Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2014
Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option
Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.
When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.
But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.
Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.
“Are you ready?” Logan asks in a soft murmur.
Closing my locker, I nod and smile at him, trying to hide my anxiety. Why did I agree to go to this club meeting? What if they sacrifice goats to some pagan god or something? Laughter wells up within at the absurd image of an animal sacrifice occurring on the third floor of the Sciences building.
Besides, it couldn’t be a goat—it would have to be a cat or a fetal pig since that’s what the AP biology class is dissecting this year. I guess it could be a crawfish or an earthworm since the regular biology classes dissect those.
My laughter finally bubbles out when I picture figures in black robes sacrificing an earthworm to their pagan god. I feel Logan’s eyes on me. When I glance at him, he has a strange, indecipherable look on his face.
“Are you alright?” he asks, concern clouding his features.
“Yeah, just a little nervous,” I reply, fighting another blush that threatens to form.
He walks down the hall, navigating through the maze of students, checking back every so often to make sure I’m still following. When we pass through the doors leading out into the damp autumn air, he surprises me by heading over to a bench rather than continuing to the Sciences building.
He sits down and motions for me to join him, so I lower myself to the gray stone bench. The stone soaked up the chilled rain today, and the cold passes through my jeans up into my body. I’ve always enjoyed cool weather, probably a tribute to my Norse ancestry. Though I shiver a bit, I feel exhilarated as a slight breeze ruffles my hair, making it dance around my head.
“I’m gonna break the rules and give you a heads up about us,” Logan says in a very low voice.
My eyes fly to his in surprise. He moves closer to me on the bench so our legs are touching.
“We are a paranormal research group. Hunters you might say, hence the name Orion. I know you’re already aware there’s more out there than meets the eye, but you’ll be surprised by just how much more there really is.”
He’s speaking in a very low voice, obviously not wanting to be overheard. I use this as an excuse to lean a little closer to him. “So you investigate hauntings?” I murmur, intrigued by the idea.
“Not just hauntings, anything supernatural,” he replies. I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. “I can’t go into more detail until you’re a member. But don’t worry, Kacie. I’ll be right beside you today, and by tonight you’ll be a member, then we can talk.”
He stands and extends his hand to me. Taking his hand, I allow him to pull me from the bench. There’s no spark or jolt this time, just pleasant warmth that permeates me.
“It appears our powers are adjusting to each other,” he comments, a smile lighting his face.
Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons.
No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order.
(If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.