Preface and Chapter 1

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Preface From the Author

Every day I am stunned into silence at the magnitude of language. Sometimes there are no words, no phrases on this planet, that are sufficient for my emotions.

Now is such a time.

I started writing Seize the Day in the spring of 2014—almost four long years ago. During that time, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my grandmother passed away and left us a hoarded house to clean, and I started college.

Even though my mom is cured and the house is cleaned out, those times were difficult. Saying that life hit me in the face would be an understatement.

Through all of this—through the overwhelming days when I wanted to stop writing, when I wanted to give up and say, "You know what? Work and school are more important" and abandon Lannie and her friends for another day—I read Wattpad comments.

During the emotionally exhausting hours of caring for my mother after her chemotherapy and radiation treatments, during those nights after I spent my days shoveling and sorting junk out of my grandmother's house, I read your comments. You, my readers.

And please understand: Even if I don't reply, I read every comment. I get immediate notifications on my phone of hundreds of comments a month, thousands of comments a year.

I read them all.

Oftentimes, I can't reply because of stress and college (which mean the same thing, btw). But I always smile and laugh. I say "totes bro, I feel your pain" when Lannie does something stupid/embarrassing, or when Mayra flies into the scene like a boss and either kicks butt or gets stabbed (which I don't believe she does, but whatever; you get my point).

And gosh dang it, you name the dashes between scenes. I don't know why, but something about you all reading Seize the Day and Chains of Fate... Those dashes must speak on a deep level to you. I guess that's a good thing. If I compiled all the dash names, it would equal—and I'm not joking—literally hundreds of unique names. I'm changing to three asterisks (***) for this book, guys. Sorry. It's just easier because they change to hyphens sometimes. Please forgive me. And have fun.

Needless to say, you've stuck with me to the end, and I proudly submit to you the final installment to the project of my teenage years, Path to Destiny. All I can say is thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I could never give you enough of my gratitude. Thank you, my dear Spektators, and enjoy this crazy final ride with Lannie.

All my love,

Katie Spektor

***

Chapter 1

Never in all of my travels to save the world would I have imagined myself pelting on camels across the Baluan Desert to escape sand bandits.

"They're gaining on us!" Synnove yelled over the thundering sound of the camel's hooves. Her white camel was kicking sand into the air a few paces ahead of my own camel. "We'll never make it."

I saw Hadrian pull his cloth mask back to answer Synnove in an equally loud voice, "Just keep moving. The town is just ahead!"

I pulled my thick scarf tighter over my face. The white robes protected all of us from the sand of the desert, but it would provide no protection against the twenty murderers pelting after us on strange beasts.

"Don't stop to rest!" Titus said from behind me.

I looked behind me past Titus. The sand bandits rode desert stags, creatures only known to the Baluan Desert. They were breathtakingly beautiful and strange, but extremely volatile. They had cloven hooves made for the sand, skin thicker than a coin, and golden antennae that protruded behind their horns.

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