The Water Kingdom Author: Deborah Gray Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
For seventeen-year-old Nell, life is about to take a chilling turn. Raised by a workaholic uncle and used to being over looked in a crowd, Nell has found life to be rather dull and uneventful…Until the day of a school field trip out to White Shell Lagoon. Going against her nature, Nell bends a rule – and makes a shocking discovery. Now she has a secret that no one will believe, one that whispers danger even as it seems to call to her very soul. What really lurks beneath the glassy waves… and how much will finding out cost her? All she knows is that she’s caught the attention of a strange boy with special abilities and violet eyes, a boy she is certain cannot be human. Trapped by rules and tradition in a deteriorating kingdom, Sebastian feels he has no other choice except to act. Taking matters, and fate, into his own hands, the daring young man enters the realm of humans to retrieve what was once taken. The land beyond the waves is no friend to his kind, yet to save his home, he will do what few before him have ever dared. He is prepared for almost anything… except meeting a girl who somehow poses a threat to his identity, his hidden world and to everything he has ever known. As the two fight for their own agendas it becomes clear that they may just have more in common than either realizes…
The Water Novels - Book One
Broad shoulders knife through the water with confidence. I’m aware of one thing: that whoever it is seems to be swimming away from me instead of towards.
Further details race to my brain. Male, arms, torso bare. No wetsuit, but his skin has a strange sheen to it. I flounder, trying to comprehend. Something causes him to stop dead in the water. He turns swiftly towards me, and bubbles trail upwards around him as he stares at me. A strange chill sweeps through me. It’s as if I shouldn’t be seeing him.
For a second we’re both suspended beneath the water, staring at each other. Neither of us moving, both wary.
Dark hair floats around his forehead and his gaze is careful. If I wasn’t holding my breath, I’d be drawing in air too quickly. I’m unprepared for the color of his eyes. They’re a startling violet. Distinct. Dangerous. My pulse thumps in my ears. I should be swimming to safety, getting above water as quickly as possible, but my body isn’t responding. I can’t see his legs. Where are his legs? He remains angled horizontally, concealing them. Some of his facial features are almost impish, youthful, but there’s a severity to some of the angles, suggesting he’s more young man than boy.
Then I notice something else. Salt water appears to be filtering in and out of his airways with no effect. A scream freezes in my throat. Panicked, my arms start to thrash around me. The sudden activity unnerves him and his vibrant purple eyes widen, like a trapped animal. Judging by the smooth motions of his upper body, he’d likely outswim me.
Desperately, I try to gauge how far the surface is, my hair billowing around my face. He’s not human, he’s not human. I know he’s not. I know it in every fiber of my being.
Deborah Gray holds a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning degree and writes for enjoyment. "The Water Kingdom" is her first full length novel for young adults in the fantasy genre.
She is a member of the Christchurch Writers' Guild and currently lives in New Zealand with her husband, family and a mischievous black Labrador.