Celebrate with Chapter 5 excerpt and illustration!

I’m feeling pretty accomplished today as I finished the second round of edits of Jessica Entirely. It is definite cause for celebration, especially since it put to rest some of my doubts about whether or not the story is even any good. It is. In a heart-warming, sort of this-could-really-happen-here way. It is good.

So, I decided to celebrate by releasing Jess Cee’s Chapter 5 illustration with a small excerpt for your reading pleasure.

“Can you believe she offered me the part of the reporter? Me? I mean, what do I have to do to get a decent role?” Katie sighed.

“I’m really sorry, K. I wanted you for Charlotte, but Miss Roberson thought—”

“Yeah, which also kind of bums me out. You’re the co-director, right? Didn’t you tell her I’d be great for this role?”

“Of course, I did!” Jessica took the receiver away from her ear and stared at it as if she couldn’t have heard her friend right. “I totally did. But she has a vision—”

“Vision?” Katie snorted. “Right. I mean, first she tells you you’re too young for Charlotte and makes you a co-director, then she gives me a bit role. I mean, really. I doubt she listens to your opinions at all. In fact, I doubt she listens to anyone’s opinions. She probably just picks her favorites.”

“Um, well, that is sort of her job. To pick the people she thinks will be best for the role. Right?”

Silence from the other end of the line, then Katie, her voice very cold, said, “Whose side are you on, anyway?”

Planning Jessica’s next adventure! (And Chapter 4 excerpt)

Jess Cee and I took an afternoon this weekend and visited the historic New Bern site of our next Jessica adventure to make some plans for our next Jessica mystery, tentatively titled Jessica Naturally. No more about that book yet, but I did take a pic of Jess Cee pondering the illustrations that I’ll share with you:

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Very mysterious, isn’t she? 😉

On to more Jessica Entirely news! Jess Cee recently delivered several illustrations, and I just can’t wait to share them! Fortunately, she’s able to do both color and black and white, so I can share the color illustrations here. Here’s the illustration for Chapter 4, along with an excerpt:

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Jessica spent the next day…and the next!…waiting as patiently as possible to hear about callbacks. She just knew she’d get a callback for something. But it wasn’t until after dinner on Monday while she was doing her homework that her mother’s phone rang.

Mom tapped Jessica on the shoulder and held up the phone to show her the theater’s number. Jessica gasped and jumped up, but Mom held up a hand to stop her from grabbing the phone. She answered, her voice casual. “Hello…well, good evening, Miss Roberson…yes, she’s been waiting to hear from you.” She paused, listening for what seemed like an eternity. Her face, instead of brightening as it always did when Jessica got a callback or a role, remained in listening mode. “I see.”

Jessica’s heart felt like it had turned to stone. How could this happen? How could she not get a part? That had been her best audition ever. Could Mrs. Rachel have turned Miss Roberson against her?