Hey everyone! Meredith from Pandora’s Books here. For those who don’t know, I’m doing a joint Blogoversary celebration with Kayla and Stacie from A Wonderland of Reading. The festivities started on May 26 (their one-year Blogoversary) and will end on June 24 (my one-year Blogoversary). We’ll be alternating days and providing fun guest posts from our fellow bloggers and author friends. You can visit A Wonderland of Reading to see the first post and learn more about the details and the grand prize giveaway!
So today, I have the AMAZING Heather Lyons, author of the Fate series, as well as The Deep End of The Sea, here with an epically awesome post. I absolutely adore Heather! Her books were the first I ever reviewed for a publicist. They are amazing, well-written and have epic, relatable, lovable characters. These books will always hold a special place in my heart, as will Heather! So, today Heather and I have cooked up something pretty epic for you guys. If you’ve read the Fate series, you’ll swoon like crazy! And if you haven’t read it, well… Why haven’t you?!?! So, without further adieu, please welcome Chloe and Kellan from the Fate series!
Hi Chloe and Jonah. Thank you so much for joining us today! We’re very excited to have you here.
Chloe: Hi Meredith! We’re so glad to be able to stop by.
Jonah: Hey, Meredith.
Well, let’s start with you, Chloe. You’ve been through so much. How are you doing?
Chloe: I’m doing great, actually!
You had some major health problems. How are you feeling now?
Chloe: (laughs, embarrassed) I like how you phrased that—health problems. Wait—are you talking about all the stuff I went through with the Elders? Because I’m right as rain now. Annar’s Shamans are really excellent at what they do.
Jonah: She could have been talking about the ulcers, you know.
[Smiles] Yes, I meant the ulcers. Though what you went through with the Elders must have taken its toll, too!
Chloe: Oh! Well, those are gone, too. I’ve found a lot of things over the years that helps me reduce stress.
Can you share some of those things with us?
Chloe: Breathing, for one. And counting—I’m always counting. Counting calms me down. And running—I guess somebody over here was right all those years about how running helps him clear his mind . . .
Jonah: (gives a who, me? look)
Chloe: I started yoga a year or so back.
Jonah: And . . . you finished yoga a year or so back?
Chloe: (laughs) Okay, okay. I don’t do yoga. But I have started journaling. That helps, even if it’s just to get the words out. Sometimes I’ll just will the paper away afterward, but it’s the thought that I got them out there in the first place, and it helps relieve some of the pressures, especially in work-related matters.
And you have no desire to run away again, right? [Chuckles]
Chloe: (sighs) Running away solves nothing. Although . . . (looks over at Jonah) as wrong as running away was, I think it was probably the best thing I could have done at the time. Except, if I could do it all over again, I’d have talked it over with Jonah, so that it wasn’t like I just disappeared. Sometimes . . . space is needed, you know? It helps to bring what’s important back in focus.
[Nods sympathetically at Chloe, then speaks in a gentle voice]. Right, I understand. [Turns to Jonah]. Jonah, let’s move on to you for a minute. How are you doing?
Jonah: I’m great, thanks.
You held a lot back for a long time. You didn’t always speak your mind, you were quick to get upset. How do you think you’ve grown over the last several years?
Jonah: Um . . . (chuckles ruefully) Yeah, I wasn’t always the best with dealing with my own emotions, which is sort of horribly ironic for an Emotional, right? It’s a process, though. When you grow up with a certain set of expectations, it’s hard to shake them even when you know they’re not the right course of action. I have to remind myself all the time that it’s okay to let it out sometimes.
Do you ever find yourself falling back into old habits? How do you cope when that happens?
Jonah: You mean, like holding it all in? (thinks about this) I’d like to say no. Actually—let me clarify. I’ve learned to let the important people in and to express myself better with them. I don’t hold things back from my family anymore. And if I ever do find myself bottling those feelings up—
Chloe: I remind him that I’m here for him, and if he wants to talk, I’m here for that, too. And so is Astrid, and Cameron, and Will, and Callie, and all the rest of our family. Even KC. They’re so cute together, by the way.
Jonah: You mean me and KC?
Chloe: Cute and so much alike. I love it. And I love that you don’t hold back with him, not like your father ever did with you.
We got an in-depth look at you and your feelings in Beyond Fate, Jonah. Was that nerve-racking for you?
Jonah: (clearly uncomfortable) Uh, yeah.
Chloe: (laughs; holds his hand) Baby steps, right?
Can you elaborate on that, Jonah? If you’re comfortable answering this question, what was the most difficult part about it?
Jonah: Well, it was the whole opening up thing. Letting people see my fears and insecurities, especially when I have so many expectations upon my shoulders.
What’s one thing you hope readers take away from Beyond Fate?
Jonah: Uh . . . (scratches back of neck) That I’m not perfect, maybe?
Chloe: Nobody is. Nobody should want to be. By the way, I love that people got to see the real you.
And we loved it, too, Chloe! Now, you were involved in what’s referred to as a “love triangle.” What does that term mean to you? Does it truly reflect how you feel about one another?
Chloe: Oh, gods. Isn’t that so sordid sounding? Love triangle.
Jonah: I suppose it could have been worse—it could have been a rectangle. (smiles slyly) Thank goodness you and Will never hooked up, right?
Chloe:(cracks up) Can you imagine?
Jonah: In all seriousness, though, it’s not like it’s a desirable thing, though. A love triangle, I mean. It’s pretty brutal.
Chloe: (more quietly) Completely brutal. I think . . . a lot of people who hear our story thinks that it was an easy pick, or that we all ought to have been able to control our feelings so easily. But . . . matters of the heart aren’t always so logical or easy.
Jonah: Especially with Connections.
Chloe: Especially with Connections. Have I mentioned before that they suck?
Jonah: That’s putting it mildly.
A lot of people say your “love triangle” – for lack of a better word – is one of the most well done in young adult. People have a hard time picking a “team” between you and your brother [stares at Jonah]. How does that make you feel?
Jonah: Uh . . . Crappy, I guess. For lack of a better word.
Chloe: (squeezes his hand, says gently) I think what she’s saying is that people think you’re both awesome, and that they could see why I . . . um . . . (trails off, uncomfortable)
Jonah: Yeah, no. I get it. I guess I can see how it’s a compliment.
[Nods quickly]. My apologies, Jonah. That was most certainly meant as a compliment! As Chloe said, you and your brother are both amazing and wonderful!
Jonah: Yeah, my brother is a pretty awesome person. (is quiet for a long moment) Is it weird that I get why she loved him? (shakes his head) Outside of the Connection, I mean. Yeah, I get it. I do. I can’t blame her for that, not when I think he’s one of the best people I know.
Chloe: (leans over and kisses Jonah) You’re pretty awesome yourself, mister.
Do you feel scrutinized at all? Like your life is under a microscope? [Directed at Jonah, but glances at Chloe, in case she wants to speak up]
Jonah: Well, it’s not like I’m thrilled people know all about my love life or anything.
Chloe: The thing is, though, as Magicals—with such a small society—our lives pretty much are open books. The gossip machine in Annar is horrible.
Jonah: There’s not as much gossip about us anymore. Happy couples are boring, right?
Chloe: Silly man. There is nothing boring about us in the least. (waggles eyebrows)
Jonah: (tries not to laugh) (or make fun of the fact that Chloe looks ridiculous doing this)
[Chuckles and shakes head] You two are just so adorable together!
Chloe: See? (turns to Jonah) Don’t I say this all the time? (to Meredith) Thank you! Our son thinks we’re gross. What does he know?
[Chuckles and nods]. Chloe, let’s go back to you for a moment. How do YOU feel about this love triangle business? [Smiles kindly, to make the question sound less intimidating]
Chloe: I am asked to do a lot of difficult things in my line of work, but . . . whether or not this makes me sound petty or selfish, being torn between two people I love with all of my heart was the hardest thing in the worlds to go through.
[Nods sympathetically]. I can’t even imagine. Are you happy now, though?
Chloe: I truly am. More importantly, I’m content. A lot of people don’t give credence to contentment, but if you’ve been through as much angst as me, you’ll come to see it as the best of blessings.
[Nods at Chloe]. That’s what matters most, then. [Pauses]. When it comes to your life and your choices, you’ve always had Fate kind of . . . nudging you in a certain direction. You’ve always fought against that. What have you learned from this experience? [Glances at Jonah, nodding slightly to encourage him to speak up if he wishes]
Chloe: (is thoughtful for a long moment) I think it’s important to realize that, no matter what, a person must always remember that they have a choice. That was my big takeaway. I could choose what kind of Creator to be. I could choose my family. I could choose who to live my life with. Choice is a beautiful, precious thing.
Jonah: Choice is everything, I think . . . as long as it’s true to one’s heart. Choice by default does nobody any favors.
[Nods at Jonah]. Yes, I absolutely agree, Jonah. [Glances back at Chloe]. What advice would you give someone, Chloe, who feels their life is out of their control?
Chloe: Take a step back. Find yourself—not who others want you to be, but who you are.
That’s wonderful advice, thank you, Chloe. So, this question is for the both of you. What’s one lesson you’ve learned throughout this whole journey that you want to share with everyone?
Chloe: To be true to oneself.
Jonah: I like that.
Jonah: (kisses her hand) Yeah. It’s the absolute best lesson of all.
[Smiles and nods at the adorable couple] Final question. Are you happy with where your stories ended?
Chloe: (smiles) Who says our story has ended?
Jonah: Oh, it definitely hasn’t ended. Everyday, I find something new to love about this woman.
Chloe: I think the best of endings are no endings at all. That life just keeps going—beautifully, authentically. I think the better question is: are we happy with our lives? And the answer is oh, yes. Very happy. We made the right choices for ourselves, and it’s made all the difference.
Thank you both so much for taking the time to speak with me. That was wonderful!
Chloe: Thanks for having us, Meredith! And thanks for all the support you’ve shown us through our story.
* * * * * *
(Later, in a coffee shop far, far away from Annar, Meredith spies somebody familiar sitting at a table alongside a dejected looking teenager, so she can’t help but stop and eavesdrop a little.)
“Sometimes,” the teenager says as he curls his fingers around what appears to be an iced mocha, “I don’t think I’ll ever be happy.”
The man he’s talking with pulls a teabag out of his cup and sets it on a nearby napkin. “I know it’s hard to believe it right now, when it feels like everything is imploding inward, but the truth is, you will be. Just because this relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean the next won’t. Or the one after that.”
“Of course you’re going to say that. You’re happy,” the teenager cuts in. “That’s what adults always say.”
The man chuckles and runs his hand through his longish, messy black hair. “We’re not here to discuss me or my relationship.
We’re here to talk about why you decided to spray paint your ex-girlfriend’s car.”
“I thought she was the one,” the teenager says quietly. “And now she’s with him.”
“Most people don’t find the love of their life in high school.” The man smiles kindly. “Sometimes, it takes going out into the big world and having experiences that allow one to grow before a person can even be ready to accept love in their life. Or, at least, the right love.”
The teenager leans forward, his fingers snapping the plastic of his cup. “Is that what happened to you?”
“We’re not here to discuss me, remember?”
“But is it?”
The man blows out a long breath before tugging on a leather cuff on his wrist. Then he says slowly, but assuredly, “It is.” He glances at a clock on the wall. “Our session is up for the week, but I want you to think about putting some distance between you and your ex-girlfriend this week. Find something healthy to keep your mind occupied, especially now that it’s summer vacation.”
“A buddy took me surfing the other day,” the teen says thoughtfully. “I liked that a lot.”
“Perfect.” The man smiles encouragingly. “I can attest that surfing does a mind good. Go carve up some waves. Practice the breathing techniques we’ve talked about.”
The teenager stands up. “Thanks, Doc.”
The man rises and claps the boy on the shoulder. When his cell phone rings, he tells the teen, “Same time next week. Think positive.”
Once the boy is gone, he pulls out the phone and answers it. “Hey, Ash,” he says. His mouth quirks up in a half smile. “My session just ended. Would you like me to bring you a drink home?”
Minutes later, he exits the coffee shop, an extra drink in his hand.
Along with this epic giveaway, we have TWO epic prizes for ONE lucky winner! From Heather, we have some random/signed swag! From me, we have ONE eBook for any book in the Fate series OR of The Deep End of the Sea, winner’s choice.
This giveaway is US only, but fear not! We have INT giveaways going on in our Grand Prize Giveaway which you can enter here! We also have several International giveaways going on, which you can find listed here!
So, the rules:
-Giveaway is US Only
-Winner has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected.
-You must be 13 or older to enter OR have your parents’ permission.
-I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
-I reserve the right to change any rules as I see fit for each individual giveaway
*The above giveaway rules were borrowed and modified from Jessica @ Just a Book Lover.
With that being said, I wish you luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!