It's here! At last! I'm so excited to share the third in the Darkworld series. I originally wrote this book in the university library in Lancaster between March and May 2013 as a break from my final-year dissertation. This is the turning-point in the series, where things really heat up and I get to share that plot twist. ;) I've had some of these scenes planned for over seven years! (I recycled some of the unused plot points from my first, unpublished series when I planned this one. Including a certain character...)
Anyway, here it is! :D
Ash may have escaped death several times, but now things are finally looking up. The doppelganger is gone, she’s dating Leo, and the Venantium are staying away from her – for now. But a new threat rises from the Darkworld, and only the fortune-teller knows the true extent of the danger they’re in.
Lucifer, a sorcerer who did the impossible and cheated death through escaping to the Darkworld, is on the move. Now his second-in-command, Mephistopheles the demon, is loose in our world – and will do anything to win Ash over to his side.
The Venantium fear a repeat of the Demon Wars, the demonic invasion that wiped out the Blackstone family. But there’s more to those events than the records reveal. When Ash finds the lost diary of Melivia Blackstone, she starts to dig into the past to find the town’s forgotten history – leading to a revelation that shocks her to the core.
Leo seems to be the only person Ash can rely on, yet can she truly open up to him, knowing what she is? Blackstone’s dark history is rising to the surface, and it seems even memory can lie. The worst betrayal waits around the corner, and Ash has to decide whether to trust Leo with her darkest secret, even when it has the potential to destroy them both…
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Fire sprang up all around me, orange flames licking at my skin. I flinched away from the writhing wall of fire, which cut off any chance of escape.
I stood in a large room, a bedroom. Through the haze of smoke I could see a four-poster bed, its feathery curtains ablaze. Flickering tendrils of fire ate away at the posh-looking furniture, smoke gushing out in clouds. On the wall opposite hung a magnificent, gilt-framed painting of a girl with long, curly black hair. As I watched, the paint peeled away from the background as the ever-spreading blaze devoured it. Underneath the roar of the fire I heard a whimper, and realised I wasn’t alone.
A girl crouched in the corner of the room, arms wrapped around her knees, apparently oblivious to the fire raging around her. I tried to walk over to her but a wall of flames barred my way, flaring out of the lush carpet.
The girl raised her head, but she didn’t seem to see me standing there. She was older than I’d thought; her hunched position had made her look like a child, but she was probably around the same age as me. Her dark hair spilled from a bun, and her gown, similar to the one in the painting, was crumpled and stained, as though she’d fallen in the mud outside.
Her eyes looked right through me, and I gasped. They shone violet. A demon’s eyes.
She doubled over, coughing. I tried to call to her to get out of the burning room, but it was like something had stapled my mouth shut. Dreaming. I’m dreaming.
Her eyes flashed again, turning grey-black, ordinary, human. I recognised it. She was fighting possession with everything she had.
“Is this what you want?”
The demon used her mouth to speak, but didn’t need to; its voice sounded in my mind, sliding through me like an ice-cold knife.
“I’ll burn you,” she said, in a tremulous voice. “I’ll burn with you.”
Start with Darkness Watching, the first in the YA paranormal Darkworld series.
Watched by demons no one else can see, eighteen-year-old Ash think 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.
All she wants at university is a second chance at a normal life, but her new home in the small town of Blackstone has secrets of its own. The Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world, have their eyes on Ash. And a group of rogue sorcerers might be the only ones who can offer the answers she's looking for. In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...
#1 Bestseller in New Adult & College Fantasy
Winner of the Blogger Book Fair 2014 Speculative Fiction Reader's Choice Award for Paranormal/Supernatural Fiction.
When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.
Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer unaware of their origins.
The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.
Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…
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Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction with magic and monsters. She lives in the middle of England, but dreams of exploring the Multiverse. When she's not immersed in her own fictional worlds, Emma works as a freelance editor and proofreader and reads an improbable number of books.
Emma is the author of various fantasy novels, including the universe-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series and the YA paranormal Darkworld series.
Visit www.emmaladams.com to find out more about Emma's books, or subscribe to her newsletter (smarturl.it/ELAnewsletter) to get a free Alliance short story and monthly updates on upcoming releases.
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