I’m Emma L. Adams, author of the Alliance series and the Darkworld series. I write fantasy and urban fantasy with magic, monsters, and kickass characters. To give you an insight into the world of the Alliance series, set in an alternative 21st-century Earth in which our world is one of many in the Multiverse, I thought I’d share this scene I wrote for fun as a sort-of-prequel. Meet Ada, one of the main characters of Adamant, as she gives her younger brother Al a tour of the Passages connecting the various worlds…
Thanks so much to Apryl for organising this event!
Ada and Al are walking down an ordinary suburban London street. They stop at an alleyway between two pubs.
Ada: Are you ready, Al? Remember, just act naturally. If anyone sees you, detour or something and we’ll come back later. We don’t want anyone to follow us.
Al: If you say so. Come on, I’ll bet most people would love to see the Passages.
Ada: I promised you. Not all your friends. There are rules, you know.
Al: I know. We’re breaking about a hundred of them.
Ada: *groans* Don’t remind me.
They walk to the end of the alley, where a wide metal door is hidden beneath the brick wall.
Ada: Okay. Here we are. Here’s the Passage door.
Al: You said you’d show me inside it. It’s just a door.
Ada: I know that.
Al: *pouts* Please? You talk about this place all the time. The freaking between-world is right next to our house. Lucky I haven’t already sneaked in.
Ada: That’s because you don’t want to get the same lecture I got when I did the same. All right.
The door slides open onto a dark corridor with brick walls.
Al: Doesn’t look like much.
Ada: This is just the downstairs corridor. We’re right on Cethrax’s doorstep.
Al: That explains why it smells like a sewer. Where’s Valeria?
Ada: Upstairs. We can’t open any of the other doors, you know. Oh, and keep your voice down. There are monsters in here.
Al: That’s not gonna scare me off, sis. You’re the badass monster slayer.
*ominous growling noise*
Al: *backs away* Okay… I’ll leave the fighting to you.
Ada: It’s all right. Sounds echo in here. It probably came from miles away. We should be fine. Stick right behind me. Unless you want to turn back.
Al: After I finally got you to bring me here? Hell, no.
Ada: Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Five minutes of walking later…
Al: I thought you said we were going upstairs. We’ve been walking forever.
Ada: You should be glad the stairs are so far off. That’s why no one’s found our door. Not even the guards know about this tunnel.
Al: But we do. Because we’re awesome.
Ada: Because Nell’s awesome.
Al: You won’t say that if you get into trouble for bringing me in here.
Ada: Glad you appreciate the sacrifice I’m making, Al.
Al: Hey, you’re the eldest. I’ll tell her you led me astray.
Ada: Technically, Jeth’s the eldest. Blame him for not keeping an eye on you.
Al: Yeah. It’s all his fault. Are those claw marks on the wall?
Ada: Probably a wyvern.
Al: *stops* Wyvern?! That wasn’t part of the deal.
Ada: They’ve been there for years. Relax. I’ve come through here a hundred times and I’ve never seen a wyvern.
Al: You’d better be telling the truth.
Ada: Of course I am. The stairs are here. We’re gonna have to be really quiet. Once we’re on first level, guards could be anywhere. We can’t stick around for long.
Al: *sulky expression* Yes, Mother.
Ada: Quiet, Al.
They climb the stairs.
Al (in a hushed voice): Whoa. This is the real Passage? It’s so… blue.
Ada: Yeah. The walls are made of some offworld metal.
Al: Looks like a night club. Where are the doors?
Ada: Everywhere. I don’t really know the Alliance’s system, but they’re numbered so guards can find them. C’mon. No more talking.
They walk down the corridor. Imagine a blue-lit maze with metal walls, ceiling and floor, and the occasional sliding door made of the same blue metal.
Ada (whispering): There.
Al: *stares at open door*
Ada: That’s Valeria. The door won’t be open long, but you can see…
Al: Freaking hover cars. Oh, come on, sis, can’t we move closer?
Ada: No. If the door’s open, there are guards nearby. Or someone just sneaked out. In which case, they’re going to get caught by the Alliance for trespassing in here without a permit.
Al tries to get one last look at the door, but Ada drags him away, downstairs and into the tunnel. They walk back the way they came, Al occasionally stopping to look back.
*ominous growling noise*
Al: … what was that?
Ada stops walking and pulls a dagger out of her boot.
Al: Oh, no. Ada’s getting her knife out. It’s serious.
Ada: Quiet, Al. *slowly moves forward* All right. Stick next to me.
They reach the door they came in by.
Ada: Al, you get outside. I’m gonna see what that noise was.
Al: No, you’re not. You said we have to get home.
Ada shoves the door, which slides open. Al steps out, trying to drag Ada after him.
Ada: Give me one minute.
Al: *folds arms* If you get dismembered by a goblin, I’m not responsible… wait. Ada?
Ada runs off. *another growling sound, followed by an inhuman screech and the sound of something running very fast*
Ada jumps through the door and pushes it shut, replacing the knife in her boot.
Ada: There. Problem solved. Our goblin won’t be ambushing anyone again anytime soon.
Al: You’re kinda terrifying, sis. Just so you know.
Ada: Good. Now you’re prepared for how Nell’s going to react when she sees us.
Al: She might not.
They walk out of the alleyway, past the pubs and 24-hour convenience stores, until they reach an ordinary street of red-brick houses.
Al: Oh, no. She’s in the yard.
Ada: Act naturally. We just went for a walk.
Al: Carrying knives.
Ada: I always carry them.
Al: *rolls eyes* Well, good luck explaining this one.
Ada: As if you’re off the hook, Al. *puts on innocent smile* Hi, Nell. Fancy meeting you here…
Adamant is the first in the world-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series, in which dangerous magic clashes with mad technology in modern London.
The Inter-World Alliance is the only force standing between Earth and the terrifying monsters of offworld. But even the Alliance can't control magic...
Ada Fletcher is twenty-one, keeps a collection of knives in her room, and lives under the Alliance's radar, risking her life to help refugees from a devastating magical war on her homeworld hide on the low-magic Earth. But when she's taken into custody by the Alliance, her unusual magic makes her a prime suspect for a supervisor's suspicious death.
Kay Walker, grandson of the Alliance's late founder, expects to spend his first week as an Alliance employee chasing monsters out of the dark Passages between worlds, not solving a murder. But it's clear the strange, fierce young woman he arrested in the Passages stole something highly dangerous from the Alliance - and the closer he gets to the truth, the higher the body count rises.
The last thing Ada wants is to help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada's offworld origins. More, in fact, than she knows herself. Now she has to choose between loyalty to her family, and helping the Alliance save the Earth - and the Multiverse - from a deadly enemy.
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What reviewers are saying
"The world building is magical. Even though we only get a hint of what's out there, I am already in love with this world." - Lola at Lola's Reviews
"...the beginning of a potentially brilliant and addictive series" - Jeanz Book Reviews
"This book is a unique, fun read, and I'd recommend it to everyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy." - Amazon reviewer
“Adamant is a fantastic start to a fun, adventurous and super cool series… a world so well written and brought to life you can totally lose yourself in it... Can't praise it enough!” - Alisha at Reality's A Bore
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Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions and writing fantasy novels, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an improbable number of books. Emma is currently working on the Alliance series, a multiple-universe adult fantasy featuring magic, monsters, cool gadgets and sarcasm. Her upper-YA urban fantasy Darkworld series is published by Curiosity Quills Press.