I get that you probably hate me. I don’t blame you. You’ll probably hate me even more once this is all over. That’s okay, too. Honestly, I hate myself. But before you make any judgments about me, you should know I never planned for things to go this way. I really do love him, and I never meant to hurt him. It’s just that some things are better left unsaid. Some secrets are meant to be kept. Still, I can’t help feeling like I’ve just made the biggest mistake of my life. My name is Willow Lansing. I’m a gypsy, a vagabond, stealer of hearts. And it feels like I’m unraveling at the seams.
Excerpt: It’d been nearly noon by the time we managed to get back on the road. Mya sat buckled into her safety belt at the dinette in the back, watching her new movie, the same one she’d watched at “Nana Jan’s.” Cole worked on making everyone lunch. And me? I just tried to keep my eyes and my mind focused on the road . . . but gods I hated the Midwest. All that flat land reminded me of those old black and white cartoons, the ones where you could tell they used the same handful of frames over and over, rehashing them into a seemingly endless loop. A cow here. A corn field there. A hill every thirty minutes or so. A patch of trees or a lake about every hour. Some folks say the Midwest has its own beauty, that there’s something amazing about being able to see for miles around. Whatever. I’d take the mountains or the forests, hell, even the plateaus of the desert over this . . . this . . . emptiness. It made the minutes feel like hours and the hours feel like days. We hadn’t even made it to Oklahoma City yet—less than two hours from where we’d started—and I already wanted a nap. Not that I could take one. We needed to at least make it to Texas that day. And after that . . . I didn’t know. I still hadn’t decided where we’d land next. I tried to fool myself into believing it had more to do with not wanting to make too obvious of a choice, but the ache in my chest told me differently, reminded me that my indecisiveness had everything to do with wanting to turn the rig back around and head back to Emporia. I loved that crazy, quirky college town. I missed its brick streets and funky vintage shops and restaurants. The way the weather would turn at the drop of a hat. How no one really seemed to notice me or my eccentric style, thanks to the throngs of college students constantly coming in and out of town for classes and holidays and breaks. Most of all, I missed Josh. A part of me wished he could have seen the warnings for what they really were—a way to keep that distance between us, to save him from more pain than necessary, a sacrifice of my own heart to save his. It would have made things easier on him. But the damage had been done, and all I could do was hope that I hadn’t done any irreparable damage to his kind heart or beautiful soul. Ah, who was I kidding? I’m nobody . . . nobody special, anyway. Not someone worthy of his love and affection, and certainly not worthy of his heartache. He deserved better, that’s for certain. Obvious, even. But I had underestimated just how much I needed him—the way he looked at me, the way he touched me, the way he treated me like a normal girl . . . a girl that didn’t have ghosts and secrets and demons and a fucked up past. Too bad it had all been a lie. About Tortured (Tortured Soul #1) “There are certain stories that leave you feeling empty, that touch your soul and rock you to the core in ways that are not always pretty. Tortured is one of those books, its roughness, sadness and broken characters will touch every fiber of your being.” – Reading, Dreaming “Genuine, moving, and reminds us that there’s hope for all of us.” – Rachael Wade “A highly emotional and touching story.” – My e-Literate Obsession WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow. A contemporary romantic drama 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 the 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?
About Kate Givans