[Tour] Devious Minds by Colleen Helme ~ Character Interview + Excerpt

Devious Minds 
(A Shelby Nichols Adventure Series #8)
by Colleen Helme


It’s been almost a year since a near-fatal gunshot wound left Shelby Nichols with the ability to read minds. In that time she’s faced one problem after another. She’s been shot at, framed for murder, and targeted by a serial killer, just to name a few. Now she’s trying to help her lawyer husband win a murder trial that will enable him to become a partner in his law firm. Sounds easy, right? But nothing ever goes as planned when it comes to Shelby Nichols.

When special agent, Blake Beauchaine, shows up to collect a debt from Shelby, things get even more complicated, and Shelby is soon on her way to Paris. A routine meeting with a rogue agent reveals a sinister plot, putting Shelby into the cross-hairs of a known terrorist. Even worse, she doesn’t speak French, so it seems her mind-reading abilities won’t help her this time.

Things go from bad to downright dangerous for Shelby, especially since her usual guardians, Uncle Joey, and his hit-man, Ramos, are back in the states. Lost and on her own in the streets of Paris, can Shelby escape the cold-blooded killer in time to stop his devious plans, or will this be the end of the line for Shelby Nichols?

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Character Interview

Billie Jo Payne: Joining me today is acclaimed private investigator, Shelby Nichols. Besides working as a paid consultant for the police, she has her own agency, and has been instrumental in solving several high-profile cases. Her latest involved a case that had gone unsolved for six years, which Shelby solved in a matter of days. She was also instrumental in helping me with my own investigation into the Attorney General’s office. How does she do it? What is her secret that gives her the edge over others who have tried and failed? Now is our chance to find out.

Thank you, Shelby, for agreeing to join me for an interview today. With your track record, you have become something of a phenomenon. Most people would agree that you have an uncanny ability to solve cases. Almost like a sixth sense. Is this something you were born with, or just grown into as you’ve honed your skills?

Shelby: Oh, I think you’re giving me more credit than I deserve here. I mean, most cases are solved after a lot of hard work and effort. I just happen to have a knack for figuring things out.

Billie: Is that why you got started in the PI business?

Shelby: Actually, I’m more of a consultant, but yes, I suppose that’s correct. I started helping the police after I was involved in a bank robbery. Since I was the only witness who could identify the bank robber, he tried to kill me, but as you can see, he didn’t succeed. While I was involved with that case, I spent a lot of time at the police station, and began helping them with a few little things here and there. That’s where I found out I had a ‘knack’ for it.

Billie: By ‘knack’ do you mean premonitions? That’s what you call it, isn’t it?

Shelby: Uh…yes…I’ve called it that…but I’d rather say it’s more like a sixth sense about things. People are more comfortable with that.

Billie: What was the first case you solved?

Shelby: Well…I think it was the time I helped the police with some stolen art.

Billie: That’s right. That’s when I first heard of you. Didn’t they put a plaque up in the museum with your name on it or something?

Shelby: Yes. It was a surprise to be honored that way.

Billie: (chuckles) Well, if you say so, but shouldn’t having premonitions make it kind of hard to surprise you? I mean…isn’t that what it means to have premonitions? I’m sure everyone would love to know how that works. Could you explain that to us?

Shelby: Um…I’ll try, but it’s pretty abstract.

Billie: That’s fine, just do your best. Anything you offer will be great.

Shelby: Hmm…okay, but once I get done, just remember you asked for it. Because…I had a premonition that you were going to put me on the spot like this, but I mostly blew it off because you’re a friend and all, but I should have followed my instincts and turned you down.

Billie: Huh! Well…I guess you were right about that, but if you ask me, that’s more like deductive reasoning. So what you’re saying is your premonitions are more like a gut reaction, or instincts. You don’t actually see into the future?

Shelby: No, I don’t at all. I probably should have called what I do something else, like intuition. Maybe that’s a better word for it.

Billie: Shelby! How can you say that? I think what you do is lots better than intuition. I mean, I’ve seen you in action. You know things that no one else could possibly figure out without some kind of extra-sensory perception.

Shelby: Oh…so now you’re calling it ESP?

Billie: That might make more sense.

Shelby: What?

Billie: Just think about it…there are times when you get into a lot of trouble. If you had a premonition that it would be trouble…why would you still do it? So maybe ESP is better.

Shelby: Geez, Billie Jo. I can see now that my premonition about coming here was right and I should have listened to it.

Billie: So you really don’t know when it’s a premonition? Don’t you get some kind of a little ‘zing’ or a vision? You told me once that sometimes you saw things in your mind that meant something about a case, if only you could figure out how it fit in the puzzle.

Shelby: I think I’m done with this interview. (unclips the microphone)

Billie: Wait…don’t go…I’ve still got questions…

Shelby: Bye.

Billie: Well, thanks for joining us everyone. Next time we’ll be interviewing Detective Harris from the police department…wait, what are you doing? You can’t take my microphone…I’m not done…


By the time we got to the sixth floor, I was eager to get out. Blake hid a smile at my nerves, and took off down the hall. He took out his keys and unlocked a door at the very end of the hall. As it swung open, my breath caught at the view from the window.

“Is that Notre-Dame?” I gasped.

He chuckled. “Actually, that’s The Hôtel de Ville where the city’s local administration is housed. The buildings just beyond those are on the Ile-de-la-Cité where Notre-Dame is located. In the distance, you can just make out the cathedral’s spire from here.”

“Oh yes, I see it now.”

“All of those buildings are actually on an island in the river Seine. In fact, Notre-Dame was built at the same spot where the Romans built a temple to Jupiter. The cathedral was first built in the twelfth century, but through the years, and because of the revolution, it fell into disrepair. If it wasn’t for Victor Hugo and his book, it may have been destroyed.”

“Wow. I didn’t know that.”

“Your room is this way,” he said. “Why don’t you get settled, and then we’ll go exploring?”

“Okay!” He didn’t have to ask me twice. The bedrooms were on the other side of the living room and small kitchen and were larger than I’d expected. “I thought you said this apartment was small.”

He shrugged. “These bedrooms used to be part of another apartment, but I was able to buy it and put in these rooms and bathrooms. You can use that bedroom.” He motioned to the bedroom with billowing curtains framing another open window which looked out over the city. “My housekeeper must have opened the windows to air the place out when she came in this morning.”

It was a little chilly, but I rushed over to look out the windows. The view was breathtaking. “This is perfect!”

“Good,” he said, clearly pleased with my reaction. “I’ll leave you to get settled.”

The door shut behind him, and I glanced around the room. A queen sized bed with a metal frame took up most of the space, and two bed-stands with lamps flanked either side. A large wooden dresser with a mirror stood on the opposite wall.

A door beside the dresser opened into a small bathroom, with the shower and basin all done in beautiful tile work. Fresh towels and soap, along with an array of small bottles of lotions and shampoo, lined the countertop.

This was amazing. I heaved a sigh, happy and grateful I’d come. I could hardly believe I’d almost chickened out. I would have missed this! I hurried back to the bedroom and unloaded my suitcase, placing my toiletries in the bathroom and my clothes in the dresser, then shoved my empty suitcase under the bed.

I quickly changed into a fresh blouse and my favorite black jeans and boots, then hurried into the bathroom to brush my teeth. After combing my hair and updating my make-up, I was ready to go. But first I needed to call Chris. The phone rang for the longest time before he finally picked up.


The Shelby Nichols Adventure Series
Series Trailer


About The Author


As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble… I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

You can find Colleen at
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