Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Matter of Heart: Author Interview + Review

Today I am THRILLED to bring you my review of A Matter of Heart by Heather Lyons. Not only do I have a review but I have an awesome author interview! Heather not only writes amazing books but she is in general a really cool person!!! I had so much fun talking to Heather about the Fate series, music, and writing! Enjoy :)

A Matter of Heart Synopsis:
  No longer in high school, Chloe Lilywhite is now living and working in Annar, the Magicals' city-state plane of existence. Since moving, she's joined the Council, gone on missions with the Guard, moved into her own apartment, and enrolled at the University of Annar. Plus, she's happily engaged to be married to Jonah Whitecomb, the literal man from her dreams, not to mention her Connection. While she still struggles with aspects of her craft, Chloe feels like she's finally coming into her own, especially after a difficult year that had her questioning nearly everything in her life.

After a brutal attack by the Elders, her life is turned upside down once more. Accusations fly throughout the Council and Guard, forcing Chloe to confront her worst fears about what's she's capable of as a Creator. And then there's the matter of Kellan Whitecomb, Jonah's twin brother and Chloe's ex, who resurfaces after disappearing months before. Although Chloe chose Jonah, and despite their best efforts, the two find it hard to stay away from one another.

But no matter what Fate throws at her, Chloe is determined to take charge of her life, even as it begins to spiral out of control.

A MATTER OF HEART is book 2 in the Fate Series, a mature Young Adult/New Adult fantasy.


Thank you Thank you Heather for coming to talk to us today! Must I say I have fallen in love with this series, with Chloe and the Whitecomb twins and the rest of the gang.

HL: Thanks for having me, Caitlin! I’m so happy to be here! And I’m so glad to hear how much you enjoy the series. J

1.    The Fate series deals with, obviously, how fate intervenes in life. Do you believe that fate plays a role in life? (Hard hitting questions first J )

HL: Hmm . . . I’ll be honest, this is a tough one. I’d like to believe that life is what you make of it—if you try hard, work hard, be a good person, you can achieve what you want. And I think, ultimately, this is the lesson Chloe is striving toward in the series, too.

2.    Where did the idea of the Fate series come from?

HL: Growing up, I was a mythology junkie—my grandmother and I would read Greek, Roman, and Norse legends with each other all the time and then go constellation hunting. I always thought it was an interesting concept—what if the ancients were on to something? Just what if there was a whole bunch of people who controlled our world, from weather to crops to war to knowledge? Even more—just what if the most powerful of all of them was a teenage girl? It seemed too intriguing of an idea for me to pass up!

3.    After some minor stalking, I saw that you used to do blogging about music. (Love). Is there any music you must listen to when writing the Fate series or a song that you feel represents the books?

HL: Ahh, yes, I am a huge music fiend, and there isn’t a day in which I’m not listening to music and/or hunting for new songs to crush over. I cannot write without music, truth be told. I build pretty in-depth playlists for each of my works and then will listen to them even when I’m not writing so I can keep the feel for the story going.  The playlist for A Matter of Fate was monstrously large; A Matter of Heart’s isn’t quite so bad, but it’s still pretty big. Narrowing it down, the top five songs that were used/really represent the first two books of the Fate series to me are: Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars, Chemicals Collide by Cloud Cult, Freeze and Explode by Cassettes Won’t Listen, I Am Strong by Polly Scattergood, and Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie.

4.    What is your favorite character to write? (I know it’s like asking who your favorite kid is.)

HL: Wow. That is hard! I ought to pick Chloe, because this is her story, after all, but I have two other characters I love to write about and for. The first is Karl Graystone, who in the very earliest versions didn’t play the role he does today. But there was something about Karl I couldn’t shake, so now he’s a key figure in the series. The other character . . . hmm. You’re going to hate me for this so much, but I can’t answer that question yet. It’s a major character that’s prominent throughout books three and four of the series. I completely adore this character and love telling their story.

5.    Do you plot your books out or know how the series is going to end? Or are you more of a pantser, having the characters tell you where the story is going?

HL: Oh, I’m definitely a fly by the seats of her pants kind of girl, who listens to the characters and let them dictate the storyline. I haven’t storyboarded a single one of my WIPs. I actually wrote the entire Fate series at one fell swoon, but I find that as I edit and revise, certain things change for characters, dictating big changes in the series. Right now, with the third book, I threw out the entire draft I had and am rebuilding from the ground up. The characters want what the characters want!

6.    Did you always want to be a writer growing up? And any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there.

HL: I’ve loved storytelling my whole life (I even was president of my high school’s writers club!), but back then, I didn’t think I could actually make a go at it, so I went into the highly lucrative field of archaeology. Ahem. I kid, because as much as I adored archaeology and working in the field, that was truly a tough business to be in. So I went into teaching but then quit to become a stay-at-home mom. But the writing itch was always there; once home full-time, I thought to myself, why not give it a go again? What’s the worst that could happen? People not like it? To me—the true tragedy would be to have this dream and never act on it, regretting it later in life. So I gave it a go, and I’m forever glad I did.

My advice to anyone who wants to write is to write. Write often. Write what you like, what you’d want to read—never write for others, because then the story won’t be honest.  Find a writing group to join or critique partners to help with constructive criticism. Write some more. And then keep on writing.

7.     Random Rapid Fire Questions:

A.    Favorite Summer Activity? Hanging out in the pool.
B.     Coffee or Tea? I’m a definite tea-aholic. English Breakfast tea is the best. Mmm!!! And who doesn’t love going to a tea house?
C.     Favorite Band? I’m obsessed with Frightened Rabbit. I make sure I see them any time they come within a fifty-mile radius of me!
D.    Favorite TV Show? Currently, it’s New Girl. Oh my goodness, I want to steal Jess’ wardrobe so bad. And Zooey Deschanel’s, too. 
E.    Team Kellan or Team Jonah (I HAD to ask ;) Ahhh!! To be completely honest, it actually depends on what book and what chapter I’m on. I love them both for different reasons!

Thanks again Heather for such great answers ! And now check out my review of A Matter of Heart Below!!


I fell in love with the Whitcomb twins and Chloe with Lyon's first book A Matter of Fate. But this book made me feel every emotion so intensely as I read about the weight of the world on Chloe's shoulder. How can a girl of only 18 deal with so much? Well, she does the best she can but she is faced with so many huge decisions that you can't help but feel for her. Many would think that having a connection would be the best, but for Chloe she has two and putting her in an almost impossible situation. Which brother to choose? Who does she make happy and who must she hurt? 

"But here's the truth-you are my everything Chloe...There's only you. You're the only one I'll ever see. The only one I'll ever want."

While I read this book I was in for a roller coaster of emotions. I squealed like a high school teenager when a certain twin came into the book and I fan girled over all of their stolen moments. There were times where I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I had to walk away and process the awesome and heartbreak and longing and a range of emotions I was feeling. I cherished each moment Chloe had with Kellan. I felt that Chloe and Kellan had this unique yin/yang relationship. They worked well together in times of distress and seemed to really get each other in so many different ways. (Can you tell what Team I am??) That doesn't mean I don't love Jonah  kind and patient Jonah. But I wonder if Jonah's love is a pacifier. If his love is guarded in protecting Chloe in a way where she can't live her life. 

"You're more than my Connection; you know that right? The first night we met, I became the luckiest guy in all the worlds. I don't think you truly understand what you mean to me... I don't think you ever will." 

And then you think that it isn't just Chloe that has to deal with these emotions. Jonah and Kellan  and Chloe all are in this sticky situation. You feel for these three as they hurt and love and laugh and cry. How can you not?

"I will, you know. Fight for you, I mean. I've wanted to this entire time. Every single day.." 

While I was reading this I also had this thought. Chloe has had distant love from her parents and while I wouldn't say she lived a life without love I often wonder if she has experience the all consuming love that Jonah and Kellan have for her. If you weren't used to it, it could easily be overwhelming. That love paired with the responsibilities of being a creator? Of couse she would be so stressed she was sick. 

"It tells me that love is difficult...And that it's never guaranteed or safe and that sometimes, we must take risks." 

By the end of the book these were my thoughts  Chloe says that she had no control over her life due to fate but I am hoping with the third book and on she says screw you fate and takes charge of her own life. She has to make her own decisions and not what fate says because it could possibly kill her. I still don't know what those brothers though and I can't wait until we see how it works out. Overall, this has been one of my top 3 books this year!!! I encourage you all to read this series, it wont disappoint!! 

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Author Bio:

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

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