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message 1: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley Johnson (arkkimberley) | 5 comments Hi all,

I'm currently working on my next YA fiction.

Plot - 17-yr-old Peyton finds first love, has first time sex, and eventually finds out she's pregnant.

She doesn't become pregnant until the last quarter of the book - the first three quarters is all about her romance with Brad, the last few months of her senior year before she goes to college (UCLA), and her friends.

I'm trying to determine what to choose as excerpts to draw readers in - so I am posting a possibilty here and would love some honest feedback. Please keep in mind that this has not yet been professionally edited, and there may be a few typos and/or minor grammatical errors - which will be fixed. Also, changes may be made before publication. The feedback I'm looking for is - does this excerpt pique your interest? Do you want to read more and if not, please explain why.

I held the stick in my “urine stream.” I always thought that was a funny thing to call it, urine stream, but what else would you call it?

There’s this thing I do when I don’t want to face reality.

“It’s okay,” I tell myself. “You’re freaking out for nothing.” I’ll say.

It never works. Ever.

After three minutes passed, I looked at the stick and my heart sunk. My stomach was immediately in knots and I thought I would vomit - again.

I was pregnant. Seventeen and pregnant.

The very first thought that occurred to me was that I would terminate my pregnancy. There was no question. I was NOT ready to be a mother. But I wasn’t the only person in this scenario to consider.

Chapter Twenty

Maybe the test was wrong. It could happen. I started to shake.

This CANNOT be happening.

I decided the pregnancy test was somehow in error. I would go buy more tests. So I went to another pharmacy and purchased two more tests. Two different brands this time, in case of a manufacturer’s malfunction.

I peed on both of them. They both came up positive.

A dark cloud covered my world.

All of the positive things that happened to me in the last five months were washed away by those tests.

It was 7:45 and my mother would be home in a few hours. I didn’t want to face her. She was very specific about me not coming home pregnant. Ever. She also had the next day off. I needed to formulate a plan so I could leave early and not have to deal with her. She’d take one look at me and know something’s wrong. I would just tell her I was going to the beach with Madison.

What about Brad? Oh my God. What would I tell him? How would he react?

I wanted to write it all down in my diary but what if my mother peeks and reads it?

That entire evening, I sat alone in my room and my thoughts raced. I was confused and petrified.

It struck me that I wasn’t crying. I’d been so emotional lately and it seems every little thing made me cry – and now I understood why. I wasn’t crying now. I was in shock.

Filled with fear, I went online and looked up the pill I was taking. It said about two to three women out of one hundred could still become pregnant. Two to three. I was one of those two to three.


Every single evening at 7 o’clock on the freaking DOT, I took my pill. Never missed a day. Never late. I followed the directions. The only advice I didn’t follow was about using condoms. But why would we have to use them?

My gynecologist told me it would be safer, but I didn’t listen to her. Why? Why didn’t I listen to her?

Oh God. I was going to have to have an abortion.

Madison’s sister, Gwen, worked for Planned Parenthood. I needed to talk with her. But there was so much to talk about and if I called Madison, I’d have to explain why, and the thought of having that conversation out loud was too much for me to deal with at the moment. There was no way I would be able to do it.

I decided I needed to appear relaxed so that when I my mom came home, she wouldn’t notice something was wrong. My apartment complex had a heated pool, so I put on my bathing suit and swam laps, hoping the exercise would help to ease my tension.

Fortunately, no one else was there, so I had the pool area to myself. As I swam, I thought about Brad and wondered how would he react? Would he be angry? What if he wanted to keep it? Suddenly, the frightening thought occurred to me he might see me differently after I had an abortion. What if he thinks I’m somehow dirty or stops loving me? He’d made snap judgements before and it was possible his religious upbringing might color his views. I pushed that fear to the back of my mind.

My friends and I had talked about abortion and how we felt about it. Mickey once said something about a husband or boyfriend having a say. Zoe was clear that the decision is up to the woman. Madison agreed with Zoe. I’d always assumed if I were to get pregnant, it would be when I was older and established in my career. I figured if I was in a relationship or a marriage, we’d discuss how to proceed together. But at seventeen. I wasn’t at all prepared to be a mom or to give up my scholarship. I had worked too hard and didn’t want to throw it away.

So many thoughts filled my head, and then I remembered how the women in Brad’s family treated the males – like they were superior. If I tell him, there’s a chance he’ll tell his very religious mother and she’ll insist I have it. The more I thought about it, the more I felt defeated.

After about twenty laps, I realized I hadn’t eaten all day. So I dried off and went inside to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup – a comfort meal that reminded me of being a little kid – when these kinds of worries were not part of my reality.

While I was eating, my mom called to tell me she was meeting her boyfriend for drinks after work and not to wait up.

Luckily, sleep came easily, but so did the nightmares.

Chapter Twenty One (DREAM)

Brad handed me a little black box. I knew what was inside. I wanted to throw it away but didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Inside was a plastic ring with a fake looking diamond – like ones from a bubble gum machine.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

My head was heavy and it was as if things were happening in slow motion.



The ring dropped on the floor. I heard it bouncing and when I looked down, it wasn’t there.

It was as if the marriage proposal never happened and I felt relieved.

Maybe he’d forget.

Brad found the ring immediately, picked it up and slid it on my finger.

It was hot like fire and burned me. I wanted to take it off.

“It hurts,” I cried.

“You’ll be okay. You’re my woman now. I love you.”

“I love you Brad but my finger hurts and I can’t get married right now. I’m too young.”

His mother’s gigantic face hovered over us. She was all head – no body - and was suspended in the air like a balloon.

“Hmmm,” she squeaked. “You want to have sex, but you don’t want to face the responsibilities of motherhood. You should have kept your legs closed. Good girls wait for marriage. See! What did I tell you Bradley? That girl is trouble.”

“It’s okay, Mom. We’re going to be okay. When we’re married, we can live with you and Dad. That way Peyton will have some help with the baby.”

I tried to say no, but they continued talking with each other as if I weren’t there.

Her large head bounced around the room as she planned my life.

“Peyton will have to convert and beg for forgiveness. What religion are you now, honey?”

I started to speak and she interrupted me, “Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’ll talk with Father Milford and make all of the necessary arrangements. We’ll have the baptism in our back yard and everyone will be there.”

I tried to yell and make them hear me but when my mouth moved, no words came out – just strained grunting sounds.

Don walked in and said, “See, I knew you were a slut.”

Brad said, “No Don, we’re getting married. I’m making an honest woman out of her. She’s not a slut. She never gave a blow job to anyone but me.”

And then Brad asked Don to be the best man.

“Nooooooo,” I cried but no one paid attention.

Don looked at me and said, “Hey Peyton, got any slutty friends I can have sex with?”

I tried to get Brad’s attention, but he had already started ordering the invitations. I was angry.

“I’m not having the baby!!” I insisted.

His mom laughed and said, “Oh dear, you made your bed, and lured my son into it. You will not embarrass me and my family. The invitations have been sent and you WILL listen to my son now. He’s in charge. He’s the man and you must learn your place.”

Brad’s father was sitting next to me and said, “Young lady, get your things together and come with us.”

I woke up drenched in sweat. Guzzling down the water that sat on my nightstand, I was so relieved to realize it was just a terrible dream. The image of Brad’s mother as nothing but a gigantic bubble head was very fitting, and I immediately understood how it symbolized my feelings for her.

message 2: by Emilia (last edited Apr 27, 2015 11:20AM) (new)

Emilia (doctorherondale) | 419 comments This definitely piques my interest. I want to know how Peyton got in the situation she did and what she does to solve it. I'm also curious to see her relationship with her boyfriend's family and of course I want to know the reactions of everyone when they find out she's pregnant. So basically I would want to read more :D Hope that helps! Good luck

message 3: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley Johnson (arkkimberley) | 5 comments Yes, that helps a lot. I really appreciate the feedback. :)

message 4: by Emilia (new)

Emilia (doctorherondale) | 419 comments Your welcome :D

message 5: by Vikki (new)

Vikki Becker (enchantedediting) | 16 comments yes, I'd love to read more! I definitely like that her attitude & the way she speaks is true to age & not aged up. Seems as though there is a lot of potential for drama, intense character interactions etc. with the bf's mom.
Best of luck!

message 6: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley Johnson (arkkimberley) | 5 comments Thans for the feedback. Especially about the "true to age" comment. I really tried to do that. :)

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