Tortured Souls #1
By Kate Givans
A dark and gritty, contemporary adult novel about loss, healing, and love’s ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden.
More than a year after the death of his best friend, Josh is still tormented by the past. Everything changes when free-spirited Willow barges into his life. She challenges him, helps him feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger.
There’s just one problem.
Underneath that carefree spirit, Willow is elusive and secretive. Josh believes she may be fighting a few demons of her own, but he harder he tries to uncover the truth, the more she pushes him away.
Can Josh get her to open up before it’s too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left untold?
Get on over to Goodreads and add this to your TBR list
WARNING: Due to sexual content and graphic nature of some scenes, this book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.
I first met Willow out on Old Mill Road.
Standing on the ledge of the arched concrete bridge, arms spread wide, she looked like a bird about to take flight. I probably would have taken more time to admire the auburn curls whipping around her upturned face, the absolute freedom she seemed to embody in that moment, had it not looked like she was about to jump.
I remember my hesitation, how desperately I wanted to turn back the way I’d come, pretend that I’d never seen her. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about having the responsibility of whether or not this crazy chick lived or died thrown in my lap – even if I did understand, at least on some level, what might be going through her
I knew, better than most, what it meant to feel like life wouldn’t ever get better. But I wasn’t the person to talk her down. It might have only been six weeks since I’d left Shady Pines, but I didn’t know the first thing about helping someone find the light at the end of
the tunnel. Hell, I still had days that I’d have much rather jumped right along
with her than try and brave another morning.
Thankfully, that particular day hadn’t been one of them.
And, since I only had two options – go past her or go back the way I came, I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least try and talk her off the ledge. It was better than the alternative – watching her plummet to her death. That would have meant even more trouble, and that was the last thing I needed.
Edging cautiously along the gravel path, I took slow and calculated steps towards bird-girl, stopping just feet away from her. I weighed the risk of grabbing ahold of the oversized sweater jacket she was wearing, but ended up deciding against it. My luck, the damn thing would come clean off and she’d end up in the water anyway.
I still wasn’t sure what to do when she spoke, face still upturned to the sky.
“I’m not going to jump.”
I cleared my throat. “No offense, but that’s not what it looks like from here.”
Her head tilted slightly, as if she were trying to shrug but the movement came up a bit short. I waited for some other response, but as the uncomfortable silence stretched on, I got the impression that my presence was both unwanted and unnecessary.
Well, you…uh, have a nice night,” I finally said, taking a couple backward steps towards town.
“You could join me.”
Her words, prying and inquisitive, stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Yeeaaah….Thanks, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.”
She chuckled. The light, carefree sound intrigued and, for some unknown reason, annoyed me all at once. Maybe because I’d never laughed like that. Actually, I didn’t know anyone that had. Which made me question what the hell she was doing up there in the first place.
About the time I started backing away again, determined to get as far away from her as possible, she glanced over her shoulder. A pair of sparkling blue eyes ensnared me, rooting me, once again, to the ground beneath my feet.
“How will you ever learn to fly if you don’t take time to spread your wings?” she asked with wide-eyed conviction.
Whatever pull I’d felt just seconds before shook free and floated away with the cold, bitter wind. I’d taken enough rides on the crazy train.
“Well, anyway. It was, uh, nice meeting you.”
Quirky, clumsy, and always a little off-key, Kate Givans has always loved books and the words contained within. Now that she’s writing the stories, she’s filling them with broken characters, angst, and even a few of those happily-ever-afters that seem to evade us in real life.
When not writing, this wife and mother of five can be found guzzling coffee, day-dreaming, dancing for no reason at all, playing with the voices in her head, watching her favorite shows (Originals, Grey’s, OUAT, The Following), listening to music, and reminding herself to “breathe.”
Want to connect with Kate?