“You won’t stop turning the pages.” ~ The Faerie Review
Later last month, my first women’s paranormal fiction novel, Midlife Psychic, released. It’s met with a great response and though the book is currently a standalone, I’ve heard from a lot of readers who would love for it to become a series.
Hot flashes in my forties? Expected. Waking up psychic? Not in my wildest dreams.
My name is Erin Stone. I’m forty-three with a daughter away at college and a successful career as a communications officer with the 911 dispatch center for the Toronto Police Service. My life had just returned to a new normal after my divorce and everything was going along smoothly. Then BOOM! Turns out the universe had other plans for me.
I dreamed of a plane crash—only it wasn’t just a dream. The crash happened in real life. Eighty-three dead. A vision, plain and simple. Not exactly. My family certainly wouldn’t understand. And me…psychic? I’d dabbled in new-age spirituality in the past but never plunged into the deep end. Now I’m in over my head.
Why was I given this vision, and does it hold clues as to what caused the crash? My best friend, Trish, is convinced it does, and a handsome stranger with the National Transportation Safety Board is willing to partner with me to solve the mystery. But if I’m going to embrace the vision as telling of newfound psychic abilities, I will need to keep my paranormal gift a secret from my daughter, brother, and aunt. Little good that might do them though.
Someone out there has their own secrets and is willing to go to great lengths to protect them. Now the very gift I was given has put the lives of my loved ones at risk. Will my psychic abilities be strong enough to save them?
Enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 7 of Midlife Psychic:
I put the phone on the cushion beside me and opened my laptop. I keyed in my password to unlock it, and the article on Monday’s crash was staring back at me. More to the point, the image was. Again, this bitter sensation of déjà vu, like I’d gone down with the plane and survived. Pain and sadness tightened around my heart, squeezing with the subtlety of boa constrictor. I touched a fingertip to the screen. All that death… But I drew my hand back. While I could feel for the people who’d lost their lives and those left behind, this really wasn’t about me.
I scrolled the article. The reason for the crash was still being determined with no hint as to which direction the findings were leading investigators. Beneath the basics of the crash, the victims were listed in alphabetical order. Some had bios and photographs but most remained faceless without any profile.
My eyes stung with tears, and my chest heaved as if I were grieving someone I’d personally lost. I continued to read through the names but came to a stop on a man’s face.
This can’t be!
I gasped, slammed the lid closed, and tossed my computer to the cushion beside me. My arms turned to ice, and shivers laced down my spine, my skin exploding with a million goosebumps.
I stood and shook my head. “No, this can’t be. This can’t be happening. No. Nope.” I stared at my laptop, seemingly harmless, sitting haphazardly on top of the couch.
The man, the picture…
He was in my dream. He’d been the one that I’d guessed to be a wealthy businessman or leader of organized crime. He was the one reading from a book, his lips moving in a reverent undertone as the plane went down. He’d been with three men, all watchful of him like bodyguards.
There was no doubt in my mind, the man from the article was the one in my dream. But how?
I squeezed my eyes shut and paced.
Then in a flash, I saw his face in front of my eyes, as if he were looking straight at me. A small scar over his right eyebrow was narrow and wriggly like a worm. Intense green eyes that could cut through the night. A Roman nose and thick lips. A head full of black hair.
“What the—” I dropped onto the couch and rubbed my forehead. “This is not happening.” But it had and it was. I had to be losing my mind. I’d never seen that man before my dream—not that I remembered anyhow. And I certainly wasn’t physically on that flight; I had been in bed. It couldn’t have been a vision. There was no such thing.
But what if there was?
I whimpered as I reached for my laptop. My fingers grazed the lid, and it was like I had been bitten by a snake. I recoiled and wasn’t sure if I wanted to proceed.
I closed my eyes again, trying to summon strength from somewhere deep within. Here goes!
I logged in. There on the screen was the man’s face I’d just seen and the one in my dream.
“No. This is my overactive imagination, that’s all. It was just a dream. Just a dream.” I’d repeat it like a mantra a million times if it helped bring some logic and semblance of normalcy back to my life.
My gaze returned to his photo and then to his miniature bio. My fingers froze, wrapped around the sides of the laptop like they were in rigor.
Howard Hayes. He had been a wealthy oil mogul heading to Toronto on business.
Oil mogul… Okay. That was something I could work with. I had probably seen his face in the news before. Easy enough explained.
But that didn’t explain the flash I’d just seen—here in my living room. It was easier to excuse images and events that played out during a sleep cycle, harder when wide awake.
I let out a lungful of air and tried to process. Had I experienced a vision, a premonition? And if I had, why? That was almost the better question. But it still didn’t sit well for me. I gripped my head with both hands. There had to be something wrong with my mind. I needed to see my doctor and get him to order a brain scan.
There was no way I could go to work with this hanging over me, but I’d never called in sick a day in my life. Though if there was a time for it, now would be it.
My hands shook when I called work and rang through to Loughlin. My voice quivered when I told her I wouldn’t be in. “I’m sorry to do this to you,” I added.
“We’ll get by. You sure you’ll be fine? You don’t sound well at all.”
“Why I called.” Sometimes Loughlin wasn’t that bad. I summed up my illness as “feeling under the weather,” and she seemed to accept that. Then again, why wouldn’t she? She didn’t know I was cuckoo.
“Fair enough. Take care,” she said.
“Thanks.” I hung up as fast as possible but held onto the phone and made another call. Trish answered on the second ring. “I need to talk to you right now.”
“Erin, are you—”
“I’m fine. You still at home?”
“No, I’m already at the studio. What’s up?”
“Stay put. I’m coming right over.” With that, I “pulled a Jason” and ended the call, giving her no opportunity to probe me with questions. Besides, she’d be doing that soon enough in person. All I knew was if there was anyone on this planet who could help me make sense of all this, it was Trish.