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Title: The Mind’s Eye
Series: Synsk #1
Author: K.C. Finn
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal/ Historical/ Romance
Formats: E-book and paperback
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Cover by: Marya Heiman for Cleen Teen Publishing
Pages: 350 pages
Date Published: April 1st 2014
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one of the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you; you look like a monkey and you smell like one too!”
Henri laughed for the first time in what seemed like forever and a warmth settled in my chest, like things were finally going to get back to normal. When Leighton went to get more pop, Henri came to the tree and sat down beside me, putting a long arm around my shoulders and pulling me in. He kissed the side of my head gently, his warm breath sinking into my hair. He hadn’t tried to kiss me properly again even when there had been opportunity for it, and I was sort of grateful for that. As much as I wanted to feel that tingling, only-us-in-the-world sensation again, right now the atmosphere just wasn’t right. But we were always close to one another when we had the chance, I had gotten so used to his arms around me that it felt like some part of me was missing when he wasn’t there.
“I’ll have to go into the village tomorrow,” he whispered, “to pass my enlistment papers to the right people.”
An invisible blade sank slowly into my fragile heart, but I had always known this day was coming.
“It’ll take them a while to process it,” I said hopefully, “I bet they’ve already got loads of boys waiting to go to basic training.”
“Perhaps,” he said softly, his lips still resting against my head.
I turned sharply to face him, searching his deep brown eyes. “I don’t want you to go,” I said, racing to find his hand to hold it tightly.
“I won’t really be gone,” he replied, “You’ll always be able to find me.”
“That’s not the point,” I said, my curls shaking as I trembled, “This is dangerous Henri, this is war.”
“You forget where I’ve been already,” he said, turning his face away to focus hard on the distance. He kept a firm hold of my hand and gave it a good squeeze. “You came to my head in the quiet times, the safe times. But I’ve already seen the destruction, the danger and the death, Kit. I think there are two types of people during war: those who see the horror happening and run away, never looking back, and those who want to do something about it.” I felt his other arm pull me in closer against his strong body. “You know which type I am, so you know I have to go.”
I couldn’t say anything, because it was all true.
Series: Synsk #2
Pages: 308 pages
Date Published: April 14, 2014
A teenage boy with something to prove gets caught up in a web of crime and deceit in England, 1945.
In the weeks leading up to his sixteenth birthday, gifted psychic Leighton Cavendish finds himself suddenly packed off to Blackpool, a glittering, teenage paradise filled with plenty of opportunities for amusement—and trouble. With only a preoccupied grandmother to keep an eye on him, Leighton’s desperation for adventure leads him out into a world of holidaymakers, candy, and carnival rides—the ideal place to spend six weeks away from home.
But Leighton’s psychic visions are encroaching on his fun, trying to warn him of the danger that lurks beyond the shimmering lights of the Golden Mile. Who are the mysterious thieves Leighton sees in his head, and what do they want with the children they seek? A girl called Faye holds the answer, but she has enough problems of her own.
Amid the climate of a tourist town recovering from the impact of the Second World War, two lost teenagers will discover a shocking truth about human greed. Together, they will try to fight against it. For Leighton and Faye, this will be a summer to remember—one filled with challenges that must be overcome.
A summer that turns a boy into a man.
Series: Synsk #3
Pages: 325 pages
A struggling psychic girl steps out into the big wide world amidst the murky depths of racial segregation in England, 1961.
As a teenage psychic, Josephine Fontaine knows what it’s like to be different. At Peregrine Place, a school full of youngsters with gifts just like hers, sixteen-year-old Josie is growing tired of her life and looking for more excitement in the world beyond the grand manor house’s walls. When an opportunity arises to work in a local music bar, Josie jumps at the chance, learning to balance her new job with the pressures of studying the ways of the Synsk.
There she meets the charming Tommy Asher, a fellow psychic with a talent for music, and Jake Bolton, a handsome, surly stranger with coffee-coloured skin. Throw in the return of her old crush Dai Bickerstaff, and Josie finds herself embroiled in a drama much bigger than she could have imagined, especially when certain parties take issue to her developing a friendship with a boy who isn’t white-skinned. When a mysterious record mogul offers Josie help to improve her psychic gifts, her world turns totally upside down and Josie begins to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her family and even herself.
Coming of age was never so intense as it will be for Josie in the winter of 1961.
8 Great Songs to hear with a copy of The Mind’s Eye
A selected playlist of songs which inspired me during the writing of The Mind’s Eye.
Listen to it in full at: http://8tracks.com/kim-finn-986/the-mind-s-eye (or grab the code and embed it to your blog!)
1. Wish Me Luck (As You Wave Me Goodbye) – Vera Lynn
Give me a smile I can keep all the while
In my heart while I'm away
Till we meet once again, you and I
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye
As anyone who has already read The Mind’s Eye will know, this song is the one that the children being evacuated from London start to sing on the train. This song is taken straight from British History as an anthem of the Second World War so it’s the perfect introduction to the atmosphere of the tale and the wartime spirit of Keep Calm and Carry On that all the characters in the novel try to stick by.
2. Under The Weather – K.T. Tunstall
And it's simply irrational weather
Can't even hear myself think
Constantly bailing out water
But still feel like I'm gonna sink
The lyrics of this song really represent a lot of things about the main character, Kit, at the start of the novel. Just like the world around her, Kit feels like she’s trapped under a black cloud because of her physical disabilities and she’s struggling with feelings of frustration and sadness. These are only exacerbated by having to move from the bomb-target city of London to the safe but isolated world of Bryn Eira Bach in North Wales.
3. More Than Useless – Reliant K
I'm a little more than useless
And when I think that I can't do this
You promise me that I'll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once
Kit and Henri are both young people trapped by oppressive forces (in Kit’s case, her disability, and in Henri’s case, the Nazi occupation of Oslo). They both carry feelings of uselessness in the early stages of the story but it is by working together and trusting one another that they can both overcome the challenges they face. I love this song because it’s a combination of feeling quite fierce and powerful but also having a deep-set fear of not being valued, which is definitely a huge part of Kit’s character.
4. Dear Darlin’ – Olly Murs
Dear darlin’, please excuse my writing.
I can’t stop my hands from shaking
'Cause I’m cold and alone tonight.
First of all if you’ve never heard this song, watch it as part of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riXwYKM-ggY. I was watching this couple on Strictly Come Dancing (the show that Dancing With The Stars is based on) a lot whilst I was writing The Mind’s Eye and the male dancer here (Aljaz Skorjanec) actually became my model for Henri’s look. I think this song is a perfect representation of long-distance love and waiting for that person to come again; an ideal song for wartime!
5. Run – Leona Lewis
Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear
One of the most important things for a soldier facing the horrors of war is to know someone back home is waiting for them to return with arms wide open. Kit’s psychic abilities allow her to communicate with Henri more often than most sweethearts would get to talk to their fellas, but all the same it’s her voice in his head that keeps Henri brave, strong and able to face all the challenges that his time in North Africa brings him.
6. Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson
Just give me another chance, for I'll romance
Come on and tell me that one day you'll return
'Cause every day that you've been gone away
You'll know why my heart does nothing but burn crying
I absolutely love the rock and roll era of the late 1950s and early 1960s, so you weren’t going to get through this playlist without a song from that time popping up! This emotional classic from the great Jackie Wilson tells you everything you need to know about those left at home during the war: the wives, mothers, girlfriends, young children and elderly people who all had relatives out there in danger and struggled to carry on with their normal lives despite everything. In The Mind’s Eye, everyone who lives at Ty Gwyn faces this harsh reality every day.
7. The Voice Within - Christina Aguilera
Young girl, don't hide
You'll never change if you just run away
Young girl, just hold tight
And soon you're gonna see your brighter day
One of the most important things about The Mind’s Eye is that it is a book about personal strength and overcoming your inner struggles in order to deal better with the outside world. This song is an inspirational anthem from my own teen years and it still speaks to me when I think about Kit and the personal strength she develops during the action of The Mind’s Eye.
8. Greatest Day - Take That
Tonight this could be the greatest night of our lives
Let’s make a new start,
The future is ours to find
Can you see it, can you see it in my eyes
If you’ve never heard this song, please go listen to it! Of course this playlist has to end on a high note and Greatest Day is the perfect up-beat feel good song about looking to the future and hoping for a bright new sunrise. Whilst there is plenty of darkness and tragedy in The Mind’s Eye, there is also a strong sense of hope for the future fuelled by love, family and personal belief.
K.C. Finn has also recently been welcomed into the fold at Clean Teen Publishing as a debut Young Adult author for 2014, beginning her run of publications with the paranormal/historical series SYNSK. 2015 will see K.C. release her epic urban fantasy series Shadeborn with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Press.
As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.
Tour Schedule - One month Tour for The Synsk Series by K.C. Finn from Oct 27 to Nov 27, 2014.
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