Daisy, Jordan, and The Great Gatsby

One of the questions I get asked most as an author is about my name, Daisy Jordan. It comes from one of my all-time favorite books, The Great Gatsby, in which the 2 main female characters are named Daisy and Jordan. However, sometimes people ask, “You want to be named after 2 characters who weren’t likable, or good people?!” Well…of course! And there are so many reasons why…here are a few!

1) The name Daisy Jordan doesn’t just represent these characters, it represents one of my favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It also represents what I think is the most fascinating decade in history and a book that, along with its characters, has inspired so much of my own writing. I am captivated by the 1920s…that exhilarating ride building up to the devastating crash (a theme I often bring into my own books), and the lifestyle of writers and artists during that time.

2) While I don’t admire Daisy Buchanan or Jordan Baker or want to be like them, I like living vicariously through them in a way…experiencing that decade and the thrill ride to the crash I am so intrigued by but would never want as my own life.

3) While many people dislike Jordan Baker, she is my favorite character in the book. Like Nick, I forgive her dishonesty and am not in the least bothered by it. She is shamelessly, unapologetically herself, and yet she can be secretive or put up a front, and many of my own characters share some of these qualities.

So, I have always felt Daisy Jordan is the perfect name for me! 🙂 Check out my post about this on Instagram for more details! @authordaisyjordan

great gatsby

Urban Legends 5-star review! :)

I have submitted a few of my books for reviews at Readers’ Favorite, and I have always had a good experience with this website and their reviewers! I was so excited to find out that the most recent book I submitted for review, Urban Legends, the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy and the one that comes right before my most recent release, Pandora’s Box, received 5 stars! Here is an excerpt from the review:

“Urban Legends by Daisy Jordan was far more intense and dramatic than I had anticipated. Jansen and Jason were my favorites out of the four main characters. They were smart, they took their time, they paced themselves and allowed themselves to evaluate the situation before delving into it. I enjoyed how shrewd and calculating they were because this is what helped everyone in the end. The story itself is strong enough to make me want to know more, crave more, and just hope that the author has more in store for us to enjoy. The element of mystery was very well handled. Daisy Jordan masterfully allowed it to bloom and become almost an entity in the story. Entertaining and action-packed. Needless to say, I loved it!”

If you haven’t checked out Urban Legends yet, you can get it on Amazon at the link below, or look for me at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 22 to buy a signed copy! 🙂

Urban Legends on Amazon

ALSO, I just realized I never posted the link to buy Pandora’s Box, the 2nd book in the Not Like Paradise trilogy following Urban Legends! (What was I thinking?!) So, here it is! Please enjoy, and write a review to let me know what you think! 🙂

Pandora’s Box on Amazon

And don’t forget to shop on Amazon Smile so you can support your favorite charity – mine is Best Friends Animal Society!

Happy reading! 🙂

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!

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.”

new book – urban legends!

My next book, Urban Legends, will be out in July! It’s the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy and also my first mystery. This is probably the book I am most excited to publish so far, because the story is so different from my others and it was a new adventure to write! If you’ve read any of my previous books, this trilogy will be a prequel – it is about Jansen growing up in New York City. If you haven’t read any of my others, it is definitely not necessary; this one stands alone (and comes chronologically before the others anyway)! But if you’d like to check out my other books, there are a couple links below. 🙂

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

Here’s what this one is all about:

One night at a dive bar in the East Village, best friends Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint create a secret society. One with a fake past full of murders, ghosts, and family secrets. A joke, meant to freak out their school friends, who will no doubt fall for it.

Because in the single-sex private schools of Manhattan’s über-wealthy Upper East Side, where GPAs and coke highs are through the roof, last night’s mind-numbing party is this morning’s eyeroll-inducingly exaggerated story, and relationships burn out faster than the cigarette between your fingers, induction to a secret society feels like a natural rite of passage.

The eerie notes left in Jansen’s, Jason’s, Hersh’s, and Clint’s bedrooms are the first clue their joke has hit too close to a very real, and very hidden, history of Manhattan. In a secret room only blocks from their penthouses, the mystery, one that began with long-dead twins named Anabelle and Jonathan, starts to unravel.

And after a cab chase, fruitless attempts at an impossible-to-crack code, and the offhand discovery of a book stacked on a desk in a backwater South Carolina bedroom comes the chilling realization their “joke” has also hit too close to home. Because as it turns out, murders, ghosts, and family secrets are the hidden history of their own parents.

 

Look for more updates and info coming soon! 😀 And in the meantime, check out my other books at either of the following links (all my paperbacks are also ebooks)! Happy reading!

My Website

My Ebooks

 

 

read an ebook week!

It’s Read an Ebook Week until March 10! In celebration, all my ebooks are either half-off or FREE! 🙂 Check out the descriptions below (they make excellent beach reads, or curl-up-in-front-of-a-fire reads!), and if you find one you like, just click on the link to my Smashwords page to download!

Daisy Jordan Books at Smashwords!

Spin the Bottle series:

spin the bottle YA book series

Really Good Friends portrays the essence of high school – the friendships, the jealousies, the betrayals, the first loves, the “really good friends” you wish were so much more…

Wrong All Along: Jill Sherer and her friends spend the summer after their freshman year of high school in a sun-splashed daze of romance and excitement. But as they make their way through sophomore year, mistakes, missed opportunities, and carefully-ignored signs come back to haunt them.

Best-Kept Secrets: It’s the craziest summer yet at Landon’s lake…wild parties, hot hookups, careless lies, and sweet revenge. But beneath the surface and behind the mask of the lies, dangerous secrets are brewing that will eventually cause the wild ride to end in a devastating crash.

Game Over: Sunny days in Jill’s pool, moonlit nights at Landon’s…the summer before senior year starts out just like any other. But before it ends, the best-kept secret of all will wreck lives, relationships, and illusions.

Other Books:

All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire: Lorylyn Porter knows a lot about deception, lies, secrets, and pain. She came to Irelan University to get away from them and from the most devastating possibility of her past. What Lorylyn doesn’t know is that at Irelan, appearances will be more deceiving than ever.

isntrealsapphirefrontcover

Everything Happens for a Reason…: Jill Sherer has always been the good girl, but she’s about to do something so crazy she can’t even tell her two best friends. In Everything Happens for a Reason…, fate, along with betrayal, secrets, and broken dreams, disturbs the lives and relationships of Jill, Hilton, Todd, Luke, and the rest of their group of party-loving college friends. 

ehrfrontcover

Love Means Zero: Witnessing the best tennis she’s ever seen, hearing the outrageous outbursts of bad boy Haidin Bayliss, playing poker with mouthwateringly gorgeous Tanner Bruin….Being a photographer for Game Set Match magazine seems like a dream, until Hilton starts to see the job she so quickly fell in love with may cost her the love of her life.

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I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life: As Lorylyn and her roommates finish college and begin the next phase of their lives, they struggle with the heart-wrenching discovery that sometimes, the guys they thought they’d risk everything for are the ones with whom they can no longer imagine a future.

i don't want front cover

Living in a Postcard: Scandalous photographs, world-class tennis, a life where travel never stops. It’s Hilton’s “postcard,” or moment she would die for, until a devastating fallout with her best guy friend puts her job and her dream life at risk. And as she strives to get things back to good, another relationship in her life is unforeseeably spiraling toward an even more shocking end.

livinginapostcardfrontcover

A Stranger Thing: A new year and new lives await Lorylyn, Zibby, Kylar, and Jansen as they leave their Indiana college town behind for Denver and Chicago. But from their new cities to New York, Budapest, Fort Myers Beach, and Brussels, ghosts from the past emerge to haunt them, strangers become fast friends, and the oldest of friends suddenly find themselves little more than strangers.

a stranger thing front cover

Only May in Paris Will Tell: Every May the tennis tour lands in Paris, and with it, Game Set Match photographer Hilton Joliet. As Hilton travels the world, hitting different stops on tour each week, events near and far set the stage for the secrets only May in Paris will tell, including divorce, pregnancy, hidden agendas, a stunning photo in Hilton’s first photography book, and a revelation about a year-old murder.

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Here’s the link to my Smashwords page again. Make sure you download by March 10 to get the books half-off or free! Enjoy reading some ebooks this week! 🙂

Daisy Jordan Books at Smashwords!

 

only may in paris will tell character interview: haidin bayliss

Today’s character interview features Haidin Bayliss, Hilton‘s former hook-up buddy. The night before Only May in Paris Will Tell began, Hilton went to Haidin’s hotel room to celebrate him winning the Indy tennis tournament. When she knocked on the door, it was answered by Haidin’s ex, Aubrey Gage. This interview takes place a couple weeks after the start of the book. Game Set Match magazine (and therefore, the world in general) does not yet know Haidin and Aubrey are hooking up again, or even in contact with each other. Don’t worry…no major spoilers!! 🙂

haidin omip

Haidin Bayliss, No. 4 ranked player on the ATP tour

In what will possibly be Game Set Match‘s most exclusive interview of the summer, we snagged a few minutes of the most elusive player on tour’s time. That’s right, you guessed it, tennis bad-boy-turned-mystery-man Haidin Bayliss has decided to grace us with his presence. If it’s anything like his ESPN2 interview a few hours ago, all we can say is lucky us…

Deidre Fox: Haidin, you’re having a hot year, but you couldn’t win a title. Finally you did, a few weeks ago in Indianapolis. How did that feel?

Haidin Bayliss: Like it was about f***ing time.

DF: How did you celebrate?

HB: Privately. With a friend, and a present from another friend.

DF: Hmmm. Might our readers know either of those friends?

HB: They probably know both.

DF: Any chance you’ll give us a hint to their identities?

HB: I might just tell you, if you’d ask.

DF: Who are they?

HB: Ha. Right. Like I’d actually tell you.

DF: Well, it was worth a try, I guess. Did either of these friends have anything to do with your subsequent disappearance?

HB: I told ESPN already. I was kidnapped. I beat off my captors with tennis racquets and still made it in time for the birth of my bastard child. Did you miss that interview?

DF: No, I sure didn’t. Just thought you might have some additional details to add. Like if one of those “friends” you mentioned a minute ago happened to be the mother of your bastard child.

HB: (Laughs) Nope. No more details.

DF: You also told ESPN a couple hours ago that the world would probably find out soon enough where you had been. Is right now soon enough?

HB: No, not now.

DF: When?

HB: Like I said. Soon enough.

DF: Fans around the world were worried sick, imagining every possible scenario. Our “Where’s Haidin” tip line got thousands of emails from distressed fans, most of them not claiming to have seen you, only worried about your safety and fearing the worst.

HB: I would say that’s probably because GSM made my “disappearance” into a big deal by publishing that ludicrous story the other week. And setting up a “Where’s Haidin” tip line.

DF: Clearly we weren’t the only ones thinking along catastrophic lines.

HB: Whatever you say.

DF: Does it make you feel good to know people care so much about your well-being?

HB: Hell no. It makes me think there are a lot of people who need to find something better to do with their time than care about a stranger’s personal life.

DF: What did you think of Brad Gilbert’s new nicknames for you today? Haterade from Adelaide? Or the Bossy Aussie?

HB: Haterade from Adelaide has a nice ring to it. Not bad.

DF: Well besides the big reveal of where you were the last couple weeks, do you have any other surprises in store for the tennis world in 2009?

HB: Not that I can think of. Yet, anyway.

DF: I have a feeling that just won’t be the case. Haidin Bayliss has a quiet fall and winter, barely makes the headlines? No way.

HB: Well, I guess it remains to be seen then.

DF: Can you give us any updates on your love life? How’s Hilton?

HB: She’s great, I’m sure.

DF: You’re sure? So you don’t know? Are you two no longer involved?

HB: Like Hilton and I have always said, we don’t talk every day. We’re not a couple. We never have been. But before you ask, yes, we’re still friends. Everything’s fine.

DF: Just fine?

HB: Just fine. (Smiles)

DF: Any new love interests?

HB: Nope. No one new at all.

DF: Okay, well, you remain tennis’s mystery man. Thanks for your time, Haidin.

HB: Yep.                GSM

 

To find out what Haidin’s “disappearance” is all about…and what happens when the secret about him and Aubrey is revealed…order a copy of Only May in Paris Will Tell here!

Or, if you like to read in chronological order and want to know about Haidin’s relationships with Aubrey and Hilton from the beginning, check out Love Means Zero, the first book featuring Haidin! Or to really go back to the beginning, check out the Spin the Bottle series, about Hilton and her best friend Jill‘s high school adventures!

And stay tuned for the next Only May in Paris Will Tell character interview, featuring the infamous Aubrey Gage!

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#OnlyMayInParis front cover 🙂

 

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#LoveMeansZero front cover