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.”

website launch for urban legends!!

Before you read my new book, Urban Legends, the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy, check out the website and MEET THE CHARACTERS!! There’s a description of the book on the home page, then you can go to the character page, where you can click on each character’s name to learn about him or her! On the home page, you can also read about the photo featured on the book’s cover! Have fun!! 😀

Urban Legends website

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

 

 

urban legends sneak peek!

Below is the first scene from my new book, Urban Legends, the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy! Urban Legends will be available on Amazon and other online booksellers early next week (July 10), and I will have copies to sell by July 17! I will post links to online buying options when they are live. This is my first mystery (but of course still contains the usual relationship drama too)! I’m so excited! See below for the sneak peek! 😀

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

First scene from Urban Legends:

Jansen Montgomery first got into a bar on her fourteenth birthday.

It was a dive bar in the East Village called Red Sulfur. She and her friends hadn’t planned on going to a bar. They had been wandering aimlessly away from the West Village, looking for anything to do that sparked their interest in the moment. The East Village appealed to them because it lacked glamour and had a reputation as a more dangerous area.

It was almost completely dark when Jansen, Hersh, Jason, and Clint looked across the street and saw the black awning with the words RED SULFUR shining through in an orangish-red print similar to the color of blood. It reminded Jansen of someplace out of a low-budget horror movie.

“Hey, I bet we can get in that place,” Clint said. The four of them exchanged excited, mischievous grins and knew they had to try.

The doorman, an old, friendly man whose work shirt bore a cursive inscription reading Claudio, gave them only a brief look-over before letting them in.

Jansen held hands with Hersh, whose real name was Corbin Hershey but whom all his friends had called Hersh since they could talk, flashed a flirtatious smile at Claudio, and walked down eight steps into the smoke-filled room. She briefly raised her right hand, the one not in Hersh’s, and grinned at the huge sapphire-look-alike ring on her middle finger.

A forty-something female bartender with short red and purple hair came to their table as soon as they sat down. “Whadda y’all want?” she asked with a bright smile.

Jansen liked her immediately. She embodied everything Jansen loved about the East Village. She seemed rebellious, and she was a far cry from anybody Jansen’s parents would hang out with, even though she was probably about their age.

“It’s her birthday,” Hersh said, locking his arm around Jansen.

“I won’t ask how old you are,” the bartender said. “So whaddaya want?”

Jansen, Jason, and Clint darted looks at each other, but Hersh totally kept his cool.

“We’ll have shots of Patrón,” he said. “And then Jack to wash it down.”

“Coming up,” the bartender said and spun away.

Jansen looked around. Even though the air was potent with smoke, there weren’t really that many people. Only four other booths were occupied. The room was long and narrow. The booths lined the wall opposite the bar, and there were a few tables in back. The floor was a dark shade of wood and uneven in places. The walls were also a dark wood, and the whole room was lit only by two dim bulbs hanging from the ceiling at either end of the bar. Jansen somehow felt protected and safe here, even though it was so grungy. She wasn’t sure why, but she thought it had something to do with how they’d come down steps right inside the door, and now they were underground.

“Happy birthday, honey,” the bartender said when she brought their drinks. She plunked the round tray in the middle of the table. There were limes to go with the tequila. “What’s your name?”

“Jansen.”

“I’m Hersh,” Hersh added, reaching out his hand to shake the bartender’s.

She shook his hand and looked to Jason and Clint.

“Oh, I’m Jason.”

“Clint.”

“I’m Lydia,” the bartender said as she turned to go. “Let me know if y’all need anything else.”

“Sure thing,” Hersh said as he lifted his shot of Patrón from the tray.

They hit their shot glasses together and tipped their heads back. Jansen made a slight face as hers went down. She grabbed her lime to suck on. “This isn’t what we had at your birthday party,” she said to Jason. That had been in his parents’ Park Avenue penthouse last fall, the first time she’d tried tequila.

“No,” Jason said, shaking his head and making a face too.

They smoked and drank their whiskeys and ordered more. When they were on their third, Hersh said to Jason and Clint, “So I have coke.”

“No fuckin’ way!” Clint cried. “I’ve been wanting to try that for so long!”

Jansen laughed a little. She thought Clint tried too hard to act like Hersh sometimes. She figured it would suck to have your best friend mature physically and athletically a lot sooner than you though. And Clint hadn’t had a girlfriend yet either.

“Dude, cool,” Jason said.

Jansen smiled again, studying Jason while he waited for Hersh to get out the coke. Jason had medium brown hair, which he wore kind of long, almost to his eyes, and tousled. Her favorite part about him was his eyes. They were really dark blue-green and really unique. He was the only person she’d ever seen with that eye color. Her favorite non-physical thing about him was how he never tried to be anything or anyone but himself. He didn’t feel a need to please other people or try to impress them. He was the most real person she knew. Hersh was real too, but sometimes Jansen thought he tried pretty hard to look cool to the older guys at his school. He cared more about his reputation than Jason did.

Hersh looked around to see if any workers were close, then pulled the bag out of his pocket. Lydia had left the drink tray on the table, and he emptied a little onto it, dividing it into four lines with a broken, hollowed-out piece of a pen. Then he put the bag away, looked around again, and offered the pen in the direction of Jason and Clint.

Jason took it. He leaned forward with total confidence, put his head down, balanced the pen between the tray and his nose, and snorted one of the lines. He sniffed as he raised his head, then grinned at them. “That was badass.” He held the pen out to Jansen questioningly.

“I just did some. In the park. I can still feel it. I did some at Hersh’s after school too.” Jansen smiled to herself, thinking back to Hersh’s bedroom in his West Village townhouse a few hours ago. He had done a line first, demonstrating for Jansen, and then she had done one. She’d liked the way her nose felt afterward, and she’d liked the immediate rush. The aftertaste in the back of her throat had been unpleasant but overlookable.

“Oh,” Jason said, raising his eyebrows, excited for her. He handed Clint the pen.

Jansen thought Clint looked nervous, but he did it without hesitation.

“Yeah, that was awesome,” he agreed, nodding.

“I can feel it already,” Jason said.

Hersh grinned at both of them, then leaned down to do a line himself. After he did, he looked up at Jansen. “You sure?” he asked, motioning to the one he’d prepared for her.

“I’m sure,” Jansen said. She felt wide awake and excited, like she had since her first line at Hersh’s.

“Have you done it before tonight?” Jason asked her.

“No. Hersh surprised me for my birthday.”

“So you like your present?” Hersh asked her now.

“Oh yeah.” Jansen felt the ring between her fingers. “I like it a lot. Hey, will you put some more in my ring?” She held out her hand.

“Why, you gonna do some later by yourself?” Hersh asked.

“It goes in your ring?” Jason asked, leaning forward curiously.

“Yeah, look, the top twists off!” Jansen spun the dark blue stone off and held out her hand to Jason to show him. “See? Hersh got me this too.”

“Sweet ass,” Jason said.

“Jewelry?” Clint asked sarcastically. “What are you guys, like engaged?”

“I saw it in a shop on Broadway like a month ago and said I liked it,” Jansen snapped defensively. “He remembered and went back and got it for me.”

Hersh took her hand and funneled some more coke from the bag into the ring. “There you go, baby.”

“Thanks.” Jansen spun the blue stone back on, then squeezed her fingers around the band again as she put her hand under the table. She didn’t even know if she would use the coke in the ring, but she liked having it there. It made her feel daring and reckless.

“Are you guys bored?” Hersh asked.

Jansen looked at him in surprise.

“No, I’m having fun,” Jason said.

“No,” Hersh said. “I mean like, in life. I feel like we need to shake things up. We just do the same stuff all the time.”

Jansen frowned. They were doing something new right now. A couple new things, actually. This night was huge for her, in a really good way. Hersh’s comment made her uneasy. What else could he possibly want?

“Shake things up how?” Jason asked.

“I don’t know. Like something to fuck with our school friends. A practical joke or something.”

Now Jansen smiled as relief washed over her. “Oooohh, I like that.”

“What kind of joke?” Clint asked.

“Something they’d never see coming.”

“You could pretend you and Jansen broke up and she was back with Jason,” Clint said.

Jansen glared at him. He was so annoying sometimes.

Hersh quickly shook his head, blowing off the idea. “No. Something better than that. Not just like, a joke that’ll blow over in a day. Like, a project.”

“I love it,” Jansen said, picturing the four of them spending hours here at Red Sulfur, leaning together across the table, laughing hysterically as they schemed up something genius to blow the minds of all their school friends. It was her idea of heaven.

“I have an idea,” Jason said, and all eyes turned to him.

“What?” Hersh asked after a moment of dead silence.

“A secret society.”

 

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!

 

spin the bottle

spin the bottle covers

“spin the bottle”

a pact to always stick together in high school
the first party at the lake
“hey, we should play spin the bottle,” she said
and so it all began

the beautiful girls, so sure of themselves
they could get anything they wanted
the gorgeous boys, so funny and tan
one look, one smile, they totally had you

losing old friends, making new ones
love at first sight, the boy of my dreams
everyone called us “really good friends”
he didn’t know i wanted so much more

summers of sun, cedar point
laying out, more parties at the lake
best friends with the boys of their dreams
charming boys who said all the right things

i had that gut instinct all along
told me it was just too good to last
but i ignored it and
fell harder and harder instead

another summer, i hate her so much
she has everything i want
another pact, shots of captain, a new boy
i feel like a bad girl and i love it
something tells me to stop, we’re going too fast
but i’m way too caught up to listen to that too

another school year, i still hate her
and he’s so confusing, sometimes i hate him too
lonely nights, don’t know what to do, everything’s wrong
then finally back to good or better
but back to the same lies too
crazy parties, hot dates, basketball games
screaming so loud, losing my voice
i love being so mean to the other teams
we were all so invincible

well-played games, better-told lies, best-kept secrets
if only we’d had any idea
funny how a moment of realization could change everything

i feel like things meant so much less to him than they did to me
i guess maybe i never knew him at all
and she still loves him, she says she knows it’s right
and i still love him, but i feel like it’s wrong
how did we end up here?

looking back we never would’ve said
that pact would only last a month
it’s been so long, we’ve come so far
it’s almost done, we’re almost gone
it’s so crazy to think about

please don’t forget me, don’t forget what we are
i’ll remember you, and i’ll remember the scars
and now it’s that morning, time to leave
and everything i lost is yours to keep

This poem, “Spin the Bottle,” appears throughout my Spin the Bottle series, with a different part of the poem at the beginning of each book. I wrote it to try to capture what Spin the Bottle is all about…the emotions of high school. The relationships, the friendships, the self-discovery. The parties, the boys, the classes. The peer pressure, the tears, the romance.

People always ask me which of my books they should read first, and since Spin the Bottle encompasses the first 4 of my books chronologically, it’s always a good place to start. There’s one book for each year of high school, and they go in the following order:

Really Good Friends
Wrong All Along
Best-Kept Secrets
Game Over

I thought it would be fun to introduce some of the main characters so you can get to know them!

Jill Sherer is the number one main character of the series. Most scenes are told through her perspective, and her storyline gets the most space on the pages. At the beginning of Really Good Friends, Jill is about to start her freshman year of high school. She is somewhat shy around new people and hasn’t had a ton of life experience, but she has a solid group of girlfriends, or so she thinks. A couple of them are in a major hurry to leave their eighth-grade selves far behind, and within a month one of them will basically be out of Jill’s circle of friends for good. But Jill is about to meet two people who will still be part of her life in the book I’m working on now, which takes place 12 years after Really Good Friends. Jill is the character readers often say they relate to most. She’s the good girl who’s dying to be a little bit bad, and her relationship with Todd over the years is a pretty great love story, or so I hear. If you like to scream and pull out your hair in agony, that is. 🙂

Hillary Andelin has been Jill’s best friend since pre-school. She is boy-crazy and becomes even more so when she gets into a fast-moving relationship with a cute boy near the beginning of freshman year. Hillary has a tendency, especially as she gets older, to say exactly what she wants when she wants, which sometimes irritates Jill but is sometimes just what’s needed in a situation. Her friendship with Jill has many ups and downs throughout the series, and Jill often goes back and forth in her mind as to whether Hillary is truly a good person or a friend worth having.

Lorylyn Porter is Jill and Hillary’s other best friend. If Jill is a little shy and naïve, Lorylyn is even more so. She’s cute with a bubbly personality, and she is shocked by a lot of things she discovers about “the real world” during her freshman year. She falls hard and fast for a boy she meets at a lake party, and even though she’s innocent to the extreme, this boy seems to like that about her. Her relationship with him is one that will lead to the best and worst times of her life, shape who she is to become, and continue to affect her well beyond high school.

Hilton Joliet went to a different middle school from Jill, Hillary, and Lorylyn, and she’s the popular girl Jill looks up to from the day they meet. Hilton is gorgeous, confident, and laid-back, not intimidating or a bitch like some of the other girls. And she seems to know everything there is to know about guys and how they think. As freshman year begins, Hilton becomes one of Jill’s new best friends. Hilton is outgoing, free-spirited, and a loyal friend who manages to be a girls’ girl and one of the guys at the same time, someone who can look at any situation realistically and still be a romantic at heart.

Landon Kessler is a year older than Jill and her friends, and his parents own a cottage on a lake outside town, where he throws outrageous parties that bring all the characters together and lead to hookups, breakups, makeups, love, and disaster. He’s also the longtime crush of one of the girls mentioned above, and he’ll play a pivotal role in all their lives.

Todd Blake is the boy with the surfer hair whom Jill meets on the first day of high school in advanced English. For Jill it’s love at first sight, and for Todd it’s the beginning of a fun new friendship…when he notices her a few days later. Their complicated relationship over the years is poignant, maddening, hilarious, heart-wrenching, and everything in between.

Brady Cash is Landon’s best friend and has a sort of “bad boy” air about him. He’s a flirt, he’s a partier, and he’s a dream guy to a lot of the girls around him. He knows exactly what he wants, and he usually gets it, even when it’s more than one girl at the same time. He’s a heartbreaker in one breath and a romantic in the next, the guy who says all the right things at all the right times…until it comes back to bite him in the ass.

Brooke Carlson is a popular cheerleader who’s not afraid to speak her mind or go after the guy she wants. She’s the life of every party and at the center of most drama. She’s fun to be around until she takes the fun too far, usually in the form of a blindsiding stab to somebody who’s wronged her or one of her friends. A self-described bitch, she’s somebody whose bad side you don’t want to be on. But deep down, she’s a girl who’s been hurt by a boy she loves, just like everybody else.

At the end of the series I wrote another poem, or really more of a paragraph. Unlike the “Spin the Bottle” poem, which is more about what happens in the series, this one is more about the characters, and it captures their spirit and the spirit of the books. It goes like this, and it’s how the series ends (don’t worry, no spoilers!):

We sang at the top of our lungs and screamed at the top of rollercoasters. We stayed up all night and stayed out on the lake all day. We could dance like crazy and we could outdrink anyone. We talked fast, drove faster, kissed with passion, and lied without a second thought. We hoped for the best and were shocked by the worst. We crashed hard and bounced high. Our voices were loud, our laughs wild, and our dreams big. We were scared as shit and smart as hell. We owned our world, and we looked good doing it. We craved thrills, we rolled the dice, we demanded attention, and we loved with all we had. We lived to play, we played to win, and we almost always did.

You can learn more about Spin the Bottle here: http://daisyjordan.com/spinthebottle! There are dolls designed to show how I think the characters look, and each character has a personal webpage with theme songs and other interesting info! Thanks so much for checking it out, as well as reading my blog. 🙂