Works In Progress– Unmarked Paths

I actually have a file on my hard drive called Back Cover Blurb for the summary of this story. This is the first novel I ever attempted in earnest. I have piles and piles of papers, notebooks and binders in the garage with stories I’d written in high school and in college. None of those have seen the light of day since then.

When I sat down to write this story, it went through a few different initial concepts. In fact, it was going to end happily ever after and everything was going to be hunky dory even though my main character contracted a deadly virus and the means of transmission was rather ludicrous. Then, when I started over and created Lena, I finally got into the story. I saw the story through her point of view. I imagined what if this happened to someone like me and went from there. I mean, I could have walked in her shoes fairly easily, had we followed the same path. I could still make the same mistakes but I’d like to think I’d do things differently.

The story starts off on a gloomy autumn day in New York City, Lena walks into the Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test and her life is set to change forever.  She learns she is pregnant, but meanwhile faces an indiscretion in her past when she decides to also take an HIV test but isn’t concerned about the result. She remembers being safe that night.

Like any 30-year expecting her first baby, she’s excited, ambivalent and scared. When her partner proposes she feels like everything is going to turn out ok, that she’ll get her happily ever after. Then one fateful day, her dream crumbles down and she must face reality. She tells Jesse she tested positive for HIV and he doesn’t handle it well. He leaves her to face this alone. Pregnant and scared she goes home to New Mexico to face her family and break the news of both her pregnancy and her HIV status.

The story is told from Lena’s point of view as she lives her life, through the birth of her child, dealing with her diagnosis, the self-doubt, the fears and insecurities of life with HIV.

A cast of characters include her family, friends and some new ones along the way. The return of her old lover and her baby’s father sets a chain of events that could nearly destroy her life, if she lets it.

How’s that for the back cover blurb?


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