Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Between the Bleeding Willows by DA Roach!!

Between the Bleeding Willows 
Demon Hunters Series 
Book One
D.A. Roach

Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Publisher: Limitless Publishing 
Date of Publication: March 8, 2016
ISBN: 1680585274
Number of pages: 282 
Word Count: about 64,000
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design

Book Description:
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.

I had no idea where the path would lead me, but I told myself I’d be fine as long as I did not veer from it. The insects hiding in the foliage sang their quiet night songs, and fireflies began to twinkle in the shadows, trying to convince me I made the right choice and would be safe. On the contrary, the trees seemed to reach out for me, unashamed of their menacing appearance. I walked carefully to keep my noise down, not wanting to draw attention to myself or scare off the voice I heard.
The path continued some ways before it joined with a clearing dotted with headstones. Blaylock Grove Cemetery. The headstones were in ruins, kicked over by vandals, no longer marking where the dead were buried. Weeds grew around the grave markers, and fallen branches cluttered the ground. What the hell was the deal with this place? There was a bad vibe here.
I crouched next to a headstone and Googled Blaylock Grove Cemetery. Wikipedia said it was a small abandoned cemetery that was known for its ghost sightings and haunted reputation. My arms got goosebumps, but I continued reading through a few sites. Some believed that the spirits were restless and angry because of the disrespect for their final resting place. In the 1950s, it became a place where couples would come to make out. There was also an increase in vandalism, and it was around this time when the burial ground became known as “haunted.” In the early 1900’s a mob boss and his goons were rumored to have dumped their victims’ bodies into the lagoon at the edge of the cemetery. I looked around and saw a clearing in the treeline ahead; the moon shimmered off of what must be

the lagoon. The image gallery showed photos of the grounds in daytime and with infrared film. Looking at the images only made me feel even more unsettled.
“Jace,” the female voice whispered to my right in a seductive tone. I stood frozen in one spot, staring in the direction of the voice, staying as silent and statuelike as I could. In my periphery, I saw a shadowy figure walk across the clearing toward the voice. I couldn’t make out a face so I stood and followed it, hoping for a closer look. In my haste, I snapped a branch beneath my foot.

The figure turned toward me. His mouth twisted in a snarl, and his eyes were solid black. Despite these deformities, the face was familiar. My heart and mind warred with each other. Instinct told me to get the hell out of there, but my heart still thrummed for the guy who had captured it four years ago.
Seeing him like this, though…

Jace Peters was a good guy, not evil like the demon before me.

The sound of fast footsteps and cracking branches gained on Jace. I looked to the sound. In the dim moonlight, I could only see a large, dark figure running at full speed. Jace took off and darted between two giant willows at the edge of the cemetery. The dark figure dove at him—and they both vanished before they hit the ground.
What the…?

I grabbed my backpack and ran to the willows, but there was no sign of them. I ducked under the weeping branches and studied the base of the tree, searching for any clue. I grabbed the trunk to steady myself, but quickly retracted my hand when I felt the wet sticky liquid. Using my phone light to illuminate, I found the willow trunk coated in a dark sap. Putting my soiled fingers to my nose, I could not smell a thing. I touched my tongue to it, and tasted the metallic warmth of blood. Shining the light up the tree top showed me the streaks started as high as I could see and ran down to the roots. I walked to the other willow and found it also oozed blood. The leaves and branches were unremarkable; only the trunks were affected.
Trees didn’t bleed, so what was going on here? Maybe this place really was haunted. Had I witnessed two apparitions tonight, one being my dead exboyfriend?
Why was I blaming this on mystical things? I had never believed in ghosts and I always thought those Ghosthunters shows preyed on gullible people. Well, I wasn’t a gullible person, but I sure as hell saw two figures disappear right before my eyes tonight.
I needed to get out of there and get home. After I wiped the blood on the weeds below, I grabbed my backpack. Stepping out from beneath the branches onto the path between the bleeding willows, I began falling…down…down…down…

My Review
Well it's not surprise but I loved this one!! I happen to like the demon vs hunter type books especially that have good action scenes, and this one is no exception. Except that it's awesome! Ok so for example, the blurb of this book that you read, it covers the first three chapters. Cassidy is pitiful having lost her boyfriend and her grandmother that raised her really close together. The ring, the portal, Killian, all the beginning. It gets really good after that. And once I had it, I didn't want to let go. I really struggled to put it down! 
So Cassidy is our leading lady. She's broken when we first meet her- hell I would be. She has lost everything that meant something, until she finds her mothers ring that was last seen on her dead boyfriend. At least she has that back, but when she meets Killian and her clan, at first it's not a happy thing, until events pull them together. As Cassidy grows into a great character so does her relationship with Killian and the Clan. I loved their interactions. And I won't spoil anything for you. And she also grows into something more than what she was. 
The writing is great and the plot twists kept me riveted. And I can't wait to see some of this last little surprises left open get their resolutions or some of the bad guys get what's coming!! I'm definitely a fan and I will certainly be continuing with this series!! I can't wait! 5 PAWS!! 

Author Interview 

Welcome!! First, tell me a little about your book ☺….
Between the Bleeding Willows (Book 1 of the Demon Hunters series) is a YA Paranormal book. It’s adventure, excitement, with a touch of romance. Cassidy Kavanaugh loses her Grandma and her boyfriend within a month of each other. Feeling lost, she decides to look for a ring that belonged to her grandmother and was unrecovered from the crash site. 

While searching, she hears a voice call out her dead boyfriend’s name. Following the voice into the woods of the nearby abandoned cemetery, she sees two shadowy figures dart between two willows. She follows and awakens in another realm, in the hands of the Demon Hunters. 

The Demon Hunters are a clan of warriors charged with keeping the balance between good and evil. They patrol the gates to the human realm, bind demons, and do what is necessary to preserve human life. But Killian, leader of the demon hunters, is perplexed at how a human was able to cross into their realm. Maybe there is more to Cassidy Kavanaugh than it seems? Between the Bleeding Willows takes you on the adventure of Cassidy, finding her place amongst the clan of hunters.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I was challenged a few years back, to write down a very amazing personal story that I shared with my dental hygienist. She said it was a story that deserved to be in a book. So I began reading about self-publishing and created a short and very rough book, called Trusting Strangers. I fell in love with the writing process and found myself writing again, and again. The experience of creating each book would leave me with a new nugget of knowledge that would make the next book better.

How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?  Honestly, I’d kill off more characters if I could, but my husband argues with me and urges me to keep them alive. Life is not all happy endings and after awhile, I get tired of reading the books that always end perfectly. So to answer your question, I usually kill off a character to help push my plot in a new direction, and most of the time it’s a minor character but I am not against killing off a main character.

Who do you look up to as a writer?
JL Drake. She is with Limitless and has counseled me a few times. She is one of the nicest people I have met and her work ethic as an author is admirable. She puts her head down and writes, writes, writes. She doesn’t get caught up in the drama of the author world, she doesn’t read reviews, and she writes the story she wants to tell.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?  
No, not anymore. I was about ⅔ of the way through writing this and I needed a fun human for Cassidy to interact with. My goal was to create someone to star in 1-2 chapters at most, just enough to give some light dialog. But Tyler Romaitis became so much more...he changed the course of the plot and became a major character. In fact, at least half of book 2 is about him. I was so mad when I realized my story was changing course - so mad at Tyler. I was prepared to delete him from the story and shorten the scene. I honestly stewed on it for days. But I liked Tyler, in fact he became my favorite character and I decided to leave him and see what happened. I was amazed to have the rest of the story pour out of me and I knew it was the right decision to leave him in.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writer’s Block. I wrote a short thriller for an anthology. I hadn’t written a short story since college and I had never penned a thriller. Writer’s block reared it’s ugly head and I was stuck for months on it. I read a bunch of short stories to get a feel for what works and I read somewhere that for a short story, you must be able to summarize the plot in two sentences, anything longer deserves a full novel. So I conquered the two sentence blurb, and decided to step into NA instead of YA for this story. These changes made all the difference and I was able to complete it quite quickly.

What book are you reading now? Or what genre?
I’m reading a NA hockey romance and then plan to pick up A thousand boy kisses when I finish.

Who designed the cover? And do you help with them? 
Deranged Doctor Designs. Limitless Publishing decides who is best to craft a cover for that genre. I fill out a form that tells the mood, plot, visions for characters, and what I hope the cover will look like. Honestly, when I saw the cover for Bleeding Willows, I almost peed myself. It was so cool, I immediately bought a tee shirt with it on there!

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
YES! There was a huge learning curve going from self-published to small press publisher. The bar was raised, I worked hard to connect with readers, authors, bloggers and I really grew my fan base. From Rarity I learned that I like to use the words “just” and “like” A LOT! I am now hyperconscious of my use of those words. From Bleeding Willows, I learned that every sentence in the book needs to serve a purpose or it has no point in being in the book. If it does not describe a character, drive the plot forward, or enrich the story in some way, it needs to be cut or the readers will be bored with the unessential details.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose? 
Casper! He’s so cool. He’s got the power of intuition on his side which makes him able to dodge most attacks before they come his way AND he’s incredibly fast.

Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Honestly, the Twilight series turned me into a reader. For me, it was an enjoyable series that sparked my love for literature. I recently finished Me Before You and it was a truly moving story. I don’t cry easily and this book made me ugly cry. And my all time favorite book series is the Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan. The emotions, the writing, the abuse the character endures, the unconditional love from Evan...just breath-taking!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Honestly, there have been many times when I questioned if I should write another book or stop, and it’s the readers that always encourage me to push on and pick up the laptop! They are so important to me, I truly treasure each and everyone who has taken the time to read, review, reach out, promote, or just be a friend to me. You make it all worth while!

About the Author:

D.A. Roach has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. In college she met the man of her dreams, her happily ever after, and married him 2 weeks after graduating. They have 3 kids together and a pet cockatiel named Gimli. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much reading or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story.
D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, and helping beautify her kids' school landscape. Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Sylvia Day. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing.
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
— George Bernard Shaw

WEBSITE: http://daroachbooks.blogspot.com/ 

BOOK GORILLA: http://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00AQNBVH2/daroach 

Tour giveaway 
1 Amazon Gift card $25 
2 signed copies (US only) of Between the Bleeding Willows

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