Book Title: OF ICE AND ASHES
Genre: YA fantasy
TAGLINE: She must save the Tainted . . . or burn with them.
1ST 250 WORDS:
Three layers of hand-knit sweaters and my gloves protected my skin. I tweaked the silk over my wrists, ensuring that no portion of my flesh was exposed.
“You’re too cautious, honey,” Jolie said. Her soft, clumsy hand pinned my mother’s old jade brooch to my outermost sweater. “Everyone knows what will happen if they touch you.”
“Accidents happen,” I said firmly. Actually, an accident hadn’t happened in years thanks to my layering, but I didn’t dare risk it. It’s not as though I could overheat, anyway.
I saw Jolie’s lips purse in the silver-framed mirror by my bed. Her full face was fatigued from a morning volunteering in the kitchen. One frizzy knot of hair stuck out of her brittle blonde bun. She’d been my caretaker for a decade, yet I didn’t think I’d ever seen her hair out of that bun.
I smiled, contemplating how much trouble I’d get in for snatching the tie away. Since Jolie was the only person who could touch me without any painful consequence, she’d probably chase me down with the broom.
My grin was all it took to wipe the pout from her expression. Simple, hair-brained Jolie. Her Scar never altered her cheerful view on life.
Her fingers prodded against the back of my neck as she adjusted the sweaters. I experienced no heat, no cold. Just the pressure of her touch on my skin.
Neither of us had felt temperature for ten years.