Monday, January 24, 2011

MYSTIFY, Book Two of the Mystyx Series

: A Mystyx Novel

By Artist Arthur
Kimani Tru | January 2011 | ISBN: 978-0373534319
US $9.99/$11.99 Canada | 256 pages | Paperback
Artist Arthur on Twitter

is the second book in the Mystyx series from the Harlequin imprint KimaniTru. With its ethnically diverse cast of characters, accessible voice, and paranormal element, MYSTIFY, the sequel to Manifest, is the next book in the series that pleases every fan of YA literature looking for a fresh take on the genre.

Synopsis: Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They'd be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.

Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn't be worse. Sasha's father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there's Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx's own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life—and even her destiny….


MYSTIFY: A Mystyx Novel

By Artist Arthur

Chapter One:

I don't want to like him. I really don't.

But I keep thinking about him—dreaming about him. It's like I'm obsessed with him. And I want to know everything about him, which isn't much, because I try not to talk to him more than I have to. That's been working out pretty well since we helped find his brother Ricky's killer. Of course it helped Ricky's spirit find peace and cross over after his death.

Me and my friends, Krystal and Jake—well, I should say my fellow Mystyx—we did that. That night was such a rush. When I remember it now, I get goose bumps. And sometimes I get scared all over again. There was something evil and dark living inside Mr. Lyle, the biology teacher, something that Jake, Krystal and I believe might still be here in Lincoln.

Lincoln, Connecticut, which is where we live, is probably one of the most boring towns there is. Nothing even remotely exciting happens here. The fact that Mr. Lyle was running an underage porn ring was the most shocking thing around here in a long time.

Now the only thing that's on people's minds is the weather. It snowed twenty-seven inches the first week of May. Then, as if Mother Nature wanted to apologize, seven days after the first snowfall, it got so hot the temperature went up to ninety-eight degrees with sixty percent humidity. (I know this because Krystal's boyfriend, Franklin—his father is the local weatherman. Franklin gives her weather updates all the time, and she tells me and Jake.)

Today the snow is just about gone. The sun's still shining, and it's really warm outside. But there are lots of puddles because of the melting snow.

But that's getting off track. I was thinking about the boy I don't like, or rather trying not to think about him, because I don't like him.

I breathe out heavily, making the hair in my face flutter. It doesn't change reality though. And the reality is that I do like Antoine Watson, even though I know I shouldn't.

It's not just the class differences that, for the record, are a big deal here in Lincoln. There're other reasons why me and Antoine don't make such a good couple.

He's into music and clothes and hangs with a hip-hop crowd. While I like—more like love—clothes and I'm not into cliques. That's why I avoid Alyssa Turner and her minions like the plague. Alyssa's fifteen, just like me. She lives in a huge house on the lake, just like all the other well-to-do families, known as the Richies in Lincoln. She has the best of everything and makes sure nobody ever forgets it. There's nothing more important in Alyssa's world than Alyssa. Get my drift?

I don't like anybody telling me who to hang with or why. Antoine doesn't seem like that. But the day I went to talk to him, two of the boys—who he later told me were named, of all things, Fats and Trigga—were rude and insulting, just because my parents have money. I didn't care enough to find out their real names because the ones Antoine used were so ridiculous I couldn't comprehend anything else. I just wanted them all to get a life. That's what Antoine calls being stuck-up. He's told me that a time or two. Funny how that always seems to roll off his tongue right after I turn him down for a date or refuse to give him my phone number.

See, I think Antoine's a little confused himself. At the dance—before I had to rush off with the other Mystyx—he talked differently. We actually had a decent conversation, and he danced okay until he started grinding up against me like we were in a rap video. I didn't like that at all and was relieved when Krystal pulled me away.

That said, there's no reason I should still be thinking about him. But here I am on a Friday night, lying across my bed thinking about where Antoine could be. Who he's with? What he's doing?

It's so weird.

Which is another thing, I should be getting used to being weird. I'm half South American and half—what would you call it—North American? My mother is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and that's where she had me. She married my dad who's white and is originally from Houston, Texas, but moved to the east coast years ago.

We moved to Lincoln right after I was born and in this small town I'm probably the only Latina teenager. Krystal, who has been my friend for going on two months now, is part Native American and African-American. So I suppose we have something in common, even if it's only being weird and being mixed.

Krystal and I share something else. The M shaped birthmark that sits just above my right hip and the one Krystal has on the back of her neck. Jake, he's a Tracker—someone with less money who lives on the other side of the old railroad tracks—he has the same mark on his arm. We figured out that the M stands for Mystyx so that's what we call ourselves. We each have a supernatural ability that we think has something to do with atmospheric events that happened around the time we were conceived. That's why we listen to the weather reports Krystal gets from Franklin. Like I said, it's weird.

To help make sense of it all, about an hour ago I sent an email to a woman who I think can help us figure out the nature of our powers. Or at least I hope she can.

Now I'm lying here waiting for my PC to beep with the sound of an incoming email, or rather, trying not to think of Antoine and the feelings I have for him.

I'm not asleep although my body feels kind of heavy like it's sinking into the mattress. My eyes are closed because I was tired of looking at the ceiling, waiting and trying not to think too much.

It really doesn't matter. The more I try not to think about him, the more his mocha complexion and smiling face appear in my mind. He is really cute, which right there is enough to make any girl like him. His dark hair is always close cropped and precisely cut like he has a barbershop in his house. His clothes, of course, are stylish, baggy jeans, oversize shirts—either button-downs or T-shirts—and black or brown boots. Most of the other guys in his crowd tend to wear too much jewelry, but Antoine only wears a chain with a cross hanging from it. His left ear is pierced and he always smells good. Antoine always wears cologne. I don't know what it's called, but I like it. I can smell it now, here in my bedroom. If I inhale deeply, the scent fills my nose, and when I exhale I want to see him even more.

I want to see him and talk to him, maybe try to figure out what this thing between us is. I figure it's probably not going to go away, and I don't know how else to deal with it.

I wonder if he likes me. I think he does because he keeps asking me out, and lately he always seems to be where I am.

I wonder what he's doing tonight, if he's home in his room thinking about me. I wonder…Am I floating on something?

Wait a minute, I'm dizzy. It's cold in here. Did Casietta turn on the air-conditioning already?

My eyes are fluttering, trying to open. But when they finally do, I can't really believe what I'm seeing.

It's dark, really, really dark. Like pitch darkness—not like sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night and can kind of see where things are so you don't walk into walls when you're trying to get to the bathroom. No, this is pitch blackness and it's cold, and I'm moving, going someplace.

Then as quickly as it becomes dark, it turns loud, noisy and filled with music. I jump. I mean my body jerks forward like I've just been scared awake, and I look around trying to figure out why my bedroom has changed into what looks like a nightclub.




Diva's Bookcase: The mysteries are slowly unfolding, giving me just enough bits of information to keep me following the story.