Name: Diana Pinguicha
Twitter Handle: @pinguicha
Title: A TRACE OF MADNESS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 101K
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Freedom. She never really had any, and every time she tried to attain it, both her and her loved ones paid for it. She's scared she won't ever be free to make the decisions she wants, and will have to follow gruesome orders for the rest of her life.
Seventeen-year-old Zéphyrine is her father’s most powerful weapon. Under his control, she manipulates thoughts, rewrites events, and erases memories to bend the world to his whims. With two nations already under his rule, he sets his eyes on a third, and orders Zéph to infiltrate its ranks.
Against her wishes, Zéph travels to the country of Almar, where she's supposed to convince Prince Jasen, to confide in her crucial intel to conquer his land. Her careful planning is undone by Iriae, a girl as powerful as she is mad, and possibly the only person in the world who can help Zéph destroy her father and attain her most burning desire: freedom.
Threading carefully between sides, Zéph’s relationships with Jasen and Iriae blossom into love. Her father will not be denied long, however, and she faces an impossible choice. The only time she defied her father, he burned her half to death.
If her alliance with Iriae fails, she will lose her only chance to break free, and the first people to ever know the real Zéph, the first people she’s trusted with her heart, will forget she’s ever existed.
Don’t feel sorry. Don’t feel sorry. Don’t feel sorry.
Zéphyrine repeated the mantra until it became a prayer, until it came as easy as breathing. She clutched the edge of the small marble table in the middle of the Sidonia manor’s foyer. It shouldn’t be long until the guard found María’s aunt and gave her the good news regarding her niece’s—no, her own survival. Zéph needed to believe she was Maria if she expected them to buy her ruse.
Her fingers thrummed on the cool surface, playing an ode to her impatience. As if on cue, the back of her head tingled, demanding she look up the stairs. A tiny, yet plump woman, dressed in a tight blue bodice and puffy cream skirts, stood with her hand on the staircase railing, frozen in shock. Zéph recognized her immediately from both family portraits in the Alaterra family home and flashes in the minds of her previous targets.
Francisca—the middle-aged Duchess of Ishbilla. Her eyebrows drawn together in confusion as she opened her mouth to ask, “Who—”
Before her prey could say anything else, Zéph stepped forward. Using her mind, she reached. Invaded. Conquered. You know me, she whispered into the woman’s head. Her victim’s mind whirled in shock, trying to place Zéph in her myriad of memories.
Do not feel sorry.
Repeating her merciless prayer, Zéph pushed forward with deep breaths. She became a parasite, infiltrating a host of recollections.