Please welcome Laurel Peterson to discuss psychic gifts that appear in her new book, Shadow Notes:
Shadow Notes Cover compressed

by Laurel S. Peterson

Right now, I want a crystal ball to tell me who the next U.S. president will be. Then, I can decide if I need to pack my bags and move to a small tropical island.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been gifted psychically, unlike Clara Montague, the protagonist of my mystery novel, Shadow Notes. That’s one of the reasons I chose to write a character who had intuitive gifts; I was curious—and I think a lot of other people are, too.

Clara has dreams that give her pieces of a puzzle—images of her mother or a friend in danger, symbolic colors, animal guides. She has to take these clues and piece together from them the solution to the puzzle. She has a clear reason for wanting to know what her dreams mean, but for the rest of us, what does knowing mean to us?

When people talk about what they want to know, it rarely has to do with world events, but instead with lottery numbers, their love lives and their health. We want to know if we will suffer pain and find happiness. The answer to those questions is always yes.

I suppose it’s the specifics that torment us. Will being happy mean finding my one true love or having a cat? Will I be rich enough to buy an island or will I have a house in the suburbs or will I never get out of debt? Will I be made to suffer greatly or only a little? And who can measure suffering?

I don’t think psychics can give us the answers we want. And I don’t want to believe my actions can’t change the future. In fact, I would suggest most of us know already the answers to the questions we ask. I have a friend whose psychic has been telling her for years that she needs to write. I have another friend whose psychic told her she had been deeply wounded. Neither of them needed a psychic to tell them those things. They knew already, as did most of their friends. But being told by a stranger was affirming in a way that sometimes a friend can’t be.

Then there was the “psychic” working the coffee bar in a wealthy town near me doing grief counseling. My (now) husband engaged him in discussion one day shortly after losing his first wife, and the man never once mentioned my husband’s obvious emotional trauma.

I’m not saying psychics can’t surprise us, or turn us in a direction we might not have seen before, or warn us. But perhaps the most present benefit of seeing someone we believe can tell us the future is that she reaffirms the version of ourselves we hold in our secret hearts, the self we want to be but haven’t yet found the courage to put forward.

What do you think? Do you believe in or visit psychics yourself? What advantages have you gained from this? Or perhaps you yourself are psychic—and can demolish my theories (and tell me the outcome of the election)! I’d love to hear from you—and thanks so much for reading!

About Shadow Notes:
Clara Montague’s mother Constance never liked—or listened—to her but now they have to get along or they will both end up dead. Clara suspects she and her mother share intuitive powers, but Constance always denied it. When Clara was twenty, she dreamed her father would have a heart attack. Constance claimed she was hysterical. Then he died.

Furious, Clara leaves for fifteen years, but when she dreams Constance is in danger, she returns home. Then, Constance’s therapist is murdered and Constance is arrested.

Starting to explore her mother’s past, Clara discovers books on trauma, and then there’s a second murder. Can Clara find the connection between the murders and her mother’s past that will save her mother and finally heal their relationship?

You can purchase Shadow Notes at: or at Amazon: