Thursday, 2 June 2016

Guest Post: The Dark Cycle by Rachel A.Marks

Guest post written by Rachel A. Marks:


The Rabbit Hole of Legend


I am obsessed with research, I have been since before I started writing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the collection of information that I stop writing and just revel in learning and exploring for far too long. The Dark Cycle was no exception, especially since I'm fascinated by Los Angeles history, having grown up here. And I'm fascinated by urban legends of any kind, as well. Needless to say, it became a bit of a vortex digging deeper this series. So much fun! And so distracting. 

The good thing is I can share some of my finds with you. Just be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole with me! 

The Hollywood Sign:

Built in 1923, and probably the most iconic spot in Los Angeles, it was only created to last a few weeks. It once lit up the night and read "Hollywood Land", but in 1949 the "Land" was removed. In the between years, 1932, a very tragic story took place at the letter "H". An unknown actress at the time, Peg Entwistle, climbed to the top of the letter and leapt to her death. Since that day there have been literally hundreds of stories about hikers and trespassers spotting a woman wandering the grounds, dressed in the fashion of the 30s. 

Houdini Mansion:

At the hight of his fame, Harry Houdini purchased an extravagant home in Laurel Canyon. It was like a fortress, with towers and hidden passageways, and underground tunnels. This is where he supposedly hid his chest of magical secrets. To this day the chest of secrets remains undiscovered, even after a fire burned the strange mansion down in 1959. By 1960 a rumor began circulating that Houdini had, in fact, not died, but had been seen in and around the property. Some people say he can still be seen in the area today. 

Magu Rock (PCH): 

Legend has it that a young native woman was brutally murdered by a rich land owner on a property near the location of Magu Rock. Her spirit is said to still roam the shore, like a woman in white with dark holes for eyes.

Griffith Park:

The area of land that incorporates Griffith Park is very large, and many ghost stories were born in one or more of the famous locations on the property once owned by the Feliz family and is said to be cursed because of a family dispute about how the land was passed down. Today it consists of the Observatory, the Greek Amphitheater, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Museum of the American West, the Travel Town train museum, two golf courses, a merry-go-around, countless hiking and horse trails, and the Hollywood sign. The most interesting and strange story to come from the cursed land originates in the picnic area. A haunted picnic table to be exact. In 1976 a young couple was making love on a picnic table when a large sycamore tree fell on them, killing them both. The couples ashes were tossed onto the spot by the family in memory, allowing them to be forever together. And to this day the table and tree are still entwined, because when the city workers went to clean up the fallen branches the tree moaned and shook. It's said the couple became a part of the land and the tree still hasn't been removed.


Darkness Brutal 
The Dark Cycle
Book One
Rachel A. Marks

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Skyscape

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2015

ISBN: 978-1477830796
ASIN: B00S6Z3S82

Number of pages: 422
Word Count: 120,000

Cover Artist: Cliff Neilson

Book Description: 

Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?

                                                 Amazon      Listen to an Audio Sample

Excerpt:
I let the pulse of the music coat me and mute my surroundings. A mass of people crowd the dance floor of the club, and I sit on an abandoned couch in the corner. The lights beat at the air in blues and greens, and bodies twist and merge to the thunder. I lean back, close my eyes, and try to get lost in it, the smells and sounds of people and their collective high.
Something moves next to me. I look over to find a girl sprawled on the seat beside me, trying to catch her breath. She’s not dressed in the usual club gear, more like a girl who got lost on her way to a beach party: Hurley T-shirt, jean skirt, and red Converse. Her cheeks are flushed pink; her throat and forehead glitter with sweat. She glances at me like she didn’t know I was there. She licks her upper lip, her eyes not leaving mine. Then she says something I can’t hear.
I point to my ear and shake my head.
She smiles and laughs, lighting up the space around her. She rests her hand on my arm, like we’re friends and I just told her the most hilarious joke, and then she gets up and disappears into the mass of bodies again.
My arm tingles, my body reacting to the moment of contact in a sudden and disconcerting way. I think I’ve had my fill of watching people indulge their baser instincts. I need to get out of here.
The beat of the music speeds up, vibrating faster as I move through the crowd. I try not to touch anyone, which is nearly impossible. All the emotions and appetites are overwhelming, as if the rising rhythm of the music makes their yearnings rise, too. Lust buzzes in the air. A hunger stirs in me, a gaping hole, needing to be filled. With touch.
The touch of female fingers. A hand on my arm, taking my wrist, pulling me into the fray, into the pressing bodies. And I don’t try to escape. I let her take me.
Because I’m tired.
Because I’m a dumbass.
A girl moves in front of me—not the Hurley girl, not the one I was hoping for. She presses closer, so close I can almost taste the salty perspiration on her skin. She has thin, birdlike shoulders, a swan neck, a heart-shaped face, and black hair, long and tangled, turning blue and green with the light. Her hands slide up my chest. She wraps her arms around my neck and tilts her head to look up at me.
Her lips are full and painted dark purple. There’s a dimple in her left cheek that gets deeper with her growing smile. And her eyes . . .
Fog fills my head for a second, interrupting my thoughts.
“Hi,” she mouths, calling attention to her lips again.
And then she’s rising up on her toes, pulling me down to her, twisting her fingers in my hair, her lips smashing against mine.
My body buzzes from her touch, and my hands react, drawing her into me. I drink her in. She tastes like the air around me, hunger and urgency, and—
Green apple Jolly Ranchers?
I grip her sides, her ribs so delicate beneath my fingers. The sweet tang of her teases me, the hunger becoming a monster deep inside. I have to press her closer, tighter, try to feed it, as I feel the fire of her need link with mine.
She pulls back a little and looks at me with wide eyes, like she’s shocked. That’s when I see the mark, a glowing, blue-inked line of what looks like Chinese symbols, trailing down the nape of her neck to her shoulder blade. Symbols that I’m suddenly sure mean: touch this girl at your own risk.
It’s the only thing I see for a second: Beware. Beware.
Until her energy reaches for me, wispy tendrils of blue light wrapping their way around my wrists and snaking up my chest.
I jerk away, into the guy behind me, stepping on his girlfriend’s toes. I get shoved— thankfully farther from the hypnotic girl—through a space in the crowd, saying a hundred excuse-me’s even though I know no one can hear them. I find my way out of the press of bodies to the edge of the room again where it’s safe.
It’s time to leave. I should’ve left an hour ago.


Darkness Fair
The Dark Cycle
Book Two
Rachel A. Marks

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Skyscape

Date of Publication: 2/1/16

ISBN: 978-1503950290 
ASIN: B00YDJKE00 
Number of pages: 335

Cover Artist: Cliff Neilson

Book Description:

Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. As he gravitates to Kara, the beguiling and dangerously unstable girl who helped him realize his abilities, a terrible mistake of fate is revealed that points him back toward Rebecca, whose role is becoming more critical to the battle. And no matter what his heart wants, it might be too late to stop the pieces already in motion.

Without knowing the sacrifices that will be required of them, Aidan and his motley crew of friends—each with their own role to play—must face the demon threat head-on. They’re the only ones keeping the growing army of Darkness at bay, and if they fail, the future of humanity could be lost.

                                                     Amazon    Listen to an Audio Sample

About the Author:

Rachel A. Marks is an award-winning author and professional artist, a SoCal girl, cancer survivor, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. She was voted: Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory. Her debut series The Dark Cycle, described as Dickens' Oliver Twist meets TV's Supernatural, is now out through Skyscape, beginning with DARKNESS BRUTAL.

Website: http://www.rachelannemarks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelAnneMarks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4094113.Rachel_A_Marks 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelannemarks


Tour giveaway

$20 Amazon giftcard and chosen paperback or audio in the series

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1 comment:

  1. I would love to read the paperback book if I won.

    ReplyDelete