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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Fantasy / Paranormal
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Ozark Destinies
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:351
  • eBook ISBN:9781624889202

Once Awakened

Ozark Destinies Series Book One

by Shanda Adams

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Book one in the Ozark Destinies series introduces Mari Layton to a hidden world of vampires when her latent genetic code for the mutation is inadvertently tripped following a near fatal accident. As she deals with leaving her human life behind and the relationship with her benefactor, Troy Pontnoir, she finds herself conspiring with his rival to hasten her transformation and the development of supernatural abilities, including shapeshifting. Troy’s unwelcome obligation to assimilate and train Mari is challenged beyond having awakened her without permission of a mystery progenitor to whom her loyalty belongs, but if she’s discovered to be in an enemy clan, she may be taken from him and everything she holds dear.


Mari Layton should have died when she slid into the ravine. She still will. Learning a blood feeding saved her isn’t the most shocking news, but that dying won’t be the end, just a new beginning. As a vampire. She’d think the beautiful young man she feared was tailing her the past few days was crazy to believe they were real, but she can’t deny feeling the beginnings of the change. And the first sight of his fangs drives home the reality of it all. For over two hundred years, Troy Pontnoir has never wanted a beneficiary, or any involvement with a woman again. Certainly not one he wasn’t authorized to awaken. No telling who she belonged to; who had implanted the latent genetic code while she was still in the womb. And there are hints from immediate abilities that she could be a legacy, a child of a latent sleeper. But he is responsible now to indoctrinate her into this society, to train her in developing the supernatural abilities that could be at her command, including shapeshifting and invisibility; to teach the necessary mind control for feeding and maintaining the secrecy of their existence. To learn the combat skills that may be needed against enemy clans. He regrets the disruption of her life, the need to sever her human relationships and invent a public demise. And Mari’s independent nature makes that a challenge. Drawn to her, despite himself, not getting too close should be easy; he’d expect her to resent him for awakening her. Though Mari would miss the sunlight, she's had a lifelong love of caves. She’s delighted to discover that she'll be living in a literally underground society, as most of a shocking number of vampires that have also roamed the earth since prehistoric times live hidden away from man in excavated and expanded cave systems. Ready to accept the inevitable and embrace her destiny, she conspires with a rival of Troy’s to hasten her transformation. The regular blood trading with Garlin is addictive in the passion it induces, and confusing. Attracted to him from the start, she doubts that his interest in a budding neophyte goes beyond the physical, or besting Troy who refuses any intimacy with her. To the extent that Troy tries to pawn off training her to others at the local colony. Hiding abilities from him and attempting to understand the levels she should be displaying starts weaving a web of secrecy. She doesn’t know who she should trust but everyone in this world has something to hide and her real fate may be beyond any of their control.

About the author

Shanda Adams resides in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas. With a degree in cultural anthropology, her studies underlie her portrayal of a secondary world hidden from humankind. Outside of writing, much of her time is spent hiking and camping in the surrounding state parks and wilderness area, combining a love of nature and photography. She enjoys quiet evenings around a campfire and watching the birds daily visiting feeders outside her office window.