Farsighted

By Emlyn Chand
Binding:Paperback
Publisher:Blue Crown Press, (10/20/2011)
Language:English



Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.33 out of 5 (12 Clubie's ratings)


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Alex's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all. 


Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

*Readers Favorite 5-Star Review Award Recipient
*Winner of the Alternative Booker Award, 2011
*Winner of the WritersType First Chapter Competition, September 2011

Winner of the BB "The Book Pick" Contest - June 2012

A portion of proceeds goes to:

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high quality, low-cost braille books for blind children locally and around the world. Seedlings' goal is to help raise the literacy rate among children who are blind by providing access to many of the same books that their sighted peers enjoy.

www.seedlings.org

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Sam's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:6/1/2012

Farsighted is a refreshing and easy read with the added excitement of paranormal intrigue. Written for the YA crowd, you never quite know what you will get as an adult reader but this book was a great blend of mature themes of mystery, plot twists, cultural teachings along with the angst and right of passage in the high school years.  The main character, Alex goes on a journey of discovery dealing with his blindness, denying/accepting his gifts and the all important first love experience. All of this while being a mostly likable but cynically absorbed character. His family and friends you meet along the way are intriguing and unique. The mystery could have spiked a little higher and I got a little lost in the “solving” of it but it was still very enjoyable. It is a great first effort for author Emlyn Chand’s debut novel in the Farsighted series. I mention that because I was startled when I hit the end of the book. I turned the page to see what was next for these characters and realized…sequel….I’ll have to read the second book for the continuing saga. A lot to talk about with this book.

Very Unleashable



Reese's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:6/1/2012

 

I’m a fan of the paranormal so needless to say there were many things I enjoyed about this YA adventure into fantasy. Plus it also had a little romance, suspense and diverse characters added to the storyline. Adam, Simmi, Shapri… (I’m on team Shapri) and no vampires involved.  In Farsighted we go on the journey of these three characters as they become friends and as their lives are intertwined through their paranormal talents and a sense of fate.  The story is told from the perspective of Alex, the blind from birth main character who learns how to “see” with the abilities he discovers.  The story builds into mystery and suspense as we learn more about each characters gifts and purpose.  Ultimately it is a book that mixes real life issues with the possibilities of the unknown and comes out with a nice story.  And it left us hanging…ready for the next book.

 



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Ceci's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:5/28/2012

I’ve been around long enough to remember when Judy Blume’s masterpieces were the only books “young adults” had. I miss those days when just the fact of hitting puberty, or wondering about sex, or having a common medical condition were enough for a fictitious character to feel out of step from the rest of her peers (Hey, Margaret! Hey, Deenie!). Now it is pretty much all about being a teen vampire, loving a teen vampire, or struggling to survive past your teen years in a dystopian future . . . possibly one populated by vampires. So I appreciate the refreshing change of pace set by Farsighted for having nary a vampire. Just your basic blind, teen psychic struggling through the perils of high school and coming to terms with his gift of “sight.” Seriously, though, this book really does standout from the usual YA fare for its diverse characters and cultural influences, honest portrayal of male and female teens, and for not shying away from an angry protagonist or an ambiguous ending.  A good read for YAs and for those of us old enough to remember when YA was not even a genre yet.

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Book Junky's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:5/21/2012

I must admit, I have not read YA in… well, I can't remember the last YA book I have read, so I might not be the best judge of the book. There were definitely things I liked - the general storyline, the psychic abilities, the adolescence discovering their true selves, some of the plot twists, and the family issues. But the main character was so angry and seemed to become more and more unlikeable as the story went along. Thinking back to high school, I know the fact that he was blind would not have stopped me from being his friend, but his anger would have. But perhaps more YAers are angry and live with that angst more than I am aware. Or, perhaps the anger is just his way of dealing with the situation. I guess that could lead to some pretty good discussions to go with the book. I would really like to hear the perspective of someone in the target age group and would recommend it for teen book clubs. It seems to me like this book is going to be a great foundation book for the rest of the series. I think YAers especially will get into the almost graphic novel aspect of the books (which is slightly ironic given that there is no visual descriptions in the book - interesting aspect of the writing BTW). I am looking forward to reading more of the series, but am glad to see that Alex, the main character, will not be the focus going forward. Great foundation for the series though.



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MaryDuke's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/11/2012

This book wasent what I had expected.. It was more :D Five stars of course :) because it deserves nothing less. The concept of the book itself, had me pulled in, even before I began reading the book. I wasent sure how Emlyn could pull off writing a book, with the main character being blind, and give enough details to the reader. This challenge was no match though. The world that surounded Alex became alive, and just as vivid to the reader, as it was to the ones living it.
From the beginning, it was clear that Alex's life wasent an easy one, and being blind was the lease of his problems. He had a lovie mother, a father with an attitude, and no friends to turn to.
When he does find friends, he feels as though he is endangering them. His gift, lets him see, what will, or can happen. He is tortured and pleagued with the differnt visions, all of them ending the same.
He along with his new found friends, one of which he has had his whole life, begin training to make sure these visions do not become reality.

This was an awesome read, by an overly fantastic person :) I highly suggest you checking it out!!!
Here is an Excerpt

Today I'd like to share an excerpt from Emlyn Chand's hot new paranormal novel, Farsighted (it just released on 10/24). Before diving in, check out this teaser for the book:

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

excerpt, and stuff can be found on my blog =} [...]

DEFINITELY Unleash it



Urwendyful's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/7/2012



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D.RobertPease's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/6/2012



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Melissa Luznicky Garrett's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/6/2012



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WordKatt's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/3/2012

Farsighted is an exceptional YA book! I highly recommend it to anyone (you don't have to be a YA to read YA!) who enjoys a good read.

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yaaholic's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:4/3/2012



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LordDavid's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:3/31/2012



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Claude Nougat's thoughts on "Farsighted"
updated on:3/30/2012



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"Farsighted"
By Emlyn Chand

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.33 out of 5 (12 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

Book Club Discussion Guide

Farsighted
by Emlyn Chand 
Pages: 260 
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook 
ISBN:  978-0-9839308-2-2 
Publisher:  Blue Crown Press 
Website:  www.emlynchand.com 
Prepared by Novel Publicity, LLC



About this Book

Alex Kosmitoras can’t wait to get away from his small-town life. But until he can graduate high school and move to a bigger city, he’s forced to endure another year of over-protective parents, endless bullying, boring classes, and worst of all, no friends. The only bright side is that at least he only has three more years of high school left.

Alex’s first day of school starts off about as well as he could hope—until he starts sensing things that aren’t there. His first “vision” manages to make a fool out of him in front of the school bully. Just as he thinks he’s going to die from embarrassment, things start looking up. He meets a new girl named Simmi who actually seems to like him. Their friendship looks like it may be developing into something more when Alex has his most terrifying vision yet: Simmi’s death.

As soon as it looks like Alex may lose his first friend, he is pushed into coming to terms with the powers he’d much rather not have. The only person who seems to be able to help him is Miss Teak, the psychic who just moved in next door. Alex is forced into a world he knows very little about, but when friends appear who have gifts of their own, he realizes that he doesn’t have to take on the universe alone.

As he journeys through this new world, Alex is faced with important decisions about whom he can trust, how he must handle his powers, and what he wants his future to be. Each “vision” he experiences tests his inner strength and shapes him into the person he is destined to become. But is that person capable of evil as well as good? Alex’s fight to change the future is one that will keep readers enthralled for the entirety of the book.

Despite it’s being Emlyn Chand’s first novel, Farsighted is layered in a way that is reminiscent of much more experienced authors. It is obvious that a large amount of research went into the execution of this novel. Chand weaves themes of culture, family, and friendship into her intricately crafted story, capturing readers’ attention from the get-go.

Alex’s story is one that will resonate with readers beyond the scope of its designated audience thanks to its focus on the overall struggle of humanity. The ancient runes— around which the novel is structured—offer a larger context to the journey Alex must take. The references to the Greek hero Odysseus further ground Farsighted in the longstanding tradition of quests both against a force of evil and towards personal understanding. From the beginning to the end of the journey, Farsighted is a novel that will make readers laugh, shiver, and jump to the edge of their seats.


Interview with the Author

Q: Why did you choose to incorporate psychic powers into Farsighted?
A: Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense.

Q: What was the research process like for Farsighted?
A: I spent about three months trying to talk myself out of writing Farsighted. It’s too ambitious, my inner critic pointed out. You’ll never get it done, not in the way it deserves to be done, it pressed. Another part of me couldn’t resist; I knew I had to at least try before giving up. I started by reading tons and tons of books—I read about world folklore and superstitions, religions especially Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, psychic powers, the occult, blindness, and even Nostradamus. I learned how to cast runes and perform a ten-card Celtic Cross Tarot reading. I had nightmares for several weeks, but then they eventually stopped, and I started writing.

Q: Which character do you identify with the most?
A: This is a really tough one for me to answer, because all the characters are so different than I am. I definitely identify with Alex and his desire to be accepted but to also remain independent. His battle between the two sides of himself is another thing I understand very well. In high school, I was also that person on the periphery. I was always different, which was both a challenge and a mark of pride. My favorite character would have to be Shapri; she’s kind of the person I wish I could have been like back then. She’s strong, always true to herself, and won’t let anyone disrespect her. Sure, she has fears, but we all do. Shapri is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. You know she’ll always go to bat for you when you’re too tired to step up to the plate.

Q: Do you draw from any personal experiences for any of the incidents in the book?
A: Oh, gosh. The only thing I can think of is the multiculturalism. Grandon is based on my hometown; it’s small and kind of boring. I couldn’t wait to escape and move on to bigger and better things. My home town was mostly Caucasian, but somehow I ended up with a very diverse set of friends, even though they made up less than one-percent of the student body. Fast forward a few years, and I end up marrying a man from India. He’s from New Delhi, like Simmi. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures; I even decided to pursue my master’s in Sociology for this very reason. I credit two early life influences for this attraction: 1) My adoration of A. C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, 2) Disney’s Aladdin being the best movie ever.

Q: What part do different cultures play in Farsighted?
A: A huge part. I don’t see why my characters all need to belong to the same culture or ethnicity. What fun is that? Culture shapes our characters in a big way, so by diversifying my cast, I was able to hit on more types of personalities and situations. Simmi, for example, is very polite and reverent. Alex is shaped by his own way of looking at the world, too—his blindness. This may not seem like a culture at first glance, but look again. How different would your world be if you couldn’t see it? Another important thing to remember is that Alex has always been blind; he’s always known the world to be a certain way. Not everyone understands that, and they have trouble talking about it with him. I gave Alex a tendency to overcompensate. He knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and he wants the world to know it, too, so sometimes he overdoes things a bit.

Q: What motivated you to structure the book around the runes?
A: Remember how I said my masters is in Sociology? It’s actually Quantitative Sociology. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: What do you hope readers will take from the book?
A: First and foremost, I hope that readers will enjoy themselves. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. I also hope that Farsighted is a book that leads to introspection—what would I do if put in Alex’s place? Did Alex ever have a choice or was this path his destiny? What would it be like to see the world the way he sees the world?

Q: Who or what were your greatest influences in writing Farsighted?
A: India is my eternal muse for this and everything I write. Farsighted in particular was heavily influenced by the prophecies of Nostradamus (as you’ll see in the epigraph for Part III). I also drew a good deal from Zoroastrianism and its core concept of dualism— all light contains dark, and all dark contains light. Oh, and coffee. I was influenced by the desire to go to the coffee shop and order a gigantic latte with extra chocolate sauce, all in the name of writing.

Q: What can readers expect from the next books in the series?
A: Readers can expect to not know what to expect until the book releases. I’d like to shroud the entire thing in mystery, which feels appropriate for this series. One thing I can tell you is this: a character other than Alex will be narrating book two.


Discussion Questions

1. How does exposure to different cultures affect a person’s personal growth? What lessons does Alex learn from his new friends that help him deal with his powers?

2. When is it necessary for a family to step back from a situation to allow the child to deal with it on his own? Did Greg make the right decision in traveling to Boston? Should he have stayed and helped Alex more, or did Alex need to learn to fend for himself?

3. The epigraph for part two reads, “If you can look into the seeds of time, / And say which grain will grow, and which will not, / Speak.” Is it a person’s responsibility to share crucial information with the world? Should Alex have told Simmi about the danger she was in? Does he have a responsibility to inform those he loves about the insights provided by his powers?

4. How does Alex’s journey compare to Odysseus’? What elements from Greek mythology appear in Alex’s story?

5. To what extent should schools control fighting? Was Alex’s punishment for fighting with Brady deserved? What about Shapri’s?

6. Everyone has their own personal gifts, even if they’re not the psychic kind. What are some similarities between how we must come to terms with our individual talents and how Alex learns to accept his powers?

7. How can the way disabilities are viewed be changed for the better? Is it accurate for Alex to be classified as a “special needs” student? What are some ways in which the school and students discriminate against Alex?

8. Is evil a natural tendency of human nature? Does Alex have the same potential to do evil as Dax? Is Dax truly evil or merely misguided?

9. How does the story told by the runes apply to an ordinary life? Is Alex unusual in his journey, or does every person embark on a quest to discover him or herself?

10. Miss Teak says that some prophecies occur no matter what, but some can be prevented. Is this true of life? Do we have free will in our decisions, or does fate or some other higher power determine the direction our lives are headed?

11. What elements are necessary to move from fear to acceptance? How does Shapri come to terms with her powers after denying them for so long?

12. How legitimate are teen relationships? Do Alex and Simmi really care for each other, or is their relationship based mainly on teenage hormones? Do Simmi’s powers play a role in Alex’s feelings for her?

13. What role does Miss Teak play as a character? Does her lack of powers complement the powers of the others, or does it detract from her importance?

14. How do Alex’s visions differ from visions a seeing person would have? Would they be more difficult to discern because of the lack of one sense? Would they be more sensitive than one with primarily vision?

15. What role does assumption play in the story? What do you assume about Alex’s mom? His dad? Dax? Miss Teak? How are these assumptions proven wrong?

16. How does Alex’s world represent a specific culture? How are readers immersed into his world? Which aspects of his viewpoint do you take for granted, and which ones continue to surprise you?

17. The epigraph for part three is from the prophecies of Nostradamus. It reads, “One day the two great masters will be friends / Their great power will be seen increased / The new land will be at its high peak / To the bloody one the number recounted.” What do you think this means in the context of the larger story? How does it tie into the conclusion of the novel? What does it hint at for future books in the series?

Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
Have a good question? If your a clubie add one now.
 
 

Link To Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/FarsightedBooks

Reviews:

Alex Kosmitoras might not have a magic wand or vampiric strength and speed, but he is a totally swoon-worthy hero that any mom would be proud to let her daughter date.  -- Melissa Luznicky Garrett, author of Turning Point


You don't have to be psychic to know that Farsighted is going to take the world by storm. Vampires are so last year.  -- Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind


Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering "the next big thing" for YA.  -- Emily Reese, author of Second Death

Farsighted is an epic battle of good versus evil that moves at breakneck speed to a stunning and totally unexpected conclusion.  -- Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

Is Alex blind? Yes. Bullied? Yes. A victim? Absolutely not! Emlyn Chand expertly tackles high school bullying, making Farsighted both an entertaining and an educational read. -- Kevin Carey-Infante, Author of Bani's Dilemma

There's nothing blurry about Farsighted. With keen insight, Emlyn Chand creates complex characters that pop off the page. -- Lauren Clark, author of Stay Tuned

Farsighted is for you if you like your paranormal a little mysterious, your romance a little temperamental, your contemporary a little sharp. Oh, and if you like your teenagers more true to life. -- ME Summer, blogger at Sticking to the Story

I read the book in one sitting, only pausing long enough to grab a drink once or twice... the ONLY other time I have done this is when I read the Harry Potter series. -- Marie Bothwick, blogger at Write Panic Live

Interviews:

Q:  Why did you choose to incorporate psychic powers into Farsighted?

A:   Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. J

Q:  What was the research process like for Farsighted?

A:  I spent about three months trying to talk myself out of writing Farsighted. It’s too ambitious, my inner critic pointed out. You’ll never get it done, not in the way it deserves to be done, it pressed. But there was another part of me that couldn’t resist; I knew I had to at least try before giving up. I started by reading tons and tons of books—I read about world folklore and superstitions, religions especially Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, psychic powers, the occult, blindness, and even Nostradamus. I learned how to cast runes and perform a ten-card Celtic Cross Tarot reading. I had nightmares for several weeks, but then they eventually stopped, and I started writing.

Q:  Which character do you identify with the most?

A:  This is a really tough one for me to answer, because all the characters are so different than I am. I definitely identify with Alex and his desire to be accepted but to also remain independent. His battle between the two sides of himself is another thing I understand very well. In high school, I was also that person on the periphery. I was always different, which was both a challenge and a mark of pride. My favorite character would have to be Shapri; she’s kind of the person I wish I could have been like back then. She’s strong, always true to herself, and won’t let anyone disrespect her. Sure, she has fears, but we all do. Shapri is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. You know she’ll always go to bat for you when you’re too tired to step up to the plate.

Q:  Do you draw from any personal experiences for any of the incidents in the book?

A:  Oh, gosh. The only thing I can think of is the multiculturalism. Grandon is based on my hometown; it’s small and kind of boring. I couldn’t wait to escape and move on to bigger and better things. My home town was mostly Caucasian, but somehow I ended up with a very diverse set of friends even though they made up less than 1% of the student body. Fast forward a few years, and I end up marrying a man from India. He’s from New Delhi, like Simmi. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures; I even decided to pursue my Master’s in Sociology for this very reason. I credit two early life influences for this attraction:  1) My adoration of A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, 2) Disney’s Aladdin being the best movie ever.

Q:  What part do different cultures play in Farsighted?

A:  A huge part. I don’t see why my characters all need to belong to the same culture or ethnicity. What fun is that? Culture shapes our characters in a big way, so by diversifying my cast, I was able to hit on more types of personalities and situations. Simmi, for example, is very polite and reverent. Alex is shaped by his own way of looking at the world too—his blindness. This may not seem like a culture at first glance, but look again. How different would your world be if you couldn’t see it? Another important thing to remember is that Alex has always been blind; he’s always known the world to be a certain way. Not everyone understands that, and they have trouble talking about it with him. I gave Alex a tendency to overcompensate. He knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and he wants the world to know it too, so sometimes he overdoes things a bit.

Q:  What motivated you to structure the book around the runes?

A:  Remember how I said my Master’s degree is in Sociology? It’s actually Quantitative Sociology. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q:  What do you hope readers will take from the book?

A:  First and foremost, I hope that readers will enjoy themselves. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. I also hope that Farsighted is a book that leads to introspection—what would I do if put in Alex’s place? Did Alex ever have a choice or was this path his destiny? What would it be like to see the world the way he sees the world?

Q:  Who or what were your greatest influences in writing Farsighted?

A:  India is my eternal muse for this and everything I write. Farsighted in particular was heavily influenced by the prophecies of Nostradamus (as you’ll see in the epigraph for part III). I also drew a good deal from Zoroastrianism and its core concept of dualism—all light contains dark, and all dark contains light. Oh, and coffee. I was influenced by the desire to go to the coffee shop and order a gigantic latte with extra chocolate sauce, all in the name of writing.

Q:  What can readers expect from the next books in the series?

A:  Readers can expect to not know what to expect until the book releases. I’d like to shroud the entire thing in mystery, which feels appropriate for this series. One thing I can tell you is this:  a character other than Alex will be narrating book two.
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“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”

“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”

“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”

I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”

“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’  I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”

“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.

As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.

“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.

Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.

Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.

“Hello?” I call again.

“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.

“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.

“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.

“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.

“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”

“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.

The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.

“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”

“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”

“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?

“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”

I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.

Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.

 
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Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.


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