Random Inspirations

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Sneak Peek of My New eBook

on December 5, 2013

I’ve been immersed in edits of Unlucky 13, my first ever Kindle eBook. I am completely revamping both the cover and the storyline, which is great fun but also hard work!

This was the old cover. It’s living proof that you should not try designing an eBook cover at home, unless you have a professional graphic design background, anyway. Which I don’t…

Unlucky 13 amazon

Here’s the new cover, which was designed by an artist on Fiverr. This is a great site for indie authors looking for affordable, professional-looking covers.

The new cover of Unlucky 13 -- Could she get any unluckier?

The new cover of Unlucky 13 — Could she get any unluckier?

I am also excited to “leak” a brand-new excerpt from Chapter 1 of the new and improved Unlucky 13. I hope you enjoy reading it. And, as always, I’d love to hear your comments and / or critiques!

Chapter 1: Falling for You

Jordyn’s Quote of the Day: Never wear too much more (or too much less) skirt than you can comfortably handle.

The morning of my thirteenth birthday seemed like a good omen. The birds sang, the new leaves fluttered in the breeze, and the sunshine painted the world in shades of lemon yellow. April weather in the North Hills of Pittsburgh can be pretty schizo: rainy and depressing some days, sunny and perfect on others. I’d definitely lucked out.

“Spring at last,” I said to my sister Karilyn as we headed to our bus stop at the end of the street. “This weather is gorge. My golden birthday is literally golden.”

Karilyn laughed. “Yeah, I love spring. Gives me a chance to wear cuter clothes. The guys love when girls start wearing less.”

And, therefore, Karilyn loved wearing less. She was fifteen years old and the boy-craziest girl I knew. She always wore clothes as skimpy as my dad would let her get away with.

“Yeah, and now I’m wearing less, too,” I said, looking down at my short strapless dress, white jacket, and sky-high wedge heels. “Hopefully Andrew likes my new outfit.”

“Oh, he will. Trust me,” Karilyn said, winking. “I’m just glad you’re finally getting some fashion sense.”

Karilyn was right. I’d never really cared about clothes, and had usually dressed like a tomboy in comfy jeans and sweatshirts. But now that I had a crush on the hottest guy in school, I had to step up my game.

I slugged Karilyn playfully on the arm. “Yeah, whatever, you’re just saying that because you helped me pick out this outfit.”

“Ok, you caught me,” Karilyn said. “I admit it.”

We rounded the corner and saw the other kids at the bus stop. There were about ten of us who waited together every morning. Avery was one of them. She saw us and gave a demure little wave. Unfortunately, Kayleigh Nelson, my nemesis, was another. She pretended not to see us, then made sure to flirt openly with Tyler, Karilyn’s cute sophomore boy du-jour.

Tyler scrunched his nose, looking disgusted that a seventh-grade girl would even talk to him, let alone flirt with him. Karilyn walked to Tyler with a confident swish of her hips, and wrapped him in a long embrace. I’d always admired how at-ease Karilyn was with guys. She had Kayleigh skulking off in a second flat, trying her luck with the younger boys.

“Ooh lala,” Avery said under her breath. “That’s some dress you have there, birthday girl.”

“You like it?” I asked, swirling around in a little circle.

“On you more than on me,” Avery said.

Avery would never wear anything like my dress, since her style was far too conservative. That day, she wore a pair of khakis, a jean jacket, and a red scoop-neck top. With her glossy, shoulder-length brown hair, deep blue eyes, and makeup-free ivory skin, she was pretty without even trying.

“But it’s not really like you to wear a skirt like that,” Avery continued. “Did you buy that with Karilyn?”

“How’d you guess?”

“Look, Jordyn, it’s probably none of my business what you wear, but as your best friend let me tell you something.” Avery lowered her voice. “You should always remain true to yourself. If you’re dressing like that just so Andrew Hartman will notice you, it’s not a good idea.”

“Relax, Avery,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I like this dress. And Andrew will like it, too. So it’s a win-win.”

Avery must have sensed I was getting annoyed, because she dropped the subject. Avery was nothing if not sensitive — it went along with her being so mature. Of course, it also didn’t hurt that we’d been besties since we were four years old. We practically had ESP after being friends for so long.

Just then, the bus arrived and I followed Avery on. We headed for our seats, which were a bit more than halfway to the back. The oldest kids got the best seats in the very back. As seventh graders, we could expect to have better seats than, say, the fifth and sixth graders, but we still had to give way to the high schoolers.

As we approached our seats, I found myself admiring how Avery walked, as if she owned the whole bus. Avery had a quiet confidence that I’d always wished I could imitate.

And there was no better time than my thirteenth birthday to channel my inner Avery. I straightened my back and tilted my chin ever-so-slightly upward, and it felt amazing. As I strode past the fifth graders, I felt like they were all looking up to me.

This is awesome, I thought, and it goes just perfectly with my new outfit. I have to do this all the time. Andrew will notice me for sure.

So there I was, walking the walk, completely oblivious to the two sixth grade boys sitting just ahead. They were fighting over which of them got to finish the orange cream Sobe they were sharing.

They started tugging the bottle back and forth, and one boy pulled so hard that the Sobe spilled all over the aisle, hitting the back of Avery’s pants as the rest trickled to the floor.

“Hey, watch it,” Avery scolded him. “These are new pants.” Then, she added, “Watch out Jordyn, it’s slippery.”

What happened next was a total blur. The boy turned to Avery, sticking his foot into the aisle. But I didn’t see it. I tripped, and since my high wedge heels left me no margin for error, I fell like a ton of bricks — right into the spilled Sobe.

Disgusting stickiness and grime from the bus floor coated my legs and the palms of my hands. To make matters worse, my skirt had flown up and my underwear with the cute little monkey face on the butt were displayed to all.

Naturally, Kayleigh and some random guy were right behind me, snapping pictures on their phones and giggling uncontrollably. “Did you have a nice trip?” Kayleigh asked. “You sure were monkeying around.”

“Yeah, and now it’s a sticky situation,” the guy chimed in.

“Hilarious. I’m totally Instagramming these,” Kayleigh told the guy.

I was too dazed and embarrassed to think up anything to say. My hands flew to my dress, hiking it down furiously as I realized that everyone on the whole bus was staring at me.

And that’s it for the excerpt. There’s more where that came from — I’ll be releasing the new Unlucky 13 later this month! I’ll keep you posted on the blog and my Facebook page. 🙂

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