Master of Illusion: A Celine Skye Psychic Mystery
by Nupur Tustin
About Master of Illusion
Master of Illusion: A Celine Skye Psychic Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Psychic Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Foiled Plots Press (July 28, 2020)
Paperback: 292 pages
Digital ASIN: B08BTFMTJS
When death arrives in Paso Robles, so do clues to an infamous art heist in Boston. . .
For seven years, psychic Celine Skye has led a life free of visions in quiet Paso Robles. But now the visions are back. Along with a dubious customer from Boston.
Celine has always been able to sense death. But not even she can foresee her employer Dirck’s murder. Finding his corpse in the wine bar he owns is bad enough.
Grappling with the suspicion that Dirck’s death could be connected with the Gardner Museum heist is even worse.
As Celine struggles to make sense of the psychic clues she receives, there’s just one question in her mind: What exactly did Dirck know about the Gardner Museum heist to get himself killed?
Interview With The Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and was fortunate enough to have been encouraged by my family and my teachers. At school, we had weekly creative writing sessions; in a 40-minute sprint, we’d write an essay or a short story based on a prompt given to us. My efforts were frequently read out in class.
Of course, I may not have become a writer except for the fact that right after I earned my Ph.D., I also got pregnant. With four prior miscarriages, I was advised to be careful and even spent some time on bed rest. Then when my daughter was born, she had severe acid reflux disease. All thoughts of getting a regular job went out the door.
I’d returned to music at the time, but try practicing piano or doing anything at all when you’re caring for a child with acid reflux disease!
Sometime around about Mother’s Day, I decided I’d write a mystery novel. I didn’t think I’d actually succeed, so I didn’t tell my husband and I didn’t even write about it in my journal.
What genres do you write in?
I write mysteries. I started with historical mysteries; the Joseph Haydn Mysteries set in eighteenth-century Austria are the first novels I wrote. I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and I’m especially fond of history. Combining the two seemed an excellent idea.
But I also always wanted to write contemporary mystery fiction as well. The Celine Skye Psychic Mystery Series is as different from the Joseph Haydn historical series as you can imagine.
My research into Maria Theresa, the Habsburg Empress in Joseph Haydn’s time, and the death of my parents initially got me interested in psychic phenomena.
Then I learned about a number of real-life psychics who have done brilliant work providing clues to law enforcement. Noreen Renier is one of them. She’s even mentioned by the FBI’s Robert Ressler and in manuals on homicide investigation. But there’ve been others as well.
Naturally, I couldn’t resist writing a psychic mystery series myself.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
First and foremost, to be entertained and to want more! It’s been very gratifying hearing from readers of the newly released Master of Illusion that they found the book riveting and were unable to put it down; that they can’t wait to read the prequel, Visions of Murder.
It’s also been a relief to know that fans of the Haydn Mysteries enjoy the new series as well. I’ve had people write to ask me if there’ll be any more Haydn Mysteries; they’ve read all three in the series so far. So I felt a bit guilty about releasing a book in an entirely different series.
With the Haydn series—and yes, there’ll be more of those as well—I want to pique readers’ curiosity so much that they try to discover for themselves what’s historical fact and what’s fiction.
The Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries have Celine investigating the Gardner Museum heist, so there’s a blending of fact and fiction here as well. And I hope readers will want to know more—not just about the theft, but about the artists and their art as well.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I enjoy every aspect of it—the research, the creation of a fictional world, planting clues, devising a clever puzzle. It’s all fun!
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Just because it’s all fun, doesn’t mean that it’s not challenging. You’re trying to create the perfect crime, and then find a way to solve it. But nothing compares to the satisfaction you feel when you achieve what you set out to do.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Believe in yourself and your ideas. No one else will until you do.
And be enthusiastic about your work. When the going gets rough—I’m having to homeschool three elementary-age schoolchildren, one of whom enters Kindergarten in the fall, as I write—it’s your enthusiasm that carries you through.
You have to love storytelling so much that not even a Tsunami threatening to engulf you could persuade you to give up!
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy reading mysteries of all types, of course. I’m waiting for copies of Dean Koontz’s Vision and another Iain Pears book to arrive.
I also enjoy reading children’s fiction—I have three young children under the age of nine. We write picture books together—the kids dictate the stories; I lay out the pages and do the illustrations.
In terms of nonfiction, I’ve really come to enjoy true crime, forensic investigations and insights into criminal behavior. And I especially love history.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
In writing and researching my books, I’ve taken quite a hands-on approach to my work. I’ve composed music. You can see and hear the pieces on my website at musicaneo: https://ntustin.musicaneo.com
I enjoy drawing and painting, although I haven’t gotten around to trying the camera obscura my husband constructed for me while I was working on Master of Illusion.
And in researching psychic energy, I did quite a few of the exercises myself and seem to have honed my intuitive abilities. I seem to have something called claircognizance—ideas and knowledge can just pop into my mind without warning. But I’ve used the exercises in Jeffrey Wands’ The Psychic in You to do more.
I once asked my rather surprised husband in a text to let me know whether the colleague visiting him at the job site was going to be wearing a blue shirt.
“I’m not expecting him to be here,” my husband replied.
“Well when he does show up around about noon, can you tell me if he’s wearing blue?” I texted back. It was a few minutes to noon at the time.
A few minutes later, my husband texted me to say that not only had his colleague made an unexpected appearance at the time I said he would, he’d also been wearing blue.
But being hands-on has its limits. There is one thing I haven’t done and don’t intend to do: commit a murder!
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Readers can visit my website https://ntustin.com and sign up to receive THREE FREE short stories as well as preorder discounts on every new release.
I can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ntustinauthor/
And on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/nupurtustin
I’m also on Bookbub where readers can follow me, see what I’m reading, and review my books: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nupur-tustin
About Nupur Tustin
A former journalist, Nupur Tustin misuses a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to paint intrigue. She also orchestrates mayhem in composer Joseph Haydn’s Europe. Visit her at ntustin.com
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