Title: Sixth Sense, Book One in the Psychic Crystal Mystery Series
Author: Marilyn Baron
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Reluctant psychic Katherine Crystal, dubbed “Crystal Ball Kate,” is thrust into the national spotlightwhen she accurately predicts the death of a movie actor’s young son in a private plane crash. Besieged by requests to use her powers to help others, she realizes why her parents had warned her never to let anyone know of her visions. By-the-book Atlanta police detective Jack Hale harbors a deep-seated distrust of psychics and ignores Katherine’s warnings when she calls to report her premonition. Jack is forced to partner with Kate, who uses her eerie sensitivity to evil to help him catch a serial killer in Sydney, Australia, but that’s only the beginning of the story.
Jack and Kate are drawn into the investigation of a mystery surrounding Kate’s birth and find murder and romance among a secret society of psychics in the quaint seaside spiritualist community of Casa Spirito, Florida.
“The plane is going to crash!” a woman shouted. “You need to do something.”
Jack jolted forward, ready for action. A plane crash! Then his police training kicked in. Stay calm in a disaster.
“Could I get your name, please?” He reached across the desk and picked up a pad of yellow sticky notes.
“It’s Katherine Crystal. But my name isn’t important. Vince Rivers and his son are on a plane, and it’s going down."
This call was getting stranger by the minute.
“The movie star Vince Rivers? Are they on a commercial airliner?”
“It’s his private plane. Vince Rivers is the pilot.”
“When is this crash going to happen? And where?”
“I don’t know when it’s going to crash, but soon, and somewhere in Georgia.”
“Can you be more specific about the location?”
“Let me get this straight,” Jack stated. “You can’t predict when or where this crash will happen.”
“That’s not how it works.”
“How what works? Do you have inside information about this incident? Is the crash weather-related? Is it terrorism? On what facts are you basing this call?”
“I saw it in a vision.”
“I see.” Jack exhaled, rolled his shoulders, laid down his pen, and flexed his right hand. Another lunatic. Predictable. Atlanta was full of them, and Jack was already drowning in a reservoir of bad feelings about so-called psychics. When he was ten, a psychic had taken advantage of his widowed mother and bilked her out of most of his father’s police pension. He’d had his fill of psychics, and he definitely did not believe this deluded drama queen on the phone.
“What do you want me to do? Tell Vince Rivers he can’t fly his jet anymore?”
“Do whatever you have to do to save them.”
Whatever you have to do. That had been Jack’s father’s motto. And his dad’s cop’s credo had proven to be a sure-fire formula for getting himself killed. His father had been a maverick, a cop’s cop. Everyone in the precinct made allowances for Jack’s cautious, plodding, by-the-book code because of his father. They also made the inevitable comparisons. And by any measurement, he came up short. The consensus around the precinct was: Jack could never fill his father’s shoes.
“If we grounded a plane every time a psychic made a prediction, nobody would fly,” Jack pointed out. “Law enforcement agencies can’t act on premonitions or crackpots calling in with false claims.”
“I’m not a crackpot.”
Jack scratched his beard. There was probably a family of fleas setting up house on his face. Fresh off his latest undercover assignment, he was dog-tired and he didn’t believe this conversation was happening. The woman’s story had as many holes as Bonnie & Clyde’s bullet-riddled getaway car. All he wanted to do was hop in the sack and spend the next day, maybe the next week, in blissful peace and quiet. No serial killers. No psychics.
“Tell me Miss Crystal, if that’s really your name, do your premonitions always come true?”
“Why did you call the Atlanta Police Department?”
“I didn’t know how to get in touch with Vince Rivers. Even if I did manage to get through, he probably wouldn’t believe me. I thought if a law enforcement agency contacted him he would take it seriously. But you were my last resort. I’ve called all the local news stations and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the national networks, CNN, everyone. No one will listen to me.”
Bingo. She was nothing but a run-of-the-mill publicity hound. She’d called all the networks? She wasn’t genuinely concerned about the lives of a man and his son. She was trying to make a name for herself like all the rest of her kind. This chick was bugging the hell out of him.
“Now you listen to me, Miss Crystal. I know your type. I’ve dealt with psycho-broads like you before.”
“I’m not a psycho.”
“What if you’re wrong?”
“I’m not wrong. Do you promise you’ll do something about this?”
“Yes,” Jack assured her as he released the last of his strategic politeness reserves to place the phone gently in its cradle, when what he really wanted to do was slam it in her face.
Any one of his fellow officers would have done the same thing in his place. Some hysterical woman calls out of the blue in the middle of the night with a premonition that Vince Rivers’ son was about to die in a private plane crash. All his questions had been reasonable. All her answers had bordered on fantasy.
The department got prank calls from psychos and psychics on a regular basis. He couldn’t be expected to take all of them, or any of them for that matter, seriously.
He didn’t make a practice of lying, but this was one promise he had no intention of keeping.
Jack bounded out of his chair, took the sticky note with the woman’s information, promptly crumpled it up and aimed for the wastebasket. He jumps. He shoots. He scores! He didn’t alert the authorities. He didn’t pass the message on to his superiors.
Katherine gripped the receiver and squeezed her eyes shut, but she couldn’t get the picture of the crash to disappear. The mid-sized Gulfstream private jet was a burning hunk of metal, a wreckage of parts scattered like pick-up sticks in random disarray over an oily slick on the ground. The pilot, actor Vince Rivers, stunned, staggered out of his cockpit, still miraculously intact, a glint of moonlight reflecting on his pale, baby face and in his glacial blue eyes.
She tried to speak, but was overwhelmed by another clear vision of the movie star shouting for his son and sobbing as he covered the mangled body of the innocent young boy with his trademark black leather jacket. In her recurring nightmares, Vince Rivers survived. Ocean Rivers did not.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/sixth-sense
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Sixth Sense won the Georgia Romance Writers 2012 Unpublished Maggie Award for Excellence in the Paranormal/Fantasy Romance category. The published novel is the first in my Psychic Crystal Mystery series. Other books in the series are: Homecoming Homicides (Book Two); Killer Cruise (Book Three); and The Vampire Next Door (Book Four).
The idea for the novel was inspired by a 20+-hour plane trip I took to Sydney, Australia and New Zealand. I sat next to a psychic and her publicist. We didn’t say a word to each other the whole time, but by the time I arrived in Sydney, I had my plot about a psychic and a cop chasing a serial killer.
I was born without a sense of smell, so I have a well-developed “sixth sense,” that little niggle we all get in the back of our minds that shouldn’t be ignored when we know something is wrong or when it’s right. I actually visited a psychic community in Florida. Coincidentally, there was a shop there called 6th Sense Connection.
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