Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Dark Cycle Series by Rachel A. Marks: Interview & Giveaway

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?


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
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.

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.

Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter     Website


Please welcome The Dark Cycle Series author Rachel A. Marks to Diane’s Book Blog. 

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I began my this novel journey as a lover (read: obsessed human) of books, and a girl with an extremely vivid imagination. I made up creatures and stories since I can remember. But I didn't start to write them down into story form until high school. Unfortunately my breed of entertainment didn't sit well with my very conservative private school teachers and a lot of discouragement was sent my way. Which made me think I just wasn't any good at writing. So, I stopped creating and just read. It was as an adult with four tiny kids that I suddenly wanted to try again. I was reading this obscure book about a boy wizard who was cursed by a dark force who "could not be named". ;) And I got a story idea for a girl who lived in a world where it always snowed. I haven't stopped spilling out words since.

How long did it take you to write DARKNESS BRUTAL? 

It took me about a year to write. But then it took me two more years to finally sell it.

If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side? 

Either Connor or Kara. Connor because he's calm in the storm and resourceful. But Kara would be good because she's a badass. ;)

If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be? 

Oh, well, I think I'd want to be besties with Rebecca. She's just so loyal and kind. Usually writing characters like that is super boring but that girl gave me a run for my money. She was all kinds of conflicted. By the end of the series she was my favorite (besides Aidan, obviously) and I'm toying with continuing her story in a spin-off book, I just need the perfect twist to get me diving in.

What is your favorite book that you wrote? 

I really loved writing and editing (read: rewriting) DARKNESS SAVAGE, the 3rd and final book in The Dark Cycle. It was such a challenge but when it was finally all fitting together, it was the best feeling ever. Bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters I've been getting to know for four years but I think I gave them all a fitting close to their tale.
How do you overcome writer’s block? 

When I get writer's block it's usually because I've hit a problem in something I'm working on, it's like my subconscious is working so hard it's taken over my brain. I have to work through the problem before I can get past the block. So what I do is, I steep myself in story by reading and watching movies/TV to a ridiculous degree. This will normally knock something loose in my brain to help me see past whatever's locking me up.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

Right now I'm working on a YA fantasy tentatively titled, THE RAVEN CALLS. It's going to be super gritty (of course) and hopefully full of mystery. It's about an forsaken boy, a goddess, and a silver raven, and the tagline so far is: Dickens' Great Expectations meets Hobb's The Farseer Trilogy. I'm really really enjoying writing it and trying to make all the layers of story work together. It's a challenge so far, but a good one.

What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks? 

I'm super into my Kindle these days, but lately I prefer audio books, because I always seem to be short on time, and I can listen to them when I'm getting other things done.

Thanks so much for the interview! :)


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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...