.....as portrayed by Groundskeeper Willie.
But now that I have your attention and you're cursing my name for playing such a dirty, dirty trick on you, it's time to get serious. Over the last several weeks, Team Kilt has been putting up a HELL of a fight. And constantly coming out on top, mind you. Mad props to the plaid! Now we've gotten down to the nitty gritty and our beloved Zach is facing his toughest opponent yet: Jace Wayland.
I'll be honest with you guys. When I first heard about the YA Crush Tourney (hosted by The YA Sisterhood), I snickered just a little bit. I thought it was leaning towards silly and didn't have much intention of voting. But when I found out that one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors was in the running? YES, PLEASE. I fell absolutely in love with Shade and Shift. These books need to be international best sellers. The emotion, the characterization, the heart and mother effing SOUL that Jeri Smith-Ready puts into her characters is awe-inspiring (and quite painstaking for her readers. She's not afraid to put her beloved creations through absolute hell.) Not to mention that her interaction and appreciation for her fans seriously makes me want to tear up. There are authors out there who sit atop their fame castle, receiving tons of fan mail, emails, @ replies on Twitter and completely avoid fan interaction. NOT JSR. Thanks to her, I had my very first author-squee moment when she commented on a post I did about Shade. And it's not just me! Every single day, she dedicates time to interacting with her fans, discussing her books, and just being generally awesome. Honestly guys, I've never seen such devotion to a fanbase before. She is that awesome.
Now that my JSR fangirling is out of the way, let me tell you all the wonderful things that will come of you voting for Zachary in the YA Crush Tourney. These are taken verbatim from Jeri's blog:
1. If Zachary gets 5,000 votes, I will write lyrics to "Forever," the song Logan sings to Aura in her sleep the night before his testimony near the end of Shade. The scene that makes everyone, including me, bawl their eyes out. I've never written a song before, except the chorus of the song in Requiem for the Devil that I probably can't name without getting this blog post blocked by obscenity screens (my friend Greg wrote the verses). So it might take more than a few days. But I'll have it done in time for the release of Logan's story "Bridge" in the Enthralled anthology that comes out September.
2. If Zachary gets 10,000 votes, I will list every Team Kilt member's name in the acknowledgments of SHINE. That's right--not just a short story like in the last round, but a print book released by a major publisher. Your name could be in it, but 10,000 votes is a very high goal--the last two rounds had 10,000 votes combined between the characters.
3. If Zachary wins, you will all get to see what's under the kilt.
WHEN. HE. IS. EIGHTEEN.
Technically, the age of majority in Scotland is sixteen, which he is even in the beginning of SHADE. But I'm going by American standards here. In SHIFT and most of SHINE, he's still seventeen.
But during SHINE, he and Aura turn eighteen...at Ballyrock Castle. I've written a scene that will most likely be left out or trimmed due to excessive hotness, but either way, I promise you'll get to read it, either in the book or as a deleted scene, once SHINE is released.
And ye shall know what's under the kilt...
...WHEN. ZACH. IS. EIGHTEEN.
4. If Zachary wins, I will fly to Minneapolis for a booksigning and get-together with Amy, Jen, and any Team Kilt member who can join us. We can call it TeamKiltCon and get the convention rate at a hotel or something. Details will be worked out later, but I will absolutely buy every member of Team Kilt the drink of their choice. Yes, even single-malt Scotch, if you're old enough.
_____________________________*fans self* IF THESE ARE NOT ALL INCENTIVE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS. The promise of lyrics to Forever alone are enough to make my tear ducts tingle. You can check out Jeri's Team Kilt updates on her blog HERE, as well as look at a bunch of SHINE teasers and updates from Team Kilt's past efforts.
I can't think of a more deserving author or character, so go forth and vote. Use your wi-fi. Then use 3G network. Use your neighbor's wi-fi. Use the coffeehouse's wi-fi down the street. Make sure you vote using Facebook, Twitter, and your internet browser of choice. DO ANYTHING YOU CAN.
But wait, there's more.
But wait, there's more.
YOU CAN WIN A SHINE PREORDER. And it will be personalized.
Leave me a comment below after voting, telling me why you chose Zach over Jace. Please include your email address!
Please read my Contest Policy
Must be 13+ to enter.
One person per entry, please.
US & CA Residents only.
Winners will be chosen using Random.org and I will contact you via e-mail, as well as announce on the blog, if you win. I will need the winner's mailing address within 48 hours. If I don't receive it within that timeframe, I will pick a new winner.
Contest deadline is August 12, 2011 at midnight EST.