Adelheid Series

This is my page for all things Adelheid! You can learn more about the stories that have been released and where to find them, and I’ve included two segments (previously posted) about both the past and the future of Adelheid as a series. I’ll add more fun stuff as the series goes on!

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Click here to read the Adelheid Guide to the Preternatural!

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Book 1: Cameron’s Law

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Vampires are people too…

That’s what Sadie Stanton has been trying to get people to understand, and what the business she’s setting up in the paranormal hotspot of Adelheid, Connecticut, is aiming to do. Cameron’s Law has made all supernatural creatures legal citizens, and the boy next door has suddenly become the werewolf next door.

Not everyone likes that.

Now vampires have started attacking werewolves without provocation, and as if her fledgling business and preternatural rights poster girl status isn’t keeping her busy enough, people are looking to Sadie to help keep these events from giving their enemies the ammunition to repeal the law and push them back in the shadows.

But her notoriety comes with an even higher cost. Can she find a way to keep the city’s two biggest paranormal populations from descending into chaos and war, while her very help shoves her into the crossfire?

“…Cameron’s Law didn’t disappoint…”

“…Sadie Stanton is the MOST likable and, believe it or not, the most relatable female vampire that I’ve had the pleasure to “meet.”…”

“…If you like vampire/were stories that aren’t too childish or whiny, this would be something right up your alley…”

“…while reading this book I thought how nice True Blood could have been. Now don’t get me wrong Sookie Stackhouse is an enjoyable read but this book made me think True Blood with sense…”

“…If you are tired of the over abundance of Vampire literature, sink you teeth into this book for a delightful surprise that really sets itself apart from the mainstream craze…”

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Book 2: When Forever Died

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Forever…is a long time.

Dakota’s life has been long, hard, and lonely. Now she’s a hunter, and alone by choice. She’s the best at what she does, and what she does is hunt down the things that go bump in the night that no one else can get to. But no matter how hard she runs or how many walls she builds in her heart, the past is always hunting her.

For the first time ever, she agrees to take on two cases at once: an ex-lover for murder, and an Ancient vampire the cops can’t touch. Both cases will reveal things that shake the very foundation of her existence and break the walls she’s worked so hard to build around herself.

These events will bring the past, present, and future into a collision course. Will she survive it like she has survived the past four centuries, or will she go down in flames?

“…I defy anyone to read When Forever Died and NOT like it…”

“…This is one of the best paranormal series I have found this year…”

“…When I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again…”

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Short Story, Between the Tales 2.5: Cats & Dogs

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Vacation is what you make of it…

Madison has been ordered by friend, room-mate and boss (Sadie Stanton) to go away for a weekend and try to relax. Although Madison resists at first, she soon meets a handsome man who helps her do just that…until the two of them are embroiled in the mystery of a murder, with Madison’s handsome man as the prime suspect!

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Book 3: Voracious

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Sometimes, life doesn’t begin until after you’re dead…

Days stretch out in a series of predictable steps. A to B to C to A. Work. Friends. Life. But for some people, it’s not enough. It’s not enough for D. Possessed of a ravenous hunger for more, he’s at a loss for how to find it.

Until he meets Cielle. She’s everything he’s looking for: new and exciting.

And a vampire, which he’s less crazy about.

But when “new and exciting” Turns him, D is forced into an undead life he never anticipated. Trying to adjust to this new existence is hard enough, but he’s about to get more than he ever bargained for.

Will it be enough to sate his hunger?

“…If you haven’t started this series, do so…”

“…This novel should be called INSATIABLE because I could not get enough…”

“…One word draws you to another and at no point is it boring or crappy. That’s how reading should be…”

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And for those who are new to the series and would like to give a go to all three, or for those who would like to own a print version of all three for a deal, the Welcome to Adelheid three book bundle, which has Cameron’s Law, When Forever Died and Voracious!

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Welcome to Adelheid, CT. Freak central. Unofficial capital of legal preternatural creatures in the Northeast. Focal point for anti-preternatural sentiments in the United States.

Who would ever guess that this otherwise sleepy New England town houses many of the most powerful beings known to exist?

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Short Story, Between the Tales 3.5: Family Matters

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Never look at Fido the same again…

Dakota has been a loner for two centuries, but she suddenly has a constant presence in her life that she’s not sure how to handle. And now she gets a case that is just full of surprises, and will lead her to never look at a pet dog the same way again!

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Book Four: Written All Over Her

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One word can change the story of your life forever.

Abduction. Torture. Surrender.

Eleven months from her adolescence have framed thirty-one years of Detective Nykk Marlowe’s life. Despite the trauma of her past, and the unique physical scars it left her with, she’s built a career as a detective for the Adelheid Police Department.

Her personal life might only consist of caring for her sister and a pet rabbit, but she accepts that.

She accepts that she’ll never be able to be like “normal” people, even the supernatural ones. As long as she can keep the past where it belongs, she’s okay.

But when the body of a teenage girl shows up with the same scars that Nykk sees in the mirror every day, her “okay” life gets turned upside down and she’s forced to confront the past she’s been looking away from for sixteen years.

And when it turns out there’s already more than one victim, the pressure’s on to stop the killer before any more girls are tortured, mutilated, and murdered.

“…This installment of the Adelheid series is dark, creepy, and extremely well written…”

…Another winner from Mia Darien. It’s impossible for me to NOT fall in love with Darien’s carefully crafted protagonists…

“…With each book I read in this series I think, this is the best one, this is my favorite character. Then I read the next book, and think the same thing…”

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Short Story, Between the Tales 4.5: Sheltered

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Love is love in any form.

Several years ago, Edward spent eight months as a bullmastiff. And he learned a few things about life and love while being unexpectedly stuck as a shelter dog.

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Even Adelheid has a dark side…

Detective Vance Johnston has a lot going for him. He’s got good friends, a job he likes, gets to play tiger every now and then, and is getting ready to propose to his long time girlfriend, Sadie Stanton. Things are looking pretty good.

That is until a shocking turn of events sends him into a case at the last minute that threatens not just everything in his life, but his life itself. Thrust into the seedy underbelly of the preternatural organized crime world, Vance is trapped, a prisoner to the entertainment and money of a darkness threatening to undermine Adelheid.

But he’s not alone. Not just in the prison he’s kept in, but on the outside too. He just has to hang on until help comes, but that’s going to be anything but easy as his own beast within is used against him.

“…Mia deals out the mystery, drops you into the action, and has you crossing your fingers and toes for a happy ending…”

“…written exceedingly well, complete with the intensity and rawness that I have come to expect…”

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Every love story has two sides…

When Detective Vance Johnston was abducted, he entered a hell unlike any he’d ever known before, but the world outside didn’t stop because he was there. What happened to the ones left behind? What hell did Sadie enter during the time he was missing without a clue as to what had happened to him?

This story is a “Between the Tales” short story set in the Adelheid Series world. It is set concurrently with the fifth Adelheid novel, “Disposable People.”

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The Future of Adelheid

The series is linked together through the town, rather than through a single character like in most series. Every book is written in First Person, but the narrator changes each time. They all live in or have strong connection to the town of Adelheid, CT, and generally there is some connection/affiliation with the Stanton Angecy, which we first saw in Cameron’s Law.

We will see the same characters weave into each story in varying degrees.

Time remains linear, so each book follows the other in sequence and links them together, but they are meant to be able to be read as stand alone series as well. Later books may have spoilers to earlier ones, but you don’t have to read the first books to enjoy the later ones.

Below, I’ve listed the ideas for upcoming stories. Only the book I’m going to write next has a “set place” in the order. The rest isn’t set in stone.

(Coming Next!) Adelheid Novel: Apex

In this story, we re-visit Dakota as the narrator. Something is on the loose in Adelheid, something that may even be above the preternatural species on the food chain. And when you have a Big Ugly to chase down, who is your best bet? Well, Dakota, of course!

Adelheid Novel: Trace

This story will be narrated by Cassandra, who we originally met in Voracious. Everyone knows she’s a little “odd,” but no one guesses just what is taking place in her mind or what secrets she keeps, but it is all about to come to light.

Adelheid Novel: La Muerte Roja

This story will be narrated by Donovan, who we originally met in Cameron’s Law. There is an ancient secret society that needs the help of a summoner, and don’t really care if it’s willingly or not.

Adelheid Novel: My Kind of Night

This story will be narrated by Lucia, who we originally met in Disposable People. When zombies start rising without any apparent animator doing the work, it takes no small amount of effort to figure out what’s going on, especially once they realize that the zombies are also violent and attacking a specific type of person…

Adelheid Novel: Untitled

This story brings us back to Sadie. When the anti-preternatural crowd actually starts gaining ears in Washington, Sadie spends as much time in the present fighting them as she does in the past, remembering Cameron’s work to get the law in the first place, and about how it led to his death.

Between the Tales Short/Novel (Undecided): Untitled

This story returns to Madison. Gabriel, leader of the local werewolf pack, needs a new alpha female. Although she didn’t intend to be, she’s thrown into the role. Does she want it? What about Chase? It’s a confusion of the heart and politics, and things are never even that simple.

Between the Tales Short: New Rome

This story will be narrated by Abby or Quintus. It visits their shared roots, and Quintus’ unique origins.

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The Genesis of Adelheid

The dedication to Cameron’s Law thanks all of those who walked the long road to life that Adelheid took, and it has been a long road.

Some authors have an idea and can type out their stories to perfection inside of a few months. For others, it takes more work. For me and the Adelheid series, it’s been more than ten years in the making. Here’s a look at where and how it started, and where it’s ended up.

You could say that an examination of the Adelheid series is to look at the evolution of a story and an idea.

When I was younger, I read the first three Anne Rice vampire stories, I devoured the Vampire Files by P. N. Elrod (and still count her among my favorite authors) and I loved the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Of course, I fell off the wagon on the Blake series when she went round a bend I didn’t like (sometime around Cerulean Sins and Micah, can’t remember exactly now) but she was a strong influence.

I also loved Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta, Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum, and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. (Again, all of them lost me later on in the series but I inhaled their earlier books.)

So, it was really no surprise when – at sixteen – I decided to write This Shade of Night.

I believe I was ultimately inspired by Anita Blake and the idea of preternatural legality, though I thought at the time that she was missing a lot of marks she could have been hitting with it. So, I did what many authors do and decided to fix what I didn’t like, so I wrote my own story.

At sixteen, what do we really know, though?

I started the series in Salem, Massachussetts though I don’t live there. (Visited several times, having grown up two hours away.) I made Sadie an investigator for an agency called Preterantural, Unlimited. She was half vampire, half were-tiger. It was set in 2018, fifteen years after the law. I mangled a half dozen bits of lore into the story because I thought they were cool, as well as the mystery and romance.

I even self-published through iUniverse almost ten years ago. And believe it or not, it met with a decent reception from a magazine reviewer. Of course, that magazine was a trade publication now gone defunct, but still, the story had potential. I wrote two more books in the series, one featuring Dakota the theriomorph hunter and the third back to Sadie. These never went further than friends and family.

This Shade of Night Concept Art  This Shade of Night Cover ArtOld When Forever Died Concept Art

[These are the original covers for “This Shade of Night” and some concept art for the first version of “When Forever Died” – the former being published under a different pen name, a million years ago. Aren’t they just ghastly? Whatever was I thinking?]

Life caught up with me. Marriage, divorce, marriage, changing jobs, changing houses, having a child… You get the idea. I stopped writing for a while and didn’t pick it up again, for good, until the past couple of years. I had to return to my roots, but this time, I was going to do it right. I decided that more needed to go into it.

I decided to create a new town. I gave it a history. I created a private listing of the location, the businesses, the population, who founded it, and so on.

I researched the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and modeled the path of the Preternatural Rights Act of 2010 after it, calling it Cameron’s Law after the Harvard law student and werewolf (Cameron St John) who pioneered it. I gave the law a history. I moved it all to our timeline to achieve the affect on the setting I had always intended but didn’t make as much sense before.

I brainstormed with a biologist friend to come up with preternatural biology, and chose what lore I’d use. I wrote a guide to the preternatural, which is at the end of every story.

I made Sadie the owner of the agency, because she had always been the “anchor” character. I gave her history with Cameron St John, and more about her efforts in bringing the law into being. I put Cameron’s sister Madison as the agency’s secretary and Sadie’s best friend to anchor that history. I made her all vampire, because the half-breed thing just seemed silly. I re-plotted and rewrote, taking elements of the previous drafts but streamlining, tweaking, and making it work better.

Cameron’s Law – as a book – was born and, I have to say, to generally good response and now the second book, When Forever Died, is also out. This one kept a lot from its original version, as Dakota hasn’t changed much, but so far so good there too.

Just like a writer, a story can mature. I might have had an okay, or even a good, story when it started but once it had matured and grown along with me, it’s become a better story.

And it only took twelve years to do it!

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Building a City

The Adelheid series is built on one basic premise: that a law has been passed that makes all preternatural creatures (vampires, werewolves and more) legal citizens. They don’t have to “play human” to have the same rights and privileges as everyone else in the United States. The series is based around the city of Adelheid, CT where a lot of preternatural beings live.

Growing up in New England, I’ve always known that this area’s long history is rife with paranormal fodder. Salem, MA is just a couple of hours away from me and the history of that city is well known.

When I first conceived this series ten years ago, I set it in Salem. (It was called the Preternatural, Unlimited series then.) I was sixteen and had just visited Salem for the third time in my life. I originally chose to use it because it is so rich in history, lore and personality.

Unfortunately, I don’t live there, so I started to feel like I couldn’t write about the city and do it the justice that it deserved.

Years later when I began to work on the series again and overhauled it, I wanted to get my world and setting straight before I even wrote the first book. I decided to make my own city and plant it in my home state of Connecticut. I modelled it slightly after the town I grew up in, but expanded on it to accommodate all I needed it to do.

I decided to give it a short history. Even if I never used that history in a book, I liked having it written for my own knowledge. I decided the town was founded by an immigrant who came over in the mid-1800s. After a little research, I learned that the most common nationalities immigrating into Connecticut in the 1840s were from Germany and Ireland.

So, the founder of my town was German.

This is the official history of Adelheid: “Historically, it was founded by a man named Martin who emigrated from Germany in 1848 and brought his wife over in 1851. He was a farmer who fought in the Civil War. He founded the town several years after that, and it was established as Adelheid (named for his late wife) in 1897.”

The unofficial history — at least so far as the human world was concerned — of the city is that there is a strong source of power there. Martin was Turned to a vampire some years after the death of his wife and was attracted to the power of Adelheid, which is why he founded the city there and why it has so long attracted other preternaturals.

I chose to place it in Connecticut, because I am most familiar with it and because this area of New England has a lot of forest. There’s a lot of rural land out this way and Adelheid needs it. It’s full of shapeshifters who need to change at least once a month into their animal forms and run free. (Many of them choose to do so even when it’s not a full moon!) I needed lots of land for them to do this.

NewEngland having its old, rich history also would make it a comfortable place for vampires, because many of them are old and rich too.

I even went so far as to establish other details, such as: “It currently covers approximately sixty square miles and has a population of approximately ten thousand people, as of the 2000 census. It’s located near the I-95 corridor towards the coast of Long Island Sound.”

I maintain a rough list of businesses in the city, to help keep track of the thriving little community I’ve created. Creating the city has helped cement it better in my mind and given me freedom in writing it. Since it’s planned to be a long series, I want to make sure I’m comfortable living there and can write it accurately.

To anyone in the area, I would recommend the part of the state near the Sound, though I wish I could say you’d find a real Adelheid there!

Still, if you do find one, be sure to say hello to Sadie for me.

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