GENRE: YA paranormal romance
The purple crystal on the table only made my palms sting at first. I made fists and tucked them under my arms, swearing not to touch it.
"Looking for something particulah, dawlin?"
Ripping my gaze from its reflective surface, I smiled at the little white-haired man operating the booth. Ever tried smiling when it feels like youre clamping hot coals in your hands? Harder than it looks. Ignoring the flaring pain, I faked my best dazed-tourist stare and glanced around the crowded open-air French Market instead. No. I just moved here.
The old man looked me over. Even wearing polyester trousers, barely a drop of sweat beaded on his wrinkled brown forehead. "You a Yankee, gal?"
"Is it that obvious?" The sheen that covered my body as soon as I stepped out the door this morning had grown to a dripping sludge, and I freed my fiery fists. My fingers strayed toward the stone. I snatched them back empty-handed. "My mom's from here, though."
The man gave a low, raspy laugh. "Oh? So you only half-Yankee."
"Only half-Yankee, huh?" Well, that didn't make this sweltering inferno home, with its crowds of sticky tourists and tacky stores selling cheap plastic crap. I was melting in my jeans,
too stubborn to put shorts on today when Mom told me how hot it would get. I hadn't uttered more than a monosyllable at a time since we got into town last night.