Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones: Office Tour & Excerpt

Posted October 7, 2012 | 46 Comments

Ten years ago, Lorelei’s parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?  Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones’s first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.


From Darynda:

Hey guys!

Thank you so much for having me today! I had wanted to give a tour of my new writing space but suddenly realized it’s not  finished yet. Not even close. So, I figured I’d give a tour of what I have so far.

I’m just thrilled I’m getting a new office, even though mine isn’t that old. Basically, my sons moved out, then one by one (I only have two) they made their way back home. Not sure how they found us, but there you have it. That means that my lovely office is going to be turned back into a bedroom. And I am out in the cold. Metaphorically.

That got my husband to thinking. What if we partitioned off our formal dining room, a room that is used twice a year at the most, and put my office in there? Worked for me! Desperate times and all. So, we got busy remodeling out house around my writerly needs. Being a diva takes so much work.

Here’s what we have so far. Decorating suggestions are very welcome.


We added French doors to close off the area to make it more writer friendly.

I had to get a new desk. Here is the bottom half. This also shows the gorgeous colors we chose. I really wanted warmth. The fact that it’s fall could have a lot to do with that decision. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.

Here is the top half of my desk. It’ll look better when it’s not upside down. And this is the wall we built to split the living room and my sparkly new office. Isn’t it lovely? Very . . . wall-like.

And last but not least, this will be my view into the kitchen once it’s all said and done. Sadly, I don’t need a view into the kitchen. The kitchen and I are old friends. We are way too fond of each other. But there you have it. Again.

So, that’s my new-ish writing space in an unfinished nutshell. It will have black bookcases, wood blinds, and two-point-five dogs when it’s finished.

Now it’s your turn! Any decorating tips? Must-have items you’d like to suggest? As soon as this thing is finished, I will send the lovely Christy an update.

Thank you again!



Death and the Girl Next Door (excerpt)
By Darynda Jones

I laughed to myself and headed toward the back of our favorite and pretty much only hangout. It sat a mere block from our alma mater, Riley High, and we practically lived in our corner booth. I ducked past the snack counter and into a very dark back hall. Judging by the boxes lining the narrow passage, I’d be taking my life into my hands if I risked a journey to the little senorita’s room without illumination, so I ran my hand along a paneled wall. Where would I be if I were a light switch? Just as the tips of my fingers found the switch, a silhouette stepped out of the shadows and brushed past me. I startled with a gasp.

“Excuse me,” I said, placing a hand over my heart.

“Sorry.” The guy paused slightly before continuing on his way, and in that instant, I saw the makings of utter perfection: a long arm with shadowy curves that dipped around the fluid lines of muscle; a tall, wide shoulder; dark hair that curled playfully over an ear and led to a strong, masculine jaw. Something inside me lurched, craving a closer look at his face, but he walked by too fast and the hall was too dark for me to catch anything else.

After a couple of seconds, I realized my hand had brushed against his arm. It was enough to send a vision crashing into me, like the flash of a nuclear bomb, bright and unforgiving. Tamping down my surprise— I hadn’t had a vision in a very long time— I pressed shaking fingers to my forehead to wait out the familiar storm, to see what treasures would wash ashore in the aftermath.

Yet the things I saw were unreal, impossible, and certainly not of this world: A desolate landscape lay before me with scorched clouds and a roiling, violet sky. The air was stagnant and so impossibly thick, breathing it took effort. Then I heard the clanging of metal. I turned to watch in horror as a being, a boy of no more than sixteen or seventeen, fierce and somehow not quite human, struggled with a dark, monstrous beast. The boy’s arms corded as tendon and muscle strained against the weight of the sword he wielded. He slashed again and again, but the monster was fast, with razorlike talons and sharp, gleaming teeth, and the boy knew what those teeth felt like when they sank into flesh, knew the blinding pain that accompanied defeat. But he also knew the power he himself wielded, the raw strength that saturated every molecule of his body.

Another herculean effort landed a thrust in the monster’s shoulder and continued through its thick chest. The monster sank under the boy’s sword with a guttural scream. The boy looked on while the beast writhed in pain, watched it grow still as the life drained out of it, and somewhere in the back of the boy’s mind, he allowed himself to register the burning of his lungs as he struggled to fill them with air.

Blood trickled between his fingers, down the length of his blade, and dripped to the powdery earth beneath his feet. I followed the trail of blood up to three huge gashes across his chest. Evidently three of the monster’s claws had met their mark, laying the flesh of its enemy open. I gasped and covered my mouth with both hands as the boy spun toward me, sword at the ready. Squinting against the low sun, I could almost make out his features, but the vision evaporated before I got the chance. A heartbeat later, I was back in the dark hallway, gasping for air, one palm pressed against my temple, the other against the wall for balance.

I squeezed my eyes shut, fought the memory of the vision, the fear that summoned the taste of bile in the back of my throat, the feel of blood dripping down the boy’s arm.





46 responses to “Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones: Office Tour & Excerpt

  1. Ooohhh super fancy office!!! I love french doors! Yes a view of the ocean would be better than the view of the kitchen but still very nice! I don’t really have any good decorating tips but I always like to have happy pictures of my friends, family, and pets while I work. I can’t wait to read Death and the Girl Next Door! I just got it but I have no time!

  2. Ooh Love the office! I wish I had one of those to go snuggle down in and read! Looks so inviting!

    I LOVE YA books because the characters (generally) are very relateable. Honestly, they make me feel “young” again haha

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  3. erinf1

    thanks for a great post and I think your new office looks fabulous 🙂 Thanks for the great giveaway! I love YA 🙂

  4. Randy Briggs

    Your office looks very comfortable for writing. A room like this would give anyone inspiration! Can’t wait to read the book. YA has become such a wide-spread genre–there was an article in the NY Post yesterday stating that adults are responsible for 55% of YA sales. I’m not surprised…YA books have become so well written that they have huge crossover appeal. I personally am addicted to YA>

  5. krista grandstaff

    I like YA because they are something my daughter and I can share…even when we butt heads, we always have a good book in common, and it has helped out on some tense car rides…LOL

  6. Liz

    Ok, first I’m going to need to know if either of your sons are single because I want to come live with you and that awesome kitchen!! 🙂 And your office is coming along wonderfully 🙂 I definitely think you should add some poster size pics up of your covers! Success can be a wonderful motivator!

    As for why I love YA… I read a lot of genres, and sometimes the subject matter can become quite twisted and out of control. YA is often (but not always!) a lighter read. Plus a lot of the emotions and things these younger people go through take me back… not that I’ve ever had to deal with the paranormal, but it would have been fun to!

    Have a great tour, Darynda! And Christy, thanks for hosting!

  7. I love the colors of the office, very warm and inviting. I agree about the formal dining rooms a big waste of space. I am curious about the 2.5 dogs…..Hmm as far as decorating tips, I would recommend and espresso machine in there so you don’t to make unnecessary trips to the kitchen, you might get distracted in there. Second, nice candles in a safe pet friendly place, so you can get nice cozy smells in there. Make sure you get a nice big bean bag chair for a thinking spot!

  8. ANN*H

    Love what you done with the house .
    I like YA cause being older I still enjoy lots of them and then pass them on to the younger relatives after I read them

  9. Oh I love it! It feels very warm and welcoming and I love that it’s open with the glass in the french doors. It should keep it from feeling like you’re stuck in a cave but still keep the noise out so you don’t need to leave them open. My office is in a loft area of the house and I can hear EVERY. SINGLE. THING. “mooooommmm, I need more chocolate milk!” Moooommm, I have a poopy diaper!” “mooommm, I’m HUNGRY.” Yep, that’s what I hear all day! But since I need to care for them I guess it’s okay. 😉

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  10. Saundra M

    Love your new space! I like YA because after I read these great feelgood books, I pass them on to my granddaughter who is 17.

  11. LisaILJ

    I love YA books because they are so much less pretentious than many good mainstream books. Plus they take me back and make me think.

  12. What a great new office! I’m not a great decorator so I unfortunately don’t have any great tips other than to make it your own space even if it is a little at a time. I hope your the new space brings new inspiration! 🙂

  13. I love the new room. We are getting ready to fix me a corner in the bedroom. It will be better than what I currently have. We have sank tons of finance in the back porch. BTW Christy, I love your comment section. How did you do that?

  14. Jolene A

    I love the innocence and being taken back to a time and place in my life where I didn’t have all the adult responsibilites I have now, but was more concerned with falling in love. When that little touch or kiss would give you butterflies and curl your toes. When you just wanted to live and experience life

  15. Beverly S.

    My youngest daughter clued me in on reading YA novels. She kept talking about Hunger Games, Wither, etc. being so good. I read them and was “hooked.” 🙂 Good writing/good story is “ageless.” 🙂

  16. Karen Arrowood

    YA books are a great escape for me. Plus, I try to read everything before I let my kids read them (overprotective mom, what can I say?)

  17. Denise Z

    I just love a good story YA or adult. Generally the YA are a little less graphic in the sexual innuendo and more focused on the storyline. There is often an innocence that is fun to revisit.

  18. Carrie S

    I haven’t read this, so thank you for the excerpt. It sounds great. I love how the color of your office is calming and it feels so open.

  19. Jenny

    Great post. That’s a good question… there is a different vibe with YA books. I like reading both YA and adult, but I get different thing for them.

  20. Marlena Fein

    I like that YA books are not so deep that it makes your brain hurt trying to figure everything out. I also like that, generally, you can read one a day so it makes the TBR pile go down quite quickly. Oh, and if you ever get rid of the boy again Darynda, I would make sure not to put a forwarding address when you leave the state. 🙂 Your office looks great. I am not a decorator by any means so no decorating tips from me.

  21. Diane B.

    I love YA books!!! The characters are always so full of life. No matter their lives may be going through at the time they usually do so in full force. I also prefer not to read the details of their love lives. I feel that too much detail in that area takes away from the story rather than adding to it. I love what you are doing with your office. The french doors are perfect. I’m remodeling my house now. The only tip that I can give you is to keep the vaccum cleaner handy. The book looks great. I really looking forward to reading it. 😉

  22. Jaime

    Great excerpt! I’m looking forward to reading this. Having an office attached to the kitchen probably wouldn’t be a good idea for me. 😀

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