THE MIND'S EYE by K.C. Finn
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal, Historical, Adventure and Romance)
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one 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.
EXCERPT FROM THE MIND'S EYE:
We spent Henri’s birthday under a tree drinking orange pop and trying to talk about subjects that didn’t lead back to the war. The news of Clive and Ieuan had shaken Leigh out of his selfish reverie, so if one good thing had come from the darkness it was the fact that my brother had finally actually gotten to know Henri. He even sang Happy Birthday in what he called ‘The Proper English Way’, laughing so hard he could barely get the words out for lack of breath:
“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.
History? That’s so last century…
Five great reasons to write historical fiction for young adults.
By K.C. Finn, author of ‘The Mind’s Eye’
If I were to approach my thirteen year old cousin with a copy of my novel, The Mind’s Eye, in hand, there’s one of two ways that our interaction could go. She’s an avid reader and eyes up new books like they’re actually made of diamonds, but she also has specific tastes about what she likes to read. Just as most young people would vanish from a room, tumbleweed in tow, when a black and white movie comes on the television screen, so would they run screaming if you tried to hand them a book that labelled itself “Historical Fiction”. But if I handed her my novel and said “It’s a paranormal adventure set in World War II”, I would have to be careful not to lose my fingertips when she snatched the book from my grip.
I wear the badge of being a historical fiction writer just as proudly as my monikers of science fiction, fantasy and horror writer, even though the word “historical” has become synonymous with “boring” in the eyes of many YA readers. But here’s a secret that my years of private tuition have taught me: young people love history. There is nothing so useful for engaging teens in conversation as a working knowledge of the gory, gruesome and fascinating realities of the lives of those that have walked this Earth before us. For every sentence you give them, they have fifty questions they want answering. For every nugget of detail you reveal about life in the past, they have their own wonderful opinions on how they would cope and what they would do in those situations.
So I say own your historical know-how, writers! It’s not as uncool as you think to set your stories in the past. And readers: don’t be afraid of a teen book that’s not set in some futuristic dystopian society, because the past has just as many frightening and austere situations for your heroes to be trapped in. And best of all they’re actually real. So for all of you out there who love to see history come alive, here are the top five reasons that inspire me to keep delving into the past for my inspiration.
History builds drama
There’s not much drama in a YA heroine being stranded all alone if she’s got her smartphone with her and can Google-Map her way out of any danger in minutes. Historical fiction offers you the chance to get rid of helpful technologies and present characters that are in genuine danger, long before the days of cameras, surveillance and instant communication.
History slows life down
Some contemporary and futuristic novels that I read nowadays speed along at a rocketing pace due to the immediate and impatient nature of their modern teen protagonists. Teens in historical pieces don’t have the freedom to live at such momentum; they are often caged spirits growing bored under their family’s control. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than watching a bored teen break the rules to embark on their first adventure.
The atmosphere is ready-made
It can be hard for new writers to create an entire world of their own and give it the proper atmospheric touches that it needs to become a convincing reality. Setting your story against a historical background brings a lot of ready-made elements for a writer to use, subvert and generally mess around with until they have the feeling they’re going for. If you set a story in World War II, for example, that immediately conjures up ideas of courage, danger and romanticism before the reader has even glanced at page one.
History is amazing
That sounds lame, I know, but it’s actually true. The more I delve into historical research, the more I am totally bowled over by the secrets and amazing things that they never taught me about in school. Eighteenth century women brushed their teeth with twigs, salt and chalk to keep them white. Asperger’s syndrome was first investigated and discovered under the Nazi medical research directive. History can present you with an array of inspiring and fascinating material to work with if you simply take the time to look.
History gives you somewhere to go
Historical books make future book planning easy because you already know historically what happens next. This last reason has been particularly pertinent to me and my books. By starting my series in 1939, I am able to time-jump book by book and tell the story of an entire family as they grow up and have children who then have adventures of their own. Different historical periods have given me the opportunity to write what I hope you’ll find is a varied, rich series with daring and loveable characters whose wild adventures you can follow through over fifty years of British history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it'd be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.
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.
K.C. Finn signed with Clean Teen Publishing in late 2013. Her first book published with Clean Teen Publishing: The Mind's Eye, is scheduled to release on April 1, 2014. This will be shortly followed by the sequel, Leighton's Summer.
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