I posted page 1 of UNDERDEAD last week. If you missed it, you can click on the page one excerpt link to the right on the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Blog or go to my website at http://www.lizjasper.com/ or buy the book. : )
Here's Chapter One, page two:
Becky was staring over my shoulder and had started fanning herselfvigorously with a dessert menu. "I mean really, really good-looking."
"Pass," I said from my slumped position. I seemed to have lost thewill to sit up straight. Becky tore her eyes away from the "hot man" long enough to look atme as if I were crazy."I'm off really good-looking men," I said.
"Oh please. That's such total crap."
"I'm not kidding." And I wasn't, not really. "Extremely good-looking men are always horribly deficient in other areas—you know, like kindness, consideration… It's like they get by on their looks and don't develop a personality."
I threw my balled-up napkin on the table. "Either that or God put all their eggs in one basket—they're hot but they're stupid."
The last thing I needed after an evening of Roger, our pompous gasbag of a department chair, was to deal withanother overblown ego.
"Ouch. Sounds like someone has some old boyfriend issues to workout."
"Already have. Lesson learned—don't date extremely hot men."
Carol had stopped trying to make her sliver of chocolate cake last longer than Moses was lost in the desert, and was following our discussion interestedly from her position between us at the foot of the table. Unlike Becky, Carol looked like a high school science teacher. She was in her mid-thirties with long dark brown hair and the weight of a few too many faculty meeting doughnuts pooling abouther waist. Carol leaned forward.
"You know, Jo has a point." Her brown eyes glittered behind her sensible gold-rimmed glasses as she warmed to her topic. "They've done studies that show very good-looking people actually do not tend to be as well developed in other areas—uh…"
Her words shriveled and died under the heat of Becky's glare. "Live a little, Jo! We didn't pick this place for the food, you know."
Ah.That explained why we were eating at this unexpectedly trendy club a few blocks outside the gentrified section of downtown Long Beach.
"I still can't believe you talked him into this," Becky said.
Carol gave her a stern look over the top of her glasses. "I told him it was rated one of the best restaurants in Long Beach, and it is. I just didn't tell him what for."
Her pursed lips twitched and then widened into an evil grin that was the duplicate of Becky's. It looked strange on her sweet face.
"In another hour, the Jungle Cranks will be playing, and this place will look like any other club," Becky said with a dreamy smile. "Roger is going to pitch a fit when he sees it."
That just tells you how clueless Roger is. He probably didn't evenknow there were restaurants outside of Denny's.
"I'd like to see Roger pitch a fit," I said, beginning to look forward to the evening for the first time. I glanced at my watch and stifled a yawn; it was getting close to my normal bedtime. "I guess I could stay for another hour or so."
"I'm beginning to think you may be beyond help," Becky said.
Carol shook her head in silent agreement.
"Hey, what are you ganging up on me for?" I said.
Becky scowled. "Well, look at you. Tonight's outfit's not so bad—that skirt shows off your long legs and your sweater's actually in fashion this year and not two sizes too big for you for once—butwhat's with all the Dockers and Oxford shirts and little matching sweaters you wear to work? I mean you're what, twenty-four?"
I hesitated and then corrected her. "Twenty-two."
I didn't like to talk about my age. The last thing I needed was for my eighth-grade students to learn I had only nine years on them. My lips curved up in a sudden smile as I recalled that I was about to have two whole weeks away from them. Becky's scowl deepened.
"You're twenty-two," she said. "You dress like a thirty-five-year-old soccer mom."
"I do not! I just dress more conservatively than you do."
* * *
That's the end of page two. Page three will be posted in a couple of weeks. Keep tuned...
And have a great Tuesday!