Author: Liz Keel
Series: The Driel Trilogy
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 21ste April 2016
After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales. Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice. With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems. Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate…
I wasn’t surprised when sometime later Eli found me sitting against the rock at our usual spot overlooking the stream. I often sat here when I wanted to think. It was so peaceful, almost magical.
“Couldn’t sleep?” he asked.
I nodded. “I dreamt about it again.” ‘It’ was something we didn’t often mention. However hard he had tried, I just couldn’t come to terms with what had been termed the ‘tragic accident’ myself. Eli had tried everything, from gently cajoling me to actually shaking me one day, getting so frustrated that I wasn’t letting it out. But what was there to let out? I was totally numb inside. Even his mom had tried to get me to talk and when that didn’t work, she felt it would be best if I spoke to the school counsellor, but what was the point? I mean, they were dead. I decided not to tell Eli about the man who had suddenly appeared in my latest dream, as it sounded crazy.
“You know, it will get easier,” he sighed. “It just takes time and…” he paused, getting something out of his pocket, “…a Twizzler.” He smiled, eyes twinkling as he handed me the much loved candy. When he looked at me like he was doing right now, with my favourite cheeky grin, I couldn’t help but go all warm and fuzzy inside. He leaned in closer, his breathing tickling the back of my neck. I changed the subject, not sure where this was going.
“One day of freedom left before the new semester starts,” I groaned. “Do you think Mr Gregson is going to be as obnoxious as always?”
“Probably.” Eli laughed. “At least this year we are in the same homeroom and have most of our classes together.”
I murmured in agreement, relieved that once again he would be there, a constant presence. Sometimes it really did feel like he was my own personal guardian.
The shaking wouldn’t stop and my whole body seemed to react to what I had re-lived…again. This time the man started walking towards me whilst I was trapped in the car, angrily shouting a message he was adamant I was going to hear. I did.
I knew I must have woken someone up this time as my screams continued to ring out much longer than normal. Eli was the first in and padded softly over to my bed, a sympathetic look on his face. Just as he sat down, his mom popped her head around the door. “All okay?” she asked.
I nodded in answer. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you… I just….” I stopped, shrugging helplessly, feeling embarrassed.
“It’s okay, just let me know if you need anything,” she said, sharing a look with Eli as she left.
“So the same again?” he asked.
“Yes, but there’s more,” I whispered apprehensively as I crawled into his lap. Hoping he wouldn’t think I was crazy, I told him about the man in the dream. I waited as he sat there thoughtfully rubbing the morning stubble that had appeared on his chin.
“Tell me again what he said.”
“That I had ruined everything and I was still going to die,” I said, my breath coming out in short gasps. I jumped up and began pacing around the room. “It seemed so real and I can’t shake this feeling that I know him from somewhere, or that I’ve met him before.”
As I stared distractedly out of the window into the pitch black night, I felt Eli’s arms come around me in a warm embrace. My shoulders sagged. His touch had the calming effect I needed and I let him lead me back to bed. Once again I snuggled into him and began to breathe more normally.
“Thea, it’s going to be okay, I know it may not seem it, but it will. I’m here for you, I….” And then he stopped. I felt like I knew what he was going to say and didn’t know if I could handle that right now, so I turned and gave him a weak smile, quickly thanking him before he could finish his sentence.
“It’s the first day of school tomorrow so we better get some sleep,” Eli replied, returning my smile. “Good night,” he said, kissing my forehead before he left.
Leela stared at me wistfully over the breakfast table. “But I wanna come,” she sniffed. “So does Buggles, don’t you?” she said, making the rabbit’s head bounce up and down.
“Not long until it’s your turn,” her dad said, ruffling her hair as he walked by.
“Ready?” Eli called to me as he came down the stairs.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” I laughed and grabbed my bag, heading for the door.
“Have a good day!” Mrs Thompson said, kissing us both on the cheek, “and be safe,” she continued, giving Eli a meaningful look. I gave him a puzzled glance as she turned away: it was only school, after all. But he just shrugged and walked down the pathway with me in tow.
It was about a fifteen-minute walk to our bus stop down a long winding track, past the forest I loved so much. We started off in silence, both caught up in our own thoughts, and it wasn’t until we were at the turnpike that I got the uneasy feeling we were being watched. I glanced into the forest, trying to see if there was anything out of place, but all I was greeted with was the dense undergrowth. I think Eli noticed it too because he seemed to tense up, and put his arm protectively around me, which brought me to a stop.
In the next instant, three men dressed in black jumped out from the bushes. Two of them went straight for me whilst the third put out his hands towards Eli. Somehow, without even touching him, he managed to throw Eli backwards about ten feet, where he hit the floor and skidded to a halt. My screams for help were drowned out when one of the attackers clamped a cold, calloused hand over my mouth. I bit down hard, which elicited a shout in a foreign-sounding language. Luckily this was enough for him to release me, and I felt some sort of inner victory knowing that I had managed to hurt him, even if it was only just a little bit.
About the Author:
I live in Surrey, England, a short walk from the beautiful Windsor Park, with my husband Richard and our two gorgeous children Noah and Olivia. For me, writing is nothing short of an addiction and I often find myself sneaking out to my writing shed for just a few minutes, which can often turn into hours of pure, unadulterated bliss catching up with my characters and continuing their story. In-between writing, I teach in a primary school where there’s never a dull moment! I will also often be found Kindle in hand, reading a wide variety of genres but with YA fantasy and paranormal romance at the forefront of my reading list. Although I’m currently writing the second book in the Driel trilogy, other characters involving all things fantasy, paranormal and YA romance are jockeying for position, wanting me to write their story next, so watch this space! It is such a privilege to share my stories with you the reader. Thank you enough for taking the time to find out more about me. To find out more about Liz, visit her website: www.lizkeelauthor.com
Facebook author Page
Fire Quill Publishing