This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The Journal of a Bruised Soul
By Angel L. Woodz
[Warning: This story describes abusive situations]
Dear Precious Journal,
I never knew this existed . . . at least not for someone like me.
The tender seduction of his voice and the way he breathed his words into my ear . . . heaven help me, I believe I’ve forgotten how to be a lady. I refrained from my usual talkative self and stuck to listening instead. And oh, how that worked in my favor. After melting me with every movement of his deliciously full lips, I practically poured myself over him and took advantage of the man wrapped in a charcoal gray business suit that was handed to me today.
Whatever it is I did right to deserve this one, thank you.
Good night my sweet friend,
Tonight? Tonight was phenomenal. We seen each other again, like we agreed we would after our meeting yesterday, and it was an instant connection as soon as we got to the diner. I still can’t believe I met someone like him. He’s perfect. Every time our eyes met, I literally had chills rushing over my body. I think I may have met the one that I’ve been hoping for all my life, the one who is meant to be. I know we only just met yesterday, and have only been on one date since, but this is love at first sight if I’ve ever truly experienced such a thing. I can’t stop blushing at the thought of the warm kiss that he left on my cheek before saying good night to one another. The way we complement each other, it’s like a match made in heaven. Oh no, I’m becoming one of those cheesy hopeless romantics, aren’t I? Ugh. Guess this is what it does to a person when they feel the way I feel about him. It’s almost unbearable to not be around him every minute of the day, I just want to spend all the time I can by his side. Crazy, right? I’ve never been this way with anyone, ever! I’m so happy! I just hope he feels the same way. I guess we’ll see soon. We’re going on another date in a couple days and tomorrow he invited me over for movies on the couch at his place. (Insert my huge cheese-ball smile here)
Sweet dreams for me!
We made love. Yes, it was probably too soon according to the laws of “moving too fast” and maybe I should’ve made him wait. Who am I kidding? There was no waiting. This man is THAT package. You know, the one every woman searches for but rarely ever finds. Yeah, that’s him. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve struck some sort of luck in my life, randomly, and I’ve been sent a gift from the mighty Gods above. It’s like they just said: “Here, take this divine man and do what you wish with him. He’s yours.”
The sex isn’t just sex. This is the type of passion I’ve only seen in movies or read in those over-the-moon romance stories that seem too good to ever be true. I mean, who knew that type of sex could be so real? It was so exceptional, he was so amazing, I should have paid for it. Really. Who gets this type of mind-blowing intensity for free? I know I never have. Until him. Damn, the excitement I’ve been missing in life. And it waits until I’m nearly 40 to happen? Nice. I’m practically dead. Thanks for the going away present, though!
I can’t wait to see him again.
He works so many hours. I hate it. The upside is that he’s goal-oriented and earns a great living doing construction. Another plus is those strong arms. I just stared at those muscles all night last night while he slept. I couldn’t sleep. I’m still trying to understand how I got so lucky to land a man this incredible. He’s a few years younger than me. I hope he doesn’t get bored and run away to some younger girl. I have to keep him. He’s mine now. Maybe I’ll go shopping while he’s away at work and buy something sexy just for him. I can wear it tonight since he said he’ll be staying at my place this time. If things continue to go the way they are, I wonder which of us will cave in and move into the others’ place. That should be interesting. Did I mention he has a teenage son? Yeah . . . kids really aren’t my thing. Thankfully the boy stays at his mother’s the majority of the time. I’m not too sure I could handle being a parental figure. Hey, maybe one day we’ll warm up to each other. Whatever it takes to keep this man, I’m willing to try.
I thought I lost you! I’ve been searching through everything since the move to find you. I was sure that kid hid you on me. The biggest downside of it all is dealing with a brat every other weekend. Guess it’s true that a person can’t have good without the bad. Anyway, I’m just glad to have you back in my life. You’re the one and only thing that I’ve ever been able to fully depend on. I’d go insane without you. I thought I almost had. Between the move and being alone for long hours of every day, I really needed my only friend to help me cope, and I had nothing. Now that we have each other again, I can catch you up on all the details. But right now, I have to cook supper. Lasagna and garlic bread, his favorite.
I’ll never let you go again.
There’s a reason it’s said that nothing in life is perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. I found this out to be true last night. The words that were thrown out of mouths, the hurtful and disgusting language used, proved it to be so. He didn’t eat the lasagna I cooked for him. It didn’t end well. I hope some things change for the better soon or it will definitely not be good for any of us. It sucks his son had to witness the ugliness of the argument, but maybe he shouldn’t be coming here in the first place and he wouldn’t have to worry about it at all.
I need to clear my head. I’m going shopping.
Why is it that when we think it’s perfect, it’s really just shit in disguise? Every day that passes exposes that much more reality. I should have known better than to think that this could ever be any different than my past experiences. It’s quickly forming into something far from how it started. The other night when I went shopping, I came home to yelling and arguing about my spending habits. Glass was broken and blood was shed. Nobody died, there’s a plus. I’m not going to continue to put up with this much longer, things better change.
Dear best thing that ever happened to me,
What is it that makes us so angry with one another? I love this man. Anger shouldn’t be a feeling that’s involved in this relationship, but it is. Tonight I wanted to have an adult Halloween party but he had the kid and made different plans than mine. I ended up alone and without a party. So here I sit, with you, the only one who truly gets me. I’m sure it won’t go too smoothly once he gets back home. I guess I’ll have a drink and prepare for the battle.
Dear Best Friend,
After the fists that were thrown and the kicks to the ribs, causing fractured bones and bruising, we took a short break from one another. I got him to come back home last night. There’s no need for this pain, no reason to be apart. We need each other. He went to work today in better spirits. Hopefully tonight will be the beginning of a more loving routine. I plan to make him a big meal and dessert. Maybe even a movie together, that would be nice for a change. Don’t need anyone feeling neglected or anything.
Off to prepare for this new gourmet recipe I’m trying out.
I have reason to believe he’s cheating on me. He’s denying it. I’m not dumb.
Just wait until he gets home.
Get me out of this place! I don’t belong here! I didn’t do anything wrong! Let me out!!!
Day 22 of being in this hell. They won’t let me write in you often. I feel so lost without you, journal. To tell you the truth, I think they’re drugging me. I suspect through my lemonade. Every time I drink it, I end up so drowsy. I don’t understand why I’m here. I’m so confused. I don’t deserve this! Here comes that bitch nurse again.
I’m not crazy. These people in here are the crazy ones. It’s been 39 days and I’m still trapped with no explanation. I should tell the judge about this mistreatment when I go back to court, maybe she’ll shut this place down. I don’t know why he did this to me. Why would he put me in here when all I tried to do is love him? Please help me. I need to get out of here and get him back. He’s mine. I promise to never hurt him again.
“Please rise in honor of Judge Perkins. The case of Derek Greene vs. LeiLani Simmons is now in session.” The bailiff announced as the judge enters the courtroom.
“You may be seated.” Judge Perkins nodded and sat in her black swivel chair behind the tall, wooden platform. “It is to my understanding that we are here today to allow the jury to determine the case Mr. Greene has against Ms. Simmons. Is this correct, Mr. Hastings?” she asked Derek’s councilman before proceeding.
“That is correct, your honor.” he promptly answered so she could continue.
“Ms. Simmons, you do understand that you are being examined in this case for the accusations of abuse in multiple variations and degrees, as well as attempted murder on the night of November 7, correct?” Perkins awaited LeiLani’s answer after her appointed attorney whispered into her ear.
“Your honor, my client cannot answer your question without proper explanation. She is confused and mentally unstable, which brings me to reason that she’s not capable of answering questions about a case she feels never happened. In her mind, your honor, these scenarios are not real.” Kirkman, LeiLani’s attorney, stated to the judge.
“They are very real, Mr. Kirkman. Might I add that undermining my authority and intelligence will get you nowhere in this case. If you’re insinuating that your client plans to plead insanity, so be it. Regardless of what she intends to plead, this case is still open at this very hour and will not be closed until the determination of the jury is made.” she sighed and pointed the gavel towards the attorney, “Your job is to assure that your client understands what she’s here for so we can proceed with this hearing, as I’m sure those of us attending this session today would prefer it to not be drawn out any further than necessary.”
Kirkman cleared his throat and nodded, “Yes, your honor, understood.”
The judge leaned forward, “Mr. Hastings, your first witness to the stand please.”
Hastings stood up, “Your honor, I’d like to begin with my client, Derek Greene.” he grabbed a small notebook from his briefcase and motioned for Derek to take the stand.
After the initial oath and general details for the record’s sake, the questioning began.
“You, Mr. Greene, have been brought to testify for this trial against Ms. Simmons because you are the victim of these heinous crimes she’s being accused of, yes?”
Derek nods, “Yes, sir.”
Hastings continues, “The acts committed were solely directed to you and no one else?”
Derek hesitates and slowly shakes his head, “No.”
“Who else was affected by the abusive nature of Ms. Simmons?”
Kirkman jumped out of his seat, “Objection! Your honor, my client has not yet been found guilty of these said acts, she should not be assumed to be abusive.”
“Sit down, Kirkman!” Perkins growled. “Objection overruled. Understand that Ms. Simmons has not yet been acquitted of the charges against her. Until then, she will remain to be referred to as the council deems to address her in this case. If you bring up another invalid statement, you will consider losing very valuable points with myself and the jury that is present today. Does this make complete sense to you, Mr. Kirkman?” she sternly asked with no compassion in her tone.
“Yes, your honor.” he replied, with a look of his tail tucked between his legs.
“With no further outbursts from the opposing side, I would like for Mr. Hastings to continue where he left off, please.” she nodded toward Hastings.
He proceeded, “Before the interruption, you denied that you were the only persons affected by the alleged abuse that has brought us here today. What are the name or names of anyone that may have been directly harmed in any way by this?”
Derek sat up from his slouch, “My son, Jacob.” he spoke into the microphone.
“Your son.” Hastings walked over to the jury, “Can you tell the jury how old your son is and how often he was in the home during these acts.”
“He’s thirteen. He only visits my household every other weekend and spends the rest of the time at his mother’s.”
“So you would say that through the time of these occurrences, he may have been present for two or three of them?”
“That sounds right, yes.” Derek solemnly nods.
“Can you please point to Jacob so the court has an idea of who we are speaking of?” Hastings requested and Derek follows through.
“Mr. Greene, how was Jacob affected? I plan to call him up for his testimony, but I would like to hear from his father on this considering this involves the both of you. Was he simply a witness to the acts or was he a part of them, was he physically or even verbally assaulted?”
“He was assaulted.” Derek uncomfortably shifts in his chair.
Hastings fished for more from his client, “Describe in detail how he was assaulted.”
“LeiLani, she was very aggressive. She didn’t like kids, I could tell from the first time she met my son. I thought maybe they would grow on each other, but by the next visit from him I wasn’t so sure. He’d came over that afternoon before I got home from work and she had just mopped the floor. Apparently it pushed her over the edge when he walked in through the door and left dirty shoe prints from the entrance to his bedroom. He was just getting settled in his room when she busted open the door and yelled profanity at him before grabbing his shoes and beating him with them. She swung the shoes so hard while hitting him, that he had bruises all over his body. I thought maybe he’d gotten into a fight at school and was just making it all up in spite of her. I just couldn’t imagine this coming from this woman. He’s not known for trouble at school though and I knew it had to be true once the other things started happening.” he paused and wiped a fallen tear from his face.
The jury was full of concerned looks and worried faces.
Derek cleared his throat and went on, “I’m guessing he was too upset to even tell his mother, she may not have believed him either is the reason he said he never went to her about it. He didn’t have to worry about not being believed after that incident, because I seen and heard it all myself.” he took a deep breath, “The next time he came to stay, we were all having dinner and he said he didn’t like what we were having. Not in a rude way, but more of a way to inform her that he couldn’t stomach that sort of food so he preferred to eat something else that night. This angered her and she called him names then threw the entire dish of lasagna at him, hitting him in the face and causing his nose to bleed. I stood up to defend him and she raised a knife to me, threatening to kill me if I allowed my kid to interfere with our relationship.”
Hastings briefly interrupted, “What names did she call Jacob?”
“An ungrateful bastard, brat, shit, retard, and a few others I can’t fully recall. It was like she was two totally different people. Like split personalities or something. One moment she’d be the woman of your dreams, sweet and kind and giving. The next, she was this vile being that could scare even the devil himself.” Derek seemed to shiver at the thoughts in his head.
“So you would agree that Ms. Simmons was indeed physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive just from what you’ve told us so far, right?” Hastings walked back over to where Derek was seated on the stand.
“Yes, I would consider that her behavior fits all of those to my knowledge of the descriptions.” he put his head down for a moment and raised it back up when Hastings continued.
“I’ll let Jacob explain the other events when it’s his time to take the stand. Thank you for elaborating on his involvement, Mr. Greene.”
“At this point she’s now a threat to you and your son. What did you do to prevent it from happening again or were you able to?” Hastings asked him with intent behind his inquiry.
“Well I didn’t want to believe this was the type of person she was at first. I had doubts and questioned the situation at hand in every aspect. I couldn’t grasp that this was an abusive person. I know it was wrong of me, I know that now. At the time, I just didn’t realize that I was being fooled. We had a serious discussion about what happened, me and LeiLani did, and she was crying and begging for forgiveness and another chance. Like she didn’t even know what came over her or why she did it. I was blinded by her performance and empty promises she made, that she’d never do it again and she didn’t mean it. I hate myself for ever believing a word out of her mouth.” he began to quietly sob.
“You were tricked by her ways, you were manipulated.” Hastings stated and turned to the jury for their silent response of agreement. He hands Derek a tissue and walked up to the judge, “Your honor, before I question Mr. Greene about his personal experiences with Ms. Simmons, I’d like to bring a piece of hard evidence to the court’s attention.” he held up the notebook in his hand and gave it to the judge to approve before he handed it to the jury to pass along.
“Please explain to the court how this evidence comes into play.” Judge Perkins insisted.
“Yes, your honor. This is LeiLani Simmons’ personal journal. This is a look into her mind, her thoughts, her life events. It is a time line of herself that is written by herself, play by play, from front to back cover. On the night of the attempted murder, she was found writing in this journal and it was the only thing she clung to as the authorities rolled her away to the mental hospital she was admitted to after the event. This . . .” he pointed over to the notebook that each of the jury members were examining, “is the evidence of a very disturbed individual. In her own handwriting, you can find every abusive event written in the words of this twisted and narcissistic being. She describes what takes place in a manner that makes the victim out to be in the wrong, to take blame off of herself. It also proves that her mind is not in a mature state, that she thinks as a teenage girl and pushed things too quickly with my client. She portrays a make-believe romance all the while she is pretending that what was happening was normal.” he turned to Derek, “Mr. Greene, have you ever seen this journal or read its contents?”
“No, I haven’t.” he shook his head.
“How did you meet Ms. Simmons?”
“I had a business dinner to attend, one the company was throwing and it was a special occasion as we were celebrating the success over the last twenty years. We were dressed formally and it was almost enchanting the way LeiLani entered the room that evening. Our eyes locked and it was like we were drawn to one another. We didn’t pay any mind to the rest of the party the remaining of the night and we ended up becoming very personal quite fast. She asked me to meet her the next night and it seemed as though it all moved so quickly after that. She was persistent and almost threatening from the start, I just didn’t notice it right away. She claimed me right off the bat.”
“So she somewhat forced a relationship between the two of you?” Hastings asked.
“Well . . . yes. I mean, I wanted her. She was everything I was looking for in a woman and it’d been years since my divorce, so I was a lonely man and thought it’d be crazy of me to turn it down. She got into my mind and made me want more than I think I was really ready for.”
Hastings stopped him there, “Members of the jury, you can clearly see this matches up with the fast pace of events written in the journal. The passages that are dated from the time Mr. Greene and Ms. Simmons first met and to when they moved in with one another, proves that she was moving things along in an abnormal rate of what most of us would consider reasonable. As you read on, you will find that Mr. Greene’s testimony matches up consistently with her entries.”
Hastings presented the court with further testimony from Derek.
“Can you tell the jury another incident that happened between you and Ms. Simmons?”
“One night I came home and noticed she’d been on another one of her shopping binges. She had this habit of buying the oddest things and spending far too much money. We were on a budget and I couldn’t foresee this habit of hers being a healthy one for the household. I mentioned to her that she needs to be more careful with the money and she transformed into the evil version of her without any warning. Before I knew it, she was screaming at me, calling me obscene names and yelling that she’s allowed to buy anything she wants since she didn’t have me around enough. She blamed me for being the reason she needed these items in her life, that because I’m always working she had to fill a void. The problem was, if I wasn’t working then she wouldn’t have any money to blow. The argument rapidly escalated and turned into her bashing my ribs in with her heels on after she got me to the floor from punching me in the head over and over. I ended up in the hospital and she begged me to come back . . . actually, she begged and I denied until she threatened my life if I didn’t return to her.” he took in a deep breath and Hastings found the need to fill in a blank.
“To my knowledge, you have pictures and hospital records of the event that you just spoke of. Would you mind sharing these with the rest of us?”
Derek had a tight grasp on an envelope during his time on the stand and handed it over to the judge, who then had passed it to the jury and finally made it to Hastings hands. He held up the pictures to show them to those sitting in the rows behind him. He didn’t fail to mention how the journal entry coincided with Derek’s report, yet again. Proving that this was all more than mere fortuity and demonstrated LeiLani’s self-condemnation. Her culpability came through even more-so with every word Derek attested and every word she had composed in the journal.
The night she endeavored the murder of Derek and Jacob trounced even the bloodiest and spoken insults of the prior events. This was the optimum conclusion of the jury’s decision. They heard the statements of each persons involved, including Jacob’s testimony and even Derek’s ex (Jacob’s mother) who had suspicion of abuse transpiring at his father’s place. Nothing compared to the brutal details revealed to the court of the final affair. Hastings provided the photographs from that night after warning the members of the courtroom that they may be difficult for some to view due to the graphic nature.
Derek was asked to take the stand once more and recount the horrific episode.
“When I arrived home on the night of November seventh, I wasn’t aware of what was waiting for me in that house.” he took a shaky breath, “It was like I walked right into the entrance of hell. As soon as I stepped foot inside, she was standing there with something held behind her back. She began screaming at me, literally at the top of her lungs, her face was as red as the devil and mascara ran down her cheeks. She was yelling accusations about me cheating and that I’m a coward, along with other profanities . . .”
Judge Perkins intervened, “This is for the records, please elaborate.”
Derek went on, “She said ‘You’re a fucking pervert, you nasty piece of shit, you deserve to die and go to hell with the rest of the sick fucks in this world. If you want to stick your dick in everything out there, then I’ll cut it off and shove it down your throat after I slice it open. Want to see how that feels?’ I was positive at that point that she had completely lost it. I’ve never heard such words out of a woman’s mouth and I never expected them to be coming out of hers. My gut told me to take action, but I wasn’t quick enough to defend myself. She ran towards me before I had the chance to make any moves and pinned me against the front door. When she had me locked in a position that I struggled to try to free myself from, the knife she held behind her back met my penis.” he squirmed, “Without hesitating, she’d cut open the zipper area and grabbed my penis to pull it out of my pants. With my genitals exposed and the sharpness of the knife’s blade touching the skin of my shaft, I felt helpless and had no doubt that she was about to mutilate my manhood.”
There were gasps throughout the courtroom and expressions of disgust among many of the faces. It wasn’t easy for people to listen to, but it was even more difficult for Derek to talk about it in such a direct manner. His body trembled as he paused for a moment to gather himself. Hastings walked up to the stand to privately talk with him and make sure he could complete his corroboration of the night he and his son were nearly murdered. After a few more seconds of deep breathing, he carried on with his side of the account.
“I knew Jacob was there that night, I was sure he was in his room the whole time I was at work since he didn’t like being around her. The loud commotion must have alarmed him, because he came rushing down the stairs, only to stop in his tracks at the shock of what he seen was happening. He yelled ‘Get away from my dad!’ but all she did was laugh and without warning turned quickly with the knife in hand. The blade skimmed across Jacob’s chest, blood started to run down from the wound. She slithered her words to him ‘I suggest you get away from ME before I kill you, too.’ I tried to break free while she was turned, but it was all so fast and she brought the focus back to me before I could manage an escape. The knife was now at my throat. I looked over at Jacob and his face turned pale before he fell to the floor grabbing at his chest. Blood was forming a small puddle next to him, I was so afraid he was going to lose too much blood and die right there in front of my eyes. I felt that I couldn’t do anything, but the father in me tried. I had no choice . . .”
“What happened next?” Hastings questioned.
“I had to stop her before she killed us both. So I bashed my forehead into hers and she stumbled backward, though it caused both of us pain. As I gained my composure and she was correcting her balance, I tackled her to the floor and landed on top of her. She swung the knife, cutting deep into my collarbone. The pain was unbearable.” he slid the collar of his shirt to the side to show the jagged slice that was still in the process of healing after being stitched up.
Hastings pushed him to finish, “And how did you end up getting away?”
“I grabbed the blade of the knife, it severed into the palm of my hand.” he raised up his hand to show the stitched up splice, “I jerked it out of her grasp and fell onto my back, hitting my head on the floor. She quickly got up and climbed over me, punching me several times in the face – causing fractures to my nose and cheekbones. Jacob somehow managed to get up enough strength to pull himself to his knees. He grabbed the knife that was on the floor next to us and sliced through the back of her knee and again on her calve. It must have been painful enough to stop her from beating me to a pulp, because she screamed out and fell back while holding the open wounds. Jacob took my hand and laid upon me, both of us barely hanging on and losing more and more blood by the second. Disoriented, I used the tips of my fingers to ease the phone out of his pocket as he lied there motionless. I dialed 911 but couldn’t bring the phone to my ear or mouth since my arm was underneath him, so I just yelled for help as loud as I could and kept repeating the address.”
“Was Ms. Simmons around during this?”
“I had lifted my head as much as I could off the floor, my vision was blurred, but I didn’t see her there. I could barely keep my eyes open, like I was losing consciousness. By the time the ambulance and cops arrived, I think I’d blacked out, but I was alert when they came rushing in. The uproar of questions and scrambling of the help made my adrenaline pump and I found myself frantic. They got Jacob onto a stretcher and were wheeling in another for me. I looked over as they were taking me out of the house and seen trails of streaked blood leading out of the room from where I had last seen her. I guessed she’d left the scene, so I told the cops to watch for her crazy ass.”
“Objection!” Kirkman stood and shouted out.
“Sit down, Mr. Kirkman.” Judge Perkins demanded.
Hastings stepped forward, “No further questions, your honor.”
Derek stepped down from the stand and took his seat by Hastings. He looked over to see LeiLani eyeing him from where she sat by her attorney. She didn’t show any emotion, her eyes blank and face frozen. The judge called for a short recess.
LeiLani didn’t hold a strong case in her defense and the jury wasn’t convinced. After hearing her ridiculous claims and with no witnesses other than herself to testify, Kirkman insisted that she plead insanity. Her mental instabilities were enough to show she was a threat to others as well as herself, but that with treatment she may be able to coexist in a normal life once again. It didn’t persuade the jury, resulting in their final decision of her being found guilty.
The judge convicted LeiLani Simmons for one count attempted murder of the first degree against Derek Greene, one count of second degree attempted murder against Jacob Greene; first, second, and third degree of assault and battery, along with a lengthy list of other abuse charges including that of domestic violence. She was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole for good behavior, her parole would then consist of maintaining regular attendance at the local mental institution of which they had retained her since the day she was found after the horrific event took place.
LeiLani’s psychological issues were, without question, what played a huge part in her violent and abusive nature. However, she wasn’t diagnosed as insane when tested at the institution during her stay there before the final court date took place. It was proven that she was fully capable of making decisions, right and wrong, good and bad. She knew the difference of those decisions and also that they entailed conflicting consequences. When it came down to it, she was fucked up in the head – demented, even – but the bitch knew what the hell she was doing. She intended on killing them that night, and would have had it not been for their bravery to fight back.
The mental and emotional scars she left behind are far worse than any bruise, broken bone, or knife lesions. Derek and Jacob now have home visits together with a counselor and they individually meet with a therapist each week. The fear instilled in them, especially young Jacob, has tormented their daily living. It’s not something that will easily pass, nor something they will ever forget . . . but it is something that proves they are worth being given a chance to live. The sessions with their counseling have shown improvements in them both. Though the abuse they endured in such a short time will leave permanent disturbances in their lives, they have the ability to create a fresh start.
Since the occurrences, they bought a home three states away from their original location. Jacob’s mom moved in to help them both through the transitions of life that they’ll face. Derek volunteered to speak to victims of domestic violence at the local meetings and Jacob has started an organization for children that are exposed to abuse in their households. Their survival has saved lives, literally. Women, men, and children have been given the courage and help needed to escape the dangerous situations before it’s too late thanks to Derek and Jacob’s will to speak out against the issue. One person at a time, they’re turning victims into survivors ever day . . .
I shouldn’t be here. I didn’t do any of those things they said I did, I swear! It’s all a lie. They set me up, they framed me. Now I’m trapped, forever. Why? What did I do to deserve to spend the rest of my life in this hell? It’s not fair. That cheating asshole and his stupid kid got away and get to be free while I pay for their sins.
Let me out of here!!!
LeiLani aka The Royal Child of Heaven’s Fallen Angel
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Sammi Chan: THIS WAS AMAZING!!! My favorite part of this story was the slow build of Merlin and Arthur's relationship. Their relationship was rlly nicely fleshed out and so good :) The way that you handled the magic reveal was super enjoyable. I rlly liked the switching POVs. Good!Mordred was cute and I'm rl...
Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...
: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."