It’s a lazy Sunday and all is quiet on the wharf. The shed has fallen into some disrepair and the b’ys decide to spend the day fixing ‘er up. I take the rare solitude to catch up on my reading. I’ve been meaning to finish the latest Danielle DeVor novel, Constructing Marcus, a wonderful tale about the spirits that live beyond our realm. I hear a voice and tear myself from the book to see who was talking only to see nothing. But then something catches my eye over on the wharf next to mine. A figure of a stunning young man sitting on the wharf next to Emma, Jo and Frank’s sixteen year old daughter, holding her hand and whispering something in her ear. She giggles and cries “Oh, Marcus!”
I stare at the young man and he looks suspiciously like the man on the cover!
This has gotten weird.
Danielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.
Sixteen-year-old ghost hunter, Emma Hoffman thought that moving into an old Victorian was going to be awesome– ghosts galore.
Much to her delight, she discovers that the house is haunted—not by a ghost, but by a construct (a spirit created to be a servant). As she gets to know Marcus, the construct, he asks her to help him avenge his maker and find her killer. Emma’s not too sure this is a good idea, she’s a ghost hunter after all, not a detective, but she agrees to help him anyway.
While trying to discover more information about the killer, Emma begins to have feelings for Marcus- feelings she isn’t ready to admit. Then the sorcerer who killed Marcus’s maker shows up at Emma’s house with an insane plan to capture Marcus and absorb his power- Emma isn’t having it. Marcus is hers.
When the killer performs a spell that begins to steal Marcus’s life force, Emma risks losing him. It’s a race against time for Emma to figure out how to stop the sorcerer and his spell before Marcus fades away and disappears from her life forever.
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There’s just something about looking at a cardboard box. You know what’s inside, but there’s still that jolt of excitement, energy that licks your nerve endings. Maybe it’s just the anticipation, I don’t know, but I definitely felt something. It could be that this was the last box I needed to account for. All the others, my boxes of books, movies, and knickknacks were checked out and were okay. This…this was the box that mattered the most.
The box was in front of me on the bed. I’d carried it into the house myself, not trusting the moving guys to carry it up our new, wicked-cool, wooden staircase. The new house was split between two levels with a landing in the middle that held a beautiful stained glass window. Last thing I needed was for the guy to trip, my box go flying through the air, and taking out that window. So, to eliminate that possibility, I’d carried the box up myself.
The last time I’d seen it was when I handed it to the moving guy. I’d carefully explained to the guy that this was a box to be careful with. Did he heed my warning? Probably not. It’s not like you can really expect anyone to be careful with your stuff except you. At 5’ 6”, I don’t exactly look fierce or anything.
I remembered wrapping everything in it in bubble wrap, taping up the box. I really wanted to carry it to Boston myself, but we were going by plane, and there just wasn’t enough room. I had to hope for a miracle.
So, I did the best I could and I hoped that it wouldn’t come open in transit. I’d even written, “Fragile” and “This Side Up” on the sides with a permanent marker. Now, if they paid attention, which I kind of doubted, nothing should be damaged. If my equipment was broken, I would not be happy. Granted, Dad would probably replace anything that was broken, but it wouldn’t be the same.
Memories rushed forward, pushing everything aside. I remembered Florida. I remembered the heat and the bugs. I thought I’d never miss it, but apparently, I did. No more exotic plants to watch out for, no more lizards poking around in the grass of the backyard. It felt dark here, like an expanse of nothingness that I couldn’t cross no matter how hard I tried to walk across the fog. I felt frozen and sedentary.
If the electronics were broken, the new stuff wouldn’t be from Florida, wouldn’t have been in ghost hunts with my friends. We’d called ourselves “The Ghost Chicks.” We’d run around Tallahassee trying to get people let us into their homes so we could investigate possible hauntings; no one ever really let us. Mostly, we’d gotten a lot of pictures of dust. I was really going to miss it.
I stared out the window. It was sunny and looked entirely too chipper. I didn’t feel chipper. I felt scared and uneasy. The unknown was something I dreaded, and this was a huge honking unknown. I opened the box with a pair of scissors and set them down on the bed. It was time. There was no sense in putting it off any longer. I had to do it.
After taking one last deep breath, I popped the cardboard flaps away from the tape and looked inside. Everything had shifted around. I reached inside, pulling out newspaper. At least nothing was missing, now if all of it worked…
Of course the heat might mess with the equipment too. I’m sure I had to be more careful about that in Florida than Boston, but still, it was hot. I wiped the sweat off my brow. The air conditioning wasn’t on high enough. Mom got too cold if the air was on too high. But then, Mom wore sweaters when it was seventy-five degrees. Mom was always cold.
Who knew it would be this hot is Boston?
Why a Construct? by Danielle DeVor
When I decided to write a YA Paranormal Romance, I wanted to do something different. There are tons of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and zombies. And, honestly, since I was already writing a vampire fantasy series, I wanted to go into a different creature.
I tend to research odd things at random. One minute, I can be looking up the latest information on eating disorders and the next minute reading about the occult in Victorian England.
So, when I set out to write Constructing Marcus, I poured through my head at all the little things I had picked up over the years. I wanted the creature to be familiar enough that he’d be easy to write, yet different enough that there would be new problems to have to work through between the love interest.
Finally, my brain settled on the case of “Philip”. There was a group of Canadian parapsychologists in the 1970’s who sought to disprove Ouija boards. They decided what Philip would look like if asked, his personality, how he died, etc. Roughly a year later, “Philip” manifested. He rapped on tables. Answered “yes” or “no” questions.
Needless to say, my brain began working overtime. I started thinking about if a ghost could be “constructed” how powerful would he be? How long could he live? What would affect him? Soon after, Marcus was born.