Jane’s Origins

Jane’s Origins

I’ve been telling you about my new book, FINDERS KEEPERS, over the last few weeks.  It’s the story of archaeology student Jane Barnaby, and her adventures over her first Christmas at the University of Oxford.

But Jane made her first appearance in the Dream Series.  We see her a couple of times in DREAM STUDENT; she lives just down the hall from Sara in her dorm, and she’s a year ahead of Sara.  Here’s her first appearance, when Sara visits one of her dreams:

Sara finds herself elsewhere.  She’s outside, on grass, trees all around, and above the trees in the nighttime sky tall buildings loom everywhere.  She wouldn’t swear to it, but she’s pretty sure this is Central Park, in New York City.  When she sees her floormate Jane, Jane Barnaby, she’s convinced she’s right; Jane, like her roommate Jessica, is from there.  Sara follows Jane as she sits down on a bench, next to a young man who looks about her age, with the same brown hair, the same coloring, a young man who might be her brother.  Yes, Sara remembers, she has a twin brother.  They really do look very alike, except that while Jane is wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, her brother wears a dark suit, and a cape around his neck.  He turns to her, telling Jane that it’s time for her to join him, he knows she wants to, and it’ll be so quick and so easy, and then he opens his mouth wide, baring big white fangs…


And here’s her second scene.  Remember her lock-picking ability; it’ll show up again in FINDERS KEEPERS!

I walk all the way around the floor, over to room 220, and I poke my head in to see Jane and Jessica unpacking.  It really is uncanny.  Except for their hair–Jessica is very, very blonde, while Jane’s hair is maybe a shade darker brown than mine–they look so much alike that they could be sisters.  I ask them about their holidays, they ask me about mine, and then I get down to business.  There’s something they know how to do that I need to learn for my little plan to work.  I put my hand on their doorknob, and with my most innocent smile I ask, “Can you show me how to pick these locks?”




After a surprisingly small amount of teasing Jessica teaches me how to do it, using only a credit card.  She watches me practice a couple times until I’ve got it down.  It’s disturbingly easy.  She wishes me luck using my newfound skill.  Jane warns me that if I ever decide to use it to play a joke on them, I can expect “massive retaliation.”

They don’t need to worry.  I’m not the practical joking type.  Besides, I’ve seen their idea of retaliation–they were responsible for all of Mark Bainbridge’s possessions ending up on the roof of the dorm last spring.  I’m not messing with them.

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