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Mesmerize (A Mystyx Novel) Paperback – January 24, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Artist C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides with her husband and three children. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters and fresh dialogue—thus keeping the readers on their toes! Artist loves to hear from her readers and can be reached through her contact form or via email at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Useless Facts

My name is Lindsey Yi and I'm telepathic. I have been able to read people's minds for as far back as I can remember. I'll be seventeen in a couple of months and it's close to the end of my junior year in high school. I love cheese and absolutely hate ketchup.

I know that the diet of lady beetles consists of soft-bodied insects like caterpillars and that giant African crickets enjoy eating human hair. That's not necessarily something I need to know, but I have a reservoir of useless trivia like that stored in my brain for some inexplicable reason.

Another fact: It's been a year since the accident—twelve long months—since I've had a full night's sleep or experienced a waking minute of the day when I didn't think about my parents. I can still see their glassy eyes as they breathed the last puff of air in their lungs.

My entire body shivers as I rub my arms to soothe a layer of gooseflesh that coats my skin. As I close my eyes, I'm once again right back there, reliving the train crash one more time.

We were going to Washington, D. C. Dad went there a lot. He used to be a diplomat to South Korea. That's where he and Mom come from. I was born in the United States, but I traveled all over the world with my parents. When the accident happened, we lived in a huge house in Providence, Rhode Island.

I guess we could have taken a plane. But Dad liked to travel by land whenever he could, so we were on Amtrak sitting in business class. I don't know why, since I wasn't traveling on business. But I liked to pretend that I was a very important person in the government. That's what I want to do when I grow up, work for the government in some high-level international job. Sounds ambitious and probably obnoxious, but it's what I want to do.

My parents were sitting across from me, my dad with his laptop open as his fingers danced across the keyboard, and his eyes focused on whatever appeared on the screen. Mom was reading a book. She loved to read. Judging by the cover—with a bare-chested man and a woman with long red nails grazing his pectorals—it was probably a hot, steamy romance. That meant that mom won't be passing it on to me for my reading pleasure. That's okay. I prefer reading nonfiction, anyway.

My blunt-tipped fingernails—just like Dad's—drummed over the tabletop that separated us as I stared out the window. Trees whizzed by at a steady clip. Sometimes they were interrupted by water as we crossed a bridge. I was taking in the scenery but Dad wasn't, and it was his idea to take the train, anyway. I liked how the water looked like it shimmered, like there was a huge plastic coating over it that captured the rays of sunlight in a glittering spectacle. The trees made me think of shelter, of something hidden within the tall cluster of shrubbery with hundreds of outstretched arms on the sides. I didn't really want to think of those arms, grabbing, touching, pulling and tearing at me. That had always been a sore spot for me.

Then the scenery abruptly changed with such a jolt that it made me slide into the empty seat beside me. Dad's computer slid over the table, then bounced off the floor with a thud. It didn't sound good. Mom dropped her book, the pages quickly fanning out as it fell to the floor. I remember thinking, "She won't remember what page she was reading because her bookmark was still on the table." The book had fallen off the edge, too, resting on the floor beside Dad's laptop.

I grasped the armrest but the shaking didn't stop. I was quickly flipped right out of my seat, careening over the mess on the floor beside us, being catapulted somewhere inside the train car that I didn't know. Screams echoed in my ears and pain slammed into my body, even though I could have sworn I was floating through the car without actually hitting anything. Still, the pain was there, it was real and it was growing.

The right side of my head hurt like it had been smashed into something and throbbed furiously at the assault. My arms ached and there was a whoosh of air as I felt like something slammed into my stomach. I heard voices in my head, screams and pleas, amid the cries for help.

Outside the window, there were no longer trees or water, but an upside-down world that I couldn't really decipher. There was smoke billowing upward over the windows in clear gray waves. There was movement all around me, but I remained still. I swallowed as my body finally began to settle, and I cringed as the stinging taste of blood coated the back of my throat.

The cries in my head grew louder and louder and were now replaced by snippets that formed a chaotic sound wave that resonated through my entire body. My mouth opened because something wanted to come out, but I didn't know what. It might have been anything like, "Help me, I'm hurt." Or, "Save me!" Or, "I'm dying!" Or maybe even, "This pain is excruciating. Please someone help me!" Whatever it was, it all came down to, "What the hell is going on?"

I couldn't say anything. It just played like a loop running through my head. I remember rolling over and coughing, since smoke was everywhere by now. Getting to my knees wasn't easy. My elbows rested on the floor, but there was glass everywhere so I lifted up my arms. I scraped away the tiny shards and saw the blood on my fingertips as it dripped down my arm and fell to the floor in red droplets. I got up off the floor and looked down to see that my knees matched my elbows, but there was no time to dwell on that.

"Lindsey!" a familiar voice called to me. "Lindsey, honey, where are you?" the woman said.

At that moment, I was thinking about how to form the words, but my mouth still wasn't working. My legs moved in a wobbly way, like I'd been thrust back to the days when I was a toddler trying to take those first steps. Lifting one leg at a time was a chore, one I needed to concentrate on. But the voices in my head wouldn't allow it.

I doubled over and suddenly felt like the glass on the floor was somehow embedded in my stomach. The pain was so intense, my eyes watered. And once again I tried to open my mouth to scream in agony. Still, nothing.

I'd been rendered mute and there was no explanation why.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to breathe through the pain but it was relentless. My chest heaved as my head felt like it was going to split in two. Even my eardrums ached, like they did when I had that rotten tooth in fourth grade.

I kept moving, because in the midst of all the noise, I heard my mom's voice coming through loud and clear.

The chaos seemed to have quieted in my head, seeping out through my ears, spilling out so that it appeared to surround me. I felt myself being pushed and jostled, but I kept trying to walk, trying to get to Mom's voice. When I finally did manage to, I stopped. My legs gave out and I was back lying on a bed of broken glass on the floor.

Then I realized that my parents hadn't been thrown when my body ricocheted through the train. At the time I thought it was strange since we were sitting right across from each other. But it looked like they never moved, as their backs were still plastered to the faux-leather seats that are only in business- and first-class cars on Amtrak. Dad's laptop was definitely busted and Mom's book was gone. She'll have to buy another copy and start all over, I thought.

Her fingers were all bloody so the pages would probably get smudged when she opened the new book. Maybe she'd buy an e-reader instead, I thought. On one side of her head, the right side, there was a gash that oozed blood in thick rivulets that covered one of her eyes and trickled down to her lips. When I reached out to touch her, my arm ached so bad that I couldn't do anything but let it fall back to my side. Dad was next to her and his head looked fine. No blood. But his chest was moving up and down, in quick motions that didn't seem normal. Trailing down the bottom of his shirt was a gruesome crimson color. The blood was coming from his stomach.

I didn't reach out to him, but instead folded my bruised arm over my stomach to suppress the spasms and knife-sharp pains that were resurfacing once more.

"Dad!" The sound came from my mouth in a sick croaky-sounding way.

He moved his head slowly as the narrow slits of his eyes searched for and then found me. He did like this hiccupping thing and blood gurgled from his lips. I cringed and swallowed, and felt like I tasted the same blood.

I wanted to say, "Mom," but I couldn't. My mouth was already full. I looked at her, at her long, straight, jet-black hair that was now matted to one side of her face. She reached up to touch me. The sound in my head screamed, "Stop her!"

She froze in midair, as her arm hung aloft for a second then fell limply to her side.

I looked from my mom to my dad and my dad to my mom, back and forth over and over again. The pain coursed through my body making me tremble. I couldn't talk anymore, but I kept swallowing. I hated the taste in my mouth, hated the feeling of warm blood as it oozed down my throat. I kept staring at Mom and Dad, at their eyes. They blinked in unison. Then they stopped blinking and simply stared straight ahead, that empty soulless stare.

Death is final. It's the end and there's no coming back. No resurrection. It's over and done with. My mom and dad are gone and I'm still here.

These are the facts. I don't know if they're useless facts or not, but these are the facts.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Mystyx Novel (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Kimani; Original edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373534647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373534647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,703,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the first born and only girl in my family, and six and nine years separate me and my two brothers. Needless to say, I was alone quite a bit. But being alone gave me plenty of time to indulge my imagination in the world of books. One of the first novels I read was a young adult series that traced the lives of two teenagers in high school, Sweet Valley High. Reading those novels I thought I could do better, and so my quest to write entertaining stories began.
Being an introvert, it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to let others read my work. How long? Well, the first person to read a story I wrote was my husband. Since then, I've been writing professionally for almost nine years now. But it was my daughter who encouraged me to write a book for teens--just one of the reasons I love her so dearly.
I live in Maryland with my husband and three children. If you take away the opinionated teenagers, family drama, overflowing bookshelves and DVDs, my life is pretty boring. But don't take those things away, since they're my inspiration.
I love to hear from readers and can be contacted at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Turning the Pages on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
First off, this book is being added to my list of annoyingly inaccurate covers. Yes, it is a nice cover, if Lindsey weren't a young Korean girl. Why would the publisher choose to not represent the character as written? Multiculturalism should be a selling point, not something thrown in to say they're doing it, only to back off during the marketing.

The book itself is interesting. I didn't realize it was the fourth book in a series until I started reading, and there are multiple references to previous events, but I didn't feel completely lost, which is a credit to the author.Things flowed and there was enough background information scattered throughout to make sense of what was happening. I think if I had read the previous three books in the series I would have felt a stronger connection with the characters and a more emotional reaction to some of the events that unfold.

What made this book hard to read was that Lindsey was all over the place. Lindsey is not an easy character to follow. One moment she's giving details about the horrific death of her parents and then the next she's standing at the door day dreaming about a hot guy. But don't worry because within the first fourth of the book, you'll hear it again and again. Her thoughts are completely random and it makes it hard to know what is really happening. There's even one point where Lindsay has just gone through a test and is getting ready to describe her terrifying ordeal when she starts thinking about going sledding down a hill and then acknowledges she doesn't know why she's thinking of that! It makes me think the author needed to up the word count and decided to add in random descriptions.

The ending confused me a bit and I wasn't quite sure why at the end Lindsey still felt the way she did.
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Format: Paperback
Things come to a head in this book for our little Mystyx gang, but I'll warn you: there is still more to come in this series. I'll try to keep the spoilers in this review to a minimum, but some of the stuff that happens here is pretty big.

First off, I'll warn people that you might be surprised at some of the events in this book. We do get to see a whole new side of Lindsey, but it comes at a very serious cost for our main characters. I have to admit that I was pretty sad to see certain things in the book happen, but all things considered it made sense that things like this would potentially happen- especially considering all of the pain and loss that everyone has had to go through earlier in the series.

There's a big confrontation in this book and initially I thought that this might have been the end of the series, although there is still another book and enough here is left open to where the series can go into an entirely new direction. I'm kind of digging the way it ended, to be honest. I think it'd be more interesting to see how these new story lines develop.

The only big problem I had with this book is that at times the action scenes felt like they went by a little too quickly. This does help give me the feeling that things are happening fast and furious, but I just wanted a little more detail and explanation in a few places. It just needed a little more time spent on these elements.

Overall this was a good read and one I'd recommend to fans of the series thus far. It's good to get a deeper glimpse into Lindsay's life, although I wish the actions scenes were a little more drawn out. (Especially the final battle of the book.) It's not my absolute favorite of the series, but the last few paragraphs has got me pretty excited for what might happen in the next entry.

3.5 out of 5 stars

(ARC provided by Netgalley)
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By Nereyda on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
***Copy received from publisher for review***
So I didn't realize that this book was actually the 4th book in the Mystyx series until I had already started reading it. I know, I know-bad blogger! But to be fair the Amazon description doesn't mention anything about it being part of a series. Anyway, the book was not confusing and it gave background information throughout the book so I didn't feel lost reading it.

Quick recap from the other Mystyx books: Four teens have discovered they have been given supernatural powers to fight Charon from the underworld. Krystal, Sasha and Jake have all been tested and now it's Lindsey's turn to be tested. Lindsey Yi is a 16-year old Asian-American who has moved to Connecticut with her legal guardian, Aurora Hampton, after her parents were killed in a tragic train accident a year ago. Lindsey is also a mind reader and an empath. She has a hard time dealing with her own emotions because she is always feeling other people's thoughts and emotions. But then she meets mysterious Dylan Murphy and she can't hear any of his thoughts. A relationship between them quickly develops but can Dylan's secrets tear them apart? Is this the test that Lindsey will not be able to pass?

The story was fast paced and had plenty of action to keep the reader entertained. A big problem I had was that Lindsey and Dylan's relationship moved a little too fast and to me it seemed like she was more interested in him than he was in her. A couple of people died in this book and it all happened so fast that I wasn't sure if they were really dead or not. Although the main focus was on Lindsey, the book also covers her friends, her guardian and other characters.

I think there will be another book in the Mystyx series, possibly about Krystal?
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