For the record, I think Topaz is one of the most talented writers (and all-around person) I know. And--get this!--she's a teenager. I'm pretty sure she's tired of people pointing that out, but it gives me hope for when my teenager puts off his homework in favor of everything else under the sun. Some kids write and have goals. It could happen to him, too. Heehee.
Okay, on to FROZEN HEARTS. Feast on its loveliness, won't you?
Rosalyn Lawrence is not the type of girl who strays from the norm. She’s not the type of girl who goes on whirlwind adventures or travels across the world and beyond or fights fire-breathing dragons to the death. After all, fairytales exist only in books, and Rosalyn is happy to keep it that way.
But when her beloved little brother Benjamin disappears, Rosalyn’s entire world comes crashing down. Then a boy with a wand climbs through her window and she learns that the grieving queen of a shockingly desolate enchanted land has abducted Benjamin. If she chooses to be sucked into the magic of this land, its power – and the power of an enemy she isn’t quite sure even exists – could destroy her.
A world of frozen fantasy is waiting for Rosalyn – and if she will succeed in bringing Benjamin home, she must learn how to trust herself, use her wits, and perhaps discover an inner magic she never knew she had.
Her head was clouded, cobwebs of sleep still lingering, a fog drifting over her senses. The surface she was lying on was soft. As she sat up she saw a figure, not quite near enough to touch, motionless on the floor. She couldn’t seem to recall his name.
As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she realised that his shirt was off and his back was to her, bare in the soft moonlight. She looked out the window. The stars seemed to glisten, impossibly dense confetti scattered over the blanket of night. The moon hung suspended as if from a child’s mobile.
She stood, moving closer to the figure on the floor. The rise and fall of his chest was almost imperceptible. His face was still just out of her line of sight, his name still just out of the grasp of her slumber-clouded memory.
In the moonlight she caught a glimpse of something on his back. Her fingers glided down to it and she traced it, feather light, afraid for reasons she could not fathom of waking him. The scar joined another and another, until all at once she realised that she was connecting a veritable constellation of pain across the canvas of his back.
She gazed down at them. They were old, she could tell, but they still looked painful. The skin was gnarled, as if some heavenly hand had reached down, ripped it off of his back, and then bunched it up and pasted it haphazardly back on – and she knew she should be horrified at the sight, knew she should be pitying him or turning away in revulsion, yet she could not bring herself to. All she felt was the inherent need to know: how had he gotten them? Did they still hurt?
Was Chase all right?
And there was his name, pulled from the graveyard of her memory: Chase. A boy with a crooked smile and a secret she’d never been meant to discover.
Somewhere in the back of her mind a deep voice with a cold accent surfaced, murmuring something about his father. What had he told her? She struggled to remember, and finally it hit her. “Let’s just say he wasn’t the best role model,” the voice had said.
The gashes were long healed, yet so deep, so thick and ragged that she almost didn’t want to think about who might have put them there – his father? she wondered, and then wished the thought had never crossed her mind.
She couldn’t bear to look at them for a moment longer. Turning away from his pockmarked body, she glanced up at the stars once more before climbing back into the small cot and letting sleep overtake her – an uneasy sleep, riddled with nightmares of long, thin sticks of ice, dark men and evil laughter, unbearable pain lacing through her back. This time the stars did not look like confetti, but teardrops.
In the morning, she would have no memory of her nighttime awakening.
And the boy lying across from her would never tell her that his eyes had been open the whole time.
About Topaz Winters
Topaz rambles about writing, music, and the meaning of life over at her website.