by Catrina Burgess
Release Date: October 7th 2015
Full Fathom Five Digital
Summary from Goodreads:
In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.
Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.
Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.
As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?
Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series originally appeared on Wattpad with over three million reads. Awakening is the first book of four and was named Wattpad’s Best Suspense Story of 2014.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked, trying to keep the fear I was feeling from showing.Luke pointed toward the ground. “Lay down on the grave.”This wasn’t happening. I was in some bizarre nightmare, and I had to wake myself up.“On the grave?” This time I couldn’t keep the tremble out of my voice.He didn’t look at me when he answered. “Make sure to lie on your back. I have to be able to see your eyes.”I got down on my knees and then slowly turned over and laid down against the damp grass. I tried not to think about the skeleton lying a few feet beneath me.Luke was suddenly straddling me. “There’s still time to change your mind.”Yes, yes, get out of here! the voice in my head screamed.“Do what you have to,” I whispered.I flinched when his hands encircled my neck. They were bigger than I imagined, and the panic I felt rise from the pit of my stomach was almost more than I could stand.“Last chance. You don’t have to do this,” he said. The fear was back in his eyes.The images of my father’s broken body flashed through my head. I had no choice, I had to continue.“Do it,” I said between clenched teeth.His hands tightened, and in a moment of sheer terror I changed my mind. He needed to stop. I couldn’t go through with this. My hands came up and clawed against his fingers, but he was too strong. My lungs were bursting with the need to breathe. I looked up into his eyes. The expression on his face was one of blank concentration.He’s killing me.