Pandora’s Box cover and website!!

Pandora’s Box will be available on Amazon in a matter of DAYS!!! In the meantime, check out the cover and the website! On the website you can meet the characters, remind yourself what happened in Urban Legends, the first book in the Not Like Paradise trilogy, and get a few small clues about Pandora’s Box (no spoilers, though, promise)! If you read the individual character webpages, that is where you will find the best review of what happened in Urban Legends, because each page is told from that character’s own perspective. Have fun exploring, and check back, because I’ll update both the blog and the website when the book is available!!

Pandora’s Box website

pandora's box front cover

Pandora’s box cover

pandora's box back cover

Pandora’s box back cover

So you don’t have to try zooming in on the text, here is what the back cover says about the book:

Jansen has long resented her conceited parents, their money-and-social-standing-mean-everything attitudes, and the pretentious tennis-club and Hamptons-parties lifestyle they push on her. But after learning her mom, Scarlett, tried to murder Clint’s mom, Cindy, Jansen’s resentment turns to a hatred she has no idea how she’ll conceal.

As she, Clint, Jason, and Hersh reel in the wake of their discovery, everything feels surreal to Jansen. The inane love lives of her school friends, nights out at Red Sulfur, the dangerous need for a high that continuously requires more and more stimulation to attain, and even the sordid past of the Circles of Eight. It is only with the boys she feels like her true self, especially in the world she and Jason have created when it’s just the two of them, a mystical yet very real Paradise, their “best ever.”

But when a long-awaited revelation hits Jansen out of the blue, she snaps out of her foggy reverie and, along with Jason, throws herself deeper into uncovering the mysteries of the Circles of Eight. The trail leads away from her mom’s murder attempt fifteen years ago and takes Jansen and Jason back ten years earlier, to the childhood of Jason’s mom, Corinne.

Despite warnings they are opening a treacherous Pandora’s box, Jansen and Jason set out to connect the clues littered across Corinne’s and the Circles’ intertwining pasts. An old diary hidden in a bookshelf, a boy named Robert, a letter that can’t be found, an unknown object of dire importance, a forgotten summer house in Vermont. And, ultimately, questions Corinne seems determined to leave unanswered.

pandora's box author pic

Pandora’s box author pic

The above picture is me on the 1 train at South Ferry Terminal in NYC (along with the awesome @gypsythetravelingcatpurse). Watch for the scene in the book where Jansen and Jason ride the subway to this stop…it’s a good one. 😉

Stay tuned for several more pictures from NYC that will show you real places Jansen, Jason, Hersh, Clint, and others go in Urban Legends and Pandora’s Box!

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Pandora’s Box excerpt!

Last summer I published Urban Legends, the first novel in the Not Like Paradise trilogy. The second novel, Pandora’s Box, will be coming in June! As promised, below is an excerpt. If you’ve read Urban Legends, it ended with Jansen and Jason leaving Cindy’s house in South Carolina and heading to the airport, not knowing where they would fly. Here’s a peek at what comes next… 😉

(If you haven’t read Urban Legends yet, check it out here.)

Pandora’s Box Sneak Peek!

Jansen and Jason flew to Paris.

It had long been Jansen’s favorite city besides New York. It was high fashion, dirty streets, astonishingly beautiful architecture, pretentious food, cafés on every corner, some of the best art in the world, centuries of tragic and triumphant history, and a haze of cigarette smoke. It was mysterious, intriguing, and impersonal…a bold, careless, beautiful face turned to the world, completely content with its identity and uninterested in the opinions of anyone. It was exactly where Jansen wanted to be…

***

…They got ready, left the hotel holding hands, and walked to the closest Métro station. They rode to the 4th arrondissement and walked along the old streets of Le Marais until they found a bookstore. They wandered in and browsed the titles, looking for anything that struck them as interesting or romantic or tragic or intrinsically Parisian…a book that captured some essence of this city they both loved.

Jason stopped to pull a book off a shelf, and Jansen let go of his hand and continued walking slowly down the aisle.

Regarde ça,” Jason said, his voice quiet.

Jansen heard the piqued interest in it. She turned.

Jason held a book out to her.

Jansen took one look at it and felt her heart race a little. “Oui. Ça y est.

Le Paradis Souterrain.

Paradise Underground, or The Underground Paradise, depending how you translated it. The picture was of an underground passageway littered with bones.

She and Jason shared a small grin, then hurried to the front, excited to get to a café and dive into their find…

***

…They had both heard vaguely of the Paris Catacombs before, but it wasn’t a place either of them had visited, and they knew little about it or its history. Jansen wondered if maybe people went there to worship the dead or something creepy, and that was how those dead had now become “revered.” It sounded really cool though…a tunnel under the city lined with remains of people who had been dead for centuries. It would be fun to go.

They turned the page to the next chapter, and that’s when they realized the first chapter had really been nothing more than a surface story, a necessary histoire before they got to the real content of the book…

The “underground paradise” named in the title had nothing to do with the remains of dead people found in the Ossuary…the couple kilometers of tunnel making up the Ossuary was literally only a fraction of the former quarries, or what Parisians considered les catacombes. The tunnels stretched for an estimated three hundred miles under Paris in an intricate maze. Many of the passageways contained nothing of interest, and some were flooded with water or blocked by cave-ins. The tunnels were described as illegal and dangerous, because you were as likely to encounter escaped criminals, who supposedly entered the tunnels from a secret passageway under La Santé Prison in the 14th arrondissement, as you were a member of the special division of Paris police who were responsible solely for patrolling the tunnels with their dogs.

But the tunnels were also described as alluring and irresistibly tempting, because tucked in the deepest recesses of the maze, if you knew where to look, were rumored meeting places of secret societies such as the Illuminati, former wartime hideouts, squatter villages with electricity and untraceable phone lines, and amphitheatres carved into the rock where people called cataphiles—those who frequented this underground otherworld—came to throw highly illegal and insanely outrageous multiple-day parties.

This was the Paradise. It had nothing to do with dead people at all, and everything to do with taking a risk to obtain an unparalleled reward. Sneaking away to give in to your fantasies or simply to escape to another realm where the laws of society didn’t exist.

The last few chapters claimed that while police were constantly blocking off newly discovered entrances into the Catacombs, secret access points existed all over Paris. They were ladders inside manholes or drain shafts, abandoned tunnels underneath Métro stations. You had to stumble across one, or you had to find somebody willing to take you. The author told of several specific ones he had heard of and tried, but every single one had been sealed…blocked off by police if it had ever been a way in.

The very last chapter, entitled “Une boîte de Pandore,” warned again about the dangers of going, including cave-ins, floods, drug dealers and addicts, escaped prisoners, and the possibility of getting lost or arrested, but said if one was going to try, the absolute essentials were boots, flashlights, and a map.

Jansen and Jason turned another page and found an estimated map, one that mirrored the streets of Old Paris, as it was rumored the streets had been aligned directly over the quarries and that street signs could even be found in the tunnels, labeling the city streets above. Based on all the research the author had done, his map even included the locations of some supposed secret rooms, but he was very clear that it was just an inference and shouldn’t be used as an actual guide.

Jansen closed the book and looked at Jason.

“There must be some kickass parties down there on New Year’s Eve,” Jason said with a wicked grin.

Jansen grinned back. “I’m not afraid of a little Pandora’s box.”

“Me either.”

“All we need is a map and a way in.”

***

…They had walked only a little way when Jansen spotted something down a cross tunnel they were passing.

“Oh my gosh, look,” she said, shining her flashlight to the right. She stepped into the passageway, her mouth falling open.

All over its walls were paintings of a woman with long reddish-brown hair. Jansen quickly realized the walls were a mural of Paris, with the woman at all the different landmarks. The Tuileries Gardens, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, a sidewalk café, a boat on the Seine, a street market, L’Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde. In each scene the lady was disproportionately large compared to the buildings and the other regular-sized people who interacted around her.

“Look,” Jason said from back in the entryway. He was looking at something above his head.

Jansen went back to see what it was, and she realized there was actually a small arch formed in the entrance.

Le paradis de Pandore,” she read aloud. Her heart skipped a beat. “Pandora’s Paradise?!”

Jason had moved inside. “Look,” he said again. “All the people in the pictures are fighting.”

Jansen looked closer, and it was immediately apparent. Their faces were angry, their arms raised or crossed as they yelled at one another, their mouths open in frozen shouts whose words would never be heard. At Place de la Concorde, a man was bent over the guillotine, its blade raised and ready to strike.

But one face wasn’t angry. In every depiction of Pandora, she was smiling…a small, delighted curl of her lips.

“It’s her Paradise because she set all the bad things free,” Jansen said. “Hate, and anger, and vengeance.” It was just like the myth, in which Pandora had opened the jar that released everything bad and evil into the world.

“I wonder who painted this,” Jason said. “And if the author of that book knew about it. The first one we read, in Le Marais? He didn’t mention it, but the title had the word paradise in it, and he called that one chapter ‘Pandora’s Box.’ ”

“He implied that to come down here would be to open a Pandora’s box.” Jansen looked at Jason. “And that’s why it’s her Paradise. People get lost, or arrested, or run into prisoners or floods or…whatever.”

Jason nodded. “Exactly.”

Jansen looked around at the painting again, slightly horrified and immensely more intrigued.

“She looks like you,” Jason said.

“What?”

“All these pictures of Pandora. She has your hair color, and she’s young. And beautiful.”

Jansen looked at Jason, but he wasn’t even looking at her. He hadn’t been trying to be sweet; he’d just said it matter-of-factly. Her heart melted, and she smiled in his direction.

Then she looked back to the nearest painting of Pandora. “She looks like my mom too.” Jansen wrinkled her nose. “How fucking ironic, ‘cause my mom’s like the modern-day Pandora. Everything evil in the world is here because of her.”

“Except you,” Jason said, finally looking at her.

“What?”

“You’re here ‘cause of her. And you’re not evil. No matter what all your mom’s done, I’m still glad she was born, and that she moved to New York and married your dad. ‘Cause otherwise I wouldn’t have you.”

Jansen’s heart melted again, and she felt tears well up in the corners of her eyes. She ran to Jason and threw her arms around his neck.

He hugged her back tightly. “It’s just the truth,” he said.

“I’m so glad I have you too. You’re my Paradise. I really am happiest when we’re together. I really am only truly happy when we’re together.”

They kissed.

“I’m really glad we came here,” Jason said.

“To Paris, or the Catacombs?”

“Both.”

“Me too.” Suddenly something else on the wall caught Jansen’s eye, and she stepped out of Jason’s arms and walked over to it. It was cursive writing etched through the middle of the mural.

La plus belle femme du monde dans la plus belle ville du monde,” she read aloud. “The most beautiful woman in the world in the most beautiful city in the world.”

“Pandora was supposed to be the most beautiful woman in the world?” Jason asked. He had come up beside her to read the writing too.

“Yeah.” Jansen looked back at her picture. “And she is a lot like Paris. She’s considered the most beautiful, but she doesn’t care what people think of her. She’s bold and her reputation speaks for itself, but not a lot of people know the real her. She’s…devious. She has secrets.”

“That’s kinda like you too,” Jason said.

Jansen looked at him in surprise. “Yeah, I guess it is.” She smiled. “And it’s everything I love about Paris too.”

“Well,” Jason said, “the most beautiful girl and the most beautiful city should have a few things in common, don’t you think?” He looked away, shrugging and making his face aloof. “I think they should.”

Jansen laughed and hit him in the shoulder. “Yeah,” she said. “I guess they should.”

florida life

So I know for my next blog post, I promised an interview with the infamous Aubrey Gage…but if you’ve read Love Means Zero, Living in a Postcard, or Only May in Paris Will Tell…especially Only May in Paris Will Tell…you know Aubrey only gives an interview when she is good and ready, and she loves to play with people’s minds. So, while we wait…(I promise, it’s coming soon!)…I have another topic that really doesn’t relate to any of my books or characters, but to my new life as a Florida resident!

I’ve been coming to Fort Myers my whole life, but I’ve only lived here about 2 1/2 months. In that time, I’ve discovered several eccentricities about Florida life that I thought would be fun to document on my blog. This will be an ongoing post, because I’m sure I’m forgetting things even as I sit here typing.

I have always called Fort Myers Beach my favorite place in the world, and if you’ve read my books, you might know it’s my character Jill’s favorite place as well. 🙂 Moving here was hands down the best decision I could have made, and although the amount of time I’ve lived here (10ish weeks) doesn’t even come close yet to equaling the time I spent here before my move (40ish weeks), I have learned a lot I never knew about life on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, where:

*we set our air conditioners at 78 degrees, because it’s a good 10-15 degrees cooler than the outdoor temp and feels amazingly refreshing…anything else would be too cold because our bodies would be so unaccustomed to it

*the word “lanai,” which I had probably never uttered before in my life, is part of my everyday vocabulary and a common conversational term, and in my house hunt, it’s my #1 must-have…good thing they are about as common as living rooms here

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the lanai!

 

*other important features in my house hunt include impact glass, hurricane shutters, and as many sliding doors as possible out to the lanai

*hiring a pest control company is not something we do in extreme circumstances, it’s just another monthly bill

*”Do not feed the alligators” signs are common fixtures at neighborhood entrances, where alligators call backyard ponds home…I saw my 1st one on my 3rd day here

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right outside my house =D

 

*it is important to know which evacuation zone I live in…it is Zone A, meaning the 1st ordered to leave in a mandatory hurricane evacuation

*people who work outdoors in 90+ degree weather wear long pants, layers, and long sleeves…because the skin stays cooler when the sun isn’t directly shining on it

*I can sit on the beach in the sun and watch a massive downpour inland or out over the water

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stormy at sea, sunny by me 🙂

 

*storms rarely move west to east, follow any kind of predictable pattern, or last more than 15 minutes

*yardwork consists of pulling branches off the palm trees when they turn brown and dragging them out to the street

*the most likely time for school to be cancelled is late summer through November…hurricane days

*tropical decor can be purchased ANYWHERE, including hardware stores

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found at Ace Hardware

 

*October arrives, and most of the country can start to feel bits and pieces of winter, while for us, the weather only gets better (the rainy season is ending).

Ok, that’s it for now…more as I think of it!

#floridalife #beachlife #islandlife #onlyinflorida

 

 

only may in paris will tell character interview: hilton joliet

hilton omip

Hilton Joliet

Hey guys! It’s Hilton from Daisy Jordan‘s new book, Only May in Paris Will Tell, which is officially released and can be ordered here! And since you get free shipping w/ a $25 book order, you might as well pick up another Daisy Jordan book or 2 while you’re at it. 😉

Anyway, I am soooo excited for this book. It takes place over 10 months, and you will read all about my love life, my move to LA, whether my ex-boyfriend Luke and I manage to stay friends, whether my ex-hookup-buddy Haidin and I manage to stay friends after I found him in his hotel room w/ his ex-girlfriend Aubrey at the end of Living in a Postcard (SO weird to think about still…), what my best friends Jill and Todd are up to in LA, whether anything else ever happens w/ the guy I love, Tanner, after that kiss we had in Indy, what my tennis-player friends Nate, Noah, and Damian are up to, and so much more! And don’t worry if you haven’t read previous books about me – this one does stand alone, so you can read it without having read any of the others!

And to give you a little further preview of the book, here is an interview with me and my boss at Game Set Match magazine, Deidre Fox. Just remember, I’d never tell her everything. 😉

DF: Hilton, what are you most excited for in Only May in Paris Will Tell, the latest book about your life traveling with the tennis tour?

HJ: For my book launch next May in Paris! I’m publishing my first photography book. And also definitely to see how my love life progresses.

DF: Ooohh, tell me more!

HJ: I can’t say much more right now. Just that there’s a potential prospect…at least I think there might be. And I can’t wait to see what’ll happen.

DF: Anybody we know? Anybody you’ve been previously involved with or linked to?

HJ: Maybe. Or maybe not.

DF: I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what pictures our talented photographers are able to get.

HJ: I guess so.

DF: What are you least excited about in your life right now?

HJ: Well, I’m moving to LA, which I’m thrilled about, but my best friend Luke will still be living in Indy, and I’ll miss him like crazy. We’ve been living together for basically six and a half years. So I’m bummed about being so far from him.

DF: Luke Windler, not just your best friend, but also your ex.

HJ: Yes.

DF: Could he be the “prospect” you’re talking about? Is a reconciliation in the picture?

HJ: Luke and I don’t need to reconcile, because like I said, we’re still best friends.

DF: Avoiding the question.

HJ: Maybe. Or maybe not.

DF: Tell us who you think will be the center of the biggest surprise story to come out in GSM in the next few months.

HJ: Well, you never know what’ll happen, but I think it could be Haidin Bayliss.

DF: Because he’s your prospect?

HJ: This one actually has nothing to do with me.

DF: Can you tell me what you know?

HJ: Just that Haidin has some surprises up his sleeve, I think. Or behind his hotel room door.

DF: What?

HJ: Nothing.

DF: Okayyyy. Let’s look farther down the road. Who do you see being at the center of the most jaw-dropping story of 2009?

HJ: Hmmm. I’m gonna go with Nate Young. Or maybe me. Or maybe somebody not even on the tennis tour.

DF: Wow. That’s insightful.

HJ: And true.

DF: Are you still friends with Tanner Bruin? You 2 haven’t been spotted together in over 3 months, since shortly before he proposed to his girlfriend Austin Delks and she said no.

HJ: Of course Tanner and I are still friends. I visited him at his house in Vero Beach while he was recovering from his broken ankle last month.

DF: Is Tanner ready to make a comeback?

HJ: I think he is. I think you’re going to see him come out firing and have a strong summer. He’ll be ready to defend his US Open title.

DF: How many girls do you think Nate Young will hook up with between now and the end of 2009?

HJ: You’d be surprised.

DF: I have no doubt. Okay, Hilton, final question for today. Who’s your favorite new character in Only May in Paris Will Tell, and who’s your least favorite new character?

HJ: My favorite is definitely Leks Drovic. She’s awesome…and unexpected, in many ways. And my least favorite…Whitney Gray. Whitney brings heartbreak and alters lives in a way readers will never see coming. It’s devastating.

DF: To whom?

HJ: A lot of people.

DF: Okay, well we’ll cross our fingers it’s not you who’s devastated, Hilton! But we at GSM have to admit, we can’t wait to see what you’re talking about! GSM

 

Yeah…I bet she can’t. :p Well guys, stay tuned for the next Only May in Paris Will Tell character interview…with Luke Windler, my ex-boyfriend!

In the meantime, read all about the book here, and if you want to read previous books about me, you can start with Really Good Friends in paperback or ebook format (about my friends and me in high school), or Love Means Zero in paperback or ebook format (about my first year and a half traveling with the tennis tour)!

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#OnlyMayInParis front cover 🙂

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#ReallyGoodFriends front cover

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#LoveMeansZero front cover

 

 

 

 

real pictures and places from a stranger thing…chicago!

In my last couple posts, I’ve shared some pictures from Brussels and Denver, 2 of the major locations in A Stranger Thing. The final major location I’ll be posting some of my own photos from is Chicago, where Kylar, Jansen, Thaler, Xavier, Drew, and Brooke live! I grew up about 3 hours from Chicago, and one of my best friends lives there now, so I visit pretty often. It is a beautiful city and LOTS of fun!! 🙂

1

along the Chicago Riverwalk

13

Michigan Avenue skyline as viewed from Millennium Park. these buildings are like the one where I imagine Brady getting a place later in the book (don’t worry, that’s not much of a spoiler)

2

Mich Ave skyline at dusk from Lake Michigan

9

view from floor 103 of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). the tall black building near the lake is the John Hancock Building, where Kylar goes w/ Steven on Valentine’s Day

11

looking south and east along Lake Michigan, toward Indiana

10

looking north along Lake Michigan, toward Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Lakeview, Uptown, and eventually Wisconsin

7

another view from the Willis Tower

12

view of the Chicago River from above

16

the river dyed green for St Patty’s Day 🙂

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a summer day at the beach along Lake Michigan!

14

Montrose Harbor, at a beach in Uptown

6

Lincoln Park in winter. Kylar, Jansen, Xav, and Thaler live in this neighborhood, a little north of downtown and the Loop

5

in the heart of Wrigleyville! Drew lives just a few blocks from Wrigley Field

3

view from floor 12 of the Westin on Michigan Avenue, where Jansen stays when she shows up early in Chicago and surprises Thaler

4

same view in daylight

19

me w/ my Chicago bestie Chris 🙂

17

another of Chris and me, hanging at a bar in Wrigleyville

18

We ❤ Chi-town! 🙂

For more about the adventures of Kylar, Jansen, Xav, Thaler, Drew, and Brooke, make sure to check out A Stranger Thing on my blog or website! 🙂 Until next time, and thanks for reading… 🙂

real pictures and places from a stranger thing…brussels!

A Stranger Thing has 4 major locations – Denver, Chicago, New York City, and Brussels. I thought it would be fun to share photos I took of places that inspired my writing in some of those cities! Today I am starting with Brussels, where my character Kella lives. Enjoy! 🙂 And click on Kella‘s name to read an interview with her!

The Manneken Pis, first site of Jansen and Jason's statue-dressing charade :)

The Manneken Pis, first site of Jansen and Jason’s statue-dressing charade 🙂

Notice the "camera security" sign on the right. ;)

Notice the white “CAMERA SECURITY” sign on the right that you can barely see in this pic…enlarged view below 😉

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Slightly weird? Sure. One of Brussels' major attractions? Obviously.

Slightly weird? Sure. One of Brussels’ major attractions? Obviously.

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The Jeanneke Pis, second site of the statue-dressing charade. Much more difficult to access than its counterpart :)

The Jeanneke Pis, second site of the statue-dressing charade. Much more difficult to access than its counterpart 🙂

Jansen had to climb onto the base, then up the gate, then squeeze herself behind it. Easy. Good thing it was the middle of the night and snowy though, as everything you see around here is a bar

Jansen had to climb onto the base, then up the gate, then squeeze herself behind it. Easy. Good thing it was the middle of the night and snowy though, as everything you see around here is a bar

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Oh, and she also had to avoid the spikes at the top 🙂

Classy :) Love it

In case you can’t tell, she is peeing too 🙂

Sign next to the Jeanneke Pis in Delirium Village. All bars open till 6!

Sign next to the Jeanneke Pis in Delirium Village. All bars open till 6!

Best Beer in the World at the World Beer Fest in Chicago in 2008. Google it...or read what I wrote about it in the book. ;)

Best Beer in the World at the World Beer Fest in Chicago in 2008. Google it…or read what I wrote about it in the book. 😉

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The Grand-Place, where Lorylyn and the rest of the wedding guests go as part of their tour and later return for dinner, also considered as a wedding site for the book's royal wedding

The Grand-Place, where Lorylyn and the rest of the wedding guests go as part of their tour and later return for dinner, also considered as a wedding site for the book’s royal wedding

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Kella's street, rue de la Perche, in Brussels' Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Her building is the white one straight ahead on the left as the street starts to curve

Kella’s street, rue de la Perche, in Brussels’ Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Her building is the white one straight ahead on the left as the street starts to curve

Close-up of Kella's building. The best part was while writing the first draft, I looked at a map, picked a random street in Saint-Gilles, and described her building as being white and on a corner of a street that curved uphill for 2 blocks and disappeared. When I went to Brussels 2 years later, this is what I found =D

Close-up of Kella’s building. The best part was while writing the first draft, I looked at a map, picked a random street in Saint-Gilles, and described her building as being white and on a corner of a street that curved uphill for 2 blocks and disappeared. When I went to Brussels 2 years later, this is what I found =D

street in Saint-Gilles, Kella's neighborhood

Another street in Saint-Gilles, Kella’s neighborhood

Actual site chosen for the book's wedding...and location of the last scene. Get ready...it's a cliffhanger, of course ;)

Brussels’ Royal Palace, the actual site chosen for the book’s wedding…and the location of the last scene. Get ready…it’s a cliffhanger, of course 😉

Hope you’ve enjoyed the photo tour of Kella and the other characters’ Brussels world! Coming soon…highlights of Denver, where Lorylyn, Zibby, Taylor, and Brady live, and my former city as well! 🙂

sneak peek of a stranger thing!

In anticipation of the release of A Stranger Thing, which is just a FEW DAYS AWAY =D now, check out the prologue below! I have a good feeling you might be hooked afterward… 😉 And if so, good news, you can still pre-order for $15 (cover price is $23.99)!! Just email me at daisy@daisyjordan.com to do so! Free shipping too, at least in the continental US! Prologue below… 🙂

A Stranger Thing

A Stranger Thing


prologue

it wasn’t supposed to be you

Lorylyn’s heart pounded the whole time the plane was taxiing. When it stopped at the gate, she pulled her carry-on and purse out from under the seat and held them in her lap, then tapped her foot anxiously. She was so glad she was in the second row. She was afraid she was going to pass out or throw up if she didn’t get off of here soon. She needed the rush of cold air that usually greeted her in the jetway. She needed to freaking move!

When the seatbelt sign dinged off and the doors opened, she jumped out of her seat, flinging her bags over her shoulder, and waited urgently for the man beside her to get out of her way.

Once she was in the jetway she shoved past the man and walked quickly. Then, as she neared the terminal, she slowed. She might see who it was in a matter of seconds. She still felt like she was going to pass out.

She stepped out of the jetway and scanned the crowd. She saw no one who looked familiar.

Slightly disappointed yet more so relieved, she let out a huge breath. The person must be waiting for her at baggage claim. It would’ve been hard to get to the gate anyway…it would’ve meant buying a ticket. And that seemed way overboard.

She stopped in the bathroom and took her time looking in the mirror and brushing her hair, even though her hands were shaking and she felt like anyone who looked closely at her would be able to tell she was a wreck. She wanted to look good though.

On Saturday, two days ago, she’d been in her room at her parents’ house in Indiana getting ready to go through all her mail. She hated doing it because it always piled up; she still listed her parents’ house as her permanent address on everything and got a ton of junk mail there. Just as she’d been picking up the first envelope, her mom had leaned into her room and said, “One more.” She’d tossed another envelope onto Lorylyn’s bed, and Lorylyn had put the first one back down and grabbed this one instead.

It had no real markings on the outside and no return address, but it was probably some kind of credit card application. They’d made it just nondescript enough so she would at least open it to see what it was.

She opened it and pulled out the contents, then frowned when she looked at them. There was one piece of paper folded in thirds and something else that looked like a plane ticket. It was probably a fake plane ticket, like saying, if you get our credit card and charge so much on it, we’ll offer you free miles, and you’ll get a free plane ticket. But when she peered a little closer at it, she realized it didn’t look fake. And when she looked even closer, she was stunned.

From everything she could tell, it was a valid ticket. Continental Flight 2064, from Indianapolis to New York LaGuardia, business class, for May 11, 2009. Two days away. Seat 2A. Departing at 1:55 p.m. and arriving at 4:09 p.m. What the hell?!

Lorylyn laughed incredulously and a little excitedly as the thought crossed her mind that Jansen might have done this. It might be something like that Fourth of July when she’d sent those invites for the party on the Vineyard without even telling anyone about it. Lorylyn wondered what was going on this time! She remembered the paper and grabbed for it to unfold it.

Please come. I need to talk to you and I have a surprise for you.

The note was typed, and that was all it said. There was nothing else on the page. “What?” Lorylyn asked in confusion. She grabbed the envelope again and looked more closely at it. Her name and address were typed too, and the postmark was from New York, NY.

Jason? she thought breathlessly for just a second. No way. That would be crazy. In her dreams, maybe.

But she didn’t think it was Jansen anymore, unless Jansen was trying to play some kind of trick on her, because the note didn’t fit. It had to be a guy.

Then her heart raced as she had another thought. Jordy?!

But no…surely not. She’d only talked to him twice on AIM since the cruise, and they’d written on each other’s Facebook Walls once. She hadn’t gotten any kind of impression he even planned on ever seeing her again.

So was it Jason? As much as she wanted it to be, her brain told her there was no way. It was something he would do, yeah, but she really didn’t think he would do it for her. Why would he need to see her right now? Jansen was there. Wait! Unless Jansen had told him about how she was going to be with Thaler when she moved to Chicago in August…and Jason was really upset…and so he wanted to see Lorylyn. Or maybe he’d wanted to see her all this time, but hadn’t thought he should because of Jansen, but now that he’d heard about Thaler…

Stop it, Lorylyn! she screamed silently at herself. There’s no way it’s Jason! And if so it’s nothing like what you’re thinking…at least not that he’s secretly in love with you!

It could be him if it was something like the Vineyard party though, she supposed. Maybe it was just some event in the city he thought she would like. Maybe he and Jansen had done this together. But it didn’t explain the “I need to talk to you” part.

Another thought occurred to her and she grabbed her laptop. She could check to see if this was even a real flight. She quickly went to Continental’s website and searched for flights from Indy to New York for May 11. She inhaled sharply when she saw the second result. Flight 2064…departing at 1:55 and arriving at 4:09.

Then she had another idea, and she grabbed the ticket. There. Her confirmation number. She went back to the main page and under Change or View Reservations, she typed it in, along with her last name. She waited breathlessly while the next page loaded. She fully expected it to come up saying Error! No Itinerary Found! or something of the sort.

She inhaled sharply again when it displayed her reservation. Lorylyn Porter, 5/11/09, Flight 2064, IND-LGA, Seat 2A. “Holy shit,” she whispered.

She grabbed her phone off the bed and called Jansen.

“Hey, this is Sinead.”

“Oh, hey!” Sinead was Jason’s roommate in New York. Jansen was staying at their apartment while she was in the city for the summer.

“Hey. Jansen’s hungover and asleep. Her phone was on the couch so I just answered.”

Lorylyn laughed. “Oh. Well is Jason there?”

“No, he stayed at Hersh’s and I don’t think he’s coming back here before the wedding.”

“Oh!” Duh! Lorylyn had been so wrapped up in the plane ticket mystery she’d completely forgotten today was Hersh’s wedding. Her friend Kylar was there for it too…staying with Sinead, Jason, and Jansen. Kylar had hooked up with Hersh all through college, most recently on the cruise a bunch of them had gone on together in March, which had been dubbed Hersh’s unofficial bachelor party. Kylar had debated long and hard over whether to go to his wedding, and finally she’d decided to, as a way to say goodbye to him. “Well…um…you don’t know anything about either of them, like, sending me a plane ticket to New York, do you?”

“No, why, did they do that?”

“No, I don’t know. I got one from somebody. Don’t mention it to them though.” Lorylyn didn’t know why, but she didn’t want them to know. She’d been planning on pretending she’d just called to talk and then asking Jansen random questions to fish for the answer, such as what she and Jason were doing this coming week.

“Okay, I won’t. Don’t worry.”

“Do you know by any chance what they’re doing next week?”

“No, I’m not sure. Nothing big that I know of.”

“When do they leave for Europe?”

“Not for a couple weeks.”

“Oh, okay. Thanks.”

“Yep! Bye.”

“Bye.” Lorylyn hung up, her heart racing again. So it could be Jason, or both him and Jansen together…it sounded like they were going to be in the city next week…

Then she had another crazy idea, and her heart pounded against her chest. Her hands shook a little as she typed in the first few letters of the address and waited for Firefox to come up with the past places she’d visited. She clicked on the URL for the Rockies’ 2009 schedule. When the page loaded she quickly scanned the May calendar.

Three days in a row, Tuesday, May 12 through Thursday, May 14, the purple boxes in the calendar read, “@ NY Mets.”

“No fucking way,” Lorylyn whispered. “No…fucking…way.”

She fell back against her pillows, staring at her computer screen and then at the plane ticket. Was it Brady?! But he always handwrote his notes…and wait, no, it couldn’t be him. Because the postmark had come from New York. And he wouldn’t be there already…his first game there wasn’t for three days.

She let out a huge breath that was a mix of relief and disappointment. The possibility of it being him had left her stunned…and now that possibility had been yanked away already. Unless…she leaned forward to peer at the Rockies’ schedule again. Thursday, May 7 through Saturday, May 9… “@ NY Yankees.”

“Oh my gosh,” Lorylyn breathed. So he would’ve been in New York since at least Wednesday…plenty of time for him to mail this from there. No way.

She fell back against her pillows again. She had no idea what to think! Which one of them was it?!

Brady? Her first love, the guy she’d thought for years was The One? With whom she’d had a blowout fight last October and only recently gotten back on speaking…or more like texting…terms?

Or maybe Jordy…her fling from that Vineyard Fourth of July party three summers ago and the cruise two months ago?

Or Jason? Her absolute fantasy guy, with whom she’d shared what was probably the best day of her life on a beach in Curaçao during that same cruise but who could never really be hers because his whole past and a big part of his present belonged to Jansen?

Or Jason and Jansen together, because they loved to be outrageous and were always creating some wild new adventure?

She still didn’t know why, if it were Brady, he’d be so secretive. He’d never been like that before. He always included a handwritten note with anything he sent her and signed it. Would he have not done that this time hoping she wouldn’t know who it was, because he thought if she did know she wouldn’t come? No, that didn’t really make sense.

She picked up the note again and reread it. The wording sounded like something Brady would write. It sounded less like Jason or Jordy…but with Jason, you never knew what he and Jansen might be up to. And it kind of sounded like Jason by himself…depending on the situation. She just had no idea what this situation was, so how was she supposed to know if it was something Jason would write or not?!

Then she had a totally different thought. It could be Hilton! Or Kelsey! They were two of her best high school friends. Hilton was in New York a lot for her job, and Kelsey lived there.

But neither of them would word the note like that. Lorylyn laughed at the thought. If it were from Hilton the note would read more like, “You better come, I have a kickass surprise for you!” with a big wink sign afterwards. Kelsey would probably write something similar.

Lorylyn screamed in her mind. Aagghh! She had no freaking clue, and she was going crazy!

She picked up her phone to call Cade, her best friend. Maybe he could help her figure it out from a guy’s perspective. Disappointed when he didn’t answer, she called Wes. Maybe Cade was in his room and had just left his phone downstairs or something.

“Hey, what’s up?” Wes answered.

“Hey, are you at The Dilapidated Whorehouse?” Lorylyn asked, naming the house she had just moved out of a few days ago. It had been their college house for the last five years…not just Lorylyn, Cade, and Wes’s, but seven of them total, including Jansen, Kylar, Thaler, and another friend Xavier. Their other two best friends at Irelan, Zibby and DJ, who were married, had lived there for the first year and then moved into a house nearby.

“Yeah,” Wes said.

“Is Cade there? I just tried to call his phone and he didn‘t answer.”

“No, he had to go to New York.”

“What?!” Lorylyn cried, sitting straight upright so quickly she felt a jolt of pain in her back.

“Yeah, the traveling athletic trainer was sick or something, so he had to go with the baseball team this weekend.”

“Oh my gosh.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Lorylyn said quickly. “He didn’t say anything about me, did he?”

“No,” Wes said.

“Wait, where in New York? New York City?”

“I don’t know.”

“When did he leave?” Lorylyn asked, thinking of the postmark. She suddenly realized it would show the exact date and grabbed the envelope again. May 7. Thursday. Two days ago. Brady would’ve already been in New York for one day.

“Um, Wednesday? Yeah. He flew out there on Wednesday. Their games were Friday through Sunday.”

“Oh my gosh,” Lorylyn said. “Okay, thanks. I guess I’ll just try calling him again.”

“Okay,” Wes said. “See ya.”

“See ya.” Lorylyn hung up and dropped her phone on the bed, staring but seeing nothing. Was it Cade?! They had history too…some of her most important history. Five and a half years ago, they’d gotten married while studying abroad in Amsterdam. It wasn’t legally recognized in the States, but they’d kept it going for a year after they’d come back. Since then they’d hooked up a few times and remained best friends and talked about how maybe someday they’d be together again, but…

Lorylyn tried to piece together all the clues. Every one of the possible senders would’ve been in New York City at the time the letter was postmarked. Wait. She looked up Irelan’s baseball schedule. Maybe the games were in some totally other part of New York, which would rule out Cade. She scrolled down, searching, searching… “May 8-10”… her eyes darted across… “@ Long Island University.”

Lorylyn let out a deep breath. Long Island. That was New York City, or at least close enough. She didn’t know where on the island the university was, but it didn’t really matter. Holy shit. It could be any of them.

Continental…Jason and Jordy had flown that to San Juan for the cruise. But that didn’t mean anything. It may have just been the cheapest flight, or the one with the best times. She had never heard Jason say he always flew Continental or anything. The business class ticket…Jason or Brady could easily afford to do that and probably would. It seemed less like Jordy or Cade. But…if Cade were doing something really big, like telling her he was in love with her and wanted to marry her again…he would go all out. Jordy…she didn’t really know. He had a job in sales of some kind and made enough money to live in Manhattan, but it seemed somewhat overboard that he’d buy a business class ticket.

The wording of the note probably sounded most like Brady, but really it could be any of them. She still thought it was weird that Brady would be secretive about it though, just because it didn’t fit his past note-writing style. She could see Cade being secretive about it for the element of surprise. He would know it would drive her crazy. Jordy…once again…who knew? Maybe he wouldn’t even realize she wouldn’t know it was him. He didn’t know anything had ever happened between her and Jason, so what other guy did she know in New York?

She stretched her brain. Did she know anybody else in New York? No. Not anybody who would send her this note and plane ticket.

She picked up her phone again to call Zibby. Maybe Zibby would have some idea, or maybe if it had been Cade, Zibby would know.

Just as she picked her phone up off the bed, it rang, startling her. It was Jansen.

“Hello?” she asked, her heart pounding.

“Hey, it’s Sinead again.”

“Oh, hey.” Lorylyn let out a long breath and tried to calm her racing heart.

“Hey, well Kylar’s here for the wedding, you know, and she just got up so I asked her when she’s staying till and she said Tuesday. So I asked her what her and Jansen are doing for the next couple days, and she said on Monday they’re going to a Dierks Bentley concert. And I was like, ‘Is Lorylyn coming?’ and she was like, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ Like she sounded like she hadn’t heard anything about it. She said Jansen surprised her with the ticket when she got here, ‘cause Jansen had just heard about it a few days ago and knew Kylar thought he was hot or something. Kylar was like, ‘Yeah, Lorylyn likes him too, but as far as I know she’s not coming.’ So I don’t know if that means anything to you, but I thought I’d let you know. I wasn’t even gonna call back ‘cause it didn’t seem like a big deal, but then she went to get in the shower so I figured why not. Since Jansen did surprise her with the ticket or whatever, I was like, well maybe she’s surprising Lor too. I don’t know.”

“A Dierks Bentley concert?” Lorylyn asked, thinking she might pass out.

“Yeah. Isn‘t he that totally hot blond country singer? Maybe I should go.” Sinead laughed. “So does that help at all?”

“Yeah, it does,” Lorylyn said. “Thanks. Don’t tell them still.”

“Okay, I won’t.”

Lorylyn was out of breath as she hung up, and her mind was whirling even faster than before. Her immediate thought was Brady; he’d mailed her every new Dierks CD since 2003 and marked a song in each one that reminded him of her. But a second later that certainty swirled back into all the other ideas in her brain and become clouded again. Maybe it really was just Jansen…the surprise would be the concert…and Jansen would totally throw the “I need to talk to you” in just to screw with Lorylyn.

Lorylyn laughed a little at that thought, then screamed in her head again. Aaggghhh!

And two days later, she was no closer to figuring it out.

Jansen did seem like the most logical answer now, since she had surprised Kylar with the Dierks ticket, but Lorylyn didn’t want to believe that. She wanted it to be a guy.

Of the guys, it seemed most likely it would be Brady, because he didn’t have a game tonight and he would be able to take her to the Dierks concert. And that was definitely the type of thing Brady would surprise her with.

But not now, she realized on the flight to New York.

It was the type of thing he would’ve surprised her with. When they were together, or even the first few years after. But not now. Tickets to his games this summer…sure. But sending her a plane ticket to New York to take her to Dierks? Why would he do that? The whole Dierks thing could just be a coincidence. Brady might not even know Dierks was in New York tonight.

And Cade…if it was him it would’ve had to be totally spontaneous, because he hadn’t even known he would be going to New York. That would make sense why the ticket was one that looked like it was issued by the airline rather than an e-ticket…maybe he had gotten it at the airport when he landed. Maybe he’d had the whole idea on the plane. And he had never called her back after she’d called him the other day. That was unusual for him; she hadn’t left a message, and normally he would’ve called to see what was up. But maybe he had known she would’ve been calling to tell him about the plane ticket, and he didn’t want to give anything away.

Oh my gosh! What if it’s Cade and his surprise is he’s taking me to Amsterdam?! she thought. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of it before. Irelan’s last game in New York had been yesterday…it made perfect sense. She suddenly panicked. She hadn’t packed enough stuff for a trip to Amsterdam. She’d only packed enough for three or four days! But whatever, it didn’t matter. If they were going to Amsterdam…that would be so freaking awesome. And she did have her passport; she always carried it with her when she traveled in case she lost her license. And…Cade had said they should go back sometime. Just a week ago, on one of their last nights at Irelan. Maybe this week he’d gotten really sad about her being gone…and realized he wanted to be together again…. Holy shit. Could it be?

The ticket not being an e-ticket made it seem probably less likely that it was Jason. He would’ve bought a ticket online, wouldn’t he? Either Brady or Cade could’ve bought it at the airport when they flew into the city. But why would Jason go all the way to the airport?

But then maybe he had a travel agent who had booked it for him and given him the real ticket. He did! Or at least his family did. She had booked the room for Jason in Cabo a few years ago over spring break when his flight to Switzerland had gotten cancelled and he and his friends had decided to go to Cabo with Lorylyn and Jansen and their friends instead.

Or Jansen could’ve gotten the real ticket. For Jason or herself. She had worked at a travel agency for the last four years.

Lorylyn sighed. She wondered for the millionth time which of them she even wanted it to be. And the answer, like every other time, was all of them.

She wanted Jordy to have realized he liked her more than he’d thought, she wanted Brady to surprise her with a Dierks concert, she wanted to go back to Amsterdam with Cade, and of course she wanted it to be Jason.

Her thoughts whirled.

Brady…Cade…Jordy…Jason.

The four main guys from her past, the four main guys in her life so far. She still talked to all of them, still saw a chance she might hook up with all of them again. Still saw a chance she might date any one of them in the future, even if with Brady it was just the smallest chance, one she really didn’t even want to admit existed.

She was almost twenty-six, and no guy doors had closed in her life. Every guy she’d loved or even liked a lot…every guy she’d slept with…was still there, still a possibility in her mind. She’d acted as though the door with Brady was closed and believed in her head it was. But her heart had always kept a little opening tucked away for him, and she knew it. With Jordy she’d been okay knowing it would never go anywhere, and she still was…but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t be open to it going somewhere if the opportunity arose. And Cade and Jason…of course the door was still open with both of them.

In the bathroom at LaGuardia, she was growing more nervous with each stroke of her brush through her hair. Another part of her couldn’t wait to see who it was, because there was a crazy hope building inside her by the second too. Agh! She felt like she was so conflicted she might burst.

Finally she dropped her brush in her purse, offered her reflection an edgy smile, then left the restroom and continued walking.

She took an escalator down and followed the signs for baggage claim. She took another escalator down.

And then, just as she was coming off the second one, she saw who it was.

She froze, and somebody bumped into her from behind. “Sorry,” Lorylyn muttered, barely turning her head, but the person had already rushed past.

What? her confused brain asked. What? She hadn’t thought she knew who she wanted or didn’t want it to be, but this was wrong. No, no, no. What?! No!

She’d told herself not to get her hopes up; she’d known she really had no clue how she would react when she saw who it was. But now that she had, she knew right away it was wrong. This wasn’t how this was supposed to turn out. What?! She didn’t even understand what was happening, couldn’t swallow the stunned disappointment.

She felt like she was in a dream. She remembered Kylar’s dream about Hersh last weekend, when Hersh had said, “It wasn’t supposed to be you,” and Kylar had woken up knowing with absolute certainty she wasn’t the girl he was supposed to marry. Those words had allowed Kylar to go to New York for his wedding at peace with the situation.

But Lorylyn was definitely not at peace with this situation. She knew with absolute certainty this wasn’t who was supposed to be waiting for her today.

She still hadn’t moved from her spot just off the escalator. She shook her head slowly, the words from Kylar’s dream replaying in her head.

“It wasn’t supposed to be you,” she whispered. “It wasn’t supposed to be you.”

…………..:):):) That’s all for now! Don’t forget…email me at daisy@daisyjordan.com to pre-order! 😉