Love by Premonition
by Holley Trent
Published May 3rd 2013
by Musa Publishing
Marcia Andrews is a freelance psychic consultant. Sick of living hand to mouth, she accepts a contract with Raleigh Police. A new gang called The Cardinals is terrorizing The Triangle, and Marcia gives the department an edge in tracking them. Help that she is, one cop isn’t so keen on her involvement, and makes sure she knows it.
Detective Nat McCoy would rather see Marcia in his bedroom than the bullpen. The gorgeous Scotsman isn’t the typical chauvinist pig, though. He’s keeping a secret that even the psychic doesn’t anticipate.
A close encounter with a Cardinal’s bullet knocks Marcia off her game when the police need her most. She loses hours to trances and ghosts haunt her sleep. She can hardly function, and everything she thought she knew about playboy McCoy suddenly seems questionable. McCoy thinks he knows the cure for what ails her—him. But can she trust him?
When I was in the planning stages of the novel that would become Love by Premonition, I deliberated on what the best setting would be for the story. Marcia’s a psychic police consultant, and earns most of her pay freelancing for North Carolina’s larger police departments. She needed to work in cities, but my gut said that Marcia was a small-town girl, and the boondocks are where she lays her head at night.
She needed to have been rooted somewhere where everyone knows her—someplace where people are, for the most part, forgiving of her eccentricities and quirks. Someplace where people are already naturally superstitious, and therefore more accepting of what she claims to be. Someplace where the community is like a big family.
That’s why I dropped her into rural Enfield, North Carolina. It’s a real place—my late grandfather was from there. Founded in 1740, to this day Enfield’s total population is only around 2,500 people. If you lay out all the family trees side to side, you’d see a lot of overlap. It’s a place where there isn’t a lot of transience. The people there stay put for the most part (but when kids leave to go to college, they may not come back—there are no jobs).
I imagine most folks there would readily recognize each other, even if they don’t know names.
Folks in small towns are likely of being more accommodating to their fellow citizens than the average neighbor in a big city. There’s a longstanding sense of community there, and even if the community recognizes that a person is a weirdo, it’s their weirdo, dang it, and they take care of their own.
Community is why Marcia’s landlord doesn’t readily evict her when she’s late with her rent. It’s why Marcia—recipient of two fancy physics degrees—isn’t ashamed that she sometimes has to work in the bean fields to earn a few bucks. (Who’s going to judge her?)
It’s why the cashier at Penny Foods is so patient with Marcia’s complicated check-outs. It’s why Marcia sometimes runs errands for her elderly neighbors to buy such personal things as pantyhose. Community is why she accepts store credit from Enfield’s pharmacy owner instead of cash, even when she really needs the cash.
Marcia’s best friend asks her why she doesn’t just move out of Enfield since all of her work is in the cities. For Marcia, it’s all about comfort. The folks of Enfield are used to her quirks.
Starting all over with new neighbors who have no connection to her is a scary thing.
I think I like staying put for the same reason.
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