“HAPPY” Blogiversary Celebration with Jeri Smith-Ready


Thanks for inviting me to take part in this fabulous series, Jennifer!

Hello, everyone! I’m Jeri Smith-Ready, author of YA books such as the Shade series and the upcoming This Side of Salvation, a contemporary novel about a boy whose parents disappear the night they believe the Rapture’s going to happen. (I’m giving away an ARC of this April 1 release with this post!) I’ve also written numerous books for adults.


The Long Winter Makes Me Happy

No, not THIS long winter, the one we’re going through now, with its blizzards and polar vortices and thundersleet. I’m talking about The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the sixth in her Little House on the Prairie series.


I first encountered these books in second grade, when our teacher would read them to us. Though Mrs. Daub could be cruel at times (on desk cleanout days, she enjoyed dumping the contents of particularly messy desks, like mine, onto the floor in front of everyone), she fed my insatiable appetite for stories. In addition to the Little House novels, we were also treated to readings of books by E.B. White and Marguerite Henry.

Though I generally preferred books with animal narrators instead of human ones, the Little House books still inhabit a special place in my memory. So last week, when we were pummeled by Winter Storm Pax, I decided a reread of The Long Winter was in order. Maybe it would help give me perspective on how bad things could really be.

Of course, I had to live-tweet my reading. Here is a small sampling:

Almanzo has flashing blue eyes and makes awesome buckwheat pancakes. I’m sold. #TheLongWinter

— Jeri Smith-Ready (@jsmithready) February 14, 2014

“[T]he clock cleared its throat before it struck.” One of those lines I, as a writer, am jealous I didn’t think of first. #TheLongWinter

— Jeri Smith-Ready (@jsmithready) February 17, 2014

We haven’t heard Pa mention Sam, the not-so-bright horse, in a long time. Makes me wonder, what was in that Christmas stew? #TheLongWinter

— Jeri Smith-Ready (@jsmithready) February 17, 2014

Crisis lessons from #TheLongWinter: look out for one another, keep your spirits up, have faith–and above all, stop yer bitchin’.

— Jeri Smith-Ready (@jsmithready) February 17, 2014

For the complete live-tweet, check out my Storify of the event.

I also made a list of Pa’s favorite exclamations:

Jerusaleum crickets!
Gee whillikins!
She must be a daisy! (referring to approaching blizzard)
Gosh dang it! (Ma chided him for swearing after he said this.)
Well, I’ll be jiggered. (Technically said by Mr. Boast, not Pa.)

And my all-time favorite: “Gosh all hemlock!”

The Long Winter masterfully portrayed the deprivation, the tedium, and the fear endured by the people of De Smet, South Dakota. Yet it also focused on the hope and faith that carried them through.

They were incredibly resourceful, inventing new ways of keeping themselves warm and fed. For months, Pa and Laura twisted hay into sticks that could be burned for fuel. Ma fabricated a new kind of lantern made out of a button and a handkerchief. The Ingalls would’ve put McGyver to shame!

And they never, ever gave up. Just like this squirrel who tunneled through three-foot drifts of snow on our deck Thursday morning in search of birdseed:


Okay, maybe the squirrel’s survival skills aren’t as impressive as those of the Ingalls and their neighbors. But it’s a cute picture, gosh dang it!

My question for you: What’s your favorite “seasonal” book? Any season, not just winter! Maybe a book that makes you feel like you’re at the beach in the summer, or walking through crispy leaves in the autumn, or sitting by a window watching a gentle spring rain (or, you know, a blizzard).

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.

Other Links for Jeri:
Website     Facebook     GoodReads     Tumblr     Instagram

**Be sure to check out all of the other “HAPPY” posts from guest authors during this week’s blogiversary!!  Click HERE for the Kickoff Post with the full list of participating authors and guest post links. ALL giveaways will be open for the entire week, winners will be chosen and notified on Sunday, March 2nd. Thanks for helping us celebrate!!**


  1. Comment by Lea Krnjeta:

    Any Sarah Dessen book for the summer. I live near the beach and her books are perfect for it. Also, I love a good chick-lit for the winter, like from Molly Harper and Sophie Kinsella.

  2. Comment by Claire Huggins:

    I always listen to Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher On the Winter Solstice while doing Christmas prep. Love that book.

  3. Comment by Kimberly Kosydor:

    Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin 🙂

  4. Comment by Cristina Escalante:

    Linger by Maggie stiefvater always reminds me of rainy days spent at the bookstore drinking coffee.

  5. Comment by jennzahcresswell:

    the EVERNIGHT series by Claudia Grey always puts me in a autumn/winter mood. 🙂

  6. Comment by Gaby:

    My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick makes me think of an ideal summer 🙂

  7. Comment by Bridgett:

    Pride and Prejudice is my favorite summer book. I read it every year in the summer since that was when I started back in middle school.

  8. Comment by Wendy Roberts:

    Sounds like a great read!

  9. Comment by Vivien Marburg (@KellisAmberlee_):

    The Summer series by Jenny Han

  10. Comment by Nicole M:

    I don’t really have any books that can be considered seasonal.One of my favorite books, Swoon, by Nina Malkin, though not set exclusively in autumn, has some great scenes that make me think of one of my favorite seasons (though there are also very summery scenes as well). Other than that, though it probably doesn’t count, is the Night Before Christmas. Not technically a book, but I own it in book form! One of my favorite things about Christmas time and winter in general.

  11. Comment by Jennifer:

    It’s a poem, and can certainly be a book. Good Choice 🙂

  12. Comment by Mary Preston:

    The only one I can think of is LITTLE WOMEN. When I do a re-read it’s always Winter.

  13. Comment by christinamarch:

    Definitely Sarah Dessen for the summer! Her books about summer and the town are awesome 🙂

  14. Comment by bn100:

    don’t have a seasonal book

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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