Stay by Emily Goodwin
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
“I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”
Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn’t supposed to see.
Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.
Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?
Jackson rolled over, pulling me on top of him. He kissed the top of my head and held me against him for a minute before we got dressed. After using the bathroom, I cuddled back into Jackson’s arms.
“Why did you say ‘one more day?’” I asked, tracing my fingers over the contours of his bare shoulders.
“I was hoping you’d forget.”
“Not a chance.”
Jackson took a breath. “Nate and Zane are gone. This is as good a time as any for you to escape.”
I pushed myself up so I could look him in the eyes. “And you too, right?”
Jackson frowned. “I don’t know the codes right now. You’ll have to go through a window.”
“So?” I asked, feeling panic rising. “You can come with me.” I shook my head. “Windows are quiet anyway. By the time I get out and the alarm goes off, we can be long gone.”
“As soon as I unlock a window on the first floor, the alarm will go off. The only windows I have access to up here are straight drops. You could fall and hurt yourself, and then you wouldn’t be able to run. And you’re forgetting that the ankle bracelet has a GPS tracker. Lou can go after you and find you. I have to distract him.”
“Jackson, no. Please!” My eyes filled with tears, and my palms began to sweat. I desperately shook my head. “No. I can’t leave you. I won’t leave you.”
“You can send help.”
“We both know that’s a load of shit,” I said. I blinked back tears. “You’ll be dead by then.”
“Adeline,” he whispered and reached up to caress my face. “That’s why I brought you up here. I wanted one more time with you. You’ve given me so much, more than I deserve. Now it’s my turn to give you a chance. You can have your life back, start over. You don’t need me.”
“I don’t want to start over without you.” My voice quivered as tears slid down my face. “I need you. I need your arms around me, holding me, keeping me together. I need your lips to press against mine, to hear your heart beating, to feel the heat of your skin. I need you.”
“You’ll find somebody else, someone who can give you a better life than I could.”
“Stop it!” I cried. “I don’t want anyone else. I want you! I love you, Jackson. No one else.”
“And I love you, Adeline. Enough to sacrifice myself for you. Please, Addie. Let me do this for you. Take this chance. My death will set you free.”
I pushed his hand away. “No. Do not tell me goodbye. It didn’t work last time, and it won’t work now. There has to be another way. There has to be. I won’t let you leave me.”
Since I typically write paranormal/horror, my usual writing playlists are filled with epic songs from soundtracks with lots of NIN and Marilyn Manson thrown in. With STAY, I needed something different. While this novel is just as dark—if not darker—than the books I usually write, it’s a different kind of dark.
STAY is the first book I’ve written with a contemporary setting and no elements of fantasy. And yet it was one of the scariest books I’ve ever written. After all, the truth is often worse than fiction. Unlike ghosts, demons, and zombies, being kidnapped and forced into human trafficking is something that really could happen.
I needed music that set the mood for not only fear, but a sense of hopelessness and utter despair the characters felt. I am not a fan of slow, sad music, so this is as close at it comes for me. Here is the playlist I listened to on repeat while writing STAY
- Imagine Dragons- Demons
- Of Monster and Men- Little Talks
- Imagine Dragons- Bleeding Out
- One Republic- Counting Stars
- One Republic- Come Home
- Animals- House of the Rising Sun
- Tom Petty- Free Fallin’
- Tom Petty- Mary Jane’s Last Dance
- One Republic- Secrets
- Coldplay- Fix You
- Goo Goo Dolls- Iris
- Tom Petty- I Won’t Back Down
- Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
- Katy Perry- Unconditionally