Supernatural/Paranormal | Young Adult
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...
A stream of faint winter sunlight shone through gaps in the blinds that covered the windows, lighting the myriad dust motes in the air. I sighed and tilted my head back, rubbing my temples to keep my eyes from closing. I could feel a headache building.
A pair of eyes appeared amongst the rafters and stared right into mine. They gleamed violet, with vertically slit pupils like a cat's. They blinked, looking down at the confusion below. Then they locked back onto me.
Once, when I'd cut my finger on a kitchen knife, I'd gone into shock and nearly passed out. My vision turned blue around the edges, and everything acquired an odd, blurred quality. Right now, looking into those sinister, alien eyes, I felt exactly the same.
I'm going mad. It's not real. Cara's superstitions have made me start seeing things. That, or the lack of sleep.
I'd stopped breathing. Sweat beaded on my forehead, but, at the same time, I felt cold all over, cold as the frigid December air outside. As if fresh snow covered me, slowly seeping into my skin through my hoodie and jeans. Like the kind of paralysing chill I associated with that moment in horror stories when someone saw a ghost.
Was it a ghost? I'd always thought ghosts would look… human. If I believed in them—which, up until now, I thought I didn't.
All around me, the other students chatted and laughed. No one screamed, cried, or ran for the doors. It was as though my own private bubble of horror enclosed me like the cage I'd envisioned earlier. Trapped.
I heard a faint whisper, almost like a breath: "Ash."
I would have screamed if I'd been capable of making a sound. I knew beyond doubt that those eyes and that voice belonged to something that wasn't human.
The eyes blinked again, becoming part of the shadow once more as the hall lights came back on. For a moment, a swathe of blackness remained in the rafters, like a single patch of mist left behind after a fog has lifted. Not a single speck of dust disturbed the area around it.
Then it vanished.
I still couldn't breathe. Those cold eyes remained imprinted on the insides of my eyelids—light purple, glowing, and staring.
Staring at me.
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing bizarre, fantastical stories. 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 entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. 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, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, the first in a five-book series. She also writes adult crossover urban fantasy featuring magic, monsters, and a ton of inappropriate humour.
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Writing and stories have been part of my life from as long as I can remember. I’ve always written, but it was when I was ten that my teacher first suggested that I could be a writer. And that was it: I knew what I wanted to do with my life! But it wasn’t until I was 14 or 15 that I started writing novels, and I was 18 when I first started submitting my books to agents and publishers. I signed my contract to publish DARKNESS WATCHING with Curiosity Quills in February 2013, while I was in my third year at university, and I haven't looked back!
What inspires your writing?
I get my inspiration from everywhere! I read extensively (often a book a day), I travel, I research obscure topics. I always ask questions, and I look for the strange in everyday life!
What is the best part of being a writer?
Getting paid to make things up and see my daydreams play out on the page. Now that's real magic!