[Additional Information] Pre-story – The attack

The attack wasn’t actually an attack at all. At least that wasn’t how she remembered it.

It had been dark when she had woken up, the book she’d been reading the night before was still on the bed beside her, but the lamp had been turned off. Her mum, she presumed. Checking in on her like she always did.

At first she couldn’t imagine what had startled her in her sleep and woken her, but the muttered curse from somewhere in the dark reminded her and she sat straight up. It had been a crash. The sound of one of the many plants in her window meeting with the wooden floorboards. 

Someone was in her room.

And then came the flash as bright as the sun at daylight, blinding her and paralysing her, making her fall back onto the bed unable to move or make even a single sound. Her head felt as if it was going to explode and darkness settled around her, blocking out every single ray of light.

“Damnit!” The voice was close, someone kneeling beside her.

“What happened?” Someone else was there, but further away.

“She woke up,” another curse and a shuffle, the first voice was shaky. “I panicked.”

The pain in her head made her dizzy, but still she strained to listen. She tried to move but couldn’t.

“What do we do?”

“We have to take her with us,” the second voice was calmer.

“But if anyone finds out… I hurt her!” The stranger cursed again.

“I know… But we can’t leave her here. She needs a healer.”

“I’m s…”

And then the darkness turned white and the words disappeared.

Six books for your 11 year old

If you are looking for books for your pre-teen child, these six might be worth having a closer look at. Some are old, some are new, some are packed with action, others take it at a more leisurely pace, but common for them all are that they have been enjoyed by millions of children and adults across the world (myself included!)

In random order:

Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery

A series of books following the ever curious Anne, from she arrives with her new foster parents and until she gets children of her own.

– The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

After the death of her parents young Mary comes to live with her uncle in his large and rather creepy old house. At first she finds it very hard to settle in, but slowly as she discovers more of the secrets of the house and makes some friends, things start to change for her. And also for the other members of the household.

Rowan of Rin, by Emily Rodda

A series of 5 books following the boy Rowan on his many quests and adventures and watching him grow from a fearful child to a strong young man. Emily Rodda is also the author of the Deltora Quest series and The Three Doors trilogy. Her books are definitely worth looking into if you have children or young teenagers.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling

A series of 7 books following young Harry and his friends through their journey into the wizarding world. They face many dangers and must go through many quests, while facing important questions about who they are, who can be trusted and what really is right and wrong. It’s a thrilling and exciting series, but keep in mind that as Harry grows older through the books, so does the nature of the story and the recommended reader’s age. The last few books are rather dark and I would not recommend them for an eleven year old quite yet.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis

A secret land beyond a wardrobe and in a time that is not ours. Adventures are waiting and answers need to be found. A lion who can speak, an evil queen, magic and children who can be heroes. What more is needed for a perfectly exciting adventure to happen?

Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This series of books follows Laura and her family from their life in the forest and through their journey as new settles on the prairie in the late 1800s.

Eight books for inspiration

These are books which have inspired me to read and to write, to think and to wonder, to live and to dream. These are books with different themes and different ideas, but they all have in common that at one point in my life, they meant something special to me. And many of them still do.

In random order:

Rowan of Rin, by Emily Rodda 

Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling

The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton

One Child, by Torey L. Hayden

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Tomorrow when the war began, by John Marsden

Darwin’s Children, by Greg Bear

The Wave, by Morton Rhue (Todd Strasser)

The list is incomplete and might be added to over time.

Chapter 1.1

She wanted to scream.

The hand pressing over her mouth was suffocating and she gasped for air. The sound of her heart beating in her chest was deafening and pushing everything else away. She hated being caught like this, hated feeling trapped. She had been trapped in her body in this room that wasn’t her own for days now. Or weeks, she wasn’t sure. Time had stopped mattering long ago and all that was left was a nightmare.

She wanted out, wanted to run.

And yet she didn’t move.

“Shhh,” the voice had lost a touch of the softness, but it was still quiet. Quiet and tense. She didn’t know the boy, didn’t know why he was here. He had been speaking to her before she woke up, but what he had said was lost in dizzy clouds of dreams and thoughts. Had she just been dreaming? Was this a dream?

“Don’t speak. They’ll hear you.”

As if she could speak with a hand pressed over her mouth. She turned her head slightly, trying to catch the eyes of the boy. Blue. She didn’t know him just like she hadn’t known any of the other voices she had heard in the darkness.

“I’m Michael,” the hand loosened a little and she drew away, eyes frowning. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Where am I?” This wasn’t the local hospital back home. She wasn’t even sure it was a hospital at all, though she remembered hearing the word healer.

“Circe Hall.”

“Circe…” She paused, the name wasn’t familiar except for the memory of a brief mention by her English teacher once he had taught of mythology.

“Circe Hall. You won’t have head of it.”