Mirrors and Blue Smoke ebook now available!

My latest book, Mirrors and Blue Smoke, which was released as a paperback in June, is now also available as an ebook!

You can find it on Smashwords, Nook, and several other sites. If you buy through Smashwords, there are various file types available for download. Whether you plan to read on your phone, tablet, or computer, the PDF download should work for anyone! If you want to read on Google Play Books, download the .epub file to your device, and it will work in Play Books. If you have Kindle, download the .mobi version. If you have any questions about which file type is best, feel free to comment here or DM me on Twitter (daisyjordan06) or Insta (authordaisyjordan).

And, if you haven’t read the first two books in the Not Like Paradise trilogy, you can also get those as ebooks:

Urban Legends

Pandora’s Box

Below is a description of the series. ENJOY!!! 😀

Cocktails in penthouses and bars. Soccer in Central Park. Sex. A few lines of coke. A few tablets of E. Just an average day for Jansen Montgomery, Jason Auerbach, Corbin Hershey, and Clint Everly, four best friends growing up on Manhattan’s über-wealthy Upper East Side. With loads of money, parents who are rarely around but would do anything to protect their family names, limitless access to alcohol and drugs, and houses in the Village, the Vineyard, and the Hamptons, there is almost nothing out of these friends’ reach.

As Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint spin in a tornado of first loves, harsh breakups, and sky-high expectations, a chilling mystery begins to unravel, exposing devastating and mind-blowing secrets from their families’ pasts. It will lead the four of them on a chase from the single-sex private schools of the Upper East Side to a backwater South Carolina town, from a forgotten summer house in Vermont to a tiny apartment in Paris, from a nameless dance studio housed in a former Bowery flophouse to the secret rooms of New York City’s underground clubs and, finally, to the scene of the most stunning—and the most dangerous—deception and illusion they’ve ever concocted.

real-life NYC locations from Not Like Paradise!

My trilogy Not Like Paradise takes place in my favorite city in the world, New York! While the characters and events of the books are fictional, I wanted to share some of the real-life locations featured in the series so you can imagine Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint’s life a little more clearly! Hope you enjoy! Be sure to scroll all the way to the end…I saved the best for last. 🙂

Upper East Side

Jansen’s parents’ building at 71st and Lex:

The Auerbachs’ building at 78th and Park:

The Guggenheim, the site of Jansen’s 8th grade graduation:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), where Jansen and her school friends smoke on the steps:

Lenox Hill Hospital, across Park Av from the Auerbachs’, where Jason, Hersh, and Clint carry Jansen after her OD:

Along 5th Av on the edge of Central Park, where Jansen and the boys walk every day between school, the park, and home:

The Museum of Moderm Art, or MoMA (not technically on the Upper East Side, but only 6 blocks south of it), where Corinne holds her birthday party in Pandora’s Box. The Sculpture Garden at the MoMA (2nd pic) is also the site of Corinne and Jacob’s 20th anniversary Adam and Eve party:

The Plaza Hotel, where Jansen and Summer sometimes go for drinks, and also the site of the Plaza prom, which takes place in the Terrace Room (2nd pic). The 2nd pic was taken from the balcony above the Terrace Room, where Corinne and Robert are standing in the photo Jansen and Jason find in Robert’s Paris apartment in Mirrors and Blue Smoke:

Central Park

Most of these pictures are random shots I’ve taken over the years. But the picture with all the people is of Sheep Meadow, where Jansen’s school friends always hang out. The picture with the path going under the bridge is on the west side of the park, near where Jansen and Jason’s special place is, away from Sheep Meadow and anyone they would know. 🙂

Hotel Thirty Thirty

At 30th and Madison, where Jansen and Jason always go on Jansen’s birthday. This hotel has since changed names, but I was lucky enough to get to stay there while it was still the Thirty Thirty:

Delacorte Theater

In Central Park, where Jansen and Jason go on New Year’s morning in Pandora’s Box:

NYU Arch

Jansen and Jason run under this arch after leaving Red Sulfur on Jansen’s 15th birthday, shortly before they are chased by a cab. Legend says anyone who runs under the arch will never graduate from NYU:

The Bowery

Home of Katalina and the infamous flophouse…

The Hamptons

Where Jansen, Summer, Tierney, and Taylan’s families have their summer houses:

Subway stations and trains

Jansen and Jason love the subway, especially a totally empty car going around a track into an abandoned station… 😉

East Village

Red Sulfur is fictional, but this is the stretch of Saint Marks Place just east of 3rd Av where it is described to be:

South Street Seaport

Pier 17, home of the fictional Opera on the Pier!

Broadway in SoHo

Where Hersh bought Jansen’s ring:

Townsend Building

At the northwest corner of 78th and Park, where the Circles meets (the building is real, but the name is fictional):

Roosevelt Island

Site of the Mirrors and Blue Smoke party 😀

View of Roosevelt Island and the East River from the Queensboro Bridge:

View of Queensboro Bridge with Manhattan in the background from Roosevelt Island:

Roosevelt Island tram along the Queensboro Bridge, the best way to get there from Manhattan if you aren’t taking cabs or hired cars like Jansen and her friends:

Although the East River Hospital for the Insane is fictional, Roosevelt Island did house an insane asylum for many decades, back when it was called Blackwell’s Island. These shot glasses can be purchased at the Roosevelt Island Visitor’s Center:

Le Château

As you may know from the books, Le Château is the name of the Auerbachs’ summer house in Vermont. One day I was walking around in NYC and randomly saw this! So even though this pic was taken in NYC, not Vermont, I had to include it! So cool when things like this happen 😀

Circles of 8

This picture is the absolute craziest, coolest thing that has happened in relation to Not Like Paradise. When writing the books, I randomly picked a location for the building where the Circles meets (the Townsend Building). I picked the northwest corner of 78th and Park. Later, after I had written drafts of all 3 books in the trilogy, I walked down Park Av to take pics of the buildings that would be the Townsend Building and the one across 78th Street where the Auerbachs live. And to my total shock, THIS WAS THE ADDRESS of the building where the Circles meets! 888 PARK AVENUE. What?!?!?!?! Best surprise EVER!!! 😀 😀 😀

Mirrors and Blue Smoke officially released! :D

My latest book, Mirrors and Blue Smoke, the conclusion to the Not Like Paradise trilogy, is officially released and available to order on Amazon! 😀

If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, you can start with Urban Legends instead. Below is a description of the series, or you can check out my previous blog posts to learn more about the Not Like Paradise trilogy. 🙂

This trilogy has been one of my FAVORITES to write! I have had so much fun with it and with the characters. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for blog posts featuring photos from real-life locations mentioned in the books!

Description of Not Like Paradise:

Cocktails in penthouses and bars. Cigarettes on the steps of the Met. Soccer in Central Park. Sex. A few lines of coke. A couple tablets of E. A secret society meeting. Just an average day for Jansen Montgomery, Jason Auerbach, Corbin Hershey, and Clint Everly, four best friends growing up on Manhattan’s über-wealthy Upper East Side. With loads of money, parents who are rarely around but would do anything to protect their family names, limitless access to alcohol and drugs, and houses in the Village, the Vineyard, and the Hamptons, there is almost nothing out of these four friends’ reach and even less they wouldn’t do to get what is. 

As Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint spin in a tornado of first loves, harsh breakups, sky-high expectations, and the dangerous need for a high that requires more and more stimulation to attain, a chilling mystery begins to unravel, exposing devastating and mind-blowing secrets from their families’ pasts, as well as the past of the Circles of Eight, the secret society to which they belong.

Their need for answers will lead the four of them on a chase from the single-sex private schools of the Upper East Side to books on witchcraft hidden in a backwater South Carolina town, from a forgotten summer house in Vermont to a tiny apartment in Paris, from a nameless dance studio housed in a former Bowery flophouse to the secret lairs of New York City’s exclusive and elusive underground clubs and, finally, to the scene of the most stunning—and the most dangerous—deception and illusion they’ve ever concocted, one involving spells, ghosts, and smoke and mirrors.

Mirrors and Blue Smoke website is live!

The Mirrors and Blue Smoke website is officially launched! Visit it for teasers and hints, but don’t worry, NO spoilers! And if you haven’t read the first two books in Not Like Paradise, you can visit the Urban Legends website instead (that’s the first book in the trilogy).

One of my favorite parts of making my website for each book is always the character pages. I love sharing fun facts about the characters that readers may or may not know from the books (such as where everyone’s summer house is, because what’s more important on the Upper East Side?! [eye roll emoji…haha]), and giving some insight into each character’s life in his/her own words! Below are some screenshots from parts of a few characters’ pages…you can read the rest on the site! Note: If you haven’t read Urban Legends and Pandora’s Box, the pictures below may give some spoilers for those two books.

I had a blast creating these, so I hope you enjoy looking at them and learning more about the characters from Mirrors and Blue Smoke! 🙂

And just try to figure out who Hester is…or what happened to her. 😉

official cover for Mirrors and Blue Smoke! :D

The front and back covers for Mirrors and Blue Smoke look AWESOME, thanks to my incredible cover designer j bentz photography! 😀

Mirrors and Blue Smoke front cover
Mirrors and Blue Smoke back cover

Back cover text, so you don’t have to zoom in on the photo:

Only four other people (besides Robert) know of the existence of what I took from the Mistress Suite that day, and three of them are dead.

“…doesn’t know about Anabelle.”

“It is coming true.”

Words. Some written in a diary in 1973, others tidbits of whispered conversations. They’re the final puzzle pieces in the deeply hidden, never-recorded-in-the-Magic-8-Ball history of the Circles of Eight, a secret society whose current members may practically claw each other’s eyes out in their battle to reign as Master and Mistress, but whose past is built on witchcraft, betrayal, and murder. And those words are the only clues Jansen and Jason have.

Warned away from the Vermont house but issued a challenge involving the biggest deception and illusion to ever hit the Circles, Jansen and Jason embark on a chase for answers and inspiration. From a tiny apartment in Paris to a nameless dance studio housed in a former Bowery flophouse, from the secret rooms of some of New York’s oldest buildings to the city’s exclusive and elusive underground club scene, and, finally, from a long-abandoned subway station to a deserted insane asylum, they, along with Hersh, Clint, Kella, and Taylan, attempt to rewrite the past, present, and future of the Circles…using spells, ghosts, and the Circles’ founders…mysterious twins Jonathan and Anabelle Townsend, thought dead for decades.

In the aftermath, Jansen, Jason, and the others must come to terms with a new reality, test the boundaries of their friendships, and decide what the future holds. And Jansen and Jason must answer what could be the most defining question of their lives…what will Paradise look like now?


Coming in the next couple days…the Mirrors and Blue Smoke website launch! Stay tuned! 😀

1st scene from Mirrors and Blue Smoke!

The final book in the Not Like Paradise trilogy, Mirrors and Blue Smoke, will be available in just a couple of weeks!! 😀 But you can get started on it now…read the first scene below!

And if you haven’t read the first two books in Not Like Paradise, check out my website or find them on Amazon!

Not Like Paradise website

Urban Legends on Amazon (Not Like Paradise book 1)

Pandora’s Box on Amazon (Not Like Paradise book 2)

1st scene from Mirrors and Blue Smoke:

That was the summer Jansen started dying her hair black.

Opera on the Pier was the night after Corinne and Jacob’s twentieth anniversary party. Jansen, Jason, Hersh, Clint, and Jessie went, and Jessie’s reaction was about the same as Tierney’s and Brynn’s two years before. Jansen looked at her once during the afternoon, before the opera, and saw her glancing around, her nose wrinkled, repulsed by the mix of people dressed in shorts and t-shirts and eating junk food from vendor carts who would gather at the South Street Seaport for such a distasteful event.

“What’s wrong, Jessie?” Jansen asked. “Not a fan of Opera on the Pier?”

Clint, Jason, and Hersh all turned to look at Jessie as Jessie flicked her eyes to Jansen, caught off guard, then quickly plastered on a smile.

“Oh, no!” She grabbed Clint’s arm and twirled the fabric on her long, flowing, definitely designer dress. “This is so cool! I can’t believe I haven’t been before. I can’t wait for the actual opera later!”

Jansen gave Jessie a bright smile, then picked up her hotdog in its paper holder from the lap of her jean shorts and took a huge bite.

Nobody mentioned Jansen’s overdose, which had been last year on this night and which Jessie of course knew nothing about. But Jansen knew the boys were thinking about it, because Hersh didn’t even offer any coke or E to anyone, and Clint, in a vast departure from his normal behavior, didn’t ask for any.

Finally Jessie asked for some, and Hersh offered her coke but took none for himself. Clint turned it down and ignored Jessie’s surprised look.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

“Nothing,” Clint said. “Not in the mood. You go ahead.”

Jansen and Jason spiked their Mountain Dews with vodka but didn’t do anything else.

School got out the following week, the last Wednesday in June.

Hersh left Saturday morning for the Vineyard and Summer left the same day for the Hamptons. The Niyots summered in the Hamptons too, and Summer was looking forward to a romantic couple months with Geoff, whom she’d been dating since the Plaza prom, and her best tennis season ever. Jansen figured she wouldn’t see Summer till school started the Tuesday after Labor Day. Perfect.

Tierney was still dating Johnny Drake, who was spending the summer in Hollywood auditioning for parts, as he’d told her the night of prom. Tierney had been bitching nonstop for weeks about having to go to the Hamptons, but she was going to visit Johnny in LA at least twice; she’d already booked her plane tickets. Jansen thought it was good Tierney wouldn’t be spending any more time with Johnny this summer, because if she dropped all her own plans and went to LA with him instead, that would kind of ruin the “control” thing she and Jansen had talked about.

Taylan had fallen hard for Troy, with whom she’d gone out every weekend since prom and would be spending the whole summer living right next door to in the Hamptons. She was hoping he would be her boyfriend before long, and Jansen hoped so too.

Tierney and Taylan left Sunday afternoon for the Hamptons, and Clint left Monday morning at four for the airport with his dad and Jessie. His dad may have given up Mistress of the Sea, but he apparently wasn’t so invested locally he couldn’t still take his summer yacht trips. Jessie had been beside herself with excitement for the last month of school and her gushing had fluttered right through Jansen’s ears with Jansen paying no real attention.

Sunday night Jansen dyed her hair in her bathroom. Monday morning Corinne and Jacob left for work shortly before 8:00, and at 8:30 Jansen and Jason were in a car on their way to Lakeside, Vermont.

Jason had hired the car to pick them up at the Plaza so Culver or Elliott wouldn’t see. They’d decided they had to go with the car this time because it would take a little less than six hours, while on the bus, and then with the cab ride afterward, the trip had taken almost ten. They had to be back in New York tonight so as not to arouse any suspicion from Jason’s parents. And they left for Europe on Wednesday, so this was their one chance to dig up some info they could analyze during their month abroad.

 Their driver dropped them off just outside town around 2:15. Jansen and Jason pulled their rented bicycles off the back of the car and threw their backpacks, packed full of random clothes, over their shoulders. Jason put on the UVM hat he’d ordered online. “Do I look like I’ve been biking around the state for a month?” he asked.

Jansen laughed at his appearance because he did. “Yeah,” she said. He was wearing khaki shorts and a plain white Hanes t-shirt, along with his backpack and UVM hat. Jansen was wearing short jean shorts with a green UVM t-shirt, and her newly black hair was in a low ponytail, a style she never normally wore.

“Okay, let’s do it,” Jason said.

“We’ll be back in a couple hours,” Jansen said. “We’ll call you when we’re on our way.”

The driver nodded and saluted them. “I’ll be waiting in the last town we passed.”

Jansen and Jason climbed on their bikes and started pedaling. “Holy shit!” Jansen laughed as she swerved halfway across the road and back. “I haven’t ridden a bike since I was like five!” Her parents had taught her in the Hamptons one summer. By the next summer Jansen had been bored with it and picked up rollerblading instead.

“I know,” Jason laughed. “Me either. I probably learned up here, actually.”

They rode to the courthouse, which they’d seen last time they were in town. It was down Main Street a few blocks from the bar, luckily in the opposite direction from the bed and breakfast. They were praying they wouldn’t run into Nancy.

They parked their bikes outside and were able to walk right into the courthouse, no metal detectors or anything. There was an information desk in a kiosk in the first-floor hallway, and they approached it.

“Hi, kids, how can I help you?” the woman behind the desk asked after she hung up the phone.

“We’re from UVM and we’re doing a project on old houses in the state,” Jansen said. “We heard there’s one here. Le Chalet or something? We wanted to look up the property records.”

“Oh, you mean Le Château.” The woman looked at them with a small frown. “What kinda class is that for?”

“It’s this summer class we’re taking on architectural history,” Jason said. “We had two weeks of class, and now we get to spend two weeks doing research on a topic, and then we have to write a paper on it and do a presentation.”

“Oh,” the woman said, standing from her desk. “Well I don’t know if the property records are gonna tell you much about architectural history.” She went to where several keys hung from hooks and removed one.

“We were hoping to try to find some of the owners or former owners of the houses and interview them,” Jansen said. “We’re just biking around the state doing that.”

“Oh, have you found any other nice old homes so far?”

“A couple,” Jason said. “One in Burlington and one outside Montpelier.”

Jansen almost laughed. Those were probably the only other names of towns in Vermont he knew. She tried to think of any others and drew a blank.

“All right, well sign in on this sheet, and then you can follow me.”

Jansen signed her name as Raina Williams, and Jason signed his as Michael Atley. They had planned everything ahead of time, right down to the story they had just told and the names they would use. They had decided on their middle names and bland, non-memorable last names. Had they been asked for their IDs, Jansen had been going to give hers and use her real name and just hope they didn’t notice that based on her age, she probably wouldn’t actually be a University of Vermont student, and Jason had been going to look for his in his backpack and act like he couldn’t find it. He couldn’t use his real ID, because there was a chance this woman would recognize the name Auerbach as being Corinne Westin’s married name. Maybe they would have let Jason in anyway, if he said he’d lost his ID, and if not, at least Jansen would still have gotten in. But Jansen was glad they were both getting to go; it would be a lot more fun this way.

“Right this way, please,” the woman said.

They followed her down the hall and onto the elevator, and she took them up to the fifth floor, which was the top one. On the elevator it was labeled as County Clerk. They got off the elevator and went down a long, dull hallway. Some doors were open, and the rooms looked like offices inside. Jansen saw only a few people. One office was labeled State and Federal Tax Records, and another was labeled Lake County Civil Court Records. Finally the woman unlocked a room on the right and flipped on a light. The sign above the door said Property Records. No one worked in this office; it was more like a storage room full of files. The overhead light was dim and the shelves were an old 1970s shade of green. It looked like no one had been in the room in years, and that was probably close to the truth. Who really cared about the history of property ownership in Lake County, Vermont?

The woman walked to the left and around a corner, leading them to the very back of the room. She stood on her toes to read the names on files along the top shelf, and finally she pulled one down. She handed it to Jansen. Parker Road, Lot #1, the front of the folder read.

“I’ll leave you guys. Feel free to take as long as you like, make notes, whatever. Return the file to me up front when you leave, and I’ll put it away for you. I will warn you though, I don’t think you’ll have much luck talking to the woman who lives there now. She’s pretty much a recluse. She never talks to anybody. You might have more luck trying the Westins, who used to own it. They were always real friendly people.”

“Okay,” Jansen said. “Thanks. Do they still live around here?”

“Oh, no, honey, it was just their summer house. They live in New York.”

“Oh, okay. Well thanks.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Jason said.

“All right then, I hope you find what you need.” She left the room.

Jansen and Jason sat on the floor and opened the file in front of them. They both leaned over it. The first paper was a copy of the deed that had been gifted to Corinne Westin on June 20, 1980 from her mom, Di Westin.

“That was right before my parents got married,” Jason said. Jansen nodded.

Stapled underneath was a copy of a new deed that had been drawn up in the name Corinne Ella Auerbach on August 19, 1980.

Jason flipped those papers to the side. The next deed showed a transfer of ownership from Katalina Longmont to Di Westin on September 12, 1957. This transaction was also labeled as a gift.

“That’s probably a few years after my grandparents got married,” Jason said. “I know they had their forty-fifth anniversary a few years ago. And yeah, that’d make sense, ‘cause my mom’s forty-two, right? So she was born in November…” He figured in his head. “1957, and her brother’s a few years older.”

“So was it like a tradition to give the house to the next girl in the family when she got married?”

“Maybe, but I don’t know who Katalina Longmont is. My Grandma Di’s mom is dead, but I remember her a little. She died when I was like, six. Grandma Di’s dad’s still alive, but he’s really old and he never does anything anymore. Their last name’s Forsythe. William and Elizabeth. Grandma Liz, I used to call her, and my mom always told me she didn’t like Liz.”

They flipped to the next page. The deed was yellowed with age and was dated July 17, 1936.

“Oh my gosh,” Jansen and Jason said together.

This transaction had also been a gift…from Anabelle Hendrick to Katalina Hendrick.

Jansen and Jason stared at each other.

“Katalina was Anabelle’s daughter,” Jansen said. “Holy shit. I remember that name now, as a Circles of Eight member. Katalina Hendrick. I realized at the time she was probably Anabelle’s daughter but I didn’t look into it that much ‘cause I didn’t know there was some secret about Anabelle.”

“But why would she gift the house to my grandma?” Jason asked. “Instead of her own daughter?”

“Maybe she didn’t have a daughter,” Jansen said. “Maybe she was friends with your Grandma Di’s mom. Elizabeth.”

“Was she a member? Grandma Liz?” Jason asked.

“I don’t remember. I didn’t look that closely at the records from back then. That name wouldn’t have jumped out at me ‘cause I don’t think I even knew your great-grandma’s name.”

There were a couple documents left. The next one was a redrawn deed in the name Katalina Longmont, dated August 3, 1936. The last one was the original deed, in the name Anabelle Hendrick, dated 1911.

“That’s weird her husband didn’t own part of it,” Jason said. “ ‘Cause it looks like she had it built after they were married. It’s under Anabelle Hendrick, not Townsend.”

“Maybe he didn’t even know about it,” Jansen said. “Maybe it was a secret house at first, where she kept all her Circles stuff. Or maybe she always intended for it to be passed down to the girls in her family, but then Katalina never had her own daughter.”

“Well she must have approved of Katalina giving it to my grandma,” Jason said. “ ‘Cause that was in 1957, and Anabelle didn’t die till 1973.”

“I wonder if your Grandma Di was friends with Anabelle. You know, like friends of the family. Like I’m friends with your grandparents or something.”

“Well I never thought about it, but probably.”

“Do you think your mom was? That’s what I really wanna know.” Jansen had wondered whether the letter mentioned in Corinne’s diary, the one Corinne had found in the Vermont house in the summer of 1973, had been left specifically for Corinne, or if Corinne and Anabelle had even been in on something together. But it had seemed more likely the letter was something Corinne had randomly found in the house, something meant for a completely different person long before her.

But now it was clear Anabelle would have known who was living in the house in the summer of 1973…and if she’d written a letter with some big secret in it, or if the letter had once been hers, why would she have left it lying around for anyone to find? She would only have left it for the right person to find…


Hope you enjoyed the scene! I will say…the action only picks up exponentially from here. 😉

Check back soon for more details about Mirrors and Blue Smoke!

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! 🙂

how I still watch Nashville

Like many Nashies, aka diehard fans of the show Nashville, I am still struggling with Rayna’s death. To witness a Nashville world where Rayna and Deacon can no longer be together, and without Rayna’s music, is devastating every single week. I couldn’t sleep the night she died, and 2 minutes into the funeral episode I was crying hysterically. I have never cared so much about a fictional character or a fictional relationship until Rayna and Deacon.

Rayna and Deacon.

The most epic love story I have ever read, watched, heard of, anything. I am a writer, and I think I have written a couple pretty incredible love stories, with a depth and bond unlike the boring cliches often found in books, TV shows, and movies. But when I watch Rayna and Deacon, I am inspired to to go even deeper, write something more intense.

And while this post-Rayna-and-Deacon world is still unfathomable, I am still a Nashie. I do love the other characters, and I want to be able to keep watching the show. I know I will keep watching. So in order to make myself okay with the gut-wrenching absence of Rayna, and Rayna and Deacon, I’ve had to invent my own reality…an alternate ending of sorts.

I read the interviews with the showrunners about how closely they worked with Connie Britton to make Rayna’s death meaningful and fitting to her character. The problem is, I completely disagree with the decision they made. I hate the way she died, and I don’t think it fit her character at all.

The thing I hate most about how Rayna died is it seemed to me there was an element of choice, or maybe acceptance. It was like there was a moment she knew she was going to die, and instead of fighting like hell, like she demanded of Deacon when he had cancer and surgery, she just let go. That was not Rayna. Rayna was fierce and feisty and loved Maddie and Daphne and Deacon way too much to just close her eyes and give up.

I also absolutely can’t stand that she spent her last episode in a hospital bed. Sure, the conversations she had with various characters that day were impactful. But those could have easily been spread across everyday-life scenes in a normal episode, so that those characters still got to have those significant last moments with her, and her death could have happened differently.

So when it happened, I kept asking myself, if she had to die, how would I have done it, if it were up to me? And the answer came to me pretty easily. I would’ve had Rayna die in a plane crash.

A plane crash obviously takes away the element of choice or acceptance, and she could have spent her last day with Deacon and her family before going to the airport to fly wherever.

And…a plane-crash death for Rayna was almost even foreshadowed back in January, especially for those of us who had heard she would not survive the season.

Juliette had just survived a plane crash, and Rayna was so scared to get on a plane she had a panic attack when she flew to California, then she ended up renting a car to drive back across the country. It would’ve been ironic and tragic had she ended up dying the next time she decided to fly…but I would have been able to live with it.

So, every week when it’s time for Nashville, that is the alternate ending I pretend is real, so I can keep watching.

But in my heart, it will always be Rayna and Deacon, and I’ll always love seasons 1 – 5 x 07 the most. ❤ ❤ ❤