by Emma L Adams
Release Date: 10th October 2013
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal
Target Audience: Upper YA/New Adult
Summary from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…
David turned to me. “You okay? I saw that girl stand on your foot.”
“I’ll live,” I said, examining the ugly purple bruise already forming. “Ouch.”
Then I saw something that chilled me instantly. Not two feet away from me―one of those dark spaces, a patch of nothingness, like a tear in the universe. I stared helplessly, waiting for the inevitable pair of malevolent purple eyes to meet mine.
But there was nothing there. Just blackness.
“Ash? What’re you looking at?” said Sarah.
“Nothing,” I said, tearing my gaze away. “Thought I saw someone I knew.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I continued to watch the dark space.
“I think clubbing’s kind of overrated,” said Alex. “Yeah, it’s fun for a bit, but I’d rather be watching a film or sitting in a pub or something.”
“Ditto,” said Sarah.
I shifted my gaze back to the dark space- and I almost stopped breathing. Something stepped out of the darkness.
The something was a shadow, black as the gap itself, hunched and shapeless, but as it moved, it seemed to solidify into an animalistic shape, crouched on all fours. Shadows blurred around it like a long shaggy coat.
This was no demon; it was something else. I could hear its soft footfalls on the pavement. This creature was here, physically, not hiding behind a dark space. Before, I’d always instinctively known the demons weren’t part of the world as I knew it. But this creature was as solidly here as I was.
I backed away, almost tripping over the front step of Satan’s Pit.
“Ash? You okay?”
“Fine,” I said, amazed at how steady my voice sounded, despite the tremors that made my heart rattle against my rib cage. “It’s really cold out here. I think we should go back inside.”
“You sure?” David looked at me doubtfully. “Okay, then.”
Coward. A sharp voice in my head berated me for running away. But I didn’t want this, not now. Not now I’d almost regained a normal life.
But before I could follow Alex, Sarah, and David back inside, someone grabbed my arm.
“It’s sensed you,” a voice hissed. ‘You can’t go back in there.”
I turned. It was the girl who’d knocked into me earlier, the red-haired girl from the car.
Swaying unsteadily on her three-inch heels, she pointed at the creature, which crept closer until its muzzle almost brushed my feet. It looked like a shadowy, oversized fox, but the eyes it fixed on me were crimson, like bloody gouges in its face.
I felt an icy claw grip my heart, rooting me to the spot.
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in January 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and was published in October 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.