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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Book 1: Cameron’s Law
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[Audible - Audiobook]
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
[This story is now available for sale, but you can still get it for free if you sign up for my mailing list!]
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
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
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
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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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.
[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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The Future of Adelheid
This was originally written after the second book in the series came out, discussing the books to come. I’ll update it in the future, as new books are released/added/changed and so forth.
Every book is in First Person, but instead of following a single narrator, each book has a different one. They all tie together via the town of Adelheid and the Stanton Agency, which we see in Cameron’s Law. Some will have looser affiliations to the agency than others, of course. Such as, friends with someone at the agency but not working there.
Every book is part of the series, but I write each one as a stand-alone as well.
I’ve read some comments about who people liked, and might want to see more from. It occurs to me that there’s really no reason I can’t give a little insight into the plan for Adelheid for books not yet released, so here it is!
Book Five: Disposable People - Narrator: Vance Johnston. Preternaturals might be legal, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an underground and that underground threatens everything Vance holds dear.
Book Six: Actually returning to Dakota…
Book Seven: Trace - Narrator: Cassandra. A dead body turns up with ties to a surprising person and a surprising past.
Book Eight: La Muerte Roja – Narrator: Agency Summoner. An ancient secret society wants to do bad things and needs summoning help, Summoner willing or not.
Book Nine: My Kind of Night - Narrator: Agency Animator. Zombies start raising without any apparent Animator pulling the strings and they’re attacking very specific kinds of people.
Books Six, Seven and Eight are not “hard set” in their order. They could switch up as I get to plotting them.
I will also be writing short stories in between each book, “Between the Tales” stories, which will let us revisit previous characters (like Dakota in “Family Matters”) or get insights into otherwise secondary characters (like Madison in “Cats & Dogs).
And characters seen before are likely to return for new novels in the future, so for fans of Sadie and Dakota, fear not! They will have their short stories and/or new novels down the way. Other future ideas include a series spin-off set in the south, a ghost hunter/psychic, a town-wide power outage that causes insanity, and what’s perhaps the first sign of angels.
So, I have plans, they aren’t necessarily all in cement, but I have plans. Since people have been wondering, I wanted to share. If anyone wants to ask a question, I welcome them. (I have a pretty Contact form for it!) If I think I can tell you without ruining the surprise of a later book, I will!
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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.