1/23/14 EDIT: THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Sorry if you’re late to the party–we picked a winner on Tuesday, 1/21/14. However, NAMELESS is still 99 cents on Kindle, and I strongly encourage you all to check it out! – TK
In recent months I’ve had the pleasure of becoming good friends with fellow EXQUISITE DEATH author Mercedes Yardley. When she asked me to host a stop on her blog tour in support of her first full-length novel, I naturally said, “Of course!” Her first novel is titled NAMELESS: THE DARKNESS COMES and is the first in a series she calls THE BONE ANGEL TRILOGY.
So what is NAMELESS?
Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day. Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’ After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end.
Sounds awesome, right? We kicked around a few ideas and decided the best way to introduce you to her work is by posting the first chapter of NAMELESS: THE DARKNESS COMES. So here it is, folks: the very first chapter in a soon-to-be legendary series:
NAMELESS: CHAPTER ONE
“Dude, that guy has a demon,” I said to my brother. We were sitting side by side on the front porch, but he wasn’t looking at me. I nudged him in the ribs and pointed at the guy, discreetly.
“What’s it doing?” Seth asked, still flipping through his Runner’s World. He never even looked up. I’m not surprised in the least. I squint at the guy across the street.
“Well, the guy’s carrying groceries into his house, and it looks like the demon’s trying to open the door. And you’re not listening.”
“I’m listening.” Flip, flip, flip. He wasn’t even looking at the pages, flipping them so fast. Trying to keep his cool, as usual. Sometimes his calmness was maddening. I wanted him to get excited sometimes, to stand and shout until the veins popped out of his neck like Dad’s did. But he’ll never be Dad. He’d die first.
“There’s a demon, Seth. Hanging around the guy next door. And you’re completely unfazed by this?”
“Of course,” I muttered and took a bite out of an apple. The green kind, my favorite. And suddenly it didn’t matter anymore, if he believed me or not, because that wouldn’t change anything, would it?
“I’ll be late. Don’t wait up,” I said, and my voice sounded harsher than I intend. It sounded mean. I wanted to turn back and apologize, but I made myself keep walking.
I think about my brother. I think about him a lot lately, especially since his wife ran out on him six months ago. After the first five, I moved in to help him take care of his baby girl, Lydia. She’s a little over a year old and still doesn’t sleep through the night. Nightmares. I think they’re hereditary. But then, with a mom like Sparkles, I’d have nightmares, too.
Yes. Seth actually married a woman who called herself Sparkles. Maybe he deserved everything he got.
“Where are you going?” a soft voice asked me. I didn’t turn to see the speaker.
“You don’t belong here,” I said, not breaking my stride. “Go home.”
“Where is home?” The voice floated along at my side. I could see the wispy darkness out of the corner of my eye.
“I meant your home. You are not invited to mine.”
“I want to come to yours.”
“I want to see where you live.”
I was getting irritated. I wanted to turn and face the demon so I could yell at it properly, but I kept walking, kept my eyes straight ahead.
“I’m on to your tricks, demon. You’ll get no sport from me.”
There was a snorting laughter, and the earlier foggy vagueness was gone from its voice. “Oh, I’ll get plenty from you, Luna.” It faded away.
The first time a demon called me by name, I about had a heart attack. How does it know me? How does it know? I had thought. But I was young then, only a little girl in school, and I was not wise to such things. They know me because I know them. Really, it isn’t very mystical at all.
Ah, but knowing a demon’s name? That gives you power. Good luck finding it out, though. Half the time the demons themselves can’t remember what they were originally called.
I walked all of the way down to the harbor. The air had that heavy scent of fish and soft rotting things that somehow managed to be fresh and almost pleasant. I love the sea. I leaned over the railing and stared into the dark water.
Something even darker stared back.
I sighed, shoved my hands in my pockets and turned my back to the railing. Sometimes this gift of mine really sucks.
My phone rang, and I fished around in my puffy down vest until I found it. It was my brother.
“What’s up?” I said.
There was a pause, and then a shadowy voice warbled out, “I am a demon.”
“What, using my brother’s phone?” I asked.
“Don’t be a moron. Demons can’t use electronics. What’s going on, Seth?”
My brother took a big breath and let it out slowly. It was purifying just listening to it. I found myself breathing out with him.
“I don’t want you to be mad at me, Luna,” he said. I could hear splashing and happy noises in the background. He must be giving Lydia her bath. This made me smile.
“I’m not mad at you. I’m just, you know, frustrated. I’m not lying.”
“I never thought you were,” he said, and I heard little girl giggling and more splashing. And something different, a kind of low humming. This was a lot closer.
Great, I thought.
I turned my back to the humming and stalwartly refused to look into the water. There’s always a lot of activity that goes on near the sea. A lot of things there.
“You don’t think I’m lying, you just think I’m crazy, right? And this is supposed to make me feel better?”
Seth didn’t say anything, and I bet he was mentally counting to ten. I try his patience, I know this. At the same time, he’s my brother, the only family I have left, and I almost feel like he owes it to me to believe.
“Dad used to hear voices,” he said slowly, and I snorted and hung up the phone.
“You,” I said, pointing to a demon three steps away from me. His eyes were already upon mine. “And you, and you.” I pointed at two others, one of which was trying to reach the phone in my hand.
“It’s not going to work. You think I’d help you touch something from my world? You, too,” I said, peeking over the railing into the water. “You guys aren’t real. You’re all products of my ultra-deranged mind. What do you think of that?”
They started laughing.
“Thought so,” I said and turned toward work.
NAMELESS:THE DARKNESS COMES releases digitally and in print on January 21st.
Who is Mercedes Yardley?
Mercedes M. Yardley wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She likes to do a little bit of everything, and writes dark fantasy, horror, nonfiction, and poetry. Mercedes minored in Creative Writing and worked as a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and her debut novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which is the first book in THE BONE ANGEL TRILOGY. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at www.mercedesyardley.com.
And now for a CONTEST! Want to win a copy of NAMELESS? All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog. Don’t worry if it doesn’t appear right away–I have to authenticate it if it’s your first time posting here (sorry–it helps me cut down on the spam). I’ll say it again: don’t worry if it doesn’t appear right away! That’s about it, really. Just comment and we’ll do a random drawing on January 21st. The winner will get NAMELESS in either eBook or print format (winner’s choice). Good luck!