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A Matter of Fate by Heather Lyons
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn't a normal teenage girl. She's a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she's a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she's to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course.
That's nothing compared to the boy trouble she's gotten herself into. Because a guy she's literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to.
Chloe's once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible. Purchase from: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Guest Post

Growing up, my grandmother would regale me with stories from Greek mythology while we star gazed. I was spellbound by these stories, of how there could be beings who controlled everything, from the sun rising and setting each day to the tides in the ocean. Eventually, my insatiable appetite for such stories had me moving on to reading Roman mythology, and then to Norse, and then to Celtic, and from there, I couldn’t help myself—I began collecting stories of gods and goddesses from around the world. As I learned about these myths and cultures, I came to realize that many were similar in both themes and natures. Early peoples wanted answers on how their world and existences worked; to me, it was absolutely fascinating to learn that so many of them came up with the same explanations as other civilizations hundreds—and thousands—of miles away.

When I brainstormed the idea behind A Matter of Fate, I knew that I wanted to build my characters and world around these mythological beings. Just what if there were peoples who controlled nature? Ones who could alter emotions, shake the earth, and influence scientific discoveries? Ones who could unleash viruses amongst civilizations, ones who helped change the seasons? Thus, the Magical race in my story was born—an entire group (secret of course) of people who influence and alter the course of seven different planes of existence. I loved giving them missions and assignments, and of making the details of our world jobs to them. Some Magicals love their jobs; some resent them. But all know they carry a lot of weight on their shoulders—if they don’t do it, no one else will.

A Matter of Fate is my ode to those early stories my grandmother shared with me. There are hints of myths from all around our globe sprinkled throughout it, if you look closely enough. I hope readers will have as much fun imagining this world, one our early ancestors thought possible, as I did creating it!

Excerpt
(from chapter one)
       My entire body freezes, all except my heart, which goes berserk. Because I know this voice, and this can’t be real.
       He’s not real.
       The ground under me shifts. It’s like an earthquake—not the rolling kind, but the jarring sort that comes out of nowhere, hits you hard, and then disappears just as quickly. The kind that leaves you stunned and wondering if it happened at all, it moved so fast. All I can do is reach out and grip the edges of my desk and pray I don’t fall out of my seat.
       Because it’s not an earthquake. It’s a shift, and I’m the only one in the room who can feel it. A quick glance once the ground settles confirms this. Everyone is working, talking quietly to one another, or watching the front of the room. There are no signs from anyone that anything had just happened.
       But something did.
       And he’s standing in front of the classroom next to Mr. Snook.
       I blink a few times as I stare at him, trying to determine if I’m actually awake. Every time I open my eyes, though, he’s still here. Oh my gods. He’shere.
       The guy I’m staring at is tall, athletic, and quite tan, with blackish hair and eyes so clear, so blue, they replicate a cloudless sky. I should know—I’ve stared into them often enough.
       A shy smile creeps across his gorgeous face, creating a dimple in his left cheek as he hands Snook a piece of paper. A textbook is passed over and he’s pointed off towards an empty seat. The class explodes in whispers when he sits down; everyone blatantly stares at him. It’s obvious he hears it all, because a faint pink stain tinges his cheeks. His longish hair shields part of his face, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve all seen enough of him to continue ogling.
       From behind me comes, “Hot. So hot!” Several girls nearby giggle in agreement.
       “Math, people.” Snook taps the board in irritation. “Gossip on your own time.” The reprimand quiets the majority of the class, but the girls behind me text furiously back and forth, their fingers flying across keyboards.
       It’s hard, but I tear my eyes away from the boy, shocked. I stare blankly at my book, unsure what to do.
       How many times had I imagined this scenario before? Too many to keep track of, that’s for sure. How can this be real?
       Snook’s voice resumes its familiar drone at the front of the classroom, but in the confusion of what’s happened, I’m unable to put meaning to any of his words. They blur together in low sounds, like the teachers in Peanuts cartoons. I ought to pay attention, what with a test coming up, but I can’t.
       Not with him here.
       When I look over at the new boy again, the ground shifts for a second time. He’s working on some equation Snook put on the board, one I haven’t attempted, thanks to being shell-shocked and all. But then he reaches out and grabs the sides of his desk, like he’s steadying himself. Like he somehow feels the shift, too. Black hair spills down across his eyes as he takes a deep breath, hiding everything but a small, knowing smile.      
       He’s sitting by the windows, doing math—in my classroom! He’s no daydream, no figment of my imagination—although for many years he’d been exactly that.
       I realize I’m staring when his blue eyes lift to meet my green ones. A jolt of electricity zaps through my body, all tingly, with promises of familiarity and excitement rolled into one. We stare intently at one another for a good fifteen seconds until a girl next to me asks to borrow a pencil. My eyes jerk back towards my desk and I mumble an incoherent apology. It’s just long enough of a reprieve for me to begin hyperventilating.
       Get a grip on yourself! the little voice barks. You’re going to pass out!
       The pencil in my hand snaps, driving a splinter deep into my palm.
       “Chloe?” Oops. Snook is talking to me. When I merely stare back, he tries, “Your answer, Miss Lilywhite?”
       Unable to do anything else, as I have no idea what problem we’re even on, I surge, stretching my mind out to someone nearby to find the answer. I land on some guy who’s in the thralls of remembering a hot and heavy make-out session with his girlfriend rather than focusing on math, so I’m forced to flip through a number of graphic images before finding what I need.
       I hate cheating, hate using anything other than my intelligence for schoolwork. This explains why I’m sitting in basic math, rather than AP Calculus like the Cousins.
       The moment I find the answer, I pull myself out of the guy’s mind, feeling dirty just having his thoughts mingling with mine. Eww. “It’s X = 2y + 79z.”
       Snook moves on to the next problem and victim, as if there’d never been any pause at all.
            Ugh! I’d gone nine months without cheating, something I was exceedingly proud of. The Cousins heckle me mercilessly about it, saying it’s stupid to not use my gifts while in class. But I’ve held steadfast in my belief that school is a place for intelligence, not Magic.
       Also, my hand is throbbing. Picking doesn’t help—the splinter is driven even deeper by my efforts. And now I’m bleeding. Great.
       When the class bell rings, most everyone packs up quickly so they can get to lunch, but the girls behind me are back to discussing him, clearly infatuated with his looks.
       As for me, I’m still dazed with disbelief before realizing I should pack up, too. The pause is just long enough to notice Snook motion the new guy up for a quick conference. He walks to the podium with smooth, graceful motions that exude confidence.
       I can’t hear what Snook is asking, and this only exacerbates my curiosity. I try listening as long as possible until it’s grossly apparent I’m sticking around out of nosiness. At least I’m not alone. All the girls behind me are doing the same.
       I force myself to go to the door, but before I can walk through it, the urge to look back at him is irresistible. Despite Snook still talking, he looks directly at me. That dimpled smile I’ve always adored crosses his face, and I go lightheaded. When our eyes connect, a flood of memories rush through my mind, vivid as they were on the nights they were created.
       He raises a hand and rakes it through his dark hair. A silver ring glints on his right thumb.
       Not silver, reminds the little voice. Titanium.
       I used to love playing with that ring, twisting it round and round on my thumb. There was an engraving on the inside, but in the haziness that often comes with memories, I can’t remember the words. Completely freaked out now, I hurl myself into the hallway, smack into Cora.
       “Hey!” She grabs my arm to steady me. “What’s the rush?”
       I can’t help but look over. He’s regarding me with an oddly frustrated expression. Blushing, I shove my Cousin out of the door’s line of sight. “I’m just glad math is over.”
       Before she calls me out on my obvious lie, I stick my hand out. When she gently touches my hand, the splinter slides out along with the pain.
       She eyes me critically. “Those shifts last period. You have anything to do with them? I’m thinking yes, as you’re the only big fish in this small pond.”
       I nearly stagger, forcing her to detour us toward the nearest set of lockers. Concerned, she surges into my mind, flipping through the last period’s events. She finds the shifts easily, but doesn’t recognize the reason behind them. A squeeze to my shoulder indicates a need for better info, so I reluctantly push forward a memory a little over a year old to the forefront of my mind. Cora watches it silently, her fingers twisting her magenta-dyed hair. When she signals for more, I tentatively release a couple of incomplete memories from various time periods over the last decade.
       “Did you see him? In my classroom?” I whisper, pressing myself up against a locker. My long hair feels sticky against my neck. “Was he real? I’ve gone insane, haven’t I?”
       “Yeah, I saw him. He was definitely hard to miss.”
       I don’t know what to say. I’m so freaked out she puts her hand on my shoulder to calm me down. Thank goodness Cora is such a talented Shaman. Her Magical healing abilities have always been able to soothe me like no pill ever could. She’s also the closest thing I have to a sister, despite the fact we’re only loosely related at best and refer to one another as Cousins.
       “Tell me everything,” she demands. Cora’s like that. She’s always demanding one thing or another. “Start with why this is the first I’ve ever heard of this dude.”
       I’m not ready yet to share the true beginning. No, those memories are mine. So I began where I can—with the impossibility of the situation. “He’s real!”
       She gets the look on her face that means she’s trying not to shake me. “Okay, but just exactly who is he?” When I don’t answer, she presses, “Let’s try something simpler. What’s his name?”
       I say it out loud, for the first time, in a really long time. “Jonah.”
       Jonah is here.
       “Alright,” she says, shooting the guy whose locker I’m pressed up against a dirty look and an order to get moving. “Where’s he from?”
       I want to laugh at the absurdity of her question. Where’s he from? I can just imagine her response if I told her the truth.
       “Chloe, how can I help you if you don’t actually tell me anything? So far, all I know is that some guy in your math class triggered two shifts andcaused you to go into shock. I don’t recognize him, and you’re making things considerably more confusing by repeating things like, ‘Is he real? Did you see him?’ after very clearly showing me memories you have of the two of you together.”
       “He’s not real,” I whisper.
       She looks at me like I’m insane.
       “I always wished he was, but even I couldn’t make him real.”
       “Babe, I saw him. He’s real.”
       But I shake my head over and over again, forcing my brown hair to go flying. Because Magic is real. Dreams are not.
       And I’ve learned that one the hard way.
Author Bio

Heather Lyons has been putting stories to paper since she was a little girl. Her first "published" book was a humorous retelling of The Princess and the Pauper. After detours in archaeology and teaching, she is now writing and living in Southern California with her husband and three sons. She like cupcakes, baseball, hockey, reading, and collecting far too many handbags.
WebsiteThe Worlds of Annar website, which is dedicated exclusively to AMOF / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

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Hi! I welcome comments and feedback! But because I suck at HTML code, I don't know how to add reply button to each comment (I tried googled it but I think this template doesn't allow such change), so I will be very lousy at keeping track of the comments but it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate your comments! ^_^

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