Touch of Frost…

Hey, everyone, Mandy here. I don’t let many people call me Mandy, but since you’re friends of Lynn, you can!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Amanda Smith. Lynn writes my story in the Touch of Frost novels. First one is Frostbite. And I hear it’s in final edits. The cover request is with the designer…things are coming together.

I’m a little nervous, though. My life is wicked-crazy and so far from normal, considering I can freeze anything I touch and life a car without breaking a sweat. Hopefully you like the story.

Here’s a little taste:

Amanda gives a new meaning to cold…

Amanda Smith is sick of getting chased from town-to-town. So when she lands in tiny Trifle, Arizona, she hopes it’s her last move for a long time. Despite hating the smallness of the town, she settles in and finds a best friend, and even a boyfriend. Normality at its finest.

But for a girl who can shoot snow from her hands and lift a two-ton truck over her head like a bag of feathers—normal is not an option.

The scientists who murdered her mother come barreling into Amanda’s quiet life. She must decide if she’ll run again or stay and fight. The price of either choice might be her life or the lives of those she’s come to love…

~~~~

Here’s a little excerpt:

“I will not freeze anyone today.” I wiggled my fingers. Not that they ever listened to my command, but I had to try something. I’d made it three whole months at this school without accidentally freezing someone.

Just needed to keep it going for one more week until graduation.

I clomped out of my bedroom, backpack in tow, chanting my no-freezing-allowed mantra in my head. A steaming travel mug sitting on top of the breakfast bar caught my attention. A note taped to it read: Morning. I’m in the garage.

Despite his tendency to nag, my big brother had one or two redeeming qualities. I brought the coffee to my nose and flipped the sip-hole open. “Mmm.” Vanilla flavored. My fave.

I hustled to the door and yanked it open, ready to face another day. Only a few more until graduation.

Dry, desert air greeted my skin with a gentle caress when I stepped onto the porch. The yard littered with cactus and rocks reminded me of the stark contrast between Arizona and Minnesota. Despite my icy tendencies, I despised the cold and humidity.

I started down the flight of stairs toward the sidewalk leading to the garage still repeating my mantra. A daily ritual, crazy by anyone’s standards but mine, considering I had to work pretty hard to not accidentally freeze something.

Clanking metal and a slew of curse words streamed out from the garage. My trot down the stairs morphed into a mad dash.

The Coats found us again!

My quick motion sent dark liquid splashing through the lid and onto my shirt. Coffee soaked the cotton, scorching my skin. I hurled the cup to the gravel yard. Please let Scott be okay.

I kicked the side door open, my hand already chilled and ready to freeze anyone who wasn’t my brother. “Scott.” I screamed so loud, razors slicing my throat would have hurt less.

Oh my God. Did they get him?

Scott popped up from behind the car. He lifted his arms in surrender. “Whoa.” His gaze fixed on my hand.

Fanned open and aimed directly at him, my arctic-blue digits shimmered with a layer of frost. Panic squeezed my lungs. Trembles traveled up my legs and vibrated my gut. My power always exploded when I was scared.

The crowbar he held clanked to the cement and rang like a tower bell within my skull.

I drew in a stuttered breath and scanned the single-car garage. “Scott? Are you okay? I heard—”

“Pull it back, Mandy. Calm down.” He inched toward me. White puffs of breath leaked from his mouth. “You can do it. Pull it back.”

“I thought—” I swallowed hard. My tongue turned as dry as cotton. I lowered my arm, and my bag slid off my shoulder to the floor. Damn those Coats for turning me into a paranoid freak.

More of a freak than I already was.

“Mandy?”

“I heard a crash and you cursing up a storm. I thought the Coats—” My jaw clenched. The mere thought of them triggered my gag reflex. They’d slaughtered my parents four years ago, but nearly every day since then I’d been on edge.

The fact that they’d captured me a few times didn’t help with the paranoia either.

I peeked behind me. Our tiny apartment above my brother’s smoothie shop remained dark and quiet. No jerks dressed in white doctor type outfits stomping around, shooting their pointy little tranquilizer darts.

It’d been a while since we’d seen them, but I didn’t think I’d ever relax. How could I? They’d been chasing us for so long.

Scott grabbed my shoulder. “I’m sorry. They haven’t found us. We’re safe, Mandy. We’re safe.”

Thank God. I couldn’t lose Scott. Couldn’t see him hurt again. “What’s going on? I almost turned you into an ice sculpture.”

“I’d make a totally hot ice sculpture though, right?” He fingered his chestnut curls. “Can you turn down the cold first? It’s freezing in here.”

“Well, whose fault is that? Can’t go around cussing and clanging metal together, I thought someone was attacking you again.” And I didn’t particularly feel like killing anyone this morning.

I shook out my hands. Back off. I didn’t have a great way of getting this ice-thing under control, so telling it to settle down seemed to work for now. If only I knew how this happened to me.

And why the hell didn’t Scott have any powers if Mom had this, too?

“Good job. I can feel it warming up.” If Scott’s indigo eyes got any bigger, they’d pop out of their sockets. “I’m sorry, Mandy. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

My heart finally slowed to a jog. I felt like I’d sprinted a marathon in record time. The thought of Scott getting hurt by those crazy scientists again totally freaked me out. Although he told lame jokes and was kind of a nerd, he was all I had left.

I had to keep him safe. He was in danger because of me. Not to mention he was pretty wimpy.

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