Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: Unclaimed Baggage (working title)

I thought we'd be able to wait a while before diving back into our WIP, but we're antsy. Not even bad TV and fabulous books can keep our mind off the waiting game that is submissions. And I'm excited to get back into Sarah and Emily's world. After all this revising, I'm ready to go back to writing new material.

SO, we're back in action on Unclaimed Baggage. But *ahem* a certain well-respected writer friend of ours does not approve of the title, so be prepared for a title change. Eventually. Maybe. 

Anyways, as you'll see from this excerpt the book is written from two different POVs. Last time we heard from Sarah, but this time around it's Emily's turn. 


My freshman year of high school my Aunt Marsha called crying. When I handed the phone to my mom and saw the lines of worry contort her face, I knew I needed to stay. I tried to remain as still as possible as my mom lowered herself into a chair. She was silent, listening, her eyes heavy and sad-looking.

            “Oh, Marsha, when did you find out?”

            Find out what, I thought. My mom cupped her face with her hands and shook her head slowly back and forth.

            “Have you set up a doctor’s appointment?”

            I wondered if my Aunt Marsha was sick or maybe my Uncle Ben. Had something happened to Allison? I hovered close to the kitchen and shooed my younger sister Sarah away after I heard her barrel down the stairs.

            “Shh, I’ll come and talk to you in a second,” I whispered in her direction.

            After my mom hung up the phone, she sat at the table, twisting the corner of a napkin before indicating that I should sit as well.

            “That was your Aunt Marsha,” she began. “Allison is,” she paused and hundreds of terrible words ran through my mind in the seconds it took for her to finish, “Allison is pregnant.”

            “Oh, thank God,” I had said.

            “Emily,” my mother scolded, “how could you say something like that? This is serious! Your Aunt Marsha and Uncle Ben are devastated.”

            “Well, I thought someone died or something,” I mumbled, pushing my chair back. I couldn’t wait to tell Sarah. She was going to flip.

            Allison was our 16-year-old cousin who had recently told Sarah and I that she was planning on sleeping with her lame ass boyfriend. What she wasn’t planning on was getting pregnant.

But after Bentley was born (yes, Allison named her baby girl Bentley. If that’s not evidence that a 16-year-old isn’t old enough to have a baby, I don’t know what is), everyone cooed at her and wanted to hold her and bought her the most adorable dresses from Baby Gap. It was like that phone call nine months ago had never happened.

The next year when my mom called my Aunt Marsha crying, it wasn’t because she, too, was going to be a great-auntie. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gotten knocked up.

I'd gotten cancer. 


sraasch said...

Ooo nice. Hooked!

Weronika said...

Love the excerpt! Thank you so much for sharing!

P.S. I don't like the title either. It's too...stiff for me.

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! It's often hard to make two story lines balanced so that they are equally intriguing, but you did it!

Lisa and Laura said...

Damn titles. We suck at titles. We need like a random title generator or something.

Lisa and Laura said...

And thanks guys! Glad you like it! It's always fun to hear what you guys think.

Loretta Nyhan said...

Good stuff. Totally hooked. I do, however, agree with your writer friend about the title!

Sarah said...

Ooh, love this.
I'm curious to know why it's currently called Unclaimed Baggage and can't wait to find out what the title ends up being!
Can't wait to read more.

The Blogger Girlz said...

Whoa, you guys rock! Awesome excerpt, I want more! :)

If you feel so inclined, I'd love your guys' opinion on my story teaser! I'm posting it on the blog today! Come check it out at: http://thebloggergirlz.blogspot.com

Thanks and keep up the good work! :D


Frankie Diane said...

Oooh I like!

Donna Gambale said...

Woo! Didn't expect that ending. I love the intermingling of humor with mentioning the name Bentley - really shows the narrator's character. I wouldn't stress too much about the title. Kim Derting used The Body Finder as a placeholder title so she could find the document as she wrote the novel, and it ended up being perfect. You'll find yours!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Nice hook!

Katie said...


You girls are on fire! I love how serious yet engaging and smart and fantastic it is.

Icy Roses said...

You have a nice voice, especially for writing YA. All that ABC Family watching must have paid off. :-)

No, really, you guys have excellent writing. I could imagine pulling a book off the shelf and opening to this page. And maybe in the future, I WILL be pulling a book off the shelf with your names on it.

Tess said...

Funny and then poignant. Nice.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my gosh ... I must read the rest!!!!

jessjordan said...

ooooh YAY! A book about sisters! Have I told you how much I love sisters? Nah, never? Well, I do. :)

I don't hate your title. Actually, I kind of like it, but I don't see how it relates to the 2 narrators' stories just yet. I'm sure that will come.

Just one little beef: I tripped over "When I handed the phone to my mom and saw the lines of worry contort her face, ..." I don't know why, it just seems a little wordy or something. Or maybe I take beef with the word "contort." It's probably just my issue. (Sorry, "Contort." You never did anything to me. No, seriously. It's me, not you. I'm just not ready for a relationship.)

I'm guessing Emily is 2-4 years older than Sarah. I have this idea of where the story is going ... and I'm excited! Thanks for sharing, lovelies. :)

Ryan said...

I like the exert, but I missed the first one.

I think Unclaimed Baggage works as a working title. Your awesome agent (jealous eyes) might be able to suggest a better title. That's one of the things they do from what I hear. Lol.

Hardygirl said...

Good stuff. I'm dying to read more!


Jenna Alexander said...

Very nice!

Joanna said...

Woah. Great excerpt!

Christina Lee said...

WOWEE!!! hook, line and sinker!-I like the two person POV-it's refreshing. I don't ahte teh title either- just curious about how/why you chose it..

Jeannie Lin said...

*Gasp* What a hook!

I suck at titles. I usually pray someone more clever than me will suggest a good one before the story is finished. :)

Little Ms J said...

Very dark, sister writers. I was not expecting this little twist at the end. I also had a hard time with "contort" for some reason. I'm interested to see where you take this. I'm always interested in stories that bring about some type of awareness, even if it is subtle.

Oh, and like the little PSA using Bentley as being a sure sign that a 16 year old shouldn't get pregnant.

glovin said...

Wow! It's often hard to make two story lines balanced so that they are equally intriguing, but you did it!

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