each have over 3,000 votes (WOW!), and there are almost 8 hours left to vote.
Just as a reminder, the prizes that have already been won will be announced tomorrow. International entries are welcome, where permitted by law.
Tod is now a longshot (again) but if I wake up tomorrow and he’s won (by some miracle) I will give away a signed set of all FIVE Soul Screamers books (including IF I DIE, once I get my final copies) to one voter/commenter.
Thanks so much to everyone who’s participated, and especially to Rachel Clarke, Tod’s tireless advocate.
Okay. Today’s the day, in several ways. First, I’m going to see the new Planet of the Apes movie today! I’m kind of a nerd-fan of social allegory, and I love the concept of the original Ape movies. And I even loved the remake (reimagining) Mark Wahlberg and Helena Bonam-Carter). So I’m really looking forward to tonight.
Also, today’s the day I finish the final showdown in BEFORE I WAKE. The wordcount has slowed significantly, because of all the verbal and physical choreography required in these last moments of the book. But I am determined to finish that scene today, so that tomorrow, there’s only the final, wrap-it-up chapter.
Then I finish the new Soul Screamers story, which will be available for free later this year.
And…(you knew it was coming) today Tod’s up against Jeri Smith-Ready’s Zachary in the semi-final round of the YA Crush Tourney. Is this just for fun? Yes. And it’s been a blast so far. Is Jeri a friend? Yes. Will I be happy no matter who wins this round? Yes. I never expected Tod to get this far anyway. I mean, I love him, but I honestly never expect anyone else to love my characters the way I do, so this has been a total surprise.
Jeri, however, is a formidable opponent, with a massive online army fighting for Zach. She’s offered amazing incentives, which, frankly, I can’t match. As much as I’d love to write a story from Tod’s perspective to thank all of you who vote for him, I have contracted deadlines which claim most of my time. However, there is already a Tod story, which you can (and will always be able to) read for free here.
Don’t know who Tod is? (No worries. Everyone has to start somewhere.) Not sure you want to vote for him over Zachary? Here’s where you can meet him if you don’t have time to read the entire Soul Screamers series today. Your welcome.
- “Reaper” the online-only Tod novella. It’s free in PDF here.
- Everyone Dances with the Reaper - Rachel Clarke’s (@fiktshun) top ten list of non-spoilery Tod quotes
- *NEW* Rachel Clarke’s interview with Tod - a thank you for all those who voted for Tod in the last round. Rachel sent awesome, non-spoilery questions, and Tod had fun answering them.
- 500 votes – I’ll post the apricot jam teaser
- 750 votes – I’ll give away three Tod t-shirts, with winners’ choice of one Tod quote printed on it (I’ll have to post the design later. #1 is at work.)
- 1000 votes – I will drop dead of shock. Also, I’ll give away my very last ARC of If I Die to one Tod voter who leaves a comment on the YA Crush Tourney voting post.
And, because #1 is so awesome, last night he designed this super-cute “Vote For Tod” button.
The apricot jam reference is a sort-of inside joke for those who’ve already read If I Die. (As noted, I will release the non-spoilery excerpt that explains the jam reference, if/when Tod gets to 500 votes.) If you like the button, steal it, use it, spread it around like apricot jam.
And here’s a word-free one, in case anyone wants a new avatar.
Edit 3 (Yes, still backward): Okay, Tod has far surpassed the 1000 vote mark. He actually has 1,800+ votes. (Yes, I’m completely blown over!) So I will be drawing one winner to revceive my last ARC of If I Die tomorrow. Don’t worry if you had trouble leaving a comment in the tourney post. I’ll post all the names here before I draw, and if yours is missing, let me know, and I’ll add it.
But, Jeri and Zach are hot on Tod’s heels. So, the next incentive… Um…If Tod is the first to reach 2,200 votes I will print, sign, and annotate a copy of the thus-far online-only “Reaper” story. This will be a one-of-a-kind. To enter, vote for Tod and leave a comment tell me you voted for Tod in the tourney post.
Edit 2 (I know, it’s backward): Tod has passed the 750 vote mark! That means that tomorrow I will draw three names (of Tod-voters) from the comment section of the tourney post and they will receive a Tod t-shirt with their choice of quotes. I’ll provide a suggested list of quotes, but it is winners’ choice. And don’t worry if you had trouble commenting. Keep trying, and if it doesn’t go through, I’ll add you manually. The final list of commenters will be posted here to make sure it’s complete before I draw.
Edit: Tod has passed the 500 vote mark! Here’s your first incentive–the apricot jam teaser! (Spoiler free and calorie free. But it is a teaser.)
“Kaylee?” Tod answered on the first ring. “What’s wrong?”
I hesitated on my way to the kitchen with Alec’s empty soda can. “How do you know something’s wrong?”
“You only call me when you want something Nash can’t do for you.”
My face flamed, and I was suddenly glad he couldn’t see me. That I knew of. “That is not true.” Was it?
“Oh yeah?” he teased, and I could hear the challenge in his voice. “So…you don’t need anything?”
A smile snuck up on me, in spite of his valid point and the grave reason for my call. “As a matter of fact, I was going to offer you something.”
For one long moment, the only sound over the line was the soft whisper of his next inhalation, then his voice sounded a little scratchier than usual. “What did you have in mind?”
“A field trip. You interested in doing something dangerous, and possibly illegal?”
“Does it involve underage girls, broken curfews, and assorted fruit toppings?”
I dropped the empty can into the recycling bin and leaned against the kitchen peninsula, grinning like an idiot. “Two of the three. And I could probably scrounge up some strawberry jam, if you’re desperate.”
“I’m never desperate,” Tod said, only his voice hadn’t come from my phone. I whirled around to see the reaper standing behind me, still holding his cell. “But for the record, I prefer apricot.”
“Yuck. Nobody likes apricot jam.”
Tod shrugged and pocketed his phone. “Sure, strawberry is the more obvious choice, but I submit that apricot has a more complex, unusual flavor, with just enough tang to keep things interesting…” His raised one brow, grinning more with his eyes than with his mouth, and I had the sudden inexplicable urge to look away, before I saw too much. Then Tod blinked, and whatever I’d almost seen was gone. “So…what illegal adventure will I be aiding and abetting today?”