Title: Spirit Talk – Book One of The Fiona Series
Author: Colleen McManus Hein
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Coming of Age, Occult Fiction
In 1985, Fiona is a young woman from the suburbs of Chicago on the doorstep of the tidy life her parents planned for her: college, career, then hopefully marriage and children. Never mind the dead relatives who speak in Fiona’s ear. Never mind Fiona’s vivid dreams which then play out in real life. They are not part of the plan.
When a series of misfortunes interrupts Fiona’s fate, she finds herself living with her grandmother in a remote town in northern Minnesota. Grandma Mary has been shunned by Fiona’s parents due to her profession: fortune-teller and medium. As Fiona begins to learn her grandmother’s trade, she is finally allowed to embrace and explore the beautiful gift her parents tried to deny her.
And speaking of denial, Fiona falls for the one man in town who is off-limits. As her psychic abilities unfold, so does her heart. But is it safe for Fiona to open metaphysical and emotional doors? Probably not, but Fiona discovers she has more courage than she knew.
Nicole closed her eyes again as she shuffled. “What’s my future?” she murmured. Finally, she pulled one and handed it to Mary. “This one felt warmer than the other cards,” she explained. Fiona realized she had been holding her breath again and she drew in deeply. It sounded like a quiet gasp.
“Excellent.” Mary turned it over. “Ah, the Seven of Hearts. This mystical card has many meanings. It’s sometimes called the ‘Clean Slate Card’ or the ‘Second Chance’ card.” Fiona leaned forward and studied the card. It looked the same as it had in every other deck she’d ever seen, but now it looked fascinating.
“I could use both.” Nicole smirked.
“The Seven of Hearts also promises that you will have some kind of psychic experience soon, like a premonition dream or a hunch that turns out to be right,” Mary said, smiling.
“Cool!” Nicole grinned, and Fiona grinned back.
“But it has one last meaning, which is my favorite. It means that someone truly, truly loves you.” Mary smiled warmly and leaned back. Fiona thought her grandmother had deflated a little and seemed tired, something she hadn’t seemed a minute before.
Nicole’s expression grew serious at Mary’s last remark. “So, Steve really does love me?”
“Yes!” Fiona heard the male voice say. She wrote: “Yes” by moving the pencil with only one hand on her pad. She was trying to be inconspicuous.
“I’m not sure it’s Steve, but it’s very likely him,” Mary said gently.
“Wow.” Nicole sighed quietly, looking perplexed. “Wow,” she repeated.
“Nicole,” Mary continued in a serious voice, “Fiona is exploring her mediumship skills. She’s been the recipient of... spirit voices, and she’s beginning to try and use this skill for clients.”
“Really?” Nicole asked. “Is it, like, a family gift? Inherited from you?” she asked, looking first at Fiona then at Mary.
“Maybe,” Mary said. “I used to hear voices clearly when I was young, but over the years the messages have become more...vague. Sometimes I get words, but more often it’s just strong feelings or images in my mind. I suspect it is a family thing, though. Something that skips around generations.”
Fiona thought of little Nula and was glad she’d be able to pave the way for her, maybe even figure some things out in advance so Nula wouldn’t have to be as mystified as she had been.
Mary paused and glanced at Fiona. “Right now, though, Fiona’s messages are getting even stronger and clearer. She’s actually been hearing some messages for you just now. Right, Fiona?”
Fiona nodded and moved her eyes over the scrawling on her pad. She was glad for the candlelight because she was sure her face was pink, or possibly pale white.
“Jesus,” Nicole exclaimed, “tell me what you heard!”
Fiona said, nervously, “Well, right after you mentioned that Steve would never leave his wife, I heard a man say, ‘Never’ and a woman’s voice say, ‘He’s hiding the keys.’” Fiona looked up.
“Holy crap,” Nicole said in a shocked tone. “I gave Steve keys to my house last week and he was worried about his wife finding them.”
“Wow,” Mary murmured. “That’s pretty direct.”
“And then,” Fiona continued, especially anxious about reporting the third message, “after my grandma talked about the Two of Spades, the woman’s voice said, ‘She’s bleeding.’”
Alarmed, Fiona saw that Nicole was starting to cry. There were tears in the corners of her eyes that seemed to appear instantaneously.
“Nicole, oh dear,” Mary murmured, reaching for a box of Kleenex on the end table.
“I got my period yesterday,” Nicole said shakily, “but it was late, and I was starting to think I might be pregnant. I wasn’t sure if I was scared or excited.” She took the tissue that Mary was holding out and wiped her eyes. “And now it doesn’t matter because I’m definitely not pregnant and Steve’s never leaving his wife.” Nicole shuddered then hugged herself, rubbing her arms.
Fiona looked helplessly at Mary, hoping her grandma would know what to say to comfort Nicole. Mary moved closer to Nicole, took her hands, and gently squeezed them. The women sat in silence for a few moments before Nicole wiped her eyes again and tried to smile.
“There was one last message,” Fiona said quietly. Nicole and Mary both looked at her expectantly. “When you asked: ‘Does Steve really love me?’ the male voice said yes.”
At this, Nicole started crying harder and Fiona began to wonder if passing messages to clients was such a good idea.
Nicole must have picked up on Fiona’s discomfort because she caught Fiona’s eye. “I know it seems like I’m upset, but I’m really happy about what you told me. It’s nice to know there are spirits looking out for me.”
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Talk-Book-One-Fiona-ebook/dp/B07JBQNNGJ
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Spirit-Talk-Book-One-Fiona-ebook/dp/B07JBQNNGJ
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Talk-Book-One-Fiona-ebook/dp/B07JBQNNGJ
Colleen McManus Hein is an avid reader and book-lover who aspired all her life to write a novel, and finally did. She has always been attracted to books with a paranormal theme. A mother of three grown children, Colleen lives north of Chicago with her husband.
Colleen McManus Hein posts short stories and poems on her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/storiesfromfiona