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Mixed Messages (Love Letters Series #2)

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Overview

Jade has had it for Zephyr forever. But you can only crush on a guy for so long. And with graduation just around the corner it's now or never. Jade writes Zephyr a love letter, only Zephyr never gets it. Adam gets the letter. It's a huge disaster and a total embarrassment...then again, maybe not.
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Overview

Jade has had it for Zephyr forever. But you can only crush on a guy for so long. And with graduation just around the corner it's now or never. Jade writes Zephyr a love letter, only Zephyr never gets it. Adam gets the letter. It's a huge disaster and a total embarrassment...then again, maybe not.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689872228
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Love Letters Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Mixed Messages


By Jahnna N. Malcolm

Simon Pulse

Copyright © 2004 Jahnna N. Malcolm
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0689872224

Chapter 2

Three classes, one lunch, and an assembly later, Jade checked her schedule. Music Theory with Cleavon Cooper. "All right," she murmured. "Now it's time for some fun."

Her other classes -- American Poetry, European History, and French 3 -- were all fine, but this was the class she'd fought hard to get.

Mr. C, as everyone at school called him, had been voted favorite teacher at Wheaton High for five years in a row. Cleavon Cooper had turned the school's forgettable marching band into an award-winner by adding funk to their sound and cool moves to their choreography. When it came to music, Mr. C was like an encyclopedia: He seemed to know about everything musical for the last four centuries. Going to his classes was like sitting in on a freewheeling jam session hosted by Mozart, Duke Ellington, and Tupac all rolled into one.

Jade threw open the door to the music room and froze. Mr. C was seated at the grand piano in the center of the room, noodling through a complex series of jazz chords. With his shaved head and owlish sunglasses, he looked like an aging P. Diddy. Sitting across from him in the front row of folding chairs was only one student -- Zephyr Strauss. Jade was already backing out of the room when Mr. C spotted her.

"Jade!" Mr. C called with a big smile. "Get yourself down here, and let's make a little music."

Jade was mystified. Usually every chair in Mr. C's class was filled with a student. "Where is everybody?" she asked, still hesitating at the top of the stairs.

Mr. C waved one hand. "Big mix-up with the schedule. My second period had seventy-five kids. It was kickin'. They were sharing chairs, lying on the floor, swinging from the rafters," he said with a throaty chuckle. "But that's going to change. So, for today only, it's just you, me, and the Zeph-Man."

Zephyr nodded up at Jade and mumbled, "Hey."

One word from Zephyr was enough to make her cheeks blaze a bright pink. That had never happened before. She wondered if all that talk about boys that morning had turned her into some kind of blushing freak. Jade put her head down and trotted down the stairs to the front row of chairs.

Mr. C got up from the piano and went to one of the instrument lockers lining the back of the music room. He pulled out two acoustic guitars and handed one to each of them. "I know this class is Music Theory, but we can't really get down to business until the schedule gets straightened out. So what do you say we play today?"

Suddenly Jade was nervous. She and Zephyr had shared a few music classes before, but she'd never actually jammed with him. As for Zephyr, he seemed totally comfortable with the idea. The second he was handed his guitar, he ran through the power chord introduction to his band's signature tune, "Big Trouble Ahead."

Mr. C slipped behind the piano and added a thumping bass line. Jade let Zephyr play through the song once so she could hear the chord progression. Then she joined in. Mr. C and Zephyr traded solos back and forth while Jade kept a solid rhythm going underneath. When they finished, Zephyr actually smiled at Jade and said, "Nice work."

Jade blushed with pleasure. Then Mr. C shocked her by asking, "So, Jade, got anything to play for us?"

"Well, um, I-I've been working on a new song," she stammered. "I call it 'Shoot the Moon,' but it's not finished."

"That's okay," Mr. C encouraged. "Go on, give us a little sample."

Jade swallowed hard and tried to forget that Zephyr Strauss was sitting just three feet away from her, listening to her song. She played through the introduction and a verse of the song, then stopped. "That's all I have. Sorry."

When she looked up, she caught Zephyr and Mr. C exchanging glances of approval. Then Zeph turned to her and said slowly, "That...was...simply...beautiful."

"Umm," Mr. C agreed. "Jade, I want to hear that again when you get it finished. And that's an assignment."

Of course, this sent another blast of flaming color into her cheeks.

Then Mr. C pulled some flyers off a stack piled on the piano. "Zeph, you already know about the Battle of the Bands coming up, but pass a few of these entry forms out to your musician friends, will you?" Mr. C handed them to Zephyr, adding with a grin, "We need to drum up a little competition this year for you boys."

Zephyr chuckled. Side Effects had won the Battle of the Bands two years running. Most people considered them a shoo-in to win again.

"I'll do it this Saturday," Zephyr said. "We've got a gig at the Atomic Café. Lots of local players will be there."

"Excellent," Mr. C said. Then he surprised Jade by handing her one of the yellow flyers. "You take one of these, too, Jade. Work up that song you just did and try out."

"Me?" Jade was flattered. "Oh, I don't know...."

"Hey, no need for audition anxiety," Mr. C reassured her. "The auditions are by demo only. No pressure. Put something down on tape or CD and run it by the entry committee. You won't even need to be in the room."

"But I'm a solo act," Jade protested. "Do they take those?"

"Sure," Zephyr said, fixing her with a steady gaze.

"Now, there's no guarantee you'll get a spot on the program," Mr. C cautioned. Then his eyes twinkled as he added, "But as chairperson of the entry committee, I can guarantee that your entry will receive careful consideration." Jade still hesitated, and Mr. C added, "You'll never have a chance to win if you don't enter."

"Mr. C's right," Zephyr agreed. "Give it a go."

"Thanks, Zephyr," Jade said, trying to smile casually. "Maybe I will." She carefully folded the flyer in half and tucked it into the back pocket of her jeans. As she did, Jade noticed that Zephyr seemed to be watching her every move. Maybe he was interested in her too?

Mr. C led them both in another piece. This one was the Peter Gabriel classic "In Your Eyes." Jade knew the words by heart because she'd seen the old movie Say Anything at least a dozen times. At the chorus, Zeph added a vocal harmony and they sang together: "In your eyes, the light, the heat, in your eyes, I am complete." Jade was struck by how well their voices blended.

They finished seconds before the end of the period.

"Umm, that was tasty," Mr. C purred. "You two got a good thing going there vocally."

Jade look at Zephyr, who grinned. "Not bad," he agreed, nodding his head.

As they were leaving the classroom, Mr. C said, "Too bad we can't keep our class this small. I really enjoyed it."

"Me too," Zephyr said, turning to give Jade another admiring look. "Catch you tomorrow."

Jade waved good-bye too. She fumbled with putting her books away, to create an excuse to stay behind. The second Mr. C and Zephyr left the classroom, she jumped up and down, squealing with excitement.

After a minute Jade regained her cool and stepped out into the mob of students heading for their lockers at the end of the day. Could there have been a better first day of school? She didn't think so.

That night, Jade went out to her garage studio to do her homework and work on her audition tape for the Battle of the Bands. She couldn't stop thinking about Zephyr, and Keesha and Lucy's dare. In fact, she knew she'd never get anything done until she wrote her love letter to Zephyr. But how to begin?

Should she be poetic? My heart flies up when I see you. No, too sappy.

How about straightforward sincere? I like you. A lot. Do you like me? Way too forward and too sincere.

Casual? A funny thing happened to me on the way to my senior year...I fell for you. Better.

Jade practiced writing her letter on fancy paper in the lavender-colored ink that she always used to write her songs. She decided that made it look too studied. She wanted her note to look laid-back, like something dashed off on a sheet of notebook paper with a ballpoint pen.

Jade crossed to the garage door and shouted into the house, "Does anyone have a regular old pen?"

Her mother was at her desk in the kitchen. On the phone, of course. As a single mom, Kit Chandler worked round the clock on her real estate deals. Jade's older brother, Nick, who was in his second year at the University of Cincinnati, had taken over their tiny front living room with his stacks of books and papers. Nick was sitting on the couch hunched over a sociology textbook, listening to his iPod on a set of earbud headphones. He was totally oblivious to Jade's attempts to get his attention.

She moved down the hall to the bedroom she shared with her fifteen-year-old sister. As usual, April was at her desk studying. She was an uptight organization freak who put little white printed labels on everything. Jade had given April the labeler for her thirteenth birthday and had regretted it ever since.

One side of their bedroom -- Jade's side -- looked like a normal teenager's room. She had lots of posters of rock bands on the wall, plus a floor-to-ceiling bulletin board papered with funny photos of her friends, memorabilia from high school dances and concerts, and words and pictures clipped from magazines.

April's side was a completely different story. It looked like the Museum of April. A neat white desk labeled april's desk held a stacked plastic file holder that was labeled april's files. The top drawer of the desk was labeled APRIL'S NOTEBOOK PAPER AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES. She even had a small pink book with a lock on it labeled, APRIL'S DIARY -- KEEP OUT!

Jade knocked on the doorsill and pointed to a pink plastic cup on her sister's desk. It was labeled april's pens and pencils. "Can I borrow a ballpoint pen?"

April paused in her writing. "What for?"

"I'm going to sell it so I can buy a car and run away," Jade answered sarcastically. "What do you think? I'm writing something."

April narrowed her eyes at Jade as she tried to make a decision. Not for the first time, Jade thought how much April looked like a cartoon version of a librarian. Her overlarge eyeglasses magnified her eyes unnaturally. She wore her hair pulled into a tight ponytail at her neck. At last April plucked a blue pen from the cup and held it out to her sister. "I'll need it back when you're finished," she said in a flat voice. "And don't waste the ink."

Jade took the pen with a terse, "Thank you," and once again wondered how it was possible that she and April could ever be sisters. She was certain they didn't have a single chromosome in common.

She hurried back to her hideaway in the garage. With its India-print cloth hanging on the walls and stumps of candles resting on crates and shelves, it looked more like a funky art shop than a place to keep cars. In fact, almost a year had gone by since her mom started parking her car on the street so Jade could have a place to be alone and practice her music.

Jade flopped back down on the lumpy red corduroy couch she'd picked up at Recycled Furniture. She spread a clean sheet of notebook paper on the coffee table, which was really just an old closet door set on cinder blocks, and began to write her letter.

Jade decided to keep it light and breezy. Then she could pretend it was all a joke if Zephyr took it the wrong way.

To Whom It May Concern,

1. This is to inform you that ever since our freshman year, when we brushed shoulders in the hall, I have been:

a. crazy for you

b. crazy about shoulders

c. crazy in general

d. all of the above

2. For three years I have done nothing about my crush because I am:

a. a total coward

b. a hopeless romantic

c. a complete idiot

d. all of the above

3. Now that we're seniors, I'd like to change things and:

a. go out on a limb

b. go out on a date

c. go to a music club

d. do all of the above

4. If you feel the same about me, would you:

a. write me!

b. write me!

c. did I mention, write me?

d. all of the above

5. If you think this is the dumbest letter you ever read, would you:

shoot me now.

Jade Chandler

When she was finished, Jade folded the note and tucked it into her pack. Tomorrow, she would give it to Lucy, and her vow to "shoot the moon" would begin.

Text copyright © 2005 by Jahnna N. Malcolm



Continues...


Excerpted from Mixed Messages by Jahnna N. Malcolm Copyright © 2004 by Jahnna N. Malcolm. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2006

    LOVED IT!!

    This book was FABULOUS!! I absolutely LOVED it!! It was a super-sweet teen story and I cried! LOL! I highly recommend you read this book if you like those chick-flick kinda books!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    SUPER CUTE AWESOME BOOK

    this is a super cute book about how even if something goes bad and looks like it's not going to ever get better, it will always turns around and suprises you in one way or another. i really reccomend this book if you are looking for a sweet and fun romantic book to read just for fun. enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    OMG BEST BOOK EVER!!!

    i read this book about four years ago, and i've always remembered it. i forgot what the title was, so ive been looking for it, and ive finally found it!!! this is my favourite book EVER!!! its so sweet! it kinda makes my heart swell up. i absolutely love the characters and the story. you're sure to love this book!!!! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2006

    Great Book

    I loved this Book! I couldn't put it down. I love the charactors. I'm hooked on the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2006

    longing for love

    this is a story of a perfect love in the end w/tricky obstacles. i loved it, it made me second guess my love life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2006

    You Should Read It!

    This story is so good. It is basically about a girl named Jane, who is torn between 2 great guys (Adam and Zephyr). You should really try to read the book and find out what will happen to jane next!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What are you waiting for ? GET READING

    This book was very intruiging, interesting and romantic but the one thing i don't like with this series is that it's too obvious what's going to happened which is a bit of a bummer but other than that this book was really good with a twist check this book out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    i love these series

    i read this book last year in 8th grade the series are awesome i have read like two books in two days. anyways i highly recommend. and i promise you. you will not regret reading this book or series.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    good

    i read this book in 2 days.i dont like reading too much.but if it catches me like in the first few pages i am hoooked!this is a great book if you want a quick read.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved Love Letters

    I read this book last year, along with Perfect Strangers. I thought they were both really good and i would read them again in a heart beat. I really enjoyed the story line and the characters I thought they were great. As soon as I get the chance I plan on reading the rest of the series, I have a feeling they will be just as good, if not better than the first two. The books had certain twists and turns that appealed to me. The series is great and I invite you to read them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2005

    Awesome

    I loved this book, it was so great!!! And a very touching love story!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    GREAT BOOK!!!!

    Oh my god!!! This book is really great! The beginning (like any other book) is sortof confusing but when you get into the book, you wouldn't want to put it down! I love this book!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2005

    Great!!!!!

    I thought it was a great book it has some humor and romance in one book. If your into an unexpected teenage love this is your book.

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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