Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
A teen writer discovers that every mirror is a portal into an alternate version of her life in this romantic YA fantasy by author L.E. DeLano.
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all teacakes, pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.
In this scene, Jessa travels to another reality with Finn for the very first time . . .
Finn nods to the girl behind the counter. “Two chocolate spice specials and two bowls of glitter mousse, please.”
He pays the girl and takes our tray of treats, motioning me toward a booth in the corner with a tilt of his head. I slide in, staring at the small, circular pot of sparkling stuff in front of me. It looks like whipped cream, but in an eye-popping shade of silvery blue.
“Glitter mousse?” I ask. “What flavor is this?”
He shoves a spoonful in his mouth.
“Glitter,” he says, raising his eyebrows.
I take a dab on the tip of my spoon and slide it into my mouth. The flavor explodes on my tongue, sweet and tart and screamingly delicious. My eyes are literally rolling back in my head.
“Told you so,” he says. “Now for the best part.” He opens his mouth, smiling widely.
I suck my breath in, choking on a laugh. “You’re glowing!” His teeth and tongue are shining like neon.
“Should have brought you here at night,” he remarks. “The effects last for hours.”
I take another spoonful, sighing in contentment as it melts on my tongue.
“So . . . ,” I muse.
“So . . . ?” He licks his spoon.
“You know me here.” The memories are trickling in as I access them. “But we’re not together.”
“I know you everywhere.” he replies, “and we’re not officially together yet because I only just got to know you.”
The memories are getting clearer now. Finn used to work here, and in a complete change of events, I told him that he was a Traveler.
“So just because I know I’m a Traveler in one reality doesn’t mean I know it in another?” I ask. “We don’t all become aware at the same moment?”
“No. What are you, Skynet?” he smirks.
“That,” I say, pointing my spoon at him, “was a solid nerd joke. Ten points to Gryffindor.”
He looks at me blankly.
“No Harry Potter, huh?”
He shrugs, still clueless. “No Terminator, either. I just happened to catch it on TV once, when I was traveling.”
“So you’re not from here?”
“Here?” He glances around at the shining chrome and sparkling chandeliers of glittery Mugsy’s.
“There,” I qualify. “Back where I’m from. You’re not from my reality.”
“No.” He looks uncomfortable.
“Do you know me, where you’re from?”
I let that hang in the air for a minute before I bite my lip and ask.
“Did I move away?”
He holds my eyes.
“When—” I clear my throat. “When did it happen?” I can’t bring myself to ask how it happened. I get the feeling he was there.
“Three years ago.”
“I’m sorry,” I say, and I really am. I can see the hurt in his eyes. Whoever we were to each other, we were obviously close.
“It’s okay,” he says. “Not like I really lost you, after all. We’re Travelers. We’re always around somewhere.”
He gives me a stiff shrug, but it doesn’t quite cover the pain in his voice. I can’t help myself. I reach across the table for his hand. He rubs his thumb across the back of my knuckles, and the feel of his hand on mine is incredibly familiar.
“That’s got to be weird, though. Seeing a different me every time.”
“You get used to it.”
He says it, but something in his voice tells me you don’t, really.
L.E. DeLano is a YA novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the upcoming “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan 2017) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.
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