When I was about sixteen, my mother and her best friend, Kay, dragged me to an “event” where a blind psychic would go into the audience, take a proffered object, and tell the owner something about it (for something like $10 a pop). At the time, Kay and my mom were big on going to fortunetellers, Kay being recently divorced and actively looking for a replacement husband and impending news of where or when she’d find one, whereas my father had died of stomach cancer two years earlier, widowing my mother at age 41. She was looking for answers, too, though her hope was that she’d hear from my father on the “other side.”
Anyway, being the stellar teenager that I was (hey, this is my version of the story), I agreed to go with them and so off we went. I’ll admit to being a major league skeptic, especially after the first few objects garnered generic responses like, “The person who gave you this ring meant a lot to you, didn’t they?” and so forth. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud.
When my turn came, I handed him a gold locket given to me by my father two month’s before his death. I was expecting the usual rhetoric when the psychic doubled over, clutching his stomach, his face writhed in pain, tears trickling down. I watched transfixed, wondering how he could have felt my father’s pain while holding that locket, when he handed me back the locket and said something along the lines of “He is watching over you.” My mom and Kay became life long believers. I never went to another psychic.
Judy, wearing the locket that was a gift from her father
Fast forward a few decades, and I’m writing Past & Present, the sequel to Skeletons in the Attic, and my protagonist, Callie Barnstable, has started her own company: Past & Present Investigations. Her first case involves searching for information about her client’s grandmother, Anneliese Prei, who came to a “bad end” in 1956. Callie has a couple of pieces of jewelry that belonged to Anneliese, and I’m thinking…okay…now what? And I remembered that day all those years ago, and the gold locket (which I still own and wear), and I started doing some research.
I learned that someone who reads objects is not a psychic, but a psychometrist. For the uninitiated, psychometry is based on the theory that the human mind radiates an aura in all directions, which impresses everything within its orbit. Since all objects are porous, the minute holes in the object’s surface collect fragments of the mental aura of the person who possessed the object. Of course, there is no scientific evidence that psychometry exists, and skeptics explain alleged successes of psychometry by cold reading and confirmation bias. I’m still not sure how either cold reading or confirmation bias explains that day with the gold locket.
But what about in the book? Does Callie visit a psychometrist with Anneliese’s jewelry? Well, yes she does, despite a healthy dose of skepticism. Does that person reveal anything relevant about the past? Ah…you’ll have to read the book to find out.
Unless, of course, you’re psychic. Then you already know the answer.
Readers, have you ever had a psychic – or psychometric – experience?
Soon after forming Past & Present Investigations, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable gets her first client: a woman seeking the truth about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, who came to a “bad end” in 1956. But Anneliese’s past has a way of winding its way into Callie’s present, and not in a way anyone, least of all Callie, could have predicted.
Past & Present is currently available for pre-order at the introductory price of $2.99 (reg. $5.99) on Kindle, and in paperback ($14.99) at all the usual suspects. Publication date is Sept. 21, 2018. Buy link: http://authl.it/afj
About the author: An Amazon International Bestselling Author, Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, the first in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series, was published in July 2015, and is also available in audiobook. The sequel, A Hole In One, was published March 2018, with audiobook to follow Fall 2018. Skeletons in the Attic, Judy’s second novel, and the first in her Marketville Mystery series, was first published in August 2016 and re-released in December 2017. It is also available in audiobook format. The sequel, Past & Present, will be released September 2018. Judy’s short crime and literary fiction appears in several collections. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors as a representative for Toronto/Southwestern Ontario.
Find out more about Judy at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.