Two strangers are thrown together through insurmountable tragedy.
Since his family disintegrated a decade ago, Jake has kept his heart safely ensconced within the protective walls he’s erected. Determined to live out his life alone and free of the burden of love, Jake’s world is turned upside down when the grief of a woman he hardly knows calls him to step out of his comfort zone. Once Marnie enters the picture, he tries not to notice how broken, how pitiful…and how beautiful she is. Jake is torn between doing the right thing for himself….and doing the right thing.
Devastated by loss after loss, Marnie is left a shell of her former self. After losing her home in a fire and numbed by yet another heartbreaking tragedy, she is unable to communicate or even function on her own. Marnie finds she must place her trust in a quirky stranger and his three-legged dog. Desperate to reach out to the only stability in her life – Jake – but paralyzed by pain, she struggles to pick up the shattered pieces of hope. Marnie wonders if she will ever learn to live – or love – again.
One year. One apartment. Two strangers, each wrapped in their own personal turmoil. Can Jake and Marnie overcome the obstacles before them and find love despite the odds?
He sensed the same strange time warp sensation he felt earlier that night―the faster he tried to move, the slower it seemed he was going. Did she know what was coming? Jake reached out, connecting with her and wrapping his arms around Marnie as tightly as he could, wanting in some way to help strengthen or protect her from the truth that was only seconds away from destroying her world. There was nothing he could say; he knew nothing he could say would help or comfort her in any way at all.
He heard the EMT walk purposefully up beside them. He knew the man was talking to Marnie, but he couldn’t hear his voice. Jake knew what the EMT must have said, the same awful things he’d heard himself just a few moments before. He felt Marnie’s knees buckle. He felt sure the EMT was still talking to her, but the only sound he could hear was the gut-wrenching wailing of Marnie’s voice. He thought, right then, about how he would never forget that horrible sound―it was a low, primal keening, as if it was being physically torn from her body. He didn’t think it would ever stop.
Jake did the only thing he could think to do. He held on. He just held on.
Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Her work has appeared in The Prague Revue and IG Living magazine. Her blog, "Organizing Chaos (and Other Misadventures)" is available for your viewing pleasure on WordPress and she can be followed on Twitter @kinneychaos. “Just Hold On” is her debut novel.
Just Hold On - Kindle edition by Valarie Savage Kinney, Alison Jack, Wicked Muse Productions. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.