Real estate agent Margo Fellshur can’t catch a break in a slow housing market. With her teen-age daughter dreaming of high end colleges, hopes of financial stability grow dimmer by the minute. For extra cash, the single mother works weekends as a psychic, reading cards at parties – and she’s good at it. Too bad she can’t resolve her own issues.
As a kid, Margo took her intuitive ability for granted. Couldn’t everyone see auras and hear the thoughts of their friends? Discovering tarot cards helped Margo focus, creating more faith in her “second sight”.
A chance encounter connects Margo with Greg, a pilot whose brush with death leaves him shaken. They click and he asks for her help in finding his sister and her friend, who disappeared months before. Margo recruits fellow psychics but they come up short until a dream changes everything.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult readers
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It was a story that wouldn’t go away. Some scenes in my novel, Mediums Guild are based on real life happenings. Years back, I found myself working part-time with a group of psychics. At parties and fund raisers, we shared our intuitive knowledge through tarot and palm readings. Several incidents occurred within this group of friends and they’ve always stayed with me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Once I decide on the sort of person I want for my story, I have to give them a name and an occupation, then they come to life and begin to move about, talk and act on their own. My characters are inspired by a mix of people I’ve run into, gone to school with, read about or imagined about over the years. Like most writers, I am intensely interested in the quirks and habits of my fellow humans. When I’m on a bus or standing in line at the supermarket you can bet my ears are wide open, listening for bits and snatches of useful conversation.
“Hi, I’m Greg Parrish.” He held out his hand for me to read.
I shook it instead. “Hey, Greg, I’m Margo Fellshur.” I unwrapped the tarot cards. “I’ll read your palm, but before we start would you select three cards from the deck? It helps me connect with you.” A quick shuffle, then I fanned the cards face down on the table.
Greg thought for a moment. One by one he selected, handing over the Hanged Man, the King of Swords, and the Tower. He listened to my explanation, head cocked to one side. “Tell me about that one again.” He pointed to the Tower, an image of people toppling from a castle wall to the ground below.
“Don’t worry. It can mean the end of the old order and the beginning of the new. Maybe you’ve had some radical opportunities to rethink your life?”
Now I was ready. I took his hand again. It was warm and somewhat calloused. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, I thought. Running my fingers over the surface, I waited to pick up some energy. His palm was square, with straight, even fingers and a longish thumb. Often people want to know if they’ll live a long life. But Greg stayed quiet. I explored the geography of his hand.
His headline was long. It stretched across the palm from under the index finger past the pinky. But what surprised me was his lifeline. His lifeline broke completely. It started again about a quarter inch later, very strong and deep, something I’d never seen before. I wasn’t ready to go there yet. Instead, I concentrated on his love line and commented on a strong line cutting through it, a sign of a romance gone wrong. He agreed that there were actions he regretted and that he had learned to appreciate what he’d had only after it was gone. I pointed out a few of the stars on his palm, signs of a caring nature. “I guess you could say that I feel for people, try to help if I can.”
“Would you say you’re inclined to think things through?”
He laughed. “No, I count more on my gut to steer me straight.”
I couldn’t avoid the lifeline any longer. My fingertips brushed it lightly. “It looks like you’ve been granted a second life.” I stared straight into his eyes. A shadow flickered there and was gone.
“You were in an accident and walked away from something very few people survive.”
He nodded and sat back, pulling his hand from mine.
“I’ve never seen such a break,” I said. “This looks like a near-death experience, one that must have changed your life.”
“I’m a pilot. Last fall I was out in my Cessna when the engine failed. I had to take her down, but before I could land, the engine caught fire. Just like they say, my life flashed before my eyes. She hit the ground in the middle of a cornfield. By luck, I was thrown free. I came to just in time to see the plane explode. I felt the heat and managed to drag myself away as the cornfield caught fire. I came out of it with just a concussion, a broken arm, and three broken ribs.”
John appeared at the door. “Well?” he asked.
“Yep, she nailed it.”
Greg stood. He didn’t seem to want to say anything more in front of his friend. I took it as my cue that the evening was over. I felt as if I’d passed a test, one that I didn’t necessarily want to take. Still I was satisfied that it had come out right.
Once I’d collected the check for the event and a nice tip besides, I was ready to head home. Greg stopped me by the door.
“Thanks for the reading,” he said. “I felt a little funny, but John wanted me to do it, to see what you’d come up with. Sorry for putting you on the spot like that.”
“No problem, it comes with the territory. I’m glad to hear things turned out OK.”
“Oh, I’m feeling great physically. Mentally, I’m not so sure.”
He touched my arm then and I felt a jolt. What was it? The lump in my chest told me it was sorrow. He’d kept it hidden. This sadness was not something I’d seen on his face. It felt fresh. Distinct from what we’d just talked about. “Is there something else?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hold you up.” The look in his eyes said different.
I got a flash of a brown-haired woman, thirty-ish. “Someone close to you. A woman.”
“You’re right, but not what you think. It’s a family issue. My sister, she disappeared a while back. Couple months ago. We haven’t heard from her since.”
“How awful. What happened?”
“Carla, that’s my sister. First of all, let me say she’s a real solid citizen. But things got tough when she and her husband broke up. Before, it was always her and the kids together, going places. But after the split she needed to get a job. It was hard on the kids. But things were going okay.”
“You say she disappeared?”
“Yeah. But it’s not like her to just take off.”
I sensed there was more but that he needed some encouragement to spill it. “And?”
“After the break-up she reconnected with her old boyfriend, Steve.”
“They both disappeared.”
“You think they took off together?”
“At first, we thought maybe she did. But she hasn’t called. Hasn’t used her phone or her credit card since. Nothing.”
“The old boyfriend? What about him?”
He shook his head. “Same. No car. No phone. No word.”
“I’m so sorry. How are the children? They must be devastated.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty rough on them. They’re little. Brianna is five. Lizzie’s only three.”
“I wish there was something I could do.”
“I wonder. I wanted to ask. Have you ever tried to find somebody who’s missing? You know, like on TV?”
“Not really.” I had to admit to myself that with one or two exceptions, my intuitive work didn’t go much beyond garden variety fortune-telling.
“Could you help?” His eyes searched mine.
Intuition told me to say yes. There was something so appealing about him. “I work with a group of psychics. We call ourselves the Mediums Guild.” I fished out one of the cards. “Here’s my phone number. Just give me a call.”
He took the card and put it in his shirt pocket. “Thanks. You probably need to get going.”
We walked to where my car was parked. The full moon peeked from behind the clouds. He smiled but I thought his eyes looked sad even in the moonlight.
Lee Fishman arrived in Philadelphia as a college student, fell in love with city living and stayed on. Until she found her true calling as a writer, Lee held a variety of jobs including stints as an archaeology technician, candy-maker, teacher, caseworker, tour guide, actor, career counselor and librarian. All of these experiences have provided background for her stories.
Her new novel, Mediums Guild is the story of a Philadelphia psychic who becomes involved in the mysterious disappearance of a young couple. Her previous novel, Edge of a Dream depicts challenges newly arrived immigrants adjusting to the challenges of life in America.
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