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Jun 24, 2013

Cover Reveal - Welcome to Adelheid by Mia Darien

Cover & Excerpt Reveal

Welcome to Adelheid by Mia Darien
Adelheid Books One-Three

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?

* * *

In "Cameron's Law", meet Sadie Stanton, vampire poster girl for preternatural rights. She's just trying to start a business to help the community, but when vampires and werewolves start attacking each other, she gets thrust in the middle.

In "When Forever Died", Dakota is a rare shifter and hunter who has lived a long, hard life. But the past never sleeps and two simultaneous cases are going to test the personal defenses she's built over the centuries.

In "Voracious", the life D wants isn't what it seems. He certainly never planned on the fangs, but he's going to need a lot more than the pointy teeth to survive the first weeks of his new existence.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Available Now (read more below)

Three book bundle


Excerpts & More

Read the Adelheid Guide to the Preternatural

Cameron's Law Excerpt:
That's the part about being a vampire that I've always hated.

The perks are great, but lunch can kill you... and I'm not talking 'I can't believe I ate the whole thing' kind of kill you, either. I mean, pull a wooden stake out of their back pocket and murder you. Honestly, who would like that?

Let's be clear about my present situation. I wasn't trying to eat anybody when the blonde psycho decided to do precisely that: stab me with a stake. Here I am, just trying to make an honest living when some whack job with a slayer complex comes darting out of the shadows and decides that I'm the one responsible for all the crimes my kind and those like me or pretending to be like me have committed over the past several centuries in reality and in fiction. I'm being assaulted over Dracula. Thanks, Stoker.

Now, I am very grateful to the public school system. In their lovely statement of patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance, their having all children put their hands over the far left sides of their chests under the mistaken impression that's where the heart is (rather than more centralized) has repeatedly saved my undead ass. It still sucks (no pun intended) to get stabbed, but at least I'm not dead, or any deader than I was before.

This turn of events was bad enough, but I could handle it. What I couldn't handle quite so easily were the hysterics.

No, I'm not talking about my hysterics. I wasn't hysterical. In fact, given the circumstances, I was really quite calm. I'm talking about my clients. While I'm sure that having their Preternatural Expert Advisor type person skewered wasn't in their original plan, I was walking and talking, so was it really necessary to carry on like that?

"Mrs. White, please, really, I'm okay. Calm down," I said through grit teeth. My hand pressed against the wound, holding back the oozing tide for a few moments.

If it hadn't been for the screamers to my left, I probably would have gone after the bitch and said shoulder be damned, but my tearing off probably would only make the situation worse and besides, I was a little impaired. I wouldn't forget the face. I was sure I'd find her again later and we'd have a real fight, a fair fight.

"But then... she just... out of nowhere... blood..." Mrs. Regina White sputtered, as if she'd been the one stabbed, before she promptly passed out.

Ernest White, who I assumed was her husband although no one had actually clarified it to me, knelt down beside her in a panic and then glared at me. Like this was my fault! What am I supposed to say? 'Gee, sorry for getting stabbed. I'll try not to leave a mess on your grave yard...'

I hate mortals sometimes.

Running after the stake-wielding psychopath was looking better all the time.

Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting on the hood of my car. I had little patience for theatrics, but didn't quite feel free to leave, so this seemed like a good compromise. My hyper-physical body had healed the wound, although the blood drying on my skin and shirt was kind of gross. Still, I could handle it.

My bigger concern at the moment was Ernest, who was walking towards me. Don't get me wrong, I was positive I could take him in any sort of fight, fair or otherwise, but it was more the stress factor I was worried about. On a scale of one to ten, my night was already crawling into the negatives.

"Miss Stanton," he began, dry-washing his hands.

I wanted to correct him and tell him to call me something else, but the truth was that I didn't really have a title. For some reason, 'Miss' Stanton just sounded wrong to me.

He continued, "I'm terribly sorry about Regina. She just doesn't handle surprises very well."

Proudly, I was able to stave off the smirk and comment along the lines of, 'yeah, this was such a trauma... for her.' I gave myself a gold star for that little piece of self control.

"I'm sure," I replied in my best impression of sympathy.

Really, I'm not normally so crabby, but it was a pretty bad night for me. It wasn't even like this was a high paying job.

Perhaps this would be a good time to clarify a few things.

My name is Sadie Stanton. I'm the owner of the Stanton Agency. We serve the community in all matters preternatural and we specialize in helping the preternatural community, and we had been doing it for... if we were lucky, we'd be looking at a whole year. I started the business not long after the institution of Cameron's Law, which made all supernatural beings legal citizens. I felt that we needed a place where people could come for paranormal services, and where the supernatural could come for help.

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When Forever Died Excerpt:
The problem with most people is that they're liars.

We all harbor a beast inside and we all know it. Most people just won't admit it. That's why I like hunting animals. There's no duplicity. They are what they are.

The leafy trees of a New England forest in spring rushed past my feline ears as I raced after a NHF preternatural. NHF stands for Non-Human Form, which means I was chasing down an animal that had more speed, stamina and strength than any 'regular' animal that a person would generally encounter in their day to day lives. In this instance, it was something like a wolf and roughly the size of a small pony. It had been terrorizing several suburban communities just outside of Adelheid with its very presence and no one else wanted to tackle it, so they called me.

My name is Dakota. I hunt things. Not just any things, but preternatural things. Despite Cameron's Law making all us preternatural creatures legal citizens, there are still some that misbehave, so I hunt down the ones that everyone else is afraid to, or isn't able to. I'm better at it than anyone else, so I get called a lot. It was my third NHF that month.

He knew that I was right behind him. The scent of wolf, cougar and magic was thick on the air. He followed the trail he thought would lead to freedom while I followed him. My preferred cat form was strong and fast. I liked cougar the best. It had a power to it that many other forms, even bigger and brawnier animals, didn't have. It made me better at my job when I felt comfortable in the skin I was wearing.

Leaping over a fallen tree trunk, I landed in a pile of leaves that crunched under my paws and the breeze shifted. I stopped abruptly and swung my head around, trying to pick up the scent I had suddenly lost. The forest was silent, even the birds and insects were terrified by the sight of our chase. I stood perfectly still and then I caught the sound of his crashing through the trees and took off once again.

I could tell that he was growing tired. His steps slowed and lost their rhythmic pace. He'd be looking for a place to hide now, but there weren't any. I knew these woods well and with the mind of the human. He didn't. Stumbling ahead of me, I caught sight of him and surged forward, leaping on his back and sending him sprawling in a snarl with all four feet slipping at different angles.

I rolled off and got back on my feet before he did. Already, I had shifted to my human form and was pulling the tranquilizer gun off my belt. He lurched to his feet and leaped at me. I braced myself on one knee and fired. The dart caught him in the throat, just before he landed right out of bite range. His huge jaws snapped at me and I danced back, waiting the few moments before the magically-enhanced drugs flooded his system and he collapsed in a heap of black fur at my feet.

I gazed down at the massive sleeping beast and sighed as I put the tranq gun away. This bastard was going to be heavy, but there was nothing for it. I bent down and pulled the huge frame across my shoulders and lifted with my knees. He was fucking heavy, even with all my strength, but I carried him back through the woods, expertly following my tracks back to my car where I piled the beastie in the back of the SUV and shut the hatch.

From there, everything was pretty easy. I drove him down to the office laughingly called Animal Control. I say that because really it was just a place to house animals until they figured out what to do with them. They had no one qualified to catch them, except me, and were barely qualified to keep them. But there was no where else to go, so I dropped sleeping beauty off and got my signed receipt.

Then I went home.

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Voracious Excerpt:
Call it what you want.

It was that untamable, undeniable, inescapable hunger that I had, and it grew with every passing hour. Some might compare it to the first time you heard the roar of a Camaro -- the only way it was meant to be heard, with eight cylinders and nothing holding it back from ripping itself right out of the car. Others might think of it as that unfed monster that dwells in your gut after the first time you've flown, that taste of the sky and the edge of the earth that leaves you wanting more and more. Voracious. That's it. The hunger I had was voracious and it grew worse by the day.

Little did I know exactly what that meant for me.

I suppose I had always been restless. I was the kid who couldn't sit still. I turned into the teenager who chased things in cyberspace when I wasn't earning speeding tickets or getting shot down by girls far out of my league. When my job offered the chance for a transfer up North, I packed up my Southern roots and replanted them in Connecticut, no matter who got left behind.

Despite trying to put a thousand miles between this feeling and me, it was still there. Every day, it seemed to grow a little more. The hunger was a black hole threatening to swallow the galaxy of my life. No matter what I tried, I couldn't seem to find what would fill it. I tried. Believe me, I tried, but the hunger was insatiable.

It was voracious.

The first night when that black hole seemed poised to suck everything into it at last, I woke up with the mother of all hangovers. It was so bad that it had swallowed much of the night before, which had been my goal in the first place. Anything to escape my life's monotony, though it usually didn't work.

I peeled my eyelids apart, but when the bright light assaulted me, I shut them again. After a few moments, I gave it another shot and managed to look around, learning that I'd fallen asleep on my sofa. That was unusual. I usually made it to the bed.

Last night careened through my mind in the briefest of flashes. Most of it was the same as always, but there was the occasional intrusion of a woman across the room. She stared with an intensity one didn't usually enjoy without either being fucked senseless or found cut up in the freezer two months later.

Pushing myself up to a seat, I realized the television was playing. In all the brief flashes of memory, I didn't have one that had me turning it on. If I'd had my choice, it definitely wouldn't have been the news, which was what was on.

"Senator Joshua Clancy has issued a statement regarding the disappearance of his daughter, fourteen year old Sandra, last January..." I half-listened. I remembered hearing about that a few times. The teenaged daughter of a state senator doesn't disappear without making some headlines. The newscaster continued. "The Connecticut senator was instrumental in the passing of the Preternatural Rights Act of 2010, also known as Cameron's Law, the controversial legislation making all preternatural creatures legal citizens. It's feared that the disappearance of Miss Clancy is retribution for his role..."

I started drowning the woman's voice out again, but couldn't help but think that sounded pretty shitty. I mean, I didn't like the idea of grocery shopping with werewolves any better than anyone else, but kidnapping a guy's kid? That just seemed low, if that was the case.

Turning off the television, I dragged myself to the bathroom and tried to brush the cotton out of my mouth. The shower was next, hoping to slough life off. That didn't work, but I got the dirt, sweat and oil. It was a start, though looking in the mirror afterward, I saw dark shadows under my eyes that were pronounced against my pale complexion. Though they matched my hair. Even so, I looked and felt like hammered shit.

Whatever the hell I had ended up drinking last night, I made a sober promise to never drink it again.

Purchase links:    Amazon Kindle     Amazon Print     B&N     Kobo     iTunes     Audible     Smashwords

Find Mia Darien at:
Twitter: @MiaDarien

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, and being a part of my blog tour!


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