Sunday, March 25, 2012

Contest Time!

The awesome paperback cover
 Contest time! The prize is an "uncorrected proof" (aka an ARC aka a bound galley) of Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack, due out, it turns out, in July (not May).

Below, you will find a (rather lengthy) excerpt from the upcoming book. Worked into the text are forty-four (44!) Elvis Presley song titles. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find them. You don't have to be an Elvis freak to do this. I'm not an Elvis freak and I wrote it, so do what I did--research a little and dive in.

 Here are da rulz:

1) Copy the below excerpt from Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack.
2) Open a draft e-mail using this address:
3) Put JUSTICE JACK ARC CONTEST in the subject line (yes, use all CAPS).
4) Type YOUR NAME and MAILING ADDRESS as the first few lines of your e-mail (no worries, it's just me handling the ARC contest mail).
5) Put a little dashed line (like this: ---------- ) under your address (to separate it from the rest of the e-mail
6) Paste the copied text in the body of the e-mail
7) Underline (or highlight) each Elvis song title that you find (saving your draft often!).
8) When you've underlined (or highlighted) as many Elvis song titles as you can find (or are just sick of looking for more), send me your entry NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT on SATURDAY, APRIL 7 (2012).

If these instructions seem excessively picky, forgive me. My ETRTR mailbox is an ocean and I just don't want you (or me) to drown.

Also, in case you're wondering, I'm giving two weeks for the contest instead of one because you probably have a life or are on spring break or need a reason to procrastinate looking up songs Elvis sang.

(Also-also, midnight on next week's Saturday puts us at midnight on March 31st, which is a mere second away from April Fool's Day, and I wouldn't want anyone worrying that this is the ultimate prank.)

(I'm considerate like that, in case you weren't aware.)

I have (I believe) five (5!) ARCs to give away. If there are more than 5 (five!) people getting all the answers correct (which I doubt, so don't be shy about sending in what you do find, okay?), then those names will go into the proverbial hat and we will draw 5 (one-plus-one-plus-one-plus-one-plus one!) winners. Otherwise, we will move from most answers (songs) found down.

Ready gang?

Here we go!

(And even if you don't want to do the contest, I hope you enjoy the excerpt.)

Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack (Chapter 24, in case you were wondering) EXCERPT:

You’re probably thinking I got sidetracked.

Well guess what?

I didn’t.

Instead, I almost got killed.

Now, if Maynard’s freeloading son TJ had been working the counter instead of the Elvis impersonator, I might have had to go clear down to the supermarket because TJ likes me about as much as a chained dog likes a cat. Something about seeing me sets him off, and he will bark and snarl and snap at me until he finally drives me away.

So there was definitely the potential for a sidetrack, but Elvis was happy to see me. “Hey little mama!” he calls from behind the counter. “How are things in Carny Town?”

Now, with Hudson’s help I finally figured out that the Elvis clerk talks only in Elvis songs.

Well, almost.

He’ll throw an extra word in now and then to tie together the lyrics or song titles, but pretty much everything he says is something Elvis sang. And it used to drive me kinda nuts because I’ve never heard any Elvis songs –well, except maybe Jailhouse Rock or Hound Dog—so it was like he was talking in riddles.

No, not even riddles.

More like mixed up phrases.

Nonsense that actually made sense.

In a weird, Elvis-impersonator sort of way.

Even so, I’m always super happy to see Elvis because seeing him means I don’t have to see TJ. Of course, Elvis doesn’t know that. He just thinks I’m a happy camper coming in for bubblegum.

“Things are hoppin’ in Carny Town,” I tell him, and then right away I flash to the similarities between him and Justice Jack. Not what they do—just how they dress in costumes and prefer to be people they’re not. “Have you heard about Justice Jack?”

“Didja Ever? He’s catchin’ on fast!” Elvis says with a crooked Elvis smile. “Beginner’s luck.”

“Think so?”

He nods. “Watch him try to move from a jack to a king.”

I laugh. “But you’re the king, right?”

He laughs, too. “Doin’ the best I can.”

I grab the Tums and put them on the counter. “Seems like the two of you could be friends.”

He shakes his head. “I got wheels on my heels, baby.”

I stare at him. “Okay. What does that mean?”

He rings up the Tums. “I’m just a lonesome cowboy in a long black limousine.”

I almost tell him, No you’re not. You’re an Elvis impersonator working in a corner market! But instead I ask, “Can you translate please?”

“My long legged girl told me to get on the long lonely highway.”

“So…you had a girlfriend who broke up with you?”

He nods, “My honky tonk angel turned out to be the meanest girl in town. I told her, ‘Reconsider, baby, put the blame on me! Let’s patch it up!’ I said, ‘Baby, I’ve been steadfast, loyal, and true! You’re the only star in my blue heaven!’ But she’s a machine with a wooden heart and now there’s been too much monkey business.” He shakes his head. “I’m afraid it’ll be the twelfth of never before my blue moon turns to gold again, so it’s viva Las Vegas for me.”

I hand over the twenty.“You’re moving to Las Vegas?”

“Cross my heart and hope to die. I’m movin’ on.”


“Tomorrow night. It’s now or never.” He makes my change, snaps off the receipt, and as he hands them over, he sort of cocks his head and says, “You look like you’re gonna sit right down and cry.”

“I really liked you being here,” I tell him.

He gives me a little shrug. “I slipped, I stumbled, I fell, and I’m leavin’. But that’s alright mama. Don’t think twice.”

“Well, I’ll miss you,” I tell him, then grab the Tums and head out.

“Hey, hey, hey!” he calls after me and actually follows me to the door. “Before we go our separate ways, let it be me that gives you some sound advice.”

“What’s that?”

“As we travel along the Jericho road, anyplace is paradise.”

He’s looking like Serious Elvis now so I nod and say, “Thanks.”

But Elvis isn’t done. “Keep a pocketful of rainbows.”

“Will do.”

And since I’m now at the corner and about to cut across a red light he calls, “Always stop look and listen!”

I laugh, “Thanks!” And as I’m heading across the street anyway he shouts, “By the way, my real name’s Pete Decker! I’ll get you passes to my show if you’re ever in Vegas!” And since I’m so shocked to hear his real voice and his real name, I do something you should never do when crossing against a red light.

I stop, turn, and stare.

All of a sudden horns are blaring and zooming by and I’m running and jumping like crazy trying not to get killed.

“You almost had the steamroller blues!” he shouts when I’m safely across. Then he waves, “Bye Sammy! I’ll remember you!”

I laugh and wave. “Who could forget you?” Then I hurry up the sidewalk, and sneak back over to the Senior Highrise.



Leslie said...

Fun! I think for my birthday (tomorrow! 24!) I will eschew school and play this instead.

Also I think this is clever, and must've been a blast to put together.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I cannot condone playing hookey, even for this. (Have fun!)

And yes, it was :)

Kylie said...

This looks like fun! I must gather Elvis fans to help me find them all! Thanks so much for the contest!

Yumna Zia said...

OhMiGosh I just sent mine in, I hope and I hope you choose me, Wendelin!

since this is on topic, --> i turned 14 this March 10th, but no one gave me a present. :( My community isn't *into* birthdays. It's ok, I made a new friend the same day who just so happened to have my same birthday, so I'm good! :)

This contest was a blast to do, too. I loved it, and I hope you do more contests like these in the future, Wendelin. I'm excited.

bookworm said...

So I just turned mine in now............. hopefully I got every song title and I can get that ARC copy! :) :) :)

It didn't take me that long at all........ only a half and hour or so........... Had lots of fun. Didn't know Elvis had so many random song names..... ;)

And thank you for giving me a reason to procrastinate on that school work I do NOT want to do. :D

Oh, crud. I guess that means I have to work on it now.......... Boo hoo. :(

Kylie said...

Is it only full titles? Or are there partials ones as well?

Yusa said...

is it only from the elvis impersonator or from sammy as well? and can there be doubles.I sent mine with all of them. i really hopew i win!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Full titles: Yes!

Considered text: Just the Elvis speak, but no worries to those who included extra.

Glad to have the entries coming in, but remember, no rush :)

Norma said...

Oh, awesome! I love the excerpt! And the contest! Can't wait for the actual book. You're awesome, Wendelin!

Archived said...

Hey Wendelin! I just sent mine in! I'm really excited for the results. I cannot wait to read Justice Jack! And I love the excerpt! Who knew you could put so many Elvis songs in a conversation. :D

steph said...

Important question: Are there any REPEATS for songs? Because I found some repeats and I'm not sure if it is 44 DIFFERENT song titles or 44 songs, any mix. That's all! Thanks.

Yusa said...

Yeah what Emsie said and can there be a song inside of a song title. Because i found one and i'm not sure if it should count.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

44 different songs, no repeats, but you won't be "marked down" if you did songs in songs or repeats. Boy, you guys are thorough!

Harriet said...

YAY! I just sent my list in! So excited! ^_^

Yusa said...

I just sent mine in again after counting properly and finding all of them. ignore my last ones. thanks

Anonymous said...

I love how he offers her tickets to his show in Vegas... Could this be...FORESHADOWING!?

Or not. In that case, this is just slightly embarassing.

PS, I knew a bunch of these song names by heart because I had to be some weird hippie-kind-of person in a school debate. So I spoke in Beatles (of choice) songs, and for some reason my teacher told me to incorporate Elvis into my cards...which is awkward because I'm not even sure if Elvis was even FROM the '60s. Which really, in retrospect, tells you how much I REALLY learned from that debate.

On the other hand, I know a little too much about eminent domain and condors and the Day of the Dead. Which tells you how much I actually LEARN from Sammy Keyes books.

This is the awkward moment when I tell you "Go teach dumb people and make them smart or something", but it's ALSO that awkward moment when I realize I say "awkward" too much.
Now I feel uncomfortable. Subject change. Swivel some hips. Listen to some Elvis. Wikipedia his song list. Hard work.
IS THIS THE REAL LIFE. OR IS THIS JUST FANTASY. Quoting Queen. I LOVE YOU *AND* THE EXCERPT! Oh and I love how Sammy can't go one chapter without using the word "sidetracked". Lol, Casey: "Sidetrack Sammy!". MUST STOP BLITHERING. By the way, once I doodled "I Heart Casey" on my hand in class (I rarely doodle names, so for it to be Casey's name is very important) and I forgot I sit next to a guy named Casey in that class. Let's just say that was one UNCOMFORTABLE moment.

"I SWEAR ITS NOT YOU CASEY. ITS ANOTHER CASEY, only he doesn't even exist." Very believable, Steph.

xoxo :)

Yusa said...

OK, does it have to be his song originally or does he just have to have sung it? I'm pretty sure I got all of them because the rest of the dialogue from Pete aren't songs.

AbaGayleb said...

THAT WAS AMAZING. I'm actually related to Elvis and my Dad loves him(co-inky-dink, right? :d)so I've learned a lot of his songs. I think I got most of him--at least I hope I did. :D

This was...amazing. Actually, amazing is an understatement. (:


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

It's been great fun to get all these comments and submissions. You people are awesome crazy :)
See you tomorrow!
PS Yes, titles of songs he's sung, not necessarily ones he's written.

Optimistic4ever said...

Im such a nerd... So I was reading through the post again and I saw how you were like five(5!) copies, and I was like OMG THATS A LOT!

Not because I think 5 is a lot, but because I read it as five factorial.

As in 5*4*3*2*1

It was a depressing moment when I realized the ! was being used as an exclamation mark and not a factorial sign... :P

Anywho, I submitted mine :)