Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sequel Sneak Peek for "Sleeping in the Morgue" by Jennifer Tressen

Want a sneak peek at the sequel to Jennifer Tressen's YA dark comedy thriller Sleeping in the Morgue? You're in luck! Here's a glimpse into what she has planned for Paige Thorton while she's at Harvard.....

“Harvard Law Has a New Case to Solve”

For three long years Paige Thorton had worked tirelessly to pay for college. She had done so well at her internship with the Cambridge Police Department’s homicide investigation bureau that they offered her a part time position going over cold cases and retesting evidence with modern techniques.
Thank goodness for all those AP tests. Paige had thought while reflecting on her time in the undergraduate program. Entering Harvard she had enough credits to qualify for sophomore status. A big savings.
However even after all that work; tests, studying, papers, the police department and “extra gigs,” today was the moment of truth. If she didn’t get into Harvard Law nothing else would matter. That was the reason she had come to the school in the first place, it was a known fact the Law School gave preference to graduates of the alma mater.
Paige tapped her toe nervously against the polished wood floors. They must have been cleaned recently as her shoes squeaked ever so slightly with each touch of pressure.
Why must they do it this way? This is clearly a waste of school resources.
This year a new policy had been instated regarding school notifications for acceptance into specialized programs, it required a one on one meeting to receive the news.
I should be studying for physics.
There were still a few weeks left in the school year and with six finals to study for, Paige had been careful not to waste any time over socializing at school functions and parties like her best friend had. Shelby Harrington was dismissed from school the prior spring for poor test performance.
Too many jungle juice jam sessions.
Paige remembered the two times she had followed Shelby to one such party consisting of wannabe musicians and lots of alcohol. It was forgettable and yet memorable at the same time. She only went a second time because she was already so intoxicated from a study session turned drinking game that she didn’t even realize what she had agreed to.
Don’t worry, just breathe.
The heavy mahogany door opened.
“Paige Thorton,” a voice robotically called.
“Here,” Paige managed in a choked up voice. “I mean, yes. Coming.”
Paige scurried to pick up the brown Juicy Couture side bag Shelby had given her as a birthday present the year before. Although designer bags weren’t her thing she had to admit it really did have a place for everything. She also felt like the bag made her fit in more amidst the crowd of fashionable, wealthy students roaming the expansive campus.
Walking into the closet of a room, she found the robotic voice belonged to a small woman, no taller than the average middle school boy, dressed in a pinstripe pencil shirt and white ruffled collared shirt folded up so high it looked as though the polyester might eat her chin off.
“Please have a seat.”
Paige did as she told. The woman opened a manila folder and smacked her lips together.
“While you have a near perfect record and the panel found your personal essay to be a stellar combination of powerful arguments and emotion, I’m sorry to inform you that you were not accepted into the school of law for the fall term.”
 Paige’s heart sank. The weight of her feet alone was pulling her into the ground. It couldn’t be true. She must have heard incorrectly. She had worked too hard for that answer. Harvard Law was her only dream.
She raised her eyebrows and tried to hold back tears. She hadn’t cried since…
The thought sent a chill down her spine. All the sacrifices she had made. All the time. All the people she had…
Accidents. She reminded herself. Accidents.
“But…” she searched for the words in the sea of confusion. “How?”
The ruffled woman closed the folder. Placing her hands on top of it she looked at Paige.
“As we have stated before, it’s a very competitive program.”
“I’m aware. But…”
Paige was at a loss for words. What could she say to change things? Was there a typo in the admissions packet she had overlooked? A misused word? There had to be a reason she had come this far only to fall short of her goal.
In that moment it hit her that she had never known this feeling before.
Being foreign, she didn’t know how to begin the recovery process. As she sat frozen for a second the small woman reopened the folder and glanced down the page, using her finger as a guide.
“It does say here that you’re high on the waitlist though. So there’s still a chance.”
Paige sat up a bit, her back extending to a point of pain.
“If another student drops out, or decides to attend another program or…”
“Or?” Paige asked, hanging on every syllable spoken from the woman’s mouth.
“Or if something else happens, you know, unforeseen.”
That was it. That was the magic word. Unforeseen. Paige knew all about unforeseen and accidents and all matters of unfortunate events. Her face relaxed as she looked at the woman, taking in her creased forehead and raised upper lip.
“How far down the waitlist am I?” she asked.
“Um, let me see.” Her unpolished fingernail trailed across the page. “Eighth.”
“So there are seven other people ahead of me who will be given the spot…should one open?” she asked for clarification.
Paige smiled.
Paige rose and effortlessly grabbed her heavy side bag. Her spirits renewed, she had the strength of ten men.
“Just perfect.”
With that she turned on her heels and headed out of the office. The mousy woman watched her leave, dumbfounded.
“No one’s ever been that happy with a rejection.”
Returning to her stack of papers she shook her head.
Outside the room Paige was already plotting.
“Seven people. That’s nothing.” She smiled again. “Harvard Law, here I come.” 
If you haven't read the first book you should - Sleeping in the Morgue.

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