Between the Bleeding Willows
(Book 1 of the Demon Hunter series)
"I absolutely loved this book"
Buy link: http://amzn.com/B01C4VVPII
Book trailer: https://youtu.be/gBICLCIVERw
At eighteen years old, Cassidy has suffered more loss than most…
At the end of her senior year, her boyfriend, Jace Peters, was killed in a car accident, and her grandmother died only weeks later of a heart attack. Emotionally lost, Cassidy desperately searches for an heirloom her boyfriend was wearing in the crash—her mother’s gold ring. But during her search, Cassidy discovers more than her ring.
She finds a gate to the Demon Realm….
A battle is brewing, and Killian—head of the Demon hunters—preps his Clan for the approaching conflict. They’ve been working to secure the gate between his realm and the mortal world. But it’s been nearly impossible since Rya—a voracious demon on a quest to expand her power—devoured the soul of his Clan’s necromancer. Now Rya is possessed with the necromancer’s powers and she may break through the gate at any moment.
Apparently Rya isn’t the only one Killian has to worry about…
When Cassidy accidentally crosses into the Demon Realm, Killian can’t understand how a human girl survived the transition. Now he has to find a way to return her to her own world, or risk her being caught in the crossfire, which is a complication he definitely doesn’t need.
Once back in the Human Realm, Cassidy readies herself for battle. She signs up for Krav Maga classes, where she meets Tyler Romaitis—a handsome, tenacious, humble guy. He seems almost perfect, but nothing is ever that easy.
And as the balance between good and evil shifts, Cassidy finds herself—and her ring—at the heart of the conflict for the survival of mankind.
Last weekend, I had parked at the Raven Woods parking lot and walked across the busy four lane road to the small ditch on the other side. After an hour of searching the roadside without any luck, the sun had finally set and I’d realized that without the added light from the sun, there would be no hope in finding the ring.
As I walked along the guardrail back toward my car, I had heard footsteps coming from the trees several yards away. My eyes had searched the dark forest perimeter for the source of the sound. And then I’d seen him, standing at the edge of a small clearing in the wooded lot, looking just as I had remembered him. But it couldn’t have been. My eyes must have been playing tricks on me because the figure that had appeared before me had looked like Jace, and Jace was dead. The figure had darted off, twigs cracking as he retreated. Seeing him had stolen my breath away, both from fear and excitement. How could this be possible? I had wanted to chase after him, to gain a closer look, but the forest had been very dark and I’d neglected to bring a flashlight. If I’d known this area, I might have had the confidence to follow him, but having never had been here before, I hadn’t been able to muster up the courage to run boldly into the black forest ahead—not even for a closer look. Instead, I’d shouted his name over and over again.
That night, I was desperate to find the necklace that held my mom’s ring. Or Jace. I allowed extra time to search before the shroud of darkness set in. The first hour turned up nothing; I looked toward the horizon and saw the sun retreating as night began to set in.
To my left, a thick chain linked two wooden pillars, barricading a dirt path. A small metal sign hung from the chain: CLOSED. I sat down on one of the pillars to rest and stared down the overgrown path. Blaylock Grove. No sign told that the path beyond the chain led to the abandoned cemetery. But when I was growing up, kids told tales of people gathering here at night to worship Satan. The stories of this haunted cemetery and the rituals people did here, so close to my house, were eerie.
I looked to the spot I swore I’d seen Jace last weekend. There was nothing but trees and shadows. I wanted to see him again. I wanted him back in my life. Each day, I struggled to see the point in waking up and going through the motions when he wasn’t a part of it.
The sun moved down another notch in the sky and glinted off something in the weeds near my foot. I crouched down and saw the treasure I had hunted for. The necklace. I picked it up and studied it. The golden circle suspended from the chain looked like an ordinary ring. Upon closer inspection, there was an inscription on the inside that seemed to have a blue shimmer in the right light. I turned it around until the glowing inscription was easy to read.
fortitudine, et virtute
Gram said it was Latin for strength and power. I kissed the ring and clasped the chain around my neck. Jace had worn this the night he died.
I wrapped my hand around it, closed my eyes, and thought back to one of my favorite memories—the first time he told me he loved me. We had just watched the Blackhawks defeat the St. Louis Blues on TV and had begun arguing over who was the better defenseman. He had thrown a pillow at me and it had quickly become physical. We had wrestled and laughed till he finally had pinned me and said, “I love you, you stubborn and very wrong girl.” Then he had leaned in to kiss me.
“Jace.” A woman’s voice shook me from my memory. I looked around but did not hear or see anything. Could I have imagined it? The Blaylock Grove path was empty. The forest seemed quiet; not even a breeze blew. Across the busy road I saw my car; the thought of leaving now that I found the necklace seemed like a good idea. Female giggles came from behind me—behind the chain and down the dirt path. Dammit. The sky lost its light to a dim indigo, and curiosity got the better of me. I jumped the chain and set off down the dirt path.