Guess what, guys? It's finally time to reveal the cover for Fear's Touch: A Darkworld Novella! I know it's been quite a wait, but I'm happy to say the novella will be released on the 17th November 2014!
I couldn't be happier with these covers! :) I was lucky enough to work with the extremely talented Amalia for the rest of the series, so I'll have some more lovely covers to share in the coming months!
Meanwhile...what's Fear's Touch about? Well, I mentioned it's a novella, from the viewpoint of Claudia, Ash's sorceress friend. Claudia likes life on the wild side, so she was fun to write!
Here's the blurb:
This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).
Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.
Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.
But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?
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Aaaand...here's a teaser :
“Get away from me!” A yell cut through my self-pity-fest.
I looked up from where I’d been contemplating the rain trailing down the wall of the bus shelter. The blurred shape of a person ran past, down the middle of the road, heedless of the car horns beeping. What kind of idiot ran through traffic like that?
Unless…they were in some kind of trouble?
I thought of the demon I’d seen watching me as the train had pulled into the station. That horrible chill raced up my arms, as if in response to my thoughts. Apparently it was caused by the Darkworld. Another thrilling perk of my new life.
Anyway, I ignored both the something-is-wrong feeling and the instinct to stay out of the rain, and dropped my backpack, moving out of the bus shelter. I’d made the mistake of wearing my thigh-high heeled boots, which were a bitch to walk in when carrying luggage, but now I felt kind of badass, going to help the girl in the road.
At least, until I saw what was chasing her.
If it were me, I’d have run out into traffic, too. The creature was like a child’s drawing of a monster come to life, a furry, fanged, snarling bundle of shadows about the height of a car. It shambled forward, and I could make out claws and sharp teeth and suddenly I wished I’d stayed in the shelter. I looked around. No one else seemed to have noticed the monstrosity right in the middle of traffic, though several cars swerved slightly, drivers frowning as though not sure what they’d almost collided with.
That alone told me the creature belonged to the Darkworld.
Oh, God. I wanted out of there. My heart pounded in my ears and my feet itched to make a run for it – but there was the other girl, leaning on a parked car, out of breath. She looked up, and our eyes met. Something about the utter terror on her face made me pause, and not give into the instinct to run a million miles away.
Shadow-beast, I thought.
I’d never seen one, but during one of our Talks, my parents had given me a pretty thorough explanation. Shadow-beasts were like wild animals gone over to the Dark Side. Nasty and scary, but not demons. I could kill it…my hand went to my pocket again. Fire. I’d done it a hundred times – for lack of anything better to do over summer – but using it in public would supposedly bring the venators – that is, members of the Magic Police - swarming down on me.
The creature roared. I winced, my eardrums protesting. Okay – maybe I wasn’t feeling too brave, after all. But that girl was staring at me helplessly. Gods, what do I do?
The girl made my decision for me. As the beast stalked toward her, its shadowy body weaving through the traffic, she bolted for the bus shelter. Right at me.
Before I could even think about what to do, she’d thrown herself behind me.
Great. Now I’m the crazy psycho-beast’s target.
“I’m sorry,” she whimpered. “Please. You can see it. Help me.”
I’m new to this, you know. But I drew in a breath and pulled out the Japanese fan all the same. Might as well look like I knew what I was doing.
By the bus stop, people gathered, huddled under umbrellas, or hurried down the streets and into shops to avoid the rain. No one even looked at the thing approaching us. Worse, it wasn’t like we could call for help without being deemed insane.
There was one thing I knew how to do, though. Time to pull out the trick Mum and Dad had taught me – and make us almost-invisible.
Concentrate, I told myself. My connection to the Darkworld was always there – it never went away. I just had to concentrate on the chill coming from the shadow-beast, that deep, deep coldness that cut right to the bone. Grab the shadows. Pull them around you, imagine it like a cloak. Shadow-beasts were weak. They couldn’t see through low-level Influence – a mind-trick that also worked on people. Well, non-magic-users. If anything, it’d stop the stares. We’d fade into the background, become invisible to anyone except sorcerers and demons. The monster would lose its targets.
Not that that was a comforting thought at the moment. I knew I could rock the badass look, but did I actually know what I was doing? Hell, no. And I didn’t much fancy the idea of letting this girl get hurt because I’d given her the impression I knew how to fight this thing.
Okay. Time for action.
I mentally called the shadows toward me – one thing I’d got the knack of pretty quickly, even if it had freaked me out almost as much as the demon had, the sight of every shadow in the room zooming over to me as though I’d activated some kind of shadow-sucking hoover. Right now, though, I felt a spasm of relief when dark, swirling shadows came out from under cars and people, swarming over to me in one motion. I flicked my hand up, still holding the fan, and the shadows complied, forming a wall between us and the shadow-beast.
The monster paused, as if puzzled that its prey had vanished. Ha. Nice try.
I tried not to think about how the shield was depending on me staying linked up to the Darkworld as long as I wanted it to stay there. It dragged at me, like the sleepiness after pulling an all-nighter, and I staggered to the side, suddenly feeling less like a badass and more like I wanted my bed.
Then I spotted two other people on the other side of the road, just standing there. From the way their gazes were fixed forward, on the shadow-beast, I knew they could see it.
From their military-type navy blue uniforms, I knew they belonged to the secret group, the Venantium. Mum and Dad had described them to me enough times.
Oh, hell. So much for avoiding attention. Worse, one of them had looked up from the shadow-beast – right at the girl and me. Even from the other side of the road, I saw his brow furrow and his eyes narrow, like he was scrutinising me for something.
Then the shield dropped.
And here's more information on the first in the series, Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1), which is currently only 99 cents (£1.02) on Amazon!
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 - 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...
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Read Chapter One.
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“In the vein of Buffy and Supernatural, DARKNESS WATCHING found that perfect balance between the freaky and the fun.” - YA author Jen Estes
"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up?...It's full of suspense, danger, evil and dark humor. The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at Desert Rose Reviews
"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." - Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author
“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter
"This is a wildly different story than any I have read about demons...I loved it!" - Kathy at Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily-Ever-Afters