Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Edge of Never by JA Redmerski

The Edge of NeverThe Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ummmm, holy crap this book sounds so damn AMAZING! I want it now! And look at that cover! Damn gorgeous! Eeeep!

Best. Fucking. Book. Ever.!

Andrew and Cam

Okay, before I get into this review because I am still a bit mind and emotional fucked right now, I have to say....when I first saw the blurb and the cover for this book, I knew...I KNEW I would love this book. The cover spoke to me and I was instantly drawn to want to read this book. I thought it wasn't coming out til next year but oh my fucking god, when I found out it was out, I was ALL OVER this a baby on it's mommy's nipple. I was like "GIVE ME THIS NOW!" So I bought it, of course I was finishing another book at the time so that I could give this book ALL of my attention. When my gals recommend a book and hound and hound and hound and demand and demand some more (hint hint Sylvia) I KNOW it's a must-read book! The cover, being such a cover whore that I am I was instantly in love with this book. I mean, look at it. Gorgeous...beautiful...PERFECT. Then to add the blurb...oh yes, gimme gimme gimme gimme! Put a perfect cover with a perfect blurb together and what do you get? A FUCKING MASTERPIECE. Yep, that's what I got. I was never disappointed. OH. MY. GOD.

Okay, okay I know, I am babbling too a psycho and y'all are thinking "shut the fuck up and get on with the review dumbass" and so I will before my resolve slips and I break down and fall apart all over again.

So we have Camryn Bennett(I wonder if she's related to Josh Bennett?? haha), a 20 year old who is fed up with her monotonous regular going-nowhere life where she works at a department store. Her boyfriend Ian died from a tragice car accident while they were in high school, her parents divorced, her brother Cole went to prison for killing a man during a drunk accident, and her best friend since second grade accuses her of being a lying bitch(in which I wanted to slap across the face...hard). So basically her life is shit. She decides it's time to quit living for everyone else...and start living for herself. And so she does. She sets out to leave North Carolina on a road trip to Idaho(because they are known for their potatoes, which was freakin hilarious how that happened and now when I buy Idaho potatoes, I'll forever think of Cam). When she gets on a bus and starts her new found self-discovery...everything changes.

Andrew Parrish is 25 and on a road trip from Texas to see his dying father in Wyoming. He is reluctant to go because he knows that saying goodbye would make this real and it hurts him in the worst way. So, reluctantly he heads out on a bus to face reality...and pain.

Little do they know, Camryn and Andrew meet on the same bus...for the same reasons-not sure what they want from life but knowing they want something more than what they're getting now. And so their journey together begins when they meet on the infamous bus and the infamous road trip to Never....

"Finally, an under-populated bus I might actually get some deep sleep on. It's all I really want to do. The longer I stay awake, the more I think about all of the things I don't want to think about. I don't know what I'm doing, or where I'm going, but I do know that I want to do whatever it is and get there soon.
I doze off after staring out the window next to me for an hour.
Muffled headphone music blaring right behind me wakes me up sometime after dark.
At first, I just sit here, hoping maybe he'll notice the top of my now fully awake head bobbing over the seat and decide to turn the music down.
But he doesn't.
I lean up, reaching back to rub a crooked muscle in my neck from sleeping on my arm and then I turn around to look at him. Is he asleep? How can anyone actually sleep with music blasting in their ears like that? The bus is pitch dark except for a couple of dim lights shining down onto books and magazines from above the passenger's seats and the little green and blue lights at the front of the bus in the driver's dashboard. The guy sitting behind me is covered by darkness but I can see one side of his face lit up by the moonlight.
I contemplate it for a second and then push myself up with my knees on the seat and I lean over the back of it, reaching out and tapping him on the leg.
He doesn't move. I tap him harder. He stirs and slowly opens his eyes, looking at me with my stomach hanging over the top of the seat.
He reaches up and pulls the earbuds from his ears, letting the music funnel from the tiny speakers.
"Mind turning it down a little?"
"You could hear that?" he says.
I raise a brow and say, "Uhhh, yeah, it's pretty loud."
He shrugs and thumbs the MP3 player for the volume button and the music fades.
"Thanks." I say and slide back down in my seat.

Okay, that was long and for some reason I was compelled to type all of that. But that was Cam and Andrew's first encounter. And I think it was absolutely amazing and meaningful. Haha, yeah I'm nuts. But seriously this book had me up and down and on turns after turns and more turns with them that I was not sure where up or down was anymore. I was not sure where I was anymore. I absolutely LOVED EVERY MINUTE of this fabulous joyride. I for one love roadtrips. This book made me want to get in my car, drive to a bus station and ride until I was beyond lost. I can't describe my feelings for this book. I just, I am so lost right now. This book made me FEEL every emotion-good or bad that the characters felt and then some. Right now, I am bawling again, just thinking about this experience I shared with my friends. I loved it.

Camryn. She was fantastic. The kind of girl that everyone would want to be friends with. She's smart, witty, funny, sarcastic(which probably goes with witty), sweet, caring and just plain amazing. I loved her character-especially when she starts to come into her own and become herself around Andrew. I love her sassy side and the side that she initally shows us eventhough she is trusting, she puts up a barrier-to protect herself, which I can completely understand her reasoning. Then once she realizes Andrew's intentions, she puts them down and lets him in. I loved her romantic side too. Once she feels comfortable, she really laid it on God, she shocked me but in the best way. I was happy to share this journey with her. She's very likeable and relatable. Ahhhhh, she's just.....amazing!

Andrew. Oh my sweet sweet sexy Andrew Parrish. I can't even think of the right words to describe him. He is just the most amazing guy I've ever gotten to know. He reminds me of my Joshy Bennett and that's why I've taken to him so fast and hard. Seriously, his sweet and caring side was truly incredible. I loved his fierce protectiveness of Cam. Though some may refer to it as a crazy jealous side, but I see why-and once the readers read into it more, the more they'll understand as well. There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING.....I didn't like about him. He's so irresistable from the start-from his sarcastic dirty mouth(which I happen to love by the way) to his sweet soulful understanding side. I loved every minute I spent with him and like Cam, it was hard NOT to fall head over heels in love with this boy. He rocked my EVERY way, and yes....the naughty way too.

I loved how we got both POV's. Honestly, we NEEDED both pov's to relate better to both characters. Jessica did a remarkable job of developing the story from the beginning to the very last page. I noticed alot of people felt the story was dragging in the beginning. I didn't feel that way one bit. I loved every second of every page of every minute I spent with these two. I love road trips so I never got bored...but always wondering where their next stop would be or where they were headed next. Once they got off the bus and both went on the road trip to Never-together by car, I was so giddy with excitement. I felt like I was in the back seat and experiencing this whole trip with them. It was AMAZING! Just to get on the open road and go....who the fuck does that? Boy this book sure made me want to do it now. Damn, why didn't I think of that when I had the chance? LOL

The relationship. First, I was glad it wasn't insta-love...or at least in the sense of "Oh you're hot, I love you let's get married and have babies and run away together". It was never like that. I felt this friendship turned romance really developed slowly and just right. I was glad Cam had kept her wall up for awhile....long enough to make us squirm and say "Okay, now let's move on, we know you love each other-QUIT STALLING....YOU'VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH" because at least it wasn't a quick one two three thing. It would have lost the appeal then and wouldn't have been as exciting or intense. As it was, I started to get frustrated with both of them for ignoring their attraction. But once things started to take a turn....OH MY GOD. I was so excited and giddy and squealing like a teenager. Perfect.

"OK, defenses are back up. Bring it on.
I snarl over at him, crossing my arms.
"First off, I don't listen to Justin Beiber. And second, Gaga isn't so bad. Playing the shock-value card a little too long, I admit but I like some of her stuff."
"That's shit music and you know it." he replies and shakes his head."

"Classic rock is where it's at," he says matter-of-factly and then gazes out ahead. "Zeppelin, the Stones, Journey, Foreigner." He lets his head fall to the side to look over at me again. "Any of that ringing any bells?"

Ahhhhh, a man after my own heart. He likes the shit I love. Yes, Journey, Foreigner and the Stones...some of my faves. I'm an 80's music freak! I love you Andrew.

"What's your name?" he asks, setting his drink on the grass.
I wonder if I should give him my real name. "Cam." I say, settling on the short version.
"Short for what?"
I didn't expect that. I hesitate, my eyes trailing, "Camryn." I admit. I figure with all the lies I'm going to have to keep track of, I might as well be truthful about my first name at least. It's one less-significant piece of information I don't have to remember to keep under wraps.
"I'm Andrew. Andrew Parrish."

"So how old are you?"
"Twenty-five," he says. "What about you?"
"Well, it's good to meet you twenty-year-old Cam short for Camryn heading to Idaho to see her sister who just had a baby."

Sigh. I love you Andrew, God damn he is perfect. And he's from TEXAS....which is where I live. Ahhhh, I want to go stalk him. Wait, what? He's not real? HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT. *hands cover mouth in bafflement*

Andrew moments:

"She wasn't shy to tell me to turn my music down, with a snippy-ass attitude at that. She got pissed when i accused her of havinf Beiber Fever (it pisses me off that I even know what the fuck that means-I blame that on society) and I get the feeling that she would have no problem kicking me in the nuts if I touched her in an inappropriate way. Not that I would. Hell no. But it's good to know that she's the type.
Hell yeah, I like this girl."

"If you were going to let me fuck you, you would have to let me own you."

"A woman who knows what she wants sexually and isn't afraid to express it is so fucking hot, Camryn-Tell. Me. What. You. Want. Or, I won't give it to you." OH. DEAR GOD. *fans self*

"I absolutely fucking melt when she looks up at me like that. How would I ever say no to her? Whether is was about sleeping next to a pile of cow shit or under a bridge overpass next to a homeless drunk-I would sleep anywhere with her."

"I kissed you because I wanted to," I say. "I want to do everything with you, Camryn. Trust me! In just a few days I've managed more positions with you than there are in the Kama Sutra. I've wanted to-." I notice I'm white-knuckling the steering wheel."

"Don't lie to me, baby, did you get hurt anywhere? I swear to fucking God if you did I'm going after them."

"Just pretend you're my girlfriend, at least that way no one will fuck with you, or they're less likely to try, anyway."

Okay, I could go on and on. And more likely the best quotes from Andrew are toward the end but I my nook is dying and going through it right now is not a good idea I should have highlighted them. Moral of this review is.....READ THIS BOOK. Seriously. It will make you laugh, cry, swoon, gasp, FEEL and most of all.....LOVE. This is one story that will stay with me forever-and beyond. I love Cam and Andrew and never will forget their beautiful magical story for as long as I live.

The end. Oh my God, the ending will have you hyperventilating and grabbing your stomach from the painful bomb that drops from under you. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE ARE YOU TO STOP READING......KEEEP READING. I PROMISE IT WILL BE WORTH THE PAIN AND DEVASTATION AND ANGER AND ANGUISH. Please.....PLEASE KEEP READING UNTIL THE LAST PAGE.

There aren't enough stars in this world to give this book....I would give it infinite and beyond amount of stars. BRILLIANT. FABULOUS. PERFECT. UNFORGETTABLE. MUST-READ! Now I need a print copy for my bookshelf. GREAT JOB JESSICA. GREAT FUCKING JOB!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting Personal With AL Jackson

So Amy(AL Jackson) was kind enough to stop by and do an interview for me. I happen to love this woman to bits. She's such a kind and generous lady and I loved getting to know her over the last few months. We became great friends, so when she agreed to do this interview I was fangirling all over the place. I've enjoyed talking to her about anything and everything. She's been so open with me and I love that. So let's get started, shall we?

AL Jackson

  1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I used to write a lot in college, but at that time, what I wrote looked a whole lot more like poetry than novels. It was about ten years later that the idea for Pulled kept nagging at me and I finally sat down and began writing again.
 2 .    How long did it take you to write your first book and how old were you?
It took me about a year and I was 30.
 3.   Are any of your characters based on actual people you know?
Oh for sure. I figure I better not tell you which ones ;)
    4.  What is your writing style like?
I tend to have a fairly lyrical flow to my words.
   5.  Where is your favorite place to write?
I normally write in my office just because it’s quietest in there, but I really love the moments when I prop myself up in bed and write.
    6. What is the biggest challenge you have faced while writing?
It’s definitely pushing myself to finish a project. It takes me a long time to write a book, so sometimes in the middle it can get a bit discouraging. But I’m always so thankful when I’ve pushed through and completed it.
    7.  Do you ever plan to write outside of the current genre?
I think I will probably always write some sort of romance. It’s what I love to read and what I love to write. Love is what makes the world go round, you know? As far as delving into a romance subgenre, I do have a paranormal romance series that is partially written that I hope to publish it one day.
     8Who are your inspirations?
Janet Mitchell, author of White Oleander, is one author who has really inspired me. Although we write in different genres, reading her books encouraged me that having a unique writing style is okay and I didn't have to put myself in a box as an author.
     9. What is the one thing you love most about writing? What is the least you love about it?
I love the feeling of completing a book. If often can make me really emotional when I finish, just because I’ve spent so much time with those characters, but it’s so amazing to bring their story to an end. What do I like least? Probably the amount of time it takes me to write.
    10. Do you find publishing a book to be easy?
No. I put so much effort into the process of writing, rewrites, editing, and planning, so I tend to place a lot of pressure on myself to make the book is just right.
.        11.  What goes into writing a book and how do you ensure that it is complete?
It takes me close to a year to write a full manuscript. Once it’s finished, I do a personal edit, and then it goes through two or three editors, and then it’s back to me for rewrites and then another edit.  Then it’s a proof edit and hopefully goes through the hands of some pre-readers before it goes to print. Then I stress and finally say it’s complete!
                  12. What is one piece of advice you would give to new authors who are trying to get published?
It probably sounds cliché, but don’t give up. Publishing is a very competitive world and at times can be discouraging, but if you truly love writing, then keep at it.
 13. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my free time is spent with my family. I love going to the movies with my boys or out to dinner with my husband. Of course for my relax time, I curl up with my tablet to read a good book, and I try to go out with my girlfriends every couple of weeks.
              14. Out of all the books you have written and published so far, which is your favorite and why?
Pulled will always be my baby since it was my first, but When We Collide is my favorite. It was the hardest to write, but it’s a story that’s close to my heart.
15. Which of your characters do you most relate to?
Probably Elizabeth from Take This Regret. I was a young, single mom myself, and I used a lot of my fears and insecurities during that time for inspiration.
  16.  What do your family and friends think about your success?
My family is incredibly supportive. I work long hours, and they’ve all been understanding and have encouraged me to pursue this dream since I began.
  17.  What is your biggest fear?
Losing someone I love.
  18.  What is your favorite genre to read?
Contemporary romance.
  19.  If you were handed a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Probably pay off my house and put the rest in savings/invest.
            20.  Between Pulled, Take this Regret and When We Collide each of your characters face a tremendous amount of heartache, pain, grief and emotional turmoil. Was there ever a time while writing each of these amazing stories that you had to stop writing and ask yourself “Do I really want to do this? Haven’t they suffered enough?” and what was your first thought when you finished each of them?
I had this feeling a lot when writing When We Collide. It was such a heavy story and very difficult to write, and there were a lot of days I wanted to quit, but it was also the book that I felt the most triumph in the end.
         21.  Do you enjoy torturing your readers, putting them through such devastation and heartache? Just curious, I love it, but I am curious what your thoughts are when you publish them and if you’re scared of their reactions.
LOL. . .no, torturing my readers is never my intention, but I do want my books to mean something and these stories are just what come naturally to me. I’m writing the Take This Regret prequel right now that’s just for fun for those who wanted more of Christian and Elizabeth. It’s a lot of fluff and sweetness, and writing that comes so much harder for me.
  22.  Where can your readers stalk you?
All over the place!
On my blog at

Thank you Amy! It was a pleasure doing this interview with you! J
Thank you so much for having me on Annie! 

Take This Regret:

There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives. For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth. 
Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgiveable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?They say everyone deserves a second chance.


Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love most only dream of, a love they believed bonded them together for life. When their world is shattered by the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in uncertainty and unanswered questions.For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their heart. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side.Now, when their lives again intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago.But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and will they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart?Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have.

When We Collide:

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this romantic thriller with a supernatural twist.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Elixir by Jennifer L Armentrout

Elixir (Covenant, #3.5)Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


So holy crap! If I wasn't already in love with this series after reading Deity, this novella just took the cake then. Oh gods, my head is so full of emotions. Aiden. Oh Aiden you are truly the most remarkable character I've ever come to know. I really loved this little bit from our beloved Pure's POV. He really is pure....okay well in his own words...."Saint Delphi, my ass." Yes, you really are a saint in my eyes. Gods, the shit he had to endure in this book was so heartbreaking. I cried so much because of his suffering, anguish, despair, guilt. I enjoyed being inside his vulnerable and beautiful mind. Oh the love he has for Alex is so admirable and sweet. I really loved it.

Alex. Oh Alex, at first I wanted to ring your neck. I was so upset with the hurtful words...but then realizing that you were being controlled-making you say such hurtful things to our beloved...nearly unhinged me. I had to remind myself..."Its not Alex. It's not Alex. She'd never say that. She'd never do that. It's not Alex." Over and over until it stuck. Then later in the book, I just cried for you. I was so sad to see you so broken, a shell really. I know there is hope for you. I have faith.

Oh then the rest of the gang; Apollo, Marcus, Deacon, Luke, Solos...even Lea. The way you guys stuck together was wonderful and filled my heart with joy. Oh gods I do love this series the best. Well, the best JLA series that is. It comes close in my top though.

And one of my favorite parts too was during that sweet moment between Deacon and Aiden. I love their relationship and how it seems to be stronger. Aiden, the older brother watching out for Deacon. So awesome! I am so Team DUKE!!!!
But honestly, this was a masterpiece novella....the best I've read in the history of novellas. Ahhhhhh next spring can't come soon enough....I'm starving for Apollyon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Teaser-Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout

My feet touched the ground and I took a step forward—one, and then another. And Aiden didn’t move. He waited. It was in those eyes of his, the finality of this. He wouldn’t win, he couldn’t and he knew it.     
                                              Aiden accepted it. 

As I reached him, the rain stopped and the clouds parted. The sun followed my footsteps. 
                                          “Alex.” Aiden’s voice was broken.
Like a cobra striking, I took Aiden’s legs out from under him and he was on his back before another breath could be taken. Straddling him, I placed my hands on his shoulders. The marks of the Apollyon
                                 glowed a vibrant blue and raced over my skin. 
I leaned in, placing my lips above his and the words that came out of my mouth were mine… but weren’t. “All moments end, Saint Delphi. And now yours has.” I pressed my lips to the corner of his and 
                                 he flinched. “You are weak because you love.” 
Aiden stared up at me, unblinking. “To love is not weak. Love is the strongest thing there is.”
                                 My lips curved into a smile. Idiot. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blog Tour Stop: The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen;SPOTLIGHT

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for my day on the tour! I'm Annie and I am doing a spotlight for the amazing Trinity Faegen! Let's get on with it shall we?


The eyes never lie. No one’s eyes are darker than Eryx. Not even the Devil’s.
When Jax and Sasha first see Jordan Ellis, they know she is no ordinary teenager. She’s the daughter of the President after all, but she’s also Anabo – a descendant of Eve.
What they don’t know is that Eryx plans to kidnap Jordan and force President Ellis to pledge his soul. If Eryx’s plot succeeds, the consequences would be catastrophic.
But the Mephisto brothers do know about Jordan’s secret identity. And for one of them, she could be the match that leads to their soul’s salvation.
Now it’s a desperate race against time to save Jordan and prevent Eryx’s haunting eyes from discovering her true identity.
A thrilling story of romance, danger, and intrigue, THE MEPHISTO KISS continues the marvelous mythology that began in THE MEPHISTO COVENANT.

Check out Book 1 and more information here:
Trinity Faegen
About the Author:

Trinity Faegen wasn’t always a writer. She had an illustrious career as a Campus Cop in college, led many children astray as a camp counselor, and decorated Christmas trees for sweet, and notsosweet, little old ladies. She loves metal and rock, the Rocky mountains, chocolate cake and college football. She hates sappy stuff and hypocrites. Mostly, though, she loves to write.
Trinity lives in the outback of Texas with her husband and a mean cat. If you’d like to share camp stories, or ask Trinity why she’s ruining her hearing by listening to metal on headphones, write to her at:




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What do you think?????

Friday, November 9, 2012

Choices- Prologue + Chapter 1 and 2


I stare at the pink lines in disbelief; my hands are shaking profusely, tears welling up in my eyes and ready to spill over, a sick feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. My worst fears right before my eyes. My. Life. Is. Over. How could this happen? I was sure we were so careful. Well maybe not a hundred percent certain, evidently. Oh my God! Still in shock, I feel a tear slide down my cheek now as I stare at the graffiti filled stall door. This isn’t happening. Well, it is. My subconscious screams at me. You were careless.

Chapter 1:

 “What does it say?” Megan, my best friend asks. I’m unable to speak, so I open the door and once she takes the stick from my grasp, I hear her sigh. “Oh my God Gracie.”
I sit on the toilet seat of Target in horror, staring at my shaking hands. I had so much I wanted to accomplish before it came down to this-pink lines indicating a positive pregnancy test. My parents will kill me because they didn’t even know I was having sex with my boyfriend. Surely, they’ll know now. Nick!
            I close my eyes at the thought of having to tell my boyfriend that his life is on the verge of changing drastically. He’s the star football player and is probably getting a scholarship to play pro ball at one of his dream schools. I just know how he will react and it’s not a good one. What will become of us now?
“What are you going to do?” She asks, leaning against the door with her arms crossed over her chest. I shake my head. I have no idea. I know what I’m about to do as I get off the seat and heave all of my shame and fears right into the toilet. Meg stands behind me moving my hair from my face and rubbing my back. I hate that she has to see me puking and even worse, smelling it. Well, there go hamburgers for a while.
            I stand up and walk to the sink to wash my puke-filled face, but first I catch a glimpse of my tear stricken face, all red and splotchy. Oh this is a nice view. I’m sure Nick is proud to be my boyfriend. I hadn’t realized I’d been crying giant alligator tears. I must be too shocked to notice I’m in sobs right now. Ugh this sucks!
“I don’t know. I just. I don’t know how this happened.” I try to catch my breath.
“Well, typically this happens when two people-guy and girl have sex and don’t use protection and one of those stubborn little guys they call sperm enters and attaches itself to the egg and BAM…” She claps her hands for extra effect. I laugh a little at her useful lesson on unsafe sex, because apparently I didn’t know how it worked. But then again, I obviously ignored the lesson during Sex Ed so maybe I needed this lesson. It’s a little too late now.
I roll my eyes and grip the sink, trying to steady and balance myself. This is just too much. It’s amazing how things can change so quickly.
“Thanks Meg, I guess I never really knew how the whole thing worked. Glad I have you to teach me these things. Though beforehand would have been more ideal.” She smiles as if she’d just won an award for best actress at an award show.
“Well, that certainly explains why you’ve had such a bad case of morning sickness lately.”
It’s true, I’ve been throwing up for the past few weeks and I didn’t know why. I just figured it was a bug or something. But what kind of bug lasts more than a few days, let alone a few weeks? Shit! I let go of the sink and face Megan. She hands me my proof of irresponsibility. Fuck, what am I going to tell my parents? Nick? I’m so screwed! I need more time before I can face them.
“I’d hate to say it, but this is some serious shit Grace! You’re going to have to come clean. Soon.” I nod, totally zoned out as I stare at the floor. My eyes don’t blink. This is totally wack! “Grace?” She says, bringing me back to the here and now. I meet her gaze and nod again.
“I’m scared. This is going to change everything, Meg.” She takes my hand in hers and squeezes. I don’t know what I’d do without her. I couldn’t go through this alone. I give her the tiniest smile but it comes out forced.
Abortion had crossed my mind, but could I live with myself after it was done? At least I waited until my senior year to get knocked up instead of sooner.
“Well, there’s always adoption…or.” I glance at her and shake my head firmly.
“No, I’ve thought about that. But I can’t. I’ll just deal with the changes, the consequences. I have to. I mean sure, I could have the baby and then give them up for adoption but I’d never have an abortion willingly. Not ever. I need some time though, to get the courage to tell people.” I push myself off the counter and walk over to the stall and snatch my purse up, slipping the stick into the side pocket.
For some reason, I feel compelled to keeping the stick, not sure why. Weird. Who keeps stuff like that? It has my urine on it, sure it’s dry but that’s kind of gross. I quickly take it out, grab a paper towel and wrap the stick in it then put it back in my purse.
“Better.” I turn to Megan, “Ready?” I ask, as I still feel ill. She nods and we walk out of the bathroom of Target.
The next day at school I am in my own zone, and try to keep a strong hold on my emotions. I stand by Meg’s locker waiting for her, studying everyone that passes by wondering what their future plans entail. I used to know what I wanted and now, I’m at a loss. I lean my head back against the locker and close my eyes.
Hey, you okay?” I open my eyes as Meg approaches me. I move so she can open her locker and get her things for class. Our school is pretty average in size and I still don’t know half the people in my class. But a lot of them know me, being the girlfriend of the quarterback and all. I never cared about popularity, yet it claimed me. I’d rather be unnoticed. But I get the meanest looks from people I have never seen or don’t care to talk to. And I’m sure it has to do with jealousy and the fact that Nick is dating me-an average joe. People are so superficial, it’s ridiculous.
My parents weren’t always wealthy or well off. We had a lot of struggles when I was a kid. My grandparents helped us at times, which my too proud parents wouldn’t admit it at first. They hated getting handouts. My parents didn’t have the easy life and yet they managed pretty well, to give me what I needed and some things I wanted-even if it meant they would go without. They always put my brother Tyler and I first. Our house is a two-story sandstone house with a brownish color(but it could be more of a mauve color really) shutters that stand out quite nicely and make it more modern-ish, a two-car garage in the front-4 bedrooms, 2 baths. We have a garden in the front where my mother loves to plant pretty colorful flowers. My dad’s office faces the front-which is a disgusting yellow color that he painted last year. I told him I didn’t want any part in his painting party, so he made my younger brother help him. God bless that kid. I got to paint my room any color I wanted-I chose a flowery border and painted the walls light purple with pictures of unicorns and fairies-my two favorite things. Of course that was when I was a little younger, I haven’t changed it. All of my furniture is polished-nightstand, desk, bookshelf (which consists of movies and games, some books since I’m not a reader) and my entertainment center. I used to have a bunk bed where I would sleep on the top bed and all of my stuffed animals and dolls would sleep on the bottom. I got rid of that though and settled for a regular day bed. My window is cool because it comes out like those bay windows and I use that for pillows-decoration. We have a bay window in the living room too. A lot of things have changed, especially since we used to live in a one-story house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. My parents used to let Tyler sleep with them but he had his clothes and toys in my room. Life wasn’t always easy for my family.
My mother was sixteen when she had me. And now I’m seventeen and pregnant and it scares the hell out of me.
“Yeah, I’m alright.” I lie, just to appease my best friend.
“No, you’re not. You can’t lie to me. I know you’re terrified.” She can always see right through me. I sigh audibly and face her, frowning. She pulls me in for a hug and I want to lose it, right there but I don’t. “It’s going to work out. You just need to tell your parents soon. They will support you, I’m sure.”
I look at her and raise an eye brow. “Yeah, right because this is what they want for their daughter-a repeat of the shit they went through at our age. They’ll probably tell me to give the baby up for adoption since I can’t really provide for this child.” How am I going to provide for this child? I can’t even provide for myself. I’m only a student and a kid at that. So many thoughts race through my head before I realize Nick is standing behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist. I turn around quickly and find him smiling. “Hey babe.”
I swallow my guilt and fear as I fake a smile and hug him back. “Hi.” I glance at Meg and she shrugs, sympathetically.
“I have to go class.” I say, trying to escape. This is not the place to tell him, nor am I ready to. I hold my stomach feeling nauseous-unsure if it’s from the whole situation I was thrown into or if it’s one of the symptoms, but knowing I have to get out of here.
“Are you okay? You look sick.” Nick puts his hand on my shoulder and caresses my bare skin.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I answer feeling the vomit rise in my throat, the taste makes me cringe.
“Let me walk you to class then.” I shake my head and push his arm away.
“No, I need to go to the bathroom real quick. Just go, I’ll see you later.” And before he has a chance to respond, I am running to the bathroom just in time for my very light breakfast to be released in the toilet. My throat stings as more comes up and I strategically wrap my hair to one side of my side so it doesn’t get messy. I hear footsteps in the bathroom and the sound stops when they approach me.
“Gracie, honey.” Meg takes my hair from my hand and holds it with one of hers while she fiddles with her purse and gets out a pony tail. I am hunched over the toilet, wondering if there is anything left to come up. My body shakes and my head throbs inside my skull. The bell rang ten minutes ago but I can’t go to class looking like death.
“I can’t do this Meg. Being sick all the time is really starting to affect me. I can’t do it.” I grab toilet paper and dab my mouth to remove all vomit. Meg wets a paper towel and puts it in my hand, placing my hand over my forehead.
“You are going to be fine. It will suck for a little bit. But I think you’re going to be okay.” The cool water relaxes me. I sit on my bottom and lean against the stall, pulling my knees up to my chest.
“I can’t. I don’t know what to do. Please, tell me what to do. I am so scared.” I bury my face in my hands and let out a sob, until there are no more tears to cry. Meg flushes the toilet and rubs my back to comfort me just sitting with me.
After going to the nurse and being sent home for being sick, I lie in my bed staring at my ceiling. I have two options, well really three but that one I would never consider even if it’s not a baby yet. I feel that is playing God too much and I won’t do that. But I think about my other two options: adoption and keeping it. On the one hand, there are many women out there that can’t have babies and would probably be able to provide a stable and wonderful life for it. And then there is me-a careless sex crazed teenager that has no clue how to raise a baby or where to live or how to give it all the necessities that comes with being a parent. Not to mention, I have my fears about what will happen once I tell Nick about it. Will he leave me? Or will he face his responsibilities as a man? But what happens when he gets accepted into a good school? Will he drop it to help me raise this baby? I close my eyes at the prospect of the very first thought being accurate, which scares the hell out of me. I couldn’t fathom the idea of being a single parent. It makes me ill.
It’s September 13, which means if I do calculations correctly-I probably conceived middle or end of last month because my last period was...I can’t even remember what I last ate. So now I am having trouble remembering my last period. But I think it would put me at being due by the time I graduate in June, or end of May. Who knows? I need to see a doctor.
Chapter 2
“So, what did they say?” Meg asks. I purse my lips together in nervousness, though she can’t see. I was supposed to tell my parents a couple days ago about my revelation, but chickened out. Yeah, call me a coward.
“I didn’t tell them yet. Can I just move to Europe for nine months, come back and let the baby tell them?” She laughs.
“You have to tell them soon Gracie. Your parents have to get you an appointment with the doctor, to check and make sure everything is okay.” I sigh loudly, into the phone, wishing I could just disappear.
“I know, I know. You’re right. Shit. Okay.” I squeeze my eyes shut, keeping out the tears that are threatening to escape.
“I’ll tell them. Tonight.” I hastily wipe away a tear that stubbornly got through, little bastard. I curse myself for being so weak.
“Gracie?” Meg asks concern in her voice.
“Uh-huh.” I answer.
“Do you want me to be there when you tell them?” I think about it for a minute. On the one hand, it would be nice to have my best friend here for support and encouragement. But on the other, it makes me look weak and feel like a pussy.
“Thanks, but I think I have to do this alone.” I sit on my bed and clutch my pillow tightly to my chest.
“Okay, call if you need me.” I smile inwardly at her amazing love and support. She’s always had my back, since second grade. I love her and the fact that in any situation I place myself in, she never turns her cheek the other way. Friends like that are rare.
“I will.” Before I hang up, she says, “Grace?”
“Yes?” I reply.
“It’s going to be okay, you’ll see.” I hope so.
            After dinner, I help my mom with the dishes and clean the table.
            “So are you going to the game next week?” I hadn’t thought about football games or school events since I found out. That was the last thing on my mind. So I just shrug and say, “Maybe.”
            I was suddenly feeling nervous, a little sick too and emotional. But of course that maybe due to the pregnancy itself. Oh what joys I have to look forward to. I needed to get it together before I broke down, right here and now. Not a good way to break the news.
“I’ll be right back.” I told her.
I went to my room and grabbed my journal I always wrote in. I tore the previous pages out so I could start fresh. After all, this was a new journey I was about to embark on. Maybe if I wrote down my thoughts and feelings, it would help me cope better. I hoped it worked.
Dear Journal,
            I recently discovered I am going to become a mom by the time I graduate high school. Some graduation present huh? Yeah, I’m not too thrilled. Well, that’s a lie. I’m kind of excited yet scared at the same time but I’m more scared than anything. No one knows, except my best friend Meg. I’m going to tell my parents tonight. That will be an unpleasant conversation. I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.
            I close my journal, feeling a little relieved. Maybe this will be a good thing after all. I put my journal in my desk drawer and head down to the kitchen to face my mother.
“Where’s dad?” I ask when I enter and see her making a pot of coffee. Ooh, yeah I need some of that.
“He’s upstairs in his office. Is everything alright? You left so suddenly. I thought I said something wrong.” She had a genuine look of concern on her face and my stomach sank. I pull a chair out and sit down. My stomach starts hurting and my palms begin to sweat.
“You look pale. Baby you sure you’re alright?” I sigh and rest my elbows on the table, not in the least bit ready for this.
“No. I need to speak to you and dad. It’s urgent.” She is frantic now as she walks out of the kitchen and stands at the bottom of the stairs.
“Allen, can you come down please? Your daughter needs to talk to us.” My heart starts pounding in my chest. This is it! I think. There’s no going back now.
I enter the living room and sit down. My mother sits on the couch across from me, worry etched on her forehead. I try to smile. I hold my stomach, as if in pain but don’t make a sound. She glances at me, and then looks at the staircase.
“Allen! Get down here!” She yells. As if on cue, my father skips down the stairs two at a time, mumbling something I can’t quite decipher.
“I’m here. I’m here.” He joins my mother on the couch.
Both of them look at me, waiting for my confession. My leg starts shaking uncontrollably.
“What’s going on?” My eight year old brother comes down the stairs and enters the room. I turn to his innocent face and say, “Hey, I need to talk to mom and dad for a minute. Can you go upstairs and play for a little while?” He looks sad, like I took his favorite toy away. I grab him in a big bear hug and kiss the top of his head messing up his hair.
“You can play with the play station.” His face lights up excitedly. “Really?” I nod my head and off he goes, back up the stairs.
“What’s going on Gracie? You’re starting to freak me out.” My mom brings me back to the reason my legs are shaking uncontrollably and my sweaty palms. I look at them, take a deep breath and plunge right in head first. “I’m pregnant!”
Their eyes widen in shock, no blinking between either of them. Yeah, that was me a few days ago too. I start to wonder if either of them is breathing, it’s been a few minutes at least. I lean forward a little to inspect.
“Mom?” She blinks and shakes her head, tears running down her cheeks. I sit back and cross my legs, waiting for them to say something, anything. Yell. Scream. Storm out. Anything but remain motionless. I’m starting to rethink telling them was a good idea. Maybe I should have waited until I was showing then told them. They wouldn’t hit their pregnant daughter, would they? Finally my mom breaks the tension, my father is still motionless.
“Grace, go upstairs. I need to talk to your father.” I obey and head to my room. I grab my phone from the charger and text Meg.
“This is not going well.”
“I’m guessing you told them. What did they say?”
“Nothing. They sat with no expressions for what seemed like an eternity and then my mother started to cry. They are talking in private now.”
“Well at least it’s out. You just have one more important person to tell.” Yeah, the father. I can’t even imagine how that conversation is going to go. “Hi Nick, I know you had plans for your future, but it looks like the stars had a better idea for you. And it includes smelly diapers, piles of laundry and a college fund- not for you.” Great, I’m so screwed.
I toss my phone on the bed and move to the doorway where I strain to hear the conversation downstairs through the cracked door.
“What are we going to do?” My mom asks. She is pacing and he seems to still be glued to the couch from what I can see or can’t see. “Allen, say something.”
“I don’t. I can’t. How did this happen? My little girl is going to be a mother before she graduates high school. How is this possible? I saw a bright future for her. Oh my God, I’m going to be a grandfather.” He laughs but it sounds forced, strained. And I make out a little disappointment in his tone.
“This is not the time to be funny. This is exactly what I didn’t want for our daughter. She’s repeating our history.” I hear her sigh loudly, almost a choking sound.
Tears stain my cheeks. Dammit all to Hell. How did I become so careless? I let my parents down. I slide down to the floor in my bedroom, closing the door unable to hear any more of my parent’s sad, worried voices. I was irresponsible and now I have to pay for it.
I hastily run my hands through my hair, grabbing a handful and yanking as hard as I can. I bite back a scream as my scalp feels the sting. I pull my knees up to my chest and fold my arms then bury my head and sob.
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