Black Mark is a series of dieselpunk fantasy novellas telling the beginning of a new era: Flight, radio, the advent of talking movies…
And the return of magic.
Not sleight of hand illusions, but real magic, terrifying and mysterious, has reawakened. In the bustling city of Ixpoli, it lurks within shadows as it regains its strength. Azarola, a street musician by day and gangster grunt by night, becomes intimately acquainted with this ancient force. After a fatal mistake, followed by a witch’s curse, he chooses to fight for his life and soul. From busker to mechanic to soldier to spy, he treads deeper into the world of magic, spirits, and gods. Meanwhile, the world plunges into wars that may return civilization to an age under the thrall of witch-queens and fickle gods. Azarola and the friends he makes along the way will stand at the heart of this conflict. Will the world be ruled by magic? By technology? Or perhaps both?
Black Mark Book 1: Bane and Black Mark
He didn’t believe curses were real.
Always looking for a good time, wearing a smile and a song, the young busker came to the bustling city of Ixpoli to play his music for a living. Instead, Azarola is pressed into the service of one of the many gangs that rule the urban underworld, trading his guitar for the gun in the darkest hours of the night. The smile of a beautiful and daring flapper brightens his days as he waits for spring and a winter love blossoms. However, the musician must make a lethal choice and a witch’s curse befalls him. Bearing a wicked brand, he discovers a sinister pact that will consume the city. He is only one man and cannot break the curse alone. Finding help with new friends, he battles to liberate himself and the city before time runs out for both.
Black Mark Book 2: Spells and Silver Screens
What abhorrent magic is this?
On the run and relishing their freedom, Azarola and Rohita travel towards the northern mountains to seek their fortunes in the second installment of the Black Mark series. Their peace is short-lived as dark forces empty a village around them during the night. Only quick thinking and the awakened power of ancient hymn stands between them and oblivion. As they try to leave the calamity behind, an epidemic of madness and disappearances grip their sanctuary city, forcing them to take a stand against the supernatural once again. With the fate of their new home hanging in the balance, they must harness the emergent power of technology before another tragedy strikes!
Black Mark Book 3: Fire and Foxholes
In the third installment of the Black Mark series, Azarola awakens to pain, blood, and the percussion of bombs on a dusty battlefield. He picks up the rifle in front of him and fights his way to relief. How did he get here? What war is this? Where is Rohita?
Now a mechanic in the Seventeenth Combat Engineering Regiment of the Inexan Army, Azarola serves his country in their pitched war with Averna over the desert nation of Karifiga. While Inexa relies on tanks and planes, Averna bends sandstorms to its will and summons tank-trashing beasts and dogfighting dragons. Never short of work, Azarola and his crew struggle under fire to keep the Inexan forces fighting. If Azarola wants to find Rohita, he must first survive the war!
Black Mark Book 4: Treasure and Tribulation
Who said work as a translator was safe? This is war!
In the fourth installment of the thrilling Black Mark series, the sly Azarola joins the aviatrix Audra’s multinational team in a race against time to decipher a cryptic message and recover an extraordinary relic before Elspia falls. Despite his crippling wounds, his valuable knowledge marks him as an asset for Inexa and a target for the Directorate. As the team hunts, Azarola learns a condemning secret about himself and his cursed fate. With his life and the outcome of the war at stake, he leverages his subterfuge skills deep within enemy territory, flirting with disastrous exposure with every step. He must find a way to close the witchgates and break the Directorate’s war machine at any cost!