Title: In Pieces
Word count: 52,000
Genre: YA contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Clare has no idea what she wants do after high school, but she knows who she wants to be with. At least until her boyfriend Jesse hits her.
Part of Clare never wants to speak to Jesse again. Part of her wants to never leave her bed again. But part of her still sees Jesse as the guy who blew off house parties to take her for walks and held her hand through her ER visit when she broke her tailbone, not this new guy who keeps secrets and fails tests and skips classes. There has to be a reason he snapped.
And she’s going to find out what it is. Even if Jesse doesn’t want her to.
First 250 words:
It's 6:17 pm on January 21st when Jesse Talcott hits me. I know, because I just glanced at my watch. The one he'd gotten me for Christmas barely a month before. It’s Michael Kors, silver, with crystals instead of numbers and little interior dials that I don't even know what are for yet.
Honestly, when I opened it--the night before Christmas on the snowy porch of his parents' house because I thought Dad would freak if a boy came to bring me a gift on Christmas morning--it was kind of a what-the-hell moment. I mean, who wears a watch? That's what cell phones are for.
It’s the one time in the five years I'd known him that Jesse wasn't concerned about practicality.
So for him, I wear the watch. Our friends ooh and aah over it. Jesse’s asked about three hundred times if it's ok. If it's too much, too heavy, too silver. If I'd rather have something else. Maybe my shaking hands as I opened it or the stuttered thank you after made it obvious that I didn't know what to think of it. Tell the truth, I still don't know what to think.
Especially now, with my face stinging in a way that I would've never in a million years seen coming. I can't look at him. I can't even think of him. All I can think of is the watch, the hands frozen. In my mind, maybe it will perpetually be 6:17.
Entry Nickname: SugarTales
Title: Sweet Little Lies
Word Count: 64,000
Genre: YA Contemporary
Fifteen-year-old Adelaide Dorsten is an expert liar. But when her lies no longer seem believable and her friends begin to question her tales, she confesses her biggest secret to her best friend. The bruises she’s always tried to hide don’t come from falling down stairs or running in to doorknobs, they come from her brother.
Harper Maddock is a new student at Adelaide’s posh private school, desperate to keep the secret of her rape and attempted suicide from her new classmates. But when she falls in with a couple of popular girls, she finds herself in a spotlight she never desired. As Harper tries to keep up with her growing list of lies, she catches the attention of a popular boy – Adelaide’s older brother.
Gemma Drayton is Adelaide’s best friend, and she doesn’t want to know anyone’s secrets. In fact, she’s quite content believing what she knows are outright lies – even if that means covering up what she suspects about Adelaide’s family. But when the abuse takes a deadly turn before her eyes, her suspicions are confirmed.
With one confession, each girl’s web of lies will unravel, risking the people they love, their friendships, and even their lives.
The bruises fade long enough for a new crop to pop up, raising more eyebrows and even more questions. I run my fingers along the cheek bone under my right eye, wincing as I graze the three knuckle-sized bruises. I fall back, leaning against the glass door of my shower, glaring at myself through the mirror. How in the world will I cover these up?
My excuses get weaker and weaker, to the point that I'm not sure anyone believes me. I'm not even sure I believe me. Stuttering halfway through sentences only makes the story even less believable than it might have been in the first place.
I fling open the top drawer of my bathroom cabinet and pull out a bottle of foundation. I'll cake it on until you can't see a single bruise, despite the fact my skin will look eight shades darker when I'm done.
"Let's go loser," my brother shouts from outside my room.
I throw the foundation on the counter, silently cursing as the glass bottle chips the edge of my sink, a small porcelain triangle falling down the drain.
Glancing back in the mirror, I try carefully not to let my eyes fall to my ribs, to the pancake-sized bruises right underneath my fading violet bra. It's a relief clothes are a school requirement. No one would believe I got these bruises from a not-so-graceful fall to the ground. They're clearly in the shape of a fist.
"Adelaide, let's go!" he shouts and hits my door hard.