The Big Kahuna prize in ML Brennan's contest, unusual musical instruments, & a snippet from Without Light or Guide

For those of you who don't know (and frankly, if you don't, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?), the witty and charming ML Brennan, author of the Generation V series, is hosting a seriously awesome giveaway on Reddit to celebrate her forthcoming novel Dark Ascension, which should be at the top of your August to-buy list.

Since I am corrupt and judgmental, ML has asked me to help judge her contest. I will be joining Stephen Blackmoore, the author of the Eric Carter series of LA noir necromantic urban fantasy; Max Gladstone, who writes the Craft sequenceLish McBride, who writes the Necromancer series; and Django Wexler, who splits his time between flintlock fantasy where a rugged army commander fails to realize that half of his fighting force consists of cross-dressing women and middle-grade fiction that features sarcastic and delightful talking cats.

[PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints, some--oh hell--ALL of the descriptions were flagrantly plagiarized from ML's site.]

So anyway, I'm helping judge the contest. So you must make me laugh with a passage from a book that made you laugh! Won't this be fun?

YES, you may point out, because this is the Internet and everyone has an opinion. YES, you say again, BUT ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, AND YOU WRITE DARK FANTASY. YOU ARE GRIM, GRIM, GRIM ...

This novelette contains Tufa, Los Nefilim, and an uncommon musical instrument ... ALL FOR ONLY $0.99. That's a bargain.

This novelette contains Tufa, Los Nefilim, and an uncommon musical instrument ... ALL FOR ONLY $0.99. That's a bargain.

Did I also mention I am corrupt? I do accept bribes, so feel free to offer me anything other than your firstborn child. No more children, thank you. Children are expensive.

What else has been happening ... OH, I KNOW!

Thanks to the wonderful Alex Bledsoe, who writes a unique brand of urban fantasy with his Tufa series, I now know that we missed the chance to honor uncommon musical instruments on "Uncommon Musical Instrument Appreciation Day," which was on July 31. I know this, because Alex found out first and pointed it out to me.

DON'T JUDGE ME! I AM WORKING ON EDITS!

*coughs*

BUT IT'S NOT TOO LATE! You can still enjoy "Uncommon Musical Instrument Appreciation Day" and show your appreciation by checking out our novelette, Hisses and Wings, which contains Tufa, Los Nefilim, and an uncommon musical instrument. I mean, seriously, that's better than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, because you get THREE great things that go great together: fairies, Nefilim, and music!

I know I haven't been around the blog lately, but I've been working on edits for Without Light or Guide: Los Nefilim, Part II. Since we're still in the "this is subject to change" portion of the edits, here is a little teaser from the opening of Without Light or Guide:

Bright sunlight fell onto the crowded boulevard at the Liceu metro station. The clear, sharp notes of light drove back the sounds of darkness feathering the spaces beneath the trees. The city noises shaped sound waves, which heaved ribbons of color over the silhouettes of people and cars.

It was like the Nefilim’s version of double vision. Diago’s eyesight blurred at the profusion of traffic and pigments, each overlaying the other to create a stream of distorted motion. An attack of vertigo, accompanied by mild nausea, washed over him. He swallowed his bile and forced himself to focus. I’ve got to learn to manage this.

Miquel opened his mouth, but Diago silenced him with a gesture. He narrowed his eyes and looked over Guillermo’s shoulder. A curl of blue-gray waves trailed a car, dissipating as the vehicle turned the corner. Two men stood beneath a tree on the avenue. They laughed, and the golden colors of their mirth bloomed like flowers before their lips to obscure their faces.

Another wave of dizziness washed over him. Damn it. It was no use. If he moved now, he’d risk falling. He clenched his teeth and waited for the episode to pass. Glancing down at the sidewalk gave him no relief. Milky spirals wavered around pebbles as a train entered the station below their feet.

“Is it the chromesthesia?” Guillermo asked.

Diago managed a quick nod. All of the Nefilim were able to see color in the sound waves around them—that ability enabled them to work their magic—but the vampire that had bitten off Diago’s finger was one of the old ones known as the ‘aulaq, and the older the ‘aulaq, the more potent their venom. Likewise, Diago’s advanced age had saved his life. The amount of poison he had absorbed would have killed a younger Nefil, but he hadn’t escaped unscathed. Besides the obvious loss of his finger, the toxin seemed to have amplified his natural faculties to the point of disability. While Juanita—Los Nefilim’s doctor, and Guillermo’s wife—said it wasn’t a textbook case of chromesthesia, the symptoms were close enough, so they had all added a new word to their vocabulary.

One that Diago could have happily lived without.

Okay, that's all I have for you right now. Go check out ML's contest. If you haven't read Hisses and Wings, go get your Tufa/Los Nefilim/uncommon musical instrument fix right now. If you haven't read the first novella in the Los Nefilim series, you'd better hop on it and grab a copy of In Midnight's Silence so you're up to speed when part two hits this fall!

Angels! Daimons! Intrigue! Music! Looming Civil War! ... it's all coming your way so DON'T MISS OUT!

I'll have more for you soon ... and remember: those vampire bites are nasty, even for Los Nefilim.