Title: INTO THE ETHER
Genre: Dark YA Fantasy
Word Count: 77,000
When Lilith strangles Daniel on their wedding night, he expects to go where everyone else goes when they die: Paradise, or Torment. Instead, he finds himself sucked into the Ether, a strange place that catches lost souls. But the Ether is more than that. It’s also the place where the battle between good and evil will be won, or lost.
The two kings of the Ether have been struggling to keep the balance between darkness and light for eternity. But the system is failing, and one of the kings has aligned himself with the forces of darkness. It’s left to the other king, Varesin, to uphold what the Ether stands for, and for that, he needs Daniel.
Told that he can never go home again, Daniel agrees to work for Varesin as a wrighter, fixing the wrongs of the past that threaten to tip the world out of balance. But before he can complete his training, Varesin is captured by the dark king. Daniel is left alone with only a shadow cat and a mysterious sword that gives him the ability to visit his own past. After harnessing the power of the blade, he learns several things that will shape his (after)life forever:
Varesin is the reason Daniel lived at all, but he’s also the reason Daniel died.
The feud Daniel and Lilith married to end has murdered his entire family.
And the only way to save the world is to kill the woman he would still do anything for.
Sometimes, our greatest enemy is love.
She killed the boy with a piece of lace from her wedding gown.
Or, at least, he thought she did.
He expected to go straight to the ever after when the last of his breath left his lungs, and his heart slowed and stopped. But instead, when his soul cleaved from his body and rose with the lightness of a soap bubble toward the sky, he felt it all. He felt her hands tremble as they flew, pink and swollen, to her face. He felt the warmth of her breath as she exhaled: a strange sound somewhere between disbelief and delight.
He felt the tickle of joy he usually got at the sight of her smile when she moved her hands to reveal a grin.
That, more than anything—more than her betrayal, more than his death, more than what it would mean for his family—made him sad. That even though she’d murdered him, he still loved her.
Wind rushed over him as she grew smaller and smaller below. He gusted away toward the clear starry sky and whatever waited for him there. The moon clung desperately to the horizon.
Perhaps that was where Paradise lie, on the dark side of the moon.
But he headed straight up instead, away from the moon and into the darkness between the stars.
For a moment, the entire universe stretched before him. And then he was sucked somewhere . . . between.