Naliyah by Shauna Kelley
Not exactly human, but not precisely vampire either, Lenora’s whole life has been spent under the watchful eye of her father. With only her dreams of a mysterious blue‐eyed man as company, she has little choice but to follow her father across the world despite his refusal to help her understand her true nature.
As Lenora reaches the end of her tolerance with their life of travel and death, she comes face to face with her blue‐eyed man and everything changes. Can this man save her from a life of brutality? Or will the secrets kept from her for so long destroy them both?
“Highly imaginative, captivating, and rich in characters and story… a must read.”
--Tia Bach, author of The Tala Prophecies
It feels to me that I have seen every corner of this planet, from the bustling streets of Shanghai to the remotest villages of Romania. Spring into summer, fall into winter, I know Earth’s every crevice. I can close my eyes and smell a snow storm rolling in from the arctic. I can taste a monsoon in the air over the Indian Ocean. I know the sting of a Saharan sand storm. And yet, it is here, this tiny town that will always be home to me.
Ireland is unseasonably warm this September, and sunnier than I have come to expect. I am glad that it still rains every day, but the sun showers are growing shorter and shorter, coming later in the day, offering me no respite from the sun.
The air is thick as I sit here, watching the sunset fade into night. The stars are already shimmering slightly in the distance. It’s a clear night, and I can faintly smell the peat burning in the village behind me, reminding me of a thousand little lives proceeding on.
Here, on the beach, I am alone.
Every inch the sun sinks further, the ache in my skin dissipates more. The exhaustion begins to drain from my bones and I can finally see clearly, the haze and the glare fading from my eyes.
It will be time again too soon. If the sun continues to shine so relentlessly, I will be packing my tiny case, waiting for the sunset, waiting for my father to wake, and we will be on our way again, always going somewhere and never really being there.
For now, however, I do not think on these things for too long, just concentrate on counting the seconds it takes the horizon to steal the sun and tuck it away. I have been sitting here for hours, and know standing, walking, breathing will include the customary, angry ache.
As the sun’s descent finally finishes, I feel a familiar murmur in my head—Father is up. I stand, groggily, and plod back across the thick, soggy sand towards the small house, hidden by the cliffs and rock, that is home for today. Home for me always. Father and I both pretend that I feel this way out of love for the scenery, or the lilt of the native Gaelic, spoken so infrequently here now. We both pretend that it isn’t Michael that tethers me to this place.
I’ve thought of him quite inadvertently, and it prompts an ache that sounds infinitely louder than the creaking of my knees and throbbing in my skin after too much time in the sun. Today is apparently a day for recklessness, and I feel its effects throughout me.
ABOUT THE AUTHORShauna Kelley lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and beloved mutts. Dedicated aunt, adventurous baker, and action movie fanatic, she spends her days writing, teaching, and crocheting.
Kelley’s first novel, Max and Menna, was a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award finalist for Young Adult Fiction in 2010. Naliyah is her third novel. Kelley delights in the opportunity to interact with readers. Find her online at www.mmshaunakelley.blogspot.com.